It seems that Final Fantasy XIII-2 will introduce more new characters in addition to Norah, among other interesting bits of news.
According to Andriasang‘s translation of a summarised Famitsu interview, art director Isamu Kamikokuryo has promised other “main characters” besides Noel and Serah.
Previous coverage has suggested that Noel And Serah will be the only permanent party members, with tamed monsters filling the third slot in battles. Lightning, Snow and members of NORA have previously been confirmed as appearing in-game.
Kamikokuryo also revealed that the development team remains largely unchanged from Final Fantasy XIII’s. Characters’ faces have been designed by Tetsuya Nomura, but other staff took care of clothing and body art, although Yusuke Naora designed a mysterious figure seen in Lightning’s company.
Lead art designer Toshitaka Matsuda created the monsters found in New Bodham, which apparently differ from those seen before. Matsuda also designed Serah’s Moogle weapon, Lightning’s sword, NPCs, backgrounds, and summons.
Due to a short production schedule, not a lot of pre-production sketches were created, with staff relying on other resources like photographs to grasp designers’ ideas. Designers have been given free reign to build levels as they please with shortcuts and branching paths.
One final mysterious snippet: a pattern seen on Lightning’s shield and Serah’s clothing will be explained by the game’s story. Ooh!
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is due on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, with a December Japanese release and early 2012 expected internationally.