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Lightning takes centre stage in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Submitted by on Saturday, 1 September 2012One Comment

Square-Enix has announced the latest installment in the Final Fantasy XIII saga dubbed Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Judging by the title, we assume we’re going to play as a Chocobo but it’s all up in the air, really.

Motomu Toriyama, the series director, has said that the game will be the conclusion of Lightning’s saga. 

If Final Fantasy XIII-2 taught us anything, it’s that Lightning is still the heroine that we’ve all come to love and Square-Enix are now making her the protagonist again.

With XIII coming to an end, we’re being treated with something special as the game will come equipped with many new features not seen in previous Final Fantasy games such as the ability to hang on to ledges and pull Lightning up, and taking cover behind corners. Jumping and customisation will make an appearance again, though this time, they will be more fleshed out.

A first look at the customisation.

You will be able to customise Lightning in a number of ways including her clothing and her weaponry but instead of being purely for aesthetic reasons, different items will offer you different abilities. This hasn’t been detailed yet but we assume it will affect her health, strength, defence, etc, but it may be the inclusion of these features as to why Lightning is the only playable character, whether or not she will have a party is unknown.

The world sounds as if it will be similar to XIII-2 in terms of being open-world rather than the mostly strictly linear XIII as the game world will be comprised of four islands. Three themes will be touched on which are fantasy, gothic and mechanical – it sounds like the design team have a lot of work ahead of them.

You will be able to travel between islands by using a monorail but you will have to wait for it to arrive and can’t board it all willy-nilly anymore and may get stuck on one island waiting for the monorail to reach you.

A look at newly revealed concept art.

At the beginning of the game you will find out that the world is 13 days away from doomsday, something which hints that Lightning’s Return will be a direct sequel to XIII-2 and it’s DLC, the Requiem of the Goddess. A doomsday clock will be included, allowing you to routinely panic about how little time you have left  to gather many potions and phoenix downs before the inevitable, frustrating final battle.

With time being of the essence and the doomsday clock and monorail system being introduced, you will have to carefully plan your journey out so that you have enough time to gather items, level-up and do what you need to so that you can successfully save the world. This may allow multiple endings but of course, there will always be a canon one. Alas, this is us assuming again as there are not many details on the title yet.

Take a look at the announcement video below presented by Yoshinori Kitase, the producer of Final Fantasy:

The game is slated to release next year.

We will update this post with any fresh news that becomes available to us but in the meantime, let us know what you think about the new installment in the comments below.