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Night Fury
06-13-2013, 01:50 PM
Lightning Returns Director Motomu Toriyama and producer Yoshinori Kitase recently sat down with Nova Crystalis for an interview about one of Square Enix's favourite video game heroins, Lightning! (Obviously, this wouldn't be a Lightning Returns article if it wasn't about Lightning.) As well as the interview, we've a little treat in the form of LIGHTNING OUTFITS for you too!


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When asked about Lightning's character, Toriyama has a lot to say: "We have depicted Lightning as a strong woman right from the beginning, from the first installment. And with the first installment she is a soldier. So we’ve kind of depicted her as being this stoic person, hard on herself, hard on her sister, and kind of a hardened woman."

This is very true, we have seen Lightning at her physical best from the beginning of the XIII saga, but what is she going to be like for her closing chapter? "So in the third and final “Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII” installment, we want to depict her from more of a human perspective. How she got to being the strong woman that she is, what she’s struggling with, and trying to depict her in many different angles, so that we can see her coldness, or her beauty, maybe through her poignancy."


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So for Lightning Returns, the focus will be on Lightning's human side, and her sadness and sorrow. This is quite hard to believe given the footage we have seen of her so far in the game! But I'm trusting that we can see a new, different Lightning in this game.

When asked about how it has been creating a trilogy, Producer Kitase comments: "What I’m proud of about this title is that our dev team was able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time. We will have released three titles in the span of about four years. We’ve taken back all of the feedback we received from our fans and we evolved this title throughout the installments. So I’m really proud that our dev team grew to accommodate the requests and the fact that we do have such a strong, good development team."

Kitase also notes that the choice to have Lightning as the lead in the game was so that they could "let her shine once again."

So, enough about Lightning, us fans just want to get to the nitty gritty of the game - just what in the heck are these thirteen days all about? Toriyama explains....

"In terms of gameplay we have thirteen days left before the world ends, but at the start of the game Lightning is given seven days to explore and go through her quests. By completing these different quests she is able to prolong the life [of the world]. So the system is set up so you start off with seven days, and you kind of extend the life of the world as you complete your quests."

Sounds interesting! I knew it sounded a bit too difficult to have a countdown for the events of the game. I am impressed with the idea of 'prolonging' the life of the world. It sounds like a beautiful, and fresh concept that I'm very, very excited to see brought to life in a video game - especially a video game as big as Final Fantasy!


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Toriyama: "In terms of the battle, in traditional battle we would think of the ATB (Active Time Battle) system. But with this game we tried to keep that kind of strategy element in the battle system as well as improving and evolving the speed and the tempo of actual battles"

I'm glad that they've tried to adapt the ATB to suit the speed of Lightning Returns, but as a classic RPG fan, I'm disappointed it won't be turn based. That's more to do with my own personal preferences though... They have added something completely new though...

"So what we’ve done is incorporated a system called- Well, what we call ‘Style Change’ but in the English version will be called ‘Schemata Change’, where Lightning has her equipment- her outfit, her weapon and shield- add to her different abilities and her attributes that are set. So you’ll be switching between three of those, and each of those Styles/Schema have an ATB Gauge assigned to it. You’re going to be strategically trying to pick which gauge and which Schema is appropriate for that instance, when you want to put in the command. And that’s how our battle system is set up in this installment."

So. It now sounds like the lovechild of XIII-2 and X-2, now I know that many people criticise X-2's battle system, and the Dresspheres, but this could be a really fun twist for Lightning Returns!

Toriyama: "We have over 80 different types of outfit prepared for Lightning. You can definitely changer her look, but her outfits are also going to link to her powers and abilities as well kind of like the job system in typical Final Fantasy games."


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"But not only do you have these different outfits, you’ll be able to customize each different part on her outfit, and change colors so you can make your very own Lightning. You can do what you like in terms of what outfits she has."



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To a fashion forward lady like myself, this sounds like a fun feature. I can't wait to play around with it! I'm sure it will be criticised heavily too though, but hopefully the dev team can make this feature as interesting and useful as they can - so as not to make it like some weird Clueless-esque wardrobe game! I do also wonder if this is really a good thing for Lightning's character. She's never struck me as being a particularly 'feminine' girl. By that I mean that she doesn't dress in frills and hot pink - she's a very practical woman and I hope that being able to play around with her outfits doesn't demean her character!

Fans are being treated to a very special outfit...



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Kitase has said this particular outfit is being developed for fan nostalgia! I'm wondering if any other popular outfits from Final Fantasy's gone by will make an appearance, with a wardrobe of 80+ outfits, I wouldn't be at all surprised if a few reconisable outfits crop up...

So, the game may be called Lightning Returns, but the characters of XIII are pretty well loved, and something playing on fans minds is the hopeful reappearance of some of the other characters... Here is what Toriyama has to say on that:

"With this installment, not only will Lightning’s chapter of the story end, but we’re going to have closure for many of the characters that have appeared in the previous installments. For example: I think you’ve seen Snow appear in some of the new information. He’s going to be in the game as well. He’s agonizing over the fact that he was not able to save Serah, and he has this very dark struggle in his heart. Lightning will try to approach him, and try to save him as well, but there may be a little bit of conflict there."

Speaking of other characters, we'd also like to know about Eidolons, it's not a very happy conclusion however..."The summons were created by the Goddess Etro in the world of Final Fantasy XIII, so at the end of XIII-2 when Etro lost her power, it means the summons lost their powers also. They won’t be able to appear as they would, in their original form."

So no Odin or Shiva in this game - I wonder, without summons how will it feel like a Final Fantasy, I'm hoping that there is something in mind to replace them.

Finally, Kitase has spoken about plans for DLC: "In terms of DLC that would expand on the actual story of Lightning Returns, we’re not really planning for those episodic DLC nor are we thinking of doing extra ‘boss’ DLC. We are planning to have it 100% completable on its own. We do have more than 80 outfits that Lightning can equip, so we would like to take into consideration maybe costume DLCs. I know the Legacy Final Fantasy costumes, such as past titles like the White Mage or the Black Mage, those were really popular so if there’s a great enough demand for things like that, we might be able to put it into consideration. So unfortunately, no battle DLCs after the launch."

If you'd like to see the full interview, you can find it here. (http://www.novacrystallis.com/2013/06/lightning-returns-square-enix-members-exlcusive-interview/)
You can also view some more screenshots here. (http://www.novacrystallis.com/2013/06/focus-on-lightning-returns-reveals-some-new-information-and-a-wealth-of-screenshots/)

Loony BoB
06-13-2013, 01:55 PM
Oh God. xD I can see certain people having a field day with this.

Aulayna
06-13-2013, 01:59 PM
Sexism in Final Fantasy: Oh God I can play dress-up in Lightning Returns. *puke*

An article coming to you soon from Raistlin.

Night Fury
06-13-2013, 01:59 PM
I know. Just remember before you open up your field days - not to shoot the messenger! (me!)

Karifean
06-13-2013, 02:09 PM
Who would criticize X-2's Battle System. :colbert:
...okay maybe the presentation, but not the functionalities.

"We are planning to have it 100% completable on its own. [...] So unfortunately, no battle DLCs after the launch."

He's saying this as if it's a bad thing. :p

Anyways, I'm really looking forward to this game. This game certainly sounds like it encourages multiple playthroughs, which I don't mind at all. I'm sure the combat will be interesting. Let's see how it will play.

Pumpkin
06-13-2013, 02:12 PM
Don't shoot me but--

The outfit thing is the only reason I would actually consider buying this game :|.







I don't like Lightning.

Loony BoB
06-13-2013, 02:22 PM
I know. Just remember before you open up your field days - not to shoot the messenger! (me!)
Oh, I meant that in a positive way - I think that some people will have waaay too much fun with this. A certain person named Danielle springs to mind.

Aulayna
06-13-2013, 02:25 PM
My Lightning is going to look fabulous! (I'm honestly sad to admit that I really didn't care much for this until now)

Sephiroth
06-13-2013, 02:44 PM
This is one of the things I missed in a Final Fantasy.

And that is no joke.

Jinx
06-13-2013, 02:51 PM
Can they sell a DLC that's just Lightning Dressup? :3

Prince of Rabbits
06-13-2013, 03:16 PM
I love this feature! Hopefully there will be many costumes. Harkening back to X-2's dresspheres, woop! Haha.

Slothy
06-13-2013, 03:17 PM
Don't shoot me but--

The outfit thing is the only reason I would actually consider buying this game :|.







I don't like Lightning.

It's okay Shion. I don't like the idea of playing dress up with the main character in an FF, but even I have to admit that it sounds like more fun than I had with any part of the original FFXIII.

Del Murder
06-13-2013, 03:43 PM
I forgot this game still exists. I will probably spend about 5 minutes with this feature but it's cool that they are adding some variety to the game.

Raistlin
06-13-2013, 04:13 PM
Sexism in Final Fantasy: Oh God I can play dress-up in Lightning Returns. *puke*

New outfits have been a standard extra in many games, for male and female characters. But it is a bit curious that this emphasis on "dressing up" only seems to appear for female characters. I'll only puke, though, if this decision was made only to try to attract more female gamers. :p

At least the current outfits shown all actually make sense.

Loony BoB
06-13-2013, 04:14 PM
I'll only puke, though, if this decision was made only to try to attract more female gamers. :p
What if it works?

Aulayna
06-13-2013, 04:18 PM
I'll only puke, though, if this decision was made only to try to attract more female gamers. :p
What if it works?

Sexism in Final Fantasy: Women are beyond hope

Loony BoB
06-13-2013, 04:47 PM
There's nothing wrong with girls being more likely to enjoy fashion in video games. If it happens, so be it. I just don't get how it's an issue, really. If girls are more likely to buy a video game featuring a fashion-based feature than boys are, that doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

Night Fury
06-13-2013, 04:50 PM
Lightning.... now with Louboutins!

MY DREAM.

I'm currently working on a feature about make-up products for video games and how awesome that would be - following the rumours of the FF perfume. This is also going to get a mention in said feature. When I finish it. Heh.

Aulayna
06-13-2013, 05:12 PM
There's nothing wrong with girls being more likely to enjoy fashion in video games. If it happens, so be it. I just don't get how it's an issue, really. If girls are more likely to buy a video game featuring a fashion-based feature than boys are, that doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

Neither do I really. :)

Heck I've actually brought games solely because of how much I could make my character look pretty or what dress-up options there. It's why I still play Ragnarok Online II despite the fact that pretty much everything else about that game is awful - but my character looks pretty and can get cute dresses so I still play it regardless!

Jinx
06-13-2013, 07:50 PM
Why does everything have to turn into some sexism/feminism problem? Ugh.

LadyJuxtaposition
06-13-2013, 10:49 PM
If anyone who plays the game wanted to request me a drawing of their own customed Lightning, send me a note and I will be happy to draw her for you! The dressing feature looks very fun, but I don't have the gaming system for it, darn.

Night Fury
06-13-2013, 10:50 PM
If anyone who plays the game wanted to request me a drawing of their own customed Lightning, send me a note and I will be happy to draw her for you! The dressing feature looks very fun, but I don't have the gaming system for it, darn.

You know, I had this totally random thought earlier to do a mini "design your own Lightning outfit" contest in Relms Studio! You should join (if I do it, which I should!) :D

dandy da oak
06-14-2013, 04:10 AM
I hope there are just as many awesome costumes as there are girly costumes. I can't see Lightning really wearing a dress tbh.

maybee
06-14-2013, 10:23 AM
Don't shoot me but--

The outfit thing is the only reason I would actually consider buying this game :|.







I don't like Lightning.



Haha this ^


Why does everything have to turn into some sexism/feminism problem? Ugh.

And this ^ You can dress up male characters in DQ IX and plus how does dressing up characters that are female equal as sexist ? So dressing up male characters in the Sims 3 games is a sin ?

It's made for fun and entertainment.

Loony BoB
06-14-2013, 11:03 AM
I hope there are just as many awesome costumes as there are girly costumes. I can't see Lightning really wearing a dress tbh.
You can't see it? But she's doing it right there! ;)

Mirage
06-14-2013, 11:32 AM
Idk Locky. I was of the impression that people criticized the girliness of FFX-2, not the battle system.

NeoCracker
06-14-2013, 04:37 PM
Idk Locky. I was of the impression that people criticized the girliness of FFX-2, not the battle system.

I criticize the Battle System to the extent that the game is too easy for the system to matter, but that's kind of an unrelated tangent! :p

Formalhaut
06-14-2013, 05:06 PM
I'm rocking the Yuna outfit. That looks good. For me, this customisable dress-up system seems somewhat akin to the FFXIII-2 adornments, just more refined and specific to that one person. It looks good! While some may say it is quite gimmicky, it seems like a nice idea, and allows you to 'dress' Lightning how you view her to be.

I'm also glad by the looks of it, that enemies seem to different. One of my complaints about FF is that there is alot of palette swapping, and not so much originality. That weird club wielding green monster looks interesting.

I'm intrigued by this screen:

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The ATB gauge seems to be limited, it's almost like MP points in that sense. Maybe it does recharge slowly during the 'day', but with each skill or ability you use, it drains it by, 1, 2, 3 whatever. Maybe items can replenish the gauge. This may then help facilitate constant changes of dress so you're not using up the ATB gauge of a dress.

The other thing I circled is interesting. Obviously, the sword icon is strength, and the magic icon is magic. Lightning's dress in this screen looks to be rather mage-like, and the numbers reflect it. The clock icon is new though. Maybe it's the recharge rate of the ATB gauge? Maybe it means something else? Who knows. I'm merely speculating on the icons!

NeoCracker
06-15-2013, 11:50 PM
Now I'm curious to see if there is a Steam Punk Outfit.

...I love Steam Punk Outfits. ;P

Omni-Odin
06-17-2013, 05:34 PM
Why does everything have to turn into some sexism/feminism problem? Ugh.

Quote, Tifa's Boobs
;-)

Ultima Shadow
06-17-2013, 09:21 PM
Don't shoot me but--

The outfit thing is the only reason I would actually consider buying this game :|.

^- This.

Just like how I got Soul Calibur V only for its character creation.

Mirage
06-17-2013, 11:13 PM
Idk Locky. I was of the impression that people criticized the girliness of FFX-2, not the battle system.

I criticize the Battle System to the extent that the game is too easy for the system to matter, but that's kind of an unrelated tangent! :p

It is particularly unrelated and irrelevant because the first game was even easier.

Really though, it's just the cat nip that makes it too easy, and that was nerfed in the international version.

NeoCracker
06-18-2013, 09:25 AM
Idk Locky. I was of the impression that people criticized the girliness of FFX-2, not the battle system.

I criticize the Battle System to the extent that the game is too easy for the system to matter, but that's kind of an unrelated tangent! :p

It is particularly unrelated and irrelevant because the first game was even easier.

Really though, it's just the cat nip that makes it too easy, and that was nerfed in the international version.

I had a breeze with both games, but found X-2 to be the easier of the two myself. :p

Never played the international version though.

To topic, you know what this game need? Faye Valentine Outfit.

sir helix
06-18-2013, 08:54 PM
Me to on scv. Only reason I'm going to get lr is because I really enjoyed 13-2.

James_Cub
09-10-2013, 03:26 PM
LOVE IT!!! I knew she was gonna have several new outfits, but I didn't you could actually play dress-up! I'm definitely gonna spend more time dressing her up then actually playing the game :D~~