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The Dead Dunes of Lightning Returns

March 18th, 2013 by Tony Garsow


There are four contintents that comprise the land of Nova Chrysalia, one of them being the Dead Dunes — a vast desert region where Lightning will have to brave the elements, including sandstorms as she navigates through the terrain. The newest Jump has some imagery of the new area, which is filled with many ruins dotting the landscape. Lightning is able to slide down sandy dunes to get around.

Jump also reveals a new power of Lightning’s: Lightspeed (or Overclock in the Japanese version). This ability is Lightning’s “ace in the hole” and consumes GP, a special kind of point system. This ability halts the movement of enemies. (Editor’s note: Similar to the 2006 Final Fantasy XIII trailer?)

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is still set to release this Fall.

Update: The Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII website updated with a new description of the Dead Dunes, as well as two additional images of the trading/shopping Lightning will do on her journey.

The Dead Dunes — A lifeless desert within which rests a holy relic

This region is covered with endless desert sands as far as the eye can see. Within it can be found the shanties which form a base for treasure hunters seeking their fortune in the arid wilderness, as well as ancient ruins said to conceal a divine treasure.

Many monsters with a character unique to the area appear in this region, such as the sand swimming fiends of the open desert and the undead horrors that lurk within the ruins. There is good information to be found in the village that huddles around the oasis. It is a perfect base for exploring the deadly wilderness that surrounds it.
Want to get to the bottom of the dune fast? Just slide down!

Lightning must recover the stolen treasure. But what powers does it hide within?

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  • alexsam

    I can’t see much through this scan, but from what I can tell, there’s actually a town in the Dead Dunes as well..? And… people? That’s good! I was afraid that Luxerion was going to be the only town in the whole game. This could mean that we might be getting a new trailer soon!
    Is anyone else getting a weird Dalmascan-vibe from this scan?? 😛

  • lalik

    Speaking of Dalmascan-vibe makes me want to jump in FFXII again. lol One of my favorites. Dead Dunes looks neat.

  • Tony Garsow
  • Defrift

    Can’t wait to play this when it comes out, working on wrapping up 13-2 right now. At the final boss just power leveling some as I seem to be a little to weak to bring them down comfortably. Playing FF9 as well want to hit Disc 4 before this releases and pour more time into Tales of vesperia and starocean, which I will do during a 2 week vacation in April or June :)

  • Ehren Rivers

    Very excited for this to get translated and for better scans to show up. If the top bit isn’t artwork and is an actual location, then I feel pretty giddy. The Dead Dunes have been the continent I look forward to most so far, and this seems to confirm my suspicions of awesomeness.

    @Tony: Does this compare to what you guys saw during the media tour showing, or do you think it’s more high quality? It’s probably hard to tell from the picture of course, but if you could try that would be lovely.

  • Tony Garsow

    The version we saw was definitely at an earlier stage of development with a lot of placeholder assets. If you look at the shot by Lightning’s head you can see where she’s sliding down the dunes to get around, which was what we saw (but in a sandstorm).

  • Ehren Rivers

    Very nice, and very exciting. Can’t wait for the HQ shots then, hopefully it will give us a clearer look. And unless my eyes deceive me, she’s wearing the Shadow’s Dust outfit in that screenshot!

  • Ehren Rivers

    Oh, another thing. I’m not familiar with the Jump schedule, only Famitsu leaks. When do proper Jump scans usually appear?

  • AnimaMagna

    Softened appearance, badass superpowers, a whole world to explore.. Square Enix are trying very hard to make Lightning an appealing protagonist. The Dead Dunes look fascinating, and yes it does remind me of the desert regions of Dalmasca, but also of that ruin-filled desert from Journey. He-he. Can’t wait to see a demo for this.

  • hype increased to zenit.
    i’m still playing for 1st time ffxiii and have also ffxiii-2 waiting. i hope i will finish both of them before this one comes out this fall.

    Go hug the people of crystalsforlife.ca
    Excelent job!

  • AgitoXIII

    Shadow Dust outfit looks 454345536465657568787 better then that original gothic mess.

  • TheBadass

    Looks great. I have high hopes for this title. I hope the world is as vast as FFXII.

  • AnimaMagna

    The thing that gets me is…which old character will appear here? In Luxerion, it was Noel, with the possibility of other old friends/foes appearing with him/against him. So, what’s in this place? Which allie or old enemy must Lightning rescue here?

  • Shadowcatdoll09

    The Dead Dunes looks so fun to play around in with the sliding stuff and the Overclock/Lightspeed ability reminds me of the Psychiccer dressphere from FFX-2 International. I can’t wait for the next LRFXIII trailer hopefully it gets a little more action packed.

  • alexsam

    Now that the scans are clear, I wanted to say that Light’s new outfit was good, but it actually looks a bit of a mess. Half of it is reminiscent of what she wore in XIII which was a good outfit, while the other half is just mind-blowingly weird.

    @AnimaMagna does an old character have to appear in every area? Maybe they all show up in Luxerion, or maybe we see them all again when Lightning saves the world. There are a lot of questions though about what each of them has been up to during all these years.

  • Bekas

    I’m still waiting for the day in which we see Light in an outfit I like. Le sigh.

    She looks extremely good when it comes to in-game cutscenes, though. Definitely an improvement over both 13 and 13-2’s renders.

  • TheBadass

    So you still can’t actually enter shops? Fail.

  • Cape_Town_Guy

    Just saw that the 2 pics I linked you to are on this page lol my bad.

  • AnimaMagna

    I think that because, certainly in the case of Snow, they would not design a new outfit if they would only display it in a couple of FMVs near or at the end. And as for her outfit, I think that’s a little of the customization at work: elements from several outfits blended into something else. Also, don’t you think that cross she’s holding is a placeholder for something else? The way she’s holding her fingers is wrong for that object.

  • alexsam

    @AnimaMagna Indeed, we have Noel already showing up and that weird Lumina version of Serah (not to mention Hope communicating via headset with Light), so for Nomura to actually confess to have made a new outfit for Snow, he must have quite a role in this story as well. I was just pointing out that not every old character needs to appear in every new area, but anyway. As for the cross, the way she’s holding it and the line she says makes it looks like she’s speaking to someone. Still a whole lot of questions to be answered about this game. And I can’t wait to find out what the other two areas look like as well.