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Behind the Designs of Lightning Returns

January 23rd, 2013 by Tony Garsow


This week’s issue of Famitsu sheds some light on some of the decisions that went into Lightning’s new outfit in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Tetsuya Nomura designed Lightning’s “Equilibrium” outfit (her default outfit) with the requirement to put her in something resembling a leather bodysuit. Her accessories and equipment were likely designed by someone else, including the sunglasses she’s donning at the end of the first trailer. Toshiyuki Itahana of Final Fantasy IX and Crystal Chronicles fame designed the character of Lumina.

Those of you who’ve glanced through our coverage of the Lightning Returns event or have observed from the most recent trailer, Lightning confronts Noel Kreiss. The two of them will eventually duel via the game’s battle system. Remember that Lightning’s task from Bhunivelze is to free the souls of humanity and lead them to a new world. Many human hearts that are affected with the erratic flow of Chaos have been burdened over their now centuries-long lifespans. Noel is no different, according to Famitsu, and Lightning seems intent on “freeing” Noel from his burden.

For more information on Lightning Returns, including our coverage on the recent global media event, click here. In Part 3 of our coverage, I’ll be answering your questions one by one about the game — no question is too big or too small, so leave a comment below or in our Lightning Returns coverage articles to get your questions answered soon!

Via: GameNyarth


  • Soba

    I want to play the game badly, can’t wait till Fall = o= … thks for the information. I guess I get too excited reading this.
    Anyways ARR is coming I’m looking forwards to that 😀

  • AnimaMagna

    I’m certainly looking forward to the game, and to any more info on the characters and story. And the other suits. That one about a shield made of flowers? That must be a misprint or something. Even Final Fantasy wouldn’t go that far.

  • LRFFXIII will have summon i mean like bahamut or shava

  • Steven


    Where did you read about a shield made of flowers?

  • @Steven;

    ‘In the demonstration shown to Famitsu, Lightning was shown wearing a Violet Dress, Rapier Sword, and Rose Patterned Shield’ (From FXN)

    To be honest I was expecting roses to appear in some form or another on one of Lightning’s outfits.

  • Tony Garsow

    Yes, there was a shield like that in the footage I saw.

  • (1) For you, the game have potential to be a great Final Fantasy game?
    (2) What exactly the NPCs and the group of murdereres were talking about? There was any other tidbit of information regarding the story?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Steven


    Now you got me interested in seeing more of this outfit, Lightning with a rapier sword? hell yes! Maybe some sort of Red Mage type of outfit… any abilities shown with the outfit?

  • Luminax


    Sadly, I don’t think there was any mention of the abilities.
    Although I’m sure it won’t be long until we see a look of this outfit.

  • Anon

    God, the design is just so bad!! Is Nomura really proud of this design? As a costume design student, I really find this outfit repulsive! It’s just really bad, everything from the leather SNM bodice to that faux skirt thing all just look ugly, disjointed, and does not portray, to me, that lightning is a hero who was tasked to save souls. She looks more like she is Bhunivelze’s sex slave or something and he likes it kinky. Thats how bad I see this design.

    There other designs so far, look pretty good, although some of them are too much of a harsh contrast to her soft young face. They should rough her up or age her a bit, she’s been through a lot of stress and she must have aged(even with being a “Godess” or whatever, her face is too soft) and should show it in her face.

  • AnimaMagna

    If you remember some of the earlier press stuff, one of the aims of this game was of soften Lightning’s appearance and make her more..approachable, compared to her hard self in XIII and XIII-2. And I think her face is alright. And that thing about Bhunivelze was just totally uncalled for. Everyone was complaining about her Valkyrie outfit in XIII-2, weren’t they? I think she looks like…someone who is out to save the world and is serving a god with a somewhat checkered track record.

  • Luminax


    She wouldn’t have aged though considering {Spoiler}she was in crystal sleep{End Spoiler}

    Also I agree with AnimaMagna, that comment on Bhunivelze was uncalled for.

  • Defrift

    I want to know more or less how open the world will be exactly. Will it be like 13 and 13-2 or will we actually be able to travel anywhere with little to no loading screens. Will the game actually have a true honest to god world Map, I don’t mind if theworld map only shows the current city lighting is present in but a full size map of each city would be nice. A further and more detailed explanation of the combat system is the next subject I am interested in.

  • AgitoXIII

    I agree with Anon. That default design is deplorable and probably the worse I’ve ever seen Nomura do. I know the city is supposed to be “gothic” but it’s still dumb and awful. Kinda like the whole XIII “saga”.

  • Anon

    I hate that I had to go there with my comment, but that is honestly how I feel about this outfit. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the designers were thinking in some sexual form when designing her. Just look at that outfit and tell me they didn’t have “sex sells” in their mind. But it’s usually done more tastefully than this.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love the XIII series, even with all of it’s faults, and I am looking forward to this game, but the design so far seems so disjointed. I think they need to put more time into a games, they’re releasing it too fast.

  • Chris

    @Anon Man Bhunivelze must’ve been really lonely so you gotta point she must be his sex slave. And that outfit is absolutely horrid. Anyone who still defends that outfit or this game has no credibility. The end.

    “Toshiyuki Itahana of Final Fantasy IX and Crystal Chronicles fame designed the character of Lumina.”

    That must be why her outfit actually looks rather reasonable. But physically her appearance is ripped straight from Serah so he didn’t have to do too much work probably was just told redesign Serah with a lolita inspired look and you’re good. xD

  • schen

    I’m still trying to get used to her new look. I still think her best costume was in FF13. Anyway do you know if we’ll be able to get her original costume in the game or DLC? Also, does Fang or Vanille appear or get mentioned at all.

  • AgitoXIII

    I’m sure her original will be present in the game somehow. Along with the XIII-2 costume.

    And I’m sure all main XIII characters will appear in this game somehow.

  • rattyinc

    I agree with anon, although not to that extent. And calm down guys, that bhunivelze comment was a joke….When i saw the costume i was like wah??? this doesn’t even make sense. Her other outfits so far look pretty sweet though.
    And why do people have the mentallity to think her original outfit will be present as DLC … at this point DLC shouldn’t even be mentioned. It’s still in production (or what’s left of it) i’m sure as hell they can squeeze it in.

  • Cape_Town_Guy

    I sort of like all her outfits so far,especially dark muse.