In January I attended a media tour for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII where director Motomu Toriyama and producer Yoshinori Kitase presented the game concepts and an early build of what we’ll be playing later on this year. You can read up on all the juicy details by clicking here for our three-part First Look.
I got a chance to follow up with Motomu Toriyama after the event, and after compiling some of the questions that were sent to me via Twitter, our forum, or asked in our previous articles on the game — I return to you with five answers. Remember to weigh in by leaving your comments below! Without further ado:
Final Fantasy Network: Can you explain more about the story progression, where does the doomsday clock come into play, and what things can players do to play efficiently?
Director, Motomu Toriyama: The setting of the story indicates that the “remaining world time” is 13 days, but at first, Lightning is not necessarily going to be able to use all 13 days as she wishes. As Lightning saves people’s souls as the “Savior,” carrying out the works of a god, you can extend the remaining world time by one day. In the game, there is a clock UI that constantly shows the time of day. The player is to decide what course of action to take by referring to the clock and planning for any side-quests or events. It’s not really about using a sort of scheduler to map out efficient time management, but more about experiencing the world and letting it sink in naturally.
FFN: Is the gathering of equipment and abilities for Lightning’s Styles the main approach to making her stronger during her journey and are there other growth systems in place?
Toriyama: The main approach for making Lightning stronger will lie in obtaining weapons and outfits. In this installment, we are putting a lot of effort into Lightning’s customization. And one concept that’s part of the direction we’re taking is to link the growth of Lightning’s ability with the customization of her look. So in other words, by obtaining visually appealing weapons and outfits, the character becomes that much stronger.
FFN: Are the different areas of Nova Chrysalia being designed to offer unique gameplay experiences? Can you provide some examples?
Toriyama: As you may already know, Nova Chrysalia has 4 major continents. And each continent does have its own individual concept in terms of gameplay experience. For example, in Luxerion, there is a quest in which the player will have to act as a detective to solve a murder mystery. While you are on that quest, Lightning will be able to sneak around and hide behind objects in order to follow the culprit without being discovered.
FFN: Are there plans for a digital release of the game?
Toriyama: Yes, we do plan on releasing a digital download version.
FFN: What is the most rewarding part of working on a Final Fantasy title like Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII? What part of development do you enjoy the most personally?
Toriyama: More than anything else, this title is part of the first trilogy ever in the FINAL FANTASY series. I am very happy that we were able to create the character Lightning, who has become so popular over the years, and the world in which she is involved. I also enjoy taking a different approach with the game with each installment, like we did for this trilogy.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be coming to your PS3 and Xbox 360 in Fall of this year.