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Lightning Returns at Play Community Japan

July 28th, 2013 by Tony Garsow

At Sony’s Play Community event in Japan earlier this weekend, Square Enix and the Final Fantasy XIII series team showed off Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII to press and fans alike. We’ve collected more details from the event in the post below:

Lightning returns to the world of Nova Chrysalia some five-hundred years after the conclusion of Final Fantasy XIII-2. Awakened from crystal stasis by Bhunivelze, a god foretold to awaken at the end of the world, Lightning is given a task to save the souls of humanity and lead them to a new world or they will be lost forever. There are thirteen days left, and the so-called Savior must to all that she can to fulfill her quest before then.

Nova Chrysalia, as the world is known now, is what remains of Gran Pulse after it was flooded with destructive Chaos at the end of Final Fantasy XIII-2. The influx of Chaos has remarkably changed the landscape, and the people as well. Within every human heart is Chaos, a gift from the goddess Etro. Now that this force flows unchecked after the destruction of Etro’s Gate, the remaining humans left in the world do not physically age, yet retain their mortality. Not only that, but new life is unable to be born, stagnating the population.

Bhunivelze has also recruited Hope to aid in this endeavor, and through an act of divine intervention, has regressed his appearance to his age in Final Fantasy XIII. While the reasoning behind this is yet to be revealed, Hope reappeared 169 years prior to the start of the game and serves and important purpose Lightning’s journey by giving her missions to save the souls of humanity. Through these missions that can be done daily, Lightning can restore power to Yggdrasil, a holy tree that is keeping the world together in its final days. By restoring radiance to the tree, Lightning can increase the days left before the end of the world to a maximum of thirteen.

If you had an inkling that we might see Vanille again after the reappearance of Fang as the leader of Monoculus, you’re right on the money. It appears she’s in the city of Luxerion and has some sort of connection to the Salvation Council, a group garbed in white and working against the Savior. In one cutscene we observed in January, the group hangs an effigy of Lightning off a clock tower in the city. In the most recent “13 Days” trailer, we see them with some sort of hostage when Lightning chooses to intervene.

The Lightning Returns scenario is entirely contained on the disc, and the team has nixed the idea of adding additional scenarios through downloadable content. The game will have one definitive ending, as opposed to a cliffhanger or post-game scenarios. If you run out of time to save the world, then yes — it’s a Game Over. However, the game will be outfitted with a robust New Game Plus feature in which you’ll be able to explore optional content you may miss in your first run, but for skilled players — it may be possible to see everything one playthrough. Optional difficulties will be present as well.

Nova Chrysalia is comprised of four regions, and the Wildlands will be a wide, open area similar to the Archylte Steppe in Final Fantasy XIII. Here you’ll travel through woodlands and grasslands alike, and with the option to travel on chocobo. Earlier we learned that Lightning Returns would have the most number of shops seen in a Final Fantasy game, and it appears that over 100 will be planned. You’ll be able to purchase items, equipment, and abilities at these shops — but there are also restaurants and inns where Lightning will be able to recover her health throughout her travels.

Lightning is able to carry a limited amount of restorative items like Ethers or Phoenix Downs at the start of the game, but as she grows, she’ll be able to carry more. Equipment-wise, Lightning will come to collect up to 70-80 weapons, and a slightly less number of shields. Considering the amount of accessories, costumes, and abilities to collect as well, players may be hard-pressed to spend some precious time hunting out various items. Customizing equipment is also an involved process, as you can change the various parts of Lighting’s gear with preset colors or one of your one preference selected from a color wheel.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will be available for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 21st in Japan, February 11th in North America, and February 14th in Europe. Pre-order the game and you’ll be able to nab the Buster Sword and SOLDIER Outfit. The game will also be released digitally on PlayStation Network.

Video: Famitsu
Thanks: blackdolldoll


  • Sora

    That outfit at 3:14 looks so awesome. Reminds me of a Dragoon costume. Despite people being up in arms about her supposed breast enlargement, it’s barely noticeable. Could understand if it was really noticeable. Meh, oh well. Game looks great and I’m liking all the customisation options so far

  • Martiph4

    @Sora I agree with you, really fantastic that dragoon costume !!
    And the customization options were better than I used to think !!