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Lightning Returns Update with Staff

April 29th, 2013 by Tony Garsow

The Dead Dunes are one of four regions of Nova Chrysalia.

French Final Fantasy fansite FFDream recently sent an envoy to Square Enix’s Japan headquarters to meet with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy director Motomu Toriyama and producer Yoshinori Kitase. Previously, it was revealed that the Coliseum would return in some form, and now their full interview is available to read. We’ve provided a translation below, but you can read the original report here.

When asked why the team chose Lightning as the singular playable heroine to this title, Kitase commented that they wanted players to understand and appreciate this character — and that’s why the game is dedicated to Lightning. Up until now (with the exception of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII) Final Fantasy games have been designed around several combatants, so they will try to provide enough strategy to compensate for a solo character.

Toriyama re-iterated that this will be the last chapter in the Final Fantasy XIII series; a definitive ending will come, as opposed to Final Fantasy XIII-2’s cliffhanger. Since players will have thirteen days left before the end of the world, the team’s goal is to acclimate them to the vastly changed remnant of Pulse and Cocoon called Nova Chrysalia. You’ll need to find a balance between exploration, and keeping an eye on the clock as Doomsday nears. However, the team assures us that the world will be worth exploring in subsequent play-throughs. The Coliseum will return in some form, but we’re told that it will be different than it’s appearance in Final Fantasy XIII-2.

In Final Fantasy XIII-2, there were several paradox endings in addition to the “main ending”. The script of Lightning Returns was designed around this main ending, but the events that occur in the paradox endings may manifest in Lightning Returns.

Composer Masashi Hamauzu, who created the original “Blinded by Light” theme for the Final Fantasy XIII series returns in this game as well. New arrangements of that theme have been created around the idea that this is the final journey of Lightning and the desire to save the world.

Kitase and Toriyama were also asked about any developments with Final Fantasy Versus XIII and a Final Fantasy Type-0 localization, but responded that since they are not on the team working on those games, they could not comment. When asked about other HD remakes or the possibility of a Final Fantasy VII remake, Kitase responded that through working on Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD, it will give them experience for other attempts. He implies there are currently no plans for a remake. The team also hasn’t made a decision on a Collector’s Edition for Final Fantasy X|X-2, but asked for fans to be patient for more information.


  • AnimaMagna

    Sounds like they’re saving the best for E3. This game’s sure to be there, with a demo to-boot. As for the Blinded by Light variations, I’m glad about that. It was all-too absent from XIII-2, but then I guess that was Serah’s game. As to the remake, all experience from something is valuable, whether good or bad. Wonder how many new characters they’ll be bringing in. Plenty, I hope, with some meaty back-stories.

  • alexsam

    So… nothing new. It’s been more than a month since there was an update on this title, but I guess it’s good to know they’re still hard at work on it. And it’s also exciting that there won’t just be the 4 places to explore. With the return of the Coliseum who knows what other areas will be included! One thing I’m worried about is the balance between the Doomsday clock and actual game time. I hope it doesn’t actually limit the time you have to play the game and that it’s extendable by some means.

    @AnimaMagna I don’t really think this trilogy needs that many new characters. We’ve already got about 10 or more of them, I’d say we’re good. Btw, E3 this year will be awesome!

  • Tony Garsow

    Yeah, consider that we’re in that pre-E3 time period where information is being prepared to be released in a certain way. So things have been generally slow. However we’ll have some promotional stuff for FFXIV:ARR next month which should spice things up a bit.

  • Ehren Rivers

    @Alexsam: Actually, there was some new information here. The full translation says the Coliseum is ‘fully integrated with the game’, implying that whether or not DLC eventually shows up it will not be a stage for DLC-only battles. More importantly than that, the French interviewers asked about the possibility of the different endings of XIII-2 affecting the main story of this game, and while the team said the story is based on the main/secret ending of XIII-2 there’s a chance paradox endings will have affected the history of Nova Chrysalia.

    The interviewers also submitted art of Lightning with a SOLDIER First Class costume in January, which Kitase confirmed that it had been presented to their (apparently hundred-man) group as a ‘gift from abroad’.

  • Tony Garsow

    Whoops, truncated the paradox bit in editing. You should see that bit in the article now.

  • Ehren Rivers

    @Tony: Haha, no worries. I only mentioned the first two questions in passing myself since almost every site seems to have asked them. I tried to do a full translation of the interview questions, but French is not my strong suit to be honest. 😛 Took way longer than I’d have liked.

    I personally still hope to see something before June, but if nothing happens I’ll try not to complain. Oh, did I ever show you that screencapture I took from the SE EU video interview from January? The one that said ‘June 07′ on the screen in the background.

  • alexsam

    @Ehren Rivers Thanks! That’s actually really helpful! I thought the paradox endings were just there for the fun of it and to spur the player to continue even after the canon ending, but it seems like they’re really taking everything into consideration here!

    @Tony Garsow I really wouldn’t put it past them to leave us with no further info up until E3. But I’m afraid that this may backfire on Sq-En since all of the attention might be shifted on the big announcement Hashimoto spoke of at the PS4 event. And that would be a shame cause Lightning Returns is really shaping up to be one heck of a game!

  • TheBadass

    WTF? Since when was Kitase not on the Type-0 and Versus XIII teams? He’s the producer of both games! LOL! I can understand him not wanting to disclose info on the games due to the interview being mainly about the 2013 releases LR FFXIII and FFX|X-2 HD Remaster, but there’s no need to spout BS as a reason to not be able to talk about it. Good grief.

  • Bekas

    I’m really glad to hear that they are thinking of incorporating the paradox endings, though the only one I see being successfully taken into consideration is ‘The Future Is Hope’, considering that Noel and Hope really are the only ones left and will have – I hope – to stay together.

    Also, the bit about X/X-2 giving them experience for other attempts… Considering this is a remaster of these games, does it mean he means other remasters?
    Were my prayers for a FFXII remaster heard at last? ;W; Wahh, it’d make my DAY.

  • AnimaMagna

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Kisate is (I think) the producer for the general FNC project as a whole, and certainly Type-0 and the Lightning Saga games. But not for Versus.
    Versus is produced primarily by Shinji Hashimoto, which usually means Kisate is taking a less active role.
    And as for Type-0, it was finished as a game in production back in 2011, and, if you believe the rumors, the localization was finished ages ago, but the PSP market was so depressing over here that they would have made a loss.
    So Kisate’s reply was valid, not false.

  • TheBadass

    Versus XIII has two producers, Hashimoto and Kitase. Also, Kitase was definitely the only producer of Type-0. Him saying he wasn’t part of the game’s development team is BS. That’s like him saying he’s not part of the development team LR FFXIII.

  • AnimaMagna

    Alright, so take it as read that his statement was false. Three possibilities. A: he considers himself not part of those projects for some reason. B: it was a mistranslation. C: Kisate did that on purpose, maybe as a tease for something to come. “Tease, tease, tease. Waity-waity for E3.” Either way, maybe we should drop the subject.
    I agree. It’s shaping up to be the best of the FNC bunch from my view.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Just so it has been said, neither Kitase or Toriyama said that Kitase wasn’t involved with Versus. The people who said that are labeled in the interview as ‘RP Team Japan’, and they appear to have been the translators that were present. This wouldn’t be the fir5t time something like this has happened; Back in the media tour in January, the Kotaku website apparently tried to slip a Versus question in and the translator blocked him, stopping the translation mid-sentence according to their report of the tour.

    Also, for anyone wondering, when asked about Type-0 Kitase’s exact words translate as “Our team (Toriyama and the LR people) aren’t in charge of this game… Sorry!” He was simply deflecting questions regarding anything but the two games FFDream had been invited to discuss, which were Lightning Returns and X|X-2 HD.

  • maggosh

    Hey look, thirteen comments on this article.

    …aaand it’s gone.