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Kitase + Toriyama Talk Lightning Returns

June 12th, 2013 by Tony Garsow

The interview with Toriyama and Kitase continued with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, which is due out for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on February 11th in North America (and February 14th in Europe).

In Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning was portrayed as a physically and mentally strong character and in the sequel she transcended to an almost god-like character. However, in Lightning Returns, Lightning is portrayed as a more human character and the game will bring out more sides of the character than in previous titles. That, according to Toriyama, is something of a legacy that Lightning Returns will have — the evolution of Lightning as a character.

Toriyama said he was happy to have had a chance to create a trilogy and the character of Lightning, and is thankful for the dev team for helping him realize it and the fans for playing with them. Kitase commented that he is happy that the developer team was able to create three games over the course of four years based on evolving feedback of the games.

When asked why was Lightning chosen for trilogy treatment opposed to other characters in the Final Fantasy series, Kitase said that Fabula Nova Crystallis’s expanse was larger than one game can provide, so that’s why Final Fantasy XIII. Lightning was chosen since she has been in the Final Fantasy limelight since 2006.

So, why thirteen days in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII? Toriyama said that gameplay-wise, Lightning will have seven days left at the end of the world, but can be lengthened to thirteen hours (max) as Lightning completes certain quests. In traditional Final Fantasy, Active Time Battle is a hallmark, so with Lightning Returns, each Schemata has a set ATB gauge designed around them. The strategy is choosing each Schemata for evolving situations in combat.

How many outfits will Lightning get in the game? Director Motomu Toriyama divulged that there will be over 80 different ones that all link to her powers — similar to a job system. Outfit pieces can be colored and customized in different ways as well. Lightning’s outfits from Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be obtainable in Lightning Returns if you have save data from either two predecessors.

Other than Lightning, the rest of the cast in Lightning Returns will also return for their finale. Snow, for example, struggles with the fact that he was unable to save Serah, and wants to reunite with her.

Are there any easter eggs for those who purchase Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII? Toriyama explained a function called “Outworld Communication” where you can post screenshots from the game and interact with social networks.

Eidolons which appeared in Final Fantasy XIII and briefly in Final Fantasy XIII-2 will not appear in their original forms as they were created by Etro who is now powerless (per the ending of Final Fantasy XIII-2).

On the subject of downloadable content to expand the story, Kitase said that they are not considering story or boss DLC as they want the content to be on-disc — but outfit DLC is definitely on the table as the Black Mage and White Mage outfits were popular and well-received by fans.

To close off the interview, Toriyama commented that the team has been “very picky” with how Lightning is portrayed and they hope Final Fantasy XIII fans and new fans alike can fall in love with the character.

As a special exclusive to the stream (which PR was gracious enough to allow Kitase to show), a Yuna outfit was revealed for Lightning. The team cited that since the Final Fantasy “Legacy” outfits were popular, they decided on a Yuna costume inclusion.

Yuna costume for Lightning.

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  • Chris

    Lightning doesn’t look right in those frilly outfits

  • Odine

    Oh lord. This picture hurt my eyes.

  • rattyinc

    LOL WHUT!? a little strange but may be cool if she could use summons.

  • AnimaMagna

    Etro and the summons “lost their power”. No mention of them dying. Might be significant. And I don’t like Lightning in Yuna’s garb. The two women’s personalities and needs clash completely.

  • Ehren Rivers

    I kind of like it, but I must admit she’s gonna look very odd doing back flips and so on in that outfit. On the plus side though, maybe Legacy outfits will give us access to exclusive abilities in reference to the character the costume comes from? It’d be awesome if the Yuna Garb had, like, the sort of Ifrit’s claw attack that Yuna gets in Dissidia.

  • will


    Light will never be the Character that Yuna is.. Go Yuna