|Final Fantasy XIII|
|Developer(s)||Square Enix 1st Production Department|
Final Fantasy XIIIis a science fiction role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles and later for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Released in Japan in December 2009 and worldwide in March 2010, it is the thirteenth title in the mainline Final Fantasy series. The game includes fast-paced combat, a new system for the series for determining which abilities are developed for the characters called "Crystarium", and a customizable "Paradigm" system to control which abilities are used by the characters. Final Fantasy XIII includes elements from the previous games in the series, such as summoned monsters, chocobos, and airships.
A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.
Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.
The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is a home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It is the successor to PlayStation 2, and is part of the PlayStation brand of consoles. It was first released on November 11, 2006, in Japan, November 17, 2006, in North America, and March 23, 2007, in Europe and Australia. The PlayStation 3 competed mainly against consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.
The game takes place in the fictional floating world of Cocoon, whose government, the Sanctum, is ordering a purge of civilians who have supposedly come into contact with Pulse, the much-feared world below. The former soldier Lightning begins her fight against the government in order to save her sister who has been branded as an unwilling servant to a god-like being from Pulse, making her an enemy of Cocoon. Lightning is soon joined by a band of allies, and together the group also become marked by the same Pulse creature. They rally against the Sanctum while trying to discover their assigned task and whether they can avoid being turned into monsters or crystals at the completion.
Claire Farron, better known by the codename Lightning, is a fictional character from Square Enix's Final Fantasy series. She first appeared as a playable character and protagonist in the role-playing video game Final Fantasy XIII, in which she features as a resident of the artificial world of Cocoon. After her sister Serah is declared an enemy of Cocoon, Lightning attempts to save her. She and others are then chosen by the fal'Cie, a divided race of demigods who rule the worlds of Gran Pulse and Cocoon, to destroy Cocoon. Lightning reappears as a supporting character in Final Fantasy XIII-2, acting as protector of the Goddess Etro. She is the sole playable character in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, wherein she sets out to save her world, which is destined to end in thirteen days. Outside the XIII series, Lightning has been featured in multiple Final Fantasy games and had cameo appearances in other video games.
Development began in 2004, and the game was first announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2006. Final Fantasy XIII is the flagship title of the Fabula Nova Crystallis collection of Final Fantasy games and is the first game to use Square Enix's Crystal Tools engine. Final Fantasy XIII received mostly positive reviews from video game publications, which praised the game's graphics, presentation, and battle system. The game's story received a mixed response from reviewers, and its linearity compared to previous games in the series was mostly criticized. Selling 1.7 million copies in Japan in 2009, Final Fantasy XIII became the fastest-selling title in the history of the series. As of 2017, the game has sold over 7 million copies worldwide on consoles.The Microsoft Windows version has sold over 746,000 copies according to SteamSpy. A sequel, titled Final Fantasy XIII-2 , was released in December 2011 in Japan and in February 2012 in North America and PAL regions. A second sequel, titled Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII , which concludes Lightning's story and the Final Fantasy XIII series, was released in November 2013 in Japan and in February 2014 in North America and PAL regions. In September 2014, Square Enix announced the Final Fantasy XIII series has been widely successful and has shipped over 11 million copies worldwide.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3, is a premier trade event for the video game industry. Presented and organized by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), it is used by many developers, publishers, and hardware and accessory manufacturers to introduce and advertise upcoming games and game-related merchandise to retailers and members of the press.
Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy is a series of games within the Final Fantasy video game franchise. It was primarily developed by series creator and developer Square Enix, which also acted as publisher for all titles. While featuring various worlds and different characters, each Fabula Nova Crystallis game is ultimately based on and expands upon a common mythos focusing on important crystals tied to deities. The level of connection to the mythos varies between each title. The series title translates from Latin as 'The New Tale of the Crystal'. Each development team was given the freedom to adapt the mythos to fit the context of a game's story.
Crystal Tools is a game engine created and used internally by the Japanese company Square Enix. It combines standard libraries for elements such as graphics, sound and artificial intelligence while providing game developers with various authoring tools. The target systems of Crystal Tools are the PlayStation 3, the Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and the Wii. This was decided with the intention of making cross-platform production more feasible. The idea for the engine sprang from Square Enix's desire to have a unified game development environment in order to effectively share the technology and know-how of the company's individual teams.
The player directly controls the on-screen character through a third-person perspective to interact with people, objects, and enemies throughout the game. The player can also turn the camera around the characters, which allows for a 360° view of the surroundings.The world of Final Fantasy XIII is rendered to scale relative to the characters in it; instead of a caricature of the character roaming around miniature terrain, as found in the earlier Final Fantasy games, every area is represented proportionally. The player navigates the world by foot or by chocobo. Players may save their game to a hard disk drive using save stations, where the player can also purchase items from retail networks or upgrade their weapons. An in-game datalog provides a bestiary and incidental information about the world of Final Fantasy XIII. The Final Fantasy XIII Ultimate Hits International version of the game, released in Japan, also contains an "Easy" mode option.
A player character is a fictional character in a role-playing game or video game whose actions are directly controlled by a player of the game rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.
An overworld is, in a broad sense, an area within a video game that interconnects all its levels or locations. They are mostly common in role-playing games, though this does not exclude other video game genres.
The Chocobo is a fictional species from the Final Fantasy video game series made by Square and Square Enix. The creature is generally a flightless bird, though certain highly specialized breeds in some titles retain the ability to fly. It bears a resemblance to casuariiformes and ratites, capable of being ridden and otherwise used by player characters during gameplay. Chocobos first appeared in Final Fantasy II and have been featured in almost all subsequent Final Fantasy games, as well as making cameo appearances in numerous other games. A spin-off Chocobo series featuring chocobos has also been created.
As in Final Fantasy XII , enemies are integrated into the open field and can be approached or avoided by the player. When the player's character touches an enemy, the screen transitions from the regular map to a separate battle screen similar to those used in previous Final Fantasy titles.A maximum of three characters may be used in battles, which use a variant on the series' traditional Active Time Battle (ATB) system first featured in Final Fantasy IV . Under this system, the player selects an action from the menus, such as Attack, Magic, and Item. Unlike previous games in the series, the player only controls the lead character while the remaining two characters are controlled by the game's artificial intelligence (AI). Each action requires a specific number of slots on the ATB bar, which continually refills to a set maximum number of slots. The ATB bar gradually increases in size throughout the game from two slots to six. The player may select less than the maximum number of possible actions, or may stop the filling of the ATB bar and perform as many actions as can be done with the current ATB amount. The player may select an autobattle command, which fills the ATB slots with actions chosen automatically. Actions cannot be performed outside of battle, and the characters' health is fully restored after each battle.
Final Fantasy XII is a fantasy role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2 home video console. A part of the Final Fantasy series, the game was released in 2006. It introduced several innovations to the series: an open world, a seamless battle system, a controllable camera, a customizable "gambit" system, which lets the player control the artificial intelligence (AI) of characters in battle, a "license" system, which determines what abilities and equipment can be used by characters, and a hunting side quest, which allows the player to find and defeat increasingly difficult monsters in the game's open world. Final Fantasy XII also includes elements from previous games in the series, such as Chocobos and Moogles.
Final Fantasy IV, known as Final Fantasy II for its initial North American release, is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Released in 1991, it is the fourth main installment of the Final Fantasy series. The game's story follows Cecil, a dark knight, as he tries to prevent the sorcerer Golbez from seizing powerful crystals and destroying the world. He is joined on this quest by a frequently changing group of allies. Final Fantasy IV introduced innovations that became staples of the Final Fantasy series and role-playing games in general. Its "Active Time Battle" system was used in five subsequent Final Fantasy games, and unlike prior games in the series, IV gave each character their own unchangeable character class.
In computing and telecommunications, a menu is a list of options or commands presented to the user of a computer or communications system. A menu may either be a system's entire user interface, or only part of a more complex one.
Each enemy has a meter, called a chain counter, consisting of a percentage starting at 100 which increases when the enemy is struck by attacks or spells. Attacks by different roles have different effects; some raise the chain by a larger amount while others give the player longer before the chain counter resets. The amount of damage performed by an attack is multiplied by the chain percentage before it is applied to the enemy. When the chain counter reaches a preset amount, different for each enemy, the enemy is placed into Stagger State. In this mode, the enemy has lowered defense and may be launched into the air.The Paradigm system allows the player to program six different roles which the characters can then assume to perform certain formations in battle in response to the specific conditions. The roles consist of Commando, a warrior-type role; Ravager, a black mage-type role which uses damage-dealing magic; Medic, a White Mage-type role which can heal and remove negative status ailments; Saboteur, which uses magic to weaken enemies by inflicting negative statuses; Synergist, which uses magic to strengthen allies by giving positive statuses; and Sentinel, which has protective and defensive abilities similar to a paladin. Each of the characters can initially take on only three roles, but the player has access to all of them later in the game (although the other three roles are limited in their abilities for those players which choose them). The player can select which roles the controlled character and the AI characters are using both outside and during battle, which is the only way that the player can control the AI characters during battle. The player can only choose from specific sets of paradigms that the player has set up beforehand outside of battle.
Each leader or controlled character can summon a specific Eidolon into battle.These summoned creatures include series staples Odin, Shiva, Alexander, and Bahamut, and newcomers Hecatoncheir and Brynhildr. When summoned, the Eidolon stays in combat while the characters accompanying the summoner leave the party. While an Eidolon is summoned, the player can trigger a feature called Gestalt Mode, in which the Eidolon transforms into a different form and performs different attacks while the summoning character rides them.
The Crystarium is a leveling system consisting of six crystals and resembles the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X .Each crystal in the Crystarium represents one of the six Paradigms, and is divided into ten levels. Each level contains various nodes that supply bonuses to health, strength, or magic, or provide new abilities and accessory slots. These nodes are connected by a semi-linear path. The player may advance down the path by acquiring Crystarium Points, which are awarded after defeating enemies. The full Crystarium is not available to the player at the beginning of the game; at specific points in the game's plot, the player gains access to new crystals or levels.
Final Fantasy XIII is set on the world of Gran Pulse (often simply called Pulse). Central to the story is Cocoon, a massive artificial sphere that floats above Pulse's surface and is ruled by the Sanctum, a theocratic government. The two worlds are controlled by fal'Cie // , mechanical beings with godlike power. The Cocoon fal'Cie are responsible for keeping Cocoon floating, as well as providing light and water to the people that live inside. Each fal'Cie handles a specific task. The fal'Cie have the capability of marking the humans that live in Pulse and Cocoon as their servants. These servants, called l'Cie // , are branded with a symbol representing either Pulse or Cocoon and are given a "Focus"—a task to complete. If the l'Cie complete their task in time, they are transformed to crystal and according to legend gain eternal life; otherwise they become mindless monsters called Cie'th // . The l'Cie are not explicitly told their Focus, but are instead given visions that they must interpret.
Several hundred years before the events of the game, a battle known as the War of Transgression took place between Pulse and Cocoon. During the battle, l'Cie from Pulse attacked and ripped a large hole in Cocoon.Eventually, the l'Cie completed their focus and were turned to crystal. The hole was patched with material lifted from Pulse, and Cocoon's citizens have since lived in fear of another invasion; this fear is used by the Sanctum to remain in power. The Sanctum oversees two military branches: the Guardian Corps, responsible for keeping order on Cocoon, and the Public Security and Intelligence COMmand (PSICOM), the special forces in charge of dealing with any threat related to Pulse. The fal'Cie have given the humans advanced technology, including flying airships and mechanical creatures, and a form of magic also exists. This magic is normally only accessible to l'Cie, fal'Cie, and various monsters in Cocoon and Pulse, though distilled chemical forms can be used by normal humans through the use of Manadrives.
The six main playable characters of Final Fantasy XIII are Lightning, the main protagonist of the game, a former soldier and older sister to Serah;Snow Villiers, Serah's fiancé and leader of NORA, a paramilitary group; Oerba Dia Vanille, the game's narrator and an exile who is later revealed to be a l'Cie from Pulse; Sazh Katzroy, a civilian pilot and father to a young boy, Dajh; Hope Estheim, a young boy who is struggling within the relationships he shares with his parents; and Oerba Yun Fang, a l'Cie from Pulse who is working with the Sanctum's Cavalry branch. Other characters include Galenth Dysley, the ruler of the Sanctum and main antagonist; Cid Raines, a Sanctum Brigadier General in the Cavalry who does not trust the government; and Serah Farron, Lightning's younger sister and Snow's fiancée.
In Cocoon, the citizens of the town of Bodhum are being evicted, or Purged, after coming in contact with something from Pulse.Over the course of the game, the player is shown flashbacks of the events of the previous thirteen days, which began when a fal'Cie from Pulse was discovered near Bodhum. Lightning's sister Serah had found the fal'Cie from Pulse and been changed into a l'Cie by it. Lightning and Sazh derail a Purge train bound for Pulse in an attempt to save Serah. As Snow leads his resistance group NORA to rescue the Purge exiles, several of them are killed. Heading to the fal'Cie Anima to save Serah, Snow is joined by two of the exiles: Hope and Vanille. The two parties meet at the fal'Cie, and find Serah just as she turns to crystal. Anima then brands them as l'Cie and they are cast out into a different part of Cocoon. During this transformation, the newly crested l'Cie all have the same vision: a monster called Ragnarok. Arguing over the ambiguous nature of the dreamed Focus, the party finds Serah in her crystallized form; Snow remains with her as the others leave.
Snow meets Cid and Fang, two members of the Cavalry, after he is captured and detained aboard the airship Lindblum. Meanwhile, the others flee from PSICOM before getting separated by an airstrike; Hope and Lightning travel to Palumpolum, while Sazh and Vanille travel to Nautilus. In Lightning's scenario, she unintentionally supports Hope's goal of killing Snow to avenge his mother's death.In Vanille's scenario, Sazh discusses how his son Dajh was turned into a l'Cie by a Cocoon fal'Cie and was taken by PSICOM to discover his Focus. In Palumpolum, Lightning attempts to dissuade Hope from going through with his revenge and meets Snow and Fang. Fang reveals that she and Vanille were l'Cie from Pulse who were turned into crystals; they were turned back into humans 13 days earlier, sparking the Purge. Hope attempts to murder Snow, but after being rescued during an airstrike, he decides not to go through with it. The four then flee the city with Cid's aid. In Nautilus, Vanille reveals herself to Sazh as a l'Cie from Pulse, and indirectly the reason that Dajh was turned into a l'Cie. Sazh and Vanille are then captured and detained on board the airship Palamecia.
On the Palamecia, the other members of the party reunite with Vanille and Sazh before they confront Galenth Dysley, the Sanctum's Primarch, who is the Cocoon fal'Cie ruler Barthandelus in disguise.Barthandelus tells the party that their Focus is to transform into the beast Ragnarok and slay the sleeping fal'Cie Orphan, who keeps Cocoon afloat above Pulse. Slaying Orphan will result in the destruction of Cocoon. The party flees and learns from Cid that the fal'Cie believe that Cocoon's destruction will summon the Maker, the creator of the worlds. The fal'Cie cannot harm Orphan themselves. Vanille and Fang reveal to the party that they were involved in the War of Transgression centuries earlier, and that their Focus then had been the same: to transform into Ragnarok and attempt to destroy Orphan. The party flies away to Pulse and journeys to Oerba, Vanille and Fang's hometown, where they hope to learn how to remove their l'Cie marks. The town is deserted, and they find no living people on the surface. The party is unsuccessful in removing their marks, and Barthandelus confronts them again. The party learns that Barthandelus has made Cid the new Primarch to create chaos in Cocoon to force the Cavalry to attack Cid and Orphan in a coup d'état.
The party infiltrates Cocoon and heads towards Orphan but soon discover that the Cavalry have been turned into Cie'th. The party defeats Barthandelus, but Orphan awakens and merges with Barthandelus, then compels Fang to finish her Focus as Ragnarok while the others are seemingly transformed into Cie'th. The party reappears in human form, preventing Fang from transforming. The party defeats Orphanand escapes Cocoon, which is now falling towards Pulse. As the rest of the party turns to crystal for completing their Focus, Vanille and Fang remain on Cocoon and transform into Ragnarok together to prevent a collision between Cocoon and Pulse. The rest of the party awaken from their crystallization on Pulse and find their l'Cie brands gone; Lightning, Hope, Snow and Sazh reunite with Serah and Dajh.
Development of Final Fantasy XIII began in February 2004, shortly after the release of Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission in Japan.At the time, the project was internally referred to by the codename "Colors World". Over the first year, director Motomu Toriyama and scenario conceptor Kazushige Nojima conceived ideas for the plot. Nojima thought up the crystal mythology that became the basis for the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, including concepts such as the fal'Cie and l'Cie. Toriyama then created a story premised on this mythology. He wanted to portray "characters at the mercy of a predetermined, unjust fate" who "belong together but collide heavily". In order to achieve this, each of the story's thirteen chapters was made to focus on different protagonists. Chapters seven and eight were to mark a turning point in the interpersonal relationships of the party.
In March 2006, when the structural part of the narrative started to come together, lead scenario writer Daisuke Watanabe joined the team. Toriyama gave him a rough outline of the first eight chapters, which included several cornerstone scenes that needed to be kept, like when party members were separated or reunited. He told Watanabe what he wanted to express with the scenario, and asked him to flesh out the story and to strengthen how the points in his outline connected.For example, Toriyama's rudimentary instructions in the document would say "Snow and Hope reconcile". Watanabe had to decide about how the scenes with this reconciliation would play out, then write the scenario that way. To emphasize what the story tried to express, Watanabe adjusted the personalities Toriyama had given to each character. For example, he felt that the party should not have a "reliable and calm leader type" at the beginning of the story, in order to more accurately show the confusion and unease after the protagonists transform into l'Cie. Toriyama has said that one of the storytelling challenges was the despair of the characters and the many points at which they are seemingly cornered. He mentioned the scene where Sazh tries to commit suicide as one such example: Although Toriyama felt it was "almost a little too dark", he wanted to include something like it in the game. In contrast, he said that lighthearted elements such as Sazh's Chocobo chick helped maintain a good balance.
At the beginning of the development, the game was intended to be released on the PlayStation 2.In May 2005, however, after the positive reception of the tech demo of Final Fantasy VII , the team decided to move the game to the PlayStation 3 and developed it with the new Crystal Tools engine, a seventh generation multiplatform game engine created by Square Enix for its next generation games. Square Enix believed that developing a new engine would speed up development time later in the project, though it would initially cause a delay in the game's development. However, the delay was longer than originally anticipated as the engine had to accommodate the requirements of several other games in addition to XIII. Another factor in the platform move was the delayed release of Final Fantasy XII, which came out a very short time before the release of the PlayStation 3. A PC port was considered during development, but was decided against due to how Square Enix saw the video game market situation at the time as well as additional complexities that Square Enix did not have experience with related to the PC platform, such as security issues. Final Fantasy XIII was first shown at the 2006 E3 convention. The trailer shown was an artistic concept that did not represent the final concept for the game, since at the time there was no playable form of the game. Announced alongside the game was Final Fantasy Versus XIII, later retitled as Final Fantasy XV , and the PlayStation Portable game Final Fantasy Type-0 , originally titled Final Fantasy Agito XIII, the three of which form the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy series. Square Enix explained that although all three games are thematically linked, they are not directly related in terms of story.
The developers for Final Fantasy XIII were divided into multiple areas, with each developer or team focusing only on a specific task such as developing a specific in-game area or modeling characters. million copies of the game. Toriyama wanted the game to be "the ultimate single player RPG".Each physical area of the game was developed separately; after an initial design was approved, teams were assigned to a specific location and filled in details without reusing assets from other areas. Several of the game's developers had worked on previous installments of the series. Director Motomu Toriyama had worked on Final Fantasy X and X-2 ; producer Yoshinori Kitase had worked on V through VIII and as the producer for X and X-2; main-character designer Tetsuya Nomura had performed the same role for VII, VIII, X, and X-2, and battle-system director Toshiro Tsuchida reprised that role from Final Fantasy X. As XIII was the first Final Fantasy game for the PlayStation 3, the development team's internal goal was for the game to have the same "gameplay and craftmanship" impact that Final Fantasy VII and X had as the first games of the series on their respective consoles. They aimed to sell five
Tsuchida's concept for the battle system was to maintain the strategic nature of command-based battles. The system stemmed from a desire to create battles similar to those found in the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children .Magic points (MP), which had been a part of the battle system in previous Final Fantasy titles, were removed in the game's battle system as Tsuchida and the other designers felt that it gave players an incentive to not use their most powerful magic attacks due to the MP cost, in turn making battles less interesting. The Paradigm system was designed early in the battle system's development, with the intent of making battles rely on quickly changing strategies and feel fast-moving. Originally there were only five roles, but the Saboteur was later added as the designers felt that its abilities were missing from the game and did not fit with the other roles. Together with the maximum of three characters in a combat situation, the groupings of enemies were designed to force the player to switch Paradigms to keep them engaged in the battles.
Toriyama wanted Lightning to be a new type of female character with an athlete's body and a less feminine nature than some of the previous female characters of the series. 's Cloud Strife. Fang was initially meant to be a male character, but the gender was changed to coincide with the updated character designs during the latter part of development. The graphics capabilities of the PS3 and Xbox 360 compared to previous consoles allowed Nomura to use more complex elements in the character designs than before, such as Lightning's cape and detailed facial features. This in turn meant that the art team had to do much more work for each character or area than in previous games. Nomura did not take an involved role in the creation of the non-playable characters.His guideline to Nomura was to make her "strong and beautiful", and she was intended to be reminiscent of Final Fantasy VII
Unlike previous games in the series which were more inspired by Asian locations and culture, Final Fantasy XIII was intended by the art team to be reminiscent of the United States. Pulse was based on landscape photographs the team took from across the country, and Cocoon was intended to be a "melting pot" of different ethnicities.The setting was also given a science fiction aesthetic to make it stand out more in comparison with other entries in the series. Art director Isamu Kamikokuryo revealed that many additional scenarios such as Lightning's home, which were functioning in an unreleased build during development, were left out of the final version due to concerns about the game's length and volume. Kamikokuryo said the content they cut was, in itself, enough to make another game. According to Toriyama, the cuts were made in "various stages of [the game's] development", and that some of the content was removed just before the game's completion. The game, unlike previous titles in the series, includes no explorable town areas; Toriyama said in an interview that the team was unable to make them as graphically appealing as the rest of the game and chose to eliminate them. Toriyama intended to have a piece of downloadable content available for the game that would include a new area, weapons and quests, but was forced to cut it as well due to quality concerns so late in the project and difficulties with the different systems for extra content on the two gaming consoles.
A playable demo of Final Fantasy XIII was included in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Complete , released on April 16, 2009.Toriyama stated that the release of the demo, which was not in the original development schedule, helped the team recognize a shared vision for what the game should look and feel like, a problem which had been plaguing the development team up until then. It helped the team prioritize the work that still needed to be done, which increased the development speed for the remainder of the project. The game was intended to appeal to both Western and Japanese audiences, and focus groups from both regions were used. The English localization began while development was still in progress to lessen the delay between the Japanese and worldwide releases. The game was initially going to be released solely for the PlayStation 3, but an Xbox 360 version was announced late in the game's development cycle. The Xbox version, due to technical limitations, runs at a lower resolution (720p maximum) than the PlayStation version and is spread across 3 discs.
Masashi Hamauzu composed the game's soundtrack; his previous work on the series was as a co-composer for Final Fantasy X and as the main composer for Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII .The game was the first main-series Final Fantasy game to not include any compositions by original series composer Nobuo Uematsu. Although Uematsu was originally announced to compose the main theme of the game, this role was taken over by Hamauzu after Uematsu signed on to compose the soundtrack to Final Fantasy XIV . The score features some pieces orchestrated by Yoshihisa Hirano, Toshiyuki Oomori, and Kunihito Shiina, with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. The song "My Hands", from British singer Leona Lewis' second album Echo , was chosen to replace Final Fantasy XIII's original theme song, "Kimi ga Iru Kara" by Sayuri Sugawara, for the game's international release. Square Enix president Yoichi Wada later said that it would have been better if the American branch of the company had produced a theme song from scratch, but a lack of staff led to the decision of licensing an existing song.
Music from the game has been released in several albums. Square Enix released the main soundtrack album, Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack, on four Compact Discs in 2010.The album sold 16,000 copies the day of its release. Square Enix released selections from the soundtrack on two gramophone record albums in 2010: W/F: Music from Final Fantasy XIII and W/F: Music from Final Fantasy XIII Gentle Reveries. An album of arranged pieces from the soundtrack, Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack -PLUS-, was also released by Square Enix in 2010, as was an album of piano arrangements. For Life Music published a single of the theme song for the Japanese version of the game, "Kimi ga Iru Kara" (君がいるから, "Because You're Here"), in 2009.
The game was released in Japan on December 17, 2009, and in North America, Europe and Australia on March 9, 2010. Alongside the release of the game in Japan, Japanese alcoholic beverage distributor Suntory released the "Final Fantasy XIII Elixir" to promote the game.On the same day, a Final Fantasy XIII PlayStation Home personal space was made available for free in Japan until January 13, 2010, along with a costume and personal space furnishings; they were released to the Asian, European, and North American versions of PlayStation Home on March 11, 2010. On December 18, 2012, the game was re-released as part of the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box Japanese package. It was re-released again on November 21, 2013, as part of the Lightning Ultimate box, a Japan exclusive edition which includes Final Fantasy XIII and its two sequels.
The game was released bundled with consoles in different regions. The game was bundled in Japan with a limited-edition white PlayStation 3 with a pink color print of Lightning on the surface of the console,and with an Xbox 360 with the silver strip on the hard drive emblazoned with the Final Fantasy XIII logo in the western release. A limited quantity of themed Xbox faceplates created by Nomura were made available through a select few retailers in Europe, North America, and Australia. PAL territories received a limited collector's edition of the game for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with the Final Fantasy XIII Original Sound Selection "best of" soundtrack CD, three Eidolon art prints, a Brand of the l'Cie decal and The World of Final Fantasy XIII, a hardback book featuring character artwork, CG-rendered artwork, and environments from across the game production. Square Enix published three Ultimania books: the Final Fantasy XIII Scenario Ultimania and the Final Fantasy XIII Battle Ultimania on January 28, 2010, and the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Ω on September 30, 2010. The Battle Ultimania provides a description and analysis of the new battle system and its components, and developer interviews. The Scenario Ultimania describes the main scenarios in the game, profiles on the characters and areas in Cocoon and Gran Pulse, developer interviews, and details on each location. The last guide, the Ultimania Ω, includes voice actor and additional staff interviews, the complete story of Final Fantasy XIII including additional character profiles, a collection of artworks and illustrations, and additional dissections of the story and background.
While the game was released on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in western regions, the game was a PlayStation 3 exclusive in Asian territories.This was changed in late 2010 when Square Enix announced that the Xbox 360 version would in fact release in Japan, despite many statements to the opposite. It was later released for Microsoft Windows via Steam, along with its two sequels. Final Fantasy XIII was the first game in the series to receive an official release in Chinese and Korean. This was the first edition of a Final Fantasy game in which Japanese voice-overs could be enabled. An international version of the game for the Xbox 360 called Final Fantasy XIII Ultimate Hits International was released in Asia on December 16, 2010. The game includes an "Easy" mode option, and features the English voices. It comes with a bonus booklet titled Final Fantasy XIII Corridor of Memory that contains content that was previously left out of the original version of the game and a short story epilogue titled Final Fantasy XIII Episode I.
Final Fantasy XIII was released for iOS and Android devices via cloud streaming in Japan on April 10, 2015.
Final Fantasy XIII sold over one million units on its first day of sale in Japan, and had sold 1.7 million copies for the PlayStation 3 in Japan by the end of 2009, and 1.9 million by the end of 2010. Square Enix had anticipated high initial sales for the game and shipped close to two million units for its launch. The game sold more than one million copies in North America in its release month. In March 2010, Square Enix stated that Final Fantasy XIII was the fastest-selling title in the franchise's history. By April of the same year, American game sales for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 reached an estimated 800,000 and 500,000 units respectively. According to Media Create, female gamers accounted for nearly a third of the game's Japanese fanbase. As of July 2012, a combined total of 9.7 million units has been sold on consoles for both Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel Final Fantasy XIII-2. As of January 2013, the game had sold 6.6 million copies worldwide. In September 2014, Square Enix announced the Final Fantasy XIII series has been widely successful and has shipped over 11 million copies worldwide. In November, 2018, the series was added to Xbox One backwards compatibility. As of 2017, the game has sold over 7 million copies worldwide on consoles. By April 2018, the Windows version has sold over 746,000 copies according to SteamSpy.
Final Fantasy XIII received generally positive reviews. Review aggregator website Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 83/100 based on 83 reviews, 's reader poll. The game received a Best RPG of the year award nomination at the Spike Video Game Awards, but lost to Mass Effect 2 . It won the "Future Division" award at the Japan Game Awards 2009 and later won a Game Designers Award at the Japan Game Awards 2010.the Xbox 360 version 82/100 based on 54 reviews, and the Microsoft Windows version 65/100 based on 6 reviews. It was rated 39 out of 40 by the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu . Dengeki praised the game for the battle system, stating that the battles are by far the most exciting in the series, and concluded Final Fantasy XIII deserved a score of 120, as 100 would not be enough. The game was voted as the second best game of 2009 in Dengeki Online's reader poll, and in January 2010, it was voted the best game ever in Famitsu
Universal praise was given to the technical milestones achieved by the game's graphics and presentation. Edge felt that Cocoon in particular was an "inspired setting [...] blessed with a vibrancy and vivid colour that often leaves you open-mouthed".GameSpot called the art design "magnificent". Further praise was given to the pre-rendered animation sequences and the almost seamless transition of visual quality between these and the realtime gameplay. Many also appreciated the game's soundtrack, with Masashi Hamauzu providing "a score with catchy hooks and blood-pumping battle melodies", according to Wired .
The battle system of Final Fantasy XIII received widespread praise. The increased pace of battles was appreciated, with several reviews describing it as "thrilling"; 's description of the battle system summarized it as "among the genre's finest". 1UP.com said that "Despite the fact that two-thirds of your party is AI-controlled, FFXIII's battles may be the most involving the series has ever seen." The story got a mixed reception, with Wired remarking that the plot was "a little more human and less esoteric than in previous games". 1UP.com felt that the story was "hardly world-class writing", but that the writers clearly knew the medium well and had attempted to avoid clichés. Reviewers felt that the characters worked well together, and that the interactions among them as the game progressed made up for shortcomings in the story.Edge
While critics generally praised Square Enix's attempt to revitalize the Final Fantasy series formula, many reacted negatively to the linear nature of the game, especially in the first ten chapters on Cocoon,an issue which many felt was compounded by the large reduction of towns, free-roaming capabilities, and interaction with non-player characters. GamePro described the gameplay as "a long hallway toward an orange target symbol on your mini-map that triggers a cutscene, a boss fight, or both," and 1UP.com criticized the linear aspect as the game's "biggest shortcoming", and felt the first section was "superficial." Edge and others awarded the game especially lower scores as a result of these aspects, with Edge in particular lowering the score they awarded the game to a five out of ten primarily due to the game's linear nature.
In contrast, reviewers from GamesRadar and Computer and Video Games appreciated the linear nature; the former stated that "the streamlined, focused structure eliminates potential tedium without dumbing anything down",while the latter felt it was "a clever move", and kept the player from being "[bogged] down with mundane number crunching, [and] finicky and repetitive leveling-up." Many negatively noted the gradual unfurling of the player's abilities over this first part of the game, from battle gameplay to selecting the party leader. Combined with the game's linear nature, some reviews went as far as to describe these chapters as "boring" until the world of Gran Pulse was revealed. Edge noted that while it did not do enough to make up for the opening chapters, at Gran Pulse the game "hits a sweet spot" as the narrative offers "hunting side-quests and the simple joy of exploring to see what visual marvel is around the next corner."
After release, director Motomu Toriyama felt that the lower-than-expected review scores for a main Final Fantasy series game came from reviewers who approached the game from a Western point of view. These reviewers were used to games in which the player was given an open world to explore, he said, noting that this expectation contrasted with the vision the team set out to create. He noted that it "becomes very difficult to tell a compelling story when you're given that much freedom".Yoshinori Kitase stated that they "didn't really intend to work within the RPG template," but "wanted to create a new game, even a new genre." He stated that "in a lot of senses FFXIII is more like an FPS than an RPG."
Toriyama and Kitase later said, in July 2011, that the biggest complaints about the game were that it was too linear and that there was not enough interaction between the player and the world, which they described as a lack of towns and minigames compared to the previous Final Fantasy games. They also named the amount of time it took to access all of the gameplay elements as a common criticism, saying that people interpreted it as a "lengthy tutorial".
Yoichi Wada, then-president of Square Enix, made his thoughts about the reception of the game known to Gamasutra. He said "some value it highly and some are not very happy with it".He added, "Should Final Fantasy become a new type of game or should Final Fantasy not become a new type of game? The customers have different opinions. It's very difficult to determine which way it should go."
Square Enix released a Microsoft Windows port of the game in October 2014, where it was met with a more critical reception than the original versions. PC Gamer 's Samuel Roberts, when reviewing the port, criticized not only the original gameplay, but heavily criticized the quality of the port itself, decrying the low resolution, limited graphical options and low framerate. He was especially critical of the time taken for the port given that an unofficial patch was produced by modder Peter Thoman within a day of release that fixed many of the issues. Michael McWhertor of Polygon also noted a similar critical response by consumers. A patch was released by Square Enix in December 2014, which was noted by Thoman as adding only the graphical features that his external patch had, with no other additions or performance improvements.
At the Square Enix First Production Department Conference held on January 18, 2011, Square Enix announced that they were developing a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, entitled Final Fantasy XIII-2 , which they intended to build on the game's story and characters while taking on board the criticism and other feedback about the original. It was released on December 15, 2011, in Japan, January 31, 2012, in North America and February 3, 2012, in Europe, for both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. 's announcement that he hoped to write a story "where Lightning ends up happy", though at the time Square Enix had no plans to make a sequel.Motomu Toriyama and Yoshinori Kitase returned to their respective roles as director and producer. The game begins three years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII, and features Serah and newcomer Noel as the main protagonists. XIII-2 is the fifth sequel game in the Final Fantasy series, after Final Fantasy X-2 , Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII , Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings , and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years . Most of the team returned again to create a second sequel entitled Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII , meant to wrap up the story of Lightning and the Final Fantasy XIII universe. The game was released in November 2013 in Japan and in February 2014 in North America and Europe. Toriyama stated in the Ultimania Omega companion book prior to XIII-2
Cloud Strife is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Square's 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is a mercenary claiming to be formerly of SOLDIER, a group of elite supersoldiers employed by the Shinra Electric Power Company, a megacorporation responsible for draining the life from the planet. Fighting against Shinra in the resistance group AVALANCHE, and driven by a feud with the primary antagonist, Sephiroth, Cloud learns to accept his troubled past and adapts to his role as a leader. Cloud reappears as the protagonist in the 2005 computer-animated sequel film, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, in which he fights a new threat to the world while dealing with a sickness that infected his body. He acts in a supporting role in other Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles, and is featured in several other games outside the Final Fantasy VII continuity. Additionally, he has been featured in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, and the Kingdom Hearts series by Square Enix.
The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a metaseries produced by Square Enix. A subseries stemming from the main Final Fantasy series, it is a collection of video games, animated features and short stories based in the world and continuity of Final Fantasy VII. Officially announced in 2003 with the reveal of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the series' core products are three video games and one movie release. Alongside these are tie-in products and spin-offs including books, mobile games and an original video animation. Advent Children and the mobile title Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII are a sequel and prequel to VII, respectively focusing on Cloud Strife, the original game's main protagonist, and covert operatives known as the Turks. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII follows the story of Zack Fair, an important major character in VII, while Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, which acts as a sequel to Advent Children, follows Vincent Valentine, one of the original's optional characters.
Motomu Toriyama is a Japanese game director and scenario writer who has been working for Square Enix since 1994. He initially worked on cutscenes in Bahamut Lagoon and Final Fantasy VII. Toriyama started directing with Final Fantasy X-2 and has continued doing so with large-scale projects such as Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Since 2003, he has been directing his own team of scenario writers at the company. He is currently directing Mobius Final Fantasy and is a member of Square Enix's Business Division 1, and part of the Final Fantasy Committee that is tasked with keeping the franchise's releases and content consistent.
Final Fantasy Type-0 is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable (PSP). Released in Japan on October 27, 2011, Type-0 is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries, a set of games sharing a common mythos which includes Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XV. The gameplay, similar to Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, has the player taking control of characters in real-time combat during missions across Orience. The player also engages in large-scale strategy-based battles on the world map, and has access to a multiplayer option during story missions and side quests.
Final Fantasy XIII - a role-playing game released by Square Enix in 2009 - revolves around the struggles of a group of humans over a predestined fate. The game's two sequels, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, build on the first game's story and mythos. In video game publications and among the staff at Square Enix, the three games have come to be referred to as the "Lightning Saga", and the core concepts they contain are drawn from the mythos of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries. The visuals of the original characters were designed by Tetsuya Nomura and Nao Ikeda, while many later characters were created by other designers, including Hideo Minaba, Yusuke Naora and Toshiyuki Itahana. Their original stories were created by Motomu Toriyama and written up by Daisuke Watanabe.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Released in 2011 in Japan and 2012 in North America and PAL regions, it is a direct sequel to the 2009 role-playing game Final Fantasy XIII and is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries. A port to Microsoft Windows was released on Steam in December 2014 followed by iOS and Android in September 2015. XIII-2 includes modified features from the previous game, including fast-paced combat and a customizable "Paradigm" system to control which abilities are used by the characters, and adds a new system that allows monsters to be captured and used in battle. It features a heavy time travel element, allowing the player to jump between different times at the same location or different places at the same time. Lightning, the protagonist of the original game, has disappeared into an unknown world. Her younger sister Serah Farron, a returning character, and a young man named Noel Kreiss, journey through time in an attempt to find Lightning.
Daisuke Watanabe is a Japanese video game writer employed by Square Enix. He is mostly known for his work on the role-playing video game series Final Fantasy and the action RPG series Kingdom Hearts.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It was released in November 2013 for Japan and February 2014 for North America, Australia and Europe. A port to Microsoft Windows through Steam was released in December 2015 followed by iOS and Android in Japan during February 2016. The game is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII-2, concludes the storyline of Final Fantasy XIII, and forms part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries. Lightning Returns employs a highly revamped version of the gameplay system from the previous two games, with an action-oriented battle system, the ability to customize the player character's outfits, and a time limit the player must extend by completing story missions and side quests.
Jun Akiyama is a Japanese video game event director and scenario writer who works at Square Enix. He joined the predecessor company Square in 1995. In his role as event planner for Final Fantasy VII, Akiyama was responsible for the story elements and cutscenes involving the characters Red XIII and Yuffie Kisaragi, respectively. During his work as the event director of Vagrant Story, he intended to make the transitions between gameplay and event scenes as smooth as possible. The fully polygonal graphics of the game entailed precise camera movements, character animations and the usage of different lens effects.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster is a high-definition remaster of the role-playing video games Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2, originally developed by Square on the PlayStation 2 in the early 2000s. It also features story content previously only found in the International versions, and a new audio drama set a year after the events of X-2. The collection saw graphical and musical revisions and is based on the international versions of both games, making certain content accessible to players outside of Japan for the first time.
Final Fantasy Type-0, an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix in 2011, revolves around a war between four nations in the world of Orience. An episodic companion game, Final Fantasy Agito, was released in 2014. Type-0 was re-released internationally in 2015 as a high-definition remaster for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The main protagonists are Class Zero, a group of students at the magical academy in Rubrum. The story is told through two new members of Class Zero: Machina Kunagiri and Rem Tokimiya. The main character of Agito is a player-created cadet at the Rubrum magical academy. The world and characters were designed by Yusuke Naora, Yusaku Nakaaki and Tetsuya Nomura. Their stories were created by Hajime Tabata, Hiroki Chiba and Sarah Obake.
Tetsuya Nomura is a Japanese video game artist, designer and director working for Square Enix. He designed characters for the Final Fantasy series, debuting with Final Fantasy VI and continuing with various later installments. Additionally, Nomura has led the development of the Kingdom Hearts series since its debut in 2002 and was the director for the CGI film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
Datalog - Sanctum Fal'Cie: The Sanctum fal'Cie are the unfathomable entities that constructed the floating shell of Cocoon in ages past, and even now watch over the world's human inhabitants. Each is assigned a specific task that supports the existence of Cocoon's grateful populace, such as generating energy or manufacturing food.
Datalog - Branded: [...] they must now complete their assigned Focus if they are to avoid becoming monstrous Cie'th, though none can say for sure what their mission actually entails. Their only clue is the vision [...]
Datalog - The War of Transgression: Several hundred years ago, the armies of Pulse attempted to invade Cocoon in a conflict known today as the War of Transgression. The Sanctum fal'Cie were able to repel the lowerworld forces before they breached Cocoon's interior, but not before they managed to seriously damage areas lying near the world's outer rim.
Datalog - Lowerworld Artifacts: In the aftermath of the War of Transgression, regions near Cocoon's outer rim were left uninhabitable due to the severe trauma they had sustained. To undo the damage, the fal'Cie gathered materials from the surface of Pulse and rebuilt Cocoon's wounded landscape with them.
Datalog - PSICOM: The Sanctum military is composed of two main branches: the Guardian Corps, responsible for maintaining security in various jurisdictions throughout Cocoon, and PSICOM– Public Security and Intelligence Command. PSICOM is an elite special operations unit charged with protecting Cocoon from Pulsian incursion.
Datalog - AMP Technology: Humans ordinarily lack the means to wield magic, but through the use of manadrives[...] it is possible to synthesize the effects.
Datalog - Lightning: Lightning was formerly a sergeant in the Guardian Corps, Bodhum Security Regiment.
Datalog - Serah Farron: Serah is Lightning's younger sister and Snow's fiancee. Also a Pulse l'Cie, she has gained eternal life and slumbers in crystal stasis. [...] her task was simply to gather the tools for Cocoon's destruction.
Datalog - Snow Villiers: Snow[...] leads the rebellious group of youths known as NORA.
Vanille: My name is Oerba Dia Vanille. I am a l'Cie from Gran Pulse. And to everyone on Cocoon... ...evil.
Datalog - Nora Estheim: Nora is Hope's mother. Worried about the worsening relationship between her son and his father, Nora wonders how to break down the barriers Hope has created.
Datalog - Cold, Hard Fact: [...]the Wide-area Response Brigade, otherwise known as the 'Cavalry'. [...]the woman who works with them[...]a Pulse l'Cie
Datalog - The Sanctum: [...]fal'Cie opt to participate only superficially in governmental affairs, leaving Cocoon's administration entirely at the discretion of the human Sanctum and its Primarch, Galenth Dysley.
Datalog - The Purge: The recent discovery of a fal'Cie from Pulse[...] caused widespread civil unrest. [...]The Sanctum then announced its intent to forcibly relocate the affected to Pulse in an emergency measure dubbed by authorities as the Purge.
Datalog - Branded: The mark seared on their bodies[...] it is the brand of a cursed l'Cie. [...]Their only clue is the vision they all witnessed of a great beast laying waste to Cocoon. Ragnarok.
Datalog - Operation Nora: Operation Nora[...] the means by which he will exact vengeance on Snow. [...]Lightning soon realizes her mistake. Her lecture to abandon compassion was intended as a warning against the hesitation she fears will be his undoing.
Sazh: My son Dajh. He was picked. He's a l'Cie. He said he wanted to see a fal'Cie. So, I took him on a tour of the Euride Gorge plant. Thought I surprised him with a Chocobo chick to take home, but the second I turned my back... ...into the energy plant he went.
Fang: I've got a few screws loose, but I'm a l'Cie, same as you. Difference being... ...I wasn't born on Cocoon. I'm from Gran Pulse. The 'world below' you all hate so much. My partner and I'd turn to crystal and gone to sleep. But when we came around, here we were. The reason Cocoon's in such an uproar is the same reason that you're here now. Vanille and I woke up.
Datalog - Sustained by Hate: It is his hatred of Snow that has been sustaining him through countless battles. In a strange way, the man who made a promise to his mother has been protecting him all along. [...]Operation Nora is over.
Dysley: Oh child, perish the thought. I am more than that! Barthandelus: I am fal'Cie. My name is Barthandelus. Voice of the Sanctum, and Lord-Sovereign of the Cocoon fal'Cie.
Datalog - Orphan: As Sanctum fal'Cie and l'Cie are incapable of harming Orphan, Barthandelus requires the assistance of Pulse l'Cie.
Datalog - Helping Hands: The l'Cie who became Ragnarok and attacked Cocoon during the war was[...] Fang herself.
Datalog - Start Your Engines: The Cavalry[...] confronts the new Primarch[...] Raines calmly awaits his own demise. Revived to serve as Barthandelus's pawn...
Lightning: Maybe Cocoon is past saving, but it's our home. And we'll protect it, or die trying! We live to make the impossible possible! That is our Focus!
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