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Final Fantasy XIII information arises; first story details

  • Published at 16:23:23 PT
  • Reported by Ziyad Khesbak
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Recent interviews have unearthed some exciting new information regarding Final Fantasy XIII, still under rigorous development, including some interesting battle tidbits and the beginnings of what has the potential to become an epic story. Well, maybe if Yasumi Matsuno were involved.

Recent information lists it as 13% complete and character designer Tetsuya Nomura has relegated it to a 2008 release, but Final Fantasy XIII steadily continues its development and the information which has slowly been unveiled is beginning to give us a better picture of the size and scope of Final Fantasy's newest iteration.

The battle system, which many images have related, will see the return of the classic ATB gauge, but sources indicate that the equally classic wait will be virtually nonexistent, implying a faster, cleaner pace to battle like that found in its cousin Final Fantasy XII. Summons will return to retain their traditional role in aiding the game's heroes, but will now undergo a new twist. For instance, in a move of pure Hindu sacrilege, Shiva will have the ability to transform into a motorcycle, enabling main character Lightning to jump atop and blast away her enemies. Let that sink in for a moment.

Story-wise, the Crystal is once again in the spotlight. With the ability to fashion machines and creatures, it has brought much prosperity to the "Cocoon", a society entirely contained in a single floating shell. Below, in the netherworld called "Pulse", formless creatures have awoken to spread enmity among mankind. FFXIII's tale begins when what may very well be one such creature invades the xenophobic Cocoon, where the government reacts by enacting emergency measures, seizing any and all suspects suspected of this virus-like outside influence and deporting them to Pulse.

As a consequence, the Crystal chooses the heroine, Lightning, to take up arms against those who would destroy the world, pitting her against the government as well as the shades of dark influence which creep in the shadows.

Further, Square Enix has revealed a second blonde-haired, motorcycle-riding, towering man whom Testuya Nomura describes in an IGN interview as "cowboy-like". Irvine Kinneas references aside, Nomura also said that his design makes him large enough to run around while carrying two people and added, in what can only be the morbidity of game design, that his foot size was determined to be 33 centimeters. Surely this makes riding Ifrit into the sunset much more dramatic.

Alas, Nomura would not reveal what relationship this mysterious man shares with Lightning, save that it will be something the player has not yet seen. Though further characters will appear, Nomura admitted he is still in the middle of his design process.

Finally, in Japanese Dengeki, director Motome Toriyama related that FFXIII's opening will consist of a real time battle scene whose intensity Toriyama promises will surpass what's been shown in the few trailers thus far.

Look for more Final Fantasy XIII information here at the Haven, as it arises.

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Too bad Matsuno worried so much about "epic story" that he forgot "party member interaction" or "interesting character development"

Epic story though, people like that
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