Final Fantasy XIII
03-04-2010, 10:10 AM
Final Fantasy XIII
In Final Fantasy XIII, players will embark on a journey through the cityworld of Cocoon and the outerworld of Pulse, encountering and fighting alongside a diverse group of allies. Execute powerful attacks with weapons and magic, and summon the enigmatic Eidolons with an evolved Active Time Battle system. Experience seamless transitions between real-time gameplay and in-game cinematics. Do you have the courage to face your destiny?
A “Break State” is one of the new features of the Final Fantasy XIII battle system. The breaks refer to the times an enemy enters a state of reduced retaliation. This occurs when a chain combo has been maintained for a certain period of time on an enemy, filling a bar to maximum. When a high level combo has been achieved, the enemy will glow red and enter this state, during which the player will be able to inflict high amounts of damage and knock some enemies high into the air. The chain bar will gradually deplete during this period; when it becomes empty, the break state ends.
The plot of Final Fantasy XIII takes place in a world known as Pulse and revolves around the story of the fal'Cie (ファルシ, farushi?) (pronounced /ˈfælsiː "fal see"/), mechanical beings with godlike power created from crystals residing inside them. People who are marked by the fal'Cie for greater purposes are called l'Cie (ルシ, rushi?). Each l'Cie has a Focus, a goal the fal'Cie wants him or her to fulfill within a certain amount of time; however, the fal'Cie do not explicitly say what the goal is: l'Cie learn what their Focus is by interpreting visions that are given to them. L'Cie gain the ability to summon Eidolons (monsters who fight with the l'Cie), but this ability comes with a price: if a l'Cie dies before completing his or her Focus, fails to tame his or her Eidolon, or fails to complete his or her Focus within a set period of time, he or she becomes a monster known as a Cie'th (シ骸, shigai?, Cie Corpse in the japanese version). If a l'Cie does complete his or her Focus, the reward is not much better: permanent transformation into a crystal. For this reason, being chosen as a l'Cie is seen as a curse.
Some 1,300 years ago, a fal'Cie named Orphan constructed a paradise for humanity: the shell-like city of Cocoon, which floats high above the surface of Pulse. Then Orphan created life forms and machines for Cocoon's inhabitants to use, and humanity flourished. A war was fought between the Pulse and Cocoon, and Cocoon prevailed. However, fear lingered in the hearts of the people of Cocoon, for the day another invasion might come from the world beneath again.
Although most Cocoon citizens have never seen Pulse with their own eyes, they have been told that it is a dangerous place that has strange effects on those who venture down to its surface. Consequently, anyone who is discovered to have visited Pulse is immediately subjected to quarantine and exile by the theocratic government of Cocoon, known as the Sanctum. The Sanctum enforces this policy with its strongest military branch, PSICOM.
As Snow leads the resistance group, Team Nora, in an attempt to stop the purging of civilians, the mysterious Lightning fights her way past PSICOM soldiers with the aid of Sazh to find a Pulse fal'Cie, Anima, who turned her sister, Serah (who is also Snow's fiancée), into a l'Cie. Through a chain of events, these three, along with two exiles, Vanille and Hope, are forced by the fal'Cie of Pulse to become l'Cie, and with that became enemies of humanity with the Focus of bringing about the downfall of Orphan and Cocoon. By the end of the game Vanile and Fang both decide to sacrifice them self in hope to stop the main antagonists explosion after being defeated.
The playable cast of Final Fantasy XIII (Clockwise from top-right) Oerba Yun Fang, Oerba Dia Vanille, Lightning, Hope Estheim, Snow Villiers, Sazh Katzroy.
* Lightning (ライトニング, Raitoningu?)
Former sergeant of the Cocoon military, Lightning sought the Pulse fal'Cie, Anima, in order to ask it to save her sister Serah, whom the fal'Cie had turned into a l'Cie. However, much to her dismay, Lightning was turned into a l'Cie herself. Her l'Cie mark is in the center of her chest. Lightning has long pink hair and is 171 cm tall (5'7"). Originally named Éclair Farron (エクレール・ファロン, Ekurēru Faron?), she discarded her birth name after her parents died in an attempt to emotionally reinforce herself so that she could protect Serah, although this only caused tensions to rise between them. Lightning is very independent and determined, and seems to be easy to annoy. Lightning's visual design is influenced from Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, as Tetsuya Nomura was asked to design a female version of him to be the protagonist of Final Fantasy XIII. However, Yoshinori Kitase has contradicted this, saying the only similarities between the two are their pasts as soldiers, as Lightning has a more fragile side to her that Cloud does not During development, Nomura described her as "not very feminine".
Lightning wields a weapon called the Blaze Edge which is a combination of a gun and a sword (one collapsing into the other), similar to the gunblade wielded by Squall in Final Fantasy VIII. She can also manipulate gravity with a device on her thumb (though due to Sazh's interference, this device becomes damaged). In battle, Lightning is very agile and uses acrobatic moves. As a l'Cie, she can summon the Eidolon Odin to fight by her side in battle, who can assume a horse-like form that she can ride on. While riding, Lightning dual wields Odin's detachable sword. Her strongest unique special attack is called Scene Drive in the Japanese version  and Army of One in the North American version. 
* Snow Villiers (スノウ・ヴィリアース, Sunō Viriāsu?)
Prior to becoming a l'Cie, Snow is the head of Team Nora, a resistance group fighting against the government of Cocoon. Standing at a massive 200cm (6'5"), Snow is a large character and is capable of running full speed while carrying two people at once. He has light blonde hair and wears a black bandanna. He was nicknamed "Mr. 33 cm" by the development team of Final Fantasy XIII as a nod to his shoe size. He uses his fists to take down opponents, focusing on brute force compared to the fast and agile Lightning. Snow bears the mark of the l'Cie on his lower left arm, through which he has the power to summon the Shiva Sister (シバシスター, Shiba Sisutā?) Eidolons, Nix (二クス, Nikusu?) and Stiria (スティリア, Sutiria?), who can combine into a motorcycle form for Snow to ride while toting a large gun. Unlike most grapplers, Snow changes his runes on his coat rather than buying new gloves.
* Oerba Dia Vanille (ヲルバ＝ダイア・ヴァニラ, Oruba-Daia Vanira?)
Vanille is a mysterious but upbeat young girl with red-brown hair worn in pigtails. Originally residing from Oerba Village located on Gran Pulse, Vanille is among those being exiled from Cocoon at the start of the game and is subsequently rescued by Team Nora. She has a childlike innocence and is shown to be very compassionate, but at times she can also be very stubborn. Vanille also serves as the game's narrator. Her weapon is a form of foldable fishing rod with multiple lines that can be reeled and used to attack enemies. She has been a l'Cie for a long time, one of two l'Cie given the Focus to summon the Eidolon Ragnarok, and her l'Cie mark is located on her upper left thigh. In battle, Vanille excels at using magic based attacks from a distance. Her Eidolon is Hecatoncheir, a multiple-limbed, earth-elemental summon who can transform into a bipedal mech armed with machine guns that she can pilot.
* Sazh Katzroy (ヲルバ＝ダイア・ヴァニラ, Sazzu Kattsuroi?)
A former airship pilot of the Military, Sazh wields dual pistols (which can be combined to form a collapsible rifle), and his strong point is striking enemies from a distance. His l'Cie mark is at the base of his neck. He has a six-year-old son named Dajh with whom he is very close. When Dajh inadvertently became a l'Cie and was taken by Sanctum, saving him became Sazh's main motivation. Sazh has a pet baby chocobo that lives inside his afro. Sazh is described as having good judgment and moral discernment. He has a gentle personality and is easily moved to tears, and joins the party early in the game. His Eidolon is Brynhildr, a female fire-elemental knight who can transform into a race car. Tetsuya Nomura based Sazh's appearance on Lionel Richie.
* Hope Estheim (ホープ・エストハイム, Hōpu Esutohaimu?)
Hope is a fourteen-year-old boy with silvery-blonde hair and orange, yellow, and green clothing. He uses collapsible boomerangs in battle. During the Purge, his mother offers to help Snow and Team Nora fight off PSICOM. She dies during the battle, and though Snow honors her final request to protect her son, Hope nonetheless hates Snow in a grief-induced rage for his connection to his mother's death. His Eidolon is the holy-elemental summon Alexander, which transforms into a fortress in Gestalt Mode, and is able to blast enemies from afar with multiple cannons.
* Oerba Yun Fang (ヲルバ＝ユン・ファング, Oruba-Yun Fangu?)
A raven-haired woman who comes from Oerba Village, donning clothing resembling the traditional Indian Sari adorned with tribal accessories, and bearing the mark of a l'Cie on her right shoulder. Though she is a l'Cie from Pulse, she originally works for the Cocoon Sanctum under Cid. It later turns out she is one of the two l'Cie given the focus to summon Ragnarok. She wields a spear that can transform into a sansetsukon in battle, and her Eidolon is Bahamut, who can take flight in his Gestalt-mode. As revealed by Tetsuya Nomura in an interview, during the early stages of development she was originally scripted to be a male character.
* Jihl Nabaat (ジル・ナバート, Jiru Nabāto?): An intelligent but cruel Lietenant Colonel of PSICOM with knee-length blonde hair and glasses. Nabaat is first seen in the trailers interrogating the captive Vanille and Sazh. She sees the l'Cie as subhuman and is bent on exterminating them. As the henchwoman of Galenth Dysley, Nabaat is the final obstacle between the main party and Galenth; however, she is killed by Galenth when he decides she has outlived her usefulness.
* Yaag Rosch (ヤーグ・ロッシュ, Yāgu Rosshu?): An intimidating-looking man with a scar on his forehead and silver hair that is tied back in a ponytail. Rosch is Nabaat's right-hand man in PSICOM and Lightning's former superior. Unlike Nabaat, Rosch has begun to question his orders from the Holy Government, though he feels he must follow his orders for the sake of the people of Cocoon. He is mortally wounded after fighting the main party in Proud Clad; after begging them to save Cocoon, Rosch sacrifices himself to ensure the main party is not pursued.
* Cid Raines (シド・レインズ, Shido Reinzu?): An Air Force Brigadier from Sanctum who commands the warship Lindblum and uses a Blaze Edge. Like Rosch, Cid doubts the government in its current state and believes that Cocoon should be run by its people instead of the fal'Cie. However, he himself had been turned into a l'Cie with the Focus of helping Lightning's group to overcome various trials. As he wanted to save Cocoon from destruction (which is the Focus of Lightning's group), he decided to abandon his Focus and join Lightning's group, becoming a Cie'th in the process. Upon his defeat, he became a trial that Lightning's group overcame, thus fulfilling his Focus and became crystallized. However, Cid is revived by Galenth to create chaos in Eden.. Untill he realizes he is just a tool/slave of the fal'Cie and Rygdea fulfills his wish and puts him out of his misery. This is the second time in the series that the recurring character Cid is portrayed as an antagonist, the first being in Final Fantasy XII.
* Galenth Dysley (ガレンス・ダイスリー, Garensu Daisurī?): The main antagonist of the game and the leading figure of the Sanctum of Cocoon. In reality, he is actually the fal'Cie Barthandelus (バルトアンデルス, Barutoanderusu?, Baldanders in japanese version), intending to use Ragnarok in order to destroy Orphan and Cocoon so the gods would return to this world. He ends up being defeated by Lightning's group and was assimilated into Orphan.
* Orphan (オーファン, Ōfan?): A wheel-like, sun-elemental fal'Cie who is the power source of Cocoon. Orphan's defeat is the Focus of Lightning's group. Orphan wanted Fang to transform into Ragnarok, so that at the destruction of himself and Cocoon, the gods would return to this world.
* Serah Farron (セラ・ファロン, Sera Faron?): Though mentioned by her given name in earlier news, Yoshinori Kitase confirmed her appearance and full name during Gamescom 2009. Serah is Lightning's younger sister and engaged to Snow - a relationship of which Lightning does not approve. Serah is the first Pulse l'Cie in Cocoon by the Fal'Cie Anima, and her mark is located in her left arm and also given the Focus to lure most potential l'Cie to the ruins where Anima resides. She crystallizes after unknowingly fulfilling the Focus through Lightning and Snow as they attempt to find a means to save her in the fal'Cie's place. After Orphan's defeat, Serah returns to normal and is reunited with her sister and Snow.
* Rygdea (リグディ, Rigudi?): A captain working under Cid Raines's command, who later puts him out of his misery.
* Dajh Katzroy (ドッジ・カッツロイ, Dojji Kattsuroi?): Sazh's son, whose mother died when he was three. The baby Chocobo that rides around in Sazh's afro actually belongs to Dajh, who bought it at a gift shop during their travels. When Dajh unexpectedly becomes an l'Cie, he is taken from Sazh by Jihl Nabaat as a martyr for Cocoon to use his power of sensing "Pulse" to track down other l'Cie. He is turned into a crystal after completing his Focus. Like Serah, Dajh returns to normal after Orphan's defeat, and is reunited with his father.
* Team Nora (ノラ, Nora?): In the Jump Festa 2009 and the official global trailer The four known members of NORA are featured in the first Final Fantasy XIII demo. The members of the resistance group, Nora, are seen participating in the hijack of the captives' train and the resulting battles, though Maqui does not participate in the fighting. Gadot, Lebreau, and Maqui were designed by Nao Ikeda, who based their clothing on the athletic clothing styles of basketball, beach volleyball, and snowboarding, respectively. The four known members of NORA are featured in the first Final Fantasy XIII demo.
o Gadot (ガドー, Gadō?): a man with orange hair and dark olive skin. He uses a machine gun in battle, providing quick assistance when it comes to executing combos.
o Lebreau (レブロ, Reburo?): a black-haired woman with a butterfly tattoo on her shoulder and a sense of invincibility. She uses a shotgun in combat and acts as the team healer. Gadot and Lebreau are said to be childhood friends of Snow.
o Maqui (マーキー, Mākī?): a relatively younger, blond-haired, worrisome man with goggles on his head. He was friends with Serah prior to meeting Snow, whom he idolizes to the point of dressing himself in an attire similar to his.
o Yuj (ユージュ, Yūju?): another member of the group who is assigned to protect the Pulse exiles by Snow.
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Official Website: Here.
Platforms: PS3, Xbox360
Release Date: March 9, 2010