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Square Enix Talks Final Fantasy XIII + Submit Your Questions

Chris Morell's Avatar + Posted by Chris Morell on Feb 08, 2010 // Senior Social Media Specialist

Over on the PlayStation.Blog.Europe, Jem Alexander managed to wrangle up a great Q&A with Final Fantasy XIII Producer Yoshinori Kitase and Director Motomu Toriyama. But Europe’s not stealing all the fun – We’re heading up to San Francisco later today to speak with Mr. Kitase and Mr. Toriyama, as well as FFXIII‘s Battle Director Yuji Abe for the first time. So now’s the time to get those final questions out there (That’s Final Fantasy XIII only, so please keep your questions on that topic. They won’t be discussing anything Versus- or Agito-related). We’re almost exactly a month out from the game’s release, after all!

I asked for your Final Fantasy XIII interview questions and you responded in earnest. Thanks so much for your many questions — they were far too numerous for me to ask them all, but I hope you agree that I covered all the important ones with the game’s Producer, Yoshinori Kitase, and Director, Motomu Toriyama. Can you believe it’s only four weeks until the game is in our hands? It’s been a long wait, but we’re almost there.

This interview will hopefully give you some insight into the development of the game, and get you interested in the other two Fabula Nova Crystallis games — Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. As soon as Square Enix is ready to talk more about these titles, you can expect to see something here on PlayStation.Blog.

Final Fantasy XIII

Do you have any plans for Final Fantasy XIII PlayStation Home content?

It is already happening in Japan. There will be costumes for Lightning and Snow, and there’s a personal space as well as chocobo and other character figures. We don’t know at the moment whether this will be brought to Europe.

Will Final Fantasy Versus XIII have any links to Final Fantasy XIII?

Final Fantasy Versus XIII is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, but XIII and Versus XIII only share the same basic mythology. The fal’Cie and l’Cie are just a small part of this mythology, but the story and the characters are completely different.

Are there any games within the Fabula Nova Crystallis series that have yet to be announced?

At the moment we are concentrating on releasing Versus XIII and Agito XIII. At the moment we have no other specific plans to release any other titles as a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series.

What made you decide to make Final Fantasy XIII a series, rather than a standalone title?

If you look back at the Final Fantasy series, at VII for example, this later let to Advent Children and Crisis Core. Also, for FFX, we created FFX-2 after its release. In those cases we obviously released the original title first and then created the sequel. This time we wanted to create several games in the same project from the outset.

Will there be an English demo?

We haven’t decided whether to make a demo available yet.

How much emphasis is placed on story and cutscenes in FFXIII? Do you feel it’s balanced with gameplay, or heavy on either side?

The basic playtime is about 50 to 60 hours, for the main story. Amongst which, the cutscenes make up about 10 hours. So, quite a large amount, with very high quality graphics, of course. So there’s plenty of story and gameplay to enjoy.

What will you be moving on to now that Final Fantasy XIII is finished?

At the moment we are still concentrating on finishing off and promoting the overseas version of Final Fantasy XIII, but many of the team have obviously accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience and they will be moved over to work on Versus and Agito. Personally, we don’t know what we’re going to move on to next.

Final Fantasy XIII

How much sidequest content is there in XIII?

We call them “missions”, rather than “quests”. During the second half of the story, when the characters go down to a place called Pulse, there are many missions available there. In the majority of them the boss of the mission who you have to defeat, is more powerful than the main boss of the story. I’ve already told you that the basic playing time is 50 to 60 hours, but if you want to complete all the missions, the total time is probably twice that or more.

So what are the chances of a CG movie based on FFXIII, like Advent Children?

There are no plans at the moment, but once it is released over here and, if there are some particular characters or features that are received particularly well, then we might make a decision. And of course we need to see how it goes down sales-wise and regarding user reactions, first.

What are your feelings about the current state of the game industry in Japan, compared with the West and what Western games have you been most influenced by?

Some people have been saying that the Japanese game industry is dead, and all that… I dunno. I will say that Final Fantasy XIII is one really epic title for high definition consoles. With this game, we are going to resurrect the whole thing. As for Western games that have influenced us — FPSs mostly. The Call of Duty series, for example.

Final Fantasy XIII

How do you feel about Yoichi Wada’s statement that Final Fantasy XIII will be the last game of its kind for Square Enix?

We don’t know exactly what he meant by that. We don’t really know what he meant by this style of game. If you consider that during Final Fantasy XIII’s development, at peak time the team consisted of over 300 people. It was a huge team, plus it took a several long years to get the game finished. So, if Mr Wada meant that we would never make another Final Fantasy title with the similar number of people, taking as long as FFXIII did, we would agree. Obviously in the future we want to be much more efficient. Having worked on XIII, we feel that we have got much better at making good games for high definition consoles. In the future our teams will be smaller and more effectively run. We suspect that is what Mr Wada meant by his statement.

The God of War HD remake for the PS3 has been very popular in the US and people in Europe are very much looking forward to it. Do you have any interest in creating an HD remake of a PS1 or PS2 Final Fantasy game?

We don’t know the details about the HD remake of God of War. If it’s just a case of attaining high resolution graphics, only, then that wouldn’t be that difficult, but if we were to achieve the same graphical standard as in XIII with a PS1 title, then that would be a huge, huge task. Almost unrealistic. Even with a PS2 title it would be difficult. In the case of God of War, there weren’t really that many characters in the game — the main character and some monsters, maybe ten people or so. That would not be unachievable. As with Final Fantasy titles in the past, like on PS1, even just the main characters amount to around 10 people. Then you have all the NPCs, you’re probably looking at about 200 characters total. All with individual textures for the skin, plus costumes, facial features and everything. That would be a really tricky job.

Will there be any New Game content in Final Fantasy XIII?

When you finish the main quest there are some growth elements of the the characters which will unlock once you’ve defeated the last boss. After this is done, you’ll be easily able to return to Pulse and take part in the many missions available there. There is no way to start the game again with your current character stats, however.

Is there a specific reason why Japanese voices were left out of the game?

For the European version, the facial expressions and lip synchronization are all lined up with the English lines, so the Japanese voices would not match up right. That was the main worry.

People are aware that there is a lot of content that has been cut from the game. Do you have any plans to use this content in the future?

You say “content” but, in reality, it’s more like “ideas”. Maybe a map was a little bit too complex and we felt like the player would get completely lost, so we simplified, or whatever. So this content won’t be coming out separately, as it has been binned.

Will there be a hard drive install available?

There is no installation, the game runs directly from the disc.

Finally, why does Sahz have a Chocobo in his hair?

What happened was, initially we only had a concept of this character being happy and jolly. Nomura designed the character and gave him an afro while, flippantly, drew a small chocobo next to him. As we looked at this, we liked the idea and the chocobo got added into the story. That’s how it happened.

//Add Your Own

194 Comments   1 Reply

51

+ Cagalli on February 8th, 2010 at 11:57 am said:

@48, there is basically no loading within the entire game. No need for an install.


52

+ Craftiii4 on February 8th, 2010 at 11:57 am said:

Does the 360 version have online? does the ps3 version have online? i hear that one version has online and 1 dosnt???


53

+ Ledis15 on February 8th, 2010 at 11:57 am said:

So will Final Fantasy be coming to NA?


54

+ ArgyleBandit on February 8th, 2010 at 11:59 am said:

Any word on a North American collectors edition? I want to give Square-Enix as much money as possible.


55

+ LokeSTL on February 8th, 2010 at 11:59 am said:

@Chris Morell

Nice Q&A, I see you managed to squeeze in some non-XIII questions. Thanks for that! There is already so much information available that I only have two questions about XIII:

1) Why no Collector’s Edition in the U.S.?

2) Will he send me an advance copy? Pretty please?

The rest aren’t related, but I’d appreciate it if you could squeeze them in if there is time:

1) Will the consider going ahead with the release of The Last Remnant on PS3, or has it been permanently shelved?

2) Would they consider using cleaned up versions of the existing FFVII models and textures and release the game on the PSN as a downloadable title? They could start with the superior PC version and work from that. If I can’t have a FFXIII class re-make of VII, I’d at least like an upgraded version with 16:9 support and trophies. Problem solved.

3) Are there currently any plans to release more SE PSone Classics on the NA PSN store? If not, why? If so, when? I want them all!


56

+ wolverine81 on February 8th, 2010 at 12:00 pm said:

Will there be a Collector’s Edition?


57

+ yin69yang on February 8th, 2010 at 12:06 pm said:

sorry i know i might get people mad at me because i am not a loyal fanboy, i like and own all consoles and root for all 3 and not being annoyingly push one console, but why you people keep asking for it to be exclusive and asking if there is any thing on the PS3 version then the 360 version? WHO CARES? Are you that greedy you don’t want too share? Having games be multiplatform brings in more money to make more games so stop with the fanboy crap.
Stop showing your bias and root for all consoles becuase they each have their own pluses and competition is good for the market if it wasn’t for the 360 the PS3 would still be $600. There i said it.


58

+ Tjoeb123 on February 8th, 2010 at 12:07 pm said:

1. This has been asked many times, but are we getting a US special edition?

2. Can we please, pretty please, have an option to listen to the Japanese version’s theme song if we want to?

3. Does the PS3 version have prettier graphics than the 360 version?


59

+ dragonmagician on February 8th, 2010 at 12:13 pm said:

1. I also want to know about if there is a Collector’s Edition or not.

2. How difficult is it to get a Platinum trophy in this game?

3. To Yuji Abe (Battle Director), why the decision to let user control only one character in battle? and in future games, will we ever return to a battle system that lets you control all characters in battle for a Final Fantasy game?


60

+ MGSTigerFox on February 8th, 2010 at 12:13 pm said:

Will the cutscenes be pausable? Epic as it is, I don’t want to miss them… and then in the case of a second or seventh play-through, will the cutscenes be skippable if I don’t want to watch them again in entirety?


61

+ n4nobust3r on February 8th, 2010 at 12:13 pm said:

when will we finally gonna get a Final Fantasy that let us use original japanese voice.


62

+ the_miyamoto on February 8th, 2010 at 12:16 pm said:

1. Will there be a collectors edition for the US? I would really like one, especially if it included the soundtrack for the game.

2. Will there be any DLC down the line? Maybe it’s too early to tell, but recently I’ve seen conflicting reports on whether or not there will be dlc for this game.


63

+ Dice_for_Death_ on February 8th, 2010 at 12:18 pm said:

I hope the next FF that involves Tetsuya Nomura, involves less belts and zippers, and that he doesn’t abuse his position in Square Enix to further his ambitions as a clothing stylist. I often don’t buy games because the main character “looks cool” or redefines “edgy” for that year. Lightning herself was designed to be a profitable image, because of her likeness to Cloud. “Make her look like Cloud,” Nomura was told.

I’ll give FFXIII the fair chance it, like any game, deserves, but my expectations are defaulting to “low.”


64

+ Nick-30 on February 8th, 2010 at 12:19 pm said:

I wanna know when kingdom hearts 3 is coming out?


65

+ FFXI_Isamu on February 8th, 2010 at 12:24 pm said:

1. Are we going to get a Collectors edition ?

2.Will we be getting FFXIV beta lottery vouchers in XII like in Japan ?


66

+ Destiny89 on February 8th, 2010 at 12:26 pm said:

Will the ps3 version have some exclusive stuff?? and will there be a limited edition?


67

+ BX_Shinigami on February 8th, 2010 at 12:27 pm said:

Please tell me this will have the original japanase voice track and we can choose between enblish and japanese.


68

+ joseph2411 on February 8th, 2010 at 12:29 pm said:

Approximately how many limits does each character has and how do they differ between them?


69

+ InfiniteNine on February 8th, 2010 at 12:30 pm said:

Will the US be getting a Collectors Edition like the UK?

Also when talking about an HD FF, God of War was ported to the PS3 using the original assets just at a HD resoluton and formatted to a widescreen at 60 FPS. I think a lot of Square’s games could benefit from this. Would you consider re-releasing some of your games in this format?


70

+ Strandli on February 8th, 2010 at 12:31 pm said:

1 – Has the FF13 sales lived up to expectations in Japan?

2 – How much are the development costs now, compared to PS1 and PS2 games? Is it harder to make games profitable now than before?

3 – How much load time is it in the game?

4 – Considering the huge leap in production time and values games have had the last 15 years, how do you think the game industry is in another 15 years?

5 – What does the European box art look like? The same style as X and XII? I really enjoyed the classy and simplistic style of the white box art with only the logo. Will Europe get the same box art as America, with Lightning on the cover?


71

+ BZKlint on February 8th, 2010 at 12:31 pm said:

Why won’t there be a PC version?


72

+ Figroti on February 8th, 2010 at 12:32 pm said:

Will there be optional bosses like Ruby weapon from Final Fantasy VII?

I really like the idea of there being crazy bosses that are uber tough.. gives you something to level up and get better gear for!


73

+ ShadowOfEden on February 8th, 2010 at 12:33 pm said:

He totally missed the point about the GOW collection. Yes, remaking FFVII with HD graphics would require to redo the whole game. No one ever said the opposite. GOW just added AA and 1080 resolutions. FFX and FFXII could easily do the same. They didn’t redo the whole game in HD.


74

+ ShadowOfEden on February 8th, 2010 at 12:35 pm said:

@72
There’s always optional bosses in FF games. Beside, the Ruby Weapon was very very easy if you entered the battle with only one character. If you want a uber tough boss, try the Omega Weapon of FFVIII or Yasomething in FFXII. I beated the Omega Weapon but never bothered to beat the one in FFXII. Stupid random chests.


75

+ Cutz0r on February 8th, 2010 at 12:36 pm said:

Will there be a dynamic theme?


76

+ sebbodes0 on February 8th, 2010 at 12:36 pm said:

Any hope for the Final Fantasy White PS3 in US and EU terretories?


77

+ StuntF50 on February 8th, 2010 at 12:38 pm said:

Can you ask them when we’ll hear more about Versus and tell them to keep it on just PS3.

I want Versus to fully utilize the hardware.


78

+ O_Razor_O on February 8th, 2010 at 12:45 pm said:

I have a question because its been nagging at me since they made the game multi-platform. Will there be able extra content for us on the PS3 since it was at 1st exclusive for the ps3? and if not on the disc will there be anything for us through DLC?


79

+ MikLe- on February 8th, 2010 at 12:47 pm said:

never answered if it would be 1080p…. most likely 720 though.


80

+ Spunta on February 8th, 2010 at 12:47 pm said:

Enix has been getting a lot of negative press surround how some “ideas” as you call it that were apparently finished, were cut from the game. Lots are saying this is because of not enough data storage is available for the 360 version. Thus this content was cut to maintain an even balance of gameplay in each version. How much of this can you confirm/deny? Why even go multi-platform if it limits the true potential of your ideas you can enlist and the fan base of the console that’s limiting you is one were the RPG isn’t as strong?


81

+ fritburger2 on February 8th, 2010 at 12:47 pm said:

My questions:
– According to some sites the FFXIII marketing will be huge, but will the game also be heavily promoted in smaller countries like Belgium, the Netherlands, ….?? Every SE game comes here with no tv-adds, English text, English manual, English box art,…. WIll this change with Square Enix Europe x Eidos?

You write that l’Cie and fal’Cie are only a small part of the FNC compilation.

– Will we be able to enjoy Versus/Agito more when we’ve played other Fabula Nova Crystallis games?

– Is the myth completed and an actual story on its own when all Fabula Nova Crystallis games are released?

———–End Questions—————–
I really hope FFXIII isn’t “the last of its kind” because I’m not liking much of the next gen RPG’s like Resonance of Fate and Mass Effect. Those games aren’t RPG worthy and should be classified under shooter.

And 10: An Xbox 360 version of Versus is impossible because of a certain parameter in the code.
and 49: You’re strange, FFXIII is quite possible one of the best games ever released and very similar to FFVII and FFX so why would you buy such a mediocre “RPG” like Resonance Of Fate?


82

+ Nephilimator on February 8th, 2010 at 1:01 pm said:

When this game bombs on the X360 like every other Japanese RPG in its existence will Square come to their senses and just focus all of their talent to one platform instead of wasting talent and time on a platform that cannot sell JRPG’s?


83

+ VenomUK on February 8th, 2010 at 1:02 pm said:

q) Why are Japanese voice acting NOT included in the game when games like Star Ocean: The Last Hope International includes both English and Japanese voice acting that is ALSO synchronised with the graphics?

Q) In the West there are so many gamers who are so enthusiastic about Japanese culture, who even want to play games in Japanese! Why don’t Square-Enix should see what a great opportunity it is to allow the West to taste and share in their rich culture, rather than just give us adaptations that have been homogenised to suit western tastes. A Leona Lewis album track replaced the official Japanese theme for FFXIII. Does Square-Enix realise they are diluting the artistry of the Final Fantasy games?


84

+ ShadowOfEden on February 8th, 2010 at 1:06 pm said:

@83
It was easier to throw the lip synch to the garbage once the game came out in Japan than keep it on both disc.


85

+ Kaorobean on February 8th, 2010 at 1:06 pm said:

1. (This question really pertains to SE USA, but I’ll ask anyway) Why hasn’t a special edition of FFXIII been announced for NA like it has for Europe?

2. Do you plan on giving players the ability to save wherever they are in future titles? RPGs from Bioware allow you to save wherever you are provided you’re not in combat, which allows you to play the game without worrying about stopping at a save point.


86

+ Thrasher20 on February 8th, 2010 at 1:08 pm said:

Square Enix developers are now getting lazy.


87

+ IcedDice777 on February 8th, 2010 at 1:09 pm said:

My Questions are………1st-Why should i pick FFXIII instead of Yakuza 3 or GoW 3 in March specially after Square-Enix treated PS3 as third class citizens? 2nd- Besides holding the PS3 version until the Xbox version was ready and even stating that they still have enough content to fill another disk…..why should i pick the compromised/INCOMPLETE version of FFXIII whenLevel 5’s WKC is fulfilling my Rpg needs?


88

+ sam_i_jam on February 8th, 2010 at 1:19 pm said:

Great questions Chris. Everything was to the point and didn’t drag on into the ego-stroking/PR territory.

Looking forward to this release. Almost as much as Heavy Rain.


89

+ Gunwing on February 8th, 2010 at 1:20 pm said:

No HDD install means no buy sorry Square Enix. I’m just going to stick to DarkSiders instead. IF all Final Fantasy titles are going to be like this on the PS3 then we might as well all by the other box because they can install right to the disc via their dashboard.

In other words Square for the sake of higher sales kicked the PS3 community in the face with that feature drop. I guess I’ll just support EA and Bioware instead because they announced plans for PS3 only games, as well as that their titles will take full advantage of the platform, not just shotty conversions.


90

+ EatDeath on February 8th, 2010 at 1:25 pm said:

My question, Will the US get a special edition of the game?


91

+ kturcotte on February 8th, 2010 at 1:25 pm said:

#57 yin69yang I’m (At least me, can’t speak for others) not saying there should be PS3 exclusives just for the sake of it being a PS3 exclusive, but they shouldn’t remove something from the PS3 version just because the 360 can’t handle it. If the game is going to take up 50 GBs of space, put out 6 dual layer DVDs for the 360, or lose optional stuff, don’t make us lose it too when the PS3 CAN handle it.


92

+ Kuraudoffxi on February 8th, 2010 at 1:31 pm said:

Are you considering to bring the campaign code to the early US copies?

What was the most chalenging thing about developing FF XIII?

About the system, it’s now faster and more dynamic than the previous titles. It was influence of Final Fantasy X-2, Advent Children, or there was another thing?


93

+ Hrist on February 8th, 2010 at 1:32 pm said:

First off congratulations to Square Enix for making an excellent game! I’ve put in well over 100 hours with the Japanese version of the game and i’m looking forward to doing it all over again with the English version!

My question pertains to the game’s combat system. Was there ever a point during development of the game where you had considered allowing players to determine what actions your allied characters would perform in combat (similar to FFXII’s gambit system)? If so, why did you choose not to implement it? Though rare, there are instances where I would have liked to tell my allies what to or what to prioritize.


94

+ kdiep on February 8th, 2010 at 1:36 pm said:

Is there or did you ever consider a less physically appealing looking female character for an important position within the game, not necessarily a main character but an important one?

What was the main reason for not using the FF XII battle system in FF XIII?

Did you ever consider the Xenogears battle system for FF XII? It seems so perfect for what FF XIII is trying to achieve.

Was it difficult to create this game for the PS3?

Has FF XIII been influenced by other games (including Squaresoft/Enix games)?


95

+ Ruffday on February 8th, 2010 at 1:36 pm said:

How much pay DLc will be available at launch?


96

+ palitococo on February 8th, 2010 at 1:45 pm said:

I wanna know, Nobuo Uematsu do some more than just the central theme in this FF?

And there are some news about The black Mages, another release soon, maybe The Black Mages IV?


97

+ Omni937 on February 8th, 2010 at 1:49 pm said:

Will FFXIII game saves have an effect in FFXIII Versus such as unlockables.


98

+ mikedo2007 on February 8th, 2010 at 1:54 pm said:

@20: Would you stop hating the English dub, do me a favor look at Disney film in japanese, Killzone 2 in Japanese, or Bioshock in Japanese dub and you tell me if those dub suck. Did you know the English dub of Final Fantasy get rereleased in Japan as International edition. I ahve heard the Japanese do like English dub.
@70: Yes, Final Fantasy 13 sold like more then 300,000 in Japan. So that mean something.

Back on topic:

1. Will we get the DLC like the 360 version.
2. Please bring the FF 13 content to PS home
3. Is the US going to get FF 13 collector’s edition? or a console bundle?
4. How is the progress of FF13 Versus and FF13 Agito?
5. also congrats, on FF13 success in Japan and also I want to congrats on Modern Warfare 2 success in Japan (the game sold 100,000 units on it’s first day and no western game has ever sold that high in Japan like that, 64,000 of them are PS3 version)


99

+ ycole11 on February 8th, 2010 at 1:56 pm said:

Great info, when will we be seeing some more info on versus XIII.


100

+ Cagalli on February 8th, 2010 at 2:07 pm said:

There is no DLC for the 360 version. News sites were reporting mis-information.


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