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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

101

+ Surfaced on February 8th, 2010 at 2:08 pm said:

Will the PS3 version feature Japanese voiced language as an option?
-No. The English audio is muxed with the 1080p videos, which have been changed to match the lip movement. The PS3 version with one language is 38GB. Only 8GB of that is game data. The rest is mostly 1080p videos with lossless audio. To include a secondary language would pass 50GB. The Xbox version is a totally different story, because to fit the game on 3 DVDs they already resized the videos to 720p and the audio is compressed.

Is this one gonna be online?
-No; Final Fantasy XIV is online.

Why isn’t it PS3 Exclusive?
-Because Microsoft chipped in.

Did you take out content to keep the two versions identical because of contracts, since the 360 had to be under 3 disks?
-Nothing was removed due to contracts.

any timeline on a expected release date for versus or agito?
-Not that we may know of. Yet.

Anything exclusive to the PS3 version that’s not on the 360 version? Is there ANY part of the game that requires the PS3 be connected to the internet?
-No and no.

Why no towns in final fantasy 13?
-http://playstation.joystiq.com/2010/02/05/final-fantasy-xiii-producers-traditional-rpg-towns-are-tough-to/


102

+ odin_final on February 8th, 2010 at 2:14 pm said:

Hi Chris;
Can they confirm if there will be any Limited Edition in North America(4 weeks left =No hopes for any last minute announcement).
And As you see many of Final Fantasy Fans here Asked the same thing.

No Other questions come in mind I am going to buy the Game anyway^_^.
thank you


103

+ BigPoppaChunk on February 8th, 2010 at 2:16 pm said:

hi jeff,
will their be dlc.
will their be playthrough plus.
and will their be a cut scene viewer so i can rewatch them in order after the game is complete. thanks


104

+ Dice_for_Death_ on February 8th, 2010 at 2:17 pm said:

@101

“Why no towns in FF13?”

Easier answer: Lazy. Just like how New Super Mario Bros. Wii has 2 playable Toad characters and not Princess Peach; laziness prevails, rather than work to animate Peach’s flowing gown while she moves about the place. Nintendo all but admitted laziness.


105

+ WoshJills on February 8th, 2010 at 2:19 pm said:

Will there be a dynamic theme available for the PS3?


106

+ KentoMaiku on February 8th, 2010 at 2:20 pm said:

Will there be a FFXIII Collectors edition? I am hoping FF VS 13 will try to incorporate japanese voice overs in the games future release. Can you ask about the FFXIII collectors edition for North America Audiences thanks!


107

+ piratedrunk on February 8th, 2010 at 2:24 pm said:

Great interview. I can’t wait for this game it looks brilliant.


108

+ rafael_martines on February 8th, 2010 at 2:44 pm said:

Any plans to launch Final Fantasy XIII Internation Edition with Japanese Voices and the Bealtiful Original Japanese Theme (Better than actually one) and English Subtitles?


109

+ death_vader301 on February 8th, 2010 at 2:47 pm said:

1st. will we get the limited like uk and jp 2nd. will we get playstation home goodies. 3rd. will we get the lbp FFVII costumes. 4th. will we get the FF14 beta code too. 5th. will we also get the FF zero. 6th. any ? on the dlc. because i know if we dont get those stuff then there will be alot of unhappy FF fans in the na figure out only ja and uk get the exclusive stuff and not us because i still have FF1-FF12.


110

+ Dark_Vincent on February 8th, 2010 at 2:59 pm said:

1. I’m a Final Fantasy collector, having all games in the main series and collector’s editions of many of them. Are there any collector’s edition plans for the North American release?


111

+ liketoski on February 8th, 2010 at 3:02 pm said:

Final Fantasy Versus 13!!!! What is their target release window?????


112

+ D-Squad3 on February 8th, 2010 at 3:28 pm said:

Will having saved data from XIII have any chance to unlock something in Versus XIII? Oh and you guys said that they will be sharing Versus XIII information in February, so there’s only 20 more days before the month is over!


113

+ jobo030 on February 8th, 2010 at 3:42 pm said:

U asked the worst questions some where answered. Terrible interview. U made you own question cause some of them i dont see anywhere.


114

+ jobo030 on February 8th, 2010 at 3:55 pm said:

nevermind my comment i thought that the interview posted was our interview


115

+ FunkyTable on February 8th, 2010 at 3:55 pm said:

Square has released more than one statement regarding the depth of characters and environments found in the earlier FF titles would be difficult to render in HD. What I found most interesting in these statements is that it implies FFXIII is a toned down version in terms of both environment and character design, which is disappointing but understandable since this is the first title in the series to be in HD. Do you feel it’s possible to attain the same level of variety in both environment and character design in HD as design tools develop in the future? Or will the old games always have something that the newer, more simplified games can never hold a candle to?


116

+ Nabaat_Jihl on February 8th, 2010 at 4:11 pm said:

With Final Fantasy XIII’s main protagonist Lightning, it was said in early interviews that she was designed to be a female version of Cloud.

Was this move done to appeal more to the female gaming demographic?


117

+ Riaeth on February 8th, 2010 at 4:13 pm said:

One of my favourite things throughout this lengthy waiting process came quite recently: the “Episode Zero: Promise” novella.

What was the inspiration for putting information in a light-novel form, as opposed to just having it in the Ultimania guide or strewn through the game itself?

Also, was there any particular part or character that the developers enjoyed above all?


118

+ ThreeLeggedFreak on February 8th, 2010 at 4:36 pm said:

LOL @ #10 question


119

+ BALOT_1305 on February 8th, 2010 at 4:38 pm said:

Two questions:

1.) Was it the limitations of the 360 that the gameplay had to take a dive for the sake of the graphics?

2.) Should I just answer that question myself?


120

+ Jeigh on February 8th, 2010 at 5:06 pm said:

Apparently God of War had very few characters (perhaps they were just counting the ones left alive) and a few polygonated-blobs for random enemies… Don’t let Kratos hear that- he’s got kind of temper.


121

+ R_P_K_2_0_1_0_ on February 8th, 2010 at 5:12 pm said:

why post crap here if people dont answer your stuff and another thing to the sony staff why make lame ass reality tv crap do you think people give a crap about it no people want sony to do more about cross game chat more ps1 rpgs more to improve the ps3 through updates not core the tester and not some jerks on a couch talking about the ps3.


122

+ Senjutsu_Dav on February 8th, 2010 at 5:17 pm said:

” the facial expressions and lip synchronization are all lined up with the English lines”

Ohhhh Yeah!!!

But other questions were not answered, like: On the PS3, is there A WAY to install something on the Hard Drive, so we can play without or with less loadings?

Also, when talking about dl content, we still have no clues!


123

+ mjames4040 on February 8th, 2010 at 5:17 pm said:

WHEN WILL KH3 COME OUT!!!!!!!!!


124

+ Zezzler on February 8th, 2010 at 5:17 pm said:

How does the leveling system work? is it traditional? or more FFX style ‘sphere grid’ leveling?
Please explain.


125

+ Senjutsu_Dav on February 8th, 2010 at 5:19 pm said:

@komori_kiri:

“I’ll be getting Resonance of Fate instead of FF13″

Whhaaaatt? Buy both!! lol. The combat system of FF13 is much more advanced, and the story will be much more complete.

For Resonance, I’m hoping for something that looks like Parasite Eve 1, that would be awesome! =D


126

+ R_P_K_2_0_1_0_ on February 8th, 2010 at 5:20 pm said:

that is some lame ass joke they multiple voices in heavy rain but they cant do it with ffxiii lazy people dont post lies.


127

+ Akibara12 on February 8th, 2010 at 5:23 pm said:

@10

Not really betray Sony but are they going to betray the fans again and cause another delay for Versus XIII.

And why isn’t there a game install option?
I don’t wanna have to find out that the game has long load times.


128

+ John-Shooter on February 8th, 2010 at 5:37 pm said:

why did you slice the game up?

if something doesnt fit on the 360 disc why should us ps3 owners suffer the consequences

we should atleast get a directors cut version and the 360 owners should have the option to pay for the add-on content

final fantasy is not a game that you want to screw up on


129

+ John-Shooter on February 8th, 2010 at 5:40 pm said:

@127 its square enix that betrayed the real fans because of $$$ there dude

you know damn well MS bribes them just as much as they do all thier parters

but whatever back to White Knight Chronicles for now atleast till i hear good news about FF13 v .75


130

+ SHINSPIKES on February 8th, 2010 at 5:47 pm said:

Just like some final fantasies in the past, will there be a special international edition? Maybe one with english and japanese voice overs? Packed with extras?


131

+ SHINSPIKES on February 8th, 2010 at 5:48 pm said:

Will there be long load times, since there is no install? I hate loading, give us optional install.


132

+ J_MAVERIX on February 8th, 2010 at 5:57 pm said:

1. Will there be a Collectors, Limited, etc. Edition?

2. Idk if it fits but any news coming up about Agito and if yes when will we hear about it?

3. Again idk if it fits into this but do you have any news on KH BBS coming to the U.S.?


133

+ xxnike629xx on February 8th, 2010 at 5:58 pm said:

From what I’ve seen on YouTube with the Japanese version, the load were not bad.

They were no where near the poor & atrocious job Platinum Games pulled off with the PS3 version of Bayonetta. Note that the game installation patch that was released not too long ago was something developed by Sony directly.

In regards to Final Fantasy XIII, it might be a shocker that they don’t have a game installation option, but maybe they’ve managed to the develop and program the game so that it doesn’t need it. I mean the load times aren’t that bad from what I’ve seen. But if they did include an install option for the North American version, I assume, we’d be ale to get seamless 60 fps, nearly 0 load time gameplay…that’d be epic!


134

+ xxnike629xx on February 8th, 2010 at 5:59 pm said:

In regards to their comment about past Final Fantasy HD-ified being impossible, I guess Square-Enix is not aware that what Sony did with God of War Collection was just apply 2x anti-aliasing to the in-game graphics (not the cut scenes) and upped the resolution of the in-game graphics (not the cut scenes) to 720p. They didn’t go back and redo everything.

In a sense, I think the FF games are fine as they are.

I just can’t wait til they put up FF9 and Chrono Cross on the PSN.

If they want to remake anything, I’d love to see them remake FF1, 2, 5, and 6 on the DS. They did a great job remaking III and IV so why not “complete” the classic FF series.


135

+ Zilas on February 8th, 2010 at 6:16 pm said:

Can you just give them a hug for me?
Oh and ask them if they would ever consider making a Final Fantasy Art Collection Book with art from the whole series.
Thanks.


136

+ greentrace on February 8th, 2010 at 6:36 pm said:

Trophies from the Dawn Warriors, eh? Are there any other references to FFV in the game?


137

+ valleyshrew on February 8th, 2010 at 7:25 pm said:

Having completed the Japanese version I know that it has the least amount of content of a main Final Fantasy game. Roughly 1/3rd as many characters, 1/2 as many locations, etc. I think an immersive explorable world with variety of quest types is one of the main features of the final fantasy world and the reason it is my favourite game series.

Do you think that the somewhat hard to please fans will overlook that aspect because of the graphical improvement and implausibility of creating a large world in HD? And will FFXIII Versus have the same problem?


138

+ ShadowPhoenix18 on February 8th, 2010 at 7:36 pm said:

@ 70, great questions.

@91 and 80, very well said. Those are great points against multi-platforming, and while I am not against sharing, I don’t think I cared as much until 80 made the point about the developers stifling their own ideas to create a product on a platform which does not normally welcome its genre. I am a writer, and the deep-seated pain of having to compromise on my narrative ambitions is enough that I then can’t understand how profitable a decision X360 could be that it would convince them to dilute both versions for their sake.

Hm. Now that I’ve gotten that out, and agreed with the past posters, my apathy is returning. I’ll enjoy the game regardless, and knowing that it’s not at its best will likely still not make it any less than great. As much as I might enjoy sex with a Russian red-headed college gymnast, I don’t enjoy it any less with my fiancee because she isn’t one. It’ll be a great game in my opinion, even if it’s less than all it could’ve been.


139

+ Cyril_Lucifer on February 8th, 2010 at 7:37 pm said:

@137

The only FF game that FFXIII has “1/3 of the party members of” is FFVI. Stop exaggerating.

My question:
Are there any particular difficulties when trying to localize a Final Fantasy game for western audiences? What do you take into account?


140

+ ShadowPhoenix18 on February 8th, 2010 at 7:41 pm said:

@ 134, I don’t think they DO know, since they specifically said they aren’t aware of the GOW project. He was speaking off of the context of the question, and in his mind HD is a full-package deal. If they were going to do it themselves, they would go the whole nine yards with it I suppose. So he gave his answer based on that. Which means everything being made true HD, even the cut scenes…

…and given what FF7 looks like, lol, that would be a huge change and a grand amount of work, in my opinion. Understandably an unfeasible project.


Chris Morell's Avatar

141

+ Jeff Rubenstein on February 8th, 2010 at 7:45 pm said:

Thanks everyone for your questions. We got a lot of them answered.

Look for the post on Friday!


142

+ stlthriot on February 8th, 2010 at 7:47 pm said:

1. Are all the same cutscenes on both the PS3 and 360 in real-time and those that are cg?

2. What graphical differences are there between the two systems?

I’ll see if I can think of some more that haven’t already been asked. :)


143

+ Einhander138 on February 8th, 2010 at 7:50 pm said:

Will there be DLC for this game:

Yes or No?


144

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

Will there be a exclusive edition or collectors edition?!? I would really like to purchase one.


145

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

One of the questions eluded to a remake, but I’m going to come right out and ask it:

Is there a Final Fantasy VII graphics overhaul / remake in the works for the future? If not, how long is it going to take to push that project?

Sales don’t lie. Look at the sales of the original, and take a look at the PSN version. That game has been in the top 10 since its release!


146

+ Jamak91 on February 8th, 2010 at 8:37 pm said:

I can’t wait to play this game, I get so happy counting down the days


147

+ spideyal on February 8th, 2010 at 9:02 pm said:

@WindedHero
Final Fantasy XIII was built on the PS3 from the ground up. Remeber that it wasn’t always a Multiplatform title. And from first hand experience playing the JP Version, the load times are very short.

& using Batonetta as an example is a bad one.
Sega was the reason it was slow, not the PS3.
Otherwise there would be loading in games like Uncharted 2, where loading is virtually non-existant.


148

+ twilightprince96 on February 8th, 2010 at 9:21 pm said:

Are you going to put an option to change the role names back to the original ATK, DEF, BLA, JAM, HLR… and if not can you? Because COM, SAB, RAV is just too different because COM reminds me too much of Computer.


149

+ midnightshade on February 8th, 2010 at 9:31 pm said:

I will be buying this game day 1 as I have been a Final Fantasy fan since FF1 when it came out I was 12 years old. I have every game in the series, but I wound up selling my all my ps1 games :(

Please consider bringing more PS1 Squaresoft tiltes to the North American PSN! You have them out in Japan, but why not here? These are the titles the US needs from you: Bushido Blade 1 and 2 (a reboot on PS3 would rock as well), Vagrant Story, Brave Fencer mushashi, Parasite Eve 1 and 2, Azure Dreams, Final Fantasy Origins, Final Fantasy Anthologies, Final Fantasy 9, Legend of mana, Xenogears, Chrono Cross, Threads of Fate, and any I forgot.

And Sony this is for you too… Legend of Dragoon, LEgend of LEgia, and 3rd party: Vandel hearts 1/2, Suikoden 2, Beyond the beyond, Ogre Battle, Ogre Tactics, colony wars, fear effect, deception 1-3, etc….

I want to rebuild my PS1 collection of rpgs and great games and will buy everyone. FF7, and FF8 are the top selling psn downloads yet you guys aren’t releasing more? Do both you and Sony not want free money? The games are made already. Let us buy them so we can have them for both ps3/psp… Come on already!


150

+ midnightshade on February 8th, 2010 at 9:34 pm said:

So my question to square-enix… when are you going to bring the rest of your massive ps1 library of games to the USA? I will buy everyone day 1 I promise! Hell I’ll even buy them for $10 a pop. Seriously bring them games over!!!!


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