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Feb 08

Feb 08

Square Enix Talks Final Fantasy XIII + Submit Your Questions

Chris Morell's Avatar Posted by 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

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WhiteAgony08 said:

February 8th, 9:55 pm

First of all… realize people that leaving bad comments on a FF fan blog is simply not a good idea. I’ve played all of the FF games that have come out, I own most of them and I consider myself a FF fan, and in my opinion FFXIII looks amazing, promising story (something we didn’t have on XII), great graphics (lets face it, that’s something we all love from the FF series), a compelling battle system (maybe not the same as X-2, VI, IV or X but I’m also looking forward to changes, not only to memories, if there is something I liked from the previous games and I want to relive it, then I just play the game); also, the no town deal… I just hope they can work on it in the future… I will miss it … but I’m also looking forward to how the experience of the game will cover that…. and I think the “missions” can do it… and one last thing… a NA Collector’s Edition please!!!!!!


February 8th, 11:16 pm

Can I have a signed copy for FREE?

that-acmilan-guy said:

February 8th, 11:26 pm

Question: Why does will it suck?

BlackBird8905 said:

February 8th, 11:55 pm

Why are people still asking questions? This interview has already taken place…

alex_the_aeon said:

February 9th, 12:29 am

Will there be a Final Fantasy XIII Sountrack Limited Edition released in PAL territories?

GOT2BALL said:

February 9th, 1:20 am

Will the Final Fantasy Xlll collectors edition be avialable in the US as well? I read about a collectors edition being distrubuted in european territories.

Shadow_Dancer said:

February 9th, 1:55 am

Which version do you feel is best? 360 or PS3.

Is the REAL reason you left out towns out of the game because you couldn’t fit any more content on a DVD for the 360 version so you decided to gimp the PS3 version and remove it altogether?

How much did Microsoft pay you to sellout?

Starkusmc said:

February 9th, 3:00 am

I have the Japanese version of XIII and it is amazing. The cut scenes that you see in Uncharted 2? Yeah, whole game. A SE cut scene it a movie onto itself, so be prepared to be blown away when it hits your PS3.

Question: The Japanese got a white and pink PS3 with the release (can’t find it out here in Okinawa for some reason though), will the States also be able to get the same deal? And will there be any additional DLC with XIII?

EVERYONE ELSE: SE has said that since 10 they’ve wanted to make the games cross platform, and XII was the last one that was going to be exclusive. I don’t think Versus will be exclusive like IV. Maybe Agito?

Filipakos said:

February 9th, 3:38 am

I’ve completed ffxiii in japanese version and now i wait for europian to understand the story of the game.I also read something about dlc to western version is that true?

Maikeru-rei said:

February 9th, 4:23 am

I Recently finished FFXIII’s main quest and almost done with the missions as well.
Its a fantastic game and my second favorite game of all time (only beaten by FFVIII)

That said i would like to know If Square-Enix do plan to carry the franchise to more western terrains, namely the gameplay?

If that is to happen i hope SE does their homework properly, and realize that the franchise is already losing traditional buyers because the “westernization” of the series. and that is what is going to happen, no one wants a lost of identity from Square soft and Enix, no one wants every game and every RPG to be a Dragon age or a Mass effect.

The saturation of the genre is almost reaching an unbearable point, and if Japanese developers follow the same road than the consequences will be relentless to Final Fantasy Fans.

kgskgskgs said:

February 9th, 6:12 am

Will there be a limited Edition?

Zilas said:

February 9th, 6:18 am

I know your not taking questions anymore but this is for you guys.
Can we expect to pickup FFXIII on March 9th or are we going to see a blog post saying the game has been shipped on that day, like we did with White Knight?

loakum said:

February 9th, 6:35 am

Will there be a demo of Final Fantasy XIII made available for American PS3 owners?

Angry_Fork said:

February 9th, 6:44 am

Why can’t PS3 owners get the Japanese voices when there’s room on the Blu Ray? Square Enix says they want both versions to be equal but they’ve done nothing BUT show love to the 360 this entire gen producing like 4 RPG’s for them already.

FF13 is still the only RPG they’ve put out for PS3, and you can’t put on the Japanese voices for the PS3 version? Even though there’s room? It’s so much BS. Please ask them why they can’t put those voices on it, it’s not fair when 360 has been getting tons of SE support this gen.

ljlrj said:

February 9th, 7:00 am

1 question why the waiting for the game is so harsh i want it already can ya release the game already Please i’m hungry for this rpg

necronzero said:

February 9th, 8:14 am

I got the game on release date, and I hated it, it’s everything but Final Fantasy… the story is weak, character development is bleh… and linearity doesn’t help. I only liked the gameplay… and it has lots of issues.

Anyway, my q is: Will you guys betray us again with VSXIII?

Thyrael said:

February 9th, 8:15 am

I got the game on release date, and I hated it, it’s everything but Final Fantasy… the story is weak, character development is bleh… and linearity doesn’t help. I only liked the gameplay… and it has lots of issues.

Anyway, my q is: Will you guys betray us again with VSXIII, or KH3? Why did you betray us in the first place? Why is Ar Tonelico III a million times better than FFXIII?

Thyrael said:

February 9th, 8:20 am

Guys, come on… it’s not even close to good… The game is filled with cutscenes, some of them are SO LONG that they even have a save point! there are like 20 hours of Cut scenes, and 30 hours of gameplay.
Also, the game isn’t difficult at all, if ur having a rough time with any enemy, you can always restart, and you’ll be just before you touched the enemy… Some of the graphics are REALLY low res, try looking for them, square knew well how to hide them and focus only on models but reality is that graphics aren’t all that great. The side quests feel MMOish, (go to A, get quest, go to B, kill mob, go to A get reward)
The ammount of content that was deleted from the game also doesn’t help it either… Square lost it’s touch, and they’re a bunch of betrayers as well.

fritburger2 said:

February 9th, 8:46 am

@166: For me this is the best game ever created. I like a lot of cutscenes. This is one of the only games that feel like a movie. Besides, the cutscenes are entertaining, and tell the amazing story in a very dramatic way. I played the JP version and I absolutely love it, it only lacks some gameplay aspects sometimes, but I’m perfectly fine with that because the game ephasizes completely on the story and that’s the most important thing to me.

It really is the succesor of FFVII with less mini-games (but the quests, especially those post-game really ARE fun!)

fritburger2 said:

February 9th, 8:48 am

@166: Of course that’s each other opinions, and based on your comment you don’t really seem to like FFVII,FFX, other RPG’s or you haven’t played the JP version for yourself.

zadorvp said:

February 9th, 9:07 am

A lot of the questions asked here had already been answered such as the ones about the demo, linearity and towns.

In any case, most of the complains about the game have been so ridiculous, although there have also been some good points.

TheBanditKing said:

February 9th, 9:08 am

Cool, naturally I would love to see my question addressed so here it is.

During the previous console generations RPG’s were an industry staple, but now there seems to be very few RPG’s from Japan for the PS3. So since the PS3 is the most popular HD platform in Japan why do you think this is?

Crotin said:

February 9th, 9:50 am

karsten9900 said:

February 9th, 10:51 am

as long as the game keep it´s good grafik and nice storyline I really don’t care but yes FFXIII shout be PS Exclusive only! so they don’t have to take out things to make it run on the Xbox!!! but after all I am seeing forward to the EU release :P

Beren- said:

February 9th, 11:52 am

Will Square Enix make any real exclusive title for the PS3 , or all Square Enix Eclusives are for “other systems only” as we all can actually see?

Will FFVersusXIII stay exclusive on the PS3? (i doubt it but i wish to know)

Krazy_Tazmanius said:

February 9th, 12:19 pm

Since this is the last “traditional” Final Fantasy game, why remove many traditional final fantasy songs? The songs I am talking about are the Final Fantasy theme, the Prelude, and the most iconic of them all, the victory fanfare.

wU-sOLdiEr210 said:

February 9th, 1:39 pm

360 got exlusive content alright… They have the luxury of swapping disc

“please insert disc number 2!”

Jsynz said:

February 9th, 2:52 pm

Can someone tell me if there will any bonuses for pre-ordering the game?
Ex. Marvel alliance came with a code for a new character.

@177 LOL so true so true

Psyken said:

February 9th, 2:53 pm

Will there be a bundle with Final Fantasy XIII? Like the Special Edition, White PS3 with Lightning in pink?

death_vader301 said:

February 9th, 3:45 pm

to answer all ? the japan and na version is the same that means no towns, PS3 version of 13 is better because thay cut some stuff out of the 360 while PS3 stay the same.limet , preorder bonus , and dlc still not conferm yet but most likely since uk and canada got bonus.and last but not lest XBOX 360 gets exclusive LOL. we got 4 deffrent FF PSP bundle exclusive, 2 FF PS3 exclusive ,Dissidia,Crisis Core jp PSP bundle, uk FF PSP bundle, and na Dissidia bundle, for PS3 we got Cloud PS3 bundle and FF13 PS3 bundle . trust me , test me im a true FF fan boy sooooo stick that in your pipe and smoke it and stop complaining….. oooh and if there is a limited FF13 ill buy it .

death_vader301 said:

February 9th, 3:51 pm

ooh and im currently playing on the exclusive Monster Hunter Wii console, Modern Warfare 2 360 console ,Crisis Core PSP hand held and my lil baby that i love very much my black CLOUD PS3.

souporman said:

February 9th, 3:55 pm

Why aren’t we getting a Collector’s Edition in the US, and why is the original Japanese theme song being replaced with a (worse) American one?

zadorvp said:

February 9th, 4:25 pm

souporman, it’s not an American theme song, it’s British.


February 9th, 5:53 pm

Is there a PS3 bundle for North America…you know…like you are doing with Xbox in the US?

InfiniteNine said:

February 9th, 6:15 pm

Are you going to release the Final Fantasy XIII Lightning console in the US?

Aikidou said:

February 9th, 7:19 pm

My question is wether or not there will be a pre-order bonus with FFXIII. I have the game currently on pre-order but if nothing is released soon about a bonus for doing so then I will be happy to just wait on FFXIII and put my pre order money on a game that will have bonus content. I mean if I’m going to buy the game anyway down the road then why get it on launch with no bonus when there is another game I want that will have a bonus.

I can’t believe that this question has not been addressed yet. With so many users asking about the per order for North America.

Dragun619 said:

February 9th, 11:16 pm

Is it to late to ask a question?

Hey Chris, can you ask them if there will be any PS3 bundle, because so far I’ve been pretty frustrated over the fact that Xbox360 got a Bundle but PS3 doesn’t and you can’t even import the JP FFXIII PS3 bundle. What the heck is up with that.

I’m honestly fed up with Square Enix, Seriously.

Bakasora said:

February 10th, 3:48 am

I’m so disappointed, in fact furious on the decision to make FF13 also on X360.

So did Microsoft pays you more so that you keep both version of the game identical so to portray that X360 isn’t inferior to PS3. Hence all the excuses to dumb down the game so much?

-No dual audio language.
-No towns or city.
-Linear story progression.

Bakasora said:

February 10th, 3:49 am

I remember deeply SE said world map is back.
wth now?

zadorvp said:

February 10th, 4:45 am

@Bakasora: They didn’t do the linearity and lack of towns due to it going on 360 as well. That would be stupid and not a good choice for *any* version, as well as the decision coming far too late in the game making to be possible. Not to mention it would ruin the Japanese PS3 version and they would certainly not do that just so the Xbox 360 version in Western markets would be possible.

MrTalKaLot03 said:

February 10th, 1:12 pm

i can’t wait 4 this game to be out all rdy

Maikeru-rei said:

February 10th, 4:26 pm

Final Fantasy has always been linear.

Its not Square-enix’s fault some of you only now started playing the series.


zadorvp said:

February 10th, 4:56 pm

@Maikeru-rei: Clearly most people’s problems are the linearity of the kind where you don’t have much choice of what to do. The former FFs had optional stuff from the beginning, XIII has it from a later point in-game.

Ressurected_soul said:

February 15th, 1:07 am

I was wondering how come there is no contact from previous FF characters in newer games like in Dissidia?

Nightmare1222 said:

February 26th, 9:45 pm

will my japanese file of FFXIII work on the english

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