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Balthier ffxiirw Balthier: I’m afraid the jury’s still out on that one.
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Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Logo
ファイナルファンタジー ヴェルサスXIII
Fainaru Fantajī Verusasu Sātīn
Developers Square Enix
Publishers Square Enix
Release dates Flag of JapanTBA

Flag of the United StatesTBA
European flagTBA

Genre Action, Role-playing game
Game modes Single player
Ratings
Platforms PlayStation 3
This is a fantasy based on reality.
—Tagline

Final Fantasy Versus XIII is an action role-playing game currently under development for the PlayStation 3 which, alongside Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Type-0, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, makes up Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy. The game, however, has no physical connections to the rest of the project, and will feature a wholly independent story and a unique visual design.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII was first announced at E3 2006 alongside Final Fantasy XIII. It follows the story of Noctis, a protector of the last remaining city in the world with control over crystals.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII was originally developed with the Crystal Tools engine, but it was announced in September 2011 that the game had been moved to a game-specific engine for the gameplay mechanics, while the lighting is done by the Luminous Engine and the Crystal Tools is still doing the real-time graphics.[1]


Gameplay

FinalFantasyVersusXIII combat 2
Final Fantasy Versus XIII's combat system, showing the player in control of Noctis.
Kappa the ImpAdded by Kappa the Imp

Information about Final Fantasy Versus XIII's gameplay is scarce. Director Tetsuya Nomura has stated he aims to create previously unseen "tricky" battle sequences, reminiscent of the Advent Children film. Nomura has revealed the game will be action-oriented, and will play like a more realistic version of Kingdom Hearts with some elements of a third-person shooter similar to Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.

A brief demo gameplay video was shown during Tokyo Game Show 2009. It depicted Noctis running through a city which shifted from day to night, then to a field full of large creatures. At Jump Festa 2010, a video with actual gameplay about one minute in length was shown. It had Noctis waiting on a highway for a car during the day; he gets in the car and it drives off. The footage was displayed in real time, and had improved lighting, character models and environments.

At Square Enix's conference on January 18, 2011, a long section of gameplay footage was shown in a new trailer. It depicted Noctis walking, right after the scene with Stella, and running after several explosions happen. Noctis is shown fighting enemies, which include soldiers, a Behemoth, and various monsters. The damage dealt by the attacks is shown on screen. As shown in the trailer, Noctis can have characters assist him during battles. Players will be able to switch between characters on the fly, allowing the opportunity to create multi-character combos. A third person aiming mode for firearms has also been shown, exclusive to the character Prompto. Also, the player seems to be able to control mechanic structures, such as tanks or robots. The footage depicted a menu titled "EX Arts," but its function remains unknown.

FinalFantasyVersusXIII combat 3
Prompto aiming at an enemy.
Kappa the ImpAdded by Kappa the Imp

Players will find a big world map with vast fields where they will be able to explore as far as the eye can reach, except for the mountains. Nomura says the game is not open, but is more like the 2D Final Fantasy games in HD and in third person view. The player will be able to drive a car and fly airships just like in older Final Fantasy titles.[2]

Nomura also says the day and night cycles and cloud formations are done by physical calculations. It was decided to be made this way to have a smooth change between the cycles and to have a more dynamic lighting system, reflecting the mood of a certain region/place. The game will be seamless and the only loading the player will experience is between large areas. The loading will occur while watching an event scene to give players a more immersive experience.

Monsters wander throughout the field and sometimes hostile ones will suddenly appear to ambush the player.

The battle system of Final Fantasy Versus XIII is to draw the nostalgic feeling from old Final Fantasy titles and blend it with a new concept. The action and pace will be similar to what is found in Kingdom Hearts but united with new mechanics. Battles will be seamless and transition will have no load times.

Battles will take place in real-time environments using all regions of the field, from up high buildings to down low streets. Nomura has said the power of the PlayStation 3 will feature battles that take place in areas with great differences in height, just like in the trailer, and will have to fight using the full environment. This means fighting what's both in front of the player and above and below (vertical battles).

FFvXIII-mech
Noctis piloting a tank.
Kappa the ImpAdded by Kappa the Imp

One of the trailers shows Noctis selecting from a number of different weapons to defeat the enemy soldiers in front of him. The various weapons in the game will have different methods of attack, and some will even be usable as shields to go along with Noctis's crystal power. Weapons will have some sort of customization element as well. The trailer showed Noctis warping around killing enemies and Nomura explained players won't be able to warp freely to every spot, but it will be possible to warp to the location where the player has placed their sword. The player can throw their sword and warp to that location as well. This is one area that is being tested on so it is a matter of time to see if this all makes it into the final product.

Nomura has stated that Noctis's eyes and hair change with his emotions, as well as different actions in battle. There will be a sub window that copies Noctis's expression shown at the bottom of the screen, similar to Kingdom Hearts, but with more detail. Summons are in the game and will have to be defeated to be used. Nomura has said the game will have Sixaxis support, but gave no specifics about it.[3]

As seen with Prompto, all team members will have different approaches and specialties in battle unique to them.

Magic will be available in battle, and spells will have unique effects and manifestations among each team member. Noctis must be included in the team to have access to magic, as the ability is related to the powers of the crystal.

The game is stated by Nomura to have two types of cutscenes: prerendered movies and real-time event scenes. The real-time event scenes are similar to the cutscenes found in FPS games with the player having full control over the camera. Nomura states that in previous games they had to make separate hi-poly models for cutscenes, however with the technology of today the only difference between the hi-poly models of the prerendered movies, and the low-poly models of the game in Final Fantasy Versus XIII, is the hair. Nomura stated that Noctis will have a cellphone, which can be used to take in-game pictures.

Setting

Amano Goddess of Death
Artwork of the Goddess Etro by Yoshitaka Amano.

The story focuses around crystals. The main character, Noctis Lucis Caelum — who is part of a lineage of kings, but is not yet king himself — leads the country holding the last crystal, which is beneficial to his country's military, political, and economic standing. Because of increasingly apparent industrialization in contrast to neighboring nations (making them equivalent to a modern developed nation), Noctis's kingdom has isolated itself from the rest of the world.

At one time, all the other countries also possessed a crystal, yet lost them in warfare. They pooled their resources into weapons, granting them firearms in exchange for swords and magic. A cold war has gone on about the use of the crystal, but recently, a peace treaty was brought about between the countries, but a group of marauders are beginning to break it.

There exists a mythology in the kingdom of Tenebrae, an opposing country, about a goddess of death, the Goddess Etro who is said to greet the souls of the deceased, and open the door to the afterlife. When the door opens, the released souls burst out in a streak of light that ascends to heaven. Few people are able to see the light, and those who can are given power from the Kingdom of the Dead. During their conversation, Noctis and Stella mention they can see the light, and the former wonders if they are dying.

The game's focus is to examine the characters' humanity and distinguish it from the fantasy setting in other titles in the series. Nomura is "trying to propose new vision of how a Final Fantasy game can be. The game's going to be more human than the science-fiction caricature... and will focus around current world events - in that sense it's darker."

Final-Fantasy-Versus-XIII-Three-Scans Top
Noctis at a gas station.
FFfangirlAdded by FFfangirl

The world Final Fantasy Versus XIII takes place in seems similar to the real world, with modern technology such as cars and highways, but also contains countries with medieval elements, such as castles and armored soldiers. According to the developers, the locations in the game are based on real world locations. So far, the following replicas have been seen or confirmed by the developers: Saint Mark's Square and Basilica (from Venice, Italy), Manchester (England), a U.S. gas station and Shinjuku (an area of Tokyo, Japan).

Characters

Noctis 10
Noctis Lucis Caelum.
Kappa the ImpAdded by Kappa the Imp

The game's main protagonist is Noctis Lucis Caelum, or "Noct" for short. He is a member of the royal family in a kingdom that has protected its crystals for generations. While Noctis sports normal, modern day clothing and is chauffeured in a luxury car, he works to protect his kingdom's crystals from invaders. Nomura has compared Noctis's family to the modern-day Yakuza. His name, which is Latin for "Sky of the Night Light," was revealed at the 2008 Tokyo Game Show.

Noctis is able to wield any weapon type, including swords, spears, axes, lances and a variety of guns, all of which he can control telekinetically (through the power of the crystal), using them for both attack and defense. He has also shown the ability to teleport at will with his hair flashing white before and after he does, and his eyes change color from blue to crimson during battle; according to Nomura, the color changes are both intentional and significant, but has not stated how or why.

Nomura has described Noctis as a shy and timid person, though he tries to compensate by "acting cool," as seen in his conversation with Stella. Noctis tends to act more openly with his friends, although they can see right through his false "cool" demeanor.

Stella
Stella talking to Noctis.
Kappa the ImpAdded by Kappa the Imp

A woman with golden-blonde hair named Stella Nox Fleuret was revealed to be one of the game's antagonists. She is said to be the daughter of the Fleuret family of the country Tenebrae (Latin for "Darkness"). Fleuret is the French name of the fencing foil, a direct reference to Stella's weapon of choice, a Rapier. Like Noctis, she is able to materialize weapons from thin air, as she is can summon her rapier from a rune similar to one used by Noctis to summon his sword, though Stella's rune is golden while Noctis' is blue. Although they have no desire to fight, she and "Noct" are forced to by unknown circumstances. Magazine articles have drawn similarities between her situation and that of Final Fantasy VI's Celes Chere.

Nomura has referred to Stella as a very polite person.[4] A scene from the game hints at the relationship between her and Noctis; she treats him respectfully, addressing him as "Lord Noctis", yet acts somewhat flirty and outgoing. Throughout the conversation, the two talk about a strange power they both have: the ability to see the "light" of the dead. Nomura has stated that while Noctis tries to avoid the subject, Stella is straightforward about it and whatever else is on her mind (in a similar manner to Rinoa Heartilly from Final Fantasy VIII).

Prince gang
Noctis and his gang. From left to right: Prompto, Gladiolus, Noctis, Ignis.

Three young male characters who accompany Noctis have been revealed; their relationship seems to resemble that of the kyodai (brothers) and shatei (little brothers) in the Yakuza hierarchy. The first, named Ignis, a man with light brown hair and glasses who wears a suit, is frequently seen at the wheel of Noctis' car, and appears to be his driver. The second, a friendly man with dark brown hair and a scar over his left eye named Gladiolus, seems to act as the group's senior. The third, Prompto, a blond-haired man, is said to be a fugitive, and carries a shotgun despite the ban on firearms within Noctis' kingdom.

FF XIII Versus Dragoon girl
The female Dragoon.
Kappa the ImpAdded by Kappa the Imp

Mysterious soldiers wearing medieval-style armor appear in the trailers as well, wielding assault rifles and rocket launchers that resemble modern military weapons. It appears they are attempting to invade Noctis' castle, though their precise motivation and affiliation is unknown. In a recent trailer, it was shown there was a female soldier dressed like a Dragoon. She brings out a huge lance-like weapon and jumps down before Noctis to challenge him.

A man with shoulder-length blond hair, robed entirely in white, is seen in what appears to be Noctis's throne room, casting a spell on the column in the center. When Noctis enters, the man smiles and removes his hood before they attack each other: the man surrounds Noctis in magical crests while Noctis's assorted weapons manifest around the man. Though his goal remains unknown, he appears to be an antagonist. In a recent trailer, there was a similar, more elderly man standing off against King Caelum in a parallel fashion as Noctis and the other robed man. It is currently unknown who the old man is or what his connections to King Caelum are.

Noctis' father, King Caelum, was also seen in the trailer. In the original trailers, he appeared to be a chairman in a room full of men in suits. In the Press Conference trailer, he says he wants to be the last of the kings. To whom he is stating this is unknown, though it has been confirmed it is not Noctis.

Music

The music of Final Fantasy Versus XIII will be composed by Yoko Shimomura, who was also responsible for the soundtracks of the Kingdom Hearts series, Super Mario RPG, and the first Parasite Eve. She was also one of the composers for the critically-acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles.

The game's theme song, performed by Aundréa L. Hopkins,[5] is titled "Somnus - Sleeping" (「somnus - 眠り -」), a reference to the Roman god of sleep. The god is often depicted as a young man sleeping, which seems to match the game's logo art.

Development

2006-2009

Unveiled at E3 2006, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is "not merely a sequel, but a wholly independent story unfolding in a different world with different characters." The game will be developed by the team responsible for the hit Kingdom Hearts series. Tetsuya Nomura will be the director and character designer, but not costume designer.[6] Square Enix signed a contract with Japanese fashion brand "Roen" to promote their clothing designs in the game through different characters. Roen Creative Director Himuro Takahara will serve as the game's costume designer.

The game's development proceeds according to schedule. Its release date is currently unknown, although it's been confirmed that possibly Final Fantasy Type-0 will be released before it. However, the completion of Final Fantasy XIII has boosted the development of Versus.

2009

After nearly a year of silence, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was briefly shown at Tokyo Game Show 2009 in a private theater. It showed the game's first gameplay footage, though Nomura commented it was merely a technology test, and most footage will not be used in the final game. He also said the clip was only made to prove the game was still well alive and in development.[7] At Jump Festa 2009 Noctis's new outfit was put on display. It now has a more modern look with a jacket and pants, as opposed to his old outfit from past trailers. [8]

2010

During an interview with Famitsu, Nomura stated he was unsure whether Versus would be shown at E3 2010. [9] When E3 took place, the game was not shown.

On May 18, when asked by a Square Enix investor at a shareholders' meeting about a possible Xbox 360 port, president Yoichi Wada stated "We'll be looking into it internally until right before the formal announcement." After some backlash, he later clarified his original statement by saying on Twitter "It looks like the [inter]net is heating up. Versus on Xbox? What I said at the earnings press conference was just that until a formal announcement is made at the announcement time; all points about all titles are not finalized."

On June 23, new in-game screenshots and details about Final Fantasy Versus XIII had been revealed[10][11], and that it will appear at the 2010 Tokyo Game Show.

On June 29, an issue of Dengeki PlayStation states Nomura and the fashion company Roen, assigned with creating the costumes for the characters, have completed all character designs and the scenario is now finished as well.[12]

On August 9, Nomura announced via Twitter that voice casting for Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy Versus XIII has begun along with other bits of news. [13]

On August 25, Yoshinori Kitase announced, during an interview with GamingUnion.net, that Final Fantasy Versus XIII may not be released until after 2011.[14]

During the 2010 Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix confirmed they planned to present Final Fantasy Versus XIII in their January 2011 conference, which was part of their Fabula Nova Crystallis conference.

On September 17, the 30 second trailer for the game had been leaked onto the Internet along with that for Final Fantasy Type-0. The footage contained Noctis in his new outfit briefly running through the areas shown in previously released screenshots. The trailer ended with Noctis fighting the Behemoth revealed in the screenshots, and there were instances of blood shown whenever Noctis slashed at it.[15]

On October 8, the combined Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer from Tokyo Game Show was officially released on the internet through the Japanese Square Enix Members website.[16]

2011

On January 18, 2011, Square Enix held the 1st Production Department Premier. It was originally named the Fabula Nova Crystallis Conference and the original date was set on January 11. The event included new trailers and the announcement of the official release dates. Fans also got to hear Noctis speak for the first time, along with the other characters. Besides Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the event also featured new video content of Final Fantasy Type-0, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix, and other titles. Square Enix hinted at several new titles to be revealed at this event such as Final Fantasy XIII-2.

On July 2011, in an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, it was revealed that Final Fantasy Versus XIII has yet to enter full production. He also went on to say that the date for the next showing of the game had been set.

In early August for the 500th issue of Dengeki Playstation Magazine, Nomura stated Final Fantasy Versus XIII will not be shown at Tokyo Game Show 2011 in September.

On August 31, 2011, a renewal for the trademark of Final Fantasy Versus XIII was filed by Square Enix.

On September 10, 2011 during the Final Fantasy XIII-2 fan meeting, producer Yoshinori Kitase was questioned about the development of Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy Versus XIII. His answer was: "for Type-0 and Versus XIII we are giving 100% to development." Thanks to the knowledge and experience gained from developing Final Fantasy XIII, the team was able to create Final Fantasy XIII-2 in a shorter development time (about one and a half years), thus the reason why it will be released before Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

2012

On the Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Nomura announced that the game will be a mix between real-time cutscenes and pre-rendered cutscenes with a ratio of 7:3 (70% real-time and 30% pre-rendered). He also stated that the next time the game will be shown, there will be a demonstration using real time footage. Nomura also says that working on Final Fantasy Versus XIII takes priority, in response to fans' requests for a Final Fantasy VII remake.[17]

On July 24th, 2012, Square Enix president Yoichi Wada posted a tweet dismissing rumors that arose about the game being cancelled after a long period of media silence, also hinting that its progress would surprise its fans, particularly in the game's city environments.

On September 1st, 2012, in the event of Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary, Tetsuya Nomura did a sketch of Noctis for the event. “Congratulations on the 25th anniversary. Please wait for his turn to appear.”[18]

On October 10th, 2012, Nomura said that Final Fantasy Versus XIII is still in development and asked fans to wait a bit more for more detailed news regarding the game.[19]

Staff

  • Producers: Shinji Hashimoto, Yoshinori Kitase
  • Image Artwork: Yoshitaka Amano
  • Mechanic Concept: Takayuki Takeya
  • Clothes Design: Hiromu Takahara (Roen Creative Director)
  • Scenario Writer: Kazushige Nojima
  • Music: Yoko Shimomura
  • Theme Song Performer: Aundréa L. Hopkins
  • Main Programmers: Hiroshi Harata, Kentarou Yasui
  • Planning Directors: Yuuichi Kanemori, Takayoshi Nakazato
  • Planning Director (World): Takeshi Endou
  • Planning Director (Event): Jun Akiyama
  • Graphic Director (Character Model): Tomohiro Kayano
  • Graphic Director (Animation): Tatsuya Kando
  • Graphic Director (Map Model): Masahide Tanaka
  • Graphic Director (Visual Effects): Shuichi Sato
  • Graphic Director (System Menu): Takeshi Arakawa
  • Art Director (Character): Tomohiro Hasegawa
  • Art Director (Map): Takayuki Ohtachi
  • Movie Director: Takeshi Nozue
  • Director, Concept Game Design, Character Design, Base Story: Tetsuya Nomura

According to Nomura, Versus is a "showcase" of the battle system that will be used in Kingdom Hearts III.

Voice Cast

Character Japanese English
Noctis Lucis Caelum Tatsuhisa Suzuki
Ignis Mamoru Miyano
Gladiolus Hiroki Yasumoto
Prompto Tetsuya Kakihara
Stella Nox Fleuret

Screenshots

References

  1. http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=445773
  2. http://www.ff-versusxiii.net/index.php?page=content&name_id=versus_gameplay
  3. http://www.ff-versusxiii.net/index.php?page=content&name_id=versus_battle
  4. http://finalfantasy-xiii.net/2008/08/20/famitsu-final-fantasy-versus-xiii-nomura-interview.html
  5. http://squaremusic.blogspot.com/2008/05/m4g-interviewe-yko-shimomura.html
  6. http://na.square-enix.com/e306/titles/fabula/versus/
  7. http://scrawlfx.com/2009/09/nomura-talks-final-fantasy-versus-xiii-gameplay-development
  8. http://finalfantasy-xiii.net/2009/12/19/jump-festa-09-noctis-new-outfit.html
  9. http://finalfantasy-xiii.net/2010/02/17/nomura-final-fantasy-versus-xiii-may-not-appear-at-e3.html
  10. http://finalfantasy-xiii.net/2010/06/23/new-final-fantasy-versus-xiii-details.html
  11. http://imagenes.es.sftcdn.net/ongames/scrn/4000/4803/final-fantasy-xiii-versus-ps3-57978.jpg
  12. http://scrawlfx.com/2010/06/final-fantasy-versus-xiii-scenario-complete-confirms-dengeki
  13. http://www.ff-xiii.net/index.php?page=content&name_id=versus_info
  14. http://www.1up.com/news/final-fantasy-xiii-producer-commit
  15. http://finalfantasy-xiii.net/2010/09/17/tgs-2010-final-fantasy-versus-xiii-and-agito-trailers-leaked.html
  16. http://finalfantasy-xiii.net/2010/10/08/tgs-2010-final-fantasy-versus-agito-xiii-trailer-released.html
  17. http://www.siliconera.com/2012/05/15/nomura-knows-fans-want-a-final-fantasy-vii-remake-but-hes-working-on-new-games/
  18. http://www.novacrystallis.com/?p=3366
  19. http://www.siliconera.com/2012/10/10/lightning-returns-final-fantasy-xiii-finished-versus-xiii-still-in-development/

External Links

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