Why does mankind defy its fate?
In the world where I once existed, time's path is no longer certain...
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, and is also a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series. It was developed by Square Enix and tri-Ace. The game takes place three years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII, and depicts the story of Serah Farron's journey across time and space to prevent the end of the world while searching for her missing sister, Lightning.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 retains the Command Synergy Battle and Paradigm Shift systems from its predecessor and the Battle system is simply a more evolved form of the battle system from Final Fantasy XIII. One new gameplay element, called the Mog Clock, has been added, where the player must attack monsters on the field before the time is up to get the upper hand in the ensuing battle. When the player attacks a monster, the screen lights up and the scene switches to a battlefield, marking the start of a battle.
Non-player characters (such as the remnant military operatives) react to the monsters that appear in the field but don't affect any battles that may ensue. Another new feature is the Paradigm Tune, which enables the player to customize how the AI-controlled party members use their abilities in battle. Though the player still controls one out of a three-member party, they are able to initiate the Change Leader option to switch the party member they control during battle. If the current party leader is KO'd, the party leader is automatically switched to the other human character. The defeat of the human characters in the party results in a game over.
Characters grow via a revamped Crystarium system, and they have levels unlike the previous game, gained by moving through the Crystarium. Each character's Crystarium is no longer in the form of tiers, but now takes the shape of their respective weapon, and includes all possible paradigm roles on a singular Crystarium, similar to the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X.
As a player advances through the Crystarium, they may choose which paradigm role to level up and gain bonus stat increases alongside level increases. Characters learn different abilities at certain levels throughout their paradigm role growth. Unlike Final Fantasy XIII, there is no cap on how much a character may grow in the Crystarium at any given time. The weather or Climate Type in an area affects battles, and at one time an uncontrollable guest joins. summoned monsters return, but not be in the same form as those in the original game.
Monsters can be caught, trained, and used as party members through the Paradigm Pack component. Three monsters can be held at a time, and automatically switch to the role a player shifts to in the paradigm. Players can customize a monster's stats via leveling up through items, and adornments can be given to monsters to change their appearance. Via the Feral Link system players can use special abilities from the monsters in the party by pressing a combination of buttons once a synchronization gauge has filled. A new form of damage, called Wound Damage, lowers a target's member's max HP during battle and can only be healed by items, giving further incentive to defeat enemies as quickly as possible.
Players are given timed button presses similar to the the Reaction Commands of Kingdom Hearts during Cinematic Action sequences to gain the upper hand in battle and event scenes. There are also "Live" sequences, or real time cutscenes that occur to progress the story, meaning the player maintains control of their character although the camera is focused elsewhere. Another new element, called the Live Trigger, allows the player to choose their response in a conversation. The player character can engage in conversations with NPCs with speech bubbles and the other characters in the party wander the area getting into conversations on their own. A new dungeon minigame system has been added, called Temporal Rifts, where the player must guide the character through various puzzles.
Another new gameplay element is the Historia Crux feature, the time travel system in the game that can be accessed through the use of Time Gates throughout areas on the field. The gates are activated by finding artefacts in various ways, such as in hidden treasure chests using Mog. By resetting the gates Noel and Serah can redo their adventures. Using Historia Crux, the player can choose the location or era to travel to. There is a "gate matrix" where players select their next location based on the game's AF (After the Fall of Cocoon) timeline. Players can access the save and main menus through gates.
Each character has four slots for equipment and a maximum load they can carry. The players can use these points up any way they like to, using them for defensive gear or stat boosting accessories, but cannot exceed the limit. Monsters in the party can be renamed and equip decorative items that change their appearance in battle. Monsters grow by using items, unlike the human characters who use Crystogen Points. Players can buy some of these weapons, armor, items, and monster training goods from the merchant, Chocolina.
Serendipity is an amusement park complete with a casino and minigames such as Chocobo Racing and Slots, which has been compared to the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy VII. The game retains the missions from Final Fantasy XIII as well as alternate sidequests from various NPCs in which the player must find and retrieve specific items. Unlike those in Final Fantasy XIII, these are available from an early point in the game.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 features difficulty modes of gameplay: Normal and Easy mode, which can be changed at any time. There is the option to save the game at any point throughout the story from the main menu, and the game automatically saves the game periodically with the Auto-save function. Director Motomu Toriyama created an alternate means of playing through the game's multiple endings; players are allowed to reset the Historia Crux gates, returning them to the beginning of the current time period. The "New Game+" feature is retained as well; although players can reset the gates at any time, new content and endings become available once the main quest has been completed.
As a result of Cocoon's fall at the end of Final Fantasy XIII, some of its surviving citizens now reside on Gran Pulse, the "lowerworld," and the world has adopted a new dating system ("AF" or "After the Fall"). In the three years since, new towns and cities have been established. While searching for Lightning, Serah and Noel travel to old and new places on Pulse and in Cocoon.
As they travel through time, some locations from Final Fantasy XIII change in appearance. Eden is no longer the capital and the Sanctum is no more. The city of Academia is the new capital, and the new provisional government is run by the Academy, a scientific expedition group wishing to use human technology to build a world that doesn't rely on the fal'Cie.
- Main article: List of Final Fantasy XIII-2 characters
- Serah Farron - The main protagonist of the game. She is Lightning's younger sister, Snow's fiancée, and the only one out of her friends to know Lightning is still alive. Gaining the ability to have visions of the future, Serah journeys with Noel to find and save her sister. Her weapon is a bow that can transform into a sword, though its true form is that of her moogle companion Mog.
- Noel Kreiss - The deuteragonist of the game. Noel comes from the Dying World at 700 AF, where he is the last surviving human in a world that faced destruction 200 years after Cocoon's fall. After a chance encounter with Lightning, he travels into the past to find her sister, Serah. He sets off with her to save Lightning in the hopes of changing the future. He uses two swords that are able to combine to form a spear in battle.
Temporary playable charactersEdit
- Lightning - The main narrator of the game. Having been attacked by the emerging chaos and subsequently taken to Valhalla, Lightning is no longer believed to be alive by anyone except Serah. In reality, she has become a knight, protecting the goddess Etro in Valhalla while warring with Caius. She wields a new gunblade resembling a combination of her Blazefire Saber and a traditional sword.
- Sazh Katzroy - Sazh is playable after purchasing his DLC scenario, "Heads or Tails". Hope reveals Sazh has mysteriously gone missing, and it turns out he ended up in Serendipity, where he had to save his son by winning in the casino games. After his time in Serendipity, Sazh resurfaces in Academia 500 AF along with Dajh. Once there, he helps Noel and Serah pursue Caius in the skies. Sazh is present at the end of the game along with Noel and Hope. He retains his afro and dual-wield pistols.
- Snow Villiers - Snow left to search for Lightning two years after her disappearance, but is nowhere to be found at the time Serah sets out on her own search. He appears as an uncontrollable guest character in the Sunleth Waterscape at 300 AF. In the DLC episode "Perpetual Battlefield", Snow is faced as a boss in the Coliseum.
She embraced her destiny and fought the false gods who would enslave mankind.
It was a battle that changed the world. A brave few defeated the fal'Cie and saved mankind from destruction. Without the power of the gods to hold it aloft, Cocoon fell from the sky, and the cradle of humanity became locked in a frozen embrace with Gran Pulse, realm of monsters.
The tyranny of the gods was lifted, and a new age began.
But she did not see the new dawn. She disappeared, at the very moment of her triumph.
They all believed she was gone forever, never to return. Everyone, that is, except Serah Farron. She clung to a different truth.
Three years have passed.
One clear night, a meteorite strikes Gran Pulse and shatters the peace of the new era. Spacetime becomes distorted and terrible monsters attack through the rifts in the fabric of time.
In the chaos that ensues, Serah is saved from death by a young stranger called Noel. He says he is a hunter who has crossed time and space to find her.
"Come with me", he says. "We will travel the timeline and find your sister".
Lightning! Could she be alive? Could her beloved sister really be in that world of chaos and death, fighting to save a dying goddess.
It does not take long for Serah to make her fateful decision.
She accepts the weapon that Lightning has gifted her, and resolves to follow this stranger into the future...
- —Official Prologue
At the end of Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i-, Lightning, who felt there was still something threatening the newly acquired peace, finds herself dragged into the Historia Crux by a mysterious substance known as chaos due to the effects of Etro releasing her, Snow, Sazh, Hope, Serah, and Dajh from crystal stasis.
As a result of Lightning being written out of history, many believe her to be either dead or crystallized with Vanille and Fang in the crystal pillar. Only her sister, Serah, remembers reuniting with her after Cocoon fell and knows she is still alive. Lightning awakens in Valhalla, a dark and empty world, and enters Etro's temple. Seeing all of time from Valhalla, she looks into the future and receives a suit of armor, becoming the protector of the dying goddess, who had expended all her strength to stop the escaping chaos from seeping into the mortal realm. From that point on, Lightning engages many battles against a man who seeks to destroy Etro, named Caius Ballad.
Within Etro's temple in Valhalla, Lightning looks out from the balcony and has a vision of a boy in the Historia Crux. Meanwhile, Caius lays the lifeless body of a girl named Yeul to rest in the ocean of chaos. He summons an army of Rift Beasts and challenges Lightning to battle and she confronts Caius with her own army of summoned monsters and Eidolons. During her and Caius's battle spanning across Valhalla, Lightning notices Etro's gate open over the temple and sees a familiar figure fall from the sky. She recognizes it as the young man she had previously seen in a vision, Noel Kreiss.
Summoning Bahamut, she saves him from his fall, but Caius returns as Chaos Bahamut to continue the fight. Lightning asks Noel to find her sister Serah and bring her to Valhalla. She summons a moogle named Mog for Noel to give to Serah, but Caius summons a meteor over Etro's temple. Summoning Odin, Lightning thrusts herself into the meteor's path as it crushes the temple. Noel leaps into a Time Gate to find Serah in the past.
A journey through timeEdit
By the year 2 AF, many former residents of Cocoon have created settlements on Gran Pulse, like the village of New Bodhum near Cocoon's crystallized structure, and some have gained the ability to wield magic. One day, Snow promised to look for Lightning and bring her home so he and Serah can finally get married, but a year goes by and he goes missing as well.
In New Bodhum at 3 AF, Serah dreams of Lightning's battle with Caius and Noel coming to New Bodhum to help her. After a crystalline meteorite falls from the sky, she awakens to find her clothes mysteriously changed. As she heads outside to the shouts of NORA, Serah sees the village transform into a wasteland. When the village reverts to normal, it seems time has stopped and New Bodhum has fallen under attack by monsters. Once time resumes Serah finds herself amid the chaos and is saved by Noel. With little time to talk, Noel hands Serah a weapon enabling her to fight off the monsters with him. Serah's weapon transforms into her new moogle companion. Noel says Mog is a gift from Lightning, much to Serah's shock.
At the meteorite's crash site Noel reveals he is from 700 years in the future, and that Lightning is waiting in a place called Valhalla. He offers to take Serah to her, but the NORA members remain skeptical. Placing Serah's hand on the meteorite, Noel shows them it is really a Time Gate. The next day, Noel and Serah use Mog to search around the village for an artefact that will let them use the gate. After finding it, Noel reveals he is from a distant future where all of humanity was wiped out until he was the only one left. Joined by Noel and Mog, Serah leaves her home to find her sister, but unknown to both of them, they are being watched by Caius and his companion, Yeul.
Noel and Serah travel through the Historia Crux to the Bresha Ruins in Cocoon two years in the future at 5 AF. They battle an invisible giant called Paradox Alpha, later revealed to be Atlas. Serah and Noel are arrested for being in a restricted area, but they are freed by an Academy scientist named Alyssa Zaidelle. Alyssa asks them to help defeat Atlas before it shuts down the site, as she is in search of something in the ruins.
By destroying the crystal atop Atlas's head, Noel and Serah defeat him and restore the Bresha Ruins to their former glory. Serah and Noel find what Alyssa was looking for: a grave belonging to her friend who died in the Purge five years ago, and is glad to see her name is not on the grave. Alyssa reveals she often dreams of dying in the Purge and wonders if she really did and her current life is an illusion. Hearing Alyssa's story, Serah laments how the Purge happened because she was made a l'Cie.
Serah, Mog and Noel travel to the Yaschas Massif in the year 10 AF, which is darkened by an eclipse. Noel says that 500 years before his time the fal'Cie Fenrir appeared and blocked the sun. Serah figures Fenrir appearing in 10 AF is a paradox as it's only affecting a certain area. They find the Paddra ruins and meet the Academy leader, Hope Estheim, with an older Alyssa who is now Hope's assistant.
They learn from Hope and Alyssa about the Farseers, a nation led by the seeress Yeul who had foretold the city's destruction, inciting conflict among its people and the prophecy to be fulfilled. With the ancient device called the Oracle Drive they witness images of the events on the Day of Ragnarok and Lightning in Valhalla. Using the new artefact they got from Hope, Serah, Mog and Noel enter a Time Gate to solve the paradox causing the eclipse that also is affecting the Oracle Drive.
They wind up in Oerba during the year 200 AF, only to find it being sucked into a void. After solving the multiple paradoxes, they find another Oracle Drive at the old schoolhouse that projects images of Serah's reunion with Lightning, but are apprehended by Caius and Yeul. Noel is shocked to see her and calls out her name, but Caius reveals there is more than one Yeul across different eras, and that she is not the Yeul Noel knows. Yeul has been watching them through her visions, and Caius seeks to punish Serah and Noel for tampering with the timeline. After a battle, Yeul and Caius leave Oerba, and Noel and Serah use the artefact they left behind to leave as well.
As they have solved the paradox in Oerba, they have also solved the paradox in the Yaschas Massif. Serah and Noel arrive in an alternate version of the Yaschas Massif in the year 10 AF, also known as 1X AF, where the eclipse never happened. They meet another Yeul, who says she and Serah are the same in how they can show others the way. Hope and Alyssa are still at the ruins and the four reunite, even though Hope and Alyssa don't remember meeting them before, causing Serah and Noel to repeat their meeting. Hope shows a recording from the Oracle Drive, which displays clear images of Lightning battling Caius in Valhalla and Cocoon's crystal pillar crumbling.
Hope will have the Academy prepare for the time Cocoon will fall to try minimize the damage while Serah and Noel continue to solve the paradoxes. After Serah and Noel leave, Yeul dies in Caius's arms and he takes her body away. Serah and Noel end up in the rift between gates known as the Void Beyond where they briefly explore before returning to the Historia Crux.
They go to the Sunleth Waterscape in 300 AF where Serah has a vision of Snow in danger. They find Snow battling a giant flan called Royal Ripeness, but upon defeating it together, it regenerates. After Noel demands Snow to explain why he left Serah and is now fighting in the future, Snow says Lightning appeared to him in a dream, asking him to protect Cocoon's pillar, and in turn, Fang and Vanille resting inside it. Following a trail of Miniflan, they find two artefacts to use in solving the paradox causing Royal Ripeness to grow. As Snow stays behind and promises to wait for them, Noel, Mog, and Serah first visit the Coliseum, and obtain the White Hole fragment from the Arbiter of Time.
Next they venture to the Archylte Steppe at ??? AF where they learn from a group of hunters that a Faeryl is sucking flan into its mouth, summoning them in the Sunleth Waterscape. Defeating the Faeryl, the trio receives the Black Hole fragment and returns to Sunleth Waterscape, only to find Snow not waiting for them like he had promised. They find him fighting the Mutantomato and they defeat it together. Noel reprimands Snow for his recklessness. Snow apologizes and asks Noel to look after Serah for him. When Snow begins glowing, Noel says it is because the paradox has been resolved and things that shouldn't exist in this time are disappearing. Serah notices a l'Cie brand on Snow's arm before he fades away. Noel says Snow may have asked to become a l'Cie to get the power to protect his friends and carry out his task.
Noel, Serah and Mog enter a Time Gate and emerge in the Void Beyond deciding to take a break. Noel tells Serah a group of Farseers always had a girl with the same appearance, voice, and power who was always called Yeul. They end up in the city of Academia in 400 AF, a highly advanced Pulsian city under the control of a Proto fal'Cie. The fal'Cie spots Serah and Noel and transforms citizens into Cie'th.
Serah, Noel and Mog run into Caius who tells them they are contradictions in the timeline and that he has every reason to eliminate them. He tells them they met in a tower 200 years earlier and that they died there after learning the forbidden history sealed inside. Now that they are here, alive and well, they have caused a paradox. Caius leaves them with a band of Cie'th and after defeating them, Serah, Noel and Mog give chase to Caius, but he disappears every time they catch up to him. They run into Yeul being attacked by several Cie'th, including Zenobia. After Serah and Noel defeat Zenobia, Yeul tells Noel about her vision of death before Serah realizes Yeul is dying because they are causing a paradox. Yeul tells them Caius was never in the city and dies, leaving them an artefact. Serah, Noel and Mog use a nearby gate to travel to the Augusta Tower in 200 AF.
In the tower, they spot Caius ascending its levels. They discover the tower's staff are artificial duplicates, and meet a duplicate of Alyssa who reveals the forbidden history from the year 13 AF. During that time the Augusta Tower was built as part of the "Proto Fal'Cie Project," Hope's plan to re-levitate Cocoon without the crystal pillar. The tower's artificial intelligence rebelled against its creators and killed everyone, including Hope and Alyssa. Afterwards, the AI constructed the Proto fal'Cie and created duplicates to cover the massacre.
Serah, Noel and Mog make their way to the top floor where they meet the same Yeul they had met in Oerba, who gives them an artefact. Yeul reveals Caius is immortal and knows the entire timeline from remembering the seeress's visions. She explains Lightning's disappearance from Gran Pulse was caused by the future being changed and that if Serah and Noel continue to solve the paradoxes the past will return to the way Serah remembers it. She reveals the Caius they encountered in Academia was a fake created by the sentient AI, and that they saw the real Caius in the tower. Serah and Noel venture into the core to defeat the AI. Yeul sees the future where everyone is happy and dies smiling. Caius arrives and mourns for Yeul, vowing to remember her pain, and takes her away.
Serah and Noel arrive to the tower's core and encounter the Proto fal'Cie Adam, which is using the AI and a paradox to keep itself functional and it is reincarnated every time Serah and Noel defeat it. As a last resort Serah shouts at Hope for creating the Proto fal'Cie. Her yelling reaches out to Hope via the Oracle Drive and the Proto fal'Cie ceases to exist after Hope decides not to build it the first place. Having resolved the paradox, Serah has yet another vision.
Serah, Noel and Mog end up in Academia in a new timeline at 4XX AF where everything is well now that the Proto fal'Cie is gone. They are greeted by Hope and Alyssa, who used a time capsule Hope invented to get to Academia in this time period without aging. Back in 1X AF Hope had begun the "New Cocoon Project" to create a new Cocoon after the old one is destroyed when the crystal pillar collapses in the future. After seeing the Thirteenth Ark in the Oracle Drive in 13 AF, he and Alyssa entered the time capsule and awoke in Academia to learn how it can be made airborne. For his New Cocoon Project to succeed, Hope requires five Graviton Cores hidden throughout the timeline to make his new Cocoon float.
Serah and Noel retrieve the Graviton Cores and Alyssa gives them an artefact to use the new Time Gate back in town. Hope and Alyssa meet them at the gate to see them off, promising to meet again a century in the future. When Serah and Noel enter the gate Alyssa smirks but only Mog notices. When Mog follows after Serah and Noel, he and Serah get separated from Noel in the Historia Crux. Alyssa betrayed them and tricked them into Caius's trap because she is a living paradox and won't exist in the corrected timeline.
Serah and Noel end up in the Void Beyond where Mog is phased out and becomes invisible to Serah, and Noel is impaled by Caius. Serah goes on alone and meets several Yeuls from different time periods. Each Yeul tells Serah certain truths about her, the l'Cie who saved Cocoon, and history's change, ending in revelation that like Yeul, Serah has the "Eyes of Etro," the ability to see the future, a skill granted by the goddess herself. The last Yeul tells Serah that whenever people die in the Void Beyond it takes the shape of their heart's desires, and warns her that as she changes the timeline she brings herself closer to death.
This Yeul transforms into Caius, and Serah is forced to fight him. He tells her about Noel's fate and that as the result of Etro freeing her and the other l'Cie on the Day of Ragnarok, the lives of the Yeuls throughout time were cut short. Caius plans to send everything back to Valhalla to save Yeul from her fate of constantly being reborn even if it means destroying time itself. Caius impales Serah from behind causing chaos to burst from her body.
Serah, in her old clothes, is awakened in New Bodhum by the NORA members. She is confused as they tell her she never left on a journey and have never heard of Noel. When she heads into the NORA House she finds Snow. It seems she is in a dream where everything is the way she wants it to be: she is married to Snow and Lightning never disappeared. When the fake Lightning attempts to convince Serah to remain in the dream world forever, Serah remembers the real Lightning is fighting in Valhalla waiting for her, and refuses, causing the fake Lightning to disperse into chaos.
Serah hears a familiar voice giving her words of encouragement and encounters Vanille and Fang. The pair reveals they reached Serah since she rejected the fake Lightning and came to help her escape the dream in the Void Beyond. They tell her Noel needs her help to escape from his own dream. Leaving a spacetime distortion to lead Serah to Noel, Vanille and Fang return to their dream inside Cocoon's pillar. Serah heads into the distortion to find Noel and save him.
Noel is caught within his own dream world based on his past memories from his home of the Dying World at 700 AF. Serah follows Noel and witnesses his conversations with Caius and Yeul. Caius tells Noel he must kill him to become Yeul's next Guardian and receive his Heart of Chaos, a manifestation of Etro given to him by the goddess centuries ago to make him immortal. Should it stop beating the goddess will die, the unrestrained chaos of Valhalla will be unleashed into the world and history will be destroyed.
Noel refuses and Caius forces him into a battle. Caius defeats him and realizes Noel is not strong enough to kill him. Caius uses the affinity he has with chaos to depart for Valhalla to slay the goddess Etro to free Yeul from her cycle of reincarnation, abandoning Yeul as her Guardian for the first time. Serah witnesses Noel talking to Yeul who has a vision of the future and dies in his embrace, promising him they will meet again someday. Noel goes after Caius and gets drawn into the sky by a light which would lead him to Valhalla, but Serah catches up to him and helps Noel awaken from his dream. Serah is willing to continue their journey, but Noel is reluctant, because he now knows why Yeul died. Every time a seeress has a vision of the future a piece of her life will vanish, and if she has a vision strong enough she will die. Since Serah has the same ability, she, too, is in danger of dying the same way each time she and Noel change the timeline, but Serah is willing to take the risk to save the future.
Serah and Noel return to where Yeul died, and the Oracle Drive shows her dying vision of Noel fighting to save the future and the two of them reuniting. A distortion appears and Mog returns to normal. Mog reveals his soul was trapped in the Void Beyond until Lightning saved him and that Caius was once a Pulse l'Cie with the Focus of Yeul's protection, until Etro saved him and made him immortal by giving him her Heart of Chaos. Noel and Serah realize Caius has been plotting for centuries, using his immense power and knowledge of Yeul's visions to create the paradoxes to reach his goal: the goddess's death and world destruction.
Serah, Noel and Mog go through the time distortion in the Dying World and end up in New Bodhum in 700 AF, finding the village a desolate wasteland. They meet Lightning who has come from Valhalla and explains everything that happened to her and what Caius is plotting. Caius is trying to destroy Cocoon so the surge of departing souls would open Etro's gate and send waves of chaos to erupt from Valhalla. Chaos would engulf the world, turning it into a place where time, life, and death don't exist, essentially remaking the world in Valhalla's image.
Noel realizes Caius is doing this for Yeul's sake to stop her from suffering her cycle of death and rebirth. To prevent this, Caius must be stopped in both Valhalla and the Mortal World. Since Lightning can't do this alone she needs help from Serah and Noel. She tells them that in the year 500 AF, Hope will launch the new Cocoon and Caius will attempt to bring it and the old Cocoon down in one fell swoop. Lightning tells them if they save the new Cocoon and stop Caius, the timeline will be restored.
Mog reveals a new gate to take Noel and Serah to 500 AF and Lightning prepares to return to Valhalla to face Caius. Serah asks her if they will be together again when everything is over, but Lightning only smiles and replies, "One thing at a time, Serah," and leaves.
Serah, Noel and Mog arrive at Academia at 500 AF, the time of the prophecy, but the city is a labyrinth of chaos and the populace has been evacuated to Hope's new Cocoon. As they journey through the area they hear Yeul's voice warning them not to fight Caius and kill Etro. Reaching the Academy headquarters, Caius, who has arrived from Valhalla, attacks them as Chaos Bahamut and with summoned monsters, but they are saved by Hope. They give chase to Caius on an airship piloted by Sazh Katzroy, and Serah and Noel fight Caius as Chaos Bahamut and his human form. A portal in the sky leading to Valhalla opens and Caius flies into it as Chaos Bahamut. Hope is eager to go after him, but Serah insists he must stay behind and protect Vanille, Fang, and his new Cocoon.
Serah, Noel and Mog jump into the portal and encounter Caius in Valhalla. They defeat him but he still swears to stop Yeul's cycle of reincarnation by destroying Etro. Noel attempts to convince Caius Yeul wouldn't want the world destroyed, and that she kept returning out of her own will because she wanted to be with him. After Noel cuts him down, Caius transforms into his ultimate form, Jet Bahamut, and blasts at Serah and Noel, sending them falling into an abyss beneath the waves of chaos, but Lightning saves them, urging them to keep hope alive. Serah and Noel defeat Jet Bahamut, and his supporters—Garnet Bahamut and Amber Bahamut—and Caius reverts into a human.
Caius claims that if what Noel says about Yeul is true, then Noel must kill him. When he refuses, Caius tries to provoke Noel by saying he had killed Lightning, but Noel tells the shocked Serah that Caius is lying. Caius claims to already know how everything will end and provokes Noel by lunging at Serah. Noel intervenes, but Caius takes Noel's blade and tells him that those who change time must choose who lives and dies, and that Noel must bear the burden of the "eternal paradox." Caius forces the blade through his heart and as he slowly disappears, Serah and Noel realize that Caius had been consumed by sorrow over the centuries for watching so many Yeuls die, and always wanted to die in Valhalla to end Yeul's suffering. With the final paradox resolved the timeline is fixed, and Serah, Noel, and Mog return to Gran Pulse in 500 AF before the gates disappear.
There are nine possible endings in Final Fantasy XIII-2:
After Caius's defeat, Sazh, who has also become a time traveler, removes Fang and Vanille from the crystal pillar before the old Cocoon falls, and the new one, named "Bhunivelze," rises into the sky. Serah, Noel, and Mog return from Valhalla but everyone's victory is short-lived when Serah has another vision and dies in Noel's arms prior to Hope arriving from Academia to greet them. The sky darkens and Mog grows weak, saying the goddess is gone. Noel remembers Caius's warning about Etro and the Heart of Chaos, realizing he played into Caius's scheme.
As revealed in the secret ending, "The Goddess is Dead," Caius is alive and within Etro's Throne Room in the Void Beyond. He gloats how Serah and Noel unknowingly helped him create a new world where both he and Yeul are freed from their respective curses as the chaos erupts from Etro's Temple. Without Etro to hold it back the chaos within the unseen realm bleeds into the visible world through an opened Etro's gate as Valhalla manifests on Gran Pulse.
As revealed in "Lightning's Story: Requiem of the Goddess," after being defeated by Caius while getting a vision of Serah's death, Lightning finds her sister's spirit held hostage by Shadow Yeul, a chaos-based entity who was present in Serah and Noel's journey. Refusing Lightning's demand to release Serah, Shadow Yeul conjures Caius to fight her while telling Lightning she is the one who caused Serah's death by sending her out to her journey. Realizing she had put her sister on the path that led to her death, Lightning is about to give up when Serah's spirit appears before her. Explaining she knew what would happen and has no regrets of making the choice to continue, Serah asks Lightning to always remember her as she promises they will meet again.
After coming to her senses in Etro's temple, Lightning's hope for the future is renewed. As the chaos blends Gran Pulse and Valhalla, Lightning ascends to the goddess's throne and transforms into an indestructible crystal epitaph to preserve the world's existence in Etro's place along with Serah's memory, waiting for a time at the end of eternity when she will awaken and be reunited with her sister. In a secret post-credits scene, Lightning wakes up in a distant future to find a dying world.
- Main article: Paradox ending
- A Giant Mistake: Both sides of the Pulsian civil war, which will eventually bring down Cocoon's pillar, unleash an army of Atlases on the Archylte Steppe. Serah and Noel are trapped in the middle of the war and resolve to take down each one. The last shot is of a downed Atlas with both Serah's and Noel's weapons lodged in an unbroken crystal atop the beast's head.
- Mischievous Mog's Marvelous Plan with Flan: Noel and Serah use magic to disguise themselves as a Microchu and Miniflan to remain unnoticed while Mog helps them prepare a poisonous pudding to kill the evil Royal Ripeness, who has taken over the Sunleth Waterscape and wants to transform Cocoon into a human-free world of monsters.
- Vanille's Truth: In a time after the War of Transgression, Serah and Noel find a crystallized Vanille in Oerba and promise to find Fang for her.
- Test Subjects: Serah, Mog, and Noel are modified by the Proto fal'Cie Adam to serve as guards in the Augusta Tower. They briefly wonder what they were supposed to be doing before their memories were erased, which prompts Adam to question whether there are paradoxical aspects in the souls of every human.
- The Future is Hope: Snow appears in Academia 4XX AF with a security detail that arrests Alyssa, preventing her from giving Serah and Noel the booby-trapped artefact from Caius. Snow warns Hope of his imminent assassination coming in three days and tells Noel to stay behind to guard him. He states he has thirteen crystals to find throughout time before flying off with Serah and Mog on Shiva as Noel and Hope look on.
- Beneath a Timeless Sky: Serah, Noel and Yeul are trapped in New Bodhum in 700 AF, looking for a way out. Yeul can no longer see the future due to the timeline's collapse. A meteorite lands outside the town in a similar place and manner as the one in 3 AF, and they run off to investigate.
- Fate and Freedom: Serah remains in her eternal dream with Lightning, Snow, and the members of NORA in New Bodhum, though she feels it will never be perfect without Noel and Mog, both of whom she can only faintly remember.
- Heir to Chaos: Noel inherits the Heart of Chaos from Caius and succeeds him as Yeul's Guardian. As Noel floats through the Historia Crux he looks through Caius's inherited memories and resolves to save Yeul, Serah, and Caius from their fates.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 has two novels that contain a series of stories from the perspectives of different characters. Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments Before contains stories that reveal events before those in the game, and Final Fantasy XIII-2 Fragments After reveals more details from before the game as well as events during and after it.
- Main article: Final Fantasy XIII-2: Original Soundtrack
Composers of the original game, Masashi Hamauzu and Mitsuto Suzuki, return joined by Naoshi Mizuta, composer of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light and Final Fantasy XI. The game's main theme in the Japanese PlayStation 3 version is "Yakusoku no Basho", sung by Mai Fukui. An English version of the theme, called "New World", sung by Filipino artist Charice Pempengco, is used in the Japanese Xbox 360 and Western releases of the game.
The soundtrack was released on December 14th, 2011. It includes the standard and limited edition. Standard version soundtrack spans over four discs, while the limited edition has a bonus DVD packed with two trailers, the trailer shown at E3 2011 (Japanese voices version), and the game's Final Trailer (Special Music Edition). The standard edition retails for 3990¥, and the limited edition is 4880¥. A selection of songs from the game are to be available with the Limited Collector's Edition of Final Fantasy XIII-2 in Europe and the entire soundtrack is to be available to those who purchase the Crystal Edition in Europe or the Collector's Edition in North America. However, neither shall include "New World" by Charice.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 includes music from Final Fantasy XIII.
Downloadable content and extrasEdit
- Main article: List of Final Fantasy XIII-2 downloadable content
The game features downloadable content in the form of downloadable outfits, weapons, accessories, scenarios, recruitable monsters and minigames. Though there were initial plans to release DLC for Final Fantasy XIII, these ideas did not come to fruition. For Final Fantasy XIII-2 the team designed and planned for content, including DLC, that would expand on the world of Final Fantasy XIII-2 since the beginning of its development.
Players with Final Fantasy XIII save data can unlock an additional wallpaper (PS3) or gamer picture (Xbox 360) for the save file. Yoshinori Kitase assures players that the content will allow for even longer play. Post-release downloads include a "Final Fantasy XIII Lost Report" which distributed through the game's official site offers a look back at the story of Final Fantasy XIII story through Rygdea and Yaag Rosch's perspectives.
The Steam version includes most of the DLC in its normal version, but some content that is DLC in the console versions is being omitted for licensing reasons, such as Noel's Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect-themed costumes. It was soon found that the assets for said costumes were still in the PC files and could be unlocked but a patch released 22nd December removed the assets, potentially breaking the save files of people who had unlocked the costumes.
Hints at a sequel to Final Fantasy XIII were first given when Square Enix stated they would be willing to create a direct sequel if the fans want it. They also said the first installment had enough cut content to fill a new game. Late 2010, in an interview from the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega, Motomu Toriyama proclaimed the idea to make a story where Lightning "ends up happy in the end." Furthermore, an autographed postcard was personally sent by Tetsuya Nomura to members of the Japanese Square Enix Members community, with an artwork of Lightning and a message saying "She must not be forgotten." Later, Square Enix registered the domain for the game. The game was officially announced at the "Square Enix 1st Production Department Premiere" event on January 18, 2011.
Toriyama has said in an interview with Famitsuthe main reason they decided to make a sequel is that there was demand throughout the world and because the development staff wanted to portray Lightning's character further, to give her a clear conclusion. This ended up not being the case, however, and Lightning's story was to be continued in the sequel Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
The development of the first Final Fantasy XIII game was problematic due to poor communication between different sectors of the development, as Final Fantasy XIII had a tremendously large production team. With Final Fantasy XIII-2 the team strove to change this by setting milestones and sharing content internally. Motomu Toriyama has said that Square Enix realized they needed to apply more Western technology and production techniques. Because Final Fantasy XIII was a large-scale project, the developers wanted to keep it secret, but this led to user testing happening too late in the process and a lot of feedback about things that needed fixing were decided to be included in Final Fantasy XIII-2. The team conducted user tests and used the feedback to make adjustments to the gameplay and this process was started about a year earlier than what was done with Final Fantasy XIII. Development went better for Final Fantasy XIII-2 than for its predecessor, but Toriyama still feels it could be improved, thinking they need to add more buffer time for player testing in the future.
Both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game only need one disc. In an interview, director Motomu Toriyama said that the game has the same amount of volume as Final Fantasy XIII and the reason they're able to fit the game in less space this time is that the event scenes are real time rather than prerendered.
In addition to the Square Enix staff, tri-Ace staff were involved with the development of Final Fantasy XIII-2, helping out on the game with aspects of game design, art and programming. Outsourcing development is something Square Enix is looking to do more in the future, based on the experiences of developing Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2. "We are also thinking that we will not do large-scale internal development any longer," Toriyama has commented. "We have a lot of great creators in Square Enix, but for larger-scale development we will be doing more distributed and outsourced development to reach our targets on time."
Following player feedback on the linear, story-driven gameplay of Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy XIII-2 focuses on player-driven gameplay with a more open world that players can explore widely, triggering events as they find them. In all the different types of gameplay presented, the developers' goal has been to make the player the main focus and instigator, and the game design to promote the player progressing through the story rather than just passively watching. Toriyama compared this mindset to the differences between Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2 - the latter builds on the world and story of the former and thus can have a stronger focus on gameplay.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 uses different types of art styles and art director Isamu Kamikokuryo has said that even with the world reduced close to ruin after the events of Final Fantasy XIII, he was careful in expressing the serious tone of the story and the world when compared to the first game's beautiful but manufactured setting. The developers wanted to go with a dark atmosphere and took inspiration from works of surrealism, such as the art of Salvador Dali and Giorgio de Chirico, which were used as references when determining the balance of how far the team should pursue a photo-like realism, or an unrealistic fantasy. Kamikokuryo further said that the character designs are built from the scenario and setting and the new designs for Lightning and Serah are reflected within the environments where they begin their journey.
There are instances where the line is blurred because these characters are not meant to be hyper-realistic and have a mysterious appeal to them. The characters were meant to be a mix between realism and fantasy. If the end product is distinct from other titles, we've succeeded.
- —Isamu Kamikokuryo
Toriyama at first didn't want a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII and started with the idea of having Final Fantasy XIII-2 take place some 900 years after the first game. After creating the backstory of the 900 years, the team decided to make it a time-traveling story.
The story of Final Fantasy XIII included many mysterious elements that are central to the story and the game's universe; l'Cie, fal'Cie, and Ragnarok, to name a few. The developers found that many aspects of Final Fantasy XIII's story were not easily explained. Thus, in Final Fantasy XIII-2 the team wanted to employ a different story-telling style, whereas even if the basic elements of the Final Fantasy XIII universe continue to be present as the backdrop, the story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 centers around a time paradox, which the team thought to be a more familiar form of mystery.
The developers drew inspiration from one-shot TV dramas and opted for a plot structure where smaller pieces take place quickly one after another. The story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 is described as a glimpse of a more contemporary drama and to be easier to follow in comparison to Final Fantasy XIII.
In the FMV interviews section of Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega, the director of the ending FMV, Hiroshi Kamohara, points out that the "To be continued..." at the end is not supposed to mean "see you next time...", but more like "the story will continue in the next generation" and that was the non-Japanese staff that decided to phrase it like that; the makers of the FMV did not craft it with a sequel in mind. However, in another interview Yoshinori Kitase has said that the "To be continued..." was added pertaining to the Lightning DLC.
The developers have revealed some of the main themes they wanted to explore by making Final Fantasy XIII-2. At the end of Final Fantasy XIII, the world was left in ruins and in Final Fantasy XIII-2 the team wanted to offer the player an experience of following the way the world is rebuilt over a long span of time. Motomu Toriyama called the theme for the game's story "Wish for Rebirth" and explained that the theme has two meanings: one is rebirth of the devastated world, and the other is the re-encounter with Lightning. The wish to rebuild a devastated world may, in part, draw from the feelings in Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, as Toriyama has alluded to this disaster in an interview, saying: "The past year has seen many disasters - not only in Japan but also across the world. We sincerely hope that the story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 will bring hope and courage to many people's hearts". In the interview from the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega, Daisuke Watanabe says the theme is "the future is unknown, but you can keep going as long as you have hope".
Toriyama has said that other than Lightning finding true happiness, the after-effects of Fang and Vanille's sacrifice on her and the other characters are another central theme in the game. He has even compared the light and dark appearances of Lightning and Caius respectively to those of an angel and the devil, but warned not to jump to conclusions about which one is which. Toriyama has said that the traveling system has been completely redone since Final Fantasy XIII, as the team was trying to create a "truly living world, with lots of people living all the way to the far corners of the game".
The game is more fantasy-oriented as opposed to the futuristic feel of its predecessor. The game's general tone is darker and more mysterious, because the developers wanted to take the concept of death and extract features of the world of death to reflect them on the story and universe of Final Fantasy XIII-2. The story focuses on the Farron sisters as opposed to how the first game focuses on the love story between Snow and Serah. As opposed to the story of Final Fantasy XIII, where Lightning is on a quest to save Serah, the story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the reverse, with Serah trying to save Lightning. The story of Final Fantasy XIII-2 also explores their relationship as sisters, and how they are similar yet different in their own ways.
A Final Fantasy XIII-2 bundle was released in Japan on December 15th, 2011 with a black 320GB PlayStation 3 Slim with an image of Lightning. Square Enix also released two new books in Japan on the game's release date of December 15th. The first is a postcard book priced at ¥1,260 that has 24 CG illustrations featuring characters like Lightning, Serah, Noel, and Caius, as well as an eight-page character introduction. The second is a 232-page book priced at ¥1,470, titled FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Fragments Before, which takes place immediately before the events of the game and contains several stories revolving around characters such as Serah, Snow, Noel, and Rygdea and Bartholomew Estheim. The game's story will be continued in FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Fragments After.
Square Enix teamed up with Morinaga to promote Final Fantasy XIII-2 in Japan; Morinaga's popular Potelong snack featured for a limited time Final Fantasy XIII-2 themed packaging. To promote the game's release, AKB48 member, Yuko Oshima, was appointed the leader of a group of thirteen official test players and Square Enix often released videos of her and other test players playing the game.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is going to be re-released in Japan under Square Enix's "Ultimate Hits" label. Titled "Final Fantasy XIII-2 Digital Contents Selection", it will be released on July 18th for 5,040 yen (approximately $50 US). The base game will be available in stores and for download, retailing at 2,940 yen or 2000 Microsoft Points. A DLC bundle containing the same DLC included on the "Ultimate Hits" rerelease will be made available for download for 2,100 yen or 1,360 Microsoft points, approximately $21 US.
The DLC bundle includes all six Coliseum fights (Omega, PuPu, Gilgamesh, Ultros and Typhon, Lightning and Lieutenant Amodar, and Jihl Nabaat), Serah's White Mage, Summoner and Beachwear outfits, Noel's Black Mage, Battle Attire and Spacetime Guardian outfits, Mog's Wondrous Wardrobe outfits, Serah's Genji Bow, Noel's Catastrophe Blade and Muramasa, and the three bonus episodes for Lightning, Sazh and Snow.
North American releaseEdit
The North American collector's edition, sold for $79.99 was available in limited quantities at GameStop, Amazon and Best Buy, and included:
- Packaging featuring artwork by Yoshitaka Amano.
- The 4-disc Original Soundtrack. Although this excludes both "Yakusoku no Basho" and "New World", it includes a bonus track on Disc 4, the "Secret Track" that plays as the background to the DLC coliseum.
- A collection of concept artwork containing "a variety of never-before-seen illustrations, environments and more".
These retailers also had their own pre-order bonus: GameStop had the alternate costume named "Summoner's Garb" available for Serah (with PowerUp Rewards members also receiving a Genji Bow for her); Amazon had Omega as a Coliseum boss and Best Buy had a hardcover book entitled "FINAL FANTASY XIII -Episode i-", a story written by Jun Eishima that ties together the events between the predecessor and the game.
Ultimate Prize winners of the Word to Your Moogle tour received a pink and white PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 featuring Mog.
European and Australian releaseEdit
Europe and Australia had three different editions of Final Fantasy XIII-2 available to purchase. The "Limited Collector’s Edition", with recommended retail price of £59,99/68€, includes the game; a composer selected soundtrack CD, an artbook, six postcards featuring CG artwork of Caius, Hope, Lightning, Noel, Serah and Snow and a high definition lenticular art print of Lightning.
The Crystal Edition, with recommended retail price of £79,99/91€, includes all of the items above, although the composer selected soundtrack is replaced with the 4-disc Final Fantasy XIII-2 Original Soundtrack (this soundtrack will include all background music from the game as well as the "Secret Track" from the DLC Coliseum, but not the theme song "New World"). Also included is a T-shirt from the Square Enix Products range that is not be available for purchase elsewhere. The Crystal Edition was strictly limited edition and is packaged in a presentation box.
The Nordic Edition includes the game and two additional downloadable pieces of content; the "Fight In Style" pack which includes the "Summoner's Garb" alternate costume for Serah and the "Battle Attire" alternate costume for Noel as well as the recruitable monster battle with Omega and the second downloadable bonus is the Muramasa weapon for Noel, which increases the ATB Gauge charge rate.
Preorder bonuses for Europe and Australia were available for customers preordering from certain retail outlets.
The preorder extras include:
- An exclusive steelbook case from steelbook.com, the downloadable content "Fight In Style" pack, which contains a boss battle with the recruitable monster Omega and the alternate costume "Summoner's Garb" for Serah and the alternate costume "Battle Attire" for Noel, Final Fantasy XIII -Episode i- which is a paperback novella that fills the gaps between Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 and three lithograph artcards of official promotional posters. Available from GAME UK.
- A code which allows the buyer to obtain the unique downloadable weapon Muramasa for Noel, which increases the ATB Gauge charge rate. Available from Amazon.co.uk.
Multiple Asian editions of Final Fantasy XIII-2 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 have been released. Asian Japanese versions (Japanese voice and texts) for both consoles released On December 15, 2011 and all other versions were released on January 31, 2012 for Asian regions (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, etc). Like its predecessor, the version features Japanese voice overs and both Chinese and English subtitles are available. Bundled and limited versions are also available.
- PS3 Japanese Version (Japanese Voice & Subtitles)
- PS3 English Version (English Voice & Subtitles) (8 post cards included for pre-order bonus)
- PS3 Chinese + English Version (Japanese Voice, Chinese/English Subtitles) (8 post cards included for pre-order bonus)
- PS3 Chinese + English PS3 Bundle Version (Japanese Voice, Chinese/English Subtitles), which includes the game disc and:
- PS3 FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 LIGHTNING EDITION Ver.2 Console
- 2 DLC codes for Serah's Outfit: Summoner's Garb and Noel's Outfit: Battle Attire (first print limited offer)
- A mini clear poster (randomly given out of 8 designs)
- 1-disc Original Soundtrack -SPECIAL Package- (selected tracks)
- 8 post cards (pre-order bonus)
- Xbox360 Japanese Version (Japanese Voice & Subtitles)
- Xbox360 Chinese + English Version (Japanese Voice, Chinese/English Subtitles), which includes the game disc and:
- A table calendar
- 2 DLC codes for Serah's Outfit: Summoner's Garb and Noel's Outfit: Battle Attire (first print limited offer)
- X360 Chinese + English Version Limited Edition (Japanese Voice, Chinese/English Subtitles), which includes the game disc and:
- A table calendar
- 1 mini clear poster (randomly given out of 8 designs)
- 1-disc Original Soundtrack -SPECIAL Package- (selected tracks)
- 8 post cards
In September 2012 a Dual Pack including both Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 was released in Asian regions.
PlayStation Network releasesEdit
On June 11, 2013, Final Fantasy XIII-2 became available on North American and European PlayStation Network, along with the DLC bundle pack. The Japanese PlayStation Network also released the game on July 16, 2013.
The game was available on December 11, 2014, including a range of the downloadable content from the original console versions, plus the choice for either English or Japanese voiceovers (Japanese voiceovers only for Asian version, with English subtitle), 60 frames-per-second graphics and customizeable rendering resolution (720p, 1080p, and more).
|OS||Windows® XP SP2 or later||Windows® Vista/ 7/ 8|
|Processor||2GHz Dual Core CPU||Intel® Core™ 2 Quad (2.66 GHz)/ AMD Phenom™ II X4 (2.8 GHz) processor|
|Memory||1.5 GB RAM||2 GB RAM|
|Graphics||NVIDIA® Geforce® 8 Series/ ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 series VRAM 256MB or later||NVIDIA® Geforce® GTX™ 460/ ATI Radeon™ HD 5870|
|Hard Drive||17.8 GB available space||17.8 GB available space|
|Sound Card||Sound card compatible with DirectX® 9.0c||Sound card compatible with DirectX® 11|
|DirectX||Version 9.0c||Version 11|
Steam Trading CardsEdit
6 Trading Cards are available on Steam.
iOS and AndroidEdit
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is available on iOS and Android systems in Japan using cloud technology streamed to one's device with the controls optimized for the touch screen. The game has a 30-minute free demo.
Sales and receptionEdit
During its first week of release in Japan, Final Fantasy XIII-2 sold 524,000 copies with the PlayStation 3 version topping the charts. The Xbox 360 sold far fewer copies due to the low number of Xbox 360 customers in Japan. First week sales in Japan were much poorer than for Final Fantasy XIII, which sold 1.5 million units in its first week. By the end of 2011, the game sold 697,146 units, becoming the fifth bestselling game from Japan in 2011.
Japanese magazine Famitsu gave the game a perfect 40 score with each of the four reviewers giving the game a 10. This marks Final Fantasy XIII-2 as the second Final Fantasy game to receive a perfect score from the said magazine, the first one being Final Fantasy XII. Dengeki gave the game an S score, the highest score in their scale.
Western reviewers are more critical of the game. It received an 8.0 from IGN. The reviewer commended the significant improvement it has over the original although criticized the progression of the story. He also noted that the characters didn't have clear motivations other than to save Lightning. Official Xbox Magazine gave the game a 9 out of 10 score. The magazine pointed out its improvement over Final Fantasy XIII in most aspects of the game especially the explorations.
Both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game received a 79/100 from Metacritic. This makes Final Fantasy XIII-2 the offline numbered Final Fantasy title with the lowest Metacritic score (not counting the remakes of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy II and Final Fantasy III), lower than Final Fantasy XIII, which received an 83/100. In its 2012 RPG of the Year Awards, Game Informer awarded Final Fantasy XIII-2 with the awards for "Best Combat System" and "Best Villain: Caius."
The Steam rerelease of Final Fantasy XIII-2 received far better reception at the time of its release as opposed to Final Fantasy XIII, the players' favor being 77%, due to the inclusion of graphic options which were initially unavailable in the port of Final Fantasy XIII.
- Main article: Final Fantasy XIII-2 demo
|Director & Scenario Designer||Motomu Toriyama|
|Main Scenario Writer||Daisuke Watanabe|
|Art Director||Isamu Kamikokuryo|
|Main Character Design*||Tetsuya Nomura|
|Sub-Character Design*||Isamu Kamikokuryo, Nao Ikeda, Yusuke Naora, Hideo Minaba|
|Image Illustrator and Title Logo Designer||Yoshitaka Amano|
|Battle system Supervisor||Yuji Abe|
|Battle system Director||Yusuke Matsui|
|Composers||Masashi Hamauzu, Mitsuto Suzuki, Naoshi Mizuta|
|Lightning||Maaya Sakamoto||Ali Hillis|
|Serah Farron||Minako Kotobuki||Laura Bailey|
|Noel Kreiss||Daisuke Kishio||Jason Marsden|
|Mog||Sumire Morohoshi||Ariel Winter|
|Caius Ballad||Hiroshi Shirokuma||Liam O'Brien|
|Paddra Nsu-Yeul||Mariya Ise||Amber Hood|
|Snow Villiers||Daisuke Ono||Troy Baker|
|Hope Estheim||Yūki Kaji||Vincent Martella|
|Sazh Katzroy||Masashi Ebara||Reno Wilson|
|Oerba Dia Vanille||Yukari Fukui||Georgia van Cuylenburg|
|Oerba Yun Fang||Mabuki Andou||Rachel Robinson|
|Gadot||Biichi Satou||Zack Hanks|
|Lebreau||Yū Asakawa||Anndi McAfee|
|Yuj||Wataru Hatano||Jeff Fischer|
|Maqui||Makoto Naruse||Daniel Samonas|
|Alyssa Zaidelle||Yōko Hikasa||Kim Mai Guest|
|Chocolina||Seiko Ueda||Julie Nathanson|
|Arbiter of Time||Tomomichi Nishimura||Steven Blum|
|Historia Crux Narrator||Michiko Neya||Anna Vocino|
|Amodar/Captain Cryptic||Yūji Ueda||Dave Wittenberg|
|Jihl Nabaat||Mie Sonozaki||Paula Tiso|
|Dr. M||JB Blanc|
|Mystic||Mary Elizabeth McGlynn|
Robin Atkin Downes (DLC)
|Shannon||Mary Elizabeth McGlynn|
|Technical Engineer||Daran Norris|
|Tipur||S. Scott Bullock|
- Additional voices (English version)
Andrew Kishino, Anna Vocino, Annie Mumolo, April Stewart, Ben Diskin, Cam Clarke, Candi Milo, Charlie Adler, Chris Cox, Chris Parson, Christy Carlson Romano, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Daisy Torme, Dave Boat, Debi Derryberry, Dwight Schultz, Eden Riegel, Eliza Jane Schneider, Gideon Emery, Grant George, Gregg Berger, Hedy Burress, Henry Dittman, Hope Levy, Hynden Welch, Jamieson Price, Janice Kawaye, Jason Spisak, Jessica DiCicco, Jim Meskimen, Joe Cappelletti, John DeMita, Julia Fletcher, Kari Wahlgren, Keith Ferguson, Keith Silverstein, Kim Mai Guest, Kirk Thornton, Kyle Hebert, Laura Napoli, Marc Worden, Masasa Moyo, Matt King, Megan Hollingshead, Michael Sinterniklaas, Michael Sorich, Michelle Ruff, Mikey Kelley, Neil Kaplan, Nick Jameson, Nika Futterman, Patrick Seitz, Phil Procter, Quinton Flynn, Robbie Rist, Robin Becker, Roger Craig Smith, Sam Riegal, Scott Menville, Stephanie Sheh, Steve Staley, Steve Van Wormer, Tish Hicks, Travis Willingham, Vanessa Marshall, Vic Mignogna, Wally Wingert, Wendee Lee, Yuri Lowenthal, Zeus Mendoza
- See also: Final Fantasy XIII-2/Concept Art
- Main article: Final Fantasy XIII-2/Allusions
Final Fantasy XIII-2 makes callbacks to Final Fantasy XIII and to the rest of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos, as well as to other Final Fantasy games, pop culture, and the numbers 13 and 2, among others.
- The object in the bottom-left of the in-battle HUD resembles the early Overclock concept seen in Final Fantasy XIII's E3 2006 trailer.
- The moogles in Final Fantasy XIII-2 are different than the ones seen in the original game because another artist, Toshitaka Matsuda, was chosen to design them for this title.
- Despite prominently featuring a moogle, the "Moogle Theme" is not present in the game.
- The idea of monsters fighting in the player's party was previously used in International Version of Final Fantasy X-2 where monsters can be recruited and used in battle with its "Creature Creator" system.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the second game in the series to have two sisters as playable characters, the first being Final Fantasy V.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 is the sixth game in the series to involve time travel as a major plot element, after Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy VIII, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift, and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 is similar to the logo of Final Fantasy X-2 by having the game's number in larger size ("FINAL FANTASY X-2" and "FINAL FANTASY XIII-2") and having single-colored characters in battle poses. According to an interview with Isamu Kamikokuryo about the art direction, the colors pink and purple came up a lot, and consequently, they are the colors in the logo.
- The icon that indicates the party leader resembles the one from Final Fantasy XII.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2's North American release date is on the same day and month that Final Fantasy VII was released for the first time in Japan.
- The male cast and Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII-2 modelled Prada's 2012 spring/summer meanswear collection in a "photo shoot."
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Allusions
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Concept Art
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Translations
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Version Differences
- Final Fantasy XIII-2 Wallpapers
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2014/09/08/square-enix-bringing-final-fantasy-xiii-smartphones-via-streaming/
- ↑ http://www.finalfantasy.net/xiii-2/final-fantasy-xiii2-ost-dec-14/
- ↑ http://finalfantasyxiii2.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/square-enix-reveals-final-fantasy-xiii-2-nordic-edition-and-special-editions/
- ↑ http://blog.us.playstation.com/2011/12/16/final-fantasy-xiii-2-qa-a-time-traveling-sequel-to-surpass-the-original/
- ↑ Andriasang
- ↑ IGN
- ↑ FFXIII Producer Wants a Sequel, Escapist
- ↑ Andriasang
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/173093/Square_Enix_to_avoid_largescale_internal_development_after_Final_Fantasy_XIII2.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GamasutraNews+%2
- ↑ http://www.gameinformer.com/games/final_fantasy_xiii-2/b/ps3/archive/2011/11/23/creators-talk-time-travel-sequel-development-amp-more.aspx
- ↑ http://andriasang.com/comy9w/
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2011/12/18/tri-ace-helped-out-with-final-fantasy-xiii-2/
- ↑ http://finalfantasyxiii2.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/exclusive-motomu-toriyama-interview/
- ↑ http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/2011/06/09/ffxiii_2_team_interview/
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 http://uk.gamespot.com/news/final-fantasy-xiii-2-roundtable-art-and-music-6345473
- ↑ http://finalfantasy.com.br/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1075
- ↑ Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega Scenario Interview with Toriyama and Watanabe
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 https://member.eu.square-enix.com/en/blogs/final-fantasy-xiii-2-mini-interview-focuses-story
- ↑ http://www.1up.com/news/final-fantasy-xiii-2-darker-freer
- ↑ Final Fantasy XIII-2 Judge 13
- ↑ http://gematsu.com/2011/11/final-fantasy-xiii-2-collectors-edition-announced
- ↑ http://finalfantasyxiii2.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/square-enix-reveals-final-fantasy-xiii-2-nordic-edition-and-special-editions
- ↑ http://asia.playstation.com/hk/en/news/pressDetail/255660
- ↑ http://asia.playstation.com/sg/en/news/pressDetail/257890
- ↑ http://asia.playstation.com/tw/cht/news/pressDetail/254740
- ↑ http://asia.gamespot.com/news/namco-bandai-to-distribute-xbox-360-final-fantasy-xiii-2-in-asia-6339843
- ↑ http://xboxlife.tw/show.php?fid=2&tid=2294
- ↑ http://asia.playstation.com/hk/en/game/gameDetail/254390
- ↑ http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-HK/Product/FINAL-FANTASY-XIII-2/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d80253510806
- ↑ http://www.siliconera.com/2014/09/18/yes-final-fantasy-xiii-trilogy-coming-pc/
- ↑ http://store.steampowered.com/app/292140/
- ↑ Final Fantasy XIII-2 Launches on iOS (Accessed: February 05, 2016) at Square Portal
- ↑ http://andriasang.com/comzh1/ffxiii2_sellthrough/
- ↑ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2012-01-06/japanese-video-game-market-down-8-percent-in-2011
- ↑ http://gematsu.com/2011/12/final-fantasy-xiii-2-scores-perfect-in-dengeki-sazh-teased-as-downloadable-content
- ↑ http://ps3.ign.com/articles/121/1217386p1.html
- ↑ http://www.crashtodesktop.co.uk/2012/01/oxm-us-ffxiii-2-feels-like-what-that.html
- ↑ http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/12/25/2012-rpg-of-the-year-awards.aspx
- ↑ Interview with Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama, p200, April 12, 2012 issue of Weekly Famitsu