- “A new world. A new Lightning. A new FINAL FANTASY XIII.”
Final Fantasy XIII-3 is the direct sequel to Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series. It was developed by The Final Fantasy with assistance from Kaimi and Crystal Tear. The game takes place thirteen years after the events of its predecessor conclude.
Final Fantasy XIII-3 takes place in the New World, which was first seen in the epilogue of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
- Claire Farron (エクレール・ファロン, Ekurēru Faron) - The main protagonist. Claire defied her fate as a Pulse l'Cie, served the goddess Etro in Valhalla, and saved the souls of humanity in the waning days of Nova Chrysalia during the Age of Gods and Crystals. Ever since she came to the new world, she has learned to accept her emotions and has dropped her "Lightning" alias entirely.
- Hope Estheim (ホープ・エストハイム, Hōpu Esutohaimu) - A young boy who was once a Pulse l'Cie, director of Academy, and host for the god of light, Bhunivelze, during the Age of Gods and Crystals. Upon coming to the new world, Hope was able to begin his life anew under the care of his resurrected parents. He retains the intelligence of his 27 year-old self from 500 AF in the old world, and he is presently researching the mysteries of the new world, such as why no one but he and his friends have memories of their previous lives.
- Noel Kreiss (ノエル・クライス, Noeru Kuraisu) - A young man who was once a hunter, time traveller, and the last human in existence in an alternate future of the old world during the Age of Gods and Crystals. With his beloved Yeul, he has begun his life anew in the subtropics of the new world. He finds the climate there reminiscent of Gran Pulse, and the hustle and bustle of people in the nearby marketplace brings him much comfort.
- Oerba Dia Vanille (ヲルバ=ダイア・ヴァニラ, Woruba Daia Vanira) -
- Oerba Yun Fang (ヲルバ=ユン・ファング, Woruba-Yun Fangu) -
- Sazh Katzroy ( サッズ・カッツロイ, Sazzu Kattsuroi) - A middle-aged man with dark skin who was once a Pulse l'Cie and airship pilot during the Age of Gods and Crystals. Sazh lives in the new world with his young son Dajh, and he agreed to fly planes for a living in order to give the boy the chance to see the world. It is rumored that Sazh is building a special kind of plane in secrecy.
- Serah Farron ( セラ・ファロン, Sera Faron) - The deuteragonist and Claire Farron's younger sister. Once a Pulse l'Cie and time traveler who lost her life during the Age of Gods and Crystals, she has since been restored and has begun her life anew in the new world. In the thirteen years that have passed since Nova Chrysalia's death, Serah has finally married her longtime fiancé, Snow Villiers. She is also now a professor at White Castle University, where she teaches Old World History.
- Snow Villiers (スノウ・ヴィリアース, Sunou Viriāsu) - A reckless and optimistic young man who spent centuries cursed as a l'Cie during the Age of Gods and Crystals. Since he began his life anew in the new world, he has finally married his longtime fiancé, Serah Farron. With the resurrected members of NORA, Snow spends his free time riding a motorcycle around the countryside.
- Bhunivelze (ブーニベルゼ, Būniberuze) - The main antagonist and the god of light. Thought to have met his end upon the death of Nova Chrysalia, he threatens to return in hopes of destroying the new world, along with the "pathetic mortals" who bested him.
- Caius Ballad (カイアス・バラッド, Kaiasu Baraddo) - A man cursed with immortality who seeks death instead of salvation. He imprisoned himself in the Unseen Realm upon the death of Nova Chrysalia, hoping that by remaining at Yeul's side in New Valhalla, he could one day atone for his many sins.
- Paddra Nsu-Yeul (パドラ＝ヌス・ユール, Padora Nusu-Yūru) - A young seeress whose incarnation from 700 AF has found peace in the subtropics of the new world with Noel Kreiss. The countless incarnations that came before it, who believe they are too dangerous to belong in such a place, protect the stability of the Unseen Realm in New Valhalla under the protection of their guardian, Caius Ballad.
- Mwynn (ムイン, Muin) - The original goddess of the universe and creator of everything in existence. It was she who bore Bhunivelze, and with the malevolent god of light destined to return, Claire Farron and her friends must uncover the mysteries of Mwynn and find the lost deity if they are to maintain humanity's autonomy in the new world.
Downloadable Content and ExtrasEdit
The Final Fantasy first considered developing a concept for Final Fantasy XIII-3 when Square Enix registered the domain name for it on September 7, 2011. The company claimed this action was not indicative of a new title, however, thus The Final Fantasy, greatly inspired by all aspects of the Final Fantasy XIII games, decided to try developing Final Fantasy XIII-3 for himself. Work on The Final Fantasy's Final Fantasy XIII-3 project officially began on December 16, 2011, after The Final Fantasy saw an entire Japanese playthrough of the recently-released Final Fantasy XIII-2 and witnessed the game's shocking cliffhanger ending.
Because Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII featured an open-ended epilogue and the fate of Bhunivelze, the game's antagonist, was left ambiguous, The Final Fantasy at last saw a chance to develop a game concept for the Lightning Saga; he knew that because Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII was the last official game in the series in Square Enix's eyes, the development of his project would no longer be endangered by other material. Surprisingly quickly, ideas for the new Final Fantasy XIII-3 started flowing into The Final Fantasy's mind; he has said that "even though Lightning Returns is technically the third game in the Lightning Saga, it can now be viewed as the bridge that connects Final Fantasy XIII-2 to its true sequel." The Final Fantasy has stated that developing a Final Fantasy XIII game that takes place in a real-world setting is "quite intriguing, although it's difficult not to copy Final Fantasy XV; he claimed that "the real world serves as a nice contrast for and fits in nicely with the fantasy and futuristic settings seen in previous installments."
In terms of the plot of Final Fantasy XIII-3, The Final Fantasy has revealed that a novella is to be written that bridges the gap between Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel. The plot revolves around Bhunivelze's imminent return and the protagonists' search for the god's mother, Mwynn, in order to preserve humanity's autonomy in the new world. The game's story is going to be on the same scale as that of Final Fantasy XIII in terms of both length and quality. Regarding Final Fantasy XIII: Reminiscence -tracer of memories-, the novella released by Square Enix that leads into the epilogue of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, The Final Fantasy has stated that "Final Fantasy XIII-3 explains why hardly any of the material in that novella is included."
Very little has been revealed about gameplay in Final Fantasy XIII-3 as of yet aside from two things: it is to be very similar, at least visually, to the early gameplay seen in the E3 2006 trailer for Final Fantasy XIII, and eight characters are to be playable - Claire Farron (Lightning), Serah Farron, Snow Villiers, Sazh Katzroy, Hope Estheim, Oerba Dia Vanille, Oerba Yun Fang, and Noel Kreiss.
|Claire Farron||Maaya Sakamoto||Ali Hillis|
|Hope Estheim||Yūki Kaji||Vincent Martella|
|Noel Kreiss||Daisuke Kishio||Jason Marsden|
|Oerba Dia Vanille||Yukari Fukui||Georgia van Cuylenburg|
|Oerba Yun Fang||Mabuki Andō||Rachel Robinson|
|Sazh Katzroy||Masashi Ebara||Reno Wilson|
|Serah Farron||Minako Kotobuki||Laura Bailey|
|Snow Villiers||Daisuke Ono||Troy Baker|
|Bhunivelze||Yūki Kaji||Daniel Riordan|
|Caius Ballad||Hiroshi Shirokuma||Liam O'Brien|
|Mwynn||Maaya Sakamoto||Ali Hillis|
|Paddra Nsu-Yeul||Mariya Ise||Amber Hood|
|Final Fantasy XIII-3|
|Playable characters: Claire Farron - Hope Estheim - Noel Kreiss - Oerba Dia Vanille - Oerba Yun Fang - Sazh Katzroy - Serah Farron - Snow Villiers|
|Guest: Caius Ballad|
|Major characters: Bhunivelze - Mwynn - Paddra Nsu-Yeul|
|Minor characters: ???|
|Entities: Etro - Lindzei - Pulse|
|The Visible Realm|
|The New World|
|The Unseen Realm|