Get Your First Look at Sazh's Boy
Friendly and energetic, and with a cotton candy-like baby fro just perfect for a Chocobo.
Final Fantasy XIII's Sazh Katzroy has a son. Not a Chocobo son -- a real, human son!
Sazh's son, Dahj, made his debut in this week's Famitsu. As usual, all the information leaked out ahead of the magazine's release today, but now everyone can get a look at the character thanks to an update today at Famitsu.com.
As detailed in the magazine (I posted a full writeup at IGN earlier), six-year-old Dajh is Sazh's only son, and Sazh is his only parent since his mother died three years prior. The two characters have been living apart, but are reunited during the course of FFXIII.
You might think that young Dahj is jealous about all the attention Sazh gives to the baby Chocobo that lives in his fro. This probably isn't the case, though, as the Chocobo actually belongs to Dahj! As detailed in Famitsu, Sazh purchased the Chocobo from a gift shop while he and Dahj were out at a vacation spot. He gave the Chocobo to Dahj as a gift. Why the Chocobo ends up traveling with Sazh is not explained in the magazine.
In the Famitsu.com article, we're shown two pics of Dahj. The text under the first screen says that Dahj is a major reason why Sazh is traveling with Lightning in pursuit of the Pulse fal'Cie. The second screen reveals that the father-son meeting in FFXIII is a big surprise to Sazh.
Final Fantasy XIII sub character designer Ikeda Nao tells Famitsu in this issue that the area she paid attention to during the character's creation was the afro. She notes that because of the character's age, his afro is a baby afro, like cotton candy, unlike Sazh's sturdy fro. In addition to this, she took great care when creating the character's big eyes.
When coming up with Dahj's design, Ikeda says that she was asked to create "An energetic, healthy friendly boy". She also said that she was shocked to see FF's first afro after being shown Tetsuya Nomura's rough sketch for Sazh. The request for Dahj came about half a year after that.
It may be hard to see in the above screen, but there's some text written on a patch on the chest area of Dahj's overalls. It's written in Cocoon characters, so you probably can't read it (at least I hope you can't) but Famitsu says that the text reads "Choc" (this is written in Roman characters in the magazine). Ikeda tells the magazine that there's no deep meaning to the word. The patch is supposed to be the logo for a Chocobo goods shop in Cocoon, and she just came up with something on her own.
Upon reading Ikeda's comments in the magazine, it's pretty clear that there's a lot more to the Dahj than meets the eye. And the character looks like he'll have a pretty substantial role in the game. There is a passage in the Final Fantasy XIII Premiere Party trailer where Sazh is heard discussing Dahj with the very evil Jihl Nabaat.
The rest of the screens in the Famitsu.com story show off the Optima system. As detailed in the IGN story, the Optima system consists of two primary components: roles and optimas. Roles are the roles, or jobs -- hint, hint, a given character is assigned in battle -- things like defender, attacker, and healer. Optimas are groupings of roles. By executing an Optima Change, something that you can do freely during battle, you can assign all your characters different roles.
In the first battle shot at the site, we see Lightning as a defender, Snow as an attacker, and Vanille as a blaster. This optima is called "Rush Assault."
Incidentally, it appears that you can't freely name the optimas. The name is chosen based off the roles that you've assigned to the characters. The number of names Square Enix had to come up with depends, of course, on the number of role types the game has. The Famitsu.com text notes that the screenshots show at least five roles, but there could be more.
The second shot shows Snow in attacker form. The text below the shot explains the attacker and blaster roles. Attackers are specialists in attack strength. They can execute not just physical attacks, but magic attacks as well. Blasters are specialists in following up on attacks made by others, and building up chains. They're also good with elemental attacks.
The final shot in the bunch shows an Optima Change in progress. Execute this, and you'll end up changing your characters' power and also the abilities they can use. As detailed above, you can do an Optima Change as much as you want, although you can only change to Optimas that you've set in advance.
I wish I'd known all of this before demoing the game at the FFXIII Premiere Party. Maybe I'll have to give it another go at TGS.