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The Latest on Final Fantasy XIII, Through Screenshots!

A closer look at the mission system, weapon reform system, and Gran Pulse's giant beasts.

 

The predictable Square Enix promotional machine has at long last turned to the rest of the Japanese enthusiast media that's not called "Famitsu," and we now have our first set of quality media for many of the recently unveiled Final Fantasy XIII gameplay systems, locations, and enemies.

Here are the screens, along with a summary of what you're looking at.

Reform System

You use this system to upgrade weapons by feeding them them special materials that you find while out on your adventure. You can only access the "Reform" option from the main menu once you've progressed far enough in the game.

Selecting to upgrade Lightning's Blaze Edge.
To the left, select the weapon you want to reform. Listed weapons: Blaze Edge, Wild Bear, Bind Rod, Vega, Air Wing, and Blade Lance. To the right, select the item that you want to use to modify the weapon. Sample items include Sprocket Gear, Spark Plug, and Dinosaur Bone.
In most cases, ddding items will give your weapons experience, eventually resulting in a level up. Lightning's Blaze Edge sword goes from Lv.1 to Lv.2 in the screen to the left. Shown to the right, instead of actual experience, an item gives Lightning's Blaze Edge Lv.5 sword an experience bonus of 1.25. This means that the next item will give experience at 1.25x normal.
One possible way to get items for weapon upgrades is to destroy other accessories and weapons. Here, you're selecting to destroy the Silver Bangle Lv.1 accessory which gives your character HP+100

Item Change

Level up your weapons, and eventually you'll be able to change their form. Screens show Lightning's standard Blaze Edge weapon turning into Slash Carbon, Snow's standard Wild Bear coat showing a different pattern, and Vanille's Bind Rod turning into a different type of hook-based weapon.

Lightning's Blaze Edge reaches max level (indicated by the star) and changes to Magnum Blaze Lv.13. Notice how the physical and magic attack parameters are lower for the new weapon. This happens when you change your weapons.
Two Lightning weapons.
Two Snow weapons (note the pattern changes on his coat).
Two Vanille weapons. Square Enix hasn't shared a name for the one to the right.

New "Iseki" Field

This area of Cocoon is located beneath the city of Boudam, the place that Snow, Lightning and all call home. It is where the Pulse fal'Cie was discovered. This appears to be a central event in the FFXIII storyline, as it lead to the purge against which Snow and crew are fighting.

The Pulse fal'Cie.

Mount Yaschas

An area of Gran Pulse filled with both natural landscapes and the ruins of an ancient city. The city is now a nest for Cie Corpses.

Monsters

Screenshots show the giant Jabotender and two smaller Sabotenders, a massive Adamantite creature, and a King Behemoth.

King Behemoth.
Monsters will fight one another in Gran Pulse.

Missions

Speak to obelisks that are laying around the world, and you'll get to take on missions which ask that you take out certain particularly tough enemies. Clear the missions, and you'll get rewards and special materials.

Those obelisks are the remains of Cie Corpses.

A mission briefing screen lists a Grand Prin enemy as the target, a general location where the target can be found, a letter grade indicating difficulty, and some text detailing the background story of the obelisk.

The obelisks were all once l'Cie who failed to perform their assigned duty. They became Cie Corpses, then later crystalized into the obelisk form.

The missions are listed with name, target enemy, location, difficulty level, and background story.
You get an Energy Sash item as a reward for clearing this mission. Your title of Kind Rookie also rises in rank.

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