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So How Far Along Was Final Fantasy XIII on PS2?

A slight glimpse into the vault.

The Final Fantasy XIII World Preview guide.

It's widely known that Final Fantasy XIII started development as a PlayStation 2 title. But how far along did the game get before Square Enix made the switch to 4D?

Producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama shared a few bits of FFXIII history in an interview featured in the Final Fantasy XIII World Preview guide book. This first official guide book was released by Square Enix on Thursday.

The two first recapped how the FFXIII project started. Much of this was previously detailed. Square Enix released Final Fantasy X2 International + Last Mission, an updated version of FFX-2 for the Japanese market, in 2004, explained Kitase. Development on FFXIII began on the PS2 right after that.

The FFXIII team hasn't actually been working for five straight years on the same game, Toriyama pointed out. When the PS3 was first announced, Square Enix showed off its support with that infamous real time demo of Final Fantasy VII's opening scene. As previously revealed, the FFXIII team worked on that. According to Toriyama, the team stopped work on FFXIII for about 3 or 4 months to make that demo.

It was only after the demo was completed that the team began work on FFXIII as a PlayStation 3 title.

Kitase provided a few precious details on what the PS2 version of FFXIII was like. In terms of areas of the world, the Hanged Edge local was already in. Hanged Edge is the futuristic city setting from the Advent Children demo.

They even had a character running around in the area. A PS2 version of Lightning? Actually, they were using a FFX's Yuna as a placeholder character.

Hanged Edge, from the Advent Children demo.

What we're seeing in the PS3 FFXIII is completely new. "In the end, we had to throw away everything that was for use with the PS2 era, and restart anew," said Toriyama.

The PS2 version of Hanged Edge was "totally different" from the PS3 version, explained Kitase. At that point in development, they didn't even have any of the characters set.

I'm sure any FF fan would love to see Yuna running around in a PS2-spec Hanged Edge. Maybe we can hope that Square Enix pulls a Shenmue and includes the top secret footage as a bonus clip.

Maybe not. This is one vault that will likely remain closed for good.

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