Kitase and Toriyama Talk FFXIII-2 and Fabula Nova Crystallis
Hold on to your save data, because there may be some bonuses!
Famitsu.com has posted the first in a series of interviews tied in to last week's Square Enix 1st Production Department Premier event. The interviews cover all the titles shown at the event and are more expanded versions of interviews that appear in this week's issue of Weekly Famitsu.
The first interview has Yoshinori Kitase and Motomu Toriyama speaking about Final Fantasy XIII-2 and the Fabula Nova Crystallis series mythology as a whole. Here's a summary of key points.
FABULA NOVA CRYSTALLIS MYTHOLOGY
The Final Fantasy XIII-2 part of the Premier event began with the first ever formal description of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology. This took the form of a five minute narrated animation clip.
Kitase said that the reason they decided to show this now is because they felt that by showing the overall image of the mythology, players would be able to understand it better. The Premier event would be a perfect chance to do this because Final Fantasy Type-0's release was approaching and they wanted to give the Fabula series a restart.
The video was created by a team headed up by Yusuke Naora (who's serving as art director on Type-0). The text of the narration was arranged from the mythology book that was created by Kazushige Nojima (who's heading up the scenario on Versus XIII). Noejima's book goes into greater detail, telling the feelings of the various gods, for instance.
Kitase joked that the mythology was written five years back and Noejima's book has been sealed away since then. They had to take it out just for the Premier event.
You can see a translation of the mythology that's read in the trailer clip at this blog.
The trailer did not show the gods in human form, Famitsu noted. The reason for this, explained Kitase, is that if you use a human form to depict the gods, their image becomes fixed, and the various Fabula series titles would be prevented from having their own interpretation. They decided to go with the forms used in the trailer after considering how to allow the mythology's image to expand and not get tied down.
You can actually see a sort of humanish form for the mythology's gods in the Fabula Nova Crystallis logo (shown above). The figure shown in the logo is one of the gods. Kitase wouldn't say which god it is, though, suggesting that players consider it for themselves.
One thing you might not have noticed is that the logo has changed a bit. It no longer says "XIII." The Fabula Nova Crystallis project was originally announced as Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII, but the XIII is no longer there, neither in the name nor the logo. The reason for the name change, said Kitase, is that Final Fantasy Agito XIII was changed to Final Fantasy Type-0 but is still a member of the Fabula project, so having a XIII in the project name would have been an issue.
FINAL FANTASY XIII-2
The Final Fantasy XIII-2 part of the interview is story focused, so those who haven't finished FFXIII may want to avoid reading the summary. I ain't spoiler taggin' nothin'.
Famitsu first asked for a recap of how the project came to be. The main reason they decided to make a sequel, said Toriyama, is that there was demand throughout the world. In addition to this, Toriyama and the development staff wanted to portray the Lightning character further. The original FFXIII ended with a lingering question: is Lightning really happy? Final Fantasy XIII-2 will come to a clear conclusion.
The "Episode i" after story novella that was included as a bonus with the first print run of the Japanese Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII serves as the prologue of XIII-2. Famitsu pointed out that Episode i shows the various characters from FFXIII returning to their normal lives. Does this mean that Lightning will be on her own? Also, Famitsu asked, will the purpose of Lightning's new journey be to find a method of helping Vanille and Fang?
Regarding the latter point, Toriyama noted that being helped by the sacrifice of the two characters left a wound in the hearts of everyone. The story will of course show not just Lightning, but the other allies who were hurt by that, Toriyama assured. Additionally, there will be a number of new characters.
Similar to the Dengeki interview, Famitsu's interviewers asked if there would be any Final Fantasy X-2 style dancing and singing in XIII-2. XIII-2 will have have a serious direction, Kitase replied. Toriyama noted that considering Vanille and Fang are gone and the world is in a state where Cocoon had fallen, there's no way for the new story to be totally peaceful. XIII-2 will have a darker and more mysterious side over XIII.
Famitsu asked if XIII-2 will possibly being set in the dark world that Lightning is wandering around in at the end of the Episode i novella. Toriyama responded that the principal setting will be different from that of XIII, but he assured that the FFXIII world will be in the game in some form.
As part of the story of the original, Lightning has lost her l'Cie abilities (summons, casting magic, etc.). In response to this observation from Famitsu, Toriyama joked that perhaps Lightning has become an even more incredible existence than a l'Cie. Famitsu countered that she certainly has become sexier. Toriyama responded that even though she's probably more explosed (I must be missing something here because she doesn't look more exposed to me!), similar to the original, they're valuing her refined and noble qualities. He added that her clothing has a more fantasy feel to it this time, and the design of her weapons and other such items will match.
Commenting on the trailer, Famitsu noted that there's a scene which shows Lightning standing in front of what looks like an alter. That's actually not an altar but a seat, corrected Toriyama, and it has great significance.
Famitsu also pointed out that when Lighthing and the mysterious new guy shown in the trailer line up back to back, they look like angel and devil. "Which is the angel and which is the devil?" joked Toriyama. He added, Lightning has a new mission this time, and as she attempts to fulfill this mission, she'll end up in a confrontation with the guy. He's a powerful character who can fight on equivalent ground with Lightning, the hero who saved the world.
One final point: if you have Final Fantasy XIII save data, you may want to hold on to it. The team is investigating the possibility of giving something to players who have save data in place.