Final Fantasy XIII Update
The full word on Cid, Galenth Dysley, Vanille's summon, and Cocoon politics.
You can tell Final Fantasy XIII's release is nearing just based off the frequency of Famitsu's huge blowouts on the game. Following up on last week's feature that covered such areas as Gran Pulse and the weapon growth system, the magazine returned this week with another multipage feature providing clarification on some of the areas that were introduced in last week's "final" trailer.
FFXIII's incarnation of the "Cid" character was one of the big final trailer reveals. In FFXIII, Cid, full named Cid Raines, is a young, capable officer in the Holy Government army. That's right, the bad guys! Although, Cid apparently has some doubts about the government.
Cid heads up a group known as the "Kiheitai" (this translates to "Cavalry Division" -- I'm not sure if it's meant to be an actual name or not). This group patrols the skies above the city and, unusual for a security force, has its very own large class air ship which it uses to speed to the front. Cid has earned great trust from his subordinates.
Cid has a mark on his back. It shows what appears to be a sphere and wings. Famitsu speculates that this is the insignia for the Kiheitai.
This isn't the first time we've been introduced to an officer in the Holy Government army. Previously, Square Enix unveiled PSICOM commanders Jihl Nabaat and Yaag Rosch. According to Famitsu, Cid outranks these two.
Screenshots of Cid show the character in conversation with Snow. Cid is apologizing to Snow for a reason that's unclear. The screen shows Fang behind Cid, prompting the magazine to speculate that Fang, known to be a l'Cie and playable character, is moving around with Cid's group. The point of this particular screenshot appears to be that not all holy government officers have a negative view of the l'Cie.
Two other characters shown in the trailer (and later introduced in Jump) were Galenth Dysley and Rygdea (Famitsu lists the latin names for the characters, so these are official spellings).
The elderly Dysley is the leading figure in the Holy Government. He represents the tens of millions of Cocoon residents and is trusted by people as a lover of peace. Following the discovery of a Pulse fal'Cie in Cocoon (see last week's story for how that came about), he issued directives in order to prevent confusion and disorder.
Does this mean that he's the one who decided to banish those who were deemed influenced by Pulse? That would presumably make him high on Lightning's strike list.
Rygdea is Cid's right hand man. He's apparently earned the favor of Lightning and crew due to his opposition to his higher ups in the army.
Director Motomu Toriyama shared some insight with the magazine into Cid, Rygdea, and Cocoon politics. Within the holy government, he explained, there are some who are against the rule of the fal'Cie that has continued for a long time.
Yes, the fal'Cie do have a role in the government. They have an overseer role over the government by the people, and lend assistance to the leader (in this case Dysley). The general citizen places trust in both the government and the fal'Cie. There has never been a case of a leader being against the fal'Cie.
Regarding Cid's Kiheitai air battalion, Toriyama explained that the group is mostly made of people who have the ideal view of "free rule over Cocoon at the hand of people."
Toriyama also spoke about the difference between PSICOM and Cid's Kiheitai group.
PSICOM is a heavily armed special forces group working directly under the holy government for the battle against Pulse. It's comprised exclusively of the physically and mentally elite.
The Kiheitai is similar to the security army with which Lightning was originally stationed. Different from the security armies that are positioned in specific areas of the world, the Kiheitai protect all of Cocoon's airspace, and thus have possession of their own mothership,named "Lindblom" (that's "リンドブルム" in Japanese, in case someone has a better latinization suggestion).
Vanille's summon Hecatoncheir was the other major reveal in the trailer. With Hecatoncheir, the summon buddies for all six playable characters are now accounted for.
Hecatoncheir is said to have an infinite number of arms. It uses these as machine guns to fire on enemies. It can also stick its arms into the ground and have them emerge right beneath the enemy, tossing the enemy into the air.
In Driving Mode, Hecatoncheir transforms into what looks like a mech, with giant cannons sticking out from its front. Attacks shown in screenshots include Gatling Cannon, Tetra Missile, Penetrate Ray, Buster Force, and Gaia Salvo.
As with the other characters and their summons, Vanille rides atop Hecatoncheir during Driving mode. She looks almost like she's riding an elephant. Screens show her mimicking gun motions. It's unclear if this has any function, or if she's just being light-hearted Vanille (you'll recall how she made that "pow to the face" gun shot motion to Snow in the Advent Children demo).
Motomu Toriyama shared a bit of commentary on the new summon. The concept, said Toriyama, was "shooting blaster." During Driving Mode, the beast unleashes only long range attacks.
I described Hecatoncheir's Driving Mode form as looking like a mech. The comparison that actually keeps on popping up (in Jump and now Famitsu) is to the "Madou Armor" mechs from Final Fantasy VI (they're on the Japanese cover). The resemblance to the Madou Armor wasn't planned, said Toriyama. They originally hoped to design a ridable "Powered Suit Tank" which moved on two legs. In the end, the design resembled the Madou Armor.
[Additional reporting from Ryan Winterhalter]
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