Square Enix Talks Final Fantasy XIII + Submit Your Questions

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Over on the PlayStation.Blog.Europe, Jem Alexander managed to wrangle up a great Q&A with Final Fantasy XIII Producer Yoshinori Kitase and Director Motomu Toriyama. But Europe’s not stealing all the fun – We’re heading up to San Francisco later today to speak with Mr. Kitase and Mr. Toriyama, as well as FFXIII‘s Battle Director Yuji Abe for the first time. So now’s the time to get those final questions out there (That’s Final Fantasy XIII only, so please keep your questions on that topic. They won’t be discussing anything Versus- or Agito-related). We’re almost exactly a month out from the game’s release, after all!

I asked for your Final Fantasy XIII interview questions and you responded in earnest. Thanks so much for your many questions — they were far too numerous for me to ask them all, but I hope you agree that I covered all the important ones with the game’s Producer, Yoshinori Kitase, and Director, Motomu Toriyama. Can you believe it’s only four weeks until the game is in our hands? It’s been a long wait, but we’re almost there.

This interview will hopefully give you some insight into the development of the game, and get you interested in the other two Fabula Nova Crystallis games — Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII. As soon as Square Enix is ready to talk more about these titles, you can expect to see something here on PlayStation.Blog.

Final Fantasy XIII

Do you have any plans for Final Fantasy XIII PlayStation Home content?

It is already happening in Japan. There will be costumes for Lightning and Snow, and there’s a personal space as well as chocobo and other character figures. We don’t know at the moment whether this will be brought to Europe.

Will Final Fantasy Versus XIII have any links to Final Fantasy XIII?

Final Fantasy Versus XIII is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series, but XIII and Versus XIII only share the same basic mythology. The fal’Cie and l’Cie are just a small part of this mythology, but the story and the characters are completely different.

Are there any games within the Fabula Nova Crystallis series that have yet to be announced?

At the moment we are concentrating on releasing Versus XIII and Agito XIII. At the moment we have no other specific plans to release any other titles as a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series.

What made you decide to make Final Fantasy XIII a series, rather than a standalone title?

If you look back at the Final Fantasy series, at VII for example, this later let to Advent Children and Crisis Core. Also, for FFX, we created FFX-2 after its release. In those cases we obviously released the original title first and then created the sequel. This time we wanted to create several games in the same project from the outset.

Will there be an English demo?

We haven’t decided whether to make a demo available yet.

How much emphasis is placed on story and cutscenes in FFXIII? Do you feel it’s balanced with gameplay, or heavy on either side?

The basic playtime is about 50 to 60 hours, for the main story. Amongst which, the cutscenes make up about 10 hours. So, quite a large amount, with very high quality graphics, of course. So there’s plenty of story and gameplay to enjoy.

What will you be moving on to now that Final Fantasy XIII is finished?

At the moment we are still concentrating on finishing off and promoting the overseas version of Final Fantasy XIII, but many of the team have obviously accumulated a lot of knowledge and experience and they will be moved over to work on Versus and Agito. Personally, we don’t know what we’re going to move on to next.

Final Fantasy XIII

How much sidequest content is there in XIII?

We call them “missions”, rather than “quests”. During the second half of the story, when the characters go down to a place called Pulse, there are many missions available there. In the majority of them the boss of the mission who you have to defeat, is more powerful than the main boss of the story. I’ve already told you that the basic playing time is 50 to 60 hours, but if you want to complete all the missions, the total time is probably twice that or more.

So what are the chances of a CG movie based on FFXIII, like Advent Children?

There are no plans at the moment, but once it is released over here and, if there are some particular characters or features that are received particularly well, then we might make a decision. And of course we need to see how it goes down sales-wise and regarding user reactions, first.

What are your feelings about the current state of the game industry in Japan, compared with the West and what Western games have you been most influenced by?

Some people have been saying that the Japanese game industry is dead, and all that… I dunno. I will say that Final Fantasy XIII is one really epic title for high definition consoles. With this game, we are going to resurrect the whole thing. As for Western games that have influenced us — FPSs mostly. The Call of Duty series, for example.

Final Fantasy XIII

How do you feel about Yoichi Wada’s statement that Final Fantasy XIII will be the last game of its kind for Square Enix?

We don’t know exactly what he meant by that. We don’t really know what he meant by this style of game. If you consider that during Final Fantasy XIII’s development, at peak time the team consisted of over 300 people. It was a huge team, plus it took a several long years to get the game finished. So, if Mr Wada meant that we would never make another Final Fantasy title with the similar number of people, taking as long as FFXIII did, we would agree. Obviously in the future we want to be much more efficient. Having worked on XIII, we feel that we have got much better at making good games for high definition consoles. In the future our teams will be smaller and more effectively run. We suspect that is what Mr Wada meant by his statement.

The God of War HD remake for the PS3 has been very popular in the US and people in Europe are very much looking forward to it. Do you have any interest in creating an HD remake of a PS1 or PS2 Final Fantasy game?

We don’t know the details about the HD remake of God of War. If it’s just a case of attaining high resolution graphics, only, then that wouldn’t be that difficult, but if we were to achieve the same graphical standard as in XIII with a PS1 title, then that would be a huge, huge task. Almost unrealistic. Even with a PS2 title it would be difficult. In the case of God of War, there weren’t really that many characters in the game — the main character and some monsters, maybe ten people or so. That would not be unachievable. As with Final Fantasy titles in the past, like on PS1, even just the main characters amount to around 10 people. Then you have all the NPCs, you’re probably looking at about 200 characters total. All with individual textures for the skin, plus costumes, facial features and everything. That would be a really tricky job.

Will there be any New Game content in Final Fantasy XIII?

When you finish the main quest there are some growth elements of the the characters which will unlock once you’ve defeated the last boss. After this is done, you’ll be easily able to return to Pulse and take part in the many missions available there. There is no way to start the game again with your current character stats, however.

Is there a specific reason why Japanese voices were left out of the game?

For the European version, the facial expressions and lip synchronization are all lined up with the English lines, so the Japanese voices would not match up right. That was the main worry.

People are aware that there is a lot of content that has been cut from the game. Do you have any plans to use this content in the future?

You say “content” but, in reality, it’s more like “ideas”. Maybe a map was a little bit too complex and we felt like the player would get completely lost, so we simplified, or whatever. So this content won’t be coming out separately, as it has been binned.

Will there be a hard drive install available?

There is no installation, the game runs directly from the disc.

Finally, why does Sahz have a Chocobo in his hair?

What happened was, initially we only had a concept of this character being happy and jolly. Nomura designed the character and gave him an afro while, flippantly, drew a small chocobo next to him. As we looked at this, we liked the idea and the chocobo got added into the story. That’s how it happened.

Comments are closed.


  • Keep Final Fantasy Versus XIII PS3 Exclusive PLEASE ;)

  • Will the PS3 version feature Japanese voiced language as an option? Please!

  • What would you get out of FFXIII being PS3 exclusive, Carl-G?

  • According to the back of the case for the Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XIII, there will be downloadable content. Will the Playstation 3 version some sort of downloadable content as well?

  • With Western RPG being very popular how much influence did you guys have to creating FFXIII to encompass both audiences?

    I’ve Played the Import Version. What was the reason behind the linearity of the game?

    Regarding Versus XIII – Still a ps3 exclusive in Japan, North America, and Europe Region right? When will we get more news about it?

  • Is this one gonna be online?

  • How much does Tetsuya Nomura love Sony?

  • What games do you play on PS3?

  • @Bloodbath. Here’s the real boxart backcover


    FFXIII Limited Edition for ps3?

  • Are you going to betray Sony again with Versus?

  • I have a question, will the PS3 version be full 1080p? Also when do we find out about the trophy list?

  • Looking forward to playing XIII. It has been a long time coming.

  • Why isn’t it PS3 Exculsive :(

  • Did you take out content to keep the two versions identical because of contracts, since the 360 had to be under 3 disks? Even when ps3 bluray disk could of handles all or most of it.

  • how come you cant make a decent rpg no towns in it leaner game play they can do it in fallout 3 you are making too much average games and not putting a nuff effort in by just making one game at a time your quality has been getting bad for the last two generations of systems ps2 & ps3 final fantasy x-xi-xii where not that good of game’s.

  • 1. Why were some of the English terms from the Japanese version changed for the North American/European version, such as Break becoming Stagger, etc.

    2. Have the CG cutscenes been lip synced as well for the English track?

    3. Will there be a collector’s edition for North America?

    4. Will Final Fantasy XIII come with a beta code for Final Fantasy XIV like the Japanese version did?

    5. Will the Episode Zero novel be released in North America?

    6. Is there any one part of the game you wish could have been better?

    7. Final Fantasy XIII doesn’t necessarily relate to the other Fabula Nova Crystallis titles, but perhaps will save files from FFXIII unlock anything in the other two games?

    8. Final Fantasy XIII is releasing fairly close to the Japanese version. Is it possible future titles in the series will release simultaneously worldwide? Was there any challenges regarding localization?

  • any timeline on a expected release date for versus or agito?

  • and you cant make games buy just making it full of 10 hours of cgi get over doing that.

  • If DLC is released for the game, will there be any additional trophies added to the game for that DLC?

  • Regarding the Question:

    “Is there a specific reason why Japanese voices were left out of the game?”

    For the European version, the facial expressions and lip synchronization are all lined up with the English lines, so the Japanese voices would not match up right. That was the main worry.

    My question is:
    So the US version will have japanese as well or will use the same lip sync?

    I just hate english dubs, they normally can’t pass the real feeling of the characters. Japanese are great voice actors, they really scream, cry, and everything else. I’d rather play in japanese with subtitle than hear bad voice actors like all US versions have. Or at least call some brazilians. They are well know to be one of the best voice actors ever.


  • Like “Star Ocean: The Last Hope”, is there any chance of a future “International” version of “FFXIII” with some added features like multiple language tracks and bonus content? Especially considering there’s so much more you could fit on a single Blu-Ray.

  • I don’t mind that the FF sires is going very linear but why is the reason for it? Wasn’t the open world and controllable airships one of the features that made the series so popular?

  • Dear Square Enix,

    Why are your developers so lazy? Why do we have to play such linear games this gen? Blaming HD for lazy development is a really weak excuse. You spend years working on your games and it seems like you should have more to show for it. I will buy FF13, but that is the last freebe you will get from me.

  • People who imported this game keep complaining about the game’s linearity; however, judging from the screenshots and reviews it doesn’t seem to be much different from the likes of Final Fantasy X in this regard. What would you say to that?

  • What native resolution will it be in (Preferably 1080p)? What audio format (Dolby Digital, DTS, 5.1, 7.1)? About how long should it take for a playthrough of the entire game (Including side quests)? Anything exclusive to the PS3 version that’s not on the 360 version? Is there ANY part of the game that requires the PS3 be connected to the internet?

  • It’s been a staple of the Final Fantasy series to have towns to explore and spend some downtime in. The Japanese impressions of the game indicate that there is no such thing (or very little of) in XIII. What exactly influenced your decision to scale down on towns/hubs from the game and make the game a more linear affair?

  • I would also really like to know about a North American Collector’s Edition. We are only 4 weeks away from the release after all and the European Collector’s Edition has been announced more than 2 weeks ago.

  • Toriyama-san,

    In your interview with SCEE, you mention that New Game+ is not a feature in Final Fantasy XIII. I was surprised to learn this, because I enjoyed the feature very much in your previous game, Final Fantasy X-2 – even if Final Fantasy XIII does not have multiple endings, I enjoy the ability to play back through the game while feeling very powerful (once I have earned the ability to do so by beating the game) – it adds so much replay value, while making sure that each player first enjoys the balanced and difficult playthrough that the game designers have created. Would you consider adding a New Game+ mode via DLC at some point?

  • Is there going to be a Collector’s Edition in the US?

  • Can you comment on what has been said about the Japanese version? as there has been many many negative comments outweighing positive comments.

  • Why wasn’t a premium edition offered? (Collector’s, Special, Limited)

  • Why is there no mini games? Gonna miss those big part in the FF series.

  • When is FF versus 13 going to be announced as a multiplatform title? :]p

    Are there any plans to announce more details on Kingdom Hearts 3

  • Why pick a song by Leon Lewis instead of using the same song used in the Japanese version (or a translated version) as has been done in previous games?

  • *Leona Lewis, yay for forgetting a letter

  • Okay, here’s what I’d like to know:

    – Will the Episode Zero prequel novel be released in English? PLEASE!! :-)

    – Will Final Fantasy XIII come with a beta code for Final Fantasy XIV like the Japanese version did?

    – Are you considering Dowloadable Content?


  • Nice interview. I can’t wait for the game, I already have it paid off at Gamestop :D

  • Why don’t the trophies for this game show up on our public profiles on the website? Yakuza 3/Ryuu ga gotoku 3, God of War I and II, and several other games are missing as well.

  • i feel a bit sad that Final Fantasy lost a bit of fantasy to the profit of technology. i remember when techs were mostly used as a remnant of ancient civilizations.sigh…

    Also i feel that it’s nice to have great graphics, but not at the expense of gameplay elements or story. Some of best games i played where made of 2d sprites. However nowadays people and reviewers seem to have forgotten all those hours playing pacman.

    Still i’m a slave to good stories and will look forward to this game.

  • So no PlayStation Home plans for NA?

  • The Japanese voices are being left out? I was hoping that they would be kept…

  • why was there a decision to not have any towns in final fantasy 13?

  • What do you think you learned from working on the first HD Final Fantasy title, that can benefit you in future games?

  • I won’t buy or even rent Final Fantasy XIII. It’s supposed to be one of the main entries in the series and Square-Enix felt like it was necessary to gimp and limit it down to DVD standards. We’re in a new generation and they couldn’t even have towns or true open-world exploration? Possible on PS2 but not on current-gen platforms? Wow. Square-Enix can keep this and shove it, alongside the rest of their Final Fantasies. I’m done supporting them.

  • 1) Can we expect any DLC? If so can we get any details for what square has in mind?

    2) Is there anything that was impossible with FFXIII that maybe considered for a future FF project like FF15 on PS3?

    3) How come the US isn’t getting it’s own Collectors Edition of Final Fantasy XIII? Maybe something that includes the FF13 soundtrack?

    4) Will the PS3 version of FFXIII come with any previews for Agito XIII and Versus XIII?

    5) Interviews on the disc?

    6) Was a more traditional Active Time Battle approach considered with FFXIII and if possible would we see anything similar to FF X-2’s battle system in the future?

    7) How did this project compare to the first Final Fantasy you worked on?

  • Why is there no full party control? Will that make a return in future main entries?

  • The Europeans have gotten word of the special edition version of the game. What about the north american version? It’s less than a month away from the game’s release and the north american version is YET to have any signs of a special edition!

  • No install? That’s crap. Hopefully they’ll get a patch out… If they’d had any experience with huge amounts of content being loaded from the disc, they’d realize (as the devs of Bayonetta had) that the content is best loaded from the HDD. I wouldn’t be surprised if that 50~60 hrs of gameplay had 5 hrs of loading.

  • From what I read and heard from people who have the game – all I have to say is thanks, but no thanks – I’ll be getting Resonance of Fate instead of FF13.

    However, I’m still a bit hyped about Versus 13. Let’s hope it will be better.

  • @10..

    LOL They really should ask that question.

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