“Famitsu.com has posted an interview it conducted with Final Fantasy XIII-2 producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Motomu Toriyama at E3. Here’s a summary of what the two developers had to say about the upcoming sequel.
Regarding the line in the trailer about Lightning’s death
Kitase said that he can’t talk about this mysterious line about FFXIII’s main character Lightning. He suggested that fans read the Episode i novella and imagine from there. Toriyama said that Lightning is the story’s backbone, and dead or alive she’ll appear in the game and you’ll take control of her.
On baggy pants Noel
Toriyama described Noel, a new character for the game, as having a different type of chivalry from Snow, the male lead FFXIII. Regarding how Noel fits into the story, Toriyama said that he can’t say much at present.
On the explorative component of the E3 demo
The original Final Fantasy XIII was very story driven, said Toriyama, meaning the focus was on the story and the story would make the game move in certain ways. Following much feedback from players, they made FFXIII-2 player driven. Players will actively explore and will trigger events with their actions. They’re making the game so that there are many choices for players.
On why there are monsters in your battle party
One of the changes observed in the battle system is that monsters can now be part of your party. This is to allow for more strategic roll gameplay, said Toriyama. Each monster has specific rolls, and by grouping monsters together in different ways, players can create a more personalized experience. Kitase said that the the Paradigm Shift system gives the game the image of battling while switching your decks in a card game.
On the response from overseas press
Toriyama said players appear to be happy that gameplay areas from the original have changed. Kitase noted that in the current version, they’re showing off the explorative elements and greater feeling of freedom. However, there are a lot of other elements that they currently cannot speak about.
Toriyama said that the game will have more yarikomi elements (I keep forgetting how to translate that damn word — it’s all the extra crap you can do in a game beyond the main quest). You’ll be able to play the game multiple times. Famitsu asked if this means there will be a New Game + style feature, where you restart the game with your character fully buffed up from the previous playthrough. Toriyama responded that they hope to offer a different form of repeat play from this.
On multiple endings
FFXIII-2 will have multiple endings, a first for the series said Toriyama. Famitsu.com’s interviewer was extremely shocked by this statement. One of the reasons for including a multi ending system, explained Toriyama, is that when it comes to the world view and serious story development, FFXIII-2 is similar to FFXIII, so they felt that they should show new elements in the gameplay area. He contrasted the changes to the switch from FFX to FFX-2, where the world view and battle system changed considerably.
On Multiple Bahamuts
An E3 trailer showed Lightning in a battle scene where she was riding her Odin summon and fighting against a Bahamut, Chaos Bahamut. Famitsu.com noted that Fang’s summon is also Bahamut. Are these two Bahamuts different? Yes, responded Toriyama. The Chaos Bahamut is a slightly different existence from a summon.
On Serah’s Summons
The Serah character does not have summons during battle, said Toriyama, but in its place she can have monsters join her party.
On the demo’s location
Toriyama wouldn’t identify the location of the demo area, but he did say that it’s an important area in the game’s story.
The poster image in Famitsu.com’s article ( <- shown), which shows Serah and Lightning, was created by art director Isamu Kamikokuryou as part of a request for something different from FFXIII, owing to FFXIII-2 having a darker and more mysterious world. The theme Kamikokuryou used for the image is “surrealism.” The image shown in the article will be a symbolic image for FFXIII-2, said Toriyama.”