Square Enix shocked crowds at their May 9th, 2006 pre-E3 press conference by announcing three Final Fantasy games, collectively known as "Fabula Nova Crystallis" ("The New Tale of The Crystal" in Latin). The series will include a direct sequel to the Final Fantasy franchise (Final Fantasy XIII), an action spin-off (Final Fantasy Versus XIII) and a mobile phone spin-off game (Final Fantasy Agito XIII). Though they are set in the same universe, Square Enix has confirmed that they are not directly related.
G4TV reports that Producer Yoshinori Kitase, has told the Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu, that a "crystal-based mythology" (which the game does not necessarily revolve around) will be present in the series, but was unable to provide more details.
Final Fantasy XIII
Square Enix has not disclosed any storyline details; however, from the teaser shown at Sony's pre-E3 conference, the game is set in a beautiful, futuristic world. In the fast paced teaser, a train can be seen traveling through a tunnel before a young woman breaks in and takes out the android guards within.
It has been assumed that this young woman is the main protagonist of the game. Though her name has yet to be confirmed, the in-game battle menu suggests that it is "Lightning".
There has been some fan speculation that she may be an android- given both the game's seemingly futuristic setting and her extreme agility, this is not unlikely.
Weapons and Battle System
The protagonist of the trailer wields both two guns and a gunblade- a magnificent weapon which can function as either a gun or a sword, but not both at the same time.
The battle screens in the short teaser clearly shows a fast paced battle system and an ATB (Active Time Battle) bar at the bottom right, indicating that the ATB battle system will appear in some form. Considering the word, "chain" appears in some situations, it is evident that Final Fantasy XIII will have some sort of combination system.
What is most interesting about the new battle system is the blue circle on the top right. No details about this have been released, but RPGfan.com reports Famitsu as speculating that "Once the number inside this circle and other conditions have been met, the protagonist can enter a so-called Overclock status. This status has a slow-motion effect, effectively slowing down everyone but the protagonist. However, making use of this ability apparently brings some risk with it."
The graphics of the game has impressed many, especially after Famitsu confirmed in an article that the short train sequence in the beginning was the only part of the teaser which was not real-time. Indeed, it is tough to differentiate between the pre-rendered and in-game sequences in the teaser.
Square Enix has announced that Final Fantasy XIII will run on the "White Engine", a seventh generation game engine created for future Square Enix games.
It has been revealed that Final Fantasy XIII was originally slated to be a PlayStation 2 release before the same team completed a Final Fantasy VII tech demo for the PlayStation 3 and found it hard to go back to the older console.
Director, Motomu Toriyama: "We are creating the most advanced level of civilization ever seen in a Final Fantasy game. Magic and technology have merged and evolved...this is not a simple interpretation of the future but rather a reinvention of the Final Fantasy series. The playing style will evolve to next generation.".
Producer: Yoshinori Kitase
Director: Motomu Toriyama
Character Design: Tetsuya Nomura
Theme Song Composition: Nobuo Uematsu
Composer: Masashi Hamazu
Movie Director: Eiji Fujii
Art Director: Isamu Kamikokuryou