Thanks to Lightning Returns News I can bring you guys an exclusive Ingame Interview with Yuji Abe on the latest sequel in the Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
“Ingame: There are going to be numerous quests and events in Lightning Returns, which can only be solved and viewed by the player in specific times. How difficult will it be finding these events and is there a possibility to experience all these events in one playthrough?
Yuji Abe: Events will only be available at specific times, yes. For example, players have to be at one of the cities at night to see the fireworks. Finishing all quests in one playthrough will be very difficult. Even after playing it five times, you may not be able to find all quests in the game.
Ingame: How about the replay value? Will there be some kind of “New Game Plus” mode or higher difficulties?
Yuji Abe: About the difficulty, there will be one for every type of player. There will be three different difficulties: normal, hard, and super hard. There will also be a New Game Plus mode. Here you can bring content from your previous save into a new game.
Ingame: Because of the enormous number of events and quests which will be playable in Lightning Returns, there’s the question that different endings may be expected in the game.
Yuji Abe: No, there won’t be different endings. Either Lightning saves the world or she doesn’t. Although, the time you have can be expanded. At the beginning, Lightning only has seven days to avoid the end of the world. Some quests even cost time.
Ingame: Despite the limited time the player has for the game, how big will the world be? Can you visit every place in one playthrough?
Yuji Abe: We designed the game so that every place has to be visited. There will be four floating islands, which will be relevant for the story. But there is a big number of secrets and events in the game, so there are a ton of possibilities for the player to explore the game.
Ingame: The player will have seven to thirteen days to save the world in the game. How long will that be in real time?
Yuji Abe: One day will exactly be an hour long.
Ingame: There’s going to be three different difficulties, from normal to super hard. Especially for those who seek real challenges, a hard difficulty is very important but not always gets offered in other games. What can we expect from Lightning Returns?
Yuji Abe: The mode “super hard” will be, what it’s called like. During the development, we had some test players who all had to play the game in super hard. To be honest, nobody was able to save the world in this difficulty. We decided to make it a little easier than actually planned so it doesn’t get too frustrating. But it will still be a real challenge.
Ingame: Are we finally able to get more information about the mysterious character Lumina who already appeared in the previous games?
Yuji Abe: Yes, definitely. But we can only tell that the story is mostly about her.
Ingame: In an earlier interview with Kitase-san we talked about how the monster’s strength will change during the gameplay, depending on how much time is left until the end of the world. What if the player spends time exploring the world at the beginning and doesn’t get much higher in the level? Will the game be too hard to end it?
Yuji Abe: That could possibly happen. The monsters get stronger during the game but we included some mechanics, which can partly prevent that problem. If the player is too weak, he has to do some quest or fight against lower enemies until he is strong enough.
Ingame: Let’s get back to the quests. If you finish one of those, are there any effects on the world? For example, if you save an NPC’s life, will there be a moment in which this character will be relevant for the story and be glad you saved him?
Yuji Abe: Something like that will only be rarely in the game. There are some characters from Final Fantasy XIII-2 who will appear in Lightning Returns and you will be able to interact with them and be friends with them.
Ingame: During the last few weeks, Square Enix announced several costumes for Lightning, which can give her skills and attributes. How exactly will those costumes be available in the game? Will the player buy them, do tasks for them or will they be available as DLCs?
Yuji Abe: We won’t offer DLCs to things like costumes. Costumes aren’t worth spending money for them. The player will be available to get them by either buying them in shops or finishing events an quests.
Ingame: As our last question, could you give us your opinion: What do you think will mostly surprise the player?
Yuji Abe: That’s a difficult question… I think there will be no feature which will beat the others that much. We’ve created a special world with a special atmosphere, which is very impressive. How all the elements interlock with each other and build this amazing atmosphere – that’s something fans can get excited about. But you can also pick specific things and view them, so you can immediately find out about its function, like “Ah! This is how the battle system works!”
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is set to release in America on February 11th, 2014.