Following our report from the other day hinting at a possible sequel to Final Fantasy XIII-2, the rest of the interview contained within the game’s Ultimania Omega has surfaced.
Thanks to FF-Reunion and SQEX_Gal, we can now paint a bigger picture of Lightning’s story, and why it probably isn’t over yet according to staff members Yoshinori Kitase, Motomu Toriyama and Daisuke Watanabe.
The world of FFXIII is sustained by Lightning becoming a crystal.
— Previously Toriyama said, “someday I’d like to make a story where Lightning finds happiness.” However, FFXIII-2 wound up ending on a tragic note.
Toriyama: If you play Lightning’s DLC episode, you’ll understand her thoughts when she became a crystal. It’s sad, but I think you get the impression she can end feeling a little relieved. However, I certainly couldn’t say that the conclusion this time was a happy one for her. This was done strategically; I got the feeling I’d like to try envisioning the story one more step beyond.
Watanabe: Nevertheless, Lightning’s character burdens herself with everything, so it’s fairly difficult for her to overcome and find happiness. Since she’s the sort of person who supports herself by doing exactly what needs to be done, she’s likely to feel guilty even when the circumstances are in her favor. For example, even after the ending in FFXIII, if peace had continued as it was and Lightning lived with the newlywed couple Snow and Serah, I don’t think she would have felt lonely as one might expect.
Toriyama: If that had happened, sooner or later Lightning probably would have took off (laughs).
— Watanabe, you make a hobby out of imagining the developments that take place after the ending like you did when FFXIII was complete. Aren’t you thinking of some developments that take place after FFXIII-2’s ending too?
Watanabe: Well, I wouldn’t say that I’m not thinking about it. In the ending of FFXIII-2, the visible world is connected to Valhalla and becomes engulfed by its chaos. It’s that reason that the world collapses and I think it’s an unprecedented development. Especially since the world isn’t collapsing because of something like the outbreak of a great war or the invasion of monsters from another world. With that in mind, what happened to the people living there? If the the adventure took place in that world, what sort of things would they encounter? These are the sort of settings I consider as a scenario writer.
Toriyama: Personally, I’d try to continue the paradox endings like Serah and Snow setting out to find the 13 crystals in “The Couple’s Departure” or “Control The Pudding With Pudding” where Serah and Noel take the form of monsters. Simply, I think it’d be fun (laughs). Even though that’s a joke, there’s the thought that if possible we want to envision the story firmly until the end, without breaking from the Crystal Legend of the Fabula Nova Crystallis. Lightning’s happy ending won’t either.
— Hereafter, will it be possible to restore Lightning after she became a crystal?
Watanabe: We’ve said prior that the theme of this story is “the future is unknown, but you can keep going as long as you have hope,” the same applies for Lightning. The conclusion where she becomes a crystal looks disappointing, but since there is no telling what the future will hold hereafter, I want the fans to continue having hope. If you think back to FFXIII, becoming a crystal and obtaining eternal life means completing the Focus of the l’Cie and preparing for their re-emergence.
Toriyama: Lightning’s episode certainly didn’t end on a bright note, but depending on how you think about it, you could say since Lightning kept her heart when she became a crystal, the world of FFXIII will be forever preserved by her. I’m praying too that in time the day will surely come when Lightning wakes up and Serah is compensated.
The line appearing at the end of Lightning’s episode, “XXX Years Later…” explained?
— You explained the reason Lightning became a crystal in the end of her episode, it’s very interesting.
Toriyama: At first, there was a plan to have Lightning sequentially defeating Eidolons of the darkness like Odin Dusk, but since I wanted the story of FFXIII-2 to come to a close, it ended up the way it did. A special system was put in concerning the battle too, since there was feedback that we created a battle system that completed the FFXIII series, I’d like to hear the opinions of all the players.
— If you receive a high enough score in the battle, you can see a special scene after the staff credit roll.
Kitase: Actually, there wasn’t a plan to put it in originally, what happened to Lightning was similar to the main title’s ending. However, there was the opinion that in the end, Lightning should appear advancing forward, so it was added in as a secret event. Does that scene take place in the real world? Or is it something imagined by Lightning? It’s not stated, but even though she’s become a crystal, we wanted you to get the impression that Lightning is continuing to make progress.
Toriyama: Even if you receive a high enough score in the battle, Lightning’s level has to be raised at least to Level 10 in order to see it. By all means, please try it out.
— In that event, “XXX Years Later” was displayed, how should this be interpreted?
Kitase: I’m afraid explaining that would be pointless. (Laughs.) Well, if I were to say just one thing, when the line “To Be Continued…” was shown at the episode’s ending, most people probably thought Lightning’s episode will continue in more DLC. However, we are interpreting it differently, I’ll say that at least.
Toriyama: Like Lightning advanced one step forward in the secret event, I think we also want to take a step forward to advance our project. I’d be happy if you anticipate it after this.
Besides what future projects Toriyama wants us to look forward to, he and Kitase also commented on fan’s reactions to all the DLC content that accompanied FFXIII-2.
— Have you heard the feedback from players about the DLC? (From P413)
Kitase: Although we don’t receive direct feedback, they seem to be rather popular according to their star marking in the platform download shops.
Toriyama: I think after this I’d like to do an in-house recap concerning the feedback of the DLC.