FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Interview with Director Motomu Toriyama and Battle Director Yusuke Matsui

Earlier, we reported some brief details on FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 from this week’s Famitsu magazine.

Since then, the entire transcript from the 4 page article has surfaced, and along with it, even more information from director Motomu Toriyama, and battle director Yusuke Matsui.

Toriyama: The encounter seen in the trailer between Serah and Snow is the first in two years. In the world after Lightning left, the only one who remembers her is Serah. Snow and everyone else believes she’s dead, or turned to crystal. Snow believes what Serah says, however, and heads off to find her. Eventually Serah does so too with Noel.

Toriyama: Lightning no longer exists in the world due to a Paradox. As to why Serah is able to remember Lightning, you’ll have to find out in the story.

Toriyama: Paradoxes are central to the game.

Toriyama: In the Bresha Ruins, a Paradox caused Atlas to appear, however, how time Paradoxes affect other areas is different. Finding out why they affect each area the way the do is like solving a mystery.

Toriyama: The Paradox that leads to Lightning is unknown, but solving each one helps.

Toriyama: Since Paradoxes started appearing after FFXIII’s ending, traveling to before that point is not possible as there is nothing to change.

Toriyama: Because Noel comes from a world where there were few people, he has a bit of trouble when talking, however, meeting new people is something he finds exciting.

Toriyama: Hope is now a 24 year old, which is reflected in how he looks.

Toriyama: Hope is the leader of an organization known as “Academy.” Academy members research history as well as new energy sources after the fall of the fal’Cie. Because of this, he knows Serah is messing with time.

Toriyama: A reference to Hope can be seen in the [TGS] demo.

Toriyama: The man seen in the TGS trailers is Caius, who is an opponent of both Valhalla and Serah’s world. He is an important figure in Noel’s past and Serah’s future. Because of the effects of the Paradoxes, Noel’s memory has become vague, but as the tale unfolds he begins to recover it.

Toriyama: Although not as graphic as [FINAL FANTASY] Type-0, the substance that comes out of Noel when he is stabbed, as well as in other occasions in the trailer is called Chaos. “Chaos” is related to Valhalla and the monsters.

Toriyama: The silver-haired girl is Yeul, and she is strongly related to Caius. She plays an important role in the game’s story.

Toriyama: This time you’ll see more about the l’Cie and the Cie’th.

Toriyama: You’ll see a new Cie’th outbreak, but not because of the fal’Cie. Missions similar to those of FFXIII will also be found.

Matsui: Unlike the two playable characters, you may grow attached to the monster(s) you capture.

Matsui: Rare monsters are present in the game. They have a low encounter rate, and are hard to turn into crystals. These monsters have a “premium” feel to them.

Matsui: At present, giant monsters are a bit hard to add in…
Toriyama: So small ones will have to do.

Matsui: This time, we’re trying to get the player involved in every way, which is why Cinematic Actions were adopted since they eliminate the break between battle and cutscene.

Matsui: Failing the Cinematic Actions doesn’t result in an adverse effect to the player, but successfully completing them results in a small advantage.

Matsui: The same applies to monsters. Different monsters have different Feral Links with varying degrees of difficulty.

Matsui: The commands can be quite difficult at times. I myself haven’t managed to successfully do all of them.
Toriyama: The amount of damage raised can be seen on the upper right part of the screen.

Matsui: When you’re hit with Blood Damage, your maximum HP diminishes.
Toriyama: In FFXIII when you were in a pinch, getting back to full health was relatively easy if you had a Healer in your party, but with Blood Damage it won’t be, so you’ll have to finish enemies off quickly.

Toriyama: Currently, adjustments are being made to areas that seem too hard. In the retail version, you’ll be able to switch between Normal and Easy Mode at any time.

Matsui: While characters learn similar abilities, they won’t be the same as they each have their own CP and Paradigms as the player customizes them. This time, the Crystarium isn’t locked by Chapters as it was in XIII.

Matsui: This time, the battle leader can be changed in the middle of the battle, and in the event the leader is defeated, the game automatically switches to another one.

Matsui: The AI of the other party members can be changed by using the Paradigm Tune system. These can set to Normal, which adapts to the situation, Spread, which makes each party member target a different enemy (or ally, this includes healing and buffing), and Concentrate, which makes everyone attack a single enemy.
Toriyama: Each one works well in different situations.

Toriyama: Both the PS3 and 360 versions use a single disc now, but not because the volume of the game has been cut down, but because most scenes are real time ones. The volume of the game is roughly the same as XIII’s, but will now be even further expanded via DLC.

Matsui: The game is full of choices to make, and we put a lot of effort into the opening battle and cinematics, so be sure to check them out!

Character designer Tetsuya Nomura also weighed in a few comments:

Snow has a new hairdo and clothing, as evidenced by the TGS trailer.
Hope’s aging can be seen in how his face has changed. His new clothes are designed by Hideo Minaba.

Yeul was also designed by Hideo Minaba. As for Caius, different pictures where done inside the company, and after deciding on a single one, it was then finalized as seen in his current design.
Something similar to what happened with Caius happened with the moogle’s design process.

Though at first QTEs and choice weren’t received too well, Nomura believes they’re a step in the right direction as they add a sense of drama, and they blend well with the battle system.

About the Author

Erren Van Duine As a self-professed Final Fantasy fan, Erren created Nova Crystallis in 2009 as a place to collect the latest information on her favorite series. As owner and Editor-in-Chief, she also spends her time as a freelance illustrator.