Where were you in 2006? Think back to that time 6 years ago… it’s been quite a long time hasn’t it?
E3 2006 may be remembered for a lot of things, but for me the biggest standout was the announcement of Final Fantasy Versus XIII for PlayStation 3.
Although fairly short and comprised of only CG, the original trailer revealed quite a bit about this modern fantasy from the people behind Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
According to the original press release, Versus XIII was not a spin-off, but “another Final Fantasy XIII” or rather, a counterpart to both XIII and Agito XIII (later renamed Type-0). Helmed by a majority of staff who worked on games like FFVII and VIII including writer Kazushige Nojima and composer Yoko Shimomura, it was quite clear that Nomura got the better end of the deal.
As for development of the game itself, a lot of details remain unclear. Going by various news and interviews over the years, we can only guess that actual development didn’t begin until late 2008 or sometime in 2009 when the engine was completed.
Several things took place in 2010. Clothing design was completed by Japanese clothing design company Roen and Nomura also made mention that Versus XIII’s scenario had also been finished. Later in August, it was confirmed that voice casting was underway, and in September the public was allowed to see the first field gameplay during Tokyo Game Show.
Fast forward to 2011 and the game looks strikingly different than it did back in 2006. Long gone are the Kingdom Hearts-style character designs and in their place is a focus on realism. A brand new trailer was shown off in January during Square’s 1st Production Department Premiere.
Nomura has made a few mentions here and there, but over all Final Fantasy Versus XIII remains shrouded in mystery. Very little has been said since that time, but with a promise of new information later this year (unfortunately not at E3), the wait can’t be too much longer.
It’s understandable that tackling something new takes time, and we can’t wait to see the final results.