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Hope is no longer a grown man in Lightning Returns By Erren Van Duine on July 2, 2013 at 5:13 AM

If you’ve been following Lightning Returns, you’ll likely know that Hope Estheim will be assisting Lightning on her adventure.

Hope watches over Lightning from his base in the Ark, guiding the savior as she tries to carry out all-mighty Bhunivelze’s divine mission. As Lightning’s trusted partner, Hope provides key information throughout the quest.

Mysteriously, Hope is no longer a grown man, but has instead turned back into the boy that Lightning first met.

Hope

The area known only as “The Ark” lies at the core of New Cocoon, built by Hope in times past. Hope guides Lightning in her endeavors from this space, within which time has ceased to pass. Within the Ark you can get various kinds of information from Hope and also re-stock on items to prepare for the journey ahead. Within the Ark grows a mysterious tree known as Yggdrasil. Also known as the “Tree of Life, when bestowed with Eradia it will grow and prosper, in turn extending the life left to the world (to a maximum of 13 days). Every day when the in-game time reaches 6:00, Lightning will be returned to the Ark. Once there she can gift the Eradia earned during that day to the Yggdrasil tree.

The story starts with the time left already considerably reduced and it will run down even further as the days pass. This time is the very life left in the world and is the time that Lightning has available to achieve her mission. No matter what anyone does, the world has no more than 13 days left before the onset of the apocalypse. When Lightning first returns, the time remaining before the end is even shorter. As she progresses on her journey she must strive to extend the life left in the world.

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  • Randy Marsh

    After seeing what happened to Noel’s hair when taking a face full of Chaos, I’m not surprised. I also figured there was a reason on why they were keeping Hope’s “new” appearance so secretive.

  • Sam

    This is…..surprising?

  • Keju

    so….. Hope is the waifu. (obviously)

  • LightningF

    NO I wanted her to marry him!

  • Sapientia

    WHAT THE F*CK.
    I’m dying inside.

  • Sapientia

    I’m sure Lightning was probably like:
    “Well, shit. This is awkward.”

  • LightningF

    Haha, he was probably still wants to hop up on that

  • Sapientia

    I guess Snow is all that’s left. xD
    The pickings are slim at the end of the world.

  • Pekola

    Well, at least he got a new scarf? Lol

    *hoperai shippers cry in unison around the world*

  • Sapientia

    Oh, I can’t wait to read the rage on Tumblr and Fanfiction. But I’m kind of disappointed. This sounds like it could lead to a possibly cheesy plot device…I mean, what point is there to make Hope a prepubescent kid who’s supposed to be in his 20s?! I mean, Jesus! The kid probably wants to screw Lightning and he can’t, and VICE VERSA. Gah, this game is crazy, but I LOVE IT.

  • LightningF

    His scarf is uber sexy even if he is 14, I’ll just remember how he looked at 24 and pretend he still is.

  • LightningF

    Snow is still sexy. Lightning should just go for him, fuck Serah (can’t believe I’m saying this… Now I have to give myself an electric shock)

  • Sapientia

    Come on, now. HE’S A KID AGAIN. Maybe not in his mind, and other…things…but HE LOOKS LIKE A KID. We can’t pretend he’s still hot or whatever. xD
    But I do agree, that scarf is lovely.

  • Sapientia

    Oh my Etro, how dare you.
    As things stand now though, they’re more apart than ever. I don’t see any kind of hook-up coming…might want to read some Fanfiction if that’s what you’re after haha.

  • LightningF

    He’s still the hottest cutest 14 year old. I can say that cuz I’m only 16 xD if I was and older, this would be a problem o.o

  • LightningF

    Lmao xD Have you got one you could link me to? 😀

  • Mihel

    No. Just no.
    I’m fine with Lightning not being romantically involved thanks.

  • Sapientia

    It’s Light’s problem, now. xD

  • Sapientia

    I don’t dare link any kind of Fanfiction on here, good god. Some of it is just…*spasm*…you get the point.

  • Sapientia

    I’m sure it was probably a joke.

  • Sapientia

    I’m sure it was probably a joke.

  • Mihel

    Yeah, the “new” outfit is actually the old one with that ugly orange thing on the shoulders.
    That was a cheap choice on the graphic department.

  • Mihel

    Yeah, the “new” outfit is actually the old one with that ugly orange thing on the shoulders.
    That was a cheap choice on the graphic department.

  • Randy Marsh

    Cheap choice on the graphic department, but a cheap choice that probably makes sense in the game’s story, so I’m okay with it.

  • vagrant_soul

    Toriyama is somewhere laughing -_-

    I hoping this is only an affect from the chaos. Why couldn’t Hope have a new outfit or had a smaller version of the outfit from FFXIII-2?

  • Aly Hesham

    I wish they gave him at least a different colour jacket.I hate that stupid shoulder pad thing on hope.c’mon Square! If fang and vanille are not given new outfits you will witness my fanboy rage~!

  • miss chel

    Honestly disappointed, even if there is a decent plot reason behind it.

  • miss chel

    It’s weird actually, because I expect to react to this with the “recycling” reason. But I don’t, even though I’m disappointed in the first place.

    It just really bothers me for some reason.

  • Aly Hesham

    probably because his FFXIII model looks much better graphically hehe lol

  • LightningF

    LOL ikr, so sad for her.. He was so hot at 24, now hes 14 and she has to wait 2 years for him to come of age.

  • LightningF

    Pahaha yeah, I think I got it xD

  • James Stine

    This is exactly why I’m glad he’s young again…

  • James Stine

    This is exactly why I’m glad he’s young again…

  • LightningF

    No it doesn’t o.o

  • Zk93

    Disappointing… At least, give him a new outfit, not just changing scarf colour… It’s so crappy xD

    As I read on some coments, I hope they give Vanille or Fang a new design, because by the moment, Noel and Hope remain the same (which is not the best decision they’ve made).

  • Joshua

    Color me confused. I wonder what the plot reason will be for this?

  • Joshua

    Color me confused. I wonder what the plot reason will be for this?

  • Aly Hesham

    It is.It has far more detail on it.

  • Nokuto

    Aw man, Hope looked way better in XIII-2. I really liked his Academy uniform.

  • Anime10121

    I’ma miss grown Hope, liked him much better, though, I wont be a bit upset if he keeps the older Hope’s genius/personality.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    ditto :/

  • Aly Hesham
  • M. Ziab

    SPOILER ALERT. I’m not sure if you guys are aware of this, but I have also read on the official US website of the game that Lightning is sent back to the arc everyday when the in-game time reaches 6:00. Lightning can apparently collect and bestow the “Tree of Life” with “Eradia” to extend the time left until the end of the world. Also, when the game begins with Lightning’s return, you have less than 13 days left so you have strive to extend the remaining time..

    Source: http://www.lightningreturns.com/gameplay/time

  • NikkiCola

    This is confusing. It seems to me like Snow got older, Noel stayed the same and now Hope is… younger? Am I the only one who is concerned about Sazh, Vanille and Fang? Lol.

  • NikkiCola

    This is confusing. It seems to me like Snow got older, Noel stayed the same and now Hope is… younger? Am I the only one who is concerned about Sazh, Vanille and Fang? Lol.

  • Sothe Zephyr

    I am so sorry but I really dislike this……i might be able to see why he is younger – chaos n all but…..It just got kinda weird……so 14 year old hope appearace with 24 year old Hope’s mind…..-sigh- idk i just can’t be okay with this lol

  • Sothe Zephyr

    I am so sorry but I really dislike this……i might be able to see why he is younger – chaos n all but…..It just got kinda weird……so 14 year old hope appearace with 24 year old Hope’s mind…..-sigh- idk i just can’t be okay with this lol

  • Sothe Zephyr

    This makes me furious actually >:(

  • LightningF

    Do you mean his XIII outfit compared to XIII-2? Cuz I thought you were talking about XIII in graphical relation to LR, in which case LR actually has better graphics IMO.

  • LightningF

    Ugh the dumb website doesn’t let me view Hope, it keeps sending me back to Lightning.

  • Aly Hesham

    Both wrong.FFXIII-1 has far better graphics in almost every aspect.Its pure fact.

  • LightningF

    Guess you didn’t see the IMO.

  • Aly Hesham

    There is no debating the difference in the quality of the visuals between the two games. I amnot comparing the art design of the games.

  • Twilight Odin

    This crushes my hopes of seeing HopuRai come true. *Quietly cries in the corner*

  • Twilight Odin

    LOL ikr!

  • LightningF

    You’re still missing the part where I said it’s my opinion. If you think that FFXIII has much better graphics and cannot be debated against, by all means believe it. I am simply stating that I think the graphics in LR are better from what I have seen with my own two eyes. Also, I didn’t say or think you were comparing art designs, and neither was I, so idk where you got that from.

    If you want think that there’s no debate in the graphics of the two games, then by all means think what you want. However, don’t tell me I’m wrong by using your own opinion as fact, when no one has played LR to judge of it’s visuals.

  • LightningF

    Haha, are you twilight odin from gamefaqs? ^_^

  • Twilight Odin

    YUSH!

  • Sapientia

    Okay, so we have multiple ways to extend the time. That shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Sapientia

    To be fair, FFXIII-2 looks a lot better on the X360 then FFXIII did on the X360…but still, the graphics were downgraded.

  • Sapientia

    Toriyama is making every male in the LR universe unavailable for Lightning so he can have her to himself. xD

  • Anime10121

    Well considering I’m a guy, it really doesn’t matter how “cute” he looked to me 😛

    Its a matter of personality, but then again, it may have been his motives in the original XIII that I didnt too much care for. He could have been a genius even in that game, but they never expounded upon it, all he was like was, “HURR DURR KILL SNOW, AVENGE MOM’s INDIRECT DEATH THROUGH SNOW”, and once he got over that, his story arc was basically completed so he got less development and the focus (pun not intended) shifted to Pulse, Vanille and Fang.

  • Mihel

    I was disappointed when Nomura recycled Snow outfit from that of Seifer in KH and blatantly copied Serah’s from Imari in Bible Black.

    But this is a whole new level of graphical laziness, considering Lightning is getting lots of outfits.

  • eijin_kiver

    could be all people would be alive again? like Hope’s mom, Yeul, Caius??

  • LightningF

    HAAAAAAAAY ;DDD

  • LightningF

    I’m a guy and I have to say he’s cuter than mog squashed between two pillows, and that my friend is insanely cute xD

  • Guest

    Where is Caius Ballad

  • Ehren Rivers

    Actually, they showed a render comparison of Lightning in the first game and Lightning in this game; It showcased all-around higher quality modeling, especially in the area of the hair and eyes. And when I say comparison, I mean they took her original XIII game model and placed it beside her new LR game model.

    There is currently no way of knowing what the final look will be like on a particular system, which is where we’ll get our answers. Nothing said in this line of conversation is “pure fact”. If you’re referring to the loss in polygons leading to the lessened quality between XIII and XIII-2 only, though, of course XIII had higher quality models.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Actually, if character models are being re-rendered as Lightning’s were (which I assume is the case, then), this wouldn’t be particularly cheap. I mean, whatever the cost of cutting the foot and a half of height he’d have otherwise is all they’re saving. No, this smacks of either story reasons or ‘fan favorite’. I personally preferred Hope as an adult (and am weirded out that he still seems to sound like one), but this isn’t necessarily lazy.

  • Ehren Rivers

    I’m curious to know the reason some of the characters change and some of them don’t. I mean, Noel’s clothes just seem to have turned black whereas Hope has reverted to youth and Snow appears to have aged a few years. Perhaps they’re trying to stress the randomness of Chaos, or maybe they felt Hope was more recognizable in this form? Hmm.

    I DO wish he’d stayed an adult. but I’m curious to know the reasonings behind this change. As for the Ark… I knew it, Bhunivelze in the sky~

  • NikkiCola

    That’s what I thought too! Noel seems to be the same, Snow is obviously older and Hope is now back to being 14 in appearance. It’s all kind of funky. I really don’t think the Chaos is THAT powerful, right?

    I need explanations. I neeeeeed this game, hahah.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Chaos is infinitely powerful, actually. It’s a nonsensical impossibility, that rips through reality and just sort of makes stuff happen.

  • DOATEC T.V

    This hurts.. I was expecting the mature Hope with a new attire like Snow… but this..

  • NikkiCola

    Oh wow, I mean I knew it was powerful but I didn’t think it was powerful enough to make Hope 14 again.
    Or maybe there are other reasons when it comes to the ages, who knows? All I know is after seeing this and the Cloud Strife outfit set, I pre-ordered this baby today 😀

  • Aly Hesham

    I am judging based on LR screenshots. FFXIII-1 was a phenomenal looking game. That , sir, is fact. The quality of textures and backgrounds took a drop in XIII-2 and then some more in LR.That’s why I am saying there isn’t room for debate. I do think lightning’s model was enhanced though.Take a look at XIII and compare it to LR : http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=67684811&postcount=319

  • Aly Hesham

    Lightning’s model was definitely enhanced but the overall visual fidelity took a drop in LR. palumpolum , eden, Narthex , lake bresha , Nautulis were all extremely good looking locations with meticulous attention to detail.I haven’t seen stuff in LR with that much detail.Also I don’t blame LR at all. There are very few games that manage to pull of XIII-1’s beauty.http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=67684811&postcount=319

  • Aly Hesham

    I am a guy too.I just think he looked cute as in a cute little boy ;P haha

    its true that they limited his role past “operation nora” but still liked him a lot.He was calm for the rest of the game and a REALLY great part member.

  • Aly Hesham

    and other…things…oh you ;P

  • Ehren Rivers

    No, YOU feel Lightning Returns has taken a drop in quality based on some early screenshots. That is not in any way fact, and it’s not even a viable comparison. Lightning Returns already looks leaps and bounds superior to what was shown just in December and January, and the game is not finished yet. The environments already look higher quality to me than XIII-2, when compared with comparable areas.

    This is your opinion and you’re entitled to it. It is not however “pure fact”, ‘absolute truth’, or any other variation upon the phrase. Let’s move the conversation to something productive.

  • Ehren Rivers

    You haven’t noticed that much detail, but I’ve seen plenty myself. These are, again, your opinions. Furthermore, many of the environments in XIII required lots of little bars and parts due to being a sci-fantasy. This is part of art direction, and not graphical quality. The only screenshot among those that seem in any way unmatchable is Vanille standing by that cliff, which to be fair we’ve not been shown a comparable view in Lightning Returns.

  • DrDOA

    LOL! I know, right? XD

  • Ehren Rivers

    It was powerful enough to literally erase time (or if you prefer, the concept of causality) from existence and consume the first Goddess, Mwynn. It made Caius immortal, pulled Lightning out of history, and is strongly hinted as being the reason human beings are thought to have “limitless power” by the fa’Cie. The only thing we know of that could keep it at bay was Etro, for no actually explained reason.

  • NikkiCola

    Lololol, I never knew any of that stuff about Mwynn. Guess you learn something new everyday.

  • Sapientia

    O.O
    It’s a pivotal point of the entire Final Fantasy XIII universe! Cocoon and Gran Pulse’s creation, yada yada.

  • Sapientia

    Heheh.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Also, we actually can’t rule out the influence of Chaos, and the obsessions people have with their past “burdens”. I mean, what’s the one burden Hope carries ALWAYS? He was unable to save his mother, on the day he and the others became l’Cie. He even mentions in XIII-2 that his initial reaction to the prospect of time travel was the ability to save his mother from her fate.

    I think this could very easily be the context in which the transformation is meant.

  • Aly Hesham

    Fine.Enjoy being in denial.If you think LR looks far superior , you need to play FFXIII again sometime soon.I can’t believe how you can deny a simple truth conveyed by comparisons of screen shots and videos.The game’s shipping in five months.That’s not enough to make it look superior to XIII-1.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Now you’re getting insulting, and I’m going to have to issue you a warning.

    I believe if you’ll go back and read again, you’ll find that I said Lightning Returns looks superior to the version of the game (to be 100% clear, Lightning Returns is the game I’m talking about) that was previously shown just a few months prior, and that the environments look higher quality than XIII-2 to me.

    I did not say it looks far superior to XIII, and I’ll thank you not to twist my words or put new ones under my fingertips. I did not say Lightning Returns looks better than XIII at all. In fact all I’ve done is say that I don’t feel it took a loss in quality since XIII-2, and that much of what you have have shoved at people as being “fact” is your own presumptive opinion. The only thing which is superior to the original game are the things I mentioned about the remade character modelling, and everything else is still up in the air.

    When the game comes out and the numbers come in, if from an actual graphical standpoint XIII and XIII-2 are both higher quality than Lightning Returns, THEN it will be fact and you will have all the license to say it as much as you please without a peep from me. Until that time, I will ask you as politely as possible to refrain from touting your opinion as fact, and avoid being rude with me in the future.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Furthermore, I would like to make it clear that I have regularly voiced concerns about where Lightning Returns will end up in graphical quality. Until quite recently I believed that at best it would be able to match XIII-2 and perhaps one-up it in an area or two. At present, I believe that Lightning Returns will be in a middle ground between XIII and XIII-2 with some aspects (such as the aforementioned modeling, and the seemingly improved lighting engine) that make real strides. I believe that whether it’s closer to XIII-2 or XIII will depend mostly on how many FMVs they choose to include in the game, and how efficient they’ve been in optimizing the game. I do not believe the game will be far and away superior to the first XIII, but nor do I think it needs to be.

    All of these are opinions, and I will adjust them as my experience with the game deepens.

  • M. Ziab

    Does anyone remember the developers talking about lightning gaining more time by defeating monsters in earlier interviews?

    Well, now that we know about the Tree of Life and Eradia, I think that, but I have no proof, that Eradia is that crystal/eidolith like thing that is dropped by the Cactuar monster in the Cloud uniform trailer. It makes sense because she’d have to return all that eradia she collected from monsters (and maybe treasure chests) at 6:00 everyday. Anyone agrees?

  • Ehren Rivers

    I would definitely agree, except that in the E3 demo when Lightning defeats monsters a glowing light exits their fading model and zooms into Lightning. It’s possible that the effect changes based on the continent you’re at? I think this is the first video we’ve had where she’s shown beating a monster in the Dead Dunes.

    It could also possibly signify the obtaining of rare accessories from the monster at hand, I suppose, or they could simply have changed the effect since the E3 build. I’m quite curious, personally.

  • Lowe De Leon

    Well said for a theory with regard to Hope reverting into a kid due to past failures he conceived. Well made!

  • Lowe De Leon

    The same question I have. It is hard to discredit him since we all know he simply succeeded in the past iteration.

  • Lowe De Leon

    The same question I have. It is hard to discredit him since we all know he simply succeeded in the past iteration.

  • Lowe De Leon

    So many questions poppin’ in my head when I saw this news considering that we were all probably expecting that Hope might be older. It might be nice to see what happened exactly after that ending scene from XIII-2 wherein Lightning is sitting on the throne while the world is being swallowed by Chaos. It would be really nice to see what Hope and Noel did and what happened to Serah’s body as Valhalla has emerged as well.

  • NikkiCola

    Lmao, I really never read into the back story and whatnot. I admit to it, I know I’m a horrible fan. I did a little, I remember Lindzei but I honestly don’t remember Mwynn. Then again, I haven’t played the games in forever so maybe I did and I just can’t remember at all.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Thank you very much. :)

    In conversations with a friend, I realized his obsession could also easily be with meeting Lightning again, and not being a burden on her as he was when their journey first started out. It still matches up with the time period his body appears to revert to, and since we don’t know how (or if) the warping of Chaos via infesting people’s obsessions can be reversed he wouldn’t necessarily return to his adult form when she awakens from crystal sleep.

    I thought this might make some amount of sense, since one of the screenshots (uploaded to the official site) has Hope telling her “Welcome home”. It and the related screenshots (like the banner of this article) seem to be in the very beginning of the game.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Mwynn is only mentioned briefly in some Fragment stuff in XIII-2. Her original mention comes from the Fabula Nova Crystallis creation myth.

  • Ehren Rivers

    I don’t think we’ll get to see all of that. One of the things Toriyama and Kitase mentioned is that Lightning is exploring this new world with basically no knowledge starting from when she went to sleep. It seems like to keep newer players more able to play the game on a whim, they may skip some of that sort of fleshing out. It’ll probably be mentioned in specific story segments, and I assume Serah’s body is going to be part of the game’s major plot twist (whatever it may be).

  • Sapientia

    Has everyone forgotten the demo and how well it was praised for how good it looked? I mean, forget the screenshots, the demo and YouTube videos have shown it looks fantastic, the spells, animation, etc. look great.
    Not trying to butt in, just pointing out something.

  • Sapientia

    Serah’s outfit is copied? You do know what a Japanese school uniform looks like, right? It seems to me that Serah’s outfit (FFXIII) is a more mature rendition of a school uniform…more sophisticated. Also, Bible Black? You really think Nomura copied from that? Okay.
    Besides, you said it yourself, if Nomura wants to take inspirations from characters HE’s designed – ahem, Cloud>Lightning? – then he can.
    ‘Cause he’s cool like that.

  • Ehren Rivers

    No, I haven’t forgotten. That’s the reason my current opinion sits where it does.

  • kamikki

    Give me more convoluted unnecessary fluff Toriyama, the other games didn’t have enough :)

  • LightningF

    This xD was going to write that but Ehren beat me to it LOL 😛

  • LightningF

    Just wondering how many times you’ve played LR, because you make it sound like you’ve played through it 13 times and compared very frame against an XIII one.

  • LightningF

    Everyone should be thankful they changed his scarf at least :D!

  • ultromega

    He has to be in this game in some capacity… he’s immortal, and…

    *FFXIII-2 SPOILER*

    he was alive and well in the secret ending despite his “death” at the hands of Noel.

    */SPOILER*

    Personally, I’d love to see Caius return as an ally instead of an enemy in LR. :)

  • LightningF

    Nomura copying from Black Bible? Okay then..

    Why would Nomura, possibly the best game character designer in the world copy someone else?

  • miss chel

    I’m assuming there will be some story materials in the game we can earn like the Analects and Fragments from previous games.

    This is going to be the last game though, so I hope they’ll flesh out stuff enough.

  • LightningF

    Just noticed the clouds in the sky are looking… FAAAABULOUSS *girly voice*. Can’t wait for tomorrow so they can explain why Hope is looking like a 14 year old child model for H&M (I mean that in a good way <_<) 😀

  • M. Ziab

    Either way, the “glowing light” and “crystal like structure” must be related to the Eradia/ Accessories somehow. The problem with the Cactuar in the trailer is that it is too close to Lightning and I can’t say for sure that I see a glowing light coming out of it.

    The game is still in development, I suppose. I hope they revamp the HP bar or the on-screen schemata controls, they take up way too much space on the screen in my opinion.

  • adlina

    I can’t be the only one thinking that’s just an AI of sorts that corresponds to Lightning’s memory of how Hope looks like… The real one might be dead :(

  • Storm

    Maybe Hope gave a little of your “time” to Yggdrasil.

  • LightningF

    Eradia to be precise xD

  • Ehren Rivers

    I honestly don’t mind how much space they take up, as they seem to be about on-par with the amount of screenspace eaten up by the previous XIII games. Roughly between a quarter and a third, looks to be. It would be fantastic if they included some form of ‘minimalist’ option in the settings that replaced most of the text with simple icons, and slimmed down the HP bar.

  • LightningF

    * SPOILERS *

    He’s not immortal, the heart just kept him alive all those years :) If the heart was killed, then he would no longer be immortal. Also, some people have speculated that the Chaos brought Caius back to life in the void beyond in the secret ending, which sounds reasonable; however it might not be true as it is after all, mere speculation.

    And imagine him as an Ally… I would scream like a girl in happiness :’D

  • Ehren Rivers

    While it WAS granted to him by the Heart of Chaos, Caius was immortal as long as he had it. I would, however, like to point something out.

    If Valhalla is the place the dead pass into, wouldn’t the soul of Caius simply appear somewhere within its borders, to be revived by Chaos as he had once been revived by Etro?

  • Ehren Rivers

    There’s a chance he won’t return for simplicity’s sake, I suppose, but somehow I don’t see them just dropping him.

  • LightningF

    Oops that’s what I meant about Caius and the heart of chaos x_x I always explain things weird… The problems of being 16 on the internet lool.

    As for the second part of your post, I have no clue LOL x_x!

  • Lowe De Leon

    Hmm brilliant deduction. I guess they did the same thing with XIII-2 when the reason behind Lightning’s disappearance from XIII’s history was fleshed out rather in the middle and lingered close to the end of XIII-2’s main plot. This is the thing with Toriyama, everyone claims stories are convoluted and to look at it, its probably because he wants everything unpredictable. Hmmm makes sense, I just hope we get satisfied with all the plotholes on this saga. O.O

  • Lowe De Leon

    Makes greater sense. When you think about that way, Snow is of course purely obsessed in saving Serah as well but certainly failed. It might have been answered already but I am curious as to which Fal’Cie does Snow follow really since that one was unanswered in XIII-2 and I remembered reading the Collector’s Guide in the narratives at the back that it should be answered in the “future.” Alot of people hated Hope in XIII, but sometimes I think that he’s one of the most well written characters in the game. Sometimes I think people hates people because they see what they are in THOSE people. Prolly not making sense BWAHAHAHA!!

  • Ehren Rivers

    One minor quibble. They’re not plot holes, they’re plot threads. The series isn’t concluded yet, anything left unfinished from XIII-2 is a plot THREAD until the end of Lightning Returns. If it hasn’t been finished by then, THEN it’s a plot hole.

  • Lowe De Leon

    I think I called it plotholes since I thought XIII-2 would be the end of the saga with DLC’s for the story’s ending. But I guess you’re right, it is a plot THREAD.

  • Ehren Rivers

    No, I understand what you mean. I connect with Hope on a very personal level, as I know from firsthand experience what it’s like to lose someone in a less than peaceful manner. Hope’s reactions and personality were, if anything, a little too cold and quickly gotten-over. I don’t see why people think of him as whiny, and much of what he went through is perfectly natural human response. I think he was a damn great character that was superbly written, but scoffed at and ignored because he was a child and therefore any complaints or issues were ‘whining’.

    It was already revealed what fal’Cie Snow follows, both in Lightning Returns and in XIII-2. Back when XIII-2 was released, a Japanese-only set of books (Fragments Before and Fragments After) were released that were, in my opinion, essential to the plot. Here we find that Snow found a damaged fal’Cie named Cactuar and repaired it, an after falling out of time temporarily (and watching one big loop of the events of XIII-2 leading to Serah’s death), he agreed to become a l’Cie in order to save her.

    The book seems to say that saving Serah was his intended Focus, and it seems to hint that at the end of the Sunleth Waterscape he was pulled out of time by some unknown force on purpose. This is another example of Noel and Serah not knowing what is going on, because Noel believes Snow (who traveled there by Gate himself, I believe) vanished due to not needing to be there now that the paradox had been corrected. If that were true, he and Serah would have been snapped back to their own times every time they corrected a Paradox in a new location.

    At any rate, as was discovered in the Snow Coliseum DLC, he was being kept out there in the Void Beyond by the power of the mysterious ‘Black Smoke Yeul’, although it should more accurately be called the “Chaos-Wreathed Yeul”. His Focus, as far as we know, was unchanged at that time and Cactuar was with him.

    In Lightning Returns, Cactuar is the last fal’Cie left in the world (if I remember correctly), and he produces all of the food and products the people of the city of Yusnaan need. Snow’s Focus at this time appears to have been changed to protecting Cactuar from those who would want to destroy him, as Cactuar is both providing for Yusnaan and helping to keep the Chaos at bay according to one source. This and Snow’s natural inclination to try and help people seem to have gotten him unanimously elected by the people of Yusnaan as their leader, the Patron.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Completely understandable. 😛

  • Lowe De Leon

    Wow, those are the things I missed on the storyline. Thanks for filling me in. I do know about that mysterious Yeul in the Coliseum which made me go like WTH? But I seriously had no idea that it was the Cactuar Fal’Cie, no wonder that thing had a big statue in the E3 Trailer. Makes greater sense.

  • LightningF

    Sorry to hear about your loss Ehren :(

  • Ehren Rivers

    Thanks. It was a long time ago and I’m as over it as one can get, but I remember what it was like. It’s a pretty heavy thing, and it really affects your behavior for a while.

  • Lowe De Leon

    I might not personally connect with him but as you I have experienced loss in varying ways. It’s just nice to see how such characters that are made in paper come to touch us from time to time.

  • LightningF

    Its okay :)

  • LightningF

    Its okay :)

  • vagrant_soul

    Hell, even today I’m still pissed but I’ll accept it. Now a few questions need to be answered:

    – Why is Etro’s gate inside the ark( or something similar too it)?
    – If Hope is in the Ark, who’s the leader of the bandits in the Dead Dunes?

  • Ehren Rivers

    Oh nevermind, I see what you’re talking about. They’re not the same though. This is Etro’s Gate, as drawn in the Ultimania + in the start of XIII-2:

    http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121221152309/finalfantasy/images/8/87/Etro's_Gate_concept_art.jpg
    Art^^^
    http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100904010721/finalfantasy/images/7/74/Eden_portal_on_the_sky4.png
    In-game shot^^^

    This, I believe, is what you’re referring to:
    http://i.imgur.com/qmhlgLH.jpg

    It’s worth noting that it also resembles the shape of Orpan’s final form when staggered.

  • Sapientia

    Goddamn, you have this game figured out before it’s even out! I will be amazed if your theory proves correct come next February.

  • Sapientia

    Oh, Jesus. Fighting alongside Caius AGAINST Noel and Snow (not that the latter two are allies, just sayin’)…the possibility of such a thing would absolutely blow my mind through the roof.

  • Sapientia

    You don’t think he won’t just pop in a bar and have a quick drink with Lightning, like old friends?
    Damn. xD

  • Sapientia

    Sorry, I was kind of directing my comment at people who think Lightning Returns will look worse than FFXIII-2.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Well, I suppose we’ll just have to see. I can only work with they give me, after all. :)

  • ultromega

    “If that were true, he and Serah would have been snapped back to their own times every time they corrected a Paradox in a new location.”

    The backstory you mentioned about Snow is interesting. I always thought that Noel and Serah were somehow exempt from any such “correction” because they were chosen by Etro to travel through time, and Snow vanished because he gained the ability to travel through time by other means (becoming a l’Cie).

  • Ehren Rivers

    Snow didn’t necessarily gain the ability to travel through time by becoming a l’Cie. In fact, it was specifically mentioned that those Etro blessed with the power to move through time couldn’t be forced to become l’Cie so that the fal’Cie couldn’t use the power to move through time for their own ends. It even seems to imply that a l’Cie able to use the gates may not even be hard bound to their Focus at all, whatever it might be. Noel also mentions that you can’t travel through Gates not meant for you, further implying that any and all time travel is touched by the Goddess in some way.

    But yes, it seems from a combination of in-game Fragments, DLC, and Fragments After that much of what Noel and Serah assumed during the course of the story was flat-out WRONG. I think that’s part of the theme of the game though, honestly. It’s a story about being unable to escape some fates no matter how hard you try, sacrifice for the greater good, and how the world can just sneak up and backhand you.

  • ultromega

    “It’s a story about being unable to escape some fates no matter how hard you try,”

    Just wondering… do you have any info/data/theories on why the final cinematic action yields the same result no matter what choice you make? (kill or spare Caius) Do you think it was to emphasize that theme of inescapable fate? Perhaps the developers planned for 2 entirely different endings, and the other one just wasn’t finished in time for the release?

  • MF@ホプライください

    I recall reading a comment somewhere saying that the Spanish version of the screenshot suggests that the leader of the bandits is a woman (the term used is feminine)… so some people guess the leader maybe Fang. I don’t have the screenshot myself so I can’t tell if it’s true or not. Could someone please enlighten me.

  • MF@ホプライください

    So we just got to see a screenshot of Fang in Japan expo…let’s see if she’s the leader

  • Ehren Rivers

    According to what I’ve read, the developers initially intended to extend the game through DLC. Stuff like Requiem of the Goddess would have been the continuation of the story, although there don’t seem to have been any solid payment plans. (I.e, they hadn’t decided between pay a high amount for the first chapter in a character’s extended story and get the rest free, or pay a low amount for one at a time) After the first scenario DLC (Sazh’s story) was released, the negative feedback lead them to believe it wasn’t going to be a popular, profitable, or successful way of extending the story. Conceptualizing for Lightning Returns appears to have begun around the time the Requiem of the Goddess DLC was nearing completion.

    Then again, all I have to do on is old half-translated interviews and Toriyama’s vague but overly-grand speech patterns.

  • Pekola

    SPOILER ALERT!

    It’s Fang.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Actually, 14 year old Hope’s body with 527 year old Hope’s mind. 😛

  • Jon

    You know, it doesn’t matter how they explain it, this is dumb as hell.

  • Storm2356

    Oh, this makes me glad that SE doesn’t plan to extend the story of LR with DLC, the stuff for XIII-2 wasn’t really worth getting, this coming from a person who bought a fair bit of it. I mean, I suppose I wouldn’t mind DLC costumes this time around, seeing as they actually have an ability attached, but I don’t think I’ll get any of the weapons because you can usually find stuff in the game that’s better by the time the weapons get released, like you could in XIII-2. While I’m thinking about the costumes, do you think the ones you get closer to whatever kind of endgame this one has might have more than one ability, or just one that’s more powerful than some of the others?

  • Ehren Rivers

    No idea? They haven’t really told us much of how abilities or upgrading works. Clearly abilities have their own levels, so I’d say there’s probably some kind of progression. I’m also not really clear on how “endgame” is going to work here, so there’s that.

  • Guest

    So Noel has the power of Chaos in him so what type of power does Snow have?

  • Hope Fantasy

    I’m confused about who has the power of Chaos. I know Noel has it but what’s that dark aura or power does Snow have? Is it still L’Cie power or another Chaos?

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