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Yoshida explains why Lightning is coming to Final Fantasy XIV By Erren Van Duine on July 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM

The reaction to Lightning’s inclusion in Final Fantasy XIV was largely expected, according to producer/director Naoki Yoshida. Speaking with fellow network site, RPG Site, Yoshida discussed a variety of topics, including his reasoning for including Lightning in the XIV universe.

“Final Fantasy XIV is very unique. A Realm Reborn hasn’t been released yet, but the 1.0 version of the game has – so we have a lot of hardcore fans who played the 1.0 version,” explained Yoshida. “When we decided to make this announcement here at Japan Expo, this is a very special event where the people here love Japanese subculture, and they want to find out new information, and try out different Japanese culture things, basically.

“We thought it would be more suitable if we focused on how we’re going to make it catchy to that audience instead. We’ve made a straightforward announcement – Lightning is going to be in FF14 – here is the costume you can wear. That’s very straightforward, and to the Japan Expo audience we felt that this was the suitable way to explain it.

“…But, yes, we do understand that 1.0 hardcore players will wonder ‘Well, what’s going on? How is she going to fit in the world?’ and so we definitely expected that reaction.

“Once I’m back in Japan I will probably write a long forum post again to explain in more detail to the fans. Myself, I am one of those who really wants to make sure that the FF14 world is kept safely in a FF14 way – so I don’t want to destroy the lore. There’s going to be plenty of cutscenes and explanation of the reasons in the storylines of why Lightning can appear in FF14.”

Yoshida went on to assure fans that Lightning’s inclusion in the game would be “natural” and everything including her ultimate fate will be woven into the history of Eorzea.

Lightning’s inclusion begs more questions, of course – how will this set the stage for other potential character appearances in ARR? “Well… first of all, I will leave it to the players to imagine if there’s going to be Sephiroth in the game, or maybe Cloud is going to appear on his motorbike… Please enjoy sort of thinking about what could be happening in the game,” said Yoshida. “The main message we wanted to tell the players is the same as the announcements we made at E3 and now again at Japan Expo, which is that previously, all these numbered titles in the FF franchise were totally different, each of them were independent of each other – totally separate.

“However, between the dev teams and also within the company, we also really want to work close together and have a strong relationship with each other and sort of push FF as a whole.

“It’s not like that we want to just get more attention from players or get more money by using the elements from previous FF games – it’s nothing like that. As a company and as a group, we wanted to make sure that the FF projects have a strong relationship between the dev teams of the numbered titles. We’re not necessarily planning to bring back all the characters.”

So there you have it. Love it or hate it, Final Fantasy XIV stands to be a fanservice game unlike any other mainline title before it. We’ll have the full interview syndicated here tomorrow.

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  • God damn fanservice. You just know that more characters like this and the Viera race will eventually appear even though it makes absolutely no sense at all.

  • Erren Van Duine

    Yeah, I think personally I would have rather the fanservice stuff come later and not be a “marketing” point for the game. I want to see FFXIV as its own vision of the 14th Final Fantasy, not some dumping ground for all the old FF games.

  • This is precisely my opinion. Yet people are often misinterpret me when I criticise FFXIV even though I regard it as a very high quality MMO.

  • NoOneInParticular

    I absolutely love Ms. Farron and XIII, appreciate that they can make a compelling female lead without sexualizing the hell out of her, and I have a strong appreciation for all of the numbered titles, because they’re each good in their own ways and have their individual strengths and weaknesses.

    That said, I hope this crossover shit is kept to a minimum. DISSIDIA 012 had an excuse, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. But I want Eorzea to have its own identity without having to borrow so much from the other games. I think even having materia, which has been in since 1.XX, was pushing it.

  • Twilight Odin

    I agree with her costume being available and all, but I don’t think she her self should be in the game.

    But alas, even though I intend to play this game in the future, I’m not, currently. So I’m in no way allowed to complain, so, ignore my rant.

  • Aly Hesham

    LOL Kagari I love the choice of pictures for the article..Nice touch.

  • Himiko

    Lmao the header picture.

  • vagrant_soul

    Damn SE,use some other characters besides Lighting for cameos!! Love her to death but this is too much!

  • vagrant_soul

    Damn SE,use some other characters besides Lighting for cameos!! Love her to death but this is too much!

  • Sapientia

    Damnit, now I REALLY need FFXIV:ARR if Lightning’s damn STORY will be part of that game…also, how is this a fanservice game? Didn’t realize it was another opininon article. ๐Ÿ˜› (I’m just screwin’ with ya!)

  • ultromega

    โ€œ…previously, all these numbered titles in the FF franchise were totally different, each of them were independent of each other โ€“ totally separate.

    However, between the dev teams and also within the company, we also really want to work close together and have a strong relationship with each other and sort of push FF as a whole.”

    I actually like this idea. If it’s done in the right way (and not one that screams “CASH GRAB!”), it should bring fans of one game into the other and vice versa. Sure, it won’t bring over EVERY fan, but it will gain the attention of people who might not have given the other game a chance. Keeping every game completely separate, especially when they’re being released within months of each other, can only sow discord and some fans will (for some reason) feel the need to take sides instead of trying to enjoy all of SE’s games.

    On a related note, a similar controversial cameo came up recently in the Injustice: Gods Among Us (DC Comics) fighting game. Scorpion (from Mortal Kombat) was announced as a DLC character, and some people hated it and saw it as an easy cash grab, while some defended the cameo as it would bring in Mortal Kombat fans who might not have given Injustice a chance in the first place.

    It all depends on how you look at it.

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    I definitely agree, although this seems to be something Yoshi would like to push in the future and I guess we will just have to deal with it. As long as XIV’s main story remains original, I’ll be happy.

    I guess what Yoshi is trying to say is that XIV exists in a universe where copies of all the other Final Fantasy worlds exist too, a bit like in Dissidia, and that they’re all linked in some way (probably to do with the Void). Which doesn’t mean XIV exists in XIII’s world, or Fabula Nova Crystallis, but it does mean there’s a version of XIII’s world in XIV.

    That could make sense, but I really hope he doesn’t get too over excited. All the decisions he made up to this point I agreed with wholeheartedly and I loved the direction the story was going, so I hope he pulls this off whilst maintaining XIV’s identity as a standalone title.

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    I think you’re still allowed to find it distasteful though. XIV and XIII had nothing to do with eachother up until now, and that’s going to cause a bit of a rift between the fans.

  • Mihel

    “I will leave it to the players to imagine if thereโ€™s going to be Sephiroth in the game, or maybe Cloud is going to appear on his motorbikeโ€ฆ”

    Nobody would have complained to see Sephiroth or Cloud for the bajillionth time.
    I think people are more likely to complain when it comes to things related to FFXIII.

  • LightningF

    Exactly. It’s so hypocritical when they do that.

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    I would have complained :/ I don’t want to see Sephiroth or Cloud in XIV. Darnus and Project Meteor were more or less one big Sephiroth reference after all.

    I just want XIV to have its own standalone story. I don’t mind name references, subtle nods towards past titles in the franchise, but I guess Yoshi’s made up his mind now and we’ll just have to embrace it.

  • Mihel

    I’m sure there wouldn’t have been sad Cloud headers for the article had Cloud been chosen to be in FFXIV.

  • Aly Hesham

    as for me..I think Iam neutral to the fanservicey stuff but I understand other people’s concerns.

  • Ryuukishi

    Bring it on. I love Lightning and Final Fantasy fanservice in general. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Andrew Atkinson

    I would love to see some IV, VI, IX, XII, or even I/II/III cameos. The more futuristic FFs not so much, but I’d still enjoy it. I wish that they had gone for that VII/VIII/XIII look for their new MMO honestly.

  • Sapientia

    That is so true. But I’m still iffy on the Lightning inclusion. If what Yoshida says is true, it’s awesome that their development teams are so tight-knit, and I hope we’ll see some sort of cool FFXIV costumes or whatever in LR.

  • Sapientia

    Wow, what’s with the downvotes? Here’s a cookie! 8D

  • Sapientia

    Lightning doesn’t look sad, mre like, “what did Noel just say?”
    Her eyebrow’s all quirked up and all…you know what, I don’t even know.

  • Sapientia

    If the fans want to make a big deal out of this and MAKE a rift between them, don’t you think that’s on them?

  • Aly Hesham

    Hehe Thanks Love ๐Ÿ˜€ Btw I kinda wish I could play as lightning herself in the game…Is it possible ?

  • Aly Hesham

    we can agree she looks insanely cute no ? XD

  • Luna Kazemaru

    enjoy the melt down on gaf then because its kinda that line of thinking there.

  • Aly Hesham

    oh boy…that thread was insane lol

  • Ehren Rivers

    Ah yes, the hell that is neogaf. I imagine they QQ’d until the cows came home.

  • TheCandyGiraffe

    I’m slowly warming to the idea of having other Final Fantasy dungeons in the game, but not as part of the main story or lore. Just have your character travel through rips in the void into other worlds. Then again, how would they explain us defeating main villains from past games when that’s the job of the actual main characters from their respective titles? Unless they’re just nightmares of some strange void dreamer.. or.. something?

    Then again, it’s Final Fantasy, anything can happen I guess. So long as it doesn’t detract from the main plot, I’ll accept it, since it seems there’s no going back now.

  • Luna Kazemaru

    @alyhesham:disqus its actually still going i had a laugh at the siliconera thread aswell some one actually said hold events are lore

  • Longsun_Zhao

    As part of an MMO this is acceptable. As part of a single player story-focused experience? Not so much. Story/lore takes a backseat to the social and game play aspects of the experience.

  • JuanTabonia

    Wow, they really want to milk XIII to death don’t they. I guess they realized they ran out of funding to burp out another needless title in its universe, so they did the cheapest thing they could think of. Hopefully this will hold over the fanboys until their next corridor RPG comes out. Maybe they can recycle some Disney characters in there just to be safe.

  • Jon

    Jesus christ, she is inescapable.

  • FinalFantisiac

    Even though I’m not going to play XIV and I like Lightning, this personally pisses me off.

  • SazhKatzroy

    Funding has nothing to do with it as evidenced by Yoshida, and if they wanted to “milk” XIII then we would have to be seeing much more than just Lightning…

  • Lloyd Knight

    This isn’t right. Forcing a FF XIII character to a different universe isn’t right. Yes, you can cross-over the costumes of other FFs. It will still be plain acceptable. As a FF fan, I feel defeated and betrayed on this one.

  • Hmm interesting, I can’t see how it would work right now but if it can Square will find a way! I’m already super excited for the game but not because of Lightning. I’ve been playing the beta and enjoying it so much that I pre-ordered. Not long now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mihel

    I liked Cloud and Balthier in FF Tactics ๐Ÿ™

  • Jon

    Balthier is understandable because his game was set in the same universe, and Cloud was a secret people had to find out about.

    This is basically a marketing campaign with nauseating levels of fan pandering. There is no way to fit Lightning into XIV. Cloud or Sephiroth wouldn’t fit either. Nor would anyone else. Instead of banking on past successes maybe they should try to make original content that meets or exceeds the content of previous games. Pandering is cheaper I guess, and blind fanboys salivate over it regardless.

  • Dawnpainterz

    People don’t even like Lightning!

  • Licoriceallsorts

    I hope Reno and Rude will be in this game. I think they’d fit right in. They could be space cowboy bounty hunters… I mean kidnappers…

  • akidono

    I think the final fantasy 14 world is the next world that the people from “final fantasy lightning return” will be taken too after the end of the game, Im just going off of what the trailers showing me…just a theory.

  • Stop this shit

    Why the fuck are they so persistant in force feeding us the most boring protagonist so far?

  • Sapientia

    Haha. Okay.
    Japan didn’t vote her as their favorite FF female protagonist for no reason. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sapientia

    In XIII-2? You play Lightning for the opening intro, which is about twenty minutes or so, and of course there’s the “Requiem of a Goddess” DLC episode.

  • Sapientia

    No one is forcing anything on you. I mean, hell, if you dislike her so much, why click on this article in the first place? Clearly many people like her as a character.

  • LightningF

    People like to skip that part to try and prove a non existent point, but whatever. If they want to believe their lies, let them.

    Lightning and her fabulicious hair/face/boobs/everything will always be loved by 10000x more people than the number of those who hate her.

  • LightningF

    When has she not? xD

  • ZenTzen

    yeah and she was also voted most hated character, whats your point

  • Aly Hesham

    oh no I actually meant in XIV : ARR..is it possible to play as lightning ?

  • Sapientia

    By what? GameFAQs? Ha.

  • Sapientia

    Pfft, I have no idea, dude.

  • Sapientia

    When she’s punching someone’s lights out? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • LightningF

    Idk, she was even cute when she punched Snow <3 And her angry army of one face when she done it on Caius was cute too xD

  • Stop this shit

    Clearly a lot of people like Call of Duty. It’s still shite.

  • The Nerd Rage

    Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

  • The Nerd Rage

    Ultros, please. We need an Ultros guildhest.
    Don’t tease the octopus, kids!

  • everlatingdayz

    because shes one of the only female protagonists…

  • Sapientia

    White Mage (which I don’t know if it counts, but I see a lot of cosplayers for “her”, so…), Terra, Rinoa, Yuna, Rikku, Paine, Ashe, Lightning, Vanille, Fang, Serah, etc. and whatever else I can’t think of off the top of my head.They’re all protagonists, and while maybe not main characters, they are nonetheless, protagonists. And yet somehow, despite some people’s hatred for her, Lightning is continually one of the most popular.

  • Sapientia

    To you. To them, they like that game and that genre. For an FPS, I’m sure COD is a great game. Maybe to RPG fans, it’s not, but that doesn’t make it “shite.”
    You might as well say: “Hell, FFVII has a lot of fans. It’s a pile of shit, despite what all of those people think.”
    See what I’m saying?

  • Anthony Toomey

    There are plenty of ways, considering Lightnings powers and the powers of the Sion. Maybe you should do some research….and im not even a fan of lightning.

  • Sathil

    Well, its actually a good game. But that good game happened like 13895109486104986103598 years ago and the series just plops on new content with little to no progression towards growth. So its like me continuing to play cs1.6 but the difference is cs doesn’t have full priced annual “re”-releases. And as a result, many people, including myself, have grown bored with the constant full-priced annual milking-dosage ๐Ÿ˜€

  • pannonij

    She is a time traveling multi dimensional newly appointed god. She’s cool. Terra would be cool too. I’ve seen magitec armor in some FF XIV media. Got to find out how to get it.

  • Dawnpainterz

    She’s Cloud with pink hair and tits, thats why.

  • Sapientia

    You keep believing that, sure. ๐Ÿ™‚