Dengeki talks Physics and Movement in Lightning Returns By Ehren Rivers on November 18, 2013 at 1:21 AM

In the most recent Dengeki interview, the development team discussed, among other things, the challenges of creating a system with so much varied and customizable equipment that actually appeared out of battle. TensaiShojo illuminated the bulk of the interview for us, with some interesting development reveals mixed in. Lumina, for example, is supposed to look like a 12-years-old girl. Her extravagant movements were made to look especially realistic.

In Final Fantasy XIII-2, Serah and Noel had alternate outfits but they were few enough for the developers to check thoroughly. However, in Lightning Returns, Lightning will have over 80 outfits and this makes it practically impossible for the developers to check every little detail. For example, if Lightning is carrying a long weapon on her back, it might occasionally go through her outfit. The developers made sure to fix major problems, like keeping her dresses and skirts from flying up while she fights. There were many times when her underwear became entirely exposed in the more revealing costumers. The Miqo’te outfit was especially difficult to fix because the skirt wouldn’t stop turning over. Despite careful adjustments, players can freely move the camera during cutscenes or when taking screenshots, so panty-shots couldn’t be eliminated entirely in those costumes.

Weapons and shields were also very difficult to alter. There is a scene where Lightning points her sword at an enemy, but depending on the size of the chosen weapon, the sword would sometimes pierce the enemy when it wasn’t supposed to. The developers did their best to scale the weapons to look natural during scenes, but some weapons like the sword you seem to obtain from a Behemoth, are hilariously huge.

Next, the creators talked about the tone of the story. Final Fantasy XIII-2 was originally planned to be a light-hearted game where fans could enjoy playing with their favorite characters again, so a few staff members were very surprised when the story took a darker tone and grew into a trilogy. The story of Lightning Returns is obviously darker in keeping with that twist, but players need not worry about the end.

The two developers were then asked about their favorite scenes. Tanaka-san likes a scene where, while sneaking into Yusnaan, Lightning gets embarrassed before she gets up on the stage. He also enjoys the entire scenario of healing the wounded chocobo. Miyake-san likes a certain scene with Sazh that was not discussed at length. The two also warn players of going through the game too fast, as some cutscenes can be easily missed. Of course, players can go back and find such scenes with multiple playthroughs.

Scenes were apparently a little harder for the development team to complete this time around. The cutscene developers had a tough time creating events because not all of the character models and background environments were complete. They had to use many placeholders and unfinished settings before they went back and polished the scenes. In Lightning Returns, all of the locations are absolutely new, so, compared to FFXIII-2, it took a longer time for the world to be created. Also, the story was not entirely complete before development began, so there were quite a few times when scenes had to be redone in order to meet Toriyama-san’s alterations. As for the character voices, in the past the voice-actors recorded their lines before any cutscenes were fully completed. The creators then used the voices as a base for the characters’ emotions and lip-movement. This time, the voice-actors recorded after the scenes were finished.

  • Sothe Zephyr

    Well actually, the BIG GLOWY SYMBOL behind Orphan ISNT Etro’s gate but an homage to it. orphan and the ‘glowy thingy’ form Etro’s gate. If you noticed during the fight for Eden, Etro’s gate opens over Eden Hall just before you go in to fight the Sacrifice cie’th and Rosch

    Etro helps them only………..at the end….by releasing them of their l’cie status and from crystal stasis. And the paradoxes makes sense due to the whole aspect of what their concept (13-2’s concept) of time is! The historia crux is the timeline!!!! The past connects to the future through it so the ripple effect makes sense. Any outside force that acts upon the destined future will ripple and change everything else. IE: Water ripples – Flicking a string. That is how i view it.

    And 13’s ending isnt silly Dx Etro, seeing how bravely and relentlessly the valiant l’cie fought, took pity on them and released them of their fate as l’cie! It is poetic!

  • Ehren Rivers


    I understand, everyone, that you’re used to people with negative opinions being antagonistic, rude, and insulting to the point of abuse. However, not everyone that has an opinion counter to yours is necessarily acting this way. Were it in my power, I would completely remove the Downvoting part of the system in a heartbeat. Please, be respectful and don’t jump on people for not sharing your like or dislike of a particular game.

  • Sothe Zephyr

    Some people get very defensive when something they adore comes under attack by others. It makes sense that people would reject the opinions of others that oppose their own, it is, somewhat, human nature. Defend what you love, reject those who oppose you, yada yada yada lol

  • Storm

    L’ange Noir in black: ALL OF MY YES! <3 And thanks! X)


  • Storm

    when we can expect the Dengeki review? I’m really curious to see the score.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Bahahaha, I was literally just posting that. Took me forever to download them!

  • Karysonson

    Wow, never knew….thanks

  • Ehren Rivers

    Yep, it was just revealed in the above-mentioned Dengeki. 😀 No problem, anytime~

  • Somber

    Better way to solve: Do not reply them, just leave them. lol

  • SazhKatzroy

    “Final Fantasy XIII-2 was originally planned to be a light-hearted game where fans could enjoy playing with their favorite characters again, so a few staff members were very surprised when the story took a darker tone and grew into a trilogy.”

    This is kind of what I was hoping for. Introduce just a couple new characters to replace Vanille and Fang, and introduce a new problem. Had there been a successful attempt at re-activating the Sanctum Fal’Cie by the anti-Academia folk, or exploring more of Gran Pulse to eliminate the Arks, or the Pulse Fal’Cie go on a rampage… anything was possible, but it’s ok now.

    Also looking forward to the scene with Sazh that Miyake-san likes :)

  • Mateus.E

    Well,700 af was a world where cocoon did fell in 500 af,because of the flan paradox ,the Atlas War paradox and,in a way,the proto Fal’cie paradox…but,well,Etro’s gate didn’t crash…perhaps it was because of the war having killed many people before,leaving only a few stragglers behind in 500 af to suffer with the collapse of the crystal pillar.

    But well,in the true 500 af,maybe dropping Cocoon would work,maybe it wasn’t the “proper” way and would lead only to a repeat of the events in the possibly paradox of 700 af where noel lived(he himself said his time could have been one).Still,Caius most likely wanted to make sure…so that plan was most likely to bait noel into fighting him and finishing him off.

    In the DLC requiem of the godess,Caius managed to beat Lightning,with a cheap trick though.Maybe,in order to kill Etro,he HAD to kill Lightning.Since he could only contain her and wasn’t strong enough to finish her off,that most likely forced him to rely on Noel.Well,maybe he contained Lightning in a shadow of Valhalla in order to goad Noel into killing him by saying he killed her.

  • Ehren Rivers

    He didn’t contain Lightning at all. She went to crystal sleep of her own choice, and Caius simply used her absence in an attempt to enrage SERAH, not Noel, most likely hoping Serah would demand Noel exact revenge. Noel keeps a cool head and just tells Serah that Caius is lying. Which he was.

  • Mateus.E

    Well,the meteor definetly crashed the temple…but it was intact when noel and Serah went to Vallhala…had lightning been killed,the cycles would have ended,so that means she did survive.Weird…it is just like if the battle was simply retgoned and started all over again…but with Caius and light remembering all the cycles.

  • Ehren Rivers

    No. Lightning and Caius do not remember the cycles of their fight. The developers specifically state that neither one of them is aware of their endless, looping war. It doesn’t matter which one of them loses or wins, because the battle starts over again pretty much immediately. As I mentioned in the post you JUST responded to.

  • Mateus.E

    When Lightning was defeated,Chaos appeared beneath her and sucked her in.Then we heard Caius saying that “Lightning was dead,I killed her with my own hands”.She woke up in the temple,but…I don’t think it was the real one.Then,after beating that possibly fake Caius and Chaos bahamut,she gets sucked into a portal back to Vallhala’s temple…this time the real one.I don’t think Caius realized she went to crystal sleep,for he could be thinking she could still be trapped in the Void Beyond,or maybe he did realize,but,because Lightning froze herself,he coudn’t get to Etro anymore,somwhow.Well,maybe in LR we will get some intel about what really happened in the DLC.Or maybe I am the one with incomplete info.

  • Mateus.E

    ahh,sorry,my bad.Ahhh,I remembered.yeah,they said it…Even in the datalogs…

  • Ehren Rivers

    Incorrect. Lightning was dragged into the Chaos, and Caius disdainfully refrained from striking a final blow. The developers stated that the Caius she fought against was the real one, and he was summoned there by the Chaos-Wreathed Yeul. Requiem of the Goddess is meant to reflect a facet of their endless war. Lightning was not pulled into any portals afterward, she remained where she had been. Caius almost certainly did know she was in crystal sleep (he specifically mentions that he’s already seen all of what will happen), but even if he hadn’t he would have known she was still alive and would therefore still be lying to Serah to anger her.

  • Mateus.E

    ahhh,I see…Just as I expected,I didn’t have the full info about it…ahh,with each response,the “plot thickens”,as does my questions,sorry!

    interesting.Well,some more questions,if possible.Why was lightning having a trip in the historia crux,after her talk with that Yeul…and falling into the Chaos…?She was just thinking…or was she checking history using that “from Valhalla,one can see all of history’s scope,but not all at once”?

    The Lightning that aided Noel and Serah when they were sinking into the Chaos…well,how to ask…what was that?Was she already frozen and sent her spirit to aid them…?Well,also,why did Caius not used her “Absence” after their last battle to kill etro,was it because Lightning froze herself?

    Ah,yes…shoot…I felt like he was just using smart words to bluff.After all,he had just attempted to deceive noel that Lightning was dead.But yeah…he did say she “would sleep,never to wake”.ahh,shoot.Also,why did that sentence “Lightning is dead,I killer her with my own hands” appears after Lightning is surronded by Chaos,after being defeated…if she had survived…And Caius was aware of it?I thought,when I saw it…that it was what Caius refered to when he ‘killed her” and made her “sleep,never to wake”…after all,all those who die in the void beyond get sent to a dream world….I thought that it included Vallhalla…maybe I misunderstood the fragment.Ahh,sorry for taking your time,and thanks for helping me.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Ahhhh, I see what you’re talking about, and I can explain. I was referring to the actual end of her fight with Caius- Lightning is not transported anywhere following that fight, instead she rides out across Valhalla seemingly in pursuit of the Chaos-Wreathed Yeul. Upon catching up with her, CWY essentially tosses her away. Why she is in the Historia Crux specifically is unknown- It may be that the Crux opens up to many places within the true Valhalla, or it could be that both she and Noel (in Heir to Chaos) have the Historia Crux used as a backdrop to introspection while rendered unconscious by the power of Chaos.

    Regardless, Lightning’s end point is right back where she started- The throne of Etro where Serah is, where she fought Caius. Please note that although these places are in the real Valhalla, they are clearly not Etro’s actual throne. Etro’s throne is up in the temple proper, whereas these battles take place in some kind of structural reflection down closer to the Sea of Chaos.

  • Mateus.E

    I see.the temple’s throne room is blue…and where Lightning will face Caius in the wildlands.Hmm,so,what was that Lightning that helped Serah and Noel just before they fought Jet Bahamut?Just her spirit?This is the last quesition,definetly.Thanks.

  • Ehren Rivers

    That was Lightning’s spirit, yes, and seemingly something she was able to enter Valhalla temporarily, at the specific point Noel and Serah needed help. This was probably not a conscious decision, though, as it appears to be very difficult to enter Valhalla at an exact point in “time”.

  • Mateus.E

    Ah yes,got it.It makes sense,since Vallhala is a mess,in all senses of the word…everything could happen at the same time…Well,it is over.Now…I am curious to see Caius interact with Lightning again.Maybe we can get more intel about some things,like how he survived.I say he purposely chose to “die” in vallhala,since there is no death there,it wouldn’t be final…

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