Thanks to twitter user Goli, high quality scans of the Famitsu feature for Lightning Returns are now available. We’ll be adding information from the scans as they are translated (by the always-fantastic TensaiShojo), but for now here are the pages themselves to tide you over.
Lightning: As the Savior, Lightning is tasked with guiding all souls to the new world prepared by Bhunivelze. However, with growing suspicion over her master and his divine plan, Lightning soon finds herself wanting to save the dying world instead. But this desire goes against the will of Bhunivelze. Is Lightning prepared to go up against a god…
Bhunivelze: The mythological god who defeated his mother to gain control over the world. He calls upon Lightning and guides her fate. However, he will also be the one to deceive and sever her.
Cid Raines: The dead have chosen Cid Raines to be their advocate, and through their strong will, he appears once again before Lightning with a request.
Lumina: Lumina appears throughout the story, helping and hindering Lightning. But what is this mysterious girl’s true wish? Why does she resemble Serah so much? With tears streaming down her face, Lumina cries, “Please don’t leave me alone…”
Snow: After 500 hundred years of despair, Snow seems to be showing a glimpse of his former self. Has he finally returned to the heated Snow we know and love!?
Hope: Similar to Lightning, Hope has also been robbed of emotion. In this scene, a bit of that stolen emotion has returned. But is he expressing relief or sorrow?
Sazh, Vanille, and Fang have conflicts of their own that only Lightning can solve. Yeul’s wish may have something to do with Noel and Caius.
Lightning: This is goodbye.
Cid: You will know which soul to find.
Lumina: How long are you going to pretend to be “Lightning”?
Lumina: Please, don’t leave me alone…
Snow: After 500 years-
Much of the information present within this section has already been covered, so the translator picked out all of the newest bits to share with us.
Luxerion: The developers had a very hard time trying to equal Luxerion with the other wide and colorful locations like the Wildlands. They didn’t want the players to think Luxerion was boring, so striking events and battles were used to make Luxerion unique. The mysterious and brutal murders also give Luxerion a strong sense of evil that is not entirely present in other locations.
The Dead Dunes: Players can hunt for valuable items in the Dead Dunes. The developers made sure that vigorous exploration and searching would be graciously rewarded. Also, developers would like players to notice the scenery at sunset because it is especially beautiful.
Yusaan: Yusnaan has a wide selection of shops. The city is home to the last remaining fal’Cie, which supports the people throughout the continent. Snow is in charge of protecting the fal’Cie and equally distributing its resources to the people.
The Wildlands: The Wildlands hold a variety of natural features such as the wide plains, the winding forest, and the canyon. Besides enemies, adorable creatures roam the land and bond with Lightning. These include Chocobos (and their chicks), wooly sheep, and Moogles.
Eradia: This can be collected through main and side quests. Not only does Eradia increase the lifespan of the world, it is also used to strengthen Lightning.
The Ark: Every time Lightning returns to the Ark, Hope will be waiting will many useful gifts such as X-Potions, Phoenix Downs, and new Garb. Every Garb has at least one default ability that cannot be removed. Also, Lightning will fully recover all gauges, including GP/EP. Players will definitely look forward to going “home” every morning.
Glory Points/Energy Points: GP abilities can be used inside and outside of battle. These abilities include Overclock, Scene Drive (Army of One), Escape, Decoy, Chronostasis, Telepo (Teleport), Curaga, and Arise. In EASY mode, players will not be penalized for using Escape. Various teleport spots will be unlocked as Lightning finds them throughout the land. Curaga will completely restore Lightning’s health and Arise will revive her.
Difficulty Modes: HARD mode becomes available after clearing the game once. Creators, again, recommend that players start their Lightning Returns experience with EASY mode, but those up for a little challenge can go ahead with NORMAL mode. One in-game hour is equivalent to 2 1/2 real-time minutes.
Combat: By removing certain parts of an enemy, not only will their attacks become weaker, will possibly drop rare items as well. Enemies can be “knocked out” quicker by using abilities they are vulnerable against. Once defeated, Last Ones will drop extremely valuable items. When Lightning sneaks up on an opponent and attacks it without being noticed, the enemy will start off with less health than usual.
Director, Toriyama Motomu: The story of Lightning, which began with “FFXIII”, is finally coming to a close. With this being the first trilogy in the Final Fantasy Series, we have indeed walked a long road with her. Personally, I kind of feel like a father walking his beloved daughter down the flowery aisle – it’s both happy but also lonely to see her go. In this final game, players will have the opportunity to create their very own Lightning. Outfits have a wide variety of options, ranging from a beautiful wedding-like dress to a sharp suit. We hope you will enjoy the many different sides of Lightning. Let us celebrate the grand finale of Lightning and the “FFXIII” trilogy together.
Producer, Kitase Yoshinori: As Lightning’s journey reaches an end, we hope all the fans will enjoy it together with the new social applications we have developed. Please use them to share battling hints, thoughts on the story, and such. Of course, these can be posted through popular networks like Twitter and Facebook, as well as within the game exclusively. It’s the last big festival before the new generation consoles! Let us all purchase the game on its release day and raise the excitement!
Game Design Director, Abe Yuuji: In this installment, players are free to enjoy whatever they please without much worry over the main plot. Lately, games have been strictly divided into the “JRPG” and “Western RPG” categories. However, I believe this installment is a well-balanced mix between the two. Also, I personally recommend taking the game nice and slow. And after completing it once, please replay the game a second and even a third time because there will still be many things to find and do. I would be especially happy if players went through EASY mode first and just enjoyed the world before them.
Art Director, Kamikokuryou Isamu: The long journey with Lightning and her friends will end with this final installment. The world has many new cities and locations, and I highly recommend all players to use the map while exploring. Even in reality, a person who is merely scrambling around for the correct path and a person who has predetermined their destination on a map can have very different views of the same scenery. In this game, time is essential and players must learn how to use it well. The map will prevent you from becoming terribly lost and wasting precious time. It really feels like you are on an actual quest! I believe the map will be a strong help on your journey. But of course, it’s sometimes fun to get lost and run around too!
Character Design, Nomura Tetsuya: I remember feeling a strong reaction within myself when I first sketched Lightning. I really felt like a great character had just been born. I hardly feel such powerful impressions. I desired for her to be carefully developed and loved for a long time, like Cloud. And look at her now after eight years! But I want people to remember and love her for five, even ten more years. I believe she has what it takes to stay in people’s hearts. With this game, Lightning’s long fight will finally come to a close. To me, it kind of feels like my daughter is finally coming home after many years away. I would like to thank everyone for enjoying this series and I hope Lightning will continue to be remembered.
So far, almost all of the creators have recommended players to begin with EASY mode. Players can better enjoy the scenery of these beautiful locations more and get used to the system. If players do decide to start with NORMAL mode, the creators jokingly ask people not to complain about how challenging it is.