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Stella and other key Versus XIII moments have been removed from Final Fantasy XV By Erren Van Duine on June 4, 2015 at 10:43 AM

Much of the game we knew as Final Fantasy Versus XIII is no more, now made evident today by director Hajime Tabata who shared new reasoning behind changes long suspected. By far the biggest change is the removal of Stella Nox Fleuret – who was set to be the main heroine opposite of Noctis.

“We wanted to keep her as a heroine in FFXV’s story, and pursued ways to tie her in to FFXV’s design as well, but we found it increasingly difficult to make sense of Stella’s character and role within FFXV,” Tabata explained. “So then we thought, do we want to recreate Stella with a different role and image, or do we want to start over with a new hreoine? And after a lot of consideration, we decided not to include Stella in FFXV. Instead, we have a new heroine named Luna, who has a different role within the story. So we will be talking more about her in the future.”

The second change Tabata mentioned was in regard to the city of Insomnia and a scene once seen as the opening of Versus XIII wherein Noctis visits a party taking place in the city. That sequence too has been “deleted” from Final Fantasy XV.

“Now, if you have been following info on Versus, you may already know this, but there was a sequence of scenes right after the party where the city is attacked by the enemy forces of Niflheim,” said Tabata. “That sequence has been deleted from FFXV. And there is a good reason behind it.

“Scenes like those had to be regressed because of a very critical factor. So now, the sequence is: Noct and his retinue leave Insomnia, and then… What was it? Then the Niflheim army attacks the crown city. There’s an extremely important reason behind this decision. In fact, it could be construed a spoiler, so I can’t tell you about it here.

“The third point is not a change. But as I just informed you, we decided to delete the scene of a party in Insomnia, which is a city like Shinjuku. So then we became concerned that the players who were looking forward to some gameplay in that city might worry that they would be losing that gameplay as well. So I thought I should let you know here and now that we are preparing situations that would involve gameplay in the Shinjuku-like city of Insomnia. We had previously released information on Versus saying you would begin combat right after the Niflheim army attacks the city, but the new gameplay would not fall in around the same timeline. As for when and in what kind of situation the combat occurs, we would like for you to wait for future updates, and play the actual game, but we are working on something great, so I hope you will look forward to it.”

While these changes are being made to the game, Tabata did confirm both the black-haired woman from the 2013 E3 trailer the the dragoon lady we saw back in 2011 are still intact and will have important roles within the story. Everything he mentioned has been part of an extensive debate in an effort – according to him – to make the game better.

“Quite some time has passed now… After we had switched from Versus to XV, the first decision we made was to make sure that FFXV would have a complete, coherent story in one game. That was an important decision—one made at the company level, too. So I started thinking about how we could get a full, coherent story in a single game. And the crux of that was which elements from Versus we could carry over and which would not fit into the new structure as XV.

“So I went through everything in detail, seeing which areas we would have to change. By that time, a fair amount of information about the Versus story had already been released, so we tried to keep as many elements from it as we could. We tried hard in a number of areas. But it would have been very difficult to carry over absolutely everything as it was. We considered what was possible with the new-gen hardware, as well as what elements absolutely must be included in XV but might fall through if not given top priority. It was not easy to nail down what was essential for the story to be contained in one title. Everyone involved was very sensitive in dealing with this, and we patiently debated numerous times, but we still couldn’t come up with a definitive answer.

“In the end, we decided to be as faithful as possible to Mr. Nojima’s story for Versus and focus on realizing the original story as much as we could. It goes without saying that I consulted with him on this. And he said that if I valued his original story, then it would still fulfill his vision, even if not every single element he came up with included in the end. So that gave us the confidence to set our goal, which was to create a narrative that utilizes Mr. Nojima’s original story as fully as possible.”

Tabata also shared a brief statement from Nojima about the scenario in which he pondered about the changes to his original script as well as the changes being brought about to it in FFXV. “As director Tabata just announced, the plot that was developed during the Versus era has served as the basis for the Final Fantasy XV story. I’m sure the story will make many changes as they adapt my draft into a more detailed script, but I believe that the important things I wanted to express will be taken to another level by the XV team. As I express my support, I will be waiting for XV to be completed just like everyone else.”

Final Fantasy XV – while based on Versus XIII – has become a different game.

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  • arcnate

    damn thats a shame, but i’m still optimistic about the game.

  • stevenm281

    So sad, I liked everything about her, her design, her clothes, her attitude, weapon of choice. She reminded me of Tifa.

    Luna, on the other hand, seems like a demzel in distress, I don’t dig much that kind of character. I don’t despise her yet, so far she reminds me of Aerith, a likeable character but nothing that impresses me much compared to badass chicks like Lightning, Paine, Fang, Rinoa, Quistis, etc.

  • sagermeister

    wow just wow

  • Mike Nieto

    It’s better this way.

  • NECPS

    Focus on story. Reduce gameplay. Always the same with finalfantasy now days.

  • arcnate

    i guess we’ll find out at gamescom about what her role might be. hopefully no damsel in distress

  • stevenm281

    I hope so

  • Octavio Valdez

    Speculating on the insomnia part i think the scenes of fighting in the city might be used for the part when the characters come back to liberate the city, maybe it will be far later in the game

  • Mugen

    Yeah..Stella seemed like a strong female lead. Luna reminds me of Serah. Bleh.

  • stevenm281

    that’s what I believe as well.

  • badassn

    What? How the hell did you get that from this?

  • Wazi the pa

    Rest in peace Stella…… Folks, the Stella we know has been reincarnated as Luna Nox Flurret….. Which is not bad.

    It just really goes to show we know next to nothing about the story of FFXV and Versus. And due to that, we can hardly determine all their key roles in the story….

    When we see the story of FFXV, we will know some details that’s changed from Versus XIII but overall it’ll be completely new to us, so don’t take this as bad news. We were getting info of the game that’s so early in development obviously.

    I’m gonna try to be optimistic for this one folks. Episode Duscae 2.0 looks sexy too.

  • Wazi the pa

    There’s only that one scene that showed as a “damsel in distress”. Don’t judge her personality and role from that one scene. That would be a fool’s move to do so. We still know barely anything of Luna, let alone Stella too.

  • This is saddest moment ever since Aerith’s death.

  • SiliconNooB

    Luna looks nice but Stella looked lovely. I wonder why they couldn’t just work her into the role that Luna now occupies?

  • Yeah. The same thought. So bitter.

  • Common sense, may be?

  • badassn

    Lol, what?

  • That was a sarcasm.

  • Wazi the pa

    Nah, it’s not if you give yourself time to think about it.

  • stevenm281

    I did say I’m not despising her YET. I fully agree that we need to see more but first impression is important and clearly they didnt show Stella and Luna in the same way so far, which makes it totally understandable for people to be slightly disapointed.

  • All I want to know is she as big a badass in battle as Noctis. If no then you failed Square. No more princess damsels in distress.

  • It better be. That was iconic. I hope the don’t remove all the cool acrobatic fights for realism too.

  • Wazi the pa

    Man, using “yet” sounds like you’re looking forward to despising her. lol
    But yeah, I can understand what you’re feeling but judging a component of a game that’s still a work in progress….. You’ve taken that path, it’s up to you to get out of it.

    Just embrace as a good change. It’s all we can do right now.

  • Couldn’t they give her a cool weapon or spell called stella in memory of her?

  • Wazi the pa

    Probably because introducing another key character into their already designed story wouldn’t be right (from their perspective) or it was just too difficult to do it. Maybe that’s what led to the redesign of Stella to be as Luna now.

  • Wazi the pa

    Woahhhhh, that’d be a nice Easter Egg.

  • Octavio Valdez

    Something tells me that probably the scenario wasn’t as completely written when the project switched to become a mainline title. While I liked the idea of Noctis having a rival with powers similar to his, I think there was more to be explored in the whole idea of them being able to see the moment of death of people, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that is also an ability that Luna has. Also has anybody noticed that each time they show her in the trailers (TGS 2014, Jump Festa 2015) she is surrounded by a gold flaky-like aura? Maybe she does have some manner of power, not to mention she is holding to King Regis ring which apparently is a key element of the story.

  • stevenm281

    On the contrary, I’m hoping to like her as much as I liked Aerith, for whom I cried so much when she died. I still prefer physically strong ladies tho, with a cold/serious attitude.

    Heck, as I mentioned in the past, the black-haired girl could have been Stella, they do share some similar traits. Why removing the character entirely? Change her role in the story but keep the character design, especially due to her popularity.

  • Wazi the pa

    Good point, I’ll give ya that one. Let’s hope for the best at Gamescom 2015.

  • Mehmed

    As I expected. Versus has been killed of. Versus is no more. After all the key elements which have been removed this is 90% a completely new game with just some resemblelence of names and their character.

  • Jaylen Lightbourn-Levine

    not really, only certain events, the story cold still be intact.( war over crystals, niflheim invading other countries.)

  • stevenm281

    In the E3 2013 trailer, she is seen with Noctis as kids and talk about seeing the light of expiring souls, so yes, they both share some powers.

  • stevenm281

    the whole beginning has changed, that they admitted so far, if they changed the beginning, they may have changed other stuff.

  • Billy Jackson

    I don’t like the sounds of them not being able to fit all of the original story that they wanted into this game… Sounds to me like they’re cheapening out of us.

  • Billy Jackson

    But is Noctis even as badass as Lightning though?

  • Billy Jackson

    The day they cut numbered FF stories down to some crap like Skyrim is the day I quit being a gamer.

  • Billy Jackson

    Maybe they’re trying to get a across the message that girls don’t have to look buff or be super tomboy-ish to be strong?

  • Ikr!

  • Man I waited over 7 years for actual appearance of Stella and they just simply removed her. Imagine this.

  • Octavio Valdez

    Let’s not jump the gun so much on all this, for starters we really had nothing more than few bits from the original story to begin with, not the whole plot. So really the fight at the beginning could just have been moved to a part further down the line in which the heroes go liberate Insomnia. It has been confirmed that the game will include very large cities, Tabata himself stated that Lestallum (the town in the Duscae region) is not the largest of the game, we still have to see the battle in Accordo, and who knows maybe we might have a big fight in Nifilheim’s capital city as well.

  • Wazi the pa

    This whole time, Luna was a redesign of Stella and that crucial detail was hidden in plain sight…. I blame SE. 😛

  • Give it time.

  • Octavio Valdez

    Some more speculation: what if the whole party part is still in, but not the whole battle sequence, my theory is that in some form Noctis has a dream of going to the event and wakes up just as the attack is about to start. When he wakes up in reality he is leaving the city with his friends, and later that night the actual attack happens. Could make sense considering how an element to Noctis’s character is his ability to see the death of others, in this case his father Regis.

  • Dustin McFadden

    My question is why did they have to change anything at all in the first place? It would have been just fine the way it was. Instead, they took all this extra effort to change something that wasn’t broken. I feel like all the characters would have been better with the Versus version of the game, but we’ll never know now.

  • Daniel Masterson

    I am glad they finally answered this question so we no longer need to speculate on it. I cant say I am upset about it cause we just didn’t really know how it would have worked. All I know is I am still really excited for the game and will be popping in the demo again once the update is live!

  • Crystal Power

    People are probably wondering why couldn’t they work Stella into this new story, and not replace her with Luna. I can’t say for sure, but I think it may have to do with respect to her original vision and Stella original role. So to respect that they made a new character entirely.

    EDIT: But tbh, they look very similar still, Luna just looks more young than Stella.

  • Kaoru La Kaoru

    I was kind of looking forward to Stella’s role from Versus, since it would have given some interesting interactions between her and Noct.
    I’m glad that they’ve started over again too, though. Versus is in the past now. We’ve got a completely new game (yet another side game turned into a numbered title) so it makes sense to scrap some stuff and give us a new story and new characters. I’m glad the original ideas are being respected, but now that XV is a new, separate experience from Versus, I’m excited about it all over again.

  • Krijn van Alten

    It’s very usual to change the story during the production. Go look for the original VI I story and compare that to what it eventually became. Also, we still don’t know the whole story yet, so don’t draw your conclusions too soon.

  • Tom

    I’d really like to have some official material on how the FFXV project evolved, with key meetings, all the trailers in chronological order, concept and design changes. I know there’s a good summary up on youtube but I’d love to have something like this in an official form. A DVD, or a bonus to FFXV or something.

  • Zach Hagler

    That’s it I give up! After waiting nearly a decade for this game to come
    out, now I discover it’s not even the same one that was promised at the
    start which is what I was looking forward to…….. Shame on you
    Square Enix! Your first mistake was taking too long to develop this
    game. Your second was removing Tetsuya Nomura from the project and
    giving it over to Hajime Tabata ( whom I blame PERSONALLY for ruining
    this awesome game that once held such high potential. ) And your third
    and final mistake was assuming that fans from the “Versus” days would be okay with you
    switching up everything we originally looked forward to and still expecting us to be excited for this! -Sighs- At this point I’ll just wait “patiently” for Final Fantasy 16.

  • Zach Hagler

    Square Enix favors damsels in distress and younger looking girls, cuz let’s face it, Stella was a woman – Luna is well……..Maybe the same age as Serah in the original Final Fantasy XIII.

  • Daniel Masterson

    Bwahahaha! keep crying man.

  • Ryu-Chan

    I’m still excited. I don’t understand why some people are saying that these changes have “ruined” the game. It’s not like we knew that much about the original story in the first place. How can you claim that the story’s ruined if you didn’t even know what it was about? LOL Though I kinda wish they kept the name “Stella”. Luna sounds too much like Yuna. And I hope she isn’t just some DID.

  • NECPS

    It could had been done. I mean, come on, it is just a game, do it already. Stop telling us this can’t fit, that is not possible to do.. Do it on 2d on rpg maker if you must, but, do it already!

  • NECPS

    I guess they removed Nomura from the game.. Then no one else knows what should have been done.

  • NECPS

    You can’t blame Tabata. He is a great professional. This was just not his game. If you imagine a game, and give it to me, I will do it totally different. But, good luck waiting for ff16…

  • stevenm281

    Luna sound so cliché in an RPG, Stella was more original.

  • tomasz

    ”something that wasn’t broken.” How you know it was not broken ? Do you in dev team ? Old Versus Trailers was like whole 10 minutes from 2006 to 2011 . And now we talking about Whole 40 hours game ! Not 2 minutes trailers of concept in 2006 ! Do you people never seen pictures of games in early stages of development? New desings, new characters, levels that was cut form final games. Who was Stella ? Maybe cool character maybe not who knows? So why we even talking about ? People sometimes react like there was FF versus on the market and now Square decide to make a remake called FF XV. No ! Versus was concept idea nothing else. Square Enix make one mistake. Announced it to early where no one was working on it.

  • ElAbuelo69

    So it is true. This is not Nomura’s vision anymore. My hype has finally diminished.

    I will stay play this game because I respect Tabata and I have hopes he will do a good job. But in all honesty, this is NOT Versus13.

  • david paw

    It is a sad thing to hear… that Stella is no more.
    But there are still other promising things to look forward to. The world. The combat. The enemies. The characters. So many things we haven’t learn.
    Hopefully, Luna is as worthy as Stella though. I don’t want Luna to be a *princess that need to be saved* type.

  • Ehren Rivers

    I sincerely hope this means someday they’ll tell us WHY they couldn’t keep Stella as she was. As it is, the changes seem too… minimal. She has a different first name, a different hairstyle, and possibly different clothes. Other than that, what did we know about Stella that has changed? Was it just her powers, that had been removed? If so, why bother to change the rest of her? Luckily I hadn’t gotten as attached to the idea of Stella as some people, but this still strikes me as wrong.

    *Sigh* At least he was honest about it before the release of the game. I didn’t really want to deal with another riot like what happened after a certain Tales game released.

  • This is honestly not a big issue. They both look the same, but have different names. One was eliminated so the other would have a more fitting role in the story. In other words, nothing of value was lost. And we knew so little about Stella in the first place, which only emphasizes how little this change impacts the game overall.

  • Oh come on.

  • I agree.

  • Ian Manning

    This game suddenly doesn’t feel that great in my heart anymore. I mean, killing off a character and such explosive scenes, THAT’S LOW, even for Square-Enix!

  • ADAMJENSEN13

    I wonder what that mean : “So I thought I should let you know here and now that we are preparing
    situations that would involve gameplay in the Shinjuku-like city of
    Insomnia”.

    That sound like city of insomnia was not a part of the world. I mean that sound like we cant expolore whole city.

    What do You think?

  • stevenm281

    I agree with you, he had me worrying at that part. But, in the Versus days, Nomura stated that we would be able to travel through that city…. I don’t know what to think anymore. They seem to be cutting a lot of content to release the game ASAP but it could prevent the game from being the masterpiece we were teased about for the last 9 years.

  • Xervath

    Movies and games alike have set-pieces and scenes that get deleted. This, to me, feels no different.
    They took out something that didn’t fit with vision 2.0
    It is of no importance to me, and I anxiously wait to see what this game WILL bring in the end.
    Now to wait for roughly 3 months…

  • grapes9h5

    Seems like people are overreacting and misinterpreting, at least imo. I think Tabata is being completely sincere as to what motivated these changes, and that this to his team’s mind is ultimately for the better. I just hope that Luna gets some or most of the badassary they were planning for Stella, and that the sequences in Insomnia, at the start and later in the game (where the big action will now have to be) will be surprising and satisfying.

  • Giovanni Reyna

    We just need to wait for this game, Square-Enix is not like Capcom, trying to erase all what you already work for, i still think the change are somehow worrisome but not to the extent of condemning the game. If i can i’ll wait for this 10 more years !!! Lol nope, my hopes still intact and this going to be a massive game in fact.

  • jpic

    Yeah, it just rankles a little when they remove something that was heavily used for promotion.

  • James

    It’s Final Fantasy XV. Versus died a long time ago.

  • Justin Carrasco Lopez

    Not, is FFXV

  • grapes9h5

    Aesthetically it does look that way, but perhaps appearances are deceiving. I really really hope Luna turns out to be more Stella like than she seems right now, as in strong, competent, mysterious, and of her own ambitions.

  • grapes9h5

    exactly, let’s hope so

  • I feel like SE is bunch of soft females now. They dont where to go or what to do next. I want the original team back. I won’ t support any new gens games until i feel lie the direction has been fixed.

  • I agree

  • Adam Hedquist

    I have to admit I’m a bit sad BUT if it’s for the better then do it. I really hope it’s better this way. We’ll never know. Hopefully there’ll be a love story between Noctis and Luna , but I wonder if it’s a tragic love story or not, like in hamlet or Romeo and Juliet, because that’s what it seemed like it was going for.

  • The Individual Eleven

    It sounds like they are just now making parts of that city playable/explorable . Sounds even farther off from release than I thought.

  • daveguitar

    Don’t care, just a name and design…

  • HalfLucan

    The scene in the trailer where Noct says “i will get revenge 1000 times over” make more sense without the party scene. That’s something you would say after you was stronger, after you had taken the city back.
    Really good to know that it will be one self contained story, unlike versus which was meant to be an epic

  • HalfLucan

    She was an antagonist originally, someone with similar powers to Noct. Luna could well be the same (she might be the girl in the flashback in the trailers) but this time she might be a companion.

    Also, I’m partial to the idea that the image at the top is luna but with her haircut, but the facial features look a little different so im not sure.

  • HalfLucan

    KH is a mess…
    Im glad it isn’t in Nomura’s hands.
    Im grateful for him creating the concept
    But Tabata-san can deliver

  • Sothe Zephyr

    Can i have Versus 13 back? I feel like they’re cutting out the parts of the game which i enjoyed… They should be there when it gets attacked….it kinda softens the blow of losing the city now….less personal…..idk…..i need to see more but…..the story is suffering imo

  • stevenm281

    I would have seen Noctis with Stella, even tho Nomura stated that there was no love story between the two, but I’d rather see him with one of his male friend rather than with Luna which seem too obvious and cliché.

  • Justice V

    Noctis gets with Cidney in the final heh.

  • echokanon

    Reminds me of Zestiria’s Alisha

  • Justice V

    My feeling from what he says is that Stella was most likely too closely tied into the XIII mythology, once they got rid of that aspect of the game they had to change her. So they tried to change her but keep her as Stella. Changing her in whatever capacity made them feel like it was still close enough to the same character and story that Nojima originally wrote, but changed the character enough that if they didn’t give her a slight character model overhaul, and name change people would get upset and clamour back to the old Versus XIII trailers and complain that she should be this way or she used to be that way. So easiest fix is to change her name and essentially swap her into a new character. Granted that we knew little to nothing about her other than she had similar powers to Noc, and she was a princess of sorts to a different kingdom, and Luna has powers similar to Noctis and is a princess from another kingdom doesn’t sound like she’s been changed much yet at all.

  • Zach Hagler

    Seriously……..That’s just unnecessary.

  • Zach Hagler

    Yeah your probably right. Best not to get my hopes up and quit while I’m ahead.

  • Nemesis

    Unlike some, I’m not upset by Stella being absent from the game but why she is absent. Especially since we never really knew anything about her. There was only that one trailer that really did a great job of showing off Noctis and Stella’s dynamic and that would have been interesting. That’s why I think people are upset, they were hoping for a tragic love story set on the backdrop of a huge war, especially with all of the Shakespearean references. We were also promised that Stella was gonna be the most different female protagonist of the series, and while I liked Lightning and the other female characters of the FNC subseries, and I would have liked to see the contrast between Stella and Lightning. Maybe it would have been better if Stella was the older sister of Luna, like with Lightning and Serah, but instead of Stella being the hero, she’s one of the antagonists and she blames Noctis because she believes Luna is dead like the rest of the world but she knows he’s alive and is hunting him down.

    The real problem I have is that the more we learn about XV, the less it seems like Square Enix realizes why people fell in the love with the idea. And why they are upset that there is still virtually nothing known about the story despite there now being a playable demo for it. And while I liked the demo, I didn’t feel like I learned anything that would make me care about the story. The character dymanics were cool but at the same time, why should I care about them? If it had been instead focusing on Insomnia and offered the first look at the story and Luna and all of them, I think it would have done a far better job of showing off why these changes were necessary. Why does Stella need to be reimagined into a whole new character? What is the new changes to the story that needs this character to be different?

    Final Fantasy XV is the only game I currently express nothing but irritation, not because of the gameplay or story, but because even now, it’s like SE is playing keep away with the key components of this game that we need in order to appreciate why the changes were made. It’s been in conceptional stages and development for so long that it’s got so much expectations and it doesn’t feel like it’s meeting only because SE and Tabata aren’t showing us why these changes are necessary. When are we going to get the scene of Noctis and Luna meeting? When are we going to find out more about all of the unnamed antagonists?

  • Xervath

    No argument there, but I’m certain you can manage to get over it in due time :]

  • Zenobia Joyner

    I’m happy with the decisions the team have made. and can’t wait to see what they have added.

  • Sathil

    I lol’d.

  • Sathil

    ….? How? They’re making changes for the better while they try to preserve as much as they can from the original concept of versus xiii. There really wasn’t that much information to begin with. Only daydreams and speculations for the most part.

  • Sathil

    You can’t deny that no one probably expected any of the things that happened from versus xiii’s announcement to today. Especially the decision to make it a numbered title and its long “development” time. But I also doubt they’ll disappoint.

  • I was kind of expecting this to happen. I understand Tabata knows what he is doing and is a very capable director. However the fact’s remain he is not Nomura. Nomura knew what his vision was, and its good to know they are trying to live up to what Nomura had planned. I can understand Tabata is trying to interpret the story as best he can, based upon the original creators idea and script. However i do personally wish that Nomura was still the director, but lets hope the game turns out to everyone’s expectations.

  • Sathil

    I didn’t really get that all. I read it as “Rest assured, even though those scenarios are deleted, Insomnia is still going to have its part in the game”. Since people would conclude that they’re removing it completely if they said nothing otherwise. As for the cutting of content, that also doesn’t sound to be the case to release the game ASAP. If they wanted to release it ASAP then they would be going full on promotion already. It really just sounds like “This is FFXV, a new beast, but we’re trying to keep as much of vs XIII in tact as possible.”

    I almost forgot to add, if Insomnia were to be playable but restricted (blocked off sections of the city from beginning to end of the game), it would go against their true, open-world gameplay (which I also doubt they would do. They seem to have a “Go big or go home”-attitude with FFXV). At most, I can see most structures not being able to enter into but it feels like they’re trying.

  • Sathil

    We will most likely have to wait for a postmortem for that information. Or maybe even see it for ourselves through the game.

  • Fábio Henrique Arosti

    “Sakaguchi intended the story to take place in modern New York City in the year 1999. Several of the staff were working in parallel on Chrono Trigger, and development for Final Fantasy VII was interrupted when the other project became significant enough to require the help of Yoshinori Kitase and other designers. Some of the ideas originally considered for Final Fantasy VII ended up in Chrono Trigger and other ideas, such as the New York setting and the sorceress character Edea, were kept unused until the later projects Parasite Eve and Final Fantasy VIII respectively.”

    “The original script of Final Fantasy VII, written by Sakaguchi, was rather different from the finished product. Tetsuya Nomura has recalled how Sakaguchi “wanted to do something like a detective story.” The first part of the story involved a “hot blooded” character named “Detective Joe” in pursuit of the main characters who blew up the city of Midgar, which had already been developed for the story. Despite having written the original plot, Sakaguchi focused with developing the battle system rather than the final version of the story.”

    And then the many changes that Vincent went through: “Vincent’s character changed several times during development, from horror researcher to chemist to detective, and finally to a former member of the Turks.”
    His weapon would be a scythe instead of a gun too. There’s even official artwork depicting that.

    Changes happen. It happened with every Final Fantasy, just read about it. Not that people will stop complaining about the fanfiction in their heads not taking place anymore (as if it were going to).

    But, yeah, the difference now is that they had shown stuff and everybody was able to see it. That was their fault. I understand that.

  • Mikhail Arbatov

    I’m personally glad they made the change- as much as I feel like Stella was a lot more interesting appearance-wise than Luna (who just looks incredibly washed out). I’m also hoping that romance is NOT going to be a central focus point, and if they do have to involve it, it’s secondary much in the way it was in FF7- I’d rather see a story focused on friendship, rivalry and adventure than have this focused around a couple. That’s what fanfiction is for.

  • jpic

    I reserve judgment. It just makes me wary. The removal of Stella, the party scenes, and the events shown in the city, combined with the demo’s emphasis on the buddy buddy bromance aspect of the main party, leads me to think that the dark, broody atmosphere of the original game’s reveal has been replaced with a somewhat more generic shounen vibe.

  • Sathil

    I hope not. But I’m sure they wouldn’t do that. We’ve been in the dark for a long time with pieces of light showing us what they got, they’re hiding the good stuff with a vengeance! They gotta be!

  • jpic

    Not to be the negative one, but XIII was the same way. Not saying the game was bad. I enjoyed it for what it was, and storytelling shortcomings aside, it had a great battle system. But it was a little disappointing compared to what was expected. It’s why I try not to buy into hype. I’ll be the first one to admit, though, that the dark and gritty vibe got me excited. And now I fear we’ve lost it. I will probably still enjoy the game for what it is, as always, but as one who loves dark, gripping stories, I will be disappointed if it has undergone such a tonal shift.

  • Noctis Pendragon

    But we didn’t loose the city at all .

  • Noctis Pendragon

    A trilogy in 1 game is hard to make without cutting anything .

  • stevenm281

    Which sucks, after waiting so long, we deserve all the content they’ve created, if they created so much that they could span more games, I don’t see what is so bad about it.

  • Noctis Pendragon

    They created the story but not the word that goes with it , it is like adopting a book into a movie , here you adapt a huge story and concept in 1 affordable ( time wise and money wise ) game .

    And 2 sequels wouldn’t sell as much as the 1st game anyway , you can only hope to get some extensions later down the road .
    FF Type-1 is waiting and FF XV is costing more and more , they can keep up like that 3/4 more years .

  • Sathil

    I’ll be the positive one. I saw XIII for what it was. I respected the direction but I was slightly disappointed in the execution. The biggest part why I was interested in it at first was Cocoon. I liked the setting and Lightning so I only expected things that were evident. I’m with ya on the dark and gritty vibe, I fucking love it but I don’t believe we lost it. What I do believe is that they’re fleshing out XV to be a well developed game in story, art, gameplay, etc. Unless I start seeing some rainbow ponies, I’ll still be believing in their fantasy based on reality. I haven’t really seen anything that would lead me to believe that the dark tone is gone to be honest.

  • Noctis Pendragon

    Some rumors (unproven leaks ) are saying they didn’t cut anything in the end , just changed the intro and Stella .

  • Ehren Rivers

    This is probably based on what Tabata said in regards to these changes. He specifically said that while some smaller things had changed, there were three major points that needed to be covered in regards to changes made. The third was not a “change” as mentioned above, but a preemptive easing of fan’s minds that the change of the intro location/removal of the party scene did not mean that the capital city Insomnia was no longer a playable location.

    Stella becoming Luna, and the removal of the party scene, appear to be the most major changes if Tabata is to be believed. Not that I would blame anyone for finding it hard to trust Tabata… He has a habit of putting his foot in his mouth during the ATR reports, and these announcements seem to suggest his previous statements of absolutely preserving the Versus legacy weren’t truthful at all.

    But yeah. While not TECHNICALLY confirmed, it’s been implied these are the most jarring changes (that we didn’t already know about).

  • Mihel

    I’m glad they scrapped the party scene when Noctis meets Stella.
    When Noctis first sees her and she does that turning-my-head-in-slow-motion-because-my-hair-are-awesome…

  • Mihel

    Stella was gonna be the most different female protagonist of the series

    She was polite, strong-headed and true to her beliefs.
    Those are all good character traits, but hardly any different from most FF female protagonists.

  • Nemesis

    Nomura had mentioned that she was going to be different than all of the female characters of the series and that what we thought we knew about her wasn’t going to be all there was to her.

    And I’m pointing out why *I* think people are upset about the loss of Stella. As I mentioned, I am only confused as to why she couldn’t be implemented into FFXV and needed to be reimagined. The on the run from the Empire storyline was still in Versus XIII, so what’s different about it that Stella couldn’t be part of XV? That’s what my comment is about, not about how different she is from the previous female protagonists. But why she needs to be reimagined and renamed and why they couldn’t have both Stella and Luna.

    Also, Stella was set up as one of the *antagonists* of the game. Which is already a different dynamic than the usual FF hero and heroine relationship. Sure, lots of of FF heroines have been on opposing sides before, but Stella was meant to not join the party at any point and instead be the active antagonist for the most part. That’s also why people are upset about Luna, because everything suggests that she’s not an antagonist.

  • John

    “If they wanted to release it ASAP then they would be going full on promotion already.”

    The game is going in full promotion at Gamescom.

  • John

    I was really looking forward to see her in FFXV because she was said to be a complete equal to Noctis in terms of power.

    Nomura also said that Stella was different from the other FF character he designed not only in terms of clothing but also personality so I was curious to see how she would play.

    I’m still cautiously excited for FFXV cause from what they’ve shown us I have no idea where they’re going with this game.

    I’m just disappointed.

  • XVTH

    This is not okey 🙁 T_T STELLA~~~~~~ ☆☆☆☆☆☆

  • stevenm281

    Well, there’s only one thing to do now, let’s have Nomura take care of Subject Stella: Final Fantasy XV.

    The original vision of Final Fantasy Versus XIII through the eyes of the exiled Stella Nox Fleuret, rated M for Mature.

  • Mihel

    Yes, but do you realise every game developer talks about how strong/good/brave/determined/etc their characters are, before releasing the game?

    Stella in a nutshell:
    5% actual facts
    5% more than half a decade of delusions
    90% imaginary version of an idealised female who’s badass and feminine at the same time. Princess + enemy + love interest + party member + equal to Noctis + very powerful.

  • Josh Asher

    … “After we had switched from Versus to XV, the first decision we made was to make sure that FFXV would have a complete, coherent story in one game.”
    This right here says what’s wrong with SE these days. So they have to consciously decide stories in FF will be coherent and full now? Oh man

  • Josh Asher

    she was also supposed to be love interest and a tragic sort of figure in regards to Noctis because she was described as an unwilling enemy. I don’t get why they couldn’t make sense out of something that clearly has potential and sounds so interesting

  • stevenm281

    no, Nomura said there would be no love story in Versus XIII.

  • Nemesis

    Okay, I get what you’re trying to say, but you’re missing my point in my original post that my comments have nothing to do with her being different from the rest of the female characters of Final Fantasy. I was pointing why I think that other people are upset and that is one of the biggest reasons I can surmise. The game has been in development so long that fans have high expectations, fueled by the director and now that Stella is no longer in the game, that they are upset. However, I am not, because despite what Nomura said about her, we never saw enough of her to notice. So I get why you’re pointing this out to me when my biggest problem isn’t how different she is.

    My personal take is only that I want to know she was incompatible with the new version of the story and needed to be replaced by a different character who for all intents and purposes has not had a single scene where she has interacted with Noctis like Stella. That scene did a great job at showing their dymanic. I don’t care how different she is from the other female protagonists, I only care about why she was removed from the game. She doesn’t strike me as too difficult to put into the story anymore than she was before and it just seems to me to be a case of bad development for her. When you remove an entire character from a game who was a major antagonist, then that leads to more rewrites. And that is my real point. What is the purpose of removing Stella and creating Luna when it’s going to lead to rewrites anyway.

  • Ehren Rivers

    Hoo boy, slow down there tiger.

    This is referring to the fact that Nomura Tetsuya originally had the story of XV (Then Versus XIII) written to be open for possible sequels and side stories. He wanted more than just a single title, for this to potentially be a subseries. That is why he often referred to Versus as an ‘epic’ and why Versus XIII was supposed to be a story “set in the world of the versus epic”. They wouldn’t necessarily all be about the same characters or exact locations, but rather come together to tell a larger story of this world. What Tabata is saying is that when they decided to make the game as Final Fantasy XV, both the team and the company collectively decided not to leave those open plot hooks or count on the game getting extra side stories.

    One of the biggest complaints with the last two major subseries (X and XIII-verses respectively) was that the original game didn’t seem to have been written with possible sequels in mind, so at the time when Nomura began talking about this it made perfect sense. Let people know now that you’re writing the story with potential extra titles down the line in mind, avoid the later criticism that sequels/sidequels/prequels were just forced crash grabs riding off the success of the original game. Of course, that means now if they DO end up making XV-verse side games this particular quote will be waved around as proof of milking. As usual, Tabata is shooting himself in the foot.

  • Sathil

    I’m aware, that’s still a couple months away. Its still not “ASAP”. Considering that 8 months ago it was around 55% done with development about to speed up, I’m sure its not a “Lets cut this shit so we can send it out”. It seems according to plan.

  • Octavio Valdez

    Being honest, we really had just snippets of ideas of how Stella’s character was going to be, nothing final. Also, the whole party thing, while it could have been cool to play, they will probably will have the scene of the attack on Insomnia as a cinematic of sorts.

    I am purely speculating here but the way things will play out is probably like this.
    The game opens with Noctis having some weird dream about his dad dying and all that, and most of the first hour or two will be moving around insomnia getting ready for the trip rounding up the party and leaving (hopefully this part will lets us see the city life and the people who lived there for a bit). Then the attack happens after the party is on the road (makes sense of the scene in the jump festa trailer where the party is discussing what happened in insomnia).
    Probably at some point later in the game your characters will retrieve the crystal or some other power and go back to liberate the city (Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole fighting in Insomnia is the final part of the game as Iron Giants mostly appear in the final dungeons of most FFs). Also Tabata has already mentioned that the city of Lestallum is not the largest city in the game, so maybe this one will be it.

    Another thing that many people is forgetting is that there is also other potential big cities still to be revealed, like each kingdom’s capital, I am still excited to see more of Accordo, and would love to see how the capital of Nifilheim looks like.

  • Mihel

    Re-reading the interview, I think the key point Tabata mentions is that he wanted to make a coherent story in one game. Perhaps the way Stella acted, her motivations, her background, her powers etc were not coherent enough to fit in just one game.
    I think the scene were they are about to fight is nice (the five seconds we saw of it), but that is not an indication of her being a major antagonist.

  • Nemesis

    Nomura stated that she was a major antagonist who didn’t want to fight with Noctis. That was her official role. And that had always been her role, as the daughter of the invading country who reluctantly found herself the enemy of the person she had met and had gotten on very well with.

    And maybe so, however, I think Tabata has missed the idea of this being an epic and in trying to make a coherent story, he is only going to make it harder if they do transition the game into a series because he made the game self-contained.

  • Nemesis

    This does indeed seem to be the big case with this. Tabata is a fine director, but I think making him the sole director might have been a bad move if they are going to continue with the idea of this being only one part of a bigger story.

    And while I have also stated that Stella’s character was too much of an unknown, I still can’t quite figure out why she needs to be reimagined as a new character instead of just having her be rewritten, especially when we know that stuff like the road trip storyline had been featured in the game back when it was Versus. I think this is why Duscae is a big hit and miss. While the area is undoubtedly beautiful and interesting, what does it truly show us about the bigger scope of the story? The teaser at the end doesn’t really give us a whole lot of new information that we couldn’t already figure out (except Luna’s bit, but that was very minor in the grand scheme of things).

    Why not have the teaser trailer show off Insomnia instead? That would have given us not only a bit more inclinations on the new story, since we meet Luna there, but also what the differences are between her and Stella. It all comes down to presentation and at the moment, Square Enix and Tabata are making it difficult to care about the game by just throwing us slap bang in the middle of the action with no real context for why we’re here that doesn’t give us any clear reasons to like the characters.

  • Mihel

    I really think you’re misremembering when you say it was stated the she was a -major- antagonist. She has been described as an unfortunate enemy of Noctis, that’s it.

  • Nemesis

    Alright, look, everything the original promotional featuring these two has focused on how they were destined to meet and fight each other and since she’s a major character, she’s also a major antagonist. She was still part of the invading kingdom, she was still going to fight him and she was still characterized as having the same abilities as he does.

    I’m not misremembering anything, you’re simply understating what her original role is. I actually paid attention to Nomura’s scare interviews and such. And it was clear that she was a major antagonist and that was cool. That’s why people are upset by this and that’s all I was pointing out. You may not think it was important, but based on Nomura’s interviews, she was going to be important. So if you don’t believe, go find the interviews yourself and read them before you come back and argue about how I’m misremembering stuff.

  • Mihel

    go find the interviews yourself and read them before you come back and argue about how I’m misremembering stuff.

    It’s precisely because I went and read the interviews about Stella that I made that claim.

  • Nemesis

    Alright, look, I don’t have time to discuss this anymore so let’s just agree to disagree. I never wanted to discuss this in the first place, you just latched onto something I said and wouldn’t let it go. I have absolutely no interest in this topic, primarily because it is becoming clear that you are not interested in seeing what my point about Stella is. Or in fact my greater point in that there is no real reason we have been given that Stella HAD TO BE REMOVED FROM THIS GAME. So please, stop bugging me about Stella, I don’t care about it. I’m only pointing out what seems to me to be a complete of interest in intergrating what was a key character.

    However, you may also remember that every single trailer that has featured them together has pointed out how this is a “meeting predestined by the divine” and that the two have a Shakespearean type relationship. And again, just because she doesn’t want to fight Noctis DOES NOT MEAN THAT SHE’S AN ANTAGONIST because she’s still willing to fight him, no matter what.

    So, let’s agree to disagree, because I have no interest in this conversation. However if you do want an opinion it’s that don’t tell people they’re misremembering stuff just because they don’t share your interpretation of what you viewed as a character. You misunderstood what I was trying to say (that the reasoning by her removal doesn’t make sense when looked at the what the story of XV is) and kept trying to make this about how you don’t think Stella was meant to be that different. It was never about that, it was only ever about the decision to not implement her was a stupid decision and there were plenty of other ways to do it.

  • Mihel

    stop bugging me about Stella

    It’s an article about Stella, you’re participating in it, and I am participating too. Is that bugging you?

    you just latched onto something I said and wouldn’t let it go

    We are both replying to each other, I’m not latching onto something you said.

    So, let’s agree to disagree, because I have no interest in this conversation.

    Yes, let’s agree to disagree. I did not have the impression you had no interest in this conversation because you kept making very long replies; on the contrary, I had the impression this conversation engaged you a lot.

    I see nothing wrong in a long conversation about a game, we just have different opinions about her role and her dismissal. I don’t think any less of you just because you don’t share my point of view.

  • Nemesis

    I said stop bugging me about how Stella was different from other female characters. And yeah I’m making long posts because I’m giving a detailed explanation to what I’m saying, but you only talking about one thing I mentioned when I had tons of points didn’t make it seem like you actually were interested in my other points and only cared about one point.

    I was interested an actual conversation until you threw that “you’re misremembering line” at me. That to me basically said ” you’re an idiot because you don’t remember it like I do” which is why I kept bringing it up as something you shouldn’t say.

    And I don’t think less of you because of your opinion. I only disliked that one thing you said.

  • So, I guess I didn’t pay much attention the first time through the FFXV demo, because in the ending *SPOILER* it says that Stella died. Did they add this for the 2.0 update, or was it there since 1.0?

  • stevenm281

    Stella is not mentioned in the ending, they talked about Lunafreya Nox Fleuret (Luna) whom is replacing Stella in the game since Versus XIII became XV.

    Furthermore, they mentioned that King Regis, Prince Noctis and Lunafreya are dead, we all know that Noctis and Luna are still alive so the radio message is only propaganda, not truth. Now, is Regis really dead or not… that is the question.

  • Oh, OOPS! You’re right, they mentioned Luna, not Stella. Wow. My bad. I’m gonna go hang my head in shame now. :/

  • glam Rockr

    im stil hating on this news…

  • Owlfie Eatter

    actually…Nemesis is right. He already said it more than once that he only wondering why Stella had to be removed from the game. It’s like saying why not both because you have to gone through rewriting process and stuff once again just to replace Stella with Luna.

  • natasha williams

    uhm, arent luna is still the love interest of noctis u know. the romance still there. what make it different is stella will be a warrior but luna will be princess. for me, stella is far more interesting

  • natasha williams

    the last part is so true. if there is no trailer, no fuss will be made