Chris Winkler
Square Enix Talks Final Fantasy XIII
Playable TGS demo, paradigm shift and more inside.
08.24.09 - 5:54 PM

Dengeki Online has published an interview with Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase and director Akira Toriyama. The duo confirmed that the game's development was 90% complete and has entered the final adjustment phase. Square Enix is aiming to offer fans the opportunity to play the highly anticipated title at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show. While the official release date has yet to be announced, the developers believe the Japanese release is closer from now than fans might expect.

During the lengthy interview, Toriyama also revealed a new sub-system called "paradigm shift". Thanks to this new system, it will be possible to change the "role", i.e the behavioral pattern assigned to a certain AI-controlled party member in battle. The game will feature a significant number of these "roles". As the player progresses through the game, more and more roles will become accessible. Toriyama likened this new system to Final Fantasy XII's gambit system, with the difference that Final Fantasy XIII allows multiple role changes during battle. The developers hope that the paradigm shift system will add an important strategic dimension to Final Fantasy XIII's battle system.

The driving mode during which summons such as Shiva and Odin transform into rideable vehicles, will have a time limit attached to it in order to counterbalance the advantages in power offered by it. The length of a driving mode session is apparently determined by the number of chains achieved in normal mode.

What still remains under wraps is Final Fantasy XIII's growth system. Kitase once again stated that users should imagine something along the lines of Final Fantasy X's sphere grid or Final Fantasy XII's license board, though. Toriyama also reiterated that the game's level of difficulty won't be as low as in previous installments. This was no big deal, though, because players won't have to start again from the nearest save point this time around. Instead, the game allows users to immediately take on the same enemy again.

The game's main theme is determination. For instance, how should the player characters use the power given to them by the Crystal. Last but not least, the cast will include one more yet to be announced character. This cute miniskirt-wearing girl is set to play a very important role in Final Fantasy XIII's story.

Final Fantasy XIII will be available for PlayStation 3 in Japan sometime this winter. American and European multiplatform releases will follow in early 2010.