Liz Maas
More Final Fantasy Versus XIII Details
Something to tide you over until we can watch that trailer in HD.
01.26.11 - 5:31 PM

Square Enix's trailer last week for Final Fantasy Versus XIII showed the prince Noctis who didn't exactly have the sunniest outlook on life. He even declares: "Fools set the rules in this world. Just take a look around. It's undeniable." With director Tetsuya Nomura not at last week's event, there wasn't much chance to elaborate on the main character or the game. In interviews in both this week's Dengeki PlayStation and Weekly Famitsu though, Nomura had a lot to say.

Noctis, full name Noctis Lucis Caelum, comes off as temperamental, and even has a friend tell him that he is not as strong as he believes. He does, however, possess some sort of power which is unique to royalty - and when he uses it, his eyes change from blue to red. With this power he makes a large number of swords appear onscreen which he can control, and he can also warp from place to place.

Noctis has a group of followers who, despite his status, remain relaxed in his presence. Among them are childhood pals as well as a new friend: a blond boy who is especially skilled with guns. Noctis' father was also seen in the trailer, and we heard him telling someone that they were not fit to be a king. As it turns out, this statement wasn't directed at Noctis after all, rather to someone else. Nomura made sure to point out that the armoured woman in the trailer is not the heroine Stella - this is actually an enemy dragon knight, which might seem odd given the game's modern setting. But you will also see summoners in the game as well.

When in control of the blond boy, you'll be able to switch to a third-person view in order to aim at enemy weak points (which larger enemies have) or at objects. Though anyone in your party can use a gun, only he has this ability. The guy with the glasses can do 'assist-type' attacks like throwing knives. The character with a scar has a fighting-style. On the other hand, Noctis is the only character who can wield any weapon type in the game. And when he casts magic, that magic will come from his weapons. The weapon types include swords, axes, spears, bazookas and all sorts of guns, though there will be even more types than these.

Though we saw some battle scenes in the trailer, those are apparently from earlier versions of the battle system, which has been tweaked ever since and is still being worked on. What we do see though are the character portraits, which are animated and depend on his or her movement and mood. There are no team attacks in the game. There are, however, combinations of attacks which you can keep stringing together even as you switch characters, making for a variety of interesting combos.

Like often seen in Final Fantasy games, you won't be able to choose your party very much early on, as the game will do this for you. But as you accumulate more members, you'll get to switch out characters later in the game as needed. Though we have only seen four playable characters so far, the director promises there will be more - but don't expect a cast as big as, say, Chrono Cross'. Finally, while you can revive your allies as usual, Noctis' death will mean a game over.

The characters in Final Fantasy Versus XIII will be able to ride cars, tanks, airships and Chocobos - and they'll even be able to steal a tank or other armored vehicle when needed by killing its driver. Nomura also explains that much of the game will be in real-time, including triggering events and attacks from enemies. This is so that game will have a seamless feel to it. As well, time will go by visually on the map - meaning you'll see the sky change from day to night, and back again.

As expected, Final Fantasy Versus XIII has no release window as of yet. Nomura warns fans not to expect another update on the game until possibly E3. That is, the first week of June. Sure, it's four and a half months away, but RPGFan will be there, so stay tuned for more details!