Final Fantasy XIII-2: everything you need to know

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is only the second true sequel to a Final Fantasy game, after Final Fantasy X-2, and follows Serah Farron as she searches for her sister, Lightning – central character from the first game.

What happened to Lightning in the first place? And what lies in store for Serah as she, and mysterious time-traveller, Noel, journey to undoubtedly save the world once more? And how does everything fit together, anyway?

We may not have all the answers (you’ll need to play the game for that) – but we do have the groundwork; everything you need to know to get you ready for Final Fantasy XIII-2.

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Header

In the very beginning…

The universe of Final Fantasy XIII (Fabula Nova Crystallis) is divided into two worlds – the visible and the invisible. In the beginning, the god Buniberzei killed his mother Muin, in order to gain control of the visible world – which subsequently sent her to the invisible world. He gained control of the visible world, but believed his mother placed a curse on the world, damning it to eventually perish.

He sought to destroy his mother once and for all – but in order to do so, he had to find the door to the invisible realm. Hence, Buniberzei created three deities – Pulse, to create and expand the world to find the door; Etro, whom Bunberzei unwittingly created in Muin’s likeness, and thus, out of fear, gave no purpose to – and Lindzei, to replace Etro and serve as protector of the world.

Without a purpose, Etro tore up her own body – and from her blood, humans were born. Pulse created the world, along with many fal’cie – supernatural beings with focused purpose – while Lindzei, serving her focus as protector, created the world of Cacoon to protect the humans.

Having crossed the veil of death, Etro entered the world of the invisible only to discover Muin being consumed by Chaos – a direct result of all of the creation taking place. Muin tasked Etro with the focus of keeping the balance between the two worlds, which Etro achieved by placing Choas in every human – giving them a limited lifespan and ensuring the cycle of life and death kept the worlds in check.

Did you get all that?

Final Fantasy XIII

Long after the original creators had left the world – the humans and the fal’cie were all that remained. The fal’cie, being immortal, were revered as gods by the humans who had limited lives. The fal’cie also have the power to manipulate the humans, giving them a focus (as they were given) to be carried out.

Failure to achieve that focus would turn a human into a Cie’th – a lost soul; and success would turn them into crystal (a sleep state that grants them eternal life) as a reward. Except either way is a death-sentence, and so to be chosen by a fal’cie is considered a bad thing. Even worse, the fal’cie of Pulse, and the fal’cie of Cacoon kind of hate each other.

And that’s exactly what happened to Lightning , Snow, Hope, Vanille, Fang and Sahz – after Serah, Lightning’s sister, got chosen by a Pulse fal’cie to fulfill a certain focus. Her focus was to bring a group together who could destroy Cacoon – which she achieved, and subsequently crystalized.

The game is spent uncovering the conspiracy whereby the Cacoon fal’cie are actually manipulating the team into destroying Orphan, the fal’cie that keeps Cacoon safe and afloat – so that upon it’s destruction, the resulting deaths would upset the balance of the worlds, bringing the “Maker” back.

Lightning and the team do destroy Orphan, but through the sacrifice of Vanille and Fang, also manage to save Caccoon from destruction, thus completing their focus, and saving the day.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

After the events above, there’s a temporary rip in the veil between the two worlds, causing a time paradox – and Lighting is sucked through the Choas and into what’s called the “Historia Crux”. She’s then flung into Valhalla, where she serves as Etro’s protector.

Meanwhile, life goes on in the new Pulse, where two years on, humans have moved onto the planet’s surface and started living there. Everyone had assumed Lightning sacrificed herself along with Vanille and Fang – everyone except Serah, who had dreams of her sister fighting a great battle against a purple-haired man (Caius Ballad – the big baddie). Snow leaves one day to go looking for Lightning for Serah’s sake, and disappears.

A year later, monsters start popping up on Pulse, and while under attack, Serah is rescued by a young man named Noel – who claims to have met Lightning. And so starts Serah’s adventure through space and time to find her sister, and learn more about Noel, and the mysterious Caius, and his role in the whole plot.

Features

  • All the characters from Final Fantasy XIII will return in some form, and there are a wealth of new characters to meet.
  • You will visit many areas from the previous game – that have now changed in various ways.
  • The battle system is the adapted ATB system from the first game, with tweaks.
  • You can adjust the difficulty of battles.
  • There will be quick-time events.
  • You can tame monsters and use them in your party as active members. You can also put hats on them. Serious.
  • Random battles are back. When a randomly-generated enemy approaches, the “Mog Clock” appears, which will allow you to enter battle with bonuses or penalties.
  • There are now dialogue trees with NPCs
  • There are multiple endings (though these aren’t determined by the dialogue trees).
  • The Historia Crux allows you to jump through time gates to various locations. You can go into the past, or into the future, and even rewind time to try alternative plot directions.
  • The game promises to be more open-world and non-linear.

Video series

To promote Final Fantasy XIII, Square-Enix released a series of videos explaining the various features:

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Time Travel trailer
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Moogle trailer
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Enhanced Battles System
Final Fantasy XIII-2 Battle in Valhalla trailer

Final Fantasy XIII-2 will be released locally for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 3 February 2012 – are you ready?

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Final Fantasy XIII-2: everything you need to know

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