The thirteenth installment of the popular JRPG franchise.
Part of the "ten year project" Fabula nova crystallis, which is latin for "the new tale of the crystal".It consists of the three games
Final Fantasy XIII , Final Fantasy Versus XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII which take place in the same universe but are not connected otherwise.
The main game, Final Fantasy XIII, takes place in the world of Cocoon that floats in the atmosphere of the planet Pulse. Cocoon was created by the Fal'Cie, some kind of gods, as a paradise for the humans that lived in the dangerous Pulse 13 centuries ago.
The main characters of this game were chosen to be l'Cie, servants of the fal'Cie, much to their dismay, and now have to complete their Focus, tasks given to them by the fal'Cie. If they can't complete them in time or die, they will become soulless monsters called Cie Corpse. However if they do complete it they become crystals and will be granted eternal life, but to a human it is the same as dying since they won't be able to do anything anymore. Because the government of Cocoon found a fal'Cie of Pulse in an old ruin, they exiled every person in the surrounding city to Pulse.This was called the Purge and here the game begins.
The (playable) main characters are:
Lightning - A young woman who was part of the military but had to leave because her little sister Serah became a Pulse l'Cie and eventually she became one, too. She now fights against the fal'Cie, because she doesn't want to be a tool for them.
Her weapon is a gun that can transform into a sword.Lightning
Snow Villiers - Serah's fiancé and leader of an resistance group called Nora. Lightning doesn't approve of his relationship with Serah because she thinks he is unreliable and thus doesn't like him. Snow also becomes a l'Cie and wants to save Serah.
His weapon is his coat, which powers his physical attacks.Snow
Hope Estheim - Hope is a young boy who was part of the Purge and was saved by Nora. Because his mother died while fighting with them, he now hates Snow.
His weapon is a giant boomerang. Hope
Sazh Katzroy - Sazh is a middle aged dark skinned man with an afro and has a baby chocobo living inside his hair. The chocobo was a gift to his six year old son Dajh. His son however was turned into a l'Cie by a Cocoon fal'Cie before the events of the game and the government now uses Dajh to find people associated with Pulse.
He wields two pistols which he can put together to form a rifleSazh
Oerba Dia Vanille - Vanille is a mysterious girl who was also saved from the Purge by Snow. She has a very cheerful personality, but she supposedly has an unknown "dark resolve". Her tribal clothing suggests she comes from Pulse
Her weapon is a rod with several hooks similar to a fishing rodVanille
Oerba Yun Fang - Fang has similiar clothing to Vanille and is a l'Cie working with the government of Cocoon. It is assumed that she is also from Pulse and she knows alot more about l'Cie than the rest of the party.
Her weapon is a double headed spear which can be seperated into a three section staff.Fang
There are also summons in this game and they are called Eidolons this time. The Eidolons are related to the story and can only be summoned by a Crystal that is generated by a mark on the body of a l'Cie. Every Character has an unique Eidolon he or she has to beat before they can use them in battle. This time they have a "Gestalt mode". This means they can turn into another form for their summoners to ride or stand on. For example Lightnings Eidolon is Odin, who can turn into a horse for her to ride.
Here are some pictures of the Eidolons and their owners.Lightning - OdinSnow - ShivaHope - AlexanderSazh - BrynhildrVanille - HecatoncheirFang - Bahamut
This time the battle is an active time turn based battle and you can only control one character per battle.
In battle a bar(ATB gauge) will appear an screen and will fill up. Each command costs a section of the ATB gauge. For example normal attacks cost one section of the bar and powerful spells 3 sections. Because every command costs ATB points there are no MP's this time and Health is restored after every battle.
Another bonus is the "Break" bar. If you attack very often without being interrupted you will increase the "Break" percentage and if it is high enough you will "Break" the enemy. This means the Enemy will not attack as long as it is in the Break state and your attacks will do more damage. Most enemies can be hurled in the air by attacks while in the Break state.
Battle roles and Paradigms:
Every Character can be assigned a role before battle. Each role will have different attributes for example the role "Ravager - RAV (Blaster - BLA in Japanese)" will have higher attack and the "Sentinel - SEN (Defender - DEF)" will have higher defense.
There are six different roles:
Commander - COM (Attacker - ATK)
Ravager - RAV (Blaster - BLA)
Sentinel - SEN (Defender -DEF)
Medic - MED (Healer - HLR)
Synergist - SYN (Enhancer - ENH)
Saboteur - SAB (Jammer - JAM)
The Player can also change the roles of the party while in battle. This is called Paradigm Shift (Optima Change in Japanese).
Each Paradigm has a name, for example the paradigm Smart Bomb will change to roles of the party to RAV/RAV/SAB
The Ravagers will attack the enemy and the Saboteur will weaken the enemy with Spells
Here is a picture:
You can see the characters Lightning and Vanille on Screen and their life bars on the right bottom side. Sazh is in the background. You can also see the ATB gauge in the middle and the sign for paradigm shift above it. Below it are the commands for your character, in this case Lightning. On top right of the picture is the Break bar. It shows the current damage percentage and how much is needed to Break the enemy.
In this game there will be no experience points, but "Crystarium" points. If a battle is won, every character will gain Crystarium points, which will be used to increase stats and learn skills in the Crystarium System. The Crystarium system will work similarly to the Sphere Grid in FF X. This means the Crystarium System is like a tech tree where you can chose specific skills, which will unlock more powerful skills of the same kind. For example if you learn Fire, the spell Fira will be unlocked and so forth. Every role will have different skills and spells.
If you want to watch trailers you can go to http://www.square-enix.co.jp/fabula/ff13/
Simply wait for the site to load and then click on TRAILERS
EDIT: oh right totally forgot about that
This game will come out in Japan on the 17.December 2009
And in NA and EU on the 9. March 2010,
added Crystarium system, Render of Hecatoncheir