E3 06: Final Fantasy XIII First Look

Square Enix dropped a bomb at its pre-E3 press conference in the form of Final Fantasy XIII for the PlayStation 3. We walk you through the first trailer scene by scene.

LOS ANGELES--One of the most exciting announcements of E3 2006 just couldn't wait until Wednesday. Instead, Square Enix today revealed at its press conference not one, but three Final Fantasy XIII games. Two of those games are exclusive PlayStation 3 releases, while the other is scheduled to be released on "next-gen" mobile phones. The premier game in the series is Final Fantasy XII, which was shown off in a lengthy trailer at the Square Enix press conference. According to the press release, the entire trailer was rendered in-game, and it revealed quite a bit about the game but left many questions unanswered as well. Read on for the full details.

The Final Fantasy XIII trailer opened with a sweeping shot of a lush canyon filled with dense vegetation stretching beyond the horizon. The camera then slowly descended into the canyon to follow a speeding futuristic train that seemed to be propelled forward by passing through successive portals of some sort. Just as the train entered a dark cave it struck a barrier on the track and exploded.

It's a girl!

The trailer then cut to the interior of the train, where a lithe woman with long grayish-reddish hair and two pistols was engaged in a battle with yellow-clad, futuristic soldiers. The stylish, fast-paced battle sequence showed the woman performing all sorts of acrobatic stunts while deftly dispatching of wave after wave of soldiers. Every so often, a faint blue light would come from her body, which appeared to be some magic discharge or perhaps a shield of some sort.

The scene cut to another train that sped along a winding track suspended high off the ground in a dark, possibly underground area. At this point a massive monster that looked somewhat like a weapon or summon from the previous Final Fantasy games appeared next to the track and began to attack the train.

The video then cut to a shot of hovering cars driving through a tunnel toward the camera before they were destroyed by an explosion. The next shot showed some massive airships flying around a floating cluster of tall, dark spires that appeared to be a city.

The battle system in XIII looks very action-oriented, with a single character battling a dozen enemies or more.

At this point we got a glimpse of the combat in the game, which appears to be very action-oriented. The dual-pistol woman once again was fighting wave after wave of soldiers, without breaking a sweat. The camera was pulled out slightly to show about 15 or more enemies surrounding the woman as she performed an inhumanly fast spin move and shot all of the enemies on the screen. As she did, icons popped up above each enemy denoting the number of hits and the word "chain," so it appears that the game will utilize some sort of combo system. In fact, if not for the pulled-back camera angle and numbers and words on screen, it would have been difficult to tell the difference between the cutscenes and the gameplay footage.

After the fight, the camera zoomed in close on the woman as she flicked her wrist and transformed her pistol into a large dagger or small sword, similar to a gunblade from Final Fantasy VIII. The next scene showed her walking through a very dense, green forest with crystalline structures throughout. She walked into the forest as if looking for something, then paused and looked around.

Then it was back to the floating cities as another train sped between buildings. A large flying manta ray type of creature flew down from above, landed on the train, and hijacked it. The creature looked mechanical but moved very fluidly and naturally. The trailer then ended with a line of text that simply stated, "PlayStation 3 Exclusive."

Could this be a distant relative of Yuna, or did she just raid Yuna's closet?

After the trailer Yoshinori Kitase, Final Fantasy XIII producer, took the stage to explain a bit of the history of the development of the game. A year ago, the Final Fantasy X team was working on a version of Final Fantasy XIII for the PlayStation 2. That team was pulled off of the project to create the PlayStation 3 Final Fantasy VII tech demo that was shown at E3 2005. Instead of going back to the unfinished XIII project, the team scrapped the game and began work on XIII for the PlayStation 3.

The XIII team was assembled with specialized developers who focused on building a brand-new game engine, called the White Engine. This engine was developed to integrate graphics rendering, physics, cinematics, sound, and special effects. Square Enix promises that the White Engine will allow Final Fantasy XIII to take full advantage of the PlayStation 3 hardware.

Based on what we saw, the game looks to stick to the stylish blend of fantasy and sci-fi themes, although the overall feel is a bit darker than Final Fantasy XII. Several of the environments were especially dark and had the hard, cold feel of technology. By contrast, there were several areas that looked almost tropical and ethereal, somewhat like the land of Macalania from Final Fantasy X.

Although the trailer we saw was of course a very early representation of the game, there were some notable absences. There were no chocobos, no girls with rabbit ears, no moogles, and no massively oversized swords. We also didn't get to see many characters, people, or enemies. The trailer seemed to focus a lot on trains, guns, and that mysterious lady.

Final Fantasy XIII is the premier product in the newly announced Final Fantasy XIII: Fabula Nova Crystallis universe, which includes XIII, Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PlayStation 3, and Final Fantasy Agito XIII for mobile phones. The tagline for XIII is "A tale of souls from a futuristic civilization illuminated by the Light of the Cystal." We'll bring you more details about the game as soon as possible, but until then be sure to take a look at the first images from the game on our gamespace.

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Discussion

47 comments
PodXCOM
PodXCOM

Your jokes, Greg Mueller, are not funny.

yabba1
yabba1

jmartin1016 - your a funny guy!!!

jmartin1016
jmartin1016

If Square doesn't drop any info about this game at TGS:2008 I'm gonna blow up Japan.

jmartin1016
jmartin1016

If Square doesn't drop any info about this game at TGS:2008 I'm gonna blow up Japan.

ifrint120
ifrint120

anyone think that it might have some type of online capabilaties

ifrint120
ifrint120

man it sucks that its not coming out till around 2010ish

RealKilla_789
RealKilla_789 moderator

not ps3 exclusive anymore. thank u

GoliathUK
GoliathUK

i'm dethroning you jmartin, heheheh. this first look isn't the least bit promising. i'm not reading anything here that's piqueing my interest at all... don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the final fantasy series, but they stopped being compelling for me after FF8. 7 and 8 are my clear favourites, there hasn't been an FF since then that i've liked much.

jmartin1016
jmartin1016

HAHAHAHA I am the latest poster on this board. I wonder how long it will be before someone dethrons me. This game will rock....... when it comes out in 2010.

Reisling
Reisling

I personally love the turn based style. Might just be cause I am a little more old school than some of the kids we have playin these days. But I really hope the combat in our newest FF game doesn't turn out to be some God of War bullcrap.

BlueyesCyclone
BlueyesCyclone

Final Fantasy is now only comeing out on to the PS3 and not the 360.

HSChristianrock
HSChristianrock

Critics are all the same, allways talking down to games that had so much effort into making. And they made them for you people.

larryed112
larryed112

I hope the combat isnt completely real time! I like to have some time to think about the moves my characters are going to pull....

methehacker
methehacker

I'm sure that the graphics wouldn't be anything less than awesome; nevertheless i do hope that there will be some changes in the battle system... to tell the truth i still don't get why a fantasy battle should look "...more real".

M_A_D
M_A_D

GORGEOUS !!!!!

M-Yu
M-Yu

Damn!!! This looks beyond incredible

amerdante
amerdante

........Just....... WOW !!!!!

VXCOM
VXCOM

Yea~.....its a good idea from "GFofgaming"....its cool if WE get to choose wanna be a girl or a boy.....maybe it get more awesome~ ^^" i wonder how a boy character looks like........maybe cool too ^o^

amaranth_aeon
amaranth_aeon

I actually love the idea of a female main character. I liked it when Konami made Heather the main character of Silent Hill 3 (OK, it's 3, not XIII, but still, everyone expected a male character nonetheless). Having a female main character will no doubt allow the developers to explore new themes. I say "Go, Girl!" (sorry 'bout that... ^_^)

Zentorian
Zentorian

A true fan of Final Fantasy wouldn't bash a new release just because of a female lead... Give me a break. Grow up. I happened to enjoy FF X-2 very much. I loved the fact that Square-Enix decided to continue Yuna's story.Once again we got to travel around the world of Spira. FF X-2 was unique as was FF 8 and people bash it because it's not a "traditional" Final Fantasy. Can someone please explain to my why people bash particular games in the series just because Square decides to be innovative and change things up a bit? I for one can't wait for FF 12 and 13. Oh and by the way The Spirits Within was an awesome movie.

rwsupastar
rwsupastar

I this will be one of the first games that i buy. Does anyone know who the girl is? I think that it might be clouds sister but thats only a guess

swirskytheman
swirskytheman

Just for this game i'm buying a PS3; no matter how expensive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hekynn
Hekynn

This one looks goood even though the ps3 is tooo damn exspensive.

ff_dork
ff_dork

*VI not V VI is the one with Terra lol. by bad.

ff_dork
ff_dork

GFofgaming "Yah But...........I wana be a "guy" to interact with "gal" ok, not the other way around plz! " well...think about how us girls feel that in most games have to play boys that interact with girls? dont u think WE want it the other way around sometimes? i know how you feel but jeez......the only other final fantasys with girl leads were V and X-2. you'll survive. :)

zanza86
zanza86

I liked the battle system of X, however I think they could improve on it by using the time based system such as the ones in VII and VIII, sorry guys never could get into IX. As for the female lead, do we know that this is the main character? This wouldn't be the first time trailers mislead the audience. I for one prefer male leads, I am not above playing female characters but it has never been preference of mine. That said I have faith that Square-Enix have enough talent to pull out another good game. VIII was probably the best game in terms of storyline, however I have to agree with Jonnodude with VIII being my favourite. X had probably the second best storyline, it was original, and the battles were exciting and intense even though I knew who was going to attack next. The Aeon fighting system was superb. Well thats my 2 cents and also my first post ever!! So lets not get too caught up in the main character, I sure the game will turn out just fine. Deathblz has a good point too, Although I enjoy the Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Dynasty Warriors series, I would hate to see the FF series become so cheap.

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

Yah But...........I wana be a "guy" to interact with "gal" ok, not the other way around plz! Is there any type of character choser between male and feamale :), I am 17 by the way so dont mess with me:)

Last_Grimreaper
Last_Grimreaper

Come on GFofgaming how old are you? scared of chickgerms or what.... Think about it, isn't it the girls that's always so charming in the ff series.

GFofgaming
GFofgaming

No girl plz. I dont want to control a girl.. as when i play any game, I am imagine I am that character. I dont want to imagine I am a girl.

tedwulf
tedwulf

Dude, even if it does look like an action game, so what? It's not like Square hasn't made good action games before (the overlooked Einhander), and it's not like they don't have the funds and talent to pull it off either. As for the main character being female--who cares? Gender doesn't make or break the game.

paulovfc
paulovfc

for me, this will be the best final fantasy. what we can see in the trailer is that the game have a excellent battle system with a lot of action, perfect graphics and probably a good history .

L4sdude
L4sdude

You all forget that Final Fantasy VI had a female lead and it had an excellent story. Please don't assume that X-2 is going to ruin the future for heroines. If anything, this is a welcome change. VII through XII have had all male leads, so it's about time that we had a switch. I'm eager to see the supporting cast as well.

Blitz-Ace10
Blitz-Ace10

Hmm, not to be an anti-feminist here but: A girl? Has this mistake not been pulled once before in FFX-2? Have we learned nothing of past mistakes?

-XRogueX-
-XRogueX-

turn based combat sucks ass, i wont buy this game if its turn based ****

Tonts
Tonts

i hv to disagree with most of the comments ... for me this game is perfect... the battle r turn based with action... others that r press 1 button = kill an monster .don raise my adrenaline XD... I hope that battles and history will be different from the ffx2 that sux... the only thing that i didn't like is the hi-fi style :/ cya PS: srry my poor english XD

mw67201
mw67201

It seems like it's not going to be turn based at all...the whole dual pistols and a sword makes me think Devil May Cry. I don't know about you, but that's not what I want at all from Final Fantasy. Lame.

jonnodude
jonnodude

Well ever since FFX there has been a downfall in FF games. My fave of all was FF8 of course. The old FF games were good for a few reasons 1. there was no voice acting, so it had the imagination like reading a book and you could imagine what the voices would have sounded like. 2. The stories were way better. 3. the turn based battle systems were way better 4. girl main charachters are a big no-no (look at FFX2 and The spirits within) there were just terrible! Just make them the way they were...... if you combined the comedy of 9, the compassion of 8 and the originality of 7 you would be on the right track. I hate seeing all this "appeal to the women audience" like they tried to do in FFX2, it ruins a good game and the gals play FF for the hot mains (squall). The only cute girl inn FF was rinoa anyway :P

Deathblz
Deathblz

We don't want it to turn into a hack-n-slash game either, though. And seriously...I think they should take their time and not pump out a new FF every couple of years...

maxalus
maxalus

man they got ot stop making these girls mian players id like it to be more like ff8 or 7

redXlled
redXlled

It's cool but i hope finalfantasy VII the remake is coming up but what to do : ( we must wait untill square-enix bring back the real smile to us WITH THE REMAKE. iwas planning to buy PS3 just to play it sony it going to lose alot of gamers just from finalfantasy VII

Metametheus101
Metametheus101

Another new saga to add to the pile, wonder how their gonna ordient this one? This one seems futuristic, just hope they dont overdose it they way they did it with FFX. Course Graphics isnt everything, I still like FF2 the best out of all of em...End of Story...

Gobo666
Gobo666

This game looks incredible, I can not wait. And even more exciting is that it dosen't look turn based.