TGS 06: Final Fantasy XIII Impressions

We check out a new trailer for Square's upcoming Fantasy at the Tokyo Game Show.

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TOKYO--Today at the Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix showed off a bevy of trailers for their upcoming titles in their patented "Closed Mega Theater." Included among the cornucopia was an updated, expanded trailer for the eagerly anticipated RPG, Final Fantasy XIII. While concrete information, like a release date, is still up in the air, the trailer at least showed off a good amount of new eye candy for the audience.

If you've happened to see the trailer from this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, not much of substance has changed in the new TGS trailer. The action still revolves around the same nameless woman that was shown causing so much property damage in the earlier trailer. In the previous trailer, though, her enemies were exclusively human; now, she's shown fighting against a number of monsters, as well.

In the first instance, the enemy that appears is a massive demon, looking somewhat like the Balrog from the Lord of the Rings movies, save that it glows blue and swings a massive sword that leaves energy trails behind it. The guards in the large city that's under assault manage to summon their own defenses, as they activate a blue energy field through which leap a few battle wolves, which quickly coalesce from pure energy into solid matter to take on the monster. The woman isn't bereft of tricks of her own, however; immediately preceding the precious few seconds of battle footage (which appear to be identical to the E3 trailer), she drops a grenade on a group of enemies and then slices through it with her sword, causing them all to go flying.

Afterwards, a bit of footage appears in which the woman directly engages another large monster, which somewhat reveals the Ifrit summon from Final Fantasy X, but in a bit of a bluish hue. This didn't appear to be battle footage, though, as everything moved around a bit too much for it to be anything other than a cutscene.

Lastly, the brief trailer is wound down by the appearance of a mechanized, flying manta ray-esque creature, which landed on one of the railway trains that are seen zooming through these trailers, and then ground it to a halt by pressing it against the track. It stayed there for a moment, causing the woman to leap up from the train and see what all the fuss was about. As in the previous trailer, this one ended as she held her sword out toward the beast and posed for the camera.

Although everything is still deliberately cagey--the game is still a long ways away--we're going to go out on a limb to surmise that the game's plot is at least superficially similar to that of Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, where a female protagonist attempted to convince a skeptical world that their reliance on technology was the cause of their problems. The juxtaposition of the world's high-technology setting and the apparently startling appearance of demons and monsters make us think that perhaps the advanced technology is for some reason the cause of the monstrous invasion, which perhaps isn't that much of a stretch, considering the classic relationship of nature versus technology in most of the previous Final Fantasy games.

Anyway, that's pure supposition. As more details become available on Final Fantasy XIII, we'll be sure to relay them to you as quickly as possible.

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