The future belongs not to those who wait. —Final Fantasy XIII Game Trailer The Battle Within Begins. —Final Fantasy XIII tagline
Final Fantasy XIII is the thirteenth installment in the Final Fantasy main series, and is the first of the series to be released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Unveiled at E3 2006, the game is the flagship of Square Enix 's Fabula Nova Crystallis project. The game runs on Crystal Tools. a proprietary engine built for Square Enix's seventh generation games.
The game was released in Japan on December 17, 2009, and March 9, 2010 for North America and Europe. A traditional Chinese version for PlayStation 3 was released in May 27, 2010 . Final Fantasy XIII is the first Final Fantasy game translated into traditional Chinese. A sequel titled Final Fantasy XIII-2 was released on December 15th, 2011, and a second sequel, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII . was announced on September 1st, 2012, and released in 2014.
Player traveling the field map with multiple enemies in sight.
The game's progression is chapter -based and in most chapters, the player will see the story through different characters' view. Players can move around the field map while controlling the party leader, the other members moving independently, sometimes running ahead, engaging in dialogue, or stopping to look at objects on the field and pointing things of interest out to the party leader. Other party members being far away from the leader does not affect their participation in battles that take place in a separate module. Players can jump, but only at specific jump spots marked on the map.
Enemies will appear on the map and battles initiate when coming into contact with them. Treasure chests cannot be opened in close proximity to a monster, and there are several instances enemies are "guarding" treasures and must be banished to collect the loot. Shrouds can be used to move about the field without triggering enemy encounters, and to bestow the party with buffs prior to the battle's start.
Three way battle between Behemoth King, Megistotherian, and the party.
Some enemies on the map may fight against each other and if the player contacts them it will start a three way battle.
Players can't set the party or the party leader until later into the game, diversity being brought in via the Paradigm Shift system. If the party leader is incapacitated in battle, it will result in a Game Over. but if a battle ends in defeat, the player will simply appear in the point on the field right before the fight was initiated, and they may either re-attempt the battle or leave it.
Final Fantasy XIII is the third main series Final Fantasy game in which the player does not routinely win gil from battles; rather the player obtains the currency from treasure spheres. or from selling items. The first such game was Final Fantasy VIII . where gil was received as SeeD salary, and the second was Final Fantasy XII . where although it is possible for some defeated enemies to drop gil, it is not a universal reward for victory.
Save Stations allow the player not only to save, but access the shops in Retail Network where items
can be bought or sold.
Command Synergy Battle
Combat in Final Fantasy XIII. showing Fang attacking an enemy.
The battle system. called Command Synergy Battle in-game, has been described as "more tactical than Final Fantasy X . faster than Final Fantasy X-2 . and almost as seamless as Final Fantasy XII ". The enemies are visible in the field. When the player runs into them, the screen lights up and the scene switches to a vast, blank battlefield, marking the start of a battle where the player can control one character out of a party of up to three. After a certain point in the game the lead character can be switched.
The Active Time Battle gauge is divided into sections. Each command has a numeric value referred to as "ATB Cost" next to the name indicating how many of these sections it will take up. This allows the player to input several commands per turn. The next turn comes up sooner if the ATB bar is only partially used. Magic and summoning are only available to party members who are l'Cie.
A new element called the Chain Gauge is specific to each enemy, and fills as the player performs attack combos marked by a percentage. Upon filling the gauge the enemy enters "Stagger Mode", where even more damage can be done. Staggered enemies can be launched in the air and juggled with attacks. Staggering is almost essential to winning many battles.
A Battle Result in Final Fantasy XIII .
Because of the ATB cost determining the moves a player can use, there is no MP in the game. Since magic cannot be used outside of battle, the party's HP is restored after every battle. Full ATB Skills work similar to Limit Breaks from previous games as being character-specific special moves and even if there is no Escape command, the player can leave battle with the Retry option.
When a battle is won, a Battle Results screen pops up, giving the player a zero-to-five stars ranking on how they did, as well as showing how long the battle took. This information is linked to the Trophy and Achievement systems.
The Paradigm Shift system.
The player can only control one character at a time in battle. The other party members' actions are governed by a system called the "Paradigm Shift". Paradigms are described as "stances" or "classes" the characters temporarily take during battle to define the abilities they use. They are more strict than job classes ; for example, the party member with a Medic 's role can do nothing but heal, while the Commando's role forces them to only attack with non-elemental attacks.
The paradigms can be changed at any time to suit the situation at hand, but they cannot be changed individually, only for the whole party at a time. Thus, a paradigm is a combination of three roles. There are a total of 83 possible paradigm combinations (6 single, 21 double, and 56 triple member combinations). The roles used are shown as colored abbreviations next to the characters' names in the battle screen.
The roles within the paradigms are: