Despite the apparent lack of information surrounding the sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, what we have been given so far is enough to spark a huge amount of theories and ideas. These are mine (In no particular order).
- There WILL be towns/villages. This isn’t even a theory, it’s a fact. After fans outcries about Final Fantasy XIII’s lack of said towns (Though really, a bunch of fugitive l’Cie just casually strolling around in town? That wasn’t the story and didn’t make ANY sense at all!) the sequel is already showing the promise of towns. In the 27-second teaser released before E3, you could see Noel running around in a beach-like area with buildings and people.
- The new character, Noel. What’s his connection? Where was he during the events on Final Fantasy XIII? Does he have a connection to Oerba, and thus to Fang and Vanille? Judging by his outfit (the fact it’s very likely he’s just the old ‘Male Fang’ model adds to this), it seems possible.
- The battle system seems to have the same basic idea. Paradigms and Roles. There’s a new thing thrown in now though, what appears to be a sort of “Monster Capture” system. In the teaser trailer Noel and Serah could be seen with a 3rd party member, “Pulseworker”, and behind the party menu was a circle with 3 images on it, with the one of the Pulsework Soldier lit up.
- How are Paradigms/Roles accessible again? Is this the work of Etro? Only time will tell…
- As far as Serah, she is clearly playable (huge bonus) though the weapon she is using is up for debate. Is it a bow or a sword? Either would be acceptable in my eyes. In the teaser trailer, you can see her clearly holding a sword, though in the very FFX-like image of Noel handing Serah a weapon, it looks like a bow. This may (and most likely is) be due to it being “transformable” so that she can be more versatile in hitting flying enemies (since she is not quite as athletic as other characters).
- In regards to weapons, it appears that Noel will be using two weapons: A strangely shaped sword and a katana.
- No word yet if the weapon upgrade system and the Crystarium Board will be making their returns for the sequel.
- With Lightning “missing” for several years now (from Serah’s PoV), we have already seen her make appearances in trailers. With the announcement trailer, the main focus was on her with a newer outfit (more armor-like with feathers). In the teaser trailer, she could be seen kneeling before a sort of shrine. Will the feathers hold some sort of key role in the game and Lightning’s image? Just what is Lightning doing anyways? Thoughts are that she just might be working for Etro.
- So far (as-of writing this), we’ve only seen a few characters return from FFXIII: Lightning, Serah, and the gang from NORA… Minus their leader. Where is everyone? Is Sazh still a pilot? Is Hope almost out of school now (And darn well better be more grown up, or there will be angry fan rage)? WHERE IS SNOW!? Why isn’t he with Serah? And what about Sazh’s son, Dajh (and his Chocobo, whom also better be grown up)? So many unanswered questions!
- There have been mentions of a sort of “gate” area (though I am unsure of the name). Is this where they are (see Serah and Noel) searching for Light, or what is the connection here?
- The Teaser trailer showed what appears to be a new system, “Unstable Rifts”. These likely tie into the thought above.
- A new blonde male character was shown in the Teaser trailer, unsure at this time any details surrounding him. (Unless, godforbid, that’s Hope… No way is it Hope)
- A new female character was also shown alongside Serah in a a marshlands looking area. She appears to be some sort of school kid (at least, so it appears to me). This view also shows us one thing: Serah is still wearing the necklace given to her by Snow. Does this mean they aren’t yet married as Lightning is no where to be found?
- One word… MOOGLES!
- The teaser trailer gave us our first glimpse of the combat, and it raises the question of has damage been lowered, or are the characters just using “weaker weapons”? Staggered opponents at 200% or so break were shown taking just under 500 damage. They could just have high defense though, or be a combination of weak weapons and higher defense.
- In place of Summon animations, have new “Cinematic Actions” been added to signify special skills in battle?
More to come as soon as we receive more information from E3… Disclaimer, these are just my thoughts and ideas so far on the game and what has been provided so far for information.