Square Enix Dev Diary Goes Behind the Scenes of 'Lightning Returns'

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Square Enix -- that's eh-nicks, apparently, not ee-nicks, like I've been saying for the past 26 years -- have taken to documenting the development of "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII" for a three-part documentary called "Inside the Square." Today, the first episode was released.

The first half of the video, narrated by Lightning voice actress Ali Hillis, gives the most basic, cursory glance at "Final Fantasy": It's been around for 25 years, and none of the games are really all that connected (the odd sequel or trilogy notwithstanding). Eventually, the doc moves more specifically to cover "Lightning Returns," including interviews with concept artists and designers and heavily featuring producer Yoshinori Kitase.

The dev diary gives a pretty bird's-eye-view of "Final Fantasy XIII," but there are some tiny bits of new info to glean. I didn't realize for example, that the people of the "Lightning Returns"-iverse had stopped aging 500 years ago, or that Square Enix had built some sort of world reactivity into the game.

Kitase says that "Lightning Returns" is "world driven," and that "how you respond to the world is what shapes your unique experience," doesn't offer anything concrete about what that actually means.

Unsurprisingly, JigglePhysicsGate wasn't on the list of topics covered by episode one, but maybe it's on the docket for episode two or three, presumably coming soon.

"Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII" is coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on February 11, 2014.

[Square Enix]

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Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter