Do Final Fantasy Fans Really Want More Lightning?

Do Final Fantasy Fans Really Want More Lightning?

Square Enix seems to be under the impression that people love Lightning, the main character of the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy. In fact, according to FFXIII director Motomu Toriyama, Lightning is so beloved that she might start getting Square Enix Cameo Treatment.

"We know that Lightning is an extremely popular character, even when compared to other Final Fantasy characters," Toriyama told Siliconera. "So there is a possibility that Lightning would appear in other future Final Fantasy titles, not as a protagonist, but as a guest character."

Is she really all that popular, though? FFXIII and its sequels have been polarising, and I've seen a lot of negative reactions toward the moody pink-haired protagonist. But it's hard to measure Internet opinion on something like this... so let's do an unofficial poll.

Vote right here:


    Shit no, the 13 trilogy was a skid mark in the undies of the franchise

    We know that Lightning is an extremely popular character

    From the same logic that said 'fans clearly love FFXIII because it sold well'. Who likes Lightning as a main character? Yeah Cloud and Squall were emotionally backwards, but at least they had some charisma. Lightning has less emotion than that chick in Twilight.

      Yeah I thought Lightning would go down as one of the more forgettable FF heroes.


      Im no loyalist / die hard to the final fantasy series (probably going to be flamed for this) but i enjoyed the lightning story, i can understand why some people dont 'love' it, but i cant understand why there is so much hate for her?
      anyone want to elaborate on this?
      all i hear is 'i hate it, it sux' but why?

        I don't hate Lightning. I do hate FFXIII though. And Hope. Definitely hate Hope. Probably put in a little bit of Snow too.

      Well that's the thing

      Cloud wasn't, people just thing he was, I mean yeah he has issues but overall he has all the emotional range of a normal guy, he goofs off, he laughs and has fun ect

      Squall meanwhile was supposed to be because he's basically a child trying to be adult more or less

      Lightning is basically what people THINK Cloud is only made worst since as a woman she can't show weakness because of bullshit fake feminist bitch about that.

    ... The poll doesn't even work?

    Last edited 18/02/14 4:39 pm

      I'm guessing it's one of those things that doesn't translate properly from Kotaku US to Kotaku AU.

    Maybe popular to the people who want to play pretty girl dressup with their waifu.

    Which also counts Toriyama (I'm not joking about that one).

    Last edited 18/02/14 4:43 pm

    I don't think she is a bad character, I actually like a lot of the FF13 characters like Snow, Noel and Serah but I don't think she needs to be in other games. Simply because she has been important in 3 games and stared in 2 of them, the next game should be new and fresh in a different world, I would love characters to appear again but in spin offs not new numbered titles.

    Last edited 18/02/14 4:43 pm

    Survey suggests Toriyama is out of his gourd. I tend to agree.

    I have never played a single FF from start to finish (I know blasphemy haha. Did play a bit of 8 though). I just think it's a shame that when we finally get a female lead the games ended up becoming so Meh and the character herself seems so under developed. Bleh. Bravely default did everything much better from how I see things.

      What sucks is that they say Lightning is the first well developed female Final Fantasy character, completely ignoring all the other better female characters in the past. Especially FF6!

        I hear great things about 6 and 9, I think it's time I take the plunge and find myself a way to play these. Hell might even pick a vita for 10

        Edit: as for lightning being the first well developed female character, I have never finished a FF and even I view that claim with massive skeptism.

        Last edited 18/02/14 5:23 pm

          6 and 9 are great and 7 is almost a must play. 10 is love it or hate it (check out Spoonys review), 12 focuses more on gameplay and quests then story. I find most people not caring for FF8 but the ones who love it really love it.

          Prior to 6 is another topic all together. It also depends on which version you can get since some versions are inferior *coughiOSFF6cough*.

            From what I remember of my limited time with 8 I enjoyed it. And just the font in the rereleased mobile versions is enough for me to stay away haha

              When Spoony finally got around to FF13 he actually took back everything bad he said about FF8 and pointed out some positive points about story telling it did have, but mostly to point out how bad FF13 is in comparison.

              Basically, if he knew how bad the Final Fantasy series would have ended up after 8 he wouldn't have hated it as much.

            It is my belief that spoony secretly loves the laughing scene in X

      Clearly you haven't heard of Terra. While she was butchered in Dissidia she was a pretty appealing- albeit female lead for the games time.

      Yuna in FFXIII was also far more fleshed out a character than lightning

        Now when you're saying Yuna is more fleshed out than Lightning, something went terribly wrong.

        You are correct in that assumption since, "I have never played a single FF from start to finish" :)

        And I think you mean Yuna from X?

        Last edited 18/02/14 8:25 pm

          Yeah. That was swiftkey for some reasin and I never noticed. It saved FFXIII but not FFX to my dictionary

    Maybe it was a Japanese otaku target audience marketing? attractive rose colored haired girl sounds like what they usually go for.

    After 13 I've completely avoided anything with lightning, what's to like about her?! I couldn't care less if she succeeded or failed in anything she's trying to achieve in any of the games she's been in (not to mention I've seen better character development in a Care Bears movie, that evil book that talked was frigging terrifying).

    I admit i thought the design of her was cool at the start, her personality in the game put me off her, and Toriyama's love affair with her has gone too far...

    If she appears in XV i'm gonna chuck a fit.

    There aren't enough ways to say no in either the English or other languages that can convey how much I don't want to see Lightning ever again.

    HK47 had more charisma than Lightning and he was a robot.

    Hell No, worst generation of FF eva,and I've already got a bad feeling about FFXIIIversus or XV or whatever it's called, games that spend too long in development hell always end up disappointing, i.e. Too Human, Duke Nuke'em forever,Aliens colonial Marine.

    Also why won't my Gravatar account link to my Kotaku account.

    If you make a million sales, and 20% of the purchasers like a character, that's 200000 people who like that character. It doesn't make many of those posting a positive impression to give an overall idea that the character is popular.

    I rather Tidus and Yuna

      Give me Laguna, Ward and Kiros any day! :D

        heck to they yes! let's hope Ward gets his voice back though :)

      Tidus might be one of the more memorable girl characters in the FF universe, but I don't want to see her return.

    Lightning looked kick ass in the trailers and in the opening of FF XIII that's undeniable. In the game though she is the worst character written in the history of bad additions to great series. I swear that if jar jar farrah made any sense that would have been her name

    Last edited 18/02/14 7:54 pm

    Her character design is really cool, but the games stories just suck.

    Recently finished playing FF4 and FF6 again. If it means all the truly great female characters are left in peace instead of turned into cash cows then by all means SE use this dull, lifeless character as much as you want!

    She's actually not *that* bad with the Japanese voices turned on (in Lightning Returns) and comes across more as your typical reserved and strait-laced kind of heroine rather than the dull, monotone wowser that the english version portrays. It's just a shame that she's not really that well developed as a character. Even Yuna had some interesting facets despite her and Tidus being the most boring main characters in the series for me.

    I think they're mistaking the reason for her popularity.

    People don't like Lightning because she's an amazing character... they like her because in the ensemble of eminently punchable faces that was FF13, hers was the least-punchable.

    Lightning was a good character in the latest game, but the problem is it took till then for her to be so. Two games of her being pretty damn unlikeable has understandably soured people on her.

    Hope was terrible but grown up hope who built himself a cocoon and his own fla'cie was pretty cool.

      Hope was one of the few characters that actually grew on me in the first game. He had a beginning, he had some shit go down in his life, he had a purpose and he matured from whiny dead weight to independent leader material during the course of the story.

      As you said though, Hope from 13-2 was pretty cool. The events in the first game, for me anyway, basically paved the way for part 2 and made his rise to power more believable.

    Looking back at the series as a whole, there are maybe a handful of characters that resonated with me in some way, be it their deeds, their story etc. Rydia, Celes, Barret at a stretch, Kuja (not Zidane, he was far too predictable), Maybe Tidus, if you can look past his whiny bitch act, his being oblivious to the events that were thrust upon him are actually pretty decent grounds for development and probably my favourite character in any of the games in the series, Balthier, even if he is just a better dressed Han Solo (indeed the entire game is basically the original Star Wars trilogy) His voice actor just sold the cocky criminal with a smart mouth and sharp wit who is a little bit on himself.

      Hellz yes! Balthier was the man and it right up there on my list of favorite Final Fantasy characters. Balthier, Fran and Basch were the only redeeming features of the otherwise bland FFXII.

    The only thing i liked about lightning was the crossover into FF 14 online.

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