I Really Like The Final Fantasy XIII Series Now

I Really Like the Final Fantasy XIII Series Now

I previously wrote that a 3-part short novella epilogue to the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy was being released. Now that I've had a chance to sit down and read them all through, I actually like the game series a whole lot more.

I Really Like the Final Fantasy XIII Series Now

The three parts of Final Fantasy XIII Reminiscence -- tracer of memories -- were included with 3 issues of Weekly Famitsu. Written by game scenario writer Daisuke Watanabe, the plot follows a reporter in the world post-Lightning Returns who has been trying to uncover the mystery of memories of another world that are shared by people all over. Her journey to uncover the truth leads her to meet and talk with the various major characters throughout the series, culminating in a final meeting with Lightning herself.

I Really Like the Final Fantasy XIII Series Now

As I previously wrote, the stories are more of a supplementation that help fill in the gaps of the games rather than a story that depicts events and builds a world after the trilogy. The characters are given a general description about where they are and what they're doing, but the main focus is more on what happened in the previous world and why.

While I never disliked the Final Fantasy XIII games, I did find them to be a bit of a disappointment. The player was pretty much thrust into the story where facts were laid out plainly, with no real comparative reference to the real world to help get a better grasp on how the rules of the game world worked. I think I was halfway through the first game before I really understood what a fal'Cie and a l'Cie was. Characters seemed to do things, but with no emotional connection, events had little more impact to me than "well, that just happened."

The sequels were equally jarring, showing how things were at the beginning of the game, but not doing enough in setting things up to make things seem organic. A lot of the storytelling felt like the games saying "this is this and this is this and then this happens" when what I needed was something to pull me into the game world emotionally.

I Really Like the Final Fantasy XIII Series Now

FFXIII Reminiscence was exactly what I needed and exactly what the original games did not provide -- an emotional anchor to the characters and their motivations. Reading the individual characters' recollections of events and their reasoning behind why they did the things they did allowed me to relate to them more and helped to set the stage of each of the games far better than any high quality intro sequence, text scrawl, or voice-over narration could have. I only wish the games themselves had found some way to similarly fill out their stories like this epilogue does.

Interestingly enough, FFXIII Reminiscence barely covers the events of Lightning Returns, focusing more on the setup and end results and only vaguely mentioning the events that happen in between. I suppose all the costume changing does kind of shatter the image of Lightning as a cool stoic heroine.

In the end, the story of FFXIII Reminiscence does not do much to progress the story of the Final Fantasy XIII saga very much, but it does enrich it. All in all, things just make more sense. Reading through, I actually want to go back, dust off my copies and play all 3 games again. It's a shame that it took a supplemental novella released several months after to provide what the games themselves could not have upon their release.

Final Fantasy XIII Reminiscence -- tracer of memories -- was made available only in Weekly Famitsu. No word on a general release or an English version.

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Comments

    I just didn't like the characters. I couldn't care about them, care about their world, care about the story. They just didn't appeal to me. At all.

    Well, except for Sazh. He was decent.

      Agree. One thing that also didn't click with me, seems minor, but with no sort of overworld map, I found it very hard to keep track of where exactly in the world they were and where they had been and where they were doing.
      It was just 'place A to place B' with no idea what the relation was between them.
      IMO it could really have used even like a FFX style overworld map between areas just to help you understand the layout of the whole world and how each 'area' connects. I'm not saying it needed a FFVII style overworld you could run around on, but the FFX 'area transition' map overlay just helped me a great deal get my head around where location B was in relation to location A that I had just been.
      The lack of care about the characters can often be off-set if you enjoy the world they are exploring, but in this case like you said, I just found I didn't care about the characters, and how can you care about the world when you have no clear understanding how how it all joins together.

        Also, why is this article filed under 'In real life..' ?

    Only just recently got around to finishing Lightning returns. And she never will again..........

      Sadly, she is returning to FFXIV for a bit :U

    I haven't played lightning returns but from someone who had to remind himself the game was final fantasy in name only and an adventure in its own right, I surprisingly picked up the small bits of info that I needed enough to have a passing enjoyment. Still holding my breath for XV now it's not in the fabulous nova chrysalis arc

    Im still assuming the gameplay from the FF13 series is terrible, though, right? Right.

    I always get the feeling that books(/novels, etc) are the best medium to deliver a story. I really enjoyed multiple anime/video game/manga light novel adaptations over the recent years.

    Hmmm, going to keep a close eye on your articles from now on Toshi!

    I was disapointed by 13 on so many levels.

    13-2 was a pleasant suprise, I made it all the way through to the end.

    LR I was planning on buying but the gameplay in the demo didn't click with me at all :(

    I only played the first one, but was disappointed and never completed it. I remember thinking that there had to be a twist with the supposed bad guys (the fal'Cie I think?). They were, if I remember correctly, being cast as the bad guys despite a) being crucial to survival of the society, b) no one ever actually meeting them, and c) are mostly disparaged by people who had some sort of grudge against them. Surely, I thought, the twist was going to be that they're actually good guys with terrible press, only to find about 3/4 of the way into the game that no, they're actually as ludicrously evil as they're said to be.

    As for the characters, they fell into two categories; Lightning, who was annoying and unlikeable, and everyone else, who were so boring I didn't care about them.

    These boring games and characters would not get the time of day if it wasn't for brand recognition. I mean, why even call the games Final Fantasy when its a new world each generation of games. Lost Odyssey fit better as a Final Fantasy than XIII did. I would love it if Square could just release random JRPGS to judge on their own merits.

      This. While they werent totally horrible and for a lot of people is an excellent RPG and I even enjoyed some of it, it should have been its own series. It never felt like a FF and a separate name would have been better as your mind would not have constantly been "this is meant to be a final fantasy?"

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