Last week, Square-Enix slipped fans a handful of new details concerning the titles in their Fabula Nova Crystalis project. While the majority of the information centered on storyline details, a few tidbits on gameplay were also mentioned as well.
Final Fantasy XIII will center on a female lead named Lightning, and will include a blond male character with a name that also pertains to weather. Tetsuya Nomura only described the male character as "cowboy-like" and would not really comment on his relationship with the protagonist, only saying that their relationship wasn't the usual sort.
The game will take place in a world sealed in a shell, aptly named Cocoon, where crystals are used to create powerful machines and creatures. The people of this world are fearful of the world outside. In the world below known as Pulse, strange creatures have awakened and have begun causing hatred and even greater fear to spread amongst the people. The main governing body of Cocoon has begun taking drastic measures to assure its citizens of their safety, including rounding up citizens it believes to be suspicious and exiling them to Pulse. In response to the growing chaos, the Crystal chooses the female lead to protect this world and stop those trying to destroy it. This however puts her directly against the unknowing government of Cocoon who believe she will facilitate the downfall of this world.
Final Fantasy XIII will see the return of the ATB system, with little to no delay between when the command is given and the action occurs. The game will also see a departure from the summons' typical roles. Summons will have the ability to change forms in battle, for instance Shiva can transform into a motorcycle that the heroine can ride through the battlefield. Summons will no longer be limited to just one element. In addition, the crystals will give the characters the ability to create certain things, though no specifics on this system were given.
Final Fantasy Versus XIII will feature a more action oriented battle system as previously reported. Characters in the game will feature weapons differing from that of the main character's, and he himself will have the ability to teleport directly to where his weapon was thrown, although there are limits to this ability. The story takes place in an isolated kingdom that features a modern setting as well as swords and magic. Nomura mentioned that this will not be the usual tale of good versus evil. The aforementioned crystal is the last of its kind and the game will center on the last battle for this crystal, the end of which will usher in a new era.
Much less was said regarding the cell phone based Final Fantasy XIII Agito. However, it was stated that it will be developed in full 3D and its protagonist has been charged with the task of protecting the crystal.
While no exact release date has been set for any of the titles, it was mentioned that Final Fantasy XIII Agito should be available in late 2007. Further depth into these titles will likely be released throughout the year as development continues.