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TGS 08: Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer impressions

Majed Athab

This year's Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer out of Square Enix's Closed Theater follows in the footsteps of last year's trailer in the respect that it's yet again the final video shown during the private screening. The two differ, however, as this year's trailer shows off a bit of in-game footage of Versus XIII for the first time.

The trailer kicks things off with the same line of text we've seen dozens of times before: "This is a fantasy based on reality." The scene moves to the prince's luxury sedan speeding through a tunnel. He's listening to the news on the car radio. The vehicle exits the tunnel and the camera pans up to see the moonlit sky with two giant airships hovering in the distance. Somewhere in between this, we get a reintroduction to the Shakespearean quote that's been used since the debut trailer. At this point, things shift and the new stuff come in.

We see the prince character wearing a casual, all black suit. This is rendered with the in-game engine, and the graphics look as smooth and appealing as the main FFXIII title. He climbs marble stairs up to a loft-like art gallery. There he meets the blonde woman revealed previously wearing a black dress and a small white top. This time she's seen in a white cocktail dress. the two are talking but through Japanese subtitles as there doesn't appear to be any voice work done yet – or, Square Enix purposely took it out for some reason.

The two characters continue to talk in the art gallery. There's an Amano-styled painting hanging on the floor behind the female character. They appear to be having a friendly chat. It's easy to assume that these two could be lovers; there's no doubt they're quite close to one another.

What follows shortly after is a collection of pre-rendered cut scenes taking us through several familiar scenarios from last year: a black car drives down a desert road reaching a body of water where the road ends and a ruined bridge sinking into the sea begins. We also see a council of aged men in black suits seated around a rectangular table. These guys are probably from the other countries that are at war with the prince's city-state and are attempting to pilfer his crystal. A hooded man in a white cloak confronts the prince with magical power in a split second. It's still difficult to get a good look at his face just like in the last trailer he appeared in.

Some other relatively new footage involves the prince's three friends. We've seen these guys in screenshots on Japanese websites and images in Japanese magazines for several months now. Anyway, you'll see the man with the short wavy blond hair, the dude with the glasses, and the chummy fellow with dark hair and a beard just hanging out. There's one scene in particular where all four men are out on a bridge surveying a large building that lies in the background.

The trailer then switches back to the girl and prince talking in the art gallery. Again, no voice acting – just Japanese subtitles. It's here where we're taken back to footage from last year's show; it's the scene where those two "friends" see each other in the street and are about to reluctantly engage one another in battle. We wonder what happened to turn them into enemies.

One thing we noticed about the trailer was that there was hardly any cut scenes involving fighting – and, as you can guess, that definitely means no in-game battle footage. The trailer seemed to be more of an introduction to the game's main and supporting cast rather than taking us through any sort of gameplay reveal. Anyway, that's it for Versus XIII. With it, the Closed Theater ends; however, for us, we've only begun with our impressions on the entire shebang. We'll have a post up soon on the full Square Enix Closed Theater showing, so watch out for that.

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