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TGS 08: Final Fantasy XIII trailer impressions

Majed Athab

Another TGS means another Closed Mega Theater from Square Enix. So what does the house that Final Fantasy built have hiding behind the curtain this time? It's mostly a long line of Kingdom Hearts titles and the entire known components of the Fabula Nova Crystallis project – which of course includes the highly anticipated Final Fantasy XIII.

Considering that FFXIII is the flagship title for the company, it would be an understatement to say we're a tad excited to see anything new coming from this game at the show ... even if it is the usual scrap here and there. Speaking of scraps, yes, most of the "new" trailer contains footage from previous clips we've seen before (no surprise there); however, the new footage we did see – we believe – will certainly keep the FF faithful interested until the next small bits trickle in.

We'll start with the beginning: we have an overhead view of this lush, prehistoric land where giant stegosaurus-type creatures roam. Then those flying beasts seen at the beginning of this year's E3 trailer soar above them, moving us along to the zoomed-in scene where the redhead pigtails girl is standing at the edge of a cliff. The camera swings back around revealing a massive, untamed landscape with thick jungles and more wild animals.

We're now taken back to more footage we've seen; though this montage of quick snippets isn't quite an extended director's cut much like the previous scene. It's mostly of the pigtails girl invoking the Carbuncle summon. As that wraps up, we're finally taken to some brand new footage. It's a scene where there's this gargantuan monolith situated in a possibly subterranean world. These glowing green cables attach to it, supposedly gathering energy or maybe feeding energy into it – it's hard to tell. Is this in any way related to the people of Cocoon? It seems so, as those Cocoon soldiers seem to be safeguarding this thing. Then more new footage follows revealing a new character.

The new scene shifts back atop on the surface where a fleet of airships race over a beach. It finds its way over to some city -- most likely Cocoon. One ship lands and a stern-faced man with semi-long, tied back white hair steps out. He appears to be a high ranking military officer and could possibly be a villain.

There's more old footage again in between the new. We kick back with the good stuff seeing a nighttime scene on a thin bridge leading to a landing pad. The pigtails girl is wearing a white hood and cloak and is being escorted by Cocoon soldiers. She's then approached by a woman with long, bleached-blonde hair who wears a long green coat and a pair of glasses. She really seems reminiscent of Sephiroth -- think of a female version of him, but much less intimidating in facial expression.

By the time that scene ends, we're taken to a huge amount of this year's E3 trailer footage – especially the parts focusing on the blond guy with a black bandana and long white coat. The final scene witnesses Lighting talking with that guy and it seems they're not really getting along.

As the full CGI trailer finishes, the final words we see reminds us that the game is still PS3 exclusive for Japan and will be hitting the island nation in 2009. Recapping the footage, we've mostly only learned of two more of the game's characters who will most likely end up being the villains. In that respect, there's quite a lot to speculate on and while it is somewhat disappointing to see yet again so little, we've still got quite a lot of questions to wonder over. What's that huge thing in the underworld-type place? And who exactly are these new characters? They're obviously in the Cocoon military or government, so do they know Lightning and the other characters personally? It seems we ended up with even more questions walking out of the Closed Theater than we did going in.

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