Final Fantasy XIII’s launch date is slowly creaking into sight, meaning Square Enix is gradually releasing more and more details about the game. But what will actually happen? We’ve pored over the latest trailers to try and work it out. If you haven't already, you might want to watch the latest FFXIII movie before going any further.
Got all that? Good. Now, based on what we've seen so far and using our extensive Final Fantasy knowledge, here are 9 absolutely completely plausible plot predictions for FFXIII.
1. Serah dies
Look at her. Sweet, innocent, youthful and cute. Yup. Lightning's sister Serah is prime tear-jerk fodder. She's just a bit too loveable to quietly sit in the background. Sure enough, the latest TGS trailer spends a lot of time showing Serah reaching out for help, or being cradled in fiancé Snow's burly arms, whispering what could be her final words (‘Please, protect Cocoon’). In fact, FFXIII devs recently confirmed that she gets turned into a crystal - although what exactly that means is still unclear (we presume it’s a bad thing).
It's been 12 years since Sephiroth made the stabby with Aeris in FFVII - long enough, perhaps, that Squeenix have decided it’s just about time to traumatise a whole new generation of gamers. Better get those tissues ready.
2. Cocoon crashes into the ground
Cocoon is a perfect futuristic city that hovers high above the feral world of Pulse. Created by a powerful crystal, her citizens are safely housed in this high-tech haven. But everything is just a little too pristine. Creepily so. Twin this with the fact that Lightning’s mission is to destroy this false paradise and there's surely only one way this can happen; what goes up, must come down.
Remember how monkey-tailed madman Kuja smashed up the city of Alexandria in FFIX? Or how Sin rampaged through FFX’s metropolis of Zanarkand? Total urban destruction isn't exactly new to Square. So whether Cocoon plummets down towards terra firma, or Lightning riots through the streets like Godzilla on heat; you know it’s not going to be in one piece by the end game.
3. Baddie Jihl Nabaat morphs into a superpowered badass, is killed
There’s only one way it can go for any FF antagonist, and that’s not very well indeed. In the case of FFXIII’s bad gu…er…girl, Lieutenant Colonel Jihl Nabaat already looks to be the power-hungry tyrant that FF veterans will cherish defeating.
It’s pretty much a given that in order to defeat Lightning and her cohorts, stern faced Jihl will activate an ancient relic full of mystical power and transform into some monstrous overlord capable of destroying worlds. FFXII’s Vayne, FFVI’s Kefka, FFV’s EX Death – they all transmogrified, with the latter turning into a giant tree. The only real question here is what she turns into, and, more importantly, what her weak spot is.
4. Other baddie Yaag is remorseful, helps Lightning at the last moment
Rumour has it that Lieutenant Colonel Yaag used to be Lightning’s superior, before she defected. According to the devs, while Jihl is plain evil, Yaag is simply misguided. His motives are noble – he only wishes to protect the people of Cocoon. Indeed, when his troops are pointing their laser sights at Snow’s man-chest, Yaag asks him if ‘the life of just one of you in exchange for millions of lives is fair?’ So despite starting off on the other side of the pitch, it’s inevitable that our pony-tailed soldier will suddenly realise the error of his ways and join Lightning for the final fight. After all, Gabranth did the old switcheroo in FFXII. And then he…er…died.
5. Hope forgives Snow and is adopted by him
Fresh-faced lad Hope Estheim may seem a bit too young to be fighting the good fight. But he didn’t really have a choice. His mother was killed when resistance leader Snow asked her to take up arms against the enemy, PSICOM. This left Hope under the protection of Snow, despite the boy’s deep resentment towards the blond bombshell. And since Hope’s father works for Cocoon’s government body, Sanctum, he can either trail his newfound nemesis or head to the orphanage.
The latest TGS trailer shows Hope and his estranged father watching as a questionably half-naked Snow is about to be shot, and – yes, that does seem to be a look of brotherly concern on the youngster’s face. And we know how much Square Enix love a good reconciliation.