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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Game Structure

Claire Farnworth

For fans of Final Fantasy, the very open nature of the game may be a great source of confusion. Gone are the days of levels and a stringent path that gets progressively harder and instead all areas are available from the start and the game literally throws you in at the deep end. The game does not pull its punches and you may find yourself facing a difficulty spike very early on without intending to. Add in the fact that there are quite a few pitfalls new players can face that could hinder their playthrough, and the game can feel very daunting.

Thankfully, once you grasp the basic structure, you will be more equipped to understand the way you should approach your playthrough. Getting to grips with the four main areas and having some knowledge of the difficulty of quests can go some way to helping you decide how best to approach the game. We have tried to use an optimal walkthrough designed to avoid pitfalls and difficulty spikes, while gathering the best items in order to achieve the most stress-free playthrough possible.

The game is split into three categories of quests and these are your source of attribute increases and monetary gain as well as new garb and weapons:

Main quests : These quests must be completed before the final day or you will fail and have to start all over again. Each one is a multi-stage task, set over the course of a day or more and can take some time to complete. You will earn massive increases to stats and unlock useful abilities. They remain the priority and our guide aims to complete these in the first half of the game. Each one adds an extra day before the end of the world.

A notification will pop up telling you that there is new quest information. Open up your menu to view it. Main Quests are divided by chapters and are extensive in size.

Side quests : Usually smaller in scope and size than main quests, they are awarded a difficulty rating out of three stars. The more stars one has, the longer it will take to complete or the more difficult it will be. They range in size from a simple delivery quest, to a quest that spans the length of a playthrough. Rewards can be large or small dependent on the difficulty.

Side quests are rated out of three stars for difficulty.

Canvas of Prayers : Outside the monorail stations, you will find Chocolina. This crazy girl offers a board where you can complete and accept small tasks for Nova Chrysalia’s many denizens. They normally ask you to recover items from monsters. Be aware that they do not count towards extending the world’s remaining time but they do offer small boosts to Lightning’s attributes that all add up over time.

Like side quests, Canvas quests have a difficulty rating out of three stars though you actually never speak to the NPC involved.

You will begin with seven days to save the world and completing each main quest adds a further day. An extra day can be obtained from completing a certain number of side quests and this day falls between day 12 and the final day. You can do quests in whatever order you wish but at 06:00 every day, Lightning will return to the Ark and offer any Eradia collected to Yggdrasil. Each new petal corresponds to an extra day before the end.

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Square Enix
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS3, XB 360
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    8 April 2014
  • Last Updated
    7 December 2020
  • Guide Author
    Claire Farnworth

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The world has moved on. Time is no more. People do not age but they can still die from accidents or murder. And so, the population has slowly dwindled and there remains only four main areas left in the world. Lightning awakes from her crystal slumber with one task: to save as many souls as she can before the world ends in thirteen days.

Join us as we scour every corner of Nova Chrysalia from the Wildlands to the Dead Dunes and back again.

In the main guide:

  • A complete guide as to the best way to complete each main quest, side quest and in what order.
  • Complete side quest and Canvas of Prayers sections.
  • Full Ultimate Lair walkthrough with optimal strategy for Ereshkigal.
  • Aeronite strategy and video.
  • Trophy and achievement guide.
  • HD videos with commentary.

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