Final Fantasy XIII: Final Stats, Thoughts, and Trivia

I’m a little disappointed… that I did not put quite as much detail into the game’s final chapters as I did the earlier ones.

I thought that this would be a slightly longer LP by about three parts.

I like Final Fantasy XIII, though I have wondered if that was because I love Final Fantasy so much that I really needed XIII to be a success for the sake of it. However, redoing this LP confirmed that I still fell for the grandeur of the game, and the characters’ storylines. Some events in the sequels have extra resonance in the context of this game that I had forgotten while I was playing through them. I really want to talk about them, but I can’t yet. :3

I feel like since I played XIII when I was older, the opinions of others had less influence on me than, say, the negative reviews of Final Fantasy VIII.

XIII is helped out a lot by its graphics. Though they are slightly dated now, they still look pretty good at the same time. The CGI cutscenes are stunning. Square Enix went to the extra effort to sync up the English-language dialog with the characters’ lips even though the game was dubbed in Japanese first. Amusingly, I initially thought that the lip sync was off.

The game’s storyboard artist died a few months before it came out. 😦

The music is dank. I liked it when I first played through the game, but when I got the Theatrhythm Final Fantasy games, I realized how good the music really is.

My favorite songs are the title screen music; “Blinded by Light” (the default battle theme); “The Sunleth Waterscape”; “March of the Dreadnoughts”, which is anything but dreadful; “The Gapra Whitewood”; and “Dust to Dust”. We also can’t forget Serah’s theme song “The Promise” and its excellent lyrics. Really listen to them:

Love will not leave you

Hate will not heal you

There are other tracks which, while I like them less than this selection, are still good.

I liked several of the voice actors chosen for the game. Some of them are famous for film and TV instead of anime and video game dubs, like Reno Wilson (Sazh), who you may know from movies like Crank or TV shows like Mike and Molly, and Vincent Martella (Hope), who was on Phineas and Ferb and later appeared on The Walking Dead. Of course, we can’t forget Troy Baker (Snow) and Ali Hills (Lightning), already pretty famous for several anime and video game roles.

A particular point of interest is how many varied reactions the cast of characters get. I think there is every conceivable opinion for them out there. Is Hope a typically whiny teenager (especially for a JRPG), or a sympathetic character burdened by a nearly unimaginable series of events? Is Lightning just a cold, bitter and spiteful person, or a woman traumatized by the loss of her parents and later her sister (engaged to a man Light hates) and coping with it in questionable ways?

While researching points of discussion for this entry of Final Thoughts, I discovered a gem of a comment quoted from, of all places, YouTube. Look, we all know that YouTube comments are usually made by very messed-up people on a very messed-up website, but every once in a while, someone leaves a comment like this, a ray of light piercing a sky fogged up by stank clouds:

Snow is g*ddamned awesome. He punches monsters in the face to get strong enough to punch bigger monsters in the face. He faces beasts, abominations, god-like beings and Lightning’s wrath to save his fiance. He nearly gets killed protecting Hope’s life and STILL protects him after Hope made it clear he wants to kill him, and he rides a motorcycle made of women! If this dude was any more bro, the game would be about him (and Sazh) instead.”

I think that the story is pretty good, though some of the characters’ lines may be a little hokey. Though I can see why some think the plot is convoluted, and it annoys me that it takes so long to get everyone gathered together and on the same side.

It seems a bit strange that this, of all the FF games, really emphasizes the number in the plot with 13 important days before the title starts, and 13 playable chapters. It stands out because none of the other games have done this, AFAIK.

The themes of this story include the veracity of free will, and doing things for yourself. I didn’t emphasize it in my recaps, but the characters do when they realize that no one will make their miracles happen for them. Forgiveness and redemption are also themes between Sazh and Vanille, Hope and Snow, and Light and Snow.

Lightning is so badass that she praises Odin when he leaves after she summons him. She. Praises. Him.

Snow is my fav bro. Not everyone likes this big, slightly impulsive, if not dumb, wannabe hero, but I pretty much love him. I blame Goku from Dragon Ball and other shonen series. Goku and Snow would get along pretty well, I imagine. God, now I want to see that. 😛

I also like his character design, even if he looks like a much taller Seifer (Kingdom Hearts II incarnation). Damn you, Seifer.

Sazh is a sympathetic and well-rounded character. It’s pretty interesting to see how Square Enix handled a black party member in comparison to Barret (Final Fantasy VII). I think that Sazh was handled well, certainly better than Barret, though I don’t think that Barret is a bad character per se; just one mangled by a questionable translation and some stereotypes. But that’s a discussion for another day.

Sazh is a highly sympathetic character because of his relationship with his cherished son, Dajh, who is the cutest thing ever. Sazh also provides some light comic relief at points, but without being the butt of the joke in a way that would make most raise an eyebrow. It is a shame that we don’t learn much about his wife, except that she died and he’s struggling to pick up the pieces. Reno Wilson’s voice acting helps tie it all together; he sounds so natural. It’s also cool that he’s a pilot, and his weapons of choice are two pistols. At the end of his Commando combo, they combine into a rifle. What?! Top that, Borderlands.

If he looks familiar, it may be due to his appearance and personality being based off of Richard Pryor.

Vanille is OK. She may seem like a happy, stock cutie pie, but she’s not all sparkles and sunshine. She struggles with terrible guilt over Serah and Dajh getting turned into l’Cie, lying to Sazh about it, and lying to the rest of the party about already being a l’Cie.

Fang is totally badass. Out of all of the characters, she seems to waffle the least about things and focuses on getting stuff done.

I think that Vanille and Fang are totally gay, at least for each other. At first, I wrote that their bond seems “sisterly”. Yeah, right. This is the most overtly gay couple in any FF game thus far.

It’s interesting to learn that Fang was originally going to be male. Perhaps he was going to have the same kind of relationship with Vanille, but Square retained that after they decided to make Fang female instead. Why did they do this? Because Square originally intended to have Serah be a party member. When they decided to drop her as a party member, Fang took her spot.

I appreciate Hope’s character arc, kind of like with Emil in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World.

I like how Fang is a badass Commando like Light. Fang can do huge damage.

I failed to mention Yaag Rosch in any particularly important capacity. I guess I really didn’t like him, but I don’t recall why I excluded him from my recaps.

Yaag

Probably the most criticized aspect of the game is the linearity. It doesn’t help that the game removes any overworld feature, making your journeys feel even more claustrophobic. I remember reading someone somewhere coining the derisive nickname Final Fight: The RPG for XIII. I’d bet that Mayor Mike Haggar could suplex a fal’Cie. Bonus points if it’s Barthandelus.

The fact that battle commands can be heavily automated doesn’t help. Give us a pretty deep battle system; remove much need to think deeply and freely with it. I think there’s a meme for that. 

The Crystarium is relatively linear too.

What I find is that, in recent years, FF seems to keep oscillating back and forth between linear and open-world. Final Fantasy X was linear for most of the game, but Final Fantasy X-2 and Final Fantasy XII gave you whole worlds to explore and quests to tackle at your leisure. Then, Square Enix went back to linearity with XIII, only to loosen up with Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and Final Fantasy XV offers a huge open world to explore. Will Final Fantasy XVI go back to a more constrained format?

The entire Lightning Trilogy was later ported to PC. Sadly, the quality of said ports was not good.

I like the battle system, though I don’t think I love it as much as some of the other FF games. XIII has a very stripped-down battle system. An interesting thing to note is that I’ve heard of some people playing the game with totally different characters from my preferred trio of Light, Sazh, and Snow.

I didn’t love how they handled the Eidolons.

As much as I enjoyed the Lightning Trilogy, after revisiting the first game, I kind of wonder if the sequels were necessary. XIII ends on a bittersweet but fairly definitive note with Fang and Vanille’s sacrifice.

So yes, you have to play through the entirety of XIII to understand Yoshitaka Amano’s logo design. It represents Fang and Vanille forming the base of the pillar that holds up Cocoon.

Naturally, Light and several of her friends and family were featured in FF spinoffs such as DISSIDIA; Final Fantasy Record Keeper (featuring all of the main cast, as well as… Cid and Jihl); Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (featuring Light, Sazh, Vanille, Serah, and Noel); Final Fantasy Brave Exvius (featuring the main l’Cie); and World of Final Fantasy features adorable and lovable superdeformed versions of Light and Snow. Snow has a storyline where he tussles with Gilgamesh, and they’re surprisingly birds of a feather. It’s too cute~

Final Stats

Lightning

Sazh

Snow

Vanille

Hope

Fang

HP

6640

9150

10260

6960

5080

7870

Strength

1169

737

1178

760

723

1576

Magic

1049

708

771

1421

1359

760

I add up everyone’s stats and give them points depending on where they place in each stat relative to everyone else. With only six characters, a character who places first in one stat would get six points, for example.

HP

                    1. Snow

                    2. Sazh

                    3. Fang

                    4. Vanille

                    5. Lightning

                    6. Hope

Strength

                    1. Fang

                    2. Snow

                    3. Lightning

                    4. Vanille

                    5. Sazh

                    6. Hope

Magic

                    1. Vanille

                    2. Hope

                    3. Lightning

                    4. Snow

                    5. Fang

                    6. Sazh

Overall

                    1. Snow: 13 points

                    2. Vanille/Fang (how apropos): 12

                  1. Lightning/Sazh: Eight

                    4.Hope: Seven

    Hope came in last in two stats (HP and Strength)

    What did you think of XIII? Did you like it, or did you think it was the worst FF ever? What did you think about the characters? Were the sequels necessary?

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    2 thoughts on “Final Fantasy XIII: Final Stats, Thoughts, and Trivia

    1. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this game! I have an overly emotional attachment to this epic trilogy. The characters and their stories got me through a rough time, and these will always be my favourite FF games, no matter what the haters say, haha. XIII-2 and LR didn’t need to happen story wise, but I’m glad they did 😀

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