The director of the upcoming FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, Motomu Toriyama, recently had a Q&A that revealed some more information on gameplay. The Historia Crux enables the player to travel through time to affect the past, present and future.
Here’s the whole Q&A for your reading enjoyment!
Could you give us an overview of what the Historia Crux is and how it works?
The Historia Crux is a new gameplay system that functions like a compass for time travel. As the
portal which allows the player to select areas and time periods to go to, it functions a bit like a home
menu and is at the heart of the story and gameplay progression of FINAL FANTASY XIII-2. The player
can enjoy traveling through time by freely choosing between all the time-space locations where
gates have been opened up. Although these locations proceed onwards into the future, you also
have the option of rewinding time so players are able to experience many different historical
What specific fan feedback are you trying to respond to with the Historia Crux?
The original game, FINAL FANTASY XIII, was primarily story-driven and progressed in a very linear
manner. For the sequel, FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, we are going for a more player-driven concept, so this
time around the gameplay and story itself will alter to fit the player’s choices. You will be able to
freely come and go between all the areas; the game will provide not just simple environmental
exploration, but also a multi-layered exploration of history through the Historia Crux.
How does the Historia Crux affect the gameplay in FINAL FANTASY XIII-2?
The Historia Crux branches off into multiple different routes depending on the player’s choices. You
will be able to take a detour into areas that have branched off of the route you have taken, perform
side missions and turn back time in each of the areas to experiment with all possibilities. It is of
course also possible to progress simply following the main story, like in the original FINAL FANTASY
XIII. The flow of areas accessible via Historia Crux has been structured so that all of the player’s
actions and decisions will influence the gameplay. Casual players will be able to use the Historia Crux
in a similar manner to browsing a favorite website—picking and choosing between all the different
links available. It also contains elements aimed at more dedicated gamers, allowing for more
challenging play by encouraging exploration of all the different times and places, and to find
additional secrets including the multiple endings that are hidden in the different routes.
Many fans have been longing for an explorable World Map for a while. Do you feel that the Historia
Crux is a good alternative?
The Historia Crux divides the world into multiple layers, overlapping with the different time periods
that can be played with the feeling of jumping freely around several world maps. This is a completely
new system and experience, so it cannot be unconditionally compared with other options; however,
when considering the key concept of “player freedom,” I believe it to be an optimal system for
combining the best parts of open-world style games with the story-driven aspects of FINAL FANTASY
XIII. Players can adjust their play style to either delve deeply into everything available and be
engrossed, or just make more straightforward choices while going along their adventure.
Is it possible to share more information on how the Historia Crux allows for sidequests and hidden
objects to feature in the game?
In the original game, the sidequests were only unlocked in the second half of the story on Gran Pulse,
but in the sequel we have put in many different sidequests right from the start. Due to the overwhelming demand from players of the original, we have also included many strong and colorful mini-games, a tradition of the FINAL FANTASY series. You will be able to return to any of the times and places whenever you like from the Historia Crux, so it is completely up to the player in what way they choose to play these.
Is it possible to change events that happen in the future depending on your actions in the past?
Depending on the player’s actions, new turning points to new futures will be available, and these will
certainly form the basis for the multiple endings.
This is the first time travel has featured so prominently in a FINAL FANTASY game, is this something
you’d like to explore more in future games?
For the FINAL FANTASY series, each game has its own new game system, so it is not as if we are
intending on making time travel key to all future installments. We want fans to look forward to each
FINAL FANTASY having its own unique system. For FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, we are experimenting with
carrying out repeated large-scale user tests to reflect the opinions of users in the game itself. We
really have received a lot of feedback about the game, but among the voices, there are those who
say it reminds them of the classic RPG, CHRONO TRIGGER. For FINAL FANTASY XIII-2, we are aiming
to make time travel a major thematic direction, and be able to express this on high-end game
Will we be meeting older/younger versions of FINAL FANTASY XIII characters as we travel through
The main characters from the original FINAL FANTASY XIII will show up in this journey through time,
so we will see them in many different situations and guises. I am sure that the fans of the original
will be looking forward to seeing them again and how they have changed over the years!
Is it possible to return to time periods you’ve already visited and replay them as if it’s your first time
you have visited the area?
It will be possible to wind back time in each of the areas you visit and replay them. Character levels
and equipment etc. will be carried over so it will be possible to play the game as if doing a “New
Game+” for each of the areas at different times. It will be possible to play through from the start
using your leveled up characters, once you have completed the game. We have taken care to put a
number of elements into the game system to make replays more exciting and user-friendly.
Not gonna lie, after reading this Q&A, my interest in FFXIII-2 has increased a bit more. I’m fascinated by the Historia Crux and if it really plays out the way Mr. Toriyama says.
For now, look at some pretty screenshots to pass the time. ohh… pretty!!