Chris Winkler
FFXIII Growth System Detailed
It was about time.
11.11.09 - 5:08 PM

Square Enix has finally detailed the growth system of its highly anticipated RPG title Final Fantasy XIII. The system is called Crystalium. Because of the tree-like structure that emerges, as a character's skillset grows, the developers have referred to the system as "crystal bonsai". The branches of that tree won't be one-way streets, though, as the system will allow for back-tracking. Unlike traditional RPGs, Final Fantasy XIII does not tie level-ups to experience points; instead level-ups occur as the player moves the story forward. The Crystalium level determines how many crystals a character can acquire, and imposes limits on the number of ability and status-ups which can be obtained.

Series veterans will be no doubt glad to hear that under certain conditions, Chocobos will be ridable. Getting in contact with a monster will deplete the Chocobo's HP and if the HP value drops to zero, it will run off. However, as long as the yellow series mascot is healthy, there are no limitations on how long it can be (ab)used as a means of transportation. Not unlike their counterparts in Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XIII's Chocobos are also able to unearth buried treasures.

Today's update also revealed yet another location, a thick virgin forest. What the player will encounter in these woods depends on the weather. When it's raining, a huge number of monsters might crawl out of their hiding places. Fortunately, it will be possible to manipulate the weather of field maps inside the Cocoon at a control terminal. Final Fantasy XIII will also feature eatable monsters. Last but not least, Alexander will serve as the summon of 14-year old Hope Estheim.

Final Fantasy XIII will be available in Japan exclusively for PlayStation 3 on December 17th.

North American and European fans can look forward to the game's PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions arriving in early 2010.


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