Final Fantasy XIII-2 Takes You Through TimeA few more details on that interesting revelation.09.06.11 - 7:42 PM
Noel's backstory was revealed
a couple of days ago, but this week's Dengeki PlayStation expanded on that, pretty much confirming what this info had already suggested: that you time-travel in Final Fantasy XIII-2
According to the magazine, you'll be able to travel through time at your own free will using the game's 'Historia Cross' system. Each area in the game contains a gate that needs to be activated in order to access the historia cross in that area. You might even find more than one gate in an area, which may each lead to a different place. To trigger them, you'll need O Parts... which Moogles are apparently good at helping you find.
At an active gate you can select from different time periods for certain locations. For example (one that was shown in Dengeki, anyway), for the Bresha Ruins you can choose AF005 (two years after Final Fantasy XIII's ending), or AF300... which looks a lot more desolate and, well, ruined. These gates only stay open for some amount of time, although they can be re-opened after, too.
Noel has travelled back in time to change the future (after all, why else does anyone travel through time?). In fact, he's already met the presumed-dead Lightning whom Serah is searching for, and suggests to Serah that her sister is waiting. Lightning, as we know, is currently indisposed as a knight protecting the goddess Etro's shrine, in Valhalla. Lightning's own being is said to be closer to that of a deity.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 releases in North America in January.