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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Lightning Returns outfits are stylised for a reason

Developers offer explanation behind the FFXIII clothing range.

When we talked to Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII design director Yuji Abe and publicity producer Yohei Murakami at Gamescom, talk obviously turned to the decisions behind Lightning's collection of outfits in the game.

The quick wardrobe changes offer different pre-set attack and defence abilities to use mid-battle, but the actual design of those costumes have raised a few eyebrows. So we asked.

"Before we started designing the outfits for Lightning we took an internal questionnaire to find out how Lightning is perceived by our team members," explained Abe-san. "We picked up some key words, important words; our team picked on them and started creating outfits. we wanted to give Lightning outfits that not only made her look really cool, but also something with some depth. One of our team members said was that she should be dressed up like a male ballet dancer."

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

When pushed further about keeping the outfits fashionable rather than practical as you'd expect for a combat environment, Yuji Abe offered some personal insight as to why eastern developers are so flamboyant in character designs:

"My personal take on it is that in western world, most people have got quite blessed body shape; they're tall, nice long legs... whatever you put on, you look great. but in Japan, a lot of people have an inferiority complex; put on white t-shirt and jeans and not everyone would look great.

"Most Japanese people have a stronger desire to see their characters looking great, fashionable. That desire should be embodied in the creation of the protagonists they would be playing. That motivates us to make a stylised character."

Watch the full GRTV interview below.