Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII – Warning! Your Protagonist is Sexy!

The horror!

You’ve probably read the news by now: Many journalists noticed that Lightning, the protagonist of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII and Square-Enix’s poster girl for the franchise currently is looking a lot more…filled out. Of course, the amount of fetish and cosplay items that the third game will feature certainly helped in revealing a more, well, revealing side of Lightning. So the question was posed, and no doubt intended as a joke – is Lightning bustier than before?

Director Motomu Toriyama  , who you will note was the one who took the town areas out Final Fantasy XIII because they were “too much work” and wilderness lead planner Yui Umeda, who has a job title that doesn’t even make sense, enthusiastically answered that yes, Lightning is bigger. In fact, she’s gone from a C-cup to a D-cup. We wish we were joking about this, but Toriyama actually instructed his team to make them bigger and even jiggle. Toriyama did clarify though that, “It actually depends on the wear you select. Sort of like supportive underwear.”

ffxiii_lightning-cat costume
Classy.

Of course the world, which needed no reason to hate any Final Fantasy XIII game anymore, found some new ammunition. Square Enix was bombarded and criticized. What seemed like just some fun, if somewhat creepy additions in the form of costumes and poses – some which were throwbacks to previous Final Fantasy games like Cloud’s Buster Sword and SOLDIER outfit, and Yuna’s kimono – have turned out to be yet another insane dive into the worship that Toriyama has for the “goddess”.

Or has it?

Let’s be honest here: Tifa, even by the standards of the 90’s, wasn’t exactly anything less than gifted (and she wasn’t that old either). Ashe from Final Fantasy XII wore a mini-skirt hither tither, battling over-whelming beasts while some of us waited for the inevitable slip and peek. Even Vanille, from Final Fantasy XIII, was constantly revealing her inner thighs and indulging the shadier fans among us with her child-like antics. And don’t even get us started on Final Fantasy X-2, which was a menagerie of fan service in every serviceable form, from the interactions between the three girls, to their dresses, to the villainess’s dress and more.
Tomb Raider 2
But then, look at Lara Croft in the latest Tomb Raider reboot. She’s grittier, tougher and goes through far more torture than most mainstream males do (with the exception of Isaac “Did I Just Survive a Moon Being Dropped on Me?” Clarke). But even if her body is fairly more realistic and proportioned this time around, she’s still parading around in tight jeans and revealing an ample amount of cleavage.

Honestly, the game industry is incredibly sexualized, because the core belief – that game developers are catering to males – will always exist. However, great games always have their say as well – whatever we may say about Croft’s exposure, she was part of an excellent adventure. And no amount of fan service could excuse the fact that Final Fantasy XIII was an awful game (Final Fantasy X-2 less so but still). It’s not hard to make money by pushing a mentally strong heroine either, and in fact, it can be argued that games like Portal 2 did better than games with male heroes.

However, it’s important to look at Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII’s attempt to sexualize or fetishize as just an attempt to cater to the more “devoted” fans of the character. Heck, why else would they include a Cloud costume and Yuna costume? It can’t be because of the insane exposure those offer. In the same way, there are plenty of costumes within the game that help conceal or expose Lightning as much as the player wants.
Dead or Alive 5 Plus
As for the new “physics” adorning Lightning’s assets? Well, is it as exaggerated as Dead or Alive? Is it any more ridiculous than Saints Row? Can it be viewed as a means to cash in on players’ whims to see the female anatomy jiggle? Does it matter? It’s there, and honestly, it would be a whole lot weirder if they didn’t move at all, even if Lightning was a C-cup.

Regardless, the debate is just that: a debate. We can argue over whether Square Enix is committing a travesty when it’s nowhere near as overt as Dragon’s Crown’s sexuality. We can also argue about the developer doing everything in its power to make the game a success, which includes fan service in all its forms and a new “open world” approach. Or we can just argue that the Final Fantasy XIII series at this point has gone way paste its expiration date.

Because when people want to trash your entire game over something like increasing your heroine’s breasts by one size – or even the other way around, where people are reluctant to rush to game’s defence because it’s just another in a line of f**k-ups – well, it’s time to wrap it up, move on and try something else, no?




  • http://popculturesocialclub.com/ DreamDrop♥

    a million times this!

    • $63955329

      I know. toriyama’s just a pevert and at least we have nomura. he’s just a great person who knows how to create the best games like final fantasy xv

    • http://popculturesocialclub.com/ DreamDrop♥

      I don’t think you understand my comment. At all.

    • $63955329

      true. I actually don’t :(

    • http://popculturesocialclub.com/ DreamDrop♥

      Complaining about LR is trivial until the game is actually out.

    • Rasheed Jackson

      It’s best you ignore this one. He would defend the 13 series till the end (as I’ve seen on various other websites) He/she doesn’t understand the reasons for the 13/Toriyama hate. A blind fanboy is what you’d call it. A true fan of the series would see how low the new entries have fallen from grace(resorting to fanservice to sell a game that should be able to sell from merit alone? The deviation from the series core elements, and the poor effort put into the 13 titles? I mean it’s appearent from the directors words in interviews.)

    • $63955329

      you’re right. I actually don’t have anything to say about 13 or about toriyama. looks like I’ll have to skip that comment and ignore it

    • http://popculturesocialclub.com/ DreamDrop♥

      Your argument became irrelevant the second you said “true fan”. That’s such a bullshit statement. As if you’re even capable of quantifying my fandom based on my like or dislike of a single game. How pretentious are you? Unlike you, I’m capable of understanding the criticisms of FFXIII and enjoying them in spite of them. Even as one of the weaker entries in the franchise I still had a good time playing it, and you know what? That’s my right. If you don’t like the 13 series, then you should just not comment on articles about it. That you’re unable to do even that shows a lacking in your intelligence…

      TL;DR: Fuck you and fuck off.

    • Stb Hernández

      Well said!

    • Stb Hernández

      And you are? A visionary hater? Sheez. Oh look! Lighting is using black thongs; guess what, f@ggot. Even your churchy mother does!

    • Stb Hernández

      People pulling the me saint on the internet. Hypocrite.

  • Rasheed Jackson

    They need to just fire Toriyama.

    • $63955329

      I agree. I think he’s a real pervert to make lightning’s boobs jiggle. what was he thinking?

    • Rasheed Jackson

      He is a retarded pervert and blight on the series. Nomura on the other hand will make dreams come true with FF XV.

    • $63955329

      yeah nomura’s a great person who makes great games. and yes I can hardily wait for FFXV I noticed he had made a great job of the game for 7 years

    • Rasheed Jackson

      If its been in development that long I expect gold. From the trailer, you can see the effort put into it. There should be another one tomorrow at Gamescom. Can’t wait.

    • $63955329

      really another trailer? this is gonna be a great game I can’t wait for it :D I really need to play FFXV right now :D

    • Rasheed Jackson

      KH3 should be getting another one also.

    • $63955329

      I didn’t know KH3 would get the another trailer along with FFXV. wow I actually hope KH3 is a great game cause if it is I’ll actually rate it 100 along with FFXV

    • Stb Hernández

      Lol, this one visits 4chan. Trust me.

    • Maxine Payne

      Oh I don’t know. How uncanny valley it is for breasts to not move? Even with a sports bra breasts move.

    • Kamille

      he did not make her boobs to jiggle, he increased the size to make it jiggle. And not to mention the outfits that are so out of character for Lightning just like he did with Yuna in FF10-2. Toriyama is an idiot that has no respect for the series.

    • Stb Hernández

      I bet you work at a church; happy napping having childs for breakfast? Are the people like you, reserved, that are sick the most. Hiding behind this OMGOH what is this pervert sh!t mantra. But we all know you’re just perverts in a closet.

    • Stb Hernández

      Shut the f#ck up you sad f@ggot. You are what? A nun? Get off your high horse and let the man express himself for f#ck sake. Don’t like it? Don’t play it.

  • Jerilith

    At the end of the day. . . They make and have made games that I enjoy. Was FFXIII as “good” as previous Final Fantasy’s? That’s all opinion and should not be treated as fact.
    I can without a doubt say that the amount of side options/ quests/ diversions from the main plot were almost non existent. And that the game was very very linear. It was the equivalent of going through the -underwater- tunnels at popular aquariums. Very very pretty but at the end of the day you’re just walking forward.
    You have to put Final Fantasy XIII for how it is, not for what came before it.

    I have a difficult time understanding the “Hate” associated with video games. When you’re raging about video games to the point to where you have REAL feelings associated with it, then it’s time to calm down, step away and evaluate your love/hate for video games in general.

    As for Toriyama, he’s fine. He’s been experimenting. Remember, just because the sequel doesn’t live up to personal (note personal) expectations, that in no way shape or form hampers the original works.

  • Maxine Payne

    Breasts change size with age, and the move when you move. What is the freaking problem?

    • Rasheed Jackson

      You do know that she hasn’t really aged right? She was turned to crystal. She won’t age biologically. They increased the bust size t cater to those japanese otaku (their definition of a new audience) because they can’t sell this garbage to their core fanbase.

    • Maxine Payne

      She got turned to Crystal but that doesn’t eliminate her from changing. The female body changes shape with even minor hormones changes based off of diet.
      Female bodies do not stay the same shape forever. Hell My breast look the same to myself in the mirror, but I went from a B to a D cup without any weight change at all. Also it depends on clothes which is true.

    • Kamille

      seriously, you guys want to find a logical explanation to why her boobs got bigger when Toriyama himself said that they got bigger because he wanted Lightning to be sexier. Why? Because that’s a selling point. The guy is using sex to sell a freaking Final Fantasy game, not to make it be more realistic.

      Man, you fanboys and your denial is out of this world… And beside, Lightning was already an adult, so unless she got pregnant there is no reason for her boobs to get bigger anyway.

    • Stb Hernández

      Y u mad?

  • Zahk Scott

    I’m glad to see an article that actually puts the whole controversy into perspective with the portrayal of women within the gaming industry at large rather than just pretending that Final Fantasy is this completely self-contained entity that is unaffected by industry standards and thus must be sexist according to some ridiculous standards of modesty imposed on the series by the individual player. If you take the time to compare Lightning Returns to other series that feature sole female playable characters historically – Athena, Tomb Raider, Bloodrayne, Heavenly Sword, X-Blades, Wet, Golden Axe: Beast Rider, Gravity Rush, Bayonetta, Onechanbara, Lollipop Chainsaw – you will see that, no, Lightning is not as well covered as Samus from the original Metroid, but she isn’t running around in a string bikini and progressively taking her clothes off as she powers up her attack combos while animating in such a way as to tease the player with a glimpse of her privates.

  • iLoveLightning

    Gosh… Tits move incase you didn’t notice, half the world.

  • Kamille

    I think that their choice in changing her in this way undermines the character. You can have a strong, sexy female lead. But that’s not what they’re doing here. The sexiness is tacked on.

    It suggests a lack of confidence in the character they originally created. It’s an easy shortcut to character popularity, but it does so at the expense of having a character worth taking seriously. It’s not like they’re writing the boob job into her character, she’s just got bigger boobs inexplicably by the third game, and starts wearing more revealing outfits (which you can buy, with real money!)

    http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18vc9vjx227f0jpg/ku-bigpic.jpg

  • N4GtheWB27

    Superior version on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. PS4 and WiiU are FINISHED. DEAL WITH IT, you fanboys!

  • Matthew Segura

    Does any of thus even matter…as long as its a good game.lol Oh and I think dragons crown is awesome. Stop bitching about big breast and butts. Its been in movies and comics and hell art predating both. All these people complaining and making a fuss over this when they probably watched a movie with brad pitt or halie berry and drolled over it need to stop being hypocrites. If youn honestly have a problem with it then fine don’t play it. Just remember its a art form, and should be treat it as such.

  • http://www.enixorigin.com/ Denis Avdic

    Wonderful article read a similar one here

    http://www.enixorigin.com/all-the-lightning-returns-costumes/

    They’re suggesting that Square Enix is sexing Lightning up because they’re trying to get their sales up, maybe they’re predicting the game will stink up so they’re trying every last stop. I kind of agree.

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