UPDATE: An official English website has gone up with a video and a promise of more information on September 4, 2012.

How many storm-related puns can I dream up during a Japanese press-conference? Plenty. But that’s not why you’re all here. Ladies and gentlemen: Lightning returns. That’s not just the news of the night, that’s the name of the next game in the Final Fantasy XIII ”saga”.

A rose was the first picture shown during the conference. Motomu Toriyama insists roses have many meanings. Whatever that means, this is surely the conclusion of Lightning’s venture. A few buzzwords from the conference besides “Lightning Returns”: World Driven and… Facebook?

I’ll try to explain “world driven” at least: This world will be the most interactive of the entire saga. Lightning shall return stronger than ever before, and players will be able to control her unlike ever before. “This is the most customization you’ll be able to do with a Final Fantasy character.”

Another unique twist: The game will feature a sort of “Doomsday Clock” similar to Majora’s Mask. But instead of three days, players have…you guessed it…thirteen days to avert disaster.

Jonathan Higgins
[Former Staff] Jonathan parted ways with Operation Rainfall on June 15th, 2014. You can follow him on Twitter @radicaldefect.