So taking a page out of Majora's Mask or Dead Rising (take your pick) Lightning Returns indeed has a constant literal Doomsday Clock ticking down. So, like many people I was wondering how this was going to affect the game as Final Fantasy games and RPG's in general are games that are usually more relaxed in their pacing. Well Amazon has released a small .pdf guide that covers a lot of the basics of the game which you can find here if you want to read through and pick out the information yourself. However, I've got the tl:dr version here in bullet points below:
- The game features 5 main quests which must be done by the end of day 12 to access the final day and the end game content.
- Sidequests are REALLY important. Completing them gives you "eradia" a.k.a A small amount of soul energy from those she helps along her way on the side quests. This is turned in at the end of every day and at specific milestones of eradia earned you can "earn" extra days on the clock.
- Every day ends at 6:00 at which time your transported back to "The Ark" Lightning's sort of "home base" where time does not flow.
- Time of Day matters. NPCs, Monsters and availability of side quests are all dependent on the time of day.
- A special "day" and story quest can be unlocked by completing a large amount of side quests.
- If you run out of time its Game Over. Your only option is to restart the game but.....
- ...if you have to restart you can also choose New Game+ allowing you to carry over almost all of your character progress à la Dead Rising.
So, who is getting this on Tuesday? I'm pretty excited I've been trying to get back up to speed on the main story beats. Also, last minute FYI if you have saves from FFXIII and FFXIII-2 you can unlock Light's outfits from both games by having those saves present on your HDD upon starting your game.