Japanese magazine Shonen Jump has detailed Final Fantasy XIII’s “Crystalium” system, which is used to level up characters. Using “Crystal Points” and a chart with diverging paths, the system sounds like an advancement of the sphere grid used in Final Fantasy X. The good peeps at Andriasang have translated and analyzed the info:
As you defeat enemies in battle, you earn Crystal Points (CP). These can be exchanged for new skills and abilities, shown on a circular chart in the Crystalium management screen. As you learn certain skills, new paths on the chart open up.
In addition to earning new skills like “Fire,” you can also use this system to increase your characters’ parameters. The screenshots in Jump show options for increasing character HP.
Character growth appears to be done on a per role basis. This is my speculation based off the screenshots, but it appears that each character can be raised individually in the various battle roles (Blaster, Defender, Attacker, and so-forth).
This system sounds great on paper. I loved the sphere grid in FFX. Crystalium sounds like the sphere grid taken to the next level. Even though FFXIII’s gestalt mode continues to vex me, I’m thinking (wishing?) that Crystalium will help me forget it’s there.