Final Fantasy XIII starts out with a bang. Remember the Final Fantasy XIII trial bundled with Advent Children Complete? That's how Final Fantasy XIII opens. Lightning, Sazh, and Snow assault Cocoon in an attempt to save *someone*. Amidst the chaos, Hope's mother plummets by saving Snow's life and chipper Vanille tries to cheer him up.
The two younger party members chase Snow in a mini-spaceship and that's how five of the main characters meet up. All of this happens in the first hour and compared to Final Fantasy XII, XIII hits the ground running. Unfortunately, their efforts are in vain when the rescuee turns into a crystal and the five heroes become l'Cie.