Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise- Story 01 -ENCOUNTER-
Company: Square Enix
Based on: Game -> Novel -> Drama CD
Official Site: http://www.square-enix.co.jp/music/sem/page/fabula/ff13/drama/
Episode Zero is a series of lightnovels based on Final Fantasy XIII. This drama CD (that came with the first press limited edition of the OST for the game) is based on the first light novel. It depicts scenes from the 13 days leading up to FFXIII.
The CD starts with Lightning (CV: Sakamoto Maaya) on a mission hunting monsters, she is aided (against her will) by Lebreau (CV: Asakawa Yuu) and Yuj (CV: Hatano Wataru), two members of the vigilante group Nora. After returning from her mission she finds her superior Lieutenant Amodar (CV: Ueda Yuuji) and Nora leader Snow (CV: Ono Daisuke). This is the first time Lightning and Snow actually meet, and she warns him to stay away from her sister.
Doesn't seem to have much effect though, as Snow later meets up with Serah (CV: Kotobuki Minako) because they are planning to buy a present for Lightning her birthday. Serah want Snow to come so that she can properly introduce him to Lightning. Before they can go Snow is called away by fellow NORA members, but promises he'll return soon and tells Serah to wait.
Serah wanders off to the ruins nearby the city, and to her own surprise finds and entrance. As she walks further in the ruins start to move around her, leader her to the point where she is branded with her l'Cie mark. She wakes up a little later outside the ruins, despairing after seeing the mark.
Meanwhile, Lightning is walking through town preparing for her patrol shift during the upcoming fireworks. In the background we hear Zachs (CV: Ebara Masashi), Hope (CV: Kaji Yuuki) and his mother talk about chocobo's. The CD ends with Lightning talking to her commander whether she could get some time off to take a vacation with Serah.
If you don't know the game this CD probably isn't very interesting, you'll be wondering when something is finally going to happen. If you do know the game, this is one big all my tears. It depicts scenes from right before the start of the games, how everyone is just living their life before everything is thrown into chaos.
Despite it being very short (only 25minutes) it is a pretty emotional piece of work. Not because of what happens, but because of how normal things are in the CD. How everyone is dealing with their own daily business and (compared to the rest of the game) small problems.
Just this small drama isn't worth it to buy (and track down) a limited edition soundtrack, but as a bonus it is a very good one and if you've played the game it is worth it to download and listen to it. I'm wondering exactly how long the novels are, and whether I should give those a try at the moment.