Final Fantasy XVI – 4 November 2020 – the 16th main line addition to the long running game series takes us back to its Medieval meets fantasy roots

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As a long time fan of the Final Fantasy series, starting with Final Fantasy VIII on the original PlayStation in 2000 and now having played all main line games, I am excited for the next game in the series, not surprisingly titled Final Fantasy XVI or Final Fantasy 16. (Final Fantasy fans can rejoice in the ability to read roman numerals.)

The Final Fantasy games from Final Fantasy VII to Final Fantasy XV, with few exceptions in between such as IX and XIV, have been set in futuristic worlds with lots of machinery and advanced technologies. Think of the advanced cities of Midgar and Dream Zanerkand. Unlike the later titles, the earlier Final Fantasy games from I to VI were set primarily in Medieval settings with magic and fantasy elements sprinkled throughout. Essentially warriors (or warriors of light) who traveled together with their swords and magic spells to save the world and its crystals (which represented the core of world) from mortal peril.

© SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. LOGO ILLUSTRATION: © 2020 YOSHITAKA AMANO

The trailer for Final Fantasy XVI is exciting, because the trailer shows takes the series back to the Middle Age setting, with castles, swords and less machines and advanced technologies.

Some fans may be disappointed that the series has decided not to continue the trend of recent titles like Final Fantasy VII, XIII and XV, but I think it is a refreshing change and look forward to it. As much as Cocoon was an interesting planet with lots of cities, we barely got to explore any of it. It may be that creating futuristic cities is much harder than a simple Medieval castle. I am hoping this time with Final Fantasy XIV that we can explore various locales and come back to them from time to time.

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Based on the limited information available, we know the Final Fantasy XIV world is called Valisthea. All Final Fantasy games have an incredible amount of lore associated with each title and their own world, e.g. Gaia/Terra in Final Fantasy IX, Spira in Final Fantasy X and Ivalice in Final Fantasy XII. The description for Valisthea conjures up some images of a land ripe for a good old Medieval conflict:

The land of Valisthea is studded with Mothercrystals—glittering mountains of crystal that tower over the realms around them, blessing them with aether. For generations, people have flocked to these beacons to take advantage of their blessing, using the aether to conjure magicks that let them live lives of comfort and plenty. Great powers have grown up around each Mothercrystal, and an uneasy peace has long reigned between them. Yet now the peace falters as the spread of the Blight threatens to destroy their dominions.

The main plot will likely resolve around entities called Eikons, who take residence within their host human or ‘Dominant’. In the Official Reveal Trailer, we are shown some of the Eikons, who are based on recurrent ‘summons’ from this series, and these entities are likely to have an impact on the story, Shiva, Titan, Phoenix and Ifrit.

The Eikons are the most powerful and deadly creatures in Valisthea. Each resides within a Dominant—a single man or woman who is blessed with the ability to call upon their dread power. In some nations these Dominants are treated as royalty in admiration of this strength—in others they are bound in fear of it, and forced to serve as weapons of war. Those who are born as Dominants cannot escape their fate, however cruel it may be.

The main character is named Clive Rosefield, who is the firstborn son of the Archduke of Rosaria. It seems that he was expected to inherit the Eikon, Phoenix, and become its Dominant, but destiny chose his younger brother Joshua. Clive seems like he will be on a journey of either protecting his younger brother or on a warpath for vengeance. The Official Reveal Trailer suggests the latter, but trailers can be deceiving. From the official website, Clive is described as follows:

In search of a role of his own, Clive dedicated himself to mastering the blade. His practice pays off when, at just fifteen years of age, he wins the ducal tournament and is dubbed the First Shield of Rosaria—tasked to guard the Phoenix and blessed with the ability to wield a part of his fire. Alas, Clive’s promising career is to end in tragedy at the hands of a mysterious dark Eikon, Ifrit, setting him on a dangerous road to revenge.

In terms of gameplay, we had our first look at how the game will play out. It looks like the main character, Clive, wields a sword and has a similar ability to Final Fantasy XV’s main protagonist Noctis in being able to warp throughout the battlefield. In the trailer, he is able to nimbly move around against a Malboro and in some shots was shown having the power to conjure the powers of the Phoenix in a battle against an unknown dragoon (or lancer).

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I have faith that the game’s director Yoshida Naoki (or Yoshi-P) will deliver an interesting and groundbreaking game having seen his success with Final Fantasy XIV, which had a maligned launch and as of writing has become one of the top or is the top MMO thanks to his efforts and leadership. In addition, Soken Masayoshi is doing the soundtrack for this game. I am excited, because some of Final Fantasy’s best soundtracks are now part of Final Fantasy XIV thanks to some of his incredible compositions. I am excited for this game and think this is a good move by Square to change it up and offer something refreshing.

You can watch the Final Fantasy XVI – Official Reveal Trailer below:

The official reveal trailer for Final Fantasy XVI

Square Enix recently unveiled the official website for Final Fantasy XVI and includes some interesting titbits about the characters and the various kingdoms in the world of Valisthea: https://na.finalfantasyxvi.com/

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