Final Fantasy XV is but a few days away now and it’s been a long time in the coming. We have a number of Final Fantasy fans on MGL, particularly myself and David Game. Like Noctis and his boys we are combining knowledge and what facts are out there in the Internet (and you know, EVERYTHING on the Internet is factual!) to bring you one big lowdown on Square Enix’s epic. You’ll find Everything We Know about Final Fantasy XV so far, plus a few thoughts and theories along the way.

Not to mention some bad jokes and overly excited comments.

We’ve split the whole big article into sections so enjoy below the various features of the game. We’ll look at the story, characters and their actors plus the gameplay and how Kingsglaive and Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV ties in. Not to mention the collection of trailers along the way.

This article will also be added to add more details emerge plus we’ll add a review round up section here too once they release. Get involved and please leave a Disqus or Facebook Comment at the end too.

Right, get your gunswords ready we’re going for a drive around Eos

1Final Fantasy XV Story

Now, if you are one of those gamers who want to know a bit more about Final Fantasy XV while NOT ruining the game. This is the article for you. We’ve put together a sort of guide meets preview that goes into detail on the characters, story and gameplay here. It’s all researched but also comes with our own thoughts on things as we go.

It will not contain spoilers! We have not looked at any unofficial release information on FFXV. We want to maintain the pleasure of playing the game ourselves too rather than seeing how it all ends.

As such this will only look at official details we can get from trusted sources or our own experience with the game from conventions. If this helps, share it around!

What We Know About The Story (Without Spoiling It)

This is going to be a story about deception, manipulation and some fantastical magic as usual. The official information about the story makes one thing clear. Niflheim are trying to get to the Kingdom of Lucis and take over. They do this in the sneakiest of ways.

Under the promise of peace.

A treaty is proposed to be signed following on from battle of over a long period of time. Some of which covered in the Kingsglaive movie. This is much wanted by the Kingdom and a deal is struck. Noct plays his part in marrying Luna and sets on his way to see her while the treaty is going to be signed.

It’s A Trap!

So, this is all essentially a fancy way of performing an email scam: “click here for peace…” whoops!

ffxv_tgs_screenshot_016_15_1473932116-09-2016_bmp_jpgcopyWhen they do, down comes the shield protecting the kingdom and the Imperial army swoop in and take the kingdom and the powerful crystal. Now, the loose end here is Notis who is given a number of pieces of miss information as are others.

Basically, Noctis thinks Luna and the king are dead. In turn, they are all told that Noct’ is dead too.

After all this, you as Noctis and your road trip buddies are the ones to try and get back the Kingdom, the crystal and find out what is going on. Meanwhile, Aldercapt and his army with Ardyn Izunia are trying to make the lie come true by killing Prince Noctis. They make an effort to find you and kill you while outside of the kingdom.

And from there we have the premise but a lot more going on too. There is Noct’s visions of people’s deaths, and issue where he falls into a trance like sleep. Plus Luna’s powers along with the crystal that has a mystical power and affects the king of Lucis.

I suspect there will be a number of subplots, twists and turns along the way but this is the outline of where the game stems from.

What do we expect

I have to be honest here gamers, I have not been overly impressed with the story of the past few Final Fantasy games. Everything after one of my favourites, Final Fantasy X, seemed poor overall for me. XII was solid but was more based on great characters than a great storyline. XIII had its moments but it wasn’t spectacular and the less I say on the sequels the better.

I’m not hyper critical, I still really love the games and always will be a Final Fantasy fan. But the story is an area they need to improve this time.

Much has been made of the battle system in Final Fantasy XV but I’m not so sure that’s been the game’s biggest issue. Getting something that really sucks you into a different universe and brings a true fantasy plot along with it has been missed out for me.

But with Final Fantasy XV I really hope this is a turning point back to what made the series great. From what I’ve seen so far I am quietly pleased, especially after watching some of the CGI videos.

What I really want to see out of Final Fantasy XV is something to really excite me, connect me to the characters and then do something to completely surprise me. FFX did it when you found out why Tidus was even there, the same with many other characters.

Let’s get that back into the series and make something special. If they can do that with the game, I believe everything else will be fine.

2Characters and Actors

There have been a number of games recently to really push on the quality of characters within a gaming story. This was present in Titanfall 2 and the latest Call of Duty and you certainly don’t get to know those characters as much as you do in an RPG. So in a game like FFXV, where characters are arguably more important, they really need to get this done to the same quality at the very least.

The story to this game, as we’ve looked at has a number of elements that could really make this one of the best Final Fantasy titles to date. But, they have to get the characters right.

Strong protagonists with a really good supporting cast are going to be pivotal here. And how the relationships grow and change are all going to make for an engrossing experience. But even more crucial, for me, are the antagonists.

Look at the past Final Fantasy games, it’s easy to pick apart a number of elements of the games. But for this series fan, the best FF games tend to have the best villains. This needs to be the case here.

Let’s have a look at the game’s characters:

Noct’ – The Protagonist

Crown Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum, yes this is the lead character’s official title. Don’t worry, he goes by the name Noct’ most of the time, especially to his friends and the members of the team you’ll control.

Everything We know About Final Fantasy XV Noct

He’s heir to the throne as King Regis’ only son, but he also comes with a few magical abilities as we’ve seen in the trailers. He’s able to see the deaths of others. An accident (or maybe not?) in childhood allows him to see “Light” which gives him the power to see visions.

Noctis also has the issue of having a kind of narcolepsy where he drifts off into a trance like sleep. It’s not sure how connected this all is to his magical abilities but something is going on here you’d say.

He’s also a break from the traditional “hot-head” lead character; he’s actually quite the shy person apparently but tries to be cool.

What I find most interesting about his whole story was the strange vision in the Omen Trailer we witnessed. I mean, it’s all very intense and there is so much about his abilities that is a mystery. I really do think he could be a great lead character here.

Gladio’

The big man of your crew comes in the form of Gladiolus Amicitia. He looks rather imposing and is, in a way the bodyguard of Noctis. But after events you’ll find out about in the game or via Brotherhood, he’s owes a big debt to Noct and protects him as a brother.

Gladio'

Gladio’ is the eldest son of Clarus Amicitia who is in Kingsglaive. His father and all the House Amicitia, are worn to protect the crown.

While he sounds rather professional and looks like a heavyweight wrestler, he’s apparently quite the jolly person to be around. He may well act as a uplifting character since Noct’ could be a little serious. Then again, a group of lads out on an adventure you would expect there to be a serious banter factor going on between all of them.

I expect Gladio’ to take the lead on this!

Prompto

We all know that person from school that just keeps hanging around with the cool kids. In Final Fantasy XV we have one in that kind of role in Prompto Argentum. He is described as a “mischievous playboy” and has been an influence on Noct’ since school. Not always a good one due to a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

His rather interesting quirk is taking photos, which is a nice social media integration for the game. He’ll take pictures as you go along on your journey which can be shared. A cool idea, if it’s not overly gimmicky.

What is interesting with him is the young age compared to the others and the fact he’s a little jealous of the royal upbringing of his friends. While he seems loyal, I think he may well get the group into some trouble as you travel around the world.

Ignis

And here we come to the final member of the road trip crew! The typical British sounding character in Ignis Scientia makes for the last member of group, although you may pick more up along your journey.  Ignis is a sort of personal assistant to Noctis and has been brought up to act as someone to really help the Prince with logical thinking.

He seems like he takes things a little seriously here and is very much brought up on logic and reason.

But luckily he’s a cook too and is the person that will be preparing your meals as you camp out. He seems like he could make for some funny moments being the overly serious person. And of course, being the British sounding one he’ll bumble around a lot because that is what we are all like in the UK!

Leonis

We leave behind the main team of companions now and more onto the characters that are available in the game as support or “guest” party members. Here we have the Lord Commander called Cor Leonis. This man is described as “a living legend”, a person completely devoted to the king.

A very honourable character. But unfortunately, he’s apparently not a fan of you or your entourage. Clearly not someone who voted for your crew in the Final Fantasy X-Factor competition!

But, as a person loyal to the throne he’s apparently on your side when it counts and will join the party during your play.

Cindy

This game does actually have some female characters. In fact they are so keen to prove it she’s wearing outfits that leave no doubt she’s a woman. I mean, why else is she wearing such a skimpy outfit in those trailers?

Cindy is a mechanic and will act as a supporting character for repairs and seemingly upgrading your car. Anyone who watched the Conan O’Brian video on the Clueless gamer section will know that she will be needed when your car breaks down.

She seems fun and will no doubt be of interest to Prompto given his ways. There could be some fun moments here but I really do hope she’s not a weak character. It would cheapen the game if she’s just there to look nice and have no personality.

Luna

You get one female character then a second follows right away as we look at the heroine of the game in Luna, otherwise known as Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. I’m sticking with Luna to save my fingers! Luna is special to this story for many reasons, firstly she is able to talk to the gods of the world making her the youngest Oracle ever.

She is the love interest of Noct and a main part of the plot is her being held captive by the enemies of the Kingdom of Lucis, the Niflheim Empire. This proves a big motivation for the plot but, as we’ve seen in Omen, the relationship between her and Noct’ is not exactly straightforward.

Again, let’s hope she has a strong personality. With her powers, she must be a very capable of defending herself and her people.

King Regis

The father of Noctis and the ruler of the Kingdom, King Regis is a serious character in Final Fantasy XV. But he is not looking so good for a man of his age. Unfortunately the throne does not come without a number of difficulties. Regis wants to protect Noct from the fate of being the king but also must teach him the ways of being royal.

There are some serious conflicts here that could prove pivotal to the story but also very captivating.

He’s also the guardian of the Crystal that is making the Kingdom of Lucis very powerful. It’s the last known of its kind and is another element that should play a part in the plot. I like Regis, he seems cool but I don’t think it’s going to be a good idea to get too attached to him!

The Antagonists – Aldercapt

We have an evil Emperor as expected gamers. He’s called Iedolas Aldercapt and Emperor of Niflheim, good, gooooood. His motivations are to not in the interest of anyone in the Kingdom of Lucis as he’s only interested in the Crystal seizing power along with his companions.

Ardyn Izunia

The one in the cowboy hat and rather unusual coat is the man in question here gamers and seems to be the main villain of the game. He works for Aldercapt however, so there is more than just his own desires going on here, but he’s going to be the main player from what we can see.

Both of these two are part of Kingsglaive if you want to read more on that.

Ravus

We have another villain to add to the mix and, being called Ravus Nox Fleuret you get the link to Luna. As ever with relationships, the lady you love (as Noct in this case) has an older brother who is a bit of a D***.

ffxv-ravus

He’s very against the King and Lucis and certainly does not wish his sister to be with Noct. As a senior member of the Niflheim Imperial army, you can bet he will be crossing paths with you in the game.

General Glauca

This guy is a rather big deal in the plot of Final Fantasy XV, and in Kingsglaive too. Glauca is the top man in command of the Imperial Army of Niflheim and has a massive impact on the Nox Fleuret family. More on that if you watch the film.

ffxv-glaucaHe’s one bad dude. While a general and in control of everything, he loves nothing more than to get out there and do some killing in battle. A very powerful man and one that will most likely prove a big challenge should you face him in the game.

Aranea Highwind

Last on the list is another female character that is somewhat of an “in-between” type person within the game. Aranea is a mercenary type and  is known as the Dragoon due to her ability to fight in the air. She’s part of the Niflheim army but is not so impressed with their “immoral” ways.

She is also a guest in your party and may we see her loyalty moving from one side to another here which may make for some interesting twists.

As ever there are loads more characters, including the classic Cid who is in every Final Fantasy game. He is Cindy’s grandfather and part of the story too, with many more. But just with the featured one’s above there are a number of elements that could make for some interesting plots and subplots going on in the game.

Plus the voice actor list is excellent too for us English speaking regions. Check out who’s in the game below with a link to their IMDB profile.

Voice Actors for English Speaking Versions

Voice Actor Final Fantasy XV Character
Matthew Mercer Cor Leonis
Kari Wahlgren Aranea Highwind
Olivia Hack Additional Voices
Darin De Paul Ardyn Izunia
Adam Croasdell Ignis Scientia
Jim Pirri Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII
Amy Shiels Lunafreya Nox Fleuret
Christopher L. Parson Gladio Amicitia
D.C. Douglas Weskham Armaugh
Ray Chase Noctis Lucis Caelum
Emily Roya O’Brien Y’Shtola
Robbie Daymond Prompto Argentum
Tara Sands Additional Voices
Alexa Kahn Crowe Altius
Greg Berg Gregory / Elegant Gentleman / Impudent Tourist
Anatole de Bodinat Noctis Lucis Caelum
Alexandre N’Guyen Prompto Argentum
Julien Allouf Ignis Scientia
Gilles Morvan Gladiolus Amicitia

3Gameplay Features

We know that there are some BIG changes to the gameplay in Final Fantasy XV, the main change being a more Action-RPG style. This is going to be true in the combat particularly but we are also seeing a few style changes too.

There is a switched up presentation for one thing, the game looks more human than ever now with very true to life renders of the characters. The setting and equipment is more in tune with the culture of today, with a mix of magic of course. Plus the clothing and equipment and such look more modern than previous games.

Hence all the boy band jibes at Noct and his companions!

Traditional random battles are gone, in exchange for seeing your enemies in the world and planning you attacks. So is the classic upgrading menu where you apply level-up bonuses or unlock skills. This is controlled at your camp with extra bonuses coming from making nice dinners.

Fish and Chips for me please guys.

It all looks very new and interesting, I hope they get all to come together to make a great game but also, make a great Final Fantasy. The last thing I want is for all this change to make the game feel more like a Witcher or Skyrim adventure. I think the magic and giant summons will help keep that FF feeling alive enough.

Let’s have a look at the elements of the game in more detail.

Open World

This is the big development of the title, a vast open world that you can get around in a number of ways. You walk, drive and even get on those classic of Final Fantasy characters, the Chocobos! But you can apparently fly around too later in the game as your car gains wings.

Something tells me this is to help getting your levels higher at key points in the game.

ffxv_tgs_screenshot_023_15_1473932113-09-2016_bmp_jpgcopyThe weather and day/night cycle are going to be big here, with each hour in the real world a day in the game world. What seems rather interesting is how the weather will affect your party based on a number of factors. Clothing seems very important here as the wrong clothes in the wrong weather will have an impact on your abilities in battle.

The day and night cycle will impact on you with the camping points to level up along with getting some food cooked. You’ll need to source this from the open world and get more recipes to give more levelling up bonuses too.

It will also affect the enemies in the world too, so expect a different experience at night to the day time. There may well be more to it that that too, as potentially certain enemies may only appear at a very specific time of day.

Everything looks big, expansive and beautiful. There are only loading screens as you enter a town or city so essentially, it’s a 2016 version of a world map. Only it comes with a car with a helpful mechanic should you need her.

Combat

No more active time battle (ATB) systems to be found here, we have the very different sounding AXB system. The X makes all the difference! You’ll fight your foes using an Active Cross Battle system this time around, with the combat being more focused on action.

But don’t be fooled, there are a number of strategic elements and classic FF action to be had still.

The action combat uses traditional Final Fantasy style commands such as Attack, Magic and Items but instead these are mapped to your main buttons. The controller here acts to activate your guard so you can block incoming attacks at the cost of MP or use standard attacks. You can freely engage in combat or use “Wait Mode” to stop time and target attacks more strategically.

Weapons and Magic

Magic is part of this system but can be used with “Gambits” that allow you to create a set of instructions to cast magic in certain situations. These can be used to programme your team as well since only Noct can be controlled. Gambits will allow you to set your party up the way you want it to work as was the case in Final Fantasy XII.

final-fantasy-xv-summonIn battle you are going to be free to move around and use a cover system to regain health and keep out of danger. Movement will also allow for hitting enemies in different areas so you can target weak spots.

As Noctis you’ll use magical “Phantom Blades” to fight with. These are conjured as you fight with a number of different options plus some more real world weapons too. Limit Breaks are in the game as well, Armiger Arsenal can be activated to summon special weapons and strikes. Oh, and he can also summon some seriously monstrous gods called Astrals into battle that all look insanely massive.

Magic is very important in the combat this time, since you are only able to control one character here it’s not a case of swapping classes. Noct is adept with the blades and magic such as Elemancy that is classic element based magic and Ring Magic. While the former can be used on Gambit by other party members, Noctis is the only one who can use Ring Magic thanks to your Royal ring of the Lucii.

There is some serious depth to combat here and I for one can’t wait to see how it handles.

Levelling Up & More

The part I find the most fun and, they are bringing into FFXV elements of my favourite levelling system. The Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X was so addictive and fun to get around I just loved it and still think it’s yet to be beaten.

In FFXV you use a system called the Ascension Grid, which apparently mixes the Sphere Grid with what we saw in XIII.

Each character has their own grid with strengths and weaknesses plus an exclusive tree just for them. Here you will spend AP, ability points that are earned in battle to add to your character stats and combat abilities.

In order to do this you’ll have to use your camps. The handy part of this is they can be returned to any time and used to level up. Meals you eat will help you get more AP and other bonuses so the game brings in a number of mini-games to help you get better food to cook.

Hopes

All in all, this sounds pretty impressive to me. It all needs to come together in a way that really keeps us coming back for more which is one thing I have mild concerns on.

But to be honest I am pretty sold on this whole idea. It’s a new era for Final Fantasy moving into the action RPG market and they have certainly taken enough time to get this game right.

We’ll be bringing the latest impressions on the game the moment we are able to release them for you here on MGL. For check out the next section on the tie-in videos and the trailers.

4Brotherhood, Kingsglaive & Key Videos

David Game here. Ross has the game details on lock whilst I’ve mostly been avoiding them to enjoy the game at my own pace. What I have done, however, is watched Brotherhood and Kingsglaive. I’ll be giving you the details on these two pieces of supplemental content as spoiler-free as possible.

If you want more I have included links to other sites that go into more detail, but may spoil the experience for you.

Brotherhood

Brotherhood is a five-part anime series that you can watch for free on the official Final Fantasy XV YouTube channel. It’s also a physical pack-in with the Kingsglaive Blu-ray.

It features the five episodes of main characters reminiscing on their time together. Particularly the bros’ themselves: Gladio, Ignis, Prompto and our young Prince Noctis.

Each episode delves in to how they met and connected with Noctis with an over-arching plot involving a snake-lady monster (yes, I know: it’s a Marilith) that nearly killed Noctis as a child.

Kingsglaive

Kingsglaive is the CG movie tie-in to the release of Final Fantasy XV. Featuring a whole host of stars including Aaron Paul, Lena Headey and Sean Bean; the events take place at the same time as Noctis is sent out on his road trip.

The gist of it is that the Niflheim Empire has attacked territories all around Insomnia (the crown city) and the war comes to King Regis’s doorstep. The King’s royal guards borrow the power of the crystal to employ the teleportation ability we’ve seen so often.

The Empire seeks to negotiate with King Regis over the control of territory and his son’s hand in marriage to lady Lunafreya.

Needless to say, things go a bit “tits up” and superstar Nyx “I’m good at using these powers” Ulric springs into action against an unrelenting judge and an overwhelming force.

If you’d like a detailed look at Kingsglaive, this Wikipedia page does in far more depth. But for those planning on watching it, it’s best to keep it brief.

Key Videos, Gameplay and Trailers

We’ve picked out some key trailers for you to really enjoy here with a mixture of gameplay, cinematics, behind the scenes and fan interviews. Have a watch below and make sure you leave a comment at the end.

Games & Series: ,
Developers & Publishers:
Gaming Platform: ,
Genre: , ,

Gamers! Share Your Thoughts Here With Your Social Accounts

Loading Disqus Comments ...
Loading Facebook Comments ...

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!