Final Fantasy is one of the most successful and beloved video game franchises of all time. First released in 1987, the series has since spawned 15 mainline entries and numerous spin-offs, with each new installment introducing new worlds, characters, and gameplay mechanics to fans around the world.
The latest addition to the series, Final Fantasy XVI, was announced by Square Enix in September 2020 during the PlayStation 5 showcase event. The announcement was met with excitement and anticipation from fans, who have been eagerly waiting for any new information about the upcoming game.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything we know so far about Final Fantasy XVI, including its story, gameplay mechanics, characters, and more. Without further ado, here’s everything we know so far about Final Fantasy XVI
Now, with a release window and exciting gameplay footage, we finally get a glimpse into the world of Valisthea.
Final Fantasy XVI boasts a high fantasy, medieval-inspired setting, filled with tyrannical rule and rampant turmoil. The looming threat of “the blight” endangers the entire land, which is sustained by mother crystals that provide an all-important resource known as aether, powering the magic and technology of the world. But all is not well in Valisthea. Peace has begun to fall apart with the spread of the Blight, which threatens to destroy the realms.
In the world of Final Fantasy 16, there exist lethal creatures known as Eikons. Each Eikon is uniquely bound to a single Dominant – a man or woman blessed with the power to summon them. But the treatment of these Dominants differs greatly across the various nations. Some are revered as royalty, while others are conscripted as weapons of war, highlighting a stark contrast in their worldviews. Valisthea is divided into six distinct realms, each with its own unique culture and ideology. The story’s main character, Clive, originates from Rosaria, a realm fueled by Drake’s Breath, a mother crystal located on a volcanic island.
As the uneasy peace between the realms comes to a tumultuous end, the fate of Valisthea rests on the player’s shoulders. Lastly, I’d like to mention that Final Fantasy XVI has a staggering 11 hours of cinematic footage alone. If they’ve made this much footage, then the story has to be good. Period.
Eikons and Combat
The gameplay footage for Final Fantasy XVI has left fans reeling with excitement, showcasing a thrilling, action-oriented combat system. But what truly sets this game apart are, of course, the Eikons and Dominants. The main character, Clive Redfield becomes the dominant of the iconic Eikon, Ifrit. Get it? Because Ifrit is easily the franchise’s most well-known summon. Anyway, Ifrit is regarded differently from other icons and is hunted by Benedicta Harmon, the dominant of the wind icon Garuda. The game’s official artwork shows Phoenix and Ifrit engaged in an epic battle, with Phoenix symbolizing a rebirth and Ifrit representing a destructive force born out of chaos.
Clive appears to be different from other Dominants, as he is capable of using an additional Icon in combat, not just Ifrit. Based on the gameplay footage, it’s clear that Clive will be able to switch Eikons mid-combo. This should make for some thrilling and varied battles as Clive acquires new abilities.
Jewels are also set to play a significant role in combat, though details are scarce on how they will be implemented.
Final Fantasy XVI will also have Kaiju-esque Eikon battles, based on what we’ve seen from the gameplay demo. This is a feature I am definitely on board with. The game’s combat has been compared to Devil May Cry, and it’s easy to see why. Hopefully, the combat turns out to be as good as they are making it out to be.
Clive, the eldest son of the Archduke of Rosaria, is a highly skilled swordsman who was originally destined to inherit the power of the Phoenix. However, fate took an unexpected turn when his younger brother, Joshua, ended up inheriting the Phoenix’s flames instead. Fortunately, Clive emerged victorious in the ducal tournament and was named the First Shield of Rosaria, responsible for safeguarding the Phoenix. As a result, he also gained a portion of the Phoenix’s fiery power.
With a five-year age gap between him and his older brother Clive, Joshua is the second son of the Archduke of Rosaria, but fate has different plans for him when he becomes the Dominant of the Phoenix, inheriting its powerful flames. Despite being more fearful than his brother, Joshua has a compassionate nature and treats all of his father’s subjects with kindness and understanding.
Jill was born in the Northern Territories and taken away from her home at a young age to become a ward of Rosaria, where she was instrumental in securing peace between the warring nations. Although not related by blood to the two brothers, Jill was raised in the Rosfield household and has since become a trusted confidante of both Clive and Joshua.
Amidst a harsh and desolate snowfield, Torgal was discovered by the Archduke’s expedition, a lone survivor of unknown origins. Upon his return, the Archduke presented the young boy to his sons as a gift, unaware of the pivotal role Torgal would come to play in their lives. When disaster struck and nearly ended the Rosfield family’s line of succession, Torgal’s strength and bravery helped them survive. After more than a decade, Torgal was reunited with Clive, now serving him faithfully in battle as both an attacker and healer, lending his unique skills to ensure their victory.
Cidolfus, or simply Cid, is a former soldier who now stands with Clive and his companions. He’s an outlaw with a mission to create a safe haven for magick casters who face persecution and for Dominants who’ve been abandoned. Cid’s power as a Dominant was awakened when he landed on the shores of Valisthea, making him the master of Ramuh. His passion and drive for creating a better world make him an invaluable ally to Clive’s cause.
Transforming from a low-ranking soldier in the Republican Army to the Dominant of the Eikon Titan, Hugo Kupka has now emerged as a prominent figure in Dhalmekian politics. As a Permanent Economic Advisor, he wields a considerable amount of power in shaping both nations’ policies and armies, becoming a key player in their political landscape.
Benedikta, once a heartless and merciless youth, has risen to become the Dominant of the Eikon Garuda, thanks to her exceptional skills in swordsmanship and cunning. She has also earned the position of commanding Waloed’s elite intelligencers. However, her quest to locate the second Eikon of Fire leads her to encounter Clive, and she is forced to confront her dark past.
Dion, the crown prince of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, commands the dragoons and is held in high esteem by his troops. Despite his revered status, there are forces at work within the empire that threaten to disrupt the peace.
Barnabas, a skilled swordsman, arrived in Valisthea without any title or land to his name. Through his abilities with a sword, he gradually won a kingdom over time. Despite facing a revolution led by local beastmen who sought to overthrow him, Barnabas emerged victorious by summoning the power of his Eikon, Odin. Barnabas himself is not one to shy away from battle. He charges into the fray on his spectral steed, always ready to lead by example.
According to recent interviews with the developers, Final Fantasy 16 will not feature an open world. Instead, the game will have a segmented map consisting of variously sized zones, providing opportunities for non-linear exploration. Director Hiroshi Takai explained that the world is constructed from multiple maps, with some zones as large as two kilometers by two kilometers.
Producer Naoki Yoshida elaborated on the navigation and exploration system, revealing that players will travel to different areas seamlessly through the world map. The Hideaway serves as a hub area where players can start main missions and optional side quests, including monster hunts and other activities. The item shop and a blacksmith who can craft and upgrade weapons are also available at the Hideaway.
Fans of the Final Fantasy series will find the set-up of the upcoming game to be reminiscent of earlier titles. However, unlike some beloved classics of the series, Final Fantasy 16 will not include any hidden dungeons or secret areas, as the developers intend to spend their time fleshing out the main areas. Hopefully, we still have lots to do while exploring the many locations of Valisthea.
According to Yoshida, Final Fantasy 16’s Revenge trailer was rendered in real-time on the PlayStation 5 hardware, showcasing a high level of detail on every surface, from the ground to the characters’ faces, without any loading screens. The use of a solid-state drive and the system’s high specs make it possible to display textures of this quality consistently, which has only become possible on consoles in recent years. This advancement in gaming technology has been driven by Square Enix and other major AAA publishers since the introduction of HD gaming, but it wasn’t until midway through the PS4’s lifespan, with Sony’s heavily optimized first-party titles, that games started to reach this ideal. Comparing the new trailer to the game’s reveal trailer, which was accused of using high-quality Final Fantasy 14 models, it’s evident that they’ve made a lot of progress. Hopefully, the game’s framerate can maintain at least 60 FPS.
Even though we’ve only caught a glimpse of what Final Fantasy 16 has to offer, it’s already looking like an exciting new addition to the series. While the initial reveal may have seemed a bit heavy on plot elements like warring kingdoms and oh-so-shocking giant crystals, the central idea of powerful beings turning them into god-like weapons is an intriguing one. As someone who’s always been a fan of summons in Final Fantasy games, it’s really cool to see them take a prominent role in this iteration. What do you guys think? Share your thoughts in the comments below – your feedback matters. For all your gaming desires, stick with Electronic First. Explore incredible game deals and prices, your ultimate destination for gaming needs.