Final Fantasy XVI Reveal Trailer

It’s here! A new entry in the Final Fantasy series is finally coming! Let’s watch the trailer and then I’ll tell you what I think of the coming PS5 title.


Let’s dive in!

**SPOILER WARNING**

I will be discussing older Final Fantasy lore and reveals in this post.

Story

We are introduced to a teeny tiny Red Mage (?) named Joshua, who appears to be a young royal boy with nascent healing powers of flame that we get a glimpse at when he heals a man’s hand. Joshua’s caretakers quickly swoop him up and remind him that he should not be outside the castle, but they do not reveal why. I’ll assume it’s because he has magic and magic is uncommon in this world. We are also introduced to a dark haired squire with no name (yet), who appears to be our main protagonist that is enlisted to be Joshua’s guardian. A royal council is then shown having a heated discussion, where it is revealed that a blight is spreading through the land and as it grows, neighboring military forces are withdrawing their aid. One of the council members shares that without the power of the mother crystal, they cannot continue fighting the blight. This is interesting, since the producer for this new entry is none other than Naoki Yoshida of FFXIV acclaim. In FFXIV, one of the main plot points throughout all of the expansions is the player character performing tasks as instructed by Hydaelyn, the mother crystal of Eorzea. I wonder if Hydaelyn will make an appearance in this game. I hope she does and I hope she looks graceful and beautiful like Ultima from FFXII!

The unnamed protagonist.
Source: Square Enix Press Site

After some gameplay fighting scenes, we see Joshua’s caretaker slaughtered at the hands of an unknown assailant. I always like when Final Fantasy games get gritty, so seeing that this trailer isn’t pulling the punches with assassinations and blood, I am excited to see some dark tones right out of the gate. As blood splatters across Joshua’s face, something awakens inside of him and magical flames are seen erupting from his eyes while the narrator mentions that Joshua, the archduke’s son, is the esper Phoenix. This looks as if it will be a major plot point, as previously in the trailer we saw army troops were discussing finding ‘Shiva’s Dominant’. I’m guessing that the espers live inside gifted individuals and are only evoked during times of dire need. There seem to be consequences to evoking the espers, however, as someone is heard screaming “JOSHUA! STOP THIS!” as Phoenix erupts from him and swoops across the castle grounds.

Source: Square Enix Press Site

We then get the epic line “the legacy of the crystal has shaped our history for long enough.’ Queue an epic soundtrack as we are bombarded with footage of espers, transformations, magic, fighting, and more blood. Man…this Final Fantasy is going to be dark and honestly, I’m okay with that. The trailer comes to an end with a close up of our protagonist claiming ‘I’ll kill you…if it’s the last thing I do.’ They show him as a young man, then as an older, hardened man harkening back to the time lapse we saw towards the end of FFXV. The end! Pretty cool trailer if you ask me.

Gameplay

This trailer showed us some pretty solid gameplay mechanics that I’m excited to try out. While I have a preference for the traditional turn-based systems used in older Final Fantasy games, I have not been turned off by the more active systems used from XII onward. We get to see the protagonist fighting monsters 1-on-1 in a battle system that looks almost like Devil May Cry, but we can see influences from the FFXV system as well when the main character performs short range teleportation and high jumps. The magic system seems to be a bit different from the last mainline series. In FFXV magic was utilized through magic grenades and affected your whole party unless you built them to be immune to whatever element you were using. I’m hoping the magic spell animations grow as you get stronger though, because all we got to see was some puny fireballs.

The main character using Phoenix’s wing as a battle animation.
Source: Square Enix Press Site

One cool thing that I noticed is that the main character seems to have some control over the esper powers, as we can see him using various classical elements of well-known espers. If you look closely you can see Garuda’s talons, Phoenix’s wings, and Titan’s stone fists. Overall, I’m pretty stoked to play this game. One thing I noticed that I did not like is a lack of party members. All of the footage showed the protagonist fighting solo, so I’m really hoping we get to add some supporting characters in the mix. I really, really loved the banter between Noctis and the Chocobros in FFXV and I’m always a fan of victory lines a la FFX-2 or the team victory poses seen in FFXII.

Logo

Source: Reddit User – Seirra259

As we know with previous entries in the series, the logo for the game often represents a plotline that is revealed as we make progress through the story. The logo for VII shows the meteor that is summoned by Sephiroth in his attempt to destroy the world once it is revealed that he is an absolute lunatic that wants everyone to suffer. X’s logo depicts Yuna dancing on water as she performs The Sending after Kilika is destroyed by Sin and many of the villagers die in the attack. Then we have XIII and XV showing bits of the finale – XIII showing Fang and Vanille crystalized when they sacrificed themselves to stop Cocoon from destroying Pulse, and XV shows Lunafreya resting her head on what is later revealed to be Noctis’ throne in the afterlife once he joins her following his self sacrifice to save Lucis from the villain Ardyn’s reign. So what does the XVI logo show?

Source: Square Enix Press Site

If you are familiar with Final Fantasy espers, you can see that Phoenix and Ifrit are battling in the logo of this new entry. My guess is that whoever the antagonist is has Dominion over Ifrit and for some reason wants to conquer Phoenix and maybe take over that power? But I’m also wondering if the protagonist ends up being Ifrit’s Dominant and we get some kind of brotherhood battle struggle between Joshua and the MC. That would be neat.

Summary

I’m pumped! This game looks bad ass and as I said before, I’m always appreciative when Final Fantasy sheds it’s historical lighthearted graphics and shows the gritty reality of fighting and war. The battle system looks fun and engaging, but I’m really hoping that we get to see some additional party members join on the adventure. I look forward to hearing more of the soundtrack and hope we get an epic battle theme akin to Blinded By Light from FFXIII. Another wish I have, mainly focusing on how the story from XV was told, is that the developers take their time in crafting this story into one cohesive unit so we don’t end up with another set of varying media to consume just to try and understand the entire setting of the game. I’m not too keen on watching a feature length film, an anime, playing a 60+ hour game, another 10-hour prequel mini game, various DLC, and reading a novel like we had to in order to understand all that was the epic of Final Fantasy XV.

Let me know what you think of the trailer and if there are any features you are excited for!

Thanks for reading. See ya next time!

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