All about Final Fantasy XVI
From the trailer and official website, it appears that the world of Valisthea is embroiled in conflict between realms and political drama, with a focus on Dominants. Dominants are unique individuals capable of wielding the power of Eikons, which are the summons in the world of FFXVI (and FFXIV).
FFXVI’s story seems to span two distinct timeframes, as evidenced by the main character Clive Rosfield’s transformation from a stylish young man to a battle-hardened veteran with a scruffy beard and facial tattoo. Yoshida revealed that the story will cover three different eras: Clive in his teens, 20s, and 30s.
Clive, the son of an archduke, possesses Eikon-related powers but isn’t necessarily a Dominant himself. He is committed to protecting his brother Joshua, the young boy in the trailer who is destined to be a Dominant. However, Joshua struggles to control his Eikon, summoning Phoenix after witnessing a significant character’s death. The ensuing battle between Phoenix and Ifrit may be the tragedy that motivates Clive in FFXVI.
Yoshida explained that one of FFXVI’s main themes is the clash of values among people with different ideals coexisting in the same space, striving to determine right and wrong.
The story will explore characters’ motivations and struggles, delving deeper into darker themes about life choices, destiny, and the desire to break free from predetermined paths.
Another character featured in the trailer is Jill Warrick, the grey-haired young girl accompanying Joshua. She has a complex background, hailing from another realm and essentially being adopted by the Rosfields. Jill serves as a mediator between warring nations and is a trusted confidant to both Clive and Joshua.
The debut trailer showcases other characters engaged in battle and discussing the political unrest fueling Valisthea’s war. Iconic Eikons like Shiva and Titan are seen on the battlefield, suggesting that Eikons and Dominants play a significant role in the power dynamics between realms. A fight against an armored, lance-wielding Dragoon, known as an Imperial Viper, is also featured.
In FFXVI’s world, Mothercrystals bless the land with aether (essentially magic), but a destructive force called The Blight is spreading. The game’s tagline, “The legacy of the crystals has shaped our history for long enough,” hints at a connection to Valisthea’s plight.
The first trailer, titled “Awakening,” offers four minutes of story, cutscenes, and gameplay, accompanied by a powerful orchestral theme with iconic Final Fantasy touches. The music bears similarities to Masayoshi Soken’s work on FFXIV: Heavensward.
A new trailer, titled “Revenge,” debuted at The Game Awards 2022, showcasing fast-paced action gameplay and a glimpse of the Espers players will encounter, including Odin and Ifrit.
FFXVI will be the first Final Fantasy game to receive an M-rating, which Square Enix confirmed was a deliberate choice to create a more mature story. The rating indicates that the game will include implied sex scenes, violence, blood, intentional deaths, torture, suffering, and hate crimes.
Producer Naoki Yoshida explained that pursuing a mature rating in most regions was necessary to explore the game’s more mature themes without compromising the storytelling.