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Final Fantasy XVI : What we know so far (Theories and facts)

The Final Fantasy series has always had a special place in the RPG pantheon. Born as an experimental game that combines innovation with time-tested mechanics. The RPG on which the developers did not initially pin great hopes and which was supposed to be a swan song, gave rise to a whole family of Japanese school role-playing games. The Final Fantasy was the beginning of something new and wonderful.

It's 2020 and many fans are looking forward to the next numbered part of the legendary series. Final Fantasy XV, despite the moderate, but positive feedback from the players, could not become the undisputed leader and support for the game was prematurely scaled down in order to direct the efforts to develop something new. Today we have, on the one hand, Project Athia, on which the team that worked on Final Fantasy XV is working, and it could be either a new IP or something from the bins of the old Square Enix series. Even this could be a sudden Final Fantasy XVII. On the other hand, Yoshi's team is already making a cross-gene Final Fantasy.

The rules are created in order to break them and this proverb is used by the developer, about whom the speech will go. We are interested in the second project, to which the famous Naoki Yoshida had a hand, or as the players respectfully and lovingly call him - “Yoshi P”. If this name is unknown to someone, then you either lived in a cave all this time, or you were not interested in the Final Fantasy series. This comrade was able to create a real miracle. Yoshi and his team were able to rebuild and re-launch the failed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV in record time, presenting the players with A Realm Reborn / After that, they consolidated the success with the Heavensward expansion, slightly slowed down in Stormblood and hit Shadowbringers with all their might. In 2020, Shadowbringers was nominated for Best Add-on to the Game, but lost out to Fortnite for obvious reasons. 

Naoki Yoshida is now as precious to Final Fantasy XIV as Kevin Feige is to the MCU. He clearly understands what will happen next, how the development of the game and its plot will be built and we must pay tribute to him, despite the monstrous plot of Final Fantasy XIV and its additions, the story turned out to be really interesting and without a huge number of inconsistencies, white spots and sagging, like “ the best game ”sitting on the throne MMO. Plus Yoshi has an excellent ability to spot and promote talent, along the way, perfectly organizing the workflow in his team.

No matter how interesting Yoshida is as a person, now we are interested in Final Fantasy XVI, and you are probably already wondering why in the article about the sixteenth Fantasy the author spelled out the merits of a certain developer of another part of Final Fantasy for an hour. Everything is very simple. After Final Fantasy XV failed to inspire players too much, Square Enix decided to bring heavy artillery into battle.

Yoshi, with his ability to perfectly organize the workflow and quickly and clearly convey to the team what and where to do, was the most obvious candidate. Yes, he appears only as the producer of Final Fantasy XVI, but do not be fooled, the hand of the master will be clearly visible and we are smoothly approaching the theory of assumptions, predictions and other theorocraft.

The trailer for Final Fantasy XVI has already been shown to us and Yoshi, in his usual manner, decided to break the template and instead of having no connection with reality, the CGI trailer showed the maximum number of frames of a live game at the moment. The trailer itself was short, of course, but Yoshi wouldn't be Yoshi - if he hadn't filled the video with tons of hints and easter eggs. True, the story may turn out differently, because the master Yoshida is a noble fan of turning everything upside down by showing in the trailer exactly what he wanted us to see and postponing the wow effect for later.

But enough of the lyrics, time to understand and reason. First of all, the place of action. It's hard to say for sure, but judging by the style of the characters. environment, costumes, design of the Akons (aka Primals, Primitives), the scene is most likely all in the same world of Source as Final Fantasy XIV. It would be strange if Yoshi did not use the very good developments of his team in a new project. It is unlikely that the game takes place after the events of FFXIV, because the plot of the online part of the franchise is not yet finished and continues to develop.

Final Fantasy XVI : What we know so far

The option with the setting before the events of Final Fantasy XII also disappears, because if you listen carefully to the conversations of the characters, you can hear the mention of the states from FFXII in the past tense, as about the events of the old times. Accordingly, the most logical option is that the plot of Final Fantasy XVI takes the time interval between Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XIV. Which is actually pretty good, because this period is covered in the plot of the MMO in rather general terms and the authors have a lot of room to maneuver. 

Based on the scraps of information that are available, we can make a preliminary conclusion that the protagonist will be a mercenary, judging by the trailer, entering either the guild of hunters for Akons, or an analogue of the Scions of the Dawn, who are engaged in a similar occupation in Final Fantasy, along the way saving the world. Stylish tattoo on the face of the protagonist and his team members, most likely an analogue of a similar tattoo in Final Fantasy XIV. In the latter, thanks to this tattoo, the team members could communicate with each other at a distance (UPD: It turned out that the protagonist seems to be the elder brother of the Duke's son named Joshua, possibly a half-brother, or is a named brother. The developers like to say half-truths in their interviews).

Final Fantasy XVI : What we know so far 2

The Akons themselves in this world are most likely an analogue of weapons of mass destruction (Weapons of Mass Destruction) of the atomic bomb type. To completely simplify, then eikons, primals, or primitives are essences that were formed in the ether under the influence of prayers and emotions of living beings and can materialize in this world with a sufficient amount of ether, a strong emotional connection of the caller. Also, most often a vessel is needed to contain the essence of the eikon and become an anchor for it in the material world. In most cases, after being summoned, the vessel dies, or it changes irreversibly.

And apparently the local gallant mercenaries specialize in annihilation of eikons that have gone out of control. As for the primals, the latter in all their glory could be seen in the trailer. These entities are one of the hallmarks of Final Fantasy, along with chocobos and some characters roaming from part to part, which is explained by the existence of the Final Fantasy multiverse, which was formed after the split of a single initial world during the conflict between the very first and most powerful primals of the Zodiarch and Hydelin.

Final Fantasy XVI : What we know so far screenshot

In the trailer, we first saw the confrontation between the eikons of Shiva (Ice Lady) and Titan (Stone Giant). In addition, the eikons Ifrit and Phoenix were also shown. With the latter, it is quite possible and partly connected with the plot of the game. The fact is that the son of the local duke Joshua, whose honor went to the protagonist, also owns etheric magic and is the vessel of the Phoenix primal. (UPD: It is highly likely that Joshua is also a vessel for Ifrit). And of course, on the one hand, this is a big plus and an argument in disputes with neighbors. Few people want to fight an army that has an analogue of nuclear weapons. On the other hand, eikons are very unstable and it is essentially impossible to subdue them, which means that the guy is actually a time bomb.

Final Fantasy XVI : What we know so far 3

Any strong emotion, be it positive or negative, will call into the world of primal with tremendous destructive power. Depending on the emotions experienced by the summoner, by the way, the eikon's program also changes somewhat. As a result, the boy has an extremely limited social circle, lives as a recluse with maximum care from his mother and has a bodyguard in the person of the protagonist. But, most likely, this simple contract has a subtle point. Given the specialization of our protagonist, there is an additional clause in the child protection agreement, according to which, if there is a risk of calling an uncontrolled eikon, the vessel will have to be removed.

And, as can be seen from the harassment that the protagonist receives from employers and colleagues, as well as the fact that an eikon Phoenix has appeared in the city center, our hero will safely fail the party's task. The exact reasons are unknown, but it is quite possible that by making friends with Joshua while fulfilling his duty, the hero simply will not be able to kill him at the right time and will become an outcast. The transformation of the duke's son into a Phoenix will most likely provoke an attack by enemies, and judging by the Ifrit called in the same frame, the attackers have several trump cards up their sleeve.

Final Fantasy XVI character

The game will obviously be of considerable length and possibly divided into chapters. This conclusion was brought to me by the aging main character, who was pretty worn out, grew stubble and stylish gray hair. In addition, the trailer featured a bestiary typical of the Final Fantasy series. But what was not typical was the lonely protagonist. Given that Final Fantasy always involves the adventures of a group of adventurers, we will either have to break the template in the form of a lone hero, or to avoid spoilers, we were not shown the rest of the team.

Both options take place and we will find out which one is correct when more information appears. The protagonist's words that the legacy of crystals influenced our history for a long time refer to the very crystals of ether, thanks to which the energy of living beings is accumulated, with the help of which eikons are called into the material world. And maybe in the framework of Final Fantasy XVI, we will highlight this part of the Final Fantasy lore in more detail. (UPD: It became known that crystals are vital for the inhabitants of this world, there is a war for their deposits and people who know how to call the son of Akons and being a vessel - medium to control the latter are very much appreciated).

Final Fantasy XVI theories and facts

But there is something else interesting. A play on words can be used here. After all, the goddess of Light, Haydelin , who takes care of the worlds, has another name Crystal , or Mother Crystal .

Reasonable crystals are the receptacle of the ether, which in turn is the souls of the deceased preparing for rebirth - these are her creations. It's a little complicated and confusing, but we have Final Fantasy. So from this point of view, the protagonist's phrase is “ The Legacy of the Crystals has shaped our history for long enough. ”- Acquires a different meaning and concerns Haydelin.

Dragonborn also appeared in the trailer, very similar to those comrades with whom they had a chance to fight decently in Ishgard as part of the Heavensward expansion. Although they resemble the Knights of the Round of the eikons from the Heavensward expansion.

Final Fantasy XVI characters villan

As for the combat system, given the personality of the person in charge of it, we will expect something similar to Devil May Cry V for casuals with combo attacks and, possibly, if there are partners, group combinations. Square Enix seems to finally abandon the classic JRPG turn-based combat system, moving away from competition and turning towards a Western audience. Of course, you can talk about the outdated mechanics of turn-based combat for as long as you like, but the example of the same Persona series, where there is a JRPG series and a classic step, shows that the interest of players cannot be called low because of this.

It's just that the company is taking an easier path, no one knows where it will lead, but the fear of direct competition is not a very good signal. But enough about combat. We have more to discuss. First of all, the age rating. Contrary to usual, instead of the traditional 16+, we have 18+, and this is blood, dismemberment and nudity arising. It looks like Yoshida and the team want to tell a dark and adult story, which by the way is hinted at the visuals of the game.

Final Fantasy XVI  visuals

The game project itself has been under development for quite a long time, so the chance to see the game by the middle of the end of 2021 is quite real, if something unexpected happens. From the little things, it can still be assumed that in the course of the plot, the roads of Joshua and the protagonist will disperse and friends will become opponents, although perhaps the protagonist's last words that at the end of the journey I must kill you refer not to the son of the duke, but to Haydelin and her legacy that ruled this world for too long, but so far only developers know about it.

The final touch will be the maximum speculation. That the protagonist himself is also a local warrior of Light, or Darkness, as hinted at by the dark violet flame characteristic of the minions of the Zodiarch.

That's all for now. I'll come back to this topic when the Final Fantasy XVI site have information about the heroes and the game world. We will see which of the theories turned out to be correct. If you have any thoughts on this, welcome to the comments. And that's all form us.