While Square Enix won't be announcing the release date for Final Fantasy XV until March 2016, director Hajime Tabata shared more details on the game's story and major features with GameSpot, including a deeper dive into footage shown during a panel at PAX Prime today.
- Tabata revealed a new summon: Leviathan. A classic summoned creature from previous Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy XV's Leviathan is a female serpent who lives in the waters surrounding the city of Altissia. According to Tabata, she "has a lot of intellect" and can disguise herself and move around as a liquid. She was one of the first Eidolons designed for Final Fantasy Versus XIII/XV.
- Eidolons, the term for creatures you can summon in Final Fantasy XV, play a major role in the world's cosmology. Eidolons are godlike creatures that were involved in the creation of the world, and each eidolon has a distinct look and personality. The eidolons are also gendered--for example, Ramuh is male and Leviathan is female--and their own language. Players will discover each Eidolon as part of Final Fantasy XV's storyline.
- When Final Fantasy Versus XIII was announced, Square Enix said it would be part of Fabula Nova Crystallis, a series of Final Fantasy games connected by their themes and mythology. According to Tabata, Final Fantasy XV is no longer connected to the Fabula Nova mythology, and is thematically much different than Versus XIII was, though some design elements remain.
- Final Fantasy XV's cosmology has a baseline built in Japanese mythology, with elements of Western religious melded in. Throughout the game, players will learn how the world was made and about the divine beings that made it.
- The woman in the Final Fantasy XV logo--drawn by series artist Yoshitaka Amano--isn't necessarily Etro, the goddess of death mentioned in earlier trailers for Final Fantasy Versus XIII. She is, however, the most important goddess in XV's world, and Amano's original sketch of her was the inspiration for her character.
- The monsters you encounter out in the field aren't all enemies. Designer Tomohiro Hasegawa said that all creatures have been designed to feel as though they belong naturally in the world, and not all will be enemies to Noctis and his friends. Hasegawa explained that creatures were designed to look like they would actually live in the environment they populate. Additionally, defeating some monsters will yield consumables--like Garula sirloins from Garulas--that Ignis can cook and convert into status buffs. At this point, not all monsters will drop consumables, but Hasegawa notes this could change before the final game is released.
- We've seen tons of new creatures, but where are the classic Final Fantasy monsters Moogles, Tonberries, and Cactuar? In keeping with the idea that Final Fantasy XV is a "fantasy based on reality," Hasegawa said that because they are hoping to keep creatures somewhat realistic, it has been difficult finding ways to incorporate these classic mystical beasties. But that doesn't mean we won't see them; Hasegawa and Tabata said we’d definitely be seeing some of these creatures.
People and Places
- Several new locations were revealed: the Venice-inspired city of Altissia, a series of floating islands set among waterfalls and waterways; Lestallum, a town inspired by Cuba built on top of a massive crater containing a meteor that provides the area with its energy; and Hammerhead, a mechanic's station where players will be able to service the Regalia, Noctis' car. The team also revealed Caem, a port city where Noctis and his friends can find boats.
- Noctis and Luna are romantically involved, but their tale won't be the "typical love story," Tabata said. He said Luna is character of great inner strength, and she and Noctis will greatly influence one another.
- Players will have an active role in developing Noctis' relationship with Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus. The strength of their bond will be dependent on doing activities together, much like the two-person sidequests in Episode Duscae 2.0. In addition to main narrative beats, players will develop the relationships through these quests, which will in turn affect the strength of combo attacks Noctis can execute with his companions. Tabata said the team really wants players to feel these bonds grow.
- In Hammerhead, players will meet another mechanic character that isn't Cindy, the blonde-haired women featured in Episode Duscae. Tabata said this mechanic is a character we've come to know throughout the Final Fantasy series, suggesting the character will be called Cid. Every Final Fantasy game includes a character name Cid, and he is often a mechanic.
- In the ongoing quest to balance combat in Final Fantasy XV, the team has added firearms and shields to Noctis' arsenal. Players will be able to use both items in conjunction with Noctis' main weapon, the Phantom Sword. Weapons will be obtained along Noctis' journey and the exact number of weapons seems to be significant, with Tabata noting that the number is "meaningful" but not saying what it is.
- The Regalia, Noctis' car, is a physical manifestation of Noctis' carrying his father's connection along his journey. The car is a metaphor for the prince taking his father's love, burdens, and bond on the road to his destiny.
- Tabata said the team wants players to enjoy driving the Regalia. While driving, players can change the point of view. They can view the car in third-person, watching scenery go by or focusing on the tail end of the car, or they watch the drive from the point of view of one of the boys or the driver. Driving can be set to manual or auto, and in auto, players can auto park the car in designated parking spots in areas.
- You'll be able to customize the car and will have to service it when it breaks down. Gas is a resource, and you'll need to stop at gas stations to get some. If you run out of gas while on the road, the boys get out and push the car.
- Speaking of transportation, players will be able to ride boats to other continents within Final Fantasy XV's world. This is a big change from what Tabata said earlier this year about the world being one connected mass. Players won't be able to directly control these boats, but wherever they go, they will take the car with them.
Tabata promised we'd hear more information on Final Fantasy XV turning Tokyo Game Show next month, including a deeper look at the character Lunafreya Nox Fleuret.