Everything We Learned About Final Fantasy 15 From Gamescom 2015
I'm losing my Marlboros over these details!
During a special presentation broadcast from Gamescom today, Square Enix director Hajime Tabata revealed more information about Final Fantasy XV. While the presentation focused mostly on setting up the game's story, Tabata did reveal some information on gameplay and other elements in response to questions from fans.
The events of Final Fantasy XV begin 15 years after the events depicted in the "Dawn" trailer, released last night. Everything shown in the trailer was taken from in-game footage. The trailer shows King Regis holding the young Prince Noctis, standing in the rain beside his car and holding a sword.
- Final Fantasy XV's story begins with political conflict. Noctis' kingdom of Lucius is days away from signing an armistice with the kingdom of Nifelheim. Prior to the treaty signing, Noctis leaves for the imperial province of Tenebrae, where he will formalize Lucis' union with the state through his marriage to the Lady Lunafreya. This peace offering turns out to be a ruse, and the imperial city's army seizes Lucis' throne and its sacred crystal. On his way to Tenebrae, Noctis learns that he, his father, and Lunafreya are all believed to be dead. Noctis sets out with his three companions--Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto--to set things right and fulfill his destiny.
In the "Dawn" trailer, floating in the mist behind a building are the shadows of three huge figures hidden by the clouds. Tabata said that these three beings are not Eidolons, the giant monsters Noctis will be able to summon to his aid (Episode Duscae introduced us to one already, Ramuh). There's no further information on what they are at this time.
Lunafreya, or Luna as the developers also call her, will be a strong character. "She's not one of those weak, vulnerable heroines that need protecting," Tabata said. "She has her own will and determination, and she has very strong inner strength. She really acts of her own initiative to achieve her goals."
There's still some debate on whether or not airships will be included in the game. Tabata said the development team has figured out how to get airships in the game that fly about as high as a bird would fly, or about the height of the Eidolon Ramuh's eyes, but the jury's still out on what's possible with current console technology. "We're still looking into it," he said. "Where we are right now, I think that height would be technically possible, but we're currently looking into making them fly properly at a greater height." Right now it depends on the game's development cycle, but Tabata wants to add fully functional airships.
The Cross Chain system, where Noctis can team up with another party member for joint attacks, will change between the Episode Duscae demo and the final release. There will be more options for attacks in the final game, along with a type of Cross Chain attack that doesn't have to be manually triggered and will execute automatically in certain conditions.
While Final Fantasy XV's story and look are very different now from their original inception in Final Fantasy Versus XIII (announced way back in 2006), the concept of having a deep, emotional story remains the same. In response to a question about FFXV picking up the mantle of FF Versus XIII's "saddest, most dramatic storyline in the Final Fantasy series," Tabata said players can still expect tragedy and calamity on an epic scale. The story will focus on the bonds between friends and between father and son.
- While Tabata couldn't say much about the main villain of FFXV, he did reveal it will be a male. "He won't be beaten by any of the previous villains," Tabata said when comparing him to other villains in the earlier FF games, noting he could be the biggest, baddest villain yet. "He's going to top all of them."
- Malboros, some of the most iconic Final Fantasy creatures, will be in FFXV. Tabata showed a gameplay clip where Noctis and friends walked down a rocky slope into a swampy area beneath a tree. While wading through the stagnant water, Noctis came upon a small flower, but when he got close to it a Malboro sprang out of the ground and began lashing out with its tentacles. Tabata said Malboros will masquerade in swamps as flora, and if Noctis gets too close it will ambush the party and use its famous "Bad Breath" attack. Tabata also said the area shown with the Malboros comes a little more than halfway through the game.
- We're getting another demo. A playable tech demo is in the works, and while we don't have a release window, Tabata said the development team has already finalized the content they will share in it.
- One of the most popular characters among fans is an unnamed woman with straight black hair and bangs. (The image on the left is all we've been shown of her.) Tabata couldn't reveal her name, but affirmed she's still in the game and will play a major part in the story.
More information on Final Fantasy XV will be revealed in the next Active Time Report livestream, scheduled to air during PAX Prime at the end of the month. More scenes from Final Fantasy XV will also be shown at the Tokyo Game Show in September.
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