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  1. “Listen to my story.” Tidus, the protagonist of Final Fantasy X, opens the game with this line, and his voice carries its compelling tale to a thrilling conclusion. Fifteen years later, Square Enix released Final Fantasy XV and bet its protagonist Prince Noctis had a voice strong enough to carry a media franchise. The movie Kingsglaive showed Noctis’ home. The anime series Brotherhood introduced Noctis’ friends. The Omen trailer revealed Noctis’ worst nightmare. Final Fantasy XV would tell Noctis’ story… or would it? Beware: this in-depth analysis of Final Fantasy XV contains spoilers. Like how Tidus propels Final Fantasy X’s narrative, Noctis powers Final Fantasy XV’s. Almost every entry in the Final Fantasy XV franchise reflects his importance. The Omen trailer, which stars Noctis, depicts one of the series’ strongest creative visions, and his exclusion from the prequel movie Kingsglaive resulted in its pointless and convoluted story. Given this logic, Noctis’ story should be the franchise’s crown jewel, but many don’t even classify it as a good story in general. Unfortunately, the void Noctis left in Kingsglaive doesn’t end when the game begins. Noctis’ physical presence fails to compensate for his mental and emotional distance from the game’s events. Despite his appearance, he primarily functions as a vessel for the player. Such protagonists serve many games well, but when the story’s world, characters, and purpose rely on the protagonist’s actions and personality rather than the player’s, his absence spells disaster. Final Fantasy XV has many intriguing ideas and great potential to tell a rich story, but Noctis’ emptiness riddles it with character arcs that go nowhere, contradictions, and confusion. Noctis Lucis Caelum begins as a sheltered prince selected by a magic crystal to purge the world of darkness. As part of a peace treaty between Noctis’ kingdom of Lucis and the empire Niflheim, King Regis sends Noctis to wed his childhood friend Princess Luna, or so Noctis believes. He embarks on his quest in high spirits with his loyal friends and bodyguards Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus, but with his journey barely begun, Noctis discovers the forces of Niflheim have destroyed his home and killed his father. Regis expected their betrayal and only sent Noctis away to protect him. Frustrated and distraught, Noctis wonders why Regis only smiled as he left without saying what Noctis needed to do as Lucis’ sole heir or as the crystal’s Chosen. Advisors and guardians tell Noctis to gather his ancestors’ powers and earn the favor of the Six gods to fulfill the prophecy his father died to help him achieve. In response to the tragedy, Luna begins summoning the Six for Noctis to impress: Titan, Ramuh, Leviathan, Shiva, Bahamut, and Ifrit. As the Oracle, she speaks to the gods for the Lucian king. Before she can complete her duty though, Niflheim’s chancellor Ardyn Izunia stabs her to death. Greif-stricken, Noctis pauses his quest to visit Luna’s home Tenebrae, but his decision strains his friendship with his three companions. Additionally, his ancestors’ Ring of the Lucii, which Luna delivered to Noctis before her death, burdens his mind. Noctis begins seeing visions of Ardyn on the train to Tenebrae and attacks him with a blind need for revenge. When he finally throws the specter off the train, he realizes Ardyn has tricked him with an illusion into attacking Prompto. Noctis, Ignis, and Gladiolus continue to the empire’s capital Gralea to retrieve the crystal and rescue Prompto from Ardyn’s grasp. The dangerous conditions separate them as soon as they reach the fortress though, and Noctis discovers he can’t summon his weapons, leaving him no choice but to wield the ring. While enduring Ardyn’s mockery and threats over the base’s intercom, Noctis fights his way to Prompto and the crystal. He pleads with the stone to help him stop the daemons, and to his surprise, the crystal pulls him into it. Bahamut greets him inside and reveals Ardyn as an ancient Chosen king. After banishing the darkness two thousand years ago by absorbing daemons into his body, the crystal saw him as tainted and refused to bestow him its power. When his people rejected him as well, he sought revenge by embodying the Starscourge, the darkness consuming the world. To banish the scourge for good, Noctis must wield the crystal’s power and his ancestors’ might to kill Ardyn. Noctis must sacrifice his life, however, to receive their strength. Ten years later, when Noctis’ ring has absorbed the crystal’s energy, he emerges from the stone to reunite with his friends, sacrifice himself to the prior Lucian kings, and defeat Ardyn. The clues and lore littering Final Fantasy XV tease a thoughtful story, hint at deep themes and characters, and build players’ expectations for a satisfying conclusion. Overall, the game fails to deliver these promises, but its strongest elements show the potential Noctis’ story had if only he had told it. While Noctis ultimately feels shallow in the final game, certain elements paint him as a relatable character we can learn about the world through. As Lucis’ prince and the Chosen, he has great importance and yet has doubts and questions about his duties. He knows nothing about the Lucian souls and weapons Regis’ advisor Cor tells him to collect. As a child, he has trouble understanding the cryptic texts describing the Chosen and the Six and relies on Luna to give him simpler explanations. Even as an adult, he doesn’t know what the crystal wants him to do. Experiencing the story through his eyes should allow players to learn about the world as he does while playing a major role in the story. His skepticism makes him stand out when duty and ancient texts motivate everyone around him. As a child, Noctis asks Luna challenging questions about himself. “If the crystal belongs to everyone, how come only Lucis gets to use it?” When Luna tells him only the chosen Lucian king can use the crystal to save the world, Noctis asks, “You really think I can do that?” Still without adequate answers, his skepticism follows him into adulthood. “Legend has it the King once stood alongside the Six to banish the darkness,” Ignis says. “‘Darkness’ seems awfully vague,” Noctis observes. “A king is sworn to protect his people,” Cor says. “And yet [my father] chose to protect only one prince,” Noctis responds. “Was that his calling? Forsake the masses to spare his own son?” The uninformative answers he receives make one wonder if Noctis’ advisors hide a dark secret from him, if the crystal belongs to Lucis, if it truly chose Noctis, and if Lucis somehow caused the spreading darkness. Noctis does a poor job emphasizing Luna’s importance to him in the final game, but if used effectively, she had great potential to both motivate and corrupt him. Noctis spends the game’s first half pursuing Luna, always one step behind her. He begins with a journey to marry her but transitions to following the trail of gods she summons, knowing that each she calls drains her strength. Finally, he reaches her only to see Ardyn, a mysterious man of the empire, murder her. Luna, who even as a child understood Noctis’ destiny better than he did, dies with a smile on her face and Noctis’ secrets in her mind. As if Noctis pursued his nebulous destiny only for her, he laments, “All I wanted was to save you.” He puts his quest on hold, even refusing to wear the magical Lucian ring she died delivering to him. With his means of summoning the Six gone, he’s reached a dead end. The first scene with Noctis after he grieves Luna’s death opens with him illuminated in a blinding ray of sunlight. While light often symbolizes goodness or clarity, the exaggerated and unnatural lighting in this scene creates the feeling that something sinister and dark festers in the king of light. Indeed, players soon learn Noctis’ rage and despair has driven him apart from his friends, and he looks at the ring as if it holds a malicious temptation he fights against satisfying. Bent on revenge and aggravated by Ardyn’s illusion magic Noctis chases Ardyn up and down the train to Tenebrae until he realizes he’s pursuing a figment of his imagination or, worse, Prompto. The game offers a simplistic reason for Noctis’ lost abilities, but explanations with personal significance to him, derived from the clues presented within the game and surrounding media, instantly produce more satisfying scenarios. When his powers stop working and he learns Ardyn’s true identity, Noctis has even more reason to question his own identity and abilities. Losing his magic after his dark experiences on the train suggests that the scourge has corrupted him, leaving him unable to grasp the power the crystal grants him as a Lucian king. Perhaps the scourge begins as a darkness in the heart and then becomes a mental and physical disease. Such a condition could jeopardize his ability to fulfill his destiny. The burden the ring has on Noctis’ mind and his use of it visually and audibly support that it corrupts him. When Noctis’ uses it, players hear whispering like that of demons in horror movies. The Ring of the Lucii glows red. Fire-filled cracks appear on Noctis’ face and arms. As if he’s opened the gates to hell itself, nearby daemons shrivel and explode out of existence. Streams of light flow into Noctis’ hand, and he receives a health boost, implying he’s absorbed their power. If he does absorb them though, what stops them from corrupting him as they corrupted Ardyn? Perhaps Ardyn used the ring to absorb daemons into his body two thousand years ago and has since passed it to the Lucian kings with the myth that it holds great power when in fact it corrupts the wearer. Events in the Kingsglaive movie provide another alternative scenario for why Noctis loses his abilities. King Regis’ knights lose their magic when Regis dies because he lent them his abilities and can no longer power them after death. If Noctis weren’t a Lucian king, Regis could presumably lend him his power as well. When Ardyn reveals himself as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, he adds, “You’ll never guess who Izunia was.” Perhaps he means Noctis’ ancestors were Izunians who took the Lucian name after ostracizing Ardyn. Ardyn could have lent the fake Lucians his power to make them think they wield and protect the light. Now as part of his revenge, he crushes their hope of defeating him by revealing they never had any power to banish the darkness. Noctis spends little on-screen time contemplating his destiny, but this simple action could have given him more agency and better tied the story’s loose ends. Inside the crystal, Bahamut answers the question Noctis has had since his father’s death. Perhaps his father and Luna hid so much and treated him so gently because they knew his fate. His desire to protect his friends from Ardyn, avenge those who have suffered under him, and redeem his own ignorance and corruption could give Noctis the determination to meet his death. This interpretation of the game’s story may sound decent, but it accentuates and omits details to highlight its strengths. In reality, Noctis does not exist often enough to bring these themes and ideas to life. He has thoughts and emotions only often enough to contradict himself and alienate the player. Noctis’ naivety quickly disappears, leaving players in the dust. He may not know much about the Lucian weapons he must collect, but he recognizes when Luna summons gods before players even know she can do that. He greets a mysterious lady Gentiana like an old friend and accepts more duties from her with little explanation as to who she is. Noctis takes it for granted that Ardyn can perform illusion magic, leaving it to loading screen text to explain it to the player. He almost completely ceases questioning his duties in the same conversation where he shows the most frustration with how little he knows about them. Noctis wonders why his father would entrust protecting the people of Lucis to him when he hasn’t even bothered to prepare him for the task. Cor sates his frustration with, “He always had faith in you, that when the time came, you would ascend for the sake of your people.” Yet another synonym for “it is your duty.” Gladiolus questions Noctis at a couple future points, but players select Noctis’ response. He can either show ignorance and skepticism or resolve. These responses have no effect on the story though, making Noctis either a king who deeply questions his abilities but doesn’t care enough to investigate or a king who has resolved to save the world with a friend prone to pointlessly bickering with him. Admittedly, the story doesn’t give Noctis many reasons to question his destiny anyway. Anyone else proclaiming themselves the Chosen, such as Niflheim’s Emperor Aldercapt and Luna’s brother Ravus, are obviously wrong or evil mustache twirlers. The moral ambiguity Lucis portrayed in Kingsglaive doesn’t continue far beyond it. The people outside Lucis’ capital city, who hated Regis’ decision to give their homes to the empire in exchange for peace in the film, don’t seem to exist in the game. Nothing suggests that Noctis’ mission has terrible consequences or actually makes the situation worse. No one has an alternative method to ridding the world of darkness, so Noctis and his friends must try this one by default, even if they didn’t have prophecies to assure them they have chosen the correct path. Noctis’ lack of contemplation, however, results in a boring and insincere tale. Noctis pauses his journey, not because he legitimately questions his identity and actions, but because the whiny prince sets his arbitrary duties aside to mope. Noctis doesn’t lose his powers because his ancestor sent him down a path of corruption or because he never inherited Lucis’ gifts. He loses his powers because a random Niflheim invention disables him when someone turns it on. Supposedly, Noctis’ tale stars a prince who must get rid of his “slack jaw” and become a king, but by the game’s end, Noctis has matured only by growing a beard. His ever-increasing power and continuing blind belief in a prophecy hardly count as wisdom. Showing his contempt for introspection and critical thinking, he doesn’t wonder where the Starscourge originated or if he can find a way to defeat Ardyn without killing himself just because his ancestors demand it. While the idea of a prince pursuing his love across the land only for revenge and solitude to corrupt him sounds compelling, Noctis delivers it poorly. He and his friends discuss the burden Luna carries just ahead of them but only while the player explores the world. Luna slowly weakening and potentially dying receives less emphasis than Ignis announcing that he’s come up with a new recipe, and Noctis and his friends discuss it as lightheartedly as his terrible driving habits. Ravus arguably mentions her struggles in a cutscene when he says to Noctis, “You receive [Ramah’s] blessing. And yet you know nothing of the consequences.” He doesn’t make it clear, however, if his warning refers to Luna’s condition, and Noctis and his friends don’t care enough to wonder. Poor Luna receives so little attention that players can easily miss these details and see her as a distressed damsel who faints into armchairs for no reason. Noctis not only doesn’t care about Luna’s burden, but also, he doesn’t care that she carries it for him. He laments Luna’s death not because her duty to serve him sapped her strength until it killed her but because a bad guy decided to stab her. Like a cliché, he laments that he couldn’t save the woman he loved instead of wondering why yet another person who understood his destiny sacrificed herself without telling him how to proceed. Gladiolus is too busy calling him a mopey teenager for either of them to notice that Noctis can’t contact the remaining three gods to complete his quest. Ardyn murdered the one person who can summon them. Fortunately, Shiva decides to reveal herself by freezing Noctis, Gladiolus, and Ignis half to death for no reason. Bahamut and Ifrit also reveal themselves unprovoked. Thus, Luna becomes an inconsequential side note in Noctis’ journey. In fact, Noctis’ indifference belittles and muddles most of the story’s biggest revelations. Ardyn’s illusions could make a prince, who already questions his destiny, question his senses and the people around him. Instead, Ardyn’s random and pointless use of his abilities mostly just annoys Noctis. Noctis struggles desperately while the crystal slowly absorbs him, but then, he contentedly spends the next decade hibernating inside it. Ardyn reveals himself as a Lucian king, but Noctis doesn’t reflect on what that means for his own identity. Players spend the game collecting the weapons, souls, and powers of thirteen dead kings, the favor of six gods, and a magic ring and crystal only to discover that Noctis still has to die to gain the power to defeat Ardyn. Everything Noctis does seems like a pointless ritual to prove himself the Chosen when everyone already knew that. His arrogant ancestors apparently think the Lucian line can end, and they will never need to defend the world from the Starscourge again. But Noctis doesn’t see his destiny as unfair or arbitrary nor does he so much as wonder how much his father or Luna knew of his fate. Without Noctis, even Final Fantasy XV’s blatant brotherhood theme doesn’t quite translate in the end. The infamous Chapter 13 attempts to emphasize the importance of Noctis’ friends through their absence. Noctis wanders Gralea’s scary and lonely corridors while Ardyn taunts him for his powerlessness without his companions. Ardyn can’t convince anyone, however, with Noctis opening hellish portals and exploding daemons into screaming fire balls, which Noctis doesn’t find at all disconcerting by the way. Ardyn also tries to torment him with illusions, but rather than becoming paranoid and desperate, Noctis recognizes the tricks and snarls with annoyance. These failed tactics instead reveal the uselessness and superficiality of Noctis’ friends to the story. Noctis fights and defeats Ardyn by himself. His strength comes from kings, gods, rings, and crystals, not from the brothers around him. He doesn’t need them to tell him to do his duty. He doesn’t need them to tell him to move past Luna’s death. He never refuses to continue his quest, and he wears the ring on his own terms. He doesn’t need them to help him separate reality from illusion. He doesn’t need them to save him from corruption. They don’t transform him from a prince into a king, if he didn’t leave the castle as a king from the start. He doesn’t fear facing Leviathan, Bahamut, or Ardyn by himself. He cries the final time he sits around a campfire with his companions, but why? Does he wish his journey didn’t end in a path he must walk alone? Does he think of the hole his death will leave in his friends’ hearts? Does he mourn the life he will never know with them by his side? Is he only grateful they walked with him this far? Without Noctis to define what they mean to him, Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus exist only as replaceable clichés to entertain players on their journey. Final Fantasy XV asks the player to “reclaim your throne,” not to “reclaim Noctis’ throne,” and for this reason, unlike Tidus, Noctis never has the chance to say, “Listen to my story.” The game contains elements of an emotional and compelling tale, but Noctis’ emptiness transforms it into a shallow and confusing one. Players who can project themselves into Noctis and fill the gaps around him with their own speculation and experiences can fall in love with the world, its ideas, and its characters. The players looking for Noctis’ story, however, will only find the void he left behind. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. “Listen to my story.” Tidus, the protagonist of Final Fantasy X, opens the game with this line, and his voice carries its compelling tale to a thrilling conclusion. Fifteen years later, Square Enix released Final Fantasy XV and bet its protagonist Prince Noctis had a voice strong enough to carry a media franchise. The movie Kingsglaive showed Noctis’ home. The anime series Brotherhood introduced Noctis’ friends. The Omen trailer revealed Noctis’ worst nightmare. Final Fantasy XV would tell Noctis’ story… or would it? Beware: this in-depth analysis of Final Fantasy XV contains spoilers. Like how Tidus propels Final Fantasy X’s narrative, Noctis powers Final Fantasy XV’s. Almost every entry in the Final Fantasy XV franchise reflects his importance. The Omen trailer, which stars Noctis, depicts one of the series’ strongest creative visions, and his exclusion from the prequel movie Kingsglaive resulted in its pointless and convoluted story. Given this logic, Noctis’ story should be the franchise’s crown jewel, but many don’t even classify it as a good story in general. Unfortunately, the void Noctis left in Kingsglaive doesn’t end when the game begins. Noctis’ physical presence fails to compensate for his mental and emotional distance from the game’s events. Despite his appearance, he primarily functions as a vessel for the player. Such protagonists serve many games well, but when the story’s world, characters, and purpose rely on the protagonist’s actions and personality rather than the player’s, his absence spells disaster. Final Fantasy XV has many intriguing ideas and great potential to tell a rich story, but Noctis’ emptiness riddles it with character arcs that go nowhere, contradictions, and confusion. Noctis Lucis Caelum begins as a sheltered prince selected by a magic crystal to purge the world of darkness. As part of a peace treaty between Noctis’ kingdom of Lucis and the empire Niflheim, King Regis sends Noctis to wed his childhood friend Princess Luna, or so Noctis believes. He embarks on his quest in high spirits with his loyal friends and bodyguards Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus, but with his journey barely begun, Noctis discovers the forces of Niflheim have destroyed his home and killed his father. Regis expected their betrayal and only sent Noctis away to protect him. Frustrated and distraught, Noctis wonders why Regis only smiled as he left without saying what Noctis needed to do as Lucis’ sole heir or as the crystal’s Chosen. Advisors and guardians tell Noctis to gather his ancestors’ powers and earn the favor of the Six gods to fulfill the prophecy his father died to help him achieve. In response to the tragedy, Luna begins summoning the Six for Noctis to impress: Titan, Ramuh, Leviathan, Shiva, Bahamut, and Ifrit. As the Oracle, she speaks to the gods for the Lucian king. Before she can complete her duty though, Niflheim’s chancellor Ardyn Izunia stabs her to death. Greif-stricken, Noctis pauses his quest to visit Luna’s home Tenebrae, but his decision strains his friendship with his three companions. Additionally, his ancestors’ Ring of the Lucii, which Luna delivered to Noctis before her death, burdens his mind. Noctis begins seeing visions of Ardyn on the train to Tenebrae and attacks him with a blind need for revenge. When he finally throws the specter off the train, he realizes Ardyn has tricked him with an illusion into attacking Prompto. Noctis, Ignis, and Gladiolus continue to the empire’s capital Gralea to retrieve the crystal and rescue Prompto from Ardyn’s grasp. The dangerous conditions separate them as soon as they reach the fortress though, and Noctis discovers he can’t summon his weapons, leaving him no choice but to wield the ring. While enduring Ardyn’s mockery and threats over the base’s intercom, Noctis fights his way to Prompto and the crystal. He pleads with the stone to help him stop the daemons, and to his surprise, the crystal pulls him into it. Bahamut greets him inside and reveals Ardyn as an ancient Chosen king. After banishing the darkness two thousand years ago by absorbing daemons into his body, the crystal saw him as tainted and refused to bestow him its power. When his people rejected him as well, he sought revenge by embodying the Starscourge, the darkness consuming the world. To banish the scourge for good, Noctis must wield the crystal’s power and his ancestors’ might to kill Ardyn. Noctis must sacrifice his life, however, to receive their strength. Ten years later, when Noctis’ ring has absorbed the crystal’s energy, he emerges from the stone to reunite with his friends, sacrifice himself to the prior Lucian kings, and defeat Ardyn. The clues and lore littering Final Fantasy XV tease a thoughtful story, hint at deep themes and characters, and build players’ expectations for a satisfying conclusion. Overall, the game fails to deliver these promises, but its strongest elements show the potential Noctis’ story had if only he had told it. While Noctis ultimately feels shallow in the final game, certain elements paint him as a relatable character we can learn about the world through. As Lucis’ prince and the Chosen, he has great importance and yet has doubts and questions about his duties. He knows nothing about the Lucian souls and weapons Regis’ advisor Cor tells him to collect. As a child, he has trouble understanding the cryptic texts describing the Chosen and the Six and relies on Luna to give him simpler explanations. Even as an adult, he doesn’t know what the crystal wants him to do. Experiencing the story through his eyes should allow players to learn about the world as he does while playing a major role in the story. His skepticism makes him stand out when duty and ancient texts motivate everyone around him. As a child, Noctis asks Luna challenging questions about himself. “If the crystal belongs to everyone, how come only Lucis gets to use it?” When Luna tells him only the chosen Lucian king can use the crystal to save the world, Noctis asks, “You really think I can do that?” Still without adequate answers, his skepticism follows him into adulthood. “Legend has it the King once stood alongside the Six to banish the darkness,” Ignis says. “‘Darkness’ seems awfully vague,” Noctis observes. “A king is sworn to protect his people,” Cor says. “And yet [my father] chose to protect only one prince,” Noctis responds. “Was that his calling? Forsake the masses to spare his own son?” The uninformative answers he receives make one wonder if Noctis’ advisors hide a dark secret from him, if the crystal belongs to Lucis, if it truly chose Noctis, and if Lucis somehow caused the spreading darkness. Noctis does a poor job emphasizing Luna’s importance to him in the final game, but if used effectively, she had great potential to both motivate and corrupt him. Noctis spends the game’s first half pursuing Luna, always one step behind her. He begins with a journey to marry her but transitions to following the trail of gods she summons, knowing that each she calls drains her strength. Finally, he reaches her only to see Ardyn, a mysterious man of the empire, murder her. Luna, who even as a child understood Noctis’ destiny better than he did, dies with a smile on her face and Noctis’ secrets in her mind. As if Noctis pursued his nebulous destiny only for her, he laments, “All I wanted was to save you.” He puts his quest on hold, even refusing to wear the magical Lucian ring she died delivering to him. With his means of summoning the Six gone, he’s reached a dead end. The first scene with Noctis after he grieves Luna’s death opens with him illuminated in a blinding ray of sunlight. While light often symbolizes goodness or clarity, the exaggerated and unnatural lighting in this scene creates the feeling that something sinister and dark festers in the king of light. Indeed, players soon learn Noctis’ rage and despair has driven him apart from his friends, and he looks at the ring as if it holds a malicious temptation he fights against satisfying. Bent on revenge and aggravated by Ardyn’s illusion magic Noctis chases Ardyn up and down the train to Tenebrae until he realizes he’s pursuing a figment of his imagination or, worse, Prompto. The game offers a simplistic reason for Noctis’ lost abilities, but explanations with personal significance to him, derived from the clues presented within the game and surrounding media, instantly produce more satisfying scenarios. When his powers stop working and he learns Ardyn’s true identity, Noctis has even more reason to question his own identity and abilities. Losing his magic after his dark experiences on the train suggests that the scourge has corrupted him, leaving him unable to grasp the power the crystal grants him as a Lucian king. Perhaps the scourge begins as a darkness in the heart and then becomes a mental and physical disease. Such a condition could jeopardize his ability to fulfill his destiny. The burden the ring has on Noctis’ mind and his use of it visually and audibly support that it corrupts him. When Noctis’ uses it, players hear whispering like that of demons in horror movies. The Ring of the Lucii glows red. Fire-filled cracks appear on Noctis’ face and arms. As if he’s opened the gates to hell itself, nearby daemons shrivel and explode out of existence. Streams of light flow into Noctis’ hand, and he receives a health boost, implying he’s absorbed their power. If he does absorb them though, what stops them from corrupting him as they corrupted Ardyn? Perhaps Ardyn used the ring to absorb daemons into his body two thousand years ago and has since passed it to the Lucian kings with the myth that it holds great power when in fact it corrupts the wearer. Events in the Kingsglaive movie provide another alternative scenario for why Noctis loses his abilities. King Regis’ knights lose their magic when Regis dies because he lent them his abilities and can no longer power them after death. If Noctis weren’t a Lucian king, Regis could presumably lend him his power as well. When Ardyn reveals himself as Ardyn Lucis Caelum, he adds, “You’ll never guess who Izunia was.” Perhaps he means Noctis’ ancestors were Izunians who took the Lucian name after ostracizing Ardyn. Ardyn could have lent the fake Lucians his power to make them think they wield and protect the light. Now as part of his revenge, he crushes their hope of defeating him by revealing they never had any power to banish the darkness. Noctis spends little on-screen time contemplating his destiny, but this simple action could have given him more agency and better tied the story’s loose ends. Inside the crystal, Bahamut answers the question Noctis has had since his father’s death. Perhaps his father and Luna hid so much and treated him so gently because they knew his fate. His desire to protect his friends from Ardyn, avenge those who have suffered under him, and redeem his own ignorance and corruption could give Noctis the determination to meet his death. This interpretation of the game’s story may sound decent, but it accentuates and omits details to highlight its strengths. In reality, Noctis does not exist often enough to bring these themes and ideas to life. He has thoughts and emotions only often enough to contradict himself and alienate the player. Noctis’ naivety quickly disappears, leaving players in the dust. He may not know much about the Lucian weapons he must collect, but he recognizes when Luna summons gods before players even know she can do that. He greets a mysterious lady Gentiana like an old friend and accepts more duties from her with little explanation as to who she is. Noctis takes it for granted that Ardyn can perform illusion magic, leaving it to loading screen text to explain it to the player. He almost completely ceases questioning his duties in the same conversation where he shows the most frustration with how little he knows about them. Noctis wonders why his father would entrust protecting the people of Lucis to him when he hasn’t even bothered to prepare him for the task. Cor sates his frustration with, “He always had faith in you, that when the time came, you would ascend for the sake of your people.” Yet another synonym for “it is your duty.” Gladiolus questions Noctis at a couple future points, but players select Noctis’ response. He can either show ignorance and skepticism or resolve. These responses have no effect on the story though, making Noctis either a king who deeply questions his abilities but doesn’t care enough to investigate or a king who has resolved to save the world with a friend prone to pointlessly bickering with him. Admittedly, the story doesn’t give Noctis many reasons to question his destiny anyway. Anyone else proclaiming themselves the Chosen, such as Niflheim’s Emperor Aldercapt and Luna’s brother Ravus, are obviously wrong or evil mustache twirlers. The moral ambiguity Lucis portrayed in Kingsglaive doesn’t continue far beyond it. The people outside Lucis’ capital city, who hated Regis’ decision to give their homes to the empire in exchange for peace in the film, don’t seem to exist in the game. Nothing suggests that Noctis’ mission has terrible consequences or actually makes the situation worse. No one has an alternative method to ridding the world of darkness, so Noctis and his friends must try this one by default, even if they didn’t have prophecies to assure them they have chosen the correct path. Noctis’ lack of contemplation, however, results in a boring and insincere tale. Noctis pauses his journey, not because he legitimately questions his identity and actions, but because the whiny prince sets his arbitrary duties aside to mope. Noctis doesn’t lose his powers because his ancestor sent him down a path of corruption or because he never inherited Lucis’ gifts. He loses his powers because a random Niflheim invention disables him when someone turns it on. Supposedly, Noctis’ tale stars a prince who must get rid of his “slack jaw” and become a king, but by the game’s end, Noctis has matured only by growing a beard. His ever-increasing power and continuing blind belief in a prophecy hardly count as wisdom. Showing his contempt for introspection and critical thinking, he doesn’t wonder where the Starscourge originated or if he can find a way to defeat Ardyn without killing himself just because his ancestors demand it. While the idea of a prince pursuing his love across the land only for revenge and solitude to corrupt him sounds compelling, Noctis delivers it poorly. He and his friends discuss the burden Luna carries just ahead of them but only while the player explores the world. Luna slowly weakening and potentially dying receives less emphasis than Ignis announcing that he’s come up with a new recipe, and Noctis and his friends discuss it as lightheartedly as his terrible driving habits. Ravus arguably mentions her struggles in a cutscene when he says to Noctis, “You receive [Ramah’s] blessing. And yet you know nothing of the consequences.” He doesn’t make it clear, however, if his warning refers to Luna’s condition, and Noctis and his friends don’t care enough to wonder. Poor Luna receives so little attention that players can easily miss these details and see her as a distressed damsel who faints into armchairs for no reason. Noctis not only doesn’t care about Luna’s burden, but also, he doesn’t care that she carries it for him. He laments Luna’s death not because her duty to serve him sapped her strength until it killed her but because a bad guy decided to stab her. Like a cliché, he laments that he couldn’t save the woman he loved instead of wondering why yet another person who understood his destiny sacrificed herself without telling him how to proceed. Gladiolus is too busy calling him a mopey teenager for either of them to notice that Noctis can’t contact the remaining three gods to complete his quest. Ardyn murdered the one person who can summon them. Fortunately, Shiva decides to reveal herself by freezing Noctis, Gladiolus, and Ignis half to death for no reason. Bahamut and Ifrit also reveal themselves unprovoked. Thus, Luna becomes an inconsequential side note in Noctis’ journey. In fact, Noctis’ indifference belittles and muddles most of the story’s biggest revelations. Ardyn’s illusions could make a prince, who already questions his destiny, question his senses and the people around him. Instead, Ardyn’s random and pointless use of his abilities mostly just annoys Noctis. Noctis struggles desperately while the crystal slowly absorbs him, but then, he contentedly spends the next decade hibernating inside it. Ardyn reveals himself as a Lucian king, but Noctis doesn’t reflect on what that means for his own identity. Players spend the game collecting the weapons, souls, and powers of thirteen dead kings, the favor of six gods, and a magic ring and crystal only to discover that Noctis still has to die to gain the power to defeat Ardyn. Everything Noctis does seems like a pointless ritual to prove himself the Chosen when everyone already knew that. His arrogant ancestors apparently think the Lucian line can end, and they will never need to defend the world from the Starscourge again. But Noctis doesn’t see his destiny as unfair or arbitrary nor does he so much as wonder how much his father or Luna knew of his fate. Without Noctis, even Final Fantasy XV’s blatant brotherhood theme doesn’t quite translate in the end. The infamous Chapter 13 attempts to emphasize the importance of Noctis’ friends through their absence. Noctis wanders Gralea’s scary and lonely corridors while Ardyn taunts him for his powerlessness without his companions. Ardyn can’t convince anyone, however, with Noctis opening hellish portals and exploding daemons into screaming fire balls, which Noctis doesn’t find at all disconcerting by the way. Ardyn also tries to torment him with illusions, but rather than becoming paranoid and desperate, Noctis recognizes the tricks and snarls with annoyance. These failed tactics instead reveal the uselessness and superficiality of Noctis’ friends to the story. Noctis fights and defeats Ardyn by himself. His strength comes from kings, gods, rings, and crystals, not from the brothers around him. He doesn’t need them to tell him to do his duty. He doesn’t need them to tell him to move past Luna’s death. He never refuses to continue his quest, and he wears the ring on his own terms. He doesn’t need them to help him separate reality from illusion. He doesn’t need them to save him from corruption. They don’t transform him from a prince into a king, if he didn’t leave the castle as a king from the start. He doesn’t fear facing Leviathan, Bahamut, or Ardyn by himself. He cries the final time he sits around a campfire with his companions, but why? Does he wish his journey didn’t end in a path he must walk alone? Does he think of the hole his death will leave in his friends’ hearts? Does he mourn the life he will never know with them by his side? Is he only grateful they walked with him this far? Without Noctis to define what they mean to him, Ignis, Prompto, and Gladiolus exist only as replaceable clichés to entertain players on their journey. Final Fantasy XV asks the player to “reclaim your throne,” not to “reclaim Noctis’ throne,” and for this reason, unlike Tidus, Noctis never has the chance to say, “Listen to my story.” The game contains elements of an emotional and compelling tale, but Noctis’ emptiness transforms it into a shallow and confusing one. Players who can project themselves into Noctis and fill the gaps around him with their own speculation and experiences can fall in love with the world, its ideas, and its characters. The players looking for Noctis’ story, however, will only find the void he left behind. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. On the eve of the release of the latest story DLC, Episode Prompto, Final Fantasy XV received its June update. Among other things, the update includes the addition of a new vehicle customization the off-roading Regalia Type-D. To get the upgrade for the ol' girl all you'll have to do is take her to Cindy who will propose a "doozy of an idea." The new Regalia stands taller than even Gladio and apparently is a gas guzzler. With the update, all of the guys have new ridiculous things to say and noises as they are jostled around of course. The Type-D was made for off-roading and takes the in-game driving from on-rails to fully manual. There's also a "big jump" function with jumps scored based on distance, landing stability and midair impact. Be warned though, too big of a jump can lead to a game over. Oh, and you're not immune to trees or rocks... The update itself was pretty massive and included compatibility for Episode Prompto. View full article
  4. On the eve of the release of the latest story DLC, Episode Prompto, Final Fantasy XV received its June update. Among other things, the update includes the addition of a new vehicle customization the off-roading Regalia Type-D. To get the upgrade for the ol' girl all you'll have to do is take her to Cindy who will propose a "doozy of an idea." The new Regalia stands taller than even Gladio and apparently is a gas guzzler. With the update, all of the guys have new ridiculous things to say and noises as they are jostled around of course. The Type-D was made for off-roading and takes the in-game driving from on-rails to fully manual. There's also a "big jump" function with jumps scored based on distance, landing stability and midair impact. Be warned though, too big of a jump can lead to a game over. Oh, and you're not immune to trees or rocks... The update itself was pretty massive and included compatibility for Episode Prompto.
  5. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, a movie that parallels the Final Fantasy XV game, promised to bring photorealistic visuals and an understandable Final Fantasy story to fans of the games and newcomers alike. In the film, the kingdom of Lucis has waged war with the enemy empire Niflheim for many years. Regis, King of Lucis, possesses the Divine Crystal and the Ring of the Lucii, powerful magical objects that Niflheim wants. To protect them, Lucis raised an impenetrable wall around the crown city of Insomnia, using the power of the crystal. Despite Lucis’ great magic and the king’s mighty warriors known as the Kingsglaive, Niflheim seems poised to win the war with its unsurpassed military force. Unexpectedly, Niflheim proposes a peace treaty that specifies Regis relinquish all territories outside Insomnia and marry his son Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae. Twelve years previously, Tenebrae, a former ally of Lucis, fell under Niflheim rule when Regis abandoned it to save himself and Noctis. Regis decides to accept Niflheim’s treaty, but sends his son away to a safe location outside Insomnia, creating enemies among his own people and the Kingsglaive. Despite its superficially sufficient story, beautiful visuals, and action-packed fight scenes, many critics describe Kingsglaive as a gorgeous mess. Many complain about the difficulty of following its convoluted and political plot. Others point out its weak characters: helpless and useless females, a throwaway protagonist, and stereotypical kings attempting to outmaneuver one another. Still others equate it to a long video game cut scene or trailer. Criticisms about its weird lip syncing, mixed voice acting, and poorly written dialog abound. As for me, I feel a sense of déjà vu. The description sounds awfully familiar: a Final Fantasy movie promising to bring photorealistic graphics and an accessible story to a new audience only to produce a lukewarm story disguised with impressive visuals. It bears a striking resemblance to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. I even recognize the complaints critics have in that I don’t think they reveal the source of Kingsglaive’s problems. I’ve argued before that Spirits Within contains a fatal flaw in the obstacles that the protagonist faces in the pursuit of her goal to save her life and the world. Kingsglaive similarly has a flaw with its conflicts. This time, however, the problem is that conflicts are almost non-existent. In most stories, characters have problems to solve. Simple stories often have one major, overarching conflict that the characters must resolve and many smaller obstacles that hinder them along the way. Conflicts not only add excitement and purpose, but also help define the world and its characters. Of course, obstacles work best when the characters have a good reason to overcome them no matter what. For example, a major conflict could be that a hero must free her village from a king’s tyrannical rule. In order to do this, she decides to kill the king and take his throne. The obstacles in her way include traveling to the king’s crown city, sneaking in through his walls, breaking into his castle, and fighting through his guards. She also has a clumsy, obnoxious wizard for a sidekick, who she tolerates because of his useful magical powers. Failure means her death and the destruction of her village. High stakes, big obstacles, and a variety of conflicts usually make stories exciting and engaging. The heroes of Kingsglaive seem to fight for “the future” against characters who fight for “their homes.” These vague ideals rarely conflict with one another though nor do significant obstacles arise from other sources. Most of the main characters can’t fail to achieve their goals, and the consequences for failure are never defined and logically don’t seem that bad. Consequently, pointless violence, duty, and death fills the film, but one person could have given meaning to everything. Prince Noctis produces everyone’s problems and gives everyone purpose, but alas, he doesn’t appear in the film to bring this to light. No amount of action-packed fight scenes fill the void of meaninglessness that Noctis’ absence creates. As is, Kingsglaive suggests that the conflict between King Regis and his people comes from differences in beliefs as to what the kingdom should protect: the people’s “homelands” or the “future.” The film doesn’t define what these terms mean, but in general, “fighting for home” seems to refer to a desire for a just king who keeps his people safe. “Fighting for the future” seems equivalent to protecting Noctis so he can fulfill his destiny as the future king and world’s savior. While many of the characters fall into one camp or the other, each character seems to define what they fight for and how they will fight for it in a different way. King Regis fights for the future, which involves protecting both Lunafreya and Noctis. To make up for the fall of Tenebrae, he wants to free Luna from Niflheim’s grasp and reunite her with her beloved Noctis. Luna also protects the future, but she believes that she must stay away from Noctis to keep him safe and that her survival doesn’t matter. The protagonist, a member of the Kingsglaive named Nyx, fights for the future by serving King Regis. After Regis gives away his hometown Galahd to Niflheim, Nyx’s friend and former Kingsglaive Libertus fights to overthrow Regis. The antagonist General Glauca appears to fight for both empires to keep his hometown safe. Ultimately, he sides with Niflheim to overthrow Regis in exchange for his home’s freedom. On closer inspection, however, little stands in the way of the characters and their goals. Sometimes comically weak obstacles stumble them, sometimes the consequences of catastrophic events go unnoticed, and sometimes nothing can stop the characters from succeeding. Luna and Regis’ goals appear to be in conflict with one another, but really, nothing can stop Luna from keeping Noctis safe by staying away from him. In the beginning of the movie, she briefly goes along with Regis’ plan to escort her to a safe location to rendezvous with Noctis, but when his plan fails almost immediately, she staunchly refuses to indulge in Regis’ next plot to bring them together. Regis agrees easily, and because Noctis is already safely outside Insomnia, Luna can literally do nothing and still succeed. Regis can’t reach his goal to protect Noctis and Luna so easily. Many superficial obstacles keep Luna in constant peril, but the horrific sacrifices that Regis makes to save her go entirely unnoticed when they really should produce significant moral dilemmas. Soon after Luna arrives at Regis’ castle, General Glauca kidnaps her and locks her on an airship with a surprise octopus monster on board. Nyx, the first to discover her absence, rushes through easily-parted guards and verbal threats to warn Regis. Regis permits him to deploy the Glaives to save her. Without the Kingsglaive’s captain, also mysteriously absent, Nyx commands his teammates himself. While on their mission, the peace treaty signing ceremony proceeds in Insomnia, but ends with Niflheim attacking the castle and the city. At the same time, Nyx discovers that he led his team into a trap. Amid all the excitement of Nyx fighting a giant octopus, killing traitorous Kingsglaive members, and maneuvering Luna out of two crashing airships while she threatens to kill herself by jumping out of them, the movie fails to emphasize the responsibility Nyx, Regis, and Luna bare for killing the Kingsglaive and destroying Insomnia. With Regis’ permission, Nyx led the Kingsglaive into a trap that killed almost all of them and left the king and the crystal open to attack to a save a woman with questionable importance. As a result, Regis dies, Insomnia’s wall falls, and Niflheim steals the crystal. This leads to the destruction of Insomnia and hundreds of thousands of its civilians. Nyx has little reason to believe that Luna is more important than any of this or that Insomnia’s destruction was inevitable, but he feels no remorse for the role he played and barely questions his loyalty to Regis. By sending the Kingsglaive to save Luna, Regis sacrificed his citizens to save a woman who seems content to remain a prisoner. His internal struggle, if he even has one, never shows. Luna doesn’t value her own life, and yet Regis sacrificing his most powerful warriors, himself, and his citizens for her doesn’t horrify her. These terrible acts of violence don’t make anyone examine their steadfast beliefs when they really should. Nyx, already a nearly unstoppable super protagonist, has such a fluid definition of “the future” and how he protects it that nothing can stand in his way. When King Regis gives Galahd, Nyx’s hometown, away as part of the peace treaty, Nyx doesn’t care because at least Regis and Insomnia are safe. When Insomnia’s magical wall falls, Nyx doesn’t care because at least Regis lives. When Niflheim steals the crystal, King Regis dies, Insomnia falls, and Nyx faces certain death, he still doesn’t care because at least Luna lives and she possesses the Ring of the Lucii. Even if General Glauca took the ring or killed Luna, Nyx probably still wouldn’t care because at least Noctis lives and doesn’t seem to be in danger. Like Luna, Nyx doesn’t have to do anything to save an already safe future. Not even Nyx’s friend Libertus can give him a significant personal or physical conflict. Libertus betrays Lucis to join the rebellion, presumably an organization that wishes to overthrow Regis and replace him with a more people-oriented government. The rebellion doesn’t do anything though. In one scene, Libertus gives them some unspecified information. The next scene related to the rebellion features their leader getting shot in the streets by Niflheim’s army. The film suggests that the rebellion and Libertus help the empire somehow, but Niflheim conquers Insomnia by themselves. Plus, General Glauca, who doubles as captain of the Kingsglaive, already works for Niflheim and likely knows all the information possessed by Libertus and the rebellion. Not even the radio broadcast that Nyx listens to while driving Luna out of the city says what the rebellion did. Nyx pounds the steering wheel angrily at the discovery of Libertus’ betrayal, but when they meet next, Nyx forgives him immediately. Kingsglaive also never defines what makes its obstacles problematic or why the characters must overcome them. Regis, Luna, and Nyx all seem to want to keep Noctis, the future, safe, but he’s outside Insomnia where Regis says it’s safe. Technically, nothing is stopping Niflheim from hunting Noctis down and killing him, but no one threatens to do this. Niflheim doesn’t even seem to care that he’s not in the city even though they specified in the treaty that he marry Luna. We also don’t know Noctis. If he’s anything like his father or ancestors though, he has super powers and doesn’t care about anyone except his next of kin. Why should we want another tyrant to rule the people of Lucis? The film implies that Niflheim is so evil that they can’t be allowed to rule, but honestly, Lucis seems pretty horrible, too. It’s not automatically bad when one kingdom loses power against the military might of another. Would it really be much different or worse if Niflheim ruled? The Kings of Lucis, as revealed by wearing the Ring of the Lucii, seem even more uncaring about their own people than Regis does. The old magic that defends Insomnia even includes destroying the city and killing its citizens. Unlike Lucis, which forces its people to fight a losing war to protect a crystal, a ring, and the next heir to the throne, Niflheim gives people territories in exchange for their help and treats the survivors of Tenebrae decently. A lot of people seem to agree that Niflheim coming into power wouldn’t be so bad. Speaking of the ring, why is it important? Part of the conflict in the final fight scene deals with Nyx and Luna trying to keep the Ring of the Lucii safe from General Glauca. Surrendering it seems to symbolize Lucis’ defeat, but Regis himself doesn’t seem to place much importance in it. Before he dies, he begs Nyx to keep Luna safe. Then, he gives her the ring almost as an afterthought. It doesn’t seem that powerful either. Regis and Nyx use the ring to fight General Glauca. Regis dies, and Nyx barely defeats Glauca before he dies himself. In fact, everyone who uses the ring besides Regis either dies or receives a grievous injury from its power. In death, Regis determines who the ring serves with his fellow prior kings, so of course, a Niflheim ruler will never wield it. Really. Why is it important? Another conflict in the final fight scene as well as most of the conflict throughout the movie deals with keeping Luna safe for equally unspecified reasons. Why is Luna important? Luna suggests that she has some dutiful destiny related to Noctis, but she also says that her life doesn’t matter. Saving Luna just seems like Regis’ vain attempt to make up for letting her home burn while he ran away with his son. Regis kills thousands of people to save Luna and Noctis though, which seems less like making up for the past and more like making an even bigger mistake. This isn’t flattering, considering that Luna’s mother died last time he did this. Luna clearly loves Noctis, and under different circumstances that’d be reason enough for them to be together, but again, we don’t know Noctis. All signs indicate that he’s terrible. Many conflicts in the movie seem like an attempt to create problems that don’t exist and make characters do things when they have nothing to do. The future that half the characters seem so desperate to save, Noctis, seems safe already. Simply placing Noctis in the film, and thus in danger, creates a big problem that can color the characters and the story. For example, Kingsglaive could tell the following tale with Noctis in it, ignoring the events that occur in the game and other media: On his way out of the city, Noctis hears from a traitorous Glaive that Luna didn’t safely escape Tenebrae to meet him and is on her way to Insomnia. Noctis doesn’t understand his father’s blind faith in his destiny nor does he agree with his decision to abandon Luna and Tenebrae twelve years ago. He decides to stay in the city to see Luna to safety himself and meet Niflheim’s terms for peace despite his father’s wishes. He reasons that surely his life doesn’t matter to Niflheim. If they want anything else, it would be the ring and the Crystal, and they can have them as long as the war ends. Unable to convince Noctis that he doesn’t understand and needs to leave, Regis assigns Nyx to be Noctis’ bodyguard. Noctis continues to defy his father by picking Luna up from her Niflheim escort himself (in a sports car of course) with Nyx. The rebellion within Insomnia makes a minor attempt on Noctis’ and Luna’s lives, but they make it back to the castle safely. Unimpressed with Noctis’ show of bravery, Luna reprimands him for remaining in the city and endangering himself. She refuses his affection when Noctis reiterates that he won’t leave and abandon her or his people. On the day of the signing ceremony, traitorous Kingsglaive serving Niflheim kidnap Luna and blame the rebellion, making sure that Noctis and Nyx know about it first. Noctis demands that his father send the Kingsglaive to rescue her, but Regis refuses, wanting to keep the Glaives close to protect his son. In frustration, Noctis runs off to save Luna himself, leaving Regis no choice but to send the Glaives after him. In turn, he leaves himself, the crystal, and the ring vulnerable to attack. He proceeds with the signing ceremony as planned, prepared to sacrifice everything for his son’s safety. Meanwhile, Noctis, Nyx, and the Glaives fight a giant octopus that they find on a ship that looks suspiciously like a Niflheim aircraft to rescue Luna. Members of the Kingsglaive turn on Noctis, and when he and Nyx reach Luna, she warns them of a trap. Noctis realizes that Niflheim tricked him specifically to try to kill him. His father was right, and his hope for peace is naive. The situation gets even worse when Luna, Noctis, and Nyx see Insomnia’s wall falling, enemy ships closing in on the city, and the crystal stolen. They rush back to the castle in time to witness Regis’ death. General Glauca pursues them next to finish the job of crushing Lucis’ last hope. Nyx distracts him while Luna and Noctis escape. Along the way, they are separated. Looking over the ruins of Insomnia, Noctis vows to avenge his father and his people, reclaim his throne, and find Luna. While he still doesn’t understand his own importance, he must ensure that his father’s sacrifice wasn’t in vain. The events of Final Fantasy XV begin. This retelling basically follows Kingsglaive’s existing story, but creates more conflict by adding Prince Noctis. The presence of the prince heightens the potential costs of failure, and the characters’ actions have a greater sense of purpose. Niflheim can destroy or capture every hope that Lucis has, the ring, the crystal, Luna, and Noctis. Lucis could lose all hope for the future instead of some unspecified amount of it. Nyx’s actions and extravagant battles directly relate to protecting Noctis, a character that we can see and understand as opposed to an abstract concept. For fun, the rebellion adds more obstacles and distracts Noctis from his true enemies. To create even more conflicts that help define the characters and the world, Noctis has differing beliefs from his father and Luna. He’s also easier to relate to because he doesn’t fully understand his destiny and all these magical objects either. The greatest losses and violent acts show Noctis his mistakes and motivate him to correct them, which gives them more meaning. They also highlight Niflheim’s cruelty. On Noctis’ insistence, Lucis acts in accordance with Niflheim’s treaty and still the empire destroys Insomnia and attempts to kill Noctis and Luna. The existing story highlights Regis’ cruelty when he defies the peace treaty from the start, sacrifices his people, and doesn’t seem to care. Fifteen years after The Spirits Within, Final Fantasy looks better than ever, but the quality of its storytelling remains about the same. It could have been different though, if only Noctis had stayed. Even if he only plays a minor role, Noctis’ very presence creates a problem that the characters must solve at all costs. He’s the object of his people’s hatred, the son that his father protected over his allies and kingdom. He’s the hope that Niflheim wants to destroy and Regis, Nyx, and Luna must protect. Without him, the characters can only fight over objects and people that may or may not be important and make horrendous sacrifices in pursuit of a nebulous future that may or may not already be safe and may or may not be good. For all of Kingsglaive’s action-packed fight scenes, no one has a battle worth fighting. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today! View full article
  6. Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, a movie that parallels the Final Fantasy XV game, promised to bring photorealistic visuals and an understandable Final Fantasy story to fans of the games and newcomers alike. In the film, the kingdom of Lucis has waged war with the enemy empire Niflheim for many years. Regis, King of Lucis, possesses the Divine Crystal and the Ring of the Lucii, powerful magical objects that Niflheim wants. To protect them, Lucis raised an impenetrable wall around the crown city of Insomnia, using the power of the crystal. Despite Lucis’ great magic and the king’s mighty warriors known as the Kingsglaive, Niflheim seems poised to win the war with its unsurpassed military force. Unexpectedly, Niflheim proposes a peace treaty that specifies Regis relinquish all territories outside Insomnia and marry his son Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae. Twelve years previously, Tenebrae, a former ally of Lucis, fell under Niflheim rule when Regis abandoned it to save himself and Noctis. Regis decides to accept Niflheim’s treaty, but sends his son away to a safe location outside Insomnia, creating enemies among his own people and the Kingsglaive. Despite its superficially sufficient story, beautiful visuals, and action-packed fight scenes, many critics describe Kingsglaive as a gorgeous mess. Many complain about the difficulty of following its convoluted and political plot. Others point out its weak characters: helpless and useless females, a throwaway protagonist, and stereotypical kings attempting to outmaneuver one another. Still others equate it to a long video game cut scene or trailer. Criticisms about its weird lip syncing, mixed voice acting, and poorly written dialog abound. As for me, I feel a sense of déjà vu. The description sounds awfully familiar: a Final Fantasy movie promising to bring photorealistic graphics and an accessible story to a new audience only to produce a lukewarm story disguised with impressive visuals. It bears a striking resemblance to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. I even recognize the complaints critics have in that I don’t think they reveal the source of Kingsglaive’s problems. I’ve argued before that Spirits Within contains a fatal flaw in the obstacles that the protagonist faces in the pursuit of her goal to save her life and the world. Kingsglaive similarly has a flaw with its conflicts. This time, however, the problem is that conflicts are almost non-existent. In most stories, characters have problems to solve. Simple stories often have one major, overarching conflict that the characters must resolve and many smaller obstacles that hinder them along the way. Conflicts not only add excitement and purpose, but also help define the world and its characters. Of course, obstacles work best when the characters have a good reason to overcome them no matter what. For example, a major conflict could be that a hero must free her village from a king’s tyrannical rule. In order to do this, she decides to kill the king and take his throne. The obstacles in her way include traveling to the king’s crown city, sneaking in through his walls, breaking into his castle, and fighting through his guards. She also has a clumsy, obnoxious wizard for a sidekick, who she tolerates because of his useful magical powers. Failure means her death and the destruction of her village. High stakes, big obstacles, and a variety of conflicts usually make stories exciting and engaging. The heroes of Kingsglaive seem to fight for “the future” against characters who fight for “their homes.” These vague ideals rarely conflict with one another though nor do significant obstacles arise from other sources. Most of the main characters can’t fail to achieve their goals, and the consequences for failure are never defined and logically don’t seem that bad. Consequently, pointless violence, duty, and death fills the film, but one person could have given meaning to everything. Prince Noctis produces everyone’s problems and gives everyone purpose, but alas, he doesn’t appear in the film to bring this to light. No amount of action-packed fight scenes fill the void of meaninglessness that Noctis’ absence creates. As is, Kingsglaive suggests that the conflict between King Regis and his people comes from differences in beliefs as to what the kingdom should protect: the people’s “homelands” or the “future.” The film doesn’t define what these terms mean, but in general, “fighting for home” seems to refer to a desire for a just king who keeps his people safe. “Fighting for the future” seems equivalent to protecting Noctis so he can fulfill his destiny as the future king and world’s savior. While many of the characters fall into one camp or the other, each character seems to define what they fight for and how they will fight for it in a different way. King Regis fights for the future, which involves protecting both Lunafreya and Noctis. To make up for the fall of Tenebrae, he wants to free Luna from Niflheim’s grasp and reunite her with her beloved Noctis. Luna also protects the future, but she believes that she must stay away from Noctis to keep him safe and that her survival doesn’t matter. The protagonist, a member of the Kingsglaive named Nyx, fights for the future by serving King Regis. After Regis gives away his hometown Galahd to Niflheim, Nyx’s friend and former Kingsglaive Libertus fights to overthrow Regis. The antagonist General Glauca appears to fight for both empires to keep his hometown safe. Ultimately, he sides with Niflheim to overthrow Regis in exchange for his home’s freedom. On closer inspection, however, little stands in the way of the characters and their goals. Sometimes comically weak obstacles stumble them, sometimes the consequences of catastrophic events go unnoticed, and sometimes nothing can stop the characters from succeeding. Luna and Regis’ goals appear to be in conflict with one another, but really, nothing can stop Luna from keeping Noctis safe by staying away from him. In the beginning of the movie, she briefly goes along with Regis’ plan to escort her to a safe location to rendezvous with Noctis, but when his plan fails almost immediately, she staunchly refuses to indulge in Regis’ next plot to bring them together. Regis agrees easily, and because Noctis is already safely outside Insomnia, Luna can literally do nothing and still succeed. Regis can’t reach his goal to protect Noctis and Luna so easily. Many superficial obstacles keep Luna in constant peril, but the horrific sacrifices that Regis makes to save her go entirely unnoticed when they really should produce significant moral dilemmas. Soon after Luna arrives at Regis’ castle, General Glauca kidnaps her and locks her on an airship with a surprise octopus monster on board. Nyx, the first to discover her absence, rushes through easily-parted guards and verbal threats to warn Regis. Regis permits him to deploy the Glaives to save her. Without the Kingsglaive’s captain, also mysteriously absent, Nyx commands his teammates himself. While on their mission, the peace treaty signing ceremony proceeds in Insomnia, but ends with Niflheim attacking the castle and the city. At the same time, Nyx discovers that he led his team into a trap. Amid all the excitement of Nyx fighting a giant octopus, killing traitorous Kingsglaive members, and maneuvering Luna out of two crashing airships while she threatens to kill herself by jumping out of them, the movie fails to emphasize the responsibility Nyx, Regis, and Luna bare for killing the Kingsglaive and destroying Insomnia. With Regis’ permission, Nyx led the Kingsglaive into a trap that killed almost all of them and left the king and the crystal open to attack to a save a woman with questionable importance. As a result, Regis dies, Insomnia’s wall falls, and Niflheim steals the crystal. This leads to the destruction of Insomnia and hundreds of thousands of its civilians. Nyx has little reason to believe that Luna is more important than any of this or that Insomnia’s destruction was inevitable, but he feels no remorse for the role he played and barely questions his loyalty to Regis. By sending the Kingsglaive to save Luna, Regis sacrificed his citizens to save a woman who seems content to remain a prisoner. His internal struggle, if he even has one, never shows. Luna doesn’t value her own life, and yet Regis sacrificing his most powerful warriors, himself, and his citizens for her doesn’t horrify her. These terrible acts of violence don’t make anyone examine their steadfast beliefs when they really should. Nyx, already a nearly unstoppable super protagonist, has such a fluid definition of “the future” and how he protects it that nothing can stand in his way. When King Regis gives Galahd, Nyx’s hometown, away as part of the peace treaty, Nyx doesn’t care because at least Regis and Insomnia are safe. When Insomnia’s magical wall falls, Nyx doesn’t care because at least Regis lives. When Niflheim steals the crystal, King Regis dies, Insomnia falls, and Nyx faces certain death, he still doesn’t care because at least Luna lives and she possesses the Ring of the Lucii. Even if General Glauca took the ring or killed Luna, Nyx probably still wouldn’t care because at least Noctis lives and doesn’t seem to be in danger. Like Luna, Nyx doesn’t have to do anything to save an already safe future. Not even Nyx’s friend Libertus can give him a significant personal or physical conflict. Libertus betrays Lucis to join the rebellion, presumably an organization that wishes to overthrow Regis and replace him with a more people-oriented government. The rebellion doesn’t do anything though. In one scene, Libertus gives them some unspecified information. The next scene related to the rebellion features their leader getting shot in the streets by Niflheim’s army. The film suggests that the rebellion and Libertus help the empire somehow, but Niflheim conquers Insomnia by themselves. Plus, General Glauca, who doubles as captain of the Kingsglaive, already works for Niflheim and likely knows all the information possessed by Libertus and the rebellion. Not even the radio broadcast that Nyx listens to while driving Luna out of the city says what the rebellion did. Nyx pounds the steering wheel angrily at the discovery of Libertus’ betrayal, but when they meet next, Nyx forgives him immediately. Kingsglaive also never defines what makes its obstacles problematic or why the characters must overcome them. Regis, Luna, and Nyx all seem to want to keep Noctis, the future, safe, but he’s outside Insomnia where Regis says it’s safe. Technically, nothing is stopping Niflheim from hunting Noctis down and killing him, but no one threatens to do this. Niflheim doesn’t even seem to care that he’s not in the city even though they specified in the treaty that he marry Luna. We also don’t know Noctis. If he’s anything like his father or ancestors though, he has super powers and doesn’t care about anyone except his next of kin. Why should we want another tyrant to rule the people of Lucis? The film implies that Niflheim is so evil that they can’t be allowed to rule, but honestly, Lucis seems pretty horrible, too. It’s not automatically bad when one kingdom loses power against the military might of another. Would it really be much different or worse if Niflheim ruled? The Kings of Lucis, as revealed by wearing the Ring of the Lucii, seem even more uncaring about their own people than Regis does. The old magic that defends Insomnia even includes destroying the city and killing its citizens. Unlike Lucis, which forces its people to fight a losing war to protect a crystal, a ring, and the next heir to the throne, Niflheim gives people territories in exchange for their help and treats the survivors of Tenebrae decently. A lot of people seem to agree that Niflheim coming into power wouldn’t be so bad. Speaking of the ring, why is it important? Part of the conflict in the final fight scene deals with Nyx and Luna trying to keep the Ring of the Lucii safe from General Glauca. Surrendering it seems to symbolize Lucis’ defeat, but Regis himself doesn’t seem to place much importance in it. Before he dies, he begs Nyx to keep Luna safe. Then, he gives her the ring almost as an afterthought. It doesn’t seem that powerful either. Regis and Nyx use the ring to fight General Glauca. Regis dies, and Nyx barely defeats Glauca before he dies himself. In fact, everyone who uses the ring besides Regis either dies or receives a grievous injury from its power. In death, Regis determines who the ring serves with his fellow prior kings, so of course, a Niflheim ruler will never wield it. Really. Why is it important? Another conflict in the final fight scene as well as most of the conflict throughout the movie deals with keeping Luna safe for equally unspecified reasons. Why is Luna important? Luna suggests that she has some dutiful destiny related to Noctis, but she also says that her life doesn’t matter. Saving Luna just seems like Regis’ vain attempt to make up for letting her home burn while he ran away with his son. Regis kills thousands of people to save Luna and Noctis though, which seems less like making up for the past and more like making an even bigger mistake. This isn’t flattering, considering that Luna’s mother died last time he did this. Luna clearly loves Noctis, and under different circumstances that’d be reason enough for them to be together, but again, we don’t know Noctis. All signs indicate that he’s terrible. Many conflicts in the movie seem like an attempt to create problems that don’t exist and make characters do things when they have nothing to do. The future that half the characters seem so desperate to save, Noctis, seems safe already. Simply placing Noctis in the film, and thus in danger, creates a big problem that can color the characters and the story. For example, Kingsglaive could tell the following tale with Noctis in it, ignoring the events that occur in the game and other media: On his way out of the city, Noctis hears from a traitorous Glaive that Luna didn’t safely escape Tenebrae to meet him and is on her way to Insomnia. Noctis doesn’t understand his father’s blind faith in his destiny nor does he agree with his decision to abandon Luna and Tenebrae twelve years ago. He decides to stay in the city to see Luna to safety himself and meet Niflheim’s terms for peace despite his father’s wishes. He reasons that surely his life doesn’t matter to Niflheim. If they want anything else, it would be the ring and the Crystal, and they can have them as long as the war ends. Unable to convince Noctis that he doesn’t understand and needs to leave, Regis assigns Nyx to be Noctis’ bodyguard. Noctis continues to defy his father by picking Luna up from her Niflheim escort himself (in a sports car of course) with Nyx. The rebellion within Insomnia makes a minor attempt on Noctis’ and Luna’s lives, but they make it back to the castle safely. Unimpressed with Noctis’ show of bravery, Luna reprimands him for remaining in the city and endangering himself. She refuses his affection when Noctis reiterates that he won’t leave and abandon her or his people. On the day of the signing ceremony, traitorous Kingsglaive serving Niflheim kidnap Luna and blame the rebellion, making sure that Noctis and Nyx know about it first. Noctis demands that his father send the Kingsglaive to rescue her, but Regis refuses, wanting to keep the Glaives close to protect his son. In frustration, Noctis runs off to save Luna himself, leaving Regis no choice but to send the Glaives after him. In turn, he leaves himself, the crystal, and the ring vulnerable to attack. He proceeds with the signing ceremony as planned, prepared to sacrifice everything for his son’s safety. Meanwhile, Noctis, Nyx, and the Glaives fight a giant octopus that they find on a ship that looks suspiciously like a Niflheim aircraft to rescue Luna. Members of the Kingsglaive turn on Noctis, and when he and Nyx reach Luna, she warns them of a trap. Noctis realizes that Niflheim tricked him specifically to try to kill him. His father was right, and his hope for peace is naive. The situation gets even worse when Luna, Noctis, and Nyx see Insomnia’s wall falling, enemy ships closing in on the city, and the crystal stolen. They rush back to the castle in time to witness Regis’ death. General Glauca pursues them next to finish the job of crushing Lucis’ last hope. Nyx distracts him while Luna and Noctis escape. Along the way, they are separated. Looking over the ruins of Insomnia, Noctis vows to avenge his father and his people, reclaim his throne, and find Luna. While he still doesn’t understand his own importance, he must ensure that his father’s sacrifice wasn’t in vain. The events of Final Fantasy XV begin. This retelling basically follows Kingsglaive’s existing story, but creates more conflict by adding Prince Noctis. The presence of the prince heightens the potential costs of failure, and the characters’ actions have a greater sense of purpose. Niflheim can destroy or capture every hope that Lucis has, the ring, the crystal, Luna, and Noctis. Lucis could lose all hope for the future instead of some unspecified amount of it. Nyx’s actions and extravagant battles directly relate to protecting Noctis, a character that we can see and understand as opposed to an abstract concept. For fun, the rebellion adds more obstacles and distracts Noctis from his true enemies. To create even more conflicts that help define the characters and the world, Noctis has differing beliefs from his father and Luna. He’s also easier to relate to because he doesn’t fully understand his destiny and all these magical objects either. The greatest losses and violent acts show Noctis his mistakes and motivate him to correct them, which gives them more meaning. They also highlight Niflheim’s cruelty. On Noctis’ insistence, Lucis acts in accordance with Niflheim’s treaty and still the empire destroys Insomnia and attempts to kill Noctis and Luna. The existing story highlights Regis’ cruelty when he defies the peace treaty from the start, sacrifices his people, and doesn’t seem to care. Fifteen years after The Spirits Within, Final Fantasy looks better than ever, but the quality of its storytelling remains about the same. It could have been different though, if only Noctis had stayed. Even if he only plays a minor role, Noctis’ very presence creates a problem that the characters must solve at all costs. He’s the object of his people’s hatred, the son that his father protected over his allies and kingdom. He’s the hope that Niflheim wants to destroy and Regis, Nyx, and Luna must protect. Without him, the characters can only fight over objects and people that may or may not be important and make horrendous sacrifices in pursuit of a nebulous future that may or may not already be safe and may or may not be good. For all of Kingsglaive’s action-packed fight scenes, no one has a battle worth fighting. --- Any other Extra Lifers out there with some writing skills and a good idea? Read about how to become a community contributor and start submitting today!
  7. Square Enix unveiled the first full trailer for its next piece of Final Fantasy XV story DLC. Prompto follows in the steps of Gladiolus with his own episode that places the pistol-toting goofball under a far less jovial light. Episode Prompto follows the titular character as he uncovers the truth surrounding his origins. Combat focuses heavily on gunplay, with explosive over-the-shoulder-style firefights. Check out the trailer below, although players who have yet to play or complete Final Fantasy XV will see spoilers for one of the game's murkier subplots. Just a heads up. Episode Prompto becomes available for download June 27. For more on Final Fantasy XV, read about Square Enix's upcoming updates. View full article
  8. Square Enix unveiled the first full trailer for its next piece of Final Fantasy XV story DLC. Prompto follows in the steps of Gladiolus with his own episode that places the pistol-toting goofball under a far less jovial light. Episode Prompto follows the titular character as he uncovers the truth surrounding his origins. Combat focuses heavily on gunplay, with explosive over-the-shoulder-style firefights. Check out the trailer below, although players who have yet to play or complete Final Fantasy XV will see spoilers for one of the game's murkier subplots. Just a heads up. Episode Prompto becomes available for download June 27. For more on Final Fantasy XV, read about Square Enix's upcoming updates.
  9. Final Fantasy XV isn't at its first year anniversary yet, and yet Square Enix has already been working to fulfill its promise to continue expanding on the lore of the game. Creating a media-rich universe for its latest major Final Fantasy title has been a strong suit for Square. It's cohesiveness, however, has been a little lacking. E3 2017 saw the release of a few trailers within the FFXV Eos. First up, it was announced during the Microsoft conference that the game would get a free 4K enhancement per the Xbox One Enhance Program. Sony followed suit during its conference by announcing PS4 Pro updates. Sony also announced a VR component with PSVR spin-off Monster of the Deep. The game focuses on the fishing feature of the game, putting players behind the eyes (and rod) of Noctis. Monster of the Deep has the release date of September 2017. On June 13, aka the first official day of E3, Square released additional trailers outlining old content alongside new. The new includes a mobile game that Noctis and Co. are obsessed with called King's Knight, with its full title being King's Knight - Wrath of the Dark Dragon. The stage was pretty much set for this game to be made eventually, as it is referenced several times throughout the core gameplay of FFXV. It will be available on both Android and iOS in 2017. The FFXV Universe E3 trailer does exactly what its name implies. During the first half (roughly), viewers get a recap of all of the expanded media released so far, from the core game to the Brotherhood anime series and Kingsglaive movie. On the other end, we get the King's Knight news, E3 info, and updates including a new Regalia model, the Regalia Type-D with the June update. There, of course, was also some information on the upcoming Prompto DLC as well. During the "Universe" trailer viewers get a brief glimpse (see 1:15 on that trailer) of some sort of combat system. And June 13 also saw the release of a new video for the DLC. In the trailer, Naoshi Mizuta talks about his time composing the music for the game. There isn't much in-game content released in its runtime, but new artwork for Episode Prompto does appear at the conclusion. The third episode, centering around Ignis, didn't receive any mention. What do you think of Square Enix's efforts to create media for the FFXV universe? What do you think of the DLC content so far? View full article
  10. Final Fantasy XV isn't at its first year anniversary yet, and yet Square Enix has already been working to fulfill its promise to continue expanding on the lore of the game. Creating a media-rich universe for its latest major Final Fantasy title has been a strong suit for Square. It's cohesiveness, however, has been a little lacking. E3 2017 saw the release of a few trailers within the FFXV Eos. First up, it was announced during the Microsoft conference that the game would get a free 4K enhancement per the Xbox One Enhance Program. Sony followed suit during its conference by announcing PS4 Pro updates. Sony also announced a VR component with PSVR spin-off Monster of the Deep. The game focuses on the fishing feature of the game, putting players behind the eyes (and rod) of Noctis. Monster of the Deep has the release date of September 2017. On June 13, aka the first official day of E3, Square released additional trailers outlining old content alongside new. The new includes a mobile game that Noctis and Co. are obsessed with called King's Knight, with its full title being King's Knight - Wrath of the Dark Dragon. The stage was pretty much set for this game to be made eventually, as it is referenced several times throughout the core gameplay of FFXV. It will be available on both Android and iOS in 2017. The FFXV Universe E3 trailer does exactly what its name implies. During the first half (roughly), viewers get a recap of all of the expanded media released so far, from the core game to the Brotherhood anime series and Kingsglaive movie. On the other end, we get the King's Knight news, E3 info, and updates including a new Regalia model, the Regalia Type-D with the June update. There, of course, was also some information on the upcoming Prompto DLC as well. During the "Universe" trailer viewers get a brief glimpse (see 1:15 on that trailer) of some sort of combat system. And June 13 also saw the release of a new video for the DLC. In the trailer, Naoshi Mizuta talks about his time composing the music for the game. There isn't much in-game content released in its runtime, but new artwork for Episode Prompto does appear at the conclusion. The third episode, centering around Ignis, didn't receive any mention. What do you think of Square Enix's efforts to create media for the FFXV universe? What do you think of the DLC content so far?
  11. A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV was initially offered as a pre-order exclusive for those who chose to pre-purchase Final Fantasy XV from Gamestop. Since then, players have been unable to obtain and play the retro brawler based on the Final Fantasy XV universe. Square Enix announced that they would be releasing A King's Tale to all players for free on March 1. Like much of the extended universe around Final Fantasy XV, A King's Tale offers an opportunity to deepen the backstory of Square Enix's main title. Players take on the role of Regis, the father of Final Fantasy XV's protagonist Noctis, as he tells his young son a bedtime story about events that took place 30 years before Final Fantasy XV begins. Players must defend the kingdom of Insomnia from attacking monsters alongside long-time allies like Cid, Weskham, and Clarus. Rather than being another RPG, A King's Tale plays more like a brawling Streets of Rage than a typical Final Fantasy game. Players must make good use of combos, blocking, magic, and summons to make progress. It's not a terribly long experience, clocking in at an average of two to three hours, but it's certainly not too shabby for a free game with a charming aesthetic. Players will be able to download A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV on March 1.
  12. A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV was initially offered as a pre-order exclusive for those who chose to pre-purchase Final Fantasy XV from Gamestop. Since then, players have been unable to obtain and play the retro brawler based on the Final Fantasy XV universe. Square Enix announced that they would be releasing A King's Tale to all players for free on March 1. Like much of the extended universe around Final Fantasy XV, A King's Tale offers an opportunity to deepen the backstory of Square Enix's main title. Players take on the role of Regis, the father of Final Fantasy XV's protagonist Noctis, as he tells his young son a bedtime story about events that took place 30 years before Final Fantasy XV begins. Players must defend the kingdom of Insomnia from attacking monsters alongside long-time allies like Cid, Weskham, and Clarus. Rather than being another RPG, A King's Tale plays more like a brawling Streets of Rage than a typical Final Fantasy game. Players must make good use of combos, blocking, magic, and summons to make progress. It's not a terribly long experience, clocking in at an average of two to three hours, but it's certainly not too shabby for a free game with a charming aesthetic. Players will be able to download A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV on March 1. View full article
  13. A new, free demo for Final Fantasy XV is available to download right now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The demo places players within protagonist Noctis' dreams, a world where anything is possible from shrinking down to the size of an action figure and running through toy castles to battling five storey high monsters. Through it all, players will be able to experience the controls, combat, and some visuals unique from the core game. Players will also have an adorable fuzzy companion on their travels through Noctis' dreamworld. The Platinum Demo will be a completely separate experience from the base game, allowing players to transform into different animals and monsters and wield weapons like toy hammers and drive miniature cars while battling the nightmares that inhabit the dreamscape. It's a long time from now until Final Fantasy XV's September 30 release date. However, the Platinum Demo might just temporarily sate our desire for Final Fantasy XV. Check it out if you have a chance!
  14. A new, free demo for Final Fantasy XV is available to download right now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The demo places players within protagonist Noctis' dreams, a world where anything is possible from shrinking down to the size of an action figure and running through toy castles to battling five storey high monsters. Through it all, players will be able to experience the controls, combat, and some visuals unique from the core game. Players will also have an adorable fuzzy companion on their travels through Noctis' dreamworld. The Platinum Demo will be a completely separate experience from the base game, allowing players to transform into different animals and monsters and wield weapons like toy hammers and drive miniature cars while battling the nightmares that inhabit the dreamscape. It's a long time from now until Final Fantasy XV's September 30 release date. However, the Platinum Demo might just temporarily sate our desire for Final Fantasy XV. Check it out if you have a chance! View full article
  15. When Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series took the stage at last night's Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event, you could tell something cool was happening. Sakaguchi left Square Enix years ago to found a new RPG developer called Mistwalker Corporation, but apparently good friendships remained between the creator of one of the most iconic RPG franchises and those who manage that series at Square Enix. The series creator praised Final Fantasy XV as a return to the series heart, perhaps a subtle jab at some of Square Enix's missteps in the past while simultaneously hyping the newest entry. Following Sakaguchi's appearance, they played the latest trailer for Final Fantasy XV. It really is something. It comes on strong with high fantasy-tech action, some light story exposition, and then rolls into the song "Stand By Me" as performed by Florence + the Machine while friends hang out and fight monsters. That might sound strange, but after getting over the shock of hearing Florence + the Machine in a Final Fantasy trailer somehow I think it works. There are some serious indications that this rendition of "Stand By Me" will be a recurring theme of Final Fantasy XV, like the prominent use of the song in this trailer as well as the song getting its own announcement trailer. The trailer also reveals the release date of Final Fantasy XV: September 30. We will be seeing the next core entry in the Final Fantasy series in just seven months. Final Fantasy XV will be available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. View full article
  16. When Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series took the stage at last night's Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event, you could tell something cool was happening. Sakaguchi left Square Enix years ago to found a new RPG developer called Mistwalker Corporation, but apparently good friendships remained between the creator of one of the most iconic RPG franchises and those who manage that series at Square Enix. The series creator praised Final Fantasy XV as a return to the series heart, perhaps a subtle jab at some of Square Enix's missteps in the past while simultaneously hyping the newest entry. Following Sakaguchi's appearance, they played the latest trailer for Final Fantasy XV. It really is something. It comes on strong with high fantasy-tech action, some light story exposition, and then rolls into the song "Stand By Me" as performed by Florence + the Machine while friends hang out and fight monsters. That might sound strange, but after getting over the shock of hearing Florence + the Machine in a Final Fantasy trailer somehow I think it works. There are some serious indications that this rendition of "Stand By Me" will be a recurring theme of Final Fantasy XV, like the prominent use of the song in this trailer as well as the song getting its own announcement trailer. The trailer also reveals the release date of Final Fantasy XV: September 30. We will be seeing the next core entry in the Final Fantasy series in just seven months. Final Fantasy XV will be available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
  17. Do you thirst for justice? Enjoy monsters? Are you a fan of things that come in fives? Then Justice Monsters Five might be the mobile game for you. Based on a seemingly popular pinball game that has been spotted in past trailers, Justice Monsters Five has changing boards that pit players against a variety of monsters and bosses. Players have access to hero monsters, special attacks, and their own raw reflexes in order to progress. It remains to be seen if the tie-in goes beyond a the novelty of playing a game from Final Fantasy XV. It would be pretty neat if it was something that carried over between mobile devices and consoles. However, right now it looks like a perfectly solid pinball title. Justice Monsters Five will be playable in Final Fantasy XV when it releases September 30. The mobile version of the title, which features solo and co-operative play, will launch sometime sooner, though no date has been given as of yet. It will be released for free on Android, iOS, and Windows devices.
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