Final Fantasy XV

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Final Fantasy XV (Japanese: ファイナルファンタジーXV; Simplified Chinese: 最终幻想15; Traditional Chinese: 最終幻想XV; stylized FINAL FANTASY XV; Final Fantasy 15 in some regions; abbreviated FFXV and FF15), the fifteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy series, follows Prince Noctis of Lucis and his three friends who must save the world of Eos by defeating the Niflheim Empire and purging darkness the plagues the "star" (another name for world).

The game was developed by Square Enix Business Division 2 (BD2), directed by Hajime Tabata, and produced by Shinji Hashimoto for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Due to the scale of the game's narrative, the Final Fantasy XV project was split into several multi-media parts, dubbed the Final Fantasy XV Universe, to increase awareness of the game to different audiences.

Characters

Final Fantasy XV follows the adventures of four characters—Noctis Lucis Caelum, Prompto Argentum, Ignis Scientia, and Gladiolus Amicitia—collectively nicknamed the Chocobros by the fandom. Your party consists of these four characters, though a fifth guest member may join your party at certain points in the storyline. You will also encounter other characters along your journey.

Noctis Lucis Caelum

Heir apparent to the Lucian throne, Noctis’ trials begin when he sets forth from the Crown City in order to wed Lady Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, only to discover his home has fallen to the empire. [1] [2] [3] Noctis has trouble articulating his feelings and is still trying to discover who he is, and his fate to eventually become king is only adding to that difficult process. [4] In combat, he wields spectral weapons which he forges from thin air, a power possessed by those of his royal line. [1] [2] [3]

Prompto Argentum

Prompto becomes fast friends with Noctis after a fateful encounter with Lady Lunafreya’s dog, Pryna, draws him closer to the crown prince. A man of humble birth, he finds himself out of his depth when tragedy befalls Lucis. Nevertheless, he strives to carry more than his own weight, lightening his companions’ burdens as well as their spirits. [1] [3] [5] [6]

Ignis Scientia

Ignis was raised alongside Prince Noctis to be adviser to the heir apparent. An intensive education instilled in him the resourcefulness and composure required for the role, his tactical acumen proving invaluable over the course of the prince’s journey. [1] [2] [3] [5] [7] Versatile and meticulous, he's a perfectionist who tends to lose his composure when things don't go his way. [4] [8]

Gladiolus Amicitia

House Amicitia has long served as the Shields protecting the kings of Lucis, and Gladiolus is the current generation’s eldest son. The bond he shares with Noctis transcends that of a bodyguard and his liege. With his prodigious strength and unwavering spirit, he stands ever ready to keep his companions from harm. [1] [3] [5] [9]

Lunafreya Nox Fleuret

Oracle of Tenebrae blessed with the power to commune with the gods and beloved the world over. She first met her now-fiancé Noctis as a girl and deeply treasures the days they spent together. However, her days of innocence ended abruptly when the empire took over her home, and through adversity, she became the youngest Oracle in history. [1] [3] [6]

Regis Lucis Caelum

Father to Prince Noctis and 113th King of Lucis, Regis raised his son on his own. Channeling the power of the Crystal, he conjured a magical Wall that kept the Crown City safe for many years. An imperial ambush during the treaty signing with Niflheim caught the king off-guard, however, and he lost his life in the chaos that ensued. [1] [3] [9]

Synopsis

In a time unknown, only a prophecy keeps hope alive in people's hearts: "When darkness veils the world, the King of Light shall come."

Now, four brave warriors begin their journey, prepared to fight. What awaits the warriors, however, they do not know. [10]

In the west rose Niflheim, an empire that prospered through technological advances; and in the east stood Lucis, a kingdom blessed with the magic of the divine Crystal. An imperial proposal sets the stage for an armistice and end to the fighting that has kept the two nations at odds for many years. As a symbol of this proffered peace, Prince Noctis is to marry Lady Lunafreya, princess of the imperial province of Tenebrae. At the behest of his father, King Regis, the crown prince sets out to be wed in Altissia, a protectorate of the empire and former ally of Lucis, ahead of the signing ceremony, his royal retinue in tow. [7] [11] [12]

Before long, his journey takes a sudden turn. On their way to the wedding, Noctis and his friends catch sight of a troubling headline: “INSOMNIA FALLS.” A radio broadcast confirms their worst fears: the Crown City of Insomnia has indeed fallen to the empire’s full-scale assault, and Noctis, his father, and his betrothed have all been pronounced dead. With their ruined homeland behind them and a long road ahead, the prince and his companions drive onward to save their kingdom—but not without some excursions along the way.[7] [11]

Part I: The Tale of the Chosen King: Savior to the Star

Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum sets forth from his homeland with his three-man retinue in two. His destination: Altissia, capital of Accordo, where he will formalize the union of states through his marriage to Lady Lunafreya of the imperial province of Tenebrae. Having channeled all their funds into repairs for the Regalia, however, the Chocobros must now find a way to earn some gil, the currency of choice outside Insomnia.

A hunter named Dave, charged with exterminating the pests around Hammerhead, has gone missing. While the Chocobros are exterminating pests themselves, the mechanic Cindy asks Noctis to track him down. After finding him barricaded in a shack, Dave informs the Chocobros of a mutant dualhorn run amok. Up the challenge, Noctis agrees to take it down. Using all four of their efforts, they defeat the dualhorn and return to Hammerhead with some funds and a repaired Regalia waiting for them.

With the Regalia repaired, the four continue to Galdin Quay where they are to board a ferry to Altissia. Upon arriving, however, a “man of no consequence” informs them that the dock is blocked. While Chocobros search for an alternate means of sailing to Altissia, a reporter named Dino immediately identifies Noctis as the crown prince. He promises to keep quiet and secure a ship if Noctis agrees to mine some rare gemstones for him. Once the Chocobros fulfills their part of the bargain, Dino suggests they rest at the Galdin Quay’s hotel for the night while he acquires a ship.

In a single night, however, the promise of peace has been broken, the Crown City along with it. Upon seeing the news of Insomnia’s fall in the morning paper, the Chocobros decide to return to Insomnia. But with their only way back to Insomnia blockaded, the Chocobros look for a vantage point from which they can view the city, determined to take down all obstacles in their way. On the cliff overlooking Insomnia, a phone call from Cor, Marshall of the Crownsguard, confirms Noctis’ fear that his father, King Regis, has been slain and the Crystal has been stolen by Niflheim. Struggling to come to terms, the Chocobros leave the hilltop to meet the marshal and plot their next step.

Putting their home behind them, the four friends set forth to find the answers in Hammerhead. Cid, King Regis’ friend and Cindy’s grandfather, explains to them that Regis “played the best hand he was dealt.” He then sends them to Prairie Outpost to meet Cor. In a royal tomb, Cor explains that in order to reclaim the Crystal and save his homeland, Noctis needs the power to battle the empire. One way to gain power is by reclaiming the powerful royal arms of late Kings of Lucis from their royal tombs. To that end, the Chocobros make for Keycatrich Trench, where a royal arm is said to lie.

After gathering the royal arm, Cor instructs Noctis to take the Norduscaen Blockade out of commission in order to secure a way to the Duscae and Cleigne regions beyond. With Cor’s help, the Chocobros break through the blockade an defeat the Niflheim Empire’s Commander Loqi. Cor parts ways with Noctis to assist the hunters in their search for more royal arms.

Upon arriving in Duscae, Noctis receives a call from Iris, Gladiolus’ sister, who reveals she has fled to Lestallum with a group of Insomnian refugees. The Chocobros decide to join her there at the earliest opportunity. Upon arriving at Lestallum, they meet Iris, an Amicitia butler named Jared, and Talcott, Jared’s bright-eyed grandson. Talcott shares a legend he’s learned which tells of a sword behind a waterfall. Believing this might be the location of a royal tomb, the Chocobros decide to search for it.

After retrieving the royal arm and exiting the tomb, Noctis receives a headache with a vision of “a hole in the ground.” Titan, the Archean, is somehow connected to the headaches that rack Noctis every time there is an earthquake. The party decides to return to Lestallum to learn what they can.

Part II: The Blessing of the Gods

The Chocobros begin their investigation by surveying the land from Lestallum’s overlook of the Disc of Cauthess. In a dubious coincidence, the outlandish stranger from Galdin appears before the friends, advising the would-be King to go and heed Titan’s call. Though suspicious of his intent, the party nevertheless find themselves with no recourse but to take this “Ardyn” up on his offer to guide them to the Disc of Cauthess, where Titan is said to slumber.

With Ardyn’s aid, the Chocobros gain entry to the Disc of Cauthess unchallenged. A long trek into the ravine stretches out before them, at the end of which and audience with Titan awaits. After obtaining a royal arm in a crumbling royal tomb, Noctis and Gladiolus become separated from Ignis and Prompto when the tomb collapses. After Gladiolus convinces Noctis to remain composed like a king would, the two continue deeper into Cauthess to meet Titan and regroup with Ignis and Prompto. No sooner does Noctis appear before Titan than the divinity unleashes his fury upon him. If the King is to receive the Archean’s blessing, and thus more power to challenge the Empire, he must survive this trial. Meanwhile, the imperial army converges upon the Disc with the intent to slay the god. The Chocobros triumph, and Noctis receives Titan’s blessing before he is killed by Niflheim.

As Cauthess crumbles, the imperial chancellor Ardyn swoops in to usher the Chocobros to safety, but this reprieve is only temporary as Duscae’s skies tell of trouble on the horizon. The dust having settled around the Disc, the Chocobros find themselves under imperial surveillance. With the Regalia missing and the roads closed, the four friends find themselves stranded. With Cindy taking up the search for the Regalia, the four friends continue assembling an arsenal of powers both royal and divine. In order to help Noctis fulfill his destiny, the elegant and enigmatic messenger Gentiana guides him along his path. His mission: locate runestones of Ramuh, the Stormsender, and receive the thunder god’s revelation.

After receiving Ramuh’s blessings, Noctis receives a call from Cindy. Cindy hears through the grease-monkey grapevine that the Regalia is under imperial lockdown at the nearby Aracheole Stronghold. With the Stormsender’s power at his behest, the Chocobros sets out for the compound to retrieve the late king's car. Upon reaching the car, they are confronted by Ravus, High Commander of the Niflheim army and Lunafreya’s older brother, who threatens Noctis because he fails to live to his expectations of the Chosen King of prophecy. Ardyn appears, however, and orders Ravus to let them go.

Beneath the Cape Caem lighthouse in the south of Cleigne lies an underground harbor. It has long served the Lucian royalty, and even now, a vessel once owned by King Regis lies at anchor there. Per Ignis’ earlier suggestion, the Chocobros hope to put the boat to good use and plan to make their way to Cape Caem after stopping in Lestallum to check on Iris, Jared, and Talcott. In Lestallum, the Chocobros learn that Jared was killed by the Empire for refusing to divulge information on Noctis’ whereabouts.

Believing Lestallum is no longer safe, the Chocobros are to escort Iris to Lestallum while other members of the Crownsguard escort Talcott. While driving outside Old Lestallum, the Chocobros and Iris are confronted with an unsettling sight: a Niflheim airbase landing in the nearby Fort Vaullery. The prince vows to fulfill his promise to Talcott and avenge Jared’s death by bringing the imperial culprits to justice. The Chocobros are able to kidnap Jared’s murderer, Commander Caligo, destroy the base, and fend off an aerial assault from the Imperial Commodore Aranea, but Caligo escapes custody.

The Chocobros safely escort Iris to Cape Caem, and Cindy informs them that the ship repairs are going smoothly. However, to fully repair King Regis’ old ship, they require the rarest of ores—mythril. As they are about to depart, Gladiolus asks Noctis for some time away from the party, which Noctis grants.

With only a vague clue to guide them, Noctis, Ignis, and Prompto head for empire-held ruins situated in the north of Cleigne. The imperial chancellor always seems to be the one pulling the strings—a fact Noctis, Ignis, and Prompto confirm when Ardyn arranges for Commodore Aranea to escort the party through the ruins at Steyliff Grove.

With her help, and her tip that the empire is turning daemons into weapons, the makeshift miners hit pay dirt, only to learn raw ore won’t suffice. Cindy refers them to Holly, a floor chief and engineer of EXINERIS Industries in Lestallum, who agrees to treat the mythril Noctis retrieved from the ruins—on the condition that he clears out the daemons running amok inside the power plant. Afterwards, Gladiolus rejoins the party with new scars across his forehead and chest.

With King Regis’ ship in shipshape once more, the Chocobros make their final preparations to depart the Lucian continent and set sail for Altissia. The Chocobros receive a warm send-off and, with Cid at the helm, the boat of Lucian royalty bears the Chocobros across the seas to Altissia, the capital of Accordo. The Chocobros are in high spirits, but instead of wedding bells, still more trials await. The prince goes forth ostensibly to seek the blessings of the Hydraean, which will enable him to challenge the Empire’s might. Even as the imperial army converges upon the city, Noctis must see to it that he receives Leviathan’s blessing as well as the Ring of the Lucii from Lunafreya, but his true heart is to reunite with Lunafreya, his betrothed.

In Altissia, the Chocobros are confronted by Camelia Claustra, first secretary of the Accordo Protectorate, who reveals that Lunafreya is in the care of her government. However, she threatens to surrender the Oracle to the empire unless Noctis can convince her otherwise. In order to secure a covenant with Leviathan and reunite with Lunafreya, Noctis negotiates that he can hold the rite if he ensures the safety of Camelia’s citizens and Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto aid in the evacuation.

Assuming the mantle of the Lucian king, Noctis takes to the field against the might of the empire and the Hydrean both with only Lunafreya’s aid. Lunafreya awakens Leviathan, and the empire once again attempts to slay a god. Awakened and enraged, Leviathan lays the imperial fleet to waste before turning her attention toward the Oracle and her king. Lunafreya has done her part. Noctis must now do his by quelling the sea goddess’ fury and winning her favor.

During Noctis’ battle with Leviathan, Ardyn appears and fatally stabs Lunafreya while Noctis helplessly watches and then leaves her to bleed to death. Refusing to give up, Lunafreya summons the last of her strength to convince the former Kings of Lucis to lend Noctis their power.

With their combined might, Noctis defeats Leviathan and earns the Hydrean’s blessing, but subsequently falls unconscious from the strain. Upon waking, Noctis learns that while the rite was successful and he has received the Ring of the Lucii, Lunafreya died in battle and Ignis received severe injuries to his eyes.

Part III: The Scourge of the Stars

Across the water and onto the rails, the Chocobros make for Gralea, the imperial capital. Their objective: reclaiming the Crystal, that they might reclaim their homeland. However, even after several weeks, Noctis refuses to wield the Ring of the Lucii, and fights begin to erupt between the friends, particularly between Noctis and Gladiolus.

Despite the infighting, they hop off the train at Cartanica, home to the Fodina Caestino—and a royal tomb buried deep within the quarry. Despite Ignis’ visual impairment, he insists on accompanying the party despite Noctis’ and Gladiolus’ reservations. The Chocobros locate the royal arm and, with Ignis’ magic, defeat the tomb’s guardian.

Ignis’ resolve forces a reconciliation between Noctis and Gladiolus and restores harmony to the group. With renewed vigor, the four friends reboard the train and head for Tenebrae, home to the late Lady Lunafreya.

The train rides between dunes and a snowfield when time itself freezes. Confident that the Imperial Chancellor Ardyn is behind the curious occurrence, Noctis vows to hunt him down—until the imperial army directly attacks the train. Ardyn, who swapped appearances with Prompto, helps Noctis defend the train until “Ardyn” holds “Prompto” at gunpoint. Deceived by Ardyn’s hallucination, Noctis inadvertently pushes Prompto from atop the speeding train. Ardyn subsequently forces Noctis unconscious.

Noctis awakens atop the car, headed straight for Tenebrae. After being assured that going back to find Prompto is unwise, Noctis “pushes ever onward, accepting the consequences, and never looking back” and plans to regroup with Prompto later.

No sooner does Noctis, Gladiolus, and Ignis arrive in Tenebrae than they take in a terrifying sight: Fenestala Manor in flames, the result of a viscous attack by the empire in response for Ravus’ purported treason to the empire. Noctis asks the passengers and the locals for information and learns that Ravus has a royal arm and plans to give it to Noctis. Furthermore, Aranea has deserted the imperial army, and Gralea is overrun by daemons.

Thanks to Aranea and her subordinates, Noctis, Gladiolus, and Ignis manage to safely evacuate the passengers and repair the train. The three friends now make their way for Gralea through Ghorovas Rift, final resting place of the Glacian, Shiva, who the imperials killed many years prior. The train screeches to a sudden halt in the middle of Ghorovas Rift, a mere stone’s throw from the Glacian’s cadaver. Noctis hops of the train to inspect the cause of the unexpected delay, and when they reboard, Gladiolus and Ignis fall unconscious and Ardyn appears before Noctis.

Gentiana appears, freezes Ardyn, and reveals herself to be an incarnation of Shiva. She gives a royal arm and her blessing to Noctis, per her promise with Lunafreya, and disappears. Noctis shatters Ardyn, only for Ardyn to come back to life, activate a device that strips Noctis of his powers, and says he is waiting implacably for him in Gralea, the imperial capital.

Having received Shiva’s belssing, Noctis continues to Gralea to reclaim the stolen Crystal. He and his companions find their every stepped dogged by disaster’s of Ardyn’s orchestration. Noctis becomes separated from Gladiolus and Ignis. Unarmed and alone, Noctis musters the courage to wear the Ring of the Lucii and bear the burden it symbolizes. Empowered by the magic of kings, he fights his way through the imperial capital. Meanwhile, Gladiolus and Ignis retrace Noctis’ steps into the belly of Zegantus Keep, the imperial fortress that houses the Crystal.

Noctis’ bid to reach the Crystal falls one step short, as he is sent plummeting back to the lower levels of the towering fortress. He finds Ravus’ lifeless body clutching the royal arm he wished to give Noctis. With his father’s sword finally restored to him, Noctis sets out once more with renewed hope. But still bereaved of his powers and separated from his comrades, Noctis is left to search for the Crystal by his lonesome.

Gladiolus and Ignis eventually regroup with Noctis and save him from one of Ardyn’s traps, and the three quickly find Prompto, who has discovered he was a clone made for the Niflheim army. Noctis, Gladiolus, and Ignis still believe him to be good-natured friend they know, and the four destroy the machine that blocks Noctis’ powers.

Forced to fight a resurrected deamonic Ravus and being overrun by daemons, Noctis is forced to leave his friends behind to reach the Crystal. When Noctis touches the Crystal, however, it absorbs him instead. Inside the Crystal, Bahamut, the Draconian, reveals the Chosen King of prophecy must defeat the Ardyn, the daemonic accursed, at the cost of his own life. Noctis agrees, and proceeds to sleep while he absorbs the Crystal’s power.

Noctis awakens ten years later in Angelgard, and island near Galdin Quay. His father’s ship is moored at shore, none the worse for wear. Noctis alights at Galdin Quay to find the once-populous port devoid of human life and overrun by daemons, a shattered shell of its former self. Determined to reunite with his friends, he crosses paths with Talcott, who drives him to Hammerhead. Along the way, Talcott informs him that the world is now everlasting night and overrun by daemons, though there are people still fighting to bring back the dawn. As soon as Noctis arrives, he is greeted by Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto, who are delighted to see him.

After one final camp, the King and his retinue return to Insomnia. Now, the time has come to return the Crystal's power to the planet, to purge the scourge of the stars, and restore the dawn. With the gods and the kings of yore at his side, Noctis must go to the throne and reclaim it from Ardyn. Along the way, the Chocobros encounter Cor, who has been fighting for the liberation of the Crown City with the reformed Kingsglaives.

After leaving Cor's base, Ardyn appears and casts a magic barrier over the Citadel and unleashes the guard dog Cerberus on the Chocobros. The Chocobros defeat Cerberus and, with the spirit of Lunafreya calling for the gods' aide, they destroy the barrier. Ardyn then orders Ifrit, the Pyreburner, and three late Lucian kings, all four infected with the scourge, to attack the Chocobros. With Bahamut and Shiva assisting the friends, they defeat Ifrit and the kings and free them of the scourge. Noctis asks to see Prompto's pictures before opening the door to the throne room.

In the throne room, Ardyn sits on the throne while he creates an illusion of corpses hanging from the ceiling. Ardyn then knocks Gladiolus, Ignis, and Propmto unconscious, wanting his fight with Noctis to be a battle of kings. They fight each other to exhaustion, but Noctis summons the last of his strength to pierce Ardyn with his father's sword. As Ardyn's mortal body dies, Noctis promises that Ardyn can "rest in peace . . . forevermore."

On the steps of the Citadel, Noctis entrusts the future to Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto and heads back to the throne room to fulfill his mission. With daemons making one final attack, Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto stay behind to defend the Citadel.

Noctis sits on the throne and releases the power of the Ring of the Lucii, which begins the ritual. The painful strikes by each King of Lucis onto Noctis ends with a killing blow from Regis, and 2000 years of stored power is released. In the beyond, the True King Noctis and his allies confront Ardyn, and Noctis unleashes all of his power to banish the darkness. With the last of the scourge dispelled, King Noctis has completed his mission and dies while the power of the Crystal returns to the planet.

In a flashback to the final camp, Noctis speaks to Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto as friends.:

So, I... I've made my peace. Still... Knowing this is it, and seeing you here, now, it's...more than I can take.

Yeah. You're damn right it is.

You spit it out.

It's good to hear.

Well...what can I say? You guys...are the best.

Dawn finally returns to the world. In the afterlife, the newlyweds Noctis and Lunafreya sleep on the throne.

Gameplay

Final Fantasy XV features a vast continent that you can gradually unlock and explore as you complete quests that advance the main storyline. Most locales have sidequests and other assorted optional diversions to enjoy, so there are regular opportunities to leave the main narrative path to partake in profitable pursuits.

Exploration

Though you always have main quest objectives to pursue, you should make time to explore optional activities, particularly side-quests and hunts. You can also travel the world for exploring and encountering new fauna, vistas, and hidden locations. Any additional experience (EXP), ascension points (AP), or equipment that you acquire will only serve to make you stronger for main quests and high-level optional challenges. However, be wary to avoid enemies with levels above your own, especially during the opening hours, and if you wish for a challenging battle, do not exceed the recommended level for a quest. It’s prudent to make regular, rotating saves if you wander far from the beaten path.

Quest Waypoints are markers show you the general direction of your current quest objective on the main screen, overview map, and mini-map. To change your current activity, go to [Main Menu] > [Quests] and select one of the available assignments. If you would like to plot a path to explore a specific location, you can manually add a custom destination on the main map screen.

The mini-map shows a small portion of the main map. The “N” icon on the outer edge of the mini-map always points north. The white circle in the center represents your character while the accompanying arrow represents the direction he is currently facing. All places of interest and points of interactivity that you have discovered in your immediate vicinity are marked by icons on the mini-map, but disappear once outside its boundaries. Your currently selected quest waypoint, active manual destination marker, and the Regalia are always visible, appearing on the outer rim of the mini-map at medium to long distances to illustrate their approximate location.

  • Rest areas and outposts typically feature services and amenities such as:
  • Shops, where you can purchase gear and items. There are many optional activities that ask you to provide individuals with specific items. Some of those are sold in shops.
  • Restaurants, where you can acquire information from tipsters to update your map, eat stat-boosting meals, and sign up for hunt side-quests.
  • Lodgings, where you can spend the night to heal wounds and, if you have accumulated sufficient experience points (EXP), level up your party. You cannot prepare meals at lodgings.
  • Havens, where you where you can spend the night to heal wounds and, if you have accumulated sufficient EXP, level up your party. You can prepare meals at lodgings. As you explore the map you will encounter havens, highlighted over long distances by a thin column of smoke. You will also generally find elemental deposits in the area around havens. You can interact with these to absorb elemental energy, which is required to craft spells from the Elemancy menu.

Procurement points are scattered around the map. These are locations where you can find resources to collect, such as food ingredients, minerals, and treasures. Their icons are given a gray hue once you have plundered them. These resources will regenerate after a period of time.

Travel

Your car, the Regalia, is your primary mode of transportation. You can either choose the auto mode (where Ignis takes the wheel) or manual (where you drive yourself). In auto mode, you choose a destination in advance from available locations. If a fast travel icon is shown, select “Yes” to instantly complete the journey for a nominal fee. After certain points in the story, you can upgrade the Regalia to the Type-D and the Type-F.

The presence of the parking icon usually suggests that there is something of interest in the vicinity, though you should bear in mind that some might be stopping points for a quest you have yet to unlock. Don’t feel obliged to park in these designated bays; if you spot something of note, you can always pull over and park by the side of the road (even if Ignis is driving) with the park input.

After completing a specific hunt, you unlock the option to rent chocobos, offering a fast and convenient means of transportation for the entire party. This is not something that you need think about until Chapter 3, at the earliest.

With the Royal Pack, you will also receive the Royal Vessel as a method of travel after Chapter 9. There are several ports to dock, offering a unique way to arrive in certain regions of the world.

Combat

Basic movement controls are user-friendly: you move around with the left stick or corresponding keys, adjust the camera with the right stick or mouse, and jump over obstacles with the jump input.

To speed up travel time on foot, use the sprint input. If you deplete the stamina gauge completely, Noctis will be unable to sprint and jump for a short period of time. However, if you activate sprint, press the input again a fraction of a second before the stamina bar reaches zero. If you succeed, Noctis will warp forward and the gauge will be instantly replenished.

Whenever you move within range of potential enemies, also called aggro area, a red threat meter appears at the top of the screen. You can take this opportunity to strike first before your opponents spot you and attack, or to move to a safe distance if you wish to avoid conflict. The combat perimeter is represented on your mini-map with a red outline. If you run outside of these boundaries, your party will escape.

There are two primary combat moves in FFXV. You attack with the attack input, which you can hold for automatic assaults or tap to perform manual blows. To defend, use the defend input; hold to defend continuously or tap to roll-dodge away, though holding defend does not guarantee that the attack can be dodged. Additional layers are gradually added to the combat system as you progress in the storyline, such as warp-strikes to teleport directly to enemies, changing weapons, and much more.

Whenever you notice a blue marker on an elevated position, you can point-warp to it by holding the designated input. From here, you can warp again to hit a highlighted enemy; use the lock-on input and directional inputs to pick your target. The further the distance that you travel, the higher the potential damage your attack will inflict. You can also use point-warp positions to gain brief respite during confrontations and, more importantly, to instantly refill Noctis’s MP gauge.

Character Progression

Unlike most role-playing games, you do not level up automatically in Final Fantasy XV: you must spend the night at a haven or a lodging to unlock the benefits of experience accumulated while defeating enemies and completing assignments.

As you level up and complete quests and other objectives, you receive AP that you can spend in the Ascension menu. This enables you to unlock new abilities for all party members, including passive skills, offensive and defensive features, and special techniques. You can also unlock the ability to switch to other Chocobros in combat.

Each of the Chocobros has a unique skill: Fishing for Noctis, Survival for Gladiolus, Cooking for Ignis, and Photography for Prompto. You can view their progression in their favored discipline at the level up screen when you rest at camps or lodgings.

Weapons and accessories that you acquire can be equipped from the Gear menu of the Main Menu. Spells (which can be crafted in the Elemancy menu) and ally techniques (unlocked in the Ascension menu) are also assigned for use via the Main Menu.

Development and Marketing

Final Fantasy XV was developed by Square Enix Business Division 2 with contractors that include HexaDrive, XPEC Entertainment, Plusmile, and Streamline Studios. The game was directed by Hajime Tabata and produced by Shinji Hashimoto. Other credits include Tetsuya Nomura for the intial draft and main character designs, Roberto Ferrari for character designs, Kazushige Nojima for the initial scenario, Saori Itamuro as lead scenario director, Takeshi Nozue as cinemtatic director, Tomohiro Hasegawa, Yusuke Naora, and Isamu Kamikokuryo as art directors, and Yoko Shinomura as composer.

Development

Final Fantasy XV was first revealed as Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PlayStation 3 on May 8, 2006, at E3 under the direction of Tetsuya Nomura. It was to use Square Enix's proprietary Crystal Tools engine, Ebony version, though Final Fantasy Versus XIII suffered technical troubles due to the engine. At the time of reveal, no work had been completed on the scenario, but Nomura planned to make it part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos and was considering a thematic contrast to Final Fantasy XIII. By 2010, the story became "a dark and sad story which aims to show how heavy and painful the burden that the heroes are carrying is, how painful their paths can be, and how important flashes of happiness are in a world ravaged by greed and despair." However, Nomura added that the game would not be as dark as promotional material shown up to that point, stating, "what you’ve seen is merely a representation of what’s to come but I can disclose that the character (Noctis) is not solitary or dark even though the burden he carries is very heavy."

In 2006, Nomura was the director and character designer, Shinji Hashimoto was the producer, Taekshi Nozue was the cinematic director, and Yoko Shimomura was the composer. By 2008, Square Enix Business Division 1 was in charge of the game's development and added Yoshinori Kitase as co-producer, Kazushige Nojima for scenario writer, Yoshitaka Amano for title artwork, and Hiromu Takahara of Roen for clothing design. The casting of voice actors began and Roberto Ferrari was added as a character designer in 2010. However, by 2011, the staff was downsized and the scenario was being rewritten. Around 2011 to 2012, due to the announcement of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well as the scope and concept of the game, Square Enix decided to move Final Fantasy Versus XIII to the next generation of consoles and rename it Final Fantasy XV. Overall, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was approximately 20 to 25% developed and "In terms of character designs or visuals, nothing really had been fixed at that point" and the staff "were still working on updating it and revising those designs."

Final Fantasy Versus XIII was officially rebranded as Final Fantasy XV on June 10, 2013, at E3. Final Fantasy XV was no longer part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos, and it primarily differed from Versus in the shift from Stella to Lunafreya as the heroine, the removal of the "party scene" in Insomnia during the opening of the game, and how players will access Insomnia. Nomura was the initial director for Final Fantasy XV, but in 2014, Nomura stepped down and his role was filled by a co-producer, Hajime Tabata.

Final Fantasy XV Universe

The Final Fantasy XV Universe project was officially announced at the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event on March 30, 2016. Due to the scale of the game's narrative, the Final Fantasy XV project was split into several multi-media parts, dubbed the Final Fantasy XV Universe, to increase awareness of the game to different audiences. Nomura stated that it will be difficult to include all the ideas of the staff in one work. Therefore, the story will be split into additional content such as online multiplayer and mobile applications. Tabata further emphasized that the FFXV Universe prevented the main story of Final Fantasy XV from being split into multiple games, but "some fans who only see one part might be left with a negative impression, or like they've missed crucial parts of the tale."

Initially, the Final Fantasy XV Universe composed of four works: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV, Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV, and the main game, Final Fantasy XV. However, it went on to include the Final Fantasy XV 2013 E3 Trailer, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, the Dawn trailer, Justice Monsters Five, the Omen trailer, Final Fantasy XV: Judgment Disc, Final Fantasy XV Prologue ~Parting Ways~, A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto, King's Knight -Wrath of the Dark Dragon-, Final Fantasy XV: Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades, Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis, Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, Final Fantasy XV: Royal Pack, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Carbuncle, Episode Ardyn -Prologue-, Episode Ardyn, and Final Fantasy XV: the Dawn of the Future. Releases on other platforms as well as other editions, such as Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition and Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition, are also part of the Final Fantasy XV Universe.

When asked about whether the Final Fantasy XV Universe dilutes the identity of Final Fantasy XV, Hajime Tabata responded with the following:

What we’re trying to do is actually quite simple in essence, but it’s something that maybe is quite difficult to get across. I think we’re going to have to work a bit harder to get that message across in the future. Obviously, the people who bought the main game are the most important to us. It’s a group of people we feel we have to value very highly, so expanding on the main game and improving it for those people is our number one priority. That’s what we’re really aiming for and it’s showing in what we’re doing. We also want to expand the audience and bring new people into it and these side games are a part of that.

Release

Final Fantasy XV was released on November 29, 2016 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PC version, which included all the of the 2016-2018 downloadable content, was released on March 6, 2018, as the Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition. An adaption of the main quest in a less resources-intensive format was released on iOS and Android on February 9, 2018, Windows 10 on June 6, 2018, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 7, 2018, and Nintendo Switch on September 13, 2018. All games were released simultaneously worldwide.

Square Enix released five demos for the game. Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae and Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV, were two demos that are also part of the Final Fantasy XV Universe. Episode Duscae, released March 2015 with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, is an alternate retelling of the first part of the story with a unique combat and event system. Meanwhile Platinum Demo, released in March 2016 as a technical demo, tells an event from Noctis' childhood. A demo of the first chapter of the game was released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as Final Fantasy XV: Judgment Disc in November 2016 and for PC as Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition Playable Demo in February 2018. A demo in the form of a PC benchmark test, Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition Benchmark, was released in February 2018.

After launch, Final Fantasy XV received many updates in the form of patches and downloadable content. Final Fantasy XV received 29 patches between November 2016 and March 2019. Thee patches also included crossovers with franchises such as Terra Wars and Final Fantasy XIV. Free downloadable content includes the limited-time events, the Moogle Chocobo Carnival and the Assassin’s Festival, and crossovers with Final Fantasy XIV, Terra Wars, and others.

Multiple pieces of downloadable content was created for Final Fantasy XV, both paid and free. Among them were recipes, outfits, weapons, decals and music for the Regalia, expansion packs, and sidestory "Episodes." The main DLC episodes focusing on filling in narrative gaps related to Noctis's friends—Episode Gladiolus, Episode Prompto and Episode Ignis—were released respectively in March, June and December 2017. A multiplayer mode called Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades was released in November 2017. A standalone version of the multiplayer expansion, called Multiplayer: Comrades, was released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in December 2018. The Royal Pack which primarily expands Chapter 14 of the main quest, was released on March 2018.

The Royal Pack was intended to be the last DLC for Final Fantasy XV, but Square Enix wanted to develop further content. In April 2018, they announced four new DLC which was an alternative story leading to a happy ending, collectively titled the Dawn of the Future: Episode Ardyn, Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafreya, and Episode Noctis. However, due to a "directional change" within Square Enix, all but Episode Ardyn was cancelled. Episode Ardyn's anime prequel, Episode Ardyn -Prologue-, was released in February 2019, and the Episode Ardyn was released in March 2019. An adaption of Episode Ardyn as well as Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafreya, and Episode Noctis was released as a novel in April 2019.

Marketing

Square Enix released many trailers, demos, and promotional events for Final Fantasy XV. However, not all of the things from from these promotions were included in the final product.

The trailers showed different developmental or conceptual stages of the game, which were all subject to change. From the Final Fantasy Versus XIII era, Square Enix released pre-recorded or pre-rendered scenes at E3 2006, at PlayStation Premier 2007, at DKΣ37a13 Private Party in 2008, in Advent Children Complete in 2009, at Tokyo Game Show 2010, and on the Square Enix YouTube channel in 2011. From the Final Fantasy XV era, major Trailers included the E3 2013, Tokyo Game Show and Jump Festa trailers in 2014, the Episode Duscae and Dawn trailers in 2015, and the Tokyo Game Show, Omen, and the Ride Together trailers in 2016.

The demos included Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae in 2015, Final Fantasy XV: Platinum Demo and Final Fantasy XV: Judgment Disc in 2016, and Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition Benchmark and Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition Playable Demo in 2018. According to an anonymous source, Square Enix's marketing team diverted developer resources to create these demos rather than the game itself.

In order to communicate with the fans and allow the fans to provide direct feedback, Square Enix opened the Final Fantasy XV Forum on their official website in 2015 but suddenly closed the forum. In August 2015, the official accounts @FFXVJP and @FFXVEN, in the Japanese language and English language respectively, were opened to keep fans informed of the game's development and occasionally interact with the staff. To replace the closed official forums, an official developer's blog was launched in Japanese in February 2016.

Promotional events included the Active Time Reports which ran intermittently between September 2014 to March 2019 in which developers, primarily Tabata and marketing director Akio Ofuji, discussed development progress, the latest announcements, and facts about the Final Fantasy XV Universe. Other promotional events included Final Fantasy XV: Uncovered in April 2016, where Square Enix initially revealed the game would be released on September 30, 2016, Tokyo Game Show, PAX, Jump Festa, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and Gamescom. Occasionally, Square Enix would hold fan events where people had a chance to meet the developers, ask questions, and learn exclusive information about the game.

Sales

In Japan, the PlayStation 4 version topped Japanese gaming charts, selling 690,471 units. The Xbox One version sold nearly 3,800 units. Total sales of both versions came to 694,262 units, with the game's release boosting console sales for the PS4 over the previous week by over 42,000 units. Second week sales in the region were 79,792 units, down 88% from launch week and causing the game to drop to fifth place. Different rankings in January the following year placed the Japanese sales of Final Fantasy XV as between 900,000 and one million copies.

In the United Kingdom's all-format gaming charts ending December 3, Final Fantasy XV was the second biggest launch for the series after Final Fantasy XIII. According to the December data released by the NPD Group, Final Fantasy XV was the second best-selling title of the month behind Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The game also became the month's best-selling PS4 title, and saw the best console launch month in the franchise's history.

Within the first twenty-four hours, Square Enix reported that Final Fantasy XV had shipped five million units worldwide in both physical shipments and digital sales—a figure which allowed the game to "break even" on development costs. This gave Final Fantasy XV the biggest launch in the franchise to date, the most first day digital sales in Japan for a game up to that point, and set records for physical shipments and downloads in mainland Asia.

According to Square Enix, shipments had reached over six million worldwide by January 2017. In May of the same year, Square announced the game and Rise of the Tomb Raider helped to increase sales and profits for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. In a later interview, Enterbrain president Hirokazu Hamamura stated that the game had sold seven million copies worldwide by January 2018, ranking it as a "huge success". By November 2018, that number had risen to over 8.4 million, making Final Fantasy XV the best selling game of all time of the Final Fantasy franchise.

Commenting on the large numbers, Tabata revealed that the strong sales saved the Final Fantasy franchise as a whole, which had seen declining commercial success in recent years.

Awards and Nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Status
2015 33rd Golden Joystick Awards Best Gaming Moment The summon in Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Most Wanted Game Final Fantasy XV Nominated
2016 5th Annual Behind the Voice Actor Awards 2016 Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in an Anime/Movie Special Aaron Paul as Nyx Ulric Nominated
People's Choice: Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in an Anime/Movie Special Aaron Paul as Nyx Ulric Nominated
6th Annual Behind the Voice Actor Awards 2016 Best Male Vocal Performance in a Video Game Adam Croasdell as Ignis Scientia Nominated
Ray Chase as Noctis Lucis Caelum Nominated
People's Choice: Best Male Vocal Performance in a Video Game Adam Croasdell as Ignis Scientia Nominated
Ray Chase as Noctis Lucis Caelum Won
Best Male Vocal Performance in a Video Game in a Supporting Role Darin De Paul as Ardyn Lucis Caelum Won
People's Choice: Best Male Vocal Performance in a Video Game in a Supporting Role Darin De Paul as Ardyn Lucis Caelum Won
Best Female Vocal Performance in a Video Game in a Supporting Role Amy Shiels as Lunafreya Nox Fleuret Nominated
People's Choice: Best Feale Vocal Performance in a Video Game in a Supporting Role Amy Shiels as Lunafreya Nox Fleuret Nominated
Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game Final Fantasy XV (Voice Director: Keythe Farley) Nominated
People's Choice: Best Vocal Ensemble in a Video Game Final Fantasy XV (Voice Director: Keythe Farley) Nominated
43rd Saturn Awards Best Animated Film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV Nominated
89th Academy Awards Best Animated Feature Film Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2016 Best Role Playing Game Final Fantasy XV Won
Game Informer's 2016 RPG Of The Year Awards Best Cast Final Fantasy XV Won
Best Sidekick Ignis Won
IGN Best of 2016 Awards Best RPG Final Fantasy XV Nominated
People's Choice: Best RPG Final Fantasy XV Won
National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers 2016 Awards Art Direction: Fantasy Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Camera Direction in a Game Engine Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Performance in a Drama, Supporting Amy Shiels as Lunafreya Nominated
Song: Original or Adapted "Stand by Me" Won
Game: Franchise Role Playing Game Final Fantasy XV Won
Honorary Award: Mark Barlet Final Fantasy XV Nominated
PlayStation.Blog Game of the Year 2016 Best PS4 Game Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Best Use of PS4 Pro Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Best Use of PS4 Pro: Editor's Choice Final Fantasy XV Won
Best Story Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Best Soundtrack Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Best Soundtrack: Editor's Choice Final Fantasy XV Won
Best Visuals Final Fantasy XV Nominated
RPGFan Games of the Year 2016 Best RPG of 2016 Final Fantasy XV Won
Fan Reader's Choice for Best RPG of 2016 Final Fantasy XV Nominated
RPG Site Awards 2016 Reader's Choice: Top RPG of 2016 Final Fantasy XV Won
2017 14th British Academy of Film and Television Arts Game Awards Evolving Game Final Fantasy XV Nominated
The Dragon Awards Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC/Console Game Final Fantasy XV Nominated
2017 Golden Joystick Awards Best Visual Design Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Still Playing Final Fantasy XV Nominated
2017 New York Game Awards Statue of Liberty Award for Best World Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Tin Pan Alley Award for Best Music in a Game Final Fantasy XV Nominated
The 2017 Video Game Awards Best Role-Playing Game Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Game Audio Network Guild 2017 Awards Best Original Soundtrack Album Final Fantasy XV OST Nominated
Best Original Instrumental Valse di Fantastica Nominated
The Game Awards 2017 Best Role Playing Game Final Fantasy XV Nominated
Game Informer's 2017 RPG Of The Year Awards Best Post-Launch Support Final Fantasy XV Won
Gamescom 2017 Awards Best Add-on / Downloadable Content Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades Nominated
Japan Game Awards Award of Excellence Final Fantasy XV Won
2018 2018 New York Video Game Awards A-Train Award for Best Mobile Game Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition Nominated
The Dragon Awards Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition Nominated

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