The 15th Final Fantasy doesn't have a release date yet, nor does it even have a release year, but there's still plenty of information floating around about the next entry in Square Enix's titanic flagship series.
What used to be called Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been in development for over seven years now, and it will be out for Xbox One and PS4 at some indeterminate point in the future. Let's look at everything we know about the game so far. (We'll be updating this post every so often as we learn more about Final Fantasy XV, so stay tuned.)
Let's start things off with some video footage. First there was the Versus reveal in 2006:
A big Versus trailer came out in 2011:
Then there was the re-reveal: in 2013, Versus morphed into Final Fantasy XV, now slated for Xbox One and PS4.
Finally, here's some recent gameplay footage, also from 2013. Sure is pretty.
There are five main party members in Final Fantasy XV, and if you think they look like a boy band, you're not alone. Here are their official descriptions, via Square Enix:
Noctis Lucis Caelum: A childhood affliction endowed Noctis, heir apparent to the throne of Lucis, with the mystical power to see a heavenly light, through which he could sense others' deaths. Noctis rejects rigid royal conventions and acts as somewhat of a renegade, much to the dismay of those who tend to him. Yet while "Noct" may act brash at times, he does so in defense of those loyal to him.
Gladiolus Amicitia: As lord of the noble House Amicitia, Gladiolus continues a line sworn to protect the crown. "Gladio" shares a friendship with Noctis that transcends birth and title, and his loyalty to his liege is born not of duty, but of brotherhood.
Ignis Scientia: Ever the unwavering voice of reason, Ignis was weaned on shrewd logic and a classical education from boyhood so that he might one day counsel the would-be king, Noctis. He applies the deep mutual understanding and trust they have built over time to help smooth over Noctis's brusqueness with others.
Prompto Argentum: The puckish playboy Prompto befriended Noctis in his school days. He wears a chip on his shoulder as an outsider to the royal circle, but remains eager to do all he can for the cause.
Cor Leonis: A living legend of Lucian lore, Lord Commander Cor Leonis's devotion to the art of war is surpassed only by that to his king. Little love is lost between the ill-starred stalwart and Noctis's retinue, yet honor binds him to keep watch over the group all the same.
No women? We've seen a few appearances from a woman named Stella, who appears to play a pivotal role in the plot—like Noctis, she has a strange power related to the spirits of the dead—but Square Enix has stayed quiet about whether she, or any other women, will be playable in Final Fantasy XV.
We also know a little bit about a couple of the villains. There's this guy, who doesn't have a name but really wants to beat up Noctis's dad (and steal his crystal).
And then there's pink-haired umbrella man, who seems like one of those badass honorable villains that will eventually join and/or help out your party.
Oh, and there's hair. Lots of hair.
"Sometimes I wish we had the easiness Western FPS (first-person shooters) have, to make everyone bald," director Tetsuya Nomura told NBC. "We're a company that's known for unique hairstyles, but in a way we're running out of ideas."
Noctis n' crew have got some struggles to overcome. Here's Square's story synopsis:
The only crystal left to the world lies in the Kingdom of Lucis. Upon striking a peace with the garrison state of Niflheim, Lucis rejoices in having at last brought the cold war to a close. Their celebrations, however, are premature. Under the guise of amity, Niflheim dispels the anti-armament runewall and launches a full-scale invasion of the kingdom. The peaceful lives Crown Prince Noctis and his entourage once knew are consumed by the flames of war as they struggle to mount a resistance.
Some other facts:
- This one is going to be darker than previous Final Fantasys. In a 2007 interview with Edge, Nomura specified: "In Versus XIII we want to elaborate more on the world and the human side of the characters, their way of thinking and how and why they behave like they do. This might take the game conception to a darker level than the other games in the FF series."
- We'll likely see at least one flashback to young Noctis—you can see him talking to his dad and eating nasty soup in the most recent trailer. No word yet whether we'll be able to control Flashback Noctis.
- That Noctis you see in the E3 trailers, by the way, is super high-leveled. You won't be able to use all those cool abilities from the getgo.
- Nomura: "I don't like the extreme cases of tech or magic. If I choose, I choose a modern setting — but that's not a good setting for a game. So if you look at "FFXV," it starts in a very modern world similar to Shinjuku (in downtown Tokyo), but when the story starts, you go to the medieval world — but the weapons they are using are high tech-weapons; that kind of combo is what I like."
- Yes, it's all in real time. You dash around the battlefield and attack baddies instantly.
- According to Nomura, Noctis can use a lot of different weapons: small swords, big swords, axes, lances, guns, etc.
- Noctis can warp short distances, proving my theory that Blink makes everything better.
- So far we know that Noctis's buddies can join him in combat—and in the E3 gameplay trailer above, we see the main character's friends assisting him against a giant monster—but we don't know which of your party members' actions are plot-driven and which you'll get to control.
- Three people per party.
- Nomura: "The starting point will have a sense of control that is similar to that of Kingdom Hearts’ ‘easy and refreshing action,’ so it won’t be difficult. Most of it will come pretty naturally to you. We’re currently testing out different operational methods with each hardware. Regarding allies, in addition to cooperative attacks, there will also be situational actions, which will be part of various scenarios in battles."
- There are five major cities: Accordo, Lucis, Solheim, Tenebrae, and Niflheim. Niflheim is the evil one. Lucis is inspired by Tokyo, and governed by Noctis's dad. Accordo is very much like Venice.
- Airships will return, according to Nomura. "You can fly across the world in an airship," he said in a 2010 interview. Seems like there's a world map!
- You can also control and ride a car and Magitek armor, a high-tech mech suit first introduced in Final Fantasy VI. Chocobos will be in at some point, too.
- In the E3 trailer, we see two familiar Final Fantasy monsters: the Iron Giant and the Behemoth. The summon Leviathan also makes an appearance.
- You'll have to defeat each summon monster before it joins your team, similar to many older Final Fantasy games.
Oh, and Nomura has already started talking about a potential sequel. He thinks it'll be tough to wrap up all of his vision for Final Fantasy XV in just one game.