Someone Leaked Final Fantasy XV's Ending Six Months Ago

Illustration for article titled Someone Leaked iFinal Fantasy XV/is Ending Six Months Ago

Back in May, an anonymous poster on 4chan wrote up a bunch of plot points that he said were story spoilers for Final Fantasy XV. Nobody believed him. Well, about that... (Don’t stress: We’ll keep the spoilers out of this article.)

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As it turns out, this 4chan poster had leaked FFXV’s actual ending, complete with some very real information on the final boss and fates of the main characters. He got a couple of details wrong, but for the most part, the leaker was spot on. The 4chan posts are long gone, so you can check out the roundup of his Q&A over in this NeoGAF thread. (There ARE spoilers in there.)

The original reactions were skeptical, naturally. Anyone can claim to be anything on 4chan, a website that requires no verification or proof of identity, and more than a few people had already pretended to have Final Fantasy XV secrets that turned out to be false. “Most of this sounds made up,” wrote one GAFfer. Added another: “This reads like complete horseshit.” Yet it all turned out to be true.

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At the time, the 4chan leaker also claimed that Final Fantasy XV was in really bad shape on consoles and that everyone was “nervous as fuck” about hitting September 30, which turned out to be prescient: Square Enix later delayed FFXV to today, November 29. The good news is that it runs just fine.

Here’s the most interesting tidbit. Someone asked the leaker if Final Fantasy XVI was in development. In response, he wrote: “FFXVI is only going to happen if XV does well.” Make of that what you will!

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DISCUSSION

This game just... Wow. We’re an hour in—I just can’t. I just... Just can’t.

Anyone who’s followed my posts here knows how I felt about this game. Skeptical was the nice word. I hated the design choices. Hated the character designs. Was terrified the story would be gutted by the new team. But I dove in anyway, because that’s what we have to do, right? March like good little girls and boys into the maw of this thing we’ve been waiting ten years for?

I wrote a novel in response to the Kotaku review here, but I see eye to eye with you in a lot of ways. I’m a long time fan too. I started in 91. I originally liked FF because it was a game where there were girls to play as. As I played it more, I fell in love with the stories. With the worlds. VI is my all time favorite—a real high watermark for the series. It sparked my appreciation for opera. I think that “Dancing Mad” is an absolute masterwork and am happy to hear it being played more at concerts (for years it was overshadowed by it’s more famous and less talented cousin “One Winged Angel”)

You never forget your first time. In one hour, I can reach Damcyan in FFIV and witness a terrible tragedy. In FFVI, I’ve already cleared Figaro and am on my way to the Returner’s Hideout, desperate to learn more about Terra.

An hour into FFXV, and we’re at a motel.

I think we just dropped off some drugs... Or something. It seemed like drugs, since they offered to take it out of the trunk for us.

Car broke down before that. We killed some scorpions—and some wolves. And a pig lizard. Oh, a big bird flew over us. That was cool... I guess. Oh, and we got the car is fixed and...

That’s it.

There is no hook. No urgency. No bombastic opening, no feels, not even a decent introduction to our boy band. “But Chapter 0!” I hear you say, shaking your fist. No. No, Chapter 0 is not cool. Nothing happens. There’s some fire and smoke and some big dude on a throne and... Nothing. Fade to white.

I’ll be accused of having nostalgia goggles. I’m going to do a little... Comparative work here, to explain my opinion. We’re going to focus on Final Fantasies VI versus VX.

In FFVI opening “FMV” sets the tone of the entire piece. VI begins with a foreboding crawl explaining the status quo—a new one for the series.

Long ago, the War of the Magi reduced the world to a scorched wasteland, and Magic simply ceased to exist.

1000 years have passed... Iron, gunpowder and steam engines have been rediscovered, and high technology reigns. But there are those who would enslave the world by reviving the dread destructive power known as “Magic”.

Can it be that those in power are on the verge of repeating a senseless and deadly mistake?

BOOM. In 60 seconds (if that) you have your setup. All accompanied by what was—at the time—impressive visuals and a haunting OST. It’s basically the opening crawl to Star Wars.

Biggs: There’s the town...

Wedge: Hard to believe an Esper’s been found intact there, 1000 years after the War of the Magi...

Biggs: Think it’s still alive?

Wedge: Probably... judging from the urgency of our orders.

Biggs: And this woman, this... sorceress, why’s she here? I heard she fried 50 of our Magitek Armoured soldiers in under 3 minutes!

Wedge: Not to worry. The Slave Crown on her head robs her of all conscious thought. She’ll follow orders.

Biggs: We’ll approach from the east. Move out!

BOOM. More setup, all in 7 text boxes. You’ll notice that most of the Narshe set piece has little to no dialogue or cutscenes. What lines there are are fairly short. In fact, including lines that occur in the Whelk battle (which explain to you the gimmick to that fight), there are only twenty lines of dialogue in all of Narshe, and half of them are guards essentially yelling at you to please stop murdering them.

But that’s all a bit dull. Now that we have the exposition out of the way, we dive right into the action, right?

Wrong.

This. This is what it’s about. Just... Look at the atmosphere in this shot. It’s snowing. It’s bitterly cold. Bleak. Dark. You are basically attacking a neutral city under cover of darkness to plunder it of a magical artifact, and doing so with an actual weapon of mass destruction. The slow, purposeful march towards the slowly growing town in the distance shows the creeping, inescapable reach of the Empire—that even those who ally themselves with it will outlive their usefulness eventually. It’s a beautiful metaphor to introduce you to Kefka’s entire philosophy, which is that people are essentially expendable worms who exist only to be used up. This—and the ultimate fate of the Empire—are further reinforced by the deaths of Biggs and Wedge, who are consumed by power they can’t control and thus are destroyed by it. Just like Gestahl, just like the Empire, and eventually the world.

This is to say nothing about the beautiful genius that is the Final Fantasy VII intro, which simultaneously introduces you to Aeris’s mysticism, the grungy world, and the utter scope of Midgar.

Both of these games had hooked me within 10 minutes. That’s all it took. Are they perfect, no. But I was never bored.

An hour in, and I feel no desire to keep going with XV. There is no hook. No swelling of excitement. There’s just... Nothing. It’s... pretty, but so was Phantom Pain. So was Uncharted 4. That doesn’t impress me anymore. I just don’t feel like trudging into the wilderness to go on quests. I... Feel empty.

I don’t like the characters. The dialogue is awful. The voice acting is stilted and wooden—which is a real shame because I know some of these actors are actually good. 

Then there are puns. Oh god, there are puns. 

To try to propel myself forward, I read the spoilers today. I thought—maybe I will see something here that will make it worth it to trudge through all those quests. Maybe something will happen that will catch me. Move me.

There’s nothing. I had already figured out the two major “plot twists” just based on Square’s advertising and the ending my husband and I joked about. But we were right. My god, we were right.

Your mileage may vary. If you’re enjoying it, more power to you. Don’t spoil yourself. But if you’re hanging on hoping something earth shatteringly awesome to happen... Well, like I said, your mileage may vary.

This is the second time this year that I’ve felt this empty, dead feeling in my belly. The first time was with Star Fox Zero. These were pillars of my childhood—truths I could set my watch to.

I’m 33, and I guess I’ve just outgrown this stuff.