This is a fantasy based on reality...
"Fools set the rules in this world. Just look around. It's undeniable."
Final Fantasy XV is a 2016 action role-playing video game by Square Enix. The game was initially known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII.
The fifteenth entry in the stupefyingly popular (and increasingly delayed) Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy Versus XIII was supposed to be a spiritual sibling of Final Fantasy XIII, but was not a sequel, prequel or related to it in any way other than sharing mythos elements, and was supposed to take place in a different world. Final Fantasy Versus XIII was part of a "ten year project" called Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, which is a Pretentious Latin Title meaning "The New Tale Of The Crystal". This particular game was being developed by the same team who does Kingdom Hearts.
As the game's name changed, references to such project were mostly dropped from the final product.
The story of Final Fantasy Versus XIII centered around Noctis Lucis Caelum, mafia prince of an isolated kingdom and protector of the last crystal, in a world where crystals are no longer used. Together with his loyal True Companions, Noct works to defend his homeland from neighbouring "barbarians" who seek its power for their own in the growing conflict. He also meets Stella Nox Fleuret, a young woman from the rival country of Tenebrae and his unwilling enemy. All this is overshadowed by legends of Etro, goddess of death, and her relationship with humans.
In the final product, however, though the basic premise of Noctis and his friends fighting for their homeland remained, Stella was completely replaced by Luna, a character with similar physical characteristics (blonde hair, white skin, female, thin figure), but who serves as ally in their fight against the The Empire of Nilfheim, who are the antagonists of Final Fantasy XV.
Final Fantasy XV, its final denomination, was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It has since been released on Windows. It also has a Pocket Edition, an abridged version of the same story on mobile platforms and for computers running Windows 10 which is basically a streamlined game with simpler graphics and gameplay but all the story content of the more powerful original game.
It's a game with much supplementary media:
- Kingsglaive: a CGI movie detailing the political machinations behind the scenes that set up the events at the end of Chapter 1 that were largely offscreen.
- Brotherhood: an anime prequel to the main game covering the backstories of the main playable characters.
- A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV: A spinoff side scrolling Beat'Em Up game based on King Regis in his younger days.
- Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire
- Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV: A Playstation VR game based on the fishing portion of the main game.
- Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire
- Aborted Arc: Several.
- It's implied that King Regis' reluctance to surrender to Niflheim at the start of the game that he is ultimately willing to agree courtesy of the marriage of his son and Lunafreya greasing the skids caused some disgruntlement amongst his people in Kingsglaive, but this is never followed up on in the game itself.
- The Imperial invasion eventually craps out, but this is an intentional invocation of the trope. As they served Ardyn's purposes by that point. After that, they were unnecessary and became superfluous to the overarching scheme of the Big Bad.
- Absurdly High Level Cap: As of the latest patch, it's around 120. It's possible to low level beat the game, but if you want to do all the sidequests, they will require going as high on the level scale as possible, and experience needed for higher levels ramps up geometrically.
- Acceptable Breaks From Reality: While introducing various survival game elements, certain things are made easier regardless: like in Morrowind, shops and quests are 24/7 available. To make battle fair on the player, once you leave the arc radius of enemy vision, you're effectively gone in their view, if they could still actually see you, which makes it possible for the player to avoid being relentlessly pursued by things that are too strong to handle.
- Actionized Sequel: This game abandons nigh all elements of Turn Based Battle. It does have a Wait mode that allows for a limited degree of it to return, but otherwise the battles are determined by Action RPG rules.
- Adaptation Distillation: Pocket Edition is basically a streamlined, cut-down for mobile devices take on the main game, telling the same story and using most of the same audio and cutscene assets, but otherwise makes the game more feasible for play on mobile devices. As a consequence of boiling the game down to its essence yet making it play well on mobile devices, features of the main game like Elemancy, most options to manually drive the Regalia, and many other things like the fishing minigame were cut.
- Aerith and Bob: The names of characters range from loaded with Gratuitous Latin to being very plain.
- After The End:
- Post-Chapter 13 is the setup for the multiplayer-expansion Comrades.
- Chapter 14 takes place after a ten-year Time Skip.
- All Just a Dream: The Platinum Demo and Moogle Festival DLC have no real relevance to the game and quite divorced from it in any real sense. A cruel version happens towards the end of Chapter 1. You see a depressing scene of Insomnia getting its ass kicked by the Niflheim Empire, then it cuts abruptly to Noctis waking up, implying it was a dream. Then you discover it actually happened.
- All There in the Manual: To an absurd extreme:
- This is an official novella set before the day Noctis leaves Insomnia prior to the start of the plot
- The Final Fantasy XV Complete Official Guide, like many others, has supplemental material never mentioned in the game itself,like the name of Noctis' mother.
- You need to watch the anime Brotherhood for character backstory detail and the CGI movie Kingsglaive for the full story of the political stuff that leads to Insomnia getting invaded and conquered.
- Altum Videtur: You can't swing a dead cat without running into something with a Latin name in this game.
- American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Japanese cover is pretty laid back and chill, with the whole "four guys on a road trip" prominently featured. The American version has them prepared for battle.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Including:
- An easy mode difficulty.
- Fast Travel so the open world is less tedious to travel.
- Tutorial modes which can be revisited at any time.
- Ability to skip to morning or night for certain quests while waiting at camp.
- Beef Gate: Daemons are intended as such by default, as they are far more dangerous than daytime monsters, thus meant to discourage low level players from gallivanting around the map at all hours.
- Big Bad: Early on, while the game positions Aldercapt as angling for the role, he is quickly usurped by his Evil Chancellor Ardyn, and the game does nothing even early on to hide the latter is The Man Behind The Man.
- Bittersweet Ending: The world of Eos is saved from the daemon plague, but a good part of mankind and Noctis and Luna died in the process.
- Blob Monster: Flans, of all different kinds.
- Canis Latinicus: Aside from Incredibly Lame Puns, the game loves it's use of Latin.
- Chibi: How everyone was drawn as in the Pocket Edition.
- Crossover: Got some temporarily available DLC that did this with Assassin's Creed, and Noctis would also become a Guest Fighter in Tekken 7.
- Disc One Nuke: The Ragnarok sword Noctis can get if you have the Season Pass since the 1.05 patch is, on paper, easily outclassed, but if you base your fighting style around abusing Warp Strikes, it's a very, very powerful weapon for a LONG time, since the multiplier to damage for Warp Strikes is obscenely high. It can carry you a long ways through the game if you specialize in upgrading Noctis for making good use of it.
- Downloadable Content: There are several official DLC (official release dates like this):
- Episode Gladiolus: set when Gladio temporarily leaves the party post Chapter 6. We also learn more of Cor's backstory in the process (March 28th, 2017).
- Episode Prompto: covers what happened to Prompto after being knocked off a train after Chapter 11. We also get a lot of information about his backstory (June 27th, 2017).
- Comrades: a multiplayer expansion set in the period during the Time Skip which can be played and completed single-player. We get some background on the Kingsglaive, and we learn just how Noctis got met after the Time Skip and why (November 15th, 2017).
- Episode Ignis: covers Ignis as he fights against the Niflheim Empire during their invasion of Altissa. Notable not only for giving Ignis a lot of character focus, it also allows the unlocking of an alternate ending (December 13th, 2017).
- Royal Pack: compilation of all DLC up to that point in one package. Windows Edition for PC has this by default (March 6, 2018).
- Episode I: Ardyn - The Conflict of the Sage.
- Episode Side Story: Aranea - The Beginning of the End.
- Episode II: Lunafreya - The Choice of Freedom.
- Episode III: Noctis - The Final Strike.
- There are also more minor releases, such as official mods and skins released by Square Enix via the Steam Workshop.
- Fishing Minigame: Prince Noctis' favourite activity is fishing, and the game provides ample opportunities to do so, including a chain of side quests leading to a legendary catch.
- Game Mod: The first game in the series to officially support this.
- Going Mobile: Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire and the Pocket Edition of the main game.
- Homage: Prompto's DLC is one long Metal Gear Solid homage.
- Humongous Mecha: The first story boss is Loqi, who uses the magitek armor MA-X Cuirass to fight Noctis' party.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Common to the world in many places where the game obviously does not intend the player to enter, like jump off the main walkway of Galdin Quay for example. Otherwise averted in most explorable areas.
- Land of the Shattered Empire: Similar to Final Fantasy VI, the entire world post-time skip is in ruins, ravaged by monsters, and the Nilfheim Empire is defunct. Unlike Kefka, however, Ardyn is completely rational, he just hates the gods to such a point he is willing to ruin the life of every human being for what the heavens did to him.
- Likes Older Women: A recurring element with female cast members. The guys practically drool over Cindy and Araena in every scene in-universe, and Lunafreya is older than Noctis by four years, and he totally reciprocates her feelings for him, and did since they first met as children.
- Low-Level Run: Much like Final Fantasy VIII, this is entirely possible.
- Mythology Gag: The lead character is at an event and meets the heroine in a white dress... Hmm...
- Names to Know in Anime:
- The Night That Never Ends: The Big Bad is aiming for this, but it's only part of his true motivations. It's generally just a prelude to him finally killing you, then flipping off the gods once he's done.
- Obvious Beta: Both the prototype of what this game would be and even its first releases qualified as this, with the first responsible for the game being retooled heavily into what was actually released. The actual released product has received numerous updates since release to add further content and flesh out the initial experience, which was still underdone originally, especially in the second half of the game.
- Ramen as Dehydrated Noodles: How you can find it as an edible item ingame. Oddly despite the fact Nissin Cup Noodles are an in-universe product, we rarely if ever see FRESH ramen.
- Scenery Gorn: The game is not shy showing off how there are a lot of areas that obviously went through a war, and as the game goes on, you'll see more lovingly detailed scenes where battles wrecked things and tore up the landscape.
- Most of the world is hit with this trope after the Time Skip, given how most civilization has been wrecked thanks to constant daemon attacks.
- Scenery Porn:
- The game was developed for so long in part because they want to be able to wring as much use out of this trope as possible. The finished product has tons of beautifully rendered areas, many based off real world locations like Venice and Shibuya.
- If you play on PC and can handle it, turn on the extra Nvidia settings, you'll get hair effects rendered incredibly realistically because EACH HAIR gets its own polygon, meaning the hair physics look amazing, provided your PC can handle render 20K+ polygons just from rendering hair alone.
- Shotgun Wedding: Noctis' is practically drafted into marrying Lunafreya. Given he already loves her, it's a Perfectly Arranged Marriage, so he's just fine with that, as is she. Too bad for both it was a ruse at their expense.
- Spiritual Successor: This game bears a lot of similar themes as Final Fantasy VI, including an empire with Magitek weapons, a Kefka-esque villain and even a "World of Ruin", which basically Eos after the Eternal Night falls on it.
- Spoiler Opening: The game doesn't really try to hide that there is a Time Skip, it's just the exact details of How We Got Here that are kept under wraps for the player to discover.
- Time Skip: Occurs for plot reasons by Chapter 13. The multiplayer expansion Comrades is set during the interim.
- Troll: ARDYN. Man practically goes out of his way to be as much of a petty dick as possible. His VERY FIRST SCENE in the game is him essentially telling you shit is gonna explode soon and that you'd better enjoy it [the peace] while it lasts, while sarcastically flipping a coin at you meant to celebrate the upcoming wedding/peace talks, and he does so in the most asshole way possible, just to be a prick about it.
- Vancian Magic: Magic is contained in "flasks" equipped as items by your other party members, and they tend to use it like grenades as opposed to the more traditional incanted sorcery. It's creation is also far closer to alchemy, given various forms of magic can be combined with reagants to give it different effects, and the potency of the magic is determined by the various levels of the Fire, Ice, Lightning magics included in the created spell.
- Warp Whistle: The game has a limited form of fast travel mechanics. The Regalia allows the player to do this to quest locations or at least close to their general area as well to outposts. They can also, while on foot, teleport back to where they parked the car.
- Weakened by the Light: The daemons are damaged by different kinds of light. In fact, they take automatic damage if they spawn, and you wait until the sun appears, to the point the party can "kill" a demon of a level much higher than theirs.
- Weaponized Teleportation: A key gameplay feature. Noctis even has an entire skill tree revolving around making this as viable a skill as possible.
- Wide Open Sandbox: After the first few chapters, the world is yours to explore in ever widening extremes. It becomes far more linear by the end of the game though.
- A Wizard Did It: Several elements of the in-universe physics make no sense without this trope. The sun rises and falls in accordance with a "wizard" called the Oracle making sure it happens, but their effectiveness decreases over time by the start of the game thanks to meddling of another "wizard". The daemons the Niflheim Empire produce basically cause excess work for the Oracle's powers, reducing the amount of time the sun stays up. To make any sort of sense how the sun works at ALL, it works like the real world, except you have to factor in the above mentioned for the VISIBILITY of the sun. The actual sun otherwise functions like it does in the real world save for this. Havens tend to be monster safe despite the time of day, implied to be because, if you pay attention, they are infused with magical properties similar to the sun itself. The planet itself is more self repairing of damage to itself, like from magic, than it ever would be in Real Life, essentially due to this trope.
- Work Off the Debt: Cid purposely stiffs the party for the Regalia repair bill in the beginning, incensed over how they let it break down.
- A Worldwide Punomenon: The game script is LOADED with puns, the point you'd swear the Dragon Quest writers wrote it, and given Square and Enix are the same company, they likely did.
- Wrench Wench: Cindy serves as one fixing the protagonist's car when it breaks down in Duscae.
- The X of Y: The Royal Weapons all have this naming scheme, since they are supposed to be special to the original owner.
- You Don't Look Like You: While the anime and even Pocket Edition try to remain consistent to the game itself despite their differences in format, the Kingsglaive CGI movie is pretty bad at remaining consistent artstyle wise to the game. In fact, only Regis generally looks like his game version.