Final Fantasy XVI PAX East Panel Provides More Details, Footage
Square Enix held a panel at this weekend’s PAX East for the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI, which will launch for PlayStation 5 on June 22, 2023. During the hour-long panel — viewable below and titled “Yes, You Can Pet the Torgal” — Producer Naoki Yoshida and Localisation Director Michael-Christopher Koji Fox discussed elements of the game and showed more footage, including a new trailer highlighting the world of Valisthea.
Final Fantasy XVI is set on the high fantasy land of Valisthea, which is dotted with Mothercrystals, towering structures that spread aether. People have built up around the crystals, using the aether for magic and to help them live in comfort. However, this resource is finite, with the presentation likening it to oil, and conflicts have broken out around control of the crystals. The world is also dotted by large relics, remnants of an ancient civilisation known as the Fallen that disappeared 1,500 years ago. In response to feedback that its recent Media Tour focused on small dark areas to show the action combat, the presentation made sure to show exploration of its larger fields, which includes towns, and its world map, which gives players more areas to explore — including quickly returning to previous areas — as the game goes on.
Valisthea is home to incredibly powerful beings called Eikons, Final Fantasy XVI’s variant on the series’s summons. Each Eikon resides within a person called a Dominant, also known as Wardens of the Elements and Keepers of the Eikons, who effectively become the Eikon itself. Each nation treats their Dominant differently; some are treated as royalty, while others are forced to become tools of war. The Dominants, including main protagonist Clive Rosfield, will be key players in the game, which will focus on their individual situations and motivations.
Protagonist Clive Rosfield is the eldest son of the Archduke of Rosaria, he was expected to become the Dominant of the Phoenix Eikon but instead becomes involved with the dark Eikon Ifrit, with his younger brother Joshua selected as the Phoenix Dominant. The game will feature him in three major stages of his life — his teens, twenties, and thirties — starting out on a quest for revenge that slowly changes as he encounters others. Throughout the game, Clive is accompanied by his trusted hound Torgal.
Final Fantasy XVI features a twin-tiered action battle system. In regular battles Clive takes on opponents and creatures using a customisable set of upgradable Eikonic Abilities learned from multiple Eikons. There are also widely varied Eikonic Clashes where Clive transforms into an Eikon to take on other Eikons. Boss battles in Final Fantasy XVI are split into multiple phases, with each phase featuring changes to the battlefield and the boss itself. The transition cutscenes include player prompts for attacking, evading, and clashes, but as they are designed primarily for keeping players engaged, failing any does not result in a game over. The different battle systems can be seen in the presentation, with regular battles starting at 24:40 and 48:00, with Eikonic Clashes starting at 1:00:25.
The game features an area known as the hideaway, which is run by Cid. Acting like a base camp, Clive can return here to make use of its various facilities, such as an equipment and item shop. There is also a forge where players can upgrade their equipment using materials found in the world, as well as an item called the Arete Stone. This gives players the chance to improve their abilities through training and combat stages, including an arcade mode where players can compete for top scores.
Final Fantasy XVI features a single base difficulty but lets players adjust the difficulty and combat assists using accessories. Players have three slots for accessories. The accessories provide effects such as simplifying controls — e.g. making combos use a single button — as well as automatically having Clive use potions, or slowing the game down when an enemy attacks to make it easier to evade.
World of Valisthea Video
— FINAL FANTASY XVI (@finalfantasyxvi) March 25, 2023