Video Game: Final Fantasy XV

aka: Final Fantasy Versus XIII

Final Fantasy XV, formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, is the fifteenth Numbered Sequel in the game-delayingly popular Final Fantasy series. It is also the fifth entry in the Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy series, which shares a common mythology with Final Fantasy XIII but no direct connection.

Noctis Lucis Caelum is the Warrior Prince of Lucis, a kingdom whose royal family patterns themselves after The Mafia. For generations, his family has been tasked with protecting the Power Crystal which grants their kingdom prosperity. But now, Lucis is being invaded by its neighbouring countries, who lost their own Power Crystals to warfare and see Lucis' crystal as either the key to saving their own homelands... or a weapon that will conquer the others.

The gameplay of XV uses Action RPG mechanics along the lines of Kingdom Hearts, such as Implausible Fencing Powers, Spontaneous Weapon Creation, Weaponized Teleportation, taking cover and massive video game setpieces. This makes it the first main series Final Fantasy title to not have a turn-based battle system of any kind, instead using the Action RPG style.note  It will also use Square Enix's next-generation development platform, Luminous, which is being developed alongside the game.

XV is currently planned for simultaneous release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Previews: E3 2013 trailer, TGS 2014 trailer

This game provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: Final Fantasy XV is an Action RPG, unlike the previous Final Fantasy games, which used turn based battle systems.
  • Action Girl: Stella will be this; there's no female protagonist in an FF game that hasn't been badass in some way.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: Cidney, the mechanic who assists the protagonists, is this game's Cid.
  • Art Evolution: Both character art and the model designs became cleaner and softer over the game's transition from Versus XIII to XV.
  • Arc Symbol: Etro, the goddess of the dead, appears in paintings, legends and backstory throughout XV. Further, she serves as the Arc Symbol of the entire Fabula Nova Crystallis series. note 
  • BFS: As ever for Final Fantasy.
    • Gladiolus uses oversized greatswords.
    • Noctis' also has access to greatswords through his Hyperspace Arsenal.
    • Monsters like Iron Giant carry 20-foot-tall swords bigger than they are; and as evidenced by the E3 2013 gameplay demo, the party can use these swords in finishing moves against the monsters carrying them.
  • Bishōnen:
    • Noctis, an attractive young man with a tall, slender figure and beautiful blue eyes.
    • The chocobo-blond-haired Prompto has a similarly svelte build and delicate features.
    • The pair of them are frequently compared to members of a boy band by fans.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Despite fighting an invasion of your country, you're essentially the heir to a family of crime lords.
    • Although a lot of the scenes shown to date with Regis make it more "Black-And-Light-Grey"; Regis himself is clearly shown to be the very opposite of a ruthless crime lord (going so far as to help young Noctis enjoy some bad soup so that the chef isn't fired), despite what his family history may be.
    • Somewhat subverted. The family aren't crime lords, but operate in a similar manner. The only stated details are that Noctis's friendship with Ignis, Prompto and Gladiolus had been compared to the "brother" concepts.
    • It should be noted that, at face value, the game has not shown any of the mythology or any of the roots of the characters. At worse case scenario, given what happened in Lightning Returns and the sister games, the perspective is currently locked in "Black-And-Dark-Grey", although it is even more likely to switch between Grey and Grey Morality and even Evil Versus Evil.
  • Blade Brake: Noctis has no problem stabbing his swords through concrete, and uses his warp powers to climb buildings this way.
  • Bloodier and Gorier:
    • You can draw blood from enemies in XV, something unseen in other Final Fantasy games.
    • Your party will similarly have cuts and other wounds on their body when their Hit Points are low.
  • Cool Car: The shiny black business car Noctis and his friends ride around in. In game, you actually control that car as one of the modes of transportation.
  • Crapsack World: The world is at war over resources, with the land outside the cities apparently consisting of barren wastelands.
  • Dark Action Girl: The armor-clad female mooks.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Noctis wears all black, but is the friendly and affable hero of XV.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    Tetsuya Nomura: The game's going to be more human than the science-fiction caricature... and will focus around current world events - in that sense it's darker.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: You have to unlock new Summons by defeating them in a boss fight.
  • Empathic Weapon: Noctis' powers partially respond to his emotional state.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The lyrics of the main theme, "Somnus", talk about a sleeping god in a city of eternal night guarded by children, and how even if tragedy destroys everything, eventually the dawn will come.
  • Faceless Mooks: Many of the human enemies you face wear armored helmets that cover their faces.
  • Foreshadowing: Remember back in 2006, when the game was first announced, that the game was supposed to take place somewhere along the lines of Like Reality Unless Noted, a distant relationship to myths despite having some connection to Final Fantasy XIII, and a myth where a door will burst open and souls will be guided to Etro's Gate? Come Lightning Returns, and you have an ending where the universe looks like it is being remade as the modern world, the crystal tales falling into a deep mythology and rendered free from Gods, all of this happening after souls were guided to this new world.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Childhood Friends Noctis and Stella are destined to do battle due to hostility between their families.
  • God Is Good: The people of Tenebrae believe Etro is a compassionate goddess who greets troubled souls on their journey to the afterlife.
  • Good Bad Translation: Some of the trailers have random, amusingly nonsensical Italian phrases flash on the screen.
  • The Grim Reaper/Shinigami: Etro, XV's goddess of the dead, who incorporates elements of both Western and Japanese death gods.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In spades, if the 2013 E3 Trailer is to be believed. Though some of it is Noctis applying Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me through his weaponry powers.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Noctis and his friends wear boots with glowing red soles for some reason.
  • Instant Runes: Noctis and Stella create huge glowing crests when they summon weapons.
  • In the Hood: The currently unnamed character in white robes from the roll call. He looks like he just came out of the Assassin's Creed universe. Coincidentally, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is taking this approach gameplay-wise.
  • Last Chance Life Gauge: Characters who fall to 0 HP have their HP display replaced by a draining red gauge, where they are given a chance to heal themselves back out of the red. If the gauge empties completely in this state, the character dies.
  • Light Is Not Good: Idola and some of the other villains wear white clothing, in opposition to the heroes' black outfits.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: The first half of "Somnus", which is a single melancholy piano melody playing slowly and softly.
  • Low Level Run: Invoked with the game's unique leveling mechanic, which only allows characters to level up when they take a break, which allows them to collect the EXP earned in combat. Word of God states that this was specifically designed so that players could play the game at a low level.
  • The Mafia/Yakuza: Noctis and his enemies come from crime families with Italian names and stylings. However, elements of Japanese criminal organizations are featured as well.
  • Man in White: Idola, one of the mysterious antagonists in white robes.
  • Mana: Unusually, not used to cast actual magic, like Fire. It is instead consumed when dodging or guarding, and when using combat abilities such as Jump and Tempest.
  • Meaningful Name: Most of the characters' names relate to their roles or personalities:
    • Noctis Lucis Caelum is an incorrectly translated Latin phrase for "light of the night sky." He's actually supposed to contrast both Sora and Cloud.
    • Stella Nox means "night star" and Fleuret is French for a type of rapier, her weapon of choice.
    • Ignis Scientia means "fire of knowledge", since he's The Smart Guy who uses fire magic.
    • Gladiolus Amicitia means "little sword of friendship", ironically referencing his use of greatswords and his position as Noct's best friend.
    • Idola is Latin for "spectres", befitting his eerie quality and white clothing, as well as the game's overall theme of death.
    • Tenebrae (Stella's home) is Latin for "darkness", and Lucis (Noctis' home) means "light."
    • Other countries mentioned are Niflheim (a military dictatorship) and Solheim, which are Old Norse for "home of mist" and "home of sun."
  • Meaningful Rename: The title's rebranding is presented as this in the trailer shown at E3 2013. When the logo of Final Fantasy Versus XIII appears, the following quote is spoken, and then it shatters and is replaced with the new letters of Final Fantasy XV.
    "The legend meets its match. But, the world is ever changing... For the fifteenth coming."
  • Mini-Mecha: 12-foot-tall robots serve both as enemies and rides you can steal.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Gladiolus, a muscular and attractive Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • Near Death Experience: Noctis speculates he and Stella being able to see the "light" means they both had a near death experience in their past.
  • Neck Snap: Noctis memorably breaks one soldier's neck with his legs in a cutscene.
  • Obviously Evil: The elderly blond guy leading the soldiers in the E3 trailer. Doesn't help that he seems incapable of smiling.
  • Ojou: Stella is the child of a well-respected rich family.
  • Power-Up Food: On the occasion Noctis and the gang drive by a gas station, they can go to the nearby diner and munch on a meal while the car gets gas. This in turn grants status buffs in combat.
  • Power Walk: An early promotional image of Noctis and his friends walking away from a smoking building.
  • Random Encounters: Being an Action RPG, all battles take place on the field, which means the lack of a signature Fight Woosh for this game. How close you are to one is denoted by a red "Encounter Gauge" that appears when you approach an enemy; when it's full, the fight starts and the battle music starts playing.
  • Reality Ensues: This is a "fantasy based on reality", after all. Various gameplay elements are designed to simulate the limits of actual human beings. For example, running for an extended period of time causes Noctis to run out of breath and get tired, and going for days without sleep causes sleep deprivation and incurs status penalties.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Noctis and Stella are contrasting each other at Faux Symbolism levels: male and female, black and white clothes, blue aura and gold, and so on.
  • Seer: Both Noctis and Stella are able to foretell people's deaths. This is the mystical 'gift' Etro gave to them. A trailer shows that their reactions to this vary; Stella is confident and wants to talk about it, Noctis shies away from the topic.
  • Scenery Gorn: The empty and ruined landscapes outside the cities, such as crumbling desert highways that have sunk into the sea.
  • Scenery Porn: Accordo features gorgeous Renaissance-style architecture based off Venice, and Lucis is a haunting neon cityscape based on the Shibuya district of Tokyo.
    • There are more than 5 million polygons per frame, 100 thousand for each character, 20 thousand of that for the hair alone.
  • Serial Escalation: One of the main reasons why the game was moved over to the next generation of consoles? The game was too big. Set pieces now involve fighting giant sea serpents, dozens of airships and entire armies, a far cry from self-contained turn based battles of earlier Final Fantasy titles. In addition, the "Luminous" next-gen rendering engine has made in-engine gameplay indistinguishable from the pre-rendered CG of earlier FF games.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Many characters sport elements of mob movie archetypes, such as one dressing similar to Al Capone.
    • The game's first trailer quotes a line from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
    • In the demo, alerting enemies to your presence and entering a "warning phase" will start a short piece of music that is based on the bassline for early Final Fantasy battle themes.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: A running theme in the game. Stella for instance believes her powers make her Blessed with Suck, while Noctis believes he's Cursed with Awesome. According to Final Fantasy XIII-2, which shares the mythology, Stella is correct. Serah Farron from XIII-2 is the perfect example of this.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The first trailer was dark, violent and bloody, but set to a beautiful piece of music.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Played with. Stella and Noctis are Childhood Friends with a fair amount of Ship Tease whose families are at opposite ends of a war.
  • Star Power: In a Q&A session about the game, the Summons in this game are stars.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: Although he'll initially dangle helplessly after warping halfway up a building and stabbing his blade into the concrete, Noctis can also swing himself onto the sword and continue throwing weapons to create a sort of ladder.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The gameplay has as much of this as it does actual fighting.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The blades Noctis throws, no matter how unwieldy, always land pointy side in.
  • True Companions: Prompto is stated to be an "old school friend" of Noctis, while Ignis and Gladiolus are his childhood friends. They have such a close friendship that they informally advise Noctis that he's not strong enough to handle himself in a proper fight.
  • Urban Fantasy: Mixes metropolitan cityscapes based on modern Shibuya with power crystals, magitek and sword fighting. Oh yeah, they have done all of this style of fighting before.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Noctis has the ability warp to weapons he's thrown at walls and enemies, allowing him to dodge gunfire or surprise opponents on the fly.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: As the only controllable character, it's game over when Noctis dies.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Noctis' relationship with Stella has been captioned: "A meeting predestined by the divine."

Alternative Title(s):

Final Fantasy Versus XIII