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  • Actor Allusion:
    • Young Ignis in Episode 4 of Brotherhood resembles a bespectacled Light Yagami, one of Mamoru Miyano's more famous roles.
    • Ardyn is very similar in appearance and demeanour to Ali al-Saachez.
      • In addition, his adopted surname, Izunia, is evocative of Izana.
      • Ardyn's confusion at Ifrit's delayed appearance in his DLC Episode alludes to the Joker's reaction during his famous "delayed explosion" scene in The Dark Knight; Keiji Fujiwara voiced the Joker in the film's Japanese dub.
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    • Ravus's final form and boss fight are very similar to Cid Raines'.
  • All-Star Cast: Inverted, with Square Enix seeking out mostly promising and upcoming actors for the main characters instead of going for an all-star cast. They did consider carrying over the cast of Kingsglaive into the game at one point, but decided against it due to budgetary concerns.
  • Approval of God:
  • Ascended Fanon: The name of Noctis's signature weapon, the Engine Blade, is a reference to the Fan Nickname coined following the sword's first appearance in Versus XIII's debut trailer.
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  • Author Existence Failure: Shinji Ogawa, the original Japanese voice actor for Aldercapt, was hospitalized with pneumonia in the fall of 2014 and died in 2015; all of his dialogue was subsequently re-recorded by Shozo Iizuka.
  • Casting Gag: Ardyn is not the first red-haired antagonist voiced by Keiji Fujiwara.
  • Christmas Rushed: It's widely believed that the incomplete and rushed second half of the game upon its initial release, which the studio is attempting to remedy via patches and DLC, was due to heavy pressure to release by 2016 regardless of the state of the game.
  • Creator's Favorite: Tabata has stated that Regis is his favorite character.
  • Crossdressing Voices: Averted with Kid Noctis, Kid Talcott and Kid Prompto in the English dub, where they're voiced by actual young boys and (in Kid Prompto's case) a grown man.
  • Development Gag:
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    • The promotional image of Noctis sitting on a dark throne mirrors similar art of Sora in Kingdom Hearts and Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII.
    • During the Armiger Chain Ignis will wield the Katana of the Warrior, a reference to how a katana was meant to be his primary weapon in Versus XIII. In XV he's more associated with daggers and spears, while Cor became the designated katana user.
    • Regis and Ardyn's confrontation in Episode Ardyn is a direct homage to that of Noctis and the Hooded Man's from early Versus XIII trailers.
  • Defictionalization:
    • If you live anywhere outside of Asia (or in Japan in Asia), Justice Monsters Five was available on your Android or iOS device.
    • King's Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon was also made available upon XV's release. Again, those living outside Japan in Asia are given the short stick.
  • Development Hell: A new posterchild for the trope within Final Fantasy. The game famously began production as "Final Fantasy Versus XIII" in 2005 and was revealed in 2006, planned as part of a trilogy with Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0 (then called Agito XIII). However, for years after this reveal the development team was bare-bones and the game didn't really enter full production until 2011 — at that time it got a new engine, it shifted to the PS4 and Xbox One, Hajime Tabata came on as co-director and eventually became director when Tetsuya Nomura was taken off the project, and it was internally rebranded as Final Fantasy XV. Until 2013 when this rebranding was made public, years almost nothing about the game was shown except for the very occasional trailer. Tabata has even said that, in hindsight, it was a mistake to reveal the game so early, when it was really just a few loose concepts and ideas and wouldn't be close to a finished game for years to come. When XV eventually released, it was on November 29th, 2016, more than ten full years since it was first shown to the public. At least it released to critical acclaim.
  • Executive Meddling: At one point Nomura thought of making the game a musical after he saw the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables. For better or worse, that was vetoed by Square's higher-ups.
  • Fake Brit: Regis, Biggs and Wedge, and Ardyn (American), and Luna (Irish). Averted with Ignis's voice actor, who is of British parentage.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The entire party - The Chocobros
    • Noctis - Storm Explanation , Sasuke UchihaExplanation , John Wick or Punished NoctisExplanation , 陛下/"Heika" Explanation 
      • His powered-up form when fighting Leviathan and Ardyn has been dubbed "Super Saiyan Mode".
      • Noctis's attack in the above-mentioned Super Mode and Bahamut's Ultima Sword attack have been nicknamed "Gate of Babylon/Unlimited Blade Works".
      • The Nomura-designed placeholder outfit from Versus XIII has been dubbed "The Trashbag Outfit".
      • The Festive Ensemble is known as "El Nocto".
      • Japan often refers to Noctis as ブスティス/Bustis (literally "Ugly-tis") in photos taken by Prompto due to how ridiculously unphotogenic he looks, especially when smirking.
    • Gladiolus - Manly Bearded Dude, Scar, Gladdy Daddy
    • Ignis - Glasses Touchdown, Glasses
    • Prompto - Blondie (originally Blond Faggot-kun as a crude Take That! against Square's perceived approach), Shotgun
      • From the Japanese fanbase, there's Pupu/Puputamu (ププ/ププタム) taken from his name's katakana.
      • Kid Prompto - Plumpto
      • Prompto's photography skill has been dubbed "Promptography".
    • King Regis - Hans Gruber, Liam Neeson (as of the "Dawn" trailer)
    • Leviathan - Levia-chan (due to the revelation of it being female), Perfect Leviathan/Chaos Explanation 
    • Gentiana - Himefu, Genitalia, Fran
    • Aranea - Dragoon Lady, Ara Ara
    • Ravus - The Hooded ManExplanation 
    • Magic spells (specifically, of the Elemancy branch) have been christened "Poke balls", due to them taking the form of colored orbs which are thrown at the enemy.
    • Ardyn - Trash Jesus
    • First Secretary Camelia Claustra - Hillary Clinton
    • Sania - Frog Lady, Quina
    • Vyv - Hurley
    • The early designs for the Magitek Exosuits DLC have been dubbed "Power Rangers suits".
    • Somnus - Scar, Arthas MenethilExplanation 
  • Flip-Flop of God: Hajime Tabata has become infamous for this concerning several contradictory statements he has made, such as the whole issue with the game's story remaining the same.
    • A recent example is over whether or not Luna would be a Guest-Star Party Member, with it first being claimed that "[Noctis and his friends] would fight alongside her". Now it has since been revealed that she will not be one.
  • God Never Said That:
    • For a long time, it was thought that "Archaean" was the term for the summons in XV, due to the intro for Episode Duscae describing Titan as such. It turned out "Archaean" was actually the epithet specifically given to Titan, and the proper collective term is "Astrals".
    • A huge stink was raised when Square announced there was going to be a patch on the day the game came out following the two-month delay, with people accusing the director of lying to them and that the delay from September was now pointless. In reality, these are two very different patches; the patch responsible for the September delay was a substantial, practically required patch that people without good internet services would be pretty screwed without. There were always plans to make even more patches beyond that, the November patch being one of them. Tabata even said this in the very same press release that announced the delay. But evidently, many fans had overlooked that part.
  • I Knew It!:
    • Fans had been speculating Final Fantasy Versus XIII was going to become Final Fantasy XV since 2010. Funnily enough that's apparently when internal discussions began to formally change the game to XV too.
    • When the "Omen" trailer came out, many predicted that Luna would be a Sacrificial Lion. They were right.
    • A 4Chan user made a massive info dump six months before the release of the game and turned out completely right. Double as a testimony of how troubled the production of the game was if his assertions about the state of the game at the time are as true as those on the game itself.
    • One of the loading screens for the Episode Gladiolus confirms that the Rock of Ravatogh is the site of Ifrit's corpse, which many people had speculated soon after the game came out due to the rock growths resembling Ifrit's horns.
    • A common theory about Ignis's loss of eyesight after Chapter 9 was that it was caused by him using the Ring of the Lucii to rescue Noctis in the aftermath of the fall of Altissia. Episode Ignis confirms that is indeed the case.
  • Killer App: XV takes the top spot from XIII as being the fastest-selling Final Fantasy game ever, and managed to ship five million copies in two days.
  • Meme Acknowledgement:
    • For a little while, a meme involving photoshopping in various backgrounds for the guys to look at from the car went around the internet. Director Tabata noticed this meme, found it pretty funny, and had official assets released so fans could continue making these memes.
    • Ignis' "That's it! I've come up with a new recipe!" spiel has been acknowledged by Adam Croasdell himself. The other Chocobro voice actors also acknowledged this in a stream where they played the game.
      • And by the game itself. If the player ate something during the Moogle Chocobo Carnival or Assassin's Festival DLC, Noctis will say Ignis' phrase, complete with accent. This only happens the first time for each food when the player gets a recipe from eating it.
      • Episode Ignis and Patch 1.20 of the main game, which allows you to play as every member of the party, gives Ignis an ability called "Quick Recipeh" that lets him cook meals on the spot.
  • Name's the Same:
    • The Carbuncle of XV is not to be confused with the Carbuncle found in the Puyo Puyo series.
    • Noctis's Engine Blade is not to be confused with Kamen Rider Accel's Engine Blade.
  • No Export for You:
    • Want to play the Game Within a Game Justice Monsters Five? If you live in Asia outside Japan, don't bother—the game was only available in the Japanese, European and American Google Play Stores and iOS App Stores. Rumors have it that the Japanese version is available in Asia, but good luck finding it due to the Kanji/Kana title (which is completely different from the English title) which many people can't even search for without having to install a Japanese keyboard on their devices or knowing what to look for. Not to mention that it's in Japanese.
    • The third demo, Judgement Disc, is exclusive only to Japan, though many have gotten around it via creating Japan PSN accounts or changing their system's region on their Xbox One.
    • The other Game Within a Game, King's Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon, has had the same fate- if you live in Asia outside Japan, don't bother. This one's a real kick in the groin to many Asians outside Japan tho, since it was advertised in XV Pocket Edition (which is available worldwide) with the footnote "Only available in certain regions", and still insisting on installing it brings you to a Google Play Store or iOS App Store page telling you that you can't have it to rub your bad luck in your face.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Due to budget constraints, several characters appearing in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV do not carry over their respective voice actors to XV: Sean Bean (Regis) is replaced by Jim Pirri; Amy Shiels voices Luna instead of Lena Headey; David Gant (Aldercapt) is replaced by Bob Joles; and Adrian Bouchet (Drautos) is replaced by Matthew Waterson.
    • In Japanese, Luna is voiced by Rina Kitagawa in XV and Brotherhood; in Kingsglaive proper, she is voiced by Shiori Kutsuna.
  • The Other Marty: During the game's production, Shinji Ogawa provided the voice for Aldercapt. With Ogawa's hospitalization from pneumonia in late 2014 and death in 2015, however, Shozo Iizuka was brought in to re-record all of his dialogue.
  • Playing Against Type: Trevor Devall is usually well known for either two things, goofy sounding or very laid-back characters. Ravus is the complete opposite of being goofy or laid-back.
  • Port Overdosed: The Pocket Edition's appearance on Microsoft Windows PCs, despite the platform already getting the proper edition of the game, was thinly justified with the fact that the port was meant for Windows Phone devices; the fact that PCs could run them because it was written using the Windows UWP API was a bonus and that it would be a boon to fans who want to play the game on the go without having them invest in a beefy gaming laptop, since the Pocket Edition was meant for mobile devices like iOS and Android. But then Square-Enix announces that said version will also see a PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch release. The Switch release could also be thinly justified in that the Switch is partially a mobile device, and the Xbox One release could be justified in that it's the same UWP version as the Windows PC and Windows Phone version that was finally tweaked to also support the console. But a PS4 release?
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" is featured prominently in the soundtrack.
  • Recursive Adaptation: FFXV for consoles -> FFXV Pocket Edition for mobile devices -> FFXV Pocket Edition HD for consoles.
  • The Red Stapler: Noctis' clothes from the initial trailers were for sale years before the game even came out!
  • Relationship Voice Actor:
  • Saved from Development Hell: Originally named Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the game was announced as a part of the eventually named Fabula Nova Crystallis saga alongside Final Fantasy XIII at E3 2006, but changed enough over the years that it was made a separate title entirely. Actual discernible information on the game for a long time after 2006 was very sparse, and up until early 2010, trailers for it only contained CG and cutscene footage. The game languished for so long that the main character's costume hadn't even been finalized until some time in late 2009. Development picked up after the release of FF XIII, and really got into gear after its team, also a part of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, fully switched over to it around 2011, though it also switched from the PlayStation 3 to the PlayStation 4. E3 2013 confirmed its name change to FF XV, with a few subtle jabs to its own lengthy development cycle. The game was finally released on November 29, 2016, over a decade after its initial announcement, making it the most delayed Final Fantasy game ever.
  • Screwed by the Network: The announcement on November 7th, 2018 that all the future DLC save for Epsiode Ardyn, as well as the PC port of the Comrades standalone, was effectively cancelled, as well as the announcement that Hajime Tabata quit Square Enix, has left an enormous sour taste with people who were looking forward to said DLC (with the most vitriol generated over the cancellation of Lunafreya's episode). While the people on board the project promised to try and bring the intended stories, or at least the parts already done, to the audience in "some way, shape or form", the comments Square-Enix is receiving for this choice are overwhelmingly negative.
  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: XV's mythos basically has the same thematic base and design elements as XIII's and Type-0's, but with completely original lore and without the specific terminology (e.g., "Fal'cie" and "L'cie"). According to Tabata, this was to ensure XV could stand on its own without being associated with XIII.
  • Talking to Himself: Ray Chase voices both Noctis and Wiz in the Episode Duscae demo.
  • Trolling Creator: Pre-release, Tabata made promises that were confirmed to be a matter of Exact Words.
  • Troubled Production: Ooooh, boy. In 2006, Square Enix announced Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which was planned to be a PS3 exclusive game. The game's development didn't really go anywhere for years to come, and the title was still in Pre-Production phase by 2011. News of its progress was sparse as Versus XIII consistently abstains from the game exhibitions, and rumours of its cancellation began to spread. In 2013, the production team announced that the game would be released in PS4 and Xbox One (rather than the intended PS3), and it is retitled to Final Fantasy XV. A year later, it was announced that Tetsuya Nomura would stepped down as the game's director to instead full-time direct Kingdom Hears III, and would be replaced by Hajime Tabata. Tabata, citing the game's decade long stay in Development Hell, resolved to complete the project before the end of 2016, leading to a number of large changes to the game's established story, characters and gameplay. The game was then set to be released on September 30, 2016, but was later delayed again to November 29, 2016 in order to avoid a Day One patch (for bugs/technical issues/etc)... yet also releasing a Day One patch in order to enhance gameplay mechanics and add new moves. An early leak from June 2016 (which has since been confirmed) indicates that the script was still undergoing major changes only months before the game was released.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: There's a slight change to the final scene of the ending, where Luna will shed a tear before laying her head down on the arm of the throne. However, no one is quite sure what causes it — the photo you take with you before the final boss, how you respond to Luna in the journals during the game, or possibly even that it was in an earlier version of the game and has been patched out. This has also sparked rumors over if there are other slightly different ending scenes that could be triggered by meeting unknown requirements.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • According to Director Tetsuya Nomura, XV came from a discarded concept for Final Fantasy VII.
    • Nomura was dead-set on making it into a musical after seeing Les Misérables. For better or worse, the higher-ups managed to sway him away from that idea. The prospect of Nomura taking another eight years to uproot an already established game concept on a whim probably made a few Square suits shit bricks.
    • Because of the change in directors and platforms, many gameplay elements (such as switching between characters, riding mechs, etc) and potential plot points (e.g Noctis being the only character capable of using magic, Prompto being a new friend of Noctis') seen in the older trailers have been changed; Hajime Tabata, the game's current director, goes so far as to state that XV ultimately isn't the same game as Versus XIII, because so much has changed compared to the original concept. The biggest example is "Stella Nox Fleuret". Stella was by all appearances going to play a very prominent and active role throughout the game, being what appeared to be a combined Love Interest and Rival to Noctis. In the finished version of the game she has been reimagined as Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, who is essentially a Minor Major Character, with only a handful of appearances through the game, with most of these being in flashbacks. That and the fact that every piece of post-rebranding media, including the Episode Duscae stinger, portrays the character as much more of a victim of the story's conflicts than the active antagonist and fighter seen in the first trailers, a notion Tabata's comments essentially confirm.
    • Relatedly, the 2011 Tokyo Game Show gameplay trailer (when the game was still on the PS3 and called Versus XIII) placed a large focus on Noct & company being caught in the middle of Niflheim's invasion of Insomnia, the Crown City of Lucis, and the invasion provided a number of the action set-pieces they showed off. Post-rebranding material, particularly the 2014 TGS trailer, the 2015 Jump Festa trailer and the Episode Duscae stinger, all posit that the crew is instead out of town when the invasion goes down, a fact that Tabata later confirmed, meaning that a lot of the sequences in the 2011 trailer have been scrapped or possibly re-purposed for other locales - even the "party scene", featured so prominently in earlier material for so long, is no longer in the game.
      • And, of course, the full content of the Duscae stinger, when taken together with the other material, suggests this change greatly affects the tone of the wider story - from the personal, "gangland"-esque conflict of the early trailers, to a story more about trying to salvage some kind of victory out of tragedy and disaster.
    • Lucis's worshipping of The Grim Reaper was originally much more explicit (to the point of it being a theme in the game). However, Tabata had to tone it down due to age-rating concerns in certain countries.
    • Ignis originally had a middle name, Stupeo (Latin for "to amaze"), but it was dropped for unknown reasons.note 
    • Ray Chase almost lost the role of Noctis after the Duscae demo, but managed to keep it thanks to a re-audition.
    • A character relationship chart in the collector's edition of the official strategy guide reveals that Clarus Amicitia was originally named "Cralias" note  and used an updated version of his 2013 design as the picture representing him. The same chart also appears to reveal that Weskham got a Race Lift sometime during development, as he depicted as a Caucasian man.
    • There are quite a few noticeable differences between Versus XIII and the final product. Noctis and the gang had different outfits, Prompto originally had a shotgun instead of dual wielding pistols, Noctis and the gang were present during the attack of Insomnia, and Aldercapt was originally the Big Bad instead of Ardyn. The game was also going to have been much more violent, with blood spraying from enemies whenever struck, and one shot in an early trailer had Noctis perform a Neck Snap on an Imperial soldier.
      • In addition to the different outfits, there were some physical differences too. Noctis and Prompto's Anime Hair was downplayed, and Gladiolus was less buff and he didn't didn't have his tattoos.
    • In the Episode Duscae demo, Gladiolus shared Prompto's interest in Cindy. In the final game, it's only ever brought up once, and Gladio could very well be trolling Prompto anyway.
      Prompto: Man, I love how passionate Cindy gets when she talks about cars.
      Gladio: Yeah, it's actually pretty cute.
      Prompto: What? Dude, could you not?
      Gladio: Not what?
    • Ignis's secondary weapon was originally a katana. In the final game, the katana was given to Cor while Ignis was given a lance.
    • The "SAF" markings seen on imperial dropships are a reference to "Safay Roth", a prototype of Ardyn who was dropped during development. They kept the markings, though "to honor the famous generals that existed".
    • The photos in the game were originally going to have been taken by the player manually, with Noctis using his phone for it. In the final game, Prompto took the role of the photographer. Patch 1.04 finally allowed players to take photos manually.
    • Noctis's hair and eye colors were supposed to change depending on his mood.
    • Some weapons were heavily redesigned or dropped completely from the final product.
    • In Versus XIII, Cor was originally intended to be a permanent party member. However, they decided to focus on the relationship between the four friends, as they were all in the same age group and had a history with each other, and relegated Cor to a mentor role. In addition, his age was originally 42—an unlucky number in Japan, perhaps hinting that he would meet a tragic end. In the final game, his age is given as 45.
    • Prompto initially had a patch on his jacket with the words "It's a beautiful day. Now watch some bastard fuck it up". In the final product, "fuck" was replaced with "mess".
    • And of course, had the game been released as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, one may be wondering what game might have been called Final Fantasy XV instead.
    • According to Robert Ferrari, Gentiana, Umbra, and Pryna changed concepts during the plot's transition. Gentiana was originally Stella's messenger, serving as the connection point between Tenebrae and Niflheim. Umbra and Pryna would've been able to transform between human and dog forms, appearing as ninjas.
    • There are still some telltale remnants of the plot to Versus XIII in the final game, primarily in the form of references to a one winged Goddess. The Genesis Painting depicts a one-winged divine woman standing above all other figures, Regis's crown seems to be a similarly shaped wing, and all of the Glaives' hoods have a similar headpiece; the official crest of the Lucian royal family is a skull with a wing. With Word of God having confirmed that Lucians were originally going to worship the Grim Reaper, many fans have concluded that in early versions of the game's story, Etro, the goddess of death from the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos was going to play a big role. While the official current story is that the woman in the painting is the Oracle, it's easy to see how this doesn't make sense: why would the Oracle, who relies upon the Astrals be placed about them and not alongside a Lucian King?
    • Early descriptions of Prompto said that he was the "new guy" of Noctis's group, implying that he wasn't in the party at the beginning of the game. Regis wouldn't have been fond of him, seeing him as a Toxic Friend Influence on Noctis. Guns were also illegal in Insomnia, implying that he wasn't part of the Royal Guard.
    • An early draft for Ignis's episode of the Brotherhood anime involved him brutally beating up a group of thugs who had threatened Noctis and Prompto, only being merciful to avoid disturbing Noctis too much.
    • Three DLC episodes were announced only to be scrapped, focusing on Aranea, Lunafreya, and Noctis. The only remnant of these projects is a concept design for a new outfit & weapon for Aranea in her planned episode.
    • The production crew tried to run the game's Luminous Engine on the Nintendo Switch, but the system couldn't handle it well enough. Tellingly, they revealed that the Pocket Edition was coming to the Switch later on, along with a plethora of other Final Fantasy games.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Final Fantasy Wiki, Final Fantasy XV Wiki, Wikia Final Fantasy XV Wiki, and Gamepedia Final Fantasy XV Wiki.
  • Working Title: Technically speaking, Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

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