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Video Game / Final Fantasy XV

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All spoilers for Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
O’er rotted Soil, under blighted Sky,
a dread Plague the Wicked has wrought.
In the Light of the Gods, Sword-Sworn at his Side,
'gainst the Dark the King's Battle is fought.
From the Heavens high, to the Blessed below,
shines the Beam of a Peace long besought.
"Long live thy Line, and this Stone divine,
for the Night When All comes to Naught."
Cosmogony 15:2, "Nadir"

Final Fantasy XV, formerly known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII before its rebranding in 2013, is the fifteenth Numbered Sequel in the game-delayingly popular Final Fantasy series. It is the sixth entry in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy subseries, sharing a common mythology with Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0, albeit with no direct connection.note 

In the world of Eos, the Kingdom of Lucis possesses a Power Crystal that affords its nobility magical powers. For decades the expansionist Empire of Niflheim has been at war with Lucis, but while they have conquered most of the rest of the world, they cannot touch Lucis due to the Crystal powering a magical barrier that shields the nation from harm. Over the years Niflheim develops technological advances that allow them to press their advantage, forcing the Lucians to retract the Wall to merely shielding the crown city of Insomnia. Niflheim continues their push into Lucis, their eyes ever on Insomnia and the Crystal.


While Niflheim and Lucis war, the entire world lives in fear of the darkness. During the night daemons rise from the shadows, horrific monsters with supernatural powers that seek only to destroy and kill. The daemons can only exist in the dark, though, and are weakened by light. For this reason settlements across the land erect floodlights at the edges of their territory to repel daemons. However, some reports say the nights have begun to grow longer and the days shorter, causing fear that there may come a day when the sun does not rise at all, and with the world trapped in The Night That Never Ends, daemons will overrun civilization. Legend tells of the day that the "King of Light" will arise from the bloodline of the Lucian kings, and he will eradicate the daemons from the world and save humanity from darkness. This Chosen King is the current Crown Prince, Noctis Lucis Caelum, son of King Regis Lucis Caelum.


Niflheim approaches Lucis with an offer of peace, a condition of which is that Noctis will wed Princess Lunafreya Nox Fleuret of Tenebrae, a country under Niflheim occupation; Lunafreya is also the Oracle, a priestess able to heal the sick and wounded. Noctis departs on a trip to Tenebrae to wed Lunafreya with three companions: Gladiolus Amicitia, his Sworn Shield and bodyguard; Ignis Scientia, his advisor and team cook and driver; and Prompto Argentum, his best friend. While they are away, the peace negotiations turn out to be a trick — Niflheim seizes the Crystal, kills King Regis, and conquers Insomnia. With nothing but his friends, his father's car Regalia, and the magical abilities afforded them by the Crystal, Noctis sets out to defeat Niflheim, drive back the daemons, and fulfil his destiny as the King of Light.

In a major departure from previous main series Final Fantasy titles, XV is an Action RPG along the lines of Kingdom Hearts, enjoying tropes such as Implausible Fencing Powers, Spontaneous Weapon Creation, Weaponized Teleportation, taking cover and massive video game setpieces. Noctis is the main playable character, and combat is based around his mechanic of "Warping" to maneuver around the battlefield. A later update to the game made his three friends playable; Gladio is a Mighty Glacier, Ignis is a support-focused Magic Knight, and Prompto is a Glass Cannon with Third-Person Shooter elements. The game uses Square Enix's next-generation development platform, Luminous, which was developed alongside the game.

The game was released worldwide on November 29, 2016. The road there, however, came after an infamously protracted Troubled Production. XV was first announced in 2005 as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, one component of the Fabula Nova Crystallis compilation alongside Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Type-0 (then called Agito XIII). Despite a CGI teaser trailer in 2006, Versus XIII at this stage was more or less a loose collection of scenario ideas and concept sketches. For several years, little additional information about the game was released until development finally entered full swing in 2011 with the first actual gameplay trailer, when director Tetsuya Nomura was joined by Hajime Tabata as co-director. Tabata would eventually take over full directing duties. In those six years the game had outgrown its engine, its name, and even its console generation, so the new Luminous engine entered development and the game was retooled for PS4 and Xbox One and rebranded as Final Fantasy XV. This new development was revealed in 2013 and the game continued its development cycle more smoothly up until its release in 2016.

Five DLC content packs were released:

    List of DLC 
  • The first DLC for the game, "Episode Gladiolus", was released on March 28, 2017 and covers the period where Gladio temporarily leaves your party at the end of chapter 6.
  • The second DLC, "Episode Prompto", was released on June 27, 2017 and covers the period where Prompto is seperated from Noctis at the end of Chapter 11.
  • The third DLC, "Comrades", is a multiplayer-focused monster-hunting side component to the main story, and entered a closed beta during the first week of August 2017. The full version was released on November 15, 2017. The original version of the game is scheduled for discontinuation in December 2018 to accommodate the release of a standalone version: players with the Season Pass or Royal Edition can transfer to the standalone version free of charge.
  • The fourth DLC, "Episode Ignis", was released on December 13, 2017 and covers Ignis's battles against the Empire as it invades Altissia in Chapter 9.
  • The fifth DLC, titled Royal Pack, was released on March 6, 2018 and coincides with the release of the Royal Edition, and includes all of the new content from that version for owners of the original "vanilla" release of the game.

Four more DLCs were planned for release throughout 2019, collectively titled The Dawn of the Future, but as of November 2018, three out of four have been cancelled, their story turned into a novel, with only one remaining to close out the saga:

  • The sixth DLC, titled "Episode Ardyn," was released on March 26, 2019 and explores the backstory of the game's main villain, Ardyn Izunia.

Since launch, the game has also seen some limited time events:

    List of Limited-Time Events 
  • "The Moogle-Chocobo Carnival", featuring, well, a carnival with lots of Chocobos and Moogles, where Noctis and Carbuncle can participate in a wealth of mini-games and activities in Altissia.
  • "Assassin's Festival", a crossover between Final Fantasy XV and Assassin's Creed Origins where Noctis and the bros get decked out in assassin robes in Lestallum, participate in some minigames, and assassinate some MT's with the hidden blade.
  • "Chosen Girl, Eroded World", a crossover event with Terra Wars, starring Noctis and Sarah with the two being whisked away to a strange land inhabited by the Hiso Aliens - ALIENS! - and must save their world from the mysterious Eroder.
    • Unlike the two events above, this one is available permanently on the Royal Edition/PC version of the game.
  • "Adventurer from Another World", a collaboration with Final Fantasy XIV. Y’jhimei, a miqo'te from the world of Hydelyn, comes to Eos to enlist Noctis's aid in preventing the summoning of Garuda, a bloodthirsty primal god who could wipe out all life in either world. Rewards include Garuda weapons and the ability to use glamours to turn Noctis and his allies into races from FFXIV.
    • Like the previous event, this one is available permanently on the Royal Edition/PC version of the game.

Additionally, Final Fantasy XV has spawned a number of spin-offs and gaiden games.

    List of Spin-Offs/Gaiden Games 
  • A CGI film called Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV was released towards the end of July 2016 in Japan and through August 2016 in selected cinemas and digital downloads worldwide, with a physical home video release in October 2016. The film tells the story of what happened in Insomnia in the days leading up to the Niflheim invasion, but watching is not necessary to follow the game's plot.
  • A five-episode anime series named Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV. The series documents how Noctis met each of his friends and explores their backstories with him.
  • A side-scrolling Beat 'em Up game, A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV, originally available as a Preorder Bonus at certain retailers with a later standalone release. Taking place 30 years before the events of XV, it focuses on Noctis's father King Regis and his adventures.
  • Fictional Video Game Justice Monsters Five also got a Defictionalization for iOS and Android devices in Japan and overseas markets but not the rest of Asia. It has since been removed from app marketplaces. A scaled-down version of the game can still be played in FFXV.
  • Another Fictional Video Game, King's Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon (a Remake of the 1986 Famicom game), was also released for smartphones. Like its fellow app above, this was not available in all markets despite being advertised in the below Pocket Edition.
  • A freemium mobile game, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, was created by the studio behind Game of War: Fire Age and has all the same baggage. It was released on June 29, 2017.
  • A fishing simulation game, Monster of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV, was released for PlayStation VR on November 21, 2017.
  • A Pocket Edition was released February 9, 2018 for iOS and Android. This is a highly streamlined experience with simplified controls and visuals. It was later given an HD release on Windows 10 and home consoles (including the Switch), meaning that the PC, as well as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, has access to two different versions of the game—the computationally expensive normal version and this less intensive version that runs on more machines.
  • A Windows Edition port for PC was released on March 6, 2018.
  • An anime short titled Episode Ardyn: Prologue was released on February 16, 2019.
  • A novel called Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future-, which serves as a novelization of What Could Have Been the final four DLCs, and serves as the Grand Finale of the overall story.

An Updated Re-release of the console game, the Royal Edition, was released alongside the Windows port on March 6, 2018. This console-exclusive (but equivalent content-wise to the PC port) re-release includes new areas to explore, additional gameplay features, and the first season of DLC content.

In other news about guest fighters, Noctis appears as a playable DLC character in Tekken 7, with the Hammerhead garage as his stage, and the Regalia is a drivable car in Forza Horizon 3 and 4.

Please move any character tropes to the proper character page.

Final Fantasy XV provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A to C 
  • Ability Depletion Penalty:
    • Completely draining the stamina meter by running too much will cause Noctis to walk slower than normal until it fully recharges.
    • Using up all of Noctis' MP sends him into "Stasis", where he loses the ability to link combos and any attempt at using warping techniques results in him staggering with a headache instead.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • There's a story mission where the heroes decide to kidnap a high-ranking imperial official as revenge for killing Jared Hester, chamberlain to the Amicitia household. The official quickly escapes and nothing more is heard from him in the main story, he only returns in an optional sidequest and only in voice and name, not a direct appearance. Averted with the release of Episode Ignis, where he plays a major role during the events in Altissia.
    • In Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, it's shown that the Lucian territory outside of Insomnia is a demilitarized wasteland full of people who hate King Regis for seemingly abandoning them to Niflheim. In game, we never see any devastated lands or cities in Lucis (the ruins we do see look like the inhabitants willingly left when the wall shrank, with the only damage being from time) nor do we meet any disgruntled citizens. We also never meet any of the hundreds of refugees who fled Insomnia at the end of Kingsglaive.
    • Gathering the Royal Arms is a major plot point early in the game. Save for a brief diversion in Chapter 10, it's forgotten after Chapter 3, when attentions turn to getting the blessings of the Astrals and finding Luna. All in all you're able to play through the game collecting maybe half of the ones available.
      • Likewise, the plotline with getting the blessings of the Astrals is dropped after Chapter 9. However, it's justified in this case — of the remaining three Astrals, two of them are dead as far as the party knows, and the sixth Astral is almost never seen by humans and no one has any idea where to look for them. Besides, the only person who can talk to them is dead, so it's not like the party would be able to ask for their blessings even if they did meet them.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: A rare aversion for the series. While it's perfectly possible to complete the game around Level 50 as is often the case, sidequests into the end game and post game will advise party levels well up to Level 99. Further, thanks to the experience bonuses from resting at hotels, especially the 3x bonus in Altissia, the +100% experience Lasagna Al Forno (which, when stacked with the hotel, will effectively multiply acquired experience by 6x), and the craftable expericast spells (which give roughly 10,000 xp base per cast in their level 96 configuration, which can be multiplied by all of the above), it's perfectly feasible to hit Level 99 without having to rely on Level Grinding very much. Moogle Charms also give bonus xp as well, for even faster leveling.
    • One of the patches raises the cap to 120. Keep in mind there are some DLC bosses that have levels as high as 140, though the levels after 99 require vastly more experience to acquire, and none of the enemies in the DLC are any worse than Omega or Angelus-0.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Stores and NPCs you need to obtain and turn in quests are pretty much always open and always in the same spot. Very helpful in a game with loads of sidequests and where using the Warp Whistle takes into account the time spent driving in the car.
  • Actionized Sequel: Final Fantasy XV is an Action RPG, unlike the previous Final Fantasy games, which used turn-based battle systems.
  • Action Dad: Regis and Clarus, Noct and Gladio's fathers.
  • Action Girl:
    • Iris joins the crew on occasion as a Guest-Star Party Member and she packs one mean punch. In the ten years since Noct was away, she's fashioned herself as "Iris the Daemon Slayer".
    • Aranea, another Guest-Star Party Member, is the commodore of a troop of the Imperial Army, and kicks all sorts of daemon ass.
  • 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.
    • Ravus's final form and boss fight are very similar to Cid Raines'.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Pocket Edition bills itself this way. It removes the vast majority of Side Quests and all Wide-Open Sandbox elements; the Action RPG battle engine with attendant Button Mashing is largely automated (allowing greater tactical depth and removing the Interface Screw of having your hand all over the screen); the Ascension tree is simplified immensely; and the game's Super-Deformed, low-poly art style operates well on smartphones. In the meanwhile, the entire plot is present, down to the voice acting, music, Cut Scenes and motion-capture, allowing the player to experience the entire adventure in 10 or 20 hours.
  • Adapted Out: Pocket Edition removes Item Crafting, including Elemancy; all the Heroes Gone Fishing minigames (though Ignis's recipes are retained through very brief scavenger hunts; the ability to camp and register levels at the player's discretion; the Regalia Type-F upgrade (and, indeed, the ability to drive her manually at all, save for the attack on Zegnautus Keep); and several NPCs.
  • Advertised Extra: King Regis, Emperor Aldercapt, and Minister Verstael have their own promotional art and featured more in the trailers than their brief appearances in the game.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: The beginning part is meant to be very friendly and open space but it gets more linear over time.
  • Aerith and Bob: You get names like Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus, Ignis, and Regis, alongside names like Dave, Monica, Jared, and Cindy. Somewhat justified, since most of the characters with Latin names are from high society in Lucis, while the common folk have the common names.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy: As predicted, Cindy/Cidney, the mechanic who assists the protagonists, effectively fills the "Cid" role for this game. Although her Granddad shares the same name, he serves more of a minor role.
  • After the End:
    • The multiplayer expansion DLC, Comrades, takes place in a post-apocalyptic world following Noctis's disappearance in Chapter 13.
    • Chapter 14 takes place after a ten year timeskip. In that time, daylight has been extinguished and daemons roam the earth. You're told the only bastion of civilization left is Lestallum; practically every other city and outpost has been abandoned.
  • All Just a Dream: The Platinum Demo is explicitly a dream. The Moogle Chocobo Festival appears to be one as well, considering the fact that it's completely divorced from the game's timeline and features Noctis hanging out alone with Carbuncle.
  • All Myths Are True: Following the first time Ramuh summoned in battle, a speechless Prompto can only muster the following:
    "I know now. I know why the tales are told."
  • All There in the Manual: Square-Enix released a 49-page novella note  called Prologue — Parting Ways that covers what happened the day before Noctis leaves Insomnia, and it makes many references to the events of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV, and even the Platinum Demo.
    • The Final Fantasy XV Complete Official Guide details the history of the Astrals and the nations of Eos. And also reveals the name of Noct's mother.
    • Right before and after the Naga boss fight, she asks Noctis about her baby. A nearby datalog mentions that a woman went into the cave years before looking for her baby. Given the later revelation that demons were formerly animals and humans, she is likely the woman in question.
    • In general, to get the full story, you need to play the game, the DLCs, the Comrades multiplayer mode, view the Platinum Demo, watch some trailers, play a retro-styled Beat 'em Up, watch the Brotherhood anime, watch the Kingsglaive movie, read the aforementioned novella, and read the The Dawn of the Future novel, and do all of that in the proper order if you want to avoid spoilers. If it helps, here's a handy guide as to the proper viewing order of all materials.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Ardyn orders the assault on Altissia in Chapter 9.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Noctis and Luna's arranged marriage is part of the peace treaty between Lucis and Niflheim.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Mystery Meat Sushi, as mentioned on the wiki is actually a real thing.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: The Japanese cover is fairly relaxed, sentimental, and emphasizes the road trip/brotherhood aspect of the game. Compare with the North American cover, which depicts Noctis and co. preparing for battle, weapons brandished, with three giant figures looming in the background.
  • Animal Motifs:
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Some hunts only appear at night time. Since waiting around for it to be nighttime can take quite a bit of time in real life, if you take one of these hunts the game will give you the option to skip to nightfall.
    • Ignis will warn Noctis/the player when the Regalia is low on fuel, and if it runs out the player has the option to have Cindy tow it to Hammerhead and fill it up for a small fee. The player also has the menu options to return to the car and return to the last place they rested, to cut down on backtracking.
    • The Nixperience Band with the free Holiday Pack DLC prevents experience from being tallied for levels when you rest, allowing a player to make camp without having to lose an exp cache they're saving for a multiplier.
    • A patch added the option to Wait at a haven for dusk or dawn, for any quest or location only accessible at night or daytime. Waiting also doesn't decrease the timer on buffs from a meal.
    • A patch added the ability to accept up to ten hunts as a time, rather than having to take them one at a time and complete it before being able to take another.
    • As mentioned under Artificial Atmospheric Actions, questgivers and shopkeeps are open at times they shouldn't realistically be, primarily to allow the player to not have to wait to turn in sidequests.
    • Chapter 13 upon release was infamous among reviewers and players alike for being long, difficult, and annoying. A patch made major buffs to the three magic spells Noctis has to rely on for his offense for most of the chapter, and a later patch added the option to play the chapter as Gladiolus from his perspective, and his path is much shorter and easier than Noctis'. The option to switch over to Gladio is made available at the divergence point, as well as each rest point Noctis finds, in case the player is getting tired of things.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: Ifrit is usually designed as one of the more bestial summons in the series, but here he's essentially a giant attractive man with horns.
    • This also seems to be the case for Bahamut, who is now a humanoid wearing dragon-like armor.
  • Apocalypse How: After Luna's death, the world slowly sinks into one of endless night, which makes daemon attacks more frequent. Ten years after Noctis comes into contact with the Crystal, it turns out that much of the population has either been wiped out, or turned into daemons as a result of the Starscourge, and the remaining humans are either taking refuge in Lestallum, or are out in Hammerhead fighting daemons.
  • Arbitrary Mission Restriction:
    • Chapter 13 removes the party's weapons and forces the player to traverse a long chapter full of enemies—first with stealth, then with a completely unfamiliar piece of gear (the Ring of the Lucii) and eventually a single royal arm before their normal equipment is returned to them.
    • The Menace Dungeon below Costlemark Tower not only throws legions of extremely high-level demons and other monsters at you, it also prevents you from using any items, including potions, Phoenix Downs and stuff that removes status effects. And yes, you will wish you had them once you start encountering Malboros, Mindflayers and Co.
  • Arc Number: There are references to the numbers 13 and 15, alluding to the game's original and present titles.
    • Regis is the 113th King of Lucis.
    • The Regalia's license plate number is RHS-113.
    • There are thirteen Royal Arms Noct can collect in total in the game. If one includes Noctis' Engine Blade and Ardyn's Rakshasa Blade, that brings the count to fifteen.
    • Noct became The Chosen One when he was 5-years-old, fifteen years before the game's events.
    • The game's main story has fifteen chapters.
    • The Prologue -- Parting Ways drama CD has fifteen scenes.
    • In group photos, Noct and Company will sometimes pose by holding up one finger in one hand and five in the other, spelling out "15".
  • Arc Words: "Walk tall."
    • "The time has come."
  • Arranged Marriage: One is planned between Noctis and Luna, but it later turns out to be a farce.
  • Art Evolution: Both character art and the model designs became cleaner and softer over the game's transition from Versus XIII to XV.
  • The Artifact:
    • As the game originated as Versus XIII and was to share the same basic mythos with XIII and Type-0, a few basic similarities between this title and those ones can be seen if you squint a little. The Lucii are a fairly on-the-nose parallel to the l'Cie, warriors chosen by the Crystal to wield magical powers and are rewarded with a kind of "eternal life" for their service. The Astrals are comparable to fal'Cie as powerful god-like beings that watch over the world, and the ability to form a Pact with them for power and the right to summon them is similar to the idea of fal'Cie giving a Focus to someone and with it the ability to summon an Eidolon. The Daemons are comparable to cie'th, human beings that were twisted into monsters. Ardyn in particular is very similar in his power and how it manifests to partially formed cie'th like Cid Raines and Snow Villiers.
    • In Versus XIII trailers, death motifs and black colors are prominent throughout each scene and the Lucians are stated to worship Etro, the goddess of death. Due to Square Enix wanting to sell the game to global audiences and this would have clashed the age ratings of some countries, most of the Fabula Nova Crystallis lore and death motifs are either removed or toned down from the shift to XV. The black motif remains with the excuse of being the official Lucian color and there are still remnants of the death motifs all over the game like the skull decors all over Insomnia, the Lucian royal insignia is literally a skull with a wing, the official party garb is black with little skull motifsnote , and the Ring of the Lucii being an instant death spell.
    • In Pocket Edition, the scene of Noctis picking a photo to take to the throne room is preserved... even though the entire photo-taking minigame behind it was Adapted Out. (Noct chooses the Cape Caem group shot.)
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: To provide atmosphere, random civilians can be seen walking or even standing around outposts and towns, and they are programmed to do things like walk into the diners, stand around playing pinball, talk with each other, et cetera. However, they do this pretty much all the time, when realistically they should have no reason to be loitering around in the middle of the night.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The Mummy Bass, a new "superfish" added in the Royal Edition. Besides having high stats, it tends to rapidly zigzag through the water, which is the best way to disorient a player and make them pull the rod in the wrong direction, which will quickly cause tension to build in the line.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: By the end of the game, Luna reunites with Noctis during their wedding in the afterlife.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Ignis's cry of "I've come up with a new recipe!" quickly became a meme upon release. In the later released DLC for the Moogle Chocobo Carnival and Assassin's Festival, Noct will say "I've come up with a new recipeh!" when you order food in the event and gain a recipe from it.
    • The Car Driving meme. Game director Tabata liked it so much that he released official art assets to make creating pictures easier, and encouraged everyone to do so. Eventually he even added it as an official photo frame in the game.
    • Fans would joke that the art style of Pocket Edition made it look like Noctis's hair was an onion-shaped hat. Naturally the official Twitter decided to make an image of him crying while wearing an actual onion on his head.
  • Author Appeal: Director Hajime Tabata's favorite Final Fantasy title is Final Fantasy VI, and knowing that makes parallels between that game and this one more apparent. The Niflheim Empire is an obvious allusion to the Gestahlian Empire, a lot of Prompto's Machinery weapons are direct references to Edgar's Tools, there's a mini-game where you have various dialogue options while negotiating with a head of state and the better you do the better the item you receive, and Ardyn is a Foil to Kefka, being just like him and nothing like him in several important ways. The game even reuses the "World of Ruin" concept from VI; Noctis awakens after a Time Skip to find the world in shambles ruled over by Ardyn and overrun with monsters, and he assembles the old party again to strike down Ardyn and restore the world from darkness.
  • Autosave: Occurs usually after you camp or rest at havens, and sometimes just as you enter a new area and before/after some story events.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Regalia Type-F. Sure, having a Flying Car as your airship is awesome, it looks cool as hell, and it can get you where you need to go way faster than driving. However, it needs a good straight stretch of road to land safely and if you crash it while trying to land it it's Game Over. Besides, in the lategame you've probably visited most locations at least once and can fast travel there now, and if you're in the interest of consecutively knocking out quest objectives, it's better to drive place to place in order to be able to stop along the way.
  • Back for the Dead: Ravus is revived as a daemon after being killed by Ardyn, only for him to be destroyed by Noctis.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Despite Noctis killing Ardyn in a Heroic Sacrifice, the latter is able to successfully end the Lucian bloodline and get revenge on the true king and their ancestors as well as finally end his immortal life in the process.
    • However, this is subverted in Episode Ardyn when it is revealed that Ardyn absorbing Daemons and being overthrown by his brother was all arranged by the Astrals to fulfill their prophecy. At the end of the Episode, Ardyn is all but coerced by Bahamut to act as Noctis' nemesis. Though he's tided over by the knowledge the line of Lucis will come to an end, it's made very clear that he's not happy being the Astrals' pawn or being forced to accept defeat at the hands of the bloodline he despises.
  • Badass Crew: No Final Fantasy game would be complete without one. Here, this trope takes the form of Prince Noctis and his True Companions Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto.
  • Badass Family:
    • The Amicitias. Their bloodline's entire purpose is to guard and protect the royal family.
    • The Caelum family themselves, making it a case of Bodyguarding a Badass for the above.
    • The Fleuret family as well, being able to communicate with the gods and halt a worldwide plague.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The entire party switches out of their regular attire prior to the final battle — Noctis wears a suit similar to what Regis is seen wearing, whilst Prompto, Gladio, and Ignis all wear Kingsglaive uniforms.
    • Also, the Royal Raiment costume of Noctis's is very smooth-looking and gives a decent boost to HP and MP.
  • Bash Brothers: Noctis and his retinue are pretty much family by now and a lot of the link attack ends with them high-fiving or striking a pose (even Ignis can't resist doing a Back-to-Back Badasses with Noctis after a linked warp strike).
  • The Beautiful Elite: Noctis and Luna certainly count.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Noctis is a very handsome young man and Luna a beautiful young woman. Ardyn described the former as fetching and the latter as fair. The duo essentially save the world from being completely annihilated from demons.
  • 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.
  • Big Bad: Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt appears to be this initially, but is soon supplanted by his Chancellor, Ardyn Izunia.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In Chapter 9, Titan stops Leviathan from sinking Altissia.
    • And at the beginning of Chapter 12, Leviathan arrives to kill off the daemons that are attacking the train.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: The post-credits stinger shows Noctis and Luna sharing one during their wedding in the afterlife.
  • Big Good: King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII is the wise ruler of Lucis who protects the kingdom with its Power Crystal.
  • Bishōnen:
    • Noctis, an attractive young man with a slender figure, feminine face, and beautiful blue eyes. Gets lampshaded by Aranea Highwind. After the ten-year timeskip, he moves out of this trope, as his facial structure becomes more masculine and he grows a beard.
    • The chocobo-blond-haired Prompto has a similarly svelte build and delicate features.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The good news is that Eos has been purged of the Starscourge once and for all, Ardyn is finally killed, Niflheim is defeated, and the daemons have been obliterated. The bad news is that along the way, many people died during the 10 year gap, the capital city of a neighboring country was leveled (if mentioned to be rebuilding before said time gap), and both Noctis and Luna died, cutting off — as far as we know — the only two bloodlines capable of magic and communion with the divine. Ignis, Gladio, and Prompto have lost one of their closest friends. Those who survived in Hammerhead and Lestallum, as well as potentially parts of Tenebrae and/or Accordonote  will be okay, but they've gone through hell in the process. Averted with the alternate ending of ''Episode Ignis'', and in the 'true' ending of Dawn of the Future.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Pitioss dungeon which can be only accessed if you have the Regalia Type-F and will only open at night. It consists of moving walls with spikes around, statues that you can use as leverage and stairs that seemingly lead to nowhere. You have to maneuver around this dungeon in order to get one of the best accessories in the game.
  • Blade Brake: Noctis has no problem stabbing his swords through concrete, and uses his warp powers to climb buildings this way.
  • Blessed with Suck: A reoccuring theme. Simply put, the gifts of the Astrals have lots of nasty stuff in the fine print. Every king and queen of Lucis dies early just by having their powers (since the wall always needs upkeep) and the process gets accelerated by actually using them. Usually they only die early by a few years during peacetime, but it can decades early during times of war. By running the numbers a fan discovered the average reign of a king is a mere 18 yearsnote . Noctis himself has what should be the ultimate blessing; being the True King. But it not only comes with all the downsides of being the King of Lucis, but it also means he is literally mandated by the Gods to be cut down in his prime, all to serve the brutally utilitarian needs of the Astrals.
  • Blind People Wear Sunglasses: Ignis Scientia starts wearing sunglasses when they are blinded at the end of Chapter 9. After the Time Skip, they replace them with a visor.
  • 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.
    • Gladio slices Ardyn's neck wide open which only amuses the immortal.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Ignis, Prompto, and Gladio are last seen chronologically facing down a horde of daemons. They are seen standing next to Noctis in the spirit realm, but whether they actually died and joined his side or are just there in spirit (no pun intended) isn't said. It's only in Royal Edition that it's made clear the three are still alive after the finale, gazing at the new dawn.
  • Bookends: While downloading the game, you have access to the Insomnia Citadel plaza, where you can hack infinite enemies up to your heart's content. The final battles against Ifrit and Ardyn take place in the same plaza.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: The "Prelude" theme can be heard in some of the music featured in the game. The piano-based "Final Fantasy" main theme makes an appearance in the post-credits stinger where Noctis and Luna are having their wedding in the afterlife.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • The Adamantoise returns, and it's even larger than in Final Fantasy XIII. Depending on how prepared you are, it can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 hours.
    • Beyond that is the Naglfar, which is the game's version of the "Omega Weapons" from previous titles.
    • Then in the Updated Re Release we get the actual Omega Weapon and he makes Naglfar look like a wimp.
    • The numerous Menace and Legendary Weapon quest bosses certainly which cannot be fought until completing the game. Additionally the Time Quest DLC offering one-week-only superbosses, including the lvl 140 Dread Behemoth.
    • Noctis himself (both pre and post-timeskip) in Episodes Ignis and Ardyn.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • The Ragnarok sword lets Noctis consistently deal damage in the thousands with every Warp Strike hit he lands on any enemy, (super)bosses included. Upgrading Warp Strike and Noctis' MP bar through Ascension perks only serves to make this approach even more effective. Due to the Warp Strike animation's invincibility frames it's also fairly difficult for the enemy to land hits in return, so you're largely safe from retaliation on top of your ludicrous damage output. Fighting battles with nothing but Warp Strike spam gets very boring very fast, but the tactic is so overpowered it can take down just about anything with contemptuous ease.
    • The most efficient way to grind for experience is to just craft a spell with Expericast attached and toss it out in battle. You're limited by how many items you have to infuse Expericast into the spell, but you'll earn experience into the five-digit range for casting it in battle. The most efficient way to grind for AP, meanwhile, is to go to an early area, use the monster whistle to initiate a battle, and Warp Strike them all to death in seconds, earning 1 AP for each kill.
  • Boss Remix:
    • The first section of Magna Insomnia, the game's final battle music, is an epic, high-energy version of the game's main theme, with Big Bad Ardyn's theme mixed in as a undercurrent.
    • The song that plays during the battle with Ravus after he's been turned into a Daemon is a remix containing portions of the tracks "Tenebrae" (reflecting his home), "Niflheim Empire" (who he worked for), and "Song of the Stars" (reflecting his Oracle lineage and his love for his sister), backed with an electronic undercurrent associated with daemons. The song's name? "Ravus Aeterna".
  • Boss Room: When you reach the end of the Steyliff Grove dungeon, Prompto says "Spacious! I bet there's a big nasty in here." He is correct.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • A car component that can be purchased for a ludicrous amount of tokens from the Totomostro game can eliminate the Regalia's need for gas? Trouble is, gas is already dirt cheap to begin with and beating the game and reaching chapter 15 unlocks the Regalia Type-F, which already has infinite gas anyways.
    • Completing the Scraps of Mystery sidequest gives you to a Mythril Ingot, which can either be sold for 20k gil (meager by the time you're able to complete this sidequest), or be used in Elemancy to make a spell have a chance to cast without using a charge (which isn't exclusive to Mythril Ingot; multiple other items give the same effect. The note given to the player at the end of the quest lampshades this to some degree, stating that it was more about the journey and less about the reward.
    • Catching the largest fish in the game, a Noble Arapaima, grants you access to a lure that cannot be lost if the line snaps. Of course, considering you have to be at Fishing Level 10 to catch it, and there is no reason to ever fish again afterwards unless you need cooking ingredients, there's not much of a point to having it...
    • If you complete every Menace Dungeon, Ezma will reward you the Hunter's Medal. The Hunter's Medal is a catalyst that gives 53 casts of the Maxicast spell (Random chance to cast a damage limit breaking fire, ice, or lightning spell) when used for Elemancy. There are multiple other catalysts that allow magic to break the damage limit, you can farm those items to your heart's content, and they're available far earlier than the post-game exclusive Hunter's Medal.
    • Balmung (see Infinity +1 Sword, below) is found in a Level 99 Bonus Dungeon.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Prompto frequently makes fourth-wall breaking comments after battles or while walking around the world. These include a quip about how fighting is good for getting experience points so they can level up (which confuses Noctis, and leads Ignis to ask "Is this a game to you?"), saying he "leveled up his photography skill" after a sidequest, and him humming the victory fanfare and singing the chocobo theme.
  • Call-Forward: In Episode Ardyn at the beginning of Chapter 2, when Ardyn has a flashback of Somnus striking down Aera, he says "Forgive me brother, but the throne seats only one", echoing what Ardyn would say to Noctis just prior to the Final Battle.
  • The Cameo: Nyx Ulric, the protagonist of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV appears towards the end of the game, with Ardyn using his corpse to decorate the Lucis throne room as he awaits Noctis.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The Episode Duscae demo, while serving as a means to introduce the characters and gameplay mechanics, is non-canon. In the actual game, the car breaking down and being repaired occurs long before the protagonists get to the Duscae region. The demo being non-canon also fixes a plot hole it had in that it was supposed to take place before Insomnia is destroyed, yet Noctis and friends are having to fight the Niflheim army all the same.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Invoked and Played for Laughs. The beginning of Chapter 8 has Noctis going alone in Lestallum's EXINERIS power plant to clear it of Daemons - he's told to meet with another hunter, with the two wearing protective suits that hide their identity. Keep in mind that one chapter ago, Gladio went off alone to handle some business and said he wouldn't be gone long. When Noctis meets the other hunter, it's clear Gladio and Noctis immediately recognizes the other's voice, and on Noctis' end the 'other hunter is wielding the same weapon and has the same fighting style as Gladio (gameplay included). But they play along with the charade of anonymity for fun, poking fun at each other with a few light-hearted jabs about certain "friends" they have the other reminds them of.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The Royal Arms, which eat away a little of your health each time you use one. The game even advises to bring healing items if you intend to fight with these.
  • Central Theme: The rite of passage from childhood to adulthood, and the incredible burden that it entails. Fortunately however, you don't have to go about it alone.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The first half of the game is a lighthearted road trip towards Altissia with some mentions of the fall of Lucis. Then everything goes downhill after Leviathan is summoned. Luna dies by Ardyn's hand after summoning Leviathan, which leads to the nights getting longer with daemons swarming everywhere. Ignis gets blinded in the attack, and the party having a fight after the fallout of the attack. The party gets separated at different points and Noctis gets trapped inside the Crystal for 10 years. After getting out, we learn that there is no light anymore and everyone was driven out by the daemons, save for Lestallum and some safe spots like the Hammerhead. To fix everything, the party heads back to Insomnia to fight Ardyn, which culminates in Noctis's Heroic Sacrifice to restore the light of the world.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The Pitioss Ruins are arguably the most challenging and most time-consuming bonus level you can tackle, for two reasons. 1) There's absolutely no hint at any point to where you need to go or what you're even supposed to do in there. 2) Most of its hair-pullingly difficult platforming sections are very long but auto-save only at the entrance. Screw up at any point (virtually assured to happen a couple dozen times each) and you can start the whole process from scratch. Of course, being a dungeon, manual saving is also disabled. Have fun.
  • Choice of Two Weapons: Noctis is a Multi-Melee Master, capable of using every weapon type and able to switch between four weapons at any given time, but the rest of the main party are restricted to two weapon classes and two weapon slots each.
  • Citadel City: Insomnia, the capital of Lucis.
  • Color-Coded Patrician: Extremely prominent people in each nation wear a particular color: black (Lucis), white (Tenebrae), white and red (Niflheim).
  • Combat Breakdown: In the Final Boss, after both Ardyn and Noctis are too exhausted to keep using their Armiger Arsenals, they are reduced to exhaustedly swinging their swords one swing at a time on the ground of the battered, empty city.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: This story is how Noctis comes of age, starts out on his journey and grows into the person he is meant to be, the "King of Light."
  • Convection Schmonvection: A pretty egregious example, whereby in the Rock of Ravatogh dungeon you can actaully walk on lava itself and only incur minor damage and the minor status ailment "Burnt".
  • Cooking Mechanics: Coming off from Final Fantasy XIV, this game features a wide array of beautifully rendered foods you can cook and enjoy, including prime ribs, Chinese dumplings, skewers, soup, fried eggs, and chicken with rice. There's even a sidequest which doubles as a massive Product Placement for Nissin Cup Noodles.
  • Cool Car:
    • The Regalia, Noctis's family ride, which he and his friends use. In game, you actually control that car as one of the modes of transportation. (Well, outside of the occasional breakdown and Cindy having to put it back together.) It later becomes the party's airship.
    • Noctis's car, the Audi R8 Star of Lucis which was featured in Kingsglaive, is no slouch either. Better yet, one was actually created as a collaboration between the Final Fantasy XV team and the German car maker.
    • Ardyn's muscle car also counts. While he admits that it's nowhere near as badass as the Regalia, he's still quite proud of it nonetheless.
  • Corralling Vacuum: One of Prompto's unlockable specials lets him shoot a black hole from his gun that pulls every sufficiently weak enemy into it. It combines great with spells, which are big enough to hit every enemy sucked into the area of the black hole.
  • Couple Theme Naming: "Noctis Lucis Caelum" roughly translate into "light of the night sky". His fiancee is named "Luna", which means "moon".
  • Cover Version: The game features a cover of "Stand By Me" performed by Florence + the Machine.
  • Covers Always Lie: The default cover art for the base release of the game makes it out that Noctis and the crew are getting ready to take the fight to several mysterious, seemingly-godly figures overwatching them. These are the previous Kings of Lucis - and they never take an antagonistic role in the game (or even an active role in the plot). The Royal Edition does have three boss fights with former kings corrupted, but this trope still applies because they're none of the three on the original cover.
    • The cover art for some deluxe editions is Yoshitaka Amano's art piece Big Bang. While there are obvious links to the game (look carefully and you can see the guys riding in the Regalia, for instance), the piece is otherwise rather abstract and includes, for example, two depictions of Odin, who doesn't actually appear in the game in any capacity, not even as a cameo.
  • Crapsack World: The world of XV is posited as seeing a fair bit of conflict over resources, and being a Final Fantasy setting, the rural areas still have problems with monsters, which runs the gamut from the humorous (such as people complaining about thieving goblins) to the deadly serious (Adamantoise causing earthquakes). In fact, the entire rural landscape is peppered with long-abandoned cars and houses and there's one entire farming community reduced to a ghost town. Night time is when things get near unbearable, as daemons are spawning everywhere and can only be held off by strong enough light or camping runes. Nights are getting longer and longer as the Big Bad is achieving his goal and only a few towns can maintain the lights on 24/7.
  • Cue the Sun: The after-credits scene opens with sunlight shining over Eos for the first time in ten years.
  • Cut Short: Justice Monsters Five was available outside Japan on the Android and iOS stores until March 2017, when the service ended.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Episode Ardyn has two potential endings: submit to Bahamut's decree and become the Immortal Accursed, or tell him to shove off. Submitting leads to the game proper, while revolting leads to the finale novel The Dawn of the Future.

    Tropes D to G 
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Wearing the Ring of the Lucii if you are not of the royal lineage is this. Ravus has his arm obliterated, and wears a prosthetic as a result. Nyx uses it to defend Luna in Insomnia during the events of Kingsglaive, and dies as a result. And in Episode Ignis, Iggy uses the ring to fight Ardyn; the first time costing him his sight, the second his life in the alternate ending, although Noct saves him using the Crystal's power.
    • The game even strongly implies that being of royal blood is not enough. Noctis ends up in massive pain whenever he simply looks at it. Only after fully embracing his role and enduring the pain is he able to wear it without issues.
  • Dark Action Girl: Subverted with Aranea; while she works for Niflheim, she isn't villainous like her bosses and actually is as heroic as Noctis's group.
  • Dark Is Evil: The endless night that envelops the world after Noctis disappears allows the daemons to move around Eos unencumbered and cripples society to the point where almost every city has been abandoned due to the sheer number of daemons occupying it, with a very sparse number of safe places left.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The color of Lucian nobility and associates is black. Hence why everybody from Regis to the Amicitias to Noctis' friends are all in black. The color makes even more sense when you realize the symbol of Lucis is The Grim Reaper.
  • 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.
    • The Jump Festa '15 trailer and Episode Duscae stinger, taken together, strongly suggest this will be the darkest Final Fantasy story yet, with the main thrust of the plot not about defeating the enemy utterly but just surviving and trying to claw some kind of victory out of the ruins of Noctis's old life and preventing Niflheim from doing anything too awful with Lucis's Crystal. It is perhaps most comparable to Final Fantasy VI in this regard.
    • Noctis sacrifices himself in order to kill Ardyn's spirit for good in the afterlife, purging Eos of the Starscourge.
    • Ignis gets blinded.
    • Ravus's fate is utterly horrifying, turning into a monster begging to be killed.
    • Luna is stabbed in the gut, like Aerith before her.
    • Episode Prompto is this compared to it's predecessor, Episode Gladiolus, since, as opposed to Gladio already basically having made up his mind to complete the Trials of Gilgamesh to fulfil his duty as Noct's shield, Prompto goes through an existential crisis about the fact that he's a test tube baby that could've become one of the nameless troopers fighting for the empire, and whether or not the only friends he's ever had will accept him for who he is.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each of the character-centric DLC episodes covers one of Noctis's allies' exploits.
    • Episode Gladiolus takes place during the events of Chapter 7 as Gladiolus seeks out the legendary warrior Gilgamesh to prove his worth as Noctis's bodyguard.
    • Episode Prompto takes place in the gap between Chapters 11 and 13: after being separated from Noctis, Prompto must fight his way to Gralea to meet back up with his friends, but discovers a disturbing secret along the way...
    • Episode Ignis takes place during Chapter 9 as Ignis joins forces with Ravus to fight off Ardyn and the Empire as they invade Altissia.
    • Episode Ardyn takes place before the events of the game and details Ardyn's visit to Insomnia after having been sealed away for centuries, and his first attempt on King Regis's life.
  • Death from Above:
    • In Platinum Demo, the spell Meteorain summons a bunch of orange, glowing balls that rain from the sky and One-Hit Kill everything on the field.
    • Summoning Ramuh ends up with said god throwing his lighting charged staff into the battle field.
  • Death Is Cheap: It's not made entirely clear what "death" means to the Six. One would be inclined to think that the Empire killing them and Noctis being able to summon them in battle is a case of Gameplay and Story Segregation, but Noct summons Leviathan in a late-game cutscene. It's possible they can vacate their physical bodies without actually dying considering Gentiana reveals herself to actually be Shiva despite standing twenty yards away from her own gigantic icy corpse.
  • Deconstructed Trope: You're not a main character who has The Gift, able to become a Multi-Melee Master with ease, but instead are just a regular person who has to fight their way tooth and claw for every advantage, every boost that they can get. In the beginning hunts especially, your performance against low-level daemons is as evenly-matched as can be.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Summons can only be obtained by proving your worth to an Astral in the form of a trial, some of which involve defeating them in a boss fight.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • When you camp or sleep in a caravan/hotel, you get a little scene of the party members, getting things ready, eating, or just chilling. If you have guest party members accompanying you, they will show up in said scenes — the same applies with rented chocobos, though only when camping. Camping when you have a rented chocobo active also allows you to feed them greens, rewarding them stat buffs just like the party's meals.
      • Guest party members will also join in on photo ops. Even Aranea, who you really shouldn't have the chance to do so during the chapter where she joins up. Likely it's because she will occasionally join you in battle after chapter 9, and players can end up triggering photo ops during these times. Becomes quite noticeable when using the exploit to permanently add her to the party. Similarly, Aranea has dialogue and unique scenes that integrate her with the party at camp, and can even join in for some of Prompto's photo tour requests.
      • Specific resting locations may have others join you as well: sleeping in Hammerhead's caravan may occasionally have Cindy hang out with the guys, or the house in Cape Caem (Ch. 6 onward) can have Iris and Talcott similarly hang out.
      • If you make camp during rain, the typical camp scenes will be replaced by an outside view of the tent as the group takes shelter from the weather. Their typical equipment set-up is also missing, presumably relocated into either the tent, or the party's Hammerspace. Oddly the game doesn't seem to have any precautions about triggering tours during a rainy camp session resulting in the somewhat hilarious sight of the characters involved casually camping and conversing by a roaring fire while getting soaked to the bone in the pouring rain.
    • The summoning animations change depending on the player's location and circumstances, such as whether they're above or below ground, what the enemy is (Titan will actually punch the Adamantoise first if you summon him in that fight), etc.
    • Your Thunder spells grow stronger when it's raining, and can electrocute you if you're standing in water when you use them. Blizzaga spells can also freeze water solid, and again, if you're standing in it when you use them, you and your enemies will get stuck until it thaws out. Fire spells burn faster in hot, dry and/or windy places, but is otherwise extinguished quickly if it's raining.
    • The ending cutscene, where in the afterlife, Noctis shows Luna a picture, chosen by the player beforehand. No matter what it is, Luna will smile before the two share a kiss - but interestingly in an entirely unpatched version of the game, she will also shed a tear.
      • Speaking of that picture, the guys will have unique reactions to whichever one the player chooses. They mainly praise group pictures or ones with the Regalia, will jokingly scold Noctis if only a single party member's photo is chosen (or one where they are alone with Noctis), remark about Noctis' older look for post-time skip photos, comment on ones taken when the party visits an area for the first time or if a temporary member like Iris, Cor and Aranea is in it, and so on and so forth.
    • Approaching Angelgard via boat with the Royal Pack installed will result in an ominous divine message and Noctis having a freakout. You are not supposed to be there before Chapter 14.
  • Dialogue Tree: These pop up every now and then, with different responses yielding different reactions and rewards.
  • Died Happily Ever After: In the post-credits stinger, Noctis is with his beloved Luna, happily sharing a romantic kiss with her during their wedding in the afterlife.
  • Disappeared Dad: Both Noctis and Gladiolus lose their fathers (King Regis and Clarus) during Niflheim's invasion of Lucis.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The Ultima Blade, the final upgrade to Noctis' starting Engine Blade. It's one of the best swords in the game with an attack stat of 364 and it absorbs elemental energy from slain foes. You can obtain it in Chapter 3; it's a Guide Dang It! to know where to find the parts, and you have to face some high-level enemies to get the last one, but if you know where to go and can handle the hunt, it's yours.
    • The DLC weapons, all of which are stronger than anything available in Leide region shops and definitely stronger than the party's starting gear. Special mention goes to the Ragnarok—which is on-par with mid- to late-game weapons and gives a hefty boost to the power of Noctis' Warp Strikes, in exchange for slowing them down a bit—and the special weapons obtained from completing each of the Chocobros' personal Episodes, which are all close to endgame weapons in power and are unlocked for every save file, present and future, upon clearing their corresponding Episodes.
    • The fan-made Game Mod weapons in the Windows Edition can be used as soon as the files are downloaded, and they are stupidly overpowered (if you don't mind wielding the Monado, or a weapon from Power Rangers, among other things).
  • Don't Look Back: "One cannot lead by standing still. A king pushes onward always, accepting the consequences and never looking back." Said by Regis. Later repeated to Noctis.
  • Doomed Hometown: Exaggerated with the destruction of Insomnia. It's not often that this trope is applied to a major metropolitan area, with all the horror and conflict that implies.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: The Omen Trailer is a vision that Regis has of Noctis's journey, should he have to go it alone.
  • Dualvertisement: In addition to Product Placement listed below, some event questlines act as promotion for other games, including Assassin's Creed, Terra Wars, and Square's own Final Fantasy XIV.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Noctis may be Crown Prince, but few people outside of the Crown city know who he is or what he looks like. Regis prioritized Noctis's safety and made sure he had a low public profile, unlike Luna who can be heard on the radio regularly. Noctis had never been outside of the Crown city until his trip to Altissia and with no public appearances, the only ones who know who he is are Crown city residents, a former crownsguard, a mechanic that recognizes the royal car and two journalists. According to the novel "Parting Ways", even Kingslaive soldiers don't know who he is. That said, Noct has become accustomed to his low profile image, having wanted to stay away from the spotlight until his time came.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome:
    • In Chapter 9, Luna performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Noct's life rather than her own.
    • At the end of Chapter 14, Noct sacrifices himself to off Ardyn for good and end the Starscourge.
  • Ear Worm: Used and lampshaded. Prompto is a big fan of chocobos, and at one point one of his random dialogue lines involves him singing "I want to ride my cho-co-bo all daaaaay," to the tune of the infamously ear-wormy Chocobo Theme, followed by "I can't get it out of my head!"
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The Dawn of the Future tells what was intended to be the true ending following all of the planned and canceled DLC: Luna would be revived by the gods to gather daemon energy for Bahamut, eventually purifying the Starscourge from Ifrit and forming a covenant with the God of Fire. Luna, Ardyn and Noctis would work together to defy Bahamut's plan to destroy the world, with Luna uniting the other gods to shield the world from Tera Flare, Ardyn sacrificing himself on the throne in Noctis' place to enter the Beyond and kill the God of War alongside the Kings of Old, and Noctis battling Bahamut in the physical world alongside the other five Astrals. In the end, the Crystal would be destroyed and the gods and their magic would fade from the world, but the Crystal would siphon the last of the darkness allowing the dawn to return, Lucis and the world would rebuild without the Empire's oppression, Ardyn would reunite with Aera in the afterlife and posthumously be recognized as the true Founder King, and Noctis and Luna would survive to marry (with the blessings of the spirits of Regis and Ravus) and have two children identical to themselves.
  • Easy Level Trick: The Menace Dungeon deep below Costlemark Tower is theoretically the most difficult of them all, what with having a level recommendation of 99 and the additional challenge of forbidding the use of any items. However, most of its difficulty stems from multiple miniboss battles in cramped confines against monsters with devastating elemental area attacks. Eating any meal that nullifies elemental damage (Ignis' Lasagna al Forno really shines here) at the camp sites makes the lower third of the dungeon a cakewalk, at least as far as battling scores of level 92+ monsters can be called this. Even the resident Final Boss loses most of its bite this way. In a similar vein, digging up enough Safety Bits and Ribbons before delving into the dungeon neutralizes much of the danger that remains.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Fire spells work best in hot weather and in a dry environment, but are weakened in rainy weather/damp environments. Conversely, Ice and Lightning spells are more effective in wet weather/surroundings.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Ring of the Lucii, which violently rejects those not of its chosen bloodline.
  • The Empire: The Niflheim Empire is more nuanced than the other empires appearing in other Final Fantasy games. While their new Chancellor, Ardyn, has clearly pushed them off the deep end into Evil Empire territory, they don't seem to have been all that bad before he arrived. While they have been trying to conquer the world for centuries, it is strongly suggested that if they had succeeded things wouldn't have been so bad before Ardyn came into the picture. Accordo has been under Imperial control for no less than 150 years before the party visits the capital, Altissia. Altissia is by far the most beautiful and flourishing location in the entire game, with cheerful citizens and wealth far beyond anything the party has seen in Lucis. Life under the empire has clearly been pretty good for Altissia.
  • End of an Age: At the end of the game, with the death of Noctis, the Lucian royal family is extinct. The lineage of the Oracle is also gone, as the deaths of Luna and Ravus mark the end of House Fleuret. Nothing Is the Same Anymore, indeed. This is an intentional thematic opposite to the game's intended sister title, Final Fantasy XIII, which ultimately concluded with the Dawn of an Era.
  • Endgame+: There's a bunch of postgame content that you can't access until you've beaten the final boss, most notably this game's "airship", the Regalia Type-F.
  • Enemy Scan: Libra will reveal an enemy's level, HP, weaknesses and resistances. It usually takes longer to scan tougher enemies, and bosses are frequently immune to Libra.
    • Ignis can also unlock an ability called 'Analyze' where he does pretty much the same thing. Less useful in that he only usually scans a few enemies at most, and only the individually scanned enemies will actually show their weaknesses.
  • Eternal Equinox: In the world of Eos the relative length of day and night isn't supposed to vary at all. While in Real Life shorter days and longer nights are a normal part of seasonality and the approach to winter, in the game it's a recent unnatural phenomenon that seems to portend a doomsday with The Night That Never Ends. This ultimately comes to pass.
  • Evil All Along: Played with. Ardyn tries to pull this on the party pretty much every time they meet until about chapter 8. None of them buy it. Even Ardyn's mercenary subordinate Aranea finds him inherently kind of creepy.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The title King of Light is referring to the King of Lucis, and the King the stars chose to be “their” light, which is Noctis, whose name also means "light of the night sky". For 10 years the world is plunged into an endless night and everyone is waiting for Noctis to return, he is the light at the end of the tunnel (10 years of waiting) and he is the one who can save them from this damnation. Thus he lives up to his title as the King of Light (Lucis) and his meaningful name, Light of the night sky.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: One of the hunts the player can receive in Lestallum is called "Rainstorm Duel! Poison Frog of Wennath".
  • 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. An instrumental version serves as the title theme for Episode Duscae, Platinum Demo and the game itself, while the full vocal version plays during Chapter 14, when Noct and Co. return to Insomnia.
    • The shift to a much more blatant War Is Hell footing, as shown in the Jump Festa '15 trailer and Episode Duscae stinger, along with the seeming plot focus on trying to achieve some kind of victory out of enormous tragedy and loss, makes "Somnus" even more thematically appropriate. From what can be inferred from the stinger and trailer, at this point the song practically narrates the game's opening act, with the "children" (mankind) lighting the "inextinguishable fire" (war) and tragedy separating those who hold each other dear (Noct being separated from his loved ones in the conquest of Insomnia).
    • The song becomes even more appropriate with the revelation that the world is slowly being enveloped in literal darkness.
    • The lyrics of "Stand by Me", according to Tabata, sum up Noct's feelings towards his True Companions.
  • Fan Disservice: In the Omen trailer, Noctis gradually suffers Clothing Damage to his jacket and shirt to symbolize his power and mind breaking down. Not only is he dirtied and clearly stressed by the increasingly desperate situations, by the time he's shirtless, he's either almost completely powerless, or Ax-Crazy as he murders Luna.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: According to Hajime Tabata, some of the locales featured in the game are based on real-life locations. For example, Lucis is based on Shinjuku in Tokyo, Altissia is based on Venice and Lestallum is based on Cuba.
  • Fictional Video Game:
    • Justice Monsters Five is a unique take on pinball and is this installment's permutation of the Final Fantasy game-within-a-game tradition.
    • King's Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon, a mobile remake of the NES Square game adapted to the gacha game format. We don't actually get to see it in-game, but it's set for defictionalization.
  • Filth: When sleeping at a rest point, one of the possible scenes is Gladio asleep on the couch with a dirty magazine on his face.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The bread and butter of the Elemental branch of magic, which can be further amalgamated into a new technique that mixes and matches their effects into a new hybrid attack. 15:50 to 17:45 shows us how to do this while 22:50 to 23:20 shows us what a coalesced fire and lightning attack looks like.
  • Food Porn: Any dish cooked by Ignis at camp gets its own screen time.
  • Forced to Watch: In Chapter 9, Noctis is forced to watch as Ardyn fatally stabs Luna.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Anyone who's played XV knows that in Brotherhood, Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus and Ignis will become friends and survive this series since they appear in XV.
    • Episode Prompto takes place after Prompto is knocked off the train and is trying to reunite with Noctis, those who finished the game or at least reached chapter 13 know that he doesn't and ends up being imprisoned in Zegnautus Keep.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Gladio remarks in Chapter 4 that he can't see Ardyn as a Lucian. Fast-forward to Chapter 13...
    • Ardyn's insistence on spending the night at the caravan at the Cauthess gas station instead of at a campsite foreshadows his true nature.note 
    • On the way to the Archaean in Chapter 4, Prompto asks if Ignis's glasses will be fine in the heat. Gladio and Ignis point out that his vision isn't that bad and he has passable vision without corrective lenses. Come chapter 10 and Ignis has been blinded.
    • The party infiltrates an imperial base and are confronted by Ravus before Ardyn suddenly appears to defuse the situation. His arrival is preceded by the sound of a warp-strike, an ability unique to Lucian royalty.
    • Ardyn wears a white jacket with a red scarf (the colors of Niflheim) and otherwise an all-black attire (the color of royalty/nobility in Lucis).
    • Throughout the earlier chapters, the nights get slightly longer, but it's not really brought up all that much and, considering the developers put a lot of effort into making a realistic day/night cycle, the player might just assume that they added a seasonal cycle as well. But fast-forward to Chapter 10 and onward and the nights are rapidly increasing in length until there's no more daylight.
    • Throughout the story, there are several to Prompto's true origins:
      • In Fociaugh Hollow, a Naga abducts Prompto thinking that he's her baby. The others later wonder how a Daemon could mistake a human for another Daemon.
      • During the Assassin's Festival, Prompto expresses sympathy towards the Magitek troopers and uneasiness at Noct's dismissal of them as mere "machines".
      • At the beginning of Chapter 5note , Prompto questions Ardyn — an Imperial — rescuing Noct and Co. from the Disc. Ardyn chides him for "begrudging a man the circumstances of his birth," with Prompto hastily backpedaling.
    • Episode Ignis shows us that Iggy was given a vision of Noctis dying to defeat Ardyn and save the world.
    • During Chapter 11, an observant player can notice that Prompto's animations and lines are different than usual, as well as that he never enters Danger state. Because it's not Prompto, but Ardyn impersonating Prompto.
    • Noctis's Royal Arms consume HP with use. This avalanche of mini Heroic Sacrifices foreshadows the big one he makes at the end.
    • A few of the late-game Hunts are hinted at before you can take them. The Alstor Slough area has several large animals in the lake, out of reach; one of them is the late-game Catoblepas hunt. The gigantic bird Bennu pulls this double-time: early in the game the party sees it flying overhead, then has to try and sneak around it to reach a quest objective, but they wake it up and it flies away without a fight, to be fought later in Randolph's legendary weapon quests.
    • Whenever you stop at an outpost with a Crow's Nest, Prompto's suggestion to eat there is met with a quip by Ignis that eating that kind of food will make him fat. Episode Prompto, as well as the Brotherhood anime, reveals Prompto was overweight as a child and lost weight so he could feel comfortable being Noctis' friend.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Despite being able to perform short-range teleports all the time during battle (and to travel faster on foot), Noctis regularly forgets he can teleport whenever the game wants to introduce an "obstacle" in a dungeon. This presumably includes the post-game optional dungeon... note 
  • For Want of a Nail: A few massive nails were meant to occur, according to Episode Ignis and the Dawn of the Future novel:
    • In Episode Ignis, choosing to play along with Ardyn not only allows Iggy to keep his sight, it's the nail for an unseen series of events that allows Noct to survive purging the Starscourge.
    • As shown by the Dawn of the Future novel, Ardyn deciding to Rage Against the Heavens, defying Bahamut's will, would lead to Bahamut resurrecting Luna to be an Ardyn 2.0, and would eventually lead to the ultimate Golden Ending of the story, where both she and Noct live to wed, Bahamut's Karma Houdini Warranty being expired, the Starscourge being destroyed without Noct's sacrifice, and the magic going away.
    • In Dawn of the Future, Noct surmises that Ardyn gaining his healing powers, and being screwed over by everyone afterwards, caused a massive ripple effect that, among other things, allowed Noct and his friends to be closer than they normally would be, allow him to meet Luna, allow Prompto to even exist in the first place, and other massive occurances.
  • Four-Star Badass: Aranea Highwind is a powerful Punch-Clock Villain and General working for Niflheim... at first.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Sanguine: Prompto
    • Choleric: Gladiolus
    • Melancholic: Noctis
    • Phlegmatic: Ignis
  • Free Rotating Camera: The camera can be moved around.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Talcott informs Noctis when he returns that Prompto, Gladio, and Ignis don't spend much time together nowadays as they're all busy with their own set of tasks. It seems that Noctis was something of a lynchpin to them, and his absence left a hole in their group.
  • From Bad to Worse: Niflheim attacks Insomia, steals the Lucian Power Crystal and kills Regis. Then Leviathan causes the destruction of Altissia. Then Ardyn kills Luna and initiates the Starscourge, plunging the entirety of Eos into darkness and tricks Noctis into entering the Lucian Crystal. And all of this happens ten years before the Final Battle.
  • Funny Background Event: The main gang have lots of silly animations that play once in a while.
    • Prompto will fix up his boot while running around.
    • Noctis sweeps his hand through his Anime Hair while running.
    • Noctis will give his teammates a thumbs up after battles.
    • Noctis and Gladio will give each other a fistbump, which sends Noctis stumbling.
    • Noctis will pick up Ignis' glasses while the latter looks for them.
    • Unless camping when raining, many of these rest scenes have one of the characters be apart from the group and do something funny (Prompto aggressively petting a chocobo, Ignis cooking fervently in the caravan, Gladio fake-sleeping when Prompto makes a photo).
  • Fuuma Shuriken: The Star of the Rogue is a ninja star the size of Noctis torso which he can throw at enemies as easily as he'd pitch a baseball.
  • Game Gourmet: This is the first game in its franchise to feature a wide array of beautifully rendered foods you can cook and enjoy, and there's even a sidequest which doubles as a massive Product Placement for Nissin Cup Noodles.
  • Game Mod: The Windows Edition has full mod support being gradually rolled out. Square Enix have made several official mods, such as a set of Half-Life themed gear, and costumes based on the Pocket Edition models of the main characters.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Noctis' posture, walk/run cycle, reaction to being massaged, and how long he can sustain sprinting (unusual for an FF game), all allude to the life-threatening back injury he sustained as a child.
    • Ignis' battle AI being scripted to stay close to/be protective of Noct gives you a glimpse into their relationship being a lot deeper than his advisor role would have you initially assume, something which Episode Ignis' story would later expand on.
    • When Ignis gets blinded, he becomes The Load for the quarry at Cartanica while he learns to cope. Additionally, if you make camp there the only food available to eat is canned food and cup noodles. After all, it's not like he's up to cooking much in his current state. After the timeskip, he learns how to cook again and you get the familiar menu options.
    • As you hear from a few NPCs that the nights are getting longer and the daemons more common and empowered, the daytime does gradually shorten as you advance through story chapters until Chapter 13 when the Starscourge is fully in effect and the night is endless.
    • The choice of which of Prompto's photos you have saved throughout your playthrough to bring with you to the final fight. Whichever you choose will be commented on and used in the ending cutscene, and the remaining photos in your collection will be shown throughout the credits.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Episode Ardyn's Datalog regarding the Rakshasa Blade, one of Ardyn's Royal Arms, is described as being the sibling blade to Somnus's own Royal Arm, the Blade of the Mystic. According to the Datalog, when the Rakshasa Blade and the Blade of the Mystic are together, it's said the wielder was capable of destructive feats. When you complete the DLC and obtain the blade in the main game, though, Noctis can't wield both swords at once or receive any sort of special benefit. Then again, the datalog does say that, while the blades were forged with the idea that Ardyn and Somnus would rule together in mind, ambition and envy tore the two apart.
  • Gameplay Grading: After each battle you are ranked from D to A+ for Time, Finesse, and Damage.
  • Game Within a Game:
    • Justice Monsters Five became this trope when the iOS and Android defictionalization of the game was released.
    • King's Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon also appears in-game as a game that Noctis and company play.
    • While not explicitly stated, Kingdom Hearts as well as the Final Fantasy series itself appear to exist in Eos.
    • And then we have the Assassin's Creed series, which in turn appear to be based on an existing in-universe legend in Lestallum.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • A series of monoliths at Steyliff Grovenote  tell the story of a king of Lucisnote  who was in love with the Oracle, taking up her Trident after she was killed before his eyes. Several generations later, Noctis is forced to watch Luna being fatally wounded in front of him in Chapter 9, and like his ancestor before him takes up Luna's Trident after her death.
    • And now we have Ardyn, the would-be Founder King, watching his beloved Aera — the very first Oracle — being killed before his very eyes 2000 years ago.
    • Both Ardyn and Noctis learn of their true destinies via Bahamut after being pulled into the Astral realm.
  • Genre Shift: Chapter 13 suddenly becomes a Survival Horror level. Noctis is alone without most of his powers, thus you're encouraged to hide from or flee from enemies with a limited arsenal of abilities to fight back with. The level also includes several Jump Scares, including "dead" enemies that grab you as you walk by, enemies that rise from behind you as you progress, and enemies waiting behind doors you're opening. You also have to deal with poisonous smoke, blackouts, and eventually an Advancing Boss of Doom.
    • The Downloadable Episodes, and eventually the December 12, 2017 update patch feature examples of this when Noctis' party members were Promoted to Playable. Gladiolus fights akin to a hack n' slash game, complete with a combo multiplayer. Prompto plays like a third-person shooter, albeit with more than two weapons. Ignis plays closest to Noctis with daggers but his Weapon Wheel consists of elemancy options and his personal skills by virtue of being the party's (relatively) Squishy Wizard.
  • Ghost Reunion Ending: In the post-credits stinger, Noctis and Luna reunite during their wedding in the afterlife.
  • Global Currency: Zigzagged; Gil seems to be this for the majority of Eos, with the exception of Insomnia (which is revealed to be Yen in Episode Ardyn). However, in Chapter 1 Prompto has absolutely no idea what a gil is, while Ignis remarks that whatever money they brought with them is no good outside of the capital. Liede, Cligne, and Duscae have all been occupied by Niflheim for 30 years, ever since the Wall was scaled back: the bases we see there haven't suddenly sprung up, they're just newly reinforced. Gil can thus be assumed to be Niflheim’s currency. More people using Niflheim’s currency means that 1) Niflheim has the upper hand in transactions, and 2) profit goes even more quickly into their pocket. It’s a good way of gaining influence over a land, through the people that live here and the products that come from it.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: The first several chapters of the game has Noct and his gang very reluctantly team up with Ardyn for one reason or another. It's hilarious in that Ardyn gets very chummy with the group, even camping with them and peeping in on Prompto's photos, mostly of photos of himself. More than once is it made clear that they really don't like the dude.
  • Golden Ending:
    • Episode Ignis allows you to unlock another ending for the whole game after completing it one time. In this path, Ignis chooses to sacrifice everything, including the world itself, to save Noctis, which snowballs into events being changed. Ravus survives, his alliance with Ignis allowing them to forge a peace treaty between the nations. Noctis doesn't have to sacrifice himself to kill Ardyn, and thanks to the vision Ignis was given by Pryna, they manage to find another way to make him disappear during the 10-year time gap. People are prepared for the Long Night, allying to defeat Ardyn. Ignis is also cured by the Crystal thanks to Noct, managing to recover his eyes, and in the last scene is seen entering the King's room seemingly coming home from a mission, while he and Noctis smile at each other.
    • Episode Noctis was meant to be this, with the Greater-Scope Villain, Bahamut, being defeated, the Astrals dying out, and the magic going away, with Noct staying alive, and he and Luna getting married. Unfortunately, since the actual DLCs were canned, players will have to read the Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future- novel for it.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Following the popular trend in open-world games, Episode Ignis gives Ignis a grappling-hook pistol that lets him quickly climb up the tall building and lampposts of Altissia from the very bottom of its canals. It can also be used to start special finishing moves against large enemies.
  • Greasy Spoon / Kitschy Themed Restaurant: The recurring Crow's Nest Diner, a dive often found in outposts replete with its own mascots, Kenny and Kelly Crow (who have plastic statues propped on benches you can have your picture taken with), and all serve the same food — Kenny's Salmon, Kenny's Fries, and a bottle of Jetty's. The outlet at Old Lestallum is the only one that sells the Special Salmon, because it was the very first Crow's Nest Diner.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • In Platinum Demo, there is a huge plethora of moves that your weapons are capable of. However, since the game never runs you through a combat tutorial beyond the basic controls, figuring out that any of the other moves exist is up to Trial-and-Error Gameplay.
    • Cid's weapon upgrade quests requires you to collect parts from monsters in order to enhance your weapons. Some of them are obvious (Coeurl Whiskers are dropped by Coeurl), but others are not so obvious. Where does one find a Sturdy Helixhorn? A Magnetron? Better buy the guide or look it up online, because the game certainly won't tell you.
    • The game doesn't at all tell the player that the weapons they've currently got equipped (up to 4) add together for stat improvements. This is particularly notable with the Royal Arms and their large overall buffs, meaning that for the early-to-mid game, having at least one Royal Arm equipped can make a large difference, and equipping magic-boosting Royal Arms can help boost damage in a pinch if you need to drop some spells.
    • The Scraps of Mystery sidequests involves finding maps scattered all over the world that lead you to pieces of another map. The maps themselves don't have the helpful indicator that pop up on other blue-dotted items unless you're right on top of the item and their dull color makes them blend very easily into the environment, making finding them difficult. You're likely to come across the first two easily as they easily follow the flow of the story, and even a good chunk of them are at least conspicuous enough in accessible spots, but good luck finding a few that are off the beaten path and partially hidden; you're likely to need a guide to complete this quest.
      • Pocket Edition slims down the trouble by having each sidequest be localized to a single town, but the Altissia one combines this with the need to play against your own instincts. Typically, starting plot-relevant cut scenes means that a sidequest is lost; the game will actually warn you of this if you try to start one with a sidequest incomplete. But the grand prize of the Altissia hunt is on a Broken Bridge (well, a bridge blocked off by unmovable NPCs) that doesn't get fixed until after you negotiate with Secretary Claustra. If you want to complete it, you have to pray that this Scraps of Mystery works different than every other one in the game. Fortunately, it does.
    • The final frog collection quest requires you to find five rather small frogs scattered across the entire world map, with the not particularly helpful hint "water", and no quest markers to even suggest a rough area to search. In a world that has no shortage of lakes, ponds, and rivers, the fact that you can hear a frog croak if you're very close is little comfort. Moreover, while the rainbow frogs have a unique coloration, they are on the whole more subdued and better-camouflaged than their brightly-colored cousins.
    • Costlemark Tower's four-block puzzle doesn't tell you that in order to get to the right path (the southwest one), you have to go down anywhere from one-to-three of the 'wrong' paths first - randomly determined before entering - before said path will become available. In addition, if you heard beforehand that the southwest path is the only correct one, you might not ever figure out that this is only half-right. The northwest path leads in two directions, one into the big room where you face the usual Red Giants + company... or a side path that connects directly to the southwest path — i.e., the way to the boss room. If you're lucky, you could get the northwest path active on the first try, and skip the Red Giant fights entirely.
    • Because Pocket Edition removes most of the game's open-world elements, royal tombs that aren't visited as part of the main storyline are lying around on the world map / chapter select screen. When you see a tomb there, you just tap on it and you get the Royal Arm. What the game doesn't tell you is that said tombs are gated behind Achievements; it's totally possible to finish the game without any clue of why some of them didn't spawn. The only hint is that the Achievements themselves are named "Path of the [Weapon's Noun]," i.e., "Path of the Just — Parry 50 times" to spawn the tomb that gives you the Shield of the Just... which you'll only notice if you go digging around in menus.
  • Guns Are Worthless: Guns generally do less damage than swords and lances and always do less damage than greatswords. They also do pitiful damage at range (sometimes just 1 or 0 damage), so it counterbalances their advantage there. They are also the only primary weapon type without a corresponding Royal Arm.

    Tropes H to M 
  • Halfway Plot Switch: The first half is an open-world where Noctis collects a few of the Royal Arms and finds allies to support him on the path to Altissia to meet his fiancée; there's a breezy road-trip feel. At Altissia, Lunafreya is killed by Ardyn and everything changes. This half is linear with disconnected levels that transport the player automatically. The tone is darker and protagonists are killed off, kidnapped and disfigured. Contrasting the road trip feel, Noctis is essentially on his own for Chapter 13 and the beginning of 14.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Discussed In-Universe. After completing Kimya's quest, the party discusses whether her advising her nephew to believe in himself and make his own decisions is always a good idea, since following that led to a rift forming between Kimya and her sister.
    Ignis: "Do not follow. Trust yourself." Sound advice.
    Gladio: Reasonable enough, if a bit obvious.
    Prompto: Though you could say that's what led Kimya to start a family feud.
    Noctis: How can you trust yourself to always be right?
    Ignis: Not as sound as I thought, perhaps.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Iron Giants. They make a demonic gurgling sound combined with a metallic creaking when they spawn, and you still hear it when you manage to escape them.
  • The Hero Dies: Towards the end of XV, Noctis, as the ultimate hero of Final Fantasy XV, ascends the throne and faces an honorable death to purge Eos of the Starscourge. This makes him the only hero in the Final Fantasy main series to die in the finale and not get a happy ending, though it's averted in the alternate endings.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: One new feature in XV is that each main party member has his own particular hobby which they can spend their free time doing, and it even has its own level in the status menu that players can grind in order to give them more bonuses. Noct is the literal fisherman, Gladiolus focuses on being a survivalist and outdoorsman, Ignis is the team's chef, and Prompto's is photography.
  • Heroic RRoD: At the end of the game, Noctis becomes the vessel to the Crystal's light in order to gain the power of Providence and fight the immortal Ardyn in the beyond, knowing full well that he will die from the effort.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In Chapter 14, Noctis allows himself to be killed by the souls of the deceased rulers, including Regis, and using their combined power to defeat the immortal Ardyn in the beyond.
    • The ring asks this of Ignis in the alternative ending of his episode: A life for a life. Actually a subversion. If the player offers Ignis' life and defeats Ardyn, then Noctis will save Ignis with the crystal, yet Ignis getting insight into the future due to all that happened allows for him to prevent Noctis from dying, thus creating a future where no one needs to do a heroic sacrifice.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: It’s possible to use a pattern of firing, taking a hit, retreating, healing, firing, taking a hit over and over again and again until the enemy is dead.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Much like its stablemate, Final Fantasy XIV, the English version features a fair bit of this.
    • Titan is invoked as part of a joke at one point, and Cindy makes reference to Ramuh.
  • Homoerotic Subtext:
    • Played for Laughs. When Prompto remarks on how romantic a restaurant in Altissia is, the others chime in on what a lucky man he is for being able to enjoy it with the three of them.
    • Ardyn is fond of harassing his enemies this way:
      • In Chapters 12 and 13 he harasses Noctis with his taunting lines about rescuing Prompto by calling him his "heart's desire" (although it's debatable if he was referring to the Crystal) and "your dear Prompto".
      • He does the same with Ignis in Episode Ignis, taunting him in his despair with lines like "your beloved Noctis".
  • How We Got Here: The game's story starts this way, opening with an older Noct and crew battling Ifrit in Insomnia, then the screen fades to white partway in, sending the player into the prologue.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The guys, especially Prompto, enjoy cracking puns about the situations and places they're in.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: All four party members, in fact; as the others can tap into Noctis' powers to be able to manifest and de-manifest their weapons at will. While the others are limited to one primary weapon (like Gladio with his greatsword, Prompto's pistol, etc) and one sub-weapon/spell, Noctis can draw from four weapons (with/without magic) at once, and when he goes into Armiger Arsenal mode, this is increased to a maximum of thirteen crystalline weapons used in tandem — the Armiger Chain ability even allows the entire party to wield them for a short-yet-powerful burst attack.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: The Katana of the Warrior is the only weapon in the game to come with a sheathe and it's powerful warp strike involves Noct slowly pulling it out of the sheathe, and teleporting right next to the target for a deadly strike. The funny thing about this is that Noctis teleports all of his weapons into his hand, so each time he uses the katana he deliberately summons it in the sheathe instead of just calling the sword alone.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The easternmost region of Lucis, where the game begins and where the home city of our four heroes is located, is called "Leide", which is a German word that means "to suffer".
  • 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 Armiger powers.
  • Implacable Man: Right after Noctis is pulled into the Crystal, the rest of the team rush into the chamber just in time to see the tail end of Ardyn's gloating. Realising what happened, both Gladio and Prompto attempt to stop him from leaving. Despite taking the former's greatsword to the chest and a point-blank bullet from behind courtesy of the latter, they only succeed in knocking Ardyn's hat from his head and causing him to fall face-down on the floor. Being immortal and — as proven later — only killable by the True King himself, Ardyn gets up seconds later, puts his hat back on his head and strolls out of the chamber.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes:
    • Noctis and his friends (and other Crownsguard members, such as Cor) wear boots with matching red soles. And despite getting attacked by sabertusks, goblins, garulas and a behemoth, their clothes never get so much as torn. Possibly justified as according to Tabata, those clothes are part of Lucis's battle gear, and they still get dirty and muddied. In-game, the no-jacket outfits also have a different stat boost than their default garb.
    • The Duscae stinger tears this trope down savagely, however, for Luna. It depicts her in the cool, beautiful white gown she's been seen in previously... but in the apparent chaos of Niflheim's invasion, it's been so thoroughly soiled, ripped apart, and undone that it barely qualifies as clothing anymore. Even her shoes look ready to slip off at any moment.
    • It's possible to avert this in game since you can equip the cast with more casual-looking clothes (such as a T-shirt, cap, and jeans for Noctis).
  • Improvised Weapon: Gladiolus can use pillars as a blunt weapon during the Episode Gladiolus DLC.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: While a number of the songs have Ominous Latin Chanting, not all of them have their lyrics clearly documented in reputable external sources, so what they're actually saying is anyone's guess.
  • Infinity -1 Sword: The Ring of the Lucii, which becomes available in Chapter 13. It deals damage varying from moderate up to a One-Hit Kill, depending on Noctis' magic stat and the target's hidden "Resist Death" stat.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The Balmung, which can only be obtained after finishing the main story.
  • Informed Attribute: Promotional materials for Versus-onward compared the Lucian monarchy to a crime family. However, the royal family has not been seen doing anything illegal or unscrupulous, and the mafia-like appearance that King Regis and his council originally had was replaced with a more fantastical aesthetic (possibly somewhere in the switch from Versus-to-XV).
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: A lot of basic railings, barricades, and fences can't be jumped over from a standing position (though can be when sprinting), even though Noctis obviously can jump high enough to surmount them. This trope is particularly glaring, though, for another reason — Noctis can teleport. In battle Noctis is able to Warp Strike / Point Warp dozens of feet to any point he can see, and in some boss fights and story sequences he can warp well over a hundred feet. Many of the dungeons you explore should be easy to get through if Noctis would only Warp Strike over pits and up and down terrain elevations, but outside of combat Warp Strike is only usable as a short-range teleport straight forward and never to bypass terrain obstacles.note 
    • Averted in Episode Ardyn. Except for exceptionally high buildings, he can get on almost everything, from trash can to roof. Bonus points for also having a double jump, allowing to clear any low obstacles without even having to warp.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Some Astrals are shown speaking in an unintelligible language, with subtitles showing what they are saying; yet Luna and Noctis are able to understand them and reply to them in the human tongue due to being some of the rare few to have been touched by the Astral's power. Of particular note is Leviathan, who admonishes Luna at length when the latter attempts to form a covenant with the sea goddess.
  • Interface Spoiler: At the beginning of Chapter 14, Noctis first learns that ten years have passed since he entered the Crystal when he meets a now-adult Talcott, who informs him of this. The player, on the other hand, may have learned this slightly earlier if they had checked the updated character dossier for Noctis from the beginning of Chapter 14, which explains that ten years have passed.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Just as the boys go into the Lucian throne room, Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto are immediately taken out by Ardyn. For the last battle, Noct has to duel Ardyn and meet his own demise all by himself. Cemented when Noctis meets his guards again after the fight...only to re-enter the Citadel alone to face his end while his friends protect the door.
  • Ironic Echo: On Ardyn's part:
    (When the party first meets him in Chapter 1) "I'm afraid you're out of luck. The boats bring you here? Well, they'll not take you forth."
    (When the party confronts him near the end of Chapter 14) "I'm afraid you're out of luck. The throne brings you here? It seats only one."
  • Jerkass Gods: All the suffering, all the pain and all the death that befalls the main cast is an indirect consequence of something the Astrals (more specifically Ifrit and Bahamut) caused. Bahamut was the one who made the Oracle's abilities detrimental to her physical health, potentially to the point of death, Bahamut is the one who made it so the only way to purge the Starscourge for good was for the True King to sacrifice himself and, as Episode Ardyn reveals, Bahamut was the one who decreed that Ardyn, who tried to help people suffering from the Starscourge by absorbing it into his own body, would be forced into becoming Bahamut's pawn for the next 2000 years until he would eventually be granted death. Anyone who pushes back against them (as seen with Ifrit starting the War of the Astrals) is punished severely, either physically or via psychological torture. Suddenly, Noctis' brutal confrontations with Titan and Leviathan don't seem so bad anymore.
    • The novel Dawn of the Future which covers what the cancelled DLC's would have been goes even further: Bahamut did all that... with the intention to purge humanity in the end anyway, in order to cleanse Eos. It takes Luna, Noctis and Ardyn cooperating with each other, the rulers of yore and the other Astrals to NOT have Bahamut just kill them all.
  • Jump Scare:
    • In the Episode Duscae demo, Noctis and the party have to explore a cave. Right when you go through a crevice, hordes of angry goblins will come out and attack you.
    • In Chapter 13, bodies of Magitek Troopers can be seen lying around. As you pass by the last one, it suddenly comes to life and attacks you.
  • Just Add Water: Elemental spells can be granted additional effects by synthesizing them with items.
  • Just for Pun: In the 2015 trailer, Cindy says she'll service your car. In Japanese, she uses the English word "service", which usually refers to Fanservice. Guess what half of Cindy's role was going to be...
  • Kill 'Em All: Most of the world's population is decimated following Luna's death and the engulfment of the world in darkness.
    • By the end of the game, Ignis, Gladiolus, Prompto, Cid, Cindy, Iris, Talcott, and Aranea are some of the only characters left alive among who knows how many other people.
    • In the novel Dawn of the Future it's revealed that Bahamut reveals that he wants to purge all humanity in order to cleanse Eos from the Starscourge, thus literally killing all.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • In Chapter 9, Luna is killed by Ardyn right in front of Noctis.
    • Towards the end of the game, Noctis sacrifices himself to permanently kill Ardyn for good in the beyond.
  • King Bob the Nth: The king of Lucis at the beginning of the game is Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII. The number refers to the number of kings, not that there are specifically 113 Regises; when Noctis ascends, for instance, he is Noctis Lucis Caelum CXIV.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Ardyn shows up every time things are about to go sour. Then he kills Luna and takes pleasure in tormenting the party.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Combat dialogue with Aranea in the party:
    Gladiolus: You sure know how to handle a lance!
    Aranea: ...I'm not touching that.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: Characters who fall to 0 HP have their HP display replaced by a draining red gauge that reads "Danger", 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. It's also the condition for summoning Ramuh once you get him in Episode Duscae.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Chapter 0 of the game and the PC/Royal version of the game's cover art don't really try to hide the timeskip. It doesn't straight up say there is one, but you see the party members with their older appearances.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One of Prompto's post-battle quips has him note that their adventure is like an RPG, and another one is him singing the franchise's iconic victory fanfare acapella. The latter gets an Ironic Echo-styled Dark Reprise at the end of Episode Prompto, when Ardyn does the very same while seeing Prompto drive off into the distance.
  • Legacy Character:
    • Cid and Cindy, as mentioned above.
    • Biggs and Wedge appear once again, this time as members of a mercenary group.
    • Gilgamesh appears once again, as the Final Boss of the DLC Episode Gladiolus.
  • Lethal Joke Character: In Totomostro, the Cactuar. It is always Level 10, and is horribly fragile, to the point where most of its competitors can one-shot or two-shot it. However, if it its opponents let it set up its 1000 Needles, it can insta-kill every other monster. One of the weekly Timed Events can also be Cactuars. A high level party shouldn't have a problem with killing one in 2 hits. The problem with the event is...that they need to kill 100, with roughly 20 being present all the time preparing 1000 needles.
  • Let There Be Snow: Done in the cruelest way imaginable in the Episode Duscae stinger. There's something like "snow" falling in the second image of the stinger, where the crew learns that Insomnia has been sacked by Niflheim and we see Luna wandering the streets in a daze...but the fires in the background suggest that's ash, not snow.
    • Noctis also notices that it has begun snowing right before the party departs from Tenebrae for the Imperial capital.
  • Letting the Air Out of the Band: The usual music that plays whenever the group camps or rests is replaced with a slower, bluesy version of itself after Luna's death.
  • Light Is Good: Noctis has the epithet “King of Light”, uses the light from the Lucian Crystal to defeat Ardyn. When he isn’t being grumpy he is genuinely a nice guy and the main hero of the story, with Ezma referring to him as a light that burns brightly. Luna is a selfless heroine who does all she can to help others in need, even those who could be considered evil, despite the burden it would bring to her. When she staves off Leviathan, a beam of golden light emanates from her.
  • Light Is Not Good: Aldercapt and some of the other antagonists wear predominantly white clothing, in opposition to the heroes' mostly black outfits.
    • Back in the Versus XIII days, Lucis was set to have Etro as its patron goddess, known as the goddess of death, and be a country of Grim Reaper worship. The royal family and other citizens of Lucis were to wear black to go along with this theme.
    Hajime Tabata: This setting is a violation of the age rating criteria for games in some countries, so we cannot push these themes. To replace this, we have a backbone setting of “black as a special colour.”
    • Although unconfirmed, the reason why several villains wear white while the heroes all wear black could be due to the fact that in Japan, white symbolizes death while black symbolizes life, the opposite of the colors' respective meanings in the western world.
      • Worth noticing is that while it's true that many villains wear white, so does Lady Lunafreya. This could be due to the fact that she spends the vast majority of her screentime in Altissia, more specifically in a town that's based on Venice in Italy, so the colors' symbolism is completely reversed there. Alternatively, Tenebrae is under imperial control, so her wearing white could stem from her home.
  • Limit Break: Armiger, where Noctis summons the Royal Arms to decimate foes with a storm of attacks. Its exact usage has changed between builds.
    • In Episode Duscae, Armiger cost MP and chewed through your MP bar at about 5 MP per second, ending when Noctis's MP was depleted.
    • In Platinum Demo, Armiger received a new bar called the Armiger Gauge that encircles the weapon wheel. This gauge is split into quarters and charges by dealing damage and dodging attacks. As long as one quarter is full, you may activate Armiger, which rapidly burns through the remaining gauge.
    • In the final game, the Armiger Gauge works like its Platinum Demo incarnation, but the gauge is no longer quartered, and can only be activated when it's fully charged. It's also possible to get your buddies in on it with Armiger Chain and gain boons during and after activation.
    • After witnessing Luna betrayed, stabbed, and left for dead by Ardyn, Noct completely snaps, summons up the Armiger for an indefinite period, (it usually only lasts a few seconds), and proceeds to use it to utterly demolish Leviathan, one of the Gods!
    • All your friends' techniques plus your own Link Strikes can be turned into Limit Breaks through extremely expensive Ascension perks (one per character), with Link Strike Limit Break being the most useful overall. At 999 AP each, it'll probably take hours of grinding to unlock even one of them, but seeing Noctis pummel bosses with 25,000+ damage hits every time a Link Strike occurs is totally worth it.
    • Ignis has his own variation of Limit Breaks as a playable character called "Total Clarity": when his Clarity gauge is full, he can execute a more powerful attack that changes depending on which element he's using.
  • Long Last Look: Noctis, Gladio, Ignis and Prompto when Insomnia falls.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: The first half of "Somnus", which is a single melancholy piano melody playing slowly and softly.
  • Lord Country: Noctis, Regis, Ardyn and likely the rest of the Caelum dynasty share their middle names with the name of their Kingdom, Lucis.
  • Lore Codex:
    • The Compendium is a resource in the pause menu that lets you look at the models of each character and monster you've met. Each one also comes with a little blurb about the subject's backstory.
    • The game was patched after its initial release to add an Archives section in the main menu, which acts as a more traditional codex in that it collects all sorts of information. There were also archives added for each of the Episode DLCs.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The multiplayer expansion, Comrades is one compared to the rest of the game and it's expansions. Rather than focusing on the main protagonists and/or antagonists, it is instead about the glaives-who up until this point were just background characters outside of Kingsglaive-and their struggles to keep the peace during the ten years of darkness with the player being cast as a random Mauve Shirt glaive amongst a group of Mauve Shirt glaives with the supporting cast being made up of mostly the side characters from the main quest with the occasional appearance from the main and secondary characters.
  • 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 Nixperience Band accessory added by the Holiday Pack DLC takes it a step further by preventing EXP gains from camping and resting at motels.
  • MacGuffin Escort Mission: At the start of the game, Noctis and his friends seek to retrieve Lucis's Power Crystal and return it to the kingdom.
  • The Magic Goes Away:
    • By the end of the game, humanity survives, but the lines of Lucis and the Oracle - who can wield magic, and mediate between humans and the gods - are dead. It's unknown whether or not the Astrals will choose other bloodlines to have these gifts, or even if it's necessary anymore.
    • At the end of The Dawn of the Future, the Astrals, Messengers and the Crystal - along with magic - disappear upon Bahamut's defeat, the Crystal absorbing the last of the Starscourge before shattering.
  • Magic Versus Science: Lucis's society revolves around magic, while Niflheim focuses more on technology.
  • Magikarp Power: Upgradeable weapons like the Engine Blade, Drain Lance and all sorts of machinery start out at the lowest end of the damage scale, but go the extra mile to track down their upgrade components and they'll turn into highly useful equipment that often outperforms most other contenders in their respective class. The Ultima Blade, the Engine Blade's third and final tier, is actually the third-strongest sword in the game in terms of pure attack power and can be acquired about a fourth into the story.
  • Magitek: Niflheim has made great advancements in this field. Of course, this is partially due to using daemons as the source of their powers.
  • Mana: Unusually, not used to cast normal elemental magic, like Fire. It is instead consumed when warping, dodging or guarding, casting Ring Magic, and in Episode Duscae, using Techniques like Tempest and casting Armiger.
    • Played straight in Comrades, where players can use offensive and restorative magic in addition to warping.
  • Manual Leader, A.I. Party: For the most part. A patch added the ability to switch which character you control during battle, but you're still only in direct control of that one character while the rest are controlled by the AI.
  • Marathon Level:
    • Holy crap, the Steyliff Grove menace dungeon. It's 100 floors long and the average run of this dungeon is anywhere between 2 1/2 and 4 hours.
    • Costlemark Tower can take 2 to 5 hours, depending on how unlucky you are with the mazes. That's not even counting the Menace Dungeon beneath.
    • Pitioss Ruins will most likely take a minimum of 5 hours if you're really good at it, and anywhere from eight to twelve hours if you're not.
  • Meaningful Echo: As revealed in Episode Ignis, the advice that Ignis gives to Noct late in the game is, word-for-word, a lesson he learned from King Regis.
    "A king cannot lead by standing still. A king pushes onward always, accepting the consequences and never looking back."
  • Meaningful Name:
    • 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.
    • Lunafreya Nox Fleuret: Luna means "moon" and Freya was a Norse Goddess associated with love, beauty, war, and death. Nox means "night" and Fleuret is French for "foil", a type of rapier — this being the preferred weapon of Luna's "predecessor", Stella.
    • Ignis Scientia means "fire, knowledge", since he's The Smart Guy who specializes in fire magic.
    • Gladiolus Amicitia means "short sword, friendship", ironically referencing his use of greatswords and his position as Noct's shield. Gladiolus is also a genus of flowering plants in the iris family (Iridaceae), also known as "sword lilies", tying his name to his sister's.
    • Prompto Argentum means "quicksilver", befitting the gunman of the group.
    • King Regis's name is Latin for, well, "king".
    • Iedolas is derived from Idola, the Latin word for "idols". In turn, Idola is derived from the Greek word Eidolon, meaning "unsubstantial image," "reflection," or "phantom". In Chapter 13, Foras is a powerful President of Hell, being obeyed by twenty-nine legions of demons.
    • Although Ardyn is not Latin, the similiar "ardēns" means burning, but also shining, brilliant, ardent, and passionate. Ardyn is also an alternate spelling of "Arden", the name of a forest used as a stock location by William Shakespeare in several of his plays. Shakespeare quotes were used in trailers during the Versus XIII days. Izunia is derived from iizuna, the Japanese name for the least weasel. "Izunia" is also phonetically similar to the status healing spell "Esuna", present in every main FF game other than XV.
    • Gentiana is the name of a species of flower named after King Gentius of Illyria, who may have discovered its healing properties.
    • Aranea is the name of a species of spider.
    • Cindy's surname, Aurum, is Latin for "gold", while Cid's surname Sophiar is derived from Sophia, Greek for "wisdom".
    • Ravus is Latin for "gray". As the conditional of ravi, it can also translate to "to delight/enchant."
    • Iris was a Greek goddess who carried messages via rainbow. It's also the name of a flower.
    • Eos (the world XV takes place in) was the Greek goddess of the dawn.
    • Tenebrae (Luna's home country) is Latin for "shadow" or "darkness", and Lucis (Noctis's home country) means "light."
    • Other countries mentioned are Niflheim and Solheim, which are Old Norse for "mist world" and "home of the sun"; Accordo is Italian for "agreement", while Altissia is Latin for "most high".
    • Insomnia (the capital of Lucis) is derived from insomnis, the Latin for "sleepless" — a possible reference to New York City, which is nicknamed "the city that never sleeps".
  • Meaningful Rename: The title's re-branding 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."
  • Metal Detector Puzzle: the treasure hunts in Pocket Edition work this way. Each location is given to you via a hand drawing of a specific location. In many towns, you then get a "shovel" button in your UI (which disappears when you leave the area of the treasure map, providing an inadvertent Interface Spoiler), but for settled places like Altissia, there are little "touch me to interact" bubbles that only appear once you get close to the spot in question.
  • Mini-Mecha: 12-foot-tall robots serve both as enemies and rides you can steal.
  • Missing Mom:
    • Luna and Ravus lost their mother Queen Sylva during Niflheim's invasion of Tenebrae.
    • Noctis lost his mother Aulea years before the game begins.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Gladiolus, a muscular and attractive Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • The scantily clad mechanic, Cindy. Tabata however explained that she is not meant to be an erotic character, but outgoing and energetic, so they're going to try and moderate the way she is presented rather than change the concept.
    • Shiva is perhaps an even bigger one than Cindy, since she is depicted as a beautiful ice nymph that wears little more than jewelry (somewhat ironic considering her disguise as Gentiana is much more conservative). This is downplayed in the Chinese version, which censored her appearance.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: The Sword of the Tall Royal Arm seems like a regular greatsword, except for the fact that whenever Noctis equips it, it revs like a chainsaw.
  • Monster Compendium: One was added in the 1.15 update. It includes background information on important characters that cannot be found elsewhere.
  • Mukokuseki: Generally averted among the major characters, whose appearances tend to heavily favor specific real-world ethnicities in terms of appearance, rather than being racially ambiguous as the trope dictates. Played straight among NPCs such as Monica and Talcott.
  • Multiple Endings: There's the default ending, the alternate ending to Episode Ignis, which is the default ending, but without Noct having to die, and there's the ending to the Dawn of the Future novel, which is the story's Golden Ending.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In-Universe, most of the party's healing items are actually plain old energy drinks given ridiculous restorative properties by Noctis' royal magic. Normal people probably wouldn't get anything out of them aside from the usual caffeine kick, which also explains why you can buy the stuff for low prices in every bog-standard grocery.
    • When you catch a fish while fishing, a badass theme titled "Reel Rumble" starts playing, which is all for catching a single fish.
  • Mundane Utility: Noct's special powers allow him to keep an armory of normal and ancestral weapons on hand, changing between them on the fly to dominate fights. He uses the same gift as an extradimensional tackle box so that he always has his fishing gear on hand should the opportunity to put out a line present itself.
  • Mystical Plague: The Starscourge, which causes the world to steadily approach eternal darkness - this is even reflected in gameplay, where the nights slowly grow longer. However, several notes describe the Starscourge as a mutant strain of Plasmodium malariae - a real-world parasitic protozoan and the cause of malaria - which incubated within human hosts. Whether it was mutated by lingering magics, or something else, is left unclear, though the former seems likely given that it takes specialized magic to heal it.
  • Mythology Gag: XV has many references to previous entries in the series. Has its own page here.

    Tropes N to R 
  • Named After the Injury: At one point, Noctis and his buddies take a bounty to hunt a behemoth that has been nicknamed "Deadeye", on account of its right eye being blind.
  • Neck Snap: Noctis memorably breaks one soldier's neck with his legs in one of the earliest Versus XIII trailers.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Due to the many changes to the game's story and design, no trailer or gameplay footage released before 2014 is a wholly accurate representation of the game.
  • New Game+: Added in patch 1.03. The player retains all experience and items, and your hunter rank goes back to level 1.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Eos descends into this during the ten years following Luna's death.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The secondary character Takka Bradham bears an uncanny resemblance to Forest Whitaker.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: A weird case in that "Ravatogh" is actually inconsistently pronounced within the game itself, with some characters giving the first 'a' the long vowel sound while others give it the short vowel sound.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The Garulas, who will not attack you unless they're provoked first.
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • Besides Noctis dying (or the current character during battle), crashing the Flying Car during takeoff or landing or flinging the off-road car off an extremely high cliff also results in a Game Over.
    • The warning about instant-loss conditions is always "[do this] or the game will end".
  • Noodle Incident: In Episode Duscae 2.0 during Gladiolus's second Tour, after being teased over a scared face he made, Noctis's comeback mentions that Gladio once made a similar face when Ignis ran over his foot with the Regalia. No further information is given.
  • Nostalgia Heaven: The end of the main story sees Noctis and Luna reunited in the hereafter and sharing the wedding they never got to have in life. In fact, it's implied that Chapter 15, which occurs after the main story is completed, is this, with Noctis (and by extension, the player) given the chance to have continued adventures with his bros in a largely unspoiled Eos.
  • Obvious Beta: Heavily downplayed compared to most examples, but it is still very evident that the game was not 100% finished as the developers intended. Aside from complaints about the cumbersome UI, uncooperative camera, inability to switch party members and difficult-to-follow story due to several plot points not being properly explained, there's a lot of Dummied Out world areas not accessible in the final game, including Tenebrae, more of Altissia, Angelgard island, and the World of Ruin beyond Insomnia. Many patches post-release added party switching, new story scenes, the ability to explore Altissia and the ocean on the boat, and a lot of other things, but it was clear the developers were patching in things they had intended to have already but didn't have ready in time for the game's launch.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: As ever for a Final Fantasy game. At the moment, it is currently used in boss battle music.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Take aim at an MT's head with the Cerberus, and execute a Boom, Headshot!. Any MT in the game period dies instantly to this.
    • Iris's Eclipse Technique also instantly kills MTs.
    • One of the spells of the Ring of the Lucii, Alterna, creates a black hole with a chance to suck in and instantly kill enemies.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Ardyn Izunia" is not the character's real name, but an alias he adopted once he was ostracized for consuming darkness as a healer. His true name is Ardyn Lucis Caelum.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Only those of the royal bloodline of Lucis can wield the Ring of the Lucii and its powers.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The Messengers of the Gods are explicitly referred to as "angels" in the Japanese version.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling:
    • Killing cactuars for a few days in the Weaverwilds or taking on their Timed Quests (Hint: eat or equip something that will allow you to survive their One Thousand Needles attack, and also make you strong enough to kill them before they run away), then sleeping at the hotel in either Galdin Quay (for a double EXP bonus) or Altissa (triple) will provide you with enough levels and AP to carry you through most of the game.
    • Once you have the beast whistle, you can repeatedly call and slaughter sabertusks in the Three Valleys to amass thousands of AP (and sellable loot) per hour.
    • The Adamantoise mission is repeatable, is worth 50,000 EXP, and is a lot faster than the average dungeon if you do a bit of research.
  • People Farms: Niflheim has been kidnapping innocent civilians (and later cloning infants), injecting them with the Starscourge and thus daemonifying them and turning them into miasma, which powers the Empire's Magitek Troopers until they die in combat in foreign lands.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Double subverted, Lunafreya and Noctis initially have a complicated relationship. They became friends in their childhood, and have maintained an exchange diary ever since, but are being made to marry politically to secure peace with the ever-encroaching Niflheim Empire. In a conversation with Gentiana, Luna is heartbroken she can't share her life with Noctis in the way that they had dreamed, but Gentiana comforts her and promises to make her feelings known to Noctis in time. Luna loves Noctis, who struggles to have the confidence to respond, but he does think the world of her and grows to return her love.
  • Permanently Missable Content: All of the limited time events were exactly that. Content only for people who had access to the game during those short timeframes, leaving newer players unable to access the Assassin's Festival or Moogle Chocobo Carnival events.
  • Pig Latin: Dino, a journalist and aspiring jeweler, first greets Noctis and blackmails him into working for him by threatening to expose Noctis' identity as a prince. In some subsequent quests, after the party fulfills their first deal with Dino, Dino greets Noctis as "Ince-pray."
  • Point of No Return: As has become standard for Final Fantasy games, you're warned before crossing them. Getting on the ferry bound for Altissia is the first. And a very effective fake-out. The plot kicks off before the party can depart and they turn back.
  • Posthumous Character: As soon as you have control in Chapter 1, Queen Sylva, King Regis, Clarus Amicitia, and any number of Insomnia residents are all dead.
  • Power Crystal: Lucis is powered and protected by one, which also serves as the game's MacGuffin and is eventually stolen by Niflheim by the end of Kingsglaive. In the original Versus XIII story draft, it was also the last remaining crystal in the world; the other nations save for Niflheim possessed their own crystals, but lost them due to war. However, in XV proper, the Crystal is a one-of-a-kind artifact.
  • Power-Up Food: If Noctis and the gang drive by a gas station, they can go to the nearby diner and have a meal while the car gets gas. This grants many different types of status buffs in combat, depending on the dish in question. You also get to eat together when camping, as Ignis is an excellent cook... assuming you have the ingredients.
  • Power-Up Letdown:
    • The Type-F upgrade for the Regalia turns into a full on Flying Car. Unfortunately, you can only land on roads and only on suitably straight roads at that, because if you don't land on the road just right, you'll crash and get a game over. In addition, you can't even fly to upper Cleigne with it, preventing you from accessing Lestallum, the Vesperpool, and several other points of interest that would otherwise be much easier to access via flying. It does have a top speed of 100 MPH, but only in flight. The only feature of the Type-F that doesn't have a downside is that you get access to infinite gas without having to scrounge for the Magitek Generator. But gas is hilariously cheap anyways, so it only removes the need to stop for gas. What you really want the Type-F for is to access Pitioss Ruins, the only dungeon in the game which requires flight to access.
    • Balmung has the best attack rating of any sword in the game and seems like a worthy reason to venture deep into the game's longest Brutal Bonus Level... until you realize it gets progressively weaker the lower Noctis' MP bar is, all the way down to zero damage when the bar is empty. If you like to spam the very powerful Warp Strike ability, the fact that it actively punishes you for using it can instantly turn Balmung into the most useless weapon in your arsenal.
  • Power Walk: An early promotional image of Noctis and his friends walking away from a smoking building.
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: A short montage of scenes from Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV depicting the fall of Insomnia are used during Chapter 1, and a handful of other cutscenes are also pre-rendered.
  • Press X to Not Die: Pocket Edition adds QTEs to standard combat. When an enemy lunges at Noctis, a circular button appears with a countdown ring around it. In the first segment of the ring, tapping the button causes Noct to Parry; in the second, he just warp-dodges. The exact length of the timer and its segments varies according to unknown rules.
  • Product Placement: Quite a few companies were involved in Final Fantasy XV to provide tie-ins for their products.
    • Gladio is apparently a fan of Coleman outdoors gear. In the Platinum Demo, two Coleman forks can be spotted in the second area (the living room). In the game proper, all of the party's camping gear is Coleman.
    • Apparently shops in Eos accept American Express.
    • Nissin Cup Noodles has plenty of advertising in-game: the product appears on billboards; shops, including a dedicated Cup Noodles truck in Lestallum that sells Cup Noodles; and it's possible for Gladio to trigger a sidequest where he waxes poetic about instant noodles and ropes the whole party into an ingredient hunt. The quest ends with what can only be called an actual advertisement, but the voice actors had fun with it at least. The characters will also talk about how much they love Cup Noodles the first time the player approaches a stand selling them.
    • In a slightly different example, Luna's wedding dress was explicitly designed by Vivienne Westwood.
    • A form of Temporary Online Content paints Assassin's Creed as a Game Within a Game.
  • The Promise: Noct and Luna made one to each other when they were kids, that they would always support one another as King and Oracle.
  • Promoted to Playable: Ignis, Gladio, Prompto, and Ardyn in their respective DLC Episodes. In the case of the Chocobros, this was later carried over into the main game, with a patch on December 12, 2017 adding Ascension nodes that unlock the ability to switch between the other three, and they retain their playstyles from their respective DLC Episodes. You are required to briefly play as each of the others in the final level with the Royal Pack installed, even if you have not done so before.
  • 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 "Threat Meter" that appears when you approach an enemy; when it's full, the fight starts and the battle music starts playing.
    • Also, in the overworld, small squads of Niflheim Magitek Troops will airdrop on you every now and then, more or less at random provided you're in an open area and post-Chapter 1. "Normal" monsters also spawn in from time to time.
    • In dungeons, enemies will often just spawn in and ambush the party, giving the feel of random encounters without actually being random.
  • Real Men Eat Meat:
    • Three of the group's favored foods have a high amount of meat.
    • One version of a sidequest is about hunting a Behemoth because their meat goes great with cup noodles.
      Gladio: Minced meat is the key to every perfect cup of noodles.
    • As is mentioned — and poked fun at by his friends — Noctis has quite the distaste for vegetables, to the point where he refuses to eat them or, at the very most, look upon the prospect with mild disdain.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change: You can switch between weapons and spells on the fly with a press of the D-pad.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Leviathan gives one to humanity when Luna asks to forge a Covenant:
      "Blasphemous ingrates, all Men, quick to forget the ages their Goddess stood watch!"
    • Which is followed by Luna riposting with one of her own:
      "It is in receiving mercy that men offer praise, and in shedding grace that the gods solicit worship."
  • Reimagining the Artifact: As part of the "Fantasy based on reality" bit, much of the game takes tropes from the early days of the franchise and reimagines them in a modern setting for a new generation of players.
    • Noctis and his friends act as the four "Warriors of Light" that have been blessed by the Crystal with magical powers, and they demonstrate abilities not typically available to humans, including summoning weapons from light and being able to teleport. The game also depicts the old "light vs darkness" elements of the series in the angle of daemons explicitly being creatures of darkness who are harmed by light. This means that certain holy weapons are particularly effective against them, settlements set giant spotlights around their outskirts to scare demons off, and traveling at night is a dangerous prospect for civilians.
    • The party's Hyperspace Arsenal is justified by the powers they get from the Crystal that let them summon and dismiss their weapons at will. Noctis is able to do the same with his fishing gear, so one can extrapolate that a lot of the party's equipment and item stock is kept in Hammerspace until they need it.
    • The Astrals, the summons of the game, are Physical Gods worshipped as such by humanity. They are immensely powerful and not to be trifled with, and really it's best to just avoid most of them altogether in case they're feeling irritable that day. You can't summon them willy-nilly when you need their aid, either; they help out when they feel like it and/or they sense you're having a difficult time.
    • Stores sell the standard line-up of Final Fantasy consumables like Potions and Ethers, but all of them are mundane items like herbal remedies or energy drinks to a normal consumer. They only take on their restorative effects for the group due to Noctis' powers. Other items are described as military-grade chemicals.
    • As far as "monsters" go, some are just wild animals and behave as such, while daemons have supernatural powers and actively prey on human settlements. Animal-type enemies are designed to much more closely resemble real-world fauna than past games, and the fantastical supernatural appearances are reserved for daemons.
    • The Guns vs. Swords trope the series has increasingly fallen victim to is given an explicit cultural divide here. The citizens of Lucis and Insomnia prefer more traditional, antiquated weapons, while it's the Imperials of Niflheim that used advanced weaponry like guns. That Prompto specialises in using guns and machinery is a hint to his true nationality. Additionally, that Niflheim has conquered most of the world except for Lucis is a case of realistic results for what happens when two superpowers like this come into conflict; the technologically advanced one wins handily. If Noctis and his friends didn't have the supernatural powers afforded to them by the Crystal, they'd be hard-pressed to fight the Imperials effectively, as happens to Noct in Chapter 13.
  • The Resolution Will Not Be Televised: The cancelled DLC for 2019's "Dawn of the Future" was later released as a novel.
  • Resting Recovery: Noctis and his friends can only level up by sleeping and relaxing for a couple hours at a designated campsite, motel, or hotel. Doing so also fully heals you and allows Ignis to cook a meal that can give buffs to just about any of your character attributes for one day, at which point you'll need to rest or snack at a restaurant to regain the buffs. Characters will remark about being tired if you go a day without sleep and they'll even begin pestering you into the car to pull over by nearby hotels.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Most of the weapons in the Firearms category tend to be revolvers. They're the only weapons that can be used from cover.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Replay Chapter 11 after knowing its twist, and you'll notice that the "Ardyn" you encounter at the start of the chapter clearly has Prompto's speech patterns. While the real Ardyn frequently uses Terms of Endangerment, "You're scaring me, buddy" and "Dude, are you seriously trying to kill me?" don't sound like things he'd ever say... but they're exactly the kind of things Prompto would. Similarly, "Prompto" says unique lines in combat that he's never said before this, and if his health drops to 0, he won't enter DANGER state. He also moves slightly differently, the way he stands up and his swagger walk cycle being the most noticeable. Darin De Paul and Robbie Daymond even do a pretty good job of mimicking each others inflections.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Platinum Demo gives us Carbuncle, a blue-green fennec fox with a red gemstone horn. Then there's the baby Chocobos and Chickatrice monsters, which true to their name look like enormous baby chicks.
  • Ring of Power: The Ring of the Lucii, which holds the accumulated wisdom and power of the previous kings of Lucis. Gameplay-wise, it is the key to unlocking Ring Magic, the branch of magic exclusive to Noctis.
  • Robotic Reveal: Zig-zagged. At the start of Chapter 2, Ignis and Gladiolus talk about Niflheim's Magitek Troopers, informing us the player that they are mass produced robots. We learn a little more about them when Aranea in Chapter 7 reveals the unsettling fact that each MT unit's power supply is fueled by daemonic energy. Then, in Chapter 13 and Episode Prompto the Awful Truth is revealed: the daemonic energy used to power Magitek Troopers comes from the Empire using cloned infants as test subjects to be infected with the Starscourge, mutating them into daemons, and then sublimating them into miasma, essentially harvesting their energy for MT usage. So in a very unsettling sense, the "robotic" MTs were originally humans. However, the trope is then played straight(er) when Prompto surmises he's "one of them", an MT with a barcode on his body, or rather, was meant to become an MT like the rest of the poor souls in Gralea.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Another staple of Final Fantasy.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Noctis and Luna contrast each other at Faux Symbolism levels: male and female, black and white clothing, dark-haired and blond-haired, and so on.

    Tropes S to Y 
  • Sad Battle Music: "A Tear-Stained Sword" from Episode Ignis, after Ignis and Ravus arrive at the altar too late to save Lunafreya, Ignis is forced to protect Noctis from an enraged Ravus who blames the former for her death.
  • Saved by the Church Bell: The Happy Ending is marked by the ringing of church bells that strike as the game cuts to its logo. Specifically, they're wedding bells that marked the hero's reunion with his dead fiancee in the afterlife.
  • Scenery Gorn: The empty and ruined landscapes outside the cities, such as crumbling desert highways that have sunk into the sea. Though it is worth noting that this was more prevalent in early trailers; the "ruined landscapes" were still present but more downplayed in the final game. The gorn became more focused on the devastated, war-blasted cities of the world.
    • The World of Ruin definitely qualifies. The Crown City in the same time frame is even worse.
    • The setting of Comrades is not much better. Taking place six months after Lunafreya's death, the light from the sun is growing weaker, plant life is beginning to die off, and daemons are becoming more common. In Lestallum, alone, the entrance into the city is barricaded with various debris in an attempt to keep the daemons at bay.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Altissia features gorgeous Renaissance-style architecture based on Venice, and Insomnia 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.
    • The "World of Wonder: Environment Footage" trailer (released May 2016) consists entirely of Scenery Porn money shots.
  • Schizo Tech: Technology-wise, Eos variously hovers between the mid-20th century and the near future. An early comment from Ignis mentions that the rest of Lucis resembles Insomnia from about 30 years ago, and this is shown in it being a particularly opulent but otherwise modern-day city, and every other area of Lucis being light on high tech — for instance, Cindy's quest line reveals that mass production of auto parts is impossible with Insomnia destroyed. Another notable break is the apparent lack of Internet — Noctis and the boys carry smartphones for communication and video games, but they only seem to get any news from radio, newspapers, and word of mouth. Air travel also appears to be near-nonexistent — the party's dependence upon ground travel and eventually a boat is rather conspicuous, and the only aircrafts that appear in the game (with the exception of your upgraded Flying Car) are owned by the Niflheim military.
  • Screw Destiny: The alternate ending to Episode Ignis has Iggy give Noct's bittersweet destiny the finger, and save Noct from having to sacrifice himself to save the world.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: Noctis and Luna share one in the post-credit stinger during their wedding.
  • 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.
  • Serious Work, Comedic Scene: The game overall is very serious and grim with a Bittersweet Ending at best that includes stuff such as demonic transformations, human experimentation, Heroic Sacrifices, war and more. The cutscene right after the opening? The main character and his buddies having to push their broken car while grumbling all the way about it.
    Noctis: Gladio, do me a favour.
    Gladio: What?
    Noctis: Push this thing yourself.
    Gladio: You want me to push it by myself!?
    Prompto: You won't even notice if we just let go...
    Gladio: Prompto, don't even think about it.
    Ignis: [sitting in the driver's seat] Save your breath for pushing...
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shown Their Work: Want to know why the food Ignis cooks looks so authentic? The developers actually took camping equipment out into the wild and made food with it in order to nail down the texture and look of it so they knew what was feasible to make outside of a kitchen.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Shield of the Just Royal Arm. In terms of combat, it's no different from any other shield beyond Cast from Hit Points...but that's not why you'd use it. Holding the phase button while carrying it will rapidly heal you at the cost of MP, and will also allow you to block and deflect nearly any attack from any direction. Simply having it equipped also gives you a big boost to HP and defense, making you much harder to kill. Even if you swear off Royal Arms entirely, the Shield of the Just can almost always fit into your arsenal.
  • Skewed Priorities: One of the many little moments of comedy in this game is seeing Prompto's photos taken at times when he probably shouldn't have been taking them (i.e., when an ally is getting killed by monsters).
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Most of the outposts you visit are a bit run down, and Lestallum is pretty shabby, with its peeling paint and garbage piled up in corners. Galdin Quay and Altissia are much nicer, but are also more expensive.
  • Sniper Rifle: The Noctis-exclusive firearm Cerberus, obtained when looting Fort Vaullerey. While it has Attack damage of a mere 153, it is the best weapon for breaking parts in the entire game due to an insanely high Break multiplier. It is incapable of Point Warping, but this is replaced by the ability to scope-fire for precision attacks. It can also One-Hit Kill any Magitek Trooper in the game via Boom, Headshot!.
    • In Episode Prompto, Prompto can also use sniper rifles. Just like the Cerberus firearm, headshots deal extra damage and can kill Magitek Troopers outright.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
    • The first trailer was dark, violent and bloody, but set to a beautiful piece of music.
    • Another trailer plays "Stand by Me" as monsters attack the heroes. However, after completing the game the song takes on newfound meaning compared to its usage in promotional material.
  • Speedrun: One particular dungeon, the hidden Pitioss Dungeon has become the subject of this. The dungeon itself has no combat whatsoever and requires pure platforming. This, combined with its sprawling nature filled with numerous sequence breaks has made it a favorite of speedrunners.
  • Spoiler Opening: The beginning of the game gives us a glimpse of the penultimate battle before the final boss.
  • Stance System: Word of God states that the different weapons are roughly equivalent to stances in other video games. This is reflected in Platinum Demo, which replaces the Techniques of Episode Duscae with a four-way wheel manipulated by the D-pad that allows Noctis to switch his on-hand weapon on the fly, granting the player access to seamless combo variety and damage options.
    • Episode Ignis gives its titular protagonist his own stance system (which you can also use in the main game, once you unlock the ability to switch control to him) by imbuing his daggers with elemental properties: fire for single-target damage, ice for wide-range attacks, and thunder for Flash Step strikes.
  • Star Power: According to a Q&A session about the game, the Summons in this game are astral-based. Though when actually invoked, they briefly manifest as building-sized beings who lay waste to the target area. Or at least Ramuh does.
  • 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.
  • The Stinger:
    • Episode Duscae has what is perhaps the single cruelest stinger Square-Enix has ever produced. It begins with a passage from the Cosmogony, a book which tells the legends of Astrals and the world of Eos. It is paired with the Genesis painting, an illustration similar to a medieval illuminated manuscript, which then leads into a shocked, disbelieving Noct hearing from Gladio and Iggy that the Crown City's been invaded while Noct and the crew were away and that the city's been laid waste. We then hear a radio broadcast stating that any and all peace negotiations are over and that Regis, Luna and Noct all reported dead — paired with a visual of Luna wandering the ruined streets of the Crown City in a daze, her clothes torn and charred and a ring just barely held in her hand, while Niflheim troops assert control of the still-flaming, ruined city in the background and ash rains down on the scene like snow. Square then literally tells viewers to look forward to the full game, which seems almost excessively cruel.
      • To emphasize/explain why this was so shocking: up until the release of Duscae, the trailers and whatnot seemed to imply that Noct and friends would be defending their city and kingdom against an encroaching enemy (and would feature a bit of the horror of war, but nothing to really hammer in that "war is hell"), that the conflict was generally all secular and would be somewhat "gangland-style" in execution, and that Stella and Noct would be severely at odds. Now though, the only way the War Is Hell element could be any more pronounced is a pile of dead babies, the gang-war elements have disappeared entirely in favor of almost world-war-scale conflict and devastation, it seems like the villains are basically going to win right out of the gate and the entry into the plot will be attempting to claw some kind, any kind, of victory out of this near-total disaster, and Stella has been replaced by Luna, whose role may be vastly different than what was originally assumed.
    • Mid-credits stinger: Noct having a final conversation with his friends around a campfire before the Final Battle begins.
    • Post-credits stinger: Noct and Luna reuniting with each other during their wedding while an arrangement of the franchise's main theme plays and Regis reads his letter to Luna. As Luna and Noct share a kiss and fall asleep next to one another, they transform into Yoshitaka Amano's Final Fantasy XV logo, followed by Noct's voice simply saying "Thank you."
  • Stock Footage: Scenes from Kingsglaive were used in Chapter 1 to depict Insomnia's destruction. More Kingsglaive footage appears in the introduction of the Comrades DLC as your character is a member of the Glaives.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: In the alternate ending to the story included in The Dawn of the Future, Noctis and Luna's children bear strong resemblances to their parents.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The gameplay has as much of this as it does actual fighting.
  • Suicide Attack:
    • The Magitek troops' final attack at low HP in Episode Duscae; if you're not fast enough, they will latch onto you, drain your MP into stasis, and self-destruct, taking a good chunk of your HP. This is also one of their attacks in the main game, specifically from Battery Soldiers.
    • Noct performs a worldwide one in order to destroy the Starscourge.
  • Summon Magic: This game has a unique take on the series's summons: referred to as Astrals (essentially the gods of Eos), there are only a handful of summons you can call upon outside of plot-related engagements, and you can only summon them when they deem it necessary. Each summon has very specific situations in which they can be summoned based on geography, weather, and the state of your team, but once you gain the ability to summon them, you can be guaranteed that every non-boss enemy in the area will die, and most bosses will be crippled at the very least.
  • Summon to Hand: The default attack for the Star of the Rogue is just Notcis throwing the massive ninja star at an enemy, teleporting it back to his hand almost immediately, and throwing it again. The pace of this attack cycle is as quick as his normal swords and even faster than greatswords and shields.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: 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 (represented by you being unable to get buffs from food no matter how many times you eat), while getting regular rest and eating properly gives you long-lasting, often potent, buffs and allows you to level up. Even the story presentation has this: for the most part, the things the player sees/hears are what the party sees/hears — near-everything else is offscreen, and they have to read/be told about events they didn't witness, much like how it is in real life.
    • You want to avoid Imperials air-dropping on you? Just get into a wooded area; they aren't going to air-drop into trees.
    • If you drive the Regalia recklessly, you can crash it and damage it, which will harm its performance and it may become undrivable. It can also run out of gas, forcing the party to push it to the nearest station to refuel. Either problem can also be solved by calling up Cindy and having her tow it to Hammerhead to service it, which costs money. The dangers of reckless driving go triple for the Regalia Type-F: you need a nice straight stretch of road to safely come down for a landing, and if you mess it up the airship will crash and it's Game Over. It also takes a bit of technique to do it smoothly, and party members will comment about a bumpy landing.
    • The off-road Regalia Type-D has a durability meter. Damaging the car too much leads to a Non-Standard Game Over, and it's too heavy to push if it runs out of gas.
    • Magic now works more realistically; aside from damaging targets, spells have residual effects dependent on the environment (e.g., Fire sets the surrounding area ablaze on a clear day but is extinguished during rainy weather, Blizzard freezes all water within the area, etc.). Unlike in previous games, however, unless you have a specific accessory equipped to prevent it, you and your allies aren't immune to those effects: while they won't be damaged by the initial blast itself, they will feel the after-effects and react accordingly (e.g., running from the flames after a Fire spell, movements becoming sluggish after a Blizzard spell, etc.).
    • The Astrals. These "summons" are explicitly referred to as gods, and thus don't look favorably upon humans by default. Defeating them earns respect for your party, but that only goes so far, even for the ones who are friendly enough — they aren't gonna drop everything and come every time you call, and only long, protracted battles or near-death is generally enough to warrant their help... and even then, they may not automatically offer their help because they're aloof allies, not pets. Individual Astrals also have additional summoning restrictions: Leviathan can only be summoned if there's a large body of water nearby, and massive ones like Titan can't be summoned underground or in caves. The most likely Astral a player will see is Ramuh who is one of the first, one of the most friendly, and one with the least restrictions - and by "most", one can expect to see him a total of about six times during a strict story run.
    • Ignis is blind for the second half of the game, and in defiance of the norm, is explicit not a Handicapped Badass. He needs a walking stick which makes him move much slower than the party, can't fight well (and can actually harm the others with his flailing around in combat), he can fall when walking off a ledge or stairs (needing Prompto or Gladio to help him back up), he will aimlessly walk in an area trying to find his companions when Noctis (or Gladio in episode 13, verse 2) run off too far, and can no longer cook, making him The Load to the team. Tragically, he's all too aware of this. He does improve after a while, but only slightly. It takes him a ten-year Time Skip to become a Handicapped Badass and return to form.
    • In Episode Ardyn, after the Final Boss Fight, Somnus pleads to Ardyn that what he did to Ardyn was because he was told to by the Gods, claiming it was for the right of his people. Does Ardyn accept said reasons and see things Somnus's way? NOPE! Ardyn outright snaps at Somnus because, despite his brother's reasons, Ardyn still spent 2,000 years chained up in Angelgard, and even then, Somnus still killed his fiancé. Prophecy or not, Ardyn still has every right to be mad at his brother for all of the terrible things he's done to him.
  • Sword Beam:
    • Whenever you warp-strike with the Blade of the Mystic, Noctis fires three swords made of light at his enemy before teleporting over to them.
    • Exaggerated Ignis can shoot a beam so strong that it is effectively a Pillar of Light that he can then bring down on a given target.
  • Tagline: "This is a fantasy based on reality" — a tagline the title has carried since when it was still Versus XIII.
  • Technology Porn: By the Gods and all the Astrals, the cars. Every single motor vehicle has stylings harkening back to the 1940s or so, with lots of chrome trim, wide rounded bodywork and impressive grills. While the Regalia looks cool, to be sure, even the humblest of trucks or family cars look like a retro-motorhead's sweetest dream.
    • Of course, the Regalia, being the party's Cool Car, deserves special mention, and it's given lots of loving camera attention in cutscenes, even in the Episode Duscae demo. You can even upgrade it to allow it to fly.
  • Teleport Spam: Mechanically encouraged so long as you have the MP to do so, as warping around is your main means of dodging enemy attacks and can help get out of a sticky situation. Being a power inherent to the royal line of Lucis, Noctis is able to access it naturally. In areas with plenty of warp spots available in which to fully replenish MP, some players might just ignore the normal battle mechanics and warp-strike around until everything is dead.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • Items (e.g., recipes) that could be obtained through the Moogle Chocobo Carnival became unobtainable after it ended in September 2017. Partially subverted in the June 7, 2018 update; the recipes can be unlocked by purchasing two new in-game cookbooks in Altissia.
    • This also applies to items gained through the Assassin's Festival, which ended in January 2018. Partially subverted over two patches: Since Patch 1.21 (Feb. 1, 2018), the exclusive Semur Skewers recipe can be unlocked by finding a poster in the Lestallum Market, and Noctis' Master Assassin's Robesnote  are given to the player's inventory after updating to Patch 1.29 (Mar. 24, 2019).
    • The Justice Monsters Five game for Android and iOS had achievements that are no longer available due to the game ending its service outside Japan in March 2017.
    • Kooky the purple chocobo was available to Twitch Prime members from March 22nd to April 21st, 2018.
  • Tempting Fate: During the drive with Ardyn towards Titan, Ignis's glasses and how he likes to see the world crystal clear is brought up in a lengthy conversation. He is blinded later on in the game.
    • In one of the game's first cutscenes as Noctis is bidding farewell to King Regis, he entrusts Titus Drautos to take good care of his father while he's gone, and his Audi. Kingsglaive reveals that Drautos was none other than General Glauca of Niflheim, the man who sacked Tenebrae, killed Luna's mother, and eventually kills Regis himself. The Japanese guidebooks revealed that much like Nyx Ulric did, Noctis looked up to Drautos as a paragon of Lucian military and loyalty.
  • That Came Out Wrong: The heroes like to tease each other about accidental innuendos:
    • One possible exchange you can overhear in the car is this:
      Prompto: Ah, sweet chocobos, you always set my mind at ease.
      Noctis: Never realized you were so into chocobos.
      Prompto: I'm tooootally into chocobos... Don't take that the wrong way.
      Noctis: There's no wrong way to love a chocobo.
    • When Aranea joins you in combat, this exchange may occur:
      Gladio: You really know how to work a lance.
      Aranea: I'm not touching that.
    • Another piece of dialogue:
      Prompto: Awww man! My underwear’s soaked.
      Noctis: I… really hope that’s from the river…
  • Theme Naming: A lot of the names of people and places in this game have to do with darkness, light and/or the day-night cycle.
  • The Theocracy: Tenebrae; its queen also serves as the Oracle.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: The blades Noctis throws, no matter how unwieldy, always land pointy side in.
  • Time Skip: A ten-year timeskip happens after Noctis gets pulled into the crystal.
  • Too Awesome to Use: In Pocket Edition, basic magic becomes this due to the removal of Elemancy. Magic now hearkens back to Final Fantasy VIII: it comes from Draw Points and is carried on the character as inventory. But Noctis can only have one spell at a time; if he draws a new one, it overwrites his old one. And backtracking to unused Draw Points is difficult if not impossible. The result is that you are constantly having your face rubbed in missed-opportunity costs. Fortunately, Ring Magic is here to save the day.
  • Together in Death:
    • In the post-credits stinger of the main game, Noct reunites with Luna.
    • The updated menu upon completing Episode Ardyn, as well as the ending to The Dawn of the Future, imply Ardyn reuniting with Aera upon his death.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cup Noodles for Gladiolus (to the point you have to do a side quest revolving around finding the perfect ingredient for it). Noctis has a very soft spot for Memory Lane Pastries, a type of filled tart he first ate as a child in Tenebrae. He ended up so obsessed with the elusive pastries that he wound up spending a good deal of time experimenting with Ignis trying to replicate it for himself. Ignis also has one in Ebony Coffee, to the point that when the group finds out that there's a shortage of Ebony Coffee due to an Imperial blockade, they feel they need to hide it from Ignis to keep him from being upset. Funnily enough, while Noctis loves fishing, only very few dishes with fish give him a favorite boost.
    • This ends up being incorperated into the game itself as a sub-mechanic of cooking. Everyone in the gang has their own list of favorite dishes and if you make that dish for dinner when camping, the character who's favorite it is will get an additional buff to their field skill growth and a higher critical rate percentage for their Techniques while in battle on top of whatever buffs the dish grants.
  • Trauma Inn: Inns, caravans and hotels offer many of the same benefits as campsites, including regaining HP and leveling up your characters. Caravans and Inns are typically found within a rest stop or somewhere closeby, making them handy for if just want an easy means of getting some rest. Hotels also have multipliers that increase your experience points when you stay, making them ideal for after you fight big bosses or have been using the Nixperience Badge to stockpile EXP for a while. They have their drawbacks though. Ignis doesn't cook dinner when you use an inn meaning you miss out on the stat bonuses gained from them and lose out on the chance to feed your chocobo to boost their stats as well. Additionally, you can't directly change the time of day, engage in training or trigger sidequest tours with one the other party members outside of one optional cutscene with Prompto.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Chapter 11, which is rather aptly titled "In the Dark". Ardyn makes an abrupt appearance beside Noctis, so Noct attacks him and demands answers. However, Ardyn himself appears rather uncharacteristically shocked and horrified by this. And then Imperial forces assault the train, and Noctis is greeted by none other than Prompto, who fights alongside him in keeping the Imperials at bay. At the end of the chapter, Ardyn is holding Prompto at gunpoint, so Noctis swings for him and Ardyn falls off the train... except it's all an illusion engineered by the Imperial Chancellor, having switched appearances with Prompto for almost the entirety of the Chapter.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Some of the pre-release trailers didn't edit around a certain event closely enough, resulting in eagle-eyed players being spoiled that Ignis gets blinded during some point in the game.
    • One pre-release trailer in particular even showed moments from a cutscene that plays after the defeat of the final boss.
  • Traintop Battle: The end of Chapter 11 and the beginning of Chapter 12 depict Noctis fending off Niflheim forces and daemons on the train heading for Tenebrae.
  • Transforming Mecha: The Regalia can transform from a land based vehicle into a fully functioning aircraft.
  • Translation Convention: If the signage in both countries is any indication, Lucis speaks English and Accordo speaks Italian, but everybody in Accordo speaks the same language as the rest of the game without an accent. Additionally, Episode Ardyn shows that the written language of Insomnia is Japanese, and the currency is yen. This trope will also obviously apply to any version of the game that isn't in English or Italian.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Combined with Evil Chancellor and Man Behind the Man; Ardyn was using Emperor Aldercapt and Niflheim's resources for his own ends.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy main theme in the post-credits stinger where Noct and Luna have their wedding. This time, it is a piano-based orchestral piece with choir.
  • True Companions: Prompto is stated to be Noctis' "best friend from high school", 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.
    • This companionship also extends to their friends, family, and allies to a lesser extent: Cid, Cindy, Cor, Aranea, Iris, Jared, Talcott, and Monica are all very steadfast and loyal to Noctis and the guys. It's driven home with a group picture of most of the above that's taken shortly before the group heads for Altissia and the world starts goes to shit. Ten years later, most of the aforementioned group stands together as resistance leaders against Ardyn's daemon forces, basically keeping hope alive for humanity until Noctis can return and reclaim his throne.
  • Urban Fantasy: The essential concept of the game is that it's a "Final Fantasy setting", but with civilizations that have all reached basically equal levels of development to the real world. The game has metropolitan cityscapes based on modern Shibuya, gorgeous mid-century styled cars and paved roads, modern-style clothing, cellular telecommunications and modern forms of media (such as radio, newspapers and television), and convenience stores even in rural areas... right alongside power crystals, magitek, sword fighting with weapons conjured out of pure magic, chocobo rental stops just down the road from the fuel station, government-posted signs notifying you of Garulas in the area, reports of people demanding that the local government do something about the hideouts of goblin thieves, and hunting a Behemoth in a marshland to pay off your auto repair bill.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • The game's Brutal Bonus Levels usually throw armies of high-level enemies at Noctis' party and finish with a suitably difficult Boss Battle... until you get to the Pitioss Ruins, a massive dungeon without a single enemy anywhere. It consists entirely of Noctis platforming his way through one of the most extreme examples of Bizarrchitecture in recent gaming history. Completing the dungeon can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours for your first run, depending on your platforming skills and the quality of your online guide.
    • All three DLC packs in the first wave change things up with the three comrades having different playstyles. The update that made them playable in the main game lets them bring their unique gimmicks with them.
      • Gladio forgos most RPG elements in favor of a more traditional Hack and Slash style, where he racks up hits with a combo meter and boosts a "Rage" gauge by blocking attacks, both powering up his attacks.
      • Prompto turns the game from an RPG into a Metal Gear Solid-style Third-Person Shooter, with him using firearms he finds around the environment to combat enemies from range in various tactical options.
      • Ignis can switch the elemental affinity of his daggers to give his attacks and Limit Break different effects, and the world area is based on control of a region, with Ignis being required to clear out a particular area of enemies in order to liberate it and progress in the DLC story.* Useless Useful Spell: Averted. Poison is an annoyance to you, but on enemies it's a godsend.
  • Vancian Magic: Elemental spells are stored in reusable containers called "magic flasks", and are cast by throwing the flask like a grenade. They are crafted in advance in sets of at least three "charges" using elemental energy collected either from deposits throughout the land or from enemies using certain weapons such as the Engine Blade or Drain Lance. Special effects can be added by using "catalysts", which can range from potions to animal parts. While spell crafting can be done at any time, including during combat, Noctis can only carry up to 99 of each type of elemental energy, so you have to plan when you're going to be creating your most souped-up spells.
  • Variable Mix:
    • The Chocobo BGM transitions between two versions, depending on if the player is moving slowly or running.
    • The Lestallum BGM also has two versions: one for the street market and one in other areas.
    • At various unique rest-stops across Lucis (Hammerhead, Galdin Quay, Cape Caem) there will be a base song for exploring in the general area with different instrumental layers joining in depending on if you go to specific places. Hammerhead for example, will gain a more prominent organ section when you approach the convenience store or a more pumping percussion if you go into the diner.
  • Video Game Caring Potential
    • While out driving you may come across someone whose car has broken down, or hear someone calling for help. You can use a Repair Kit to repair the car, and find the person injured and heal them. The rewards for these small quests are pretty mediocre (though they usually cover the expense of the kit/potion), but you get the chance to help random passersby who need a hand. The party comments that if they ever find themselves in such a position, they hope strangers would show them the same kindness.
    • Wiz, the proprietor of the Chocobo Ranch, has numerous quests that has you tracking down missing and/or wounded Chocobos and seeing to their safety.
  • Video Game Perversity Potential
    • The player is able to freely take pictures of things Noctis sees in his first-person perspective. This includes close-up pictures of the bodies of female characters, up and including the cleavage-baring Cindy and Aranea. There's also nothing stopping you from choosing such a photo to take with you before the final battle.
    • Averted in later features. The bestiary added in patch 1.15 includes entries for each of the Astrals, and all entries display a rotatable and zoomable 3D model of its subject - except for Shiva's entry, which cannot be moved or zoomed in on. Additionally, the character dossiers added in patch 1.22/1.23 prevent the female character models from being zoomed in or rotated vertically. This also applies to Aranea's masked appearance under "Bestiary/Imperial".
  • Vocal Dissonance: A downplayed version with Noctis in Episode Duscae. While few will say the performance was bad, many fans (particularly in North America) reacted negatively to how surprisingly deep his voice is in contrast with his appearance. Depending on his tone, it could be hard to distinguish him from Gladiolus without the subtitles on. Tabata later stated in April 2015 that this was due to a short recording process, and by the time they realized the performance direction wasn't right, the demo had to be shipped. He later mentioned that his actor had done several retakes since the demo and that they think they've found a satisfying voice that sounds younger.
  • Watching Troy Burn: In the first chapter the capital city of Insomnia gets utterly destroyed by an attack. When you go back, no one lives there anymore.
  • War Is Hell: A fair number of the trailers seem to run with the theme of warfare being a terrible, brutal thing. The Duscae stinger is utterly blatant about this.
  • Warp Whistle: The Regalia allows the player to quick-travel to outposts they've been to before, and it also allows them to drive to quest locations on the map. There are, however, limitations to this; since very few quests are directly on the road, using it to go to a quest location will just bring you to the closest point to the quest while still being on the road. Fast traveling also costs 10 gil, but that is negligible.
    • Since the inclusion of the Regalia-D, which converts the sleek sedan into a monster truck-sized dune buggy, players can go off-road and get right up on the actual locations of quests. This requires taking manual control, though, and disables fast/automatic travel until you get back to a paved stretch of highway.
    • Similarly, the game also allows you to teleport right to the Regalia and where you last rested. When inside a dungeon, it also offers teleporting back to the entrance, with a character straight up suggesting to use it when a dungeon was finished.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Noctis has the ability to warp to weapons he's thrown at walls and enemies, allowing him to dodge gunfire or surprise opponents on the fly. Episode Duscae 2.0 gives him a significant expansion in way of options for this ability, including but not limited to natural rock formations and open stretches. Platinum Demo adds a tactical edge by granting you a damage multiplier to a Warp Strike depending on how far you warp when you hit the target, as well as adding a stagger mechanic that enables you to disable targets with a Warp Strike if the multiplier is high enough.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: It's game over when the current character's maximum HP hits 0. There is a grace period of a few seconds where the player can elect to use a Phoenix Down, but if the player doesn't take advantage of it, it's really over.
  • Weird Crossover:
  • Welcome to Corneria: A man at the Galdin Quay restaurant always greets Noctis and co. with "Welcome to Galdin Quay."
  • We Were Your Team: With Noctis gone and the never-ending night's horde of daemons destroying all but two outposts, the rest of the guys had to spread out and focus on their own tasks. They reunite when Noctis comes back ten years later.
  • Wham Episode: A few:
    • Chapter 4: Ardyn leads Noct and the party to the Disc to investigate his visions of Titan — which leads to Titan going berserk and trying to kill them all, Noct and co. having to work with the Empire to take him down, being forced into trusting Ardyn again — this time after the reveal that he's the Imperial Chancellor — or else face certain death, and ending with the party stranded in Duscae, the Regalia in Imperial possession, and the Empire more actively occupying the Lucis countryside.
    • Chapter 9... Hoo boy, Chapter 9: Starts off simple, with the party arriving in Altissia, then Noct negotiates with Accordo's leader for the terms of seeking Leviathan's blessing; the Empire is planning an attack, and the leader will only allow the attempt to go ahead if he agrees to leave his companions behind to protect the citizens, minimize civilian casualties, and deal with the Empire's attack at the same time. Everything except forging the covenant with Leviathan is a resounding failure; Leviathan's rampage is far worse than expected which, combined with the Empire's overwhelming assault, leads to the entire city being levelled, the majority of the citizens dying, Ignis having to put on the Ring of the Lucii to protect Noct from Ardyn at the cost of his vision, and finally a helpless Noct being forced to watch Ardyn murder Luna. To top it off, Noct only gets Leviathan's blessing because Titan intervened, otherwise Leviathan would have killed him on the spot. Ignis is permanently blinded, Luna's dead, Altissia is gone, and Ardyn gets away scott-free.
    • Chapter 10, a combination of Wham Episode and Darkest Hour; with no choice but to press on and continue their journey, Noct tries to cope with Luna's death, made worse by Gladio's Brutal Honesty reaching an apex that nearly divides the foursome. Noct (and the player) have to cope with Ignis's handicap actively making him a detriment to the party, with the entire chapter being a slow and uncomfortable dungeon that really drives home just how big of a rift has formed between them. It's Ignis's resolution to the party that he is determined to continue with them despite his disability, that forcibly motivates the group to try to patch things up and keep going.
    • Chapter 11: Ardyn unexpectedly turns up on the train following the escape from the ambush, and tricks Noct into attacking Prompto and knocking him off the train. A hysterical Noct tries to convince the rest of the party to go back for him, but is told that he's most likely in Ardyn's hands now and they can't turn back anyway, and are forced to move on without him, knowing full well that he may be dead.
    • Chapter 12: Aranea (and Dawn of the Future) explains that the Empire is gone; Ardyn released Diamond Weapon, daemons and rogue MT's upon Gralea (the Imperial capital), Emperor Aldercapt was found dead on his throne, and Loqi sacrificed himself holding back a horde of daemons so that Aranea could get eight-year-old Solara, the secret daughter of the emperor's late son, to safety. Niflheim also pushed the blame for the events of Chapter 9 onto Ravus, who is scheduled to be executed for it.
    • Chapter 13: The party arrives in the desolate ruins of Gralea, but thanks to Ardyn, Noct's weapons and powers have been rendered inaccessible, and only a short while later, he's cut off from his friends. Noct is now stranded in an abandoned fortress overrun with daemons and Magitek Troopers with no means of defense... until he is no choice but to wear the Ring of the Lucii, giving him new powers to defend himself with. After making his way through the fortress, fighting or avoiding daemons and troopers and with Ardyn taunting him all the while, he comes to a series of startling revelations: the Magitek Troopers are powered by the miasma emitted from daemons, the daemons used to be people, not monsters or animals, and Prompto was created in some lab with the sole purpose of dying as an MT's energy source. After a tragic battle against a daemonified Ravus, who begs Noct for death, this culminates in the mother of all Wham Episodes: Noct successfully reaches the Crystal, only knowing that it will grant him the power to defeat Ardyn and save the world from the growing daemon threat, only for it to absorb him into it. All the while, Ardyn taunts him and reveals himself to be an immortal being and a fellow Lucis Caelum who desires vengeance on his entire bloodline. The last thing we see is Ardyn laughing off attacks from Noct's enraged companions as Noct himself vanishes into the Crystal.
    • Chapter 14: Within the Crystal, Noct learns from the Astral, Bahamut, that awakening the Crystal and ending the daemon scourge will require a Heroic Sacrifice on his part. He then emerges from the Crystal off the shore of Galdin Quay... only to find it in ruins and overrun by daemons, and shortly thereafter meets a grown-up Talcott, who explains that it's been ten years since Noct disappeared, the world is in a state of perpetual night, daemons have killed everyone and destroyed everything outside of Lestallum and Hammerhead, Ardyn resides in the ruined Crown City waiting for Noct's return, and Noct's friends have more or less gone their separate ways.
  • Wham Line:
    • From the E3 trailer:
      The legend meets its match. But, the world is ever changing... for the fifteenth coming.
    • Ardyn confronts Noctis in Chapter 12, only to be instantly frozen by Shiva. Then he appears again, and drops the first hint towards his true nature.
      Ardyn Izunia: For a moment I felt death's chill wind, such is the might of the gods. But then, I remembered I'm immortal.
    • When you're about to retrieve the Lucian Crystal your family protects, the guy responsible for all your suffering appears, and then...
      Ardyn Izunia: I gave you my name earlier but you should know it was not the name given to me at birth. Ardyn Lucis Caelum is my proper name.
    • The ending of Episode Ardyn has one that completely recontextualizes Ardyn's personality in the main story.
      Ardyn: Why...? Why do the gods deny me my revenge!?
      Bahamut: Because thou hast been chosen to serve a different purpose. To spread darkness throughout the world is thy true calling.
  • What If?: The basis of two alternate scenarios:
    • Episode Ignis: Verse 2, where Ignis goes along with Ardyn to Gralea instead.
    • The Dawn of the Future novel, the point of departure being Ardyn refusing to submit to Bahamut at the end of Episode Ardyn.
  • A Wizard Did It: Or in this case, "The Planet's Power Did It." The in-game explanation as to how the environment goes back to normal after being damaged by magic and Astral attacks.
  • Work Off the Debt: In Episode Duscae, Cid is so upset that Noctis and his friends let the Regalia break down that he purposely overcharged them for the repairs, forcing them to go on an extermination mission to get their car back.
  • A World Half Full: The growing daemon population is gradually driving the world to this: populated areas are safe, but the open road and outskirts are becoming increasingly dangerous, and at night the world turns into outright Everything Trying to Kill You. However, populated areas are secure even at night, there are organized hunters who actively and successfully protect the masses and eliminate the most dangerous of the beasts, while people are afraid, humanity is mostly able to make a living. Post Time Skip the world falls much more strongly into Crapsack World; Luna's death has plunged the world into endless night, endless hordes of roving daemons have sacked most of the settlements around Lucis and presumably the rest of the world, all of the major cities including Gralea and Insomnia have become daemon-infested hellscapes, and the vast majority of humanity has been wiped out. The only known remaining bastions are Lestallum, which is dangerously overcrowded with survivors (and it's implied the power plant, the only thing keeping the daemons at bay, is on borrowed time), and Hammerhead, which has been turned into a Hunter HQ as the last line of defense. The party still has a chance to turn things around, but it looks very bleak.
  • The X of Y: All of Noctis’s Royal Arms follow this trope; his father’s glaive gets bonus points for being called "The Sword of the Father".
  • You Don't Look Like You: Some of the cast's appearances in Final Fantasy XV don't match with how they look in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV, such as Luna and Ravus.
    Comrades Tropes 

These are tropes for the multiplayer DLC Comrades, which shares many combat mechanics with the main game, but features a player-customized member of the Kingsglaive going through missions to help what little civilization is left during the 10 years of eternal night. The main goal of the player character is to get energy running so that lights powerful enough to fend off the daemons can be powered in other areas of Lucis - so that more people can find shelter and safe havens to go to.

  • All Just a Dream: After a quest failure, your character appears to wake up in front of the steamer, heavily implying they were just dreaming up the failure. This is presumably since some missions would have catastrophic results if failed, such as Cindy dying.
  • Cap:
    • Weapons have max levels that, once reached, won't let you pour any more upgrade materials into them. Each weapon has a natural level cap, based on entirely on the weapon and its tier, that can be increased via meteor shards, only available in the post game where dismantling becomes available, which are the only upgrade material you can apply to a maxed out weapon, but there's a hard cap of 120 levels for any weapon even with meteor shards.
    • Character level caps out at 99.
    • Chocobo level caps range from 30 to 99.
  • Escort Mission: There are 3 types of normal missions. Hunt, the most common, is just kill a specified monster without dying. Defend and Escort missions are both a form of this trope. Escort will have a moving vehicle as your VIP while Defend will be a stationary object. These missions aren't too bad on their own if you can keep aggro upon yourself, because normal enemies will (usually) focus on taking out the character instead of the escorted (except for bombs and flans). So long as you don't battle right next to the target, you're basically good... but if you can't, then it's a different story.
  • Equipment-Based Progression: There are some stats given from level ups, but a significant majority are going to come from your equipment, which is more or less the main focus of the game. All the items that were vendor trash, quest rewards, or spell components are all combined into "Equipment upgrades", with each having stats or abilities to add to your weapon, with a few exceptions that can still be used but are more pointless. You instead have an equipment stat and upgrade system which requires strategic use of materials to produce the weapons you want, including things like EXP management note  weapon abilities note  and weapon tiers note  that play huge factors in your combat effectiveness. Equipment is heavily customization-based and if you want to stand a chance against later enemies, you're basically going to have to Min Max your weapons into the setups that you want.
  • Master of None: For the most part, this setup is doable, though it will have an effect on the latter portion of the game. Late-game enemies will definitely hit harder/take less damage if you do so, though it's not impossible by any means.
  • Min Max: Alternatively, you can specialize yourself into one or a few main stats, if you wish. Certain missions, particularly post-game, might require a touch of this to really excel, but a skilled player should be able to make do if they haven't.
  • Refining Resources: A variation. All upgrade materials give stats and EXP, but once you unlock dismantling you'll be given items back based on the status given to the dismantled weapon. The items you get from this are exceptionally efficient for stat point-to-EXP cost, but only work in one stat, except for meteor shards which are needed to maximize a weapon's level. A common end game goal is to dump all your upgrade materials into a weapon with a naturally high level and dismantle them for the materials, in order to build efficiently and specifically around the strengths you want for your character.
  • Resources Management Gameplay: Due to the weapon level system assigning stats . You can get as many upgrade materials as you have the time to grind for, but you can only apply them to a weapon if it has the room for the EXP the materials give it. Once it hits max level, what you have is what you stick with. You can buy another weapon (early game) or dismantle it (late game) to try again, and have as many tries as you like, but you still have those EXP limits that will determine how strong the end result is.
  • Stat Stick: Your total stats are determined by the weapons you have equipped, like the main game. It might be beneficial to grab a weapon simply for its good stats to boost those totals, whether you stick with them short-term or long-term.

Alternative Title(s): Final Fantasy Versus XIII, Final Fantasy 15