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  • 8.8:
    • IGN strikes again. While 8.2 is not a terrible score in and of itself, critics/detractors of the game are keen to point out that this is a lower score than what IGN gave Final Fantasy XIII, a game that is one of the most polarizing in the series.
    • GameSpot joins the club, having only awarded an 8.0. People have been quick to criticize both the perceived negative focus and the reviewer's claims of a shallow supporting cast—a stark contrast to nearly every other review currently up as of this posting. note 
  • Abandon Shipping:
    • Noctis/Iris was one of the more popular Noctis ships, due to their on-screen chemistry and Iris's adorable crush on Noctis. However, the reveal that Iris is 15 has caused more than a few fans to jump ship.
    • Ignis ships that didn't pair him with Noctis experienced a bit of a dent after Episode Ignis, where Ignis states that Noctis is the most important thing in his life, to the point that he has trouble caring about anything else. The exception to this was Ignis/Ravus which actually developed a fandom due to their emotionally charged interactions and status as Foils in the DLC.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Overlapping with Squick and No Yay, according to Noctis's English VA the final scene of Noctis being impaled by the weapons of his father and ancestors was referred to by staff as "The Rape Scene".
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Here.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Neither Gladiolus nor Iris seem to give much angst about their father dying in Kingsglaive. Gladio venting on Noct the moment he complains might be his way to angst.
    • While he's clearly hurt by the news of his father's death, Noct seems to get over it pretty quickly and the light-hearted road trip atmosphere of the early game mostly persists until more named characters start getting bumped off. Considering the toll being linked with the crystal had already taken on Regis' body, though, it's likely Noct had made his peace with the fact his dad wouldn't be around forever by then anyway.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • If you spend a lot of time on sidequests, the player can be over-leveled by the time they reach the final boss (or any boss even, if they focus on exploration/leveling rather than story). All of the late-game bosses can be beaten on your first try, just by outlasting them, if you have done some level grinding and have packed plenty of healing items. Whether this makes them more or less of an anti-climax is for the individual player to decide.
    • The final boss of Episode Prompto falls into this, due to being nothing more than an extended turret section that asks you to Attack Its Weak Point. Just shoot the glowy spots with your neverending ammo and it's easy to No-Damage Run the fight. The only real difficulty comes with the boss's Beam Spam attack near the end, which counter-intuitively requires you not to iron-sight your gun; otherwise, it won't move fast enough to take out the emitters before they kill Prompto. Considering the battles leading up to this were more challenging, and the boss is built up as a Weapon of Mass Destruction before a snowmobile with a convenient machinegun mows it down without much challenge, it comes off as ridiculous.
    • The Adamantoise; the massive size of the enemy works against it. It's so big that it's difficult to tell what part of its body you're targeting, your party members\ AI falls apart trying to find a place to attack, and it rarely attacks and is easily avoided when it does (you'll probably take more damage falling from a Warp Strike than you will the Adamantoise attacking you). This makes one of the game's major Bonus Bosses devolve into a confusing mess of dust clouds and Warp Strikes. A later patch made it even more anticlimactic by making it vulnerable to the spells of the Ring of the Lucii. If the RNG smiles on you, you can zap the turtle with the Ring's One-Hit KO spell, or just cast Death until it dies. The numerous Warp Points in the area to immediately resore MP make this even easier.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Though the alternative ending to Episode Ignis is welcomed by many, the fact that Ardyn is apparently killed for good — despite the game emphasizing repeatedly that permanently destroying Ardyn requires that the blood price of Noctis's life be paid — has no explanation as to how this was accomplished. All Word of God uninformatively has to offer is that it was a "secret plan" of Ignis's.
    • Prompto being a Niflheim-created clone with a barcode on his wrist. There is absolutely no foreshadowing for this - not that he has a barcode, that he's adopted, that cloning even exists - nothing. The closest piece of Foreshadowing involves a line from the Naga early on, who kidnaps Prompto and claims he's her "child". Even still, the only real this counts as a small amount of Foreshadowing, is because of the information the player receives about how Magitek soldiers are created, and even then that still doesn't give a big hint.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • What some are considering the name change from Final Fantasy Versus XIII to Final Fantasy XV to be, since this distances it from the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy (which despite its relative success still remains one of the most polarizing set of Final Fantasy titles to date; some people only bought Final Fantasy XIII because of the tenuous connection to Versus XIII as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis project, expecting the games to play off one another). However, others feel the name change was more of an Ass Pull, claiming that Square-Enix only did it to ensure that the next successful Final Fantasy title (after the botched launch of Final Fantasy XIV) is a numbered one and not a Spin-Off or Gaiden Game. There are also those who think it's a better alternative than either cancelling the game and/or making a different one from scratch.
    • The Dawn 2.0 trailer is considered one for Luna's character, who was frequently criticized as coming across as weak-willed, to say nothing of how she came to be. This trailer showed us that this was not the case.
    • Unveiled at E3 2016 is the new "Wait Mode" feature, which allows players to stop the pace of the battle to decide what their next move will be. Just like old times... or at least as close as it can be.
    • A common criticism upon the game's release was the disjointed story, which involved important plot events happening offscreen and certain characters being wasted. In an attempt to fix this, free DLC is planned that will feature new cutscenes to flesh out the story and certain characters, with Ravus being mentioned in particular. The first of these came in 2017, with a new flashback provided by Shiva in Chapter 12 explicitly spelling out the history of the Astrals and how and why Ifrit turned on them. Word of God is that similar free story updates like this will continue to be provided by patches going into 2018.
      • Additionally, on the front of characters being underused, the DLCs for the game all prominently feature side characters, with Episode Gladio allowing Cor to tag along and reveal his backstory, and Episode Prompto featuring Verstael Besithia as the Arc Villain for the story.
    • The Armiger system got some flak for being underwhelming as Noctis' Limit Break; it didn't last very long, didn't do much damage, and just had nowhere near the power or visual spectacle the trailers for the game hyped. The Royal Edition added a new accessory, "Founder King's Sigil", acquired after getting all 13 Royal Arms, and equipping it changes the Armiger to Armiger Unleashed. Armiger Unleashed lasts much longer, lets Noctis break the damage limit, gives him a huge power boost including access to unique combo finishers that require proper timing to use (mitigating combat devolving into Button Mashing, another criticism of the gameplay), and he can use powerful Tech attacks, with the strongest, "Legacy of the Lucii", being a devestating Storm of Blades combo that ends with Noctis doing a Victory Pose. Armiger Unleashed still isn't up to the levels of power Noctis exhibits during the famous Leviathan sequence, but it's much, much closer to it, and to what the trailers hyped, than the original Armiger, and much more worthy of being Noctis' Limit Break skill.
    • One of the much-lamented changes from Versus XIII was the removal of character switching in the main storyline. This was finally implemented in Patch 1.20.
    • Players unsatisfied with the base game's Bittersweet Ending can take solace in the alternate ending of the Episode Ignis DLC. Ignis isn't blinded, he sends Ardyn into retreat by fighting and weakening him, and his short-lived alliance with Ravus sparks a peace treaty with Niflheim now that Ardyn is out of the way. While Noctis still enters the Crystal and emerges ten years later into the World of Ruin, he doesn't die defeating Ardyn at Insomnia, and goes into the throne room together with his friends, reaffirming the theme of brotherhood emphasized by the rest of the game (therefore addressing some accusations of the original ending having a Broken Aesop), and after restoring the light takes his place as king.
    • The Royal Edition significantly expands the endgame World of Ruin portion, one of the most base-breaking and heavily criticized portions of the game for how underbaked it was.
    • Some players didn't like that the Final Boss was a Duel Boss fought one-on-one with Noctis, because the rest of the game, both in story and in gameplay, emphasized the friendship and teamwork of the party and the strength the four had together. The end of Episode Ardyn allows the player to fight a Bonus Boss that is a recreation of the final battle from the boss's perspective, but this time Noctis' friends join in to help him — it's not clear if it's meant to be a Retcon or a What If?, though.
    • People who missed out on one or both of the DLC festivals (either missing the Moogle Chocobo one, which meant you didn't get the golden egg or missed the Assassin's Festival for playing and redeeming the egg for the extra costumes) were excited when in Patch 1.29 that Square allowed you the Master Assassin (Alair) Robes from Assassin's Creed that you could only get through those DLCs and in a specific manner Spider-Man (PS4) style, particularly PC players, who never got to experience either festivals due to both ending before the PC port of the game was released.
    • The cancelled season of DLC-turned-Novel, Dawn of the Future, does a number of things.
      • Fleshing out numerous characters, including Aranea, Luna, Somnus, and even Iedolas. In addition to providing Luna with much needed backstory, it also shows that Luna did not know that Noctis would have to die to fulfill his destiny, and has her reject her Extreme Doormat tendencies, two traits that made her very unpopular with fans. Likewise, while Somnus still caused Ardyn's fall to villainy, the novel version of Episode Ardyn shows that Somnus' criticisms of Ardyn's self-martyring methods weren't unwarranted.
      • For those who felt destiny was unfair or that the Astrals seemed like Karma Houdinis for being partly to blame for the main game's conflict, the happy ending of the novel is only made possible because characters chose not to go along with fate and defeating Bahamut becomes the main drive of the finale.
  • Awesome Animation: More than a few pieces of artwork for and in-game, but special mention goes to the painting of Etronote ; the art depicting the Astrals, and the game's logo, which was revealed at the Uncovered event to be a view of a large, 3D mural.
  • Awesome Bosses:
    • The Astrals that are fought provide epic battles:
      • Titan battles you with one arm, while Niflheim soldiers also attack, and Noctis constantly fends off his attacks despite being smaller than his finger. The fight ends with the guys shattering Titan's arm with Blizzard magic.
      • Leviathan. First, you fight her by warping to and from debris and back to her to attack her, which would have been awesome enough on its own, but then Luna unlocks Noct's Blue Super Mode, and he proceeds to systematically dismember Leviathan, while suspending himself with his own power, and summons Titan to finish her off. Given Leviathan's attitude, it's extremely satisfying.
      • Ifrit. On top of the fact that one of Final Fantasy's most iconic summons and the last of the Six has just been summoned by Ardyn like it was nothing, it also answers the question of just who you were fighting in the game's prologue. Then the fight itself begins; Ifrit is extremely powerful, yet still a fair battle, and you can exploit his elemental weakness, and duel with him in midair. And then there's what happens when you summon Bahamut (the only time he shows up as a summon in the game) and Shiva; Bahamut rains down swords upon him, which Ifrit dodges with Le Parkour, only for Noctis to chop off one of his horns — and Ifrit keeps on fighting. Then, Shiva shows up and one-shots him.
      • Though not technically an Astral, the boss battle with Garuda during the Final Fantasy XIV crossover is excellent fun (and can be fought multiple times at either Level 45 or Level 120). Garuda is extremely mobile, summons Mooks in the form of Razor Plumes and even duplicates of herself, and when she ascends into the air, Noctis can simply warp up there and take the fight to her. The story battle against her ends with Noctis summoning the Messanger of the Gods, who takes on the name of Garuda and becomes the party's Wind-Elemental summon afterwards.
    • The battle with Aranea Highwind at Fort Vaullerey, which allows you to fight her in mid-air.
    • The final battle with Ardyn, who proves to be a formidable foe even without a One-Winged Angel form.
    • Say what you will about Gladio's duel with Gilgamesh and Prompto's turret battle with a living weapon; but the final boss of Episode Ignis is surely one of the greats. In an alternate time where Ignis follows Ardyn to Niflheim rather than fighting in Altissia, he is attacked by Ardyn after learning the truth. What follows is an intense battle against the immortal Big Bad as you use the Ring of the Lucii to enhance your strength to defeat him.
    • The Updated Re Release gives us three of the past rulers of Lucis, who are fought as Noctis and Co. ascend the Citadel.
  • Awesome Music: Too many to list here. Check out the Awesome Music page for the entire series for examples.

    B 
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Luna is the single most controversial character in the entire game. While not quite a scrappy, she has faced a lot of criticism regarding her replacing Stella as the game's heroine and her early portrayals making her seem weak-willed. Some of this has died down with time, and she has loyal defenders who will praise her courage and determination despite a lifetime of hardship, as well as her more fleshed out depiction in Kingsglaive, but her critics accuse her of being uncharismatic and little more than a plot device with a handful of cool action scenes and motivations that are centered entirely around Noctis.
      • It has also not helped that it was adamantly stated that she'd be a heroine who wouldn't need saving. In Kingsglaive she gets kidnapped by Glauca and requires saving by Nyx, though later on it is shown that she at least doesn't stand by and let Nyx do all the work. And then the game came out, and it turns out this is true in the most horrible way possible: there is nobody to save her when she is killed by Ardyn.
      • After the game's release, more ire has erupted surrounding Luna in that for all her screentime in the trailers, anime, and movie, and with continuous updates to flesh out other members of the cast, her presence in the game itself is far less than what would be expected. This makes her divisive on a meta level, as for one half of the fandom this validates earlier criticisms regarding her supposed lack of depth, while the other half argues that Luna is simply another example of the game's wasted characters and that she shows signs of being a complex character in her own right but has simply been denied the chance to showcase it.
    • Gladiolus is the most polarizing of the party characters. His fans like his straightforwardness and take-no-shit attitude, believing he's the Only Sane Man of the team. However he has quite a few detractors as well for two main reasons. A lot of fans feel that his behavior was insufferable and unjustified during Chapter 10, where he makes an angry outburst about Noct's depression following Luna's death and spends the rest of the chapter making snide remarks to the same effect, claiming that Noct's moping is "selfish" because Ignis had permanently lost his sight. For a lot of his detractors, his behaviour cuts too close to home and reminds them of men who bullied them in real life. Other fans dislike him for being the most one-dimensional character in the group. His Cup Noodle sidequest and the fact that his DLC episode focuses more on developing Cor than himself don't help in that regard.
    • Cindy/Cidney. Some love the fact that there will finally be a female Cid and welcome the addition of another female to the cast, others dislike her sexualized outfit and appearance. Hajime Tabata explained however that she is intended to be an energetic and outgoing character, rather than an erotic one, so they're going to focus on moderating the way she is presented (i.e., not having the camera linger on her in overtly sexual ways). Others note that the base concept of her outfit would have been fine had they just zipped up her jacket, not made the thong visible and given her shoes a normal human can actually work in and criticise that its current version is just for fanservice after all and the denial just a bad excuse.
    • Ardyn is either one of the coolest villains in recent Final Fantasy history, an utter asshole who doesn't deserve even a lick of sympathy, or just nowhere as interesting as the fans claim by the game's detractors.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • There's an NPC couple in the Episode Duscae demo that get into an argument because the man brought some day-old vegetables to feed the chocobo. This quickly escalates to the woman slapping the man for...not wasting food?? It's vague on whether this was supposed to be played for laughs (the guys don't get involved but they do voice mild discomfort). Regardless, a domestic violence scene between nameless NPCs is a bit...weird to include into this kind of game, let alone a demo.
    • In the middle of the Ramuh trials, the party encounters a Naga underground that kidnaps Prompto, begs the party to return her baby to her, and then acting as the boss. The encounter comes out of nowhere, is just a distraction from the Ramuh trial you're trying to complete, and nothing comes of it including no explanation of what the Naga was, who/what her baby was, and what happened to it. Theories abounded that the Naga was Prompto's mother, and was our first hint towards the true nature of daemons and Prompto, but Promoto's DLC episode Jossed that theory.
  • Breather Level: The eight post-game Menace Dungeons get progressively more sadistic as you work your way down the line, with the sixth having you fight through 100 levels filled to the brim with incredibly resilient and powerful Demonic Spiders. Of course you'd expect the seventh dungeon (Crestwood) to be even more brutal, but this one's actually a mere 30 levels deep, doesn't contain a single max health reducing demon, and comes up with a fairly tame Final Boss. The final dungeon is a minor case as well, being 60 levels deep but quite easy to traverse if you have Ignis cook up some meals that confer elemental immunity.
  • Broken Base: Inevitable, given the game's infamously tumultuous production. Has its own page.
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    C 
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Because of the Regalia being featured in gameplay footage, fans have been pairing it with pretty much any of the playable characters.
    • Gladio and Cup Noodles. Not only is it one of his favorite foods, but he has a whole sidequest dedicated to getting the perfect ingredient for Cup Noodles depending on what the player chooses.note 
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After every despicable thing Ardyn does throughout the game, there's nothing quite as satisfying as having Noctis utterly lay into the bastard with every one of the Royal Arms before ultimately running him through with Regis's sword at the end of the final battle.
    • In its own way, using the Ring of the Lucii to Curb Stomp Ardyn as Ignis during the "Extra Verse" in Episode: Ignis is even more cathartic, because it's combined with a healthy dose of Screw Destiny that feels really good after you've spent the whole base game being led by the nose by Ardyn and the Astrals.
    • Beating the stuffing out of Ardyn's brother Somnus at the end of Episode Ardyn, after he betrayed his own brother, killed said brother's fiancee, and erased him from history just so he could obtain the throne.
    • Or even in the Dawn Of The Future novel, for people who wanted to kick Bahamut's teeth in after he manipulated both Noctis and Ardyn come Episode Ardyn, and tried to do the same to Luna. The best part is that Noctis destroys his physical body and this time, it's Ardyn who puts on the Ring of The Lucii to kick Bahamut's ass, all while making peace with his brother Somnus and finally getting his rest in the process.
  • "Common Knowledge": Despite what people believe, XV did not start full development in 2006. Back when it was Versus XIII, the game had been put on hold due to development issues with the Crystal Tools engine, but was still being worked on during this time, culminating in the first gameplay trailers at TGS 2010. The game would then go into full development during 2011 until it was postponed again due to the development team being reorganized. As a result, development started over and the game that came out of it all officially started full development in 2013.
  • Crazy Awesome / Creepy Awesome: Ardyn Izunia is easily both of these, sometimes at the same time. With his off-kilter style and flamboyant behavior, than a few fans have compared him to an evil Jack Sparrow. Perhaps best exemplified in his first scene in Kingsglaive, where he casually strolls into the Lucian throne room (unarmed and alone) and casually introduces himself before dictating terms to the king.

    D 
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Most airborne enemies qualify, but especially the various wasp enemies, which will inflict your party with confusion, do it again the second you're all cured, and then simply dance in the air above you with impunity.
    • The Coeurls; their glowing whisker attack can One-Hit Kill, and they can run away from you to heal before reengaging, meaning you can't beat them through attrition or Cherry Tapping.
    • A lot of the night enemies, since they're meant to serve as beef gates to discourage night travel while the party is weak. Some examples:
      • Bombs, especially the Galvanades, the highest-tier variant, for several reasons: 1) unlike their compatriots in other games, these ones get closer to self-destructing when NOT being attacked, forcing you to be aggressive (and becoming hell when there's more than one), 2) self-destructing doesn't kill them, and in fact restores some of their health, and 3) self-destructing not only has a massive radius, but it damages your Max HP directly. ONE Galvanade self-destructing in your face will knock you from full Max HP to needing a phoenix down instantly. Worst of all, Galvanades that successfully self-destruct will summon more of themselves.
      • Iron Giants early on; tough, hit hard, and can spawn in the middle of the road at night, forcing you to either fight them or abandon the car until morning. Eventually though, their weaknesses and predictable attacks make them less of a threat, and they're not an example of this. What is, however, are their bigger brothers, the Red Giant. Far more health, far deadlier (can One-Hit Kill you as high as level 50), and resistant to everything but Light, meaning the vast majority of your arsenal will be ineffective. Worst of all, if you manage to kill an Iron Giant at night, the Red Giant will simply replace it as a random spawn until the next morning, meaning you can never truly be safe from them. Of course, Costlemark Tower can have you fighting them at multiple points — including multiples at once!
      • Ronin and their upgraded counterparts. Their entire gimmick is to decimate your party with one hit kill moves. Combine this with a plethora of other annoying enemies vying for your attention and you can expect a quick party wipe.
    • Hobgoblins. These bigger, nastier goblins use martial arts, move very fast, are highly resistant to flinching, and have a surprising reach — almost as soon as a fight with one starts, you can find yourself sent flying by one drop-kicking you from more than fifteen feet away. Finally, they're super-aggressive and love to gang up on Noct, so unless you can stunlock them all at once (easiest with Machinery weapons), expect to spend 80-90% of the battle just dodging their high-speed, nonstop attacks.
    • Necromancers; they can inflict Petrify with a high-damage, hard-to-avoid beam attack, have a high-damage grapple (and higher-tier Necromancers can One-Hit Kill you if you fail to escape from it), have pretty annoying attacks to begin with, and can summon endless waves of irritating skeletons who love to swarm and stunlock you.
    • While imperial troopers are usually Goddamned Bats than this trope, Magitek Assassins are this trope, being far stronger to the point of one-round-KO'ing at least one member, and being far more durable too.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • While Luna is already a huge Base-Breaking Character to begin with, she is especially unpopular with people who actively ship Noctis with anyone else, being decried as weak and useless or a Manipulative Bitch on top of the more general complaints people have about her characterization and romantic subplot. Ironically she actually does die during the game, before she gets to even share as much as a kiss with Noctis. And it's not until Noctis himself is also dead that he can even so much as see her again.
    • Noctis himself gets this on occasion from Gladio/Ignis shippers who accuse him of being a selfish and ungrateful brat who does nothing to deserve the respect and dedication of the two in his service. Not helping is his seemingly muted response to Ignis sacrificing his vision for his sake and refusal to go on despite what he'd done for him, causing them to view Gladio's condemnation of him as justified, although Episode Ignis clarifies the situation by adding a scene of Noctis clearly upset and feeling guilty over Ignis's blindness, but reluctantly choosing to continue, when it was in fact Ignis who wanted him to stop. Again, a rather strange case considering he is out of their lives for 10 years and does die for good at the end of the game, meaning that Gladio and Ignis have plenty of time to be free of whatever supposed obligations are holding them back from pursuing a relationship, if they even exist.
    • This official tweet made in the leadup to the release of the Episode Prompto DLC briefly turned Aranea into a controversial figure among Western fans, particularly parts of the Noctis/Prompto and Ignis/Aranea shipper fanbases, who accused her of being Chickified and shoehorned into the DLC for Token Romance purposes. As it turned out, Aranea was more of a Cool Big Sis figure, with little romance aside from an offhand comment acknowledging Prompto's crush on her.
  • Disappointing Last Level: Chapter 13, to the point of approaching That One Level status. It starts off as a pretty interesting change of pace as you lose your magic and have to make your way through a creepy abandoned research facility, filled with jump scares and dark lighting that wouldn't be out of place in a survival horror game. Unfortunately, the novelty wears off once you realize this level will take several hours to finish, Noctis is restricted to walking for about half the level until you get your party back, there's an annoying 7-stage keycard puzzle to solve, and Ardyn is constantly making fun of you over the PA system. On top of that, if you're really interested in the story, you have to take care to make sure to read all the notes scattered around the place, as this is the only way to learn what happened to the place. Patch 1.06 for the game made the chapter slightly easier while also giving players the option to avoid the worst parts of the level, but it's still perceived as tediously long.
    • One could argue that this was intentional; the point of the area is to wear Noctis and his friends (and you) down, frustrating and riling them up just enough so that they make rash decisions — and eventually mistakes. And it works; Noctis is forced to rush on ahead, and ends up pulled into the Crystal before he could properly explain himself and bid farewell to his companions — just like Ardyn wanted.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The Ragnarok, a sword introduced with the 1.05 patch for Season Pass holders, is available to Noctis from the moment you can open your gear menu for the first time. Its attack rating may be a joke compared to even mid-game weapons, but its buff to Warp Strike damage is so ridiculous it turns the weapon into the game's biggest Game-Breaker. It's rare to see Ragnarok Warp Strikes inflict less than 6,000 damage no matter what you're fighting, and even post-game superbosses can be hit for 9,999 damage every second or so until your MP bar runs dry. With most/all of the Warp Strike-related Ascension perks unlocked (easy to do since they're fairly cheap), you don't need to even consider other techniques, skills or weapons at all. Boring, but Practical at its finest.
    • In Comrades, the Fubuki Shuriken. They are available very early on, easy to rank up with Garula Furs (which drop in the first mission in the game) and deal Ice-elemental damage. This combined makes it trivially easy to get a weapon that makes you entirely immune to Ice damage while letting you tear through ice-weak enemies (of which there are a ton). They get outclassed rather quickly, but early on, they're golden.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Ardyn and, to a lesser extent, Ravus, are starting to get this treatment from some sections of the fanbase. While Ardyn's backstory may give him a valid Freudian Excuse for his actions (depending on whether you take him at face value), it doesn't change the fact that he still murdered Luna and Ravus, captured and tortured Prompto, blinded Ignis, and plunged the world into eternal darkness out of sheer spite.
    • This has become worse with the release of Episode Ardyn: Prologue, with the revelation that Ardyn really was a kind and selfless healer who lost his throne and the love of his life due to the machinations of his ruthlessly ambitious younger brother Somnus. Some Ardyn fans have now taken to justify everything he does during the game and putting the blame on Somnus.
  • Dueling Works:
    • Square-Enix was concerned about the possibility of this happening with Persona 5, seeing as they felt the need to poll fans about which game they would try first if forced to choose. In the end, S-E's decision to delay the game yet again — since otherwise Persona 5 would be released within two weeks of XV and would've forced fans to choose sides — managed to avoid said scenario from materializing, not to mention that the English release of P5 was also delayed again to April 2017, further defusing whatever rivalry may have erupted.
    • In the meantime though, NieR: Automata fandom zigzags between being Friendly Fandoms with XV and this trope, both having small tie-ins with each other, and both being open-world action RPGs published by Square-Enix.

    E 
  • Ear Worm:
    • The music that plays whenever you set up camp is quite catchy.
    • The Ominous Latin Chanting of both "Apocalypsis Noctis" and "Apocalypsis Aquarius".
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Stella Nox Fleuret is probably the biggest example, back from when the game was called Versus XIII, and is a major reason why reception to Lunafreya was so divided at first. There are still fans of Stella who consider Luna to be a Poor Man's Substitute, and with how much of a Base-Breaking Character Lunafreya turned out to be in the game proper, a lot of these fans have taken the opportunity to really express their discontent with XV in favor of what Versus XIII could have brought to the table.
    • Aranea Highwind, the "Dragoon Lady" from the 2011 trailer. She gained a sizable fanbase even though she only appeared for less than 30 seconds and nothing else was said about her afterward, except for the developers confirming she was not Stella and was an enemy. She reappeared after 5 years of silence in the 2016 ATR report with a name and background, and got even more popular when her surname was revealed and she is actually called "The Dragoon" in-universe. And to make things even better, she actually joins your party as a guest, and can potentially do so multiple times (fighting Daemons at night may trigger a flag to have her fly in via her dropship and assist you). Small wonder why, of all the secondary characters in the game, she is the most beloved. In fact, she came in as a close second after Luna in the official Final Fantasy XV twitter poll for favorite female character and often gets confirmed along with the main characters in crossovers such as Final Fantasy: Record Keeper and For Whom the Alchemist Exists. The Episode Prompto DLC also features her as a major ally, to much rejoicing.
      • And then a player managed to figure out how to glitch the game into keeping her around permanently. Naturally, people were pleased. However, this glitch also runs the risk of corrupting your save file.
      • The February 2018 update added Aranea as an unlockable training partner at camp, probably as a result of this.
      • In another testament to Aranea's huge popularity, her section (which would've been the subject of one of the canceled DLC Episodes, itself announced as a result of this trope) was largely well-received in contrast to the rest of the highly divisive Dawn of the Future novel.
    • Iris gets this for being a Badass Adorable and her pleasantly cheerful personality, to the point where she was a Fan-Preferred Couple with Noctis. Players were disappointed that she Took a Level in Badass offscreen and never got to reunite with Noctis's gang.
    • Cor Leonis is very popular due to his badassery, being a knowledgeable and loyal servant of the king, and being a very powerful guest party member for the time he appears. A lot of fans were disappointed that he largely disappeared off the face of the planet early into the game. Which is likely a reason for his reappearance in Gladiolus's DLC episode.
    • Kenny Crow, who's a large source of Funny Moments due to his goofy design and hilarious Surprise Creepy. Square Enix even gave him his own DLC episode as an April Fools prank.
    • Prompto's Versus XIII appearance has just as much appearances as Stella in the trailers, if not less, before being redesigned to the current one we know now. There's plenty of fanworks depicting him as his own character, either as Prompto's Alternate Self, brother, or as another clone of Verstael.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • There's a wild theory about Bahamut floating around, despite having no in-game evidence, that like how Shiva used a human form as Gentiana, Aranea is the human form of Bahamut. Proponents point to the fact that Aranea's armor is draconic in design and that Bahamut's eyes look very feminine (despite having a Badass Baritone voice). Others have suggested Cor as potentially being Bahamut's human form. Both are Jossed by the technically non-canon Dawn of the Future novel, in which Bahamut is his own entity with a face that strongly resembles Noctis or Somnus's.
    • Another one that has gained a lot of steam among the English-speaking fandom concerns the ending of Chapter 13: the idea that Noctis is a "fake" king and that his real name is "Izunia" who stole the name Lucis Caelum from Ardyn. However, this theory is based on false pretenses from its genesis: the reason this theory even exists is because of the English translators taking creative liberties with Ardyn's dialogue that makes it sound like there's more to it than there really is. In the Japanese script (and the European translations of the game), instead of hinting that the Izunia name has a sinister origin like he does in English, Ardyn merely says that he doesn't really remember where he got the name Izunia from, and his tone is more of a rhetorical question that he's asking himself, not Noctis. Some others still take it to mean that Izunia was in fact the first name of the king who usurped Ardyn and that he was his brother or another member of the Lucis Caelum dynasty. It was eventually revealed via Episode Ignis, Episode Ardyn and the Updated Re Release that the king who supplanted him—whose name was Somnus—was indeed Ardyn's brother, while Episode Ardyn director Toru Osanai himself stated that due to absorbing so many people's memories, he truly no longer remembers where he got the name "Izunia" from.
    • One of the more off-the-wall theories is that Gentiana is Noctis's true mother or a recent ancestor of his to explain why the two of them are similarly East Asian looking in appearance, as well as an instance of Shiva's fondness for humanity.
    • One of the ending theories (which has since been Jossed) is that killing Ardyn erased him from history, thus the ending looping the dialogue from the start of the game signifies a new timeline where the game's events didn't occur. Instead of being Together in Death, Noctis and Luna both survived and actually got married.
    • The Pitioss dungeon, which can only be accessed in the post game, has served as a source of a lot of this in regards to the game's backstory, and Ifrit's reason for turning on the other Astrals and hating mankind, as well as the origins of the Starscourge and the reason the Lucian kings are the only ones capable of using the crystal's power and the true origins of the crystal. The theory originated from this very long and spoiler heavy reddit post, and a fan summarized the theory in this video. To summarize, there is a giant statue of a woman in manacles that can be found deep in Pitioss. The theory states that she is the seventh Astral, Eos, the One-Winged Goddess of the Dawn, and was imprisoned for consorting with a human and bearing said human's children. Ifrit journeyed down to the underworld to free her, only to find her dead. He returned to the surface and burnt her body, but plucked her heart from it, burning his arm in the process. This also released the Starscourge into the world as her corpse was infected with the evils of the underworld. Her heart would become the crystal. Her children would become the Lucian kings. Ifrit then created Pitioss Dungeon to tell this story. This theory was popular for a number of reasons including the fact that it followed the lyrics of "Somnus", and makes use of the one-winged Goddess seen in multiple artworks for the game, such as the Genesis painting and the "Big Bang" promotional art, as well as made use of previous Wordof God statements that Etro, the Goddess of Death from Final Fantasy XIII would be a major figure in the game, except now under the new name of Eos (which turned out not to be the case). One thing that bolstered this theory for a time was the fact that the author correctly guessed that the Rock of Ravatogh is Ifrit's corpse, something confirmed in Episode Gladiolus. However, it since then came out that Ray Chase had discussed the theory on a Periscope livestream with a Square-Enix localizer, and the loading screen flavor text that the Rock of Ravatogh is Ifrit's corpse only appears in the English text.
      • As DLC was released for the game and new information was revealed, the creators of the theory started having to make more and more "adjustments" to make it fit, while the theorizing started reaching outlandish levels. By the time the game stopped updating in March 2019 it has been effectively debunked. There is no Astral named Eos, and Ifrit's lover was Shiva.
    • Related to the above theory is the Solheim theory. It's canon that there once was a super advanced civilization known as Solheim that used to sprawl across Eos, but was destroyed around 2000 years before the events of the game and the four main nations seen in the story arose from its ashes. Many of the ruins and structures found throughout the game are remnants of Solheim. The theory states that the reason Eos was imprisoned was instead that the humans of Solheim did so using technology that suspiciously resembles those used by Niflheim in the present. They eventually killed her, and so Ifrit wiped them out and began to hate humanity.
    • In both of the above theories, the meteor Titan holds up and the firepit behind Lestallum were Ifrit's attempts at accessing the underworld to find Eos, with the second attempt being successful. This theory explains why demons tend to appear in the Lestallum power plant.
    • The alternate ending in Episode Ignis is a prime source of these, due to the fact that Noctis is somehow still alive after having defeated Ardyn and bringing back the dawn, things that were explicitly stated to have required his death for. The game offers a handful of Canon Fodder clues here and there as to how exactly Ignis might have saved Noctis, so it's not a complete Deus ex Machina, but doesn't offer any concrete explanations either. Some interpretations even posit that Ignis Died Happily Ever After and everything that happens afterwards is merely his Nostalgia Heaven, or that it's actually a Downer Ending disguised as a Golden Ending and that Noctis's survival in the short term was achieved at the expense of removing the sole means of Eos's salvation.
    • Episode Ardyn introduces Mars Sapienta, an MIA Lucian patrol guard whose form Ardyn takes to infiltrate Insomnia. Due to the similarity between his and Ignis's names, and the fact that Ignis himself was born one year after Ardyn's attack on Insomnia, a fan theory has surfaced positing that Mars is Ignis's father, and that Ignis's family was forced to change their name following the attack.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Ardyn Izunia has proudly joined the ranks as one of Final Fantasy's more popular villains, thanks to his Trollish sense of humor, his charisma and style, his Magnificent Bastardry, and just being a fantastic Love to Hate villain. Making him the Big Bad when he wasn't even in Versus XIII during development is one change that no one complains about.
    • Niflheim has quite a large fanbase due to their cool Magitek army.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Don't be surprised to know that Ardyn has fangirls...

    F 
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation:
    • Noctis and Luna communicated for 12 years by writing messages into a notebook that Umbra carried between the two. And one of Luna's greatest regrets when she is killed by Ardyn is never having the chance to hear Noctis's voice again after their separation. Fans figured the reason they didn't use more convenient means of communication was because Niflheim would spy on them and intercept their messages, meaning Noctis and Luna used the notebook for pragmatic reasons. However Tabata stated in an ATR that they easily could have used phones, but chose not to because of a childhood promise, which upset a lot of fans who felt it was an asinine justification for a plot contrivance that deprived Luna of dialogue which would've developed her character and relationship with Noctis. This plot element is so disliked, in fact, that when a leaked Versus XIII storyboard showing Noctis and Stella communicating by phone showed up, the response was universal in its derision of Noctis and Luna's method of communication.
    • People assumed the reason Noctis and co. start off broke and have to earn their keep throughout the game, even though Noctis really should be the wealthiest man in all of Lucis, was for currency reasons, as Insomnia uses yen while the rest of the world uses Gilnote . As it turns out, according to Tabata Noctis actually did retain access to that wealth, but didn't use it because he wanted to blend in with the commoners better.
    • The novel Dawn of the Future revealed that the true reason for Ardyn being immortal is due to having his soul sucked into the Crystal when he touched it at the ending of Episode Ardyn: Prologue. This rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way, as they feel that it completely goes against the already-established lore of the Starscourge being the cause of Ardyn's immortality. Though given that the one who gave that explanation was Bahamut...
  • Fandom Rivalry: In the west at least, there's one with Persona 5 due to the Dueling Games status above. It does shift into Friendly Rivalry at times however, as enjoying both games isn't seen as a universal sin. It helps that there was a much larger gap in release dates in the west, the former being released in late 2016 while the latter in mid 2017.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • The events of the ten year Time Skip between the last two chapters. You hear vague details on what other characters were doing over the time, but there's enough room to speculate.
    • A major thrust of drama is that if Noctis dies, the line of Lucian kings dies with him. Naturally this invites plenty of storylines where Noct secretly fathers a child or has a long-lost relative out there, and the line of Lucis continues through them.
    • The alternate ending to Episode Ignis, all the way. Noctis lives on to become the 114th king of Lucis and rebuild his destroyed kingdom. Ravus is still alive in this timeline, and joins Noctis' retinue. His abode at Fenestala Manor remains intact. Though Lunafreya is dead, she appears to have ascended to some form of godhood after her death. Noctis's three friends remained close and went on many adventures together during the ten years that he was gone, and Ignis is able to keep his sight.
  • Fanon:
    • Queen Aulea has no official depictions, but most fans assume she had black hair and was East Asian looking in appearance to explain why Noctis himself similarly averts Mukokuseki despite having a very European looking father.
    • It's commonly believed by fans that Cor Leonis brought Prompto from Niflheim to Lucis as a child due to Prompto's admiration of him. While Episode Prompto confirms that Prompto was taken from Verstael's facility as an infant, and Verstael speculates that it was "some Lucian", there is absolutely zero indication that Cor was the one who did it specifically; while it's not made clear exactly who did, some notes you can find imply it may have in fact been one of the disgusted Niflheim employees.
      • Furthermore it's popular to portray Cor as a surrogate father figure for Prompto or having protective feelings over him. All that's said of any possible interactions before the main game is that Cor gave Prompto basic combat training and escorted him to the capital so he could officially be inducted as Noctis' bodyguard, and there's no indication that they've met in any context outside of bodyguard training.
    • It's commonly believed that the Marilith assassination attempt on Noctis as a child left him with physical scars on his back to explain his coma and temporary incapacitation. This may be due to the fact that the woman protecting Noctis at the time did receive such a wound on her back. No such injuries are actually seen on his body in either Brotherhood or instances where his back is exposed, at least not to the degrees it's commonly depicted as.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Despite Noctis and Luna being the Official Couple, many fans ship him with Iris due to their cute moments together and onscreen chemistry. Many were disappointed that Noctis and Iris didn't get together in the World of Ruin after Luna's death and Iris's apparent Level In Badass. Following the Ultimania revealing that Iris is 15, fans have gotten around it by aging Iris up or having her and Noctis hook up after the Time Skip.
    • On the Luna side of things, Nyx/Luna is extremely popular with fans of Kingsglaive, who think they had more chemistry together than she ever did with Noctis. Likely a product of Relationship Writing Fumble given that Noctis was originally supposed to be in Nyx's place back when the game was still known as Versus XIII.
    • Ignis/Aranea gained a surprising following, mostly stemming from their conversations during Chapter 7, with Ignis' gentlemanly attitude contrasting Aranea's tough personality, and his relative maturity playing off of hers. Also, some of their banter does add a bit of fuel to the fire. Despite her no-nonsense attitude Aranea does also express a surprising amount of concern for Ignis after he loses his eyesight. Ray Chase and Adam Croasdell seem to be aware of the ship's existence.
    • As far as Ho Yay Shipping go, Noctis/Prompto seems to be the most popular one, along with its Ship Mates counterpart Gladio/Ignis, although every combination of the Chocobros has large followings of their own, not to mention shipping them all together.
    • The crossover DLC with Terra Wars had people deciding that Sarah had far more chemistry with Noctis than Luna ever did. Some would even say that Sarah was much closer to what they wanted Stella to be like from the original Versus XIII concept.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: For the purposes of happy fanfics (especially those in which everyone is alive), Chapter 1 never ended.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: There's a not-insignificant contingent of fans who consider Noctis' appearance post-Time Skip (after spending ten years trapped in the Crystal) a vast improvement over his fairly generic "anime pretty boy" appearance at the beginning of the game. As it turns out, he looks fantastic with grey hair, the Badass Beard adds some much-needed age to his face, and the longer hair looks much more reasonable than his original "Sasuke haircut". Even his being all scruffy, scarred, and covered in caked-over dirt adds to his appearance rather than detracting from it. With the long grey hair, beard, scars, and general scruffiness, more than a few approving Western fans have favorably compared him to a younger Geralt of Rivia.
  • Foe Yay:
    • Aranea's first appearance has her act rather flirty with Noctis, calling him "pretty boy" for example. Subverted, however — by their next meeting, she's more-or-less friendly, but has dropped the coy act.
    • Ardyn makes suggestive comments towards Noctis, such as calling him a tease in Chapter 13 and claiming he's been waiting for him all this time, all while Noctis is grunting and growling beneath him.
    • In the level-up screen when staying at a caravan with Ardyn, after a few seconds, Ardyn will reach down to Prompto as if he was going to grab his chin, only for him to back away in awkwardness. And also later capturing him and tying him onto a device.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The countdown reel briefly stopping at November before revealing the (original) release date of September 30, 2016, at the Uncovered event became one (or depending on one's sense of humor, Hilarious in Hindsight) when Square Enix announced the game was delayed to November 29.
    • Prompto's jacket patch says "It's a beautiful day; now watch some bastard mess it up". Funny, until you realize that to some extent, this is what happens in the game, due to one particular bastard stirring the pot on all sides. Thanks ever so much, Ardyn.
    • Many of the jokes about Ignis's glasses become this on a second playthrough, knowing he'll become blind later. In particular, the line about Ignis wearing glasses because he likes to see the world in perfect clarity.

    G 
  • Game-Breaker: Has its own page, of course.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Due to Square's decision to make the game fully voiced in French and German, European sales have actually outpaced North American sales of the game.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Imperial Troopers. More often than not, you'll be in the middle of fighting a group of monsters, and they'll butt in and drag it out for longer than need be. Sometimes, if you're really unlucky, they'll drop in while you're driving, interrupting your trip.
    • Daemons, particularly Giants, can be this when they aren't Demonic Spiders. They're a lot stronger than your usual enemies during the day. The player is usually safe on the road, but some enemies that appear at night will spawn in the middle of the road. If you're not strong enough to defeat it, you'll be forced to abandon your car in the middle of nowhere and fast travel to your last rest area.
    • The Level 50 dungeon Balouve Mines is infested with Level 7 goblins. They're no threat if you're ready to take on the boss, but you can't go five yards without tripping over them.
  • Goddamned Boss: The Adamantoise superboss. In true Final Fantasy Marathon Boss fashion, the thing takes ages to kill (easily half an hour and upwards) and lacks any kind of phase change throughout the fight, meaning you'll spend a solid time block just to whittle down its health. The relatively-weak rewards for completing its sidequest aren't exactly incentive enough to challenge it except for bragging rights, and oddly you can't at any point perform a Colossus Climb on this city-sized beast.
    • Hilariously inverted when you realize the beast is susceptible to the Ring of the Lucii's Alterna spell, which can finish the fight in anything from ten minutes to ten seconds, depending on how lucky you are with the relatively low trigger probability. This has turned the Adamantoise into one of the most popular farming targets because it gives 50,000 XP per run and can drop two items that allow Limit Break magic to be crafted (up to 24 charges). Alternatively, you can sell the stuff for up to 65,000 gil per run. Best of all, as long as you stop advancing the moment the battle actually begins, it can't even damage your party.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • The Judgment Disc demo is full of hilarious glitches. Among them being fused characters, missing objects in the environment and the sea turning purple or disappearing completely.
    • The main game also has its share of hilarious bugs. A few examples are your party members standing in the car, chocobos, or each other's heads, Noctis being pushed up to the sky after exiting the Regalia or defeating enemies, and characters phasing through objects.
    • Someone discovered a method to keep Aranea in your party via a fairly simple glitch. Naturally, the fandom exploded considering how popular she is. This bug is also interestingly functional—Aranea will even appear in cutscenes and pose in photos.
    • It's possible to glitch the game using Umbra's Mental Time Travel feature so that you can use the pre-timeskip character models in the post-timeskip portions of the game and vice versa.
    • The final boss in Episode Ignis Verse 2 will kick off the fight by... crouching repeatedly. It looks like he's teabagging the ground.
      • In Episode Ignis's optional bonus fight against a ring-empowered Noctis, towards the end he will be able to cast magic on Ignis that, if it goes off successfully, severely warps Ignis's model for the rest of the battle.
  • Good Bad Translation: One of the earlier trailers had random, amusingly nonsensical Italian phrases flash on the screen.
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    H 
  • Ham and Cheese: One sidequest in the game is essentially a commercial for Cup Noodles. The English voice cast did two takes of dialogue for the quest; one that is completely straight-laced and sincere, and one that is dripping with out-of-character sarcasm. The developers used the sarcastic take in the final game.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Tabata promised players that Luna wouldn't need saving. Then players found out that meant they can't save her from her fate.
    • As if the game's Bittersweet Ending wasn't already sad enough, Episode Ignis finds a way to make it even more depressing. It turns out Ignis discovered the truth in a vision from Pryna in Chapter 9 — not just the nature of the prophecy itself, but having to witness Noctis's Heroic Sacrifice in its entirety, directly. He had to spend the next 10 years with that knowledge, dreading it and not being able to do a thing to stop it from coming true. Even worse, we find out that Ignis literally loves Noctis more than life itself. To hammer this in, as the credits play we are shown several of the scenes from the second half of the game again, Once More, with Clarity!. Even worse, if you come away from with the interpretation that Ignis has been in love with Noctis all this time, it makes the plot of the whole game this.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • If the player helps Coctura, she'll make the dessert that Noctis received from Luna during his time in Tenebrae. In Brotherhood, you find out that Ignis had tried and failed for years to recreate that dessert for Noctis. This sidequest not only allows Noctis to finally have the dessert he remembered so fondly but also allows Ignis to finally learn the recipe.
    • During Cindy's final sidequest, she helps the group secure a set of headlights that's powerful enough to repel daemons, allowing the Regalia to safely travel at night. She muses that if her parents had something like this, they'd probably still be alive. During the Time Skip, despite the World of Ruin being overrun with powerful daemons, we see Talcott and others able to drive around safely thanks to the same type of headlights.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The promotional image of a bored-looking Noctis slouching on his throne becomes more amusing considering XV's years of Schedule Slip.
    • The "Omen" trailer, which features a horrific alternate future in which Noctis is forced to do battle with his despairing and reluctant dearly beloved. Sort of like the 'alternate' version of the game itself, originally Versus XIII in which Noctis was slated to do exactly the same thing with Stella. Trying to distance your creation from the original product, eh, dev team?
    • Thought that the final boss of the mystery disc demo, the CEO of Square Enix himself, played live on FFXV's premiere, was ridiculous enough? Nie R Automata takes a page from that and turns it into the 3C3C1D119440927 DLC, where you end up fighting against Yosuke Matsuda (retaking his model from the FFXV live premiere), who is then joined by the CEO of Platinum Games, Kenichi Sato. Fans who played both games had a field day with this.
    • Prompto has a habit of taking pictures to document the party's quest. His voice actor, Robbie Daymond, would go on to play another Motor Mouth Trash Talking photographer in Spider-Man.
    • This game features a royal wedding in its story and a cover of "Stand by Me", which a lot of people considered as an odd choice for a song to be in a Final Fantasy game. In the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the choir also sang a rendition of said song and is also noted to be unusual and breaking royal tradition.
  • HSQ:
    • Noctis teleporting haphazardly around the map and up buildings leaving blue after-images is a regular part of battle. Wait 'til you see the special in-battle events.
    • Forget that, wait till you see Ramuh and his gigantic size while obliterating Deadeye the Behemoth in one go!
    • Find all four Phantom Swords in Episode Duscae, activate Armiger and perform Warp-Strike. You can pick your jaw up off of the floor now.
    • The Duscae stinger invokes the hand-over-mouth-horror measurement of this, as it heavily implies the game's treatment of warfare and its consequences will be substantially more brutal than originally thought.
    • According to this article by Dualshockers, the Final Fantasy XV world is 786.4 square miles or 2036.8 square kilometers, making it several times larger than those for Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
    • After the E3 2013 rebranding, it was obvious that this game was going to be a major investment for Square-Enix. But it wasn't until the March 30, 2016 Uncovered event that the sheer scope of the game's multimedia universe was revealed. Put simply, there is so much money being thrown at Final Fantasy XV that this title is now SE's make-it-or-break-it moment, and they came prepared with a slew of announcement after announcement after announcement that had viewers saying "holy shit" over and over again. Few games that have gone through as much Development Hell as this one manage to meet expectations... but Square-Enix is really making one hell of an effort to ensure that XV lives up to the hype.
  • Ho Yay:
    • One of the focuses of the game is the close bond between the four handsome male leads. Naturally, this has led to shipping in almost every combination possible. The characters even joke about it at one point:
    Prompto: [sigh] "This place is so romantic.''
    Gladio: "And you get to spend it with us."
    Noctis: "All three of us."
    Ignis: "You are a lucky man."
    • Prompto's photography skills are particularly ripe for this, as it's very easy to have the characters randomly end up in suggestive poses or shoving their hands and faces into each other's crotches. When reviewing them, sometimes the party will compliment the individual pictures. If you've been doing a lot of walking around before resting, you'll probably get at least one character appreciating a closeup of their friend's (or their own) butt.
    • Just as he himself invokes Foe Yay towards Noctis, Ardyn may be consciously invoking this trope to harass Noctis with his taunting lines about rescuing Prompto in Chapters 12 and 13; consisting of 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 with "your beloved Noctis".
    • Episode Ignis adds a mountain of material that could suggest Ignis is in love with Noctis. He tears across Altissia in a desperate attempt to save Noctis and willingly uses the Ring of the Lucii at the cost of his own eyesight (something he never tells anyone, instead claiming he was blinded by Leviathan's poison). In the post-credits scene, and echoing their first meeting, he and Noctis chat alone after the final campfire and shake hands, with Noctis calling Ignis "Iggy", the first time he has used the nickname. In the alternate timeline, Ignis decides to hell with the world and Screw Destiny, he won't let Ardyn take Noctis away. The post-credits scene is an alternate version of the 'Walk Tall' scene, but Noctis once again calls Ignis "Iggy". In the bad ending of the alternate route, Ignis's last words are "I don't want to die without him".

    I-J 
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Noctis, especially during the second half of the game. He goes through quite the Trauma Conga Line, having dealt with the loss of his father, loss of his home, being hunted nonstop by enemy soldiers, then the loss of Lunafreya and being chewed out by Gladio for it, possibly unfairly, finding out Ignis lost his eyesight protecting him while he was unconscious, accidentally hurting his best friend after being tricked by Ardyn, having to defend himself with a ring that saps his life force every time he uses it, and then being absorbed into the Crystal, scared and alone. Then by the end of the story he finds out has to sacrifice himself to save the world from the Starscourge. It gets so bad that he can't help but break down in tears having to tell his friends about it. By the very end it feels like he's as resigned as he is due to getting dealt such a shitty hand that he can't even care anymore.
    • Regis knew for most of Noctis's life that his beloved son would have to die sacrificing himself to restore the dawn at a young age. Even worse, it would fall on him to deal the finishing blow. His life is also ebbing away powering the magic Wall that's used to protect Lucis, and he sends his son off knowing it will be the last time he will ever see him alive, and that he and his beloved city would perish soon after.
    • Lunafreya. Orphaned and forced to assume an unbearable amount of responsibility at a young age, living under house arrest and unable to see or speak to Noctis directly for years. She also knows that forging covenants with the Astrals to assist Noctis on his quest takes a huge toll on her, and will eventually kill her (or would've if Ardyn didn't beat them to the punch), and that the grand destiny Noctis must fulfill with her assistance is actually a brutal Heroic Sacrifice. It's not until both are dead that they are able to truly reunite.
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars: In an with Game Informer, Tabata stated that the story's imbalances and lack of cohesive narrative was intentional. He said "We didn't want to create a comprehensive and perfectly balanced story in this game", which sent the fandom into a towering rage, to the point that even his defenders called him out for saying it. Whether he was told to say it or not, it was something that pissed almost everyone off regardless and damaged his reputation further.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Ravus, Prince of Tenebrae and Luna's brother, is a high ranking Niflheim soldier who took part in the assassination of Regis. Tenebrae was Lucis's ally, but they abandoned them when Niflheim attacked. Ravus's mother died in his arms, and he was robbed of his birthright and became a subject of Niflheim. After he has a change of heart, he is then coldly murdered by Ardyn, disguised as Noctis. And later brought back to life as a daemon, begging to be killed.
    • Even Ardyn himself can count as one. He might be a gigantic asshole, but he went through incredible amounts of trauma and betrayal before becoming twisted into the person he is now. Episode Ardyn doubles down on this, revealing he was chosen by the gods themselves to become the Immortal Accursed, spread the Starscourge, and be killed by Noctis, and his beloved fiancee may have known his fate the entire time.
    • Somnus is one of the biggest assholes in the game to the point that many consider him a Hate Sink. Nearly killing Nyx for being a commoner who dared to wear the Ring of the Lucii, betraying his brother out of jealousy and for his own personal ambition, possibly burning innocent people who were unfortunate enough to catch his suspicions of being infected by the Starscourge? Yeah, he's an asshole, but then he didn't exactly have a lot of resources to Take a Third Option for the last two, especially since the end of Episode Ardyn reveals that Bahamut chose his line solely to produce the King of Light that will kill Ardyn and cleanse Eos of the Starscourge. And even if he didn't steal the throne, Ardyn would have still been rejected by the Crystal. It makes Somnus come off as trying to make the best out of the worst options handed to him.

    L 

    M 
  • Magnificent Bastard: Ardyn Izunia, true name Ardyn Lucis Caelum, poses as a "man of no consequence", but is far older and far more devious than he initially seems. As the Chancellor of the Niflheim Empire, Ardyn arranges for the invasion and destruction of Lucis's capital city Insomnia, and later reveals his true colors by fatally stabbing the game's heroine Luna upon her summoning of Leviathan, resulting in greater damage and the deaths of nearly everyone in Altissia. With Luna's death, an affliction known as the Starscourge is allowed to run rampant, turning many into monstrous Daemons as the nights grow longer. Fixated on his chosen nemesis, Prince Noctis, Ardyn tricks him into almost murdering his best friend Prompto by making Noct see Prompto as Ardyn. Turning on Niflheim, Ardyn lets Daemons run rampant throughout the city, annihilating it and turning many of the people into Daemons themselves, leaving them in hideous pain. In addition, Ardyn reveals he is the one who taught Niflheim how to convert people to living weapons to begin with, kills Luna's brother Ravus when he finally had a change of heart and decided to help Noct and tricks Noct into being absorbed by the Crystal that is the source of power for the line of Lucis so Noct may arise as the Chosen King and Ardyn may destroy him. Having once been rejected by the land he served and saved, Ardyn showcases his devious charm in every scene he appears in, manipulating almost every event in the game, rarely ever at loss for a smile and a witty remark as one of the most memorable and charming villains in the Final Fantasy canon.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Mutation: But of course.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Ardyn. Some of his comments to Noctis sound suggestive, especially in Chapter 13, plus, he has a tendency to invade characters' personal space. So, naturally, gamers ran away with this.
    • Kenny Crow. Noctis acts really uncomfortable around him. Then there's the fact that a man in a Kenny Crow suit at the Moogle Chocobo Carnival event basically feels you up.
  • Memetic Troll: Again, Ardyn, who spends the whole story trolling Noctis in ways both petty and cruel.
  • Misblamed:
  • Moe:
    • Noctis back when he was a pouty, helpless Cheerful Child. Many people feel the urge to protect him, even once he's older.
    • Iris, Gladio's younger sister, also gets a lot of love from fans for her adorable and perky demeanor.
    • Prompto can be this at times, due to being the most childish of the main crew and a Keet whose selfies often consist of him smiling widely (when they don't make him look creepy).
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Ardyn crosses it when he mortally stabs Luna and mockingly calls to Noctis that his bride awaits. He then takes it a step further by slapping Luna when she tries to offer him solace.
    • Caligo Ulldor, the commander of Fort Vaullerey, callously complains that he's being reprimanded for roughing up an old commoner for interrogation. By "roughing up", he means "killed in cold blood", and said old commoner turns out to be Jared. If you take certain trailer scenes that didn't make it into the final product as canon, he also practically stalks and throws around a terrified, young Luna in her own home when Tenebrae is taken over by Niflheim.
    • Ardyn's brother Somnus drives Ardyn to villainy when he strikes down Ardyn's fiance while attempting to kill Ardyn to take the throne for himself. Somnus has the gall to taunt Ardyn about it afterwards. Then he careens even further over it by having Ardyn's name stricken from history and making himself the hero.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • The near-constant yip-squeaking noise Carbuncle makes throughout the Platinum Demo.
    • "Imperials! Above us!"
    • When you're fishing and your line's durability is below half, your party members won't let up about needing to change it.
    • Gladio sniping at you for going too far ahead throughout most of Chapter 10.
    • Your allies will constantly toss out compliments in battle whenever you do the tiniest thing. Needless to say, the fiftieth "Noct rules!" or "You're on fire today!" really makes you wonder if they're just brown-nosing because Noctis is royalty.
    • When driving the Regalia Type-D (added in a later patch), Noctis has an incredibly obnoxious habit doing the same nervous laughter over, and over, and over. The whole party only has a handful of clips for this, and it gets grating, fast.
    • When fighting him during the training missions available at camp, Prompto will sing the victory theme tune as he does in the regular game, only while the fight is still in progress, and literally every few seconds.
    • "Which do you think is faster, this boat or the Regalia?" Prompto asks that question every single time you start steering the Royal Vessel with the Royal Pack/Edition installed, probably due to a bug. If you're doing a lot of fishing (which requires to drop and resume steering), you'll be sick of that line after about five minutes.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The score for when the player is allowed to summon an Astral, particularly after a tough or annoying fight.
    • After a long day of extremely hard battles, the camping theme can put you at ease and make you feel accomplished and safe. The arrangement of the victory fanfare also plays here and that makes you feel like you actually achieved something.

    N 
  • Narm:
    • Many of the characters' Gratuitous Latin names, which come off as overly lengthy and florid. Ignis's original middle name "Stupeo" was removed likely for this reason.
    • The "HAH?!" Noctis gives after learning of the sacking of Insomnia in the Japanese dub, especially in comparison to his more natural-sounding "What?!" in the English dub.
    • Jared's death. The characters are shown to be torn up about it, but most players just find themselves going "Who?". Square Enix attempted to fix this in Patch 1.03 by adding brief flashbacks during the scene where the characters discuss Jared's death, but it's still only so much that can be done for a character who appeared as a minor character in several scenes.
    • Can be self-induced since alternate costumes show up in cutscenes, so you can do stuff like wear Noctis's casual costume of a trucker hat and oversized bubble jacket or a festive mariachi costume during very dramatic moments. Including the final boss battle.
    • You can also put all sorts of silly decals on the Regalia, like a picture of a Cactuar or cutesy sprites of your team which makes it that much harder to take seriously when the Regalia breaks down for the last time.
    • Likewise, towards the end of the game you have a choice to take one picture into battle with you. Noctis will show said photo to Luna during their time in the afterlife. It's quite a Tear Jerker when played straight, but if you choose a photo of Cindy or a chocobo's ass instead, it's quite... jarring, to say the least.
    • The Final Boss ends with Noctis pulling out several of his Royal Arms and delivering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Ardyn, who tries to defend himself but is blocked, evaded, or countered each time. It's a truly awesome sequence... ruined when Noctis brings out the Sword of the Tall for an attack and it begins making its stock chainsaw revving sound effects.
    • The end of the game has several of the most potentially-scary parts of the game, no doubt, but it depends upon what the player thinks of individual encounters with daemon hordes. Are they as dangerous as the narrative spins them, in general or at least in numbers, or do the mobs you face not match up to the scenes? For the scenes where Noctis is on a train going through a tunnel filled with daemons, or the trek into/through the Imperial capital, they either succeed with the suspense or fall under this.
    • After Noctis got to the Power Crystal and was subsequently tricked into getting sucked into it which is all part of Ardyn's plan, Ardyn comes forward and tells his Dark and Troubled Past that would be responsible for the game's plot. It would be a harrowing moment, if it wasn't for the fact that in the English dub the sound balancing is way off and Noctis' grunts in his struggle to not get sucked in ended up being louder than Ardyn's monologue in some instances, making the whole scene quite silly. Hear for yourself.
    • The soundtrack to Episode Prompto features quite a lot of techno beats. Catchy, sure, but it can also be wildly inappropriate.
    • A lot of Lunafreya's comments about how she wishes she could just hear Noctis's voice one more time come off as hilariously questionable when you realize the last time she actually did he was still a prepubescent child.
    • Episode Ignis has a few:
      • Some of the line delivery in the English version is less than ideal. For example Ignis's screams and yells in the English version can sound wildly out-of-place for the amount of effort he's actually exerting. Other times he suffers from Dull Surprise.
        Ignis: (weak monotone) Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooct...
      • The most hilarious one comes right after Ignis rejects Ardyn's offer. Apparently the VA was told there would be a bit more of a struggle, because what we see is Ignis get up and brush off the soldiers with extreme ease...only to stand there for a few seconds making utterly bizarre exertion noises for no reason.
        Ignis: Brr! Gah! Nguuh! Rllllg! Tzzzzah! Unf! Ungh! Ngyeh! Braa-ha! Ungaaah!
        Ardyn: I'll take that as a no...
      • An older Ravus shows up for the alternate ending, with the only change he has to to show for it being a beard (that looks suspiciously identical to the one Noctis has). Less charitable fans have described him as looking like Santa Claus or Colonel Sanders.
    • The Hiso Aliens in the Terra Wars event level, in terms of their voices. The regular one sounds okay but then there are other Hiso Aliens whose voices are sped up or slowed down, making them sound more odd.
    • Once again questionable voice direction rears its ugly head for Episode Ardyn, as quite a few of Ardyn's grunts and groans in cutscenes are wildly excessive and out-of-place for the scenes they're in, and worse, sound like he was reenacting some kind of porno.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Gladio's cup noodle Product Placement. The English voice actor, Chris Parson, sounds like he's reading the script for an ad, but keeps his Badass Baritone. While a lot of players aren't big fans of the multitude of Product Placement in the game, they give an exception to this sidequest because it's so over-the-top it's hilarious and thankfully deliberate.
    • As under Narm, whatever sort of silly design you've chosen for the Regalia can suck the drama out of seeing it totaled beyond repair and finally abandoned by the party. But with all the time you've spent customizing it with decals, paint jobs, etc, you've probably grown rather attached to the car and will be upset to see your work left broken on the road as the heroes continue on.
    • Noctis screaming ''POWER OF LIGHT!'' before the Final Boss is the purest example of this the game can offer.]] In any other scenario, game, tone, or context, the quote would have been parodied and laughed away as sounding needlessly childish and cliche, especially in comparison to just how grim the game was up to this point, but Ray Chase's absolutely fantastic delivery of the line, making Noctis sound the perfect combination of Hot-Blooded, furious, exhausted, and yet determined all at once makes the quote go from almost meme-worthy to being an absolutely epic statement that sets the stage for one of the most memorable final battles in FF history. The cheesiness of it and it all actually being a Call-Back to the vintage FF formula of Warriors of Light using the power of a crystal to defeat the darkness only serves to make it more lovable.
    • Prompto's photographs will invoke this trope as well, wherein it seems the game intentionally takes pictures of funny things happening such as a party member being knocked on their ass during combat, Noctis picking up something but it looks like he's throwing up, bizarre photo-ops, Gladiolus eating cup noodles, and Prompto's bizarre facial expressions on his selfies. Players found themselves intentionally saving these and sharing them because they thought it was funny. Bonus points for when the party compliments Prompto making a really stupid face or a really poorly-taken photograph where you can't see anything, or Gladio complimenting Prompto on a picture of him on fire.
    • The Assassin's Festival DLC event. While it's a transparent attempt at Product Placement for the Assassin's Creed franchise (and it showed), nevertheless many fans found the whole thing so over-the-top as to be hilarious, and the amount of geeking out the heroes get up to adorable in earnest, so they just lie back and enjoy the silly ride. Helps that the event was free.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • It's been over a year since it was officially announced, but Stella's removal from the game looks to be this for Tabata.
    • The fact that the game has been in development for so longnote  is something nobody wants to anyone to forget about. Especially when you considering how it affected the development of Kingdom Hearts III.
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    O 

    P 
  • Player Punch: In Chapter 11, Ardyn acts oblivious when Noctis chases him down and corners him. It's later revealed that the person you're attacking the entire time was Prompto after Ardyn created an illusion to make them switch appearances, tricking Noctis into throwing the former off the train.
  • Polished Port: Of a fashion. Nomura has stated that the game was beginning to outgrow the PS3 hardware it was being developed for, so rather than compromise the scope of the title by cutting features and content, he proposed the game be moved to next-generation consoles. On top of that, the game's PC release runs at a beautiful 120 frames per second with great visuals and gameplay (albiet with Loads and Loads of Loading), the game's director seemingly wanted it to be a more typical Polished Port (like, for example, allowing for player-made quests through mods, higher quality graphics, smoother framerate, and more gameplay functions).
  • Product Placement: To the point that it gets on some players nerves. The boys have Coleman camping gear, eat Cup Noodles (one of Gladio's favorites, so you actually get a bonus for using it), and Luna's wedding dress was made by a real designer. It's a bit of an immersion breaker when you have a fantasy that uses a stove that is actually in your attic.
  • Purposely Overpowered: As of the March 2017 update, when you start a New Game+, you get the Ring of the Lucii as a usable weapon. Sure, there are enemies that can't be insta-killed with Death (Aranea, Loqi, Maniples, the boss guarding Mythril, Titan, Leviathan and Ardyn), but those enemies still take damage from the Death spell, which increases the higher Noct's Magic stat is. In fact, many weaker enemies, such as animals found in Lucis, can be killed at a distance without initiating combat, and the party still gains XP for those.
    • What's more awesome is that Death works against the Malboro in Chapter 10, who caused a lot of players huge problems. Also, Alterna works against the boss guarding Mythril, which saves you a potentially difficult battle. And remember those Level 54 Midgardsormr you can encounter before entering Greyshire Grotto in Chapter 3? Alterna works on those too. Furthermore, if you time it just right, Holy causes a huge explosion that easily deals 9999 damage against many Daemons.
    • With the right build and a high enough Magic stat, you can even nuke the Adamantoise Turtle into oblivion with Alterna.
    • Long story short: Alterna works against everything that isn't a story-related boss. It might take a couple of tries until it sticks, but with enough Ether potions at the ready, almost any difficult battle can be finished without all the hassle. The trickiest part is usually to get the target(s) to stop moving long enough for the spell to be cast with them in the area of effect, but that's easily accomplished as long as the target isn't actively going after Noctis.

    R 
  • Real Song Theme Tune: A Cover Version of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" is featured as the game's theme song.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • As badass as the original Versus XIII trailer looked, it also gave off the impression that Noctis was going to be yet another brooding Pretty Boy full of Wangst, a character archetype despised by many Western fans, during a time when Square-Enix games were full of them. Looking just like Sasuke Uchiha really didn't help. While Nomura mentioned in 2013 that Noctis would be a shy and "quirky" character, and a trailer of him being awkward at a party supported that, few people bought it at the time. It wasn't until Brotherhood and Episode Duscae that people changed their tune, after Noctis was shown to be a lot more genial than his initial "edgelord" impression suggested.
    • Ravus was hyped up as a major antagonist for the original Versus XIII and Kingsglaive set him up to have a bigger role in the game. However, in the main game his role was ultimately reduced to a small one where most of his development occurred offscreen including him finally acknowledging Noctis as the Chosen King and his death, leaving many players lukewarm to him, some even wishing they'd cut him like Stella for how little he contributed. Due to Chapter 13 verse 2 and Episode Ignis giving him much needed screentime and character development, particularly emphasizing his devotion to Luna, reception of him became more positive.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The romance between Noctis and Luna is considered one of the weakest aspects of the game's plot, and somehow manages to fall into both this and Strangled by the Red String, as it gets a lot of screentime and is treated as an epic love story, but never feels convincing or satisfying, with the characters mostly communicating via scrapbook, exposition, or anguished pleas, and rarely even appearing in the same scene together. Standing in comparison to the much more well-received and moving The Not-Love Interest relationship between Noctis and his friends also did it no favors.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Due to Lunafreya's significant lack of focus and the fact that her only onscreen appearances in the game are mostly about Noctis, preventing players from getting a deeper look at her own thoughts on the events of the plot, people who don't like her, especially those who ship Noctis with anyone else, frequently portray her as a Manipulative Bastard who willfully led Noctis on about his destiny and lied to him about his need to commit a Heroic Sacrifice out of spite, or saw him as nothing more than a pawn and only pretended to even care about him at all. Some even go as far as to portray her as a pedophile preying on Noctis since she's older than him by four years.
      • Her distant ancestor Aera has begun to get this treatment from Ardyn fans post-Episode Ardyn, as the game implies that she knew that Ardyn (who was her beloved) was never meant to be the First King, and was granted his healing powers so he could become the host of the Starscourge to be ultimately defeated by Noctis. However, it's left intentionally ambiguous if she truly knew and the few times she's seen in the DLC is through flashbacks or in visions from Ardyn, who isn't exactly the most reliable or stable of narrators to begin with.
    • Ignis got a lot of accusations of being manipulative, abusive, or predatory towards Noctis, or even of being evil after the release of Episode Ignis. While he does engage in actions of genuinely debatable morality, he always defers to Noctis regardless of his own personal feelings, and at no point does he ever force Noctis to do anything he's not truly comfortable with. Even Ignis's most dubious action, which is to forego The Needs of the Many and try to convince Noctis not to fulfill his destiny as the savior of Eos if it means sacrificing himself, still ends in him accepting Noctis's wish to continue, albeit with a heavy heart. As with Luna above, preferring to ship Noctis with other characters may color these interpretations.
    • After the lead-up to Episode Ardyn - including its animated Prologue - showed the true depths of the betrayal and torment Ardyn suffered from Somnus (as well as showing Somnus to be just a horrible person in general), the Lucians, including Regis and Noctis, began to get hate while Ardyn's Draco in Leather Pants status intensified. Some claim that Ardyn is well-within his rights to hate the Lucians and want to destroy their kingdom, and Regis and Noctis are usurpers who has no right to the throne and should pay for the crimes their ancestor committed. This is despite the fact Regis and Noctis have no idea what really happened with Ardyn and Somnus, and it's not like Ardyn has much interest in diplomacy or reparations now.

    S 
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Here.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Noctis/Luna is the Flame Bait of the shipping fandom. Any discussion where it comes up will get heated. Either you love it, are willing to vehemently defend it to the death against others who you think can't or are unwilling to understand its sublime beauty, and find the idea of people wanting to see them romantically involved with anyone else unfathomable, or you loathe it as one of the worst written romances of the whole series and think anyone who does enjoy it in any form must be delusional. Only the bravest dare openly express an intermediate opinion. Of the various competing ships, Nyx/Luna and Noctis/Prompto tend to be the ones that cause the bloodiest fights.
    • The popularity of Noctis/Ignis skyrocketed after the release of Episode Ignis, which provided a treasure trove of material that could be construed as supportive of the ship. Naturally fans of the two Fan-Preferred Couple ships for the Chocobros were not quite as appreciative, leading to a lot of butting of heads, and in some extreme cases, accusing Noctis/Ignis of being an abusive/incestuous/pedophilic relationship.
  • Ship Mates:
    • People who ship any of the Chocobros with each other tend to pair the remaining two together, even when it's nominally an OT4.
    • In general, fans who ship Noctis with other characters tend to ship Luna with Nyx and vice versa.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Loqi/Cor has a following due to Loqi taunting him in the boss battle that's the one time they interact together, plus some Ultimania guide stating that Loqi has a rivalry with Cor.
    • Cor/Prompto has a lot of fans in Japan; but in canon the two have very little interaction outside of early-game party banter.
    • Cor/Iris gained a following due to a single line in the World of Ruin that suggests they work together as Daemon hunters.
  • Special Effect Failure: The game's graphics are far from flawless.
    • Occasionally, water won't properly animate, instead appearing perfectly flat.
    • Lighting will highlight seams on models that should obviously be invisible.
    • Many of the NPCs qualify for the Uncanny Valley, which isn't helped by poor lip-syncing and voice acting on non-major characters.
    • When Prompto takes a photograph, the game will render plantlife in the way and instead give it an extreme close-up... which causes hideous pixellation that makes it look obviously fake.
    • The Adamantoise is too big for the game to handle, resulting in the camera often swinging into and through its model.
  • Squick:
    • The reveal of Iris's age has caused... polarizing opinions to pop up regarding the Noctis/Iris ship, resulting in Abandon Shipping for some.
    • The game and Brotherhood pretty much confirm that Noctis and Luna have loved each other since they were children. Which is sweet and all... until you remember that Luna is 4 years older than Noct. Meaning that at one point, Luna would have been an adult romantically involved with a minor. Thankfully, though, their relationship remained chaste during that time.
  • Stoic Woobie: Ignis, especially after the events of Episode Ignis. He finds out the person he loves more than anything else in the world is fated to die horribly in order to save it, is forced to witness his death in excruciating detail thanks to a vision, sacrifices his valued ability to see to protect him, only to lose him for ten years, and ultimately fails to stop him from going through with his sacrifice. But Ignis adamantly refuses to show his sorrow to anyone, and only allows his facade to crack for a brief moment shortly before the end of the game.
  • Strangled by the Red String: A common criticism concerning Noctis and Luna's romance. Since she has about 30 minutes of screentime and they only interact in the present after she's dead, it feels rushed and poorly developed to some. Even people who do like the romance think it should've had more time spent on it.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • While the bit NPCs are very hit-or-miss, the principle characters' voice acting in the English dub is considered a high point by many. The casting is excellent and the actors are highly and very convincingly emotive. Darin De Paul in particular is obviously having a blast voicing Ardyn.
    • When Ardyn reveals his true name, he says "you'll never guess whose name Izunia was." This gives the name "Izunia" a double meaning, with some fans interpreting the line to mean that Ardyn took the name Izunia from Noctis' ancestor, who took the throne from Ardyn, which is exactly the sort of thing a Troll like Ardyn would do. In the Japanese dub, the line is much more dismissive, with him saying that Izunia is just a random name he got from somewhere he doesn't even remember.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:

    T 
  • That One Boss:
    • The Tonberry Knights, an upgrade to the series' dreaded Demonic Spiders. You get to fight them as a Wolf Pack Boss, and they're all equipped with energy knives that amount to lightsabers, and can quickly decimate your entire party if you don't preemptively gang up on a single one. Oh, and they're level 75, making their encounter at night something of a nightmare.
    • The Naga boss; she can be fought pretty early at the end of a particularly rough early dungeon, it's possible to get knocked into her boss chamber without having a chance to prepare, you fight her in a compact corridor (and she has attacks that have pretty significant reach), and she can inflict the Toad status on the party.
    • The Marlboro, fought in Chapter 10, is a major pain in the boss of a Puzzle Boss: every time you whittle down its HP, it comes back to life until Ignis suggests falling back. It's all to easy to mistake this instruction for running out of the battle area, in doing so bringing it back to full health, instead of moving to a specific spot in the battle area that is barely indicated.
    • The battle with Daemon!Ravus in Zegnautus Fort is universally acknowledged to be the single toughest fight necessary to advance the story. He's fast, hits very hard, has a number of AOE attacks, and has an insane amount of HP. Pray for those who never played the Platinum Demo and unlocked Carbuncle... because they'll really be missing him.
  • That One Level:
    • Chapter 13 has been met with a lot of criticism, due to the use of a Scrappy Mechanic that robs Noctis of his powers, his weaponry, and his allies and throws you into a labyrinth of hallways. What's more is that the moment you start to make some progress, something happens and it effectively knocks you back even further than you were before. And even if you are able to brute force through all of the combat and stealth by having enough HP to safely spam your magic, the chapter drags on due to how scarce the plot points are between the many maze segments. Thankfully, a patch helped with some of these issues, making Noct's magic stronger while also giving him the ability to sprint. And just in case a player still hates the chapter, the option to play as Gladio and Ignis was also added in a post-launch patch, allowing players to "skip" the chapter.
    • Costlemark Tower, the hardest dungeon you can tackle before post-game content. Whereas the game tends to thrive on large-scale battles and open arenas, Costlemark is filled to the brim with excess numbers of monsters per encounter in small spaces. You basically can't even take a swing at an enemy most of the time without another knocking you flat on your ass. But then the final part of the dungeon brings a vague (yet surprisingly linear) labyrinth of moving cubic walls. Which you have to go through at least three different times from three different angles (four if you take a wrong turn in the final path), each ending in ever-escalating battles against Red Giants, Nagas, and a horde of Flans to the point that you can fight multiples of each at the same time. Clusterfuck doesn't even begin to describe it; if you can get through the dungeon, odds are the boss won't stop you despite how much damage it does by virtue of only being one target and actually having plenty of space to fight it in! Due to FFXV retaining the historical save point system, this entire, long, dragging dungeon must be done in a single sitting, as leaving will cause all of the monsters to reset.
    • The Steyliff Grove Menace dungeon is easily the worst of the Menace dungeons, though not due to level; it's 100 floors deep. Every other Menace dungeon aside from Costlemark is 20 or 30 floors deep, and Costlemark is still only 60 floors. Not only is Steyliff significantly longer than the other dungeons, but the enemies within include Tonberry variants (mass amounts of HP) and Flan variants (immune to all conventional damage, time to bust out the Ring of the Lucii) that will serve you annoy you further and drag out the dungeon more. Completing Steyliff's Menace dungeon can take in-game days, real world hours, to finish.
    • The Pitioss Ruins are a vast, enemy-free platforming dungeon in a game whose controls are utterly unsuited for precise platforming. Combine this with the total lack of hints as to where to go or what the hell you're even supposed to accomplish in there, and you have yourself a level that shouldn't be tackled by anyone with little patience unless they have a couple of spare controllers handy. There are quite a few powerful items to be found here, but some players may argue if the stuff is really worth the immense investment in time and nerves required to get them.
    • The Daurell Caverns. The first time you notice something is off is the game lying to your face. The game says the Daurell Caverns are a Level 28 dungeon but the welcoming committee is two Level 41 Necromancers. After that, it's all one-way drops, poison pools, Iron Giants and more Necromancers. And the end reward is... nothing. No Royal Arm, no cool boss to fight, nothing. There is also an entrance to one of the Menace-dungeons and it's the only one of them to be Guide Dang It! since it requires you to point-warp, which you can only do in combat but the ladder you need to extend is only accessible when out of combat. The one redeeming factor to the dungeon is the Daurell Stills fishing spot where a ton of hard but hugely rewarding fish like the Bizarre Barramundi dwell.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Cid's weapon upgrade quests, because of the Guide Dang It! nature of the required parts. You'll probably find most of them by accident, and then comes actually getting the weapon upgrade, because the game doesn't tell you that no matter how long you wait, Cid won't finish the weapon until you complete so many quests and then rest.
    • Dino's final quest requires you to venture into Costlemark Tower, the toughest dungeon in the game, which is swarming with hordes of powerful monsters, to get a gem from roughly halfway into the place.
      • On the subject of Costlemark Tower, the sidequest where you have to fight the boss can be this. You'll encounter Bombs a lot, there's a tedious block puzzle, and it can take well over 24 in-game hours to finish it.
    • The two hunts "To Catch a Frog" and "Rainstorm Duel! Poison Frog of Wennath", for the reason that they can only be completed in a specific type of weather, that being rain. The catch is that the game's weather system is entirely random, so a player may find themselves camping over and over waiting for a rainstorm to come, then racing to the site of the hunt spawn hoping it doesn't let up before they get there. Fortunately, these two are the only quests that demand a specific kind of weather.note 
    • Catching the Mummy Bass. Even getting it hooked on the line is an excercise in patience, since it only appears in a specific part of the sea as part of particularly large schools of fish, and even then there's no guarantee it'll be there, and there's actually getting it to bite the line once you see it. That's the easy part — the hardest part is catching the damn thing, because it far and away has the best stats of any fish in the game coupled with Artificial Brilliance in its movement patterns, making it very good at rapidly wearing down the line. Even if Noctis' Fishing is maxed out, he's armed with the best gear, and you have the 25% line defense boost from a meal, it is very difficult to catch the Mummy Bass, and doing so can take over five minutes as you chip away its massive HP bar.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Some fans reacted negatively to a number of changes to XV compared to previous Final Fantasy games and even previous versions of XV. Square Enix seem to be well aware of this; see Author's Saving Throw:
    • The most heated example; trailers post-rebranding were a little vague about it, but the Episode Duscae stinger was more blatant - not only did Stella's name appear to have been changed to Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, or "Luna" for short, her role also appeared to have been changed. Previous promotional materials posited her as an Anti-Villain and major antagonist to Noct & Co. and a very capable combatant; the TGS 2014 trailer seemingly treated her more like a classic Love Interest, and then the Duscae stinger shows her badly disheveled and wandering the streets of a war-blasted Crown City, with a radio report voiceover reporting (apparently falsely) her demise. Either this implied that she barely escaped from a warzone (fighting the entire time), or other possible implications, which had those who were looking forward to the originally-posited antagonist Stella fuming in anger. It was later confirmed that Stella had indeed been cut from the game/reimagined as Luna, making people even more wary and angry. It's also not helped by the fact that she was removed because Tabata apparently didn't understand how to fit her into the plot, and also possibly removed a large portion of the game's (as well as lots of material that had been around since the beginning) story that would thus have to be rewritten entirely, which contradicted what was promised when Nomura claimed the game's story had not been changed.
    • Linking to the above, changes to character designs between the 2006 announcement and the final version of the game, as well as alterations to character profiles. For example, Prompto is no longer a new friend of Noctis's and has now known him since their days at school together.
    • The transition from the turn based battle systems of previous Final Fantasy games to a Action RPG one.
    • Prompto's hair got changed in the TGS 2014 trailer to something resembling Cloud's and/or Zell's, to the annoyance of those who liked his more normal style from the previous trailers.
    • The announcement that there would be no Moogles in the game brought about a heavy dose of this, to the point that Word of God stated that there was still a chance that they would be included if fan demand was high enough. The crisis was averted when the decision was made to include them after all. Then it turned out that this "appearance" was simply a Moogle stuffed animal that Iris gives Noctis as a sidequest reward that is a disposable item that can be used as a decoy in battle. There was also a Moogle Chocobo Carnival event held in early 2017 where characters appeared in Moogle costumes and quests were given where Noctis was required to hunt down stuffed Moogle dolls.
    • Many longtime FF fans are not happy with the portrayal of Gilgamesh as a stoic cold-blooded guardian portrayal in this game, rather than the Hot-Blooded Large Ham Dimensional Traveler with a love for theatrics and weapon-collecting that he's always been.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: While many are happy with some of the changes in the Dawn of the Future novel, many fans have sharp criticisms of things like almost nonexistent role of Gladio, Prompto, and Ignis and lifting plot points from other Final Fantasy games, particularly drawing comparisons to the Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII with Bahamut being compared to Bhunivelze which in turn stirred more debates on whether XV should have remained a part of Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy since, despite initial attempts to distance itself, it ends up sharing much of its mythology.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • One of the biggest criticisms of the game after release concerns just how little screentime so many of the supporting characters got. Characters who looked like they'd be of great importance, such as Emperor Aldercapt or Cor, have little to no significance to the plot. The worst offender is Verstael, the head researcher of Niflheim and Prompto's biological father, only appears for all of one cutscene.
      • Finally averted in Episode Prompto, whereas Verstael was given a major role, being the main antagonist and Final Boss.
    • Furthermore, while the idea of Guest Party Members was well-received, it's felt by many that even the guest characters are underused. Cor, Iris, and Aranea are only available for brief periods, while Luna, who was initially stated as one, wasn't in the final product. While some fans argue there should've been more opportunities to use guest characters ( particularly in the World of Ruin, as all the guest characters are referenced, but don't appear on-screen), others wish that the game used them as permanent party members like in previous games.
    • Both Stella Nox Fleuret and Lunafreya Nox Fleuret might be far worse offenders of this trope than even Verstael is. Stella, because she was slated to be an Anti-Villain with similar powers to Noctis that had to fight against him, but was removed when the development team changed. And Luna, because she had unreal expectations placed on her and what appearances she does have don't utilize her to the fullest extent of what her character and story could have achieved. Luna was actually going to be given her own DLC story in 2019, but that got canned, meaning Luna can accurately describe her entire existence as one big case of this trope.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • After Chapter 9, the game starts to play more like it ran into a Cosmic Deadlinenote  with numerous events that could have made for some compelling gameplay set pieces occurring off-screen. A few examples include the Imperial Army launching an all-out attack on Tenebrae, Aranea and the 86th Airborne defecting and coming to Tenebrae's aid, Ardyn betraying Niflheim and unleashing an army of daemons and reprogrammed Magitek Troopers to lay waste to the imperial capital, Ravus being executed, etc. One of the bigger ones is in Chapter 14 when Noctis awakens in the "World of Ruin." Those who are familiar with Final Fantasy VI would probably expect the game to go back to an open world format as you gather your allies for one last attack against the Big Bad, but this doesn't happen: it consists of Noctis talking to his friends and Talcott, being told what all the supporting cast has been up to for the past 10 years, then rushing to Insomnia to fight the final battle.
    • The Moogle Chocobo Carnival DLC. While many fans enjoyed it for its lighthearted atmosphere and access to special items, others felt like it was a waste that only Noctis could attend the carnival. Aside from the rest of the Chocobros, it's lamented that characters who usually wouldn't be able to interact with Noctis couldn't meet him there — including Regis and Luna — while Carbuncle could.

    U 
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Despite the beautiful scenery and the well-done graphics for the backgrounds and many of the important characters, some of the unimportant NPCs (namely shopkeepers) will have... bizarre animations to go with their voice acting. Important NPCs like the ones around Hammerhead are great, but some of the minor ones around some outposts sometimes seem to suffer from Lip Lock or have really bizarre overbites that makes them look jarring.
    • Prompto, despite being as well-animated as all the other main characters, has these on his pictures sometimes. On occasion, he'll take selfies where he's smiling, but for some reason, he's almost always squinting, and his eyes bulge a little too much when he's doing so. It looks either hilarious or creepy.
    • The sheer amount of Artificial Atmospheric Actions presented by some of the NPCs at times makes them feel... bizarre.
    • The Cactuars look very unsettling, due to having a very cartoony design in an otherwise realistic looking game and not moving their individual limbs while moving or attacking.
    • Noctis's post-timeskip model can have this at times due to his head seeming a little too big for his body, unless you're wearing the Kingly Raiment or Master Assassin's Robes (which subsequently have the converse problem of looking too big if you're wearing it on his normal model).
    • The proportions on the character models for FFXV Pocket Edition look really off, especially Gladio's.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • As the Oracle, Luna is supposed to act as the mouthpiece of the Astrals, and she does their bidding dutifully. However, they're a serious case of Jerkass Gods who are ultimately responsible for many of the setting's ills, including the creation of the Big Bad and sentencing Luna and Noctis to their deaths via Heroic Sacrifice in order to clean up said ills. The fact that Luna is aware of this due to her status yet expresses no desire to challenge this at any point or find an alternate, less bloody solution (particularly now that the alternate ending of Episode Ignis shows they do exist) causes some fans to see her as an Extreme Doormat who is complicit in Noctis's death at the end.
    • Episode Ignis does a lot to flesh out Ignis, including showcasing his darker aspects such as just how far he would theoretically go to protect Noctis. Some fans came away viewing him as more cruel than tragic.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Ardyn is outright hated by most of the cast in-game. Nearly all the heroes mistrust him and even the villains find him odious. But within the fandom, he's unambiguously one of the most popular characters due to being a Magnificent Bastard who leaves ham and destruction in his wake.

    V-W 
  • Vindicated by History: While the alternate ending of Episode Ignis was criticized by some parts of the fanbase at the time for being a lot more on the sweet side compared to the game's very bittersweet normal ending, in comparison to the teaser image for the now-cancelled Golden Ending which is seen as overly sappy, it's now considered to have achieved a more reasonable level of happiness.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • From the E3 2013 trailer alone does one get the impression that, even by FF standards, the game is going to be brimming with obscenely, positively stupefying amounts of this.
    • Opinion is even more heavily skewed towards this in regards to the leaked Paris Games Week trailers. The visuals shown put even The Archylte Steppe to shame.
    • Summoning Ramuh in Episode Duscae is downright awe-inspiring and gorgeous. If that's only one summon, imagine the rest in the real game.
    • A minor, but still impressive example: Flans. Their bodies move and ripple like liquid extremely realistically, and it looks fantastic.
    • Another very great example: If random NPCs get in the player's way and they walk near them, they'll actually step out of the way before bumping into Noctis; the way they do that is very well animated.
    • The character generator for Comrades. The player can extensively customize their character from top to bottom and even see how well their hair moves when they walk or run.
    • Episode Ignis has a shot of the Citadel that looks absolutely stunning and really highlights Luminous Engine's ability to create environments.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • The game served as a means for Square-Enix to try and reach out to disillusioned Final Fantasy fans who had given up on the series. The biggest example being that Hironobu Sakaguchi and Nobuo Uematsu spoke at the event (the latter by video recording) essentially saying that although they both had their disagreements with Square-Enix's decisions in the past, it truly looks like Final Fantasy XV is moving in a direction that allows it to recapture the original meaning of the Final Fantasy name. This is extremely telling, considering that both of them left Squaresoft / Square-Enix in the early-mid 2000s on bad terms.
    • The video game forum NeoGAF has been among the game's staunchest critics, especially when it came to the game's graphics and gameplay. To put it into perspective, these people were nitpicking on "jaggies" and how subpar the graphics of — of all things — the foliage were. When Square Enix announced the delay of the release date in August, forum members took it as an omen that the game was in trouble. Reports across the Internet from people who had tried the demo at conventions since the delay was announced weren't reassuring, as a lot of those reports stated that the game was littered with bugs and graphical downgrades from previous builds. With the early October announcement that the game has been data-locked and the subsequent release of footage by several game journalists who had recorded themselves playing the final build of the game, even NeoGAF members were impressed by the footage and praised how quickly Square Enix managed to address many of the graphical and gameplay complaints that had been made since the announcement of the delay. And yes, even the improved foliage was praised.
    • The "Omen" what-if story trailer made a huge impression on the fans, even from some disillusioned Versus XIII fans, due to its heavy use of Mind Screw, a very dark and ominous tone, and especially for bringing back a major plot point from the Versus XIII concept that everyone assumed had been scrapped for XV: namely, Noctis in a tragic duel to the death with the love of his life. Unfortunately, other than being one of Noctis' nightmares, none of those elements actually made it into the final game's plot.
    • While just as much of a victim to the Broken Base like the other games, people are willing to call this game a worthy, if flawed, (offline) entry in the series after the divisiveness of Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels.
    • The multiple free patches has been a big one for detractors and critics by significantly improving the experience from its initial release. In particular includes the addition of plot elements (notably, for the divisive later chapters) and gameplay features such as party member switching, a codex, and off-road driving.
  • The Woobie: A large chunk of the cast would probably qualify for some kind of one or the other. As far as the standard type go, Prompto had absentee parents and a Friendless Background growing up, and is often upbeat to hide his insecurities. Then comes Episode Prompto where it all comes crashing down and he starts doubting if it's even worth reuniting with Noctis after learning about his true origins. Thankfully, he does get better by the end with the help of Aranea snapping some sense into him.
  • Woobie Family: The Caelum and Fleuret families. Every tragedy they have experienced throughout their entire existences is due to the whims of the gods.

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