PAX East 2023 is here, and the Lords from the Iron Lords Podcast and LOGNET are live on the show floor. One of the many games being previewed on the show floor this year is Final Fantasy XVI. Square Enix hosted a panel presented by legendary producer Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P). Subsequently, Koji Fox (Localization Director) led the English translations. Here are the highlights of the Final Fantasy XVI panel.
The Four Pillars
Final Fantasy XVI is the latest entry in the beloved Final Fantasy franchise. The series prides itself on its creative storytelling and fantastical settings. Subsequently, each entry is unique which allows players to dive in without any previous experience. XVI is no different. It is a brand-new story focused on a spectacular cast of characters.
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Furthermore, Yoshi-P went on to explain the intent behind the making of the game. The developers founded the game upon four pillars:
- Battle (Gameplay)
This team of creative developers aimed to bring the series back to High Fantasy. On the other hand, they carefully created an engaging experience. Final Fantasy XVI offers a truly cinematic experience placing players in the shoes of Clive Rosfield. Furthermore, players will follow Clive’s journey through climactic battles with summons, forging new ties, and exploring the world of Valisthea.
— FINAL FANTASY XVI (@finalfantasyxvi) March 25, 2023
Yoshi-P further elaborated on the world of Valisthea. It is comprised of five separate nations and one neutral city-state. Subsequently, these nations battle over Mother Crystals. These are magical resources scattered across the continent. They provide energy and are a vital resource compared to real-life oil fields. Furthermore, the current setting places the player in the midst of a war over these resources across the land.
The Final Fantasy XVI panel shifted its focus to Dominants. Dominants are characters who house the spirits of Eikons within themselves. Eikons are this game’s Summons, a staple of the Final Fantasy franchise. Clive Rosfield is a Dominant himself of Ifrit. In contrast, the treatment of Dominants can vary greatly. Some are heralded as heroes and leaders while others are scorned.
Subsequently, these Dominants become the Eikons themselves. Yoshi-P further explains they can range greatly in size. Thus your battles with Eikons will be dynamic and ever-changing. Additionally, Eikons are heavily tied to the story and gameplay. Players will gain a deeper understanding of the Eikons and their histories.
Additionally, Clive Rosfield learns new Eikonic abilities along his journey. Players will use these abilities when battling as they weave powerful combos. You can also expect to fully transform into an Eikon yourself. Clive will often engage in Kaiju-like boss battles called “Eikon Clashes.” Yoshi-P promises these are a grand spectacle and differs from each other.
Lastly, Yoshi-P rounds out the Final Fantasy XVI panel by answering important questions from the community. Much of this led to assuring fears born of misunderstandings through previous media tours.
Fans may have noticed quick-time events during boss battles. Yoshi-P explains they were created to keep players engaged as boss battles transfer from one phase to the next. He assures players these are not lengthy. Additionally, the QTEs will never result in a complete game over and give players ample time to hit the correct button. Players missing a QTE will simply result in a different outcome.
Many are also upset at the decision for the franchise to focus on real-time action versus traditional, turn-based RPG elements. Yoshi-P and the team understand this. However, the studio wanted to try its hands at something new. They wish to apply the skills learned from previous successes to a new medium.
Yet, Final Fantasy XVI still has plenty of RPG elements. Additionally, the game is accessible to everyone regardless of skill level. The game does not have a traditional easy, medium, or hard difficulty. Instead, players can equip “Timely Accessories” to change the gameplay. These range from slowing down time to allow for an evade, to performing a string of combos with a single button press. Equipping one (or multiple up to three) is optional. However, it is great in terms of accessibility for all players.
The Good Boy
Lastly, Yoshi-P answers the most important question. Clive Rosfield is accompanied on his journey by Torgal. Torgal is a trusty hound that was adopted by Clive’s family during his childhood. Many players fell in love with Torgal from his first appearance on screen. Yes, you can pet the dog.
Those are the highlights from the Final Fantasy XVI panel. The game is set to release on June 22, 2023. It is available for preorder now. Additionally, you can find the full panel recording on Square Enix’s Youtube. What are your thoughts on the panel? Let us know in the comments down below. For all things, Final Fantasy, remember to bend the knee in the realm of Lords of Gaming.