Final Fantasy XVI: Release Date, Story, Mechanics, and More

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming release of Final Fantasy XVI.


Final Fantasy XVI Release Date
Image Source: finalfantasyxvi.com

Final Fantasy XVI is the 16th title in the mainline Final Fantasy series, bringing the successful series to the PlayStation 5 exclusively for the first six months of its release. Final Fantasy XVI will serve as a reinvigoration of the long running franchise as Naoki Yoshida attempts to carve a new path that remains true to the Final Fantasy imagination. The Final Fantasy XVI release date is scheduled to be June 22, 2023, in a global release that will see all regions have the game at the same time.

Below, you will find:


  • An overview of Final Fantasy as a series,
  • An overview of the setting for Final Fantasy XVI,
  • An overview of the main character and some companions for Final Fantasy XVI,
  • An overview on the story for Final Fantasy XVI,
  • An overview on the battling system in Final Fantasy XVI.

Final Fantasy the series

If you are new to the Final Fantasy series, there are several things you should know about it before release. First, the long running series by Square Enix extends back to the original Nintendo Entertainment System, making it one of the longest running series of games ever. Thankfully, all of the mainline Final Fantasy games have self-contained stories and do not connect to each other. There are spinoffs and sequels that relate to a previous game, but they are not numbered like the mainline 16 games.

For example, Final Fantasy X has a sequel called Final Fantasy X-2, and Final Fantasy XIII has two sequels: Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Those games continue the stories from the foundational game, but most of the games themselves have no connection to one another outside of the occasional little nod or hint to long time players. Recurring characters sometimes show up, though the only thing the same for them is their name (Cid, for example). Barring Gilgamesh, who travels through the Final Fantasy multiverse from events that take place in Final Fantasy V, every Final Fantasy mainline title is a self-contained experience.

The setting of Final Fantasy XVI

The world of Final Fantasy XVI features a planet divided between two continents, with six nations experiencing increasing tension over a dwindling resource that allows people to use magic called the Mothercrystals. The crystals provide aether energy to the people, making them a significant resource, but overuse of the magic from them causes a person to be petrified.

The six nations in the game are the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, and the Dhalmekian Republic – all occupying the Storm continent – while the neutral nation, Crystalline Dominion, sits between the Storm and Ash continents. The Kingdom of Waloed controls the majority of the Ash continent, and an isolated nation off of the coast of the Storm continent, called the Iron Kingdom, is overseen by the Crystalline Orthodox. The depletion of aether has led to something called the Blight, forcing the nations into conflict with each other to control the dwindling resource.


Humans that can use magic without the crystals are able to manifest Eikons and play a key role in the military of each nation, though they bear a greater risk of being petrified as they summon the Eikons. These humans are called Dominants, and they are often valued for their power and thus become political leaders, though others simply tolerate them because they wield such incredible power. In other places, they have suffered abuse or are forced to fight in wars. The known Eikons in the game thus far are Phoenix, Shiva, Titan, Garuda, Leviathan, Odin, Ifrit, and Ramuh.

The Eikon, Ifrit (Image source: finalfantasyxvi.com).

The main character of Final Fantasy XVI

The main character of the game is Clive Rosfield (pictured at the beginning of the article), the firstborn child of the Rosaria ruling family, who is passed over as successor to the throne for his little brother, Joshua Rosfield. Joshua is the Dominant of Phoenix, and Clive Rosfield lives his life to protect his little brother. Clive has two companions that join him eventually in the game – his pet dog, Torgal, and Cidolfus Telamon. Cidolfus is the Dominant of Ramuh, but he does not serve any particular nation. He wants to establish a new nation that houses and takes care of people who have been victimized magic users.

One of the unique things about Clive is that he is able to share the Eikons others have, meaning that Joshua shares his Eikon, Phoenix, with Clive, granting him great power. During an attack on the Grand Dutchy of Rosaria, tragedy occurs, and out of it, the second Eikon of fire, Ifrit, manifests itself and Clive takes control of it, moving him into violent battle with the other nations and against the other Eikons directly, which is something that had never before happened.


The story of Final Fantasy XVI

The story of the game certainly promises to build expectations for the Final Fantasy XVI release date as it appears it will take you down a dramatic war of nations that see titans clash over power and revenge. While nothing will carry over from previous Final Fantasy games directly, the themes of the previous games that are always present in some form or another will be present here. Crystals, monsters that are summoned to fight, magic, and war between nations over that magic are all things that Final Fantasy has done before, and there is no reason to depart from that basic formula here.

Landscape
Image source: finalfantasyxvi.com.

Instead, this game is aiming to find a fresh way to tell that kind of story, and the idea of magic that presents great risk of petrification as you progress through the story gives the character pause about what they are doing. It is unknown if the character can actually contribute to the petrification process as the game goes on depending on how much magic is used, or if it will just be a plot point that is hard coded into the story no matter what you do, but it is nonetheless an interesting point of drama. As the story advances, concern for the characters and their state of being will be natural, as they go deeper and deeper into battles.

Battling in Final Fantasy XVI

While the majority of Final Fantasy games feature a turn-based battle system, this game will feature an action battle system. If you have played Final Fantasy XV or Final Fantasy VII Remake, the action systems in those games seem to have laid the foundation for what we will see in Final Fantasy XVI. While turn based systems are superior in the author’s opinion, Square Enix has not delivered a bad action based system yet, and it is sure to be packed with unique features and the usual creativity that Square Enix shows in their games.

If you like RPGs, or are into action games with a deep story, Final Fantasy XVI looks to be a must have game. For decades now, Square Enix has set the standard for what RPGs are in their Final Fantasy series and other great titles, and it seems that their goal is no different this time with Final Fantasy XVI. The Final Fantasy XVI release date of June 22, 2023 could not come soon enough, as the game will prove to push the boundaries of what a console can do, and will provide hours of entertainment through the story the company has laid out for gamers. Fans of RPGs already know how great the Final Fantasy series can be, so it is with great hope that there are no setbacks for Final Fantasy XVI.


WR_Central

WR_Central has been a gamer since his parents gifted him his first console at 5-years-old, the Nintendo Entertainment System, which he still plays to this day! Since then, he's earned two masters degrees, and writes about video games and pro wrestling.

 

What games/video games are you currently playing? Stranger in Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne HD Remaster, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero

What's your favorite video game? Chrono Trigger

What hardware do you use (consoles, gaming chairs, etc.? PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch (along with a wide variety of retro consoles as well).

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