Anyone who has picked up any Final Fantasy title will know that story is the very heart of the franchise. Be it the memorable characters, the long-form narratives of the vivid and varied worlds they build their narratives around, Final Fantasy’s stories are something to behold.
From the slim pickings of information located within the game’s Awakening Trailer and official website, we can already piece together the fundamentals behind the story of the upcoming game in the franchise. And it’s looking as vibrant as ever.
Any Final Fantasy world feeds into the narrative in many ways, but dare I say this will be one of the most interconnected yet.
The game takes place in the world of Valisthea, a land blessed in the light of Mothercrystals—huge crystal formations which dot its landscape. These Mothercrystals are fundamental to the entirety of the world as they ooze magical aether and (effectively) house an affiliated Eikon (or summon for Final Fantasy veterans.
Because of the powers these crystals hold, the world’s nations have each formed around a crystal to reap the benefits of their power. During the events of the game, the world is split into six contemporary realms The Grand Duchy of Rosaria, The Holy Empire of Sanbreque, The Kingdom of Waloed, The Dhalmekian Republic, The Iron Kingdom and The Crystalline Dominion. Each of these realms has the capacity to house a Dominant—an individual who can channel the power of their Mothercrystal’s respective Eikon.
After long periods of fighting, the nations created a relatively stable period of peace. However, this peace is currently faltering due to the spread of a malady known as the Blight, which threatens them all.
The Player’s Path
Born and raised by the Archduke of The Grand Dutchy of Rosaria, we play as Clive Rosfield. Clive is the First Shield of Rosaria, and thus his duty is to protect Rosaria’s Dominant who happens to be Clive’s brother, Joshua Rosfield.
Along with these two Jill Warrick acts as a confidant to the brothers, however little is known about the role she will play in the game.
It is speculated that the game’s events will begin with a youthful Clive, Joshua and Jill. During this stage a dark and tragic event related to the Dark Eikon, Ifrit, befalls Joshua and Clive.
After this event, years seemingly pass and we are met by an older, grizzlier Clive who sets out on a dangerous road to revenge.
Due to this split period in the game, it is fair to speculate that the game will feature a pretty important time skip—where we go from playing a young Clive, to the older version.
While much of Final Fantasy XVI still remains in shadow—most notably the inner workings of its narrative, interconnections between the realms and the drama which it will surely contain—fans have a lot to speculate about in the run-up to the next “big information reveal” which is scheduled for 2021.