We were waiting a long, long time for the next big Final Fantasy 16 update, and at long last, Square Enix decided to put an end to that long wait with a meaty new trailer for the upcoming RPG at the recent State of Play showcase, while also revealing new details on its through other official channels. Thanks to these new reveals, we’ve learned quite a bit about the world, story, and characters of Final Fantasy 16, as well as about its development team, and here, we’re going to go over some of those details.
Final Fantasy 16 is set in the world of Valisthea, and the magic that flows through this world comes from crystals- no prizes for guessing that, this is Final Fantasy after all. To be more precise, it comes from Mothercrystals, which are massive mountainous crystals scattered throughout the world. People having been drawing magic from these Mothercrystals and using their powers for advancement purposes, creating power and comfort for themselves, and as such, big cities have generally sprung up around these Mothercrystals. Now, however, something known as the Blight is threatening the peace and order of Valisthea, and the big powers of the world are preparing to go to war against each other.
EIKONS AND THE DOMINANTS
Final Fantasy 16 is going to make the series’ traditional summons a much more central part of its world, lore, and story. Known in Valisthea as Eikons, they are described as vast and dreadfully powerful creatures, and each Eikon is tied to an individual. These individuals are known as Dominants- with Eikons residing inside of them, they are capable of summoning them, calling forth their powers, and using them to terrible effect. Dominants are born with these powers, and treated either with immense fear or with immense respect in different parts of the world. The main characters of Final Fantasy 16, it seems, are all going to be Dominants, each representing a unique Eikon.
REALMS OF VALISTHEA
The world of Final Fantasy 16 – Valisthea – is promising to be a vast and varied one. While we don’t know how it’ll be structured from a gameplay perspective, we do know that it’s split into various different realms. There’s the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, found in western Valisthea, tied to the Mothercrystal known as Drake’s Breath, and to the Dominant of Phoenix, who is its Archduke. There’s the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, a large theocratic nation built around the Mothercrystal known as Drake’s Head, with their mysterious dominant serving as a champion of the Holy Emperor. There’s also the Kingdom of Waloed, found in eastern Valisthea, struggling and fighting against orcs and beastment. Waloed uses the power of the Mothercrystal known as Drake’s Spine, and its Dominant is the current ruler of the realm.
MORE REALMS OF VALISTHEA
There are three more realms of Valisthea that Square Enix has revealed details on so far. The Dhalmekian Republic is comprised of five individual states who collectively elect a ruling parliament. Built around the Drake’s Fang Mothercrystal that is half-buried inside a mountain, the republic’s Dominant is tied to the Eikon Titan, and serves as a special advisor to the parliament. Then there’s The Iron Kingdom, a small group of islands, controlling the Drake’s Breath Mothercrystal- which, incidentally, is the crystal that the Duchy of Rosaria also draws its power from. Considered aloof and hardlining, the people of The Iron Kingdom consider Dominants to be abominations. Finally, there’s the Crystalline Dominion, built around the tallest of all the Mothercrystals, Drake’s Tail, though the realm has no Dominant.
And what about the central characters who’ll be taking the spotlight in Final Fantasy 16? The central ensemble cast is, after all, a crucial aspect of every Final Fantasy game. Thankfully, we have some brief details on the characters here as well. Clive and Joshua Rosfield are the sons of the Archduke of Rosaria. Clive, as the firstborn, was expected to inherit the title of Dominant from his father, but the powers of Phoenix instead went to Joshua, who’s the younger sibling. Clive now serves as the First Shield of Rosaria, charged with protecting Phoenix, and in turn, his far more bookish and frail brother Joshua. Another major character, meanwhile, is Jill Warrick, a ward of Rosaria who, in spite of not having been born a Rosfield, has become like a sister to the two aforementioned brothers.
Hugo Kepka is a character who promises to be among the most intriguing personalities in Final Fantasy 16’s world. He is the Dominant of Titan, and though he was once just a foot soldier of the Dhalmekian Republic, when he became the Dominant, he became much more powerful and influential and now serves a crucial role in the realm’s politics. And it seems like the yin to his yang will be Benedikta Harman, from the Kingdom of Waloed. The Dominant of the Eikon Garuda, she leads a squad of elite spies and soldiers and is on a mission of her own that will see her crossing paths with others in Final Fantasy 16’s cast of characters.
Square Enix has also revealed details on the development team of Final Fantasy 16- more specifically, we know who some of the leads of the RPG’s development team are. Naoki Yoshida of Final Fantasy 14 fame is, of course, the producer, which is something we’ve known for a while, while it’s also been confirmed Ryota Suzuki is the game’s combat director, which we first heard about back in 2020. What that means exactly for Final Fantasy 16’s combat remains to be seen, but there’s no denying that it gives us plenty of reasons to be excited about how the RPG is shaping up, especially when combined with the glimpses of combat we’ve seen in its trailers so far.
DEVELOPMENT TEAM – MORE INFO
And what about other development leads working on Final Fantasy 16? Hiroshi Takai – who directed The Last Remnant and has been involved in the development of several SaGa games and multiple Final Fantasy 14 expansions – is the main director, while Kazutoyo Maehiro – who wrote The Last Remnant and multiple Final Fantasy 14 expansions – is the creative director and responsible for the game’s original screenplay. Then we have Michael-Christopher Koji Fox – who has worked on Final Fantasy 14, Final Fantasy 11, and Final Fantasy 7: Dirge of Cerberus – serving as the game’s localization director, while Hiroshi Minagawa – whose credits include Final Fantasy 14, Final Fantasy 12, and Final Fantasy Tactics, among many others – is the art director. Kazuya Takahashi – known for his work on Final Fantasy 10, Final Fantasy 11, and Final Fantasy 14 – serves as the character designer. Finally, Masayoshi Soken – best known for Final Fantasy 14 and its expansions – is the composer.
Square Enix has said that Final Fantasy 16 has entered the final stages of development. The RPG is now apparently playable from start to finish, and its development team is focused primarily on polishing the game now. With a launch window set for Summer 2023, it looks like we’re going to be seeing and hearing a lot more about the game between now and then.