Ah, Final Fantasy 15, a game that's as complex as the plot of a soap opera. This installment of the long and prolific series has a rather unique development story. Originally intended as a companion game to Final Fantasy 13, it ended up going through some serious changes. So much so that it's almost like the game itself suffered an identity crisis.
But fear not, my fellow gamers! Despite its convoluted origins, Final Fantasy 15 still manages to deliver an incredibly heartfelt story with a lovable cast of characters. The only problem is that it struggles a bit when it comes to explaining its vast and intricate world. You might find yourself scratching your head, trying to make sense of the plot's motivations. And to make matters worse, the lore is scattered across different media, sometimes suffering from mismatched translations and soft retcons. It's enough to make any gamer's brain hurt!
But fear not, for I am here to guide you through this labyrinthine tale. Let's embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries of Final Fantasy 15 together!
First things first, Square Enix, the masterminds behind the game, absolutely adore creating tie-in media for their mainline Final Fantasy titles. And with FF15, they've taken it to a whole new level. Brace yourselves, my friends, because much of this additional content is unfortunately essential for a complete understanding of the game's world. So, to make your life easier, I've prepared a handy chronology to help you grasp the events leading up to FF15's ending. You can thank me later.
Now, while the main game does tell the essential story, there's a whole lot of context that can easily slip through the cracks if you're not paying attention. To fully comprehend the world of Final Fantasy 15, you need to delve into the extended media. There's a bunch of it, so buckle up!
Let's start with the Astrals, those godly beings that our protagonist Noctis can summon through covenants. The history of these mighty creatures is a bit vague in the main story, but fear not, my curious comrades! Updates and the in-game Cosmogony books shed more light on the Astral War, humanity's relationship with the Astrals, and why poor Ifrit got demonized in the first place. It's also lightly touched upon in Episode Ardyn, revealing why Ifrit is working alongside our troubled antagonist.
Now, let's talk about the nation of Lucis and its founding fathers, Ardyn and Somnus. These two brothers had big dreams of ruling, but fate had other plans. Ardyn, cursed by the Starscourge and denied the crown, dedicated his life to finding a cure for this dark plague. However, his efforts were in vain, and he ended up imprisoned and erased from history. Ouch! You won't find this juicy backstory in the base game, my friends. You have to dig into Episode Ardyn and the animated Prologue on YouTube to get the full scoop. Trust me, it's worth it.
Speaking of things you won't find in the base game, let's talk about the invasion of Insomnia. You do get a fancy CG cutscene that looks a bit out of place stylistically, right? Well, that's because it's a snippet from Kingsglaive, the standalone prequel film to Final Fantasy 15. This epic movie explains why Lunafreya finds herself in Altissia, why she possesses the Ring of Lucii, and who the heck Nyx Ulric is (the guy whose weapon you can nab in the final dungeon). It's like a secret treasure trove of knowledge hidden outside the game itself.
Now, let's take a deep breath, my friends, because we're about to dive into the alternate endings. Yes, you heard me right. Final Fantasy 15 decided to offer not just one, but multiple resolutions for its story. Episode Ignis gives us a taste of a full-blown alternate ending, allowing you to follow Ardyn's plan to help Noctis prepare for the future. It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but with jaw-dropping visuals and epic battles. Exciting, right?
But wait, there's more! Episode Ardyn takes the alternate ending concept even further. At the end of this gripping episode, you can rebel against fate and set in motion an ending that deviates from the base game's storyline. However, here's the catch—it's a dead end. That's right, folks. This tantalizing choice was meant to set up the story for the canceled DLC. But fret not, my fellow gamers, because all is not lost. The complete alternate ending can be found in the book Dawn of the Future. It's like the missing puzzle piece that completes the picture.
Now, let's talk about the Starscourge, the ancient plague wreaking havocupon the world of Final Fantasy 15. The base game touches on the origins of the Starscourge and its connection to the Crystal, but the full story is revealed in the Episode Ardyn DLC and the book The Dawn of the Future. You'll learn about the ancient civilization of Solheim, the betrayal of the gods, and the tragic destiny of the Oracle Lineage. It's a fascinating tale of cosmic chaos and the struggle to save the world from darkness.
And speaking of darkness, let's not forget about the enigmatic character known as Prompto. In the base game, he's a cheerful and somewhat goofy friend to Noctis. But his true origins and the secrets he carries within him are explored in the Episode Prompto DLC. You'll discover his connection to the Niflheim Empire, his troubled past as a Magitek soldier, and his ultimate quest for self-discovery. It adds a whole new layer of depth to his character and reveals the inner turmoil he faces throughout the game.
Now, my friends, we've covered a lot of ground here, but there's still so much more to explore in the world of Final Fantasy 15. From the multiplayer expansion Comrades, which lets you create your own Kingsglaive warrior, to the mobile game Justice Monsters Five, where you can play a pinball-style minigame with Final Fantasy characters, there's no shortage of content to dive into.
Final Fantasy 15 may have had a tumultuous development journey, but it's clear that the creators poured their hearts and souls into crafting a rich and immersive world. It's a world filled with lost lore, alternate endings, and cosmic chaos that begs to be explored. So, my fellow gamers, grab your swords, ready your magic, and venture forth into the captivating realm of Final Fantasy 15. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards are well worth it.
And remember, should you find yourself lost in the intricacies of the story, don't hesitate to consult the extended media and lore. They are the keys that unlock the mysteries of this extraordinary game. Happy adventuring!
Disclaimer: The events and information described in this article are based on the Final Fantasy 15 game and associated media up until September 2021. Please note that additional content or updates may have been released since then.