Story, Gameplay, and Development You Should Know Before Playing FFXV

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Final Fantasy XV has been one of the most anticipating games so far in 2016. As the game release is coming in two months, we are going to take a look at 3 things you must know before playing the game related to story, gameplay, and development
Let’s take a look.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

Story

Settings

Final Fantasy XV takes place in the world called EOS which is similar to the modern day earth. The game was created with the idea of “a fantasy based on reality”in mind. All of the countries in this world except the kingdom of Lucis are under dominion of Nifhelm. Noctis, heir to the Lucis, is being on a quest to retake his homeland and its magical crystal after they had been recently seized by Nifhelm during the peace treaty agreement between two kingdoms.

Characters

There are 4 main people in Noctis’ party: Noctis, Ignis, who was raised alongside Noctis to be his adviser, Prompto, who is more carefree and from a lower class family, and Gladiolus, Noctis’ personal bodyguard.

Lady Lunafreya, the princess and an oracle of Tenebrae, is also one of the main characters in Final Fantasy XV even though not being a core member of the party. Guest characters such as Cor and Lunafreya, also join and leave the party temporary throughout the game similar to Final Fantasy XII.

The relationship between these Noctis and Lunafreya is a key story of the game. They are childhood friend that are set to marry as a part of peace treaty agreement between Lucis and Niflheim.

Luna character is expected to have a lot of depth, dynamic, and complex. Her relationship with Noctis is actually more complicated than a typical love story.

ffxv main characters

Game Scale

In terms of scale, Final Fantasy XV will be one of the biggest JRPG ever. The game support over 200 hours of gameplay across the main story and side quests The main story itself should take around 40-50 hours if you only focus on the main story and ignore all side contents.

Gameplay

Active Cross Battle

Combat in Final Fantasy XV has a significant change from previous generations. Instead of a traditional turn-based, the battle system in FFXV is called the Active Cross Battle. It is a seamless combat system that takes place in real time environment with all locations from a plain field, to forest, building, and even on a street.

Battle against bosses is carried out in the same fashion as a standard battle but requires more party cooperation.

Warping

Noctis can warp around the field by throwing his sword and warp to a specific location. He can warp to any location having a glowing icon telling that it is a warping spot. There’s no limitation in distance as long as the warping spot is seen.

Warping along with special moves and dodging requires MP to perform.

noctis-using-warp-strike

Magic

Magic, on the other hand, does not cost any MP. It works more like an item by gathering elemental magic from different sources and combine together to create a magic item called magic flask.

Different magic types also have different effects. Fire catches glass on fire, wind will blow out fire, blizzard will freeze water and so on.

Critical State

A party member is in a critical state when their HP reach zero. During the state, they are unable to attack or use abilities with a depleting HP gauge. A character in a critical state must be rescued by other characters before the gauge reach zero. If it happens, that character will be in a knock out stage. In case Noctis is knocked out, the game will be instantly over.

Summons

Summons is a major part of Final Fantasy series without a doubt. In FFXV, they work differently by having specific summon requirements as well as different attacks based on environment.

7 summons are known in the game and can be obtained in a various way from beating them in battle, discovering them, complete specific objectives, and so on. There are also minor summons but details are yet to be revealed.

Wait Mode

The game also has a wait mode which is an option to make the game easier especially in a critical state or those who are not used to a real-time combat system. When it is activated, everything will be stopped allowing a player can freely target an enemy, cast magic spell, select teammate abilities and techniques, and more
Wait mode can be switched on and off at any point of the game.

wait mode

Everything turns grey when wait mode is being activated

Technique

All party members have their own skill trees and can learn new techniques for a powerful move. For example, Ignis’ skill “Mark” creating a warp point for Noctis. Prompto “Piercer” can stun enemies while dealing damage at the same time.

Quest Types

Final Fantasy XV quest types can be separated into 4 main categories: main quests, hunting quests, regional quests, and only for fun. Main quests are purely about the main story progression while hunting quests are for hunting a specific monster for rewards.

Regional quests are different between each regions and the only for fun quest are something like a minigame, fishing, chocobo racing, and so on.

Camping

Camping is a main part of Final Fantasy XV gameplay. It can be set up at any camping haven and at any time of the day. Camping will give player levels up from experience acquired throughout the day as well as food buff from Ignis’ cooking.

While camping, you can also see different personalities between each character.

level up while camping

Regalia

Regalia is a prominent transportation of Final Fantasy XV. The car can be driven manually by Noctis or automatically by Ignis. However, it cannot drive off road and can only park at a specific parking spot.

On the second half of the game, Regalia can be upgraded into an airship giving you more option to fly across the world map. A player can fly anywhere they want but need to find a road to land on.

To get around, a player still need to walk by themselves or rent a chocobo from chocobo farm. Train is also available at some point of the game with an exploration option while riding it.

Day and Night Cycle

Because of the game theme “A fantasy based on reality”, Final Fantasy XV comes with a day and night cycle. At night people will light up their home like in the real world. Strong monster will emerge during the night because of the “Plague of the Star”

One day in the game is a 24 minutes in an episode Duscae. However, it’s not confirmed whether or not that will be the case in the final game.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality will be included in Final Fantasy XV but not during the official release date. Square Enix stated that VR experience will be released post launch. When the VR mode is activated with VR headset, a player can play as Prompto, and the game will turn into a shooting style.

prompto-with-vr-headset

Development

Final Fantasy XV had ten years of development. The project started in 2006 when it was still called Final Fantasy XIII Versus back then. A few years later, it was rumoured to be cancelled because of the slow development process.

In 2012, the project was changed into Final Fantasy XV and had been fully developed 4 years after that. Final Fantasy is going to launch globally on November 26, 2016 in PS4 and Xbox One.
If the game does great after launch, there’s a high possibility that it will be released on PC as well.

Betty / September 21, 2016 / Gameplay, Lore

Combat Guide Based on 50 Minutes Gameplay

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Instead of September 30, Final Fantasy has postponed to November 26, 2016. In compensation for this bad news, the developer team released a new 50 minutes gameplay video showing all important systems especially on the gameplay of the game. This article is going to talk about everything we learned so far from this new gameplay footage.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

The video started with the backstory of Noctis and his friends escaping from a gigantic monster who set everything on fire. Then, it quickly swapped to chapter one that prince Noctis is on his way to meet his bride-to-be, Lady Lunafreya at Altissia, capital of Accordo. After that, all important gameplay are gradually displayed.

Here’re what we have learn from the video:

Main Menu

Main menu is a key part of Final Fantasy XV where you can take a look at all current status of your characters such as current HP/MP, attack, defense, EXP, and more. Gil, AP points, and the total number of playtime are also displayed here. In addition, you can literately control everything from here. There are 8 sub menus inside as followings:

Map – Show map of the current area. It can locate outposts and other points of interest. Areas you visit and objects you encounter as well as quest destination will be automatically added to the map. It can be updated by talking to tipsters at diners, and new points of interest in surrounding areas will be automatically added to the map.

5 sub menus can be found inside the map: return to rest point, return to car, call car, tow car, and return to entrance.

main menu

Quests – Check the list of all undertaken quests, both in progress and completed, and select a destination to display on the map. It is still unconfirmed how many side quests you can take at once though.

Gear – Equip weapons, accessories, outfits and techniques to all characters. Noctis can equip up to four weapons at the same time, while his friends can only equip two. Noctis and his friends’ outfits can be changed based on their attire. They can wear black jacket, military uniform, or even sport attires.

There are 13 types of weapon in FFXV: sword, greatsword, polearm, dagger, handgun, shield, machinery, royal arms, fire, thunder, blizzard, summon, but the last one is still unknown.

Ascension – Assigning AP (Ability Points) to all characters. AP is the game abilities system such as Libra (lock on to an enemy while in cover to scan for weaknesses), Accessory Slot (equip two accessories), Phase (automatically evade attacks while holding down square), and a lot more.

AP can be earned by leveling up, completing quests, strategic ops, and even by impressing friends in conversation.

Skills – Still do not sure what is it about since the game hasn’t shown it yet.

Magic – Craft spells using the elemental energy you have collects, then equip magic flasks to use them in the field. Magic can be equipped though “Gear” menu as well.

Items – Shows all items in possession

Photograph – Shows all photograph taken by Prompto

Item

Item can be purchased at a various shops or NPC inside the game. An NPC inside the diner is going to be your main supplier. Recovery items, cooking ingredient, and more can be purchased here. Recovery items are quite similar to the previous installments: potion to recover HP, elixir to recover HP and MP, Phoenix Down to revise a fallen character, and an antidote to cure status alignment.

However, the only different is that potion now restores half of HP, instead of a slight exact amount of HP. Hi-Potion can store full HP. And elixir is not a rare item anymore. It can be purchased from an NPC but restores only half of HP and MP. You need to use Hi-Elixir for full HP and MP.

item purchase

Purchasing items from an NPC at the diner

Quests

There are mainly two types of quests in Final Fantasy XV: main quests and side quests.

Main Quest – It’s a primary way to progress the game story. It will begin after Noctis have a conversation with a certain character marked with a red icon. Sometimes during the conversation, a player is able to decide the flow of conversation eg when Noctis talked to Cindy in an early game regarding the Regalia, a player had 3 choices to question Cindy which are to ask for a discount, ask for a loan, and ask Noctis’ friends. The conversation that impresses an NPC will be rewarded with Ability Point.

The main quest will be always marked in red for both icon and quest title in the mini map. And after you completed it, a certain NPC, mostly a quest giver, will contact and tell you what to do next.

Side Quest – It’s an optional quests received from various. It comes with different rewards for example, hunting quest gives gil and exp, weapon upgrading quests give a more powerful weapon, and so on.

Hunting quest can be received from an NPC at the diner. The NPC will tell you available monsters in a hunting list with recommended level and rewards. Complete hunts to earn starts and increase your hunter rank. Increasing the rank will allow you to undertake more challenging hunts.

After accepting the quest, it will mark with different colors based on quest types. Hunting quest will be marked with yellow, blue for weapon upgrade, and so on.

Elemental Magic

Unlike previous installments, a player now requires to collect magic ingredient called “elemental energy” in order to case elemental magic such as fire, blizzard, and thunder. The energy can be absorbed from deposits found near havens (camping areas) and in other places around Eos. Some enemies also drop elemental magic as well.

After obtaining some amounts of elemental energy, a player needs to craft spells under “Magic Menu” and then equip magic flasks in order to use it during combat. Each magic flask gives different abilities as well based on components. For example, combining fire energy with a potion can cast a fire magic dealing damage to enemies and healing allies at the same time. The amount of damage is based on numbers of energy used in the spell craft.

It is recommended to always equip a magic flask. A proper combination of fire magic can deal a maximum damage at 9999 easily even in an early game making it becomes very useful when dealing with hordes of enemies or a difficult boss.

elemental magic harvest

Camping and Cooking

Camping at havens is the only way to get all EXP counted up from the day as well as getting a status-boosting meal. Ignis uses ingredients to prepare meals at camp. Each recipe requires different ingredients and provides different buffs.

For example, an open-faced breakfast sandwich, increasing attack by 30, requires two Gighee hams and two birdbeast eggs while Veggie Medley Stew, increasing attack by 20 and maximum HP by 150, requiring each of funguar, sheep milk, and laiden potato. Food buff only lasts for a day.

As soon as you acquire cooking ingredients necessary for a new recipe, Ignis’ will learn how to do it automatically. There are mainly four ways to obtain cooking ingredients: monster drops, loots, fishing, and buying from an NPC.

One thing to remember is that a player will not level up without camping and risk to encounter a difficult beast at night. For example, a level-30 iron giant can appear at night even in an early game.

cooking menu

Fishing

Fishing is Noctis’ specialty. There are four things you need for fishing: Line, Lure, Rod, and Reel. Different line provides different durability. Different lure is suitable for a different fish. Rod and reel are for attack and defense.

To begin fishing, go to a fishing spot and press “x”. As soon as a fish bite a hook, immediately move L stick to a designated direction. Then, try to reel it in without breaking tension of the line.

fishing

Regalia

Regalia is a main transportation in Final Fantasy XV. It will take the band of bros from places to places. When the game progress to some point, it can be modified into an airship. Noctis can drive it himself (manual drive) or ask Ignis to do the job (automatic drive). However, Ignis will not drive at night when the demons are out.

To start the automatic driving mode, select a destination from the list of locations and Ignis will drive there using the shortest route. Locations can be a parking spot, quest location, and any point in the map. When choosing a location, the game will tell you how long it takes to reach there.

When the driving starts, you can see a new icon showing how close you are to the destination. And when Noctis pass a specific location, he will talk to his friends about it. Driving seems to be limited than what we expect since we can only drive on the road.

regalia

Chocobo

A player should be able to ride a chocobo in Chapter 2 at the Chocobo Post after defeating the dead eye, the one-eye behemoth from the Episode Duscae. Chocobo can be customized by color and medal. A player can use seeds and fruits found in the wild to create dyes to change chocobo’s color.

Medals can be obtained by winning a chocobo race. It is only a decorative item which does not give any buff.

A chocobo can run, glide, and even swim. It is possible that there will be areas that are only accessibly by riding a chocobo at a later point of the game.

white chocobo

Noctis is riding a white chocobo

Royal Arms

Royal arms are mystical weapons embodying the power of the rulers of old and only eligible for the king bloodline, Noctis. These weapons are incredibly powerful but cost MP to wield. There are thirteen known royal arms each located at a royal tomb.

Noctis can easily get the first royal arm after meeting Cor. It is quite difficult to get the rest since most royal tombs are all abandoned and full of traps and monsters. Sadly, we still do not see the power of these weapons from the gameplay video.

royal arms - sword of the wise

Combat

Combat from the gameplay video isn’t that much different than in the past. See this article for more information.

Betty / August 22, 2016 / Combat

Transportation in FFXV:Chocobos and Regalia

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The fifteenth episode of the Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy XV is one of the most widely anticipated releases this year for those who love gaming. The game is still under development and expected to be released in September of 2016 in Xbox and PS4. The game will be available for Xbox and PlayStation players when it is released. A demo of the game has however been made available for players.

Learn how to unlock all secrets and hidden stories with this Final Fantasy XV Strategy Guide by Killer Guides. Complete walk-through, step-by-step levelling strategies, character progressions, combat tricks, side quests, hidden items, gear, gil making, and more are included in this detailed manual.

You can read my review here.

Two game demos and showcases provide a sneak peak of what to be expected when the game finally comes out. One of the specs provided is about the transportation. Let’s take a look at two main mediums of transportation in FFXV: Chocobo and Regalia.

Chocobos

In the Final Fantasy XV world, the Chocobos can be rented out to travel. Currently, there are only two known colours; yellow and black. There will be two kinds; the yellow which are tame and the black which are in the wild. In the Episode Duscase demo, the black Chocobo can be spotted in the wood, but a player still are unable to ride it yet. When the final game comes out, it is highly possible that players can catch, breed, and ride them. More colours such as red, blue, and gold are expected to be include as well.

The chocobos are fast and agile helping players to travel almost everywhere.They do not fly, but can glide, jump, swim and dash. Although the Chocobos are slower than a car, Regalia, they can take a player to some areas that cannot access with a car. The speed and stamina are determined by the type of foods they are fed with.

Good food provides the Chocobos with large stamina pool as well as allows them to avoid the enemies or fight with a player. On the other hand, bad food means that they are bound to get exhausted quickly, and when you run into an enemy, they will run away and not fight with the team.

The Chocobos can be rented out in an early game and summoned by a whistle any time they are needed. One can make it jump or glide by pressing or holding the jump button. When you alight from a Chocobo, it follows you for a while before disappears.

Chocobos can be brought to camps and get buffs from food as well as Noctis and his team. Currently, it is still unconfirmed whether a player can breed them or not. We will add more information here once there’s any related update.

Chocobos can be rested since an early game.

Chocobos can be rested since an early game.

Regalia

This is a rather a mechanical mode of transport – a car. It is the most normal means of transport and will be used by the player most of the times. Ignis is a main driver. One cool feature that makes the car amazing in the game is its ability to get airborne in the late game. Hajime Tabata, the game director, informed us that the Regalia can be transformed into an airship at a later point helping a player to transport to areas they cannot go by ground.

Regalia is actually belong to the King Reigis, Noctis’ father. It has four seats with the interior made of dark leather. It has a plate reading “Insomnia” that lights up at night. The car can be customized by changing its paint and other specifications. It is expected that Cindy will play an important part upgrading the car including adding new features. She is a main repairer as well, but you are required to pay her, though.

Regalia - normal driving mode

Regalia – normal driving mode

When driving in auto mode, Ignis will drive the car to its destination. As he drives, you can get a taste of the scenery and listen to the conversations among the team members through the “Joyride View”. You can see through Ignis’ eyes using the “Driver View” or see the surroundings using the “Scenic View” feature.

A player can, however, switch to manual any time they wish to and be in charge of driving the car. When Regalia is being driven, the gas indicator appears to show the level of gas available in the tank. Low gas levels have to be refilled at a gas station. Noctis can park the car at any sports marked with the label “P”

The flying feature is one of the cool aspects of Regalia. Apart from providing road transport for the team, it can also function as the team’s airship. This feature will, however, not be available in an early game. Instead, the player will obtain it as an additional challenge when the game progress is over 50%. The flying function can only be activated after meeting certain conditions. It means that when you are able to get the flying Regalia, you are now at a later part of the game already.

The flying Regalia enables one to maneuver through the sky in any direction. Landing, however, has a catch. It can only land on a road. Just like the Chocobos, some areas can only be accessed via this flying mode.

Flying Regalia

Flying Regalia

Betty / August 7, 2016 / Gameplay