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Though the land has been blessed with the light of magic since time immemorial, in recent years, a creeping blackness has begun to gnaw at its borders—the Blight.

Blight map from FFXVI

The Blighted lands shown on the map of Valisthea as black areas.

The Blight is the ever-advancing environmental disaster in Final Fantasy XVI that renders the land uninhabitable. The Blighted lands appear as endless swathes of rocky terrain, and become known as the deadlands (黒のー帯, Kuro no Ittai?, lit. Black Lands) because it is believed nothing can live there, though Cidolfus Telamon and his band of outlaws do try their hand at it. In recent years, the Blight has advanced ever faster[1] bringing chaos to the realm. The Blight first appeared in Valisthea around 1500 years ago, in the wake of the War of the Magi over aether resources.[2]

Effects of the Blight[]

Northern Territories from FFXVI

The Northern Territories, nigh entirely consumed by the Blight.

The Blighted lands are sapped of aether, meaning no vegetation grows there, the waters turn black and acidic[3], and Bearers and Dominants cannot use magicks, though Dominants can still prime.[note 1] Cid, and later on Clive, make their hideaways on the deadlands to hide from a society that tries to exploit them and Bearers. They find many ways to make do on lands considered uninhabitable, becoming able to grow some crops and flowers and to filter water to make it potable.[4] This suggests that Blighted soil is not beyond saving, though it takes hard work. The deadlands can even be of some use: mythril is an inert substance refined from deadland soil. When burned at high enough temperatures, mythril releases copious energy.[5]

As vegetation dies out, animal and human populations are displaced and driven to new regions in search of new habitats. Beastmen come into too close a contact with human civilizations, causing tension, and monsters that usually are known to live far away from settlements, suddenly become menaces. Entire regions become devastated when crops fail, setting in famines and wars over the ever-diminishing supply of arable land. Societies collapse when towns are left abandoned ahead of the ever-spreading Blight.

The cause of the Blight[]

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

The world will soon be painted in black. And all that live shall gather in Death's autumn wake.


Not if we remove the cause of this misery. Not if we destroy the last of the Mothercrystals and restore balance to the world.


Come... do you truly think it so simple? The Blight is inevitable. Not even the Almighty might stop its endless march.

Clive and Barnabas converse on the sea floor, Final Fantasy XVI
Blight in Ash from FFXVI

The Blight in Ash.

Though the populace of the Twins does not realize it, the Blight on Valisthea is the result of human action. The original cause of the Blight is Ultima's creation magic,[6] which the modern populace of Valistheans now rely on for their lifestyle. The Blight had already rendered Ultima's homeland uninhabitable,[7] and his people want to create a new world to live in, settling on the heretofore unspoiled Valisthea as the breeding ground of their masterplan. Ultima created humans to eventually become a new body for himself to be able to cast a spell that would remake the world only for his people, but during his long slumber, mankind developed sentience[6] and began to use magicks, setting in the Blight to Valisthea; the War of the Magi was a great conflict waged near the end of the age of the Fallen in which mankind fought for control of the Mothercrystals using magitek, draining aether from the land, and giving rise to the Blight.[8] When Clive eventually confronts Barnabas at Reverie, Barnabas also says that humanity turning to avarice and greed "beckoned the Blight".

Cid becomes aware of the Mothercrystals' role in spreading the Blight by draining the land's aether for Ultima's ends[1] and sets forth a campaign to destroy all Mothercrystals to stop the advancement of the Blight. His protege Clive continues his efforts after Cid passes, but eventually learns that the crystals' destruction was part of Ultima's plan all along. Clive uses his powers as Mythos to turn the tables on the gods and fell them. Ultima passes away implying that Valisthea is already doomed by the Blight to become a lifeless husk. Clive drains Ultima's powers and uses it to destroy the origin of magic and Eikons, the nexus on Origin, and with the Mothercrystals also now gone, it is implied the land will be able to recover. The final scene is of a lush world where magic is only known as a thing from fairy tales.

Spoilers end here.


Clive cannot use the burning sword or the magic spells when on the deadlands, namely, the Dim area north of Eastpool. However, there are no enemies on the deadlands areas of the map and so this will never be a hindrance.

Behind the scenes[]

The Blight is similar to the corrosion of the land as seen in the Final Fantasy VII series resulting from the overuse of mako energy via mako reactors.


Blight refers to a specific symptom affecting plants in response to infection by a pathogenic organism. It is a rapid and complete chlorosis, browning, then death of plant tissues such as leaves, branches, twigs, or floral organs.



  1. When in the Dim, a Blighted area, the player's magic commands are disabled, even after Clive gains access to Ifrit's gameplay abilities. Clive and Jill also note magic will be unavailable in this place when first setting foot there. However, Cid appears to have lit a cigarette with magic while in the hideaway, though he is facing away from the camera. Hugo Kupka primes to attack the hideaway, and is later noted to have used aether reserves in his own body to do so.