Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto is a downloadable extra episode for Final Fantasy XV. It takes place at the same time as chapter 12 of the main game and follows Prompto Argentum as he tries to escape imperial capture and reunite with his friends.
The episode features third-person shooter gameplay wherein players take control of Prompto and attack enemies using various firearms, including handguns, sniper rifles and submachine guns. His handgun automatically locks-on to enemies and has infinite ammo, but other firearms must be manually aimed and are limited in ammo. He can also use a melee weapon at close-range. By hitting enemies in critical areas, Prompto can put them into a vulnerable state, which lets him perform a special crackshot attack or a melee overkill strike to defeat them instantly. The latter choice will also let Prompto steal the enemy's weapon so long as it is a firearm. Alternatively, he can use Lumen Flare grenades to blind his foes and then perform crackshots. The episode also has stealth elements, allowing Prompto to sneak through areas to position himself in advantageous locations, or perform stealth takedowns on enemies and steal their weapons.
Prompto has a set of special abilities named Bullet Arts: Starshell reduces his enemies' accuracy, and Selfie Shot takes selfies with his opponents.
Aranea Highwind appears as a party member and can perform link-strikes with Prompto; the linked attacks are not telegraphed with an on-screen message, and can happen randomly when using the Attack command when Aranea is nearby. There is no "cooldown" for using them unlike in the main game, and which of the four linked attacks happens depends on if the player is using the knife or the handgun, and in the case of the latter, the distance from the enemy. Linked actions don't trigger for the weapons the player needs to manually aim. Aranea has two Techniques: Highwind is used outdoors, while Dragoon Dive is used indoors.
The episode takes place in a small open-world which can be traversed via snowmobile. Numerous sidequests are available in the area and completing them rewards CPUs, which can be used to upgrade the snowmobile. After completing the main story, a Time Trial mode is unlocked featuring three snowmobile courses. A mode named "Intensive Training" is also unlocked, wherein Prompto spars with Aranea.
"Episode Prompto" has its own set of achievements and trophies
There is a lake in the north west (where the player can fight the kaiser behemoth). The player should head south from here to find a hut, where the goggles will be on a crate. There is also another shack to the north of the lake that has just weapon racks.
North past the northern-most research facility, there is a hut that has the mask with goggles attire in the room at the back. There are also research notes on the table for reading.
East of the lake and south of the northern-most research facility, following the left wall of rocks, the player can discover an enclosed region with a hut, with the mask found inside.
Archives chronicle the notes and audio logs Prompto collects in Niflheim. Documents can be read in the menu and data logs can be replayed from the Item menu. They are available in Chapter 1.
Archive Highlights are 10 photo ops the player can unlock by completing "Episode Prompto" to find them on repeat playthroughs. The player may need to rotate the camera for the option to take a photo to appear. The highlights are saved to a gallery in the menu.
While the party is on their way to Gralea to reclaim the Crystal, Noctis is tricked by Ardyn Izunia into pushing Prompto off the train. As they are under imperial attack, the party is unable to stop the train and are forced to leave their friend behind to be captured by the empire.
Several days later, Prompto traverses the snowfields of the Niflheim outlands alone. He succumbs to the cold and is found by magitek troopers and brought to a local magitek production facility. He meets Ardyn who gives Prompto back his handgun and urges him to meet with his father, and tells him he was born here. Prompto is not ready to believe it, and sets out to escape the facility. He finds various firearms around the complex and uses them to destroy the MTs swarming around the place. By reading the research notes and listening to audio logs from Verstael Besithia, the leading imperial magitek researcher, he learns how the empire produces MTs from daemonized human clones. As he finds dormant clones in their tubes, he finds they all look like him, and have the same bar code tattooed on their wrists Prompto himself has.
Prompto confronts Verstael at the facility, who is turning into a daemon. Ardyn gloats this is a heartfelt father-son reunion, as Verstael uses his own genetic material to create the clones to have enough infants to create an army. Verstael is afflicted by Starscourge and believes daemons are the superior life form that he can enhance even further with his magitek technology, whose workings were taught to him by Ardyn. He is seeking to fuse his own soul to a magitek creature he has created, which he refers to as his greatest weapon. Prompto shoots Verstael, and Ardyn blames him for patricide.
Aranea Highwind has infiltrated the magitek production facility as well to find the truth behind Verstael's magitek project. As she busts through the main room, she is surprised to find Prompto. She has read the notes and blueprints around the facility, realizing what Verstael is planning. She gets Prompto to his feet and gives him a snowmobile to escape the facility. Prompto rides the snowmobile until he is clear of imperial pursuit and camps out by a thawed lake.
Aranea finds Prompto in the wilderness and joins him. Aranea urges him to return to his friends, but Prompto hesitates because of what he has just learned: he is a clone born in an imperial magitek facility to be made a magitek trooper before being kidnapped by Lucis and raised in the Crown City. He doesn't think Noctis and the others would accept him, and thinks he is the very being Noctis seeks to eradicate from the world. Aranea insists his origins don't matter, and that Prompto must decide what he wants out of life for himself, before leaving.
The next day Prompto explores the wilderness alone. He finds magitek troopers lying in the snow, and shoots one. He finds himself empathizing with them, imagines himself as another MT being hunted by Noctis, and sees the MT lying in the snow with his own face. He remembers being young and living in Lucis with a secret, always hiding the weird tattoo on him, never having friends. He had befriended Lady Lunafreya through her messenger dog, Pryna. She had sent him a letter asking him to be friends with Noctis and support him. Prompto hadn't understood why she had asked him this, and how he could be friends with the crown prince. He had tried to better himself to become worthy of such a position, but had lived his life with an imposter syndrome, always trying to please others, thinking if they found the truth everyone would abandon him.
Pryna appears to him and Prompto follows the dog to a field of fallen MTs where he imagines meeting himself at a young age, and encourages his young self. He realizes what Aranea said about deciding his own path in life was true. He meets up with her again and wants to help her take down the monsters Verstael has been cooking up here in the remote arctic away from the emperor's gaze. Together they infiltrate another magitek facility and destroy Barbarus, Verstael's experiment to fuse magitek with a mammal.
The Immortalis has been activated, a colossal, serpentine magitek monster that now houses Verstael's soul. Aranea and Prompto flee the facility on a snowmobile that has a mounted machine gun. Aranea rides while Prompto uses the machine gun to destroy the magitek monstrosity that speaks to them in Verstael's voice about how it seeks to destroy the world with its newfound power.
At the end of their adventure Prompto declares he is heading to Gralea to meet up with Noctis and the others so he can tell them the truth about himself. Aranea watches him ride the snowmobile to the distance, smiling, while Ardyn watches on from afar, humming the "Victory Fanfare".
Prompto is captured and imprisoned in Zegnautus Keep in Gralea so Ardyn can lure and torment Noctis. Noctis's party finds and saves Prompto. As they rest at the Keep, Noctis apologizes for having fallen into Ardyn's trap that led him to push Prompto off the train. Prompto forgives him, saying he also fell to Ardyn's manipulations. Noctis says that it doesn't matter where people are from, and that he would like to "break down borders" so there would be no more distinctions between Niflheim or Lucian citizens. Prompto compliments that Noctis is speaking like a king.
Guest composer Naoshi Mizuta composed the main theme "Home Sweet Home - Theme of EPISODE PROMPTO" and numerous other songs. Yoshitaka Suzuki composed the rest of the soundtrack. Takuro Iga arranged the music.
The bassline of the battle theme, "Trigger", contains bassline at the beginning of "The Scene of Battle", the battle theme of the original Final Fantasy, which is also a recurring bassline throughout the series.
- Lion Heart for finishing the episode. It can be equipped by Noctis and Prompto in the main game.
- Tundra Attire for finishing the episode.
- Trigger-Happy Bullet Art for finishing the episode.
Artworks and key visuals
- Though the clones in the pods all resemble Prompto, they are not identical, but have subtle differences between each other. This is congruent with real life where identical twins, though from the same zygote, will develop diverging features.
- Lion Heart, the firearm obtained by finishing the episode, alludes to Squall's ultimate weapon from Final Fantasy VIII. Prompto has it in the episode's title screen after the player has completed it.
- Prompto's motions on the title screen are the same used for a character tech demo back in 2014.
- The episode has many callbacks to similar scenes in Final Fantasy VII:
- Both Prompto and Cloud Strife struggle with a realization they might not be "natural", but rather clones created by a mad scientist. When they confront their "creators", both are labeled failures. Cloud later learns he was not created by Professor Hojo, but the treatment he underwent still made him a Sephiroth Clone.
- Both games have a scene of test subjects in tubes in the process of being made into monsters. Both Prompto and Cloud have a child version of themselves they need to symbolically appease to move on. In juxtaposition, whereas Prompto wants to get rid of the tattoo on him, Cloud at one point begs Hojo to number him to give him an identity.
- Both Cloud and Prompto's creators are afflicted with the same element they had been experimenting on, and later merge with machines when their mortal bodies are killed. (Professor Hojo injects himself with Jenova cells and merges his mind with the Worldwide Network, while Verstael intentionally becomes a daemon and merges his soul with Immortalis.)