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The legacy of the crystals has shaped our history for long enough.

Final Fantasy XVI Awakening Trailer

Final Fantasy XVI is the sixteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was released worldwide on June 22, 2023 for the PlayStation 5 as a timed exclusive. The game was developed by Square Enix's Creative Business Unit III, the developers of Final Fantasy XIV, being directed by Hiroshi Takai and Kazutoyo Maehiro, with Naoki Yoshida serving as the game's producer.[2]

The title is set in the fictional world of Valisthea, a land bestowed with the magic of the Mothercrystals and mysterious creatures known as Eikons. The story follows the life of Clive Rosfield, the guardian for Joshua Rosfield, Dominant of the Phoenix. After the fall of his kingdom and being forced into slavery, a chance meeting with the outlaw Cidolfus Telamon thrusts Clive into a conflict between the nations of Valisthea and the secrets of the Eikons.

The title features an entirely new action based combat system, with Clive accessing the power of the world's Eikons to unleash powerful combo abilities in combat. Unlike Final Fantasy XV, which utilized a non-linear story and open world exploration, Final Fantasy XVI returns to a more linear-style of progression and has its world map separated into open zones. It is also the first main entry to receive a higher age rating in most regions.

Final Fantasy XVI received positive critical reception upon its release. Praise was given for the more mature story and characters, evolved combat, and Masayoshi Soken's musical score. It sold over 3 million copies worldwide during the first week of its release. A Microsoft Windows version is in development.



Valisthea―A Land Blessed in the Light of the Mothercrystals.

FFXVI World Map


The land of Valisthea is studded with Mothercrystals—glittering mountains of crystal that tower over the realms around them, blessing them with aether. For generations, people have flocked to these beacons to take advantage of their blessing, using the aether to conjure magicks that let them live lives of comfort and plenty. Great powers have grown up around each Mothercrystal, and an uneasy peace has long reigned between them. Yet now the peace falters as the spread of the Blight threatens to destroy their dominions.

  • The Grand Duchy of Rosaria - Long ago, a group of small independent provinces in western Valisthea found strength in unity, and formed the Grand Duchy of Rosaria. After years of relative prosperity, the duchy now finds itself threatened by the spread of the Blight—a threat that, left unchecked, would doubtless usher the realm to ruin. Rosaria draws its aether from Drake's Breath, a Mothercrystal situated on a volcanic island off the coast. The Dominant of the Phoenix, Eikon of Fire (Warden of Fire), is enthroned as Archduke when they come of age.
  • The Holy Empire of Sanbreque - Sanbreque is the largest theocratic force in Valisthea. The Empire's holy capital Oriflamme is built around Drake's Head, the Mothercrystal that blesses the surrounding provinces with abundant aether. The people happily take advantage of this, living in comfort and security under the watchful gaze of the Holy Emperor, whom they worship as the living incarnation of the one true deity. The Dominant of Bahamut, Warden of Light, serves as the empire's champion, taking to the field in times of war to rout its enemies.
  • The Kingdom of Waloed - Waloed claims the entirety of Ash, the eastern half of Valisthea, as its dominion. The kingdom's control of the continent has oft been tested by the orcs and other beastmen who make their home there, but the current ruler of the realm—the Dominant of Odin, Warden of Darkness—has succeeded in quelling their rebellions. Using the power of the kingdom's Mothercrystal, Drake's Spine, this new king has built up a mighty army, with which he now seeks to test the borders of his neighbors.
  • The Dhalmekian Republic - The Dhalmekian Republic is made up of five states, from which the members of its ruling parliament are drawn. Its Mothercrystal, Drake's Fang, is half-hidden in the heart of a mountain range—the republic's control over it, and its aether, securing the obedience of the large part of southern Valisthea. The Dominant of Titan, Eikon of Earth, is installed as a special advisor to parliament and has a significant say in its decision-making.
  • The Iron Kingdom - A small group of islands off the coast of Storm, the western half of Valisthea's twin realms. Here the Crystalline Orthodox, an extreme faith that worships crystals, reigns supreme. The Iron Kingdom controls Drake's Breath, the Mothercrystal that sits at the heart of one of their islands—long a source of contention with neighboring Rosaria. Isolated and aloof from the mainland nations, the Ironblood speak their own language. Orthodox doctrine judges Dominants to be unholy abominations, and any unlucky enough to be born on the islands are executed.
  • The Crystalline Dominion - The Crystalline Dominion sits at the heart of Valisthea, built around the tallest of all the Mothercrystals, Drake's Tail. Many bloody battles were fought for control of this small plot of land due to its strategic importance, till the warring realms finally agreed to an armistice. As part of the peace treaty, the islands around Drake's Tail became an autonomous dominion led by a council of representatives from the surrounding nations—each realm enjoying equal claim to the Mothercrystal's blessing. No Dominant makes their home there.


FF16 Main Cast Keyart

Main cast

Main characters
  • Clive Rosfield - First son of the Archduke of Rosaria, he is the main protagonist and playable character. As the First Shield of Rosaria, Clive is tasked with guarding his younger brother Joshua, the Dominant of Phoenix, and is blessed with the ability to wield part of his fire.
  • Joshua Rosfield - Second son of the Archduke of Rosaria, he is the Dominant of Phoenix, Eikon of Fire and Clive's younger brother. Despite his noble upbringing, he treats everyone with kindness and warmth, especially his older brother. Has a dislike for carrots.
  • Jill Warrick - A ward of the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, who maintains peace between their nation and the Northern Territories, from which Jill was born and abducted from. Along with being their confidant, she was raised alongside Clive and Joshua and is very much a sister to them. She is the Dominant of Shiva.
  • Torgal - A wolf, hailing from the Northern Territories like Jill, that was raised by the Rosfield house after Elwin Rosfield found him separated from his pack.
  • Cidolfus Telamon: Also known as "Cid", he is the Dominant of Ramuh and leads an organization that protects Bearers and Dominants at the mercy of the world's governments.
  • Benedikta Harman - The Dominant of Garuda, Warden of the Wind. After a tumultuous childhood, Benedikta used her talent for swordplay and panache for subterfuge to become leader of Waloed's intelligencers. She encounters Clive while searching for the second Eikon of Fire.
  • Hugo Kupka - Permanent Economic Advisor to the Dhalmekian Republic and Dominant of the Eikon Titan. His awakening as Dominant brought him suddenly to the forefront of politics, where he amassed personal wealth through policy making and control over the armies.
  • Dion Lesage: Crown prince of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque and leader of its noblest and most feared order of knights—the dragoons. Dion is loved and respected both his people and troops, not least because he personally has turned the tide of battle many times. Many songs of his heroism are sung by Sanbrequois bards.
  • Barnabas Tharmr: The King of Waloed, he originally arrived on the shores of Ash as a landless and titleless wanderer, where his skill with the blade won him the Kingdom. When the local beastmen rose up in revolt, he called on the power of his Eikon, Odin, to quell their rebellions nigh single-handedly, bringing the eastern continent under the Waloeder banner. Yet with a army and navy that rivaled Valisthea at his disposal, he is drawn to where the fighting is. He rides into battle atop his spectral steed and sunders foes with his fabled black blade, or merely observes the unfolding chaos from the sidelines, a grisly gleam of fascination ever in his eyes.


The sun is setting upon the land of Valisthea

For centuries, people have flocked to her Mothercrystals to partake of their blessing—the abundant aether that fuels the magicks they rely upon in their everyday lives. As the aether begins to fade and the lifeless deadlands spread ever further, so too does the struggle for possession of the final flickers of the Mothers' light grow ever more fierce.

Yet amidst the gathering storm, there are those who believe that the legacy of the crystals has shaped mankind's destiny for long enough.

Official synopsis[3]
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

In the year 860, Clive Rosfield, his younger brother Joshua Rosfield and ward Jill Warrick resided in the castle of Rosalith in The Grand Duchy of Rosaria along with his father and ruler Elwin Rosfield and Duchess Anabella Rosfield. Clive who has been training to become the first Shield to his brother who is the dominant of Eikon Phoenix under the tutelage of Lord Commander Rodney Murdoch. After Elwin's expedition, he informs Clive of the Blight's expanding reach and had claimed the northern territories which pushes various creatures further south for survival, encroaching the borders of Rosaria. Seeking to defend their realm from the Blight, Elwin plans to secure Drake's Breath from the Iron Kingdom's control and expedition towards Phoenix Gate as per their tradition for the dominant to listen to the voice of ancestors before commencing the war agains the kingdom as well as assigns Clive with Sirs Wade and Tyler to traverse to Stillwind Marsh after sightings of beastmen were reported within the area before they were to rejoin the main company.

At night, Elwin and Anabella discussed of the necessities of bringing Joshua to Phoenix Gate, the former informing her that only the dominant can enter the Apodytery to preform rites before marching into war and reassured her that Clive will be watching over him as his Shield. Anabella expressed further disgust of her firstborn and her view that he had disgraced the bloodline by not becoming the Phoenix. Elwin was taken aback by her claims and announces that men like Clive had been preserving their lives from gracing the gutter much to her fury dismay. Elsewhere, Jill met with Clive, who announced to her of his first given mission, and prayed for his safe return. The two confide that he will be in a war much bigger than the previous but Jill is confident in his safe return. The two retire for the night.

Next morning, the trio arrives at the marsh and vanquish the monsters in the area before heading back to the main party before nightfall. At Phoenix Gate, the Shields throw a feast where Joshua sneaks out and confides in Clive, who had been abstaining from the feast, about his insecurity of his lack of ability as a leader and wishes that the dominant power had been his to wield. Clive comforted him in that their duty was decided by their ancestors long before with Joshua's duty in protecting Rosaria and its people and Clive's to be his Shield and protector in keeping him safe. Elsewhere, outside the castle, turncoats secretly infiltrates the castle and sets it alight. Joshua awoke to the smell of smoke and is escorted to safety by Wade and discovers that the turncoats are wearing garbs belonging to their supposed ally Holy Empire of Sanbreque. The two encounters a mortally injured Tyler and reunites with Clive, Archduke Elwin and Lord Commander Murdoch. Joshua used his ability to heal Tyler and Clive usher his father to escort Joshua to the rear gate and make their escape alongside Wade and Tyler, while he and Murdoch stayed behind to hold off Imperial Soldiers. Discovering that sashes, which were issued the day before in Rosalith, were on their person, Clive and Murdoch conclude that the assassins had been amongst their number and rush to Joshua's location. Before they go, Clive spotted a hooded man whispering something before vanishing.

At the rear gate, Elwin ordered his remaining men to escort Joshua safely back to Rosalith but the men revealed themselves to be turncoats and decapitates Elwin, leaving Joshua to lose control and primes into Phoenix, accidentally incinerating Wade and Tyler in the process. Clive and Murdoch witnessed the Eikon emerging before the former is struck with painful headache and sees unknown flaming silhouette. Suddenly a second Eikon of Fire emerges from Clive's location with its flames incinerating Murdoch. The two Eikons battle it out and ends with the second Eikon beating Phoenix to death, seemingly killed Joshua.

The following morning, the remaining forces of Sanbreque arrived at the ruins with Joshua nowhere to be found, considered dead. Anabella arrives at the scene and is desponded of the news, having been the mastermind behind the betrayal of her family and Rosaria in exchange for a high place in the world the Emperor was looking to create. The forces discovered an unconscious Clive who had somehow survived much to her surprise and disappointment. She decided to have him enslaved as a front line soldier for the Imperial Army, remembering her late husband's praise of his skill. Clive retained enough awareness to realize that Joshua was dead before blacking out.

Thirteen years later, Clive is marked as a Bearer and is assigned to the group of assassins known as "The Basterds" consisting of sergeant Tiamat and members Biast, Aevis and Clive who goes by Wyvern. Hearing that the Iron Kingdom possessed their own dominant Shiva, the four are tasked with the assassination during the conflict taken place in The Nysa Defile between the Iron Kingdom and Dhalmekia Republic. Meanwhile in The Zirnitra Stronghold, Waloed is asked for its assistance by Dhalmekian Chief Strategist Eugen Havel and the Prime Minister but King Barnabas Tharmr rejects with Titan's Dominant Hugo Kupka joins the battlefield shortly after. Back in the field, the Basterds moved onward with their objective until Titan disrupted their movement and confronted the newly emerged Shiva. The clash between the two eikons destabilized the ground, causing Biast to lose his life while rendering Clive unconscious and dragged to safety by Tiamat.

Spoilers end here.


The game's battle system features real time combat where the player solely controls Clive, and is billed as the series' "first true action-RPG" game.[4][5]

Clive can be equipped with three different Eikons as a set, but only one at a time can be used, swapped at the press of the L2. Each equipped Eikon changes the abilities that Clive can access at once, with the ability to swap allowing the player to chain the different Eikon abilities in combat.[6][4]

Players use the face buttons to perform melee and ranged magical attacks, as well as use the equipped Eikon's unique ability and jump; pressing these buttons in various sequences can change the resulting attacks. Additionally, holding the R2 button will convert the face buttons to unique abilities that can be customized and equipped from the menu, allowing up to four special, unique attacks, per Eikon. Clive can be made to evade by pressing R1, and when timed right can trigger a counter attack. The player can also use the directional pad to use consumable items to recover health or temporarily increase damage or defense. Clive is often accompanied by Torgal, who can also be ordered to perform certain actions to support Clive in combat with the directional pad.[4]

Enemies in the game feature a Will Gauge which, when depleted, can trigger a Stagger, causing the enemy to take bonus damage while they recover.[7]

Clive can also come to be accompanied by AI-controlled party members that cannot be controlled by the player. These party members cannot be managed, given instructions, or equipped with gear. What party members accompany Clive at any given time is determined by what part of the story the player finds themself in.[6] These companions will travel with Clive through Field zones, as well as participate in battle alongside him, and trade banter with him.[4] The game's overall plot is linear, but various side stories feature, which are designed to give insight into the lore and characters,[8] although it does not feature any optional or hidden areas not part of the main plot.[9]

The game is divided into a number of areas. Multiple "Field" areas feature, which contain explorable settlements and other features such as sidequests,[8] while replacing dungeons are "Stage" areas, which feature more linear progression of combat scenarios and have unique designs. These Stages can then be replayed in Arcade Mode and Stage Replay, the former of which scores performance and has restrictions on gear, level and consumable items and gives rewards based on these, as well as featuring leader boards to compare scores, while the latter allows the player to replay Stages without such limitations.[4]

In addition to regular gameplay as Clive, during specific encounters players participate in battles between Eikons, where the player controls an Eikon against another. These encounters have their own particular gameplay styles and mechanics that vary from encounter to encounter.[4]


Final Fantasy XVI Soundtrack

The game soundtrack.

Production credits


Producer Naoki Yoshida
Main Director Hiroshi Takai
Creative Director & Original Screenplay Kazutoyo Maehiro
Localization Director Michael-Christopher Koji Fox
Art Director Hiroshi Minagawa
Character & Visual Design Kazuya Takahashi
Combat Director Ryota Suzuki
Music Director & Main Composer Masayoshi Soken
Title Logo Designer & Image Illustrator Yoshitaka Amano

Voice cast

Character English Voice Actor Japanese Voice Actor French Voice Actor Italian Voice Actor German Voice Actor Spanish Latin American Voice Actor
Clive Rosfield Ben Starr Yuya Uchida
Yuma Uchida (teenager)
Marc Arnaud Alessandro Capra Vincent Fallow José Ángel Torres
Joshua Rosfield Jonathan Case

Logan Hannan (child)

Takeo Otsuka

Natsumi Fujiwara (child)

Hervé Grull

Mathilde Carmes (child)

Andrea Oldani

Arturo Sorino (child)

Flemming Stein

Gianluca Calafato (child)

Mario Heras

Angie Villa (child)

Jill Warrick Susannah Fielding
Charlotte McBurney (child)
Megumi Han Claire Baradat Ilaria Silvestri
Beatrice Maruffa (child)
Maria Koschny
Josephine Schmidt (child)
Analiz Sánchez
Cidolfus Telamon Ralph Ineson Hiroshi Shirokuma Jérémie Covillault Alberto Angrisano Daniel Welbat Carlos Segundo
Benedikta Harman Nina Yndis Akari Higuchi Audrey Sourdive Katia Sorrentino Kaya Marie Möller Betzabé Jara
Hugo Kupka Alex Lanipekun Yasuhiro Mamiya David Krüger Francesco Rizzi Tilo Schmitz Dan Osorio
Dion Lesage Stewart Clarke Yūichi Nakamura Tony Marot Luca Appetiti Toni Michael Sattler Armando Guerrero
Barnabas Tharmr David Menkin Gotaro Tsunashima Jochen Hägele Fabrizio Dolce Johann Fohl Carlo Vázquez
Gav Christopher York Anri Katsu
Byron Rosfield Stephen Critchlow

Ewan Bailey

Mitsutaka Tachikawa
Elwin Rosfield John Hopkins Hiroyuki Kinoshita
Anabella Rosfield Christina Cole Yurika Hino
Sylvestre Lesage Andrew Havill Kazuhiro Yamaji
Olivier Lesage Quentin Ballard Kenshin Kobayashi
Sleipnir Harbard Gunnar Cauthery Yuuichirou Umehara
Ultima Harry Lloyd Mitsuru Miyamoto Bernard Gabay Paolo De Santis Alexander Merbeth Dafnis Fernández


Square Enix approached Naoki Yoshida to ask if Creative Business Unit III could develop Final Fantasy XVI, and the team began working on a concept for a fantasy game that would have broad appeal.[10] Development on Final Fantasy XVI began c. 2014. This was when season 4 of Game of Thrones was airing, and the developers bought the first four seasons on Blu-Ray and made everyone on the team watch it. To, in the words of Naoki Yoshida, "what's trending in the world, this is what people are enjoying, and that this is the type of fantasy that people like." The team still strove to ensure that XVI would not feel like a carbon copy of Game of Thrones. Other sources of inspiration for the game include Attack on Titan, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Godzilla, and Ultraman.[11] When designing the game's lore and how it would be delivered, Koji Fox took inspiration from Nordew Mordew, specifically the glossary at the end of the novel.[12]

Final Fantasy XVI represents a shift from the games leading up to it, breaking from a trend towards modern settings, and instead hearkening to medieval Europe. Many members of Creative Business Unit III enjoyed the classic Final Fantasies and the medieval European fantasy feel, and wanted to create a game that had that feeling. When designing XVI, the developers melded the medieval European classic fantasy look with their own ideas, expressing them with the technology available to them.[13]

The decision was also spurred by user research, where Square Enix found that many gamers were finding that recent Final Fantasy games were becoming "static in vision". As such, XVI, was a chance to try something different.[13] Early in development, it was decided that the game would not feature a "juvenile" story. The setting is one of endless war, and this was reflected in the prevalence of battles and blood. The game's plot has changed little since its first draft.[8] Research was done into various real-world cultures and value systems, weaving them into the game.[14]

A lot of the game's visual style was inspired by Game of Thrones; the game's initial visual style was designed by Kazuya Takahashi, who designed all of the game's characters, and also drew art for the areas. The art style was reworked to fit the game's mature narrative. According to Takahashi, the game's art style is designed as "something between illustration and reality without being "necessarily photo-realistic."[11]

Concerning gameplay, the first two things that the development team decided on was that they were not going to make an open-world game, and that it would not be turn-based, but rather, real-time action. Once those two things were settled on, the third goal was to complete the scenario and know the type of story they wanted to tell. With these three development pillars settled on, more staff were assigned to the development team.[11] The developers have named the 2018 God of War as direct inspiration for the game's structure,[15] and the game was written in English and Japanese simultaneously, with the focused recording being the English voice over.[7]

Producer Naoki Yoshida has named the team being behind the standard of other global AAA games in terms of the technology in the beginning of development as the biggest challenge when making Final Fantasy XVI. As a result, the team had to work on the game at the same time as increasing their overall knowledge and skill with the technology and leveling up the team.[10]

The game went gold in March, 2023.[16] A demo covering the game's prologue was released on June 12. The game was released worldwide for the PlayStation 5 on June 22, 2023.

In September 2023, Yoshida confirmed that two paid expansions and a Windows version were in development, and planned to share more information towards the end of the year.[17]


It was announced on September 16, 2020 at the PlayStation 5 Showcase event as a PlayStation 5 exclusive. A PC version was also announced in the initial release of the trailer,[18] but this has since been retracted.[19] As of April 2022, the game is reportedly near the end of its development.[20] Extended footage was seen on June 2, 2022.[21]

On October 10, 2022, another trailer was released for the game titled FINAL FANTASY XVI “AMBITION”. On December 9, 2022, a subsequent trailer released for the game at The Game Awards 2022 titled FINAL FANTASY XVI “REVENGE”.

Critical reception

The game was generally well-received by critics and fans and was highly recommended by general critics' reception with an approval total rating score of 93% on OpenCritic, with a 89% score of approval by only elite critics.[22]


Packaging artwork

External links


  1. (n.d.) . "FINAL FANTASY XVI - Assets - Square Enix North America Press Hub". Square Enix. Archived from the original on September 16, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yoshida, Naoki; Takai, Hiroshi (2020, September 16). "Final Fantasy XVI announced for PS5". From PlayStation Blog. Archived from the original on September 16, 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 FINAL FANTASY [@FinalFantasy] (2023, April 1). "Yes, You Can Pet the Torgal: A FINAL FANTASY XVI Panel at PAX East 2023" [Video]. YouTube.
  5. PlayStation [@PlayStation] (2023, April 13). "Final Fantasy XVI - State of Play 4K | PS5 Games" [Video]. YouTube.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bailey, Kat (2022, June 22). "Final Fantasy 16 Producer Reveals New Details on Summons, Party Members And Why It Won't Be a 'Final Fantasy Theme Park'". From IGN Nordic. IGN. Accessed 22 June 2022. Archived from the original on 22 June 2022.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Higham, Michael (2023, February 28). "Preview: Final Fantasy XVI is a bold new direction for the series". From Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 12 April 2023.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Bailey, Kat (2022, November 5). "Exclusive: Final Fantasy 16’s Developers Open Up About Game of Thrones Comparisons, Sidequests, and Representation". From IGN. Archived from the original on November 7, 2022.
  9. Purslow, Matt (2023, February 28). "Final Fantasy 16’s World Has Large Maps, But No Optional Dungeons". From IGN. Archived from the original on 12 April 2023.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Square Enix (2023, May 31). FINAL FANTASY XVI interview: Producer Naoki Yoshida and the team on creating a blockbuster RPG. Archived from the original on 23.8.2023.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 LaBlanc, Wesley (2023). "How To Build A New Final Fantasy: An Interview With Creative Business Unit III". From Game Informer.
  12. Fox, Michael-Christopher Koji (2023). "Koji Fox Breaks Down The Lore Of Final Fantasy XVI". From YouTube.
  13. 13.0 13.1 LaBlanc, Wesley (2022). "An Interview With Naoki Yoshida On Eikons, Boss Fights, And When We’ll See More". From Game Informer.
  14. Purslow, Matt (2023). "Final Fantasy 16’s Approach to Diversity Pulls on ‘Various Cultures With Great Respect and Care’". From IGN.
  15. (2023, February 28). "Final Fantasy XVI Is A Lot Like God Of War, And Its Director Knows It". From GameSpot. Archived from the original on 12 April 2023.
  16. FINAL FANTASY XVI [@finalfantasyxvi] (2023, March 31). "Final Fantasy XVI has gone gold. From the entire team, including Torgal, we hope you're looking forward to #FF16's launch on June 22nd" [Tweet]. Twitter.
  17. Final Fantasy XVI PC and DLC News Coming in 2023
  18. (2020, September 16). "PLAYSTATION 5 SHOWCASE [ENGLISH]" [Video]. YouTube.
  19. Kim, Matt (2020, September 16). "Final Fantasy 16 and Demon's Souls PC Announcements Were Just Mysteriously Scrubbed". From IGN. Accessed September 17, 2020. Archived from the original on September 17, 2020.
  20. LaBlanc, Wesley (2022, April 29). "Final Fantasy 16 Producer Naoki Yoshida Says The Game Is Near The End Of Development". From Game Informer. Archived from the original on May 8, 2022.
  21. (2022, June 2). "State of Play | June 2, 2022 [ENGLISH]". YouTube. Archived from the original on 12 April 2023.