Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future- is a novel follow-up to Final Fantasy XV. Written by Emi Nagashima under her pen name Jun Eishima based on a draft by the Final Fantasy XV development team, the novel retells the events of the cancelled downloadable content tetralogy of the same name.
The novel released on April 25, 2019 in Japan. Its North American release was originally scheduled for Fall 2019, published by Penguin Random House as part of a multi-project deal with Square Enix. For unexplained reasons the book was pushed back, and released digitally on June 23 2020, and physically on July 14, 2020 as a hardback containing fifty concept illustrations.
To oppose the gods or yield to fate?
That is the question confronting each of the characters in The Dawn of the Future. Ardyn, having saved countless lives from the Starscourge, means to become the Founder King of Lucis and instead is cast into tragic exile. On the day the Empire falls, as the imperial capital collapses around them, Commodore Aranea is entrusted with the life of a singular young girl. The Oracle Lunafreya, upon awakening from the slumber of death, discovers that her body has undergone an extraordinary transformation. And after gazing upon the eternal, Noctis, the True King, finally comes to terms with his destiny. Herein lie the stories of the dawning of a new world in Final Fantasy XV.Official description
The Dawn of the Future takes place in the world of Eos, the main setting of Final Fantasy XV. It covers the events of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn up until its ending and Ardyn Izunia's choice to accept or reject his role in the Astral Bahamut's plans. The rest of the narrative follows on from Ardyn's choice to defy his fate as bestowed by the Astral Bahamut.
- Noctis Lucis Caelum; Crown Prince of Lucis, chosen as the prophesied True King by the Astrals to save the world of Eos from darkness.
- Lunafreya Nox Fleuret; The Oracle who communes with the Astrals and former princess of Tenebrae, bound to aid Noctis in completing his destiny.
- Ardyn Izunia; Chancellor of Niflheim, and the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XV. Originally chosen by the Crystal, he was corrupted by the Starscourge and given a different purpose.
- Aranea Highwind; A mercenary dragoon serving the empire of Niflheim under the rank of commodore.
- Solara Aldercapt Antiquum; a girl raised by Aranea during the long night.
- Somnus Lucis Caelum; Ardyn's brother and the Founder King of Lucis.
- Bahamut; the god who oversees Eos from a separate dimension and bestows supernatural powers to the individuals of his choosing. His goal is to eradicate the Starscourge from the planet.
Chapter 1: A Savior Lost (Ardyn)
Ardyn's part novelizes the events of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn albeit with a twist ending.
Two-thousand years ago, a plague known as the Starscourge was spreading throughout the land, twisting those it infected into daemons. The Brothers Caelum fight it with their god-given powers, but each with a different method. Ardyn Lucis Caelum travels the realm to heal the afflicted one by one by absorbing the malady into his own body. His younger brother, Somnus, has amassed an army and fights the spread of the plague by killing the infected. This soured their relationship, Ardyn arguing that Somnus's method is inhumane, and Somnus retorting that the plague spreads faster than Ardyn can deal with and that Ardyn is essentially choosing who lives and who dies as people get infected and perish in the other parts of the realm while he is away healing "that one more person." In Somnus's view Ardyn as the Chosen One is out of touch with the plight of the "unchosen" and his refusal to see the reality of their situation makes him unfit to be king. Ardyn thinks his ability to withstand the Scourge in his body is a gift from the Astrals, but he cannot cleanse the darkness he's absorbed from the people he has saved, and if he continues his work he will become yet another mindless daemon.
Somnus, jealous of Ardyn's status, begins to persecute him. Ardyn's beloved, the Oracle Lady Aera, is killed by Somnus when she gets involved in their feud. Even though the gods had chosen Ardyn to lead the people, the mindlessly reacting Crystal hurls him away when he touches it because of the Scourge. Unknown to Ardyn, his soul becomes trapped in the beyond, an otherworldly realm that the Crystal is connected to, and renders him immortal. Somnus ascends the throne in Ardyn's stead and chains his brother up in Angelgard where Ardyn withstands an excruciating existence where the passage of time becomes meaningless. He hallucinates his beloved and brother tormenting him though realizing they are phantoms created by his own mind and thus Somnus's continued cruelty to him is but a projection.
After two millennia of captivity a group of soldiers led by Verstael Besithia frees Ardyn who is taken to a research facility. He has gained the power to daemonify others and receive their memories in return, and after seven confusing months Ardyn has reluctantly acclimated to his new reality. Verstael has the Astral god Ifrit captive in his lab, but when the god awakens, Ardyn learns the Hexatheon language from Ifrit's memories while daemonifying him. Glimpsing into the deity's psyche shows Ardyn memories from the Crystal itself, which acts as a conduit for the sleeping gods to observe the world. He thus learns of Aera's vision of himself as the Chosen King and feels betrayed. When the lab is attacked by the Lucian Royal Guard on a mission to return Ardyn to captivity, he hallucinates them with Somnus's face and becomes enraged. The combination of seeing the real prophecy of himself as king, Verstael's coaxing for him to accumulate more power to take rightful revenge, and seeing Lucians as Somnus's blood, consumes Ardyn with lust for vengeance.
Years later both Ardyn and Verstael have furthered their careers among Niflheim and Ardyn has grown stronger and more worldly and knowledgeable by daemonifying others and absorbing their memories and wisdom. Verstael and Ardyn conspire to attack Insomnia together. Ardyn infiltrates the city alone and easily disables the Wall amplifiers that protect the city from imperial invasion, untouchable by his supernatural powers and using the knowledge of the city and its king he has gained from those he has daemonified to his advantage. He rebuffs Verstael's retreat order when the Wall holds against their estimations, and goes for the king whose Ring of the Lucii summons Somnus's 2,000-year-old spirit, now acting through the royal heirloom to still empower his descendants. Somnus is filled with regret over what Ardyn has become, and attempts to apologize for his role in fostering Ardyn's all-consuming hatred, but Ardyn is not receptive.
Though prevailing against his brother, Bahamut prevents Ardyn from killing King Regis by pulling him into an otherworldly realm. The Sword God explains Ardyn's role as the embodiment of the Starscourge to be killed by the True King who is soon to arrive. Ardyn is immortal because the Crystal had absorbed his soul into the realm connected to Eos by the Crystal that cannot be entered in physical form. In this afterlife realm the True King is to annihilate Ardyn's soul, which has lingered there for 2,000 years. Bahamut traps Ardyn in an illusory torment by an image of his beloved to cause him more pain than physically possible to feel. Ardyn emerges in Angelgard full of resentment and vows to kill the Astrals and the True King both. The events of Final Fantasy XV transpire, and Ardyn awaits for the True King at the Citadel for their final battle. The person who arrives is not Noctis, however, but a revived Lunafreya.
Chapter 2: The Beginning of the End (Aranea)
Aranea is returning to Niflheim after a 35-hour shift leading a recovery and cleanup effort in Altissia with Biggs and Wedge. She has lost half of her 86th Airborne Unit in the fighting, as the military treats its human troops poorly compared to the magitek infantry. She thinks about how much the empire has changed since her childhood, as putting all resources into expanding the military has made citizens' lives bleak and places like amusement parks and cinemas have closed down.
As she enters Gralea she finds the army fighting a Diamond Weapon in the city, heading for Zegnautus Keep. Aranea follows while her subordinates, Biggs and Wedge, evacuate children. Ardyn addresses the city through a speaker system to announce that on this day the empire falls and that Emperor Aldercapt, who had pursued immortality via his quest to acquire magic to be Niflheim's eternal sovereign, has no successor. The emperor's wife had died soon after giving birth, the emperor never remarried, and their son eventually died in battle. The public believes that losing his wife twisted Aldercapt's personality, but Aranea believes it to be Ardyn's influence.
Aranea finds the city teeming with daemons and the Keep devoid of life with the emperor dead on the throne. On the roof she finds Ardyn and spots an airship transporting the Diamond Weapon toward Tenebrae. She realizes he had released the Weapon, the daemons and the rogue MTs upon the city, and tries to attack, but he evades and deflects her attack easily. Biggs contacts Aranea to say he has put the refugees on a train to Tenebrae. Aranea declares that she's quitting and jumps off the roof.
She runs into Loqi Tummelt in his magitek armor transporting an eight-year-old girl on a special order from the late emperor. The interaction makes Aranea reflect on her own childhood when her village was attacked by daemons and she had been told to look after the younger children in the safety of the church while the adults fought. Loqi entrusts the girl to her and sacrifices himself to hold back a horde of daemons while Aranea heads for the train, telling her Airborne Unit that their final mission is to protect Tenebrae. They down the airship transporting the Diamond Weapon and Aranea kills the monster by destroying its magitek cores. The refugees arrive in Tenebrae and Aranea learns that the girl now in her care is Solara Aldercapt Antiquum, the secret daughter of the emperor's late son.
Ten years later Solara has become an adept fighter under Aranea's tutelage and the protective care of Biggs and Wedge.
Chapter 3: Choosing Freedom (Lunafreya)
She awakes in a crypt on imperial land that she had visited before to perform a ceremony. She flees from a daemon, emerging in a graveyard. She picks up a branch to fight off the daemons and sees the skies covered in miasma, the world trapped in perpetual night. Lunafreya jumps in the sidecar of a passing motorcycle driven by a girl who is also fleeing from daemons. Slowed down by Lunafreya's weight, the girl gets off to fight with a shotgun, and Lunafreya joins her using her new power: absorbing the daemons into her own body. Though wounded in the battle, miasma oozes out of Lunafreya to heal her. The girl turns on her upon realizing that Lunafreya is a monster, but collapses. When she wakes, Lunafreya introduces herself. The girl, introducing herself as Sol, says the Oracle died ten years ago and that Prince Noctis has been missing for as long. Lunafreya is shocked, having given her life so that Noctis could fulfill his calling and purge the darkness.
They push the broken bike, "Regina", to the nearest outpost, but the former Niflheim territory is abandoned, the only people around being Hunters and the Kingsglaive. When Umbra appears Lunafreya realizes Pryna is dead. Umbra communicates that Noctis is alive and she writes a message to tell him she is fine, but Umbra refuses to take it. Lunafreya accepts that delivering a message to Noctis is not possible right now, and wonders where Gentiana is.
Bahamut speaks to her in a dream. Gentiana had taught her about the gods: while Shiva, Ifrit, Leviathan, Titan and Ramuh govern the forces of nature, Bahamut governs the heavens and sits above the others. Bahamut delivers her a vision of Noctis defeating Ardyn, but the darkness doesn't lift. Lunafreya is horrified to witness Noctis sacrifice himself to pass into "the Beyond" to destroy Ardyn's soul. Bahamut claims this is the calling the True King should have fulfilled, but that Ardyn now has expanded his power to an extent the Ring of the Lucii cannot purge. He tells Lunafreya that her new calling is to defeat Ardyn; she accepts if only to have a chance to save Noctis' life.
Sol brings Lunafreya new, black clothes. She wants to head to Insomnia, but they need to find a port and cross the Cygillan Ocean. They make frequent stops to repair the motorbike and during these stops, they chat. Learning to fight with a spear was part of Lunafreya's training as Oracle, but though she can take down small daemons with it, she needs to absorb the large ones, and is concerned about the effect this is having on her body. Training to be an Oracle includes fitness and meditation, visiting statues of previous Oracles, singing and dancing, and fasting and spending days in isolation. Sol can't fathom why Lunafreya would go through with such a regimen for no reward, but Lunafreya can't understand wanting rewards for doing one's duty. She catalogues her thoughts and experiences in a notebook as a letter to Noctis.
Lunafreya asks Gentiana in a dream if she knew that the Ring of the Lucii would kill Noctis. Gentiana's image is faint and silent, but Lunafreya reads "Bladekeeper" from her lips. Bahamut's swords prevent her from approaching. When she wakes she talks with Sol, who remains skeptical of the gods and the Oracles' unyielding faith in them, reminded of the imperial citizens' faith in the empire that led them to ruin. As they continue their journey, absorbing daemons makes Lunafreya grow stronger, but the markings on her body are spreading, she can see in the dark, and is in constant pain. The brightness of the campfire they use to keep the daemons away makes Lunafreya uncomfortable. Every absorbed daemon becomes a part of her, but her healing powers allow her to withstand it; thus her new power could not have been given to anyone else. She wants to fulfill her calling, but Solara insists she should consider what she wants to do, which is to live happily with Noctis. Lunafreya believes this is not possible because the gods would take her life away again if she didn't follow through, and because she considers herself no longer human.
Sol learns from Biggs that Aranea and her party have become surrounded by daemons during ruin exploration and has ordered the Solheimian ruins sealed up without rescue attempts. Sapphire Weapon, an imperial magitek weapon similar to the Diamond Weapon, is kept down there. Lunafreya wants to help Sol rescue Aranea, not because it is her "calling", but because she wants to do it. Sol reveals her name is Solara Aldercapt Antiquum, a descendant of the Aldercapt dynasty, and thus related to those who murdered Lunafreya's mother. Lunafreya doesn't care.
The ruins where Aranea's party is trapped in is a temple where Lunafreya once trained, and thus she knows another way in. From a statue of Aera Mirus Fleuret, the first Oracle, Lunafreya learns her new power is the same as Ardyn's, and can be used to absorb the Starscourge from the afflicted and revert recently-turned daemons. Aera asks Lunafreya to save Ardyn, who had fallen from the gods' grace and rejected the fate the gods had prescribed to him.
They find a massive sword and spear that Lunafreya thinks belonged to Odin, one of the twenty-four Messengers which were used in the War of the Astrals. Ifrit had tried to eradicate mankind and Bahamut had attempted to destroy the other gods and Eos itself. Shiva, Titan, Leviathan and Ramuh had defended the planet and, after exhausting their powers, had fallen into slumber. This story differs from the myths as people know them, but Lunafreya had learned the truth from Gentiana.
They run into Biggs and Wedge, who scold Solara for coming. They destroy the Sapphire Weapon, Lunafreya absorbing copious daemonic energy during the battle. They find a silver-haired daemon carrying a spear; Aranea, corrupted by the Scourge. Lunafreya turns Aranea back into a human, but doing so turns her. Aranea attacks the daemonic Lunafreya who is bound and taken to Lestallum where the Hunters and the Kingsglaive doubt this daemon could be the Oracle. Ignis confirms that he saw Lunafreya die during the events in Altissia, and that her body vanished, though he can't explain it.
Gentiana warns Lunafreya in a dream about Bahamut using her to gather the darkness, including the darkness in Ardyn, to gain the power to perform the "final summoning," Teraflare, to destroy Eos. Bahamut views humans "like flowers"; indistinguishable from one another whose damaged specimens should be removed. Because Bahamut exists both in the mortal realm and the Beyond, he must be defeated in both dimensions, but there is another way to stop Teraflare. Bahamut notices Gentiana, and silences her.
Lunafreya awakens furious at Bahamut. Aranea helps Solara break her out of containment, and the two head for Insomnia on the motorbike. Lunafreya writes a final message for Umbra to take to Noctis when the time comes. When she enters the throne room, Ardyn is surprised she is there to ask for his cooperation rather than to kill him.
Chapter 4: The Final Glaive (Noctis)
Noctis is dreaming within the Crystal where the soul of the star dwells. He sleeps in wait to gain the power to become the True King. He had left his friends behind to claim the Crystal, but was pulled inside it while Ardyn revealed his true identity, and is now in the presence of the god Bahamut.
Noctis receives the memories housed in the Crystal and sees the Stone brought to Eos, bringing with it light and life. A hall was built to hold it and population soared. Ardyn and Somnus's parents had bestowed the two a pair of longswords in the hope they would rule together, but the brothers turned against one another after their parents passed away. Noctis sympathizes with Ardyn and Aera's plight, but cannot forgive Ardyn for murdering Luna, though he also feels culpable over her fate because she had been helping him by forging covenants with the gods, a path that was already killing her. Prioritizing the kingdom over the individual was Somnus's way of thinking.
While Ardyn was imprisoned Somnus founded Lucis and was followed by myriad kings, some cruel and some kind. The nations of Tenebrae, Niflheim and Accordo arose, Niflheim released Ardyn, Regis was chosen as a king of yore and learned of Noctis's fate from the Lucii. Had Ardyn not been released Noctis would have been just another king. Noctis witnesses the hardships Luna went through while he was road-tripping with his friends. He regrets not understanding what she was going through and comes to understand Ravus's anger toward him. He recalls Cor and Gladiolus pushing him to try harder, and learns how Ignis had protected him in Altissia. Noctis feels he was immature and ignorant and wants to pay everyone who had supported him back. He sees himself fulfill the prophecy and die to save the planet. The fate seems inescapable, but Noctis does not want to die.
Regis visits Noctis in his dream. Regis had raised him while knowing his son's fate, trying to give him a happy childhood. Noctis apologizes, but Regis deems it is the parents' duty to worry about their children, not the other way around. He affirms that a king must always push forward and accept the consequences. Before vanishing, Regis asks Noctis to protect "the people and things that he loves," and Noctis especially doesn't want to waste Luna's sacrifice.
Noctis awakens in Angelgard and meets Umbra who carries a notebook that the revived Lunafreya had used to write messages for him and describe her travels. Noctis realizes the Crystal did not show him any events of his ten-year absence, and takes the royal vessel to Galdin Quay where he meets Sol waiting for him. He knows about her from Luna's notebook, and Umbra leaves as Sol becomes his guide. Gladiolus calls Sol and tells them to come to Hammerhead. Noctis asks if his three friends are okay, and Sol explains Prompto helps Cindy transport goods, and Ignis is not handicapped much by his loss of sight because no one can see in the dark.
Sol tells Noctis of her and Lunafreya's travels, and finishes by revealing that the latter's calling is to fight Ardyn. This shocks Noctis, as though the notebook had mentioned that she was going to the Citadel to talk to him, she had not revealed Bahamut's mission for her is to kill Ardyn. To Noctis, this doesn't make sense since he has the Ring of the Lucii, the only way to destroy Ardyn for good. He learns Lunafreya can now absorb daemons, the same ability Ardyn had as a healer. Sol feels guilty Lunafreya became a daemon because she had asked her to save Aranea, but Noctis reassures that Luna wanted to help out of her own will. Noctis decides to head to the Citadel to save Luna, as even if the Astrals never grant enough power to save everyone, he will just have to do it himself.
At the Citadel Ardyn refuses to cooperate with Lunafreya, even after she explains Bahamut is going to destroy everything on Eos. Ardyn doesn't mind the end of the world and asks her to leave, as Noctis will arrive soon. Lunafreya angers Ardyn by saying Aera asked her to save him, and he summons Ifrit.
Noctis drops Sol off at Hammerhead and continues alone to the Citadel without waiting for his friends to catch up. He fights a king of yore enslaved by the Starscourge, wishing his friends were with him. When he cracks the king's mask he glimpses Somnus's face, realizing they look alike and how this must have made Ardyn feel. Noctis agrees to save Ardyn at Somnus's behest, and questions why Bahamut never bestowed powers like Ardyn's to anyone else, and why he has chosen to give those same powers to Luna now.
Ardyn maintains he doesn't care about Bahamut destroying the world, though he wishes he could kill the Bladekeeper as well. After Lunafreya heals Ifrit of the Starscourge, the Infernian turns on Ardyn, and Lunafreya halts him by forming a covenant with Ifrit. When Noctis arrives she has transformed into a monster due to having absorbed Ifrit's Scourge and attacks Noctis with her spear.
Bahamut arrives, saying the king's role has ended as the humans' continuing foolish actions mean the world's fate is destruction. Bahamut commands Lunafreya to release her power, and it destroys the throne room. Ardyn realizes Bahamut is readying Teraflare, but if it fails, Bahamut might be forced into hibernation the same way the Astrals had to rest after the Great War of Old. Bahamut raises the Citadel into the air to take the Crystal out of reach, but Ardyn warps up to it, knowing Noctis will follow to save his beloved.
Daemon Queen Lunafreya floats above the Citadel, singing to summon Teraflare. Noctis tries to warp up to the flying building, but an army of smaller Bahamuts stops him. His retinue arrives to aid him along with Sol, Aranea, Biggs and Wedge in their airship, telling everyone to get on. A Bahamut attacks the airship and it crashlands on the Citadel plaza. Sol, Aranea, Biggs and Wedge stay to repair the airship, while Noctis, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto continue.
They run into Ardyn who explains Lunafreya's plan was to take his darkness so Bahamut will use Teraflare, which will be blocked by the other Astrals, exhausting Bahamut and sending him to a long rest. Since Bahamut exists both in the physical realm and in the Beyond, he can't be killed or inflicted with the Starscourge. Ardyn asks for the Ring of the Lucii, and Noctis realizes his plan is to enter the Beyond with the power of the kings of yore and destroy Bahamut there, as the part of Ardyn currently in the Beyond is not strong enough to fell a god.
Noctis gives Ardyn the "battle of kings" he so desires, defeating him with the Sword of the Father, but to Ardyn's shock refrains from killing him. Noctis explains he would kill Ardyn if it saved the world, but now that Bahamut is going to kill everyone, there is no longer any point, and he is done with needless sacrifices. He asks if Ardyn defeating Bahamut in the Beyond would save humanity, and though Ardyn thinks it might, he doesn't care about being a savior: he only wants vengeance. Even if Noctis cannot forgive Ardyn, he views his nemesis a part of the world that he swore to protect, and recalls how the Mystic had asked him to save him.
Ardyn admits Noctis is worthy of the title of True King, much to his irritation. Noctis summons the past kings from the Ring of the Lucii and beseeches they permit Ardyn to use their power to save the world. The Mystic assents, wanting his agreement to act as an apology to Ardyn. The kings warn that if Ardyn uses the ring with his daemonic body, he might face a painful disintegration. Being used to pain, Ardyn doesn't care.
On the roof of the Citadel they find the Daemon Queen Lunafreya gathering darkness, and are attacked by an army of Bahamuts whom Noctis's friends take on. Ifrit tells Noctis that Lunafreya formed his covenant and the other Astrals appear. As Bahamut readies to annihilate humanity the other Astrals protect Eos, Bahamut proclaiming that if they ally with mankind, he will destroy them as well. Drained of her darkness, Lunafreya falls and Noctis catches her.
On the otherworldly sylleblossom field where the dying Luna previously passed the Ring of the Lucii unto Noctis, the two meet again as children. She had lived only to fulfill her calling as Oracle, but after meeting Sol, she had realized she wants more out of life. They transform into adults, and though Luna thinks this may be the last time they are together, she declares her wish to live with him. As she begins to sink into the abyss Noctis calls out to her to stay with him. This time she can hear him, and feels something touch her hand as everything fades. When Noctis awakens Luna is in his arms and his friends surround the pair. Noctis entrusts the still-alive Lunafreya to his retinue and warps off to fight Bahamut.
Ardyn sits on the throne and summons the kings of yore, Somnus dealing the killing blow.
Even if Bahamut consumed the darkness to power his Teraflare, the sun doesn't rise. Either Teraflare was incomplete, or the darkness is simply too vast. Bahamut scolds Noctis for opposing a supreme god as a weak human. Noctis thinks that even if Bahamut created the Ring of the Lucii, its power derives from the generations of kings. Bahamut deflects his opening and Noctis is caught by Ifrit, and the other Astrals return, ready to defend Eos. Though weakened from fending off Teraflare, they help Noctis defeat Bahamut. Together, Ifrit, Shiva and Noctis crack Bahamut's mask, and Noctis witnesses Bahamut's visage resemble Somnus and himself. Noctis wonders if the resemblance is the reason Bahamut had favored Somnus over Ardyn.
In the Beyond, Ardyn summons the Lucii, and Somnus by his side, Ardyn unleashes the kings' power on Bahamut even if this will destroy all gods as well as the Crystal. Ardyn's soul vanishes, thinking it would be fine for the world to forget him. Aera's spirit appears to him and affirms she will never forget even if everyone else did. He asks to be with her always, and hears her reply.
The darkness begins to wane and Bahamut laments how the foolish humans are about to lose the guidance and protection of the Astrals. Noctis strikes Bahamut down, and the Citadel begins to fall from the sky. Titan catches it and the Crystal sucks in the remaining darkness before shattering. Titan picks up the unconscious Lunafreya and everyone jumps onto his hand as the Citadel crumbles. Gentiana appears, and as her farewell gift, resuscitates Lunafreya as dawn breaks.
Regis narrates an epilogue of the world recovering. Noctis and Lunafreya wed in Altissia, and Regis thanks Cor, Cid, Cindy, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto for helping Noctis and the rest of humanity in surviving their ordeals, and even the gods themselves. He wishes Noctis and Lunafreya eternal happiness.
Origins and release
Following the release of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis, the Final Fantasy XV development team decided to expand their initial plans for downloadable content, intending to create a new narrative for fans while tying up remaining loose ends with the game's lore. During this period, production was handled by Square Enix's new subsidiary Luminous Productions, which included the Final Fantasy XV development team.
The new DLC was revealed in April 2018 as The Dawn of the Future, a tetralogy of DLC episodes planned for release in early 2019. These were DLC campaigns that focused on the characters of Ardyn Izunia, Aranea Highwind, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret and Noctis Lucis Caelum. They would also create a new narrative where the characters defied their god-given fates leading to an alternate ending to realize the ideal future the characters had envisioned. Hajime Tabata, the director of Final Fantasy XV, left Square Enix in November 2018 and it was decided Luminous Productions would focus on an in-development new IP. All DLC episodes but Episode Ardyn were cancelled, but the team sought a means of telling the planned story through another medium. The Dawn of the Future was re-announced as a novel alongside the release of the anime short Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn – Prologue and the release date of Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn.
The novel is written by Emi Nagashima under her regular penname Jun Eishima. Her work with Square Enix includes writing work on Final Fantasy XIII-2, and supplementary novels related to Final Fantasy XIII and the Drakengard series.
An English version of the novel was announced as in production. The English edition would be published in North America by Square Enix's new label created in collaboration with Penguin Random House. Originally scheduled for the Fall of 2019, the date was pushed back to June 23, 2020, and later the physical release was delayed until July 14, 2020. The English version was translated by Stephen Kohler.
Behind the scenes
Lunafreya's "Scourge Queen/Goddess" form in Dawn of the Future resembles how she appears on the game's logo.
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- Translation of Ardyn's chapter by Autumnstwilight
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- Part 1 and Part 2 of Lunafreya's chapter as translated by Autumnstwilight
- Part 1 and Parr 2 of Noctis's chapter as translated by Autumnstwilight
- Fan translation