Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future- (ファイナルファンタジーＸＶ 未来への夜明け, Fainaru Fantajī Fifutīn Mirai e no Yoake?) is a novel followup 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. An overseas release is also planned.
Do you resist the gods or obey destiny. Another ending hidden by Final Fantasy XV.
A disappointed man meant to be king who saved the people from Daemons and the Starscourge - Ardyn
On the Empire's last day, a Commodore is entrusted with a girl of destiny in the collapsing Capital - Aranea
After awakening from death, the Oracle sees her body is changing - Lunafreya
And a true king gazes long upon his destiny - Noctis
The story of the dawn of the world that reveals a new history for Final Fantasy XV.
Official description (translated from Japanese)
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.
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 Keep devoid of life and 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 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 emperor. The interaction makes Aranea reflect on her own childhood when her village was attacked by daemons and she had led the younger children to safety while the adults fought. Loqi entrusts the girl to her and holds 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.
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's new calling is to defeat Ardyn and she accepts for a chance to save Noctis.
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, concerned about what this will do to 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 it 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 belong to Odin, one of the twenty-four Messengers, which were use 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, fallen into slumber. This differs from the myths, 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. 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 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.
Noctis is dreaming within the Crystal where the soul of the star dwells to gain the power to become the True King. He had left his friends behind to claim the Crystal, but was taken 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 was 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 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 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 blindness 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. 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 him 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 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 they 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 onto 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 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 is in production.
- Final Fantasy XV Japanese Twitter (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at @FFXVJP
- 小説 FINAL FANTASY XV -The Dawn Of The Future- (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at Square Enix Store Japan
- Hajime Tabata on Final Fantasy 15’s finale and what comes next (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at Polygon
- Square Enix Launches Luminous Productions Studio with Final Fantasy XV Director Hajime Tabata (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at Anime News Network
- Hajime Tabata Pulls Back the Curtain on Luminous Productions (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at US Gamer
- Final Fantasy XV four-Episode DLC set ‘The Dawn of the Future’ and more announced (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at Gematsu
- Hajime Tabata Talks About His Departure From Square Enix, More On His New Company JP Games (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at Siliconera
- 「FFXV」の追加コンテンツ「FINAL FANTASY XV EPISODE ARDYN」の配信開始が3月26日に決定。さらに，短編アニメ作品「FFXV EPISODE ARDYN - PROLOGUE」が公開 (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at 4Gamer
- 2011年12月 2011年12月15日 (木) 発売日です (Accessed: February 20, 2019) at Emi Nagashima's blog