This is a fantasy based on reality.Tagline
The trailer shown at E3 2013 publicized that Final Fantasy Versus XIII had been rebranded to be the next main series entry to the Final Fantasy series: Final Fantasy XV. The trailer was created specifically for the event and doesn't depict scenes from the final game, although certain scenes, such as the Leviathan battle, are still in the game in a different form.
In 2012 it was decided development of Final Fantasy Versus XIII would shift to next-generation consoles, and the name was officially changed into Final Fantasy XV within the company, although the public revelation of the re-branding would wait until E3 2013. In July 2012 the Square Enix CEO at the time, Yoichi Wada, ordered the Final Fantasy Type-0 team to join the Final Fantasy XV development to create a prototype for the next-gen consoles.
This prototype became the E3 2013 trailer. It runs on a prototype engine dubbed Ebony. (This is in juxtaposition to Final Fantasy XIII, whose "versus" game Versus XIII was intended to be. The prototype engine for Final Fantasy XIII was "White Engine". Ebony is still alluded to in the final Final Fantasy XV as the coffee brand Ignis Scientia enjoys.) The Type-0 team led by Director Hajime Tabata started working on the prototype in July 2012, and at the time the details weren't announced for new-gen systems. Thus the team made assumptions and worked on the Windows PC DirectX 11 engine to build the prototype.
A lot of the E3 trailer is prerendered. Takeshi Nozue was brought into the Final Fantasy XV team from Visual Works, Square Enix's subsidiary that does the prerendered cut scenes and CGI promo art for the games and made Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The team worked on how to put the prerendering technology Nozue had brought from his team into the real-time rendering in the game. As an extension of that, the team concluded to develop the game engine and the first result brought by this was the footage released at E3 in 2013.
When the E3 2013 trailer was released Tetsuya Nomura was still the game's director, even if the trailer had been made by Hajime Tabata's team. Hajime Tabata first became co-director to finish the project, which would eventually have him transition as the new director.
During Sony's press conference at E3 on June 10, 2013, a prerecorded video of Tetsuya Nomura was played where he acknowledged that not much information on the project had been released as of late, and that while he couldn't immediately share new details, new information would be revealed in the coming days. Following the message, the trailer played concluding with the announcement Final Fantasy Versus XIII has been renamed Final Fantasy XV, with development moved to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The trailer was only released in Japanese.
A girl's voice affirms that Noctis can also see the light of expiring souls, and Noctis's voice says that sometimes he just knows things without understanding how. A young girl and boy run across a field, Stella and Noctis, with the overlay text calling this a meeting predestined by the divine, but Stella can't stay with Noctis anymore. Noctis claims his "heart can't let go" but Stella implores him to live his own life and not worry about her.
A voice declares the world is ever-changing as it should be, as scenes related to the Niflheim Empire play, showing the hooded man, a man fully glad in armor and airships over Altissia. King Regis and young Noctis eat dinner at the palace, but the dinner is thin soup and Noctis is unhappy. His father implores him to pretend he likes the food lest the cook be sent away. The leaders of Niflheim plot for the Lucis Caelum bloodline's demise on the steps of the Citadel. Noctis's friends warn him that the Crystal is going to be stolen, as Niflheim has already waged war over crystals in Solheim, Tenebrae and Accordo, and war seems inevitable.
Noctis fights Niflheim forces in various settings. He and Gladiolus fight soldiers in a mansion in Altissia, and Noctis displays his skills of warping and forging weapons from thin air. Verstael Besithia leads troops of armored soldiers, and Noctis warps to an imperial airship, and runs toward Leviathan. He fights soldiers and an Iron Giant and a Behemoth outside the Citadel, while the forces of Lucis face off against the forces of Niflheim inside the palace, Regis summoning multiple swords from thin air to point at the imperials who draw their guns at the Lucians, with Emperor Aldercapt calling the Crystal of Lucis the final crystal in the world. Noctis's friends tell him the imperials are going to take the Crystal out of the city and Noctis says they must take it back. The Emperor tells his forces to kill Noctis on sight.
The trailer ends with Noctis meeting Cor Leonis and then walking away while the faces of the numerous major characters appear on the screen followed by the Final Fantasy Versus XIII logo that shatters and is replaced by the Final Fantasy XV logo, announced for PlayStation 4.
"Nox Aeterna", which is split in half as two different tracks in the main game, plays. The first half is somber and plays during the reveal that Insomnia has fallen. The second half becomes the summon theme in the main game.
Differences from the final game
The trailer opens with the words "Fabula Nova Crystallis", but the final game is not considered part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy subseries, although it was considered such into 2015. It was deliberately distanced from the series and its connection was reduced to a thematic base upon which original lore was built. Though the trailer mentions Noctis's supernatural abilities to know things without understanding how and to "see the light", these is not mentioned in the final game. The "light" refers to the light of departing souls and souls are still an important element in Final Fantasy XV.
Stella Nox Fleuret still appears in the E3 2013 trailer, but in the final game she was replaced by Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. Stella's CG render that appears in the collection of faces of important characters in the ending was redesigned from how she appeared in earlier Versus XIII trailers, but this "new" Stella never appeared again after this trailer. The hooded man from the trailer appears as Ravus Nox Fleuret in the final game, who dresses in white but doesn't wear a hood.
The characters appearing in the trailer were redesigned, with Prompto Argentum and Regis Lucis Caelum having the biggest change, especially the latter. Regis never appeared again as he did in E3 2013, and was redesigned to resemble Jon Campling, a British actor whose likeness was used for the character in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. To maintain an immersive experience, this design was carried over into Final Fantasy XV.
The trailer implies that Lucis is poor as Noctis is forced to pretend he enjoys the awful soup that is served to him at the palace. In the final game the Crown City is prosperous and isolated from the wars waged on the outlands. In the trailer Niflheim is said to have waged war over crystals in Solheim, Tenebrae and Accordo. These locations are still part of Final Fantasy XV, but only Lucis has a Crystal, and Solheim is now an ancient civilization. The armored soldiers appear to be human in the trailer, but they were made less human in the final game, the imperial infantry being referred to as cyborgs, and the magitek troopers being entirely robotic. In the trailer the soldiers are led by Verstael, who only has a small role in the final game but is credited as the developer of the magitek infantry. In the trailer the soldiers have tanks parked outside the Citadel, but in the final game magitek troopers are dropped from dropships and there are no tanks.
Allusions to the trailer in the Final Fantasy XV Universe
Some similarities to the trailer still remain in Final Fantasy XV. The young girl in a white dress in the E3 2013 trailer appears to be Stella, but Luna wears the same dress and has a similar hairstyle as a young girl in Final Fantasy XV. Ardyn Izunia was first unveiled in the E3 2013 trailer where he is on the steps of the rainy Citadel with Iedolas Aldercapt, holding an umbrella. This scene is not in the final game, but Ardyn is with Iedolas on an airship and gazes down on Insomnia in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy XV has a scene where Ardyn and Ravus are in front of the Altissian cathedral in rain and Ardyn holds an umbrella, which appears based on his reveal scene from the original trailer.
In the trailer opening young Noctis and Stella run through a misty field with Stella saying she can no longer be with Noctis. In the final game young Noctis and Luna appear on a field of sylleblossoms at the end of Chapter 9 scene, with Luna saying she can't stay with him. In Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV Regis, Noctis and at first Luna run away in Tenebrae, but Luna opts to stay behind and Noctis can't see her again.
The trailer shows a scene where the forces of Lucis face off against the forces of Niflheim, led by King Regis and Emperor Aldercapt. A scene similar to this appears in Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV where war breaks out right after the treaty-signing. In Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV, Noctis is seen at the same dinner table at the palace to the scene with him eating with his father in the E3 2013 trailer.
The newspaper of Insomnia's fall enters the player's key items inventory after the scene where the party finds out about the invasion. It is dated for May 17 and some of the pictures on the front page originate from the E3 2013 trailer; the imperial airships hovering over what appear to be apartment buildings, and Verstael Besithia leading a group of magitek soldiers.
Noctis will not fight Niflheim forces and monsters outside the Citadel in the final game, but the ending of the Platinum Demo – Final Fantasy XV seems to be based on this scene from the trailer, with Noctis fighting an iron giant outside the Citadel.
The parry animation against an iron giant from the trailer is still in the final game, but triggers very rarely. It can happen when Noctis parries an iron giant with a greatsword when both Gladiolus and Prompto are alive and close by. The iron giant needs to be at low enough HP for the link-strike to kill it. The parry never activates against other iron giant-type enemies like red giants.
Insomnia has a billboard with a woman who looks a lot like Stella Nox Fleuret's portrait in the Final Fantasy XV E3 2013 trailer. The billboard appears in both Kingsglaive and Chapter 14 of the main game.
The Final Fantasy Versus XIII E3 2006 trailer revealed the game with Noctis walking down the steps of the Citadel against seemingly overwhelming forces of enemy soldiers, while summoning crystalline weapons that would shield him from damage. The E3 2013 trailer pays homage to this by having Noctis again on the steps of the Citadel with the crystal weapons. The ability is called Armiger in the final game.
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