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The Phoenix, the Warden of Fire, is the Eikon of Joshua Rosfield in Final Fantasy XVI. The Dominant of Fire is always born in the ducal line and becomes the archduke of Rosaria. The young Joshua primed Phoenix during the Night of Flames, and was seemingly destroyed by Ifrit, the second Eikon of Fire, following their battle at Phoenix Gate. The Phoenix is a firebird with flaming plumage.

Phoenix is a recurring Fire-elemental summon in the Final Fantasy series. It appears less frequently than Ifrit, but is typically the "higher level summon" of the two for its ability to also revive KO'd party members; in Final Fantasy XVI, the Phoenix can heal bodily injuries but not bring one back from death.

Active Time Lore[]

The Warden of Fire, whose strength resides within Joshua Rosfield, heir to the Rosarian throne. The Phoenix is always born in the ducal line, and is worshipped by the populace—not least because its flames of both destruction and regeneration have delivered the duchy from disaster many times over.

Basic Information

The Warden of Fire, last seen on the night of the imperial invasion of Phoenix Gate in the year 860, when the young Joshua Rosfield lost control of his powers. The Phoenix first awakened among the Motes of Fire, an ancient tribe who dwelled in the western reaches of Storm, and the careful preservation of bloodlines among the Rosarian nobility ensured that its Dominant would always be born in the ducal line.

Hidden Truths

The Warden of Fire, whose strength resides within Joshua Rosfield. Eighteen years after the imperial invasion of Phoenix Gate and Joshua's presumed demise, the Phoenix spread its wings once more in the skies above the Crystalline Dominion—wings in which reside the Flames of Rebirth.

Following the Destruction of Twinside

History[]

Though the Phoenix did not appear in the ancient tapestry of the Circle of Malius cult that extolled the eventual awakening of Eikons as the heavenly servants of the cult's savior god Ultima, Phoenix is one part of Ultima's magic, embodied as a firebird with protective and healing powers. The Phoenix's purpose is to conserve and express this power until the arrival of "Mythos", who was to then take the power unto themselves as part of the Ultima collective's masterplan of harvesting aether with Mothercrystals and then using Mythos's body to cast a spell to remake the world and revive their near-extinct brethren.[1]

The Phoenix awakens in descendants of the "Motes of Fire" tribe, who in modern day inhabit the Grand Duchy of Rosaria. Only members of the ducal family are known to awaken as the Phoenix's Dominant,[2] as they jealously guard their bloodline. The Undying is a shadow organization including many loosely affiliated family members of the ducal line, dedicated to preserving the Phoenix and the duchy; should the main ducal line fall, the next Phoenix would likely awaken among the members known to the Undying.[3]

In modern-day Valisthea, the Phoenix previously awakened in Elwin Rosfield's father. This Phoenix was likely the one who went to war against the Northern Territories tribes and Shiva in 790 when Drake's Eye fell. Infighting among the northern tribes ultimately forced them to retreat.[4] Phoenix later awakened in Elwin's youngest son, Joshua, who thus became the heir to the ducal throne over Elwin's elder son, Clive. As the Phoenix's Dominant, Joshua was gifted with powerful healing magicks, and when he was 10,[5] he bestowed a portion of the Eikon's power on his older brother, the 15-year-old Clive, to act as his First Shield. Clive thus became able to conjure fire without a crystal shard, as well as able to learn some of Phoenix's offensive abilities.

Phoenix goes on a rampage in Phoenix Gate from FFXVI

The Phoenix's rampage.

On the Night of Flames in the year 860, soldiers from the Holy Empire of Sanbreque were sent to Phoenix Gate to kill the Rosarian forces there and likely abduct Joshua. After witnessing Elwin's beheading, a horrified Joshua lost control of his powers and primed into the Phoenix. Shortly afterwards, Clive suddenly primed into Ifrit, a second Eikon of Fire, who immediately became hostile and attacked the Phoenix. The two Eikons battled as they fell through the ground into the apodytery beneath Phoenix Gate, until Ifrit began preparing its Hellfire spell. Despite Phoenix's efforts to prevent it, Ifrit unleashed a devastating explosion that the Phoenix was caught in. Thanks to his Flames of Rebirth spell, Phoenix survived and overpowered Ifrit before returning them both to the surface.

Their battle continued as the Phoenix launched volleys of fire missiles at Ifrit, briefly incapacitating the dark Eikon. Ifrit recovered and pinned Phoenix to the ground as it pummeled him with vicious blows. Phoenix attempted to fight back while calling for Clive to help him, but Ifrit impaled him with its claws before unleashing an explosion that engulfed Phoenix Gate, seemingly killing the Phoenix, and, by extension, Joshua. However, unknown to all, Joshua had survived and was rescued by the members of the Undying, a shadow group that served the Phoenix's Dominant/Archduke of Rosaria. Clive was enslaved as an imperial assassin, continuing to use Phoenix's Blessing to cast fire magicks.

In 873 Joshua was secretly traveling the Storm under an assumed name and alongside an attendant from the Undying. When the Royal Intelligencers caught them under the belief of them being the mysterious "second Dominant of Fire", Joshua later escaped the stronghold he had been confined in, setting the entire structure ablaze, suggesting he may have semi-primed. When Clive followed his new mentor, Cidolfus Telamon, to fell Drake's Head, they ended up freeing one of the Ultima collective from the Mothercrystal's heart as they destroyed it. As Ultima tried to take Clive's body, Joshua suddenly appeared and used the power of the Phoenix to shield them with a magick barrier, and then to absorb and hold this shard of Ultima inside his own body. This greatly taxed him and advanced his crystals' curse, however. Though he elected to not join with his brother at this time, Joshua left Clive a phoenix feather, a magical connection between the brothers and an ever-glowing part of himself; Clive always kept the feather on his person from then on as a reminder that Joshua was alive after all.

Phoenix flees Twinside from FFXVI

Phoenix carries everyone to safety after the battle of Twinside.

The Phoenix would not publicly appear again until nearly two decades after the Night of Flames in the year 878, when Dion Lesage, first-born prince of Sanbreque, primed into Bahamut and went on a mindless rampage through Twinside following the accidental killing of his father, Holy Emperor Sylvestre, in an attempted coup against his stepmother, Anabella, and half-brother, Olivier. Joshua primed into the Phoenix and pursued Bahamut in an attempt to stop the latter's destruction of the city, and was joined soon after by Clive, who primed into Ifrit to aid his brother. The three Eikons battled at the top of Drake's Tail, and partway through the fight, Phoenix and Ifrit combined into Ifrit Risen, composed of Ifrit's body and the Phoenix's wings. The composite Eikon continued to battle Bahamut high above the planet, and defeated him. Ifrit Risen split back into Ifrit and the Phoenix, with the latter grabbing Dion and the former destroying the heart of Drake's Tail, shattering the Mothercrystal. As the crystalline structure dissipated, Joshua flew everyone to safety as the Phoenix.

Joshua joined Clive's mission in ridding the realm of Mothercrystals to stop the advancement of the Blight and fighting against the Ultima collective and their plan of grooming Clive as the ultimate host body able to use all aspects of magicks. Joshua first semi-primed and then fully primed on the Naldoan Narrow when Barnabas Tharmr, Ultima's loyal follower and the Dominant of Odin, accosted them. The Phoenix's magicked barrier resisted Odin's Zantetsuken, but was unable to defeat the Warden of Darkness and Joshua was severely injured.

While exploring Ash to reach the final Mothercrystal in Stonhyrr, Joshua parted ways with Clive to explore an ancient structure. It was another apodytery like the Phoenix Gate, a site the Circle of Malius cult had used for worshiping Ultima. When he glimpsed a full version of the Eikon mural, Joshua noted that it did not include the Phoenix, and surmised that the Phoenix's fate was to be one part of the vessel that Ultima was preparing alongside Ifrit.

Joshua continued to help and protect Clive with the Phoenix's powers, and after they destroyed the final Mothercrystal and Ultima raised Origin to the sky, Joshua promised to take them there as the Phoenix. Dion volunteered to take them as Bahamut instead, and the three Dominants made their way to the Ultima collective's ark, which the self-appointed gods had millennia ago used to travel to Valisthea from a faraway land. The Phoenix, Ifrit, and Bahamut combined their powers to cast Tri-Disaster to fight Ultima's first corporeal body that he had reanimated. Ifrit was defeated first and Bahamut urged the Phoenix to go to his brother while he finished Ultima Prime alone at the cost of expending all his energy, losing his prime, and falling from the sky. Joshua found Clive and healed him with magick, but was himself on the verge of death after the battle.

When they found the Ultima collective's cast-aside bodies "sleeping" around the nexus, the wellspring of all magic, Joshua realized that he had been wrong: Ultima did not need both Phoenix and Ifrit for a vessel, he only needed Clive with the power of the Phoenix. Sensing his body could go no further, Joshua passed on the Phoenix unto Clive before dying. However, the Phoenix feather Joshua had gifted Clive back at Drake's Head did not lose its glow. Now as powerful as he could be, Clive rejected his role as "Mythos" and defeated the recombined Ultima collective, absorbing their power. First he used the power to restore Joshua's bodily injuries, but his brother did not stir. Clive then destroyed the nexus on Origin, erasing magic, Dominants, Bearers, Eikons, and hopefully eventually the Blight, from the world. The Phoenix would no longer awaken and Joshua was its final Dominant, but the legend of the Eikons would be passed down generations in a book attributed to him called Final Fantasy.

Characteristics[]

CGJoshua&Phoenix

Key art of the Phoenix and Joshua.

The Phoenix appears as a large bird, resembling either a hawk or an eagle, covered in orange, green, and blue feathers, with plumage on his tail resembling that of a peacock's. His feathers glow with fiery light, and a blue light emanates from his chest.

Like the Phoenix in the Final Fantasy series as a whole, the design of Valisthea's Phoenix takes inspiration from the Chinese phoenix, fenghuang, alongside the Greek mythological phoenix. Fenghuang is often described as a composite of many birds including the head of a golden pheasant, the body of a mandarin duck, the tail of a peacock, the legs of a crane, the mouth of a parrot, and the wings of a swallow, its body containing the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, yellow, and green.

The Phoenix has a more heavenly presence in juxtaposition to Ifrit's netherworldly aesthetic. The Phoenix expresses the fire's regenerative and protective qualities, whereas Ifrit expresses violent explosions and destruction. The Phoenix can shoot fireballs from its mouth, erect magicked barriers that nothing can pierce, and it has the power to heal bodily injuries. In Rosarian folklore, the Phoenix is known as a protector who fights for the nation, and "souls touched by the Phoenix" are said to "never die" in the sense that the Rosarian lineage will forever continue.[6]

Gameplay[]

Boss gameplay[]

The player controls Phoenix to fight Ifrit in the prologue, and later on Bahamut in Drake's Tail in the Crystalline Dominion.

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Clive's abilities[]

Phoenix Shift from FFXVI

Phoenix Shift.

Abilities are unlocked in the Abilities section fo Clive's menu by expending Ability Points. The player can refund their spent AP at any time and respec at will.

The Phoenix's Eikonic Feat ability is Phoenix Shift, which lets Clive teleport to an enemy. Pressing the attack button right after pressing Circle mid-dash, before Clive reaches his target, has him come out of the shift doing a shift strike. Doing this with magic leads to a shift shot. Phoenix Shift allows Clive to move about the battlefield faster and to keep his combos going between enemies, and to reach flying or high up targets more easily. As an Eikonic Feat, it has no restriction to usage.

Rising Flame from FFXVI

Rising Flames.

The Phoenix also teaches Clive four Eikonic abilities, Rising Flames and Scarlet Cyclone being the defaults. Rising Flames recharges fast and can be used to knock small enemies into the air, allowing the player to interrupt enemies and continue into an aerial combo. Scarlet Cyclone attacks all enemies in Clive's immediate vicinity and can be used when he is being knocked back.

Only two Eikonic Abilities can be equipped at once, so once the player learns Heatwave or Flames of Rebirth, they will have to replace either Rising Flames or Scarlet Cyclone to be able to use the new ability in battle. Heatwave sends a ranged projectile wave of liquid fire at a target. Using this to intercept an enemy's ranged attack triggers a Heatwave Counter that avoids damage from the enemy's attack, results in more damage from Heatwave, and cuts down the ability's cooldown considerably; it can be one of the Phoenix's best abilities, if not outright the best one.

Clive using Flames of Rebirth from FFXVI

Flames of Rebirth.

Flames of Rebirth is the Phoenix's recurring summon ability in the series, and in Final Fantasy XVI is used as a cinematic move in Eikonic battles, and as the most expensive Eikonic Ability Clive can learn for his fire loadout. It engulfs the battlefield in violent flames and pummels all targets caught within the firestorm while the enemies are forced to sit stationary. It has a very long cooldown, but it is very strong and should defeat all small fry. Against staggered enemies, cinematic attacks freeze everything, meaning that the enemy's will gauge will also not recover during the animation, however, Clive's cooldowns will still recover at regular pace. By timing Clive's Limit Break just right, the player can get out of the animation and regain control of Clive to attack enemies even during the Flames of Rebirth's firestorm.

Ifrit and Phoenix share the fire loadout, and so the only fire Eikonic Feat is the Phoenix Shift. Ifrit also adds Limit Break, Will of the Wykes, and Ignition to the mix.

Mastering any fire Eikonic Ability lets the player assign it to any loadout, which may be preferable as Phoenix Shift could be replaced with a simple lunge (though it cannot target airborne enemies) or Shiva's Eikonic Feat.

Musical themes[]

Phoenix's theme is "Away". It first plays during the boss battle between the Phoenix and the second Eikon of Fire in the prologue. The melody of "Away" is also used in number of other tracks associated with Joshua.

Gallery[]

Etymology[]

In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix (Greek: φοῖνιξ phoinix; Latin: phoenix, phœnix, fenix) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. According to some sources, the phoenix dies in a show of flames and combustion, although there are other sources that claim that the legendary bird dies and simply decomposes before being born again. According to some texts, the phoenix could live over 1,400 years before rebirth.

Citations[]

  1. Final Fantasy XVI, Barnabas: "We were created for you [Clive/Mythos], so you might drink deep of our strength and thereby fulfill your divine purpose."
  2. Final Fantasy XVI, Persons of Interest "Jote"
  3. Final Fantasy XVI, Optional dialogue with Cyril after the Undying sidequest.
  4. Final Fantasy XVI Ultimania, Timeline
  5. Final Fantasy XVI Ultimania
  6. Final Fantasy XVI, Compendium of Rosarian Verse
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