The flames of war surge as Solheim fends off the Pyreburner’s fire. The gods' pleas for peace fall on deaf ears, and the battle rages on.Shiva describing the war.
The War of the Astrals (神々の「魔大戦」, Kamigami no 'ma taisen'?, lit. War of the Gods), also known as the Great War of Old, was a war in the age of myth in the Final Fantasy XV Universe that led to the collapse of the ancient civilization of Solheim. Not much is known about the war in modern times.
Long ago, the traitorous Ifrit waged war against the rest of the Hexatheon. Many moons passed as the embittered battle raged on, culminating in a clash between Bahamut and Ifrit in which the latter was laid asunder atop the Rock of Ravatogh. Taelpar Crag, the grand gorge dividing Duscae and Cleigne, exemplifies the severity of the War of the Astrals while also symbolizing the rift that separated the Six.Loading screen in Episode Gladiolus
Solheim was a global nation that prospered during the period in which Eos was stable under the watchful eyes of the six Astrals. The war was started by the Astral of fire, Ifrit, who ruled over Solheim but was betrayed by his once-loyal subjects who began to spurn their benefactor and sought new heights of power. Ifrit sought to destroy Solheim as punishment for their betrayal and hubris, but as the Six are sworn to protect Eos from all harm, even from each other, the other five turned on Ifrit. In the German localization and in Final Fantasy XV: Official Works, Ifrit is said to have wanted to destroy Eos itself along with humanity.
The war was waged between Solheim, the Astrals and their Messengers. In the end, Ifrit was killed and his body was laid upon the Rock of Ravatogh and Solheim was left in ruin. Taelpar Crag in the current Cleigne region was created as a result of the Astral War. The other Astrals—bar Bahamut—fell into slumber after having lost their powers. Final Fantasy XV -The Dawn of the Future- puts forth a different version of the Astral War where Bahamut wanted to wipe out all life on Eos, but his attempt was blocked by the other Astrals, who thus fell into slumber after having been exhausted.
- The Six have safeguarded this star since time immemorial—each of a different mind, but united by this common purpose.
- The gods' protection extends to all creatures here below—even to the mortals created in their image. They are feeble creatures leading fragile lives and clinging to foolish fancies. The Frostbearer scorns these visions of "hope" which melt like snow in the sun's light.
- Yet the Pyreburner admires their strength of will. For their reverence, he grants unto them his flame, and the world of man flourishes. His benevolence warms the frozen heart of the Frostbearer. The mortals have earned her respect; he, her love and admiration.
- It is not long, however, before some among those men ascend to new heights of hubris. The people of Solheim spurn the gods who blessed them—the gods they once worshipped. The ungrateful mortals incur the wrath of the Pyreburner. He seeks to raze the very civilization his flames once helped build.
- But the Six are sworn to defend this star and all of her inhabitants from harm—and, at times, from one another. The flames of war surge as Solheim fends off the Pyreburner's fire. The gods' pleas for peace fall on deaf ears and the battle rages on.
- When the smoke clears, the world of man is in ruins, their star left scarred for time eternal. Wearied from war, the Six seek solace in slumber.
When Ardyn Izunia ushers Ifrit upon Noctis in Insomnia two thousand years after the war, the latter summons Shiva, the Astral of ice, who kills Ifrit and says: "Pyreburner. That heart of flame was turned to ash once. A dead flame must burn no more. Taste again the chill wind of death."
In Dawn of the Future Shiva is said to have told the true version of the events to Lunafreya, which included Bahamut's antagonistic role. In the alternate ending to the saga, Bahamut attempts to carry out his original plan from the Astral War to destroy the world, but is again thwarted.
Etymology and symbolism
The War of the Astrals may be in parallel to the War in Heaven described in the Book of Revelation waged between the angels led by the Archangel Michael against those led by Satan, who are defeated and thrown down to the earth. The War in Heaven is related to the idea of fallen angels. Bahamut's incarnation within Final Fantasy XV may draw upon the archangel Michael, who is considered the Sword of God and the leader of God's forces against the Dragon in the Book of Revelation. Likewise, Ifrit is comparable to Satan or Lucifer, who scorns God's creations after he and his followers were cast from heaven due to his pride as God's first and closest angel.
- The Complete Official Guide posits that the Astral War was fueled by the spread of Starscourge that killed millions, but the game itself gives no timeline on when the plague appeared, although the German version posits it originates from the Meteor of the Six. Shiva never mentions the plague in her telling of the war in Chapter 12, and the Final Fantasy XV Scenario Ultimania first mentions the plague "spread due to a parasite" around 2,000 years ago. The Astral War and the prosperity of Solheim seem to be longer than 2,000 years ago, as they don't have a presence in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ardyn – Prologue where Ardyn and Aera also explore old ruins, implying a fallen civilization.
- Final Fantasy XV Ultimania Scenario Side translations (Accessed: February 19, 2019) at The Lifestream
- Shiva: Dieser Verrat brach Ifrit das Herz und entfachte seinen Zorn. Blind vor Wut wollte er diese Welt mitsamt der Menschheit einäschern. Und so… blieb dieser Göttin keine Wahl. Sie musste gegen Ifrit Kämpfen, um Eos zu schützen.
- ''Final Fantasy XV Official Works'' translations by higharollakockamamie (Accessed: July 16, 2018) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
- Gentiana's character profile from ''Final Fantasy XV Official Works'' translated by higharollakockamamie (Accessed: February 09, 2019) at higharollakockamamie @tumblr
- "Ancient history is marked by the prosperity of the civilization of Solheim. When this civilization was at its peak, the betrayal of one of the six Astral gods, Ifrit, led to a conflict known as the Great War of Old. This was fueled by the spreading of a mysterious parasite, causing the death of millions, and ultimately the fall of Solheim." The Complete Official Guide pg. 318