Everything You Should Know Before You Buy

Everything You Should Know Before You Buy

You could think of Final Fantasy XVI as just the latest in a line of many games developer Square Enix made to re-energize its now almost 40-year-old series. But unlike many of those other titles, which fans and developers alike have said struggled to invigorate the franchise (despite its still imposing name), FFXVI is unafraid to harness the dark.

“Like the best Final Fantasies, XVI explores how trauma shapes heroism and what it takes to persevere against impossible odds,” Corey Plante writes in a Kotaku review. “This is a dark, mature story. But that just means the light shines that much brighter when good people fight for what’s right.”

Read More: Final Fantasy XVI: The Kotaku Review

FFXVI glides over rock bottom with purpose, and in being willing to go there, it seems to pull the series out of a longstanding slump. It’s a high-fantasy midlife crisis, and both newcomers and chronic fans have already had their curiosities piqued by an incredible two-hour demo. But both parties probably have questions. This is Final Fantasy, but only sort of, kind of how you knew it.

Not a problem. I’m answering all of the internet’s hottest Final Fantasy XVI questions—all you need to do is keep reading.

When is FFXVI releasing?

June 22. Those who already have the game installed will gain access at midnight.

Are there any pre-order bonuses for Final Fantasy 16?

Yes, and pre-orders are still open. Those who place an order will receive:

  • A Cait Sith Charm, which boosts the currency (Gil) you obtain in-game
  • The Braveheart weapon

I wouldn’t say either of those bonuses are crucial, but, you know, they’re there.

Both physical and digital Deluxe Editions of the game are also available for purchase. The physical version comes with a SteelBook case featuring main character Clive and a cloth map of his home region Valisthea, and the digital version comes with a “mini” digital artbook and soundtrack.

The physical Collector’s Edition of the game—which includes a Phoenix vs. Ifrit statue and Blood Sword weapon to use in the game—is sold out, if you don’t include the $600 copies currently selling on eBay.

He’s angry about the prices on eBay.
Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Yeah, for at least six months, the action role-playing game will be bound to the PS5. Producer Naoki Yoshida confirmed that it would eventually come to PC, too, but it won’t be within six months.

Are all the Final Fantasy stories connected?

Like, barely. Though some conceits are consistent through the series, like pervasive magic crystals, or the fire demon Ifrit, both of which are majorly featured in FFXVI, Final Fantasy stories largely exist independently of each other.

Those new to the franchise can close their fan Wikipedia tabs if they’ve been staring at them for too long. There isn’t much of a barrier to entry here.

While, like other Final Fantasy games, FFXVI was written first in Japanese and then translated to English (and other languages), it diverges from expectations by prioritizing English in general.

Yoshida said in 2021 that English dialogue was recorded first and with full facial motion capture, and so those playing the game with English voiceover instead of another language will be playing its most intended form.

Note, too, that subtitles support more languages than voice over does. While you can set your subtitles to Arabic or Russian, for example, you can only select from English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese for voice over.

That’s up to you, but remember that the approximately two-hour demo is the full game’s introductory section and that your progress carries over to the full game (other than the unlockable Benedikta boss fight, which does not save your accomplishments).

It might be more accurate to think of completing the demo as completing the game’s tutorial and then stepping away from it for two weeks to vacuum your couch or something. But if you really must relive it, start a new game instead of your existing save file. See if I care.

Final Fantasy 16 protagonist Clive spars with a knight.

FFXVI’s real-time battles can still be cinematic.
Image: Square Enix

What’s different about FFXVI gameplay? Is it turn-based?

Though this will disappoint a subset of Final Fantasy traditionalists, FFXVI extends the series’ shift away from the turn-based combat the first three games engaged in. It is a student of the Final Fantasy new school of real-time combat, but players have the option to select a “story-focused” game mode over “action-focused” if they aren’t as comfortable with real-time, or if they simply prefer to enter the world as an observer.

Its gameplay decisions aren’t coming out of nowhere, though. Like in past Final Fantasy games, Eikon spirits serve as battle summons. Clive channels them for his customizable special attack.

Over the years, and not by Square Enix’s intention, Moogle have become a franchise mascot; They are yet another image Final Fantasy passes down from game to game.

First introduced in 1990’s Final Fantasy III, the gray creatures exist somewhere between a koala and a marshmallow, and they tend to be helpful with providing save points or other in-game assistance. They were almost cut entirely from FFXVI due to the incongruous tone of their whole adorable deal, but they did ultimately make it into the game, after putting up a fight.

“Performance mode alters the appearance of the polygons slightly, and we particularly struggled with the Moogle…it just ended up with less fur,” art director Hiroshi Minagawa said in a Square Enix blog this spring. “It kind of ended up looking like a hedgehog! Eventually, we ended up putting in some processing specifically for the Moogle.” Moogle.

Does FFXVI have the potential to be the very best Final Fantasy game?

If the high-performance Moogle didn’t make it obvious enough to you: yes.


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