Final Fantasy XV (was Versus XIII)

Tashasaurous

Tash for Short
AKA
Sailor Moon, Mini Moon, Hotaru, Cardcaptor Sakura, Meilin, Xion, Kairi, Aqua, Tifa, Aerith, Yuffie, Elena, Misty, May, Dawn, Casey, Fiona, Ellie
Not to jump to conclusions or anything, but now that the art director has left and joined with Tabata, I suddenly get a feeling that the Luminuous Productions isn't going to be holding up for long. Unreal 4 Engine(or is it Unreal Engine 4?) seems to be holding up a bit better at the moment with many workers still using it as far as I know.
 

Tashasaurous

Tash for Short
AKA
Sailor Moon, Mini Moon, Hotaru, Cardcaptor Sakura, Meilin, Xion, Kairi, Aqua, Tifa, Aerith, Yuffie, Elena, Misty, May, Dawn, Casey, Fiona, Ellie
Good point.

Though it's just no one's heard of any other Square game using the same software as FFXV as far as I'm aware. KH3 used Unreal Engine 4, FFVII Remake's using the same software, and I haven't heard anything of other games the company's developing using Luminuous Productions yet. That, as far as I can remember, was exclusively for FFXV, plus all of the DLC of the same game.
 

Gary Caelum

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Gary Caelum
Ok so I'm onto the Episode Prompto part of the game. Love this DLC except how on earth are you supposed to do those optional missions where you have to fight a Behemoth. It seems impossible at the level you're at.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
Ok so I'm onto the Episode Prompto part of the game. Love this DLC except how on earth are you supposed to do those optional missions where you have to fight a Behemoth. It seems impossible at the level you're at.
Are you fighting it by yourself or with Aranea? It's really not too difficult, I promise.

Take Aranea with you and let her take on the Kaiser Behemoth while you constantly replenish your bazooka and sniper ammo at the nearby shack. Use Aranea's Highwind whenever it becomes available, and use Crackshot as often as possible.

Won't be hard at all once you have the hang of it.
 

Gary Caelum

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Gary Caelum
Hmmm I didn't think you could do the side-quests with Aranea actually. I obviously need to return after proceeding the story a bit.

On another note, I wish they'd mentioned more about Prompto's background earlier in the story. It really seems to just come out of nowhere for no apparent reason.
 
And done.

Ardyn is an asshole, the video game.

Good game. A lot of stuff happens offscreen, maybe too much, but I normally love that kind of 'this is a moving universe, keep up' style of storytelling, although I think XIII executed it better.

Initially put off by the super on the nose naming scheme (the king is literally named 'King', the sword bodyguard is called 'Sword', and so on. Ironically, 'Dave' is the most creative name in the set.)

I basically feel like I'm driving round the US somewhere a lot of the time, (this is a criticism, hurts my immersion, especially given the real songs and amazingly blatant product placement. Hey guys, I think Luna's dress might be Vivienne Westwood. I know that was probably too subtle for y'all to catch.) The world is too much like earth for the setting they've built, it doesn't make sense.

Characterisations are thin at first but expand fairly well and naturally.

Initially I was impressed they finally made a game that wasn't 'break the chains of the gods' again, but then I Youtubed Episode Ardyn.

Old Noctis looks like John Wick. Ardyn hurt Luna's dogs, that was a bad move. Switch to survival horror, right down to exploring a BOW lab, was unexpected but mostly welcome. Thing is, it's completely pointless, it's just Ardyn being a dick.

Couldn't read the menus due to my TV for some reason playing in black and white, so my tactics amount to 'carry a shitload of potions'.
The shipping for this one is going to be crazy, I bet.
 

Gary Caelum

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Gary Caelum
In each of my main playthroughs I discover more stuff from just exploring and trying things out.

I only just found out that you can swim across the Vesperpool for example. I just assumed you couldn't on my first 2 playthroughs. That was a nice surprise. Random dude fishing at the other side. God knows how he got there.
 

Lulcielid

Media Thinker
AKA
Lucis Caelum

Gary Caelum

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Gary Caelum
Episode Ardyn completed. I have a LOT of mixed feelings. I guess I'd better put this all in spoilers.

Ok so I'll start with the good points.

-Gameplay is excellent. Really fun battle mechanics and fun boss battles. The Regis battle especially was epic. Feels like they really went all-out with the special effects.
-Using Ifrit as a Technique worked really well. I frankly wish they'd allowed you to use all of the summons like that in the main game. Far better than the random triggers that I hardly ever got (and usually ended up being the same 1 summon repeatedly).
-A lot more story than any of the other DLC. Even though it was the same length as Ep Prompto, it felt longer because a lot more happened.
-All of the minor plot/lore additions were really good. I especially liked the idea that he gets the memories of people he demonifies. That was a good explanation for why they'd want to revive Ifrit (although Ifrit ended up being alive anyway....?)
-I really enjoyed the first half and thought it fit nicely into the main story.

Now the bad.

-Open-world daytime Insomnia didn't work for me at all. Boring copy-pasted environments that gave me no incentive to explore. Lol the ruined version of Insomnia in the main game is significantly more interesting an environment.
-The 2 big story twists that the DLC provided (which is kinda the main thing I'm here for) are both really unclear and have added more confusion than closure to the story as a whole:

1) What are the scenes of him and Aera in a field? Are those his memories? He gets the main one after infecting Ifrit, so I assumed he was getting Ifrit's memories. But why would that be in Ifrit's memories? And what's with Somnus forcing him to kill her? I thought he already accidentally killed her in the throne room scene in the anime? No? Also, why does the revelation that he was chosen by the crystal and Aera told Somnus, really affect his hatred that much? That seemed to really enrage him. It doesn't seem a whole lot worse than the way he already knew he'd been screwed over to me.

2) His fate was to cover the world in darkness? Erm, why? No explanation given at all. Was that his fate from the very start? All the way back 2000 years ago? Cos if it changed over time based on what happened, then it's not really fate is it? And why does it say the crystal actually chose him then? Those can't both be true.
The only explanation that makes sense to me is that the gods determined that the only way to get rid of the starscourge permanently was to have a single person absorb it all, and then use the full power of the ring to kill them. But if so, why did they wait for 2000 years? They have no problem intervening, as Bahamut does at the end here, so why didn't they just execute that whole plan like 1900 years ago? I'm just confused.
 

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
AKA
TresDias
1) What are the scenes of him and Aera in a field? Are those his memories? He gets the main one after infecting Ifrit, so I assumed he was getting Ifrit's memories. But why would that be in Ifrit's memories? And what's with Somnus forcing him to kill her? I thought he already accidentally killed her in the throne room scene in the anime? No?
One of two things is happening there. Either Ardyn is experiencing a hallucination or Bahamut is messing with him by projecting these visions -- first the one with Somnus a few minutes earlier before the fight with the Royal Guards, then this one with both Somnus and Aera.

My belief is that this is Bahamut's doing. Notice that the dagger from the vision remains after the vision passes. And it's the same dagger Ardyn stabbed Lunafreya with decades later.

The dagger had physical substance, and Bahamut -- who we know was jerking Ardyn along -- is the god of blades. It's most likely all his doing.

Gary said:
Also, why does the revelation that he was chosen by the crystal and Aera told Somnus, really affect his hatred that much? That seemed to really enrage him. It doesn't seem a whole lot worse than the way he already knew he'd been screwed over to me.
It's yet another thing Somnus took from him, and it speaks to the depravity of Somnus's betrayal that he seemingly didn't even have the gods' mandate to lure Ardyn in with a false proclamation of kingship.

There, of course, is irony here in that events proceeded precisely as Bahamut foresaw and intended, but Somnus didn't know that. He really did do all that believing Ardyn was the intended king, so he was an absolute rat bastard.

Gary said:
His fate was to cover the world in darkness? Erm, why? No explanation given at all. Was that his fate from the very start? All the way back 2000 years ago? Cos if it changed over time based on what happened, then it's not really fate is it? And why does it say the crystal actually chose him then? Those can't both be true.
The only explanation that makes sense to me is that the gods determined that the only way to get rid of the starscourge permanently was to have a single person absorb it all, and then use the full power of the ring to kill them. But if so, why did they wait for 2000 years? They have no problem intervening, as Bahamut does at the end here, so why didn't they just execute that whole plan like 1900 years ago? I'm just confused.
You've pretty much figured it out already. Ardyn was always intended to be the scourge's host and usher in a series of events that would give rise to the "need" for the Chosen King to sacrifice his life and the accumulated power of the Ring to exterminate the scourge. Aera, Somnus and Ardyn were tricked into believing Ardyn was the Crystal's selection to become Lucis's first king, and all the horror and pain to follow stemmed from that.

You also hit upon the transgression in the execution of this plan, though.

Bahamut had a vision thousands of years ago of how events would play out, and he tricked and/or forced everyone to play out their roles. He didn't seek out a better way,
despite his foreknowledge -- and despite at least two alternate timelines now (Verse 2 from "Episode Ignis," and the "Dawn of the Future" book being released tomorrow) showing us that it was possible to end the threat to the world another way.

Bahamut's goal was to get rid of the scourge, and he stuck to the sure path to that end, showing no compassion for those he subjected to death and suffering along the way.

I'm greatly looking forward to "Dawn of the Future." What we've heard about it so far suggests that in this timeline, Noct will turn on Bahamut and call him out for his douchery.
 

Gary Caelum

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Gary Caelum
One of two things is happening there. Either Ardyn is experiencing a hallucination or Bahamut is messing with him by projecting these visions -- first the one with Somnus a few minutes earlier before the fight with the Royal Guards, then this one with both Somnus and Aera.

My belief is that this is Bahamut's doing. Notice that the dagger from the vision remains after the vision passes. And it's the same dagger Ardyn stabbed Lunafreya with decades later.

The dagger had physical substance, and Bahamut -- who we know was jerking Ardyn along -- is the god of blades. It's most likely all his doing.
Yeah I'm just confused by this part entirely. The way it's framed makes it look like he's just seeing these things as a part of getting Ifrit's memories, because he learns that he was chosen by the crystal the second he absorbs Ifrit, in a way that looks like he was kinda accessing the information instantly, rather than learning it through seeing a vision.

But the other evidence points towards your idea that this is some kind of hallucination. First of all, Aera died in the throne room, so I don't see how that scene in a field could have actually happened, secondly the knife thing you point out, and thirdly I just noticed in all of those scenes Ardyn is wearing the clothes he's just been given in the present by the empire. So those all point to a hallucination being engineered by someone else, probably Bahamut.
You've pretty much figured it out already. Ardyn was always intended to be the scourge's host and usher in a series of events that would give rise to the "need" for the Chosen King to sacrifice his life and the accumulated power of the Ring to exterminate the scourge. Aera, Somnus and Ardyn were tricked into believing Ardyn was the Crystal's selection to become Lucis's first king, and all the horror and pain to follow stemmed from that.
Well that is at least a coherent explanation, but it really could've used a bit more clarification. Like it would've helped if Bahamut had explicitly stated that this was Ardyn's fate from the very beginning, 2000 years ago.
Cos that's not how it came across to me at all. It came across more like the gods were just making new plans up in response to events. Which fits with the Ignis alternative ending, where the line of Lucis sacrifice wasn't necessary. That explanation also fits with the fact that they waited 2000 years. That makes sense if they're just responding to events and trying to push things towards a conclusion.
It makes less sense if they knew what was fated AND they intervene in human affairs, as Bahamut clearly does. If those things are both true, it makes no sense they'd have to wait 2000 years.
 
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Gary Caelum

Pro Adventurer
AKA
Gary Caelum
I rewatched the cutscenes on youtube from Ep Ardyn several times and I've got a better theory on the Somnus/Aera scenes. Here's my theory:

The scene in the field with Aera and Somnus is repeated in a lot of different situations throughout the DLC. It happens when he's locked inside Angelgard before anything's happened. It happens at various points during the DLC, and it happens at the very end after Bahamut's left.

These aren't flashbacks (he's always wearing the particular clothing that he currently is in the present, 3 different clothing types), nor are they visions being given to him by Bahamut (they happen before and after any point where Bahamut would care to give them and don't always match Bahamut's wishes). They're hallucinations he has (probably driven by his being chained in darkness for 2000 years) that represent the struggle inside himself. Aera and Somnus aren't supposed to be themselves. Aera is supposed to be his good/healer side and Somnus is his bad/demonic side. Basically the "Shoulder Angel" and "Shoulder Devil" trope that's often used in cartoons. This matches what happens throughout the DLC and how these hallucinations reflect how that struggle is developing:

-To start with, when he's in Angelgard, he just sees Aera. At that point he still only knows how to be a healer, despite the betrayal.
-The second hallucination happens as soon as he discovers he can demonify people as well as heal. That's when Somnus appears in the hallucination, representing the fact that he now has the power for great evil. That Somnus says "the throne seats only one" and kills the Aera, meaning his new demonic side is saying he can't be a healer and a source of demons at the same time.
-The third one happens after he gets Ifrit and learns that he was originally chosen by the crystal. He DOES learn that by absorbing Ifrit's memories, which then triggers a completely separate hallucination in himself where the Somnus side of him kills the Aera, meaning he's decided to commit to doing evil now upon learning of this further betrayal.
-If you choose to 'resist your fate' he sees Aera stabbing him and he says "ghosts do naught but haunt my tortured soul" and then this Aera agrees he needs to sacrifice himself. This is his good side accepting the truth that he needs to die to destroy the starscourge, even though he refuses to listen to it.
-At the very end he concludes that everything is meaningless and kills both the Aera and Somnus in his hallucination, which symbolizes him just degenerating into nihilism. Neither good or bad, just meaningless.
 

Makoeyes987

Listen closely, there is meaning in my words.
AKA
Smooth Criminal
So "Dawn of the Future" has finally released.

Obviously its too soon for translations, but the book did include pictures.

I think the pictures speak for themselves.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Illustrations for each of the stories in FFXV The Dawn Of The Future novel!! <a href="https://t.co/M9VJ4TtuVA">pic.twitter.com/M9VJ4TtuVA</a></p>&mdash; つぼみ (@luvotomy09) <a href=" ">April 25, 2019</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Whoa took off the dust cover and the art is literally printed on the book :O <a href="https://t.co/ExIRXOrJvO">pic.twitter.com/ExIRXOrJvO</a></p>&mdash; つぼみ (@luvotomy09) <a href=" ">April 25, 2019</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">/screaming <a href="https://t.co/unU6WIrldl">pic.twitter.com/unU6WIrldl</a></p>&mdash; つぼみ (@luvotomy09) <a href=" ">April 25, 2019</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Omggg they get hitched in altissia, recreated her dress, and mentioned which restaurant made the wedding cake ahahahha</p>&mdash; つぼみ (@luvotomy09) <a href=" ">April 25, 2019</a></blockquote>
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I have absolutely no idea what's going on. But the pictures.. They're intriguing. And that last tweet... I have no fucking idea what's going on.
 
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