As promised, Square Enix has dropped a sweet Final Fantasy XVI teaser website today, containing new bits of information about the world and some of the game’s main characters.
It’s well worth checking out the site for yourself, if for nothing else than the gorgeous new art on display and the heartfelt messages from Producer, Naoki Yoshida and Director, Hiroshi Takai, but here’s a quick rundown of what’s there:
Final Fantasy XVI takes place in Valisthea, which is made up of six different realms and thrives on the blessings of deposits of powerful elements called the Mothercrystals. As is usually the case in any Final Fantasy world, countless wars are waged over these powerful crystals, and although there is some semblance of a (very tense) peace between the realms, a new threat arrives to tear that idea apart.
The World and Realms of Valisthea
Long ago, a group of small independent provinces in western Valisthea found strength in unity, and formed the Grand Duchy of Rosaria. After years of relative prosperity, the duchy now finds itself threatened by the spread of the Blight—a threat that, left unchecked, would doubtless usher the realm to ruin. Rosaria draws its aether from Drake’s Breath, a Mothercrystal situated on a volcanic island off the coast. The Dominant of the Phoenix, Eikon of Fire, is enthroned as Archduke when they come of age.
Sanbreque is the largest theocratic force in Valisthea. The Empire’s holy capital Oriflamme is built around Drake’s Head, the Mothercrystal that blesses the surrounding provinces with abundant aether. The people happily take advantage of this, living in comfort and security under the watchful gaze of the Holy Emperor, whom they worship as the living incarnation of the one true deity. The Dominant of [redacted] serves as the empire’s champion, taking to the field in times of war to rout its enemies.
Waloed claims the entirety of Ash, the eastern half of Valisthea, as its dominion. The kingdom’s control of the continent has oft been tested by the orcs and other beastmen who make their home there, but the current ruler of the realm—Dominant of [redacted]—has succeeded in quelling their rebellions. Using the power of the kingdom’s Mothercrystal, Drake’s Spine, this new king has built up a mighty army, with which he now seeks to test the borders of his neighbors.
The Dhalmekian Republic is made up of five states, from which the members of its ruling parliament are drawn. Its Mothercrystal, Drake’s Fang, is half-hidden in the heart of a mountain range—the republic’s control over it, and its aether, securing the obedience of the large part of southern Valisthea. The Dominant of Titan, Eikon of Earth, is installed as a special advisor to parliament and has a significant say in its decision-making.
A small group of islands off the coast of Storm, the western half of Valisthea’s twin realms. Here the Crystalline Orthodox, an extreme faith that worships crystals, reigns supreme. The Iron Kingdom controls Drake’s Breath, the Mothercrystal that sits at the heart of one of their islands—long a source of contention with neighboring Rosaria. Isolated and aloof from the mainland nations, the Ironblood speak their own language. Orthodox doctrine judges Dominants to be unholy abominations, and any unlucky enough to be born on the islands are executed.
The Crystalline Dominion sits at the heart of Valisthea, built around the tallest of all the Mothercrystals, Drake’s Tail. Many bloody battles were fought for control of this small plot of land due to its strategic importance, till the warring realms finally agreed to an armistice. As part of the peace treaty, the islands around Drake’s Tail became an autonomous dominion led by a council of representatives from the surrounding nations—each realm enjoying equal claim to the Mothercrystal’s blessing. No Dominant makes their home there.
Three main characters have been revealed on the new website so far. There’s the main protagonist and both the young knight and older, tattooed man in the Awakening trailer, Clive Rosfield. Yep, that’s his name. Clive’s brother Joshua is the Dominant of the Phoenix Eikon that we saw in the same trailer, and Jill Warrick is a ward to the duchy of Rosaria and a childhood friend to the Rosfield brothers.
The firstborn son of the Archduke of Rosaria. Though all expected him to inherit the Phoenix’s flames and awaken as its Dominant, destiny instead chose his younger brother Joshua to bear this burden. In search of a role of his own, Clive dedicated himself to mastering the blade. His practice pays off when, at just fifteen years of age, he wins the ducal tournament and is dubbed the First Shield of Rosaria—tasked to guard the Phoenix and blessed with the ability to wield a part of his fire. Alas, Clive’s promising career is to end in tragedy at the hands of a mysterious dark Eikon, Ifrit, setting him on a dangerous road to revenge.
The second son of the Archduke of Rosaria and Clive’s younger brother by five years. Joshua awoke as the Dominant of the Phoenix soon after his birth. Despite his noble upbringing, Joshua treats all his father’s subjects with warmth and affection—none more so than Clive, whom he deeply admires. Joshua often laments that it was he, the frail and bookish younger son, who was granted command of the firebird’s flames, and not his stronger, braver brother. While Clive will gladly throw himself into any danger, Joshua quails at the sight of a carrot on his dinner plate. But carrots become the least of his concern when he, too, is swept up into the tragic events that change Clive’s life forever.
Born in the fallen Northern Territories, Jill was taken from her homeland at a tender age to become a ward of Rosaria, securing peace between the two warring nations. The Archduke insisted that she be raised alongside his sons, and now, at twelve years of age, she is as much a part of the Rosfield household as Clive and Joshua. Ever kind, gracious, and unassuming, Jill has become a trusted confidant to the brothers.
Eikons and Dominants
If you head over to PlayStation Blog’s story on the new website, you’ll also see some extra tidbits around Eikons and their Dominants. Eikons are the series’ staple “Summons”, and reside within their Dominant hosts. Each realm has a different view on the Dominants and Eikons, some may treat them like royalty while others as nothing but tools of war. We’ve seen a few of the Eikons in the Awakening trailer such as Phoenix, Ifrit and Shiva, but there are apparently many more to be revealed!
The next big info drop for Final Fantasy XVI won’t be until some time in 2021, but it continues to look more and more promising with every juicy new morsel we get, I reckon.