Square Enix and Creative Business Unit III recently stealth-launched the first of two DLC packs for Final Fantasy XVI, Echoes of the Fallen. Costing $9.99 standalone, fans can alternatively purchase the Expansion Pass bundle also containing The Rising Tide DLC, for $24.99.
Following this collective announcement, Famitsu interviewed select staff from the game, including producer Naoki Yoshida and DLC director Takeo Kujiraoka. One discussed topic was the fan requests to play as characters other than the protagonist, Clive.
Kujiraoka explains that Clive is (mostly) the only playable character throughout Final Fantasy XVI because the game depicts Clive’s story. Further, he admits that the battle system would have to be changed if complete playable control were given to other characters.
This following point is not explicitly stated, but it could be implied that Kujiraoka is alluding to the Eikon system of Final Fantasy XVI. While you did play as young Joshua briefly in the early hours of the prologue, his combat capabilities were limited to that specific scenario.
On the other hand, Clive is fully decked out with multiple Eikon movesets as you progress, so the concern about additional playable characters may revolve around the difficulty of making other members of the cast enjoyable to play in similar environments. They would each assumedly only have one Eikon, their own, to utilize. Again, though, that’s just speculation.
You can view a translation of the relevant exchange below via our team’s Ryuji:
Interviewer: Please tell us about the concept of this DLC.
Kujiraoka: The main concept of the DLC is to expand the story from Clive’s point of view and show a different side of the main narrative. As I mentioned earlier, there was already room in the main story to expand the world, so I worked out what kind of content to use for that based on Yoshida’s suggestions.
The first DLC was initially going to be more battle-focused content. However, Final Fantasy XVI is a title that focuses on the scenario and worldview of Clive’s life. We thought that since this was the case, delving into the world from Clive’s perspective would fit the original concept of the title.
We did see on social media that there were requests for content in which players would be able to control characters other than Clive. While that would be a good idea, creating a different character means changing the battle system and giving up Clive, who we have been controlling and experiencing the development of. If we were going to expand Final Fantasy XVI, which is supposed to be Clive’s story, I personally felt that Clive himself was an element that could not be left out.
You can view the full Famitsu interview here.
The Echoes of the Fallen DLC content “unlocks a whole new story, battles, weapons, accessories, level cap, and more. For players who have completed the required quests, this new adventure begins before the base game’s final battle, as strange, dark crystals begin to circulate on the black market. Players will follow Clive and his friends during their investigations as they encounter a group of suspicious traders, leading them to a long-abandoned Fallen tower known as the Sagespire. There, they will unravel the terrible secrets that await within.”
Final Fantasy XVI is a more action-heavy entry than its predecessors, with a Devil May Cry V designer even taking the helm. Throughout the title, players will control the protagonist, Clive, as he confronts various Dominants, humans who have been cursed with the power to become Eikons.
Clive is the “First Shield of Rosaria,” sworn to protect his younger brother Joshua, who’s the Dominant of Phoenix. However, following a certain tragedy, Clive swears revenge on the Dark Eikon Ifrit.
The producer, Naoki Yoshida, describes this game as akin to his experience with the first Final Fantasy, as “playing the lead in an epic motion picture.” The reasoning for this title’s action-oriented approach and more classical fantasy setting was to “appeal to as wide a range of gamers as possible.”
Final Fantasy XVI is available on PlayStation 5.
The Rising Tide DLC is planned to launch in Spring 2024.
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