To many, Final Fantasy is a series of nostalgia. Long-time fans will fight over their favorites. Some prefer the groundbreaking grit of FFVII, or perhaps the classic-era fantasy of FFVI, or even the steampunk YA vibe of FFVIII; the more adventurous might even see the most appeal in the post-apocalyptic mysticism of FFX, or the magical medieval realm in FFIX. What most will likely admit is that the franchise lost a bit of its magic in its pre-teen numbers. Several stumbles and a couple of MMOs later, and Final Fantasy finds itself in a similar position as it did in the late ‘80s: pooling all of its resources — in this case a projected $100 million plus budget and about a decade of development — for one (potentially) final, Final Fantasy.
The marketing behind Final Fantasy XV has gone all-in with a diverse array of products and perks trying to drum up interest. It’s best to immerse yourself in the lore of this new world before taking stepping foot into Eos, so take some of our recommendations as to how you might gear up heading into the game’s release.
Grab yourself some Pre-Order perks
These days, you can hardly even think about pre-ordering a game without being thrown some perk or piece of exclusive in-game content, especially when it comes to a game as high-profile as this one. The next few days will be your last chance to take your pick of pre-order bonuses before release.
- Note that pre-ordering from ANYWHERE gets you the Day One edition, which includes the DLC weapon Masamune, which yes, is pretty much a redesigned version of the way-too-long katana wielded by Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII.
- Pre-ordering from Amazon.com will not only get you a 20% discount if you have Prime (hey that’s $47.99 for a brand new game), but you’ll also qualify for a Gold Chocobo Regalia Skin (you know, for that fancy in-game car) and access to Final Fantasy XV: RoadTrip which is a pretty lame but easy point-and-click misadventure that gets you some cool rewards, like exclusive weapons for several characters.
- Ordering directly from Square Enix’s site gets you access to something called “Carbuncle Surprise” which is the furthest thing from a perverted entry on UrbanDictionary. It’s a weekly raffle that can get you prizes like “Autographed Final Fantasy XV Acrylic Plaques & Stand.” If that’s your thing, go for it. You also get a postcard set.
- Getting the game from GameStop gets you a downloadable bonus game/bedtime story: A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV. It’s a retro-esque RPG adventure framed as a bedtime story told from King Regis to a young Noctis, boasting an “in-depth combat system” that “blends intense attacks, devastating magic, mighty summons and unique companion attacks.”
- Ordering directly from the PlayStation store not only gets you the obvious perk of being able to download the game immediately upon release, but you also get a Final Fantasy XV Big Bang PS4 theme, a 16-Bit Buddies car recolor, and an Angler Set for use in-game.
Get hype with Omen
While there have been a great many trailers teasing the release of the next major game in the franchise, this particular trailer takes on a relatively unique cinematic quality. It’s loosely framed as a sort of nightmarish dream sequence following Noctis through what we can only assume are twists on actual scenes and environments from the upcoming game. A cute little Doge accompanies him throughout, too, so there’s that.
The trailer is set to “Endlessness” by Really Slow Motion and is developed by Digic Pictures, the same company behind Kingsglaive (more on that later). Omen gives perhaps the most emotionally potent tease for the game that will hopefully consume your waking hours before long.
Watch Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV
Brotherhood is a collection of five anime episodes — totaling just over an hour of content — detailing the start of Noctis Lucis Caelum’s journey to wed his betrothed, Lunafreya Nox Fleuret. It’s largely a combat- and backstory-filled romp of a road trip also featuring Noctis’s close friends: Gladiolus Amicitia, Prompto Argentum, and Ignis Scientia. These characters represent the bulk of what the main party will be for what we can assume is much of the game, so you might as well get to know them now. The events detailed more or less represent the beginning of the main game and occur just before and during the events of Kingsglaive.
Watch Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Kingslaive is something of a curiosity. It is a CGI feature-length movie has almost nothing to do with Noctis and instead focuses mainly on King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, the princess Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, and even more so on Nyx Ulric, a leading magical soldier in the king’s army that has absolutely nothing to do with the main game. The film examines a lot of the political machinations at play and the reasons behind the war that serve as the greater conflict in the main game.
Curiously enough, a lot of big-name actors lend their voices to this feature-length film, voices that are different than those used in-game. Aaron Paul, Sean Bean, and Lena Headey are just a few that pop up here to live — and in a few cases die — before being replaced by their less-known in-game counterparts.
Kingsglaive offers a flashy, action-filled perspective on the broader political landscape of the game while grounding it in a few characters that are certainly not unlikable. The film was critically panned, but is worth watching for the grandiose final action sequences and a sneak peak at the type of powers that Noctis will have at his disposal in-game — mainly telekinesis and teleportation — but also for the obvious glimpse into the bigger picture.
So there you have it: In the last remaining days before yet another Final Fantasy slides nicely into your system of choice on November 29, take the time to familiarize yourself with the world of Eos and its inhabitants … and maybe pick up some sweet pre-order perks while you are at it.
Photos via IGN