Game Info

Final Fantasy XV Guide: Chapters, Umbra and understanding points of no return

We've been producing some basic guide content for Final Fantasy XV for a while now - not a full walkthrough, but individual pages on sections of the game or specific questions that you might have.

One we've seen asked quite a bit via our Twitter account and Facebook account messages that a few of you are confused as to the points of no return in the game and what they mean, plus how to return to the 'open world' segment of the game once things get linear.

And yes... it all is a little confusing. The game isn't always clear. So! Let's be clear for it, shall we? Be aware that minor spoilers in terms of the structure of the story,how many chapters there are and hoe open they are will be found below. Don't scroll past the scary-eyed dog if you don't want to know.

We'll cover a variety of points and questions under short little headers.

Need more FF15 help? Check out our full guide homepage, which features many more pages like this on several aspects of the game.

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Where is the point of no return in FF15?

Final Fantasy XV is an interesting game for a couple of reasons, and one of the most intriguing things about it is how it mingles open-world game design with your typical thrusting plot expected from a FF story. The end result is that several times in the game you'll be warned that you won't be able to return to the open world for some time after passing a certain story point.

This can happen as early as Chapter 3/4, but the important thing you need to know is that all of these story-based detours are relatively short; they'll last an hour or just over it at most. After each you'll be returned to the open world.

The true point of no return for the game comes at the end of Chapter 8, in a sense. After Chapter 8 you will sail to a new continent. There you will be faced with one semi-open chapter followed by a linear sequence of events that'll lead you right towards the end of the game. If you want to experience the story in a natural way without hopping back and forth, do so by completing anything you're hugely interested in before the end of Chapter 8.

If you want to go back to the open world after progressing further, however, the developers have built in a neat little trick for doing so. We'll explain that in the next header.

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How to use FF15's Umbra to travel back in time to the open world

During Chapter 9 of the game - so shortly after you pass the above mentioned point of no return - you'll encounter the mysterious Gentiana inside a hotel in the Leville Hotel in Altissa. This is an unmissable story encounter, so don't worry - but here the Umbra mechanic will be explained to you.

You'll have met the mysterious dog Umbra earlier on through story means, but Gentiana will now unlock the ability for you to call on Umbra any time you're at lodgings.

If you do so, Umbra will give you the option to travel back to the open world of Lucis and later in the game the city hub of Altissa so you can mop up side quests. When you're done in those areas, head back to lodgings and call on Umbra again to be sent hurtling back to the present. It's easy!

One thing the game doesn't quite make fully clear is that you don't need to pay for lodgings or bank EXP to do this either - all you need to do is chat to the man behind the desk at a hotel or interact with whatever other NPC it is that lets you rest. Through this, you'll be given options to rest or to call Umbra - so you're not forced to bank EXP before time travelling, which is handy if you're saving up to exploit the EXP bonus hotels, which can only be found in certain areas of the game.

How many chapters are there in Final Fantasy XV?

Okay, so... this question comes up a lot. This is obviously something that some might construe as a spoiler, so don't read into the next paragraph unless you're certain you want to know...

Ready? Sure? So, there are fifteen chapters in FF15. Shocker, right? Who would've guessed?

Technically the actual story of the game is told across fourteen chapters, but the fifteenth is made up by the post-game segment in which you gain access to the open world of the game once more to explore, do old side quests and discover all-new post-game quests.

The post-game chapter 15 is, for instance, is the only place you actually get and use the flying car airship the Regalia Type-F. So, yes: fourteen chapters proper, fifteen including the never-ending post-game world.

Need more FF15 help? Check out our full guide homepage, which features many more pages like this on several aspects of the game.

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