New Final Fantasy XVI Information revealed: protagonist name, world backstory & more revealed
A new update to the official Final Fantasy XVI website has been published, bringing with it a deluge of new information on Square Enix's highly anticipated upcoming RPG. This update was promised last month - and now here it is.
This first major website update for the game reveals new information on the world and characters of the game, giving players a very first, early look at the lore that'll power the story of this new Final Fantasy - plus a more formal introduction to the protagonist, who we saw in the reveal trailer.
FF16 is coming from the Naoki Yoshida-headed business division of Square Enix responsible for Final Fantasy XIV and directed by the talented Hiroshi Takai. Fans have been speculating if FF16 has any relationship to FF12 or FF14, but this first lore info seems to confirm that it is a separate entity, albeit with some similar trappings.
Final Fantasy XVI World & Summon Info
The new update begins with a little more detail on the world of Final Fantasy XVI - revealing important background including a note on different nations and kingdoms players will come into contact with throughout the game. First, we learn that the world of FF16 is called Valisthea - and that it has long been dominated by the presence of the crystals.
The land of Valisthea is studded with Mothercrystals—glittering mountains of crystal that tower over the realms around them, blessing them with aether. For generations, people have flocked to these beacons to take advantage of their blessing, using the aether to conjure magicks that let them live lives of comfort and plenty. Great powers have grown up around each Mothercrystal, and an uneasy peace has long reigned between them. Yet now the peace falters as the spread of the Blight threatens to destroy their dominions.
The website reveals six realms - Kingdoms that will presumably be key players in the story of FF16. They are as follows:
The Grand Duchy of Rosaria
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.
The Holy Empire of Sanbreque
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.
The Kingdom of Waloed
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
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.
The Iron Kingdom
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
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.
This update and glimpse into FF16's world also reveals some first information about the Eikons - the poweful beings also known in other games as summons, eidolons, espers or aeons. In this game known as Eikons, they are controlled by a person - known as their Dominant. A little more:
The Eikons are the most powerful and deadly creatures in Valisthea. Each resides within a Dominant—a single man or woman who is blessed with the ability to call upon their dread power. In some nations these Dominants are treated as royalty in admiration of this strength—in others they are bound in fear of it, and forced to serve as weapons of war. Those who are born as Dominants cannot escape their fate, however cruel it may be.
Final Fantasy XVI Characters: meet Clive, Joshua & Jill
First up is Clive Rosfield - the protagonist of FF16. Clive is both the young and old black-haired characters we saw in that first trailer - they're both him, but at different periods of time. In the trailer we hear him call himself Joshua's Shield, and now we know a little more about that:
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.
Next is Joshua Rosfield - which, as you can see, is a shared surname with the protagonist - as we picked up in the first trailer, they're siblings. This is the young man we see in the first FF16 trailer, and he has a connection to the classic summon beast Phoenix. More from the website:
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.
The final character reveal today is Jill Warrick, our first female lead in FF16 - and a childhood friend of the Rosfield duo. Here's a little more about Jill:
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.