Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata has once again taken center stage to host and present the latest Active Time Report detailing new information on the upcoming project.
The majority of the pre-recorded broadcast covered new content including magic, new gameplay, promised details on the game’s key antagonists the Niflheim Empire and a few details on what fans can expect come March when Square Enix finally reveals the game’s release date.
Check out the following summary below for all the major details. You can also view the archived version of the stream here.
Progress Report Vol. 2 (Final?)
This video showcased development footage of a build of Final Fantasy XV last touched from August to September of 2015. With that in mind, the following video does not represent the final quality of the game. Furthermore, Tabata says that there may not be any more Progress Report videos as all content for the game has reached the final quality target for release. Whether this translates to no more future Active Time Reports is currently unknown.
Magic and Combat
Magic is more than just a simple attack in Final Fantasy XV; it can be used to affect the environments in-game as an advantage for players. For example, a recent gameplay video shows Noctis casting Fire on the oil spread around the Magitek armor and enemies – dealing extra damage.
There are two different disciplines of magic in FFXV – elemental magic and ring magic. Ring magic only becomes usable after a certain point in the story, and can only be used by the bearer of the royal ring of Lucis (Noctis), passed down the royal line.
Elemental magic from the earth consists of Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder. These magic attacks have different effects based on the weather and environment. For example, grassy fields are flammable when casting Fire, or if you’re using Thunder while it’s raining, it will deal more damage. If there is water in a Blizzard attack’s initial area of effect, the water will become frozen.
Elemental magic is described as a type of item but not the kind you can purchase. Elements are present in various locations around the world, and are a type of energy you can gather – similar to Final Fantasy VIII’s Draw System. The energy you gather can be used to create magic and stored as an important part of your inventory. That item can be equipped in place of a weapon for use in battle.
The combat of Final Fantasy XV has been given a total make-over compared to what players experienced in the Episode Duscae demo as well. From the massive overhaul of the attack and weapon switching system to the camera improvements, it’s near impossible to compare the demo to the final game. Take a peek at all these changes by watching this exciting gameplay video Square Enix provided for us. You can learn more about the video here.
Infiltrating bases is something you can do and an aside that’s different from the main story.
The camera has been improved and greatly refined from the Episode Duscae demo. It’s being automated as much as possible so that players won’t need to control it manually. The swirling weapons selection from Final Fantasy Versus XIII is also back – an element that took a lot of work to implement in the final game. This feature had always planned to be added in but the team ran out of time when producing the demo.
The user interface is drastically different than before. The team is in the middle of final UI adjustments, so it might change even more from what we see today. The four weapons are now mapped to the directional buttons, so players can instantaneously switch between weapons.
A fourth combo has been revealed now as well. Previously three combos were auto combos, parrying combos, and combos triggered by allies. More commands become available as your allies level up. When a player uses such a commend, the camera switches to the ally performing the command, then back to Noctis.
The Niflheim Empire
Tabata showed off a variety of information regarding the Niflheim Empire – from its leaders and infantrymen to their motives and designs. Additionally, Tabata revealed never before seen characters and returning faces, including Versus XIII’s fan favorite Dragoon Lady who has now been revealed as Aranea Highwind.
During the start of Final Fantasy XV, the Niflheim Empire has already taken over a large majority of the world. However, the Kingdom of Lucis remains intact and still maintains its independence as the last bastion against Niflheim, but is being pressured.
Niflheim and Lucis are dependent on different things for a source of military might. Lucis’ major power comes from magic; they hold the crystal and can use its power to cast magic barriers and other abilities to prevent enemy invasions. Niflheim, on the other hand, is a civilization based on mechanizations; their regular infantry units are non-human, Magitek troopers available in overwhelming numbers.
Below are the following descriptions for the characters of the Niflheim Empire:
Iedolas Aldercapt: Niflheim’s emperor and ruthless supremacist. His politics are solely dedicated to territorial expansion – meaning other nations from the Final Fantasy XV world don’t look on him too favorably. However, Aldercapt does not actually lead the empire personally at the start of the game. According to Tabata, Aldercapt is “semi-retired from front-line politics.”
Ardyn Izunia: Chancellor of the Niflheim Empire. He is a humorous but shrewd character acting as the center of the Niflheim. He holds all the reigns of power and controls the Empire.
Glauca: General and head of Niflheim’s imperial military.
Niflheim’s Magitek Infantry: It is made up of the former all-purpose model and current combat prototype. All of the Empire’s soldiers are magitek troopers but the officers above them are human. Though out on the field consists of only androids, the human officers are the ones able to control them.
Aranea Highwind: Captain of the Niflheim Empire’s Third Army Corps 86th Airborne Unit. She is referred to as the “Dragoon” by the Niflheim army as Highwind is greatly skilled in aerial combat. To fans, she is also known as the “Dragoon Lady” since seeing her back in the Versus XIII days.
Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV (March 2016 Event)
Tabata has finally revealed more details on the game’s highly anticipated March event. Titled “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV”, the event will take place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on March 30th 2016 at 7:00pm Pacific Standard Time. There, Square Enix will not only reveal Final Fantasy XV’s release date but also additional information on the game itself including new footage and collaborations. You can learn more about the event here.
If you’re wary of time, Square Enix has also uploaded a snapshot video showcasing all the main bits that took place in the Active Time Report. Check it out below.
Final Fantasy XV is set to release worldwide for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016.