Tabata talks magic, Niflheim and more in latest Final Fantasy XV Active Time Report By Wazi the pa on January 31, 2016 at 1:21 AM

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.

Niflheim Leadership FFXV

Below are the following descriptions for the characters of the Niflheim Empire:

Iedolas FFXV
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.

Magitek Infantry FFXV

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 FFXV

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.

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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.

  • Red Makuzawa

    That was a really good presentation.

  • Character Names! Character Names! Character Names! OMG! This is UNREAL!

  • So great!

  • Not liking the item-style magic idea though. Hated FF8’s draw system.

  • Jesus Christ

    Seriously, the names is like from some ancient Latin book.

    If I can’t pronounce it, I won’t play it!

    Funny how the Eldercapt guy here looks younger even in CG, but in other trailer his wrinkles more pronounced.

    And will we ever get to see more of that Seifer like dude? He’s all yum in my book. 100% better than Noctis now bite me.

  • Billy Jackson

    Please Square Enix… Bring back Emperor Frank!!!

  • Wazi the pa

    Not until Disney brings back Emperor Kuzco! :3

  • James Stine

    I posted a huge truck load of information scraped from these videos with tender love and care from yours truly. If you are interested in any of the details and speculation on the stuff seen today, please check out my post over on MogNetCentral.


    MNC is associated with Nova Crystallis and RPG Site as well, so please come on by for extended discussion.

  • Justice V

    Kind of want to know more about Glauca and Aranea. Why’s she named Highwind, what the heck is up with his look. Is he human? But i also kind of don’t want them to say anything so when I finally play the game everything is a surprise.

    And on another completely different note, teammate combo attacks are awesome hehe.

  • Red Makuzawa

    At Taipei Game Show, they did show two new pictures that did not make an appearance during the ATR that was immediately after it. One of them shows Kid Noctis and the other shows the Car.

  • Lulcielid

    I finally can refer to them with proper names!

  • James Stine

    The Draw system wasn’t really even the problem, it was the Junction system.

  • Dongmatteezzy

    So like you can only use magic if you obtain them somewhere and can only use it once if you only get one and if you want to use more than one you’ll have to collect a bunch of it…………I really thought “THIS IS IT!” but now—–I HATE IT….the magic part only -_- urgh! the F!? LIMITED MAGIC!?

  • BlurrDranzer

    As stated by Tabata in the ATR there is a different form of magic called ring magic that we obtain later on in the game that could possibly be used as a standard spell cast.

  • Dongmatteezzy

    Oh so you can use it as many times as you want! I know that it’s not an elemental magic so the ring magic can be “Cure” or anything that is not Elemental……….It’s so annoying that they decided to make the Elemental Magics an item -_- I HATE their logic

  • Average Afro

    why is it annoying? I think it’s pretty interesting.

  • Lulcielid

    A minor detail but wasnt it reveal that 9 asian companies are collaborating in XV’s dev (during the Taipei presentation) ?

  • Dongmatteezzy

    It’s annoying because you cannot use it all the time because its limited….for example it’s raining and it is the perfect time to use Thunder but you don’t have any because you’re out of stock of Thunders………………it’s sunny and you’re in the grass field and using Fire is the best to deal a great damage to multiple enemies but you don’t have any Fires in your inventory……………….The enemy is standing in a water puddle and now is the time to use Blizzard but you realized you forgot to collect Blizzard and now the enemy is killing you———YEAH! It’s Annoying and I Hate it…..(the Magic part only) 🙂

  • Tux

    This article is about the ATR, they wrote another article that recaps the Taipei presentation (http://www.novacrystallis.com/2016/01/young-noctis-is-the-lead-character-in-the-free-final-fantasy-xv-tech-demo/).

  • Red Makuzawa

    I did a recap on everything we learned from the Taipei Game Show presentation. http://www.novacrystallis.com/2016/01/young-noctis-is-the-lead-character-in-the-free-final-fantasy-xv-tech-demo/

  • Wazi the pa

    I always liked calling Ardyn as “Sassy Urahara”. lmao

  • Ah, so now we can see all the Iedolas, Ardyn, Glauca and Araneas pop up all over YouTube and the social media…


  • Wazi the pa

    Dank memes is all I’m gonna expect out of it. :3

  • If character learn magic then its more individualize and more unique to each character.

  • D.3ND

    Then use thunder. :L

  • You mean that hoodie Ezio guy? I hate him already. 😛

  • stevenm281

    I’m wondering, does that mean that there is only three spells in the whole game for elemental magic?

  • Dongmatteezzy

    I know that……….Imagine using Blizzard when its raining—Woaaaahh!!! But still what if you don’t have any Thunder and Bilzzard? It’s frustrating right? There will be many situations where you ONLY possess one type of Elemental Magic and that Magic is perfect and effective to use in that specific environment and weather! Which means there will be many situations too where you ONLY possess one type of Elemental Magic and that Magic will not be too effective and not-so-clever to use in that specific environment and weather!

  • Adam Hedquist

    I think he means the blond guy who stand on eldercapt’s left side when regis and his guy are having a standoff with eldercapt and his gang. You can see him in the announcement trailer from 2013, you can also spot him in the jump festa trailer from 2014 I think….or was it 2015…Just search.

  • stevenm281

    I’m not afraid to not have spells in stock, if I look back at FF8 it was more than easy to have many stocks of every magic spells.

    I’m more scared of hurting my allies in the process of casting AOE.

  • Dongmatteezzy

    Well I hope it’s easy to collect them and I hope it’s much more different than FFVIII’s Draw System……….I think your allies will automatically move out of your way when casting spells If you order them or if you manage your party’s tactics and strategies in some menu.

  • stevenm281

    we shall see.

    I don’t think we’ll have to draw magic, I believe it will be some kind of loot, but we shall see more in depths at a later date.

  • D.3ND

    I’ve been in such before many times in rpg so this isn’t really a problem, a played defense and debuffs never fails for me.

  • Ahh…. I remember that blondie.

  • Cure is in the game because I’ve seen Ignis cast it a bunch of times in Episode Duscae. Not sure if that spell is exclusive to him, though.

  • arcnate

    noctis looked salty as hell during the dart game

  • Average Afro

    Then you make sure you always have some. It’s just resource management. I bet you’d hate to play modded minecraft

  • Yuntu

    It looks like the AI is programmed to instantly move out of the way. Hell Prompto even dodges Gladios attack when he hacked through the soldiers.

  • stevenm281

    I’ve seen it as well, I just don’t know if, as you said, is exclusive to Ignis, or if Noctis can cast it as well.

  • nziab

    Does anyone know if the hooded guy from the earlier FF Versus XIII trailers is still going to be in the game? I remember Tabata saying they had a villain even more badass than Sephiroth.. I doubt it’s Ardyn or Iedolas. I think it’s more likely a reference to the hooded guy. This would also fit with the classic FF real bad guy behind the scenes theme they have in the series.

  • Lulcielid

    So far there´s no confirmation on whether or not the Hooded Guy is still on the game.

    Re Badass villan: Ardyn could double cross Iedola (I can feel a Kefka & Gestahl chemistry between the two) as he plots things behind the scenes since Iedola is no longer at the front of the Empire politic control.

  • stevenm281

    I’m surprised they didn’t include Quake as Titan is part of the game, and Earth is one of the four basic elements.

    Aero/Tornado would have been awesome too, maybe we could get more spells as DLC at some point..

  • Lucas Nóbrega Maia

    What I understood is that the four elements + cure is the only ones in the game , when it comes to playable characters.
    any other type is just for enemies or summon

  • Lucas Nóbrega Maia

    Like Average Afro said , it’s resource management. Sure it would be annoying to not have the magic in time , but limited magic is a sort of method to grind.

  • arcnate

    the one thing nobody mentioned is that there is an enemy that can cast “toad” on the party

  • stevenm281

    Aranea looks like an evil version of Lightning as the Savior

  • RedSpade

    damn, still hot af tho

  • nziab

    I like your speculation. Nice FFVI reference!


    Im sooo worried about the story, I LOVED what i saw on Versus XIII, i just dont want this entry to be mainstream as fuck, with the typical anime recurring themes: I gotta protect my friends, I love you dad, and stuff like that. I mean, in movies and video games we’ve seen enough shit like that, It wouldnt be any different, I want this game to have a drama as dark as Versus XIII’s looked it would be like..

    The reaper worshiping in FFXV’s world got removedd, but why?? Is Etro gonna have no involvement in the game? Is the sleep theme in the game removed? Ughhh, too many shit to discover while sitting on my ass until the game releases, when it’ll be too late for me to do anything, well thats now tho..

  • Yuntu

    But FF is a mainstream series. And many themes we see now where also existent in Nomuras version, just that Nomura never got into detail for those.

    I think that the way it is now it’s way more fitting for a mainline FF.

  • Yuntu

    We have two kinds of magic, ring magic (which is something only Noctis can use – as the ring is passed down the royal line) and elemental magic. In an interview at the TPGS Tabata mentioned that there will be more elemental magic but he wasn’t allowed/couldn’t talk about them yet. I assume we will see more spells.

  • •december


    Need more info!

    So many mysterious people to discover:
    Gentiana, Glauca, Ardyn and Cor… And unnamed Altair/Ezio-looking guy.
    Oh shit and Dragoon Lady! (Aranea Highwind)

  • stevenm281

    The reaper worshipping has been removed due to Cero/ESRB, while Versus XIII could have been a M rated game as a spinoff title, as XV, the game must retain a T rating and that is why also blood is not featured in the game as prominent as it was to be in Versus XIII.

    Tabata explained all thoses changes a while ago.

  • Lucas Nóbrega Maia

    I don’t know if the reaper worshiping were removed or not , but Etro continues to be important.

  • daveguitar

    They said cure is in the game (as we’ve seen in Episode Duscae), revive… I don’t know what for if the mechanic of dying is the same as Episode Duscae cause you can “revive” (reanimate I guess would fit better) and if you really die, the game finishes.
    Fire, Electro and Ice for the elemental magic and then the ring magic.
    Would be great if you can use Meteor or one of those with the ring 😀

  • stevenm281

    Actually, there are two statuses now: Weakened where you need to be rescued to be able to fight again, and Dead where the character has totally fallen and requires to be revived with, let’s say, a Phoenix Down or Revive spell.

    The party is not game over until all members are dead, not simply Noctis.

  • daveguitar

    Not in Episode Duscae. If Noctis dies, game over.
    Dunno in the final game. They said that somewhere? (I would like that more :D)

  • stevenm281

    they did confirm it at some point. Initially, it was supposed to be Noctis dead = game over, but they decided to change that.

    Still, Noctis can use a Phoenix Down in the demo to revive fallen party members after they die. While rare, it is possible to get between one to three in a playthrough of the demo.


  • 4FFAN

    I think Ardyn is the actual antagonist even though we’re led to believe it’s Iedolas. Or maybe it’s someone else entirely but I really feel like Iedolas will only be the antagonist for a part of the game…Just a feeling.


    Its Verstael, in previous FFXV trailers we can see him in a very much different attire regarding his role as a ”researcher”, we see him in war gear guiding a troop of Magitek soldiers, but could very very possibly be Ardyn whos secretly brewing or manipulating the war to take control, just like Kefka did…


    I seriously hope Lucis’ mafia-like complex still remains in XV

  • mmerrixxx

    I think that Stella, or Fluora is the main antagonist, look at the image where you see the 8 or so faces, all good guys are faced one way, in order, Noctis, King Regis etc. and then they switch all the bad guys are in order, Fluora being the worst, she will double cross noctis, even though they were child hood friends, and banged a lot… speculation on the last point

  • 4FFAN

    Hum….you do realize that Stella isn’t a part of FFXV anymore right? They replaced her with Luna.

  • mmerrixxx

    i said fluora or whatever, i know her name changed, is that really your reply, not commenting on the actual meat of my point, but bitching about semantics… typical

  • 4FFAN

    Don’t know where you heard there was a Fluora in FFXV. Stella’s name hasn’t simply been changed, she’s been completely cut from the game and replaced by Luna. The trailer from E3 with the good guys and the bad guys was back when Nomura was directing, the story was quite different and FFXV was supposed to have the exact story as Versus XIII. But Tabata came and changed a few things. The models, some characters and the story. Stella was cut. She’s not returning for all we know. But I’m sorry for informing you. Next time I’ll let live in your ignorance.