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The Case for Final Fantasy XV’s Pitioss Ruins By Tony Garsow on January 22, 2017 at 3:47 PM

Typically, when we think of Final Fantasy dungeons, we think of monster-filled labyrinths that test your ability to prepare your party for difficult encounters. There have been many that have had some sort of gimmick, such as FFIV’s Magnetic Cavern, or FFVIII’s Tomb of the Unknown King. Final Fantasy XV is no exception, but one dungeon stands out from the rest: Pitioss Ruins.

It’s such a weird fit in the game. Unlike the other dungeons, this one features no combat and relies entirely on puzzle and platforming mechanics. You won’t be able to access it until you get flight capability for the Regalia after clearing the game, and then you’ve got to land it on a tiny strip of road in a far corner of the map (which, well, takes some real trial and error.)

My first time through took me nearly four hours, which left me rather bewildered that the game didn’t guide you here by way of any story or gameplay hints save for a few suspect harvesting nodes. Yet, here it is to be happened upon, which is kind of a weird and wonderful thing, given big budget games in FFXV’s class often lead you by the hand to every extractable ounce of content.

In the video below, you can see my return attempt that I’ve trimmed down considerably, though it posed no little challenge:

To me, it represents a lot of the weirdness of FFXV, in that, despite its laborious efforts to be a shade of its perceived contemporaries, there are attempts at some unique things that endear you to it. Sometimes it works, like Prompto’s photography of your journey; sometimes it doesn’t, like the infamous Chapter 13. I’m glad for the attempts.

Of course, not everyone likes Pitioss Ruins — I’m well aware. I’ve seen the gambit of reaction in my social media feeds and elsewhere. It’s not really unjustified, being that, the way Noctis moves isn’t really platformer-friendly, and the absence of combat or ultimate treasure might deter some. Completing the dungeon isn’t required for a Platinum trophy (and Xbox equivalent) either. Despite all that, I still think its brilliant.

I’m also a fan of the old Tomb Raider games — the ones on the original PlayStation by Core Design and published by Eidos. Despite its outward appearance, the games are less of a gun-toting slaughter-fest (the combat’s quite limp, even by the times,) but pretty good puzzle/platformers. Missing a jump by a hair in these games often means plummeting to a grisly death — sending you back to your last save. Mind, these games had tank controls, which — in current times — are generally viewed as an undesirable artifact from a bygone era. The setting and presentation also lent an unnerving experience much different than your average Mario.

So, in the video above, you can see me jumping from tiny wire to tiny wire in near pitch black visibility, dimly lit by Noctis’s flashlight. What I’ve always loved about these kind of games isn’t so much a need to finish within a time limit, but inching around desperately trying to find your next move, and the payoff when you figure it out. One tiny nudge revealing the next jump, one swing of the camera revealing the way through. While I make it look considerably easier in my second attempt, my first time through had no shortage of missed jumps and fumbling through the dark. It gets even more hectic when the dungeon begins to play with your perspective, making it easy to misjudge which way is up as you traverse over moving parts. It’s the first time in ages, since those old Tomb Raider games, that I’ve felt such a sense of vertigo… in a good way.

If you do manage to make your way through its entirety, you’ll be rewarded with a Black Cowl, which will let Noctis automatically dodge attacks. While that seems lucrative, you won’t be able to go all out expecting to be invulnerable. Also, by the time you obtain it in your travels, its usefulness is likely next to nil. You should probably be adept at dodging things by that point anyway.

Yeah, it’s not perfect — I’ll mention once again that Noctis’ movement isn’t particularly built for this kind of thing. You can even skip 90% of it with a tiny exploit — but I felt like it added something to FFXV’s world that was genuinely worth exploring. The team will likely have DLC roll out over the course of 2017, and I’ll personally looking forward to see if there will be more experiments like Pitioss.

Final Fantasy XV is now available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can check out Erren’s review here, and more of our video content here.

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  • Stonespear

    You’re fighting controls over the dungeon. It fails for that simple reason.

  • Pandarino

    this has been one of the most random yet awesome experiences I had as a gamer.

  • •december

    It’s Pitioss, no L.
    Is it named differently in other versions????
    That aside, this dungeon deserves it’s own mini-game for mobile.
    I’d love to see my friends take on this dungeon.
    It’s what saved FF’s launch build for me. Can’t wait for whats next.

  • Somnus92

    I did a similar exploit for my first run, but the second time, I just went the opposite direction and found myself exploring all of Pitioss Ruins for 6 hours without worrying about reaching the end. It was an interesting experience.

  • •december

    I found myself falling off the edge on the 2D platform area
    because I didn’t go to the wall furthest from the screen lol

  • Tony Garsow

    It’s funny. Proofreading this I had it as Pitioss, but I looked back to my TV and swore I saw an “l” in there. Thanks for pointing it out though.

  • Miqote

    FFXV is trash

  • •december

    trolls incoming in 3…2…1..

  • Auron Yojimbo

    Duuuuuuuuuur

  • SpermPellets

    You’re trash, you’re a pathetic excuse for life you stinking parasite. The only thing you know how to do is talk shit about other people’s hard work. You are less than nothing. I have more respect for microbial life than i do for people like you, they’re sure as hell more useful than you.

  • gabrieuTG

    Some years ago I had to deal with XIII haters, now we have to deal with XV haters???
    IDK but I feel like people’s reason to live nowadays is to complain

  • Randy Marsh

    I know right?! Freddi Fish XV was trash!

  • Vallen

    Incomplete, yes. Trash, no.

  • Person McPersonson

    This dungeon would have been great if the controls were even remotely designed for precision platforming. Since it wasn’t, it’s frustrating to the point of not being fun, despite being really well designed otherwise.

  • Tony Garsow

    Freddi Fish is fucking amazing.

  • Third World Tristan

    “Tiny” exploit, lol.

    Yet another broken thing in this %#$@#$ game.

  • Third World Tristan

    Trash gameplay, great graphics, shit story and so-so OST (unless you count the old FF tracks as a part of its soundtrack, lol).

  • Codes McGodes

    Maybe in some cases, but not all. As I’ve played each game in the series, I’ve still found enjoyment in some of the more recent entrees. FFXIII, LR, and FFXV are garbage imo, but FFXII, FFXIII-2, and FFXIV are all excellent, and I could easily make a list of reasons on what’s good and what’s bad about each of them.

  • Noctis

    I agree… i did complete this dungeon but it was so damn annoying

  • Noctis

    0..

  • Noctis

    This game is ridiculous

  • Lerine

    Sometimes I ask myself if I’m the only one who absolutely adored Chapter 13.

  • Ryuke

    With regards to there being no way the game directs you to the dungeon, if I remember rightly isn’t there a side quest picked up in Lestallum that takes you there? I’m sure the game takes you over there and it isn’t just stumbled upon.

    I personally found the dungeon to be annoying as hell by the end of it. It started fun, but towards the end when is became really platform heavy, and all upside down and sideways for that matter, the controls really didn’t lend itself to this type of dungeon as they’re too imprecise. Thank god for the checkpoint system!
    A shame there was no amazing loot to be found at the end considering the pain it in to finish. I’m glad it was a new dungeon though and not just a harder version of the dungeons we’ve already been to like the others.

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  • NoctLightCloud

    I liked it too 🙂

  • NoctLightCloud

    I found that dungeon to be very interesting! My sister completed it for me since she is a pro at platforming games.

  • Lerine

    Yess! Good to know I’m not the only one 😀

  • XenoSilvano

    the fact that Square-enix released the game incomplete is what makes it trash

  • Miqote

    U should ban the user who responded to my post like he did. No seriously hugely inappropriate

  • stevenm281

    That is why nobody can judge the series efficiently, we all like different things.

    13, LR and 15 are in my top 5 favorite FF, while 12, 13-2, and 14, are not even in my top 10.

  • stevenm281

    Why do haters gotta keep wasting their energy on something they hate? Why waste their time on discussions about something they hate?

    Life has so much to offer guys, please focus on things you like, things you love.

    Let the people who enjoy this installment talk about it freely without fear of criticism on such community website, and bring your hate on general forums or on social media or anywhere that isnt a place for fans.

  • Lerine

    *loud clapping* One more time for the people in the back!

  • Shinobuden

    It’s the FF fanbase in a nutshell.

  • Shinobuden

    Well said! I couldn’t agree more.

    Unfortunately, they’re not going to stop or go away. It’s only going to get worse. The simplest solution is to just block the obvious haters/trolls who aren’t here to bring anything constructive to the table. It’s not something I like doing myself, but I left the XV GFAQs boards for a reason. GFAQs in general for that matter. I don’t want to have to deal with the same kind of people here, but it seems they’re pouring into these articles in droves now.

  • Kio Kurashi

    yes there is a side quest accessible in chapter 15. problem is though you have to be in the right place at the right time or you won’t find it. those two things are at night in the Lestallum back ally where there is a window with a shiny button prompt.

  • stevenm281

    I liked it as well, I just wish we would use martial arts before Noctis put on the ring, there is no way he doesn’t know how to fight unarmed.

    And the only reason people think the Chapter last too long is because the other chapters are too small. There is no need to make Chapter 13 shorter, they need to make every chapter as long as Chapter 13.

  • Adam Hedquist

    GFAQS is the worst forum imo. There’s so many trolls there that hate and bash everything and they can’t explain why. I left that forum a long time ago.

  • Lerine

    Yeah! It would have been cool! I honestly loved the fact that Chapter 13 was so long, because it really gave you this atmosphere of danger, and I was anxious the whole time :’D But that’s exactly what makes it incredible!

  • Stonespear

    It was pretty good. Frustrating with only the ring so it worked.

  • Shinobuden

    Agreed. I endured it for quite some time because there were a few cool people on there that I had some very interesting discussions and debates with, but at some point I just couldn’t take it anymore and left. It’s troublesome that those people are seemingly starting to come here now.

  • Christian Cáceres

    I loved it and I hated it. The way how the player shares Noctis pain and suffering is incredible, I was sad from the beginning!! Now.. about the screamers… I hated them >.<

  • Adam Hedquist

    Ye, but Erren and the other admins here are much better at giving warnings than gfaqs (they do nothing) and then throw people out if they keep on being aholes.
    So have faith with this site. I have been here since almost the beginning and it’s one of the best if not the best.

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  • Shinobuden

    Don’t worry, it’ll take more than a few people trying to be a nuisance to make me leave. I like this site and the way Erren and the admins run it. I’ve had a really good time here so far. I have faith in it.

  • Ryuke

    I totally agree, with regards to blatant trolls and the sort of people who comment with “FFXV sucks” or “FFXV is retarded” or even “Sign this petition to bring back Versus”, bringing nothing else to the table. No names mentioned of course… 😉
    I don’t see why they waste their time and energy, it defies all logic!

    I do welcome constructive discussion on the game though. There’s plenty of things I liked in the game and plenty of things I disliked, but when stating something I don’t like I tend to say why, what would improve it, or what I’d like to see in the future. That kind of discussion I’m down for, and enjoy replying and discussing different views even if we don’t agree on each others’ points.

  • Ryuke

    Ah yes, forgot that was how to acquire the quest. I guess that is pretty well hidden in itself. Thanks for clarifying!

  • Ryuke

    That’s an interesting way to look at it, and actually it makes sense. Had the other chapters been as long, I don’t think 13 would have stood out to some as being tedious. Yes the gameplay during the chapter itself was a little tedious, and unarmed fighting would have totally helped with that without having to rely on just the ring.
    People complain about it being just Noctis on his own, but I get why the team went with that, to make you feel isolated and not being able to rely on your party, or in the story sense not being able to rely on your friends.
    My only major gripe with the chapter was just the way the story moved forward, with Ravus and Iedolas fates and then Prompto’s revelation, all carrying no weight or being unexplained or “off camera”.

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  • Anthony

    People love the franchise and we’ve seen what it can be, so while admiring the great content in XV, there’s a lot of room for criticism. Criticism shows people care – companies can take praise or criticism, it’s apathy that’s more alarming.

  • stevenm281

    Yes, I fully agree that constructive criticism is valuable, I did criticize the game’s flaws in my review, but criticizing it, without arguments, on everyone comments, on every article of every website isn’t the way to do it, it simply pisses off the people whom are part of the community whom enjoy the game.