Final Fantasy XVI, the next big mainline entry in the storied franchise, is approaching its release in mid-2023 as eager fans are slowly drip-fed new information and looks at the game. Most recently, the world was treated to the new Dominance trailer that gave us our best look yet at the game’s combat as well as the unique relationship between the game’s setting of Valisthea and the series’ staple summon creatures – here called Eikons.
We had the chance to speak to none other than the game’s producer and a major figure in the world of Final Fantasy, Naoki Yoshida, about Final Fantasy XVI – in particular how some of the gameplay shown off in trailers is going to work. While talking to Yoshida-san about the fearsome Eikons themselves, he confirmed something to us that might not have been evident from the game’s trailer footage alone. That’s to say, you won’t be summoning the Eikons in this game in the way you’d expect in other Final Fantasy titles, this time you’ll actually transform into them.
Yoshida describes this system, and the importance of the Eikons in the game’s world, something we’ve seen glimpses of in the trailers so far alongside the reveals of some of the Eikon-possessing Dominants that Clive will be up against:
“To put it simply, the Eikons in Valisthea can kind of be compared to what you would call weapons of mass destruction or nuclear bombs. And so, within the world of Valisthea, there are a lot of different nations and each nation has one of their own Eikons with the being awakening inside a single individual, although the rules as to how and within who that Eikon awakens differs between them.”
“So the person in which that Eikon dwells, we call the Dominant, and they can summon forth the Eikon’s unparalleled power by literally changing into it. As you know in previous Final Fantasies, it would always be that you’d have a summoner job who would use magic to summon forth the being from a different plane, but this time that Dominant actually summons forth the Eikon’s power by becoming the Eikon themselves.”
Perhaps one of the more exciting details which also speaks to what we can expect from the game running on a PS5 is that these giant Eikon fights, as well as regular battles, cutscenes and so on will all blend together seamlessly without any loading screens, as Yoshi-P explains:
“In Final Fantasy XVI players will not only get to fight against giant Eikons in Clive’s small human form, but will have the opportunity to you grow as large as an Eikon and become the Eikon themselves and fight other Eikons in that manner.
“These massive scale battles, and the changing of their scales from small to large will all play out in real time, kind of connecting the action, the cutscenes and the dialogue and story all together seamlessly without any loading times, creating this exciting roller coaster type of ride that we don’t think players will find anywhere else.”