It is the 5th Friday, but the 4th Friday after IWSG, so that means it is time for Final Fantasy Friday!
As you know, I've been playing Final Fantasy XV, a very intricate game for new and old fans. I'm finally at a point where I have no choice but to stop and do side quests to level up because I am on the final chapter of the game, which was actually the beginning of the game, so now I understand what the heck was happening.
So at this juncture, I have to stop and talk about a few of the homages to the other games that blew my mind. FFIX had homages, too (the crystal returned, skill-based mages designated by colors, etc.), but there was one in particular in FFXV that I didn't realize until I was saying it out loud (it's coming up in a few). So let's go through a few.
1) Light vs. Dark
I think a few of the early Final Fantasy games always dealt with a time where Warriors of the Light had to be called to battle away the overwhelming darkness. FFIII and FFIV are the ones that come to mind most. FFXV is a huge battle of light vs. dark. Noctis (night) from the kingdom of Lucis (light). lol Night Light. OOH, or Knight of Light! I just caught that play on words. Everything in this game revolves around keeping the lights on because if you don't, daemons emerge, and they're quite scary.
2) FFXV Prompto / FFVII Cloud
The top one is Prompto Argentum, super goofy friend of Noctis who has a dark creation story (he was genetically engineered like all of the imperial troopers we've been fighting the entire game, see Homage 4). The parallel is obvious if you know anything about FFVII. Cloud Strife (on the bottom) was a genetically enhanced trooper. Visually, they're that waify blue-eyed figure with the weird spiky blond hair and the permanent pout.
3) Keycard Access
Still looking at FFVII, as I said in the last Final Fantasy Friday, I was in this creepy dark town Gralea trying to save Prompto. I end up in a lab, Zegnatus Keep, where I need keycards to get to the next floor. In the first disc of FFVII (wow, anyone remember where you bought 3-4 disc video games? lol), I take Cloud through Shinra Lab, and I need to fight soldiers all through the place and find the one with the keycard to the next floor. It was very reminiscent of the first time I played FFVII. I really appreciated it.
4) The monsters are people.
In Zegnatus Keep, there are reports all over the lab where I learn that the daemons I fight whenever I'm out in the dark and while I was walking all through this God-forsaken place, I learned the empire was growing magitek (the imperial troopers) by infecting humans with a daemon pathogen (WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG). The side-effect was a lot of people turned into full out daemons. In FFVII, in a flashback with Cloud and Sephiroth, we go to Nibelheim to fix a leak in a reactor. The leak was causing monsters to sprout around town. Sephiroth tells Cloud to look into one of the pods sitting in the reactor. There's a monster in there. (Run-on alert) Not only is it a monster, it's a human injected with alien cells to make it a superhuman not knowing the result could be an alien, because it's actually Jenova alien juice that is coming through the reactor, because the stupid Shinra empire thought Jenova was an Ancient and wanted to create more Ancients and ended up with Sephiroth! So they thought they could make more.
5) Bahamut ruins your life.
I actually posted the first video somewhere, most likely last year's A-to-Z. In my favorite Final Fantasy game, FFX, the group reaches a wall filled with people, fayth, who the team thinks is being used to summon something huge. When Tidus touches it, he faints and meets the fayth who became Bahamut (top). He tells Tidus the fayth are actually people and summoners from the old machina war. They became fayth to keep the dream of Zanarkand alive. Now they're tired, and because Tidus is from the dream world and touched Sin, the monster created by the bad guy in the game, he will be able to defeat the whole thing so the fayth can all rest. Of course, that means, they'll stop dreaming, so Tidus, as part of that dream, will also disappear. FFX has the most heartbreaking game ending I've ever had to sit through (FFVII Crisis Core was the most traumatizing, if you're a fan who happened to stumble here via hashtag).
In FFXV, at the heart of the Zegnatus Keep is a crystal, which Noct gets sucks into. There he meets Bahamut, who tells a wonderful story about how one of my ancestors, who is currently roaming the world infected by daemon juice, can only be destroyed by Noct, and by doing so, Noct must gain "Providence" which entails giving up his life. So he must die to save the world. I'm pretty sure the devs did that as a nod to FFX. Bahamut, wielder of flare magic and bearer of bad news. Of course, I haven't gotten to the end yet, so I don't know how this plays out (and don't tell me!). But I will say this is also reminiscent of FFX in that both games have you take this journey to gain more power to defeat the enemy by way of sacrificing yourself! That's what the summoners did in FFX.
6) FFX "Suteki da Ne" / FFXV "Somnus"
This one you have to hear to understand, so just push play. ;)
Push it again.
The quintessential song from FFX is "Suteki da Ne" (Isn't it Wonderful). It's a beautiful song, and very light in its sound and singer. An instrumental version of "Somnus"(Sleep) is the first thing you hear when you turn on FFXV, and if you can't hear the similarity, I worry for you. But what you should also notice is the difference in the tone of the song. It's darker, much sadder. The singer is a rich alto vs. SDN's tinny soprano. I also like how FFXV is almost telling FFX to sleep, which is really what the fayth are doing in FFX!
All right, geek out over. I was very excited to see these nods to earlier Final Fantasy games, and I can't wait to finish and see if the ending wrecks my soul or makes me incredibly happy and excited to play the Gladio and Prompto DLCs. Be sure I'll let you know.
I won't see you before IWSG, so have a great weekend, and enjoy your 4th of July!