Final Fantasy XV, no matter how you slice, has been in development for 11 years(Development started initially in November 2005, while the game was officially revealed at E3 2006.). For the first seven years, we didn’t get much in the way of information. We got a bunch of pre-rendered trailers using in-game assets and some nuggets of information here and there, but Square went dead silent on the game follow its 2011 trailer and it would not resurface until E3 2013 when its name was changed from Final Fantasy Versus XIII, an M-rated action spin-off title, to the T-rated mainline action title Final Fantasy XV. It’s development had been rebooted in late 2011 and since its re-unveiling we’ve gotten a plethora of information. However, the story still largely remains a mystery. We have the basic gist, but the basic gist isn’t everything, and this new trailer, “Omen,” is just the proof that was needed not only to show that there’s far more to the story, but also that Versus XIII’s signature darkness is still very much intact in case you had any doubts.
Now, I’m not going to go frame by frame dissecting this trailer. What I will do is point out the important bits. A lot of this trailer is actiony fluff that shows the struggles that Noctis must face, but that all pales in comparison to the other infrormation revealed by this trailer, and as such I give a spoiler advisory warning. And before I begin I want to make this very clear that the context of the trailer is that King Regis, Noctis’ father, had a vision of a future yet to pass. So technically a lot of this has not occurred and therefore the possibility that it will never occur. The trailer was meant as a tease regarding the possible story that will come to pass, while not actually giving away plot points(at least as far as we can tell at the moment.).
The trailer starts off with a bit of background information told through the disembodied conversation of a young Lunafreya and Noctis while an adult Noctis walks through Luna’s room, overlooking a dark storm below. In the conversation, Luna mentions the duty of the King of Light, who is chosen by the Crystal, to purge their star of its plague. Noctis is then confirmed to be the chosen one who will become the King of Light. The plague that is mentioned is the Plague of the Stars, which was revealed last year. The plague causes the night to grow longer and day to grow shorter until there is only endless night, which allows daemons to wander freely above ground, amongst a myriad of other things like the destruction of the world.
From that point forward in the trailer, Noctis follows one of Lunafreya’s dogs, Pryna(White), after losing control of and wrecking the Regalia, his fathers car. Most of the trailer is spent watching Noctis follow Pryna to an unknown destination while also fighting off Niflheim troops and daemons, becoming increasingly bloody and beaten along the way. Spliced throughout these scenes are scenes of Luna fighting an assailant who we only catch brief glimpses of. Another noticeable thing strewn throughout these scenes are mirrored images of Noctis and Luna, like two sides of a coin. At the same time, in one particular scene, even Pryna is mirrored by Luna’s other dog, Umbra(Black). Keep this in mind as we move forward.
The next, brief section of the trailer cuts back on the reflections to reveal another detail: Noctis loses his powers at some point. From that point forward he is seen fighting using hand to hand combat techniques, stealing a gun from a Niflheim soldier, and taking out a mech by toppling a tower. Stripping him of his power, which is an integral part of the games combat system, would definitely make for an interesting plot point, and I imagine it is one that will remain in the games full story. This is merely a glimpse of the position it puts him in now that he has no advantages.
And then we get a big reveal: Pryna, the white dog that he had been following this whole time, turns into a demonic looking black dog. Not the same black dog as earlier, Umbra, who only appeared that one time in the trailer. This is a different dog, and the trailer makes it a point to rewind time showing that it was this dog all along that Noctis had been following, it only appeared as Pryna. And then, immediately following that reveal, we get this:
The woman on the ground is Luna(White), and the man holding the trident that was hers, is Noctis(Black). In the scene just prior to this one we saw Noctis holding this same trident, but that is the Noctis we had been following up until this point. He dropped the trident on the ground and looked at his bloodstained hands. And then we saw a hand pet the demonic black dog from before, which immediately went into this scene where Noctis watches as another version of himself kills Luna much to his despair.
The clue to this scene lies in the description of the trailer itself, where Noctis is mentioned as succumbing to madness. Now, I have to guess that when it says madness, it doesn’t mean literal insanity, because this shot says it’s something else:
Noctis’ eyes are glowing, and if you pause at the right points, you can see that his skin is extremely pale, almost like an ashen color. His eyes also match that of the demonic dog whose eyes were the same and that were briefly scene on Pryna in an earlier scene, hinting at what would happen later. I can only assume that Noctis is possessed by something, but what I’m not entirely sure. All I do know, is that this scene implies that something happens to him that makes him turn on those closest to him and he ultimately kills Luna, his love.
The trailer ends on a bit of a mysterious note. King Regis speaks to a disembodied voice, the origin of which is uncertain. Regis reveals that the voice has witnessed many deaths, and is not yet satisfied, to which the voice reveals that now there is only one person that it wishes to see perish, after which it will finally rest. It is not specified who or why, just that the voice wishes their death above all else. Regis then mentions that it must take responsibility when it is over, to which the voice replies that they must all take responsibility for their actions. It’s uncertain if the vision Regis saw was what the voice wanted, and thus what Regis decides to prevent, or if the vision is what will happen should the person in question not die as the voice wishes. There is so much mystery surrounding this final scene and it’s really hard to tell if Regis intends to fight against this voice or if the two of them have some shared agenda. It’s hard to tell who the voice could even be. The current working theories are that it’s the voice of Chaos, or that it’s one of the Lucii.
In the end, there really is so much that we don’t know about the story of this game. Many claim that we’ve seen too much, but truth be told we’ve barely scratched the surface. Older speculations such as Noctis becoming the villain seem more and more likely. This is the sort of morally ambiguous storytelling that I love and I can’t wait to get my hands on this game.