Anyone who has played Final Fantasy knows that there are details left unexplained, areas that feel rushed, and places that feel like there should be something there, but there isn’t. The games director, Hajime Tabata, has admitted that there were definitely aspects of the story which could have been better explained, places they messed up on. For the past year, the Business Division 2 team has been hard at work updating the game, adding more content where there used to be none. As an example, they added an alternate version of Chapter 13 that shows you what happened to Gladiolus and Ignis when they were separated from Noctis, and inside that alternative Chapter 13, you also find out how Ravus died and, for those that didn’t realize the daemon Forneus was Emperor Aldercapt, the cinematic featuring Ravus spelled it out for you. They gave the character Loqi more screentime in the recent Assassin’s Festival update, which was also free. And now there are additional cutscenes in Chapter 12, specifically ones that address Luna and Noctis’ relationship, as well as the history of the Astrals. These new cutscenes are what this article is about, and you can watch a video of them below(not by me.).
Final Fantasy XV is a character-driven experience, and as a part of Noctis’ character development, he has to cope with the loss of his beloved Lunafreya in the latter stages of the game. As far as many players were concerned, there was barely any relationship whatsoever. Outside of two or three moments in the game where the characters interact via writing messages in a book, they are only ever in one scene together in the whole game. The history of their relationship is mostly in the background. A large chunk of this update is dedicated to providing some weight to their love, which is conveyed by Gentiana/Shiva in Luna’s absence. While Gentiana is telling Noctis about Luna’s feelings towards him, players are treated to a flashback in which Luna argues with Ravus about her destiny and that she will gladly die for Noctis, and then her conversation with Gentiana about how she wishes she had more time. This scene is somewhat best watched after you’ve viewed the history of the astrals sequence which was also added via this update.
The reason I say that should be viewed first is because it presents a new view of the Astrals, namely Shiva and Ifrit. While Ifrit fought for Ardyn in the initial release of FFXV and Shiva defeated him by freezing him, this scene is given new meaning via the revelation that not only was Ifrit corrupted by Ardyn, but also that Shiva and Ifrit were tragic lovers. Originally, Shiva kissing Ifrit while he was frozen was seen as just a part of the attack, but now it is given a whole new meaning. With his death, Ifrit can finally rest in peace, his suffering ended, and he is sent off with a kiss from his lover who never ceased loving him. So how does this relate to Luna’s scene with Gentiana? Well, while Luna is conveying her feelings about Noctis to Gentiana and their fates, Gentiana sheds a tear and promises Luna that she will tell Noctis in Luna’s place. Their tragic love reminds her of her own past with Ifrit.
This culminates in a new, present day scene where Noctis is visibly saddened by Gentiana’s message and confesses that he feels that he failed to save her. This is a welcome addition because before he was just brooding and never really seemed to actually accept what had happened. Never admitted to it. He just slowly got over it before finally confronting his fate. But now that particular arc has a more definitive conclusion. And now the scene with him finally putting on the Ring of the Lucii bears new meaning. He’s faced his past, and how weak he was, and has finally accepted his destiny. And this change was brought about by Gentiana conveying Luna’s feelings to Noctis. He then carried those feelings with him to the very end.
While it’s fair to say that a lot of this should have been in the game to begin with, Square deserves some credit for actually using the “games as a service” model to improve the game and not even charge players for it. I mean, yeah, there is paid DLC, but those are more than just a few cutscenes too. And admittedly, Episode Prompto was definitely worth the $5 and if Comrades can deliver on a solid singleplayer narrative(I’ve read that there is one, though obviously not as long as the main game.) that shows players the World of Ruin that was only hinted at in Chapter 14 of the main story, then Square is definitely delivering.
These new cutscenes, while not perfect, are definitely a step in the right direction. And with a second year of content updates having been confirmed(And yes, paid DLC is still a part of those plans.), Square will continue to patch up the story, rather than leave it as it was.