Final Fantasy 16 Plot & Story (Explained)

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Almost seven years after Final Fantasy 15, another addition to the franchise is set to be released and holds exciting development for fans. More notably, the Final Fantasy 16 plot offers interesting elements such as a new protagonist, a different realm, and even time skips to keep you hooked on the story. With a whole new roster of characters and elements, there is much to be discussed!

Related: Final Fantasy 16 Voice Actors

Key Takeaways

  • Final Fantasy 16’s storyline merges multiple realms and timeframes with a novel approach to summons’ political roles.
  • Valisthea, FF 16’s setting, is split between Ash and Storm continents, powered by Mothercrystals supplying aether energy.
  • The Blight, a crisis due to the overuse of Mothercrystals, sparks nations’ conflicts and threatens magic users with petrification.
  • Valisthea comprises several Kingdoms, such as Rosaria, Sanbreque, Dhalmekian Republic, Waloed, Crystalline Dominion, and Iron Kingdom.
  • Eikons are magic creatures tied to elemental forces maintaining balance in the world, except Ifrit, whose existence stirs conflict.
  • Dominants, human hosts for Eikons, can use magic independently and are invaluable in politics and the military, with varying societal perceptions.
  • Dominants like Joshua Rosfield, Dion Lesage, Hugo Kupka, Barnabas Tharmr, Benedikta Harman, Jill Warrick, and Cidolfus Telamon each align with a unique Eikon. Notably, Clive Rosfield can harness multiple Eikons’ powers.

All Important Elements In Final Fantasy 16 Story 

The Final Fantasy 16 plot is quite ambitious as it tries to tie in multiple realms and different time periods of the protagonist into an exciting tale. It also adds a unique twist on the summons and political agenda behind those that can control them. I have listed here all the key elements that are part of FF16’s mega story landscape.

1. Realm Of Vlisthea

Valisthea, the setting for Final Fantasy XVI, is a vibrant world divided between the two continents of Ash and Storm. It’s dotted with magical Mothercrystals, which provide aether energy, the life force for its populace. This enchanting world, however, has a layered history. It was once dominated by a technologically advanced sky-based civilization that met its demise 1500 years ago. Now, the remnants of this civilization are scattered across Valisthea, and it’s treated more as a legend than a historical fact.

2. The Plight Of Valisthea

final fantasy 16 plot and story
Blight in Valisthea

Despite the seeming tranquility and magical abundance, Valisthea is faced with a significant problem: the depletion of aether energy, referred to as the Blight. Overuse of the Mothercrystals leads to this energy crisis, driving nations into conflict over resources and leading to a drastic impact on magic users who risk petrification from excessive magic use.

3. The Kingdoms Of Valisthea

final fantasy 16 story
Kingdoms of Valisthea

There are multiple surrounding Kingdoms in Valisthea which will have many implications for the plot of Final Fantasy 16. They are the following:

  • The Grand Duchy of Rosaria: Located on the Storm continent, this kingdom is the home of our protagonist, Clive Rosfield. Rosaria houses the Dominant of the Phoenix Eikon, Clive’s younger brother, Joshua.
  • The Holy Empire of Sanbreque: This empire, also on the Storm continent, is ruled by Dion Lesage, the crown prince and the Dominant of Bahamut.
  • The Dhalmekian Republic: Another significant power on the Storm continent, the Dhalmekian Republic is a prominent political entity with Hugo Kupka, the Dominant of Titan, as a key figure.
  • The Kingdom of Waloed: Waloed dominates the Ash continent, led by King Barnabas Tharmr, the Dominant of Odin. The kingdom also has a spy, Benedikta Harman, who is the Dominant of Garuda.
  • The Crystalline Dominion: A neutral power residing between Ash and Storm, the Crystalline Dominion holds a unique position in Valisthean politics.
  • The Iron Kingdom: An outlier, the Iron Kingdom, governed by the Crystalline Orthodox, is located off the coast of Storm and speaks its own unique language. It’s known for its isolationist tendencies.

4. Understanding Eikons

Eikon gameplay
Eikon showcase

Eikons, in the realm of Final Fantasy XVI, are powerful magical creatures that are central to the fabric of Valisthea’s society and lore. Each Eikon is linked to a specific elemental force, and this association helps maintain a balance in the world. These elemental forces can be as diverse as fire, embodied by the Eikons Phoenix and Ifrit, to ice, represented by Shiva.

Notably, each Eikon is unique. However, this equilibrium is disrupted by the appearance of Ifrit, a second Eikon of fire. This anomaly unsettles the balance, stirring a conflict that is central to Final Fantasy 16’s plot.

5. The Role Of Dominants

Dominants are the human hosts for the Eikons. Unlike most people in Valisthea, they can wield magic without needing the support of crystals. This inherent power makes them valuable assets in society, and they often play key roles critical to the nation’s politics and military.

  • The status and perception of Dominants, however, vary dramatically depending on the location of their birth.
  • In some societies, Dominants are revered and respected, often taking on the role of political leaders.
  • For example, Clive’s younger brother Joshua, the Dominant of the Phoenix Eikon, is the designated successor to their father’s duchy.
  • In other societies, Dominants are seen as a threat or weapon and are subject to abuse.
  • Some of them might even be killed or used as tools of war.

These contrasting perceptions underscore the stark differences in cultural norms across Valisthea’s kingdoms.

6. Dominants And Their Eikons

final fantasy 16 eikons and dominants plot
Titan Dominant

Some of the key Dominants and their associated Eikons in Final Fantasy XVI include:

  • Joshua Rosfield: Joshua, Clive’s younger brother, is the Dominant of the Phoenix Eikon, known for its healing, fire-based powers.
  • Dion Lesage: The crown prince of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, Dion is the Dominant of the powerful Eikon Bahamut.
  • Hugo Kupka: A key political figure in the Dhalmekian Republic, Hugo is the Dominant of the Eikon Titan.
  • Barnabas Tharmr and Benedikta Harman: The king of Waloed, Barnabas, is the Dominant of Odin, while Benedikta, a spy from the same kingdom, is the Dominant of Garuda.
  • Jill Warrick: Clive’s childhood friend, Jill, is the future Dominant of the ice Eikon, Shiva.
  • Cidolfus Telamon: Cidolfus is the Dominant of Ramuh and aspires to create a safe haven for victimized magic users.
  • Clive Rosfield: Although not officially a Dominant, Clive is a unique case as he can acquire and wield the power of multiple Eikons in combat.

The concepts of Eikons and Dominants, their interplay, and their profound impact on the socio-political landscape of Valisthea are integral to understanding the rich narrative of Final Fantasy XVI.

Final Fantasy 16’s Protagonist

main character of final fantasy 16
Clive Rosfield as the Protagonist in Final Fantasy 16 plot

Clive Rosfield’s story is a compelling blend of personal tragedy, survival, and power struggle. His journey, marked by loss, revenge, and redemption, forms the heart of the Final Fantasy 16 plot. As the main character, Clive embodies the complex interplay of societal roles, personal tragedy, and the consequences of power within the rich tapestry of Valisthea’s socio-political landscape. Here is everything we know about him so far.

Clive’s Early Life

Born as the first son to the Archduke of the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, Clive enjoys a high status in Valisthea.

  • Despite his noble birth, he doesn’t inherit the mantle of the successor to his father’s position.
  • This role passes to his younger brother, Joshua, who is designated as the Dominant of the Phoenix Eikon.
  • Clive’s life is irrevocably tied to his brother from an early age.
  • He serves as Joshua’s knight and protector, a role that underlines his unwavering loyalty and sense of duty.

Character Arc

Throughout Final Fantasy 16, Clive’s narrative spans three different periods: his teenage years, his twenties, and his thirties.

  • The transformation from a dutiful young knight to a hardened warrior is central to his character development.
  • The murder of his brother Joshua during an attack on Rosaria catalyzes a dramatic shift in Clive’s life.
  • Stricken by grief and anger, he embarks on a quest for revenge, thrusting him into the heart of the Eikon wars.

Clive’s Unique Abilities

What sets Clive apart in the world of Valisthea is his unique ability to acquire and wield the power of multiple Eikons in combat, despite not being a Dominant himself.

  • This particular capability offers him a distinctive advantage and makes his role pivotal in the unfolding narrative of Final Fantasy XVI.
  • In the progression of his journey, Clive appears to become the Dominant of the destructive fire Eikon, Ifrit, suggesting a symbolic duality between him and his slain brother.
  • His challenge lies in harnessing this destructive power to combat the world-devastating force known as the Blight.

All Characters In Final Fantasy 16 Story

Besides just Clive, there are many other characters that play a crucial role in Final Fantasy 16’s plot. Here is a small overview of such characters.

1. Joshua Rosfield

joshua
Young Joshua Rosfield

Joshua Rosfield, the younger brother of Clive Rosfield and the second son of the Archduke of Rosaria, is a pivotal character in the narrative of Final Fantasy XVI. Unlike his elder brother, destiny bestows upon Joshua the title of Dominant, effectively making him the carrier of the Phoenix Eikon.

  • As a Dominant, Joshua has the extraordinary power to morph into the Phoenix – the majestic and formidable Eikon of Fire.
  • This power not only protects his nation but also symbolizes the strength of the kingdom, represented in its emblem.
  • The surprising selection of Joshua as the Dominant over Clive, who was initially expected to bear this honor, sets an intriguing background for the characters’ dynamic.

At the onset of Final Fantasy 16, Joshua is a ten-year-old boy, distinctly gentle compared to his brave older brother.

  • Despite the privilege of his noble birth, Joshua is characterized by his affectionate demeanor towards everyone, most notably his brother Clive, whom he deeply admires.
  • However, he retains a touch of childish innocence, evidenced by his distinct aversion to carrots.

The course of Final Fantasy XVI’s plot puts Joshua in the heart of dire circumstances. In Final Fantasy 16’s promotional materials, he is portrayed in a precarious situation as his Phoenix Eikon grapples with the menacing Eikon, Ifrit. The unfolding events surrounding Joshua and the fate of his character add an element of suspense to the narrative.

  • His character voice is brought to life by Logan Hannan, a child actor recognized for his work as Hugo in the Plague Tale series.
  • While Joshua and Clive’s approaches to handling their destinies differ, Joshua’s role becomes entwined with his brother’s mission for revenge as the story progresses.
  • Even though he may not fully concur with Clive’s methods, his involvement adds another layer to the complex narrative.

2. Jill Warrick

final fantasy 16 characters and plot
Young Jill Warrick

Jill Warrick emerges as a character of significance in the narrative of Final Fantasy XVI. An adept swordfighter and the Dominant of Shiva, she is both a companion and a formidable ally to Clive Rosfield. Jill hails from the Northern Territories that fell in a past conflict, was taken away at a young age, and was raised in the Grand Duchy of Rosaria as a ward to ensure peaceful relations between the regions.

  • With her role in the Rosfield household, she shares a close bond with Clive and Joshua, serving as a sisterly figure.
  • She arrived in Rosaria under strenuous political circumstances, but despite this, the Archduke treated her like family, further solidifying her bond with the brothers.

Fan speculation regarding Jill’s trajectory in the narrative is rife, with some suggesting a potential shift in her loyalties, possibly assuming an antagonist’s role. However, these conjectures lack solid proof and seem contrary to her initial portrayal in the trailers and official information, where she exudes an aura of innocence.

  • As a character, Jill Warrick portrays herself as an accomplished swordswoman, mastering both blade and ice, which hints at her capabilities as the Dominant of Shiva, the iconic Ice-element Eikon.
  • Her apparent combat skills alongside Clive, as seen in the trailers, further emphasize her significant role in Final Fantasy 16’s narrative.

Jill’s voice brings two talented actors to the forefront – Charlotte McBurney voices her younger version, known for her role as Amicia in the Plague Tale games, while the adult Jill is voiced by Susannah Fielding, a familiar name from TV shows like Black Mirror and Doctor Who and various gaming roles.

3. Cidolfus Telamon

cid
Cidolfus Telamon cutscene

Cidolfus Telamon, familiarly known as Cid, marks his place in the narrative of Final Fantasy XVI as a central character, maintaining the legacy of the recurring character Cid in the series. As a Dominant of Ramuh, he is a proficient outlaw brandishing lightning abilities.

  • Cid’s past includes service in the Royal Waloeder Army, followed by a transition to an outlaw.
  • A man deeply engrossed in science, his research centers on survival methods in the deadlands, a necessity for him and his group of heretics.
  • His Dominant status, endowed with the power of the Eikon Ramuh, was recognized shortly after his arrival on Valisthean shores.
  • As a mentor and comrade to Clive Rosfield, the protagonist, Cid, is seen in the company of a select group of party members, including Jill and Torgal, who fight directly alongside Clive under AI control.

His character pays homage to previous incarnations of Cid in the Final Fantasy series.

  • His title as the Dominant of the Lightning Eikon Ramuh subtly references Orlandeau’s epithet of “Thunder God.”
  • Cid’s voice in the English version of Final Fantasy 16 comes to life through the expertise of Ralph Ineson, a seasoned British actor with contributions to prominent works like the Harry Potter movies, Game of Thrones, Gunpowder Milkshake, The Green Knight, and Ready Player One.
  • The Japanese version of Final Fantasy 16 features Hiroshi Shirokuma as the voice behind Cid.

4. Torgal

final fantasy 16 plot
Pet Torgal

In the narrative of Final Fantasy XVI, Torgal marks his presence as a pivotal character, identified as a loyal wolf companion to one of Final Fantasy 16’s protagonists, Clive Rosfield.

  • Originating from the Northern Territories, Torgal was discovered alone in a snowfield during an expedition led by Archduke Elwin.
  • Following the expedition, Torgal was presented as a gift to Elwin’s sons and managed to survive a catastrophe that almost obliterated the Rosfield lineage.
  • Torgal’s loyalty to Clive is unwavering, showing the same dedication as when he was a young pup.

In Final Fantasy 16’s dynamics, Torgal is an AI-controlled party member, taking orders from players during combat scenarios.

  • Torgal and Clive can execute powerful duo attacks if players correctly time their commands.
  • Alongside his combat prowess, Torgal also holds the potential to heal Clive’s injuries, hinting at his possible healing role within the team.
  • Throughout the journey of Final Fantasy XVI, Torgal seems to be a steadfast companion to Clive and the only party member whom Clive can directly command in battles.
  • Torgal evolves from an adorable puppy in Final Fantasy 16’s prologue to a formidable wolf-like creature post-time-skip, exhibiting impressive fighting skills.

5. Benedikta Harman

benedikta
Benedikta Harman cutscene

Playing an important role as one of the main adversaries in Final Fantasy XVI, Benedikta Harman’s character introduces an intriguing complexity to the narrative.

  • As the Dominant of the Eikon Garuda, also known as Warden of the Wind, she hails from the nation of Waloed.
  • Known for her unflinching and relentless demeanor, Benedikta has honed her expertise in swordplay and secrecy into leading Waloed’s top intelligencers.
  • The crux of her mission centers around locating the elusive second Eikon of Fire, an endeavor that leads her path to intertwine with Clive, another character with similar goals.
  • Benedikta’s role becomes central to Final Fantasy 16’s plot, which underscores a war between nations and emphasizes a richly character-driven narrative.
  • Waloed, Benedikta’s homeland, is renowned for its military might, using Eikons to quell rebellions.
  • However, the exact nature of Waloed’s interest in Rosaria remains uncertain, hinting at severe, belligerent undertones.

The intricate web of relationships in Final Fantasy XVI sees Benedikta entangled in a romantic past with Cidolfus “Cid” Telamon, the Dominant of the Eikon Ramuh. The intricacy of their relationship is progressively unraveled throughout Final Fantasy 16, adding another layer to Benedikta’s character.

  • Providing the voice for Benedikta Harman in the English version is Nina Yndis, while Akari Higuchi lends her voice to the character in the Japanese version.

6. Hugo Kupka

plot of final fantasy 16
Hugo Kupka showcase

In the elaborate narrative universe of Final Fantasy XVI, Hugo Kupka emerges as a force to be reckoned with.

  • A resident of the Dhalmekian Republic, he begins his journey as an unassuming foot soldier within the Republican Army.
  • However, destiny intervenes when he awakens as the Dominant of the Eikon Titan, catapulting him to unprecedented prominence.
  • This drastic shift in status sets him on a trajectory where he wields his newfound power to navigate the complex labyrinth of Dhalmekian politics, controlling the nation’s military and legislative systems and amassing substantial personal wealth.

Holding the title of Permanent Economic Adviser, Hugo’s formidable presence is illustrated by scenes of him overpowering fellow parliament members. His life takes an unexpected turn when he crosses paths with Benedikta Harman, the Garuda Dominant, resulting in a profound change in his perspective.

  • With a powerful build and commanding demeanor, Hugo Kupka leaves a lasting impression.
  • Whether he is asserting his authority in council chambers or striking down enemies on the battlefield with his axe, his strength is undeniable.
  • In the full Eikon Titan form, he takes on Shiva, tearing through her icy defenses with sheer force, and withstands the blazing onslaught of Ifrit’s flames.
  • Hugo Kupka’s English voiceover is provided by Alex Lanipekun, a seasoned British actor known for his role as Nils in Horizon Zero Dawn and its sequel.

7. Dion Lesage

final fantasy 16's story and plot
Dion Lesage cutscene

Final Fantasy 16 introduces Dion Lesage as a central character to the plot, who assumes the dual roles of Bahamut’s Dominant—the King of Dragons—and the Crown Prince of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque.

  • As the leader of the Dragoons, an elite order of knights revered for their formidable combat techniques, Dion’s reputation precedes him.
  • Dion’s charisma and the tales of his bravery endear him to the people of Sanbreque, becoming the muse for their songs.
  • The voice behind Dion’s English dialogues is Stewart Clarke, while Yuichi Nakamura lends his voice to the character in the Japanese version.

8. Barnabas Tharmr

Barnabas
Barnabas Tharmr look

A prominent antagonist in the Final Fantasy 16′ story, Barnabas Tharmr, also recognized as the King of Waloed, exerts his dominance over Eikon Odin.

  • Barnabas’s story unfolds from a titleless wanderer who sets foot in Valisthea, subsequently carving out his kingdom through unmatched prowess in swordsmanship.
  • A testament to his formidable power is his quelling of the Beastmen rebellion, which sought to undermine his rule, using his Eikon, Odin, thereby consolidating the Eastern continent under the Waloeder reign.

What sets Barnabas apart in Final Fantasy XVI is his ascent to power, which was not handed down by birth but earned through sheer skill and cunning.

  • He is a character who savors combat, either immersing himself in the heart of battle or relishing the carnage from a distance.
  • Barnabas’s journey contrasts with many of his peers in FF16.
  • His rise to power through courage and strategic use of Odin’s power rather than royal lineage distinguishes him.
  • As he prepares for a showdown with Jill, the Dominant of Shiva, in the “Ambition” trailer, we anticipate what instigated this conflict, considering Barnabas’s aggressive history.

Speculation abounds concerning Barnabas’s storyline, with theories suggesting a twist in his character from an apparent primary antagonist to a potential ally following the revelation of a more formidable enemy. Another conjecture proposes that Barnabas may command two Eikons, Odin and Leviathan, which could hint at his background.

  • Lending voice to Barnabas is Gotaro Tsunashima for the Japanese version and David Menkin for the English one.

With that, you now know everything about the Final Fantasy 16 plot and story! There are a lot of exciting things to look forward to, especially with the whole Eikon and Dominants dynamic. The tale of revenge, along with the many different characters, will definitely keep players hooked.

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