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Final Fantasy XVI



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Tartarus

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Yeah, I think of a Phoenix as more of a symbol of light / life / resurrection.

I'm not disinterested by the protagonist so far, he looks fine. A lot of whether he works or not will come down to the story, dialogue, voice acting, etc. Right now, he's sort of an every-man we don't know much about in comparison. I like his adult design in that picture of him in front of the castle. That's my desktop background for now. :p
 

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Indeed, the description says the Dominant of the Phoenix becomes the Archduke/Archduchess of Rosaria once of sufficient age to rule, so I would guess that Phoenix stays in the same family and just moves from generation to generation picking its "host" as that seems to be what Dominants are.

On the other hand though in the character descriptions it states that a Dominant has the power of an Eikon residing within them and they can transform into it, but not specifically the Eikon itself being inside them. Maybe the Eikons themselves actually stay in the Mother Crystals and are linked to the outside world through the Dominants and can fully manifest only through them.

In this case it would be at least possible for multiple people being connected to the same Eikon, so even if Joshua is the current Dominant (and those seem to be unique), his father or mother could still have a connection to Phoenix, with the role of Dominant passed down to already mark the successor before the current ruler perishes so he can be sufficiently taught and prepared for his role.
In Joshua's section the description also states that a Dominant can apparently "bless" other people with the powers of their Eikons which he apparently did for his older brother Clive, maybe this process can actually mark people for Phoenix to be chosen as the next Dominant if the need arises, similar to the way potential Keyblade Wielders are chosen in KH.
Yeah, the blessing marking someone as a potential host would make sense. For all we know different Eikon's operate under different rules for their Dominants. If it were just bloodlines, there wouldn't be too many chances of someone becoming a Dominant in the Iron Kingdom.

On the official page for this game it's mentioned Clive was expected to inherit the Phoenix and that Joshua awoke as Dominant soon after birth. It sounds like Joshua awakening so young is unusual, seeing they expected Clive to do so until Joshua was born. So I assume it's not necessary for the previous Dominant to die for a new one to awaken.

I do think you are right though that the Eikons reside in the crystals and the Dominants just host their powers and channel them.

Ah, ok.

Ifrit is normally the standard Fire-elemental summon though while Phoenix, while also having a fire theme, was in most of the older FFs where it appeared in mainly a summon representing life and rebirth.
The Phoenix summon being more a light magic summon makes sense given it's symbolic nature. I do wonder if that'll have any significance in this game. They seem to be focusing more on the fire element side of it. But I can also imagine based on the designs that the Phoenix is the Fire of Life while Ifrit is the Fire of Death.

Right now, also keeping the Banner of the Dhalmekian Republic in mind, I theorize that each Mother Crystal might have their own set of Eikons which includes one for each element, but not all of them might be active in each crystal, so Ifrit might be the fire-elemental Eikon of a different Crystal which maybe awakened just recently.
That be an interesting idea, if all Crystals had their own sets of elemental Eikons then there'd be the potential of quite a few dominants and variations of the same elemental theme.

The Iron Kingdom's blurb also make me think that it's possible that there are minor Eikons with their own dominants, which are the ones that the Iron Kingdom kills. Though it could also just be that the Kingdom would have its own Eikon & Dominant set, that they don't let manifest because of their religion.

Furthermore, all the Mother Crystals having "Drake" in their name which can also be translated to Dragon make me think of them as parts of a huge, big apocalyptic dragon which might have been slain somehow in the distant past of Valisthea, maybe Tiamat or Shinryu?
Drake translates to Dragon? I knew Drake to mean a male duck. A quick google search revealed it's both.

They're definitely going for the dragon meaning here, it does explain the naming choices for the crystals. With them calling the Crystal basically dragon body parts, it would make sense for it to be the crystalized remains of an old Dragon.

I certainly hope it won't go to these extremes, lol. But I generally remain skeptic to such generic descriptions until we see more and get even more info about the general story.

That said though, I honestly find both Jill and Joshua far more interesting than Clive so far, despite him being supposedly the main protag.
Yeah, Jill and Joshua do seem like the more interesting character out of the three, at least right now.

While I do think we will mainly play as Clive, i'd find it cool if we could also see Joshua and Jill's sides of the story unfold.
 

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Yeah, I think of a Phoenix as more of a symbol of light / life / resurrection.

I'm not disinterested by the protagonist so far, he looks fine. A lot of whether he works or not will come down to the story, dialogue, voice acting, etc. Right now, he's sort of an every-man we don't know much about in comparison. I like his adult design in that picture of him in front of the castle. That's my desktop background for now. :p
Light and Fire are often linked in mythology as well and just because it was mostly like this so far in the FF series doesn't mean it has to be in XVI as well so I'm obviously just making assumptions here.

I also wouldn't say disinterested, it's just that both Jill and Joshua hook my interest more at the moment.


Yeah, the blessing marking someone as a potential host would make sense. For all we know different Eikon's operate under different rules for their Dominants. If it were just bloodlines, there wouldn't be too many chances of someone becoming a Dominant in the Iron Kingdom.

On the official page for this game it's mentioned Clive was expected to inherit the Phoenix and that Joshua awoke as Dominant soon after birth. It sounds like Joshua awakening so young is unusual, seeing they expected Clive to do so until Joshua was born. So I assume it's not necessary for the previous Dominant to die for a new one to awaken.

I do think you are right though that the Eikons reside in the crystals and the Dominants just host their powers and channel them.
That is of course also an issue to keep in mind. The Phoenix-Dominant manifesting always (or mostly) in a member of the Rosfield family might indeed be a special occurrence or perhaps just the preferred method of Phoenix itself.

It is somewhat natural for a family and also those close to them to expect the first born child to inherit the role of Dominant, especially if this perhaps has been the case for more than one generation already.
Becoming a Dominant is also described as a burden regardless how they are treated by the society they live in, so Joshua apparently becoming one while still being a toddler or even a baby is somewhat worrisome and I second the notion that it is not the norm.

I checked the UK version of the FF XVI website and there it is stated that Joshua himself certainly doesn't like being the Dominant of the Phoenix:
FF XVI UK site said:
Joshua often laments that it was he, the frail and bookish younger son, who was granted command of the firebird's flames, and not his stronger, braver brother.
Josh seems to be definitely the cinnamon roll/woobie character of XVI who's more on the soft and sensitive side, thinking his older brother being more suited to command the Phoenix also because he dislikes fighting.

Even worse is that according to the UK site Clive is just 15 when he becomes Joshua's shield, yet Josh is stated to be five years younger than Clive, meaning he's most likely only ten, at most eleven years old, like Ventus in UX.

The Eikons residing in the Mother Crystals is right now obviously also only a theory, the only thing I think we can assume with some security is that they do not permanently reside directly within their Dominant.

The Phoenix summon being more a light magic summon makes sense given it's symbolic nature. I do wonder if that'll have any significance in this game. They seem to be focusing more on the fire element side of it. But I can also imagine based on the designs that the Phoenix is the Fire of Life while Ifrit is the Fire of Death.
The fire-elemental side might be more in focus for battle-related functions and narrative parts, but the rebirth/resurrection- and light-theme might be more related to solely narrative purposes.

If @Oracle Spockanort 's theory is correct that Joshua might be killed at some early point during the game the whole resurrection powers of the Phoenix might gain a huge plot importance across the whole story. Even in the scenario variant of Joshua being captured instead of dying the Phoenix' healing powers could play an important role in helping Joshua survive in the first place.
On a small side note, now it is also clear why Clive and Joshua wear the same silver earclip on their left ears, it's probably a symbol of them being brothers.
Furthermore, there is this (suspiciously similar to the Starscourge from XV) Blight mentioned, so maybe the Phoenix' powers can keep it at bay or even heal it.
If that is the case and becomes known, it is likely that every single country in the world would want to get a hold of and control the Dominant of the Phoenix.

You might be on to something with the whole Fire of Death theme for Ifrit though, as on the UK site it reads in Clive's description:
FF XVI UK site said:
Alas, Clive's promising career is to end in tragedy at the hands of a mysterious dark Eikon, Ifrit, setting him on a dangerous road to revenge.
Ifrit is stated to be a "dark" Eikon which I suppose likely means he was corrupted by the "Blight" and thus might be even more dangerous than a "normal" Eikon.

That be an interesting idea, if all Crystals had their own sets of elemental Eikons then there'd be the potential of quite a few dominants and variations of the same elemental theme.

The Iron Kingdom's blurb also make me think that it's possible that there are minor Eikons with their own dominants, which are the ones that the Iron Kingdom kills. Though it could also just be that the Kingdom would have its own Eikon & Dominant set, that they don't let manifest because of their religion.
Considering that Dominants seem to be high enough in numbers that each country and organisation in the world of Valisthea has definitive and well-known rules and approaches how to deal with them (for good or evil) and if we further assume that a single Eikon can only have one Dominant at the same time it leads to the not unlikely assumption that there must be more than just a single dozen Eikons around.

That too, although I would guess that there is a sure-fire way to identify a Dominant and controlling the vast powers of their Eikons seems to be something that must be learned so the fanatics of the Iron Kingdom would probably look to catch and kill Dominants on their territory before they can learn to control and apply their powers.
Like the Sanctum did with L'Cie in FF XIII.

Drake translates to Dragon? I knew Drake to mean a male duck. A quick google search revealed it's both.

They're definitely going for the dragon meaning here, it does explain the naming choices for the crystals. With them calling the Crystal basically dragon body parts, it would make sense for it to be the crystalized remains of an old Dragon.
I know, lol, English is confusing sometimes but I had some doubts that the giant mother crystals of Valisthea would be named after a duck.
I mean okay, ducks can be dangerous in some situations but it would still be hilarious if it really was all referring to a giant duck.

Yeah, Jill and Joshua do seem like the more interesting character out of the three, at least right now.

While I do think we will mainly play as Clive, i'd find it cool if we could also see Joshua and Jill's sides of the story unfold.
To be honest I long a bit for the days where a Final Fantasy title had a full-fledged party of six to nine characters and each of them got a certain part of the game for themselves to flesh out and develop their personal story and show off their personalities and relationships.
FF7 remake does show such a thing is still possible even with modern technology and "more action-oriented" combat systems.

Considering the FF XVI website states Clive to be on a dangerous road to revenge I could imagine the first third of the story after the Prologue shows off the tragedy leading to all this being largely about Clive alone and whatever goals he has for his revenge while Jill and Joshua possibly join as party members later on during the story or have their own scenarios running parallel, like parts of FF VIII, IX and XIII already had.
 

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In the trailer though, the one guard did say "A second Eikon of Fire? But... that's impossible." Meaning that at least at that point in the story (kid Clive might be a prologue of sorts to the main meat of the game) that Phoenix is supposed to be the only Eikon of Fire, and Ifrit is a surprise/from somewhere else/anomaly/abomination.

Also, the only other times I can think of where Phoenix has had any significant impact on the plot of the game itself was in VI, where Locke was trying to find it to resurrect his love, and in XIV: A Realm Reborn, where Loisioux used Phoenix to "resurrect" the world after Bahamut destroyed it all.

It's very possible the Mothercrystals are pieces of Bahamut.
 

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That is of course also an issue to keep in mind. The Phoenix-Dominant manifesting always (or mostly) in a member of the Rosfield family might indeed be a special occurrence or perhaps just the preferred method of Phoenix itself.

It is somewhat natural for a family and also those close to them to expect the first born child to inherit the role of Dominant, especially if this perhaps has been the case for more than one generation already.
Becoming a Dominant is also described as a burden regardless how they are treated by the society they live in, so Joshua apparently becoming one while still being a toddler or even a baby is somewhat worrisome and I second the notion that it is not the norm.

I checked the UK version of the FF XVI website and there it is stated that Joshua himself certainly doesn't like being the Dominant of the Phoenix:
Josh seems to be definitely the cinnamon roll/woobie character of XVI who's more on the soft and sensitive side, thinking his older brother being more suited to command the Phoenix also because he dislikes fighting.

Even worse is that according to the UK site Clive is just 15 when he becomes Joshua's shield, yet Josh is stated to be five years younger than Clive, meaning he's most likely only ten, at most eleven years old, like Ventus in UX.
You are right, seeing that they expected Clive to awaken as the Dominant, it would hint at it usually being the first born that inherits the power. However them having a rule that the one that awakens as the Dominant inherits the throne, would also indicate that it's not unheard of that the first isn't the heir.

@Zettaflare mentioned Naruto and it's Jinchiruriki and I have to agree there seems to be some similarities here. The Dominants are powerful and important, but I wouldn't be surprised, if they were also viewed as somewhat dangerous. So not only would a Dominant have to deal with the responsibilities that are prescribed to a Dominant of their Eikon, but also deal with people resenting and fearing them for something they had no say in.

It does seem like Josh, is the innocent child healer archetype, which seems fitting for the Dominant of the Phoenix. I could imagine he was also more sheltered than his brother, seeing he awoke as the Dominant so young. I wouldn't be surprised, if the only kids he's ever really gotten to play with were Clive and Jill.

Yeah, seems like they're both still pretty young when Ifrit attacks their home. Josh and Jill aren't even teenagers yet. I'm guessing in the main story they'll all be older teens though.

The Eikons residing in the Mother Crystals is right now obviously also only a theory, the only thing I think we can assume with some security is that they do not permanently reside directly within their Dominant.
Yeah, that's why I think the Mother Crystal theory makes sense. If they always resided directly inside of someone, then I'd find them being able to transition from one person to the next, while both are alive odd. But I guess, not all host situations have to end in death.
At the very least I'd assume they can travel between people through the crystal..

The fire-elemental side might be more in focus for battle-related functions and narrative parts, but the rebirth/resurrection- and light-theme might be more related to solely narrative purposes.

If @Oracle Spockanort 's theory is correct that Joshua might be killed at some early point during the game the whole resurrection powers of the Phoenix might gain a huge plot importance across the whole story. Even in the scenario variant of Joshua being captured instead of dying the Phoenix' healing powers could play an important role in helping Joshua survive in the first place.
On a small side note, now it is also clear why Clive and Joshua wear the same silver earclip on their left ears, it's probably a symbol of them being brothers.
Furthermore, there is this (suspiciously similar to the Starscourge from XV) Blight mentioned, so maybe the Phoenix' powers can keep it at bay or even heal it.
If that is the case and becomes known, it is likely that every single country in the world would want to get a hold of and control the Dominant of the Phoenix.

You might be on to something with the whole Fire of Death theme for Ifrit though, as on the UK site it reads in Clive's description:
Ifrit is stated to be a "dark" Eikon which I suppose likely means he was corrupted by the "Blight" and thus might be even more dangerous than a "normal" Eikon.
Well that depends. I could see it also being a gameplay mechanic, if there's something similar to FF15's secondary health, that kind of prevents game overs.

I could see them going that route. Them putting emphasis on the Phoenix Eikon, must have a meaning and at least in the West Phoenixes are known for dying and resurrecting.

The earing are most likely a brotherly bond thing or something that everyone in the Rosfield family wear to make them easily identifiable.

I'm somewhat amazed by how reminiscent of FF15/FFvs13 some of these plot beats are. In away I'm actually curious if they'll manage to stick the landing better with these story elements than FF15 was able to.

Yeah, the Dark Eikon thing is interesting, it does imply that Ifrit is different from the Eikons the residents of that world are used to.

Considering that Dominants seem to be high enough in numbers that each country and organisation in the world of Valisthea has definitive and well-known rules and approaches how to deal with them (for good or evil) and if we further assume that a single Eikon can only have one Dominant at the same time it leads to the not unlikely assumption that there must be more than just a single dozen Eikons around.

That too, although I would guess that there is a sure-fire way to identify a Dominant and controlling the vast powers of their Eikons seems to be something that must be learned so the fanatics of the Iron Kingdom would probably look to catch and kill Dominants on their territory before they can learn to control and apply their powers.
Like the Sanctum did with L'Cie in FF XIII.
It's also possible that there are just a few Dominants and they've always left a big impression over the centuries that these rules would form in each country. The website kind of implies each nation has its own main Eikon and Dominant pairing, which could in theory be the only dominants of that region.
But honestly I do find it more interesting, if there are multiples and we get to see a variety of Dominants.

I could easily see Iron Kingdom having an Organisation not unlike Sanctum making sure to neutralize any Dominant before they become a threat.
I know, lol, English is confusing sometimes but I had some doubts that the giant mother crystals of Valisthea would be named after a duck.
I mean okay, ducks can be dangerous in some situations but it would still be hilarious if it really was all referring to a giant duck.
I mean this wouldn't be the first Square Enix game featuring a magic duck. For all we know Donald crystalized is the source of all Magic in Valisthea.

To be honest I long a bit for the days where a Final Fantasy title had a full-fledged party of six to nine characters and each of them got a certain part of the game for themselves to flesh out and develop their personal story and show off their personalities and relationships.
FF7 remake does show such a thing is still possible even with modern technology and "more action-oriented" combat systems.

Considering the FF XVI website states Clive to be on a dangerous road to revenge I could imagine the first third of the story after the Prologue shows off the tragedy leading to all this being largely about Clive alone and whatever goals he has for his revenge while Jill and Joshua possibly join as party members later on during the story or have their own scenarios running parallel, like parts of FF VIII, IX and XIII already had.
Yeah, it feels like the more recent FF games have focused more on the main character, while neglecting to flesh out the party. It'd be nice to get some more well rounded storytelling that lets us really get to know these other characters.

I could see that approach. Clive does seem to be the main POV character, so until Ifrit's attack I'd imagine the 3 of them to mainly be together and then be split up over the time skip. After that they could have us switching between the three of them as their paths rejoin.

Part of me worries with them focusing on revenge that Jill will be the one to be killed and needing avenging. I mainly fear this because none of her character descriptions hints at what happens to her post Ifrit's attack. It could also just be them trying to not play their hand too early on.
 

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Reading all that on the website, I have to say…

The elements are interesting, dare I say engaging, but…I’m not surprised. I guess without rudely saying how predictable it is, all the usual Final Fantasy variables are there. Crystals are a big deal. Modus operandi is “attack and kill/dethrone god” with the usual mix of “reject fate.” Summons are important. Redundancy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’m going to hold my hype in until they show something more substantially unique.

I’m wondering about the romance aspect of it. If they’re going to add it, they have to do it right, like they did in VIII and X (not like VII. God knows we don’t need ACT 2.0 again, ever). I just don’t want a repeat of XV again. Good lord the “romance” between Noct and Luna is the most unconvincing relationship I’ve ever seen.

It sounds like this is going to play heavily into the “Break the Cutie” trope, the cutie in question being Joshua. Gotta admit I’m a little excited/fearful of that.

That said, the scene arts of the world look great!
 

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You are right, seeing that they expected Clive to awaken as the Dominant, it would hint at it usually being the first born that inherits the power. However them having a rule that the one that awakens as the Dominant inherits the throne, would also indicate that it's not unheard of that the first isn't the heir.

@Zettaflare mentioned Naruto and it's Jinchiruriki and I have to agree there seems to be some similarities here. The Dominants are powerful and important, but I wouldn't be surprised, if they were also viewed as somewhat dangerous. So not only would a Dominant have to deal with the responsibilities that are prescribed to a Dominant of their Eikon, but also deal with people resenting and fearing them for something they had no say in.

It does seem like Josh, is the innocent child healer archetype, which seems fitting for the Dominant of the Phoenix. I could imagine he was also more sheltered than his brother, seeing he awoke as the Dominant so young. I wouldn't be surprised, if the only kids he's ever really gotten to play with were Clive and Jill.

Yeah, seems like they're both still pretty young when Ifrit attacks their home. Josh and Jill aren't even teenagers yet. I'm guessing in the main story they'll all be older teens though.
It can indeed go both ways. Depending on how long this already happens there could have been many different variants happening, also depending on how many children each generation of Rosalia's nobility had. If there are multiple families perhaps the role of ruling could also have switched between families if Phoenix didn't always pick its Dominant from the same bloodline or if the Rosfield family has multiple branches there could be even more shenanigans involved.

A later born second, third or even fourth child inheriting the Phoenix powers having already happened also wouldn't change the issue of Joshua being chosen so extremely young shortly after birth, as that seems to be the unusual thing about it.

You don't even have to change series to Naruto as that is exactly the way L'Cie were treated in FF XIII and IX had something similar as well with both the Summoners of which Garnet and Eiko were the last and to a degree the Black Mages.

Indeed, Josh seems to be the classical innocent and friendly child character, what TVTropes generally refers to as The Cutie and considering how in the first info we get about him (and the events in the Trailer) show immense pain and suffering in store for him, he also seems to squarely fall into The Woobie, a poor soul you feel sympathy and compassion for and who you just want to comfort and give a hug (and I do admit I have a huge soft spot for such characters, regardless of gender).

He's a sheltered noble and if some scenes in the trailer are any indication his retainers seem to want to even prevent him spending longer amounts of time with Clive, which may also be why he adopted that cute dog he has with him.
But yea, if Josh doesn't have some page/stable boys or maids closely to his own age around Clive and most likely Jill will be his only peers close to his own age.
Although even with Clive this might be questionable as they're five years apart in age. Jill is stated to be twelve so she's in the middle between the brothers.

So with Clive 15, Jill 12 and Joshua 10/11 I'd guess the timeskip will be either 5 to 7 or even 10 years, making them all either late teens or even in their twenties.
Looking back though I have to rescind my statement about major "child"- main characters in FF being rare as if I recall correctly Bartz in V was also a teen, Squall in VIII is supposed to be 17 as is Tidus in X, Zidane in IX is 16 as well so even young Clive would fit in with them.
There are also major party members like Vivi and Eiko in IX who are in their single digits, Hope is also only 14 in XIII while the entirety of Class Zero in Type-0 are between 15 and 18, so it wouldn't be that odd for younger Joshua and Jill to be playable at all.

Yeah, that's why I think the Mother Crystal theory makes sense. If they always resided directly inside of someone, then I'd find them being able to transition from one person to the next, while both are alive odd. But I guess, not all host situations have to end in death.
At the very least I'd assume they can travel between people through the crystal..
Well that would depend on how a person becoming and ceasing to be a Dominant actually works. It seems on first glance to be obvious that when a Dominant dies the corresponding Eikon is forced to pick a new Dominant but this does not seem to be the only way or even usual way how a Dominant is chosen.
It may have to do with heart/soul/spirit connections in the spiritual realm or something but right now we simply don't know enough about the whole process in order to make any substantial theories.

Since Joshua also seems to be a special case on this topic I am inclined to wait until we get introduced to more and different Dominants.

Well that depends. I could see it also being a gameplay mechanic, if there's something similar to FF15's secondary health, that kind of prevents game overs.

I could see them going that route. Them putting emphasis on the Phoenix Eikon, must have a meaning and at least in the West Phoenixes are known for dying and resurrecting.

The earing are most likely a brotherly bond thing or something that everyone in the Rosfield family wear to make them easily identifiable.

I'm somewhat amazed by how reminiscent of FF15/FFvs13 some of these plot beats are. In away I'm actually curious if they'll manage to stick the landing better with these story elements than FF15 was able to.

Yeah, the Dark Eikon thing is interesting, it does imply that Ifrit is different from the Eikons the residents of that world are used to.
Of course the whole healing and reviving powers of Phoenix could have their room in gameplay mechanics.

Considering that in the Trailer Ifrit seems to rip Phoenix apart I would guess Phoenix will need to resurrect and start out "at Level 1" like Sora does in every KH game, especially if it may also use its last remaining strength to help Joshua barely survive, and thus has to re-learn and build up all its more potent powers again.
Meanwhile the "Dark" Ifrit takes over as the new reigning fire Eikon while Phoenix is out of the picture.
Clive is blessed with part of the Phoenix' powers so maybe this will serve as a starting point to help Phoenix recuperate which might in turn also lead to helping Joshua heal (if he survives) or make resurrecting him at some point during the story even possible in the first place (if he dies).

Such scenarios could easily connect story and gameplay together in a coherent manner and actually give players a sort of double reward in gaining more potent powers and possible spells for their arsenal gameplay-wise while possibly also working to at least partially mitigate the massive damage caused by Ifrit in-story.

If I recall correctly the Phoenix or similar named firebirds have the same main theme of rebirth and granting life, essentially "positive" fire in most of the mythological sources they appear in.
Not completely related but similar might also be the Caladrius, a big white bird stated in some mythological sources to be able to heal diseases and illness by taking them into itself, then flying into the sun where they are burnt away, with the bird itself being either unharmed by the sun to begin with or resurrecting afterwards just like the Phoenix does.

Maybe they're part of the Rosarian "crown jewels" or something? Or it is much more simple in that Clive and Joshua chose to wear those in order to show off their bond and closeness with each other.

It has actually some vibes from many of the older FFs in some areas, not just XV and vsXIII, although I do have to admit depicting Ifrit as an "evil" or at least antagonistic summon is something that was (I think) made famous by XV. In older FFs if you had an "evil" summon at all it was either none of the stock standard ones like i.e. Griever or Tiamat, otherwise neutral summons just used for evil like in IX or in rare cases it was a different form of Bahamut or sometimes Odin.

The first time we had explicit "Dark" Summons was FF X if I am not mistaken, but if in Valisthea "light" and "dark" Eikons exist in general this would mean each element having at least two respective Eikons, with Phoenix and Ifrit being the representatives for fire.
I also do wonder if Ifrit acts on his own or if he does have a Dominant too.


It's also possible that there are just a few Dominants and they've always left a big impression over the centuries that these rules would form in each country. The website kind of implies each nation has its own main Eikon and Dominant pairing, which could in theory be the only dominants of that region.
But honestly I do find it more interesting, if there are multiples and we get to see a variety of Dominants.

I could easily see Iron Kingdom having an Organisation not unlike Sanctum making sure to neutralize any Dominant before they become a threat.
That's certainly a valid possibility as well, also considering that it is stated that Eikons are essentially this world's equivalent to nukes or i.e. the Ultima, Omega etc. Weapons from earlier titles.

Each nation except the Iron Kingdom seems indeed to have one main Eikon with associated Dominant in a high position, but that doesn't rule out there being subordinate further Eikons with their Dominants available which might be either hidden or in lower positions within the different societies.
In FF XIII not every Fal'cie was as high in command as Barthandelus either, as if I recall correctly Carbuncle was "just" in charge of growing food while Atomos was just happily digging tunnels on Pulse all the time.

It is most likely as the Iron Kingdom seem to be the most fanatic around. The Holy Empire of Sanbreque is stated to be the "biggest theocracy" with their Emperor described as seen as an incarnation of a deity which also doesn't bode well as theocracies very rarely are good governments, but so far even they seem tame compared to the Iron Kingdom.

I mean this wouldn't be the first Square Enix game featuring a magic duck. For all we know Donald crystalized is the source of all Magic in Valisthea.
Sure, now I can't get the images out of my head that depict Donald showing up in Valisthea, quacking angrily at these stupid warmongering idiots and then zettaflaring the shit out of Ifrit and every other dark Eikon that dares show themselves.

Yeah, it feels like the more recent FF games have focused more on the main character, while neglecting to flesh out the party. It'd be nice to get some more well rounded storytelling that lets us really get to know these other characters.

I could see that approach. Clive does seem to be the main POV character, so until Ifrit's attack I'd imagine the 3 of them to mainly be together and then be split up over the time skip. After that they could have us switching between the three of them as their paths rejoin.

Part of me worries with them focusing on revenge that Jill will be the one to be killed and needing avenging. I mainly fear this because none of her character descriptions hints at what happens to her post Ifrit's attack. It could also just be them trying to not play their hand too early on.
This is actually one of the criticisms of the more recent Final Fantasies I wholeheartedly agree with. In some areas it becomes more flashy sequences than actual substance and although most newer entries also had at least a full party, the characters weren't treated equally in terms of focus.
XV is arguably the biggest offender there as the other chars stories got essentially "outsourced" to DLC like "Episode Ignis" or "Episode Prompto". The treatment of Lunafreya was beyond abysmal though in the actual game, although I certainly liked her quite well in the movie Kingsglaive.

Would certainly be an approach that allows to focus almost equally on all three, although this could of course go quite some different ways as there are multiple possible scenario structures they could follow. Valisthea seems to be quite a big world so there's enough room.

You have to keep in mind that all the info they've given us so far are just teasers sprinkled with some general overall plot info, so they're certainly not showing their whole hand.
Even without Jill, heck even without Joshua being outright killed themselves Clive has enough motivation and reason to go on a rampaging revenge trip.
If the trailer is anything to go by it almost looks like Clive is somehow lured away from Rosarias main castle which then gets attacked with many of his comrades and, I suppose, his and Joshua's parents being killed by an invasion force, the castle set ablaze and the Grand Duchy most likely completely falling into enemy hands.
That's already the failure to protect his home and kingdom heaped upon his head, probably combined with feelings of guilt of having let himself tricked into leaving the castle when he should have been there.
Then comes Ifrit attacking on top and Clive has possibly a front-row seat to see his beloved younger brother trying to protect his home and loved ones by transforming into Phoenix despite his general reluctance to fight and get ripped apart while he as the sworn shield isn't there to help. Regardless if Joshua dies as a result or "only" gets heavily wounded and/or captured by the enemy, to Clive it would be an utter failure in his role and purpose he had carved out for himself.
Essentially failing in every important task he had, losing his whole family and home would certainly more than enough to drive him first into intense pain and despair and then into a great thirst for revenge if only to somehow deal with all the pain and trauma.
It doesn't need to be Jill in particular, as there is more than one trigger already present that can lead Clive down this path, especially when he will internally put a lot of the blame on himself.
He may even go and start to blame the Eikons themselves for "cursing" Joshua with the burden of a Dominant.

Actually, I think it can be theorized that Jill, possibly even together with Joshua, be it a resurrected or freed from the enemy one, who will have to work and get Clive out of this destructive mindset throughout the story.
 

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It can indeed go both ways. Depending on how long this already happens there could have been many different variants happening, also depending on how many children each generation of Rosalia's nobility had. If there are multiple families perhaps the role of ruling could also have switched between families if Phoenix didn't always pick its Dominant from the same bloodline or if the Rosfield family has multiple branches there could be even more shenanigans involved.

A later born second, third or even fourth child inheriting the Phoenix powers having already happened also wouldn't change the issue of Joshua being chosen so extremely young shortly after birth, as that seems to be the unusual thing about it.
I'd imagine the royal family would have a few different branches. For two reasons, one this doesn't really seem like an era where birth control would be available and two royal/noble families would have an invested interest in having multiple children to make sure someone carries on the title.
I do wonder how things are handled when the Dominant is born to a cousin or sibling of the current duke.

You don't even have to change series to Naruto as that is exactly the way L'Cie were treated in FF XIII and IX had something similar as well with both the Summoners of which Garnet and Eiko were the last and to a degree the Black Mages.
True, I forgot about the FF13 mythology. From what I recall you are correct, the l'Cie were treated very differently depending on their fal'cie. I'd imagine that depending on how your country views Dominants and those they bless, you're live can take quite a different turn.

What I find interesting is that it seems that in the more Domiant friendly nations being the host of a Eikon seems to come with a certain amount of reverence. It almost seems like people view them as the God's chosen one and their for their opinion carries more weight.

Indeed, Josh seems to be the classical innocent and friendly child character, what TVTropes generally refers to as The Cutie and considering how in the first info we get about him (and the events in the Trailer) show immense pain and suffering in store for him, he also seems to squarely fall into The Woobie, a poor soul you feel sympathy and compassion for and who you just want to comfort and give a hug (and I do admit I have a huge soft spot for such characters, regardless of gender).
Yeah, you are right he is really set to be The Woobie, the brutality of the attack alone would be enough pay a modern day therapist's kids way through college. And I doubt the trouble for him ends there.

I'm not too surprised, that you like that kind of character, seeing you seem to have quite a soft spot for Ven.

He's a sheltered noble and if some scenes in the trailer are any indication his retainers seem to want to even prevent him spending longer amounts of time with Clive, which may also be why he adopted that cute dog he has with him.
But yea, if Josh doesn't have some page/stable boys or maids closely to his own age around Clive and most likely Jill will be his only peers close to his own age.
Although even with Clive this might be questionable as they're five years apart in age. Jill is stated to be twelve so she's in the middle between the brothers.

So with Clive 15, Jill 12 and Joshua 10/11 I'd guess the timeskip will be either 5 to 7 or even 10 years, making them all either late teens or even in their twenties.
Looking back though I have to rescind my statement about major "child"- main characters in FF being rare as if I recall correctly Bartz in V was also a teen, Squall in VIII is supposed to be 17 as is Tidus in X, Zidane in IX is 16 as well so even young Clive would fit in with them.
There are also major party members like Vivi and Eiko in IX who are in their single digits, Hope is also only 14 in XIII while the entirety of Class Zero in Type-0 are between 15 and 18, so it wouldn't be that odd for younger Joshua and Jill to be playable at all.
Indeed the trailer strongly indicates that his governess/retainer was rather protective of him and trying to keep him safe and seperate.
I didn't really consider it, but yeah the five year age difference on top of their different roles could have potentially kept them apart for most of their lives.

I agree with the assumption that the time skip is in the range of 5 to 10 years, with 5 feeling the most right for some odd reason.
Well it kind of depends on how you define child character. If Josh or Jill are playable in the pre timeskip part, I feel like they'd be among the youngest playable characters but I haven't played all FF games, so I can't be certain.
Well that would depend on how a person becoming and ceasing to be a Dominant actually works. It seems on first glance to be obvious that when a Dominant dies the corresponding Eikon is forced to pick a new Dominant but this does not seem to be the only way or even usual way how a Dominant is chosen.
It may have to do with heart/soul/spirit connections in the spiritual realm or something but right now we simply don't know enough about the whole process in order to make any substantial theories.

Since Joshua also seems to be a special case on this topic I am inclined to wait until we get introduced to more and different Dominants.
From what I understand people are born as Dominants, but they usually don't awaken as young as Josh did. At least that's the impression, I get from some of the descriptions on the website. Maybe people are born as Dominants, but don't always awaken?

But yes, seeing he's the only Dominant we know of now it's hard to really figure out how these things work.
Of course the whole healing and reviving powers of Phoenix could have their room in gameplay mechanics.

Considering that in the Trailer Ifrit seems to rip Phoenix apart I would guess Phoenix will need to resurrect and start out "at Level 1" like Sora does in every KH game, especially if it may also use its last remaining strength to help Joshua barely survive, and thus has to re-learn and build up all its more potent powers again.
Meanwhile the "Dark" Ifrit takes over as the new reigning fire Eikon while Phoenix is out of the picture.
Clive is blessed with part of the Phoenix' powers so maybe this will serve as a starting point to help Phoenix recuperate which might in turn also lead to helping Joshua heal (if he survives) or make resurrecting him at some point during the story even possible in the first place (if he dies).

Such scenarios could easily connect story and gameplay together in a coherent manner and actually give players a sort of double reward in gaining more potent powers and possible spells for their arsenal gameplay-wise while possibly also working to at least partially mitigate the massive damage caused by Ifrit in-story.

If I recall correctly the Phoenix or similar named firebirds have the same main theme of rebirth and granting life, essentially "positive" fire in most of the mythological sources they appear in.
Not completely related but similar might also be the Caladrius, a big white bird stated in some mythological sources to be able to heal diseases and illness by taking them into itself, then flying into the sun where they are burnt away, with the bird itself being either unharmed by the sun to begin with or resurrecting afterwards just like the Phoenix does.
I could see the it being the explanation for an auto-regen ability.

An event like that would leave a mark. I could easily see something like the scenario you described here play out. With the Phoenix needing it's fragments to be recollected to regenerate.
I find it interesting how many mythologies across the world seem have regenerating birds. It'll be interesting how they pick and choose what to incorporate into this story.

Maybe they're part of the Rosarian "crown jewels" or something? Or it is much more simple in that Clive and Joshua chose to wear those in order to show off their bond and closeness with each other.
It'd make sense, if they were. Though if you're theory of the brothers being kept apart is true I could also imagine it being part of a pact between the two.

It has actually some vibes from many of the older FFs in some areas, not just XV and vsXIII, although I do have to admit depicting Ifrit as an "evil" or at least antagonistic summon is something that was (I think) made famous by XV. In older FFs if you had an "evil" summon at all it was either none of the stock standard ones like i.e. Griever or Tiamat, otherwise neutral summons just used for evil like in IX or in rare cases it was a different form of Bahamut or sometimes Odin.

The first time we had explicit "Dark" Summons was FF X if I am not mistaken, but if in Valisthea "light" and "dark" Eikons exist in general this would mean each element having at least two respective Eikons, with Phoenix and Ifrit being the representatives for fire.
I also do wonder if Ifrit acts on his own or if he does have a Dominant too.
Yeah, it's interesting for them to go with two games after each other depicting Ifrit as the evil Summon, though you could argue that the real evil Summon in FF15 was Bahamut.

Oh good catch if there's one Dark Eikon, there could easily be more. Counter points brought about by the Blight perhaps.

That's certainly a valid possibility as well, also considering that it is stated that Eikons are essentially this world's equivalent to nukes or i.e. the Ultima, Omega etc. Weapons from earlier titles.

Each nation except the Iron Kingdom seems indeed to have one main Eikon with associated Dominant in a high position, but that doesn't rule out there being subordinate further Eikons with their Dominants available which might be either hidden or in lower positions within the different societies.
In FF XIII not every Fal'cie was as high in command as Barthandelus either, as if I recall correctly Carbuncle was "just" in charge of growing food while Atomos was just happily digging tunnels on Pulse all the time.

It is most likely as the Iron Kingdom seem to be the most fanatic around. The Holy Empire of Sanbreque is stated to be the "biggest theocracy" with their Emperor described as seen as an incarnation of a deity which also doesn't bode well as theocracies very rarely are good governments, but so far even they seem tame compared to the Iron Kingdom.
Agreed there's definitely still room for lower lesser Eikons to exist. I'd imagine they'd be less powerful. In many polytheistic religions/mythologies lesser gods are common and with FF13 doing something similar I wouldn't find it too surprising if less frequently used summons would be put featured in such a role.

Well I wouldn't be surprised if both of those nations were to be portrayed as antagonistic.

Sure, now I can't get the images out of my head that depict Donald showing up in Valisthea, quacking angrily at these stupid warmongering idiots and then zettaflaring the shit out of Ifrit and every other dark Eikon that dares show themselves.
Now that's what I'd call an unexpected 11th hour twist.

Everything seems lost, our heroes are at the end of their rope and just before all seems lost, Donald Duck awakens once more to Zettaflare all the Dark Eikons away. But before they can thank him he runs off, panicked, he forgot his date with Daisy!

This is actually one of the criticisms of the more recent Final Fantasies I wholeheartedly agree with. In some areas it becomes more flashy sequences than actual substance and although most newer entries also had at least a full party, the characters weren't treated equally in terms of focus.
XV is arguably the biggest offender there as the other chars stories got essentially "outsourced" to DLC like "Episode Ignis" or "Episode Prompto". The treatment of Lunafreya was beyond abysmal though in the actual game, although I certainly liked her quite well in the movie Kingsglaive.

Would certainly be an approach that allows to focus almost equally on all three, although this could of course go quite some different ways as there are multiple possible scenario structures they could follow. Valisthea seems to be quite a big world so there's enough room.

You have to keep in mind that all the info they've given us so far are just teasers sprinkled with some general overall plot info, so they're certainly not showing their whole hand.
Even without Jill, heck even without Joshua being outright killed themselves Clive has enough motivation and reason to go on a rampaging revenge trip.
If the trailer is anything to go by it almost looks like Clive is somehow lured away from Rosarias main castle which then gets attacked with many of his comrades and, I suppose, his and Joshua's parents being killed by an invasion force, the castle set ablaze and the Grand Duchy most likely completely falling into enemy hands.
That's already the failure to protect his home and kingdom heaped upon his head, probably combined with feelings of guilt of having let himself tricked into leaving the castle when he should have been there.
Then comes Ifrit attacking on top and Clive has possibly a front-row seat to see his beloved younger brother trying to protect his home and loved ones by transforming into Phoenix despite his general reluctance to fight and get ripped apart while he as the sworn shield isn't there to help. Regardless if Joshua dies as a result or "only" gets heavily wounded and/or captured by the enemy, to Clive it would be an utter failure in his role and purpose he had carved out for himself.
Essentially failing in every important task he had, losing his whole family and home would certainly more than enough to drive him first into intense pain and despair and then into a great thirst for revenge if only to somehow deal with all the pain and trauma.
It doesn't need to be Jill in particular, as there is more than one trigger already present that can lead Clive down this path, especially when he will internally put a lot of the blame on himself.
He may even go and start to blame the Eikons themselves for "cursing" Joshua with the burden of a Dominant.

Actually, I think it can be theorized that Jill, possibly even together with Joshua, be it a resurrected or freed from the enemy one, who will have to work and get Clive out of this destructive mindset throughout the story.
I haven't played too many of the Final Fantasies yet, but from what I could see up until 13 most of the party members got a bit of an arc. Though I do have to admit even in FF10 it seems the focus is more on Tidus and Yuna. So it might be a longer running problem than I thought.
FF15's story telling wasn't optimal that's for sure, while it was mainly focused on Noctis, it still failed didn't really manage to develop and establish him much outside of his friend group.

Still it'd be nice if this time we don't need "Episode Joshua" and "Episode Jill" to get their part of the story.

Very true, there's plenty else to avenge even if Joshua and Jill make it out. I think I'm letting my experience with other stories, color my impression here. I'm sure they're not going to fridge Jill and they're just keeping their cards close to their chest for the time being.
 

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Honestly, I wasn't sure what to make of the trailer but reading all the deep discussion and speculation here about the game already has made me really excited for it.
 

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I'd imagine the royal family would have a few different branches. For two reasons, one this doesn't really seem like an era where birth control would be available and two royal/noble families would have an invested interest in having multiple children to make sure someone carries on the title.
I do wonder how things are handled when the Dominant is born to a cousin or sibling of the current duke.
True, although the second reason would apply more likely to the "main" or ruling branch wanting to have the most children themselves as having different branches of course also can lead to uncertainty factors and in worst cases to civil war and family feuds.

This would indeed be a quite interesting issue for narrative purposes and it would mainly depend on how the relationship between the different family branches are.
Although I could imagine that the Dominant themselves would most likely force the whole issue simply by commanding the full powers of the Phoenix and thus claiming "divine right".

I could also imagine there being a council of nobles or something who is tasked with ensuring that always the Dominant of the Phoenix becomes the "Head of State" once he or she is old enough in order to prevent possible squabbles between family branches.

True, I forgot about the FF13 mythology. From what I recall you are correct, the l'Cie were treated very differently depending on their fal'cie. I'd imagine that depending on how your country views Dominants and those they bless, you're live can take quite a different turn.

What I find interesting is that it seems that in the more Domiant friendly nations being the host of a Eikon seems to come with a certain amount of reverence. It almost seems like people view them as the God's chosen one and their for their opinion carries more weight.
Indeed, it is also often tied to an ideology and how the powers and consequences are viewed by either the majority of the populace or by those who are in power.

It stands to reason that different nations may have had different experiences with both Eikons and their chosen Dominants in the past and these experiences shape their current views and treatment of Dominants and Eikons.
In Rosaria the Phoenix seems to be revered as a protector and guide, hence why its Dominant is seen as the chosen one to lead the nation, although it does seem to be not taken for granted as it is implied the Dominant has to be prepared and educated before taking power.
In Sanbreque, the Dominant is the "Champion" of the Empire and thus most likely either the overall leader of the military or at least at General rank or something similar, yet has no influence on politics like the Phoenix Dominant in Rosaria, being subordinate to the Emperor.
In Dhalmekia Titan's Dominant is stated to be a sort of "Advisor" to their parliament, thus has some political power but is not the actual ruler.
In Waloed the current ruler seems to be a Dominant and it looks like it is either an absolute monarchy or simply a dictatorship, yet said Dominant seems to have taken power by themselves, probably with a mix of their own Eikon powers and some charisma uniting the local populace behind them to defeat the Orcs and beastmen, not being "divinely mandated" like the Phoenix Dominant in Rosaria or the Emperor in Sanbreque is, practically a "self-made" ruler.
The Iron Kingdom on the other hand is said to worship the crystals directly so maybe for them an Eikon should manifest by themselves and they see Dominants as abominations because such powers shouldn't be in the hands of mere humans or as humans "selfishly taking godly powers for themselves".
The fact that they kill every Dominant they discover may thus be their warped view to "set the powers of the crystals free again".

Yeah, you are right he is really set to be The Woobie, the brutality of the attack alone would be enough pay a modern day therapist's kids way through college. And I doubt the trouble for him ends there.

I'm not too surprised, that you like that kind of character, seeing you seem to have quite a soft spot for Ven.
Ahaha, yea, although in such settings Therapists are never available. We'll see about that, but I certainly hope that whatever Joshua's story will be that it won't happen largely only behind the scenes-

Yep, Ven seems to be probably the most obvious but I can think of more than a dozen other fictional characters from KH and also across multiple works who fit the bill and are in my "want to cuddle and comfort them"-corner.

Some of them are both Cuties and Woobies, some only one of the two, like i.e. Terra is more Woobie than Cutie, but whatever. ;)

Indeed the trailer strongly indicates that his governess/retainer was rather protective of him and trying to keep him safe and seperate.
I didn't really consider it, but yeah the five year age difference on top of their different roles could have potentially kept them apart for most of their lives.

I agree with the assumption that the time skip is in the range of 5 to 10 years, with 5 feeling the most right for some odd reason.
Well it kind of depends on how you define child character. If Josh or Jill are playable in the pre timeskip part, I feel like they'd be among the youngest playable characters but I haven't played all FF games, so I can't be certain.
Which can be a double-edged sword really when it comes to develop social skills and looking at it Joshua seems to want to spend more time interacting with people who aren't just his retainers and guards.
One would also think that if Clive is supposed to be his younger brother's shield that he would spend more time around him to, y'know, actually being said shield.
I'd theorize that roles are probably the bigger factor keeping them apart as while a five year age-gap is rather big if they could interact and spend time around each other I'd imagine they would get along fine even if there might be quite some diverging interests.

A 5year time-skip would make Clive 20, Jill 17 and Joshua 15, way within the usual FF-character age range for a usual party.
If they are playable while being young they certainly won't be the youngest.
In Final Fantasy IX Vivi is a full playable character as just 6 while Eiko is 9.
The magician siblings Palom and Porom in Final Fantasy IV are actually only 5 years old, so it is not without precedence.

From what I understand people are born as Dominants, but they usually don't awaken as young as Josh did. At least that's the impression, I get from some of the descriptions on the website. Maybe people are born as Dominants, but don't always awaken?

But yes, seeing he's the only Dominant we know of now it's hard to really figure out how these things work.
This would beckon the question of course how one can discern if someone is a Dominant or not, especially if we assume one can be a Dominant without the Eikon being actually active. Maybe there's a sort of scan spell that shows some magical aura or something emanating from a Dominant even if dormant? Some mark or tattoo somewhere on the Dominant's body? Unusual high affinity for casting regular magic manifests?

Indeed, I feel this topic can't be much further explored until we get to know and see some other Dominants.

I could see the it being the explanation for an auto-regen ability.

An event like that would leave a mark. I could easily see something like the scenario you described here play out. With the Phoenix needing it's fragments to be recollected to regenerate.
I find it interesting how many mythologies across the world seem have regenerating birds. It'll be interesting how they pick and choose what to incorporate into this story.
Auto-Regen and possibly even Auto-Life which can automatically revive a character upon death in battle.

There is definitely a bucket load of possibilities how they can incorporate the whole Phoenix mythology into the main story, possibly even for all of the characters in a different way.
I'm not exactly sure about the origins of these similar depictions in different mythologies, but them existing with slight variations in many different belief systems is an indisputable fact.

It'd make sense, if they were. Though if you're theory of the brothers being kept apart is true I could also imagine it being part of a pact between the two.
Well, I wouldn't exactly say that they're deliberately kept apart from each other, but more like they can't spend as much time together as they would like to.
Even with this the identical jewelry on their ears could very well being a more "private" thing between them rather than something official of the Duchy as a whole.
Now of course if their parents would wear the same stuff then it would most likely be something official.

Yeah, it's interesting for them to go with two games after each other depicting Ifrit as the evil Summon, though you could argue that the real evil Summon in FF15 was Bahamut.

Oh good catch if there's one Dark Eikon, there could easily be more. Counter points brought about by the Blight perhaps.
I don't know if "evil" is even the right moniker as if I recall correctly in XV Ifrit mainly turned violent because the arrogant humans of Solheim behaved like assholes and when he confronts Noctis & co. he is infected with the Starscourge and thus not fully in control of his own actions.
Haven't exactly played XV itself yet much beyond the first part of the first chapter though so I can't really judge the XV incarnation of Bahamut.

Correct, and another important question would be if the Dark Eikons work and manifest on their own, maybe as consequences of the Blight of if someone or something can summon and/or control them.
Ties of course also a bit into the question if Dark Eikons have Dominants too or if they can appear without being tied directly to someone.
Isn't it stated on the nation information that the Iron Kingdom and Rosaria squabble over the same mother crystal? So maybe "Dark" Ifrit is actually summoned from said Crystal directly, possibly expected by the Iron Kingdom to replace Phoenix as the reigning fire Eikon and thus make the crystal entirely "theirs".

Agreed there's definitely still room for lower lesser Eikons to exist. I'd imagine they'd be less powerful. In many polytheistic religions/mythologies lesser gods are common and with FF13 doing something similar I wouldn't find it too surprising if less frequently used summons would be put featured in such a role.

Well I wouldn't be surprised if both of those nations were to be portrayed as antagonistic.
Yep, there are some candidates which are more known among the whole FF series itself like for example Carbuncle, Siren, Maduin or Fenrir.
The big players would of course be the usual main summons which appear prominently in most FFs.
Ifrit, Shiva, Ramuh, Leviathan, Odin, Alexander and Bahamut are arguably the seven most famous, as in most other FFs both Titan and Phoenix actually aren't really main summons or really much important story-wise, so that is something XVI already stands out with.

Tbh when I look at the descriptions of the Nations, only Rosaria itself and the Dhalmekian Republic seem to be made out to be non-antagonistic in the classical sense.
Sanbreque appears to be a theocratic "knight-templar"-esque imperialistic entity, the Iron Kingdom is a cesspool of murderous fanatics who also seem to put religion over everything while Waloed is described as a monarchy/dictatorship who just recently made a huge military build-up and now looks to "test its neighbors borders".

Now that's what I'd call an unexpected 11th hour twist.

Everything seems lost, our heroes are at the end of their rope and just before all seems lost, Donald Duck awakens once more to Zettaflare all the Dark Eikons away. But before they can thank him he runs off, panicked, he forgot his date with Daisy!
...and then he realizes he isn't even in his own universe anymore and can't even reach Daisy.

I haven't played too many of the Final Fantasies yet, but from what I could see up until 13 most of the party members got a bit of an arc. Though I do have to admit even in FF10 it seems the focus is more on Tidus and Yuna. So it might be a longer running problem than I thought.
FF15's story telling wasn't optimal that's for sure, while it was mainly focused on Noctis, it still failed didn't really manage to develop and establish him much outside of his friend group.

Still it'd be nice if this time we don't need "Episode Joshua" and "Episode Jill" to get their part of the story.

Very true, there's plenty else to avenge even if Joshua and Jill make it out. I think I'm letting my experience with other stories, color my impression here. I'm sure they're not going to fridge Jill and they're just keeping their cards close to their chest for the time being.
That is correct, in the original FF XIII there also were still arcs for the other characters, aided by them sometimes being split up into different groups with only Fang I think getting a bit of a shorter stick but it was still substantial enough.
In X Auron, Rikku, Kimahri and Wakka all had their own character arcs and substories which were addressed throughout the game's story parallel to the protagonist main narrative for Tidus and Yuna, the only member of the main party who didn't get much of her own was Lulu, with her being more satelliting around both Yuna and Wakka.

Apart from XV the title that comes mostly into my mind when it comes to lacking care and fleshing out of characters would be Type-0, although this isn't a main title and if I recall correctly supposed to be a "world-driven" and not "character-driven" story.

Yep, exactly this.

It can go into many directions actually, like i.e. that it looks like Joshua and/or Jill didn't "make" it all to Clive himself, yet later down the narrative we get to learn that they still are around somehow. I don't remember every second of the trailer so maybe I forgot if she was there but if not there's also the possibility that Jill isn't even present when Ifrit shows up.

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to make of the trailer but reading all the deep discussion and speculation here about the game already has made me really excited for it.
Sometimes it is crazy how much one can speculate out of the smallest scraps of info but to be honest the actual deeper discussing and speculating only got really running when the additional small information bits from the official website came out.

Although I do realize that we may get a little carried away here, :LOL:.
 

AdrianXXII

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  • Kingdom Hearts III
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True, although the second reason would apply more likely to the "main" or ruling branch wanting to have the most children themselves as having different branches of course also can lead to uncertainty factors and in worst cases to civil war and family feuds.

This would indeed be a quite interesting issue for narrative purposes and it would mainly depend on how the relationship between the different family branches are.

Although I could imagine that the Dominant themselves would most likely force the whole issue simply by commanding the full powers of the Phoenix and thus claiming "divine right".

I could also imagine there being a council of nobles or something who is tasked with ensuring that always the Dominant of the Phoenix becomes the "Head of State" once he or she is old enough in order to prevent possible squabbles between family branches.
Yeah, I guess with Rosaria it's a bit more straightforward with the whole, Dominant of the Phoenix is the rightful ruler thing. Hard to dispute some one from ruling when they've been chosen by a Eikon.

A council makes sense, they could also rule in the Dominants place until they are of age if the previous ruler isn't around anymore. Though I guess even without a council, the Dominant would only have to turn into the Eikon to prove that they're the rightful ruler and I doubt to many people could fight an Eikon.

Indeed, it is also often tied to an ideology and how the powers and consequences are viewed by either the majority of the populace or by those who are in power.

It stands to reason that different nations may have had different experiences with both Eikons and their chosen Dominants in the past and these experiences shape their current views and treatment of Dominants and Eikons.

In Rosaria the Phoenix seems to be revered as a protector and guide, hence why its Dominant is seen as the chosen one to lead the nation, although it does seem to be not taken for granted as it is implied the Dominant has to be prepared and educated before taking power.

In Sanbreque, the Dominant is the "Champion" of the Empire and thus most likely either the overall leader of the military or at least at General rank or something similar, yet has no influence on politics like the Phoenix Dominant in Rosaria, being subordinate to the Emperor.

In Dhalmekia Titan's Dominant is stated to be a sort of "Advisor" to their parliament, thus has some political power but is not the actual ruler.

In Waloed the current ruler seems to be a Dominant and it looks like it is either an absolute monarchy or simply a dictatorship, yet said Dominant seems to have taken power by themselves, probably with a mix of their own Eikon powers and some charisma uniting the local populace behind them to defeat the Orcs and beastmen, not being "divinely mandated" like the Phoenix Dominant in Rosaria or the Emperor in Sanbreque is, practically a "self-made" ruler.

The Iron Kingdom on the other hand is said to worship the crystals directly so maybe for them an Eikon should manifest by themselves and they see Dominants as abominations because such powers shouldn't be in the hands of mere humans or as humans "selfishly taking godly powers for themselves".

The fact that they kill every Dominant they discover may thus be their warped view to "set the powers of the crystals free again".
Yes, I could definitely see the experiences of the early dominants in the early years of of the nations formation.

It seems in Rosaria and Dhalmekia view their Dominants as wise and with valuable insight useful for ruling. Where as Sanbreque forcuses more on the strength and advantage in combat.

It'll definetly be interesting to see how the different cultures talk and think about the Eikons.

Ahaha, yea, although in such settings Therapists are never available. We'll see about that, but I certainly hope that whatever Joshua's story will be that it won't happen largely only behind the scenes-

Yep, Ven seems to be probably the most obvious but I can think of more than a dozen other fictional characters from KH and also across multiple works who fit the bill and are in my "want to cuddle and comfort them"-corner.

Some of them are both Cuties and Woobies, some only one of the two, like i.e. Terra is more Woobie than Cutie, but whatever. ;)
Yeah, never one around when you need one.
I'd be rather frustrated if his whole story and development arc is off screen.

Haha yeah most of the original cast can technically play a variant of the Cutie archetype.
I think when it comes to KH cuties, my personal soft spot is for Naminé. there's something about her and that makes me wish for her to be happy and prove her depression wrong.

Which can be a double-edged sword really when it comes to develop social skills and looking at it Joshua seems to want to spend more time interacting with people who aren't just his retainers and guards.

One would also think that if Clive is supposed to be his younger brother's shield that he would spend more time around him to, y'know, actually being said shield.

I'd theorize that roles are probably the bigger factor keeping them apart as while a five year age-gap is rather big if they could interact and spend time around each other I'd imagine they would get along fine even if there might be quite some diverging interests.

A 5year time-skip would make Clive 20, Jill 17 and Joshua 15, way within the usual FF-character age range for a usual party.

If they are playable while being young they certainly won't be the youngest.

In Final Fantasy IX Vivi is a full playable character as just 6 while Eiko is 9.

The magician siblings Palom and Porom in Final Fantasy IV are actually only 5 years old, so it is not without precedence.
Yeah, Josh definitely seems to want to interact more with his citizens. But I can see why they'd be hesitant to let him. He's the Dominant and the future ruler, both good enough reasons to be a bit more cautious.

I can kind of see that, having such clearly designated roles is bound to change the way the two brothers get to interact with each other. I wonder when Clive was chosen or opted to go down the bath to become his little brother's shield.

Oh wow I never realized that in some FF games you basically play as pre-schoolers. But if there's a precedence for it I definitely won't rule out playable segments with them.

This would beckon the question of course how one can discern if someone is a Dominant or not, especially if we assume one can be a Dominant without the Eikon being actually active. Maybe there's a sort of scan spell that shows some magical aura or something emanating from a Dominant even if dormant? Some mark or tattoo somewhere on the Dominant's body? Unusual high affinity for casting regular magic manifests?

Indeed, I feel this topic can't be much further explored until we get to know and see some other Dominants.
Huh, you brought up an interesting point that I'm not sure we have any info on. Can people not blessed by a Dominant or who are not a Dominant themselves even use the Mother Crystals magic?

For some reason I just assumed that'd be limited to the Dominants and their blessed.

Auto-Regen and possibly even Auto-Life which can automatically revive a character upon death in battle.

There is definitely a bucket load of possibilities how they can incorporate the whole Phoenix mythology into the main story, possibly even for all of the characters in a different way.

I'm not exactly sure about the origins of these similar depictions in different mythologies, but them existing with slight variations in many different belief systems is an indisputable fact.
Yep, I could see both of those being implemented. I'd imagine Auto-Life could be implemented kind of like a Kupo-Coin.

Yeah there's a lot to pick an choose from. Or they can just do their own thing. Like gather x phoenix feathers and get your brother back. (I hope not, rather Josh actually have a role in the story other than fuel to drive Clive)

Well, I wouldn't exactly say that they're deliberately kept apart from each other, but more like they can't spend as much time together as they would like to.

Even with this the identical jewelry on their ears could very well being a more "private" thing between them rather than something official of the Duchy as a whole.

Now of course if their parents would wear the same stuff then it would most likely be something official.
At the current time we know little about their parents other than that their dad is alive and the Duke. Guess we'll know more about the earring once we get introduced to them.

Jill being considered part of the household but not wearing one could be seen as an indicator that it's just between the brothers. But she isn't really part of the bloodline and while she's seen as part of the household she might not be seen as part of the family.
I don't know if "evil" is even the right moniker as if I recall correctly in XV Ifrit mainly turned violent because the arrogant humans of Solheim behaved like assholes and when he confronts Noctis & co. he is infected with the Starscourge and thus not fully in control of his own actions.

Haven't exactly played XV itself yet much beyond the first part of the first chapter though so I can't really judge the XV incarnation of Bahamut.

Correct, and another important question would be if the Dark Eikons work and manifest on their own, maybe as consequences of the Blight of if someone or something can summon and/or control them.

Ties of course also a bit into the question if Dark Eikons have Dominants too or if they can appear without being tied directly to someone.

Isn't it stated on the nation information that the Iron Kingdom and Rosaria squabble over the same mother crystal? So maybe "Dark" Ifrit is actually summoned from said Crystal directly, possibly expected by the Iron Kingdom to replace Phoenix as the reigning fire Eikon and thus make the crystal entirely "theirs".
That's fair, Ifrit is more antagonistic than outright evil. Though I personally think that worlds Bahamut is, even if his ultimate goal brought peace.

Well judging from the Trailer, my gut feeling is dark Eikon's do have a Dominant. Seeing Ifrit first takes the shape of a burning man. Or at least so it would seem.

Yes indeed, both countries seem to claims Drake's Breath. I could see Phoenix being the Rosarian manifestation and Ifrit the Iron Kingdom's this would also help explain why the neighboring nations have such different views on Dominants.

Also an interesting tidbit I heard on the Final Fantasy Union podcast, is that there are supposedly 9 Eikon. Which is interesting considering it seems most countries only have one they recognize and put into these power positions. Question is if ifrit is among those 9.
Yep, there are some candidates which are more known among the whole FF series itself like for example Carbuncle, Siren, Maduin or Fenrir.

The big players would of course be the usual main summons which appear prominently in most FFs.

Ifrit, Shiva, Ramuh, Leviathan, Odin, Alexander and Bahamut are arguably the seven most famous, as in most other FFs both Titan and Phoenix actually aren't really main summons or really much important story-wise, so that is something XVI already stands out with.

Tbh when I look at the descriptions of the Nations, only Rosaria itself and the Dhalmekian Republic seem to be made out to be non-antagonistic in the classical sense.

Sanbreque appears to be a theocratic "knight-templar"-esque imperialistic entity, the Iron Kingdom is a cesspool of murderous fanatics who also seem to put religion over everything while Waloed is described as a monarchy/dictatorship who just recently made a huge military build-up and now looks to "test its neighbors borders".
So far we've only got 2 common summons confirmed. The fact that they are actively hiding the names of the others makes me think it might not just be the remaining 5 common summons.

That sounds about right, seems like most other countries are not meant to be all to sympathetic at least going off their descriptions. Though I wouldn't be surprised if things prove to be more complicated than that once the story gets going.

...and then he realizes he isn't even in his own universe anymore and can't even reach Daisy.
And years later legend says you can still hear the angry quak "Sora!" in the wind.

That is correct, in the original FF XIII there also were still arcs for the other characters, aided by them sometimes being split up into different groups with only Fang I think getting a bit of a shorter stick but it was still substantial enough.

In X Auron, Rikku, Kimahri and Wakka all had their own character arcs and substories which were addressed throughout the game's story parallel to the protagonist main narrative for Tidus and Yuna, the only member of the main party who didn't get much of her own was Lulu, with her being more satelliting around both Yuna and Wakka.

Apart from XV the title that comes mostly into my mind when it comes to lacking care and fleshing out of characters would be Type-0, although this isn't a main title and if I recall correctly supposed to be a "world-driven" and not "character-driven" story.

Yep, exactly this.

It can go into many directions actually, like i.e. that it looks like Joshua and/or Jill didn't "make" it all to Clive himself, yet later down the narrative we get to learn that they still are around somehow. I don't remember every second of the trailer so maybe I forgot if she was there but if not there's also the possibility that Jill isn't even present when Ifrit shows up.
Well Type-0 is rather unique, with a cast of 14 playable characters it'd be hard to properly develop all of them. Though I wish they had tried a bit more than they did.

I don't remember her being there in the trailer, so yeah Jill might have been elsewhere when Ifrit attacked.
Still with the phoenix being front and center I wouldn't be surprised if you are right and there's a false death storyline mixed in somewhere with Joshua and maybe Jill being assumed dead, until later proven otherwise.
 
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