Final Fantasy 16: Open world, playable characters, summons … The game maker answers all our questions in one interview!

Play news Final Fantasy 16: Open world, playable characters, summons … The game maker answers all our questions in one interview!

After the release of the new Final Fantasy XVI trailer during the last State of Play, we were able to ask some questions to the game’s producer, Naoki Yoshida, to elaborate on certain aspects that we could perceive in the trailer. . The structure, character team or even powers of the adventure in Clive, we learn more about the next episode of FF!


  • Primal matches
  • Clive’s motives
  • The user interface
  • Teams and companions
  • Interface design
  • Spells and magic
  • Structure and open world

Who is Naoki Yoshida?

Born in 1973, Naoki Yoshida came to Square Enix in 2004 and first worked on Dragon Quest Monsters Battle Road Victory, a Japanese exclusive arcade game later released for the Wii. Then he became one of the main designers of the MMORPG Dragon Quest X, which also never left the Japanese archipelago. After the disastrous launch of Final Fantasy XIV Online, he took over the management of the project as director and producer and decided to start from scratch to offer a 2.0 version titled A Realm Reborn. Under his leadership, the title has become one of the most popular MMORPGs at the moment, so it competes with World of Warcraft. Through this work, Naoki Yoshida is entrusted with the reins of the next numbered episode of the saga, Final Fantasy XVI, as producer, while Hiroshi Takai, his right-hand man on the FFXIV renewal, takes on the role of director.

Primal matches

During the trailer, we can see Primordials fighting against each other, with health bars at the top of the interface. Can you tell us more about Primordial matches and what form these phases take for the player? QTEs, turn-based matches in real time …?

Naoki Yoshida:

To answer in a very simple way: yes, the player participates in these clashes between Primordials, which is among the most impressive boss fights in Final Fantasy XVI. In these phases, the player controls his own Primordial, and there are various sequences of this kind in the game. And the other originality of these matches is that they are all different because each has a unique design. For example, one of these clashes is a lot like a 3D shooter, while another is more like a wrestling match, and there is even one that takes place on a battlefield while it is whole.

Each match is on a large scale and benefits from a design created specifically for that match and only for that match. In addition, all of these phases are real-time, whether it’s player actions, intermediate sequences or even phase shifts, everything is connected without interruptions, without loading time. And yes, there will sometimes be some QTEs to add a little spice to the fights. However, QTEs are not the main system as they are few.

Final Fantasy 16: Open world, playable characters, summons ... The game maker answers all our questions in one interview!Final Fantasy 16: Open world, playable characters, summons ... The game maker answers all our questions in one interview!

Clive’s motives

Is it Clive who says “I am gathering the envoys so that together we can end this conflict and establish a new order that will secure our future.”In the trailer? And if so, what can you tell us, at the moment, about Clive’s motivations?

Naoki Yoshida:

No, it’s not Clive who’s talking at this point, but in terms of his motivations, they evolve through the game as the story progresses. In itself, this is quite logical, as in Final Fantasy XVI we follow and control Clive at three different times in his life: when he is a teenager, then in his twenties and finally in his thirties. As for the motivation that animates our hero in the first part of the game, I think we can say that it’s a sense of revenge. As for how this feeling turns into something else, you will have to play to find out!

The user interface

At the interface level, can you tell us what is the role of the meter under the livable?

Naoki Yoshida:

As for the yellow meter divided into three parts under Clive’s lifeblood, we can not tell you about it at the moment, but know that the latter plays a very important role. Rest assured though, this is not something we will keep secret until the game is released and we reveal its usefulness in a while.

On the other hand, you may have noticed the second yellow bar below the enemy’s life meter. Most of the opponents that Clive encounters throughout the game, and this even includes some Primes, can be knocked down or knocked into a state of shock (staggered in the trailer), which allows our hero to attack his target more effectively, which then becomes vulnerable.

Of course, players can decide for themselves what skills they need to clear this bar. For example, some abilities drain this meter more easily, while others can be saved to be activated when the enemy is in a vulnerable state. Once the opponent is shocked, one of the most exciting things a player can do on their own is decide what abilities to use and when to activate them for maximum Final Fantasy XVI.

Final Fantasy 16: Open world, playable characters, summons ... The game maker answers all our questions in one interview!

Teams and companions

Will we in Final Fantasy XVI be able to play a group of characters, or is Clive the only playable character throughout the adventure?

Naoki Yoshida:

With the release of this second trailer, we did not want to overload players with a lot of information, so we decided to focus only on Clive this time. That said, we can not tell you that Clive will be accompanied by companions throughout the adventure. Many partners join Clive at different times in his journey, and most of them come and go within the team. In fact, the characters that accompany Clive depend on where our hero is in the story.

In terms of how these characters interact with each other, they are all controlled by AI so the player can focus on controlling Clive. In addition to accompanying him in battle, these partners also accompany him on his journey, resulting in conversations and teasing between Clive and his companions. In addition to the members of his team, Clive is also accompanied during most of the game by a comrade (comrade in English) who serves as support in battle. The latter can be controlled manually by giving him commands, but for those who do not feel like it, there is also an automated system that allows him to fight and heal without having to be asked.

Finally, there are also a handful of cases where Clive can play another character, but that’s only a tiny part of the adventure.

Interface design

Many players have reacted to the game’s interface, can you tell us what made you choose this design over another?

Naoki Yoshida:

The current design has been chosen with two principles in mind. First, we wanted it to be as simple as possible and provide only the necessary information without messing with the screen. So when it comes to the look of the interface, that look was chosen so that it would not fit too much into the decor, so we tried a lot of different colors and shapes and found that the one we got at the moment is the best . That said, we’re still a long way from the release, and of course there will be tweaks and tweaks that will be made along the way.

When we made the trailer, we had the choice not to show the user interface. But the problem with making a trailer without an interface is that players can tell themselves that what is displayed is pre-rendered video and not real-time game images. But we really wanted to show that the game was playable, that all these images were in real time, and to insist on this, we decided to leave the interface.

Spells and magic

Also, will there be classic magic in Final Fantasy XVI, like Fire, Ice or Lightning, or can Clive only use the powers of Primordials?

Naoki Yoshida:

Yes, the traditional Final Fantasy spells will be present in the game. At the beginning of the adventure, when he is still young, Clive receives the Phoenix’s blessing from his envoy, who is none other than Joshua, his little brother, allowing him to use fire spells. So, as Clive continues his journey, he discovers the power of other Icons and makes them his own, allowing him to learn new spells and skills, as well as achieve and strengthen them. This allows players to customize their character and choose the style of play that suits them best.

Structure and open world

In terms of game structure, what can players expect, Valisthea will be an open world?

Naoki Yoshida:

No, Valisthea will not be open world and there is a specific reason why we decided not to go with an open game. To tell a story that spans an entire continent and across different nations, we thought a single open world would be too restrictive. We know that many Final Fantasy players expect the breadth of the story to span different nations and regions. So in order to do that without being limited to a single area, we decided not to go for the open world.

Instead, we thought of our game as a roller coaster that sends the player at a furious pace, turning their heads and turning them around, with the aim of transporting them from battles to interludes to story moments and boss meetings. And all this without transition and without loading times using the power of the PS5. Our goal was to repeat the playable movie effect I dreamed of when I played the first Final Fantasy as a child. To create this game that feels like playing a movie full of emotion, we decided not to go the open world, to focus on creating this roller coaster-like experience.

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