Final Fantasy 16’s lore is so complicated the devs couldn’t keep track

final fantasy 16 loreSquare Enix

Final Fantasy lore has become so complicated that Final Fantasy 16 developers created a tool for added assistance.

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy rests on the back of 35 years of lore spread across dozens upon dozens of games. Fortunately for lore hounds, not every entry in the series shares a connection, but certain elements and themes have become ubiquitous within the larger franchise.

Sometimes, though, the stories, themes, and characters can feel increasingly convoluted, so much so that even the staunchest fans struggle to keep up.

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Apparently, this particular issue isn’t exclusive to Final Fantasy faithful. Even the development crew behind Final Fantasy 16 had a hard time keeping track of the story’s inner workings.

Even Final Fantasy 16 devs had trouble following the lore

FF16 will launch with a brand-new feature called Active Time Lore, which bears a lot in common with Prime Video’s X-Ray system. Active Time Lore allows players to pause the game at any moment and access information about the on-screen characters, locations, factions, and terms.

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Final Fantasy developers designed the feature out of necessity, given that they found themselves confused about the narrative’s happenings from time to time.

The complexity stemmed from the team’s love of Game of Thrones. Like the hit HBO show, FF16 creators wanted to write a plot steeped in detailed world-building. Producer Naoki Yoshida told Polygon,

“It was always our objective to tell this kind of story, this sweeping, grand, epic story, with this massive ensemble cast — something that was very complex and intertwined. And kind of throwing the players in that in the beginning sets you up for what’s going to come. Not necessarily overwhelming the player, but showing the player that we’re trying to tell this grand story very early on.”

final fantasy 16 loreSquare Enix
Active Time Lore screenshot

Yoshida noted, however, that during a script read in 2019 involving “main staff,” much of the team expressed confusion about what was actually going on – hence the creation of Active Time Lore.

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The producer explained,”…we realized all of a sudden that we needed some way to support players that were going to feel this way as well. Because if we as devs are feeling it, players are definitely going to.”

In addition to Active Time Lore, Final Fantasy 16 features characters in the hero’s base of operations – Hideaway – that will keep players apprised of the in-game happenings.

Loresman Harpocrates serves as one such character, thanks to their library of lore-related details. Players will also want to check in with political scholar Vivan Ninetales who harbors a wealth of information regarding the realm, persons of interests, character relationships, and ongoing military conflicts.

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Fans will have a chance to explore all of the above and more when Final Fantasy 16 hits PS5 on June 22.

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