In Square Enix’s epic RPG Final Fantasy XV, series fans will be introduced to a wide array of characters, villains, locations, and gameplay ideas that they’ve never seen before?from crown prince Noctis Lucis Caelum and his bride-to-be Lunafreya, to a whole new combat system that focuses around fast action and AI-controlled teammates, to traveling the country in the Regalia, Noctis’ car. However, among all of the new that’s scattered throughout the game will also be a taste of the old, as familiar elements make their return yet again to provide important links to the past or simply a moment of welcoming fanservice. So, here’s a rundown of five of the biggest things longtime Final Fantasy fans will find familiar in Final Fantasy XV.
If there is any one creature from the Final Fantasy universe that even the most casual of gamers might recognize, it has to be the mighty Chocobo. These large, flightless birds, typically yellow in color, first made their appearance in Final Fantasy II, and have gone on to serve as a mascot of sorts for the franchise. In Final Fantasy XV, Chocobos will offer a convenience they’ve long provided to players: that of a means of transportation. While battles won’t be avoided when riding on a Chocobo, the mounts can cover ground far faster than the party can on foot, which will be especially handy for those areas of Eos where Noctis’ car cannot travel. While there will be no options for either breeding or raising Chocobos (as has been popular in the past), players can rent them for certain periods of time in exchange for Gil, and then call upon them when needed.
After Chocobos, probably the second-most recognizable creatures in the Final Fantasy world are Moogles. Originally intended to be introduced in Final Fantasy II but not included until Final Fantasy III, Moogles are adorable little white, bear-like creatures with small red wings and red pompom antennas atop their heads. Appearing in nearly every major Final Fantasy chapter, Moogles have shown up as everything from background NPCs, to playable characters, to helpers giving advice through pop-up dialog boxes. In Final Fantasy XV, their role is quite different: Now, they’re stuffed toys that can be used by Noctis and crew as a decoy. When tossed into the middle of a battle, many?but not all?foes will focus on the Moogle doll instead of you, giving you a chance to heal up, get into position for a more tactical attack, or corral monsters into one spot to take them all out with the right spell.
While every new chapter of Final Fantasy has typically existed as completely separate stories that had no real connection to their predecessors, one character has made an appearance in nearly every game. Though the man named Cid has differed in look, style, and more personal details in every one of his appearances, there’s been many key qualities that every character bearing that name has held: a love for mechanical devices, a drive to invent new technology, and typically being of an age notably older than the main cast. In Final Fantasy XV, Cid Sophiar is a mechanic and owner of the Hammerhead garage, where Noctis takes his car to get fixed in the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, one point of connection has been strangely broken in the game’s English-language localization, as Cid’s granddaughter?called Cidney in the Japanese release?has been renamed Cindy.
While they aren’t directly characters, per se, summons have long be a part of the Final Fantasy series, serving as super-powerful characters that can be called forth in the heat of battle to provide assistance. In Final Fantasy XV, summons are known as Astrals, legendary beings that help watch over and protect the world of Eos?and they can be befriended by Noctis if he successfully forms a pact with them. Unlike previous games, the size of the Astral actually affects when and where they can be summoned, meaning the small-in-stature Carbunkle will no doubt be usable anywhere, but the gigantic Titan won’t be joining you in any tiny caves you decided to venture into.
While not as well known of an element across the history of Final Fantasy as Chocobos, Moogles, or summons, crystals have been at the heart of so many chapters of the series. In the original Final Fantasy, the story revolved around the restoration of four elemental crystals, originally called “orbs” due to localization difficulties. Since then, characters both good and evil have fought over, destroyed, rescued, utilized, discovered, and otherwise encountered all types of crystals of various shapes, sizes, and powers. In Final Fantasy XV, crystals act as the source of immense magical power. As the game begins, the only remaining active crystal is in the hands of Lucis and its king (and father to Noctis) Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII. Other nations?especially the powerful and militarized land of Niflheim?have had to make advancements without the help of crystals, and thus the one belonging to Lucis is just one of the reasons many turn jealous eyes towards the kingdom.