The director for Final Fantasy 15 officially reveals that the forthcoming role-playing game from Square Enix contains a storyline spanning an entire decade.
When speaking to IGN at PAX West 2016, Final Fantasy 15's director Hajime Tabata divulged that the bearded version of Noctis of whom fans of the franchise had been given a look at is ten years older than his incarnation at the very beginning of the game when saying farewell to King Regis. The scenes in question can be found in the nearly hour-long gamescom 2016 footage.
Apparently, one reason for altering Noctis' appearance later on in the title was in order to give fans a chance to feel as if they too had experienced the passage of time, and to show how Final Fantasy 15's main character respected Regis' wishes to live a full, thorough life. Although Tabata didn't fill in all of the details about what occurred in between the decade-long span, the RPG's director did somewhat express the close relationship between Noctis and Regis.
"In the opening sequence, you see Regis and Noctis talking to one another and Regis tells him to stand tall. His appearance later on in the game communicates that he has [taken] that to heart and lived with those final words.
"The whole change in Noctis’ appearance from when the game starts compared to when years have passed [is so] that people would feel the passing of time, and that they were actual living, breathing characters rather than just symbolic characters."
Interestingly enough, the decision of developers to give Noctis facial hair wasn't just to show how much he had aged since the start of Final Fantasy 15, but also to denote how much of his father is within him. As Tabata explained, "the one important part for us was to see a little bit of Regis in his appearance 10 years later."
"It’s not typical to see a lot of Japanese RPGs with a mid-aged man as the main character. A lot of people who like Japanese RPGs would be surprised by the fact that they’ll see this character age in the way that he does, so it took a lot of courage for us as developers to do that. But we felt that it was important in communicating [the party’s] development and wanting to express it in a way that we only can with the current generation of consoles."
Since a lot can occur over the course of a decade, plenty of Final Fantasy 15 fans might be wondering whether or not that exact number of years will have any particular impact on the game's main story. Though such a thought isn't unreasonable, Tabata declared that the fixed amount of time wasn't chosen to have any profound or underlying meaning, saying, "There’s not a deep reason as to why we made it ten years. It’s just that we needed a significant amount of time to have passed within the game for certain reasons."
Taking all of this into account, gamers should definitely expect to get a clearer idea of Final Fantasy 15's plot devices once it launches in the next couple of months. Of course, considering the fact that the game was initially scheduled to release at the end of September and subsequently had its release date delayed to November, most fans would have been much happier with the prospect of experiencing the title sooner rather than later.
Final Fantasy 15 is set to release on November 29, 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.