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There are two different disciplines of magic: elemental magic and ring magic. Ring magic only becomes usable after a certain point in the story, and can only be used by the bearer of the royal ring of Lucis, which is passed down the royal line.
Elemental magic consists of Fire, Blizzard, and Thunder. These magic attacks have different effects based on the weather and environment. For example, certain objects, including grassy fields, are flammable when casting Fire. Fire is a wide area attack from the start, but with greater power alongside the risk of damaging your allies. If you cast Thunder while it’s raining, it will deal more damage and its effects will spread further. Or if there is water in a Blizzard attack’s initial area of effect, then it will freeze for a bit. If monsters come within that area of effect, their biorhythms will rapidly slow down, making their movement sluggish or possibly freezing them to death.
Elemental magic is described as an item of sorts, but not the kind you can purchase. Elements are present in various locations around the world, and are a type of energy you can gather. The energy you gather can be used to create magic and stored as an important part of your inventory. You can then can equip that item in place of a weapon to use in battle. In the footage that follows below, we see Noctis use Fire like one would toss a grenade.
2nd Progress Report
Square Enix released the second (and final) progress report video showing the progress of development of certain sections in the game. The build in today’s progress report is from August and September last year.
The Niflheim Empire is the opposing force in Final Fantasy XV. It has a staggering number of military troops at its disposal. Square Enix detailed a bit about the empire’s condition just after the game begins.
The Niflheim Empire has already conquered and occupied a vast majority of the world at the start of the story. The Kingdom of Lucis, however, still maintains its independence, and is the last bastion against Niflheim, but is being pressured.
Niflheim and Lucis rely on different things as a source of military might. Lucis’ major power comes from magic. They have the crystal and can use its power to erect magic barriers and such to prevent enemy invasions. Niflheim, on the other hand, is a mechanized civilization. Their regular infantry units are non-human, magitek troopers available in overwhelming numbers.
A lot of things will happen once the story is in motion, but the above is the situation at the very start of the game.
Let’s meet Niflheim’s leadership.
Iedolas Aldercapt is Niflheim’s emperor and a ruthless supremacist, whose politics are dedicated to territorial expansion. Although at the start of the game, he’s not actually leading the empire personally. He’s semi-retired from frontline politics.
Chancellor Ardyn Izunia is the one really holding the reigns of power and controlling the Niflheim empire. He is a slightly humorous character who’s incredibly shrewd and plays a very important role in the story. Verstael (pictured in the diagram above) is the a researcher who developed the technology for the Magitek Infantry. Ardyn expanded the manufacturing of the Magitek Infantry that Verstael invented, and is using them to build up the empire’s might.
General Glauca is head of the imperial military. Just below him on the chart, there are various Magitek Infantry units and the ranked officers who command them. All of Niflheim’s soldiers are Magitek Infantry troopers, but the officers above them are human. So out in the field it’s all robots, but human beings are the ones controlling them.
All the soldiers serving under the captains are artificial magitek troopers. There are two different models in the Magitek Infantry. The “Current Combat Prototype” showed up in the Episode Duscae demo. These are built for war, being optimized for combat, and are dropped into battle by assault landing craft. The “Former All-Puprose Mode” is a soldier deployed for all kinds of tasks outside of battle. In the “Dawn” trailer, they showed up as manning a traffic checkpoint.
Aranea Highwind is the fan-favorite “dragoon” we’ve been seeing since the Final Fantasy Versus XIII days. She’s captain of the Niflheim Empire’s Third Army Corps 86th Airborne Unit. She’s skilled in aerial combat, so people in the army refer to her as the “dragoon.” It wasn’t just a fan saying after all.
The latest footage shows the team infiltrating an imperial base at Niflheim. Infiltrating bases is something you can do and a way you can enjoy the game that’s different from the main story.
The camera has been improved, greatly refined from what we saw in the Episode Duscae demo. It’s being automated as much as possible so that players won’t need to control it manual.
The swirling weapons selection is back – that being the conjuring of weapons before choosing one. This feature had always planned to be incorporated into the game.
The user interface is drastically different than before. The team is in the middle of final UI adjustments, so it may change some more. The four weapons are now incorporated to the directional buttons, so players can instantaneously switch between weapons. This addition was based on user feedback from the Episode Duscae demo.
The fourth combo has also been revealed. The previously three combos were auto combos, parrying combos, and combos triggered by allies. More commands become available as your allies level up. When a player uses such a commend, the camera switches to the ally performing the command, then back to Noctis. It’s a command to an ally that players can use at their own discretion.
Square Enix will announce the release date, price, and a lot of other information about Final Fantasy XV during an event on March 30 titled “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV” to be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. This event will begin at 7:00 p.m. PT and be hosted by Kinda Funny’s Tim Gettys and Greg Miller. If you’re in the area, you can reserve a free ticket. This event will also be used to announce the official name of the playable tech demo for Final Fantasy XV, as well as other details.
Final Fantasy XV producer Hajime Tabata promises they’re not going to reveal a bunch of information only then say that the game is coming out in 2017. A 2016 release date will be announced.
Watch the full Active Time Report below.
Update 02/01/16 at 9:05 a.m.: New screenshots are available here.