★ Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future
Final Fantasy XV: the Dawn of the Future is a fantasy novel by EMI Nagashima, published by Square Enix and based on the universe and characters of Final Fantasy XV, part of the companys long-running Final Fantasy franchise. It was first released in Japan in April 2019, and then released worldwide in June 2020 as one of the debut titles in the companys newly established Western publishing house.
The story follows four characters from the game-main character Noctis Lucis Caelum, leading heroine Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, supporting heroine Aranea Highwind, and main antagonist Ardyn Izunia-through a series of events that change their fates and bring them into conflict with Bahamut, the leader of the worlds deities. The Dawn of the Future was conceived as an alternative ending and final ending of Final Fantasy XV and its additional carriers.
The novels narrative was originally planned as a downloadable content tetralogy for release until 2019, but due to internal restructurings and the departure of project leader Hajime TABATA, only the first part of the Ardyn episode was completed. The team wanted to release the planned storyline, so they decided that Nagashima would turn their draft storyline into a novel. Both the staff and Nagashima, who wrote novels for both Final Fantasy and Nier: Automata, were skeptical of the project. In Japan, sales of the novel were higher than expected.
1. Background. (Фон)
The Dawn of the Future began as a tetralogy of downloadable content DLC episodes for Final Fantasy XV, parts of which were tentatively titled Episode Ardyn, Gaiden Episode Aranea, Episode Lunafreya, and Episode Noctis. After the success of the original DLC wave in 2017, Developer Square Enix greenlit The Dawn of the Future as the final closure of the game universe, tying up loose ends in storytelling and knowledge. Dawn of the future was supposed to expand the basic narrative and offer a new scenario in which the group challenges its pre-determined fate to create an ideal future. The development was handled by an internal Studio, Luminous Productions, which took over the production of post-release content in 2018.
The main theme of the DLCs was "Grand finale", which was intended to provide a happy ending for the characters. The dark tone and exposure of the Ardeen episode was meant to contrast with the lighter tone of the Aranei episode and the last two episodes. The entire draft script, written by DLCs narrative Director Toru Osanai, was agreed by March 2018. Each episode was handled by different authors. The Ardyn episode and Aranea episode were written by Koichiro ito, who worked on the p. T. game teaser, while the Luna episode was co-written by Osanai, Tomoyoshi Nagai, and Yuichiro Takeda. The latter, known for his work on the Xenoblade series, also wrote the script for an episode of Noctis. Some of the narratives reused concepts that had to be cut from early brainstorming sessions for Final Fantasy XV.
At this point, the original Director of the games, and now producer Hajime TABATA, was losing interest in the project and wanted to go "their own way" without causing inconvenience to anyone. After internal discussions, TABATA decided to leave Square Enix and start his own Studio. The company parted ways with Tabata on good terms, but it was decided to cancel the original plan and stop post-release support for The game. At the time of cancellation, the episode Ardin was almost complete, the script for the episode Aranea was complete, the narration of the episode Luna was almost complete, and the episode Noctis was still in development. Since the decision was made, doubts have arisen as to whether the Ardeen episode will be released at all, and discussions about whether to report it to the public. In the end, it was decided to announce their cancellation publicly. The Ardyn episode was released in March 2019.
Despite the cancellation, Square Enix was exploring alternative ways to release its planned script. The discarded content was turned into a novel written for long-term fans of the game to ensure the closure of the project and its universe. The novel was written by EMI Nagashima under the pseudonym Jun Eishima, who wrote additional material for Final Fantasy XIII and Nier Automata, based on material provided by the Final Fantasy XV development team. Osanai gave his original design to Nagashima to work on. Employees had mixed feelings about turning the DLC into a novel, including Nagashima herself. Osanai was worried that the narrative would be ruined by the format change, but he felt that Nagashima had succeeded in turning the DLC narrative into an effective novel. The English translation was done by Steven Kohler.
2.1. Plot. Installation. (Установка)
Final Fantasy XV: the Dawn of the Future is set in the Earth-like world of EOS, which is controlled by a divine race called the Astral and populated by humans. In the midst of a war between the niflheim Empire and the free Kingdom of Lucis over control of a magic crystal, a plague called Starscourse spreads across EOS, turning local life into demons and lengthening the nights. The Oracle, a person gifted with the ability to communicate with the Astral, acts as a healer, holding back a starstorm. According to the prophecy, the figure called the true king will purify EOS by combining the power of the Astral and the Crystal at the cost of his life.
The novel follows four characters during the events leading up to Final Fantasy XV and its DLC. These are Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir to the throne of Lucis and chosen true king, Lunafreya Knox Fleuret, the current Oracle and bride of Noctis in a political marriage, Aranea Hywind, a Dragoon mercenary working for Niflheim, and Ardin Izunia-also called Ardin Lucis Caelum - Chancellor of Niflheim and the main antagonist. The novel reflects the original narrative until Ardins decided to give up his fate, the developers confirmed that the canonical option was for Ardins to accept the Bahamut astral decree about his fate.
2.2. Plot. History. (История)A Savior Lost
Ardin Lucis Caelum-a healer blessed with a crystal To heal a starstorm, his attitude and disagreement with the militaristic stance of his brother Somnus causes friction between them. This escalates into a somnus plotting a coup, with the Ardines lover, Aero miles Fleuret, killed. Ardin tries to get help from the Crystal, but it pushes him away because of the star spot in his body, when he touches it, a particle of his soul gets trapped in the Crystal, making him immortal. Imprisoned on the island of Engelhard, Ardin suffers from two millennia of misconceptions before Versteel Bettie from Niflheim finds it. At Verstaels insistence, Ardin uses his powers to corrupt the astral Ifrit, taking the name "Izunia" and gradually losing his mind, absorbing the memories of his victims. A seizure that he fakes in Insomnia is stopped by Bahamut, who reveals that Ardyns purpose is to act as a sacrifice for the true king Noctis to purge the Starry Skurge. Ardin rebells, and after being tortured, Bahamut returns Him to Angelgard to destroy Noctis and the Astral. The scene changes to before the supposed final battle, where Ardin is waiting for Noctis, but faces Lunaria.The Beginning of the End
In this Chapter, the Aranea returns from a mission to Gralea, Recalling the growing militarism that has made life in Niflheim grim. Aranea finds Gralea under attack by demonic warlords, and Ardin declares the end of Niflheim. The Aranea finds Emperor Aldercapt dead and tries to battle Ardyn before deciding to help save as many people as possible in Gralea and neighboring Tenebrae. Before fleeing, niflheim soldier Loki Tummelt instructs her to escort a young girl to safety. Loki sacrifices himself to ensure their escape, and araneas unit destroys the pursuing large-scale demonic weapon. Upon arrival at Tenebro she finds out the girl Salary of Eldercaps Anticum, secret granddaughter of the Emperor. Ten years later, Solara had become a rebellious and capable demon hunter.Choosing Freedom
Lunafreya, having sacrificed herself for the further journey of Noctis, is reborn by Bahamut in a tomb on the continent of Niflheim, flees to Solara, fleeing from the demons. When they returned to the fortress of the Humanities in Lestelle, Lunaria demonstrates its ability to absorb the star stream, though it is gradually changing her body. During their journey, Lunafreya begins to question her mission through Solaras critical view of the Astral, and reveals that a conflict-weary Bahamut tried to destroy EOS in the great war of antiquity before being stopped by other Astral beings. In her dreams, she meets Shiva, who tries to warn her about Bahamian motives. Returning to the continent of Lucis, Lunafreya helps Solara rescue Aranea from an underground grave by absorbing the infecting star cloak. This completes the transformation of Lunara in demon form, but Solara stops her murder, and she is transferred to Electellum. In a dream, Shiva tells Lunafreya that Bahamut intends to fulfill his plan to purify EOS, using her to gather darkness to empower his" final summoning of Teraflara. Lunaria escapes with the help of Salary and Aranei, intending to convince Ardina to work with her to prevent Bahamut.The Final Glaive
While sleeping in the Crystal, Noctis relives the memories stored there, including those of Ardyn. Went out of Noctis meets Solara and tells about the plan Lunamaya, he decides immediately to go to sleep. Lunafreya does not succeed in conquering Ardin, but she manages to clear the Ifrit from the Star Skurat and enter into an Alliance with it, but this suppresses her. When Noctis arrives, he is forced to fight her demonic form, and then sees Bahamut using her darkness to begin attacking Teraflar. Noctis convinces Ardin to perform the true kings ritual in His stead, then, in Alliance with his friends, Noctis frees Lunafreya and teams up with other astral Beings to block most of the Teraflars blows and defeat the Bahamut physically. Ardyn sacrifices himself in a ritual that causes the crystal To absorb the starlight before breaking, and uses this chance to destroy the Bahamut spirit form. With the death of Bagmutov magic and astral planes disappear from the world, while Shiva heals Lunarejo before disappearing. The story ends with peace restored, and Noctis and Lunaria get married.
3. Publication. (Публикация)
The novel was released in Japan on April 25, 2019. It was released as a standalone book, and as part of a" holiday box sold through Square Enixs stores that included an artbook, a postcard set, a themed stand, and a Blu-ray copy of an episode of the Ardyn Prologue. After the release, demand exceeded the inventory prepared by Square Enix, prompting both an apology and rapid restocking.
The English version of the novel was confirmed as being in production in early 2019. It includes fifty works of art, including illustrations and concept art. The novels were scheduled to be released in English on June 23, 2020, through Square Enix Books & Manga, a publishing imprint of Square Enix created in partnership with penguin Random House. Due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the physical release was delayed until July 14, while the digital version is still scheduled for release on the original date.
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