Final Fantasy XV’s world is based on reality. “The towns and the cultural references that you see throughout the world, you’ll get a sense of realistic towns and cultures,” Tabata told GameSpot in a new interview. “That’s one aspect that has remained since the title was first named Versus XIII.”
Should you choose to walk it, ride a train or even drive through it – XV’s world is a connected one and based heavily on real-world influences. We’ve known Lucis to follow the themes of Shinjuku, Japan and now we’ve seen Lestallum, which is based on Havana in Cuba. Perhaps distancing itself from Final Fantasy XIII’s separate world experiences – Square Enix wanted XV’s map to be its own, whole thing. “The world is connected by continuous land,” Tabata said. “If those areas were disconnected, it would feel distant from reality. You’ll find that you’ll be able to walk or drive or take a train and travel through this world seamlessly. I feel you’ll be able to experience something similar to a real trip.”
It’s clear XV is aiming to thrive on a lot of classic Final Fantasy staples, but what about airships? “To be completely honest, that’s still to be determined,” Tabata said. “But the development team does understand that this is something everyone is looking forward to. It is a huge technical challenge; as mentioned earlier, all areas are connected. We are trying to tackle that challenge. So at the moment we can’t say yes, they will be included, but we do want to and we’re ready to take on that challenge and see what can be done.”
Still steeped in its Fabula Nova Crystallis roots, however, FFXV won’t be having its own version of l’Cie – the empowered beings present in both Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels. Instead, Tabata hints that summoned beasts will play a larger role this time. As guardians of the world, these massive creatures – from what we’ve seen so far – will be protecting parts of the planet from destruction.
Dungeons will also – unsurprisingly – be heavily featured in the game. “In the most classic Final Fantasy title category, for me, dungeons [were] very scary things that were chaotic and uncontrollable,” said Tabata. “In the dungeons, there is this kind of strangeness where something that shouldn’t necessarily be there in real life is existing. That kind of strangeness, the non-normal, that feeling you get in those circumstances, will be experienced in XV.”