Final Fantasy XV Gamescom 2015 ‘Dawn’ Trailer Breakdown and Analysis

‘Dawn’? More like ‘yawn’.

Square Enix captured their fans’ attention once again by teasing a new trailer for the much anticipated Final Fantasy XV. True to their word, they released the trailer, titled ‘Dawn’, during the wee hours of the night (for those of you living in the USA). The trailer was about three minutes long, and its entire focus was on the game’s story and our protagonist’s childhood. Square Enix didn’t really give us too much to work with this time around, but here’s a breakdown of the Final Fantasy XV ‘Dawn’ trailer.

The trailer starts off with the caption “15 years ago, fate would fall to the father and son of Lucis.” Right off the bat, it’s clear to viewers that Noctis’s past and childhood is clearly going to be very integral to the story of Final Fantasy XV. The “father and son of Lucis” here clearly refers to Noctis himself and his father, Regis, both of whom bear ‘Lucis’ in their names.

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Before we get to see either of these two male characters, though, the trailer quickly cuts to a clip of whom I assume to be a young Luna being chased by a soldier, or perhaps a high-ranking commander. Or he might even be one of the antagonists we’ve already seen in previous trailers. It’s not made clear who he is, as we never get to see his face in the trailer.

The trailer continues on with shots of the kingdom, or perhaps other areas in Final Fantasy XV itself, being patrolled by military officers and soldiers. From what little we know of the story, the world has been ravaged by war over the crystals that mankind has discovered. The different kingdoms are all at war with each other in efforts to gather the crystals for themselves and amass a large amount of power. So it would make perfect sense for there to be soldiers on patrol all around the area. It’s not much, but it does give us a good sense of the type of environments we’re working with here.

Actually, let me just go off on a tangent here for a bit. See those military knight robots directing the traffic there?

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Yeah. Those guys. I love that Square Enix is trying to push the Final Fantasy series in a different direction by mixing obvious elements of fantasy and reality together, but these knight robots just look incredibly out of place here. They’re medieval knights holding machine guns, and they’re directing traffic. It doesn’t look bad per se, just odd. Hopefully their appearances will make sense in the final product, but right now, I’m just not quite sure how I feel about them.

What do you guys think? Do the medieval fantasy knights look cool with machine guns? Let me know in the comments.

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Moving on. There’s also a dog in the trailer. I’m not quite sure whose dog that is, but we really should’ve seen more of the dog in this otherwise uneventful trailer.

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After that, we get treated to a full minute of young, sleeping Noctis being carried in his dad’s arms. The camera pans around them for a bit, King Regis starts tearing up a little and tries to nuzzle his son, but Noctis isn’t having any of that and he pushes his dad away.

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The trailer quickly cuts to a shot of Noctis and his dad standing by the car, and we see three huge shadowy figures looming over them as dawn breaks. It isn’t entirely clear what exactly these shadows are – they could be summons that might be usable in the game, or they could be guardians tasked with protecting the kingdom, or they might even be a symbolic representation of the external threats that the kingdom faces.

Right after that, the trailer cuts to yet another caption that says, “Now, the son rises – the dawn of a new king”. Another interesting thing to note is that the key art Square Enix released alongside the trailer shows off Regis carrying young Noctis in his arms, which leads me to believe that the relationship between the father and son is going to be key in the story too. Perhaps their relationship changes dramatically after Regis discovers that his son has received the Eye of Etro. Your guess is as good as mine.

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Yet another thing that has me confused is, if this guy in the ‘Dawn’ trailer is supposed to be Regis, then who the heck is that other old guy we’ve been seeing in all of the other trailers? This brand new trailer has been rather uneventful and even a little underwhelming, but it certainly has raised more questions than answers. [UPDATE: Game director Hajime Tabata has confirmed during the Gamescom Active Time Report that King Regis has simply undergone a change in character design.]

Lastly, the trailer fades to black and we hear the beeping of the phone alarm that Noctis and his crew had set up in the beginning of the Episode Duscae demo. Y’know, because dawn is here, and they’re all waking up, and this is clever because the trailer was titled ‘Dawn’. Ha ha. Very clever, Square Enix.

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