Alright, I've decided to return to an oldish topic; speculation about the nature of Pitioss and the story it's designed to tell. I've been looking on my own account into the theories surrounding Pitioss, and as Tabata openly invited speculation with his Gamescom statement about its purpose, I've decided to dive back in. As to the title, I've seen two major theories surrounding Pitioss to date: the original and since-debunked one from Reddit about it being a tale of Ifrit, and @Ikkin's own theory tying it to the origins of Noctis and Ardyn's struggles. This is a third. Like Ikkin and others, I still feel that XV is connected in some way to the mythos of the Fabula Nova Crystallis subseries, at least thematically, but this theory explains both Pitioss' ancient existence, its lack of any symbolism related to Eos in the present day, and XV's remaining ties to the FNC. Like Ikkin, let's start with the main cast. NOTE: THIS IS A THEORY BASED ON A LOCATION THAT DOES NOT HAVE ANY CONFIRMED LAW ATTACHED TO IT, AND RELIES ON AN ASSUMPTION THAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE TRUE. IT IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE TAKEN AS PART OF THE NARRATIVE, BUT AS A PIECE OF ENTERTAINMENT INSPIRED BY AN INTRIGUING LOCATION WITHIN XV. Characters: The protagonist - represented by Noctis, who traverses the puzzles and trials represented by the structure of Pitioss. The Bearded God - a large bearded male figure at Pitioss' entrance. The Demon - A horned humanoid which recurs throughout the dungeon. The Goddess - A giant statue at the heart of Pitioss. Now for the Basic FNC Mythos; As those versed in the FNC will know, the main aim of the deitieis Pulse and Lindzei is to open the way to the Unseen Realm - or afterlife - for their creator Bhunivelze so he can gain control of both the living and the dead. His daughter Etro was discarded due to her resemblance to Bhunivelze's hated mother Mwynn and took her own life out of despair. She was then tasked by the fading spirit of Mwynn to protect the balance between life and dead. To do this, she gives humans - beings created from her body and thus destined to die - fragments of a dark energy called Chaos which granted them emotion and reason. Through their death and reincarnation, humanity kept the balance while Pulse and Lindzei toiled for the sleeping Bhunivelze to find the gate to the afterlife. Pulse does this through processes similar to natural selection generating powerful souls, while Lindzei seeks to force open the pathway with a massive sacrifice of humans. Bear in mind that, like the various interpretations of Greek Mythology present in media over the past several hundred years, the FNC isn't meant to be taken literally as a continuous timeline, but rather as a framework from which each story is born. Pitioss: As seen in Pitioss, the protagonist both frees the Demon from imprisonment and causes Meteor-like balls to both destroy the Bearded God and break open the entrance to the dungeon proper. The Demon and the protagonist make their way through the following challenges, which include various pieces of imagery that represent the journey into the afterlife. As to the switches I follow Ikkin's example; I associated white switches with the actions of the protagonist, and red switches with the actions of the Demon. The realm where the Goddess statue is located is notable due to its crazy geometric structure and unconventional puzzles revolving around rotating architecture. The Goddess is also pictured wielding a sword and seemingly about to strike, but the instant the protagonist lands on her, she falls back into a prone position. After this, the protagonist falls along her sword, then escapes along broken and twisted metal beams, blocked at one point by the Demon. The protagonist then escapes through more traditional puzzles involving recurring red spikes probably representing death, then takes an elevator out of Pitioss using a white switch and escaping into the light, where the "Black Hood" item (which enables dodging similar to Noctis' royal line) is found. The Theory: In this theory, the protagonist is in fact a l'Cie of Lindzei who is used by the deity to fulfill its plans; the Bearded God, representing Pulse, is bested, and together with Lindzei the protagonist leads the assault on the imagined armies of the afterlife. The two fight their way through the obstacles until they finally reach the realm of Chaos, where the Goddess waits. The Goddess fights back, but is unable to withstand the assault of Lindzei and likely Bhunivelze, if we assume that the Demon can represent more than one person. With her death, reality begins to crumble, and all seems lost. But, as can be inferred by the presence of a valuable item in the naval of the Goddess statue, Lindzei's l'Cie is granted the Goddess' powers. Amid the collapse of reality, the protagonist makes his way out of the realm of Chaos, confronting his former master Lindzei - or perhaps even Bhunivelze - along the way. The protagonist escapes the afterlife and makes his way to the new world being born following the collapse of the old. As the world was reborn, humanity emerged on the new world of Eos, with the newly-created Astrals appearing as the guardians of Eos' balance. So who is the protagonist? And what does this have to do with Eos? Well, in this theory, the l'Cie - having receiving the Goddess' powers - would become something more than human, a powerful deity in their own right in the world reborn following the collapse of the old. This would also explain why humans were able to survive and be reborn on at least one planet within the reborn universe. There's only one being in XV who could fit this description; Bahamut. This is because he not only appears to be a normal human in armor, but he is also is the only Astral not associated with a classical element or the natural world, making him the odd one out. In the context of the theory, Bahamut took Etro's place as protector of the balance, and the other Astrals likely emerged due to either Bahamut's will, or lingering remnants of the old world such as magic. These remnants of the old world would also have manifested in the Astrals' various dispositions; while Bahamut and Shiva actively support humanity similar to Etro, both Titan and Ramuh take a neutral standpoint as with Pulse, while Leivathan and eventually Ifrit are openly hostile in a fashion similar to Lindzei. Bahamut's role as the Astral's possible leader and his status as a non-elemental deity would also make him Bhunivelze's direct replacement. This theory allows the FNC elements to remain within XV while it still being its own existence with its own origin and lore; in this reality, the great conflict and subsequent apocalypse actually happened, but Etro was able to pass on her role to a human who consequently ascended to godhood and made the new world. This new world was partially generated by Bahamut's own human memories of the world he lived in, carrying over the attitudes of the old pantheon and some basic rules of the world. Due to this, things became different; while the cycle of life remains, both humans and planets themselves possess souls, and the nature of Chaos and humanity's crystalline souls is changed to become both less dangerous and less cumbersome. But as with any creation, nothing is ideal. Bahamut has retained the nature of contracts between humans and the gods due to his previous nature as a l'Cie. There is also the Starscourge, which was probably generated within the reborn universe as a new and independent threat tied to the reborn concepts of magic and its ties to living things. To combat the Starscourge when it arrives on Eos, Bahamut enables the Lucis Caelum and Nox Fleuret lines to wield divine power derived from the Goddess' own gift, which is ultimately key to saving Eos from the Starscourge. Within this theory, Pitioss itself - clearly an ancient construction probably predating or contemporary with Solheim - retells this ancient origin story which has been forgotten by the time Ardyn is born 2000 years prior to XV's present. By the time XV takes place, this is forgotten and untold aside from the ancient mechanics and symbolism preserved within Pitioss. Well, there you are! Just a bit of stuff I came up with that seemed to make sense. In the end, it doesn't really matter. Kudos to Ikkin for making me think about Pitioss. Enjoy!