This game's development and concepts excited me from day 1. I absolutely love the world. That being said, I was generally disappointed with how the game played out, even though the general story is pretty good. Things were just left....unfinished. Here's how I would have loved to experience this story (with some new, personal preferences I had haha) from the beginning.
- Prologue: This and the next section would likely considered story heavy plotlines separate from the main game and not actual chapters. Likely too big for a prologue but a man can dream. Anyway, Kingsglaive and Brotherhood do not exist, everything is in game. The first 10-15 hours or so should have focused on Insomnia. If this game's story really was inspired by FFVII, Insomnia could have most certainly played out like the first disc in VII, similar to Midgar's influence on the story. Actually the game would start with the Empire decimating Galahd and Nyx witnessing it all and being taken in. This is where the the epic would really start. You either watch a healthy amount of cutscenes or play a good section of Noctis's early life, how he meets his his friends. How he learns to get stronger with Gladio, how he learns to be Kingly from Ignis, how he learns to be adventurous with Prompto. All while exploring the city and make the game feel like you belong in this Tokyo-based capital before they throw you into a sprawling world nothing like it. This would cover most of Brotherhoods content. During this, you get to know Nyx a little more, along with Regis and their relationships with the main cast (Ignis and Nyx were friends, according to the short story you can find on the main FFXV website, but you see the game doesn't explain this.), Noctis and perhaps a small relationship with Drautos, why Regis is dying, and why Nyx is important to the events about to happen later.
- The real Ch. 0 : The cutscene with the king sending them off happens. I'd say about 5-10 hours in. You've gotten all of this great exposition. You've already had a taste of the combat through some missions within insomnia or while training with Gladio. The bros look like they already have fought together when the game begins, so there definitely could be some things to show that. So here would be where Kingsglaive begins. Loqi should have been introduced here, a small early fight for Nyx. Cor should have been part of the whole situation. Luna comes in after having some good scenes earlier during Noctis's childhood. Her character would be prominent here, just like the movie. Ravus as well, except he wouldn't feel like a different character than the game. Anyway, Drautos--> Glauca, Ardyn, Iedolas, King gets murdered, and final fight all happen here. 10-15 hours into the game, you get the FFXV logo after Nyx dies under the sunrise. BAM. That shit would have hit like a ton of bricks. And it would have made the next section even better. But my point here is Glauca should not have died yet. His importance comes later. Luna escapes. Loqi leaves with the goal to chase Luna and Noctis down after being pronounced dead.
- Ch 1: Pushing the car should be exactly the same, it would be a hilarious change of pace after having such an intense climax. Game plays out the way it does till the end of Chapter 1. I thought it was great and would have been better if players could experience everything before.
- Ch 2: Its all okay, but should have been longer. Luna escaping and meeting Gentiana was good. Loqi should have had more scenes here. Boss fight was fine. Would have been a good way to get back at the empire in a small meaningful way.
- Ch. 3: Okay this is where things should have started to change. The scene with the Niflheim commanders and Iedolas should stay the same, however we see Ravus and Aranea leaving for Lucis, as they are both wildcards and their dynamic could have been interesting. Everything in Lestallum with the weapon searching is fine. Chapters 4 and 5 should have been a part of this chapter. Titan and Ramuh could be important deviations from the phantom weapon search, I didn't have a problem with it. While slow, the game's narrative was fine here I felt. However, when you are getting your car back in Chapter 5 (chapter 3 still here), you should have had an awesome boss fight with Ravus.
- Ch. 4: Everything with Aranea, capturing the other Niflheim commander, should play out the way it does, albeit actually explain who Jared was goddamnit. He could have been an important character for the beginning of the game when you are getting introduced to everyone.
- Ch. 5: Preparation for Altissia. This is where Gladio leaves temporarily (for his DLC). You leave Lucis after this. Noctis starts to reminisce about Luna a hell of a lot more here. He's excited to see her. It build her character's importance.
- Ch. 6: Altissia, fully devoted to getting to know Altissia's character's. The greater part of Accordo is actually more open here. There are more plot developments involving Niflheim and Accordo beyond the tiny chunk of Altissia that they "allow" us to explore. You meet Luna before this happens. She escapes Niflheim and becomes your temporary party member here. You all travel parts of Accordo to do something similar to how you got Ramuh. Because the Regalia is not with you, you use the boat as your main form of transportation. Smaller areas of exploration but makes Accordo exploreable nonetheless. There are towns and another major town aside from Altissia. The Santorini looking town from one of the tech conferences(look it up). You visit places of power to activate Leviathan. Noctis and Luna get to have that important screen time together and it further shows that her place in the world is much more important what was shown. It ends with another Ravus boss fight, as he was with Ardyn there before the party arrives there. Luna goes against him for the last time. He is torn but fights the party nonetheless. Luna fights as well. This incapacitates him for what happens after.
- Ch. 7: Niflheim going full force on Altissia and Leviathan. Luna still dies, but because you've had much more screen time with her, its much more impactful.Perhaps the way Luna dies could be done differently. More akin to the Omen trailer? Have Noct kill her not on his own accord. Ardyn makes him do it with the illusion thing. This would haunt him, allowing for some more dark takes on the story. I thought this would be interesting, as it would be the first time a main character in FF does something really tragic like this, as opposed to Ardyn and Luna directly mirroring Sephiroth and Aerith. Plays out a very similar way, except there is more exposition here. Glauca returns. Boss fight with him before Leviathan. He reveals he kills your father and Nyx and is Drautos. Pisses Noctis and Ignis off. Glauca survives the fight, injures Ignis's eyes. Aranea decides to leave Niflheim. Noctis fights Leviathan because he has no choice and he's angry between Glauca and Ardyn stabbing Luna. Great emotional payoff.
- Ch. 8: Travel from Accordo to Niflheim. Show them boarding the train from whatever shore town they visit. Give another town like location here. A small town but the trainstation is huge (if you look up FFXV trainstation, Square likely removed out a pretty large trainstation that was fully exploreable, probably would have been here) to give that impact that the structure of the game will change slightly, show that the train is important to getting to Gralea. This is where Noct and the 3 three bros start to get into some problems. They start to forget why they are doing what they are doing. The tension starts to build up once again.
- Ch. 9: Town of Cartanica: You can explore the actual town and not just the station. Still has the section with the Marlboro's. Cartanica, like the small hypothetical town before it, is also exploreable. With this, so far FFXV would have 5 pretty sizeable towns as opposed to the 2 that we actually got in game. Lestallum was great but I'd argue that when you are in Lucis, another major town should have existed (it would have been smaller than Lestallum). Ardyn starts to fuck with everyone from here on out.
- Ch. 10: The same way it does in Ch 11 and 12 in the actual game. The whole train fight is amazing. Prompto gets knocked off the train for whatever DLC he has. Leads you Tenebrae. It is exploreable, along with some of the fantasy like landscapes around it. Either that or some form of dungeon. You meet some other interesting characters but really the focus would be Ravus. Here is where Ravus's character changes. His sister died. He is angry and upset, remorseful. You fight him in the bed of flowerfields that he talked to his sister in. After you fight him in this emotional and intense 1v1 fight, Noctis kills him simply through anger. Ravus succumbs to his wounds. When they leave, you see Ardyn do something to his body....
- Ch. 11: Train continues to Gralea. More train fights, Shiva's whole scene and Ardyn, everything stays the same. But you get to actually do the shiva dungeon that was supposedly cut. Except that Ardyn disappears. You get to Gralea, you are able to explore parts of it. You see that people of Niflheim aren't nearly that evil, only under Imperial rule. You can explore the city with relative ease. The area around Gralea, parts of the mountains are also exploreable. There is a small town somewhere in the mountains that you can travel to. Ardyn has his own agenda and Ravus is "dead", so nobody knows that you are there. You do some cool missions here and there. Perhaps sabotage certain places around. This is where Prompto returns. You start to learn more about the Niflheim heirarchy. Potentially other characters of power come into play here, perhaps not (Square did say that there is a form of a council there in Niflheim.) You meet Verstael. You find out the Prompto father thing. You find out how the Magitek Army is formed. Ending with a pretty decent fight with Verstael. Que emotional scene with Prompto.
- Ch. 12: Ch 13 doesn't exist but after you fight Verstael, Ardyn starts to destroy Gralea, unleashing more monster's in the city. The game does become more horror like, I certainly enjoyed the doom aspect of that chapter, while the gameplay was a little odd. That being said. You start to learn way more about the plague of the stars, what Ardyn is trying to do and more. Through Ardyn's destruction, you are able to break in and infiltrate Iedolas's palace. You then see Iedolas, who first summons Glauca to take you out. Both him and Glauca have no idea that Ardyn is behind the deamon destruction, but they continue to fight anyway. It is an emotional turning point in the story, to kill your Father's murderer. As you do this, you are getting flashbacks of Dawn 2.0 scenes where Regis is hugging you. After Iedolas uses the crystal's power to fight you and party. You learn that there is in fact a being with in the crystal (its not just a power source like the game), it sounds like the monster from the Omen trailer talking to Regis (yes, we find out that it is Bahamut, but id lIke to think everything has a more sinister side, so just for fun). You fight and beat Iedolas multiple times. The crystal's being returns to the crystal after. You find out there is some sort of tragic idea behind Iedola's desire for the crystal: he was posessed by it, as were all Niflheim leaders before. Ardyn comes in and kills him in front of you, after killing Verstael. The crystal does not speak anymore. Ardyn seems to be mesmerized by it, he knows what it is. Here he reveals his true nature, that he can summon deamons because of his curse. That he is the first Lucian King. He first summons a possessed Ravus, where he apologizes and tells you to put an end to him. You then have an awesome boss fight with Ardyn here. He destroys you, puts you into the crystal, while releasing the being within the crystal, he tells you that you need to get stronger so that he can kill you at your strongest. Bahamut talks to you in the same way, but it reveals that it actually prevents the Crystal being from leaving the crystal, that was its purpose now. It tells you more about what it is, but doesn't explicitly say why it exists. Bahamut has no reason to be inside the crystal anymore. It allows you to summon it in order to fight them later on. You know you have to sacrifice yourself. Que more of the Dawn 2.0 scene as the Lucii appear in front of your father hugging you crying. He knows your future. It all makes sense, you must die for the world.
- Ch. 13: Timeskip, world of ruin. It is exploreable. You also have the power to summon Bahamut here. It is a large part of Lucis and you spend most of this chapter finding your friends and finding out what has happened these last 10 years. I'll leave that up to the imagination of you all. We see the effects of the Plague of the Stars. Daytime settings look exactly like the red environments that we saw in some trailers. Some missions involving it, etc. Ardyn destroyed the bridge to Insomnia, you need an airship to get across. Regalia type F is built. This chapter is largely dedicated to tying up loose ends with the secondary characters. Giving them final missions, and seeing what they are up to. Plus you get to "live" a little in this world of despair. It should be dark and terrifying, almost similar to the chapter before it.
- Ch. 14: Insomnia. Plays out similarly but Ifrit is explained a lot more, you can fight Ultros, Diamond weapon, etc on a giant cityscape. The crystal being is taunting you as a voice within. It keeps telling you to kill Ardyn, therefore questioning if you should sacrifice yourself or not. After seeing Luna, Nyx, and Regis dead and strung up by Ardyn, everyone is upset, and Noctis motivates himself to still go through with it. The crystal is pleased. You fight Ardyn the same way, it ends the same. I felt that fight was very personal. Noctis kills himself. However, before you encounter Ardyn in the realm after death, the being reveals itself. I'd personally go with Chaos, but again fill your imaginations with whatever you want. The being reveals that it is the reason for causing Ardyn's immortality and power to summon daemons. Ardyn at this point simply does not care anymore as he just wants you dead, gone. It is the reason for the first plague, convincing Ifrit to betray mankind. Bahamut and the other astrals sealed Chaos inside of the crystal. The kings of Lucis were in charge of not only protecting the crystal from the world, but the world from the crystal. It takes control of Ardyn's astral body. You have an amazing fight between Chaos'd Ardyn. After that Ardyn finally is released, but Luna appears and holds him down only for you to kill him. Ardyn is gone, but Chaos reveals itself, one more fight where you are possessed by the Lucii and that leads to the button prompt from the main game, where you perform the Knights of the Round attack. Nyx (becase he was given the power of the Lucii) and Regis both do the same as Luna did before with Ardyn. Noctis dies soon after. You find that his friends lived after fighting the Iron Giants. The world begins to experience light again. The world was saved. The game ends the way it did. Bittersweat and potentially more beautiful and satisfying because you actually care about the characters.
- Ch. 15 Epilogue: Same as it is, except you have the opportunity to explore more of Lucis, Accordo, Niflheim that that you couldn't before.
Likes: Jubileus and ChingleeTribal