I finally watched it! Kingsglaive is our first tangible taste of the world to come with Final Fantasy XV. An entirely CGI movie – like Advent Children – that is neither prequel nor sequel, but rather happens in parallel to the events of the game’s early moments.
This post will contain spoilers for Kingsglaive and Final Fantasy XV, though I won’t dwelve into details, more like broad strokes. Still, you have been warned.
Final Fantasy XV begins with Noctis’ group pushing his car after it had a malfunction. They had left the city of Insomnia (capital of Lucis) a while ago. By the end of the first chapter they find out that their city has fallen at the hands of Niflheim, a militaristic nation hell bent on world domination. Where the story will go from there is something we will experience
if the game ever releases late November. Kingsglaive recounts the events that happen after Noctis leaves Lucis and before the moment he finds out about the takeover (around the end of the game’s first chapter).
Main character Nyx is part of the Kingsglaive, a sort of ‘Secret Service’ for King Regis of Lucis (father of Noctis) who ends up discovering and trying to stop a Niflheim plan to take control of the resilient city, by stealing the Crystal that is projecting a city-wide magic shield. The movie is a global plot driver, it sets up how Lucis falls and by whose hand, giving us motivation and interest in the story of XV. It introduces a lot of characters but it’s unclear how many of them – save for a few obvious exceptions – will actually make it to the game proper.
There’s flashy battles, huge monsters, political intrigue and betrayal and of course, death. Lots of death. The movie is a technical marvel – it looks incredible, as is expected of Square Enix’s cinematics people. Lucis is almost photorealistic… or forget the ‘almost’, it looks damn good. Characters are also very well done; some animations are a bit odd but it’s a minor thing.
There’s nods to Final Fantasy all over the place. A chocobo-related branding on the side of a car, Cactuar straw figures, Malboro drawings, Behemots, Cerberus, the Protect spell, and even freaking Weapons from Final Fantasy VII (though they’re just called ‘Demons’ here). I haven’t checked for more, since I need to watch the movie a second time, but there are sure to be more.
I am sure you have read some ‘movie critics’ pan Kingsglaive for its plot and what not, but I believe one must simply focus on what it is: it helps to flesh out the plot of XV’s first moments, introduces us to some characters and parts of the world, and leaves a lot of questions open that are, I imagine, meant to wet our appetites for the main game – such as an incredibly important detail about a certain ring that I won’t spoil. In that sense: mission accomplished, Kingsglaive. I am very much looking forward to FFXV… this movie just made the wait that much harder.
The movie ends in a familiar scene (if you saw the game’s recent gameplay demo): a Prince and his friends drive in a car that chooses to have a malfunction at a terrible time.