Final Fantasy XV marks an interesting, and to some fans tense turn of events for Square-Enix’s flagship series. XII and it’s predecessors had the occasional sequel or prequel, and XIII had 2 sequels as well as a bunch of paid cosmetic DLC (we won’t get in to XI and XIV here; MMO’s have their own transaction and DLC norms), but XV marks the first point in the series to offer additional portions of the main story for a paid transaction. This isn’t FFIV: The After Years, giving us a glimpse at what happened to party members who disappeared during the story or FFVII: Crisis Core giving us insight to Shinra pre-Avalanche. Whether these pieces prove to be integral story segments lobbed out of the game close to release in order to increase profits through predatory DLC releases or not has yet to be seen, but as a fan it hurts my heart to admit I believe this is the case. With the segments possibly being cut from the actual story, that makes their removal apparent and is a possible reason for the story portions Square-Enix feels the need to correct. Here I’ll list the DLC included with the Season Pass along with my own predictions, as well as eventually what the DLC turns out to be and my personal judgment on whether the download is justifiable as post-game DLC or should have been included with the initial ticket price.
Official Statement: “Turn campgrounds into kitchens and make meals into masterpieces with this custom cookware!”
What It Is: This particular piece of DLC was (supposedly) part of the FFXV Road Trip DLC here in the US. Having reserved the game through Amazon and retrieving the code for this particular item at launch, I’ve searched everywhere to try to figure out what this download actually contained. It sounds like it’s simply different campground cooking supplies, but uninstalling it I noticed no change in the campground cooking scenes or depiction of food. I also still had the same recipe list, so it didn’t add any new recipes.
My Opinion/Predictions: It’s worth noting that this set has been removed from the list of items that are included with FFXV’s Season Pass. It’s my belief that either this set was marked obsolete with a patch or will be, or features such minor cosmetic changes that it was deemed unimportant. Obviously, the game wasn’t hobbled by missing this. I think this will take place in the area previously introduced in a video previewed by Japanese voice actors and probably involve a few additional mini games or sidequests.
Holiday Pack +:
Official Statement: “This pack includes a selection of useful accessories as well as a ticket to a special in-game carnival to be held in January 2017.
･Ring of Resistance
･Key of Prosperity
･Photo Frames (Holiday Pack Exclusive)*
Note: Starred items (*) will be made available in the January update. The Carnival Passport is functionally identical to the free version. Players who purchase the Holiday Pack + can also download the free Holiday Pack at no extra charge.”
What It Is: Unlike the ambiguous Road Trip DLC sets (Angler Set, Gourmand Set, Photographer Set), the release notes for the Holiday Pack are extremely straight-forward. Ring of Resistance to Stamina Badge are all added directly to your inventory, as is the Carnival Passport, though it can only be used after a January update. Photo frames are available automatically as well, and you can choose one when you upload any photo from your album after updating. As noted, the Festive Ensemble will become available after the update.
My Opinion: This is pretty much a best-case scenario for additional DLC. Any story around a carnival, even if cut content, didn’t have to be present in the story. The nation had no reason to celebrate except when they believed Noctis and Luna were to be wed, and with this event being called the “Chocobo Moogle Carnival”, I believe it’s safe to assume this wasn’t cut from a completed game. VII and XIV had Gold Saucers and other games have carnivals and fairs to change pace, but it’s not a requirement. The additional items, in my opinion, should’ve been added to the Ascension Grid as options with patches, though; by the time the DLC hits, most people I know I’ll be at level 99 with most of the grid full, so the bonuses for wasting an equipment slot to gain more AP are, well, wasted. The Rings of Resistance, which makes your friends impervious to friendly fire, is something the game should’ve had in it already, since I imagine most players, like myself, only used it when absolutely necessary since it always debilitates the rest of your team. I personally believe it was a bit odd to drop this set before releasing the actual carnival event, and between this and the free Holiday Pack DLC have no idea whatsoever what the Booster Pack could possibly contain.
Official Statement: “There are two versions of the Booster Pack. The FFXV Booster Pack (free version) is additional content available to anyone who owns Final Fantasy XV. The FFXV Booster Pack + is available to customers who own the Final Fantasy XV Season Pass and include special content not found in the free version of the same pack.”
What It Is: Unreleased and unannounced outside of the Season Pass info, this could contain just about anything.
My Opinion: Before the Holiday Pass’s release, I would’ve assumed this pack included equipment with effects that boosted EXP and AP procurement, but the Holiday Pass has these covered. My only guess now is that this must be the inevitable “Pre-Order DLC Bundle”, containing all the weapons, Regalia skins and Road Trip DLC. I sort of half-hope it is, having never received my Chocobo Regalia skin from Amazon, and not having the opportunity to snag the 8-Bit skin from digital or the Cidny skin from Square-Enix store’s Carbuncle Surprise event. Any additions to this would be welcome, as well as an explanation of whatever the hell that Road Trip DLC actually gave us. I can’t imagine anything this DLC could possibly contain isn’t justifiable as DLC, though the later this is released, the more useless these items become; endgame equipment eclipses all the pre-order weapons, and with most players driving the Regalia-F, vehicle skins will be obsolete as well.
Official Statement: This will be the first of the game’s three side character based episodes. Streamers (indicative of SE’s new media focus) received a booklet detailing FFXV’S DLC plans, and it said our main man Gladiolus would be facing a series mainstay Gilgamesh in this paid DLC exclusive.
What it is: We’ll know closers to its launch, presumably in January.
My Opinion/Predictions: Here’s where the predictions get real and the implications grow grave. While there is always the possibility that this episode takes place after the End Boss in the new world ushered in through Noctis’s sacrifice, the more probable prediction would be that this episode takes place in the story gap that Gladio returns from sporting a new facial scar. Upon his return, Gladio’s attitude in story cutscenes apears to be more impatient, irritable even. I predict this will be the revelatory entry that shows us just how much content was cut from this game. In addition to believing this story will be concurrent with the main story, I also believe Gladio learns something here (whether it be Noctis’s true lineage or Noctis’s end fate) that changes him as a person. If these predictions are true, then this is important character building and this DLC is essential content from a complete game.
Official Statement: Square-Enix has released no information on this downloadable chapter.
What it is: The second downloadable side-character-based chapter.
My Opinion/Predictions: Ignis is likely the blandest of the four main characters. He’s also probably the one character set up to grow the most. He had to; Ignis was mysteriously blinded near the end of the story, off camera, and chose to remain with the team. This is when I believe his story will take place, and that he, too will face an FF mainstay (my hope is on some sort of non-wyvern, non-Asian style dragon, since they were absent in the main game), most likely fire-based to explain Ignis’s burn. It’s my belief that Ignis will learn something of import here; whether the same thing Gladio learns or not is yet to be seen, but I think it’ll be more personal, something that forces him to push on in spite of his debilitation. Ignis never really had a chance to mourn his eyes, which is odd given that he takes particular pride in his visual accuteness. There’s no transition in the main story, no moment he realized he was still useful; he kind of just assumed he’d he would be useful moving forward. I’ll go out on a limb and say I think it’ll be Gentiana/Shiva that explains to him he’ll still be useful, being a fellow sight impaired hero. I can see this part containing perhaps more spoilers for the ending than SE would want, so while it IS possibly an important character arc, it may be justifiable as DLC.
Official Statement: Square-Enix has released no information on this downloadable chapter.
What it is: The third downloadable side-character-based chapter.
My Opinion/Predictions: Prompto’s rescue in the final act of the game was the moment that cemented my opinion of XV as incomplete. In about a minute and a half of dialogue, Prompto explains that he’s actually one of the MT soldiers, engineered from birth to fight for the empire. There’s no flashback to his revelation, no actual words about his struggle. Not even an explanation to his survival. My brain likened it immediately to Vivi’s sidestory in FFIX being cut, or everything Tifa did during Cloud’s existential crisis being offered for $10 four months after most people have already watched Meteor hit Midgar. I don’t like the idea of finishing the story out of the order it took place in a game that had such an ingrained sense of continuity built into it. This may be the DEFINITION of wrongly cut content, and if so, is far too little far too late to remove the feeling of emptiness that engulfs the last act. I also predict we’ll move back to Prompto’s childhood for some flashbacks, since a fully rigged chubby-young-Prompto model was the target of some ridicule a while back. The XV VR component is supposed to feature Prompto, so it’ll probably come with this set.
Official Statement: SE has been PARTICULARLY silent about what sounds like a game changer.
What It Is: We have NO clue what this could mean, aside from that it adds multiplayer functionality to the game. SE sounds just as unsure, saying they “may” add things like character avatars.
My Opinion/Predictions: I don’t think we’ll get drop in/out full game multiplayer, unfortunately. I’m expecting something that can be ranked, perhaps individual additional hunts or boss fights done for time. Camp training also made me believe 1 on 1 or team battles are possible, and would make sense given the game’s emphasis on brotherhood. I don’t think this is game breaking, or cut at the end. I think it will be PS+ exclusive, in order take advantage of their online features. This is great and justifiable DLC, and one of the few that definitely has my thumbs up.
The coming months will tell if the DLC is what I believe or fits the definition of post-game DLC. I’ll be updating my entries here as the DLC is released and detailed. Do you think xv’s DLC scheme seems predatory? Do you have your own predictions of what the DLC will involve? Share in the comments below.