Let me explain.
Final Fantasy XV is one of my “ones that got away” — a game that I deeply enjoyed without ever finishing despite getting very close to its end. One day I just put down FF15 and walked away, like Andy abandoning Woody. Thanks to Xbox Game Pass, however, I have the opportunity to correct this glaring error in my video game record, but also thanks to Xbox Game Pass I only have nine days to finish the fight before it goes away for good.
Rest assured, I don’t intend to crunch; I’m going to play it as I would any other game I’m interested in. When I recently played Nier: Automata there were a few lost weekends or later-than-normal nights spent not in service to a deadline, but just because I enjoyed the game, had nothing else to do, and wanted to keep playing. I want to see if taking a second look at Final Fantasy XV will inspire that same kind of commitment. And if it doesn’t? It doesn’t.
FF15 is the only non-sequel, non-MMO, non-remake Final Fantasy that I haven’t finished since VII. I remember downloading it the moment it became available way back in 2016, feeling awed by every little detail. I choked up seeing the FF15 logo spread across the screen, so ravenous was I for new single-player Final Fantasy content.
Instead of beelining from quest to quest, I remember cruising around in the Regalia delighted to death that I could choose songs from Final Fantasy’s past to accompany my road trip. I spent a lot of time just vibing in that car listening to Final Fantasy VIII’s “Overture” and “Liberi Fatali.” I distinctly remember being eager to go chocobo riding, anticipating what the new chocobo-riding theme would sound like, then being extremely underwhelmed by “Rodeo de Chocobo.” (Face facts, nothing’s ever come close to XIII’s “Pulse de Chocobo.”) I remember how good Ignis’ cooking looked and Prompto’s puppy-like enthusiasm for everything. I also distinctly remember learning that “quay” (as in Galdin Quay) was pronounced “key” and not “kweh” — the onomatopoeia for chocobo sounds.
Because I’ve already had time to pal around with Noctis and his emotional-support himbos, I don’t think I’ll miss out on anything trying to mainline the game over a much shorter timescale. I’m hoping, at least, that the experience will remind me why I loved it so much the first time around, and maybe this time inspire me to see it through to its end. If I don’t complete my quest, and still want to play when time’s up, I’ll simply do what Game Pass is designed to and purchase the game outright. If I get to the limit and I don’t want to play anymore, well, there’s always Final Fantasy XVI on the horizon.
According to Xbox, Final Fantasy XV is scheduled to leave Xbox Game Pass on January 29th. From now until then, I’ll provide regular (spoiler-light) updates on my progress through the world of Eos. I’m also going to prioritise completing each of the character episodes that come with the Royal Edition, since I missed out on those too.
I’m setting out tonight, and have nine days left to complete this journey. Wish me luck, bros, and chocobos.