When last we left our heroes-
Insomnia has fallen, and the heroes are left feeling lost with their home destroyed. Searching for answers, they return to Hammerhead, expecting to find the famous Crownsguard Cor waiting to give them answers.
However, instead of finding Cor, they find rain– and Cid. Though they’ve met Cid and Cindy moments after the start of the game, interaction with Cid was limited to that of an angry old man scolding a rebellious teen. However in this moment, we see that Cid was once friends with the king, whom he affectionately calls Reggie, and that he knows what the king’s true intentions were. The king expected this attack on Niflheim, and he wanted his last moments with his son to be between a father and son before sending him away so he would live. With Noctis comes the future of Insomnia and the Lucis line of kings, and he wanted to protect Noctis. He fought valiantly for the sake of Insomnia, but more than that he protected his son and assured the kingdom’s future.
Cid then sends the group on their way again, so that they may find something to do to distract themselves from the loss of their home and many of their friends. He does this by telling the local diner owner to send them off to kill things so he can cook them up, which runs out quickly, especially when you’re me and you already have the items he asked for. It was fun killing birds and picking tomatoes though, and Ignis got a new recipe from it! I can’t emphasize enough how much I love the little things in this game.
When the player goes to the Prairie Outpost, Cor is once again… nowhere to be found. But at least random NPC number 12, also known as Monica, sends the player in the right direction, to a royal tomb out in the mountains. It’s there that Cor tells Noctis that if he is going to be king, he needs to be stronger, and accept the gifts of his ancestors to be able to defeat Niflheim. These gifts are weapons, embued with the warping power of the Lucis family, allowing him to pull these weapons from the tombs and– stab himself with them? The weapons warp through his body, symbolizing how the weapons will take from him as much as they will give, and that they are fused with his soul.
It’s at this point that I fucked up. I walk with Cor out towards the second tomb, killing everything in my way and wandering in the cave that holds the tomb– only to find upon looking up a walkthrough that when I walked into the cave, I cancelled three enemy encounters that would have doubled my experience yield. And every second since then, I’ve felt terribly weak against enemies, so my advice to anyone wanting to play this game, use Cor to his full potential and kill everything you can before walking into the cave. After weaving my way through the labyrinthian survival horror tunnels and adding the axe of the conqueror beside my sword of the wise, I wander out of the cave to find a giant jaguar, which kicked my ass for a good half hour before I decided to move along and maybe kill it later when we were stronger. Then, the player reunites with Cor and Monica, and find their way into the blockade near the outpost, crushing the Imperial forces that had claimed the area, where an Imperial ship brings reinforcements– half a dozen soldiers and a man named Loqi in a big mech suit. There, you and your buds struggle to fight the massive mech alongside Cor (an endeavor which I barely succeeded), and once defeating him, unlock an entire new portion of the map known as the Duscae region.
The heroes set off again, hoping to find Gladio’s sister Iris who was escorted out of the city. Many things still remain unknown to Noctis and his friends, though they have been revealed to the player through cutscenes and loading screen lore– such as the knowledge that Noctis’ fiancee Lunafreya is still alive, and holds the Ring of the Lucii, which allows Lucian kings to control the Crystal, a magical artifact of power and life which has been stolen by Niflheim and is being horded by Niflheim’s power-hungry king, as he sends out the leader of his military to seize Luna and Noctis and end all chances of anyone restoring the Lucian reign.
I’m excited to keep playing this game, and even more excited to ride chocobos, catch more fish, learn new recipes, and keep collecting dorky selfies. Until next time!