Main Walkthrough

Your Final Fantasy XVI journey begins with a fiery battle between two huge monsters. Partway through this sequence you'll gain control of one of them, and you'll be prompted to launch fireballs at the other, as well as evade attacks. Just keep shooting those fireballs and you'll be fine.

Once that's done you'll gain control of Clive, your main character. At the moment all you can do is enter the menu (Start button) and walk around. Follow the rest of Clive's little band once you can move and you'll witness a battle in progress. This will trigger a sequence of cut scenes introducing several of the game's major players, as well as a hint of what's going on.

Eventually you'll regain control. Keep following the terrain - you can use the X button to jump, as necessary - and more cut scenes will interject, turning your casual navigation into a mad sprint for safety. The path forward is... jumbled, but shouldn't be a challenge to navigate. Eventually Clive will get knocked out, and you'll be shot back in time a bit. Care for a tutorial?

Attack the Lord Commander

At this point you receive a rundown of the basics of Final Fantasy XVI's combat system. Your task is to spar with the Lord Commander. To do this you'll want to Lock On to him (L1 button) so the camera is fixed on the guy, then use a flurry of melee attacks (square button) to hit him. Four melee attacks in a row, executed twice, will do.

Next up is magic. At the moment Clive knows the Fire spell, and you need to hit the Lord Commander with Fire five times in a row (triangle button). Clive's spells are ranged, so you can hold back and attempt to fry your opponent at your leisure. The Lord Commander will occasionally roll out of the way, something you'll need to get used to in serious battles. Magic doesn't hit terribly hard, so don't expect it to end fights - it's primarily used to soften up enemies.

Third, the Lord Commander will come at Clive with his sword. The Lord Commander's hits are slow, telegraphed stabs and swings, so you'll have plenty of time to see him coming. Tap the dodge button (R1) to sweep out of the way. You can then follow up with either a melee attack or a spell, if you're quick enough. You'll lose Lock On often during this dance, so make sure you reacquire your target if the camera ever starts to slip away.

Fourth is a Shift Attack (circle button). This will allow Clive to quickly zip in towards the Lord Commander from a distance. Upon arrival you can quickly melee attack or fry your opponent if you tap another button. Shift Attacks leave you a bit vulnerable, so in the future choose your dashes carefully.

Last is the use of items. Items are mapped to the analog controls, and can be changed out via the menu. Use Potions or High Potions to return Clive to full health to end the lesson. You can only map four items to Clive at a time, so if you want to use anything else you'll need to enter the menu mid-combat. Choose your four items wisely.

Once you've learned the five basic elements of combat you'll be ready to take on the Lord Commander in a proper sparring match. He uses a series of slow slashes and thrusts, and isn't too difficult an opponent. Wait for his attacks, dodge out of the way, and deliver a few of your own. Firing on the Lord Commander from a distance is also a good tactic. Deliver enough strikes and you'll deplete the Lord Commander's Will, which will Stagger him and give you an opportunity to beat him down. If you hold down the R2 button and then press the Square button you'll use a special move, Rising Flames, that will greatly deplete the Lord Commander's health.

Defeat the Lord Commander and you'll be treated to another lengthy series of cut scenes. Once they're done you'll get your first chance to properly explore.

Rosalith Castle

Clive needs to speak to his father, the Archduke of Rosaria, inside Rosalith Castle. First, though, you should have a quick look around. There are tons of soldiers idling about who can fill in bits and pieces of the overarching story, as well as a few items that are worth grabbing.

  • In the middle of the grounds are several tents. There's a Potion in a barrel near one of the tents.
  • Head back to the sparring yard where you fought the Lord Commander. There are stairs near them, and if you try to go up them you'll learn a bit about Clive's temperament. (He's a good egg.) Take a left, past the glowing, watery display, and you'll find more stairs. Follow the path to its end and you'll find a High Potion.
  • Through the door near the High Potion you'll find a lovely garden, and if you follow Jill (the girl with the dog) she'll lead you to Joshua, Clive's brother. On the far side of the garden are a line of pillars, and if you check behind them you'll find a Potion.
Near Joshua you'll find the door leading into the throne room of the castle. Hold down R2 to open it up. Inside you'll have a chat with the archduke, and learn of Clive's next mission. Once he's done talking you can use the stairs on either side of the throne to trek up to the second floor of the castle, where you'll find a balcony with a lovely view - and Clive's chambers. More cut scenes follow, and the next morning Clive will be on his way to his first assignment: Clearing Goblins out of a bog.

Main Walkthrough