Scott Clay
New Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae Details
We don't get to drive the car just yet.
02.22.15 - 3:01 PM

In a recent livestream, Square Enix gave a full rundown on the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo that will be included in early copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. The livestream featured Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata and three other developers playing a live version of the demo on the PlayStation 4. It should be noted that digital copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will also include the demo, but only for the first two months of release.

The demo spans around 3 hours long, and even has its own ending. It also has some features cut out of it that will be available in the full game. Most notable of these features is the ability to drive the car. In the final version, there are times where you won't be able to drive and the demo focuses on one of these. In particular, the group is trying to get money to pay for repairs to the car, which explains its absence.

Controls are basic with the right stick controlling the camera and left stick controlling movement. You use the X button to jump, L3 button to dash, and the square button to attack. To perform combos you simply hold down the square button. Shift and Shift Breaks are down with circle and allow you to warp toward locked on enemies and attack, assuming you have enough MP. You must use MP carefully, as guarding with the L1 button and ability usage with the triangle button both use MP as well. Each weapon has it's own ability and can be swapped on the fly by using the X button and then pressing the left and right sticks.

The demo begins with a title screen that moves in real time, and the game starts in the morning despite the title screen showing the moon. One day of game time is equal to about 45 minutes in the demo version. When you encounter enemies on the field a red gauge suddenly appears on the upper part of the screen. The gauge will slowly fill as the enemy is targeting the player, but if you dash away before it fills you can avoid the battle. Battle BGM only plays when the red gauge is activated giving you a good idea of when you need to do battle. Depending on the enemy some will be aggressive, such as a Totetsu which will chase the player while you are on the field, while others like Garula will mind it's own business unless provoked by the player. The Garula, which drops meat used in camping, is a particular nasty enemy and should not be attacked unless the party is prepared for it. Defeating the Behemoth, who's named "Smoke Eye", will award you with a huge prize, but be warned he is very difficult. Also depending on the time of day certain enemies will also show their face. Goblins only show up at night, will attempt to steal your items, and can inflict you with poison status.

Battles in Final Fantasy XV basically involve attacking, guarding against enemy attacks, and then attacking again. If an enemy shines and you time your guard correctly, you have the chance to counterattack with parry. If at anytime you run out of MP, it's possible to recover them by taking shelter in cover points.

When not in battle, you can access the Travel Menu, which allows you to check the map and determine your next location. On the map you can chance the marker to give yourself a better sense direction and look for blue points which indicate gathering points. At these points you can sell the items you've obtained for gil. Since the point of the demo is to earn money to pay for the car repairs these gathering points prove invaluable.

While also in the menu the players will have the chance to change Noctis' equipment and use items. You won't, however, be able to change the rest of the party's equipment. Each piece of equipment has "Break", "Rush", "Slash", 'Counter", and "Raid" labels. Break weapons are weapons you want to strike with first, while Rush weapons are for continuous attacks after the initial strike. It is important to balance the correct use of weapons depending on the enemy you are fighting.

When it gets dark out you will eventually set up for camp, which plays an important role in the game. Ignis is the cook, and depending on what kind of food he makes the party will get different buffs. Players can also accumulate experience camping, and level up if they meet the experience requirements. This is the only time in the game you can level up. After the camp is over, the game will auto-save and morning will come. Once you have camped at a particular location you can return to it at any time. The buffs from eating will become weaker depending on the number of days that elapsed, so it's recommended that players eat periodically while camping.

At the end of the livestream Tabata held a Q&A and touched on some important aspects of the demo and the game in general.

  • Game over does not happen when Nocits hits 0 HP. It only means that he is in "critical condition" status, and you need to heal with items or by your companions before the red gauge that is displayed runs out. If you heal up, you'll be good to go.
  • The demo does not run at 1080p and 30 FPS. Full HD is only planned for the final version.
  • Tabata doesn't know if the full version map will be 10-20 times the size of the demo version.
  • The weather will not change in the demo version and is a only planned for the full version.
  • Weapons regularly used in battle are different from the Phantom Sword summon weapons. The demo provides regular weapons that won't increase, but you can obtain the Phantom Swords. You must explore in order to find them.
  • There is only one co-op move in the demo because the co-op moves are to strong and gradually learned throughout the game.
  • There will be no carry over data to the final release, but Square Enix might give players some sort of bonus for having the save data from the demo.
  • The adamantoise is not in the demo version since it is a story element.
  • Airships are still being talked about, and Tabata will talk more about them after the demo is released.
  • The demo's ending touches on story of the retail version.
  • The full version is only 60% complete.

If you wish to watch the live playing of the demo yourself, you can check out the video below. Please note that the demo does not start until 32:11 into the video:

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae will be released alongside Final Fantasy Type-0 HD as a special download code available March 17th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The full game's release date has yet to be determined.


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