“… And after journeying far, four young warriors did at last appear.
… In the hands of each rested a mysterious crystal…”
Fabula Nova Crystallis is the “The Tale of the New Crystal”, which according to Square-Enix is a branding used for Final Fantasy XIII, Final Fantasy Agito XIII (Type-0) and Final Fantasy Versus XIII (now XV) as a platform to expand the theme of the crystal and connect each game with a central theme. As development of each game progressed, each project became larger and more convoluted, leading to the renaming of Final Fantasy Agito XIII to Type-0, and finally Final Fantasy Versus XIII to XV. However despite the renaming, these games are all still seemingly connected by the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythos as evidenced by Final Fantasy XV’s recent E3 unveiling.
What exactly is the mythos of Fabula Nova Crystallis?
This could be the entire problem with this compilation; the mythos is so confusing and convoluted between titles. Long story short, the mythos of all the games is that a very angry god kills his god mother, takes control of the world (Pulse), and creates a fal’Cie named Etro (who eventually kills herself, which then creates humans). At which point, another god creates a floating world known as Cocoon for people to take sanctuary. The entire mythos of Fabula Nova Crystallis is simply confusing with its use of overly-Latin names and poor explanation of the mythos within the games themselves. Sure, the games explained fal’Cie in XIII and how fate destines people, but what about everything else?
To fully understand the mythos of Fabula Nova Crystallis, it seems like all games must be played, and while that in itself is not bad, it is a bit concerning considering how long it has taken for each game to be released. Final Fantasy Type-0 more or less explains the same things as XIII did. It explores the fal’Cie and the concept of fate, while Final Fantasy XV will hopefully explain Etro (Seriously, she’s part of the games logo) and how her sacrifice means that everyone must die. One thing is certain though, while the Crystal had a large role in XIII and Type-0, it will take the center stage in XV, providing the heartbeat for the entire plot.
Fabula Nova Crystallis is taking the crystal theme to an entirely new level. Much like the original crystal arc with Final Fantasy 1-5 & 9, each game has a central story that it builds upon the theme, but in unrelated worlds. These games wanted a cohesive and relatable background story to create their worlds, unlike Final Fantasy 6-8 or 10-12, which all built upon their own background.
Is this all really a good thing though?
For all the games of the Fabula Nova Crystallis to make sense, they need to be properly explained in-game. Final Fantasy is a series of fantastic storytelling, game-to-game references, and for the most part, tightly-knit stories. With Final Fantasy XIII the series fell into a dividing line between “hate it” and “love it” crowds. Will Final Fantasy XV correct the storytelling problems introduced with XIII? More importantly, will it finally flesh out the Fabula Nova Crystallis? With a series so rich with mythos, it is a bit of a shame that this latest arc is hard to follow. Much like Fabula Nova Crystallis itself, Final Fantasy XV will determine the fate of the series altogether. Square-Enix has made it very clear that it cannot ever suffer another blow like it did with the original release of Final Fantasy XIV. Will Final Fantasy XV be the series’ Warrior of Light?
‘When darkness veils the world, four Warriors of Light shall come.’