WARNING: Contains complete spoilers for the events of Final Fantasy XVI.
As you’d expect for a game in the series, Final Fantasy 16’s final hours are wild. After all, this is a game featuring giant monsters punching each other, so naturally the finale had to be super-massive. If you’ve beaten the game and want to know more about it, or if you don’t plan on playing it and just want to skip to the end, you’re in the right place. Prepare for the biggest spoilers as we try to reveal everything that happened in the final hours of Final Fantasy 16.
Long ago, the god Ultima and her kin created magic. It allowed them to thrive, but at the cost of the world-destroying Blight. The gods were powerless to stop it, so the 16 survivors fled to the new world, Valistea. However, Blight followed them to this new land, and the gods realized they had only one option. It’s about building a whole new world.
Casting spells to create this new world requires vast amounts of magical power and a vessel strong enough to wield it. To gain that power, the gods sacrificed their bodies to create the Mother Crystal, a gigantic structure that drained the natural ether that flowed through the soil of Valistea. To obtain that vessel, they created mankind. Over generations, this new race would eventually give rise to mythology. A human with unimaginable power. Mythos can then be inhabited by Ultima, who will cast a spell to create the world using the power harvested by the Mother Crystal.
Ultima and her kin went into hibernation, as such a plan would take a thousand years to come to fruition. But by abandoning their pious duties to humanity, Valistia’s new people were lost. Forced to fend for themselves, they eventually gained their own will and self-determination. That led to the discovery of magic, which in turn sparked conflicts and wars, and eventually caused the Blight to engulf the world. In other words, mankind has repeated the failure of the Creator.
Ultima awakens when Clive and Syd destroy Drake’s head. Joshua successfully uses the power of the phoenix to trap Ultima’s spirit in a cage, but God already realizes that Clive, who can harness multiple Akon’s powers, is Mithos. Ultima thus began the final stages of its planning. By influencing King Barnabas and Emperor Olivier, Ultima allowed Clive to clash with the Great Powers, murder Dominants, absorb their Akon, and gradually build up the power of Mythos. He also used his influence to further Clive’s quest to destroy the Mother Crystal. Because when the Mother Crystal shatters, it means that another God’s spirit is released.
Now that Clive has absorbed all of Akon’s powers, Mythos has nearly reached full potential. It’s time for Ultima to prepare the “Raise”. A spell he reveals allows the gods to ascend to paradise, but destroys all of humanity and Valistea in the process.
Mythos and Ifrit Revived
Mythos’ final form is the Ifrit Risen, a giant creature that is a combination of an Ifrit and a Phoenix. Statues of the Ifrit resurrection can be seen throughout Valistea as part of religious murals, but it was not until Joshua visited Gjallarhorn in Warod that he discovered the full version of the murals.
The painting depicts seven Akon, Garuda, Ramu, Shiva, Titan, Bahamut, Odin, and the Lost Leviathan, looking up in worship at the Ifrit Resurrection. The absence of Ifrit and Phoenix in their solo forms suggests that they, and by extension Ifrit Risen, are not Akon like other summons. This is further hinted at in Interdimensional Rift when Clive and Joshua encounter Ultima Prime, a decaying body resembling an Ifrit. It makes sense that Ultima’s vessel would have a similar appearance to his own previous physical body.
Ultima’s plan revolves around the creation of Mythos, but he also foresaw the possibility of Logos. A corrupted version of Mythos with a will of his own. This is what Clive really is. Since mankind was abandoned by the gods, Mythos was born with the power of self-determination to acquire his own will and make his own choices. Furthermore, in the generations since Ultima abandoned Valistia, the humans’ trust in him has waned, which has weakened him. However, Clive, strengthened by the faith of his friends, is able to resist Ultima and bring an end to his apocalyptic plans.
stop the ultima
After the final one of Valistia’s five Mother Crystals is destroyed in the battle at Warod’s Stonehill Fortress, the defeated Ultima retreat to Twinside. It is revealed that the city was built on Origin, the ark from which the gods came to Valistea a thousand years ago. Ultima lifts Origin into the sky and envelops it in crystals, immediately beginning to drain ether from the ground. As it does so, the plague spreads faster, flooding the land with ether, turning people and animals into ignorant servants of the Ultima known as Akashic.
Clive, Joshua, and Dion decide to launch an attack on Origin. Dion transforms into Bahamut and flies his brothers through Ultima’s army to the Origin Crystal. Inside, the three use Akon to cause a massive explosion. The explosion only stalls the Ultima, but Dion is killed and Clive seriously injured. Joshua uses the power of the phoenix to cure his younger brother, but this leaves him so weak that he can barely walk.
Clive transports Joshua to the Core of Origins where Ultima awaits. The God merges with the spirits of his kind that have been released from the Mother Crystal, and pulls out the final piece from Joshua’s chest, the soul trapped in Drake’s head. Once all the gods are united into a single consciousness and the Origin is filled with all the necessary ether, the spell is prepared to create a new world. All Ultima has to do now is populate Mythos.
In his final moments, Joshua gives Clive all of Phoenix’s powers, allowing him to become an Ifrit Risen himself. Clive then battles the Ultima in his massive three-phase battle, with both using Akon’s powers to inflict immense damage on each other. Ultima does everything in his power to bring Clive into submission, but is ultimately defeated by his own creation.
Lying on her deathbed, Ultima asks Clive what he will do with his newfound freedom. Clive recognizes that humanity is imperfect and will continue to suffer for generations to come, but explains that it will be worth the suffering in order to be free. Then he absorbs the power of Ultima and finally becomes Logos.
Upon learning of the detrimental effects of magic not only on Valistia, but on the world before it, Clive realized that magic must be completely eradicated in order to save mankind. The only way he can do that is by using the full power of the Ultima Vessel to burn through Origin’s heart and destroy the final Mother Crystal.
“Apparently, the Ultima was too powerful for this ship,” says Clive. “But while I’m at it, maybe I can use it to right the situation and see Ultima’s legacy go up in flames, even if it means my end.”
That’s the act of killing him. But realizing it’s the only way out, Clive makes the ultimate sacrifice. The final Mother Crystal is destroyed and the world is freed. Clive is then washed up on the beach. There he looks up at the newly clear starry sky. He watches his own magic fade away, then slips into the death of a hero.
Or does he? Jill and Torgal then look up at the night sky, where they see Meteor’s star burning brightly. The people of Valistia believe that if you make a wish on Meteor, her heartfelt wishes will come true. At the sight of the stars, Jill breaks down in tears and Torgal howls, but perhaps he cries out of relief rather than sadness. Jill frequently prayed to Meteor for Clive’s return, so perhaps the power of the wish-granting star saved Clive? The fate of our hero remains unknown.
post credits scene
After the credits roll, we see a short post-credits scene that serves as a sweet epilogue to the journey. A boy resembling Clive is seen building a fire with wood and flint, and he tells his mother that he wished he had Akon’s flame. She tells him that magic is just a fairy tale. As the boy goes to play with his blond-haired brother and his faithful dog, the camera shows a book called Final Fantasy, written by Joshua Rothfield. Joshua appears to have written a semi-complete account of his own journey before heading to Origin. However, while the actual events of the game were recorded, hundreds of years later they are considered to be mere myths. To the happy sounds of Clive, Joshua and Togal, the two brothers and their dog play in the garden and recreate their favorite book moments. They live free lives thanks to the sacrifices of their brothers.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.