We’ve all been on a road trip, and they can be a lot of fun as long as you end up somewhere nice and dry with a distinct lack of monsters, unlike the world of Final Fantasy XV. The roads in FFXV can be a dangerous place, so how do you get a leg up on the competition? Here’s an overview of what to expect in the first few hours of Final Fantasy XV and how to make the most of the road trip before you start arguing over who is in control of the CD player.
Create the perfect playlist
Arguably the most important part of any road trip are the tunes. After your initial hiccup with the car, you will soon be cruising the highway with the wind in your hair and Ignis in your ear. So it’s important to pick the right songs, and more importantly know which ones to skip (that’s right I dodged buying the Final Fantasy XII CD). The garages scattered along the highway in the opening hours of Final Fantasy XV offer great deals on soundtracks, coming in at a couple hundred gil – a measly amount of gold for that little bit of fan service; even if you’re strapped for cash, you can always listen to Affrojack’s Braver on loop.
Sleep under the stars
Most road trips usually result in some form of camping, whether that’s in a series of plastic sheets slowly giving way to the rain or a tent that was set up properly – it really depends on your friends. Throughout Final Fantasy XV there are loads of camping sites and they are a place to relax, cook, and even train in with your peers. So even though the allure of a hotel is always prevalent, nothing beats a night looking for the Big Dipper with your pals, if it exists in the FF XV universe.
Treat yo self
Even the most foolhardy of campers need a bit of respite from the harsh nights in the rain, so it’s important that you save up that gil and splash on some luxuries every now and then, like a nice meal compared to the edible charcoal a bonfire creates. You can dine in the finest of restaurants all over Eos, and thanks to Ignis’ perfect palette he will learn to cook these meals just by tasting them. Once you are full to the brim, you can retire to the comfort of a well made bed without the bugs for a little extra, and net yourself some exp multipliers when you cash in your EXP at the end of the day.
Cook for your friends
Once you are well rested it’s time to hit the road again, although after a few cooked meals Ignis will be dying to test out his skills. This means that you’ll need to source some ingredients before you rustle up a fine dining experience. By scavenging the local area you will find peppers, berries, potatoes, and wild animals to kill for much needed protein. Saddle up to a campsite and let Ignis loose when you have the right food and he will cook up a storm – giving the team extra bonuses to stats and levelling up his culinary arts in the process.
Ingredients aren’t the only items strewn across the world; there’s hidden treasure all over the place. Keep a keen eye out for small yellow chests on the map and you will net yourself some high value potions and even equipment. The eagle eyed among you might even find hidden treasure maps that don’t register on the radar, but that does mean you’ll need to scour every corner possible.
From hunting treasure to hunting monsters, there are rewards everywhere. When kicking about a few petrol stations you will be propositioned to help out David, the leader of the hunters. David will ask you to recover fallen hunter’s tags and point you in the direction of locals who have hunting requests for you (usually the owner of the diner). Over time these hunts will escalate and you’ll find yourself against bigger and meaner foes, so try to be careful.
Fear not, if the monsters of Eos are a bit too much for you there is always a fishing hole nearby. Fishing is Noctis’ favourite hobby and boy oh boy is he good at it – and by he, I mean I am really good at fishing. Noctis can find small piers to dangle his bait off and usually source a few lures from a local shop. This will get you some levels in his personal fishing skill and on the odd occasion gain a sizable fish for the whole gang to eat.
Pimp your ride
Fishing might not be everyone’s cup of tea though as those little shiny lures just aren’t big enough. If you don’t want to catch fish, you’ll want to catch the eyes of people passing by. So why not visit the garage and see if there are any performance upgrade missions, or missions that add a much needed racing stripe. Over time you will gain access to more elaborate colours, bigger rims, and more importantly mint coloured leather interiors.
Yo Dawg, I heard you like games in your games
Obviously a complete overhaul of your car takes time, so you need to fill that gap with something – anything. That’s when Justice Monsters V comes in. Justice Monsters V is a combination of pinball and a precision game. Tasked with rattling your various balls off the faces of carefully placed enemies in the hopes of earning items and getting a high score, you’ll lose countless hours to Final Fantasy XV’s new mini-game. My first and only outing on Justice Monsters lasted an inordinate amount of time, however, and I never went back because there was a real game to be played. For those of you looking for shorter games, there is a dart board somewhere but you can’t actually play darts – go figure.
Know your angles
No matter what you do in Final Fantasy XV you are accompanied by Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto. They are your protectors and your closest friends. Over time you will break bread and bones alike while strengthening your bonds. Sometimes this will create small conversations as they steadily steer a weary prince in the right direction or a brief jog on the beach as extra training. Regardless of what you do, Prompto will always be there snapping away, generating a massive database of moments to share and look back on once it’s all over. So be prepared, the candid camera is forever lurking – even in the heat of battle.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what’s in the opening hours of Final Fantasy XV, and you’d be surprised at all the little side quests in between, like helping a budding jeweller find the right stones or befriending a local cat. Final Fantasy XV has so much to offer in terms of content, and the only way to experience it all is to go and try it out. Just try not to get lost, the car’s satnav is a little shaky.