Final Fantasy 16’s Time Skip Should Work More Like Memories

There’s not too much known about Final Fantasy 16, but if there’s one thing the trailer makes clear, it’s that there is a time skip in the game. Players are able to see younger Clive engaging in combat, while seeing older Clive later in the game. It’s clear that Clive becomes obsessed with revenge, and there are a lot of Final Fantasy 16 theories about how this ties to Joshua and Clive’s past.

The thing is, EXACTLY when this time skip occurs is incredibly important. It’ll likely impact every aspect of Final Fantasy 16‘s storytelling. For example, Final Fantasy 15 also features a time skip near the end of the game, which completely alters the story direction in a major way. Looking at this trailer, it would almost seem as if this time skip happens early on, but perhaps it should be more like memories than chronological gameplay.


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Final Fantasy 16 Time Skip vs. memories

It would not be surprising if the segments related to young Clive happened within the first couple of hours of Final Fantasy 16. There’s a lot of story to clarify, clear elements of detailed gameplay, and a bigger mystery that suggests future Clive’s work is nowhere near done, because of what happened in the past. It’s happened in games before where what seemed to be a large portion of a trailer is actually just all early shots. In doing this, the game could give players an emotional attachment to Clive, they could bear witness to these traumatic events, and they could be invested in the revenge and mystery of it all too.

But, this method—no matter how much it held back—still unloads a lot early on for players. The politics of Final Fantasy 16‘s Valisthea, the character dynamics, information on the Eikons, and far more are all things that seem relevant and pressing, and it would be better if the story didn’t unload a lot then sparse further information. After all, Clive’s face mark, the Eikons fighting, and more imply there’s a lot that takes place after this event. It would seem the attack/betrayal of Clive and his homeland from him could be a catalyst for future events, and this direct method means pushing it all forward in a straight line.

Final Fantasy 16: Clive’s Memories and His Revenge


That’s not a bad thing, but Final Fantasy 16 could make it better. Right now, the time skip seems like a solid assumption, but if the big mystery of Clive’s revenge quest was more stretched out across the game, it would be better in the long run. The game, for example, could begin with memories of Clive and Joshua, slowly leading up to the events of the trailer. This would mean players switch back between modern and past Clive throughout the game, but if timed and done well, it would help develop a player attachment more naturally. Clive clearly has some form of PTSD, and he looks into the fire early on in the trailer as if he’s remembering something. This would be a great transition back to a memory.

Perhaps when he sleeps or something along those lines, players are transported back to the unfolding events. This would let the past contextualize the present and expand upon big reveals as players progress through Final Fantasy 16, with the added benefit of easing fans into the world. It all remains to be seen of course. The time skip, having this take place early, and then focusing on adult Clive seems to be the most likely approach, but reliving Clive’s memories would be just as effective if not more so.

Final Fantasy 16 is in development for PS5.

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