Final Fantasy 16 Could Be Exploring Playable Warriors of Darkness

Final Fantasy 16 is set to be a more mature and dark JRPG than many entries in the longstanding franchise. Even from the trailer, this much is clear as there is a lot of pain and death no matter how one interprets it.

It also has some pretty interesting applications for one concept often seen in final-fantasy games: The Warriors of Light. Although they are not always named that, like in the early FFinal Fantasy games, this party of heroes appears in most games: Noctis and his friends, Vaan and his party, Lightning and her comrades, and so on.


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In contrast to the Warriors of Light are the Warriors of Darkness. They too appear in many of the games, although often interpreted more loosely than the Warriors of Light, and it seems the Warriors (or Warrior) of Darkness could be taking center stage in Final Fantasy 16. There’s one spin-off game where they are playable and a major arc for them in Final Fantasy 14but if FF16 embraces this concept, it would immediately stand apart from other entries in the franchise.

Why Final Fantasy 16’s Clive Could Be a Warrior of Darkness

It’s not hard to see how Clive could be associated with “darkness.” It’s even more convincing when looking at several fan theories about the Final Fantasy 16 trailer. What’s known is Clive is angry, hateful, and wants revenge—these are not really attributes of a Warrior of Light. Not impossible, but definitely not all the way there.

The trailer also seems to suggest that his home is betrayed, that his country is not doing so well, that a blight swallows its lands, and that his brother Joshua perishes during the attack. That’s really enough to push anyone over the Darkness. Combine this with the idea that Clive is opposing the Crystals’ influence on Valisthea, and it’s not a stretch by any means.

Fan theories should be taken with a grain of salt, but a lot of them only add potential evidence to this—not detracting factors. For example, some believe Clive is somehow linked to the Dark Eikon Ifrit, and if there’s a similar Warriors of Light/Darkness duality to the Eikons, this only makes the case for Clive to be a Warrior of Darkness more compelling. Some also believe Joshua revives Clive with Phoenix, and this could explain Clive’s face mark after the time skip. If this is the case, perhaps returning from death is some aspect of the Warriors of Darkness—knowingly or not.

There are a ton of ways to interpret the trailer, since it is the only solid information on Final Fantasy 16, but a lot of this holds up—minus the fan theories. During Final Fantasy 16′s spring showcase, which should be sometime relatively soon, it’ll be interesting if what’s shown supports or completely retracts this possibility.

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Final Fantasy: Warriors of Darkness Are Not Necessarily Villains

The one thing to keep in mind is that, if Clive is a Warrior of Darkness, that doesn’t make him any antihero or villain. The Warriors of Darkness may be largely antagonistic across their interpretations, but not always. For example, the Warriors of Darkness of Final Fantasy 3 are just the inverse of the Warriors of Light. Whereas those warriors sought to prevent Darkness from consuming their world, the Warriors of Darkness had to prevent the Light from consuming theirs. In fact, the Warriors of Darkness aid the Warriors of Light in their battle, ultimately sacrificing themselves for the Warriors of Light.

Something like this, if less on the nose with interpretation, would work well with Clive. So, even if Clive appears to be a Warrior of Darkness and nothing changes, that doesn’t mean he’s in the wrong. This perspective, even, would be a really interesting twist to the classic final-fantasy formula.

What would really help this theory one way or another is if Final Fantasy 16 proves to have a party system. Right now, it would seem that Final Fantasy 16 is breaking from this tradition and featuring Clive on his own. This would definitely support a solo Warrior of Darkness theory, but if Clive does have allies join him in his journey, their general outlook on the Crystals and life could help show if this was true. If they were all rays of sunshine, it would seem unlikely that it was a Warriors of Darkness story, but if they were as equally complex and “dark” as Clive, it would only add more fuel to the fire.

With Clive looking to end the Crystals’ domination over the world, facing Eikons like Shiva and Titan on a huge battlefield, and pursuing revenge against an unnamed figure, it does add up for a potential Warriors of Darkness story.

Final Fantasy 16 is in development for PS5.

MORE: Final Fantasy 14: Heavensward Could Be The Perfect Preparation for Final Fantasy 16

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