Final Fantasy 16 is just around the corner, and much of the title's gameplay has been presented in great detail. Of the title's newest features, none are quite as exhilarating, or unique, as Final Fantasy 16's Eikon battles. Eikons, previously referred to as Summons or Eidolons, have existed within the Final Fantasy series since its very beginning, allowing players to call upon their incredible power in certain battles. Eikons will play a much bigger role in Final Fantasy 16, with individual characters, called Dominants, being hosts to the creatures and wielding their unique abilities. Protagonist Clive Rosfield is one such character. However, his Eikon stands in direct contrast to the others revealed thus far, proving that Final Fantasy 16 is still hiding a dark secret.
Final Fantasy 16 will follow Clive throughout three distinct phases of his life. Since the title's earliest trailers, Final Fantasy 16 has been depicted as a much darker, and more mature, take on the beloved franchise. That dark aesthetic extends to the title's epic and visceral Eikon battles, which see players engage in one-on-one brawls on a monumental scale. While much of Final Fantasy 16's pre-release footage has depicted Eikons and their Dominants, Clive and his Eikon, Ifrit, share one unique quality. Ifrit is described as the Dark Eikon of Fire, indicating that its power, and reason for awakening within Clive, stem from a source of evil or darkness.
Final Fantasy 16's Eikons Represent Nations and Elements
While much about their connection remains a mystery, Final Fantasy 16's Eikons and Dominants represent certain lands and elements. So far, developer Square-Enix has revealed Phoenix, Ifrit, Garuda, Titan, Shiva, Bahamut, Ramuh, and Odin will appear in Final Fantasy 16, though only a few have been directly tied to a country or element. Phoenix, Eikon of Fire, represents The Grand Duchy of Rosaria, home to Clive and his brother Joshua. Garuda, Eikon of Wind, represents the Kingdom of Waloed, and Titan, Eikon of Earth, represents The Dhalmekian Republic. However, Clive's role as Dominant to Ifrit indicates that Final Fantasy 16 will reveal some dark secrets upon release.
Final Fantasy 16's Awakening Trailer revealed that the Phoenix Eikon passed over Clive, choosing his younger brother as Dominant. In the world of Final Fantasy 16, this means that his brother is now in line to become the Archduke of Rosaria. Though the method is yet unknown, a jaded Clive becomes host to Ifrit, the Dark Eikon of Fire, and the complete opposite of his brother's Phoenix. Ifrit's presence within the world of Final Fantasy 16 indicates a potential Dark counterpart may exist for every elemental Eikon, and, with them, a dark Dominant in control.
Dark Eikons May Be the Crux of Final Fantasy 16's Narrative
Final Fantasy 16's Dark Eikons have huge potential within the game's narrative. Clive's connection to Ifrit appears to form the backbone of Final Fantasy 16's narrative, as he seeks to use his dark Eikonic abilities to free humanity from the power of the Crystals. As each nation is believed to have a crystal and a Dominant who protects it, this motive puts Clive on a collision course with each nation's Eikon. It's possible that Clive's actions give rise to Dark Eikons within other nations, which he may go on to wield, in part.
The core of Final Fantasy 16's narrative appears to take place after a time skip early in its runtime. Following the jump, Clive is seen to wield some of Phoenix's power, potentially revealing Joshua's fate and the reason for Clive's mission. With his unique ability to wield the other Eikon's abilities, it's possible that Clive will grow in power, and darkness, while "freeing" each nation, possibly giving rise to Dark Eikons. While the identities of these Eikons are still a well-kept secret, their existence is clearly indicated. The nature of Clive's connection to the Dark Eikons raises a lot of questions. Yet, with only one month until Final Fantasy 16 is released, it won't be long until these questions, and so many more, are answered.
Final Fantasy 16 launches on June 22 for PlayStation 5.