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45-Minute Stream of the FFXV Demo, Episode Duscae, Reveals New Details

In case you haven’t heard by now, Square Enix held a live stream this morning with Final Fantasy XV director, Hajime Tabata, to demonstrate the demo version of the game, “Episode Duscae”. You can watch the game in action above, and we’ve collected all the important information below.

“Episode Duscae” is to be included with first-print physical copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and will also be available with digital copies of Type-0 HD for the first two months after its release date, which is on March 17 in North America, and March 20 in Europe.

The Final Fantasy XV demo will be available for download one hour after FF Type-0 HD goes on sale, and will contain about three hours of content. The demo doesn’t run at 1080p and 30 frames per second, but full HD is planned for the final version. There will be no data importing from the demo to the full game.

Tabata estimates the full version of the game is now 60% complete. At the Tokyo Game Show, it was estimated the game was 55% complete.

There’s a lot more information to get through about the actual game/demo itself, so it’s bullet time:

World

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  • One in-game day is equal to 45 real-time minutes in “Episode Duscae”.
  • All travel in “Episode Duscae” will be done on foot; the car is not available because Cindy is repairing it, and the gang needs to find money to pay her for her services.
  • The game’s world map can be opened through the Travel Menu. Blue points on the map indicate gathering points. Items can be sold for gil.
  • Weather does not change in the demo, but that feature is planned for the full version of the game.
  • Airships still exist in the game, but Tabata says they will be discussed more after the demo is released.
  • Ignis can cook when players set up camp. Depending on the food Ignis makes, the status buffs given to the party are different. Earlier in the demo, the party were shown obtaining meat from a defeated Garula.
  • Players can only level up at the camp.
  • Camping at a location turns it into a fast travel spot, which can be returned to at any time.
  • The classic Final Fantasy victory fanfare plays after you finish resting at camp.
  • Enemy Totetsu will chase the player as long as they’re on the field, while Garula won’t bother the player unless provoked.
  • There are more enemies at night, and they tend to be more dangerous. For example, goblins, able to steal items and inflict a “poisoned” status ailment, come out at night.

Battle

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  • Players can warp (that is, teleport short distances) towards locked-on enemies, which will consume MP.
  • Normal enemy attacks can be avoided by dodging/guarding, which will also spend MP.
  • Players can switch between weapons during combat. Each weapon comes with its own unique set of abilities, which abilities players can switch between without halting their onslaught. These abilities also use MP.
  • A red gauge will fill when players encounter enemies, and if they manage to perform a dash before it is full, players can avoid a battle.
  • Battles in Final Fantasy XV essentially involve attacking, avoiding enemy attacks by guarding, and attacking again. Players can recover lost MP by taking cover.
  • There is one co-op move in the demo, wherein two characters attack together. More of these attacks are unlocked throughout the full game, as the characters grow closer together.
  • When Noctis’ HP drops to 0, he enters “criticial condition”, during which time a red gauge appears. When that gauge runs out, players get a “game over”. Before the gauge depletes, players can heal themselves, but are unable to take any other actions; they can also be healed by companions. Once Noctis is healed, the game continues as usual.
  • In “Episode Duscae”, players can change Noctis’ equipment and use items, but the rest of the party’s equipment is off limits. Presumably, players will be able to change their equipment in the full game.
  • Equipment falls into five different types: Break, Rush, Slash, Counter, and Raid. Break weapons are used for the initial strike, and Rush weapons are meant for continuous attacks thereafter. Speed is important for going up against enemies that have strong evasion.
  • Normal weapons are completely different from the summoned, floating weapons, the Phantom Swords. Phantom Swords use mana continuously while activated. In the demo, players begin without the Phantom Swords, but can obtain the ability.
  • Fighting draws attention to the characters, so the longer they fight, the more chance there is additional (potential) enemies in the area will join the fray.
  • The HP and MP of party members are automatically recovered between battles, but at a slow rate.

Thanks to Games Talk, Inside Games, Gematsu and Nova Crystallis.

Dimi Gronnings

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With over ten years' experience as an editor, Dimi is Niche Gamer's Managing Editor. He has indefinitely put a legal career on hold in favor of a life of video games: priorities.