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Astral-Bestiary-Background-FFXV

Astrals' bestiary background.

Old tales tell of six gods who have stood watch over Eos since antiquity. It is said they now slumber, conserving their strength, waiting to awaken upon the coming of a plague known as the Starscourge.
—The Six and the Oracle - I

Astrals, also known as the Six (六神, Rokushin?, lit. Six Gods) and the Hexatheon, are summons in Final Fantasy XV. They are colossal beings that protect Eos and are worshiped by its populace as gods. As summons, they can be called upon by Noctis Lucis Caelum after he forges a pact with them.

The Astrals are recurring summons from the Final Fantasy series, and each is associated with a classical element from the series, although not all of the elements represented by the Astrals are used for gameplay.

ProfileEdit

The Hexatheon
Titan, the Archaean, steadfast as stone.
Ramuh, the Fulgurian, sharp as lightning.
Shiva, the Glacian, gentle as snow.
Leviathan, the Hydraean, relentless as tides.
Bahamut, the Draconian, unbending as iron.
Ifrit, the Infernian, fickle as fire.
Since time immemorial, they have watched over Eos.
—Cosmogony
FFXV Genesis

"Genesis," a painting that depicts various Astrals.

The Astrals are said to be physical manifestations of the star's power——in other words manifestations of the planet Eos itself. Due to their immense power, they are worshiped by the people as deities. According to Shiva, mortals were created in the Astrals' image. They are intelligent immortal creatures that have their own agendas, speak a unique language only understood by those touched by their power,[1] and play an integral role in the Final Fantasy XV Universe. Indifferent to human affairs, Astrals' behavior cannot be interpreted because their thought patterns transcend the comprehension of mankind.[2] Some of the lore concerning the Astrals is written into the Cosmogony books found around the world.

The Astrals are depicted as humanoid in the painting of the prophecy of the True King in the Citadel, although Bahamut the Draconian has wings and Leviathan the Hydraean is depicted as a mermaid. The physical bodies in which they appear to mortals vary, however. The Astrals, apart from Bahamut, are said to slumber in Eos, such as Titan, but also appear to exist in another realm, as their corporeal bodies can disappear and then reappear at different parts of the world. The Astrals are the only beings known to be able to exist in both the mortal realm and the "Astral Realm", although the kings of Lucis can facilitate a similar existence via the Ring of the Lucii, a power implied to originate from the Astrals.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

The kings of Lucis can forge covenants with the Astrals and gain their support to their cause. Covenants are rites by which the Oracle rouses the slumbering gods and entreats their aid. It is unclear whether the king needs to be chosen by the Crystal for the Astrals to lend their power, but there are only two known kings Astrals forged covenants with, and both were Chosen: the one who fought Starscourge two thousand years ago, and Noctis. Ravus Nox Fleuret seems to believe that the Astrals' support proves the king's worthiness as the Chosen, as he tells Lunafreya Noctis will have to prove himself by getting the Hydraean's blessing before he will aid him.

Though the king can summon the gods to his aid, he cannot simply do so at will, and the Astrals decide to help him on their own. Glimmering soul crystals appear in the air when an Astral is offering the chance for the king to summon, but according to Noctis, summoning "takes a lot out of him", implying it is physically exhausting to do. When Prompto asks why don't they simply summon Astrals for every battle, Noctis retorts "easy for you to say".

Shivas-Corpse-FFXV

Shiva's giantess corpse.

The transience of the Astrals' existence is best exemplified by Shiva, whose giantess corpse lies in Ghorovas Rift on imperial territory. Despite her corporeal body's death, Shiva exists as both the Messenger Gentiana, and as a flock of fairy-like ice goddesses, who now appear human-sized rather than as a giant. It is stated Shiva has appeared as Gentiana before when Ardyn encounters her, and says she had the same face. There is also an illustration of an angel-winged Gentiana on the Cosmogony. Though Shiva's giantess form is said to be dead, it has changed the local climate into that of a perpetual snowfield, implying it is still powerful and exudes her magic. It is possible that the Astrals' true existence is in the Astral Realm, and that even though their corporeal bodies can be defeated in the mortal realm, this does not truly kill them, as they can return in a new body. It has also been implied that the reason she now appears in a smaller form is because she was previously killed.[3]

StoryEdit

Tales of the Six fighting alongside Lucian kings date back to the age of gods.
—Ignis Scientia
Great-War-of-Old-FFXV

Great War of Old.

During the Old Calender Era, the Astrals were active across Eos. When a meteorite fell to Eos, Titan is said to have caught it, and in modern times it is known as the Meteor of the Six. Humans were created in the Astrals' image, and though most Astrals were indifferent to man's fragile and ephemeral existence, the God of Fire, Ifrit, admired their strength of will. Granting mankind his flame, a civilization flourished: Solheim. Ifrit's benevolence warmed Shiva's heart, who likewise came to love humans and fell in love with Ifrit.

Some people of Solheim began to see themselves as superior to the gods and spurned their blessings. Due to the perceived betrayal of the Astrals by Solheim's people, Ifrit declared war on them, triggering the Great War of Old. The Six are sworn to protect Eos, even from each other, and thus the other Astrals turned against Ifrit. The conflict was magnified by the appearance of the Starscourge, which killed millions and Solheim collapsed. The Great War of Old led to the creation of two major landmarks; Taelpar Crag was created during the battle between Ifrit and Bahamut, while the Rock of Ravatogh was where Ifrit's original body was laid to rest following his death.

While the other Astrals went slumber following the Great War, Bahamut alone maintained an active connection to the world. He put in motion a plan to prevent Eos from succumbing to the Starscourge, and chose a pious woman of the Fleuret family from Tenebrae, bestowing upon her the power to commune with the Six. Bahamut also gave her his trident. The Astrals are said to have gifted mankind a magical Crystal born from Eos itself, and chose a line of mortals to protect it, who became the kings of Lucis. The kings wield special powers and combine their strength across generations with the Ring of the Lucii. A king from the Lucian bloodline purging the world of Starscourge became the prophecy of the True King.

Cosmogony-Illustration-FFXV

An illustration in Cosmogony of the gods sending Messengers to a king of Lucis and an Oracle.

A king of Lucis is said to have once fought alongside the Astrals against darkness, and the Cosmogony claims this prompted the gods to gift the Crystal to him and his ancestors. Trials by which the Six grant their blessings are mentioned in ancient tomes dating back two thousand years. They are said to have left devastation in their wake with entire cities laid to ruin and people saw them as tests of their faith. The trials by which the Six judge the Chosen King's worthiness are known as Revelations. Rather than appearing to mortals in corporeal bodies, the Astrals communicate with mankind via Messengers that they send to the Oracle. There are said to be 24 Messengers.

Two thousand years ago Ardyn Lucis Caelum was chosen by the Astrals to save Eos from the Starscourge, but it is unknown whether he is the same king said to have fought the Starscourge alongside the Astrals spoken of in legend. Ardyn absorbed countless daemons to save thousands across the world, yet was rejected by the Crystal, then denounced by the Astrals and a future Lucian king as unclean. As his transition rendered him immortal, Ardyn took the surname of "Izunia" and vowed to one day have his revenge on the Lucian bloodline and the Crystal.

In M.E. 745, a mortal sought to corrupt Ifrit. Shiva awoke in the form of an ice giantess in the desert plains surrounding Gralea, the capital of Niflheim. Wanting to aid her lover, she led an assault on the Niflheim Empire, but was felled by its magitek infantry, resulting in an environmental anomaly: the desert transformed into a vast tundra trapped in a perpetual snowstorm. Having lost most of its army, Niflheim began developing magitek soldiers strong enough to fight the Astrals,[4] and speculated that the Wallbreaker Wave they were developing could enfeeble the Six.

Noctis and Titan In E3 2016

Noctis stands before Titan.

In M.E. 756, a descendant of the Lucian kings, Noctis Lucis Caelum—the heir apparent to be the 114th king of Lucis—is being called by the Archaean after the Oracle Lunafreya rouses the god. Noctis is guided to Titan's location by the chancellor of Niflheim, Ardyn. Noctis asks to borrow the Astral's power when he learns his betrothed, Lunafreya, was previously there, but Titan is attacked by Niflheim's magitek infantry. Aware Lunafreya seeks to awaken the Six, Noctis accepts their allegiance.

He finds Duscae is shrouded in a thunderstorm which does not clear until Ramuh's trial is passed and a covenant with the Fulgurian is made. Noctis is guided by Gentiana, the ageless Messenger of the Astrals, who communicates with him telepathically and directs him to where he must be to gain the gods' favor.

Lunafreya approaches Leviathan in Altissia with the Trident of the Oracle, but the Astral takes offense to being awoken by a mortal, warning that she will devour the people of Eos if Noctis fails her trial. Leviathan is attacked by Niflheim forces, and goes on a rampage across the city. When Noctis asks for her power she rejects him. Lunafreya repels Leviathan's attacks with her trident, but is stabbed by Ardyn while Noctis is unable to help her. Lunafreya uses the trident to call upon the souls of past kings of Lucis to empower Noctis, who forges a covenant with Leviathan after proving his worth to her, and summons Titan to his side who appears in the waters of Altissia in front of the Hydraean, fighting her off.

Noctis-and-Shiva-FFXV

Noctis forges a covenant with Shiva.

With Lunafreya's death mankind loses its main means to communicate with the Astrals, and Starscourge's advancement accelerates. Noctis continues on his journey to reclaim the stolen Crystal. When the train they are on is attacked by Niflheim forces, Leviathan dispatches them. When the train passes by Shiva's corpse, Noctis meets Gentiana who transforms into Shiva, then gives him the Trident of the Oracle and forges a covenant with him. She tells Noctis about the Great War of Old and tells him that only the Chosen can save Eos. She asks him to grant her love, Ifrit, release.

Noctis finds the Crystal deep in the imperial lands, and is absorbed inside it. In a realm inside the Crystal he meets Bahamut and learns of his destiny as the True King who can banish Starscourge from Eos at the cost of his own life. Noctis sleeps inside the Crystal for ten years, and Bahamut forges a covenant with him.

Noctis returns to the ruins of Insomnia ten years later to fulfill the prophecy. Ardyn ushers Ifrit—resurrected by the Starscourge as a violent thrall—upon Noctis. He prevails with the help of Bahamut and Shiva, the latter giving the death blow in the form of a kiss. Noctis completes the Lucian kings' contract to the gods by giving up his life to summon the combined powers of his ancestors to erase the Starscourge.

Spoilers end here.

GameplayEdit

I know now. I know why the tales are told.
—Prompto comments on Noctis summoning
FINAL FANTASY XV - All Summons06:18

FINAL FANTASY XV - All Summons

All the summons

The Astrals are unlocked as part of the story. Noctis must defeat the Astrals in battle or unlock them through other means to gain their favor. After gaining the Astral's blessing, the chance to summon them will appear randomly and the player can summon once per battle. Each Astral has its own requirements to be considered during the "summon roll", which happens every 10 seconds. While possible to summon during the first roll, it is rare. Summoning for the first time earns the Divine Intervention achievement/trophy.

Titan has a better chance of appearing the more Noctis's allies are in Danger or KO states. The player will have to be in a large enough open area to call him. He has different summoning animations depending on where he is summoned. He may simply appear from beyond the horizon, but also to emerge from the Vesperpool or Rock of Ravatogh. He has a unique animation in the battle against Adamantoise.

Ramuh's chances increase the longer the battle goes on. As he doesn't have other requirements he tends to be summoned most often. He can he summoned anywhere. There are two versions of his summoning: one where he appears to the skies in the open world, and one where he sends down his staff to deal damage, which plays when the player summons him in a cave or other restricted area.

Leviathan requires Noctis to be in Danger state and in an open area near to water. Leviathan can be summoned in Insomnia due to its water elements, and in Leide, where she will appear from the fishing spots.

Shiva's summon chance increases for each party member in KO/Danger, and the time the player has spent in battle. Shiva needs some space to be summoned, but can be summoned nearly anywhere.

Bahamut is only summoned during the game's penultimate boss battle.

Summoners-call-FFXV

Summon command.

When summoning becomes available the screen darkens, small white lights appear all around the area, and the battle theme changes. The lights resemble the "soul fragments", which featured prominently for early Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailers, and appear in the Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy series games of which Final Fantasy XV was originally a part of. Noctis's eyes glow red for a time after the summoning has ended.

In Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae, Noctis can call upon Ramuh when his HP is depleted to 0. Ramuh uses Judgment Bolt when summoned; enemies defeated by this attack do not yield EXP.

When first released, enemies defeated by summoning only yielded EXP to Noctis. After the 1.05 patch, every party member that has not fallen will gain the EXP.

List of AstralsEdit

TitanEdit

Titan Icon FFXV

Titan, the Archaean.

The Archean Titan is the God of Earth who resides in Disc of Cauthess under the glowing meteorite. He is a giant who uses Gaia's Wrath to damage enemies and has a higher chance of appearing after Noctis's allies have been defeated. When summoned, Titan appears in the distance, picks up a large piece of earth, and tosses it at the enemies in Noctis's vicinity. When this lands, several gigantic pillars of earth rise from the ground to damage nearby foes.

In the "Trial of Titan" demo playable at E3 2016, Titan served as the boss.

RamuhEdit

Ramuh Icon FFXV

Ramuh, the Fulgurian.

The Fulgurian Ramuh is the God of the Storm, overseeing the natural laws of Eos. He is a bearded old wizard dressed in flowing robes. He uses Judgment Bolt when outside a dungeon to deal heavy damage to all opponents within a wide radius. Inside a dungeon, Ramuh simply throws his staff at his foes from afar. When Ramuh is called upon, he scoops Noctis up with his left hand and wraps his staff in lightning. He then tosses the staff at the enemies below him, triggering a massive explosion that chars the surrounding landscape. Ramuh can be called upon in almost every area, and he has a higher chance of appearing the longer a battle lasts.

LeviathanEdit

Leviathan Icon FFXV

Leviathan, the Hydraean.

The Hydraean Leviathan, Goddess of the Seas, dwells in Altissia. She is a colossal sea serpent, and is described as elegant, intelligent, and "very close to the gods."[5] Though she has slumbered there since the end of the Great War of Old, Altissia's residents are wary of Leviathan, for she is known as cruel and not to hesitate to drown her surroundings.

Leviathan is capable of disguising herself and traveling in liquid form; she cannot be summoned unless there is a body of water nearby, and she only appears to Noctis if he is in Danger.

ShivaEdit

Shiva Icon FFXV

Shiva, the Glacian.

The Glacian Shiva is the Goddess of Ice, and is openly fond of humanity. When summoned, she freezes the surrounding landscape. She appears alongside several copies of herself and uses her signature attack, Diamond Dust. Shiva's summon chance increases for each party member in KO/Danger, and the time the player has spent in battle. Shiva needs some space to be summoned, but can be summoned nearly anywhere.

In the Chinese version, Shiva has a different modelShiva-FFXV-JPN-vs-China that gives her a shiny bodysuit and less pale skin. This is most likely due to China's regulations against exposed skin and the appeal for more human-looking characteristics over otherworldly ones.

BahamutEdit

Bahamut Icon FFXV

Bahamut, the Draconian.

The Draconian Bahamut is the God of War, and the only Astral to remain active in the wake of the Great War of Old. He appears as a giant man in dark armor with wings made out of swords. Unlike other Astrals, Bahamut is only called during Noctis's battle with the penultimate boss. When summoned, he uses Ultima Sword, an attack that causes several massive blades to rain down on the enemy.

IfritEdit

Ifrit Icon FFXV

Ifrit, the Infernian.

The Infernian Ifrit, God of Fire, is a hostile Astral who plays an important role in Eos's history. In the Old Calendar Era, he betrayed the rest of his kind and caused the downfall of Solheim and began the Great War of Old. Ifrit cannot be summoned by Noctis.

Creation and development Edit

Big-Bang-Yoshitaka-Amano-FFXV

Big Bang, a painting by Yoshitaka Amano that depicts various summons.

Leviathan was one of the first Astrals to be designed for Final Fantasy XV. She was planned to appear even when the game was known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII.[6]

According to Square Enix, Astrals are not "random creatures" that show up and suddenly disappear. Instead, they fit into the world around them, thus "forging a covenant" with them is meaningful. In regards to Astrals, Director Hajime Tabata has said, "You get them to help you. You ask them to let them agree to help you. In the world of Final Fantasy, there is one word given to them, and that is 'Guardians.' They are protective deities. So the relationship that Noctis has with them is that he besieges them to request them to lend him their power."

Astrals in Final Fantasy XV are recurring summons from the Final Fantasy series. Hajime Tabata decided which summons to include by considering only those that could be a solid part of a story, play a meaningful role in a game's world, and represent the Final Fantasy series as a whole.[7]

Titan was originally planned to be obtainable in Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae, but the Astral's story significance led Square Enix to replace him with Ramuh, whose existence in the demo is intended to show players what happens when an Astral is tamed and becomes available for use.

GalleryEdit

EtymologyEdit

Astra means "stars" in Latin.

TriviaEdit

  • Each Astral Noctis forges a covenant with is summoned once in the main story.
    • Ramuh during retrieval of the Regalia.
    • Titan during the battle against Leviathan.
    • Leviathan to save Noctis and the passengers on the train.
    • Bahamut and Shiva during the game's penultimate boss battle.
  • The Astrals' seemingly transcendental presence is similar to the concept of how primals in Final Fantasy XIV have both a physical and aetherial form.
  • Due to their nature, history and temperaments concerning humanity, the Astrals and their lore are similar to lore of the the gods and the fal'Cie of Fabula Nova Crystallis: Final Fantasy. Final Fantasy XV started as Final Fantasy Versus XIII and part of the same mythos as the Lightning Saga and the Type series.
  • Astrals have their own language. When Titan first contacts Noctis, he cannot understand it. Later, when Shiva speaks to Noctis after the party defeats the penultimate boss, Noctis conveys what she says to the others. Final Fantasy XV Scenario Ultimania posits that only those "touched by gods" can understand the language of Astrals.[1] When Noctis speaks with Bahamut however, he appears to talk in human language.
    • When Titan, Leviathan and Shiva speak in-game, the audio has been reversed.
  • Bahamut, being referred to in the Bestiary as the "God of War", is the only Astral not associated with the classical elements or the natural world.
  • The Astrals appear in the in-game bestiary even if not all of them are fought as bosses.
  • According to the Cosmogony, Angelgard was once the meeting place of the Astrals, where they would bestow their powers upon humanity.

ReferencesEdit