The Final Fantasy franchise has spawned countless games and given us many remarkable and unforgettable characters. We’ve followed knights, soldiers, scoundrels, and magical beings as they fight to save their respective worlds. There is however one who stands atop the mountain. He is royalty. He is both night and light. He is Final Fantasy XV’s Noctis Lucis Caelum.
Noctis is the heir apparent to the kingdom of Lucis — as well as the destined savior of the world of Eos, as chosen by the magical Crystal. In short, the Crystal bridges the gap between the Astrals, which are essentially gods, and the True King.
“The source of magic and prosperity in Lucis, it is prophesied that, when darkness threatens the world, the Crystal will choose its champion — the King of Light. That King is Noctis, who was marked at the tender age of five.”
Noctis is one of the more complex protagonists to come from the Final Fantasy franchise. Most protagonists are defying devils, demons, and other kinds of monstrous individuals, but Noctis is something more in Final Fantasy XV.
Messiah, Myth, and Man
Watching the rise and fall of a king that you shape is rare. And unlike many protagonists, who attempt to challenge their fate, Noctis generally accepts his fate.
It’s a story that has more in common with religion rather than fiction, and it is for that reason that Noctis’ rise and fall are so fascinating. There are many parallels between Noctis and Jesus, and taking inspiration from a figure such as Jesus makes Noctis’ journey all the more tragic and mythic.
Noctis throughout the course of the game is referred to as the Savior and the True King. He sets forth on his journey at the beginning of the game at the behest of his father. King Regis states that what he does he does for his kingdom and the betterment of the world. This is part of Noctis’ guiding light, his father’s teaching and his love for Lunafreya his betrothed.
Noctis was also raised as a relatively normal child. King Regis, knowing of his son’s destiny since Noctis was five years old, wanted it this way. Noctis goes to school and has friends outside of his attendants and retainers. He’s incredibly popular and quite the celebrity, but still he’s quite grounded.
A Pawn or a King
In the lore of Final Fantasy XV, the safety of Noctis’ kingdom feeds off the life force of his father. The ring he wears that commands so much power is also his shackle, and once the ring passes to Noctis it again fulfills its purpose, shackling Noctis, ensuring he meets his duty, destroying him the King of Kings. Everything and everyone feeds off Noctis; he is a god, but he is a slave, a slave to fate. The potions and the elixirs that heal him and his friends would be simple sodas if not for the magic that they too draw from him.
Even in the promotional campaign for Final Fantasy XV, there is a trailer dubbed “Omen” that shows King Regis a vision of the future. In this future, if Noctis goes on his journey by himself, he will fail and fall to the darkness, ending with his killing Lunafreya. Wherever, whenever, Noctis is fated to fall.
The Duality of the Mortal and the Immortal
When he sets out, Noctis is ignorant to the tremendous burden placed on his shoulders, but when the nefarious Empire invades his kingdom and kills his father, and the stability of the whole of Eos is thrown into disarray, he has to step up.
Noctis travels across Eos. He faces trials much like the Greek mythological heroes, communes with gods, and slowly begins to understand his place in the grand scheme of the world. Though he becomes truly godlike tapping into a power that no one else can wield, shaking the very heavens themselves, he never strays from his prophesied path.
He damns it at times due to the losses he incurs along the way, but he doesn’t stray from it. He moves forward with his disciples, his comrades in arms fighting for the world. Much like Jesus, Noctis is also striding towards his demise, knowing that failure means the end of the world, but success? Success means the end of Noctis’ life, and he’s okay with that. He understands that he would be dying for the sins of all those in Eos, and he moves forward.
And his sacrifices are dramatic. His friends are scarred, both physically and mentally. His beloved is murdered in front of his eyes, and then to cap it all off, he is sealed away inside the Crystal for a decade, allowing the main antagonist Ardyn to plunge Eos into darkness.
Again, this is reminiscent of Jesus. After a time of supposed death, Noctis is reborn and ready to end the reign of the sinful, the daemons. He even has time before the final battle for a “Last Supper” with his friends. It’s a moving moment in the narrative of Final Fantasy XV.
The journey comes to a climactic finale with Noctis entering another realm, facing off against Eos’ equivalent of the devil, and dying so that the blight of the world can be obliterated forever.
Ultimately, Noctis’ journey is a religious allegory. He is a mishmash of all kinds of fiction working together to create something tragic and fabled. It is the story of a king that is both god and slave. While in myth and legend gods take and take from their zealots, Noctis tries to find a balance. But he ultimately gives everything he has for the betterment of mankind, as he was taught by his wise father who was willing to give the world his only son.