Final Fantasy XV Story Was Changed For Age Rating

Could Noctis and his guards, the main crew in Final Fantasy XV, have been members of a death cult!?

Over the weekend, Hajime Tabata, director of Final Fantasy XV, took to the game’s official forum to try to ease complaints about the cast’s wardrobe. He said that the reason for the Backstreet Boys costumes was based in the lore of the game: the different attire corresponded to the royal post occupied by each character. Furthermore, the fact that their clothing is all black is crucial, as black is a very special color in the history of the Kingdom of Lucis, the home of Noctis and his band.

Yesterday, Tabata once again took to the forums, and he had a little bit to say about what the game looked like when it was still called Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Apparently, in the original story, Lucis held the color black so dear because it was “set as a country of Reaper worship.” Definitely sounds like our main characters, at least in the early stages of development, were part of a death cult.

Unfortunately, “This setting is a violation of the age rating criteria for games in some countries, so we cannot push these [sic] theme.” Tabata goes on to say that the goal of the team is to be able to boil down the main theme of the game into a few words. He says that the theme they have come to is: “a game to regain a kingdom once lost.”

Sounds cool, but the “Reaper worship” idea sounds a lot cooler and would have been pretty unique. For those unaware, Tabata also directed Final Fantasy Type-0, which earned itself an ESRB Rating of “M for Mature”. While I didn’t enjoy the game’s battle mechanics (or its gameplay, period, for that matter), I found that the story had a depth to it that JRPGs rarely go to. It’s narrative followed a class of students forced into war, ill prepared for its intensity and the consequences.

Knowing that, it’s kind of disappointing to know Tabata had to sacrifice such an interesting idea. Regardless, it still seems that he and his team are committed to maintaining a similar tone. I am not trying to suggest that an M-Rated game is necessarily better because it has that rating. I’m only suggesting that, while levity is good and all, it would be nice to see more JRPGs not commit the sin of having a story about a young man who knows little of the world, being called upon to save that world with whatever special ability he happens to have been granted (for reasons). I’m looking at you, Tales series.

That disappointment being made known, the fact that Tabata came out and said this is kind of remarkable. I’m sure the community will be angry that the game was “censored to appeal to a larger audience and make more money.” At the same time, however, you have to appreciate the transparency.   

About The Author

Jason Kwasnicki
Senior Staff Writer

Born and raised in the New York area, currently kicking it in Queens, and keeping an ear to the grindstone in this crazy world of internet media hustling. Having attended the George Washington University with a Degree in History, I'm sometimes inclined to use big words unnecessarily. While I typically play a lot of RPGs, I tend to like any game that is fun. My PSN ID is NY-Miller, so hit me up if you ever want to kill some Wizards on the Moon in Destiny.