This post is part of a Pastime Zone series called “I Cry Every Time”, or ICET (Ice-Tea) for short. The goal of this series is to highlight scenes in games, anime, TV shows, movies, books, etc. that have caused me to cry, weep, bawl, or shed a lone tear in response to an emotional state brought upon by the scene (not by any physical pain or irritation to my eyes). While ICET scenes are typically sad, they can also highlight moments of joy, nostalgia, love, and many more complex emotions.
An important note is that most ICET scenes depict significant plot moments that will likely include heavy spoilers. You have been warned!
In this next ICET post, I’ll be talking about one of the ending scenes of the 2016 Square Enix game, Final Fantasy XV. Throughout this adventure, you play as Noctis (for the most part) and spend close to 100 hours with your three bros, Prompto, Noctis, and Gladiolus. While initially the relationship between all of you is more like three people serving a spoiled prince, your friendship deepens into meaningful bonds as the story progresses.
Skipping to the end, after Noctis is trapped in the crystal by Ardyn in the group’s assault on Zegnautus Keep, the world falls into darkness as the prince’s remaining allies fight to keep whatever life is left from the demons’ attacks over the next 10 years. When Noctis finally awakens and returns the the World of Ruin, he sees that the world is in total darkness and feels a heavy burden of responsibility for the omnipresent evil that has spread throughout Eos.
Fortunately, Noctis is able to reunite with his friends and the four of them decide to venture to Insomnia, where Ardyn is waiting for a final battle. During his time in the crystal, Noctis learned from the god-like Astrals that he is the True King of prophecy who will rid the world of the darkness by defeating Ardyn and ultimately sacrificing his own life to accomplish this goal. After this happens, Noctis is reunited with his betrothed (who died earlier in the game), Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, and this bitter sweet ending definitely tugs at the heartstrings of many players of this game.
But in the end, Final Fantasy XV is not a traditional love story between Noctis and Lunafreya; it is a bromance between the prince and his friends. The producers knew this too, so that’s why they waited to hit us with the hardest scene until after the game was complete. In it, Noctis and his comrades are sitting around a campfire like old times, right before the final battle, after Noctis has returned from his slumber in the crystal. At this point, you already know that Noctis is dead and this is one of his last conversations with his best friends.
Noctis: “The four of us around a campfire. How long has it been?”
Ignis: “Hmm… An eternity.”
Noctis: “So, yeah.”
Noctis: “I, um…”
Gladiolus: “Out with it.”
Noctis: “I just… Dammit. The hell is this so hard?”
Noctis: “So, I… I’ve made my peace. Still… Knowing this is it, and seeing you here, now, (starts tearing up) it’s…more than I can take.”
Prompto: “Yeah. You’re damn right it is.”
Gladiolus: “(with a single tear) Huh, you spit it out.”
Ignis: “It’s good to hear.”
(long pause, Noctis stands up)
Noctis: “Well…what can I say?”
(long pause, Noctis smiles)
Noctis: “You guys…(screen blacks out) are the best.”
To really understand how sad this scene is, you have to watch the video (below). The animators and voice actors did superb jobs in how they accurately portrayed the real and raw feelings of the protagonists of this game. Now this is true love.
4/5: There was audible sniffling.