FINAL FANTASY XVI DLC Director talks ‘Echoes of the Fallen’ DLC… and beyond

FINAL FANTASY XVI DLC Director Takeo Kujiraoka reveals the secrets of the Sagespire and what to expect from this new DLC!
By Duncan Heaney

Let’s start with the big news: FINAL FANTASY XVI DLC has been announced… and released! The news was announced at The Game Awards 2023 - take a look at the trailer on YouTube:

The first DLC, titled “Echoes of the Fallen,” sends Clive and his allies on a new mission up the treacherous Sagespire - a mysterious Fallen ruin that houses a terrifying new threat. It’s available today, as part of the FINAL FANTASY XVI Expansion Pass or as a standalone purchase:

The next DLC, “The Rising Tide” was also announced. This massive chapter full of content introduces a fan-favorite Eikon to the story of FINAL FANTASY XVI: Leviathan.

FINAL FANTASY XVI DLC Director Takeo Kujiraoka has shared details about what to expect from this and subsequent DLC. We’re sharing unique insights and need-to-know details below.

We hope you enjoy it!

What is Echoes of the Fallen?

This new DLC for FINAL FANTASY XVI takes place prior to the game’s epic finale and begins when Clive and company discover a strange, dark crystal—one of a color they’ve never seen before.

The investigation leads Clive, Jill, Joshua and Torgal to the Sagespire - a ruin of the Fallen that contains many secrets… and many more dangers. This terrifying tower contains many challenging foes and some very valuable loot, including new accessories that will change the way you play.

And at the top is the most dangerous foe of them all… Omega!

How to start Echoes of the Fallen

To access the DLC, you must have reached “Back to their Origin” in the main story, and completed the sidequest, “Priceless.” In order to unlock, “Priceless,” you must have completed the “Cut from the Cloth,” “Phoenix, Heal Thyself” and “Where there’s a Will” sidequests.

If those conditions are met, you’ll be able to accept the new quest in the hideaway and get ready for the fight of your (well, Clive’s) life!

How this DLC came to be

Echoes of the Fallen is the first paid DLC release for FINAL FANTASY XVI, following a free update, which included new costumes for Clive, Jill, Joshua, Torgal and Ambrosia earlier this year, but DLC wasn’t a foregone conclusion. In fact, the team wasn’t sure whether they would do any at all as they didn’t want to use DLC as a crutch when developing the main story. In an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, the development team shared that they didn’t want to presume that a DLC would be created for this title.

Outfit changes were discussed during development, but more serious conversations about the possibility of additional DLC content didn’t occur until halfway through development. The content would be based on elements that they wanted to explore further, such as the Sagespire or the Eikon Leviathan.

However, the decision to develop additional content was ultimately contingent on player demand. After gauging initial reactions from players, the team were able to bring these ideas to fruition.

An Omega-level threat

Clive and company’s ascent up Sagespire culminates in an epic battle with Omega! This ancient weapon of unfathomable power will test everything you’ve learned throughout FINAL FANTASY XVI - expect a truly spectacular clash!

But why choose Omega as this ultimate antagonist? FINAL FANTASY XVI DLC Director Takeo Kujiraoka explains:

“Initially, the plan was to have a completely different, original boss. However, through our conversations as we worked out the details of the story, we came to think that players might enjoy it more if we included a familiar foe from the FINAL FANTASY series - and that it would give Echoes of the Fallen more of that FINAL FANTASY identity.

"That was when we settled upon Omega. Players have a strong impression of Omega as a mighty foe, and it was a perfect fit for the theme of the Fallen. So, everyone was in unanimous agreement.

“But Omega has appeared as a strong enemy multiple times in other FINAL FANTASY games. That’s why we decided to be quite faithful to the image of Omega that has been built up in these other games during the first half of the battle - to make players really feel like they’re fighting the Omega they know.

“Then, in the second half of the battle, we’ve created a dramatic remix in terms of both appearance and fighting style that really creates an Omega unique to FINAL FANTASY XVI. So, please keep an eye out for that shift!"

The great eScape

Eagle-eared FINAL FANTASY XIV Online players may notice some familiar sounds when they face off against Omega - more than a few hints of the classic track eScape. You can listen to THE PRIMALS perform that original track here - your eardrums will thank you.

However, the team was keen to ensure that the epic new boss theme wasn’t just a retread of what had come before.

Kujiraoka-san says:

"In the main game, the world has a medieval European feel to it, with a predominantly orchestral soundtrack. On the other hand, the Sagespire that appears in this first DLC is a ruin from the age of the Fallen, a civilization that was far more advanced than that of Clive’s era.

“As such, we intentionally set out to create something that felt very distinct from the main game, both in terms of the world we were depicting and the soundtrack.

“The Omega battle takes place against the backdrop of this cybernetic world, and I wanted the music to reflect that. So, when requesting the soundtrack, I asked to change the genre to something like a futuristic and upbeat digital-rock sound.

“From there, our Main Composer Masayoshi Soken went away and built out his own impression and sense of Omega as it appears in FINAL FANTASY XVI. As a result, the final track is an arrangement of the Omega Theme from FINAL FANTASY XIV Online – eScape.

“It’s quite a drastic rearrangement, and I think it’s the perfect piece for the FINAL FANTASY XVI version of Omega: the boss of the DLC, and the ultimate weapon of the Fallen.

“There’s no narrative connection, but I imagine it will be fun for players of FINAL FANTASY XIV to listen to the track and compare it to the version they know."

A battle for the ages

You can expect many exhilarating battles in your ascent up the Sagespire, with the Omega boss fight a particularly memorable climax. It’s something that the team is very proud of - along with the changes to gameplay brought by new accessories. Kujiraoka-san says:

"Factors that can dramatically influence Clive’s playable build in FINAL FANTASY XVI include abilities and accessories that can make individual abilities stronger.

“However, as we’re not adding any new abilities in Echoes of the Fallen, I wondered if there was a different approach we could take – to add some kind of element that would make players want to experiment with different ability sets and fighting styles.

“The new accessories being added in Echoes of the Fallen are the result of that line of thinking.

“Let’s take the Aerial Bit accessory, for example. This increases the amount of damage dealt to the Will Gauge by aerial attacks by 20%, and triples the maximum number of times Clive can use stomp to kick off of enemies.

“This allows you to equip lots of aerial abilities and spend most of your time fighting in the air, overpowering enemies with a completely new fighting style.

“If you’ve already played FINAL FANTASY XVI, you might have a certain ability set that’s mostly set in stone. If so, you’re exactly the kind of player that I’m hoping will enjoy exploring some different options with the new accessories by using different abilities and trying out new fighting styles to go with them.

"And if you enjoy playing Arcade Mode, it may open up some new ways to approach existing stages."

Echoes of the Fallen

There’s much more in Echoes of the Fallen beyond the thrilling Omega battle, of course. In fact, fans of FINAL FANTASY XVI will have a lot to enjoy narratively - including new information about the mysterious Fallen. Kujiraoka-san reveals a little about what to expect in that regard:

"In the first DLC, the story will explore the Fallen, who were shrouded in mystery for much of the main game.

“Having said that, we have so much lore about the Fallen that trying to completely tell their story would end up with us making another full game! So, alongside the truths that will be revealed in Echoes of the Fallen, we’ve intentionally left some places where players can use their imagination to speculate on what else may have come before.

“I recommend paying close attention to the environment of the Sagespire and details in Active Time Lore, as well as the story itself.

“I’m sure you’ll uncover even more intrigue and information about Valisthea!”

The DLC is also designed to be replayable - for example, you can play through on any difficulty level and there’s no shortage of ways to play. Kujiraoka-san says:

“Of course, we’ve balanced both DLC to allow them to be played smoothly on all different modes. Anyone can load up their save file and continue from there - so I hope you’ll jump into the DLC if you’re keen to spend more time with FINAL FANTASY XVI.

“The battles have been made to feel satisfying and challenging as well - first and foremost the boss of Omega. The new stage will be added to Arcade Mode, and Final Fantasy Mode will also support it in Ultimaniac Mode.

“If you love battles, or if you think your skills are up to the task, then I encourage you to take on the challenge!"

The Rising Tide

There’s more DLC to come after Echoes of the Fallen - the next expansion is longer and includes an Eikon that many of you noticed was curiously absent from the main game: Leviathan!

Named ‘The Rising Tide’, it sees Clive finally encounter the delightfully damp deity, and earn the ability to utilize its power for himself. The Rising Tide will be included in the Expansion Pass, which also includes the newly released Echoes of the Fallen. It will also be available to buy separately upon release.

So, what can you expect from this next DLC? As Kujiraoka-san says:

"We’ve tried to keep the first DLC a relatively compact experience, so that we could tell a new story in the world of FINAL FANTASY XVI as soon as possible after the initial release of the game. But since we’re taking a bit more time to work on the second DLC, we’ll be cramming it full of content! So, allow me to tell you about it with quite a bit of depth!

“Firstly, the second DLC will be a story about Leviathan, who is only mentioned by name in the main game. It will include a sidequest to explore the lore in detail, including the reason why Leviathan hasn’t appeared up to this point.

“The fight with Leviathan has to be seen to be believed, so keep your hopes high for a real spectacle!

“We’ve also added a new field area for the DLC, with beautiful blue skies stretching out above. But how can there be blue skies in Valisthea, which is covered by the Arche? All will be revealed…

"Regardless of the reason, I hope you’ll enjoy a journey under the great blue sky with Joshua and Jill by your side.”

“The appearance of a new Eikon also means that Clive will obtain a new power. Leviathan’s Eikonic Feats and Abilities are completely different to other Eikons, with unique effects. The combat team headed by Combat Director Ryota Suzuki has taken a huge amount of care when creating these new additions to make sure that they will seamlessly fit into FINAL FANTASY XVI’s combat system, while also being strong enough to make players want to select Leviathan as one of the three Eikons in their loadout.

"Actually, in the save file I use to play test the game, I have Leviathan set as one of my Eikons. It’s so strong! I can recommend the abilities for completing the story and for Arcade Mode.

“And finally… gaining Leviathan’s power will mean that all the power of the Eikons has come together. What will happen to Clive when that happens?

"I can’t talk about that in any detail, but I can tell you that we’ve got even more in store for you to look forward to. So, I hope you’ll look forward to the release of The Rising Tide!"

How to get Echoes of the Fallen and The Rising Tide?

Echoes of the Fallen is available today and is available as part of the FINAL FANTASY XVI Expansion Pass. This also gives you the next expansion, The Rising Tide, due for release in 2024, at a lower cost than buying them individually.

The Expansion Pass is available now from the PlayStation Store:

Echoes of the Fallen is also available as a standalone purchase. Please check the PlayStation Store for details:

Finally, to stay up to date with news and information about FINAL FANTASY XVI, including future expansions, be sure to follow on social media: