Spoiler Warning: The following article features very mild spoilers for Final Fantasy 16, discussing a small element of its level design from around 10 hours into the game.
Final Fantasy 16 may be set in a completely fresh world, but that hasn’t stopped Square Enix including references to previous games in the franchise.
Fans playing through the long-awaited RPG have spotted one subtle reference to a beloved Final Fantasy character in the form of the Black Mage (or Vivi depending on your preference).
The throwback can be found in the Martha’s Rest area players will come across at around eight to 10 hours into Final Fantasy 16. By heading to the field around the back of the buildings, players can see a scarecrow that looks remarkably similar to the classic Black Mage character model.
“The fact he’s beside a windmill is a really nice touch”, said xMeRk in the comments of the above post, who noticed another reference about Vivi specifically. “If I recall correctly, Vivi was really excited to see a windmill in Final Fantasy 9 at Dali.”
Given the darker, more adult nature of Final Fantasy 16, other users joked this may be less a reference and more a dark end for the beloved character. “With how dark this game has been thus far, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was Vivi’s corpse,” said Sousuke42.
Final Fantasy 16 launched on Thursday June 22 to much fanfare from Square Enix, which put the game’s signature sword on display in the Tower of London as a marketing stunt. Players who tried the demo ahead of time also grew obsessed with a new feature called Active Time Lore and are calling for it to be an industry standard going forward.
In our 9/10 review of the game, IGN said: “Featuring fast, reflex driven, action heavy combat, Final Fantasy 16 is certainly a departure from what fans may expect out of a Final Fantasy game, but its excellent story, characters, and world building are right up there with the best the series has to offer, and the innovative Active Time Lore feature should set a new standard for how lengthy, story-heavy games keep players invested in its world.”
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.