PAX West 2023: Final Fantasy XVI Announces DLC and PC Version Alongside Voice Actor Panel

5 Sep 2023

At PAX West 2023, Square Enix held the “Voices From Valisthea” panel in which several voice actors from the newly released Final Fantasy XVI took to the stage along with Localization Director Michael-Christopher Koji Fox to talk about their experience working on the game and answer questions submitted by fans.

In a way that only Koji Fox could do, he started out the panel by warning of heavy spoilers, counting down, and then listing said heavy spoilers. If you’re reading this and glazed over that, let’s go ahead and put it in red font just in case.

The following article contains heavy spoilers for Final Fantasy XVI.

Koji then notes the games’ Mature rating and the high likelihood that the ‘spicy’ words used in the game may be used in the panel. “So if words like fuck, shit make you uncomfortable and you don’t want to hear words like fuck, shit, during the panel, you might want to put on some earmuffs or if you’re watching the stream, turn the volume down, because we’ll probably be saying fuck and shit a lot. Fuck shit.”

Joining Koji Fox on stage were Ben Starr (Clive Rosfield), Stewart Clarke (Dion Lesage), Nina Yndis (Benedikta Harman), and for the first time Jonathan Case (Joshua Rosfield).

The actors were asked a variety of questions such as, “How has your character resonated with you and the fans?” and, “Do you have any songs and lyrics you associate with your character?” to which Stewart Clarke replied with his own short rendition of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” as he imagines would have been performed by Dion, Terence, and the Dragoons.

During one fan question which asked how the actors drew out their emotions and if they were tied to personal stories, Ben Starr took a moment to be serious and recounted the tragic passing of his father while he was working on Final Fantasy XVI. “There is so much of him in this performance and I’ve tried to speak about him as much as possible because I think grief is something so particular to each person that goes through it and I want people to feel like they should be able to speak about this sort of thing because it’s just so fucking hard and everyone on this production was so incredibly kind to me during that.” He goes on to say “Through every step of the way I was supported, I was loved, I was held, I was told it’s okay to not be okay.”

The panel also took time to talk about the late Stephen Critchlow who, in addition to voicing Final Fantasy XIV’s Edmont de Fortemps, was also in the middle of recording Uncle Byron in Final Fantasy XVI. Koji Fox talks about all of the great lines that Critchlow had already recorded, and how they wanted to try and preserve what he had already done. They talked with Critchlow’s family about it and said they would try to find a voice double, or they would recast the character. Eventually they found someone, Ewan Bailey – who as it turns out was a longtime friend of Stephen Critchlow and was able to draw on the same mannerisms and quirks. Both of them are credited for the character.

In addition to the questions and answers with the voice actors, there were also several announcements related to Final Fantasy XVI. First, there would be a pack of 11 tracks from FFXVI coming to Theatrhythm Final Bar Line on November 1st as DLC for $5.99. The songs will also be included in Season Pass 3.

The panel closed with a video from Final Fantasy XVI Producer Naoki Yoshida. In the pre-recorded message, Yoshida announced that a new update would be available later that day which would include alternate outfits for Clive, Torgal, Jill, Ambrosia and Joshua. In addition to that, a weapon skin feature will also be added, allowing players to change the visual appearance of their weapon while keeping the stats of the one they have equipped. Finally, there will be minor changes based on user feedback such as new controller layouts.

Yoshida continues, noting that people wanted to see more of Valisthea’s story and so he announced that there will be two installments of paid DLC. Also, development of a PC version of Final Fantasy XVI is underway. Yoshida hopes to reveal more information on the DLC and PC version before the end of the year.

Image courtesy of Square Enix.