Hands-on with Final Fantasy XVI Echoes of the Fallen DLC

11 Dec 2023

Last week, Square Enix surprised us not only with a trailer for the two pieces of DLC announced at PAX West earlier this year, but also released the first of them the same day!

Echoes of the Fallen is the first of two pieces of DLC for Final Fantasy XVI and takes players to the mysterious Sagespire tower that was visible and previously inaccessible when the game launched in June earlier this year.

In order to access the Echoes of the Fallen storyline, players will need to be right at the end of their journey in Final Fantasy XVI at the “Back to their Origin” quest. Additionally, the sidequest “Priceless” must be completed, which requires completion of “Cut from the Cloth,” “Phoenix, Heal Thyself” and “Where there’s a Will” sidequests.

Once the story gets underway, players will be greeted with a few new characters as the story eventually leads Clive and company to The Sagespire. While investigating, there’s some interesting lore to discover and new bosses to fight before coming up against the foe seen in the announcement trailer: Omega.

When Final Fantasy XVI first released, I completed the game, though I’ll admit, I did not do all the sidequests, including the prerequisites for this DLC storyline. Nor did I go back and try the game’s Final Fantasy (NG+) mode and gain even more levels or gear. Going into Echoes of the Fallen I was around level 46, with as good as gear as you can earn from an initial playthrough of the game. The level cap gets increased with this DLC – up to level 55 in Story mode, and 105 in Final Fantasy mode – though I never reached a point where I was taking advantage of that. With all of that taken into consideration, I was able to clear the tower without any issues. In fact, I’d say that for my skill level, the balance was spot-on. By the time I got my last hit on the final boss, I was completely tapped out of potions and hanging on by a thread!

Another highlight of my time with Echoes of the Fallen is largely in part due to my history with Creative Business Unit III’s other game, Final Fantasy XIV. From the second I heard the new quest acceptance sound for this DLC story, I knew that my ears were going to be happy. While there are only a handful of new tracks added with Echoes of the Fallen, the ones that are there are solid. Exploring the tower will definitely remind people of their adventures in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward‘s final area, while the DLC’s final confrontation will make players want to headbang with the epic battle track. Truly, the worst part about this DLC is that I have to wait for this new battle track to be released. With tracks like this, it’s no wonder that Masayoshi Soken is winning awards for Final Fantasy XVI‘s score.

There was also another fun nod in the form of a boss mechanic that Final Fantasy XIV players may notice, but I’ll leave that for you to discover for yourselves.

Echoes of the Fallen only took me a few hours to complete in one sitting. It’s a nice return to Valisthea, especially considering it opens up a part of the game we knew was there, but couldn’t access before. I enjoyed my time returning to the game and look forward to seeing what the second DLC has in store.

Echoes of the Fallen is available now via the PlayStation Store for $9.99. In addition to a new questline, it also includes Cloud Strife’s Buster Sword and the Away (1987) Orchestrion Roll. Additionally, the Final Fantasy XVI Expansion Pass is available for $24.99 which includes both Echoes of the Fallen and the upcoming DLC The Rising Tide.

The second piece of DLC, The Rising Tide, will be available in Spring 2024 and appears to help answer another question that players were left with after completing Final Fantasy XVI: whatever happened to Leviathan the Lost?

You can read our full review of Final Fantasy XVI here.

Review copy provided by Square Enix. Screenshots courtesy of Square Enix.