Summons or Archaeans are an important part of Final Fantasy combat gameplay. These Astrals are a protector of the Eos and only be called by a certain person, Noctis in this place. Upon calling, they bring a powerful force to enemies and can quickly change the tide of battle resulting in victory to the party. Because of the new real-time combat system in Final Fantasy XV, summon beasts do not work the same anymore. We have prepared some thoughts and a short guide to give you ideas how they work and which summons are expected to be included.
How to Obtain Summons
Summons in Final Fantasy XV can be gained mainly by two conditions: A player need to beat and impress them in the fight. However, the battle sometimes does not happen to be a one-on-one fight between the summon and the player party. The third party like an imperial army is involved as well.
Leviathan is a prime example of this scenario. As seen from the video footage released by Square Enix in 2013, Noctis and his party are fighting with Leviathan and the imperial army at the same time. This also happens with the Titan demo in 2016.
The design of all summons in Final Fantasy XV is more epic than ever. With the change of designing progress, the design team is now merged with the technology team. This result it the smoother designing process and better result.
For example, more details were added to the sky when Ramuh is being summoned. Instead of only having the sky darker, the design team can add complexity to the sky making it more surreal. Leviathan is another example since more water movement is involved with her.
Because of the change in developing a procedure and improved technology, summons will no longer be just only gigantic monsters to the eyes of some people anymore. They can prove their majestic and big roles being the legendary beasts as the protectors of EOS.
From the demo, it looks like the major summons will stick to the pattern of cast, appear, attack. However, it seems like Square Enix is putting a lot of resources into summons this time and summons will not just be one attack sequence repeated for each casting.
Similar to elemental magics, Summons will supposedly consider the environment and react as they attack. Titan may run towards the enemy, pick up Noctis, and then slam his fist into the ground, or he may throw a boulder from a distance. The developers stated that if you are in an interior area like a dungeon, the summons will find you and perform an alternate attack since the “outside” version is far too big to fit inside.
Continuing with the theme of added depth, summons will not just be selected from a menu like magic. There will be varying conditions for each that must be met before you use them, although nothing solid has been revealed about these requirements yet.
How to Summon
Because of the new system, a player cannot use a summon anything he wants. Each summons requires you to be in a special condition. Whenever you can fulfil this condition, there is a possibility to call the summon.
To successfully summon when they appear, a player need to hold L2/LT for around 5 seconds without being interrupted. If you can do so, sit back, relax, enjoy the beautiful summoning scene, and the guaranteed victory.
Summoning conditions are as follows:
After obtaining Titan in Chapter 4, he can assist you only in an open area and appears randomly when your party members are knocked out. Based on your location and situation, Titan will either throw a huge boulder or punch the enemies.
Ramuh is acquired after Chapter 5. According to many players, he tends to appear the most due because of his summoning condition. Ramuh can be summoned in any location and his summoning condition is the duration time during the fight.
When the fight starts to be very long, the trigger to summon Ramuh usually appears. Successfully holding the L2/LT, he will annihilate all enemies with his famous move: Judgement Bolt
You get Leviathan at the end of Chapter 9. Leviathan summoning condition is very risky: Noctis needs to be in a danger situation. The longer you are in this stage, a high change Leviathan will appear. Failing to summon Leviathan can even cause the game over if you cannot use a phoenix down in time.
In addition, since Leviathan is the water god, he can only be summoned near water. You might even not be able to summon this Astral at all because of this.
The ice goddess, Shiva, is, sadly, your last summon in the game. She will be available at the end of Chapter 12. Her summoning condition is actually more complex than the other three.
To summon Shiva, a player needs to have one of the conditions to call other summons. Sometime, you need all of them. The highest chance to summon Shiva is you need to have a long battle with your party members knocked out, and Noctis in a danger state.
Based on fans pouring over screenshots and debug information, it is almost certain there will be at least 7 major summons available in Final Fantasy XV. During a Q and A section with a developer stated that they were focusing on “quality over quantity”. Although not all popular summons makes an appearance, they should give enough excitement to fans.
Working from a list of what the most popular summons are, what elemental types they represent, and what information has already been released it is speculated the final major summon list might look like this:
Ramuh is an old man dressed in mage robes first introduced in Final Fantasy III having a great power to conjure thunder and lighting. His signature attack “Judgement Bolt” can strike all foes at the same time. It is considered as game’s strongest thunder attack which deals, even more, damage than the ultimate thunder spell “Thundaga”.
Based on the Episode Duscae, Noctis’ HP need to reach 0 before being able to use Ramuh. When summoned, he will grab Noctis’ party with his right hand while executing “Judgement Bolt” to enemies dealing massive damage.
If Ramuh is summoned inside a dungeon or spacious area, he will throw his staff to enemies instead.
Titan is a gigantic giant who has the power to control the earth itself. It can easily break ground, cause an earthquake, throwing a large bounder at enemies with ease, and much more. Sometimes, it just only punches a foe in the face causing serious damage from his gigantic size and force.
First seen in Final Fantasy III, Titan is renowned for smashing or crushing opponents with an earth attack called “Gaia’s Wrath“. He also appeared as a boss during the E3 2016 demo “Trial of Titan”.
When summoned, Titan will rush to the Noctis’ party, grabbing them with his left hand, and use the other hand to strike enemies. Occasionally, he will throw a large bounder instead.
Leviathan, first appeared in Final Fantasy II, takes the form of a giant sea serpent, rising from the ocean to unleash a water attack usually called “Tidal Wave” or “Tsunami”. She is acknowledged as a very intelligent creature that can disguise, even into a female, and move quickly in liquid form.
In Final Fantasy XV, Leviathan is seen in the city of Altissia destroying the city for an unknown reason. After that, she is confronting by Noctis’ bride-to-be, Lunafreya. It is believed that Leviathan will play an important part in Final Fantasy XV story and can only be summoned when the party is nearby water.
Shiva, first appeared in Final Fantasy III, is a blue-skinned queen of ice and cold. Her signature attack is “Diamond Dust“. She is rumored to be included as one of the major summon in Final Fantasy XV until it was confirmed in TGS 2016 trailer.
Shiva is one of the most well-known summons in Final Fantasy main series due to her continuous appearance from FFIII to FFXIV. In addition, she also appears as summons in many FF side stories and sequels.
Her summoning condition is quite strange due to her unique nature. Shiva randomly makes her own decision to assist the party although a player might not want her to do that.
His appearance has evolved over time, but he appears as a Djinn, with a beast like horns and brown skin. His signature attack is usually known as “Hellfire” and first appeared in Final Fantasy III.
Appears as a kind of demon knight usually riding a giant warhorse. Attacks with a sword or lance, with a one-hit-kill ability called “Zantetsuken”.
One of the most popular summons in Final Fantasy series so far, Bahamut appears as a majestic dragon, using his signature attack “Megaflare”. Bahamut appeared in Final Fantasy I, although not as a summon. There are multiple versions of Bahamut such as Neo Bahamut.
There could be more than 7 major summons, but nothing about them has been revealed yet.
There will also be minor summons in FFXV, like Carbuncle from the Platinum Demo. Instead of dealing one massive attack and disappear, these minor summons may appear as characters following the party for a moment and providing support in battle. Minor summons could include Carbuncle, a mini Marloboro, Cactuar, and Tonberry.
Carbuncle is a small cat-like summon first appeared in Final Fantasy V back in 1992. It casts “Reflect” to the entire party causing all magic attacks to bounce back to the caster. In Final Fantasy XV, Carbuncle acted like a young Noctis’ personal guard during the journey in his dream from the Platinum Demo.
Carbuncle is expected to provide magic support to Noctis’ party when summoned such as casting reflex or protect providing both physical and magical resistance.
Summons in FFXV are shaping up to be a major part of the game and it looks like Square Enix is putting everything they have into the game. Hopefully, we will know more about them soon.