Remember this scene?
You could choose your own path for this scenario. However, I would like to see the entire Final Fantasy XVI played this way.
Here’s what I envision. Let’s say we have six party members at a title screen. Throughout which scenario you choose, you’ll see the story through their eyes. In this sense, they’ll become the main character. Playing through the story with one character in 10 hours, you’d have nearly 60 hours of gameplay with six. If we include for branching dialogues, we can see replayability increase.
I would also want to see Final Fantasy XVI recruit characters in a nonlinear fashion. So say you choose, Agni’s story.
She can roam around the map in an order she wants. This will be an actual open world, and you can actually go anywhere you want with no limits. We could take Final Fantasy VIII’s lead where enemies level up with you. The difficulty will increase no matter where the characters will go. Monsters may become stronger earlier in the game. And considering where you are in the story, the places and NPCs will change dialogue and actions.
Eventually, Agni (or whoever) will eventually meet one of the other party members. She can have the option to recruit them. The dialogue occurs with who’s in the party at the time. But this party member has his/her own storyline that you can play. Maybe s/he could have recruited Agni along the way. Maybe s/he doesn’t. At some point, the game will become more linear to stop the Big Bad. Whoever you choose will go through the same dungeons at this point. But who we have in our party affects the story and certain dungeons’ event.
So, do you want to play an all-male cast? Choose a male character and just go for recruiting the males. Same if you want to choose an all-female cast. Maybe you want to do a solo run? You could play as Black Mage Agni, the White Mage male, etc…
Why else do I want this way? Well, so far, this is starting to sound very reminiscent of Final Fantasy VI, right? Specifically when recruiting party members in nearly any order you want during the World of Ruin. Final Fantasy VI is the game everyone claims “has no main character”. But the original quote (and actual idea) from Kitase states “we began work on Final Fantasy 6 with the idea that every character is the protagonist of the story”.
This did not work out the way Kitase envisioned. Some characters had more time in story:
“Maintaining a careful equilibrium between all the characters was probably the greatest challenge I faced. However, I ended up so involved with each personality while scripting the scenarios that there were points where, looking back at the game today, it’s clear that I somewhat lost this balance. For example, as the scenes featuring Celes and Kefka progress, these characters (while not directly playable in the game) became far greater and more influential than originally intended when development began.”
To actually write a script making each character equally the protagonist could mean several separate yet equal overlapping sections. Each would ideally have a direct connection to the main villain and the plot. That would be awesome. Maybe the story could change to give more focus to the characters in the story? Depending on who’s in the story at the time…
I don’t know how New Game + might work in this scenario. Maybe we could progress through the story with other characters. What do you think?