Every gamer has a favorite game. For some, that game is a masterpiece or an industry hit. For others, it can be an awful game that for some reason touched their heart. For me, it’s “Final Fantasy XV.”
“Final Fantasy XV” is a video game developed by Square Enix that was released in 2016. You guessed it because it is arguably the 60th game in the Final Fantasy franchise. That number does not include remasters and Final Fantasy games that do not share the title, like “Chocobo Mystery Dungeon.” It does, however, include mobile games and remakes. Without those, it is the 49th game in the series. The reviews for “Final Fantasy XV” were generally favorable of the overall game, critical of the weak storyline (and it is weak), and very praising of the four main characters and their realistic flaws, anxieties, and emotions, as well as their interactions with each other.
The game follows Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum CXVI and his three friends as they go on the adventure of a lifetime. From this point on, there will be spoilers. You, the player, are Noctis, a 20-year-old prince who must travel to another country to fulfill an arranged marriage as part of a peace treaty between the warring Lucis and Niflheim. He and his best friends set off on what is supposed to be Noctis’ last road trip as a bachelor but quickly turns into the fight to not only reclaim his country but save their world, Eos, from everlasting darkness. Throughout the story, we see Noctis and friends Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto at their lowest of lows as the tolls of war affect them in different ways, both mentally and physically. But the beautiful theme of Final Fantasy XV is friendship. Not only are Noctis’ friends always there for him, but he’s there for his friends as well. But beyond that, Noctis is forced to learn that he can’t handle everything by himself and that he needs to trust and rely on those around him, as hard as it can be.
I was at a low point when this game came into my life. I had just flunked out of Bakersfield College’s Applied Music Program, my relationship with my family was decently hostile, I felt like I had few people I could rely on, and I felt more alone than I ever had in my life. Shortly after a brief video game conversation on the transit bus with a friend, he lent me his copy of the game. I started the game on Feb. 23, 2018, and finished one day short of a month later on Mar. 22. During that month as Noctis, I had a revelation about friendship and strength that changed my life for the better. Your friends will often help you if you are open with them, but they can not help you if you hide everything because they will not know what is going on. It’s not weak to need help.
After learning that lesson, I became closer with many of my friends, including my best friend, and my mental health improved a lot. The more I opened up and let my walls down, the more my friends would do the same, eventually resulting in mutually strengthened bonds between us. To get close to others, you have to let them get close to you. You have to be vulnerable.