Final Fantasy 16 is finally here on PS5. If you haven’t read our spoiler-free review yet, we loved the game. Check out our review here. While Final Fantasy 16 does a great job of collating its many terms with explanation via its excellent Active Time Lore system as well as Tomes — a character that’s essentially your in-game codex, it’s easy to get lost in its long-winded and intricate plot. The story in Final Fantasy 16 is great so it is best you understand the basics of the game early on. This Final Fantasy 16 lore and glossary guide will cover what you need to know about terminology and more in Final Fantasy 16’s opening hours.
Final Fantasy 16 lore and glossary
Valisthea: The realm in which Final Fantasy 16 takes place in. Valisthea is made of the twin continents of Storm and Ash, over which the Mothercrystals stand timeless vigil. At the foot of each, great cities hame risen up oner the eons, and around them powerful nations.
The Blight: The creeping blackness that has begun to encroach Valisthea’s borders. The Blight makes vast swathes of land unlivable resulting in the realm’s many factions to engage in war for the remaining livable areas.
Aether: The source of magic in Valisthea. Crystals channel aether to cast spells to accomplish day-to-day tasks keeping farm produce cool or lighting a blacksmith’s forge.
Crystals: Crystals channel ambient aether from the air. This lets the normal, ordinary people of Valisthea cast magic. The supply and distribution of crystals is heavily regulated by governments across the realm. A given shard can only channel a certain amount of aether before it shatters. The need for new crystals is unending.
Mothercrystals: Giant glasslike mountains that are the source of every crystal in Valisthea. The land surrounding them are rich in aether, resulting in entire nations built around them. Five Mothercrystals exist in the realm: Drake’s Breath, Drake’s Fang, Drake’s Head, Drake’s Spine, and Drake’s Tail.
Bearer: A person who can cast magic without a crystal. They’re usually slaves and treated as expendable through Valisthea with Rosaria being the exception.
Branded: A Bearer who is marked with a brand. In Valisthea, Bearers are enslaved and identified with a brand on their cheek leading some to called them ‘Branded’.
Branded Soldiers: Bearers forced to fight for the nations that enslaved them.
Eikon: Magical beings of godlike strength that reside within human hosts known as Dominants. Eikons are Final Fantasy 16’s equivalent of Summons, Espers, or Guardian Forces.
Dominant: Humans that have the power to summon Eikons. Unlike normal humans, they can cast magic without crystals and transform into godlike beasts at any moment. There is only one Dominant per Eikon with a new Dominant awakening only after the previous one dies.
Stolas: A stolas is an owl capable of delivering the thoughts of others only to their intended recipients. Stolases are usually available to royals, nobles, and high-ranking members of state rather than commonfolk.
Final Fantasy 16 kingdoms, locations, and more
The Grand Duchy of Rosaria: Occupying Western Storm with Rosalith as its capital, Rosaria has no crystal of its own. Rather, its locked in battle with The Iron Kingdom for the possession of the Drake’s Breath Mothercrystal further west.
The Iron Kingdom: An archipelego nation off the west coast of Storm. It’s capital is Creag Loisgte. Unlike Sanbreque, Waloed, and The Dhalmekian Republic, it has no crystal of its own. Instead, it’s been in a longstanding battle with Rosaria for the Drake’s Breath Mothercrystal located in a volcanic island. The Iron Kingdom is insular with its people having little to no contact to the rest of the realm.
The Kingdom of Waloed: The only kingdom left in the continent of Ash. Its capital is Stonhyrr and is home to the Mothercrystal of Drake’s Spine. It is a warlike land with an alliance with The Dhalmekian Republic in the continent of Storm.
The Dhalmekian Republic: Located in Southern Storm, The Dhalmekian Republic has its capital at Ran’dellah, home to the Drake’s Fang Mothercrystal. It has an alliance of convenience with Waloed.
The Holy Empire of Sanbreque: Occupying Northern Storm, The Holy Empire of Sanbreque has its capital at Oriflamme and is home to the Drake’s Head Mothercrystal. Sanbreque is the largest theocracy in the realm.
The Greagorian Church: The state religion of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, whose followers worship the goddess Greagor as the one true deity. The followers of Greagor worship dragons as sacred servants of their goddess, and since the founding days of the empire, have both doted and depended upon them.
The Crystalline Orthodox: A religion dedicated to the worship of the Mothercrystals. Its priests enjoy great power, with the Patriarch — its leader — being the most powerful of all. The Crystalline Orthodox is best known as the state religion of the insular Iron Kingdom. However, it was once practiced throughout Valisthea. To its believers, the Mothercrystals are literal gods and the use of aether through magic is strictly forbidden. Dominants and Bearers are seen as monsters by its followers.
Final Fantasy 16 is out now on PS5.