Final Fantasy 15's last DLC, Episode Ardyn, gets a release date and a sad animated short

Work on Final Fantasy 15, a game many players thought would never even release, will finally come to an end next month as Square Enix puts the finishing touches on its final DLC, Episode Ardyn. A new animated short confirmed that Episode Ardyn is scheduled to release on March 26, 2019.  

Episode Ardyn is set 35 years before the main events of Final Fantasy 15 and tells the origins of the titular antagonist. Judging from its new animated short, it's a distinctly Final Fantasy story of love, betrayal, revenge and, of course, crystals. Square Enix says it will feature younger versions of characters from the main game as well as "essential new characters such as the scientist Verstael Besithia and the priestess Aera Mirus Fleuret." 

With Ardyn as its playable character, the DLC will also put a spin on combat through new magic and abilities. Interestingly, the ability to travel around in the flying Batmobile that Noctis and the gang use in the main game has been swapped for a more traditional fast-travel system called "shadow-stepping." It's no Batmobile, but sure, that's pretty neat. 

Episode Ardyn was originally going to be the first of four DLC episodes, but Square Enix cancelled the other three last year. Episode Side Story: Aranea, Episode 2: Lunafreya, and Episode 3: Noctis are no more. Their cancellation was announced alongside the departure of Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata, who has since opened his own studio, JP Games. 

As Square Enix previously announced, Final Fantasy 15 season pass holders will automatically receive Episode Ardyn. It will also be available for individual purchase. 

Even after all this time, the irresponsibly beautiful food in Final Fantasy 15 is still one of the best things about it, and it doesn't even involve crystals. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.