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During my hands-on time with Final Fantasy XVI for our cover story, I play through the game’s opening hours, which feature moments from Clive’s childhood when he’s 15 years old and a flash forward to a 28-year-old Clive. Here, Clive meets Cidolfus Telamon, or Cid for short – because this is Final Fantasy, after all. Shortly after, Cid brings Clive to a place dubbed Cid’s hideaway.
This hideaway is one of the main hubs in FFXVI. While I’m not sure of its location in Valisthea, the continent where the game takes place, it looks built into a cavernous structure. It features a pub where you speak with locals about what’s going on in the world, side quests to pick up, and a music player, as well. I discover music tracks exploring Valisthea, and while these are new tracks from the score of FFXVI, I suspect music from other Final Fantasy games might also be discoverable.
Elsewhere in the hideaway, there’s a blacksmith where I can purchase new weapons and gear and upgrade what I have, and there’s a general goods stand for buying things like potions. I also find Harpocatres in the hideaway, who I can interact with as I progress through FFXVI to learn more about Valisthean history.
Hideaway loresman Harpocrates
Otto’s Counter is a feature of Cid’s hideaway players will interact with a lot, I suspect. Otto is the manager of sorts for the hub, and his employees will be helpful in Clive’s journey. One of them is Gaute, who handles Alliant Reports. These keep track of Clive’s ongoing relationships, and players can interact with a special menu to read the reports scouts create to record people in trouble across the realm. Clive can fast-travel directly to these locations to help them – or, in other words, complete a sidequest.
Not far from Gaute is The Patron’s Whisper, run by Desiree. At The Patron’s Whisper, you’ll receive gifts from people you’ve helped in the form of crafting resources, Gil (Valisthea’s currency), and more. These gifts are tied directly to the Renown Clive earns around Valisthea as his name and good deeds spread to its people. The rewards from Renown aren’t what you get from completing quests – you’ll get those immediately – but rather, a bonus.
The Patron’s Whisper
The third major aspect of Otto’s Counter is the Hunt Board. If you’ve played Final Fantasy XII, this board is familiar because it looks and works similarly. That’s not surprising, considering a good chunk of FFXVI’s team leads worked on FFXII. At this board, you collect bounties and perform hunts throughout Valisthea. Sometimes, you’ll stumble upon a hunt without the bounty, but there’s no need to stress about picking it up. If you complete the hunt, you’ll receive the reward associated with it next time you return to the Hunt Board.
The enemy will be boxed within a virtual arena at a Hunt location. The fight must occur here – exit the arena and the hunt will end, making it easy to escape if you’re in over your head.
Separate from Otto’s Counter but within the hideaway is Clive’s chambers. Here, Clive can read letters he receives. Sometimes these letters will lead to new side quests; other times, they’re updates from characters you’ve interacted with, and sometimes they’re warnings. You can also add some personality to Clive’s room via the Wall of Memories, which begins as empty shelves and spaces where trinkets from Clive’s journey will one day sit as a reminder of what he’s accomplished, where he’s been, and who he’s helped.
Overall, the tour I got of Cid’s hideaway was expansive, but I get the sense there’s even more to it and I’m excited to see all of it when FFXVI hits PlayStation 5 on June 22.
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