When players reach the end of a video game, they take a moment to reflect on the experience before placing the game back on the shelf and moving onto the next one. Sometimes there might be DLC to play at a later date or maybe there’s no new additional content to look forward to. You get what you get. Then you have games like Final Fantasy XV that goes beyond story related DLC to give you fun events or extra features to keep you coming back to the game. The limited time special events Moogle Chocobo Carnival and the latest Assassin’s Festival make it impossible to resist diving back into the world of FFXV.
The Moogle Chocobo Carnival first released back in January of this year as one of the first new updates to the 2016 Square Enix game. The carnival later came back in late July and will run until the end of this month. This fun for all ages carnival, which takes place in the elegant and sumptuous city of Altissia, has Noctis attending the event without his male entourage but is assisted by the Carbuncle (a mix between a cat and fox creature that has a special place in Noctis’ heart from his childhood). As a side feature with no relation to the overarching story of the game, the carnival is a chance to watch Noctis indulge the kid in him.
The future king can wander around areas of Altissia either playing carnival games, like participating in Chocobo races, or help citizens in the city with small tasks, like waiting tables at a floating cafe or rounding up chocobo chicks that have escaped their pen. The point of doing the games or tasks is to earn coins for prizes to redeem at the prize booths or to get a free night stay at the city’s most poshy hotel for the best view of the fireworks show at night.
I played the event for the first time when it released in January and back when I was still in the process of finishing the game. It was also my first time seeing and walking through Altissia before I even got to the point in the story where Noctis, Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto would eventually travel to the city to meet with Lunafreya. I played many of the mini-games the carnival offered and spent a great amount of time screencapping the carnival itself on my console. The decorations and the overall beauty of Altissia was a marvel in and of itself. I particularly loved seeing Noctis just completely relaxed and separated from the dire events of the game for just a moment. There’s also some funny moments of Noctis interacting with the Moogle or Chocobo mascots to have him join them in their own unique little dances. You can actually earn coins here too if you hit the right buttons in time to have Noctis keep up with either the Moogle or Chocobo in their dance steps.
What makes playing the Moogle Chocobo Carnival worth it is earning the required amount of coins to see a special cutscene of Noctis enjoying the fireworks with the Carbuncle on a gondola, as it sails around the city to catch the fireworks at every angle. It’s also deeply touching to see Noctis genuinely having the time of his life and getting as giddy as a little boy on Christmas seeing these blooming bursts of color in the night sky. The only thing I wished the carnival allowed was Noctis sharing this moment with his bros. I thought it was a little strange to have Noctis attend the carnival alone, especially when Prompto was just as much of a chocobo lover as Noctis. Maybe even more so. Luckily, the recently released Assassin’s Festival has Noctis’ crew joining him for this event.
The Assassin’s Festival takes place in the city of Lestallum. It opens with Noctis and gang driving to the city to attend the event. It plays almost like story DLC with the brief cutscenes before you’re allowed to roam around the city. The special event is the product of a FFXV and Assassin’s Creed team up for this one-time experience. If you ever wondered what a mash-up of FFXV and Assassin’s Creed would look like, this would be it.
I haven’t gotten too far into playing this festival yet, as it did just release on August 31 and will run until the end of January 2018. The bit I did play made me eager to play more with Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto present. It reminded me why I don’t mind coming back to FFXV every single time. The new dialogue interactions between the guys are fantastic. There’s an option in the game where you can have Noctis choose to have him and the guys dress the part for the festival. There is a hilarious cutscene of the guys taking in their Assassin’s Festival attire, and Ignis making a comment of how he found the attire a bit revealing followed by some light teasing from Gladiolus. This type of interaction is what was missing from the Moogle Chocobo Carnival, and I’m so glad to see it in this new special event for the game.
When you get to explore the festival in Lestallum, the only companion to join you is Prompto. The more serious and slightly elder guys of the group, Gladiolus and Ignis, claim to have much more important things to do while the kids run off and play. But you can find Gladiolus and Ignis standing in certain spots in the city to talk to them at any time. Prompto may be the only one who shares in Noctis’ excitement for the festival, but I found great comfort in knowing that all the guys are within Noctis’ reach. I felt the absence of Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto during the Moogle Chocobo Carnival and it just didn’t feel right.
Similar to the Moogle Chocobo Carnival, you play games for coins to redeem prizes. Again, I only played a few hours of the event so I don’t know how it differs from the carnival. I played their game Whack-A-Cactuar, which is exactly like the Whack-A-Mole games you find at a real carnival and then played a shoot a target game. From what I played of this event, it seems like there’s a mini-side story integrated into the Assassin’s Festival, which will give Noctis the ability to play the assassin as if you were playing an Assassin’s Creed game. I look forward to playing more of this event before it’s gone for good in the new year.
Expanding the world of Final Fantasy XV post-game is a welcome one when you love the world and characters as much as I do. I’ll take any chance to spend more time with Noctis and his bros, especially if I can forget briefly how the story all ends in a very bittersweet way.
Have you played the Moogle Chocobo Carnival or the Assassin’s Festival? What were some of your impressions of these special events?