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Final Fantasy 16 The Rising Tide DLC release date, gameplay revealed

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After months of teases, Square Enix finally revealed the Final Fantasy 16: Rising Tide DLC release date during PAX East 2024 with a first look at the expansion’s new areas and enemies. The reveal comes after the successful launch of the first DLC, Echoes of the Fallen, which added a spate of extra challenges and FF 16’s version of the series’ Omega Weapon boss.

Final Fantasy 16’s Leviathan DLC releases on Thursday, April 18, 2024. Yoshida confirmed that the PC version of Final Fantasy 16 would be coming “soon”, but it doesn’t seem that it will be available before the new DLC drops.

Related: Final Fantasy 16 PC Port Coming Later This Year With a Demo

The Rising Tide sees Clive travel to a new area called Mysidia, which, despite using a similar name, is unrelated to the Mysidias mentioned in FF2 and FF4. The team decided to reuse the name due to the strong connection to magic that it holds, which ties into the new Eikon, Leviathan, and the abilities it grants Clive. While most Eikon grant Clive new melee abilities, Leviathan’s kit centers on water-based ranged attacks.

The Rising Tide focuses on Clive’s journey to save Leviathan with the help of a new ally, Shula. Described as earnest, dignified and with a strong sense of duty, Shula aids Clive in battle in a manner similar to Jill in the base game. However, the Eikon fight will focus on Ifrit, and Square Enix says it’s the most difficult fight in all of FF16. Series director Naoki Yoshida urged fans to master all of Ifrit’s abilities if they want to be able to defeat this final Eikon battle.

Takeo Kujiraoka is The Rising Tide’s director. Kujiraoka started work at Square Enix as the battle contents designer for Kingdom Hearts 2, and he also worked on the base game of FF16 designing Eikon fights. A new enemy was also announced called the King Tonberry. Master Tonberries were originally designed for the main game, but the formidable foes were cut due to time constraints. These new larger King Tonberries are well countered by Leviathan’s ranged shots.

Another part of the DLC is the addition of the Kairos Gate, a new mode that unlocks after you complete the main game and both DLC stories. Kairos Gate is a combat arena with a UI that hearkens back to the old school FF games. It features 20 stages of increasingly difficult battles with three waves in each stage. Completing stages will earn you rewards to use in the main game, as well as ways to level up Clive for the next stage.

Those who obtain an S rank on all 20 stages in Final Fantasy difficulty will unlock a new stage with a completely new boss.

Related: Pikmin 4 Is More Popular Than Final Fantasy 16 In Japan

While the PAX presentation about the DLC was extensive, there was one question still left unanswered. At the end of the reveal trailer, we saw Clive with two wings similar to Sepiroth’s one-winged angel appearance at the end of FF7. Players are unsure what this reveal means, and Square Enix wasn’t giving anything away. We’ll have to wait for the DLC to launch to find out.

Alongside the Rising Tide release, Square Enix is planning a quality of life patch for all FF16, even those who don’t own the DLC. The update lets players warp to quest givers immediately after they complete a quest, and quest givers will also be marked on the map with a different icon to better guide players. You can save up to five skill sets with different loadouts as well, making it easier to switch between each one, and controllers will be customizable so players can choose what each button does.