The Regalia is a necessity. It’s a part of Final Fantasy XV daily life. Eos is such a large place, it’s impossible to get around on foot. I mean, you could, but it’s incredibly inefficient. This is one of the few Final Fantasy games where legitimately can not get by, even in the early game, without this car. But, even though it is a necessity, Square Enix worked to make sure the Regalia is more than that. There are so many features that help you appreciate and savor this machine.
Aside from the opening “tutorial,” where Noctis and his boys are working around the Hammerhead to fix the Regalia up, the car is a constant part of your daily life. You can use it to go anywhere. You even have options. Ignis can act as the driver, automatically getting you from point A to point B, though still allowing you the option to interject and alter the course at any moment. Players can have Noctis drive, allowing them more direct control over the car. It’s entirely up to you.
Not that driving is as fluid as it would be in other open-world games. Sometimes, I felt like I was driving on rails. You can’t leave the road. You have to really be ready for a turn ahead of time, or you’ll miss it and Final Fantasy XV will force you to keep going forward inside. It’s very difficult to avoid random daemons on the road at night, unless you get the Enhanced Headlights from “The Ever Illustrious Regalia” sidequest. It isn’t a crazy, amazing driving simulator. It’s a means to an end. There are quests that make it more efficient, like a Totomostro mini-game with a Magitek Generator that lets you give up on gas, super and turbochargers that bring the speed up to 60 and 70mph. All of these things are designed to make the trips easier.
Personally, I always preferred to let Ignis drive whenever possible. There are all these little incidental moments that can happen during these Regalia rides. Sometimes, the characters might enjoy some unexpected conversations and interactions. I know whenever Prompto would point out a photo spot, we had to stop the car. I liked watching the sights around me, enjoying the landscape Square Enix had created. Not to mention, enjoying the music, what with the soundtracks from Final Fantasy I-XIV, as well as Dissidia, Dissidia 012, and Type-0 to listen to.
The music hints at another reason the Regalia is so special. It’s about expressing yourself. Everyone’s Regalia is different. There are different paint jobs, decorative accents, decals, and styles to acquire. None of these really make the game any different. It’s entirely optional. But, doing so lets you feel even more like this car is important to you. It matters to you. This is yours, and nobody else’s. You can always depend on the Regalia. I considered acquiring the extra Color Sample Books and decals as my way of showing my appreciation for it. This was my car. I was claiming it with Moogle and Umbra stickers.
Then, there’s the flying Regalia. Yes, we’re going to cover that here too. Eventually, after beating almost the entire game, you can unlock the Regalia Type-F. In the most spoiler-free terms, you’ll come to a point where visiting with Umbra, that adorable dog Noctis sees in the beginning of his adventure, lets you return to the open world of Eos. When roaming around there, Noctis can take down three Niflheim bases. They’re the Aracheole Stronghold in Lestallum, Fermouth Garrison in Northern Leide, and Fort Vaullerey in Old Lestallum. Clearing out each one gives you a part, which unlocks the “Into Unknown Frontiers” quest at the Hammerhead. To take flight, visit Cindy. Your new mode of transportation will be ready to take you anywhere you want to go.
There’s this sort of dependence on Final Fantasy XV’s Regalia. It transcends the value of any other form of conveyance in the series. While airships and chocobos have always been important, they’ve never been so critical to getting around. Traversing the environment didn’t necessarily take that much longer without them, they’d just make it possible to reach different areas. In addition, there are more interactions available thanks to the Regalia. It’s an unexpected perk that makes you appreciate how it factors into your adventures.
Final Fantasy XV is available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.