It would be easy to say that Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen is just more Final Fantasy XVI. See, it’s so easy, I just said it right there. And that’s about 90% of what you need to know about this DLC.

Granted, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I generally feel grated by DLC that’s kind of slapped haphazardly onto a game without a lot of thought, and that’s not the case with Echoes of the Fallen. Instead, Echoes of the Fallen functions as a neat bonus endgame quest that culminates in the game’s closest equivalent to a superboss. I didn’t necessarily find Final Fantasy XVI lacking for content, but I really like how integrated into the game this DLC is. A totally new player wouldn’t even know this was content added after the fact if the game didn’t announce it!

That said, is Echoes of the Fallen worth paying actual money for? Let’s go over it so you can make that judgment for yourself.

Fighting Sigma in Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen
Screenshot by Destructoid

Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen (PS5)
Developer: Square Enix Creative Business Unit III
Publisher: Square Enix

Released: December 8, 2023
MSRP: $9.99 (Standalone DLC), $24.99 (Expansion Pass)

Echoes in our wake

As mentioned above, Echoes of the Fallen is strictly endgame content. It’s straight up inaccessible until you’ve both reached the final story quest in the game and have completed a handful of endgame missions. With those requirements out of the way, Clive will receive a tip from Charon about some weird new crystals circulating around Valisthea. And if you’ve played enough Final Fantasy XVI to enter this DLC, then you know that surprise crystals are kind of a cause for concern for Mr. Rosfield. Naturally, he gathers his best buddies together to investigate.

After chasing down some unscrupulous merchants peddling the ill-gotten wares, Clive finds himself in an ancient Fallen facility filled with robotic baddies. Again, it’s the usual Final Fantasy beat, so there’s at least one godly robotic monster lurking about.

From a story perspective, Echoes of the Fallen is fine. If you treat it like an endgame dungeon you’d find in other RPGs, it’s about what you’d expect. The immediate plot doesn’t further the core story, but it offers some neat lore for superfans to enjoy. The questline also features nice cutscenes and voicework as well, so those hoping for more time with Clive and pals will get what they want. Just don’t expect a tale that necessarily mirrors the quality of the main story.

Granted, the plot mostly exists to set up some epic set pieces, which Echoes of the Fallen does deliver.

Preparing Zantetsuken in Final Fantasy XVI
Screenshot by Destructoid

Find the flame

The Echoes of the Fallen quest structure loosely falls into two phases. The first is what I’d call an establishing phase, taking you to a few locations where you’ll talk with some people and fight some baddies. This is typical Final Fantasy XVI side-questing, all told. If you can access Echoes of the Fallen, you know how you feel about this quest structure.

The second phase is the real meat and potatoes of the DLC. The new dungeon, The Sagespire, follows the usual dungeon structure you’d come to expect by this point. The main differences are its unique visuals and its relatively higher intensity compared to other dungeons. Fortunately, you’ll find a lot of handy equipment here to offset this. Playing on my normal file (that is to say, not Final Fantasy mode), I wound up filling four of my six equipment slots with stuff found in the dungeon.

While the new toys were fun to find, it’s the new boss battles that gripped me. I wouldn’t quite say that the fights were outright hard, but they certainly made me work harder than I typically did throughout the main game. You’ll find a nice mix of old and new mechanics at play here, which often provide some fun and frantic bouts of precision dodging and counterattacking at the right moment. It’s difficult to really explain boss encounters like this, but if you’ve liked how Final Fantasy XVI generally handles its harder fights, you should like what Echoes of the Fallen puts on the table.

Using a thrust attack in Final Fantasy XVI
Screenshot by Destructoid

A Long Fall

All told, the final boss of The Sagespire is absolutely the highlight of the entire DLC. It’s a busy, hectic, multi-phase boss battle that isn’t afraid to throw the kitchen sink at you. Expect lots of movement, lots of lasers, and even some bullet-hell style moments just for good measure. All of this is accompanied by a track that Masayoshi Soken went absolutely off-the-wall on. Final Fantasy XIV fans are going to have huge smiles on their faces, that’s all I’ll say.

That said, after that, the DLC just kind of ends. The immediate plot threads are put to rest, and it’s basically all over in four hours at most. You could, in theory, squeeze a little more life out of the DLC if you play it in your first playthrough and on the New Game + exclusive Final Fantasy mode. Additionally, if you’re really hardcore, you can aim for a leaderboard high score in Arcade Mode. But if you were expecting a new campaign, Echoes of the Fallen really ain’t it.

Echoes of the Fallen runs for $9.99 by itself, or for $24.99 as part of the expansion pass. Whether it’s worth the cash or not is up to you. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but I do think the brevity of the package is worth mentioning. I had a good time with it, but I wouldn’t want anyone to go into this pack thinking it’d offer more than it does.

The Sagespire in Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen
Screenshot by Destructoid

A drifting tender

Ultimately, your mileage with Echoes of the Fallen will mirror your experience with Final Fantasy XVI. If you got to the end of the game and found yourself wanting more new content, Echoes of the Fallen absolutely delivers that. It doesn’t offer a captivating story, but it does hit some nice highs with its new boss battles. In fact, I’d say its final boss fight is one of my favorite encounters in the entire game.

Beyond that, this DLC pack is just a short and sweet return to Final Fantasy XVI. If you’ve moved on from the game already, I don’t think Echoes of the Fallen will do much for you. The game fortunately felt complete as-is without this DLC, so this is an extremely elective piece of content. If you consider yourself a fan of Final Fantasy XVI, then you’ll probably enjoy what Echoes of the Fallen offers. It won’t make believers out of anyone else, but in this case, I think that’s perfectly okay. It knows who it’s for and doesn’t necessarily aim higher than that.

Overall, I liked Echoes of the Fallen. It adds a fun endgame dungeon for those looking to extend their stay in Valisthea, and it delivers some challenging new encounters to sink your teeth into. It’s over in just a few hours and doesn’t do much narratively, but it’s a fun ride for what it is. Whether it’s worth the money is up to you, but if you’re looking for more Final Fantasy XVI, this DLC pack certainly delivers. Echoes of the Fallen is not a must-have, but it is worth having.



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