Trophy Hunters – Final Fantasy XV

Welcome back! It’s time for another platinum trophy expedition! Last August I wrote up…well, began writing a series of posts/updates as I played through Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate with the goal being another platinum trophy to add to the collection(full disclosure: there aren’t that many). My idea for the series of posts was something akin to a book club where myself, and any other willing participants would agree on a particular game and document their time through the game and all the trophies/achievements. It began simply out of curiosity as to whether or not those who do any sort of trophy/achievement hunting approach it the same way or how much it differs from person to person.

The experience of collecting trophies in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate proved quite enjoyable and I knew pretty quickly this was something I wanted to try again. As with the AC: Syndicate trophy quest, friend of the blog – Solarayo from Ace Asunder has accepted another challenge and will be joining in the fun. She is a far more experienced trophy hunter than I am, as well as being much more efficient in writing update posts as her post containing her initial batch of trophies was published last weekend(go check it out), despite my having a three week head start on the game. So, anyways…here’s what I’ve accomplished thus far…

The main story of Final Fantasy XV centers on around Noctis, royal prince of the the Kingdom of Lucis. He and his entourage of friends – Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis, are set to travel across the nations of Eos to meet with his fiancée, Lady Lunafreya of Tenebrae. The royal marriage is arranged as a means to secure peace between the two kingdoms, but, shortly after Prince Noctis’ departure, the capital city of Insomnia is attacked by the Kingdom of Nifleheim. Noctis’ father, King Regis is killed and Lucis’ Crystal is stolen during the invasion, along with Noctis and Lunafreya being listed among the deceased. The prince then sets out on a mission to reunite with his fiancée and to avenge his Kingdom, aided by his loyal companions.

This, of course, takes place after the game’s prologue…

Insomnia’s Waking Nightmare

  • Completed the Prologue

The game begins with Noctis and company broken down along a desolate highway. Their ride, the Regalia is in need of repairs and no one in the party possesses suitable mechanical knowledge. Gladiolus, Prompto, Ignis, and husband-to-be, Prince Noctis begin pushing the royal carriage(nope, it’s a car) to the nearest service station. Once they start rolling down the highway, a cover version of “Stand By Me” by Florence + the Machine fades into the audio mix as the camera slowly zooms out to show the lonely highway extending into the horizon before the Final Fantasy XV logo appears onscreen.

Pretty cool. Not the opening I’d have anticipated for a Final Fantasy game, but I’m intrigued so far…

Departure

  • Completed Chapter 1

No Turning Back

  • Completed Chapter 2

Learner’s Permit

  • Drove the Regalia

Before venturing off on their road trip, the boys are given the keys to the Regalia – the Kingdom of Lucis’ royal luxury sedan, which serves as your primary mode of transporation throughout the game. The driving feels a little restrictive and not quite as fluid as other open-world games, but still handles better than the Mako or a Warthog….not a high bar, but still…

Chocobo Jockey

  • Rode a Chocobo

Of course, the Regalia isn’t the only way to travel. The group makes a slight detour from their destination and visits a chocobo park.

Quadruple Threat

  • Equipped a fourth weapon slot

New Power

  • Learned first ability

Skill trees are nothing new to Final Fantasy games. FFXV features the Ascension grid which contains abilities across nine categories(trees) – Armiger, Magic, Recovery, Techniques, Combat, Teamwork, Stats, Exploration, Wait Mode. The New Power trophy is unlocked simply by spending your acquired AP(ability points) on any upgrade.

Self-Improved

  • Activated 20 ability nodes

Angling Rookie

  • Improved fishing level for the first time

Each member of the party has a specific skill – Survival, Photography, Cooking, or Fishing, with the latter belonging to Prince Noctis. As you make your way across the world, there’s many areas to take a few moments and relax with a fishing mini-game(always fun, right?). The mechanics took a little getting used to, but angling became pretty easy after a couple tries. The Angling Rookie trophy is unlocked for raising Noctis’ fishing level for the first time.

Survival Rookie

  • Improved survival level for the first time

Buff, tattooed Gladiolus is responsible for overseeing the group’s various campsites, as well as occasional training for the young prince. The Survival skill provides Gladiolus the ability to pick up useful items at the end of every battle. The skill is raised by traveling on foot, which means eventually reaching Survival Level 10 for a later trophy will require a significant amount of hiking…

Photo Rookie

  • Improved photography level for the first time

Prompto takes a multitude of pictures during the group’s many battles and other random moments as you travel across Eos. Every time you stop to rest at a camp or inn, you can see all the different photos taken, with an option to save your favorites to your game file. I unlocked his Snapshot ability early on and have been trying to remember and use it frequently to save on post-game grinding to get the Photography skill to level 10.

Cooking Rookie

  • Improved cooking level for the first time

Ignis is the group’s chef and chauffer(during the daytime hours, anyways). The more you cook, the more your skill level increases. As you progress through the game and gather different items, Ignis will occasionally(or frequently) exclaim “I’ve done it! I’ve come up with another recipe”.

Just Hangin’ Around

  • Performed the first point-warp suspension

Many elevated structures and objects across the world of Eos will allow Noctis to perform a point-warp, which gives you a brief moment to pull back from a heated battle to recover a bit of hp or simply get a better vantage point over the area. An early boss battle in FFXV will require you to know where your point-warp areas are and use them to avoid defeat…

Brother-in-Arms

  • Issued first ally command

The other three members of Noctis’ traveling bro party – Gladiolus, Ignis & Prompto, each have different skills to use once the technique meter reaches a particular level. Prompto, for example, I made sure to spend the AP on his Snapshot technique to use once nearly every combat encounter to aid in reaching Level 10 for the Photography skill.

Blind Spot

  • Performed first blindside link

The combat links in FFXV are multi-character attack combos that can be “linked” together after parrying an enemy attack or by initiating an attack from behind an enemy, called a blindside link.

Noct You Like a Hurricane

  • Initiated first link-strike after parrying an attack

Love those puns for trophy names…

Magical Worker

  • Crafted a spell for the first time

Rather than pre-set magic spells, in Final Fantasy XV you can come with up your own magical concoction by combining fire, ice, or lightning elementals. These can also be altered from throwing certain items into the mix later in the game.

Black Mage

  • Used magic for the first time

I got this trophy quite a few hours into the game. I kept forgetting Noctis can even equip and use magic spells…

Hight Five for Justice!

  • Played JUSTICE MONSTERS FIVE for the first time

Pinball! Sweet….

Spinning a Yarn I

  • Completed first sidequest

Like nearly any other JRPG, FFXV has an abundance of side quests to be completed. Most of these(so far) have been pretty basic fetch que….uh, item requisition missions in which you follow your marker on the map to specified location to grab an item or speak with someone and then return to the quest-giver. There’s a total of 6 trophies for completing side missions in FFXV, with the final one being unlocked after seeing your way through 80 of them. The silver lining here is that most of them(so far, at least…) haven’t required me to go too far off the beaten path to complete and I’ve been trying to go on foot to any marker under a half mile away as to keep steadily progressing Gladiolus’ Survival skill, which was a recommended strategy to avoid to much post-game grinding…

Spinning a Yarn II

  • Completed 5 sidequests

Only 75 left to go…

Spinning a Yarn III

  • Completed 10 sidequests

Only 70 left…

My First Hunt

  • Completed first hunt

As you make your way across Eos, it seems like every other person you talk to has a hunting quest for you to track down and exterminate. Most of these beasts have been causing problems around the area, while others are simply requested for their resources to cook or craft items. Much of the monster hunter-ing can only be completed at night due to the targets being nocturnal, meaning Noctis and company are more at risk of being attacked by even bigger and more ferocious creatures that only come out at night. There’s only one trophy to be unlocked for the hunting quests and they don’t count towards the side quest trophies, so I intend to hold off on too many hunting trips unless needed for some late-game level or skill grinding…

At the time of posting this, I’m sitting at 34% of the total trophies in Final Fantasy XV. I think I’ve got a pretty good start on this. The majority of my time so far has been spent running around the area working on side quests and some overall level and skill building. I’d heard FFXV starts off pretty wide open in areas to explore and missions to accomplish, but begins to narrow itself into a little more of a linear experience as it progresses, so I’ll hopefully not have to worry about being under-leveled or anything like that later in the game. I’m really enjoying the game so far and looking forward to seeing where it goes from here. Until next time…

Thanks for reading!

Trophy Hunters – Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate Final Episode

Mission accomplished? It’s been three weeks since my last update about my quest for a platinum trophy in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate and I can just now consider my quest completed….sort of. In all honesty, it shouldn’t have taken me this long to finish up the final few game sequences and circle back and grind out a few additional tasks for trophies, but my momentum had taken a bit of a hit after a glitched trophy essentially cost me the platinum trophy. I mentioned in my last update how the “Godlike” trophy – unlocked after discovering all the Secrets of London and depositing the Assassin’s tokens in Reuge’s Vault and unlocking the Aegis Outfit for Evie – did not unlock as according to my progress tracker, I had not yet collected the token that is received during the cutscene as Jacob and Evie first discover the vault. Upon searching the internet, I found this is a fairly common occurrence with little to be done about it, save for getting lucky and the trophy icon will pop up at a random time during the rest of my playthrough. Needless to say, I was a bit annoyed at not being able to get the platinum trophy for acquiring all the other trophies in the game. On top of that, I recently had yet another trophy that refused to unlock – the “Opium Scourge” trophy….<sigh>. My last resort for acquiring the platinum trophy in Syndicate is to simply restart the entire game and play just long enough to receive the hallucinogenic darts and track down all 32 Secrets of London with the hope that the trophies will pop up this time around. But as far as I’m concerned, I have accomplished everything; the game has essentially handed me an I.O.U for the trophy and I will return at a later date for those couple glitched trophies. Anyways, here’s what I’ve completed since my last update…

An image depicting my luck while playing much of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

The Joys of Freedom

  • Complete Memory Sequence 8

Shall We Dance?

  • Complete Memory Sequence 9

The War at Home

  • Complete the World War I simulation

A very strange, yet interesting inclusion in AC: Syndicate is Sequence 10 which is set in London during World War I in 1916. You play this short sequence as Jacob’s daughter – Lydia Frye, who is enlisted by Winston Churchill to covertly eliminate a group of spies operating around the Thames River. I was aware of this sequence, so I had assumed there would be a few Synchronization Points as well as Mr. Churchill acting as an Associate which also tied into the “Chimney Sweep” and “A Broad Base” trophies. This sequence is rather interesting as WWI isn’t a game(or movie) setting anywhere as often as WW2 and the sight of zeppelins floating through the air as anti-aircraft guns fire away from boats along the Thames makes for a menacing backdrop.

No Ticket

  • Kick fifty enemies off of trains

I had assumed this would be one of the last handful of trophies I would acquire as there are only so many places in which you can kick enemies from a train car in the game, moving or stationary. This was simply a matter of replaying memories from Sequence 2 and 5 to accumulate fifty enemies booted from the top of a train car.

A Broad Base

  • Reach Loyalty level 1 with all Associates

Associate Winston Churchill employs Lydia Frye’s help in several missions across the World War I sequence, being all that was necessary to reach Loyalty level 1 and unlock the “A Broad Base” trophy

Chimney Sweep

  • Synchronize every Viewpoint in London

Another trophy tied to the World War I Sequence 10, there are three synch points across the area that unlock the “Chimney Sweep” trophy.

Mentor

  • Reach 100% Sync in the Main Memories

This one took a little bit of time as I didn’t realize 100% meant I would have to successfully complete the optional objectives in each of the Sequence memories. Luckily, I didn’t have to replay too many of them to complete the optional stuff.

You Wouldn’t Steal a Policeman’s Helmet

  • Hijack twenty police vehicles

Looking over the trophy list as I started playing AC: Syndicate, I didn’t think this one sounded as tricky as it wound up being. The policeman are nearly always sitting two to a carriage and if you attempt to run up and hijack a carriage you are quickly tossed off by the other policeman. I learned the trick to this was jumping on top of a police carriage and tossing a quick throwing knife at the cop riding shotgun(the driver was not always on the left) and kick the driver from the carriage. In addition, if you cause enough chaos you can chain together a few carriages hijacked.

Whirlwind of Death

  • Perform fifty Multi-Finishers

I got a few multi-finishers while playing through the main storyline, but traveled to Fight Clubs around London which make for some easy farming of multi-finishers. I watched Evie snap a LOT of elbows and kneecaps getting this trophy….

Most Unsporting

  • Shoot fifty enemies before they shoot at you

Another trophy that I was aware of during my playthrough of the main storyline, I only had to replay a couple Memories in which I would find Blighter snipers posted on rooftops and stood just far enough at me so they would take aim and I would quickly press the Triangle Button to quickfire before they can shoot me. Pretty simple.

Without a Grudge

  • Destroy 5000 destructibles with your carriage

This one was perhaps the most annoying trophy to go after in Syndicate as it takes LOTS of grinding to destroy 5,000 objects while driving a carriage. I finally unlocked this a few nights ago after spending a solid hour of circling the sidewalks around Trafalgar Square. I believe my reaction to this trophy popping up on the screen was “Awesome….I never want to do this ever again”. Not the most difficult trophy, but a very grindy, mind-numbing one.

Opium Scourge*

  • Affect at least four enemies simultaneously with the Hallucinogenic Dart

I spent an hour or so trying to get this trophy to unlock as I replayed a few different Sequence Memories where enemies would be within close enough proximity to a fire barrel which will create an area of effect when a hallucinogenic dart is fired into it. I was able to affect four or more enemies a few times(evidence screenshot below) and could not for any reason get the trophy to unlock. As I had already encountered an issue with the “Godlike” trophy, I was locked out of the “Master Assassin” trophy, but still irritated to have this happen with another one

Four enemies affected, but no trophy ever shows up…

Master Assassin*

  • Earn every other trophy
My platinum trophy has an asterisk attached…

Not being able to get the “Godlike” and “Opium Scourge” trophies to unlock makes the final, platinum trophy seemingly impossible. My hope is that by restarting the game(sometime in the future) I can get the final trophies to unlock after reaching the corresponding point in the game.

I can still say that I really, really enjoyed Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. I will also say that the game itself seemed bent on making everything as difficult as possible for me with the amount of game crashes, weird glitches, and broken trophies that I encountered. A big thank you goes out to Solarayo from Ace Asunder, who accompanied me on this experimental trophy hunt(completing this an entire month before I did) and is a far greater hunter than I am. I will return to the game in the future to restart the story with the hope that I can get those final trophies to unlock, officially getting the platinum trophy and not have to show screenshot evidence that I jumped through all the required hoops. But for the time being, I can consider my trophy hunting quest in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate to be complete. For my next trophy quest, I believe I will turn my attention(once again) to Ghost of Tsushima.

Thanks for reading!