What’s a buddy road trip without a set of wheels? Being a prince and all, Final Fantasy XV’s Noctis isn’t going to settle for anything other than the finest automobile the series has ever seen. If the Batmobile, Aston Martin and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (!) all had a beautiful car baby, it might look a little like FFXV ’s very own Regalia.
While it wouldn’t look out of place on the first episode of Clarkson, May and Hammond’s The Grand Tour , perhaps it’s best to start by saying that, unfortunately, the Regalia isn’t real. I mean, it can eventually fly and stuff. There’s a souped-up Audi R8 in Kingsglaive , FFXV ’s spin-off movie (which you can actually buy, if you happen to have a spare £373,000 laying around ), but, sorry Clarkson, the Regalia is a true dream car.
FFXV isn’t the first game in the series to have a car as transport, but it is the first to give the vehicle such importance. No need to travel around on the back of a chocobo when you’re royalty, after all. In a cute homage to everyone’s favourite big yellow bird however, the Regalia’s alloys are emblemised with an image of a chocobo – a reminder of the freedom those great beasts once granted us as we tear around the massive world of Eos.
More than just a car, the Regalia is almost a character in itself: the boot doubles as your party’s storage, it has its own ‘health’ bar in the form of a petrol gauge (yes, you will have to keep topping it up), and you can even summon it should you happen to wander too far away.
Originally owned by King Regis, the Regalia is kindly given to his son Noctis – accompanied by royal advisor, Ignis, and other comrades – to get around in. Both Ignis and Noctis can drive it; Noctis if you want to take the wheel yourself, and Ignis if you want to sit back and watch the world go by in autopilot.
The FFXV development team has worked hard to make their take on open-world driving a distinctively smooth experience. This isn’t like like GTA where you can throw your car around the map wherever you like – you’re limited to the roads, where other vehicles swerve to avoid the prince’s ride, and Regalia can’t be damaged beyond repair - but scrapes and dents will affect the appearance.
On that topic, you can change the look of the Regalia yourself through skins and paint jobs. Some of these are available as pre-order DLC, but the majority of upgrades will unlock as you progress through the game. With multiple camera angles to choose from, including first person, and the ability to flip between hood up and convertible mode depending on the weather, everyone will be able to pimp their Regalia!
But let’s get real. What about flying?
We’ve all dreamed of flying cars, right? It turns out that for most of your adventures through Final Fantasy XV , the Regalia will keep its four wheels firmly on the ground, but towards the end, it will indeed be possible to reach for the skies. According to director Hajime Tabata during an interview with IGN Japan, he stated that the car’s flying ability isn’t needed to complete the main story of the game, but will unlock other unreachable areas of the world map. But let’s face it, essential or not, who’s going to turn down the option of a flying car?
Even if you’re not a car nut, there’s no denying that the Regalia is one hell of a bit of kit. Just look at it. Even Batman would be jealous. And aside from its main function of getting you from A to B, the Regalia is also how you get to know your comrades as they engage in conversation along the road.
The final, killer touch? You can purchase music cassettes in-game to listen to classic Final Fantasy music as you bomb around Eos’ roads. There’s over 200 tracks on the in car radio spanning almost 30 years of Final Fantasy titles. Everything about Regalia has me excited, but on that fact alone: I’m sold. Start your engines!