Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV – Episode 4 [Bittersweet Memories]
We’re almost to the end of this series, unfortunately. I’ve been looking forward to this episode the most, and us Ignis fans were rewarded with an episode that was, for whatever reason, a few minutes longer than the others. Hey I’m not complaining.
Noctis and his group are continuing their trip to Caem. They’re out in the middle of nowhere when Prompto starts whining about having to spend yet another night camping, so Ignis turns the car around and heads back to the closest town, Lestallum.
Once they arrive and get a hotel room, Prompto and Noctis go looking for kebabs to eat while Gladiolus and Ignis stay in their room. Ignis makes a trip to the local market to get some ingredients for a meal, and once he returns to the hotel he starts making a pastry for Noctis.
The episode is a flashback to when Noctis was in school and experimenting with living on his own. So presumably he’s in his late teens by this point? Ignis comes nearly every day to help him clean his apartment, make meals for him, and encourage him to study. Ignis also does a lot of baking. This is because when he was a kid, Noctis had some kind of sweet pastry while in Tenebrae, but he can’t remember which ingredients were in it. So over the years Ignis has been experimenting with different ingredients to try to match the dessert Noctis remembers. So far Ignis has had no luck.
While Noctis is in class taking an exam, there’s a meeting at the palace about increased imperial activity. There’s increased pressure on the king to continue strengthening the wall, but it’s obvious to all that it’s taking quite the toll on the leader. The king wants to end the war before the wall falls, but it’s still unclear how that will happen.
After school is over, Noctis and Prompto are walking through the city when they see a televised broadcast, and Noctis sees for the first time that his father is now walking with a cane. Noctis may have been able to put his country’s war out of his mind, but seeing his aging father makes it really hit home. This is real, and it’s affecting his father. The king may die. Noctis may lose his father.
Ignis beats Noctis back to his apartment that night; Noctis admits he went to the arcade after his exams were over. Ignis asks Noctis if he read the military report he’d left the previous evening, and Noctis says that he hasn’t. Tension continues to build in the room between the two as Ignis continues to nag Noctis about the things he must do, and Noctis eventually snaps. He’s trying to deal with getting good grades and studying, having a social life and time to blow off steam, yet he’s also still expected to keep up with royal affairs in preparation for being the next king. For a guy who hasn’t even reached his second decade yet, it’s a lot of pressure and expectations being placed on his shoulders. Ignis backs off and leaves.
The next day Gladio finds Noctis and Prompto at the arcade, and brings Noctis back to his place for some training in the backyard. During a break in their training, Noctis admits that he knows he can’t become the king in his current state, but he also doesn’t want to think about his dad dying. And who can blame him? Who ever wants to think about losing a parent?
Gladio and Ignis touch base later and Gladio tells Ignis to give Noctis more credit. Basically to treat him like less of a kid and more like a ruler-in-training. Even if, you know, he can’t pick up after himself or even cook for himself. Baby steps right?
That evening Ignis travels to Noctis’ apartment, where he sees that Noctis has attempted to cook with… mixed results. But his books are open on the table, showing he’s attempting to study at home now. Noctis says there is no food in the apartment anymore, and Ignis didn’t bring anything, so the two end up sharing a meal of instant noodles. Ignis apologizes for being too harsh on Noctis the previous evening, and Noctis silently accepts Ignis’ apology by telling his mentor that his last attempt at baking had been close to the original.
Back in the present, Prompto and Noctis return to the hotel room where Ignis has another batch of pastries ready for them to try. Noctis bites into one and says that it’s not quite correct, but of course continues to eat it. Ignis tries one too.
My thoughts: What I think is really neat about how this series has been structured is that each episode serves a clear purpose. The first was the introduction, and then each of the character episodes looks at their role in Noctis’ life. Prompto is the comic relief and Noctis’ true friend. Gladiolus is Noctis’ trainer and mentor.
But Ignis, more than the others, seems to have been with Noctis the longest (remember we saw him as a valet when Noctis was a kid in the second episode). (Though Gladio was also Noctis’ trainer from the time Noctis was a child, so maybe it’s a tie.) Ignis also has the largest variety of roles to play. When Noctis was younger Ignis’ role may have been more about servitude, but now that Noctis is older and in higher academics, it is Ignis’ job to look over Noctis and guide him in preparation to take over for his father one day. He must advise Noctis about military affairs, help him learn skills so that he can live on his own as he wishes, and he must also be someone Noctis can respect and befriend. I suspect that Noctis doesn’t get to see his father very often (given his reaction to seeing his father on the broadcast) and thus I’d wager that Ignis also fills something of a parental void for Noctis as well.
I’m glad that this episode was longer than the others because honestly, there was more information to fit in. I watched this in its original Japanese format on Youtube and I must say, I much prefer Ignis’ Japanese seiyuu over his English voice actor in the preview for Final Fantasy XV. (Really, Ignis is British??)
I don’t have much else to add other than I’m really excited for the game’s release. I live in western Canada and we never get any cool theatrical promotions, so has anyone been able to see Kingsglaive yet? If yes, what did you think of it?
One more episode to go! I’m not buying FFXV until after the FFVII remake is released, so I won’t be blogging the last episode, though if anyone watches it I would love to hear if it’s any good.