Final Fantasy XV Summoning
"Summons" as some prefer to call them as Astrals, gods who are divided among contempt and compassion for the state of Eos when the player begins the game. Though the opinion of the Astrals is not a central theme in Final Fantasy it is interwoven into the deeper lore. Noctis must earn the right to call upon the Astrals whereas in the past installments of Final Fantasy the heroes appeared to make creatures they summoned bend to their will.
Summoning Astrals in Final Fantasy XV is contingent upon four things.
- Player must have allegience of Astral to summon them
- Astral summoned is dependent upon geographic location within Eos
- Noctis is the only playable character able to summon an Astral and he
must be in a neutral position on the battlefield to summon the
- Special Conditions regarding progression of battle or state of characters must be met before an Astral will lend it's might.
Where Can I summon Astrals?
The Official Players Handbook has a more detailed map and I was unable to find any map to match on the Internet. So, I made this rough illustration to give a general idea on where an Astral could be summoned.
- Ramuh & Shiva can be summoned in the green area
- Leviathan can be summoned in the blue areas
- Titan can be summoned in the red areas
Astrals aka "The Six":
Creating an allegiance with an Astral is part of the main story and all Astral beings will be present by the end of the game no matter how the game is played to completion.
Titan is the first Astral Noctis allys with and it serves as a combat training point early in the game, giving size and scope of ability to Astrals compared to any other creature met in Eos.
CONIDTION: Titan Can be summoned when an allay is incapacitated
Ramuh is the second and easiest Astral to earn allegiance because no combat is needed to acquire.
CONDITION: Noctis can summon Ramuh for specific battles, but also if the battle has gone on for "a while" (multiple variables define "a while").
Leviathan is the third Astral Noctis Acquires and the final Astral requiring combat. Allegiance of this Astral marks the point of Final Fantasy XV where the pace picks up significantly.
CONDITION: Noctis must be in a "Danger" state to summon Leviathan and only in the blue areas on the map above.
This is a scripted battle for the most part. After being mortally wounded, Lunafrea infuses her remaining power into the Oracle Trident Royal Weapon to aid Noctis in defeating Leviathan. Unfortunately, Lunafrea does not survive to see Noctis succeed.
Fans familiar with Final Fantasy will remember the many appearances of Shiva, the Ice Queen / Goddess. Like Ramuh, no combat is required to obtain Shiva.
CONDITION: She can be summoned in the large green circle area in the map above, during certain boss battles, and to activate her summon every condition of the aformentioned Astrals must be met; summoning Shiva is, a last stand type of summon.
Shiva is Gentiana
Bahamut is summoned on a cue during the end of the game and is not earned though combat. Players cannot independently summon Bahamut but will appear randomly in Chapter 14 to offset the balance of combat heavily to the favor of Noctis.
Ifrit can not be summoned by the player.
Ifrit is the source of the firestorm a much older Noctis is seen fighting at the beginning of the game. Ifrit is in allegiance with Ardyn, and prefers to watch the world die.
Defeating Ifrit will require both Bahamut and Shiva, and their summoning is prompted
Some may consider magical companions a form of summon, as they're summoned by either the player or a condition of the character, but do not otherwise have any truly offensive or defensive role in the game.
Appears sometimes in photos, Astral who ressurrects Noctis on Easy Mode, and the Guide in the Platinum Demo guiding and protecting Noctis through his dream.
Umbra is the faithful companion of Lunafrea and who delivers the notebook Noctis can optionally write messages in for return to Lunafrea. Umbra allows Noctis and his party to travel backward in time and collect missed items, gain experience, hunt bounties, race Chocobos, and complete quests. This re-opens any area of the game previously visited except Tenebrae
But....I want to summon an Astral now
Don't we all. The initial play-through doesn't afford many opportunities. By the time I finished the game the first time I summoned an Astral an underwhelming 9 times. the second I summoned about 12, but I also took my sweet time in Chapter 14 to enjoy the random appearance of Bahamut (which has always been entertaining)
My theory on why players aren't given more opporuntiy, is that the game is largely presented in a theatrical manner and aside from the lore that the Astrals are helping YOU and not the other way around, theatrical effect would be severely limited (or lost) if players were allowed to drag their feet for the sake of punishing mortal enemies with the power of gods (and it would create a logic implosion in parts of the plot).
Most of the opportunity to unleash the power of the Astrals is after the game ends and the player can free-roam completing missed quests or flying the new Regalia-F to Pitioss, the dungeon that can only be reached through flight.