Tekken 7’s Surprise Fighter: Noctis Lucis Caelum

The 2017 Tekken World Tour finals came with its share of surprises. Top shockers included a stunning series of fights between Saint and Qudans, with Qudans emerging as the tour’s victor, and enough Cup Noodle commercials to send viewers on Twitch into fits. The biggest surprise of all was a previously unannounced reveal trailer for a new guest warrior. Noctis Lucis Caelum appeared on the big screen before the top 8 battles, and the Tekken world was introduced to its first Final Fantasy fighter.

Who Is Noctis Lucis Caelum?

Noctis is one of the four main characters from Final Fantasy XV, a Square Enix RPG popular worldwide. He is the son of King Regis, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Lucis, and the defender of the Crown City of Insomnia. If that sounds dull, what you need to know is that he and his three buddies, Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto, set out on a road trip in the game to make the most of dad’s awesome car and meet up with an even more awesome mechanic. She’s in the trailer, too.

What’s Up With That Sword?

The Engine Blade is Noctis’ favored weapon. Despite having a motorcycle engine embedded in the hilt, it does not actually move. Instead, the design of the weapon allows Noctis to use his signature ability, Weapon Summoning, to draw the sword from seemingly nowhere at any time. All members of the Royal Lucis bloodline can summon their favored weapons, and some even gain the ability to share their weapons with friends in the Final Fantasy title. In Tekken 7, the blade extends the Crown Prince’s reach significantly and enables certain special attacks.

Did He Just Teleport?

Technically, he warped. Weapon Summoning is just the most basic of the Lucian royalty powers. Once the favored weapon is embedded in an object or enemy, Noctis can warp himself to its location, increasing the power of the strike. The combination of the two techniques makes him exceptionally adept at both close melee and mid-ranged attacks. The reveal trailer also showed one additional secret: Noctis apparently has the ability to use Final Fantasy’s classic Fire magic at will, giving him an extra advantage at range.

Nope. This is Tekken 7. That was a Rage Art. The Crown Prince retains his Armiger limit break from Final Fantasy XV as a Rage Art, allowing him to quickly turn the tables on foes as his health bar enters the red zone. Armiger is an extension of the Weapon Summoning power that enables Noctis to summon the favored weapons of every king in the line before him and attack with them all simultaneously. What might even be a few bars from Somnus, one of the most excellent and memorable songs from FFXV, seems to play during its execution.

Why’d Tekken Pick Him?

While we’d love to give a great rationale based on Noctis’ worldwide appeal and amazing fighting ability, the fact is that he’s often overshadowed in his own game by the boyish charm of Prompto, the snide ingenuousness of Ignis and the sheer power of Gladiolus. Rather than a hardened warrior, Noctis comes across as a model for face moisturizer use with hair right out of a Japanese host club. The real reason for the Crown Prince appearing in Tekken 7 may be hiding in plain sight. The Tekken World Tour had one major league-level sponsor this year, Cup Noodle, which also makes a conspicuous appearance in the world of FFXV. Nissin used the game heavily in its promotion of Cup Noodle both in Japan and overseas.

How Do You Unlock Noctis?

The Crown Prince of Lucis isn’t yet in the game. Tekken overlord Katsuhiro Harada noted that big changes were coming in the Spring 2018 patch, and Noctis has been slated as one of these changes. It seems he’ll only be available with the 2018 season pass for Tekken 7 and won’t be in story mode at all. Noctis’ appearance in the game may be a sign of things to come for fighting games in general and eSports in the future, as bigger and bigger sponsors sign on and the mix of marketing and mashing becomes more and more important to the leagues.

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