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Did Clive kill Joshua in Final Fantasy 16?

We're all confused.

The end of Final Fantasy XVI’s prologue shocked me in a way that a Final Fantasy has never before. The trailers have always alluded to Joshua’s death—after all, Clive’s revenge against the Eikons is no secret—but how the events went down is absolutely brutal. What’s even more brutal is if Clive was the monster who killed his brother… but was he? Let’s speculate!

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Is Clive the Eikon of Fire in FF16? (Spoiler free speculation)

Note: This part is speculation, given the events of the first few chapters. The true answer is in the next part, though we've provided spoiler lines for you so you know where to stop.

To answer this question, we first need to establish if Clive was even the Eikon of Fire. The game says he is, but I'm not so sure. In particular, I keep thinking about the perspective that Clive saw Phoenix get mauled. It’s in third person and in a position far from where Joshua was killed. Clive even heard from Torgal, a tiny dog, while next to his ear. I think it’s likely that Torgal woke him up to witness the event.

Related: Final Fantasy 16 parry guide – How to parry explained

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Clive was also shown to have (human) consciousness at the time of the "killing," which should have prevented the Eikon (if it was Clive) from hurting Phoenix more than he already had.

WARNING: POST DEMO spoilers beyond this point.

However, during the battle against Garuda, Clive is shown to have transformed into Ifrit at last, proving that he really was the Eikon of Fire. Cid even needed to stop him from his rampage.

This certainly implies that Clive killed Joshua... but that's only if Joshua is truly, positively dead. And if this Ifrit was the same Eikon who killed Joshua. Remember that Clive wasn't alone that night. He saw a hooded figure speak to him before he lost consciousness.

Also, consider the fact that Joshua, after he lost control when Phoenix first awakened, was able to think and take back control of his fire shortly afterward. He even monologued during the fight, remembering what his brother told him. If the Eikon of Fire was Clive, why didn't he stop from rampaging when his head was clear enough to think?

The reason why I'm not convinced that Clive initially killed Joshua is the fact that I don't think Joshua is dead at all. After that show of Phoenix's revival, plus the fact that they gave Joshua a whole moveset in the beginning, implies that we'll be seeing him in some form eventually.

WARNING: MID-GAME spoilers below this line. This is your last chance to turn back!

Did Joshua die in FF16? (Spoilers)

Yes, Clive was—and is—the second Eikon of Fire (Ifrit). This part you can't deny. But Clive didn't kill Joshua in FF16 simply because Joshua is still alive. He's the hooded boy called Margrace. Joshua pulls his hood down the first time in Phoenix Gate after the time skip but only ever truly reveals his identity beneath The Holy Empire of Sanbreque.

FF16 demo story explained

If you’re on this guide straight from the demo (or prologue of the main game), here’s a quick explanation of what happened in Rosaria all those years ago.

Related: Why can’t I carry over my demo save in Final Fantasy 16?

Rosaria, the duchy Clive and Joshua belong to, was infiltrated by the army from Sanbreque. The goal was not an occupation but the head of Duke Rosfield, Clive’s father. Allegedly, they also wanted to kill the Dominant of Phoenix (Joshua) but her mother expressed that she wanted him alive, so this is unlikely.

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I also believe that Duchess Rosfield wasn’t always a spy for Sanbreque. It is implied at the end of the demo that she defected to the empire for some reason. The infiltration very likely happened because of her, however. That was likely how Sanbreque managed to place spies among the Shields as well.

Sanbreque is a theocracy or a nation ruled by faith. Under the rule of the Holy Emperor, they once tried to occupy Rosaria but were thwarted by Duke Rosfield.

For more help with Final Fantasy XVI, take a look at Final Fantasy 16 motion blur – Can you turn it off? here at Pro Game Guides.

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Image of Bianca Versoza
Bianca Versoza
Bianca Versoza is Pro Game Guides' Weekend Editor. With over three years of experience in gaming journalism, she specializes in anything remotely turn-based and strategic, like Pokémon, Final Fantasy, and Honkai: Star Rail. Bianca is a huge fan of Square Enix, RPGs, party games, and visual novels, but will play anything with a banger OST. She's a proud early bird.

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Did Clive kill Joshua in Final Fantasy 16?

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