Does Clive Die in Final Fantasy 16?

Square Enix
Square Enix /

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains Final Fantasy 16 ending spoilers. If you haven’t completed Final Fantasy 16’s main quest line, turn back now.

Many have completed Final Fantasy 16 and have questions about the final few cinematics in the game.

Final Fantasy 16’s ending, for many, is one of the most powerful endings in the franchise’s history. After going on this long journey through Valisthea as Clive Rosfield, a Shield of Rosaria, the game concludes with a final battle against Ultima at Origin. After defeating Ultima, the game’s final cutscenes are left open to interpretation.

From here on out in this article, we’ll discuss Final Fantasy 16’s concluding battle and cutscenes. If the first spoiler warning wasn’t enough to persuade you away, then here’s one final warning.

Does Clive Die in Final Fantasy 16?

The final battle sees Clive, Joshua and Dion fly for Origin. After an epic Eikon battle with Ifrit, Bahamut and the Phoenix fighting Ultima, Dion and Joshua fall. Dion’s death is greatly implied, though his body and on-screen confirmation aren’t shown. Joshua as well has the Ultima form held within his body released and gives Clive the Phoenix before succumbing to his wounds.

Clive, after defeating Ultima for good and absorbing his powers, uses his might to destroy the final Crystal in Origin. After it dissipates, and the platform risen that helped summon it, Clive is found washed up on a beach as the credits begin to roll.

He’s staring up at the Moon, and wonders if Jill is looking at it too. He tries to summon his flames from his hand, but players notice at first his fingertips have begun to petrify. As his flame goes away, his entire left hand has petrified into stone as well.

He lays on the beach as the rest of the final cinematics begin to play showing Jill and Torgal looking at the moon and crying before daybreak. There is also a post-credits scene showing a family in the woods. They speak of Eikons and their dog is named Bahamut, but the biggest reveal is a book on a table named Final Fantasy penned by Joshua Rosfield. This is likely quite some time from Clive’s battle with Ultima, though a specific time jump is not indicated.

So, does Clive die on the beach? Does he succumb to the petrification? 

Well, the ending is open to interpretation in many ways. Fan theories have been swirling regarding Clive’s fate, who actually writes the book in the post-credits scene and more. Can’t blame fans of the game considering the alternative of accepting Clive dies is a heartbreaking ending for him, Jill, Torgal, Gav and the rest of his friends and family at The Hideaway.

There’s a side quest before the ending of the game that hints Clive will put down his sword once his fighting days are behind him to write a book. And, it’s more conclusive that Joshua does die even though Clive is seen using the power of the Phoenix on his body after defeating Ultima. Though, this is more likely to clean Joshua’s body of his wounds. Joshua’s fate seems more certain than Clive’s.

A very popular theory is that Clive does survive, and Jill’s smile at the end signifies that. Or it could be the dawn of a new day meaning she knows Clive achieved his mission and fulfilled his fate. But, who exactly wrote the book…

It could’ve been Joshua, implying Clive actually resurrected him at the end. Though, Joshua doesn’t know the full tale like Clive does, or did. It could also be Clive, deciding to pen the name in Joshua’s name to honor him. Much like how he took Cid’s name after his passing.

The interpretations can go many ways which has led to numerous fan theories. It just goes to show how popular the game’s ending was and fans certainly hope for more in the universe.

We’d like to believe at least one of the Rosfield brothers survived, but we’ll have to wait and see if we get any DLC in the future…or better yet a direct sequel.