Final Fantasy 16 contains a multitude of massive boss battles. More than any game in the series before it, this entry embraces a huge sense of scale, focusing more on spectacle and cinematic presentation than RPG mechanics as the franchise has in the past. But even then, Final Fantasy 16 is, like the games that came before it, still an experience where the story begets the gameplay. To say the thematic pulp of the story lives through its gameplay and level design is an understatement, and no set of boss battles embody this more than Clive's fights against Bahamut and Odin.

Bahamut and Odin, and their respective dominants, make up a large part of the fabric of the game's third act. The fight against Bahamut is a pivotal moment, the one where Clive and his brother, Joshua, are reunited. Clive's life has been dominated by the absence of his brother, something that he blames himself for. While Joshua's return is contained almost entirely in this final act, by the time that Clive comes to fight Odin, the impact of his brother's return can be felt through not only Clive's actions but the way the fight itself plays out. As such, Final Fantasy 16's battles against Bahamut and Odin serve as a metaphor for the shift in Clive's outlook on himself.

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The Battle Against Bahamut Is Ifrit's Biggest Moment


The fight against Bahamut, the Eikon of light, is one that plays out entirely in Eikon form. Clive takes the form of Ifrit, eventually merging with the phoenix for the first time to become Ifrit Risen. Up until this point, Clive has sought power from Ifrit and the Eikons he has absorbed. He has put his own power and wellbeing to the side, and believes that his strength comes from his control of the Eikons. It is thematically poignant then that Ifrit and Clive can only become strong enough to win the fight by relying on Joshua and the Phoenix. It is also notable that they are trying to save rather than kill the dominant of Bahamut, Final Fantasy 16's Prince Dion.

Following the fight against Bahamut, Joshua joins the group at the hideaway in their fight to destroy the mother crystals and defeat Ultima. The next roadblock they face together is Odin. In their pursuit of Odin, Clive decides to take Final Fantasy 16's Shiva and her powers from Jill. When Joshua learns of this, he is outraged, and repeatedly reminds Clive that this was selfish, and that the fight against Ultima is not his alone. The fight against Bahamut and his reliance on Joshua and the Phoenix embody this idea. This reminder from Joshua informs his approach to his upcoming battle, and ultimately enables him to defeat the Eikon of darkness, Odin.

Fighting Odin Pushes Clive To His Limits


During his fight against Odin, Clive is unable to summon Ifrit, and instead must take on the Eikon as a human, the opposite of his fight against Bahamut. The fight is a brutal battle to the death, one where Torgal must save Clive a number of times. Clive can only rely on his own powers as a person and his lifelong companion. Torgal is in many ways what has connected Clive to his humanity, so his presence here is a poignant one. The eventual defeat of Odin is bittersweet, however - upon his victory, Clive absorbs Odin's Eikonic powers, forfeiting another part of his humanity.

These two fights, while diametrically opposite, inform Clive's final encounter against Ultima. Clive must learn to find power in Ifrit, his friends, and himself, and these fight represents him doing so piece by piece. Final Fantasy 16's final dungeon plays out with Clive taking the forms of both himself and Ifrit, using what he learned in each of these conflicts. The battles against Bahamut and Odin are a complementary pairing, one that embodies the struggle that Clive is going through internally, and ones that teach him what he needs to know to defeat Ultima and save Valisthea. The complementary nature of these boss battles works to make the final act of Clive's story in Final Fantasy 16 a thematically cohesive send off for the character.

Final Fantasy 16 is available now on PS5.

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