Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus
Did you ever wonder what happened to Gladiolus in the middle of Final Fantasy XV? He just kind of up and left for a while and returned with a few extra scars. At the time it seemed rather odd for the narrative. It didn’t really fit his personality at all. Most assumed that we would get our answer in the DLC. If you were part of that crowd, congratulations; you were right! We also received chapter 13 verse 2 with the 1.07 update.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
In Episode Gladiolus you take control of Gladio, no big surprise there, and find out what he was up to when he disappeared in the main story. During that time Gladio reached out to Cor and went to undertake a trail that would ultimately lead to him facing off with Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh has made a variety of appearances in the Final Fantasy series from antagonist to fool (World of Final Fantasy) but in XV he is all business and wants to ensure that Gladio is fit to be the shield of the King of Lucis.
Throughout this adventure you will face off against 3 bosses before you ultimately encounter Gilgamesh. Upon defeating these trails you’ll be awarded an ability that will be required in your battle with Gilgamesh. Each trial is unique and will test different combat abilities that Gladio possesses. Combat has undergone a few changes between the main game and this DLC. Gladio now has a rage meter. As he blocks damage this will fill. The higher the multiplier the more damage he will do. It pays to block and not just go all out in a battle. Especially with Gilgamesh. You’ll need that damage multiplier to be successful. You also have different glaive attacks that will build up when you deal damage and you can unleash to devastating effect.
Each encounter was unique and enjoyable. Along the way Gladio will also discover that he can pick up concrete pillars and beat enemies with them. This is a quick and easy way to take out heavily armored foes. You’ll also earn a trophy if you can find and destroy all of the pillars. You’ll also get a trophy for finding all the items lying around.
The dev team has created a handful of new models for this DLC as well as created some unique reskins. The skeletal imps immediately jumped out to me as a new twist on an old foe from the base game. My biggest complaint would be that you can complete the entire story in under an hour. I spent my time exploring and looking for all the items and pillars and still managed to kill Gilgamesh in under 75 minutes.
Once you complete Gilgamesh though you do unlock two new features. The first is a timed event to earn a high score. The second is a final trial against a boss that I won’t spoil for you. So there is some replayability even if it doesn’t further the story.
The DLC is successful in adding to Gladio’s back story and strengthening his bond as Shield of the King as well as his ties to Cor and his own father. At the end of the credits you’ll also get a teaser trailer for Episode Prompto.
Patch 1.07 also added in an additional piece to chapter 13 of the main game. This small DLC ties together a number of loose ends and makes the narrative more cohesive. If you were waiting to complete the game until this hole was closed now is the time to jump back in.