Final Fantasy 16 Eikons & Dominants Explained, Terminology Guide

Final Fantasy XVI introduces Eikons and Dominants, but what exactly are they and what roles do they play in this installment’s story?

Image via PlayStation Youtube

The Final Fantasy 16 demo gave fans their first playable experience with the game, thrusting players into its dark fantasy world via a demo. As the Final Fantasy games often do, Final Fantasy 16 quickly started throwing terminology and names at the player, such as Eikon and Dominant, without giving context for what they are or stopping to explain to those who haven’t been following all of the previews.

The PS5 demo launch for Final Fantasy 16 was revealed during a lengthy preview event held as part of Summer Game Fest 2023. This demo features the game’s opening section, where Ifrit and Phoenix battle in an explosive war of flames. The demo also featured brief appearances from Shiva and Titan as they face each other on the battlefield. These are Final Fantasy 16’s first look at the Eikons, giving everyone a demonstration of the awesome powers they possess.

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What Are The Eikons In Final Fantasy 16

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The Final Fantasy series is known for its iconic summon monsters playing different roles in each game. In some Final Fantasy titles, the summons are little more than fancy attacks, while in others, they’re a major part of the story, like the Primals in Final Fantasy XIV. When it comes to Final Fantasy XVI, the summon monsters are called Eikons, and the story is focused on their relationship with mortals.

Eikons are colossal beasts with access to powerful magical spells. They’re so powerful, in fact, that they require the aid of a mortal avatar to enter the real world, with certain restrictions surrounding who can possess their powers and how many can be active simultaneously.

The Eikons confirmed to appear in Final Fantasy 16 include Phoenix, Ifrit, Shiva, Titan, Ramuh, Odin, Garuda, and Bahamut. The Eikons are intended to have a link to an element, and it’s considered surprising when Ifrit shows up, as it’s a second Eikon related to fire, with Phoenix being the first.

What Are The Dominants In Final Fantasy 16

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While the Eikons cannot enter the world on their own, they can do so when called by chosen mortals. These people are called Dominants, and the Eikons choose them at birth. There are some criteria involved, as the Final Fantasy 16 demo revealed that Clive was refused by the Phoenix Eikon, which chose his younger brother, Joshua, instead.

Once a Dominant is chosen by their Eikon, they hold this status until death and cannot shed their powers. The Eikons seemingly only choose one Dominant at a time, and, considering they’re chosen at birth, there are periods when a Dominant won’t be active in the world. Eikons can grant their powers to some mortals, as Clive could call on some of the Phoenix’s powers, but they are not on the same level as Dominants.

The greatest power of the Dominant is their ability to transform into their Eikon, giving them incredible power that can crush armies beneath their heel. Even in their mortal form, the Dominants possess special powers, as Joshua had the ability to cast the powerful Firaga and Curaga spells, despite being a child. It’s also possible for Dominants to lose a battle of wills with their Eikon and become possessed by them, robbing them of control of their actions.

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The Dominants are powerful, but with that power comes fear. Each nation in Final Fantasy 16 treats the Dominants differently, with some rising to positions of power, like King Barnabas Tharmr of Waloed, who is the Dominant of Odin. Some nations, such as the Iron Kingdom, hunt the Dominants, seeing them as abominations. The relationship between the Eikons, their Dominants, and the world around them is a major part of Final Fantasy 16, and it’s likely that even more summoned monsters will appear in the game.