It didn't really hit home until I went to bed that night that they all died in that final battle...
Because, at the end of it all we get to see the sun finally rise after 10 years of night. We see Umbra waking up in front of the Citadel at first light
But we don’t see the remaining Chocobros at all, not even the sound of footsteps from any of them.
I was half expecting Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto at least appear on screen at the end welcoming the sunrise in Insomnia with Umbra. Or at least any of the trio showing up at at all.
So let me explain my thoughts because this is going to be a mess of a ride for me.
Plus, I’m writing this for closure, this game left me a sobbing mess
I was so caught up in the moment when Noctis and Ardyn were in the crystal that this moment right here:
Didn’t hit me like it should until later that night.
At first you would think it was all simply symbolism, essentially Noctis projecting all the people that meant the most to him appearing in his final moments. In a way: it is; but not in a way that I thought at first.
But then it hit me, what if Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto are in there not because Noctis is thinking of them in spirit, but they are literally there in spirit?
Oh shit this is the part where I’m going to end up dead inside
Let’s all remember that Noctis, being the King of Kings is the only one allowed within the Crystal, and no one else. So Noctis has to absorb the 13 Kings of Lucis in order to take them with him within the Crystal. Because the Kings can’t go inside the Crystal by themselves, they needed Noctis as a vessel to get in.
And they did that through this soul crushing scene right here
Noct took the Kings with him via the Armiger, hence their presence in the Crystal.
so apparently you’ve been collecting weapons that will ultimately kill you in the end thanks dad
Luna’s presence makes sense too because her Trident is a part of his Armiger after receiving it from Gentiana/Shiva.
But remember: the Thirteen Kings of Lucis and Luna are all dead and that is their souls appearing within the Crystal
So what does that mean for the rest of our quartet?
They died in battle after Noctis ascended the throne, and the reason why the three appeared within the Crystal is because of this scene here
I don’t know about you guys but there was no way I was going to let Noctis leave the mortal plane without something to remind him of the more innocent part of his life so I picked Prompto’s first group pic:
I have a feeling most of us are sentimental fucks and probably picked one with all four of them in it too
So the game relied on its faith in us, the players, to pick a photo with the four of them present to some capacity. So when Ignis, Gladio, and Prompto died in battle, their souls followed Noctis along in the Crystal through his memento.
Long story short:
Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto were with Noctis even in spirit till the very end.
All my boyfriends are dead and so am I
Because this scene right here
Was the battle that ultimately kills the three of them.