Square Enix wins stunt of the day by commissioning actual swordsmith to make a giant Final Fantasy 16 weapon, then displaying it in the Tower of London

Two Beefeaters hold a Final Fantasy sword outside the Tower of London.
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Today's most bonkers news is that Square Enix, which of course is blasting money at the Final Fantasy 16 marketing campaign like there's no tomorrow, has decided to have the main character's sword forged in real life, and displayed in the Tower of London. The exhibition, such as it is, will last one month and marks a partnership with the Royal Armouries, which no doubt has received a handsome cheque for its troubles.

The Royal Armouries, to be fair, is a serious and renowned museum that keeps and displays the UK's national collection of arms, armour and artillery from throughout history. It manages the White Tower at the Tower of London, along with two other national museums. For the next month the Final Fantasy 16 sword, named Invictus, will be on display on the first floor of the White Tower, a cheery place where it's believed among other things Guy Fawkes was tortured to near-death (before being put to death). Square Enix's press release notes with some glee that this marks "the first time a sword created from a videogame has ever been housed in the Royal Armouries alongside armour once owned by Kings".

I mean, sure. The sword was crafted over months by swordsmith Tod Todeschini, and it has to be said looks like an incredible recreation of the in-game item: the detail is quite something. "The lower part of the blade was ground from solid steel using belt finishers and hand grinders and then a long steel peg was welded-on, which went from the blade ridge to the end of the pommel," it says here. "The upper part of the blade was then made from two hollow shells, then welded together and cleaned using belt and hand grinders. The final pieces of detail at the top of the blade were formed and spot welded in place to complete the blade".

Silly marketing stunts aside, Final Fantasy 16 does look like it might be the business: PC Gamer's own Mollie Taylor fell in love with the recent demo, though it remains unclear when the game will eventually release on PC. Square Enix previously announced a PC version then un-announced it, and the mood music seems to be that we'll face a considerable wait. No matter how good the game turns out though, I'll never not find it funny that the main dude is called Clive.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."