“That’s it!” is a phrase that Final Fantasy XV fans know very well. And fittingly, it’s also the name of a FFXV fanmade cookbook.
Final Fantasy XV came out in November 2016 to an array of eager fans. The game, 10 years in the making, has an epic plot line familiar to longtime players of the series, but the main draw of this installment is the four main protagonists and the bonds they strengthen over the course of the story. There’s Noctis, the “chosen king”; Gladio, the king’s shield; Prompto, the best friend; and Ignis, the tactician—and, very importantly, the cook.
For those who haven’t played the game, the Chocobros explore an open world during a portion of the game and rest at the end of the day (with some variables in between). When camping, Ignis will “see what he can whip up” for the crew. And when he does, it’s pretty awesome. Iggy starts out with a pretty limited repertoire, but as the game progresses, he learns a wider variety of impressive campsite campsite recipes, geting inspiration from new ingredients foraged from the wild or purchased from the world’s various vendors. Also, rather shamelessly, Iggy can get inspiration from others’ hard work, “learning” recipes after eating meals at restaurants. After this burst of inspiration, Ignis will exclaim his catchphrase: “That’s it! I’ve come up with a new recipe.” Or “recipeh” as fans would likely insist.
That’s where That’s It! the cookbook was born.
“It first started as a series of humble posts on Reddit,” said the project organizer, who goes by the Reddit handle aranea_highwind. “But [it] really picked up steam after I realized that some amazing fans had already been steadily recreating recipes for months.”
Fans have come from all corners of the web to create this homage to the food of FFXV, including people from Reddit, Tumblr, and Instagram. About 20 people contributed, with three or four working behind the scenes. The project officially started moving about mid-February. “Food was one of the high points for me in FFXV, and when I learned that tons of fellow fans shared the same view, I knew a community cookbook was feasible,” said aranea_highwind about the motivation behind starting the project.
That’s It! is currently 49 pages and includes 32 recipes from Flame Roasted Toast to Kupoberry Cheesecake. Some, like Toadsteak Drumsticks and Horntooth Meat Pie, made it important for the authors to translate ingredients to their real-world counterparts. “It’s a good thing FFXV is a fantasy based on reality, because a lot of the fictional ingredients are very obvious variants of real-life ingredients,” said the organizer. “Cleigne wheat becomes simply flour, shieldshears becomes crab, any bird becomes a chicken, any sirloin or steak becomes beef, et cetera.” She did admit that “there was a little bit of confusion with the garula, though, since it is described in the FFXV strategy guide as a ‘pig-cow.’”
Each recipe has been standardized to include the fan-created imagery and instructions. Some contributors even paid painstaking detail to recreate the in-game imagery. “When the first trailer of Final Fantasy XV showed cooking was an element of the game this title became a day one purchase for me,” said contributor Victoria, who is known online as Pixelated Vicka and runs the video-game recipe blog Pixelated Provisions. Contributing to That’s It! was a perfect fit for Victoria, as he start of the cookbook project coincided with her own project “Final FantaFeast” on her blog.
Another contributor, Tsubasa of Honey & Toast, was asked to contribute via Instagram after posting food photos from FFXV. Hailing from Hong Kong, Tsubasa represents the reach that this project has had for fans of the game. “I think it is a wonderful project which gathers all the FFXV fans together from different parts of the world,” she said. “This cookbook represents our love of the game.”
Tsubasa explained that the recipes in the in the cookbook correlate with the in-game level-up function. As Iggy cooks more, he levels up and learns even more recipes. Similarly, some of the recipes are more simple, while others may be more challenging. “I think this project came out from a question that lots of FFXV fans are asking: ‘How can I cook like Ignis?’” said Tsubasa. She added, “I hope more fans can try cooking the FFXV food—it will be fun for FFXV fans to also level up their cooking skills in reality!”
A second version is in the works, with a goal of 30 more recipes, and aranea_highwind aims to release it around the time of the game’s next DLC, “Episode Prompto.” She hopes the time frame will encourage new contributors to reach out. Those interested are encouraged to message her via Reddit, Twitter, or Tumblr.
In the meantime, interested fans can view an additional set of “recipes” through another cookbook inspired by everyone’s favorite shield, Gladio. That’s right: there’s a Cup Noodle special edition. The recipe pages in this cookbook are filled with quotes from FFXV’s ridiculously awkward Cup Noodles quest. And the instructions themselves are . . . similar to each other. It’s not a coincidence that it was released around April 1.