my journey throughfinal fantasy XIVcontinue quickly. My Bard and Black Mage are now level 46 and I'm currently looking at Coerthas ice cream, which seems strangely French since all names end in -x and -eau. When I started playing, my circle wasFF14-All the friends who played told me to be patient.a kingdom rebornIt would be slow but the story would speed up when I got to the first expansion,to the sky. I was expecting a slow burn, gradual build up to a big confrontation with the villains I've been chasing for the last 30 levels. What happened to me this weekend was not slow or gradual, but Square Enix drove a gloved fist through my chest, digging into my ribcage before pulling out my still-beating heart and eating it in front of me as I thanked them. . who have pleasure
HD-2D, the unique retro-inspired art style, released in 2022
final fantasy XIVEnthusiasts will probably recognize the mission I'm talking about: Bring Out the Dead. Those who don't, be warned, there are spoilers here.
This story starts 20 levels earlier. I have been assigned to visit a village of sylphs, tiny flying insect-like creatures that appear to be made of plant leaves. The Sylphs had long been allies of the local government, but this relationship had deteriorated over the years. It was my job to fix it and return them to consensual harmony. When I finished, the sylphs thanked me for my efforts and sent an emissary with me to help me and my comrades, the descendants of the Seventh Dawn, in our fight against the shadow forces that threatened war. I will leave the ambassador named Noraxia in the care of my friends at our headquarters and go about my business.
Levels later, I returned to headquarters to deliver my final report. When I first teleported into the city, I noticed that there was a new group of Concerned Citizens NPCs outside the gate. I could tell it was weird, but I was like, 'Oh, that must be my next assignment.' The Scions operate with little supervision and must alert the local population. It will be my job to calm them down." I went to the headquarters and nothing happened. I went downstairs and through the door to my manager's office and I remember the physical reaction I had when I saw the floor.full of the corpses of my comrades."Oh no!" I yelled.
This isn't the first time I've faced senseless death in an MMO. It happens frequently. A place I once visited was full of life, and then it's full of corpses. What brought me to my knees about this experience was that the game went out of its way to remind me of that.I knew these people. In games, I'm used to bodies being inconspicuous and indistinguishable from other NPCs. They are usually a random selection of the game's races and genders, all wearing the same three sets of generic NPC outfits. But these were different models with different armor. It was the people at the bar that I envisioned my character would sit with and have a drink with after a long day at Scion work. There's something really devastating about picking someone out of a mass of bodies and thinking, "This person sold me potions," or "This person patched my armor," or "This sylph came here with me." You see, Noraxia, the little ambassador sylph, also died. Her death was uniquely devastating, her people entrusted her to me, sent to help save the world. I figured they had no idea they were going to send one of her sisters to her death.
Butfinal fantasy XIVhe was not content to leave me there with my grief. They planned to further insult my injury. After some tentative searches, I was sent back to the scene of the massacre with the task of carrying the bodies of my comrades to a cart that would take them for burial. When I arrived I was greeted by an extremely insensitive worker who basically told me "oh you look like a beefy girl she takes those bodies in there and hurry up they are starting to stink". from the pile of bodies dumped in an alley behind you.
The quest lets you pick them up just like any other quest item, but with a devastating twist: the bigger the body, the longer it takes to pick it up. The action bar fills faster or slower depending on the size of the body. with which you are interacting. Strong Roegadyns take longer to "catch up" to lean Miqo'tes. But none are as swift as the diminutive sylph, whose small, leafy body stands in stark contrast to the rest. Then, like any other mission, the corpses go to your key inventory and you need to deliver them to the undertaker. In most MMOs, if you pick up more than one item of the same type, they will accumulate in your inventory. In another cruel twist on the knife, Noraxia's body doesn't stack with the rest, instead getting her own inventory slot with her own flavor text.
Whenever you complete a collection mission inFF14, you must "deliver" the key item to the quest NPC. When it was time to "deliver" the bodies (represented by a white flower icon with sometotally inappropriateflavor text), did not want. My cursor hovered over the Send command for a moment and I couldn't click it. I started crying. And my reluctance was justified. When you "deliver" something normally, you never see the item in question. Your character makes the move to get something from your bag, the quest NPC accepts it, but it never materializes. When I handed the bodies over to the undertaker, they appeared in the back of the hearse, their mouths open and their eyes open and their eyes wide.
I love when a game's mechanics reinforce its storytelling. Infinal fantasy XIV, the commands you've been mindlessly using throughout the game to complete missions (pick up, use, surrender) have gained a lot of weight now. The game forces you to think about exactly what you're doing, while Undertaker's cruel reactions teach you a meta-lesson of compassion.
In most MMOs, you are a death dealer. At this point, you've probably completed dozens of quests that require you to search corpses for a strange trinket or two. I did this out of habit and without thinking, the dead are nothing more than a search box to check.
The way undertakers talk to you, urging you to hurry and noting that the dead don't like a little rough treatment is the script in their head. You are the mindless quest creators eager to check that box as the devastation leaves you behind. How many times have I mindlessly clicked on the text boxes of a widow lamenting the fate of her husband? And now that they've done this to me, I'mfuriousthat somehow I can't incinerate these people with a Fire III spell.
This search will accompany me for a long time. It's become one of my "this video game made me cry" moments, filed along with the anti-war ending ofunder the taleand the Moment in the menufinal fantasy xv. With all the pain and suffering this game has caused me, as you all say, this is just the beginning. I can't imagine how future narrative moments in the game can top this, but I look forward to seeing him try. While doing this search, I thought I'd write a clearly worded letter to Square Enix outlining my need. Here it goes:
Dear Square Enix,
How dare you. What the hell?How dare you!
I love it. please hurt me again soon