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Final Fantasy XIV / Tropes V to Z

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  • Values Dissonance: In-Universe. The 2016 Heavensturn event has the event holder frustrated at everyone's indifference to his culture's traditions in celebrating the new year. The chosen animal for the year is the Chocobo, which the man repeatedly calls a cock. While the guy is technically correct in calling the bird a cock, he gets a lot of disapproving looks and gasps from the Eorzean citizens due to gems like this:
    Tori Bugyo: After all, Eorzea is home to some of the biggest cocks in the realm─chocobos. Yet every time I approach the citizens to ask them if they would join me, and together usher in the new year with this virile beast, all I receive are mumbled excuses or disapproving scowls as they quickly rush away. Alas, when I asked passersby if I might present them with a lovely yellow cock, I was met with irritated groans and affronted gasps. When I invited them to touch this most prized of Far Eastern treasures, their response was even less enthusiastic.
  • Variable Mix: The background music that plays in several Hard Mode dungeons (which was originally the general dungeon theme in 1.0) transitions smoothly between field and battle variations.
    • The mount themes have a variation, if you stop moving the music drops in volume.
  • Victory Pose: Standard for the Final Fantasy series. Competing a dungeon or trial with your party gets your group doing a victory pose and it gets more awesome when you have a party of 8 people all doing their poses at once. It's the "/joy" emote. That said, there are a few dungeons/trials that alter it:
    • Battle on the Big Bridge, where your player is rather stunned by Greg, er, Gilgamesh's choice of escape - over the rails to fly away, via...chicken. It works about as well as you expect.
    • Tam-Tara Deepcroft(Hard). With the way that dungeon ends, neither the character nor the player is feeling all that joyful.
    • Wanderer's Palace(Hard). Just as you begin to cheer, a swarm of tonberries swoops in and gets their well earned doinky revenge. Of course, the actual act of said revenge causes the character to wince and avert their eyes.
    • The Final Coil of Bahamut - Turn 3. You defeat Louisoix's primal form, Phoenix, killing your old mentor for good this time. The player merely closes his/her eyes, looking somber.
    • Kugane Ohashi: Gilgamesh is back. After you best him, he concedes that you are the better warrior and places himself at your mercy. Your character simply nods.
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    • 3.2, The Gears of Change, released the new "/Victory" emote as a quest reward. The emote is a more elaborate victory animation based on whatever class you are at the time posing with your weapon.
    • Ultimate Trials pans the camera to your entire party, everyone doing the "/happy" emote in celebration of a hard-won victory against the most brutal of fights in the game.
    • 5.0, Shadowbringers takes the Warrior of Light to the First, a world all but destroyed by a Flood of Light. Dungeons and trials pit you against sin eaters, humans and animals twisted into monsters by the primordial light. There’s not really much to celebrate after killing them, and the main scenario dungeons end with you looking tired and sad.
    • Malikah's Well in Shadowbringers gives it an even darker turn. After absorbing the Lightwarden's aether, your character reels and staggers in pain, all but proving that your stored up aether is at critically high levels. The victory fanfare doesn't even play in the cutscene.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • A minor example, but certain quests require you to say a specific phrase in the chat box in order to progress. You can say anything as long as the required phrase is within your sentence and said phrase is entered exactly as it appears in the quest log. It didn't take long for players to figure this out as they started to use some more "colorful" ways of completing those quests.
    • All the enemies near the major cities are low leveled and are made to be fought by new players or players switching to a new class so they have an easy time to level up. Said creatures are mostly critters like squirrels, ladybugs, marmots, and so on. Nothing is stopping a high level player from returning to the old areas and brutally slaughtering all the creatures that can't even put a scratch on the player.
    • You can run all instanced duties "unsynced", or your level and item stats don't scale down to what the duty is supposed to be run at. Cue beating up Ifrit Normal with your level 70 item level 340 character to relieve some stress.
    • One of the side quests in Stormblood requires you to lob grenades at an NPC. There are two other NPCs that are watching that can also be hit by your grenades. Hitting them will cause them to react with a What the Hell, Hero?, but they won't get hurt.
    • Some of the 'sarcastic' responses to cutscenes can come off as more like the Warrior of Light really is a wandering sociopath. At the conclusion of the Kojin beast tribe quest... everyone completely forgets about Tsukumo, nevermind all the plot holes. The Warrior of Light can pretend that they don't remember Tsukumo either, despite the fact that the Echo renders them all but immune to that sort of memory manipulation.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Most of the villains and their minions in the story will usually be the first ones to act, causing the heroes to react in response to stop said villains.
  • Villainous Breakdown: At the end of 3.0 Heavensward after surviving the combined powers of the entire Heavens' Ward in a recreation of Ultimate End, the final boss can do little more than frantically question how. From this point on, his only attack is to march around the arena frantically swinging his sword for pitiful damage until his health is depleted.
  • Villain Song: Many of the Trial boss fight songs with lyrics mirror the boss's motivations, history, and thoughts on their current battle with you. For example, Shiva's theme "Oblivion" echoes Lady Iceheart's painful history and giving up everything to become the incarnation of ice. Or the Warrior of Light's theme "To The Edge" can be seen as Elidibus discussing how he and the protagonist are Not So Different, and lamenting how much he and his friends have sacrificed on a seemingly neverending mad quest to go back again to a long dead and forgotten home.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: There is gear aplenty to dress up in, and with the Glamour system, players can wear their best gear and look good too. There's even a good amount of items that are solely made for this purpose, and you can expect players to pay out the nose for a fashionable coat or a Nice Hat. You still have to follow some restrictions when utilizing glamour - the item you'll be actually wearing has to be of the same or a higher level than what you're glamouring over it, and the glamour only appears properly if your current class can wear the item in question normally - but other than that, it's free game on what you want to wear.
  • Visual Pun: In the Shadowbringers trailer, we briefly see a trio of rich heavyweight Miqo'te lounging in luxury. Literal fat cats.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: For the storyline quests, Titan. For endgame content, Titan Hardmode. Titan is one of the few bosses that gives instant-death effects and hits you with unavioidable damage - most damage prior to this you could either mitigate or avoid altogether by avoiding the area of effects.
    • For other duties, The Stone vigil. Most duties prior to this (Sans Titan) you could just Area of Effect burn, with most bosses also being simple Tank-and-spank. One boss requires you to flat out fire cannons and watch the background.
  • Walking Spoiler: Patch 3.5 provides a literal example, much to the chagrin of people logging in on patch day to find people running around with the Papalymo's Final Witness title, instantly spoiling the story content of the patch. Koji Fox, the man in charge of the localization, apologized for the title being a spoiler and would go on to change the title.
  • Warm-Up Boss: The normal versions of Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda serve as this for trials (IE instanced boss fights without dungeons). They are the first bosses that you cannot simply tank and spank, they have mechanics that will instantly kill you if not properly handled. But said mechanics are generally pretty simple (avoid AOEs and kill any adds that spawn), and they are the only trials that have a light party instead of a full party. The hard versions of them are more in line with the other trials, including requiring a full 8-person party.
  • Warp Whistle: The Aetherytes dotted throughout Eorzea serve as convenient warp points for players and even NPCs will use them when the scene calls for it. The Teleport spell lets the player warp to any Aetheryte they've attuned themselves to (though each warp will cost some gil, explained as for maintaining them from the constant use) while the Return spell lets the player return to their set home point without any cost (though having a 15-minute cooldown on the spell). The Return spell can also send the player in a dungeon back to its entrance should they get stuck or incapacitated, without the cooldown.
  • Was Once a Man:
    • The Scholar questline and Wanderer's Palace (Hard) dungeon explain that tonberries were once originally the citizens of the ancient city state of Nym, cursed by the Mhachi with a voidsent borne plague that transfigured them into the form they are now, then sealed via magic stasis inside the palace as a quarantine, and in hopes a cure could be found.
    • The "Heretics" are Ishgardians that have turned against their city-state to fight on behalf of the Dravanian Horde for a number of reasons, and are capable of transforming into dragons themselves. They are capable of doing so by imbibing dragon's blood, which due to Ishgard's King Thordan I and his Knights Twelve having slain one of Midgardsomr's brood, Ratatoskr, and ate her eyes for the aetheric power within them, means most of current day Ishgard has some traces of dragon blood and aether within them.
    • The Main Story Quests in 3.4 and the Warring Triad side story's final quest in 3.5 reveal that the "voidsent" demons players have been fighting were once the people of the 13th world of the FFXIV cosmology, now known as "the Void" or "The World of Darkness". Due to the world having been heavily dark aspected, combined with abuse of summons via auracite which corrupted the wielders, led to a Flood of Darkness, destroying that world. Voidsent are the twisted remnants of that world, who seek to enter the world the majority of the game takes place in, "The Source", to draw upon the vast amount of aether.
    • In turn, parts of the post-Heavensward story and Shadowbringers revolve around another world, the First, that is on the cusp of succumbing to a similar Flood of Light. You're called there Just Before the End to reverse things before it happens and, due to how the Source and its shards are linked, leads to an eighth Calamity, and the primary enemies are "Sin Eaters", monstrous beings that were once people before they were corrupted by too much light aether. Even the Warrior of Light nearly succumbs to this as they take on the biggest Sin Eaters, beings called Lightwardens that can't just be killed to take care of things because that will cause their light aether to infect whoever killed them and create a new Lightwarden - the WoL resists it, but it still clearly takes a toll, and near the end of the base story is just about to make the transformation and start the Flood.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Brotherhood of Ash tells you that since the Amalj'aa are creatures of flame, they need very little water to survive. Overindulging in water is extremely foolish and can become like poison to them. One quest has you beating up a few Amalj'aa and then dousing their heads with a flask of water for pure humiliation (the Brotherhood compares it to someone of another race being doused in burning oil). From a gameplay standpoint, the Amalj'aa take the same amount of damage from water attacks as they do for any other attack.
  • Weapon of Choice: The weapon you use defines your current class. Equip a different weapon, and your Discipline changes. Previously players could also equip any weapon or piece of armor in the game at any level. Logically there is nothing stopping you from equipping that Infinity +1 Sword... except that considering you are a novice Gladiator, your "lack of skill" translates mechanics-wise into any degree of penalties to the weapon's effectiveness, meaning you're not even going to get Infinity -1 Sword-level performance. Gear released later in the original game's life often (but not always) required a certain level and/or class to equip it, which may not be as realistic but makes balancing a lot easier on the developers. The system was dropped entirely in A Realm Reborn in favor of level requirements on all gear, and stricter class requirements on endgame gear.
    • This includes crafting and gathering classes, although those aren't very likely to actually use their weapons as such - they are tools they use for their tasks, though they do have attack stats and can be used to fend off enemies, but they don't have any weaponskills to deal real damage.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: The launch of early access and the game itself (A Realm Reborn) a week after that caused Square-Enix's servers to choke, spawning the infamous 1017 error code (world is full) for anyone that tried to get into the game. After a week of maintenance and upgrading the servers, the game is much more accessible now.
    • A similar problem happened again when A Realm Reborn went on sale on Steam, exacerbated by a large patch scheduled shortly after. This led to multiple oddly-timed maintenance periods over the course of the week.
    • Naturally Heavensward had many similar problems, though SE took a reasonable number of steps to minimize the trouble, and it is generally considered to have been a much smoother launch. Still, many players were unable to log-in for much of the Early Access launch, giving frustratingly ambiguous error codes, randomly ejecting people from login queues, or simply being unable to connect to the Data Centers for unknown reasons for hours at a time.
    • It happened once more with the release of Stormblood, despite even further efforts SE took to make the launch as smooth as possible, including work to start creating more servers to play in and spread out the playerbase and having multiple instances of the expansion areas so things didn't get overloaded - and the launch was still somewhat buggy and problematic, partly from the sheer number of players all trying to get into Stormblood at once, and partly because the launch happened to coincide with a third party DDoSing the servers. Shadowbringers would finally be the first expansion release in the game's life that didn't have staggering technical difficulties.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: In Legacy, this was part of the plot in forming the Eorzean Alliance. When each Grand Company formed, it stirred up nationalistic feelings. The player was tasked to help push the Grand Company leaders into the direction of a mutually beneficial alliance (which they all wanted, but traditionalists and those with nationalistic feelings all opposed).
    • Played straight with Ishgard and the Eorzean Alliance as whole. Yes, the Ixal are at their door step, and yes, the Garleans are also in the neighborhood as well. But so long as their focus is on the members of the Eorzean Alliance, Ishgard sees no reason to help with matters of other nations. Though somewhat justified due to their ongoing war with the dragons and their supporters.
    • Also played straight with the Syndicate's Monetarist and Royalist factions. Even with an empire bearing down on them, the Monetarists still bicker about who's getting what trade agreements, and who's getting the biggest slices of the pie. It's more accurate to say that the Royalists (all two of them we see, the Sultana and Raubahn) have to essentially use the carrot and stick method of convincing the Monetarists to support any action at all by talking up how financially beneficial it is to them.
    • Played straight as well with various factions in the far east as presented in Stormblood, although their reluctance to band together and fight back against Garlemald has less to do with vying to outdo one another and more to do with simple self-preservation. The Confederacy won't go to war against the Empire because their naval fleets would crush them, the people of Yanxia won't rebel because they've been living under the Empire's thumb for years and have collectively crossed a Despair Event Horizon, and the Xaela tribes of the Azim Steppe won't go to war unless their leader gives the order, which they currently have no reason to do because the Empire simply hasn't shown any interest in encroaching upon the steppes. Your task is to help them to overcome their reservations to form a collective army that can push Garlemald out of the Far East and then help retake Ala Mhigo.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Several quests and duties that have a Guest-Star Party Member or two, can fail if said members are felled in combat. Conversely, if you ever die during a quest or duty or even running a Shadowbringers dungeon with the Trust system, you instantly fail, even if a member of your party has the ability to revive you - which, nine times out of ten, they do.
  • Welcome to Corneria: Played straight for the most part but amusingly averted when you complete a guild questline and ask what they do. Their guild leaders will repeat the information and wonder why you're asking about something you should have known at that point.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: If the various dialogues and hints are anything to go by, many of the Garlean Empire's actions were done in order to prevent the end of the world and not out of malicious intent. Then again, they probably could do that without brainwashing people and conquering entire City-States.
    • Completely averted as of patch 4.4, when it’s revealed that the Empire was founded by an immortal Ascian for the sole purpose of creating chaos and the eventual apocalypse.
    • For all their evil — and it's a lot of evil — the remaining Ascians are motivated by a desperate desire to bring their dead friends and family members back to life. This is specifically discussed by both hero and villain by the end of the expansion.
  • Western Zodiac: Each of the twelve Atma corresponds to a star sign. Notable because this is the first quest to upgrade your Relic into a Zodiac weapon.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • Gaius and Cid's interactions are thick with this. Gaius was a friend of Cid's father who took him in and raised him when his real father became consumed in the Empire's Project Meteor; while Gaius hasn't given up on him, Cid has, at least to some extent, because he sees Gaius as just another conqueror driven by ambition. Indeed, he flat out states that he has no interest in returning to the Empire, or to Gaius, during the Praetorium.
    • There's also some of this with Nero tol Scaeva, his old friend, who's now Gaius' Dragon. In the Praetorium, he learns this is because Nero has spent a lifetime in the shadow of his incredible Magitek achievements, even after he defected to Eorzea and Nero stayed loyal. In Nero's words: "Your existence has rendered mine worthless."
    • After the player emerges from the final dungeon victorious, Cid seems as in high spirits as anyone else, but privately admits to the player that he is still reeling from the events (he didn't know about Gaius being duped by Lahabrea, or about how he put Nero in the spot of Always Someone Better) and has trouble knowing how to feel about Nero's apparent escape and the death of Gaius.
  • Wham Episode: This game's story pretty much tells you to never let your guard down. Especially after a major victory.
    • The first one comes while you're still riding the high of defeating Titan. You're just about to return to the Waking Sands to report your success to the Scions. Well... what's left of them anyways. Livia found their base of operations while you were away, massacred every last one of them, and then captured the major Scions for good measure.
    • The main story in 2.5 part 1 has a big one. Midgardsormr strips away Hydaelyn's Blessing of Light from you to use as a vessel to rebuild his physical body while deciding to follow you around, Minfilia gets kidnapped by an Ascian (though you do manage to save her thankfully), and Moenbryda performs a Heroic Sacrifice to kill the Ascian for good. Moenbryda's death shakes up the Scions badly, but the news of her death hits Urianger very hard and you can hear the sorrow in his voice as he tries to hold himself together (and this is a man who shows very little emotion to begin with). To top it all off, Nidhogg declares war on Ishgard and while the knights prepare for the onslaught, Alphinaud isn't convinced that Isghard's soldiers can fend off the angry dragons and fears that the dragons will overwhelm them.
    • Fitting its status as the end of the first cycle into an expansion, 2.5 part 2 blows everything out of the water. With your help, Ishgard does manage to drive the dragons back, but at the celebration of the victory, things go south. The Crystal Braves turn out to have with the monetarists all along and take Alphinaud hostage. And the Sultana invites you to her chamber to discuss the abdicating of the throne... only to sputter and die in front of you from poison in her wine, and due to having unknowingly found the used chalice of the poison that killed her, you've been set up as the perfect patsy for Teledji's schemes. Brought in front of the alliance leaders and scions, Teledji tries to gloat to a despairing Raubahn, which has the opposite effect, enraging him to such a degree that he vertically bisects Teledji, ending his scheme... except even he was just a pawn. The one controlling the Crystal Braves? The one after Omega? It was Lolorito all along, and Raubahn's attempts to attack him ends with him losing his left arm to Ilberd. He tells you to flee the city and you do, but along the way all of the scions pull a Bolivian Army Ending. You escape Ul'dah with Cid's help intending to go to Ishgard, not as a hero helping their war, but as a fugitive, only to find that the only members of the scions still alive are you, Tartaru, Alphinaud, Yugiri and Urianger. And the end of it all, Raubahn is in prison, disgraced as a traitor, none of the other scions are anywhere to be found, and the Ascians, shaken by Nabriales' defeat, choose to hasten their plans, with Urianger meeting with Elidibus to discuss the fate of Hydaelyn. The last shot of the story is of your character standing at the entrance to Ishgard while Midgardsomr laughs in your face about thinking you'll find refuge beyond.
    • The ending of 3.5 also has its share of twists and turns. The leader of a highly militant faction of the Ala Mhigan resistance known as the Griffin is revealed to be none other than Ilberd, the selfsame traitor who orchestrated the assassination of the Sultana earlier. He launched an attack on Baelsar's Wall, which borders Ala Mhigo, fully aware that the assault would end in the needless deaths of the men and women he commands. All this for one purpose; to sow enough despair in the hearts of his sacrificial pawns to help facilitate a primal summoning! To make matters worse, he managed to get his mitts on Nidhogg's eyes, sources of nigh-infinite malevolent power that was thought to have been disposed of earlier! After killing himself to trigger the summoning, Papalymo is left with no choice but to use all of his aether to contain the primal using a similar spell as what Louisoix used to try and seal Bahamut, sacrificing his life to buy his allies time to activate the Omega Weapon. Omega and the summoned primal, Shinryu, clash in the skies above Eorzea, but their battle ends in a stalemate with Omega and Shinryu falling dormant. There is little time to try and find them, however, for Ilberd's plot has set into motion events that will lead to an all-out war between Eorzea and Garlemald, forcing the heroes to change plans and focus on liberating Ala Mhigo. As one final twist, it is revealed that "Yda" is not the real Yda, but her younger sister Lyse; the real Yda died some years ago fighting to liberate Ala Mhigo, and Lyse had taken her sister's place in the Circle of Knowing and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to continue her work, with the other Scions knowing her identity but playing along at Papalymo's behest . Lyse then decides to live on as her own self as Papalymo would want, and join the fight for a free Ala Mhigo.
    • And then along comes the end of 4.4, which makes all previous whams look like lightweight punches. (This is a real spoiler, so highlight at your own peril.) We begin with Elidibus-in-his-Zenos-suit continuing to cajole Emperor Varis into action, as he seems to be hesitating. After some pointed words and leaving Varis to contemplate his "doubt", another voice rings out, once Elidibus is out of earshot, that the voice's owner is the one who should be sighing. From out behind the Garlean throne - where Varis' attention has been focused this whole time - walks a rather rakish, youngish looking man. And the man speaks, berating his... grandson?... for trying to deny the full picture and full truth of his situation and the Empire's situation. The man proceeds to spell it out: the Garlean Empire was built on lies - its philosophies about eikon removal and civilizing other nations nothing but pretense for creating as much chaos in the service of Zodiark's revival as possible, and that the Empire was even founded in secret by an Ascian. That Ascian? Solus Galvus. The man speaking to his grandson at this moment. With this, not only is Solus back in the picture (with full Ascian immortality to boot), but the man himself proves to be massively different than previous portrayals had painted him as, and this reveal throws everything previously known into question and yet explains some long-standing mysteries and motivations. And our heroes have no idea about any of this, thinking that only Zenos is the "Garlean Ascian", and clueless about the true scope of the threat they face.
      • And that is only a mere fraction of the full force strike that is 4.4. (Again major spoilers, you've been warned.) Word about the "Domans" (Yotsuyu) having summoned a primal against the Garleans has spread throughout the empire, with follow up rebellions against the empire having led Imperial citizens calling for violent suppression and counter-attacks against Doma and Eorzea. And reports are coming in across the globe of crystals having their elemental aether drained from them, a phenomena last witnessed 5 years ago, during the Calamity of Dalamud in Eorzea. And then, suddenly during a meeting of the Eorzean Alliance, Doma, and the Scions, all of the major members of the Scions, including the Warrior of Light, suffer a mysterious and sudden affliction, a severe headache, visions, and a voice demanding they "change history" and "throw open the gates", and warnings of another Calamity. As it subsides, Thancred collapses and Kan-E-Senna discovers his soul has been "Called", and though his body yet lives, it is unknown who or where has his soul been taken to. Soon after, at the Rising Stones, Y'shtola and Urianger also have their souls "Called", leaving only Lyse, Alisae, Krile, and the Warrior of Light. Meanwhile, in Imperial Territory, the Shadowhunter and Alphinaud find a resistance camp with every person that resided there murdered by way of a weapon the Shadowhunter had long thought destroyed, "Black Rose".
      • Another 4.4 reveal addresses two things. The Burn is an area of land whose aether has been all but bled dry. The empire states that it was due to mass/repeated summoning of primals that drained the land of its aether. Later on, Y'shtola discovers that the mysterious artifact in the Azim Steppe that the Xela Au Ra worship is actually an Allagan device used to house and transfer aether. Since another device like it was discovered in the Burn, which also had some Allagan ruins, the heroes are able to use the artifact to transfer aether from the Steppes to the Burn, allowing the land there to begin healing again. The reveal shows that the empire basically lied about the primal problem in the Burn (since Solus is an Ascian, this was likely intentional) and the Xela's beliefs about throwing themselves down the Bottomless Pit where the artifact is to end their cycle of rebirth was just Allagan shenanigans that prevented the aether in the area from being recycled.
    • 5.0 is one massive Wham Episode. The 14 worlds were in fact one and the same, having been that way every since the Primals Zodiark and Hydaelyn fought for the sake of the new life on the world, after the Ascains, who are revealed to have summoned first Zodiark to save the world and then Hydaelyn to keep him in check. Hydaelyn's attack split not only Zodiark, but the entire world into 14 shards, with only three "unbroken" Ascains escaping the sundering. The Ascains have in fact been causing Calamities in order to restore the world back to its original state and sacrifice it to Zodiark to bring back their world.
      • For players that completed a specific raid questline beforehand, there is The Reveal after defeating Innocence. The Crystal Exarch enacts the final part of his plan to sacrifice himself by taking the corrupted light aether into himself and slipping into the Dimensional Rift. Just before he completes his plan, a gust of wind blows back his hood, revealing him to be G'raha Tia, the leading character from the Crystal Tower raid. Players that have completed the raid are able to call him by name. As of patch 5.3, the Crystal Tower became a required leg of the main scenario, ensuring that all new players get the full impact.
      • The end is just as big. While Solus Galvus/Emet-Selch is slain and the First is freed from the light, on the Source, Zenos is revealed to still be alive, and reclaimed his body from Elidibus. He then kills his father not for the throne, but so that he can hunt Zodiark and Hydaelyn to have a final fight with the Warrior of Light. It ends with Gaius preparing to face the prince who just threw the entire empire into chaos.
      • The end of 5.2 completely turns things on their heads. Everyone believed the Echo was a blessing given to people chosen by Hydaelyn. Elidibus reveals that the Echo is present within people whose ancestors were present for the End of Days, a cataclysmic event that sundered the world. By using illusionary magic, Elidibus conjures an imaginary meteor shower at the Crystarium to mimic the End of Days, which causes several witnesses to have their Echo awaken and hear Hydaelyn's Catchphrase of "Hear, feel, think." It turns out that Hydaelyn was always calling out for potential Warriors of Light and the potential candidates needed their Echo awakened in order to hear her voice. Elidibus also suggests that Hydaelyn could also use illusionary star showers to awaken potential Warriors of Light if she needs them. In short, the concept of a Chosen One or The Chosen Many is a lot murkier in this scenario.
    • In 5.3, Eldibus's nature and end-game are revealed; he was originally Zodiark's heart before separating himself from him and became a Primal to help the rest of the Convocation, and his mysterious plan is by using Ardbert's corpse and the deeds of the Warrior, he accumulates the faith the people of Norvrandt's to supply himself with more power. He then uses this faith to become the Final Boss of Shadowbringer's post-storyline as the very first Warrior of Light. He's defeated, and the last of the Paragons dead. The Scions all succeed in returning home, and even the Crystal Exarch, by merging his soul and memories with his Source counterpart G'raha Tia to become a member of Scions. Meanwhile, its reveals that the mysterious white-cloaked Ascian helping Zenos is using Asahi sas Brutus's corpse, using the deaths of the Paragons to accelerate their own plans, with the Exarch stating that this would lead to the final chapter in the battle against Hydaelyn and Zodiark.
  • Wham Line: The game is quite fond of these for big reveals.
    • One particular one that sent people's heads spinning in 2.1:
      Minfilia: "Krile... where are you?"
    • Alisaie has one, that changes the player's entire opinion of her and her brother Alphinaud by revealing that Louisoix is their grandfather.
    • Near the end of the initial Dark Knight questline, when Fray is berating the merchant you just helped who wants you to now pay for the merchandise you recovered, he yells that he should have left everyone to die in Leviathan's tidal wave. Fray was never involved with Leviathan. But you were.
    • The Sultana drops one at the end of the Dreams of Ice storyline discussing the ongoing power strugle in Ul'dah:
      Nanamo: "For the government to serve the people, it must be formed of the people. For Ul'dah to move forward, it is not only the Syndicate that must be dissolved."
    • Shiva herself has two. One comes in the Phase 2 music when you realize who, exactly, you're fighting, the other comes in the post-fight cutscene.
      Lady Iceheart: Feel. Hear. Think.
    • The Heavensward launch trailer, already heavily spoilerific, has one single line spoken at the very end that has shocking implications.
    Elidibus: Hydaelyn's champion has grown too strong... the equilibrium must needs be restored... the time has come for you and yours to join the fray... Warrior of Darkness.
    • In patch 3.4, during the quest "Beneath a Starry Sky", the mysterious Masked Man who accompanies the Warriors of Darkness, after suggesting that they murder the Warrior of Light", says something Alisaie said her grandfather used to say. And one remembers who among the cast called Louisoix his teacher.
    The Masked Man: "To ignore the plight of those one might conceivably save is not wisdom;it is indolence." The words of my teacher, and a creed I hold close to my heart."
    • In patch 3.5, victory gives way to confusion when for some reason, the remaining Crystal Braves slaughter their allies in the Resistance. And then confusion turns to horrified realization when these words are spoken.
      Storm Soldier: "Mighty Rhalgr... grant us... the strength... to c-crush... our..."
    • At the end of patch 4.1, Raubahn wants to stay in Ala Mhigo to help rebuild, but his Undying Loyalty to Nanamo dictates that he has to return to Ul'dah, though he is obviously torn on the matter. Nanamo ultimately makes the decision for him.
    Nanamo: Raubahn Aldynn. You are hereby dismissed as General of the Immortal Flames, and relieved of your seat on the Syndicate.
    • A strange series of out of universe examples from. Patch 4.3. The player has finished the patch and finished the quest that shares the name with the patch and awarded the achievement to match... Hold on a tic; there's one more quest? Oh. It awards facial expression emote, nothing big, odd that it's marked Main Story quest. After accepting, it's a simple gathering of the Scions for tea, go have a seat. Hold on, there's that warning is a long period of multiple back to back cut-scenes. (Though by now the player is trained to expect a wham episode from these as the first time it was ever seen was the example of the previous trope from 2.5). Cue innocent conversation about worries over the wellness of an absent character when between cutscenes everything is interrupted by one very odd text box:
    • 4.4, with its massive overall Wham Episode, features a few choice lines from its central reveal character. (These are real spoilers; beware.)
    "Now, my dearest grandson, let me remind you of your place, in the simplest of terms."
    "I pity you, I do. As they say, ignorance is bliss. And I know how much happier you would be not knowing the things you know... The founding father was an Ascian! And he created the Empire solely for the purpose of sowing the seeds of chaos!"
    • The Kugane Ohashi trial during the Even Further Adventures of Hildebrand gets a hilarious one. It appears to be a bog-standard rematch against Yojimbo, the final boss of the Kugane Castle dungeon, but after maybe a minute or so of fighting him he drops a reference to a previous Final Fantasy game that immediately gives away who's really under the hat:
    • The teaser trailer for Shadowbringers drops a great load of foreboding for the story:
    "This tragedy, greater even than the Seventh Umbral Calamity, must be undone... If history must be unwritten, let it be unwritten. Become what you must. Become...the Warrior of Darkness."
    • The E3 launch trailer brings us the biggest bombshell of them all:
    Thancred: I'm... sorry, I can only assume I misheard, but it sounded an awful lot like you were implying that Zodiark and Hydaelyn are not Gods.
    Solus: But, they are Gods after a fashion, yes. The eldest and most powerful... of Primals.
    • 5.2 gives three words that haven't been heard in so long that everyone hears.
    Hydaelyn: Hear. Feel. Think.
    • The same patch also has another Wham Line at the start of the Ruby Weapon fight, for similar reasons as the above.
    Ruby Weapon, code name "Darnus." Ready for launch!
    I am... Nael van Darnus. Come to purify this forsaken land.
  • Wham Shot:
    • At the end of 2.3 the game cuts to the inner sanctum of Ishgard to peek in on the Archbishop as it had during the last patch. Only this time Lahabrea and Elidibus are shown to be standing at his side.
    • The end of the 4.2 trailer shows a very familiar clown who belts out a very familiar laugh...
    • At the end of the 4.2 main story quests we find out that Zenos is still alive.
    • The end of patch 4.3 features the appearance of a group of Ascian hunters, one of whom is a Garlean with a familiar mask strapped to his belt. The mask of Gaius van Baelsar, last seen when the Praetorium exploded way back in 2.0.
    • In the last part of Shadowbringers while on the way to the final battle, every single Scion and the Warrior of Light is given shocked pause when they come upon Amaurot, a recreation of the Ascians' homeworld, which with a strong 1920s art-deco architecture feels utterly and completely unlike anything in the game.
    • In The Stinger of Shadowbringers: Zenos got his body back!
    • At the end of 5.1, as the reconstruction of Elumore is under way, a mysterious man walks up to one of the people. Said mysterious man is revealed to be Ardbert... even though he's passed on and his corpse should have rotted away.
    • At the end of 5.3. the mysterious white-robed Ascian is revealed to be possessing Asahi sas Brutus, the Garlemaldian ambassador who was killed by his sister Yotsuyu back in Stormblood, and now with Zenos, take the reigns as Big Bad of the story now that all of the Paragons are dead.
    • In the 5.3 YoRHa questline, a group of YoRHa androids lay siege to the dwarves' village. 2P goes to confront them, only for the other androids' garb to change color from black to white as 2P is revealed to be Evil All Along.
    • In the 5.4 YoRHa quest, after Konogg runs back into the Puppet's Bunker, the Warrior of Light finds him in the last room standing next to a mysterious large white orb. Almost immediately, the Warrior of Light is pulled into Konogg's echo memory where we get another one when we see that Anogg has been an android all along.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Hydaelyn isn't seen or heard from again at the end of the main story line from patch 2.0 and no one in the game questions it. It isn't until patch 2.3 where Minfilia asks the player character if he/she has heard from the mother crystal since their battle against Lahabrea. When the player responds no, Minfilia fears that the Ascians may be behind Hydaelyn's sudden silence.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In the White Mage Job storyline, A-Ruhn-Senna gets this from his sister Raya-O-Senna after being openly disrespectful to the Player Character and trying to prove that you are not needed for the cleansing ritual. Later on, when the holy gravesite of A-Towa-Cant (a powerful revered White Mage of the past) has been ransacked by Redbelly thieves, Raya-O-Senna herself gets this from one of her moogle servants after she threatens to kill them if they don't help the Player find the whereabouts of A-Towa-Cant's ashes.
  • White Mage: An advanced job class that Conjurers can obtain that grants them abilities like faster spell casting, HP regeneration, MP regeneration, improved healing, and the powerful Holy spell. You'll also get the classic White Mage outfit at some point.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: At the end of the day, everyone is trying to survive and find order in FFXIV's chaotic world. While at times it feels like only black and gray morality exists, even the Garleans are focused on preserving the balance of light and darkness. It seems as if only the Ascians are black morality, but arguably very dark gray at that. Come Shadowbringers this is indeed the case with even such sinister figures as the Ascians. They're the last living members of the race that existed before The Star was sundered into The Source and its Thirteen Shards. All they want is to restore their homeworld and bring their people back to life following a series of disasters that culminated with Hydaelyn fracturing The Star. They're still firmly the antagonists since their goal, by definition, requires them to manufacture apocalyptic events to get the Shards to remerge their aether with The Source, but it's a far cry from what their In-Universe Card-Carrying Villain reputation suggests.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: The Heavensward Paladin questline was critized for being based around a plan that was overly complicated for no particular reason (the player's mentor from ARR fakes his death and leaves pieces of his armor lying around Coerthas for his new protege to find, meanwhile said protege is struggling with his death and wanting to get revenge on those who caused it. And the whole plan essentially was to somehow restore the power of the sword he was charged with by having full fledged paladins battle for dominance over it. Or something. Even Jenlyns, another former student of his found the whole thing overly complicated. But then during the Stormblood Dark Knight questline, Sidurgu reference the storyline while talking about how mysterious the soul crystals are.
    Sidurgu:No one truly understands the nature of the soul crystals. Not just ours, mind-I heard a rumor once upon a time about paladins and "establishing dominance." Bollocks, eh?
  • Wilhelm Scream: When a man is thrown off a bridge by a dragon near the end of Heavensward, this can be heard.
  • Willing Channeler: 2.4 reveals that it's possible for a human to do this with primals or the faith-created equivalent. What's frightening is that the channeler visibly remained in complete control. Though Urianger notes that the channeler's story seemed so close to Saint Shiva's it's possible they were bred for the role by the Ascians. Also there's the key fact that she has the Echo and like the player is immune to tempering...
    • Taken to its logical conclusion with the main storyline of 3.0: Archbishop Thordan VII and his Heavens' Ward channel King Thordan I and his Knights Twelve to become the primal Knights of the Round, the manifest deities of the Church of Ishgard.
    • Shades of this for anyone playing a Summoner in 3.0, as well. Rather than manifesting the Egi of any new Primal, the Dreadwyrm Trance causes one to manifest and physically channel the awesome power of Bahamut, including his powerful tank-buster attack.
  • The Worf Effect: Hey, you know the primals? Those hair-pullingly difficult bosses you've been fighting throughout the game? They get taken down in seconds to show how powerful the Garlean superweapon, Ultima Weapon, is. What's more, it absorbs the primals it kills.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Nidhogg, the leader of the Dravanian horde is built up to be a monstrous power. And yet, with the assistance of Estinien, a dragoon with one of Nidhogg's eyes, you destroy Nidhogg halfway through the intial story of Heavensward. However, Nidhogg wasn't even at half of his own power, he was using another dragon's eye since both of his had been stolen, one of which as said above was used against him. He returns later with both of his eyes, and serves as the final boss of the expansion's proper storyline.
  • World of Chaos: During the fight against Ozma in the Weeping City of Mhach, the ancient machine sucks the entire alliance inside of itself. Inside Ozma is several floating structures and islands with blue skies and clouds all around. On each island is Atomos and they are fought exactly the same way as you handled them in the Crystal Tower (though the mechanics are lighter). In the distance, there's a big tear in the sky revealing the depths of space and below that is the Ozmashade, which needs to be beaten in order for the alliance to return to the boss fight proper.
  • World of Pun: The English localization is full of punny quest names, achievement names and so on, most of them ShoutOuts to pop culture. (A presentation given by Michael "Koji" Fox, the head localization guy, at Fanfest 2014, included a slide titled "It's not All About Bad Puns (But It's Mostly About Bad Puns)".)
  • Wrecked Weapon: The Relic Weapon line starts off with you hunting down the initial weapon, only to find it in such terrible state that you have to bond it with another weapon.
  • Wretched Hive: Ul'dah is run by corrupt money hungry Syndicate council that undermine the power of the the Sultana and the streets are filled with corrupt merchants and vicious gangs of thugs and to make matters worse the (privately owned) law enforcement officers the Brass Blades are an organization of Dirty Cops. Amusingly most of these corrupt positions are dominated by Dunesfolk Lalafell.
    • Limsa Lominsa is a city of pirates. It cleaned up a lot when Merlwyb became Admiral and outlawed piracy (except for licensing privateers to harass the Garleans), but it still has its share of unsavory characters. The Rogue's Guild, introduced in path 2.2 and joinable by players in 2.4, are reformed thieves that police the city's underground, enforcing the old Code and bringing justice (in the form of a knife in the ribs) where the Yellowjackets can't go.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Emet-Selch reveals towards the end of Shadowbringers that taking an interest at the beginning of the expansion was one — either the Warrior of Light could safely contain all the aether of the Lightwardens, showing that the partially-rejoined worlds were already capable of attaining Amaurot's original glory (meaning he's already gotten what he wanted all this time), or they couldn't, in which case Emet would exploit their failure to trigger the Rejoining of the First.
  • X Must Survive: In most Duties where you fight alongside other characters, you lose the Duty automatically if your ally is knocked out.
  • You Bastard!: In 3.4, one of the Hildibrand quests has you stealing a suit of armor from an elderly Lancer so that Hildibrand can fool their enemy by dressing up like them. First you give the old man (who had wandered off to take a piss) a massage until he falls asleep, then you strip him of his armor, leaving him out in the wilderness that are plagued with Sun Bears and Morbols. The game calls you out on this, but it loses impact since the man appears in the next scene completely fine and you didn't really have any choice in the matter to begin with.
    "With the utmost care, you remove Orland's sabatons and breeches, leaving the sleeping old man exposed to the elements and at the mercy of the ravenous bears and tentacled morbols. May he rest in peace."
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Mostly averted. Some of the characters speak in a Shakesperean manner, but for the most part they use archaic words and phrases like "thou art" and "mine <noun>" correctly, and don't say stuff like "ye olde". Amusingly enough, a lot of players seem to think the game uses Old English because of this.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: A pretty cut-and-dry example happens in Heavensward after you kill Bismark. The key to Azys Lla is in your character's hands and you're ready to take it with you, when out of nowhere Igeyorhm, one of the Ascians working with Archbishop Thordan VII, appears and binds you in dark magic while Thordan and the Divine War pull in on an airship, steal the key and activate the floating continent anyway.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: You need an emote item to teach you how to lean on walls.
  • You Mean "Xmas": Many seasonal events in the game are based on real-world holidays, but altered to fit into the lore. They include:
    • The Starlight Celebration: the Eorzean equivalent of Christmas.
    • All Saints' Wake: the Eorzean equivalent of Halloween.
    • Little Ladies' Day: the Eorzean equivalent of Hinamatsuri.
    • Valentione's Day: the Eorzean equivalent of Valentine's Day.
    • Hatching-tide: the Eorzean equivalent of Easter.
    • The Moonfire Faire: the Eorzean equivalent of summer Japanese festivals.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Word of God says this is how the Phials of Fantasia work (which allows you to change your character's physical appearance); the changes you make to your character is in their head, but they believe in it enough for it to be real.
    • More broadly, it's revealed this is how all primals are made. None of them are "gods" insomuch as historical figures that were kept alive in the beast tribes' far-flung memories. They believe that these figures are their gods, and their belief combined with aether from the air or crystals brings the god into being.
    • The downfall of Ascian society started partly because of this trope. Something within the earth started causing earthquakes, terrifying the Ascians, and even began to disrupt the aether in the environment to make the land inhospitable to life. As each Ascian is a being of immense aether, their minds went crazy imagining what it could possibly be. The Sound then started to take over the Ascians, and in the process, those ideas were purposefully brought to life and went on a rampage. The Sound didn't even stop with fear, but made every negative emotion manifest against their will. The council of Ascian leaders came up with a plan to think up a being that would become the will of the earth itself, and thus created Zodiark to end whatever caused the events to unfold. However, a fraction of Ascians were worried about a being such as Zodiark going unchecked, so they thought up a being that would be Zodiark's opposite and enemy, Hydaelyn. Hydaelyn struck Zodiark down, shattering the world into 13 shards along with the Source, and the rest is history.
  • You Won't Like How I Taste: A large pudding monster during the All Saints' Eve event in A Realm Reborn has candy you need for a quest, but saying "You're a... talking pudding?" or "Nice costume" to him has the monster telling you to buzz off. If you say to him "I'm with the Culinarian Guild and...", he'll absolutely freak out over the idea of you eating him and come up with excuses on why he wouldn't taste or smell good.
  • Zerg Rush:
    • The maximum party size was initially 15, but was reduced to 8 in patch 1.17 as it was felt that these sorts of tactics took the strategy, and to a lesser extent, the fun, out of such large encounters. Then in 2.0, nearly all dungeons and duties had the maximum number of players even further reduced to just a "light party" of 4 people - only end-game dungeons and duties such as the Binding Coil of Bahamut require a full 8-person party.
      • The Crystal Tower dungeons however, require 3 groups of 8 working in tandem to clear it. While the first one requires the party to split at various points and accomplish objectives simultaneously with limited ability to help the other groups outside specific mechanics (such as standing on a platform with enough members to allow another group to attack their boss) the last few bosses of said dungeon as well as the all of the second dungeon, keep the entire group together resulting in 24 people attack the same boss.
    • The FATE system encourages zerg rushing, either by constantly spawning enemies or spawning a super boss in a specific area who is basically impossible for one person to take out on their own even when synced to the maximum allowed level for the FATE. If you see a 30-minute FATE taking place, don't be surprised to see a huge swarm of people engaged in battle there.
    • Hunts (elite monsters in the open world) may be zergs depending on the activity level of the server and the current popularity of The Hunt. When the feature was released it resulted in a lot of fighting over things dying too quickly for people to get credit.
    • invoked According to Word of God, this is how the Company of Heroes, lacking the immunity to tempering the player characters have from the Echo, defeated Titan and Leviathan. The first wave rushed in and were tempered. They then turned on the second wave, who held them off while the third wave actually took on the primal. This is why the survivors are so reluctant to let you go up against Titan without putting you through an extremely long quest chain.

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