I fInIsHeD OuR fAmIlY cReSt, PaPa HiLdY!
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Legacy/A Realm Reborn
- A meta example, but during the launch party of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in Japan, director Naoki Yoshida shed Manly Tears after years of hard work revamping the game from the ground up while receiving a great amount of support from fans.
- Raubahn's Undying Loyalty to the sultana, especially when he props the little lalafell queen up on his arm.
- Everyone remembering you're a Warrior of Light in the ending cutscenes, if you're a Legacy veteran.
- F'lhaminn reuniting with her adopted daughter, Minfilia, after being away from her for so many years while watching over her from a distance as her daughter grew up to be a successful and strong woman.
- During The Three Collectors arc of the Hildebrand quests, we're shown that while yes, Hildebrand is an idiotic bumbling fool, his desire to help people with their problems is true, as he happily helps a the neglected daughter of an Ul'dahn noble woman with recovering a vase she had dropped while bringing home to avoid a monster attack. He helps get the vase repaired and restored by his father, Godbert, despite his misgivings and disagreements with him over inheriting the family business, preferring to be an inspector. Despite failing to stop the thief from stealing a treasured sword, he helps the aforementioned mother and daughter connect via a good laugh caused by his antics.
- The last Hildebrand quest (well, before he returns) is also a Where Are They Now for everybody touched by the phantom's crime spree and Hildebrand's efforts, as they help you with the quest in some way or another. The Ul'dahn mother acknowledges that both Briarden and Hildebrand helped her rekindle her bond with her daughter. Arabella, the meek adopted daughter of a trade mogul, shows that she's taken a lesson in assertiveness to get you one of the ingredients to cure Hildy of a zombification powder (don't ask). Avila, an Ala Mhigan gladiator who was cheating with the help of Ultros, has started from stratch; her popularity reborn and acquaintanceship with you is enough to give you the other ingredient.
- There is a tiny one in the very first Hildibrand quest. During the Echo flashback, after Hildibrand rises from his grave without his memory, three zombies gather around him. At first, it looks like something horrible will happen... but no, the zombies simply cheer Hildibrand and comfort him. Yes, unlife isn't fun. But it's alright, he isn't alone. They are here to help him.
- The cutscene for "The Rising" anniversary event is definitely this, as another "meta" sort of example. The dev team, led by Yoshida and in the form of the Wandering Minstrel, takes the time to thank you, the player, for sticking with XIV through thick and thin. That they went through all that trouble, just to thank you, says volumes about how grateful they are everyone gave them a second chance.
- The end of "The Beast Within" quest. After being stuck as a Tonberry and stirring in rancor for 1500 years, the Scholar who your fairy, Lily, originally belonged to could tell one another apart despite the changes. He warned her to stay away despite the rancor and tried to keep her safe by running inside so he didn't hurt her, and she stopped him from being killed and cured him of the hatred that left him tormented.
- A player by the name of Codex Vahlda, who enjoyed playing the game as a level 50 Bard, had passed away from renal failure. When news of his death caught on, hundreds of players from several servers held vigils within the game to honor the passing of their fellow player. The gesture from so many players, including those who did not know Codex personally, is both heartwarming and tear jerker worthy.
- What's more, Codex Vahlda still is part of the Free Company he was in before his death. They have not removed him in spite of the fact that he will not be playing anymore, instead giving him a high rank in the roster of which he is the sole occupant: Immortal Siren.
- Heavensturn 2014 has two warming entries:
- In Aleport, a mother is worried sick over her baby because it won't stop crying. At first, she believes that her husband's ugly face caused the baby to cry. When your sheep companion uses its soothing sleep magic on the mother, she realizes that it was her own worry and fears that was causing the baby to cry and after being calmed down herself, the baby also calmed down.
- Bentbranch Meadows has a travelling merchant who is worried for her chocobo since it refuses to eat and has become very restless. You discover a chocobo tail feather nearby and showing it to the chocobo calmed it down a little bit. After having your sheep put the chocobo to sleep, showing the feather to the chocobo handler reveals that the feather belonged to a chocobo that was a mate to the merchant's chocobo. Said mate was bought by someone and they had quickly left before the two chocobos could reunite, which caused the merchant's chocobo to become heartbroken. After sharing the news with the merchant, she decides to sacrifice her profits for the day so that she can help her chocobo find her lost mate. Aww...
- When you being the quest to explore Wander's Palace again (hard mode), you run into a couple who ask you to save the Tonberries inside. Why? Because after they were stabbed by one and left to die, the defeat of the Tonberry King lifted the curse on the Tonberries, making them calm and nursed the wounded couple back to health. As you explore the Mamool Ja infested palace, every Tonberry you save thanks you for rescuing them.
- The couple themselves is this for members of the LGBT community. The two are a gay male couple that were kicked out of their home village...because one of them is a Miqo'te and the other Hyur. The fact that they're both male isn't even brought up and the two specifically point out that despite being entirely different species their love is the same as anyone elses.
- And for those who have completed the Scholar quest chain, you find out that Surito (the tonberry scholar you helped out) is alive and well, and making good on his promise to help his fellow tonberries. In fact, he even appears in the dungeon, right past the first boss.
- In addition, for those playing a Scholar in the dungeon, the mere fact that you are bringing Lily (in either Eos or Selene form) back home to save her people is kind of heartwarming in and of itself.
- The end of the 2.55 story line is full of this towards the player. You're accused of killing Sultana Nanamo Ul Namo, and are branded as a traitor by the Monteraists and the Crystal Braves. Raubahn, before he attacks the true culprit, tells you that not once had he ever doubted you. After escaping by yourself while the Scions stay behind to hold off the corrupt soldiers, you can talk to several NPCs in each city and learn that they're still on your side; the commanders in each Grand Company believe you are truly innocent and refuse to believe that you, a Warrior of Light, would murder someone. If you completed a level 50 crafting/gathering class and/or a level 30 disciple of war/magic, the guild masters in their respective guilds tell you that you have their full support. For a major Wham Episode where it seemed like everyone you know has betrayed you, it's heartwarming to see everyday people who still believe in you to the very end.
- Not just guild leaders, but plenty of others. Your initial escape, is facilitated by a simple chocobo carriage (the same one that brought non-Legacy adventurers to their starting cities). The owners of all three cities adventurer pubs flat-out say they trust you, as do those with close contact of the city leaders, with Gridania and Limsa letting you know that you have been granted free movement through their cities, and declare you innocent. The knights of Ishgard, who are probably not happy at some the accusations pointed their way by the conspirators, likewise intend to repay the Monetarist Hospitality with their own, with the leader of House Fortemps even declaring that any attempt to enter or cause trouble within Dragonhead, or the surrounding area in search of you and the Scions, will be denied entrance. Knowing that so many people are completely on your side will brighten your mood, given the dark ending of the 2.0 story.
- Speaking to Haurchefant following the story's conclusion and the credit roll, and he will truly prove how loyal an ally he is to you, reassuring you that the horrible chain of events that took place in Before the Fall is not the end for you, guarantees your comfort and safety, and vows to stand at the side when the time comes to redeem yourself and take revenge against the monetarists.
Haurchefant: Do not hesitate to call upon me, regardless of hour. My home is your home, and I would see you afforded all comforts and courtesies. Rest and regain your strength, <name>. You shall have your redemption and your reckoning in due time—and when that day comes, I shall stand at your side.
- Also from patch 2.55, is a "Level 22 Postmoogle" quest, involving Wymond, an Ul'dahn information broker, that the player deals with from time to time, is mistakenly given a ransom note meant to be given to a "Raymond" due to the illegible name written on the envelope. He reveals during the quest, that he chose to hang around that spot of town, as that's where a flower girl named Myrtha used to stand before the Calamity, and he'd always buy a flower from her to remind him there's good people in the world. He also reveals, that he used to part of the gang that has now taken Raymond's daughter; after the gang killed Myrthas brother, Wymond took a HeelFace Turn and left when Myrtha vanished as well. He revealed the culprits to a certain Gentleman Detective who did solve the case and had them all of the gang locked up. After setting up an elaborate scam to draw both his former gang, and the corrupt merchant who hired them to kidnap Raymond's daughter to steal his land from him via ransom, rescue the girl and take care of the criminals for good, Raymond's wife, gives a flower, and a note as a token of thanks to Wymond. They both reveal she's Myrtha, making Wymond happy to know she's doing alright after all these years, and now happily married with a good family. Wymond then plans to use the left over money he generated from the plan to rescue Myrtha's daughter to help out the orphans of Ul'dah.
- The 2015 Rising Event follows up the previous event of the same name and cranks it Up to Eleven, You're whisked away to the 18th Floor, which dives heavy into Breaking the Fourth Wall by introducing you to Yoshida (the game's director) and the rest of the developers of the game. The entire team thanks you, the player, personally for sticking by the game for over 2 years and hope you keep playing and enjoying the team's work for years to come. Yoshida then goes on to say how Final Fantasy XIV was a failure during 1.0 due to the development team getting too arrogant and that they must never forget the failures of their past in order to continue to make the game of today better and better with each passing moment. Between being thanked personally by the development team and seeing that they do not want to repeat the same mistakes they made from 1.0, it's hard to not crack a smile or shed a few tears.
- The Final Coil of Bahamet, clearing its third turn (AKA, the "12th Turn") gives us the final moments of Louisoux with his grandchildren, that also crosses over with being a Tearjerker. Here is a man who has given up everything, including his very existence, to protect Eorzea and Hydaelyn. And for that, he spent 5 years as an ascended primal being trapped in thrall to another primal. How does he spend his extremely limited remaining time alive before returning to the Lifestream, after being freed from being tempered and existing as the primal Phoenix? By telling Alphinaud and Alisaie one final story, the full truth of what happened in his fight against Bahamet and how he saved Eorzea, and telling both of them about how he's proud of both of them and what they've accomplished. The man is about to Disappear Into Light, and his final moments in the realm of the living is to hug his grandchildren one last time, encouraging them to keep performing great deeds and forge a legacy of their own, with a smile on his face.
- One side quest chain in the Dravanian Forelands has you helping out a young dragonling with various tasks, such as gathering food for himself and his mother. During each quest, the dragonling takes an interest in you since it's the first time he has seen man with his own eyes and is intrigued by the good deeds you have done for him and his kind so far. Later on, you meet the dragonling's older brother, who immediately casts doubt on you because of man's past sins and forbids his younger brother from interacting with you. The young dragonling is now heartbroken and confused because he knows his brother isn't lying, yet you are not what his brother says. You reassure him that you are who you are and he thanks you for putting his fears at ease. In the final quest in the chain, the dragonling's brother is sick and you're tasked with recreating an ancient medicine that would heal dragons. Once you give the medicine to the dragon who doubted you previously, he still acts suspicious of you, but he says he won't forget your kindness while the dragonling promises to tell his future generation about your good deeds.
- In a similar vein, one of the Vath quests has you looking for a dragon mother's son who had been out all day playing. When you do find the young dragon pup, he runs away from you several times because he likes playing games where people chase him. When you finally corner him, the dragon pup thanks you for playing with him and how you were faster than the Vath who chased him. After you report back to the mother dragon, she says how her son came back home and promptly fell asleep with a smile and she thanks you for playing with him since her son rarely ever gets to play with people that are not dragons.
- The Level 52 Bard Job Quest has the ever dutiful Sanson telling you that the very self-driven bard Guydelot has gone chasing after an Ishgardian Knight after the man's lover claimed he was a superior singer. Not only was Guydelot following leads for the overarching quest you're on together, but he followed the man's patrol out into the wilderness of Falcon's Nest. Why? To deliver a birthday gift from his love, which carries a message that informs him that she's pregnant with their child! After saving the lives of him and his patrol, he is so overcome with joy that he pledges full support to your group's quest.
- "'Tis time to wake up, your Grace. Another day begins in Thanalan, and the sun blazes bright upon the sands.'" Just the look on the big guy's face, like he can't decide whether to smile or burst into tears.
- After the events of 2.55, Alphinaud has made the tough decision of disbanding the Crystal Braves, only to find out that before he could even say the words the remaining loyal members have decided that they were going to stick together regardless, because they believed in him and his ideals so strongly, to which Alphinaud can only respond with teary-eyed gratitude.
- Making this more heartwarming is that one of the aforementioned loyal members is Alianne—an adventurer you'd first encountered during your first set of dungeons, and the Crystal Brave you were supposed to meet before said events in 2.55 happened. It was speculated that she was either on the run, captured, or worse in on the coup, or even worse killed like Wilred was. To know that a character you've known even before joining the Scions is not only okay, but still among the good guys, is heartwarming in itself.
- Despite all of the hardships they encounter during the Astrologian Job Quest, Jannequinard keeps inspiring Leveva onwards because it gave him a purpose in life when no one expected him to. And her father was his Only Friend, so he wants to see to it that his dream lives on despite the risk to himself.
- Sidurgu and Rielle's interactions with one another. Despite everyone seemingly wanting to kill her, he stands guard over her and looks after her.
- In the Brume district, there are several children having a snowball fight. Get close enough and they will aim those snowballs at you. If you have the /throw emote, you can go to a patch of snow and use the emote to join in on the fun.
- The 2015 Starlight Celebration has the Adventurers' Guild trying to revive a long-forgotten part of the story regarding how the celebration came to be. Namely, that when the Ishgardian knights set out from their barracks to find and bring orphans back to their barracks for shelter from the winter weather, they would play a certain melody on their signal bells to let all know they were now seeking to help those in need. The hope being, that by bringing this part of the story back into the celebration, the bells would add an extra amount of festive cheer to the faces of the children of the realm. Cue a team up between Ishgard (who sent the original signal bells that would've been used, which were held in storage for untold years), the player getting repair materials, a famed Eorzean composer to complete the full melody, the "Saint of Nymeia" (a.k.a. Godbert Manderville)]] finishing the restoration and improvement of the bells to increase it's tone and note ranges, and his Little Helpers note to help decorate, and the Adventurers' Guild sharing the news of the celebration to children all over the realm so they can hear the bells ring again.
- When players learned Yugiri's then-current English voice actress was found murdered in her own home, many players honored her memory by going adventureing with the Wind-Up Yugiri minon at their side.
- The Maiden's Rhapsody crossover event with Final Fantasy XI is peppered with plenty of references to both XI's story and how many players experienced the game, and then tops it all off with a montage featuring even more characters than XI's own final mission line Rhapsodies of Vana'diel, which can be quite the moment for its players.
- There's something about the Temple Knights loyal to Aymeric and the rebellion members led by Hilda the Mongrel, working together to rescue Ser Aymeric from the Vault and later keeping extremists from destroying a changing Ishgard, that makes more than a few players smile.
- Compared to the heartbreak of 2.55, the ending of Ishgard's story is the most hopeful that XIV's narrative has ever been. With Nidhogg dead, the Dragonsong War finally comes to a close. With the help of the spirits of Haurchefant and Ysayle, you and Alphinaud pull the dragon's eyes out of Estinien, freeing him from the Wyrm's grasp. The follow-up sees Alphinaud all but crying in joy as Estinien heals and he and Aymeric share words. The closing narration notes that Ishgard has become almost a paradise, with the corrupt theocracy replaced by a republic made up of both nobles and commoners great strides are made almost immediately with improving the life of the less fortunate. Aymeric is heralded as a new Azure Dragoon, one that rides upon the back of dragons instead of slaying them, entirely destroying the gap between man and dragon. Even Hraesvelgr, despite losing a wing, shows hope for the future of mankind despite his lingering heartbreak and anger at Ratatoskr's death. What follows after the credits roll can best be described a playable Where Are They Now as you retrace every step you took over the entirety of the 3.0 storyline, talking with all of the characters you met along the course of the main story and seeing how the war's end, new relations with dragons, and general sensation of hope among everyone involved you've left in your wake. No strings attached—it's a happy ending for the saga of Ishgard.
- To further sweeten the ending, your journey of reflection ends with you giving Haurchefant's grave a silent smile, with you gaining an emote that mimics his expressive gesture.
- The end of the 3.2 main story shows the culmination of your battle. After Vidofnir touches down, she and Aymeric share a speech about the future of existing alongside one another as man and dragon. While there are many in the crowd who are still wary, and the traitors who would rather the fight continue are present and glaring, that all changes when Aymeric reveals the fruits of their labor: a beautiful relief of Shiva and Hraesvelgr, wrapped in an loving embrace. Vidofnir is speechless; and even the leader of the remnants, who would rather die than let go of her hatred for dragons, visibly softens to tears upon seeing the sight, as if realizing what it would mean to end the war for good. While Nidhogg's arrival ultimately prevents the full dispersion of Ishgard's hatred, talking to NPCs around the town reveals that many Ishgardians were so touched by the ceremony they've redirected their hate towards dragons as a whole to just Nidhogg, especially after seeing Nidhogg sees benevolent dragons as enemies as well, and are more than happy to live in peace once he's out of the picture. Not the most positive stance, but it's certainly leagues better than the initial one held before your arrival in Ishgard.
- The end of 3.3 is this even greater; Hraesvelgr agrees to aid you to end the Dragonsong War, Nidhogg is stopped once and for all, and Estinien is saved. With the Dragonsong War finally brought to a close, Aymeric is able to dissolve the church's power in Ishgard and turn it into a Republic ruled by the Houses instead, and officially pronounces peace with the dragons.
- In the cutscene after the battle with Nidhogg, the player character and Alphinaud try to save Estinien by prying Nidhogg's eyes off his armor. As they struggle, two pairs of hands reach to assist, and you see they belong to the spirits of Haurchefant and Ysayle. They successfully help pry the eyes off and save the dragoon from his slavery.
- The opening quest of Patch 3.4 has you and Aymeric finally sit down for that drink he promised you earlier, along with a dinner complete in his new House of Nobles. It's touching to see him and the player character—who at this point have bonded in battle and have mostly been all business—finally sit down and talk just as friends. He even poignantly asks you what you want beyond your duties of saving the world, showing he cares about you more than just an ally or warrior.
- During the dialogue options, pick the one where you offer Aymeric to go adventuring together. He will give you a positively beaming smile. This is by far the happiest you can see him in the whole game.
- Hildibrand proves again to be touching when not being hilarious. When Gigi confides that he feels like he can't be Hildibrand's son as a mammet, Hildibrand reassures Gigi that what he is means nothing to who he is. He strikes his gentlemanly pose and declares that if some calls Gigi a mammet, he must correct them with, "Nay, I am a Manderville mammet!" Hildy's going to make an excellent father.
- As pictured above, Gigi's family crest for House Manderville. It's actually less of a crest and more of a homemade family portrait of Gigi, Papa Hildy, and Mama Nashu. Even after the quest, the "crest" remains on the House Manderville "gazebo" in Idyllshire.
- The heartbreaking saga of Edda Blackbosom finally reaches a peaceful, happy conclusion at the end of the Palace of the Dead. After a final confrontation with Edda, she explodes into dark energy like most bosses...before reforming in a white light, just long enough for her uncorrupted self to say a few words to you before she fades away forever, leaving behind her engagement ring. You later find Paiyo, who has slipped into depressive alcoholism after the events of Corpse Groom, but when you show him the ring, he snaps out of it, joining you on a brief quest to find her beloved's ring. Once you do, you head to a cliff overlooking Limsa Lominsa—where their love began—and give them both a burial that leaves both of their spirits, finally, at peace. The scene ends with a wonderful view of the city...and Edda's disembodied voice from beyond thanking you for what you've done.
- A young Miqo'te child, Khloe Aliapoh, in Idyllshire has a friend her age who is sad that her parents are gone, but gets happy when she hears a tale told to her. The fact that the young girl wants to make her friend happy and asks for your help to make grand stories to tell is just sweet.
- Mitigated a little bit by the fact that her "Wondrous Tails" all involve you killing things, in epic fashion.
- After Alisaie formally joins the Scions, Alphinaud mentions possibly visiting Ga Bu the koboldling with Alisaie, who struck up a kinship with Ga Bu, in the future.
- The final scene in the Further Hildebrand Adventures questline features Cyr cleaning up the home in Idyllshire happy to start a new life away from Ishgard and the Inquisition. His cheerful expression shows just how much better his life had gotten since encountering Hildebrand and the Warrior of Light. At the end of the scene, he steps outside and glances at the "family crest" Gigi drew earlier (show at the top of this page) and notices something different about it. Gigi added a smile to his own likeness on the drawing, showing that he's fully moved past his existential crisis and the grief of his creator's death, happy to be a free mammet and a member of House Hildebrand.
- How they got the home in 3.4 is also a heartwarming deal. Turns out Hildebrand had befriended the gobbie Slowfix after an incident in Ul'dah, becoming Fire-Forged Friends of a sort. He was so happy for Hildebrand's assistance that, when it came to obtaining the home, Slowfix was more than happy to oblige!
- The Level 60 Goldsmithing quest, appropriately called "Two Hearts Beat As One" has you creating anniversary gifts for a roegadyn couple. What you end up producing are a pair of matching music boxes that play two different variations of the couple's favorite song. You end up surprising the couple by putting the music boxes together (Which form a heart), and when playing the two boxes together, perform a composite of both variations that blend well together, of which the wife says is a perfect metaphor for them. When you meet with the man who gave you the quest at the end, he admits that you will truly be one of the legendary masters of the craft.
- In 3.56 after you return to The Rising Stones and talk to the Scions, Tataru will approach you after the chat and talk to you about the time she ambushed you previously to measure you up. Turns out she has finally made your outfit and delivers it to you, asking you to try it on. She is touched you approve of it and even remarks she has sown a charm into it that she hopes will protect you and bring you home safely. She is so determined to see you safely home, especially considering the events of Baelsar's Wall.
- The end of the first trailer, which is already a moment of awesome, has a subtle moment of heartwarming, when compared to the Heavensward trailer. It features the trailer male Midlander Hyur again, duelling an unknown female Hyur in a sparring match, after having job changed to Monk now. Throughout the match, he can't stop smiling, a far stretch from the gloomy Midlander seen throughout most of 3.0
- Patch 3.56 reveals the Hyur to be Lyse, the Scion you knew as Yda. When she revealed her identity to the others, it was after her partner Papalymo's Heroic Sacrifice left her heartbroken. So not only does the Warrior of Light remember how to smile, but she does, too.
- This moment happens in game shortly before the assault on Ala Mhigo, shortly after she dawns the outfit seen, which is revealed to be Yda's. The cutscene preceding it is one that really harkens on the heartstrings just how much you mean to Lyse.
- Shortly before the assault on Doma Castle. You are told to check back in to rest up, but go quietly to see Alphinaud and Alisaie along the way, discreetly. When you see them, they are resting, Alphinaud is haunched over a desk and Alisaie is resting her head on his shoulder. For all the teasing she gives him and determination to stand on her own merits she can outdo him on, she loves her twin brother.
- In the same scene rather than go to bed and rest like most insisted, Hien and Gosetsu instead invite you to sit down and hit the sake with them. While Gosetsu talks about some things worthy of their own mention Hien eventually calls out to Yugiri who's been discreetly listening in the entire time, inviting her to join the three of you. The surprise and delight out of the normally cool and level-headed shinobi is a sight to be seen.
- When the team rescue Krile from her captive pod, she falls out prompting Alphinaud to immediately run to catch her as she falls in a Bridal Carry. Waking up and weary, she looks up to see him, utters his name in a tired yet happy way, knowing he could come save her. The Warrior of Light smiles seeing their reunion and even Thancred notes how touching it is. In the Japanese dub, Krile's tone of voice really sells her happiness to see him.
- The Stormblood Goldsmith Questline begins with Nanamo Ul Namo donating her mother's crown to help fund a goldsmithing school, the goal being to train a new generation of smiths to help restore the Ala Mhigan economy once the Garlean occupation has been ousted. A touching gesture already, and one that the three apprentices you help train are eager to return. Tailing Nanamo one night, they discover she longs to have a personal orchestrion, but cannot find one that would fit her chambers. Using all that they'd learned, and some of her mother's crown jewels still unsold, they craft a custom miniature device for her. After everything she's gone through in the MSQ, seeing the look of unbridled child-like joy on the Sultana's face when she beholds the completed music box is absolutely heartmelting.
- A side quest chain in the Gyr Abanian hub of Ala Ghiri concerns a Garlean deserter named Baut, who was instrumental in the quick exodus of the Garlean Occupiers when the Eorzean Alliance rolled in to reclaim the town. You find him hiding in a back alley, fretting over how he'd like nothing more than to surrender and be executed as an enemy soldier, but worries that doing so would cause tensions between the townspeople and the new occupation force to boil over into something very ugly; and so enlists your help. Over the course of his questline, you hear from a number of people in town how Baut kept his men on a short leash, helping to restore some semblance of normality to the town, a rarity in the generally downtrodden and desolate Gyr Abania. One woman in particular, a Miqo'te named J'dyalani, finally confronts an occupying officer, only to learn they had no intention of executing Baut (a lie instilled in the people by the Garlean forces), only wanting to interrogate him as part of their indexing of Imperial supplies. Baut himself however remains determined to die, fixated on the guilt of his past as an Imperial Soldier, and how his family—the people for whom he'd enlisted to help in the first place—died from a plague shortly after he became an officer, leaving him feeling he has nothing to live for, even if the Alliance has no plans to off him. After you save him from being mauled by a tiger, J'dyalani finally talks him down with declarations of how much the town has come to care about him... herself in particular. Stunned by what sounds like a sudden declaration of love, a sweet moment of Adorkableness ensues between Baut and J'dyalani, resulting in Baut finally deciding to turn himself in, with J'dyalani assuring her fellow townsfolk that Baut will not be harmed.
- While the Dotharls' belief in reincarnation leads them to be a clan of Blood Knights, it also gives them a soft side, as exemplified in a minor quest where a man believes himself to be the reincarnation of an Uyagir who gave his life to save a Dotharl. The quest has you retrieve fresh milk for the birthday of an Uyagir's woman... who is the mother of the man the Dotharl was in his past life. The woman notes that the Dotharl is as caring toward her as he is with his own mother and, even though she doesn't share his beliefs, she still plays along because she finds it endearing and genuinely appreciates the care.
- Another heartwarming moment related to the Dotharl: the Oronir chain quest has you help Esugen the culinarian, who is amazing at his trade but a poor fighter thanks to his frail constitution. The Dotharl chain quest has you help a warrior, Mauci, who is unsure whether or not he really is the reincarnation of a mighty Dotharl fighter (he is; he was just using the wrong weapon). The common chain quest has Mauci looking for a way to increase his strength so he can protect his tribe. The good thing is: he has heard of an amazing cook whose dishes are the very best of the steppe, but he has no idea who he is. You do. The cook is Esugen and, even though the Oronir and Dotharl are at feud, Esugen is more than happy to cook for Mauci, who in turn shows genuine appreciation for Esugen's trade and sympathizes with his feeling of weakness, having been a poor fighter until he found where his talent was. The quest ends with Mauci offering to help Esugen train in return for more dishes, and a strong if Odd Friendship blossoming between the two.
- Before the Final Battle for Ala Mhigo, Raubahn gives the Warrior of Light a parcel to deliver to his son and vice-marshall Pipin. The parcel contains Tizona, one of Raubahn's swords. Since Raubahn couldn't wield both of his swords anymore, he bequeaths Tizona to Pipin so that he may use it in the battle to come. Pipin gladly takes it while vowing that he would ensure the coming battle would not be his father's last.
- During the credits for Stormblood, the final image displayed of the memories of the story has the spirits of Papalymo and Yda, looking proud and happy, as though their souls can rest knowing Lyse has become a leader of her own accord, rather trying to live in their shadow.
- After the credits, We see Estinien once more, standing over Nidhogg's eyes. After having been used to facilitate Shinryu's summoning, the eyes are nearly exhausted of all aether. Estinien, deciding to err on the side of caution, runs his lance through both eyes and destroys them. Finally, Nidhogg is vanquished from the world, and Estinien can know peace.
- The end of the Dark Knight job quests, despite their dark, sad, and traumatic experiences, ends on a sweet note, punctuated by the notes in your journal written by Fray.
... So it goes. If you would not forsake me, then of course you would not forsake him. And so... neither can I. He is a fool, but he is our little fool. The little girl/boy who wanted to make this cruel, twisted world a better place, futile as that is. S/he's going to get us killed one of these days... but what can I say? I love her/him. I forgive her/him. And you...
- In 4.1's MSQ, you learn about how Nanamo met Raubahn; by seeing him being forced to fight twelve gladiators in the Coliseum and using what authority she had to demand he receive a fair fight. Raubahn pledged to be Nanamo's blade afterwards. You then see a vision from the Echo of the moment where Raubahn finally made enough money to not only buy his freedom, but secure a seat in the Syndicate, allowing him to make good on his promise, with Nanamo coming to personally congratulate him. To make this moment even more heartwarming, the theme song from the Eternal Bonding ceremony (FFXIV's version of a wedding) plays!
- 4.1's finale Raubahn has long been making his plans to return to Ul'dah and continue to serve with Nanamo as her his oath, however Nanamo has seen through his facade and can see he longs to return to help his home rebuild, and has prior asked the WoL to help her support the refugees in a proper way as well as confide she intends to let Raubahn go. After all this has taken place, Raubahn talks with the WoL over the events and confides his own reasons for wanting to go back to Ul'dah, citing his oath to Nanamo, whom has now arrived in Gyr Abania to speak to him about this issue. The resulting conversation is both heart wrenching and warming as Raubahn is shocked she went behind his back for advice, only for her to retort she couldn't ask his advice when he wouldn't be honest with her about his true desires. She says she is not a child anymore and she feels she is ready to stand on her own, learning from her experiences as Pipin has with Raubahn. Tearfully, she tells him he is free, leaving him speechless, and finally ready to accept leaving his longtime friend, as well as his adoptive son, behind.
- Also in 4.1, after Lakshmi is defeated, one of the Ala Mihgan delegates tells Fordola that while he will never forgive her for what she did under Zenos, he is grateful for her help in stopping the Primal and saving everyone.
- The Ixal were all but confirmed to hail from Azys Lla. In the related dungeon in patch 4.2, an Ixal discovers his kind's origins and isn't too happy about it. When he tells Sezoul about the find, the leader tells him that what he found isn't their paradise and they simply must keep looking for one. Despite knowing where they came from and what they are, Sezoul doesn't want his people to be upset by it and wants to find a home for everyone where they can live in peace.
- In 4.2, Hien opts to allow Yotsuyu to remain with Gosetsu to live in peace at his request. Though her sins haven't been absolved, it was also the land under his rule that led to her backstory happening and thus turning her into the monster she became. As she no longer has her memories, it is a new start for them.
- In 4.3, First we see that "Tsuyu" has been well cared for and she in turn cares affectionately for Gosetsu in his ailing health, even giving him a sponge bath in bed (Misunderstood by Alisaie when she asks him to "take off his clothes"...). Their relationship has come so far that even when Yotsuyu's memories return, she cannot bear to feel worthy of his kindness and attempts to kill herself, albiet fails due to interruption. Her following boss battle reveals an overwhelming amount of pain in her psyche but Gosetsu was the one light that she held even after her memories returned, considering she tried to kill him and her heart was so black before the fact he managed to get through to her says so much about how big of a heart the big Samurai has.
- 4.3 also added the quest "A Fortune in Salt." Remember the plan to fund The Saltery in 4.1? A handful of Ala Mhigan refugees managed to return home and get jobs thanks to its rebuilding. It'll still take time for the nation to get back on its feet, but so far, they're on the right track.
- In the final Namazu beast tribe quest, Gyoshin thanks you and everyone else for bringing everyone together and making the festives a big success. Gyoshin then turns to you and hands you a bell as thanks for everything you done for him and his kind. For the Namazu, the bells are a huge part of who they are, so having one made for the player is an extremely heartwarming gesture. While other beast tribes usually give their thanks to you for helping them, the Namazu are the first one to specifically create something for the player as a token of thanks.
Gyoshin: This is a deeply significant, most meaningful bell. I made it for you! With my own two fins. I am most grateful to everyone, but I am most grateful to you, [Player Name].
- The sixth chapter of ''Tales from the Storm'' Shows Estinien going to Sohr Khai to show his respects towards Ratatoskr as a way of apology for his involvement in the Dragonsong War. Hraesvelgr shows up and finds gesture very welcoming and notes it would be something his sister would appreciate. He then shows Estinien an old barrack with Dragoon armor from ages past, telling him how dragons gave men special Dragoon armor as gifts. Just like in ages past, Hraesvelgr grants Estinien a new suit of azure Dragoon armor and feels it suits him as an Azure Dragoon. The touching moment shows, on a personal scale, how men and dragons are finally moving on from the war.
- After completing the Alphascape storyline, Alpha decides he wants to explore Eorzea and see what it has in store. If you're lucky, you'll run into Alpha in your travels!
- What's more, just before leaving, Alpha says farewell to the Warrior of Light in a way that the Echo can translate. Cid suggests that before, Alpha didn't have a proper soul that the Echo could understand. Now, Alpha's life is truly his own, and as Cid says, "For a newborn soul, this world is truly filled with wonders."
- After completing the Alphascape, Hraesvelgr appears to rescue you, Cid, and Alpha from the collapsing Interdimensional Rift. While Hraesvelgr isn't particularly happy about having to do that (or he says he's not happy about it, at least), he reveals that not only did Midgardsormr ask him to save you, but that this was the first time ever that Midgardsormr had asked him for a favor.
- The Shadowhunter, now confirming himself as Gaius van Baelsar, brings back Alphinaud to Eorzea after he fell into a soulless state much like many of the other Scions. Despite the revelation of his identity, his meeting with his former foes prior to Heavensward goes very smoothly and all parties leave somewhat at ease with each other, both quietly happy to have the support of the other.
- Fridge Brilliance: Not only has Gaius cast off both his title as Black Wolf and the "van" in his name (both indicators to his former role in the Empire), but the game refers to him simply as "Gaius" during dialog. It seems to indicate that the Warrior of Light truly sees no reason to exclude their former enemy from their allies.
- Before the skirmish with the Garlean Empire, Alisaie remarks that while she feels she should be feeling scared, she actually feels very excited and confident in the upcoming battle thanks to being with the Warrior of Light. Before heading out, she looks to you and asks you, "Don't you dare leave me alone.". Alisaie's love for the Warrior of Light is something to behold and may even surpass Alphinaud's, it even leaves the Warrior of Light stunned, but happy.
- The conclusion to the Ivalice story. As shown in an Echo flashback, Ramza had sacrificed his life by using his soul as a vessel to keep Ultima at bay. Before dying, Ramza requested to have his name struck from history so that people wouldn't learn about what he did involving the auracite. Delita, Orran, and Ramza's sister Alma feel Ramza's good deeds needed to be recorded in history, and thus they chronicled his adventures in a book so that future generations can read it and perhaps find a way to defeat Ultima for good. To top it off, Ramza was a Warrior of Light during his days as well. Once Ultima is defeated by the current day Warrior of Light, Ramza appears to congratulate them and the successor of Ramza, all while having his entire party behind him; this includes Agrias, Mustadio, Cidolfus, Boco (Ramza's chocobo), Construct 8, Rapha, Marach, Lavian & Alicia (the two female knights that are in your party at the start of Final Fantasy Tactics) and a handful of other people. Every single one of them bid you a smile before departing to the afterlife. Before Ramza departs, he runs into Delita, Orran, and Alma. Delita can only apologize for not doing more for his best friend, but Ramza insists no more needs to be done and the two give each other a handshake before going back to the afterlife. For the Downer Ending Delita got in his home game, he can be at peace here. The fact that all of Ramza's comrades appear to silently thank you can be enough to bring a tear to one's eye if you played Final Fantasy Tactics before.
- 4.5 added in a small sidequest titled "Take with a Tonze of Salt", where it turns out a large shipment of Gyr Abanian salt made it to the bar in Mor Dhona. Continuing off the heels of "A Fortune in Salt," it's brought about a positive effect to Ul'dah. With the new industry taking place in the city, this opened up job opportunities to the refugees, turning their lives around as they now have a means to earn money. And it's all thanks to you helping the sultana.
- Completion of the Doman Enclave opens up Lighting the Way, where Kozakura muses about performing tento-okuri, a traditional Doman ritual where the citizens send off lit paper lanterns to the sky, as a way to send the souls of the fallen into the afterlife. Just before the Domans send off their lanterns, they all give their thanks to Kozakura and the Warrior of Light for restoring the Enclave, moving the former into Tears of Joy.
- At the end of Stormblood's MSQ in 4.56, you finally confront Elidibus!Zenos and are seemingly victorious before you collapse. When you wake up, you find out you're back in Ishgard - Aymeric and the Fortomps family had been watching over you the entire time. Even more, according to Aymeric, your safety was ensured by Estinien himself!
- When the WoL wakes up, the first duty is to check how the other Scions are, however the other option is to specifically ask how Alisaie is, even though she has been out for the shortest time. Perhaps the WoL is being hinted to feel closer to her too.
- In 4.56 when you return to the Rising Stones from Ishgard, the remaining Scions are waiting for you including Tataru who has returned to Eorzea from Kugane. Her reaction upon seeing you is enough to make your heart melt, she immediately runs toward to and cannot hold back her tears of relief to see you alive. If you are a non-lalafell the WoL even knees down to see her face to face, the only thing missing is an option to hug her.
- On a side note, Hancock comments on Tataru's departure, he says it will certainly be a lot quieter, but asks you not to tell her he said that, it seems he might miss her.
- Near the end of Stormblood's run came a crossover event with Final Fantasy XV, "A Nocturne for Heroes", with a couple of scenes standing out:
- After dealing with a daemon, the Warrior of Light and Noctis decide to camp out, much like Noct would with his companions back on Eos. He even prepares some rice balls for you, and finds something in you that reminds him of his friends.
- At the end, after besting the Messenger of the Winds and proving his worth, Noctis prepares to return home. As he drives towards the portal back to Eos, a lone figure can be seen reaching out to him: Lunafreya, his fiancee!
- During the Stormblood Blacksmith questline, a father uses the Warrior of Light and their relatively short career as a blacksmith to rather visciously put down his daughter, who is trying to become a blacksmith despite his disapproval. The look on the Warrior's face after he makes that statement skips straight past irked or exhasperated and straight into indignant fury, with it looking like they're liable to brain the father in the head with their smithing hammer (though Brithael is there to state their disapproval verbally, rather than it coming to blows).
- As you break the Light's grip on the regions of the First and restore night, people look up in awe as they see beyond the bright haze that has occupied the sky for over a hundred years by the time you arrive on the First. Many look fit to burst into tears as they see the stars for the first time.
- It's a soft, small moment but when you first reunite with Alphinaud in Kholusia towards the beginning of Shadowbringers, he's incredibly happy to see you. He sounds close to tears when he first greets you (it's been over a year since he last saw you). The game then implies you spend a bit of time catching up before you two go on your way together.
- Minfilia's exchange with her younger counterpart. Despite everything she's been through, despite her loss of mortality and homeworld, despite the Heroic Sacrifice she made to ensure just a small part of the First would survive the Flood of Light and comparing herself to the Ascians...she remains the same compassionate, selfless, caring woman we always knew her as. She congratulates the younger girl for growing stronger and choosing her own path, admits fault and apologizes for the harsh treatment she's received all her life because she is a reincarnation of the original, and in general comforts the younger Minfilia at what is probably the most frightening moment of her entire life. Original!Minfilia grants what's left of her power to Little!Minfilia, and as she fades away for the last time, gives her another gift: her eyes and hair change color, removing the things marking her as Minfilia's reincarnation and granting her a chance at a life of her own.
- Thancred's reaction to this. For context, he has been mostly stern and cold to this Minfilia, unable to process his grief at the loss of the original Minfilia, and admitted (out of earshot of her) he was making the same mistakes as he did the first time around, leaving things unsaid and burying himself in his work to ignore the pain. When she arrives at the spot where the Scions have gathered at present, she's clearly nervous and frightened, worried he would be angry. He pats her on the head, says she's done well, and that he's proud of her. She bursts into happy tears. When the Scions declare she needs a new name, they give the task to Thancred, as he's the closest thing to a father she has, which adds up to the scene where he explicitely refers to the source Minfilia as his sister, and altered Minfilia as his daughter (at least in the original version). He picks "Ryne", meaning "Blessing" in the language of the pixies.
- After the Scions have liberated Eulmore from Lord Vauthry, many of the free Eulmoran citizens are horrified and ashamed to realize just what they've done, and that not all their sins were because of Vauthry's mind-controlling magics. After Alphinaud says his piece to them and turns to discuss with you the matter of going after Vauthry, many of them immediately step forward and offer what help they have to the Scions and the people of the surrounding regions. As one resolute free citizen put it, "Your risked your lives to bring us to our senses, a-and I for one hope to repay that debt. Begin anew, as you said."
- Alphinaud's reaction to the Eulmorans offering their help. He clearly wasn't expecting change to come this soon, but it clearly moved him. Alisaie then voices what the player is thinking in that moment:
"Well done, Brother."
- Related, how the peoples of Norvrandt avert Apathetic Citizens; reaching the final Lightwarden would require pretty much every nation the player character has met helping them... so what do they do? Nearly every person you've met rallies behind them to aid in the titanic undertaking, even the ones you interacted with not ten minutes earlier. The Warriors of Darkness need help? The Warriors of Darkness are getting help.
- Though the Free Citizens of Eulmore did treat their lessers poorly, not all of the bonded want to leave their side, for some among the Free did still believe they were helping their lessers in truth.
- One quest has you save a young man from falling after trying to retrieve his mistress' handkerchief; you find him because even though she did want it back, she missed his presence more, and she is legitimately grateful for his safe return. He returns this loyalty after the freeing of the city by staying by her side when the Warrior of Darkness administers dream powder to keep the more troubled citizens asleep until Ryne could purge their corruption.
- Another figure, a soldier, wants to help restore some happiness with some actual meals, not just meol.
- The man in charge of the local dance hall/strip joint, the Queen Bee, wants to find one of his star dancers who had gone missing, and when hearing that she wouldn't return until she found her boyfriend who had fallen into the water and vanished, resolved to leave his comfortable hall and see her in the refuse below the city to convince her that she didn't have to wait alone, and that she could ask for help (namely from the PC) to find him.
- To convince Chai-nuzz to build the Talos, you have to help get him over his fears. His wife points that the best way to do so is to praise him indirectly - not to give him overt praise, but to hint at his capability and support. The fact that, despite spending so much time under Vauthry's spell, they both still love each other AND know how to reach one another's best sides, is quite touching.
- To convince the people of Amity to aid in the construction of the Talos, the Chais must confront the young artist they kicked out to die. The meeting is tense initially, but the sincerity in their apology, combined with the young man's desire to see a better future, allows them to find forgiveness and move on. Most notably, said young artist points out that while he initially doesn't know if he can forgive them, he wanted to be like them too, so the blame cannot be put on their shoulders alone.
- After Dhon Mheg, the Warrior of Darkness is left staring out over the ruins of Voeburt. While the scene is sad because the Warrior of Darkness imagines a worst case scenario of the city falling to calamity, the first thing they think of is Ishgard and the Fortemps, reinforcing the belief at the end of Stormblood that Ishgard is the closest thing the Warrior of Light has to their home, and the entire Fortemps family is more or less their family now. All this does is reconfirm the Warrior's desire to unmake the 8th calamity and continue in their quest.
- The Night's Blessed in Slitherbough carry a small gemstone with them, in the belief that should they be transformed into a Sin Eater, the gem will keep their soul safe until it can be recovered and sent to the "sunless sea of Heaven". The player character returned one of them in the Rak'tika Greatwood... and when the giant Talos needs gems to act as magical focii, the Night's Blessed volunteer the heartstones without hesitating. Partially because the player character needs the Talos, partially out of simple gratitude, but also because night has returned to Rak'tika, and they believe it's proof the Warrior of Darkness has come and guided the souls of the lost to Heaven.
- After you defeat Lord Vauthry, you learn the truth about the Crystal Exarch's origins: After the Warrior of Light died in the Eighth Umbral Calamity, a group of scholars and heroes led by Cid himself spent centuries developing a means of traveling through space & time, unlocked the Crystal Tower, and enlisted G'raha Tia's help in sending the Crystal Tower back in time to the First to give the Warrior of Light a chance to prevent the calamity and their own death.
- G'raha Tia was prepared to sacrifice himself to save the Warrior of Light. When the time comes, he does it without a second thought.
- As a bonus, if the player had completed the Crystal Tower raids from 2.0, they can call out to G'raha by name. It's all he can do to not burst into tears at hearing his personal hero call out to him!
- The origins of Crystarium: G'raha Tia overshoots the mark a bit and winds up several decades before he can summon the Warrior of Light. What does he do until the time is right? He creates the largest remaining city in the world as a bastion for the survivors, giving thousands of people a fighting chance.
- During Lamitt's story you learn that she was on a journey to heal her people infected with a disease called the Stoneblight, to which she journeyed with Arbert and a few others. She was able to gain the knowledge of Ronka, gain her crystal of light and return to cure the others. However she is very quickly exiled for bringing the outsiders back and breaking dwarven traditions. Ardbert has come to care for her so much (After a rocky start, including Arbert confusing her for a male thanks to the bearded helmet) that he looks like he is about to swing at them, telling them he won't be quiet after all she put herself through to heal her people, including her sister. Lamitt eventually throws down her helmet and leaves. The Heartwarming moment comes when she reflects on what she will do, and Arbert says that he is happy to have her with him, Helmet or not. The look on her face adds a mountain of weight to the few words of thanks, if you take into account that Lamitt falls in love with Ardbert one can easily assume this was the start of it. Later on, as Lamitt's shade is giving her thoughts in the final quest conclusion, her final thoughts are that she was only able to bear the pain of being cast out because she had Ardbert with her, and wishes he knew just how important he was to her.
- To follow up from this on the Level 80 Scholar quest, you can relay the story of Lamitt to Alka Zolka and the tonberries, Setoto gets the idea that she should attempt to undergo the cure, using the methods from the story told as a foundation. Alka is highly opposed to the idea from the dangers but she insists on going on with it, and even reveals tkat she has an infatuation with Alka. With your (And Eos') help, you manage to restore Setoto to her normal form, revealing she is infact a very adorable Lalafell, the look on her face oozes gratitude for what you have done, while considering when she should reveal her feelings for Alka to him.
- The Level 80 Dark Knight Quest "Our Closure" is chock full of this. It all starts with your character receiving an anonymous letter from Sidurgu. Its contents detail how thankful they are for what you did for them, but it doesn't give too much detail on what for exactly. Deciding to find out who sent the letter, you go on a journey which takes you all across Eorzea to nearly all of the different places that you've had a significant impact on from Ishgard to Gyr Abania. With each destination you go to, you encounter someone who is grateful for all of the help you have provided them and their people until you finally meet the person who sent the letter. The man's name is Godeheard, who you may recognize as the jackass who tried to make you pay for the bloodstained goods you rescued from the Qiqirn bandits all the way back in Heavensward. After his life went down the tube due to poor business decisions, and people learning of just how he managed to piss off the Warrior of Light, he was fortunate enough to find one small package of seeds that you brought back that were still able to be cultivated. This lead him to have an epiphany over just how much of an ass he was, and he resolved to live a more meager and honest life growing those flowers. After he recounts his tale to you, he offers a full and sincere apology for all of the crap that he gave you, and even gives you one of the flowers that he had grown. It all serves as a reminder that even though it may not seem like it at times, your efforts are more appreciated than you could ever possibly realize.
- It is in a bittersweet kind of heartwarming when the Scions get to meet the ancient Ascians of Amaurot. Unlike the callousness that the Ascians of the present have treated people from the Source, these Ascians regard the Scions warmly and treat their ignorance as them simply being children. And further on in the city the Ascians keep this pleasant attitude, even towards each other. The closest thing to conflict in this society being constructive criticism. It helps show that even for as reprehensible as their current actions might be, the Ascians were once too a people just wanting to live their lives in peace and to the fullest.
- The cutscene just before the fight with Hades has the player character on hands and knees as the Primordial Light overtakes them. We're treated to a PoV shot of them falling onto their face as they cough up liquid Light as everything fades to white. Almost everything. As he promised, Ardbert has been with you every step of the way, and he asks the Warrior of Darkness one important question before he chooses to fuse with them.
Ardbert: "If you could take one more step, could you do it? Could you save our worlds?"
- The final battle of Shadowbringers: the Warrior of Darkness against Hades. The Warrior has been restored by Ardbert's sacrifice, but even then is outmatched. Cue the Exarch summoning seven other Warriors from seven other worlds - other players' characters stepping onto your screen, come to aid you when you need it most. And on seven other screens, you're stepping out onto theirs.
- After running Emet-Selch through with the collective Light you've gathered throughout Shadowbringers, Emet calmly accepts his fate, and asks the Warrior to remember him, the Ascians, and the kingdom of Amaurot. When you agree, he smiles as he fades away. It's even more both Heartwarming and Tear Jerker than it seems at first, as it is Emet smiling at his closest friend, accepting the legacy of their people, despite not remembering it (as of now). He's finally accepting who the Warrior of Light is, and can only smile at them with all bitterness gone.
- The shape of the Blade of Light the Warrior of Light creates to kill Emet-Selch. After everything that happened, there was only one shape it could have taken. Ardbert's axe. A hero to the end, even if no one knew.
- There's a way to fix that: if you talk to Librarian Moren at the Cabinet of Curiosity after defeating Emet-Selch, there's a dialogue option to tell him about the Warriors of Light. The Warrior of Darkness proceeds to tell him the truth about how they sacrificed themselves to stop the Flood of Light and save the First. Overwhelmed, Moren vows to write down and spread word of their tale to restore their reputation as heroes.
- The level 80 quest for Bards goes one better. The Warrior of Light and her fellow bards decide to write a new song to inspire future bards, and the veteran bards ask the Warrior if she has any adventures worth singing about. One of the choices is the story of Renda-Rae, the Ranger of Light. Not only can the Warrior of Light share her story with the historians of the First, they can immortalize her in song on an entirely different world! Oh huntress brave...
- After the final battle is over, G'raha Tia appears and congratulates you for saving the First. If you choose to reply with "'tis good to see you awake, G'raha Tia", he starts crying Tears of Joy, while the Warrior of Light looks at him affectionately. He also gets a similar reaction in the post credits if you show him the wind-up minion of himself. The developers had this scene planned from the start and before Shadowbringers launched, they heavily encouraged players to complete the Crystal Tower storyline before playing the expansion without saying why. They wanted people to have a deep bond with G'raha Tia.
- The song "Tomorrow and Tomorrow" that plays after the battle against Hades is both this and a tearjerker. The lyrics and situation are vague enough that on one hand the singer could be one of the people from the Future, sending their hopes and prayers into the past with G'raha Tia or one of the Ascians, hoping that their sacrifices were not in vain and that those who live now shall not forget them.
From those who've fallen to those who will rise
A prayer to keep us ever by your side
An undying promise that we just might
Pray don't forget us, your bygone kin
With one world's end as a new begin
And should our souls scatter unto the wind
Still we shall live on
- The Red Mage level 80 quest Succession of Steel starts simply enough, with X'rhun Tia seeking the Wo Ls help in hunting down a group of graverobbers that looted the Tomb of the Errant Sword, stealing the blades of past Red Mages in the process. Arya comes along, insisting that she's made progress in mastering her magical abilities since losing the the enhancements her bloodline gave her. At the end of the quest, X'rhun returns all the blades but one, which a friend of his had had personally crafted at great expense to help compensate for his weaker than average aetheric abilities. When X'hrun and his companions had taunted him over the great cost of the blade, he replied with Even should I fail to do this steel justice, it will remain long after I have perished. A kindred soul shall take up the sword, and then you will see my coin was wisely spent. Having seen Arya's progress in her studies, X'rhun is convinced she is that kindred soul, taking her as his full apprentice again and gifting her the blade.
- After the Warrior of Light and the Scions defeat Hades and return to the Crystarium, there's a brief scene of Arderbert's spirit reuniting with the spirits of his fellow Warriors of Darkness. What's also significant is the blood that's always been staining Ardbert's axe is gone, signifying him finally coming to terms with his regrets.
- A twisted example, but regardless of one's opinion of Zenos, the fact that he fought his way back to the palace, regained his body, killed his own father, and stopped production of Black Rose was in part because he wanted to fight us fairly, could be heartwarming in a demented sort of way, as he really does consider us his friend and enemy.
- Tales from the Shadows chapter 3 is presented as data compiled by Omega as it observed Garlond Ironworks in the decades following the Eight Umbral Calamity. While most of the document is written in Omega's usual cold logical style, the logs still showcase several people the Warrior of Light had helped assisting the Ironworks, either with their project or saving them from certain doom: Gyoshin the Namazu, the daughter of Sky Pirate Radlia, and two large creatures, one implied to be Soroban and/or Seiryu, and the other Hraesvelgr. The final entry ends with Omega finally displaying some emotion, understanding what Cid had told it all the way back in the Interdimensional Rift.
And after the night comes the morning, as the sun rises to greet the new day. While it may already be too late to mend this dying world, there are those who would strive to create a place where the sun will shine again, not for their own sake, but for those in a past that may yet be saved.
I think this must be what mortals call "hope."
- Omega notes it isn't the chance to stop the Calamity that everyone rallies around: it's the chance to save the Warrior of Light.
- During the 5.1 Story line, you convince Beq Lugg, a disgraced soul crafter, to help in returning your allies to the source. During your experiments, you not only help Halric with his soul, but also realized that if perfected, you could counteract Primal tempering, curing the kobold child Ga Bu of his trauma.
- Not only that, if this could actually counteract tempering, then the Tempered might be able to be saved. We wouldn't have to kill them anymore. We can actually save them.
- In the Pixie beastmen quests, you're tasking with vanquishing nightmares of various children dealing with hardships in their lives. Said nightmares are in the form of monsters. Ezel II sucks up the bad dreams, regurgitates them, and Tyr Beq gives the nightmare a physical form for you to defeat. When you slay the nightmare, the children wake up and recall their dream of you beating their nightmares and feel a lot better now that they can take on their problems head on.
- This eventually applies to An Lad, who feels utterly worthless and wishes they were dead since no one wants to be their friend. Their nightmare covers the dream world in complete darkness, but you, Ezel II, and Tyr Beq banish the nightmares in each area before confronting the final one that takes the form of a huge Ahriman named Destrudo. The monster feeds of An Lad's despair and repeats their doubts and fears back to them in a cruel and twisted way. The whole fight is basically The Power of Friendship as you and your companions shield An Lad from Destrudo's attacks and beat the nightmare back into oblivion. Even though An Lad is very likely a reincarnated Titania (the same one fought in the MSQ), everyone assures them that they are a good pixie and they do have friends that care about them. The smile on their face is priceless.
- After reaching Bloodsworn with the Dreamspinners, you check on An Lad, who reveals that they're doing well, as if a void has been filled. Even after long after their dreams of Titania ended, they'll honor the king's will by watching of Lyhe Mheg. Tyr Beq is also grateful for you liberating their friend from nightmares, and will always welcome you to the Garden of Dreams. And they even do exactly that every time you visit!
- In the Eden raid wing when you fight Eden Shiva, Ryne starts to lose control of Shiva's powers and crystallizes under the pressure, Gaia (Who has been gradually warming up to the party) dispenses all reservations and forcefully enters the fray of battle with a hammer she has summoned, desperately hammering at the crystal encasing Ryne before begging the player party to save Ryne, complete with filling your limit bar. As you get closer to the enrage, her pleas get more and more gut-wrenching. From emotionally distant to truly caring, she has gone a long way in a short time with her counterpart, all thanks to Ryne's earlier persistence with her.
- The 2020 Little Ladies' Day has the player character essentially acting as the benefactor for sick children; first by bringing the spirit of the day into the hospital where they're cooped up, and then by introducing them to various heroes and role models they look up to. The people the WoL bring to visit range from the leader of the Gladiator's Guild, the aesthetician, and the top chef of Limsa Lominsa, all the way up to a dragon and Sultana Nanamo herself. The Sultana even makes it a point to her seneschal that no, for today, politics be damned, she is going to stay and raise the children's spirits.
- At the final fight inside Cid's memories during the Save the Queen: Blades of Gunnhildr story, Cid is completely overwhelmed by Varis, who represents Cid's ultimate mental lock on the truth he's been hiding from (his father shooting him while under Bahamaut's thrall). Mikoto suggests that you use your Echo to alter Cid's altered memories in order to fight back. You're given the choice of "Your strongest allies" or "Your closest friends". No matter what choice you pick, you summon all of your Scion friends and Ryne shows up as well. Seeing the Warrior of Light thinking of the Scions as their close friends and strongest allies shows how much they have bonded with them.
- In 5.3 the partings the Scions have with their friends is full of this, but a few stand out. Dulia-Chai and Alphinaud are clearly very fond of each other and their reassuring words to each other when the player finishes with them show how much they have left an impression on each other. Ryne also gives the group a heartfelt thank you not just on behalf of the people of the first, but from herself for helping shape the young woman she is in front of them. Thancred likewise bequeaths upon her a tear induring headpat plus his Gunblade that he had used throughout his journey in the first, telling Ryne he can do what she likes with it... Ryne says she will treasure it (Easily missed as the light can make it a little difficult to see her hugging it to her chest if you aren't paying attention).
- A little earlier, you're meeting up with each of the Scions as they say goodbye to their dearest friends on Norvrandt... except Y'Shtola, who's confused that she can't find Runar anywhere. Cue the normally calm and collected Ronso running up to her, shouting "Master Matoya"'s name to the utter shock of the other Night's Blessed. He then extends a single plain flower to her while on one knee, begging her to stay because he couldn't bear her leaving. One the one hand, she shoots him down with a sorrowful expression (because she does have to leave, her life quite literally depnds on it)... but on the other, she adds that since the Warrior of Darkness can safely travel to other worlds, she ought to be able to find a way, complete with a little wink. For those who remember her scathing takedown of the "Little Sun" and her offhand comment about how she's no stranger to awkward proposals (and this one was pretty awkward too) the fact that she essentially accepts Runar's is just adorable.
- During your goodbyes on the First, you take Ardbert's crystal (aquired from Elidibus) and are suggested to take it to Seto to look after it. Upon seeing it, he fondly wishes his friend peace while declaring he shall keep the crystal safe. The Warrior of Light, rather out of the blue, beckons Seto to perceive their soul with his unique vision, and somehow manages to channel Ardbert to have one last moment with his old friend, moving the old Amaro so dearly and letting you see just how close these two truly were. Having this closure over Ardbert finally inspires Seto to cease remaining in his nest and instead spread his wings to fly again, feeling that as Ardbert's journey isn't over, thanks to you, he shouldn't rest either.
- During 5.3 it's revealed the full extent of the effort that Krile is going to to help maintain the bodies of the Scions while they are on the source. When Tataru is prompted to take you to them, she does so with rather heightened nervousness, the infirmary is completely devoid of most light and Krile is seen looking exhausted trying to maintain the aether of Thancred (among the others previously), regreting you had to see her like this. The two Lalafellian girls reveal that Krile has been working endlessly to keep the bodies as stable as possible while you work. Goes to show just how far the snarky girl is willing to push herself to do her part for the people she cares about.
- At the end of Crystal Exarch's story in the first, he reveals that all this time his greatest wish was to be able to journey alongside the Warrior of Light, to experience the wonders that come along with it. At the very end of 5.3's story once everyone has had time to rest up....G'raha Tia formally introduces himself on the source, his younger body and soul merged with the memories of his Crystal Exarch self, as the newest member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. As a Call-Back to 5.0, you can show him the Wind-up Mystel to have him remember his time as the Exarch, still wishing the best for the people of the Crystarium.
- 5.3 introduces the Convocation's soul stones, containing memories of their original lives as seen through the eyes of the Paragons. Each member was given a stone, except for the Fourteenth who had defected at that point already. However, it's implied by Hythlodaeus, and later straight-up confirmed, that Emet-Selch secretly made one for them, feeling that even in those hard times and after the sundering, they would be able to reunite the stars/the Convocation together once more, comparing them to a Shepherd of stars (the stars representing each members of the Convocation), which is also the title given at the end of the 5.3 MSQ. To top it off, Emet-Selch's voice recording stored in the stone calls the Fourteenth, who was revealed to be the Warrior of Light's original self, his dearest friend, and his soul even comes to their help during the fight against Elidibus. It puts a lot of his interaction with the Warrior of Light in another light after this.
- The fact that 5.3 ends up with more or less an Everybody Lives ending, sans Elidibus who even then is questionable considering Emet-Selch briefly came back. All the Scions are able to get back to their bodies, and even though Graha had to sacrifice his Exarch body he still was able to save his soul and memories and safely implant them in his Source self. After all the sacrifices that have been made so far it is nice to have an ending where no one has to truly die.
- If you chat up Y'mhitra after the events of 5.3 she'll mention that Y'shtola wrote her a letter once she was back on the Source to tell her sister she was safe. Not odd until she also mentions that Y'shtola never writes, leaving her wondering what exactly happened on the First to bring about this change. It would seem Y'shtola's time there has caused her to soften a bit in regards to the people close to her.
- The fact so many people assist you in the Gauntlet of Heroes is already deserving an entry for it, but it comes shortly after Elidibus' attempt at calling you out for your past actions. After he tried to break the Warrior of Darkness by trying to make them second guess themselves, the fact all those who helped you, and those you helped, offer their assistance in helping you reach the Crystal Tower serves as a heartwarming sign of how wrong he truly is.
- When you reach the Lakeland segment of the dungeon, you're joined by the various Role Quest characters. Granson plunges into the fray with a line that reinforces how he's changed with the Warrior of Darkness's help:
Watch me, Milinda
! This time I fight not to avenge, but to protect!
- The Custom Delivery questlines in general are this for the three expansions so far:
- Princess Kurenai's questline sees her working with you to help her people of Sui-no-Sato embrace the surface world. Considering the place has a history of being xenophobic, it's a big step in the right direction.
- Kai-Shirr's questline sees him and his friends work to adapt the Beehive for a post-Vauthry Eulmore. Kai-Shirr hardly has any work experience, especially after his first attempt early in the expansion ended dismally, but throughout his personal journey, he grows into an honest businessman that proves his mettle in bringing new visitors.
- The conclusion of Ehll Tou's custom delivery questline shows her having issues when she does her latest trip to the Sea of Clouds, trying not to worry you. Hautdilong immediately grows worried for her and immediately makes an effort to see she is ok, giving you her hammer and asking you to go ahead. When you arrive at the Sea of Clouds, you are greeted with a rather interested friend of hers whom tells you she wished not to be seen, but agrees to give her the hammer. Hautdilong shows up eventually too and cries out for her in worry, only for her to appear, telling him to pipe down a bit....and revealing she has evolved in size, along with having much more dexterity than one would expect, wielding the hammer brought for her and still holding her previous bag. Not only is Hautdilong relieved to see she is ok, he also addresses her friend who returns the gesture of friendship. When you return to the firmament, the area changes a bit more as Ehll Tou explains that the group showing up and openly greeting them as friends has given other dragons vastly more open minds to the point the firmament now has Dragonets floating around it conversing happily with the residents interested in them. (Whom at the start were very wary of them). After the Dragonsong war, this is a sign things are finally moving on between humans and dragons, it's sweet to watch the curious dragons and the people talking with them. To top it off, Ehll Tou and Hautdilong craft a whistle for you to summon her as a mount!
- Tales from the Shadows story "A Dream Partnership" tells the tale on how Seto and Ardbert met and how they grew an everlasting bond. While it starts off bleak in that Seto was abused by his former master, Lamunth the Jade Fox, Ardbert used his bounty for capturing the Jade Fox to acquire ownership of an emaciated Seto. He refused to give up on the amaro, having a background on animal husbandry and saw Seto as an equal. The one event that truly forged this trust was during a hunt on the Amber Terror, where he was able to draw out the hunt mark for it to be slain by Ardbert, Lamitt, and Branden, being awarded a medallion from the hunt's treasure horde. It also gives extra insight on the medallion you helped retrieve from the bottom of the lake, showing how much he cherished it and his time with Ardbert.
- "Ere Our Curtain Falls" ends with a poem by Emet-Selch about his downfall and thereafter, confirming that the Warrior of Light called his very soul back from the Lifestream with Azem's power during the Seat of Sacrifice trial, and that him saving the party was a conscious choice to place the future in the hands of the sundered.
- "An Unpromised Tomorrow" is from the perspective of the president of Garlond Ironworks in the Bad Future that the Crystal Exarch came from. The day before G'raha Tia's departure, they have a heartfelt talk about hope and courage. The following day, after the crystal tower has vanished back into the past, the president is left wondering what to do when his timeline doesn't vanish. The real kicker, though, is when the disappearance of the crystal tower wakes up none other than Midgardsormr from his centuries of recuperation. The president is terrified that they've upset the ancient dragon god, but when they talk Midgardsormr admits that he had been watching their progress, and was impressed that beings with such short lifespans could stick to the same goal for two hundred years and multiple generations. Then the dragon basically asks, "What now?"
In my minds eye, I glimpsed a world where the Eighth Umbral Calamity had never come to pass, where Eorzeas champion bestrode the realm, unbroken. But just as suddenly, I saw that this was Graha Tias future, and not ours. Yet the skills we had honed to make that dream a reality were still ours to employ... Another image flashed before me.
I see a world pulled back from the brink.
This time, Midgardsormrs booming laughter was unmistakable.
Very well. Under my protection shalt thou and thine rebuild, gaining newfound knowledge and the wisdom to wield it. Thus shall the children of man usher in a new Astral Era.
And so our journey began anew. Would that Graha Tia could see all that we will accomplish. Though we shall remain forever on different pages of history─and different books, besides─I take comfort in knowing we strive for a future of the selfsame brightness.
- In 5.4 Alisie and G'raha achieve what Eorzea thought impossible: A cure for tempering. The very first patient to be treated and returnd to normal? Ga Bu the koboldling. As with any sort of treatment there are still details to iron out, but this means the dawn of a day where the tempered can be saved instead of put to the sword has at last appeared on the horizon.
- The end of Matoya's Relict has a small, understated one, but throughout Shadowbringers, the end-of-dungeon cutscene has shown the WoL closing their eyes and just looking tired. At the end of the Relict, however? They're back to beaming with pride and cheering at their victory.
- The twins sharing with you the respect they have for each other - while the other isn't present of course. Alisaie admits to admiring her brother's desires to use Sharlayan's knowledge to aid others, even in the face of his father's disapproval, while Alphinaud praises his sister's drive to continue trying to achieve the impossible - in this case, curing tempering - even when he himself had given up on the idea. Though they may often bicker, its clear they love each other dearly and recognise the other's strengths.
- The conclusion to the Eden storyline has a number of moments but few standout above the bond between Gaia and Ryne. The former has now completely adapted to her friendship with Ryne, even initiating a few moments between themnote and her most precious moments being shown in the final boss battle of the raid wing all being with Ryne. In the end her necklace that was made with Ryne turns out to be a major component in helping the pair find each other when Gaia feels lost in the darkness, desperatly calling to her friend who is frantically fighting against despair to pull her back. When Ryne finally does bring Gaia back to conciousness, the empty suddenly springs to life with aether balanced and the theme of Garden plays. Gaia is also seen to still hold onto her bond with Mitron, despite the actions he commited to try and control her, she never forgets that he isn't doing it from a place of spite, but love for her, and holds hope that one day perhaps they may reunited...and promises to keep a diary so that whichever reincarnation of her is present, she will have a way to remember. For now, she chooses to be with Ryne who has worked so hard to help her and Ryne is overjoyed her new friend is simply safe and ready to make new memories with her.
- Monstrous amalgamation of Ryne's memories as it is, the Fatebreaker's dying words is proof of how much Thancred means to her. They're his parting words before he returned to The Source.
Fatebreaker: She deserves...all the happiness...in the world...
- Throughout 2020's Starlight Celebration event, the player is given several letters from certain locations thanking them for all they've done or wishing them well. The more storylines you've completed, the more letters you get. Although none of the letters are signed, it's fairly easy to deduce who sent them:
- Drowning Wench (Baderon), House Borel (Aymeric), Carline Canopy (Mother Miounne), Bigwest Shortstop (Brayflox), The Quicksand (Momodi), Rhalgr's Reach (Lyse), Maelstrom Command (Merlwyb), A traveling bird (Alpha and Omega), Lotus Stand (Kan-E-Senna), The faerie kingdom (Feo Ul), The Fragrant Chamber (Nanamo), A distant world (Ryne), Menphina's Arms (Zhloe Aliapoh)
- The Stinger of the Sorrow of Werlyt shows what was in the synthetic auracite Alfonse left behind for Allie. They're all the happy memories the children had, up until they join the army under Gaius's unit. The last bit of data was a message to her, reminding her that they'll always be with her, even after they've gave up their lives to liberate Werlyt. The sentiment touches her so deeply, it snaps her out of her catatonia.
- The end of Gaius' story in the Sorrow of Werlyt shows just how far he has come, not only personally but in the eyes of those who witnessed him. Back in 1.0 he was seen as a conqurer and fearsome legatus of the empire, but now he is seen as a welcomed leader among those who he once saught to take control over. Even Valdeaulin, a man widowed by him has now let his desire for revenge be put to pasture and sincerely believes he made the correct call in sparing Gaius when he first met him. Gaius even affirms his desire to lead the effort to restore Werlyt's as an independant state. Without his mask, you even see how much emotion he displays when it comes to matters of his children, particularly after the fight against the Diamond Weapon. He has come a very long way but at last he's working for a peaceful cause, and even the Warrior of Light seems proud to see him.
- The Paglth'an dungeon. For years both in-universe and out, the Amalj'aa have been enemies to be fought and fanatical servants of Ifrit save for a few defectors in the Brotherhood of Ash. But when Fandaniel sends an army of tempered Garleans and dragons to assail their homelands and take them captive, the Eorzean alliance sends its forces to fight alongside the Amalj'aa, with even Ser Aymeric and Lucia taking the field in person. And once the Warrior of Light and the Scions slay Lunar Bahamut at the dungeon's end, they're approached by an Amalj'aa warleader who declares that the Alliance's dead lie beside Amalj'aa dead and resolves to bury the hatchet with Ul'dah in honor of their sacrifice.
- A small detail that follows on from Merlwyb's earnest efforts in 5.4: there are kobolds fighting alongside the Alliance forces in Paglth'an.
- Seein Alphinaud basically gush over Estinien like a kid brother is quite heartwarming to see, especially since he sees him like a brother he never had and the Warrior of Light can point this out if you choose to respond that way too. The fact that Estinien smiles and acknowledges how strong Alphinaud has become since their adventures in Heavensward makes the feeling all the more sweeter for him.