Words without sound, these lies betray our thoughts.
Mired by a plague of doubt, the Land, she mourns. (See what? Hear what?)
Judgement binds all we hold to a memory of scorn.
Tell us why, given Life, we are meant to die, helpless in our cries?"
Final Fantasy XIV is the fourteenth game in the groin-grabbingly popular Final Fantasy series. It is an MMORPG, similar to Final Fantasy XI, and was timed exclusively to the PC in its first release, and was a simultaneous PC & PS3 release in its second iteration (see below). In both its 2010 and 2013 releases, it had both a Standard and a Collector's Edition, whose buyers were able to start the game 8 days early (in the 1.0 CE's case), get exclusive in-game items, a themed journal (in 1.0) or an artbook (2.0), and some other bells and whistles.
The game is set in the Eorzea region of the planet Hydaelyn. Before the start of the game, the Dungeonpunk Garlean Empire had set to use their overwhelming military force to attempt to conquer Eorzea, starting with the city-state of Ala Mhigo. The remaining four city-states- Limsa Lominsa, Ul'dah, Gridania and Ishgard- militarized to meet this threat, but before another shot was fired the Garleans mysteriously halted their advance, leaving the city-states with a large armed force and nothing to really fight against. The cities thus banded together in an uneasy peace, forming the Adventurers' Guild to employ these new mercenaries and investigate the secrets behind the Empire's sudden invasion and retreat.
The game was initially met with mixed-to-bad reactions from players and reviewers alike, citing numerous glitches and bugs, poorly implemented features and an unbalanced in-game economy as the game's main problems. Square Enix responded by apologizing for the state of the game, and replaced several key members of the development team. The team then had to decide if they wished to try to fix and salvage what they could or rebuild the game from almost the ground up. They ultimately opted for the latter.
The new version, called Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, brought about sweeping changes by rebuilding the world and engine from the ground up. Set five years after the climax of the original game, the world has entered the "Seventh Umbral Era": a period of decline brought about by the fall of the lesser moon Dalamud and the ensuing rampage of the ancient Primal Bahamut. The people of Eorzea have survived thanks to the "Warriors of Light", but for some reason no one can remember exactly how they were saved or who the Warriors even are. With the aid of the three Grand Companies and the enigmatic "Scions of the Seventh Dawn", a new generation of adventurers must rise to take on this brave new world, fighting not only the rallying beastman hordes and the looming Garlean Empire, but a dark sect of masked sorcerers whose origins may be deeply rooted in Hydaelyn's history.
A PlayStation 3 version, originally scheduled for a March 2011 release and initially put on indefinite hold, was finally released alongside the Realm Reborn client in August 2013. An Xbox 360 version was also in development, but has been canceled after they failed to come to an agreement with Xbox Live and Microsoft. The PlayStation 4 version was announced in E3 2013 and was released in April 2014. A smartphone app called Libra Eorzea was also released as a reference for quests and such, though it has since been rendered defunct and replaced by the FFXIV Companion App. Talks are still ongoing with Microsoft and there is potential for an Xbox One version.note It has also been recently hinted that Square Enix would like to publish the game on Nintendo Switch, but Sony's current refusal to allow for cross-platform play likely makes this difficult. In February 2021, an open beta for a PlayStation 5 version was announced to launch on April 13, 2021.
The hype for A Realm Reborn was severely underestimated by Square Enix, who were forced to pull the digital copy of the game after their servers choked from the sheer influx of new players attempting to log in. After improving the capacity of their servers, they began to ease back the restrictions and gave everyone one week of free play as way of apology. Even to this day, many servers remain character-creation-locked during their "prime-time" hours, in an attempt to keep server populations relatively even, due to the sheer number of new people still joining the game.
The first major expansion to the game, Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, was initially stated for a Spring 2015 release, but got delayed in order to polish the content and launched in June of the same year. It's set in the formerly closed off country of Ishgard, home of the Dragoons, as well as the nation's long-time draconic opponent, Dravania; its main story shines some light on the history of fierce war between humanity and dragonkind that has been raging in Eorzea's north for centuries. Among its gameplay-related features, it includes flying mounts (much like those in World of Warcraft) as well as the introduction of a new playable race known as the Au Ra and three new classes that start at level 30 as full jobs, the classic Dark Knight, stargazing Astrologians, and gun and machine-wielding Machinists.
In October 2016, the second major expansion, Stormblood, was announced with the first teaser trailer at the Las Vegas Fan Festival, and released on June 20th, 2017. The expansion focuses on the city-state of Ala Mhigo and the country of Doma, which were conquered 20 years prior to the events of A Realm Reborn by the Garlean Empire and detailing the fight of the respective countries' resistances in their attempt to liberate their homes from the Empire's control. Much like the previous expansion putting a focus on the Dragoon job hailing from Ishgard, the expansion puts a focus on the Monk fighting style which originated from Ala Mhigo, but also brings along two new classes, the classic Samurai and the rapier-wielding and spellslinging Red Mage.
In April of 2017, Square Enix aired Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light on Japanese television. The series covers the exploits of a young man who aims to reconnect with his estranged father through Final Fantasy XIV. The series was made available for international audiences via Netflix in September of 2017. In June of 2019, it was announced that the game will be getting a Live-Action Adaptation via Sony Pictures Television and Hivemind, although details are scarce for now.
In November of 2018 at the North American Fan Festival, the game's third expansion Shadowbringers (trailer here) was announced, released on July 2nd, 2019. The expansion's main story takes place in "The First", one of several alternate realities and home to a world that is being rapidly overrun by a flood of uncontrolled Light, with the Warrior of Light now instead taking the mantle of the Warrior of Darkness in order to bring balance back to the stagnant, dying world. Other major additions include Dancer and Gunbreaker Jobs, the Viera and Hrothgar races, the "Trust" system that allows for clearing story dungeons with your NPC allies, and several major gameplay revamps such as the standardization of MP and removal of TP as resources.
In February of 2021, the next expansion was announced: Endwalker, which will be released in Fall of the same year, bringing with it two new jobs; the healing Sage, and a yet to be announced melee DPS. As the Grand Finale of the tale of Hydaelyn and Zodiark, players will journey far and wide, from the island nation of Thavnair to the Garlean Empire and beyond to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. The development team confirmed that the story at launch will represent the end of an epoch ten years in the making, but a new story will begin to unfold in the following updates.
Archives of cutscenes from the first version of the game exist on YouTube (such as this one), and much of the text is preserved on various wikis; none of it may be found any longer in game. An excellent video with a condensed summary of 1.0's lore may be found here.
This game provides examples of:
- Tropes A to C
- Tropes D to F
- Tropes G to I
- Tropes J to L
- Tropes M to O
- Tropes P to R
- Tropes S to U
- Tropes V to Z