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Video Game / Final Fantasy XIV

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"War born of strife, these trials persuade us not. (Feel what? Learn what?)
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?"
— Lyrics from "Answers"

Final Fantasy XIV is the fourteenth main game in the groin-grabbingly popular Final Fantasy series. It is an MMORPG, similar to its online predecessor 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 were halted in their tracks by the sudden intervention of a horde of dragons. This left the city-states with a large armed force but nothing to really fight against, and the Garleans fortifying their current position but not advancing any farther. 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 initial incarnation of the game was 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 version.note  It has also been 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, servers flagged as Preferrednote  and Congestednote  are regularly rotated out in an attempt to keep server populations relatively even, due to the sheer number of new people still joining the game.

    List of Releases and Expansions (Some spoilers ahead) 
  • Final Fantasy XIV (2010): Also colloquially referred to as "1.0" and the "Legacy" version of the game. The peace and prosperity Eorzea has known for over a thousand years is threatened when mysterious beings known as the Ascians begin to manipulate the Garlean Empire and the realm's beast tribes. Things come to a head when the artificial moon of Dalamud is brought down, resulting in the release of the elder primal Bahamut and the near-ruination of Eorzea.
  • A Realm Reborn (2013): Five years have passed since what has become known as the Seventh Umbral Calamity. Eorzea has largely recovered from the catastrophe, but its rebirth is threatened by the resurgent Garlean Empire and the shadowy Ascians. The only ones standing between the realm and damnation are the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and their champion, the Warrior of Light.
  • Heavensward (2015): Following the shocking conclusion to post-A Realm Reborn events, the Scions are scattered to the winds, with the Warrior of Light finding refuge in Ishgard, an isolationist theocracy embroiled in a thousand-year-long war with the dragons of Dravania—a war which must be resolved, lest both sides destroy one another. Along with the addition of flying mounts and a new playable race in the form of the Au Ra, Heavensward also introduces three new jobs: Dark Knight, a seemingly-sinister tank wielding greatswords; Machinist, a magitek-empowered gunslinger; and Astrologian, a healer using the power of astrology to manipulate fate and heal or empower their allies.
  • Stormblood (2017): In the hopes of pushing back against the Garlean Empire, the Warrior of Light and the newly-reunited Scions must travel abroad to bolster their ranks, their journey leading them from Ala Mhigo, the Empire's last remaining foothold in Eorzea, to the far eastern land of Doma, and help both conquered nations throw off imperial yoke. Along with a new housing district situated in the Hingashi neighborhood of Shirogane, Stormblood introduced two new jobs at launch: The Red Mage, a Magic Knight mixing swords and sorcery; and Samurai, a katana-wielding master of the blade. Later updates also add the Blue Mage, a special solo-based class that learns spells by copying the abilities of monsters.
  • Shadowbringers (2019): Worlds collide as a new threat from beyond Hydaelyn threatens the planet, forcing the Warrior of Light to travel across space and time to "The First," a parallel world in danger of being consumed by the overwhelming power of light, where they must become its Warrior of Darkness and bring balance back. A number of additions and changes were included, from the removal of Tactical Points to streamline combat to the "Trust" system allowing players to tackle dungeons with a party of NPC companions, as well as two new races in the form of the female-dominant Viera and the male-dominant Hrothgar. Two new jobs are also included with this expansion: Dancer, a ranged DPS class that uses the power of complex dance routines to assail enemies while aiding allies; and Gunbreaker, a tank that uses unique Gunblades to both attack and protect.
  • Endwalker (2021): A sinister plot has been set into motion that threatens the whole of Hydaelyn. It is up to the Warrior of Light to face this new menace head-on, traveling to the island nation of Thavnair and the scholarly settlement of Old Sharlayan, going behind enemy lines in Garlemald, and even reaching to the stars in the Grand Finale of an epic tale several years in the making. While the plotline at launch marks the definitive conclusion of this story, post-launch updates will begin a brand new tale. Additions include a new housing district in Ishgard, male Vieras, an Island Sanctuary where players can raise crops, an overhaul of the combat system, and two new jobs: Sage, a healer who uses nouliths to aid allies and assail enemies with lasers; and Reaper, a Sinister Scythe-swinging menace that can harness the Power of the Void.

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.

And in December of 2021, Square Enix released a High School A.U. spin-off manga called Eorzea Academy, featuring the various characters from Final Fantasy XIV in a high school setting.

Archives of cutscenes from the first version of the game (1.x) 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.

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Yet stand tall, my friend


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Alternative Title(s): Yo R Ha Dark Apocalypse, Final Fantasy 14


The Other Alphinaud

Part of the last cut scene of the Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn post game, followed by part of the first cut scene of Final Fantasy XIV: HeavensWard which both take place during the same conversation, demonstrating how Alphinaud Leveilleur is recast from Sam Riegal to Colin Ryan.

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