Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn won’t just be a relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV, but also a direct sequel set five years after the events that ended the first game. With Final Fantasy XIV now closed, many missed the chance to enjoy its story. Since the two games will be deeply linked, knowing the story behind Final Fantasy XIV will most probably enhance the enjoyment of A Realm Reborn.
Final Fantasy XIV – The Story So Far is a weekly episodic column that tells the tale of the heroes of Eorzea, from the very beginning to the final, climatic battle against the 7th Imperial Legion. It also includes the cutscenes of the main storyline (and a few relevant extras). If you didn’t play Final Fantasy XIV, when you saw the beautiful “The End of an Era“ trailer, you probably asked yourself who the characters portrayed are, and how they gathered together to fight against the Empire. This is your chance to know in order to better enjoy A Realm Reborn when it’ll be released.
This column follows the story from the point of view of a character hailing from the city state of Ul’dah and belonging to the Immortal Flames grand company. Some of the cutscenes for the other cities and grand companies are different, as the story branches, but the general events and characters are the same. For narrative purposes the main character is named Abriael (after the author’s personal toon), but of course the story applies to any character in the game.
In the last episode we reached the epic and tragic conclusion of the storyline, but there is one element to it that isn’t so epic, and nowhere as tragic. Believe it or not, Final Fantasy fans laugh too, once in a while, and this special extra episode (set around the final few quests of the main storyline) will show you exactly why.
You can read the other episodes here: Episode 1: Beginnings, Episode 2: Awakening, Episode 3: Confrontation, Episode 4: A New Beginning, Episode 5: Madness, Episode 6: United, Episode 7: End of an Era.
Extra Chapter 1: Inspector Extraordinaire
Abriael was at the Hourglass in Ul’Dah, when the lalafell innkeeper Otopa Pottopa sought his aid. An important guest had his wedding ring stolen, and that could really spell trouble for the establishment. He directed the adventurer to Judithe, a young girl usually loitering on Pearl Lane, behind the Inn.
While Abriael was questioning the girl and her friends, a mysterious (and rather weird) gentleman appeared, introducing himself as Hildibrand, agent of enquiry and investigator extraordinaire. While he was busy posing and talking gibberish about Momodi having woven a spell to entrance the victim and steal the ring, a young miqo’te appeared, claiming to be his assistant Nashu. She said that she was watching the dancers at the alehouse from under the table, when she randomly found the ring, effectively closing the case.
A few days later, after traveling to Limsa Lominsa, Abriael had a conversation with the innkeeper of the Mizzenmast, Mytesin. The roegadyn was quite distressed, as a pesky Qiqirn had stolen the ink from his inkwell, preventing him from entering Abriael’s name into the inn’s ledger.
He asked the adventurer to go find a goblin peddler named Sweetnix and get some ink from him, without worrying about payment, as the goblin owed him some favors. Negotiation with the whimsical creature went fairly well, and Abriael managed to return with the ink. At the same time Hildibrand appeared again, speaking more gibberish about unsolved cases and criminals to be caught. He seemed quite distraught as Mytesin told him that Abriael had already solved the problem, but his attention was quickly diverted by his airhead assistant, that claimed that the water of the “big lake” out of the city tasted funny. Both ran to the seaside, to try and solve the case of the “poisoned lake”.
Abriael was traveling quite a lot, and his next stop was Gridania. Checking in at the Roost Inn he found the innkeeper V’korolon in a panic. One of the customers had left forgetting his bag, and she wasn’t able to leave her post to deliver it. The adventurer volunteered to help, and delivered the “prized” possession, that the roegadyn actually meant to discard on purpose.
Returning to the miqo’te innkeeper Abriael found Hildibrand again, and again the agent of enquiry found himself unemployed, as the adventurer had solved the problem before he could intervene. His withdrawal was as swift as usual. Maybe even a tad too swift that time, since he had forgotten to pay for his salad.
Extra Chapter 2: The Weapon Thief
Abriael was sleeping at the Hourglass when he was roused by a loud voice shouting “Dalamud! The red moon falls from the sky! Run for your lives!” As he walked out of his room, he found a distressed roegadyn sitting on the ground. Otopa Pottopa explained that there had been a string of weapon thefts all executed in the same way. Someone shouted about the falling of Dalamud and then took advantage of the confusion to steal the weapons of the most guillible adventurers.
The lalafell asked the adventurer to go to the coliseum and check on a suspect named Gauwyn the Gannet. A man had been hired to shadow him and find out if he was really the culprit. At the coliseum Gauwyn claimed to have been there all day, and the one tailing him rather clumsily – none other than inspector Hildibrand – could confirm it.
A few days later, the same happened at the Roost in Gridania. Another weapon was stolen using the same trick, and again Abriael was asked to investigate on Gauwyn, that was reportedly seen at the nearby Acorn Orchard. Again the tailing inspector was baffled, but an urchin named Nicoliaux said that, while Gauwyn had indeed been there all day, he met with a group of people clad in red, and that wasn’t even the first time. V’korolon concluded that Gauwyn’s accomplices were the ones actually doing the thieving, and that was why he never failed to have an alibi. Unfortunately, that couldn’t yet be proved.
After taking the airship to Limsa Lominsa Abriael had a talk with Mytesyn, that revealed that he knew the location of Gaywyn and his band of red-clad thieves, the Redmoon Consortium. The Yellowjackets were on to them but the thieves had always been quite slippery. In fact when the adventurer reached the place of which he talked with Mytesyn, he discovered that the criminals had already mande their escape.
Following their trail Abriael finally managed to catch up. Gauwyn proved quite vocal on his reasons: his father was the one that forged the weapons, confiscated by the Coral Tower after the invasion of Ala Mhigo to fight the Empire. He organized the Redmoon Consortium to get them back.
As things were preparing to turn ugly, Hildibrand – that was posing as one of the criminals – was unmasked, not that it made things any better. Luckily Nashu appeared on the scene with the Yellowjackets, that moved on to give the Redmoon Consortium – and the still disguised inspector – a good trashing. At last Nashu managed to explain the true identity of the investigator, and the Yellowjackets left with the criminals in custody. The case of the weapon thief was closed.
Extra Chapter 2: Gentleman Hero Hildibrand
Back in Ul’dah Abriael had a chat with Kopuru Fururu, the doorman at the Hourglass. The lalafell shown him a notebook left behind by a reporter investigating the mysteries of Dalamud. According to the reporter’s notes, while the common people believed that the red moon was getting bigger, an Ishgardian scholar was theorizing that it was, instead, drawing nearer. He didn’t believe it but a strange individual was spreading a prophecy that depicted the fall of Dalamud on Eorzea.
Afterwards Abriael met the prophet himself, none other than Urianger, in the process of being haunted by Hildibrand, that was drawing all kinds of outrageous conclusions on the prophecy. After all it was a riddle, and riddles were nothing else than unsolved cases. The agent of enquiry pledged to solve the mystery of Dalamud himself, together with Nashu and his new “associate”. Looked like Abriael had been drafted to fill that uncomfortable position.
Days after, while he was sleeping at the Hourglass, Abriael was woken up in a rather shocking way by Hildibrand himself. The inspector claimed to have breached the code: the “Valiant Blades” mentioned in the prophecy represented an heroic swordsman that would save the land, and that hero was to be found where “stray seeds quicken in ash’s grey embrace” – in other words, a field – and precisely at the pumpkin patch near the Coffer & Coffin.
After rushing to the indicated place, the three found no trace of heroic swordsmen, but just an old man named Alret that was busy working on the pumpkin patch. He used to be an adventurer in his past, so Hildibrand concluded that he was indeed the hero he sought. Abriael and the others decided to help him work on his field scattering what Alret called “bomb bane”, a very volatile substance coming from the remains of bombs, and very useful in keeping other bombs at bay.
After the work was done the old man gifted Hildibrand with his old sword and shield. Of course the detective concluded that such an offer indicated him as the hero destined to save Eorzea. Calling himself Gentleman Hero Hildibrand, he prepared for battle.
Unfortunately he did not have a way to reach the surface of the Red Moon to accomplish his “destined mission”. In the meanwhile Nashu armed herself with a peculiar, and very familiar, gunhalberd that Alret had purchased from a peddler from Cohertas in order to use it to break up clods.
Hildibrand started playing with the trigger to try and unclog the musket barrel, causing it to fire on the scattered bomb bane and triggering an explosion that sent him flying right at the Red Moon itself. As the detective extraordinaire flew to his destiny, Urianger approached, explaining that Gentleman Hero Hildibrand was just “one valiant blade among many…”
And that’s it. After the main storyline of Final Fantasy XIV has reached its tragic and epic conclusion, even our bold agent of enquiry became a gentleman hero and traveled to the moon. Will he come back in A Realm Reborn? According to Naoki Yoshida, he will. I’m quite eager to see how he survived Dalamud’s explosion, but after all he managed to survive flying to the moon, so…
This concludes the Final Fantasy XIV – The Story So Far column. I hope you enjoyed it, and that it helped you catch up with the game’s storyline, letting you better understand what will come with A Realm Reborn. In the meanwhile, of course, our coverage will continue. But for now I leave you with my most heartfelt wishes for a happy 2013: the year in which Final Fantasy XIV will be reborn. Will it go down in history as the most spectacular turnaround in the relatively short life of the genre? For now we can only wait and see.
If you missed them, you can also read the other episodes here: Episode 1: Beginnings, Episode 2: Awakening, Episode 3: Confrontation, Episode 4: A New Beginning, Episode 5: Madness, Episode 6: United, Episode 7: End of an Era.
If you have any further question about the story, do ask in the comments.