Since the beginning of this summer, Square Enix and Final Fantasy XIV have been the talk of gaming circles as they had announced the expansion that would bring their original story arc to an end, titled “Endwalker.” Set to release for those that pre-ordered on December 3rd, and to the public on December 7th, producer Naoki Yoshida has promised that while this is the end of this arc, it is by far not the end of the game. To prepare for this, many new and old players are reacquainting themselves with the story to be ready for the final installment of this first story of Hydaelyn. To help you along the way, we’ll be doing a series of articles to explain the story and state of the world thus far to explain this lore rich world and the story that has millions of players tuning in on a regular basis. Where to start, but the beginning?
And no, we don’t mean the Beginning of the Story you can now play, known at Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. We’re going back to the end of the original story, Final Fantasy XIV which many played until the servers shut down for the relaunch of the game entirely… but we’ll get to that later.
You start in what is known as the Seventh Umbral Era for the world of Hydaelyn. This era is seeing sudden and concerning changes in monsters’ behavior around the world and their size as well, with the moon Dalamud itself becoming surprisingly brighter in the night sky. A prophet named Urianger spreads word of the coming of this era, which labels him a wanted man by the Garlean Empire as his words are considered heresy. The populace ignores Urianger’s pleas, even though Dalamud draws closer with every passing day, and strange weather patterns are starting to appear. The Grand Companies from the main city states begin investigating the cause of the strange phenomena with the help of Garlond Ironworks, and learn that the Empire has gained copious amounts of ceruleum, a substance needed to make their magitek technology function. Garlond Ironworks analyzed some magitek components after the capture of some Garlean spies.
After the analysis is complete, Cid nan Garlond reports that the Empire is planning to cast the ancient magic of Meteor to purge Eorzea of its Primals. This was a project he himself worked on before fleeing Garlemald for Eorzea and working with the Grand Companies to fight the Empire. More proof of this plan is discovered by a Gridanian soldier who is able to listen in on a discussion of the use of Meteor by Nael Van Darnus, and Gaius Van Baelsar.
Dalamud is not a natural moon but is actually a colossal machine created by the ancient Allagan Empire. In order to cast Meteor, the Empire needed to collect and activate Allagan Runestones. To get these, the Garlean Empire went on the offensive using a new machine they had created, the Magitek Vanguard. While the Grand Companies of Eorzea were able to hold the offensives back, this was merely a distraction as the Garlean base Castrum Novum was built near Mor Dhona around the housing for the lunar transmitter.
Attacking the newly established Castrum, groups were sent in to hopefully destroy that transmitter. While they were successful, Nael van Darnus proclaimed to them that he had no further need for the tower. Having to track him to his next location, they found him in some Allagan ruins inside Camp Glory calling on meteorites to rain down on Eorzea. Cid took a single group of adventurers to the floating islands of Rivenroad for the hopefully final confrontation against Nael. After his defeat, his body became pure energy that was absorbed into Dalamud. The glyphs that kept the Rivenroad floating deactivated, and it came crashing down, leaving Cid to rescue all of those still on the islands.
As others celebrated victory, with Cid assuring them that Dalamud would no longer crash into Eorzea, a reunion of everyone happened in Gridania. The Warrior of Light was not convinced, and learned from Louisoix that Dalamud was continuing it’s descent, and their only chance was to summon the Twelve themselves and praying for their assistance. Upon setting out to do so, the Warrior of Light spoke with members of the Circle of Knowing who explained that summoning and sustaining even one God would put an immense amount of strain on the land. But it had to be done.
Gaius reappears to congratulate the Warrior of Light for their victory over Nael, but warns that his followers have gathers themselves at the “heart of Eorzea” to see his plan to make Dalamud is completed. He leaves them asking them to avoid Dalamud’s fall so that there was something worthwhile to conquer when it was over. When the Warrior of Light completes their task of gathering the symbols of all twelve gods, the Circle of Knowing gathered people all around Eorzea to pray, as the Eorzean Alliance took to the battlefield once more to fight against the Garleans.
As Dalamud enters the atmosphere, it is revealed that this moon was actually a prison for the elder primal Bahamut created by the Allagans to capture him and use him as a power source. He’s been bound to the physical realm by dragons that were kept alive throughout the ages and forced to maintain the summon. Now free, Bahamut completely destroyed bits of either side of the battle and forced the Garleans to flee. As Bahamut continued his destruction across Eorzea, Louisoix protected those remaining on the battlefield as he and the rest of the Circle of Knowing began the ritual to seal Bahamut back in his prison. Bahamut broke free, and as part of his final act, Louisoix transported the Warrior of Light forward in time. As the inferno from Bahamut consumes Louisoix his prayers for Eorzea rebirth infused him with the aether that remained from the failed ritual, and he used that power to mortally wound Bahamut and restore life to the lands the dragon has razed.
And that marks the end of the original Final Fantasy XIV game, also called Patch 1.0. The final paragraph above was included in the game as a cutscene that was viewed by all players who were online at the time they shut down the servers to prepare for the launch of Patch 2.0. This patch is what we now know as the base game titled “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.” I have included a video by the user “GameNChick” from youtube, where they recorded the final 11 minutes of the servers being life if you would like to watch.