Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

released on Jul 02, 2019

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

released on Jul 02, 2019

An expansion for Final Fantasy XIV Online

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is the third expansion pack to Final Fantasy XIV. The expansion takes players to the First, one of thirteen reflections of the Source that is being consumed by a Flood of Light. The main region visited is known as Norvrandt, which is roughly analogous to the Source's Eorzea, and is the only region in the world that has not yet succumbed to the Flood of Light.


Also in series

Final Fantasy II
Final Fantasy II
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition HD
Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition HD
Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition
Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition

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The best story Final Fantasy has ever told.

This review contains spoilers

I didn't really "get" the appeal of FF14 until I got to Shadowbringers. Stormblood's patch quests build to the start of this expansion in a way that really got me hyped to experience it. And then I was shocked that, after everyone was gassing this expansion up so much, it somehow lived up to that and more.

This expansion's story, start to finish, is perfect, and G'raha, Emet-Selch, and Ardbert sit on the highest shelf of video game character writing. When you first touch down in the expansion properly, it's like a whole new world. I absolutely love when established MMOs buck the usual trends and decide to throw you into a hostile, unpredictable, completely new world; after becoming so acclimated to Eorzea after 70 levels, Shadowbringers comes in and makes you remember what it's like to feel lost. Like a stranger in a strange land. Everything feels different. The sense of post-apocalyptic desperation from everyone on the First is so real and apparent. I'm such a sucker for that.

This review contains spoilers

Being able to experience Shadowbringers for a second time after completing all of Endwalker prior almost feels like an entirely new experience. Moments that I deemed insignificant before will water my eyes, lines I dismissed as unimportant have a new and grander scale and every motivation becomes abundantly clear to me.

Shadowbringers is extremely intentional almost every step of the way. Rarely will you find yourself experiencing a section of the story that doesn't matter to its plot or relating characters. Especially its three central characters; Ardbert, the Crystal Exarch and Emet-Selch. While there is a ton to explore in Shadowbringers, this review will focus on these three and how they connect with its story.

Before Shadowbringers starts, these are all characters we have met before, yet only have caught a glimpse of their story and what will befall them in the First. The introductory moments to this new world open with Ardbert as a shadowy figure, aimlessly wandering the lands. With the arrival of the Warrior of Light, he awakes from his endless dreams. From the start, this is a hint towards Ardbert's true identity and purpose, along with the Warrior of Light being the only one able to see and speak with him upon finally meeting in their quarters at the Crystarium.
Ardbert exists as a part of the Warrior of Light, as a metaphor for the First's previous hero and as a sundered soul, both belonging to a long lost soul of ancient times. As Ardbert accompanies the Warrior of Light on their journey to save the First and by extension the Source, he represents the present. Although he is a hero of past, he is now in a similar position to the hero of now, unfamiliar with current circumstances beyond his own experiences of a hundred years ago. He is the Warrior of Light's anxiety, doubts, burden and — in the end — hope given voice. While he is very much his own character, whenever Ardbert struggles to come to terms with his helplessness or failures of past, this reflects on the Warrior of Light, for they have failed in the past and been unable to save those that deserved to be.
But as Ardbert gains courage and hope for a better future, as he learns about his old comrades and the good they have done, the good that can still be done for his world, he lends his strength to the Warrior of Light to their final adversary, Emet-Selch. When they seem to have no more strength to spare, he reaches out his axe and becomes one with the Warrior of Light as they were one in the past.

Then if Ardbert represents the present, the Crystal Exarch represents the future. As G'raha Tia, he comes from a distant future that witnessed the rejoining of the First in the form of the Eight Umbral Calamity. While everything seemed lost in that timeline, he latches onto the hope for a better future, even if it has to be another timeline. Despite only meeting him briefly, G'raha leaves a great impression on the Warrior of Light and vice versa. The hope that the Warrior of Light inspires into him lasts a lifetime and their myth grows stronger as he reads more of their stories of past. When he takes up the mantle as the Crystal Exarch, G'raha's inspiration truly comes to life, acting as the ruler and protector of the Crystarium.
This hope and inspiration sets forth a new future, a better one for the First and its parent world, the Source. While G'raha continuously aspires to be a hero like the Warrior of Light, he never quite realizes that to the First, to the people of the Crystarium, to Lyna, he is. And through his heroism and efforts, he's able to bring his hero to the world he now resides in. To do what he wasn't capable of and transcend his and their own limits. To undo the light that has overtaken the world and bring back the shadow. Though Ardbert is representative of how the Warrior of Light sees and feels themselves, G'raha is what their allies, their loved ones see in them. He is the hope that sleeps inside the Warrior of Light.
As G'raha believes in the Warrior of Light and sees them as an aspiration for good, so does the Warrior of Light see something similar in G'raha. With his experience and knowledge of a horrible distant future, he is able to inspire them with words, with actions, with love. As the Warrior of Light leaves the First, he narrates their departure and while the sole character of the Warrior of Light doesn't hear these words directly, I believe that this dream G'raha tells the player about are inspiring for a warrior that struggles, and struggled to take another step, yet finds the courage to do so through his own.

And if there's the present and the future, there is Emet-Selch, the past. One of the unsundered, along with Elidibus and Lahabrea. As Lahabrea seemed to went mad over time and Elidibus lost his self as the heart of Zodiark, Emet-Selch is the only one whom clings to the past he and his people sacrificed so much for. Throughout Shadowbringers, Emet-Selch takes a different approach from the all the other Ascians that came before. Trying to cooperate with the Scions in the First, Emet-Selch answers any questions asked, if they're the right ones. And through that, the Warrior of Light discovers the true motive of the Ascians and what they hope to achieve.
For Emet-Selch, when the world was whole, for he has known perfection, was the only world worth saving. He does not see any merit in the shattered Source and its shards, calling them ghastly mockeries of the true world. He judged the new worlds in its place for its imperfections, for many long years and he was never able to let go of his grief for the world that he once knew and accept the new ones in its place. The Warrior of Light takes all of Shadowbringers to get to know Emet-Selch to his true core. The love for his people has always been there, but when they get to a perfect recreation of the ancient city of Aumarot and its people, his love becomes crystal clear. While traversing the city and learning more of Emet-Selch and his past, the Warrior of Light meets and learns of Hythlodaeus, a shade different from the ones ignorant to Aumarot's impending doom. They are aware of their creation and, like Emet-Selch, is able to see the Warrior of Light's soul. He seems something familiar in the Warrior of Light. As if he mistook them for another. The lost soul of Azem, an old loved friend of Emet-Selch's.
Because of their soul, Emet-Selch has a hope for the Warrior of Light, for them to be able to rid him of his burden of the past, because he cannot. Throughout Shadowbringers, Emet-Selch has a notable hunch in his back, seemingly always slouching. It's the weight of the past, constantly pushing down on him, unable to escape from his own memories. As Ardbert says, time wears you down, but solitude eats away at you. So when all is said and done, when the Warrior of Light is finally able to take that last step and banish the darkness that is Emet-Selch, he bids them to remember. Remember that his people once lived, finally standing upright, lifted from his eternal burden. Finally, he is able, allowed to let go.
He entrusts the Warrior of Light with his legacy and his beloved star, bringing them back against their fight to defeat Elidibus, the last of the unsundered. Emet-Selch teaches the Warrior of Light that the past is important, it should and will be remembered, but it is the past and clinging onto it will serve no future.

Together, these three parallel each other continuously and bring the core of Shadowbringers' themes together. Remembering the past, taking that extra step now and striving for a better future. There's a ton more to mention about Shadowbringers, like Thancred and his relationship with Ryne and Minfilia or Elidibus and his loss of identity, yet clinging onto his sacred duty and the First's own struggle against the light, how its people stand up against Vauthry and his sin eaters. But to me, it's at its most important here with these three.

"If you had the strength to take another step, could you do it?"

"The rains have ceased, and we have been graced with another beautiful day. But you are not here to see it."

não tenho o que dizer, Final Fantasy XIV é o melhor jogo já feito.