FFXIV: Stormblood Story Completed (Thoughts)

So, last night, my FC rallied around four of us who still needed to complete the 4.3 trial in order to continue with story. We did it the second try (wiped the first time because an ill-timed Red Mage LB3 blinded us and we couldn’t see the fan placement – no lie), which seems to be the case when it comes to doing stuff with a FC vs the Duty Finder.

Even so, my complaints on this trial still stand. The majority of people will approach this through Duty Finder. They won’t have the luxury of full-party voice chat and someone calling the mechanics.

Anyhow. Let’s get back to story.

Warning: Full on Story Spoilers and community speculation discussed! 

I hate to say it… because there were some pleasant parts to Stormblood, especially in Doma… but I’m actually just glad to get beyond this story arc. Already, what I’ve seen after we left Doma has excited me more than most of Stormblood ever did.

Victory Over the Final Trial

Yotsuyu. She’s been the centerpiece of the last two updates. The story tried so hard to paint her as this tragic figure that became the monster she did due to pain, abuse and terrible things that happened in her life.

Alright, I get that.

Usually, I’m right there when it comes to emotional things in a story, but this one didn’t do anything for me. I never really hated her character, but I didn’t like it either. In fact, I groaned when, at the end of the expansion, they revealed she didn’t die.

Her walking around acting like a mindless child was annoying. Her English voice actor tried, but honestly, didn’t help the situation.

The writers tried to make you see her struggles, and to understand if she could have done it differently, she would be repentant. But amnesia is still just a trope. And in the end, the connection and relationship she formed was to Gosetsu… not to the Warrior of Light.

I think that was my problem. I had no connection to Tsuyu. If I felt anything, it was for Gosetsu’s loss.

Even in her final moments, when given an option between: “Gosetsu will grieve.” and “Tsuyu deserved better.” … I had to choose Gosetsu. At least they gave that option. The writers kinda knew they wouldn’t win everyone over completely, but most people at least would sympathize with Gosetsu.

All that being said, I’m glad that little crap, Asahi, got what he deserved in the end.

…I… don’t think I’ve ever called anyone a “little crap” on this blog before. Well, he deserves that, too.

So, now this part of the story has closed and the next begins.

They’ve fairly much confirmed what I suspected in the final moments of the Stormblood expansion almost a year ago — Zenos’ return is an Ascian possession in disguise.

And who is this foolish leader of the Empire who thinks he can keep an Ascian in check?

That’s fine. At least it wasn’t a boring come-back-from-the-dead trope. Especially since it gets us back on track with the whole Ascian storyline.

Then there’s this Elezen guy who apparently has it out for Zenos. I keep trying to figure out who he is and they kept giving us some close ups of blue eyes. I wondered if it was Estinien. But then, why did he use a sword instead of a spear and where did he get the mechanical knowledge to fix an Imperial flying doo-dad?

Who knows.

Nevermind. Fan theory on Reddit suggests that this might be the REAL Zenos instead. Interesting!

Then we get to the instance with Alphinaud. We got to play as Alphinaud! It reminded me a bit of those session plays in… was it LOTRO? It was actually pretty neat!

It confirmed that he only had like three skills though. XD

Speaking of this instance, let’s take a moment to talk about Mr. Shadowhunter. This new NPC pops onto the scene to help fight against Imperial troops. He’s powerful. He uses a gunblade. He’s obviously Garlean. He hunts Ascians.

I like him.

Even more exciting, there’s a lot of speculation that between all these things, and the white mask he carries on his belt, he’s actually Gaius van Baelsar. I’m going to say: yes, I think so, too. And I’m going to say… this really excites me for the future of the story.

Image source

Yeah, it’s again, another back-from-the-dead, but one I can overlook. I’ve become more and more sympathetic to Gaius after seeing the alternative leadership in the Empire… that’s for sure.

If he’s returned, that makes some interesting conflicts for who can claim control of the Empire in the future. I wonder how much he’s learned since we beat him at the end of ARR. Seeing that he didn’t return to claim the Empire, and seems to be hunting Ascians, I’d say he’s had some important shift in priorities.

Either way, with him and Nero working with us (we think), this makes for a lot of exciting possibilities with the future of the story. I’m all for taking it straight into Garlemald in the next expansion (nothing confirmed, just a hope). There’s a whole lotta stuff going down there, it seems.