Wisdom of Nym: Where is Final Fantasy XIV’s story going post-6.3?


As we all know, at this point Final Fantasy XIV is the story of Zero and how we all absolutely want her to live happily with at least 30 cats. (Do I mean actual pet cats or miqo’te? Yes. One or the other. Or both.) However, there are actual story developments going on beyond just everyone going nuts over our cool new voidsent lady, and I think they deserve a little more unpacking as we wait just a hair longer for 6.35 to distract us with Manderville antics.

Now, not everything about the story can be gleaned at this point. There’s still a lot of open questions (intentionally) and a lot that, quite frankly, we just don’t know yet. But I think it’s also worth analyzing the things that we can figure out, starting with remembering something that is very important to remember about our current primary antagonist: While it isn’t a certainty, Golbez is probably not who he claims to be.

For those who haven’t played Final Fantasy IV… well, don’t, it’s not very good. Not in the Final Fantasy IX sense where it’s a mostly mid-tier entry in the series swarmed over by fans, but just in the sense that it’s not a very good game on a whole. But that’s not germane to this particular revelation, which is that Golbez is not only not in full control of his faculties for most of the game but is also not actually Golbez. He’s Theodor, brother of Cecil and inheritor of the same legacy.

The short version is that Theodor was possessed by a powerful being filled with a loathing for life and existence and sought to unmake everything. Eventually he was freed from his possession and teamed up with FuSoYa (also known as “we have Ramuh at home”) to try taking down the villain, only to utterly fail because the main adventuring party was there to beat up the final boss. Of course that’s the endpoint here. In the sequel – which is notably far worse – he’s actually a playable character and a pretty good one at that.

Whether or not we’ll get Zemus or Zeromus in FFXIV is an open question. But it’s worth thinking about based on what little we know about Golbez’s ultimate plan, and what might ultimately be manipulating him beyond a simple desire to die.

As a side note, we should probably appreciate the notion that even in starting a totally new story arc, Endwalker still revolves around the desire to end existence.


Rubicante lays out what Golbez’s stated plan is pretty clearly, and it’s an interesting one – the idea of the Void seeking to colonize the Source, essentially. But we don’t know the exact mechanism he plans to use to do that, and he also makes it clear that even for all that he understands Golbez’s plans, there’s something he has planned all his own. The man wants something that even his archfiends didn’t have full access to. What might that be? We don’t rightly know.

What we do know is that it does appear he’s set up shop in the same space where Zodiark ought to be. So the first and most obvious assumption would be that Zodiark has somehow infected him, that he’s seeking to fulfill what Zodiark had as stated goals, here’s your big villain back after all!

Except… no. While we don’t have a very clear picture of Zodiark on a whole – most of what we know about the Primal is relayed secondhand – by all accounts from the Ascians the whole motivating impulse behind Zodiark was ensuring the survival of life. Indeed, the death he unleashed was not a function of hating life but attempting to preserve it after it was already a foregone conclusion. I’ve mentioned before the central tragedy inherent in the whole situation, but at the end of the day, Zodiark arguably did not want life to end.

Golbez clearly wants that. He desires death. But if he wanted only that, he wouldn’t have sent two of his archfiends through to die on the Source instead of him. Whatever he has planned required making sure that we would have a hard time pursuing him, it requires Azdaja to be around, and it involves the next closest thing to a rejoining… albeit without the actual cataclysm and destruction that would unleash for both worlds.

This also brings to mind another important point: Golbez, the most coordinated head we’ve seen behind the various creatures of the Void, is clearly of the mind that the Void is no longer possible to save. Same with the Ascians. Same with everyone, in fact… except the couple of expatriates from the Void who predate this expansion, and maybe Zero as well. She’s at least starting to ask questions.

Itchy licking!

As with prior teases, I don’t think this means the next expansion will send us to the Void. My instinct whenever things focus this hard on telling us to look to the right is to assume that something is coming from the left; more often that’s the point. At the same time, I also have a hard time imagining that we’re going to be still dealing with Golbez moving into 7.0, which means that the obvious detour of “now we have to find a way back to the Void” is unlikely to happen.

It’s not that villains from other Final Fantasy games aren’t allowed to be major figures in the game’s story, obviously (Xande springs to mind), but usually they don’t wind up being the major antagonist across multiple expansions. But it does set us up for the start of a conflict and the start of something different.

And that gives me a thought because the Source is not actually just like the other reflections at this point; it’s the Source itself plus the aether of the Second, Third, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, and Twelfth reflections. Any effort to save the Thirteenth will likely require pushing the aether back into balance… and the Source might be key in doing that even without its destruction.

Plus, we don’t know what’s happening on the Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, or Eleventh. And when you get right down to it, whatever is going to allow us to start fixing the Thirteenth (because you know that’s where we’re ultimately heading) is going to come into play with the other shards. This is not fading into the background; the stage is being set to let us know that there are other worlds than this. And while we know there are more places unexplored just on our star, there are even more places beyond…

I don’t know where we’re going next, of course. We won’t start getting a hint of that until the fan festival later this year. But there’s a lot to chew on and speculate even as we wait for the next major patch. And it’s clear that there’s plenty of stories yet to be told in a whole lot of space.

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, let’s talk about something I think about a lot: How is FFXIV going to end? Because it’s going to.

The Nymian civilization hosted an immense amount of knowledge and learning, but so much of it has been lost to the people of Eorzea. That doesn’t stop Eliot Lefebvre from scrutinizing Final Fantasy XIV each week in Wisdom of Nym, hosting guides, discussion, and opinions without so much as a trace of rancor.
Previous articleFormer Wildstar devs call Wayfinder ‘the second coming’ of the sunsetted MMORPG
Next articleDestiny 2 is going down for its 24-hour maintenance ahead of tomorrow’s Lightfall expansion launch

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments