At this point, Final Fantasy XIV fans have spent a decade now reading a whole lot into the shirts worn by producer and director Naoki Yoshida. Not actually because we need to, of course; if we wait until October, we’re going to know what one of the two new jobs being added with Dawntrail will be, but we like doing this. And he has steadily thrown us more and more difficult curveballs with his garments, starting with the very simple Batman shirt hinting at Dark Knight until… now.[AL:XIV]
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirt, at face value, hints at a job we already have in the form of Ninja. Teenager and Mutant are both not jobs (in FFXIV or in real life), and while you could argue that being a turtle is a full-time job, despite what I told people at age five, I will not get to be a turtle when I grow up. (Turtles are cute.) But there are a number of theories about which jobs the shirt could be alluding to, and I want to flag what I see as the two most likely theories and which one I think is correct.
All right, so this one has a lot of little nods, so follow me down a rabbit hole. A turtle hole. A hole, it doesn’t matter what kind of hole. At face value, TMNT hints at the idea that the next job will use the same gear as Ninja because we know it’ll be a melee DPS. That’s not enough to derive what it will be, but it does sharpen our thinking a bit and gets us being aware of a melee job that’s nimble.
From that point, however… let’s rewatch the Dawntrail teaser again. Specifically, when the Warrior of Light is fighting against the two-headed Mamool Ja, who appears to be Gulool Ja Ja based on artwork but may not be. I apologize that we do not currently have great shots of this, but I encourage you to watch the trailer again to see what I see.
This is the scene I’m referring to:
Now, in this scene we see that the WoL with a one-handed sword while still cloaked, and considering that the WoL’s job in Endwalker was Paladin this is not altogether unexpected. However, there are two important things to note. The first is that the Warrior of Light has always been a melee job outside of the 1.0 trailer (before the derplander was explicitly a player character stand-in), and the second is that his job has always been one that ties into the expansion.
But here’s the thing: With the WoL as a paladin, we always see a shield. The shield has always been prominent. Here, he very clearly is not wielding a shield, and it appears that his gear in this shot is the same as his gear on the boat.
So let’s work back from this. We have a job that uses a one-handed sword in some way and also… something else. Corsair in Final Fantasy XI was a ranged DPS using a gun, but it also tended to wear a sword on the hip or dual-wield them for stat boosts. And… we can kind of tie all this together. If you wanted a melee DPS, either with a sword and a gun offhand or dual-wielding with two swords and a gun… well, Corsair thematically works.
Once you start from that assumption, there are two other bits of evidence. First of all, the Internet’s whole fixation on “pirates vs. ninja” ties in here, and since we already have ninja, pirate is a thematic link. (The actual winner there is ninja, for the record.) Plus, the legendary island of pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean films is Tortuga, which is Spanish for… tortoise. Close enough.
Strong case! What else do we have?
We know we’re getting a magical DPS job, and there aren’t a lot of great candidates remaining for that position. You’re going to have to start running afield, and that’s where Pictomancer comes into play… with a hint that’s deviously obvious. After all, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Donatello aren’t just the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… they’re also all named after artists.
The only real Pictomancer in the franchise to date is Relm Arrowny, from Final Fantasy VI. The developers do love weaving in FFVI references, too. But there are also little hints here and there that would tie Pictomancer specifically into the expansion from what we already know of Tural and the one job that comes from the continent: Blue Mage.
Relm in FFVI lives with her grandfather, Strago, who was that game’s Blue Mage. (Also not a great character, but that’s neither here nor there.) She was a magical powerhouse, though she required a bit of work on the player’s part to get her there, but her unique skillset was kind of bleh. But it did involve her sketching the image of a monster she was fighting against… in other words, kind of a roundabout cousin of how Blue Mage is all about duplicating monster abilities.
In other words, it’d be really easy to see how in broad strokes Pictomancer ties into the expansion and how the shirt hints at it. Now, that doesn’t mean this is the way it would work in practice; indeed, I think that it’s almost a given the job will involve a DoT-heavy playstyle now that Summoner is… not that. But the thematic links are there just the same.
So which one is it?
Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and say that Yoshida is as always going next level with his trolling, and the whole gag is that he’s trolling us with both new jobs. Both theories are actually really strong, as opposed to the more common situation where people are trying to make a theory fit the job they already wanted regardless of what actually sounds right. My guess would be that Corsair gets revealed first and Pictomancer comes later, since we already know that it’s going to be a magical DPS job, but both of these sound solid.
There are other theories floating around: Beastmaster (because animal people), Chemist (because mutants and ooze), and Green Mage (because green turtles) have all been put forth. But I see the first being more likely as a limited job if ever, the second more likely as a healer (and gosh is the “healer” job well dry), and the third being plausible but not as strong as Pictomancer, which would fill the same niche. Nothing is certain yet, but these two jobs do feel like the strongest options.
Of course, nothing is proven until we get the first job revealed in October and then the other revealed in January. But if you’ve been sitting back and wondering what these new jobs might be, I think these are the strongest theories currently going. And with that, we can all ruminate on the possibilities until October while possibly admiring turtles. Everyone should admire turtles. (Also maybe the new movie is good? Early reviews seem decent.)