Wisdom of Nym: Taking a look at the Final Fantasy XVI x Final Fantasy XIV crossover


Confession time: I’ve been not exactly low-key waiting for the Final Fantasy XVI crossover in Final Fantasy XIV since June of last year. You might point out – correctly – that the crossover was not announced anywhere near that time, but as much as I love making jokes about pretending Yoshida is two separate people, we all knew it was happening. It was always inevitable.

I feel kind of bad for Hiroshi Takai; he doesn’t get nearly as much credit for FFXVI, but he was the main director. Yoshida’s name just gets put into more materials, and he’s not exactly unwilling to be the face of the game. I don’t think anyone is ignoring him; it’s just a little odd to me.

At any rate, the crossover is finally here and brings Clive Rosfield into the world of Eorzea for a stretch. As someone who quite likes FFXIV and also quite enjoyed FFXVI, I have a few thoughts about this collision of two properties, this crossover in which we get to explore a protagonist from a recent game and see the world through his eyes.

And eh, it was aggressively fine.

Now, I want to cut a fine line here; a lot of the FFXIV community’s jokes have been about the fact that the quest ends with what amounts to the Wandering Minstrel saying, “Hey, go buy FFXVI.” I don’t share any degree of that, though. Sure, the dialogue is a little on the nose in that department, but… it’s a crossover event. That was always the message. The Little Orphan Annie decoder ring sponsored by Ovaltine is not going to spell out a message that you shouldn’t buy Ovaltine.

What leaves me feeling like it is aggressively fine is not that takeaway but rather how hard this particular event leans on the idea that this is a crossover event. Why is this happening? What’s the reason behind it? This is the crossover event. Bringing in the Minstrel pushes this pretty hard into the realm of metatextual commentary, since the Minstrel is very clearly an ersatz Yoshi-P – unlike the actual Naoki Yoshida character who shows up every year in the anniversary event.

Yeah, it’s kind of wild to me how you have as many versions of Naoki Yoshida running around in this game as there are stand-ins for Kurt Vonnegut in the book Breakfast of Champions.


I don’t inherently mind the metatextuality, and in terms of what is happening to Clive at the moment we meet him, it does make a certain amount of sense. If you asked me when to set the story for him without giving away later portions of the plot, sure, this would be the right time. But why is he in Eorzea? What does he need to learn here? The only actual thing that happens is re-affirmation of a scene that happens in FFXVI in the first place, which leaves the whole exchange seeming devoid of any connection.

We literally spent more time directly interacting with Noctis, and that event still wound up explaining the dimension-hopping with “who knows, just move past it.” There was more story, more actual content, and just more to do for what were ultimately about the same number of rewards.

And yes, part of what makes me feel a bit shortchanged here is that Clive is legitimately an interesting character, especially at that point in his story. There was space to really have some interaction with the Warrior of Light, especially since after the events he alludes to, Clive makes a decision that he’s going to do the most he can to have a positive impact, in spite of the fact that his main motivation up to that point was ultimately wrong. You know, the sort of thing that would fit thematically with an entire expansion about doing your best despite the despair you might feel?

It seems as if there was more we could have gone through here. As it stands, instead of a connection, Clive is just a brief guest star.

Of course, the main focus in terms of content is also the Ifrit fight. And this one is… well, there’s precisely one element that I feel like it whiffed on, which is not giving a clear enough indicator of which AoEs you’re supposed to not dodge but use the button for and which ones you’re supposed to dodge properly.

But the actual fight itself beyond that? A lot of fun. As a testbed for mechanics that we can see in future fights, this one does have some legs. I don’t think it’s something that can fit in every single fight, but it’d be fun to see, say, tanks and some melee DPS get a dodge-without-dodging option with some timing windows. Latency is going to be an issue, of course, but it has some utility beyond backsteps. Or even just gimmick fights.

And if we never get that, well… like, part of the fun here is that I can’t say “I wish there were a Final Fantasy game using these mechanics.” There is. It’s FFXVI. If anything it’s cruel to the people who lack a PS5 and are playing on PC because they can’t play the game right now.

Steppy step.

Reward-wise, the lineup is solid with a lot of musical tracks, the gear looks as great as I had hoped (even if the leg-and-foot division is a touch weird), Torgal is as adorable and awesome as expected, and the card is a nice last souvenir. It’s a touch odd that we don’t have Clive’s hairstyle as a potential reward; maybe it’s a tease about how Yoshida had previously said “maybe there’ll be a second crossover in the future” as a potential reward to dangle. We’ll have to see.

Ultimately, my big issue is not that the crossover is bad so much as it plays a bit more safely than it needs to – or perhaps more accurately, more safely than I want it to. I like this game, I like the characters, and I feel what we got was such a small snippet and so disconnected that it didn’t go as far as it could have. There’s some substance there, like Clive feeling as if Gridania is too peaceful, but it ultimately doesn’t add up unless you’ve played FFXVI, and so it doesn’t really breed much interaction.

Maybe this is where the developers want crossovers to go in the future, although it seems odd to suggest that when we’ve had the event with Iroha re-run several times where she just hangs out with us. Maybe it’s leaving the possibility open of future crossovers. Maybe a lot of things. Ultimately, I didn’t dislike the crossover; I just kind of wanted more than I got.

Say, why haven’t we gotten a Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth crossover?

Feedback, as always, is welcome in the comments down below or via mail to eliot@massivelyop.com. Next week, we’ve got that 14-hour broadcast going down along with a live letter, so I am going to be reacting to that! It’s what I have on deck, and it’s the most interesting new thing taking place right now. That’s just the fact of the matter.

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.
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