FFXIV – Shadowbringers Launch Trailer and Lore Rabbit Holes

Among the things we saw during the Squenix press conference last night was a new trailer for the upcoming expansion. You can find it here, if you’re interested. I personally prefer the other trailer, but the new one comes with some revelations that have interesting implications.

Right at the end, we have a bit of exposition by our good friend Solus regarding the nature of Zodiark and Hydaelen. He says they’re primals. This has cast some interesting light on a background theory I’ve tried to write up a couple of times and never managed to get into a shape that I like.

See, in Final Fantasy Tactics, we have the Zodiac Stones. These often confer seemingly demonic powers and forms onto those who would wield them, often out of desperation. As it takes place in Ivalice, it has a connection with Final Fantasy XII, which I’ve never played.

I was doing some reading on the “Deep Dungeon” bit from Final Fantasy Tactics when I realized that the updated translation of War of the Lions lists the last boss of that dungeon as Zodiark. A strong enough connection to FFXIV that it got my immediate attention. It also features the wizard Elidibus, who summoned him. Elidibus happens to be one of the Ascians in FFXIV who seek to, you guessed it, summon Zodiark.

In doing the reading about all this, though, I discovered the list of espers from FFXII. At that point, I didn’t know what to do. I had, in the “Scion of Darkness” column a list of the “demons” from Tactics. In the “Scion of Light” column I had a veritable who’s who of Ascians from FFXIV. A connection that holds more or less true within XIV, if somewhat loose and not talked about. The symbols that appear over the Ascians masks/faces, at least, seem to match up properly.

I still don’t know what exactly to do with this information. We know that XIV does not exist in the same timeline as Tactics and XII, though there is some manner of crossover. The alliance raids in Stormblood, at least, set the events of Tactics in a XIV context and taking place a very long time ago.

By all accounts, Hydaelen should occupy the place in the chart that Ultima has, though in the grand scheme of wibbly wobbly aethery primal stuff there could conceivably be room for both. Any primal, regardless of what you call it, is simply energy that has been given form through the desire of many people and their culture. If enough people believe hard enough, and the requisite energy is present, it can and will coalesce into a primal.

Time will tell how it all plays out, I suppose. This presumes that was can trust the words spoken by Solus in the trailer and I, for one, am disinclined to accept them at face value.

Y’all take care, it’s time for me to see my way out of these here Viera hole.

3 thoughts on “FFXIV – Shadowbringers Launch Trailer and Lore Rabbit Holes

  1. I think there is some truth in what he says. After all, they were weakening Hydaelyn by deliberately encouraging the creation of primals to draw on the aether. I suspected that Hydaelyn and Zodiark were never sentient creatures initially but gained awareness thanks to some sort of worship. My guess is that there was some earlier war between two peoples with Hydaelyn being the primal champion of one world and Zodiark the other. It is an interesting twist and the fact that they revealed it in a trailer definitely indicates there is more to it.
    It has certainly renewed my interest in the story as I found Stormblood unevenly paced, underwhelming and a bit heavy handed. And I do grow weary of all these overly theatrical villians. Solus is a bit much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Possibly, though it’s unclear if they are from separate worlds. That entire passage from Solus begins with him saying “the star’s will made manifest.” This implies that the world itself has some manner of conciousness. Of course, it may simply be a collective conciousnes of all beings or some such. Regardless, it looks good. I’m sure my opinion will have changed a month from now.


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