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WAR #8: To the Edge

Warning: This blog entry will include MSQ spoilers of mainly the 5.1-5.3 content!

I wanted to use something using the starting gear to show off my Hyur-ness, not sure about it so this will become the RDM glam lol.

Wrathful And Resolute #8: To the Edge

Welcome back fellow adventures, Warriors of Light and Moogles alike, to the WAR blog! Been a couple days since the past entry, been, productive for me working on leveling NIN and slowly drifting off to sleep every night in the Diadem... that place is like a lullaby to me. But before we talk a bunch about the current moment, let's continue back down memory lane a bit for our MSQ stuff, specifically 5.1-5.3 MSQ.

Where last we left off, we'd just beaten our friendly enemy, Emet-Selch. We'd beaten Hades, finished off the second of the unsundered Ascians. I felt this great strong feeling of like yeeeaahhh we did it!

Oh believe me, you will

I also felt a bit daunted by getting through 3 patches and all the postgame content (this was near the end of 5.3 that I finished 5.0). I also was itching to get back into high-end content. I started off by working on the nightmare/snoozefest that is the Nier storyline (or rather, lack of a storyline). Well come back to that. I also completed Akadaemia Anyder (which was pretty good) and The Twinning. Goddamn, what a dungeon, what music! Nice break from the MSQ there. I also got side-tracked by one other activity at some point around now as I took a small break from the MSQ:

I completed my Anima weapon, the Minos Lux, at long last! Also somehow took lots of screenshots of the penultimate step but almost none as it completed, I think a kid woke up right as I was wrapping up lol.... I'd started that weapon back in HW when it was a relevant weapon, slowly worked on it till in like 3.3 when it was a decent upgrade for me working on A5S. Then was promptly outclassed by my Sophia weapon a few months later in 5.4 lol.

I was also distracted by one lol-worthy questline:

If this guy doesn't show up in 6.0, I'm not sure I would be too sad...

Back to the MSQ...

Honestly, 5.1 and 5.2 are kinda a blur to me at this point. Somehow I would take loads of screenshots on some nights and like none on others. I did enjoy helping Chai-Nuzz become the mayor of Eulmore, he's an endearing character and he really grew on me as time went on.

Speaking of which, I really do like Eulmore as the endgame town for Shb. The top floor is small, nicely compact and is easy to get most things you need. If only there were market boards here... I read somewhere that by Shb the two-city approach to expansions was really starting to fall apart at the seams, as the Crystarium is largely empty for the most part most of the time. These days, I usually spend most of my time in the FC house, Limsa, or Eulmore in that order. But, Eulmore is still a fun area and I'll miss it in 6.0.

At some point, we meet up with our old pal Estinien again and have maybe the longest Echo flashback ever in a whole solo instance with the new version of Ultima, which was pretty cool:

Oh no, another Ultima weapon! We also meet Gaius and he tells us about the new Weapons project. Probably I'd have been more impacted by this if I'd played more 1.0 or played more FFVII, but it wasn't till I actually started doing the trials storyline that I got invested into this sidestory, which we'll get to later. I also started working on the Eden raids as I was working the MSQ, which we'll get to later as well.

Back on the First, we are back to investigating how to bring the Scions to the Source again. We investigate white auracite but it's not perfect for the task. We run through the Grand Cosmos (this dungeon is a literal hallway to ask aid of an expert in the matter, one of the Nu Mou. G'raha Tia helps her with her task, and later on, Urianger.

We announce to the world the story of Ardbert how him and his team sacrificed themselves to save Norvrandt, but we were surprised to see a familiar face in the background. It seems like Ardbert's alive! Well, of course he isn't, that graverobbing Elidibus took his body after he got kicked out of Zenos's body. He begins telling everyone that they can be Warriors of Light, that they can hear the Echo (and brings some scary illusions of the Final Days or something). We begin investigating the Ascians further, particularly the group that summoned Hydaelyn, at Anamnesis Anyder. We realize that Minfilia was likely the reincarnated version of one of the Ascians. And the game hints that we are as well.... At any rate, Anamnesis Anyder was a dungeon I got used to running every now and then for a few weeks that I had before 5.4 and that was enough for me. It was a cool setting, but the beginning bit where you sit on the whale felt like it took forever.

I read somewhere that while another team (probably the SB) worked on the 5.1 and 5.2 storylines, the team from 5.0 proper started work on 5.3 right after 5.0, and I think it shows. 5.1 and 5.2 were pretty cool and all, but the moment you started the 5.3 MSQ, you could tell this was going to be something special. I'm probably lucky I didn't have to wait 6 months for it the way other people did, but even so I was super excited the moment I started.

We begin by investigating the story of the Warrior of Light, both becoming interested in Ardbert and the one from ages past:

Seriously cool illustration

The 5.3 story starts off somewhat slow, but the plot thickens as we realize we need to deal with Elidibus, and head off to Anamnesis Anyder. Who should we meet, but a collapsed Y'shtola, and Elidibus in Ardbert's body standing over her! Cue Echo. We learn how Elidibus is the youngest of the Convocation of 14 and is selected for Zodiark's heart. Whatever that means, I think maybe the older Elidibus was sacrificed for Zodiark and this younger one is the replacement? As the flashback ends, Elidibus absconds with Y'shtola and we have to follow him to Amaurot, in the coolest solo instance in the game. We fight through all these images of our prior foes, until finally, we fight Elidibus using all of Ardbert's strength:

Needless to say however, we're the freaking WoL/WoD and we do take him out. We save Y'shtola, and split up with her. We then see all these stones (looking like soul stones) laying on the floor, and slowly recover them all. Until who should we meet, but our friend Hythlodaeus.

He mentions how the 14th stone, that of Azem, never was made. But a friend did end up making one in the end, and Hythlodaeus gives this stone to us. Pretty STRONG hints here that we're the reincarnated version of the 14th member, Azem, here.

We regroup with the Scions back at Eulmore, when suddenly specters summoned by Elidibus attack! Spectral versions of FF jobs come after us, summoned from other worlds. Chai-Nuzz lets us "borrow" an airship, but it's toast as it crashes down early on as we begin the Heroes Gauntlet.

Man, what a cool dungeon. Running through several parts of Norvrandt somehow magically connected as our allies all help us defeat these heroes from other worlds who believe they are fighting evil. The bosses are cool, they're FF jobs that will probably never make it into FFXIV: Thief, Necromancer and Berserker:

We meet up with G'raha Tia, who has sealed Elidibus within the Crystal Tower. There is a fairly poignant scene with Lyna, but we must press on. We make it to the Crystal Tower, and enter.

The Exarch has seen better days. He's turning to crystal using his power and blood to create the soul vessels to allow the souls and memories of the Scions (and himself) to journey back to the Source. But Elidibus stole his vessel and used it to summon all those heroes. We run up the Tower, and the music is a great callback to Syrcus Tower. It's down to just G'raha and us now, but he can't continue. He has us go on ahead while he holds off our foes.

Until at least, we meet Elidibus, for the showdown with the final unsundered Ascian. Elidibus doesn't even really know what he's fighting for anymore, but he knows he must defeat us for the Ascians' plan.

He summons more heroes to his side and Elidibus is revealed to be an ancient primal himself: the Warrior of Light.

He challenges us, but somehow we summon allies to our aid as well through some ancient Amaurotine magic we do not understand:

And well, it's time for the trial of 5.3, the Seat of Sacrifice!

Definitely takes the cake for me as best trial of the expansion, and best music too. I need to learn the EX fight at some point for sure.

One of the highlights of the story mode of this fight is the moment when you're whisked away to whatever the alternate Ascian dimension is, but you break free with the stone of Azem.

After a long and hard-fought battle, we finally vanquish Elidibus. We see him in a bittersweet scene as he remembers his brethren, before he is absorbed into the Crystal Tower. You can't help but feel a bit sympathetic for him at the end, and also it feels like the end of an era, for the unsundered Ascians.

G'raha Tia also turns into crystal totally at this point, but somehow I wasn't worried too much about him... as the story resolves, and we breathe a sigh of relief, we make our way to the Source. The Scions are okay, Zenos is plotting our downfall again, and we (in a surprise to no one) welcome one more member to our midst:

And just like that the unsundered Ascian threat is gone. Where can the story go next we wonder? The bar was set so high in 5.3! But we'll save 5.4 for next time.
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