Final Fantasy XIV's community is full of creative fans who express their love for the game through fan art, photographs made with the in-game gpose tools, and crafts and memorabilia based on their time in Eorzea. Some have taken their creations even further, blurring the line between the player and the Warrior of Light.
Players like SuperLouis64 see the Warrior of Light's many abilities and weapons and strive to replicate them, bridging the disconnect between the character and the person controlling them behind the screen. Louis has crafted several controllers based on FFXIV's many jobs, utilizing a combination of electronics, 3D-printed parts, and toy weapons to become a "real-life Warrior of Light."
One of Louis's projects includes a Scholar's grimoire, which requires scribbling on the pages with a special pencil to cast certain healing spells to keep the party alive. The pencil holds controls like movement and other functions to keep the build practical. Another weapon Louis has made is the Dragoon's lance, which uses abilities based on motion controls. While jumping on a trampoline to use the Jump ability may not be the optimal way of playing the job, it's one of the coolest by far.
Louis's latest project is the Gunbreaker's gunblade, and how he controls it is reminiscent of Nintendo Wii games. Starting with a Nerf gun as a base, he elected to add 3D-printed parts designed by Dangerous Ladies, a group of designers specializing in cosplay props, to make the weapon resemble the in-game Crownsblade. Swinging the weapon in various directions sends the appropriate keypresses to FFXIV and triggers the Gunbreaker's primary combo attacks. Shooting foam darts at a target set up in the room triggers another set of abilities, so if the tank stops moving mid-dungeon, he may just be reloading.
There are many instances of video games being played with unconventional controllers, like the Guinness World Record holder Bearzly, who used a Rock Band drumset, a dancepad, and a steering wheel to conquer the famously difficult Dark Souls. While the seemingly impossible feats are more than impressive, Bearzly's intention wasn't to feel immersed and closer to what's happening on screen.
Many FFXIV cosplayers have portrayed themselves as their created characters, crafting their own armor, weapons and props as accurately as possible. They may have their styles down to a science, but looks alone aren't what matters most to SuperLouis64. With each new weapon he makes, the world gets one step closer to seeing a real-life Warrior of Light in action.