Final Fantasy Creator Storms Into FFXIV Shadowbringers

The father of Final Fantasy is just blazing through these expansions.

Can’t stop, won’t stop. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the director behind the original Final Fantasy and the steward for the series in its earlier iterations, has been playing Final Fantasy XIV since September. What could’ve been a one-off playing session has seemingly turned into a real love for the MMO, as Sakaguchi blazes through expansion after expansion.

He began on September 27, playing a Lalafell Gladiator named after himself. Then he finished A Realm Reborn just 16 days later, before following that up with the entire Heavensward story campaign in only two days. The latter run was done with astonishing speed — as anyone else churning through the game just before an expansion can attest. 

Sakaguchi began the Stormblood campaign on October 18, heading into the Fringes and Rhalgar’s Reach. His journey hasn’t only been through the main scenario, though, as he’s also posted pictures of tackling the Final Coil of Bahamut and the Omega raid. Despite those tangents, Sakaguchi also posted a screenshot from the end of Stormblood and the beginning of Shadowbringers on October 24. As of the time of this writing, he’s been questing in the idyllic dream fields of Il Mheg. 

Part of the fun of watching Sakaguchi’s journey is all the callbacks to previous Final Fantasy games (many of which he obviously directed). A number of his tweets showcase the original sprites for some monsters and their Final Fantasy XIV counterparts. Like this tweet about the iconic and memorable Goblin from the first game.

There are a few other examples as well:

Iron Giant (てつきょじん, Tetsukyojin) – Final Fantasy II and Beyond

Magitek Armor (まどうアーマー, Magic Armor) – Final Fantasy VI

Sky Armor (スカイアーマー) – Final Fantasy VI

Mist Dragon (ミストドラゴン) – Final Fantasy IV

Inferno (インフェルノ) – Final Fantasy VI

Brainpan (コジャ, Koja) – Final Fantasy VI

It’s been a blast all its own following the father of Final Fantasy through FFXIV, as he reminisces about running into these creatures and moments he had a hand in creating long ago. Even just seeing the contrast between the 3D iterations and the sprite counterparts is a fun look back at history. It’s likely that Sakaguchi will finish Shadowbringers by the launch of Endwalker — the upcoming FFXIV expansion — meaning he’ll get to enjoy the new stuff alongside the rest of us.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is coming to PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on Nov. 23, 2021, but Early Access begins on November 19 for those that pre-ordered. Check out all of our excellent preview coverage in the run-up to the launch of The Linkshell: our new Final Fantasy XIV vertical coming soon! A small bit of that coverage can be found in the links below.

You can also check out the rest of our coverage of the media tour: