This week, we begin on our path towards the end. Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker will be launching into Early Access on December 3, with a full release on December 7. It will soon be time to go to the moon.
Ahead of the launch, Square Enix has uploaded the original FFXIV intro cinematic trailer to the official FFXIV YouTube channel. Not the first A Realm Reborn trailer, but rather the trailer for the original iteration, version 1.0. It wasn’t on the channel previously, as the earliest video on the YouTube channel is the first Live Letter from the Producer with director Naoki Yoshida that aired on October 4, 2011. Many fans are wondering: Why is Square Enix re-uploading this trailer now?
The first guess is Endwalker is meant to be the end of the storyline that nominally began in A Realm Reborn but actually started in 1.0. The original iteration of the game is still the proper beginning of FFXIV and it is, if anything, more relevant now than it was back then.
“With Endwalker, we’ve come full circle in the full tale of light and Hydaelyn,” Yoshida explained in the Endwalker announcement showcase. “But of course, this does not mean that we are shutting down Final Fantasy XIV and ending the game at this point. Beginning in Patch 6.1, this will mark the beginning of an entirely new adventure separate from the Zodiark-Hydaelyn saga.”
That makes this trailer a part of Eorzea’s history.
A larger bit of speculation is that events in the trailer will be key to the storyline in Endwalker. The trailer depicts the original stand-in Warrior of Light fighting a Morbol before cutting to the Battle of Silvertear Skies. This conflict was between the Dravanian Horde and the Garlean Empire, the latter using the massive warship known as the Agrius. The Empire’s aim was to take over Silvertear Lake, the focal point of the planet’s Aetheric lifeforce.
The Agrius was eventually felled by Midgardsormr, the guardian of Silvertear Lake and the Father of Dragons. However, the dragon unfortunately perished when the Agrius crashed into the lake and exploded. From the massive explosion came a column of light, with images of the Primals, heralding their entrance into Eorzea. The Echo also revealed itself, giving certain people extraordinary powers. You can still find the corpse of Midgardsormr atop the husk of the Agrius at the center of Silvertear Lake in Mor Dhona. It’s called The Keeper of the Lake on the in-game map.
Further speculation, from my Sharlayan Dropouts podcast co-host Victor Hunter, is that under Silvertear Lake is a direct connection to the aetherial sea. This physical barrier is similar to the one shown during the Antitower dungeon, a structure that sits above another access point to the aetherial sea. The Antitower was created by the old Sharlayans to study the phenomenon.
Some folks surmise that Silvertear Lake is a wound on the planet; after all, it is the place where Zodiark was trapped and then expelled from the planet itself. And that expelled chunk of the world became the moon that we’re going to explore. Is the moon that chunk in its entirety, or another Dalamud-like structure built around Zodiark’s cage? The moon being where Zodiark is kept would also explain the resemblance between the creature in the Endwalker trailers and The First Beast that ravages Amaurot. Or, given what we know about the old Allagans mastering space travel, perhaps the moon is a giant construct ship of some sort.
That’s a lot of guessing for a seemingly benign trailer release. Maybe the move is just a way to celebrate how far FFXIV has come — but maybe it’s something more. Some players have been speculating about the moon’s connection to Hydaelyn and Zodiark for a long time, and there are now hints that they may be right.
We’ll see very soon, as Endwalker is almost here! The expansion is coming to PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on December 7, 2021. Early Access begins on December 3 for those who pre-ordered. Check out all of our excellent and extensive preview coverage in the run-up to the launch of The Linkshell: our new Final Fantasy XIV vertical coming soon!