Nobody expects every major game to go over smoothly! Bugs and glitches, while best avoided, are like common colds. They’re kind of a part of a life, and we just do our best. However, in Final Fantasy XIV, a pretty major one has caught the eye of high-level raiders. Specifically, the new NieR: Automata-themed raid has brought in an unexpected guest.
[WARNING: Spoilers for the final boss of the NieR Copied Factory raid are visible in screenshots and video below, but we’ll try to avoid talking about most of it aside from what’s pertinent to the bug.]
[Also, Drakengard ending spoilers…?]
During the final boss of the Copied Factory raid, certain parties see a dragon, in lieu of what should probably be a “spawn” enemy. Not only is it visible, but Redditor /u/arof pointed out on a FFXIV subreddit post about the issue that third-party parser Advanced Combat Tracker was picking up all the NPC details of what the NPC would otherwise be.
The NPC is specifically a Dying Dragon, which is part of the Dark Knight job/class quest line. Players quickly pieced together that this “bug” would show up if a Dark Knight was missing a certain amount of their class’s abilities, which meant they hadn’t reached the quest with the Dying Dragon. So along those lines, trying to interact with the Dying Dragon sends an error, because in order to interact, you’d need to trigger a cutscene beforehand.
***NIER FFXIV RAID SPOILERS***
No one in this raid is seeing this red dragon at the last boss
Yoko Taro explain yourself pic.twitter.com/TTMcR0HABP
— Ponch Xrd: Rev Core Plus (@SporadicAtBest) October 30, 2019
Twitter user @SporadicAtBest was one of the first to capture it, and it quickly spiraled into visibility when the tweet was posted on to the /r/ffxiv subreddit. After this was found, several Redditors rushed to capture proof and speculate. Via Twitch, user Jhei_ was able to clip the bug in action.
Thread creator /u/arof believed it to be a clever “Easter egg” — a reference to Drakengard, the original game from which Nier: Automata is spun off from. And fans were on board, because it sounded like a clever Easter egg! The quest requires you to present a dying gift to a dragon. Similarly, in one of the endings to Drakengard, you sing to a dying dragon.
Again, clever — if this whole ordeal weren’t just a test-environment artifact.
After the bug blew up, the FFXIV developers slid into a blog to confirm that, yes, it is a bug. In specific, it’s a leftover from their testing phases.
“After defeating the final boss, a specific object is displayed,” the devs explain, “and in order to do this we used a process in which a dummy NPC is placed to make the object untargetable. This process shared the same flag to allow characters, who have met specific conditions, to be able to see the otherwise invisible object.”
More Final Fantasy XIV:
- Everything We Know About the FF14 5.1 Patch – NieR Raid & More
- The FF14 Version of this NieR: Automata Song Fucking Rules
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As it turns out, when launching the patch, they forgot to swap out the internal data for that NPC — the Dying Dragon. Then, the blog mentions the speculation that sparked as a result of the coincidence.
“Through sheer coincidence, the appearance of the NPC happened to be from the Nier series cross over content, YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse,” they acknowledge, “and the fact that the NPC was a red dragon caused much speculation and anticipation in the community. For this we sincerely apologize.”
Given it’s an MMORPG, it’s not easy to just “patch out” a bug like this. It would require every single player to re-download a patch. And apparently, it’s not considered a game-threatening bug! So FFXIV will patch out this issue with the upcoming 5.11 patch, which doesn’t have a release date.
In the meantime, if you see the NPC during the raid, they ask that you don’t interact with it, “as this may trigger unforeseen issues and affect progression through the content.” In other words, pray don’t mess up your quests, from the mouth of gods themselves.
Final Fantasy XIV is available as a $19.99 “starter pack” with a 30-day subscription. However, in order to access the NieR: Automata crossover raids, you need to be level 80 and have completed the Shadowbringers DLC, which costs an additional $39.99. If you need to get to that point, you’ll likely need a subscription, which starts at $12.99/month for a basic subscription with some low character limits.