Final Fantasy XIV players are thriving right now with Fan Fest 2021 kicking off and plenty of new details of the upcoming Endwalker expansion, which is set to launch on November 23 (and November 19 for those who preorder). The full intro cinematic trailer for Endwalker started the show and it contains some wild implications for where FFXIV’s story is going.
A shorter teaser version was first shown back in February this year, but this new version is the official six-minute Endwalker intro, and you can watch it below. Be warned, however–the trailer contains spoilers for those who are not caught up to at least the end of the 5.3 story content.
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This full version starts similarly with the Warrior of Light walking on the moon, then showing Alisaie fighting beastly creatures on their home planet as the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud–who’s sporting the new Sage healer job–come in to join her fight.
The theme song shifts to a big Heavensward callback, then transitions to a new scene with Estinien and his dragon companion Vritra fighting off an army of succubus-like creatures. This looks to be one of the new zones, and it’s made of up of islands floating in the sky (which was teased later in the keynote presentation).
With a big Stormblood leitmotif, the cinematic then goes to a familiar scene with villain Fandaniel looking over a burning map in a creepy, bio-organic underground dungeon (which could be related to the nature of Hydaelyn), and going up an elevator to see his partner-in-crime, Zenos yae Galvus, sitting on a throne watching the world burn.
Another new scene shows Urianger meeting with Thancred in Thavnair’s Radz-at-Han city-state, a zone that’ll be added with Endwalker. Urianger is as clairvoyant about damning information, implying the world is doomed.
The following scene contains a significant reveal for a new zone that long-time players have been awaiting–Old Sharlayan is shown as a massive, beautiful, and almost too-good-to-be-true paradise surrounded by clear water, lush vegetation, and pristine architecture. Sharlayans are known to be incredible scholars, and deep within its libraries, you see G’raha Tia revealing that he’s uncovered secrets about the nature of their realm. Meanwhile, Y’shtola meets with the Sharlayan council to warn them of the impending calamity, but known to be isolationists, the council leader (whose identity has not been fully revealed yet) says that they’ll be fine, refusing to help the fight.
The cinematic returns to villains Fandaniel and Zenos watching the world burn and looking up to the moon, which also reveals that Zenos has been revamped as a Scythe-wielding Reaper, the new playable melee DPS job coming to Endwalker. As the camera zooms into the moon’s reflection in Zenos’ eye, it cuts to the Warrior of Light on the moon fending off a massive sandworm-like creature before revealing the canon job change to Paladin while overlooking the home planet.
As expected, Endwalker seems to be tying together all story threads throughout FFXIV’s lifespan, which makes sense given that this is the end of the Hydaelyn-Zodiark story arc that’s been ongoing since the start of the game. You can hear it in the samples and leitmotifs in the Endwalker theme song, and you can see it in the characters and how they’ve evolved. This is a rather simple breakdown of the Endwalker cinematic and there is definitely more to parse that could reveal more details about the events surround the expansion’s story. If you noticed something yourself, let us know in the comments below.
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