I Don’t Know What’s Going On With Final Fantasy 14, And At This Stage I’m Too Scared To Ask

This past weekend saw Final Fantasy 14 introduce male Viera, which immediately had me thinking of crunching tackles, Vaporub, and fights with Roy Keane. Apparently though, these Viera are nothing to do with the legendary Arsenal captain Patrick, who actually spells his name Vieira. Instead, Viera are bunny boys, which sound less like a holding midfielder and more like sex toy, but they are in fact exactly what they say on the tin. They’re dudes, but also bunnies. Final Fantasy 14 already has female Viera, and features catboys and catgirls, so I guess bunny boys are fair game too.

I know all this despite having never played a moment of Final Fantasy 14. Part of that is because it’s my job to know about incredibly popular video games, and part is because a lot of other editors here love it, so I edit pieces with nonsense words and Japanese names quite often, letting the strange letters pass me by while suggesting a hyphen instead of a comma and other impossibly helpful smatterings of advice.

Most of it though is because Final Fantasy 14 is everywhere. I can’t scroll more than two minutes on Twitter without seeing chatter or memes or fanart, and every time there’s an update or a patch or an event or a character makes a cheese sandwich, there’s a new advert in the side banners or on YouTube. It is clearly a cultural phenomenon by this point, and from the outside looking in, things look insurmountable.

You can get a free trial up to level 60 which includes the base game and first expansion, but that actually makes me more hesitant to jump in. It’s not the money so much as it is the time. If you played for free up to level, I don’t know, 15, then maybe I’d try it out. I could sink a few hours into it, reach the cap, and move on with my life. But it seems like Final Fantasy 14 gets its claws deep into you, and without the paywall barrier, I can see it engulfing months of my life.

I exist in a weird space in the Final Fantasy fandom. I adore Final Fantasy 7 Remake, liked 13, didn’t play 13-2, thought Lightning Returns was okay, and loved 15. I have dabbled in 12’s Switch port, and played a few hours of 8 and 10 at a friends house when I was younger. That’s it. Considering the fanatical devotion and fervent enthusiasm of the fanbase, I’d fall foul of many a gatekeeper with a track record like that. I want to be a Final Fantasy fan, but I’m not sure I have the dedication or the patience. I don’t think you need to have played every Final Fantasy ever to be let in the club, but with so much lore and narrative in the franchise, diving into an MMO feels like too large a commitment, compared to say, playing Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s upcoming DLC, or finally finishing 12.

But right now, people throw names at me like I’m supposed to understand them. Did he make the game? Is he in the game? Are they just sneezing? I have no idea. I so want to like Final Fantasy 14 Shadowlands Earthbound A Realm Again Patrick Vieira Makes A Cheese Sandwich, but for now, I’m just window-watching.

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