FFXIV: The much delayed Endwalker verdict

I finished the Endwalker questline sometime around Christmas so this post is laughably late, I know. I am terrible at keeping a schedule and should refrain from ever writing things like “more to come soon”. Alas, at least no one else is writing Endwalker reviews anymore, so I can leave my final impressions without haste. Needless to say at this point, this post contains all the spoilers in the known universe.

Endwalker is a great expansion. I wouldn’t go as far as some and call it the best ever, but it is another wild example of Square doing what they do best which is telling stories. Nobody, and I mean nobody in the world of MMO gaming comes close to their at times Simarillion-level epic storytelling. And oh, does Endwalker lay it on thick! Where Shadowbringers themes were already complex and timelines and parallel worlds would wreck player’s brains at times, Endwalker takes everything up a few notches. Each of the new main characters have at least three different names and as many lives. In fact, no one ever seems to be truly dead in this game as re-incarnation is a thing and we aren’t quite sure what spirits can still do from the forever lifestream. Once more, the warrior of light (WoL) manages to save the world, nay the universe, from ultimate destruction. Square really love the player hero trope but at least they’re going all in. Much to my delight, we also got to meet our old pal Ehmet-Selch much sooner than I ever expected. A special shout-out also to my new homie Hythlodaeus who was another greatly written character this expansion. There’s some fabulous dialogue in Endwalker, beautiful zones and epic battles. All in all, it was a very worthy conclusion to the past 7 years.

Endwalker chilling

That said, the expansion is not without hiccups, some of which I already mentioned in my last post. Pacing is a big one and so are the onerous new ‘follow me quests’ but I am also left with some chagrin about Endwalker’s antagonists. Color me surprised when we already faced and then finished the much hyped Zodiark at level 84. The whole Fandaniel and Zenos exchange was pretty bleh at that point and then Zenos just disappeared until the very end of the expansion, when the game suddenly shoves him back into the player’s face. Rather late into Endwalker we learn about this expansion’s real antagonist: an Entelechi called Meteion who later on becomes a hive mind which culminates in the ultimate destroyer of the universe, the Endsinger. This character goes from annoying and enigmatic to detached alien force and never makes for nearly as compelling a villain as some of the other FFXIV personas. There’s simply not enough time to develop this new character and make players feel either way about him/her/it. It doesn’t feel personal, maybe because it isn’t.

Endwalker Endsinger

What I did enjoy a lot was the Hydaelin prep encounter which featured a fantastic musical track. The Endsinger showdown also made for one of the most visually impressive encounters in the entire game at least. Unfortunately, they had to bring back Zenos after that and things went downhill from there. What would cause such a decision I cannot say but it was mind-boggling that Endwalker would force me into a cartoonish arena-battle with Zenos, not once but twice in a row, shortly after having been through the epic one-hour-or-so Endsinger finale. At this point I felt so deflated, I hated every minute of it. There was no satisfaction in watching Zenos finally get his silly ‘anime death’ – which was probably no death at all again. (I have this theory about Zenos being another shard of Hydaelin’s which would explain why the WoL can never really defeat him as they’re equally matched. I guess time will tell how wrong I am about that!)

Endwalker finale

So that was more or less the Endwalker MSQ before the game went back to its usual pace of tomes and token grinds. Square have been busy releasing updates and holiday events since December and I feel comfortable with the usual tune of things. I love the improvements to Bard and Black Mage and look forward to more 6.1 news soon. I need more bagspace badly and a house, surely I deserve as much after saving the entire universe!


  1. Welcome back!

    And no, I deliberately didn’t read beyond the first couple of paragraphs because spoilers, you know. And I’m fine with that, but I’m also just excited to see you around again!

    1. Heya! /wave 🙂

      Haha fair enough, you don’t play any FFXIV though currently right – or any plans on playing it someday?
      Am glad I got the review out, so I can take a bit of a break til 6.1. Gonna check out Lost Ark for giggles this weekend since it’s free to play. 😀

      1. I have a character created, but it wasn’t where I was expecting to create it. Between when he told me his server and when I created the toon –about a week– my son’s server began blocking new toon creation there.

        At least it looks like I can create toons wherever I want, unlike GW2 where you are stuck in one server.

  2. I’m curious why you would think Zenos is a shard of Hydaelyn. Doesn’t really make any sense. The story never really confirms Hydaelyn was sundered and I’m more inclined to think she wasn’t given Endwalker is supposed to be the end to her story. The conclusion of the Hydaelyn/Zodiark arc. And even when we talk to her in the Lifestream, she mentions rending Zodiark and the world asunder, but not herself. Also, Hythlodaeus did not recognize Zenos’s soul when he saw him on the moon, and Hythlodaeus knew Hydaelyn/Venat fairly well. There’s no way he would fail to recognize her. He even recognized Azem in the WoL despite the WoL being sundered.

    Aside from that, Zenos is Emet-Selch’s grandson. Emet-Selch, who hates Hydaelyn and opposes her with all his being. How in the Hell would Emet-Selch, who can see souls almost as well as Hythlodaeus, fail to see that his own grandson had inherited a fragment of Venat as his soul? Also, even if Venat WAS sundered, she’s Hydaelyn. She never died. Her fragments would all be at the heart of each sundered world like Hydaelyn was at the center of the Source. For one to be reincarnated, one must die. Hydaelyn never died (until Endwalker). Her soul was never a part of the reincarnation cycle. And if you wanna argue that those theoretical fragments of her that did or did not exist on the shards were killed with each rejoining, then they would have simply rejoined with Hydaelyn’s primary self on the Source. However, given that each rejoining weakened her rather than strengthened her, I’m more inclined to believe she was not sundered.

    1. The impression grew on me for various reasons. There’s the fact that in late ShB, we see Zenos having dreams of Amaurot; this never gets explained why. It could be because of the Echo, but then there’s Venat later explaining she sundered the world and herself as well. There’s also subtle moments where these characters strangely overlap.It may very well be just a misinterpretation – either way it’s a fun theory. I’m not the only one who’s picked up on this either, for example –

      There’s also the fact that Zenos arc should really have ended in StB but it didn’t. For some reason he needed to return again and again and again, incl. being shoehorned into EW. It would not surprise me if he survived again. He also seemed obsessed with the idea that he and the WoL were very similar (other than their motivations and values obviously).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *