Final Fantasy 14 story recap: Everything you need to know going into FF14 Endwalker

In need of a Final Fantasy 14 story recap before Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker arrives? If you wish to refresh your memory with a brief FF14 story overview, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything that transpired from the start of A Realm Reborn to the finale of Shadowbringers. 

Just remember that Final Fantasy 14 has a huge amount of lore, so we’ll stick to the most important events as told during the main questline to help you quickly get up to speed. Of course, there will be plenty of spoilers ahead, so be careful if you haven’t played the full Final Fantasy 14 Shadowbringers expansion yet.

The Final Fantasy 14 backstory: Umbral and Astral Eras

Final Fantasy 14

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Let’s start our Final Fantasy 14 recap with a quick explainer on those ‘Umbral’ and ‘Astral’ Eras everyone is always going on about. FF14 history is divided between times of progress and enlightenment, the Astral Eras, and times of darkness and recovery, the Umbral Eras. Astral Eras change to Umbral ones whenever a Calamity happens.

Up until recently, people believed there to be six such time periods, with the current Astral Era lasting forever. Unfortunately, just a few years prior to the player’s arrival in Eorzea, the evil Garlean Empire tried to invade the region and brought down a moon in the process. That moon turned out to be a prison for the Primal Bahamut. Long story short, this caused another Calamity which ended the Sixth Astral Era and started the Seventh Umbral Era. 

The moon incident repelled the Garlean threat for a while, but when the adventurer (that’s you) arrives in one of the city-states at the start of the game, they seem to be on the rise again. Besides that, Eorzea is troubled by the Beast Tribes summoning their Primals.

A Realm Reborn recap: Primals troubles, Ultima Weapon, and the Crystal Braves

Final Fantasy 14

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Not long after arriving in the world of Final Fantasy 14, the adventurer meets with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, an organization fighting the Primal threat. Their leader, Minfilia, tells the adventurer that they are a champion of the Mothercrystal, Hydaelyn (yes, the same name as the world). As a result, the adventurer has received a special blessing which allows them to see the past through a force called the Echo. The adventurer is also protected against the Primals’ influence.

Needless to say, the Primal-fighting Scions want the adventurer on their team. It isn’t long before the adventurer defeats their first Primal, gets declared the ‘Warrior of Light’, and joins a Grand Company. Then the Garlean Empire decides to show up again. They trigger the Beast Tribes into summoning three Primals, who are quickly defeated and used as fuel for the Garlean Empire’s ‘Ultima Weapon’.

As the Warrior of Light is trying to stop the Garlean assault, they discover that there’s another force at play: it was an Ascian (a bunch of mysterious masked cultists) called Lahabrea that made the Garlean Empire invade Eorzea. After a long and hard battle, the adventurer manages to destroy both the Ultima Weapon and Lahabrea. 

It seems that crises are averted, and Minfilia declares that the Seventh Astral Era has begun. But of course, Eorzea’s troubles are far from over. Among new Primal issues, there’s a lot of scheming going on in the city-state of Ul’dah. In response to that, the Warrior of Light’s Elezen friend Alphinaud starts his own Grand Company called ‘The Crystal Braves’. Despite his noble intentions, it all ends in corruption and disaster. When the Sultana (leader of Ul’dah) is poisoned, the Scions are accused of the crime and have to flee the city. 

Heavensward recap: Nidhogg and the Dragonsong War

Final Fantasy 14

(Image credit: Square Enix)

After fleeing Ul’dah, the Warrior of Light is welcomed by a noble family in Ishgard, House Fortemps. Unsurprisingly, the Warrior doesn’t get too much time to hang out with the family before getting involved in the local Dragonsong War. 

The goal is to help Ishgard against the Dravarian dragons, led by the giant Wyrm Nidhogg. However, after meeting with Nidhogg’s brother Hraesvelgr, the Warrior of Light learns that it was the humans who betrayed Nidhogg and his family in the first place.

Nonetheless, the Warrior of Light has no other option than to defeat Nidhogg, and ultimately succeeds. As Ishgard’s Archbishop isn’t one for peace either, the Warrior has to defeat him too. Just when things finally seem to quiet down, Nidhogg possesses one of the Warrior’s companions, Estinien Wyrmblood, and then continues to lead the Dravarians in the war. It takes another epic battle to set Estinien free.

Oh, and remember when the Sultana of Ul’dah died? Turns out she didn’t, and the Scions’ names are cleared.

Stormblood recap: Ala Mhigo, Doma, and Zenos’ fake death

Final Fantasy 14

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Next stop: the city-state of Ala Mhigo, occupied by the Garlean Empire. The Warrior of Light joins the local resistance, but things go horribly wrong and they’re beaten by the Garlean Emperor’s evil son Zenos.

But not to worry, the Scions regroup in Doma and overthrow the Garlean forces here instead. This inspires other occupied regions to rise up as well, and the Scions ultimately return to liberate Ala Mhigo. The Warrior of Light wins, and Zenos ends up slitting his own throat. 

There’s no rest for the Scions though, as they begin to suffer from headaches shortly after. Really bad headaches that result in a comatose state, transporting the Scions’ minds to another dimension. 

Meanwhile, the Warrior of Light learns that Zenos (surprise!) actually didn’t die. They also find out that there are three Ascian leaders, one of whom (Elidibus) has possessed Zenos’ body. The original Zenos is resurrected too, and he wants his body back.

Shadowbringers recap: Warrior of Darkness and Emet-Selch

Final Fantasy 14

(Image credit: Square Enix)

The Warrior of Light joins the Scions in another dimension called the First. They were accidentally summoned there by the Crystal Exarch, who was aiming for the Warrior instead. The new mission? To save the First from being consumed by Light, which would also harm the Warrior’s home world.

The Warrior of Light turns into the Warrior of Darkness for the occasion, and then proceeds to fight Lightwardens. While busy with the new mission, they run into a guy called Emet-Selch, who is one of the three Ascian leaders. It is explained that the current Ascians are the remnants of an ancient race from before the ‘sundering’, a shattering of the world resulting from the battle between Hydaelyn and Ascian-god Zodiark. 

Emet-Selch’s goal is to restore his civilization, at the cost of everyone else’s lives. This doesn’t sit right with the Warrior of Light, who engages in another epic battle and defeats Emet-Selch. Finally, the Warrior of Light has saved the First and is able to go back home. In their absence, old nemesis Zenos has reclaimed his body, killed his father, and is now prepared to fight the Warrior of Light once again. Busy guy.

Whoever comes out victorious, remains to be seen in Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker. But we’ll be rooting for you, Warrior of Light!

Get set for Final Fantasy XIV for PS5 and everything you need to know ahead of the release of FF14 Endwalker.

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