Recollection Contest Winners!

Since the beginning of the month, we’ve been reading all of your great memories of Vana’diel that you’ve submitted for our Recollections contest. Over sixty of you shared your fondest memories of Final Fantasy XI with us and for that we thank you! Of course for eleven of you, that “thank you” will be met with a brand new Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack -PLUS- CD!

Read on to see the winners and their memories, and make sure to head over to our contest thread to read all of the entries!

Character Name Favorite Memories
Zenach

Back in the early days just after the US release we were still living in a chaotic world of Gobbie Trains and of course, the usual glitch where mobs wouldn’t stay in their correct territories. As everyone who started back then, I think everyone can agree that Valkurm Dunes or “Doomz” or “Death Valley” etc was the worst place to level. Always crowded and always something to wipe your party clean.

My fondest memory is back with my first job class, Red Mage. Leveling on the cliff hunting crabs around (K-7) (might be off by a few grids, its been a while since I’ve been in that area) and everything was going great. Out of nowhere we had four Goblins come running down the mountain side (where players can’t go) and all four of them aggro’d the party. None the less, we were all eating dirt in no time. But it was pretty hysterical to have an ambush by enemies.

Not 30 minutes later the entire server was taken offline for maintenance.

I miss those N00b Days.

Character World
Valefor
Character Name Favorite Memories
Meepein

For a while, I resisted joining FFXI. I wanted to stay away from MMO’s, and even though I loved everything Final Fantasy, I really did not want to get addicted to an MMO. Well, a friend I met at an anime convention was like ‘YOU HAVE TO PLAY THIS!’ and, well, what can I say, it did not take a whole lot of convincing. A week after I came back from that con, I went to Best Buy and bought FFXI.

My beginnings were quite simple, as I did no real research into this game. For instance, when I started I had no clue I could change my job. I just thought since I started on THF, I would be a THF for the remainder of my days. Hence, with that thought in mind, I went with the race I thought did THF best, Mithra. And, since I went Mithra, I had to start in their home city of Windurst. I mean, it all made sense!

Eventually, I got to THF10, and I was told by that same friend (who was, at least to me, at a mind boggling level 40!) that I HAD to go to some place called ‘the Dunes’. I was suitably confused, I mean I was still getting exp in Sarutabaruta, why would I have to move? And what is this ‘sub job’ thing I am hearing about? She yelled at me for starting in Windurst, complaining about a boat or something, and came over to pick me up.

She got to Windy, and proceeded to escort me to this ‘Dunes’ place. And I got to see the boat that she complained about, it was so great! There’s ships in this game, holy crap! Once the boat left the town we were in, I decided to explore. I got to the deck and saw this guy fighting a big octopus thing. I am all excited by this, I have never seen a mob like that. My friend says something to the extent of, ‘Funny, I have never seen one of those be Impossible to Gauge.’ As soon as she said that, the big octopus thing (that I would later learn was an NM named Sea Horror, but, as you can plainly see, I was a noob then) used some sort of area attack and I got hit for something like 800.

Yeah, I died.

We were both laughing our asses off then, I mean that was just ridiculous. I get a Raise, and the boat docks. My friend then had to log off to do something, so she left me in this town named ‘Selbina’. I had no clue where I was, nor what I was supposed to do. So, I did the only thing I knew. I left town and tried to solo the nearest mob.

You should know how that went. I died. Horribly.

At this point I am frustrated, so I decide to just go back to what I was doing before. I get back on the boat, telling myself if I see a octopus thing, to run far away. But, no, there was no octopus thing. There was another boat though, pulling up beside us. I stood on the deck waving at the other boat. I was excited, thinking this game is cool to have multiple boats like this!

Then the music changed. And there were skeletons all over the ship. And I died, very quickly. I sat there confused, not knowing what the hell just happened.

The ship docks back at Mhaura, and I get another Raise. I make sure to set my Home Point to town, and decide to run back to Sarutabaruta. This is all too much for me.

Except I had no clue on how aggro worked.

So I ran in front of a Goblin, aggroed it, and died. Home pointed, ran out in front of another Goblin, and died. Third time, same result. At this point, I was about ready to uninstall the game. I mean, all I wanted was to go back to Sarutabaruta!

Finally, on my 4th try, I get through to Saruta. And I vowed, at that point, to never go back to the Dunes again. That lasted until I turned level 13, and I was kinda forced to go back. This time with a few less deaths.

Character World
Carbuncle
Character Name Favorite Memories
Luscia

After seeing my boyfriend and another real life tying the knot, using the new wedding service, it made me really want to get married in the game. But who would I marry? Well, obviously I couldn’t marry my bf (since we were on the same account and he was already married), however I did have another idea. As I write for Luscia she is in love with her Adventuring Fellow, Demresinaux. So I decided to make a mule on the second account and name it after my NPC. My bf laughed when I told him I did this and after some real life BS that went on I decided when I wanted the wedding to be; I wanted to be married during the summer festival.

It was honestly more than I could have ever hoped for. My bf logged in on Dem and we met inside Chateau d’Oraguille; wearing our yukatas. After we signed and exchanged rings, we smiled at each other and kissed. I then took his hand as I teleported us to Altepa so we could begin our honeymoon under the fireworks in Rabao.

This was actually really romantic, funny and irritating all at the same time, but the good aspects really out way the bad. It isn’t quite sundown/nightfall yet for the fireworks to begin, but I was just so happy to be in our getaway spot; however in that excitement I had forgotten my bathing suit top, so I warped back to San d’Oria to get it. This was when I had a brainstorm. I couldn’t actually get the materials to make a cake before we did this as there weren’t any up, so while getting my top I thought it would a cool idea to get a couple cookies and make some yag drinks (since it’s basically wine). My bf too thought that would be a nice touch and since it wasn’t time for the fireworks yet, I was going to quickly run to Windurst to get the mats and cookies. That was the plan anyway, this was where it was annoying….

Because I was making backup discs for my new laptop, I was playing on the PS2 and this was the first time I had ever seen this glitch. (though now I know another player who plays on PS2 who has experienced this) I went to talk to the Outpost Warp NPC and it froze… but not completely. I could still chat in /say, /shout, /tells, /party and /linkshell, but I couldn’t move. It was as if it was buffering what the NPC is supposed to say. I couldn’t even open my menu since it considered me in a CS. My bf called a GM about the issue, but I never got a /tell from them or a message. After about 30 minutes or so the game caught up to itself and I was free to grab my materials and head back to my new hubby.

By the time I got back to Rabao, the fireworks had started. I raced to his side and we found a nice place in the water to watch the sky.

After that we did the little fishing mini game where you try to catch the goldfish. It was funny cause I couldn’t catch anything. It reminded me of when a boyfriend and girlfriend would go to a carnival and the boyfriend would win his lady a prize. Since he got a ton of points while I had my PS2 troubles he gave me his fish so I could get a prize.

After awhile we decided to work on Dem a little bit, so it was time to put on our adventuring gear and hit the road. We started off by getting his Magicked Skull so he could ride the boat to Aht and then because I had the Carbuncle Ruby, we went to Beaucedine Glacier (through Ranguemont Pass) so he could obtain the ice weather. When we zoned in there was no weather to be had so we decided to wait it out and I curled up in his lap again.

After that we were going to have a romantic boat ride to Aht, but we started to have connection issues and called it a night. So he still owes me a boat ride lol.

It may have been something so simple, but it honestly has to be my favorite memory on Final Fantasy XI. I love you, forever and always, my Elvaan Knight.

Character World
Siren
Character Name Favorite Memories
Kyrial

Some of my best memories from FFXI come from around the time I got my first 75 job (WHM). I joined a new shell that did Dynamis, Sky, etc. They were really laid back and fun to hang out with, especially the leader, Cythe. He was a PLD, and was notorious for de-leveling to 74 just about anytime we did anything (sometimes several times in the same event). It was a running gag with our LS, and on our old server forum. He had been working on making a Ragnarok (for his PLD – he didn’t have DRK, but we knew he’d probably end up leveling it if he finished the sword). One time, we were doing Dynamis – Xarcabard, and we were about to run out of time. Rather than just drop our glasses, some of us (with Cythe in the lead), decided to mess around. We wandered over to the Animated Claymore, and of course, proceeded to be decimated by it. But the best part was when Cythe aggroed it. I used to have a screenshot, but unfortunately I think I lost it. :( Anyway, it was something like:

Animated Claymore: I am Ragnarok, the Intricate Blade. Show me the depths of your rage!
Cythe is defeated by the Satellite Claymores.
Cythe falls to level 74.
Animated Claymore: This is not what I expected.
The Animated Claymore looks disappointed.

We about died laughing. XD

Character World
Quetzalcoatl
Character Name Favorite Memories
Darlia It was February 15th 2006, 1am. I had a lousy Valentines day and logged on to level a very pathetic level five white mage in West Sarutabaruta I ran into this dude named Mordekai, he was a lvl 52 white mage who just got his Cleric Duckbills.

He tossed me a few heals, showed me what a teleport was and we talked until 8 am

We started talking, one thing led to another and 5 years later we are now engaged to be married in real life, I should also mention that I lived in Illinois and he lived in California, I sold all my belongings and moved to California.

Best thing I could have ever done, he is a great man.

Character World
Pandemonium
Character Name Favorite Memories
Stoodle

FFXI was my first ever MMO, and even though I’ve played almost every other game out there (WoW, DDO, Warhammer, Aion, Rift) I keep coming back because it’s my favorite. I’ve got two stories that, even though they’re almost 9 years old, still remind me why I loved this game so much.

My bf had started playing right at launch while I was studying abroad, and I started when I got home a few weeks later. He’s fluent in Japanese, so he had made some Japanese friends and done some stuff that a lot of other Americans were still stumbling their way through. This led to us perhaps being overconfident as we attempted to run from Bastok to Windurst at the ripe level 10. (They decided to take me since I was a Tarutaru, and had been complaining that they, being Humes, had chosen Bastok as a starting nation and I didn’t know any better until I logged in). So after a very, very ridiculous run which seemed to take forever, and me dying on Buburimu Peninsula several times, we finally made it, and I couldn’t get over how fantastic it was. It was green and there were Taru everywhere! I even loved the music of Sarutabaruta and Windurst, and while I usually have my music off, hearing it now makes me smile.

The second story was a few months after that, when I had finally gotten BLM up to lvl 40 and could go get my AF wand, which I thought was the coolest thing ever (not realizing until later what a piece of junk the wand actually is). This meant we had to travel out to Xarcabard, which I didn’t even know was a place. Our lvl 75 Japanese friend decided to take me and my b/f and our friend out there so we could get the Vahzl Gate Crystal and see the sights. It was amazing. So much snow, and I saw my first Dark Elemental! Then we get to Xarcabard and the see all the rainbow lights coming out of the ground, and there were Demons! All far too much for my lvl 40 brain to handle. So we go to get the item for the quest when my lower level friend accidentally aggros a Demon. Which then aggros another demon. And again. At this point we hit panic mode, and my b/f yells “Send her home, send her home!” and I throw a Warp II on our friend so she can get out alive. Then the rest of us just barely escaped before getting killed. We still talk about that night to this day, laughing at how crazy we thought it was.

There was such a fantastic sense of wonder and excitement that I sometimes miss. But then again I run around doing all of the old-game content and feel super-powerful, so it’s a tradeoff.

Character World

Odin
Formerly Ifrit

Character Name Favorite Memories
Eiyoko

Memory: Well, the time had finally come for me to get those Zilart missions done. Mind you, this was back in the days before Wings of the Goddess, when Besieged could only go up a handful of levels, and most importantly, when the Cait Sith server was still around…which was where I was at the time. I’d had a rough time getting Zilart missions done, what with almost everyone I asked turning me down because I wasn’t level 70+ yet. I was only a level 66 summoner at the time.

A Red Mage friend of mine finally decided that I’d waited long enough, and decided to help me low-man the Zilart missions I needed to at least get me to Sky. There were three of us: me, as my 66SMN, my friend as his 75RDM, and another friend as her 70PLD. The boss fight? Three Antican. We tried several times and failed. Finally, we decided that the third time’s a charm, and went in again. Oh, how right we would be.

We were down to one Antican – the Ranger one, I believe – and all hell began to break loose. First, the Paladin went down. Then the Red Mage went down. I was the only one left. Thinking fast, I hit Astral Flow and ordered Garuda to use her 2-hour. It helped, but it didn’t finish off the remaining antican. My red mage friend was begging me to escape.

I didn’t.

It all happened in a split second. I had looked down to my remaining MP, which had gone up a little thanks to auto-refresh, and I realized that I could summon Carbuncle with the tiny amount I had left. I ran as far as I could, waited for Garuda to die, and summoned Carbuncle, proceeding to kite the remaining boss.

The Red Mage re-raised, but then died shortly after due to stray aggro, much to our amusement later. The Paladin, however, got back up and STAYED up. I ran to a far corner to avoid AoE, and we all were down to red HP. Just as we were about to loose all hope, the remaining sliver of the Antican’s HP vanished.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt so rewarded with a cut scene.

Almost immediately afterward, the Paladin – whom had de-leveled due to the death during the fight – ran off for an upcoming besieged to get her exp back. My Red Mage friend and I? We took a short break, then kept doing missions. To this day we still fondly recall making it through that boss fight by the skin of our teeth.

Character World

Ragnarok
Formerly Cait Sith

Character Name Favorite Memories
Zerotwo

I’ve had so many times I remember over the years that I have been playing FFXI. From making new friends or bonding with existing ones to grind through storyline missions. To joining up with a Dynamis shell to learn how to play even better, and as a BLM learn that a buffer is needed but will only last you one run if you’re lucky. Even the casual times, heading out with LS friends to do pages or help someone out. Which always ended up with something getting out of hand, extra links and people jumping around to balance the fight out. Either winning or losing the fights it was crazy but always a fun time with something to laugh about.

All of those times are great, but my fondest memory will always be my Bastok 2-3 Dragon fight. Up until that point I never knew anyone in the game, no linkshell and would try and solo everything. Once I got to that mission I found that solo wouldn’t work anymore so I was stuck. With noone to ask for help or knowing how to form a party of my own to finish it, I tried to hang around Giddeus waiting to maybe find someone else doing that fight. I waited around for awhile a few time until a small group said they were going and I could join them. We beat the dragon with no problems and I could finally move on. I was very thankful to them for their help and after they asked if I wanted to join their Linkshell which I of course took. It was the first one I had ever joined, it was where most of my friends were that I had all the best times with, and this group of people are still all together in the same Linkshell, even though it has changed names/leaders over the several years. Will always be my main Linkshell and even to today, I will help anyone who needs to do their 2-3 Dragon fight. As it’s still fun, and is one of my best memories of FFXI.

Character World
Phoenix
Character Name Favorite Memories
Emirii

There are so many memories in FFXI that it’s difficult to pick just one. I remember starting out I was just a Red Mage. Red Mage has always been my favorite job. I had joined a linkshell that was very kind to me. We were all new to the game, and helped each other out. I remember going to the dunes for the first time and I thought I’d seen the whole game already. The massive zones and stunning scenery of the first few zones I had saw were enough to please me! As my friends and I progressed through the game, we did missions and all sorts of things together. My favorite missions were the Chains of Promathia missions!

I always loved the monsters in FFXI, I would “pet” them and give them nicknames, and cry when someone killed them. Someone told me that there was a Beastmaster job where you could control your own monster. I was excited for a moment, but I had told them “Red Mage is the only job for me~”. I also loved dragons, so when I saw a Wyvern flying next to someone in a party one time I had to check it out! I unlocked Dragoon, my first CoP job. I leveled it for a while, but I didn’t find it quite as interesting as Red Mage! However, I decided it was a good Idea to go RDM/DRG one time (Best of both worlds, right?) and, well, it didn’t go as planned in a party… They kicked me out!! After learning a lesson on how cruel players could be I decided to just stick with Red Mage. After passing the level 50 mark I had made my way to Tavnazia for the first time. In the safehold there was a couple sitting on the ledge. The female elvaan was wearing a full body of Wyrmal gear, and she was a 75 Red Mage! She instantly became my mentor. She was Japanese and probably AFK, and I don’t even remember her name. But then on I had made a promise to myself that I would collect all the Wyrmal gear and look just like her!

Little did I know how hard it was to get that Wyrmal gear… Beating Maat was really hard for me, it took over 16 times for me to defeat him. I borrowed so much money from my friends that I was never unable to repay them! But that’s what friends were for, right? I had many good memories playing end game and I still do! Not only do I have a level 95 Red Mage, I decided to level many more jobs over the past 7 years! Now I have Red Mage, Bard, Monk, Thief, Samurai, Summoner, Black Mage, and Dancer! I have many fun times with the new friends I have made over the years as well, and I continue to play.

Character World
Fenrir
Character Name Favorite Memories
Bytor

My earliest memories are still the best. being a noob in 2004 running around the Gustaberg area, trying to get Gil and exp, the idea of a party foreign to me. At level 12 or so a whm (who shot me a raise after a turtle killed me) asked me if i had been to the dunes yet? Of course my answer was whats the dunes?? so i followed him to first the crag to activate it and then to Valkurm dunes for my first look at what for me and all the old timers in this game would be the bane of our existence for many a year really.

After several months doing the Valkurm shuffle i decided to get on the boat to the other side of the world, and investigate a new land. Having found the strange and magical stacks of oils and powders i set off to find a city called Windurst. Well almost a full stack of oils and powders later and another trip to a crag thing i found myself at the entrance to Windurst. At the entrance to the city i came across a tiny fellow who was looking for someone to help fight a monster that was above his pay grade. i said sure and we set off to a black tower a few minutes from the city. Not having any maps i followed the little fellow into the abyss. Well as you can imagine there we lay dead in a strange place my hp half a world away. well this little fella HP’ed and brought back a WHM to raise me and run me back to the city, where i promptly set my hp and got familiar with the sights. We ran our jobs up together for many years. letting the other know they got a level or two when the other was off the game for a bit, and that “you had better get to it and catch up noob”. That little fellow and I are still friends to this day. Although i don’t see him much anymore, we still had great fun for many years.

Character World
Bismarck
Formerly Seraph
Character Name Favorite Memories
Lloid

Favorite Memory/Memories From FFXI: When I first started the game about 5 years ago. I joined this marvelous adventure with many of you on the tail end of the MPK era, and the RMT struggle. I can still remember when silk thread was 50k a stack, it took 6 hours to get a decent party, and you’d only get 2 or 3 levels out of one good party. It was satisfying to dedicate that much time and to see the levels get up so slowly, you could enjoy being certain levels. My first job to 75 was my Warrior, which I’m a lousy Warrior at this point but I kicked Maats butt in one go. my second to 75 was Dancer. I soloed Dancer till 63. That was long and tenacious but I loved every minute of it. Then on the way doing quests and mission with many different linkshells.

That brings me to my Favorite Memory. GoblinArtifact Linkshell on the Phoenix Server welcomed me to their linkshell one month after I joined the game. When I joined the game a Friend of mine Mmage gave me a pearl to PurpleDragonKnights (PDK) Linkshell. The leader left the game for reasons unknown to me and the ls fell apart but I met two extraordinary people, Destasio and Atlantic. These brothers formed a new LS from PDK’s old members. The entire time I was in GoblinArtifact I had fun from the teasing I used to get since I was the youngest in the LS, to the missions that would take us hours to complete (CoP’s …promy’s!). We had an entire Forum dedicated to our antics, that I checked everyday to see if something would cheer me up. “Story Time with Stasis” was a funny thing that the LS leader Atlantic came up with something I can still laugh at today. GoblinArtifact members have since either quit the game or moved on to other servers, but I’ve stayed and held on the the Pearl Sack that I worked so hard to get. And I’ll never forget the 3 years I was in an amazing Linkshell.

I don’t see these long relationships form like they did before. People would find a party and be in it for hours and talk and converse, laugh and whine all about the game and create friends that would last for years. That’s what I truly miss about this game.

Character World
Phoenix