This past weekend we got to sit down with Michael-Christopher Koji Fox to talk about an insane amount of topics ranging from the taxonomy of a Scholar’s Fairies to David Bowie’s package in Labyrinth. This is an interview you don’t want to miss!
We previously released the audio of this interview as Lorecast 4! Make sure to check it out if you haven’t already!
Anwyll: A very easy question to start things off: do the days of the week have names?
Michael-Christopher Koji Fox: Yes! The days of the week definitely have names. Because the game was based off of themes that we had in Final Fantasy XI—the main lore guy was Kenichi Iwao, who worked on XI, and I had also worked on XI, and then we came on and started collaborating for XIV—and, again, it’s a new world, but we do want to, like with all Final Fantasy games, take stuff from previous Final Fantasies, and that’s one of the things that we wanted to take, because it was such a good system. In Final Fantasy XI, you had your elements, and because we have those same types of elements in XIV, we wanted to do the same thing—so you have your Watersday and your Firesday and you have your Windsday.
A: I still can’t believe that’s entirely accurate…
Fusionx: Windsday, that always threw me for a loop.
A: After reading the Dusty Tomes that’s exactly what I’ve been calling them as the nickname until we could ask you, so that’s funny; turned out to be the actual names.
F: Should have put money down on it!
A: I should have.
MCKF: You win.
F: We’re in Vegas, you could have done it!
MCKF: Yeah, baby! But it’s too late!
A: So, we usually ask something about the Ascians to get to know them better, why we see them the way we do or anything that won’t blow anything coming later. Something that kind of ties past to present, we’ve run into a lot of Ascians by name in A Realm Reborn, and I’m wondering if any of the ones we’ve seen so far were the actual identities of either that we met in 1.0, or even if those two were the same. I believe those were Travanchet and the Reaper, as we’ve been calling him since then.
MCKF: For those of you who have not played through the 2.0 story, there’s gonna be spoilers, but, as you know, the Ascians have the ability to take over someone’s body—to control them. This is what the case was with Travanchet. He was Travanchet, there was a person called Travanchet, and he was taken over and made to do things.
A: Right, based the Elezen exterior we’d just been saying, “Dark Crystalled Elezen” and moving on.
MCKF: But, again, these are not the actual Ascians at that time, they’re people that are being taken over and controlled by Ascians.
MCKF: The Reaper I was told not to talk about…
A: Aha, alright.So just to clarify, Travanchet, was that anyone we’ve met so far or just an underling?
MCKF: Just an underling.
F: What is the difference between an Primal and an Elder Primal? We have Odin and Bahamut, they’re kind of powerful, but then we have the Summoner quests and Belias is mentioned. What are the differences between all these guys?
MCKF: Basically it’s all a matter of length of worship. With primals, it’s all about how you have someone worshiping you and you become that primal and they believe in you and you get your power from that. For the Ixal or the Amalj’aa, it’s the belief that makes the aether combine to summon forth these primals—so when you look at Ifrit, and Titan, and the one’s we’re calling primals, they’re considered very young. They’ve been believing in them for a long time, but looked at in a span of all the eras it’s not that much time. In the case of Odin, people were worshiping him long, long, long ago and then there was a phase when people stopped worshiping him and that’s why he vanished and went on his wandering… but now he’s back. And the reasons why he’s back…ehhh!
F: So it’s like Nightmare on Elm Street, if you start thinking about it…
MCKF: If you say his name three times, he’ll appear!
A: Originally, we thought it might be more complicated than that, a few theories were tossed around wondering if maybe it was whether or not their worshipers were still around or whether they were from this particular era, but it’s just has to do with the length of time.
MCKF: Basic length of time.
A: That’s a lot to get excited for in the new Odin quests, then!
F: So, we know the names of all the Ascians are kind of borrowed from XII, and in that lore there’s scions of both Light and Darkness. So Lahabrea, for example, was the light scion counterpart of Mateus, the scion of darkness. And Lahabrea’s got the mask thing that kinda looks like some imagery from Mateus, and we know Belias was mentioned as an elder primal, so… is there a deeper connection between elder primals and the identity of Ascians?
MCKF: Oh, man. This is not as cool an answers as you’re expecting. Final Fantasy is about borrowing, taking things other Final Fantasies did and adjusting it and making it your own. The fact that the XIV team has a lot of people that worked on XII—our main scenario writer, Maehiro-san, also worked on XII, Minagawa-san, the guy that did all of the UI, also XII, he’s working with us, and also Yoshida-san himself being a fan of Final Fantasy XII—this is one of the games they wanted to borrow heavily from because they thought it was really cool, and they really liked the imagery and lore that it had. So they want to borrow from it, and of course they know Final Fantasy XII has its story, and they don’t want to take that story and put it into XIV, because it’s not XIV, it’s XII, but they want to draw on that imagery and those connections. It’s not random, but it might not be as deep a meaning as you think it is. Other things might be, but that’s all I can say…
A: So it kills some conspiracy theories, but at the same time it kind of speaks to the history of Final Fantasy. You start with a lot of things from mythology and now you’ve had some many installments that you can refer back to yourself in that kind of way.
MCKF: And then people kind of forget that the real mythology existed and everyone only knows the mythology in Final Fantasy.
F: It’s like if you think of Crystal Tower, that was from III with Xandes and Cloud of Darkness, and in XII you had the Scions and the guy who starts with a Z and ends in an ark and a piece of this and that and integrate it into Eorzea, it’s a cool way to do it.
A: This is a follow-up to something you talked about on the panel earlier. You said you got a lot of requests from different areas of the team; I want to drop the moon here, I want bears here, how do we make this all fit, there needs to be PVP but we need to get along… This is an excellent opportunity to talk about, then—in 1.0, Conjurers had access to all six elements and communed with the elementals in that way. Yet, in Final Fantasy history, the Black Mages are the ones that controlled all the elements. So we come along a little later, and thaumaturge, opposite conjurer is now in control of three and we’ve split them up. Was that a big challenge for you guys?
MCKF: It was a huge challenge, so huge that even after that awesome buildup you did for us, this is one of the times we just blew it up and weren’t able to put it all back together. It doesn’t happen a lot, but every now and then you just have to say, “Okay, we can’t explain this, and if we tried it would sound forced.” It comes down to the system, and you don’t explain them, and you hope people don’t notice, and then people notice, and they have this podcast, and I have to say…
F: It’s like the Crystal Tower change with Acheron.
MCKF: That was the dev’s fault for saying, “Oh, yeah, we’re never gonna put him in!”
F: Just kidding!
MCKF: Next patch, “We’re bringin’ him in! Sorry loc, doesn’t affect us in Japanese!”
A: Well, if it’s any consolation—though there are people who are disappointed, like, well, I’m sad I can’t use all six elements in this, or I’m sad Black Mage can’t do this—there are people who’ve noticed the pattern that, okay, these are more in nature, these are more destructive, and a lot of people have accepted that and though it’s a creative way out.
MCKF: That’s the thing, too, when we did decide we needed to make the break, we did have some input in that. While we can’t explain it, it would fit.
A: Coming back to an old question we haven’t talked about in a while—every now and then we bring up some of the old questions.
MCKF: I know, I’ve seen this one before.
F: One of these days, we’ll get the answer.
A: All six primals have been revealed now, and it hasn’t been revealed which one the Garleans bumped into that made them turn around the first time.
MCKF: Oh, you say all six primals, buuut…
A: All six that we knew about.
F: Even today we know more are coming.
MCKF: Yes, we revealed that there’s gonna be more primals, and there’s gonna be multiple primals, and they’re all really cool primals. And they’re going to throw wrenches in your theories about having one for each of the elements.
A: It always seemed like you wanted to aim for the big six before going anywhere else, but now that we’ve seen…
MCKF: That was the thing, it just happened to work out that way. And you’ll find out a lot about Shiva, as well. Up until now primals have been like this, and acted like this, and Shiva’s gonna come in and it’s going to be totally different.
F: Ramuh was different, too.
MCKF: Yeah, Ramuh was a little different, moving a little away. Shiva’s gonna be even more different. All of the rules that you’ve come to expect are going to be, not tossed out the window, but there’s going to be a new spin on it. You’re going to see something you haven’t seen before and it’s going to cause speculation. It’s going to be a good gateway, because primals won’t have to fit into a specific compartment.
A: So we expected this to be the last primal of a cycle and instead it’s a gateway to a whole new section. That’s some good news.
F: Way to make me even more excited for 3.0 when we can’t go around asking stuff.
MCKF: [laughs] Yeah, so the primal that made them halt their advance, I still can’t answer that.
A: And it’s been so long, almost as long as Ishgard! I’m excited to hear about it.
MCKF: It’s a ways off, but you’ll find out someday. It’s not something we’ll keep quiet about. They have their long-term plan. Before A Realm Reborn was released, they already had plans beyond 2.4.
F: Even before 2.0 came out, right around launch, they were showing rendered models for Cloud of Darkness and Shiva and a year later, here they are!
MCKF: Yeah, we think in advance. I know personally, but I have to be like, you just have to wait for it… for another yeaaar…
A: Eh, I’m pretty patient. As long as I know it’s coming, and it’s something we can say, “Please look forward to it,” I’m pleased to be looking forward to it.
F: So, officially, it’s the Seventh Astral Era… but there’s still… a lot of stuff going on. Who are the Grand Company Leaders that they can just be like, “Okay, it’s over, we’re done!”
MCKF: This is a very political thing. Basically, five years ago, you had half of your world destroyed because Louisoix stepped in and tried to stop things and only half stopped things. A lot of people did pass away during the calamity and their livelihood as been destroyed and they have to rebuild and go into the shroud to move felled trees and rebuild their farms and it got a lot of people down. If you look at some of the NPC dialogue, one thing we did in 2.0 was, we thought you know if my life had been destroyed I’d be all depressed, I’m just trying to rebuild things and get back on my feet. SO we’ve tried to put that kind of text into these regular NPCs. You have all these people in these nations that are very down. They had this big war with the Garleans, they won all these great battles, it was the first time in thousands of years the Grand Companies were formed and then “hey we made… DIDN’T make it” so basically the GC leaders were waiting for something good to happen and they grasped onto that and said “ok! umbral era is over mission accomplished we’re done!” to hopefully bring peoples spirits up. It’s a morale thing, you can’t have your people depressed all the time, they won’t be productive thinking “why should I farm? Another Bahamut is gonna just destroy my fields”
F: So we have that quest line, Chronicles of a New Era.. so we ARE in a new era then?
MCKF: Yep. When they announce it, that’s it. But it’s weird because if a new player picks up the game and starts today they’re still in the Umbral Era, it’s in that time bubble
F: Awhile back we were told we’d learn more about Atomos in 2.0. We saw him in the Labyrinth of the Ancients but no one was like “oh hey it’s Atomos! Remember the last time he showed up?” Is there anything you can tell us about him? Anything coming up?
MCKF: I remember telling you that we’d have some stuff about him and we’ll talk more about what he is. It’s just one of those things that kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list.
F: So basically he had the same priority in XIV as the avatar in XI (laughs)
MCKF: Pretty much. He’s the guy everybody forgets. There are still plans to have a quest that explains more about why he’s there. But I was given the OK to tell you guys a little more about him. So basically you have our plane and you have the void and you can get rifts in them and that’s where the voidsent come through but a lot of times those rifts close and they can’t get back home. The reason those rifts happen is because the void and our plane are constantly in flux so they’re moving back and forth. Sometimes they hit and that’s when these tears occur. They can occur in other ways as well through magic or powerful beasts rending a hole in it. At times like this, Atomos can sense these, it’s about power, he wants to consume Aether so he’s the first to go through.
A: Like a shark with blood in the water then.
MCKF: Yes! And then he’s going to suck up as much as he can before the planes separate again and go back to the void.
A: We always wondered why he was here and now we know from 2.3 that Xande had this agreement with the Cloud of Darkness so I’m sure that’ll all come back around again.
F: It’s all starting to make sense now!
A: Some of the lore makes it sounds like the conflict between the Hyur and Elezen got pretty heated while others make it sound like a long standing tension. What was the extent of those hostilities?
MCKF: I touched on this a little bit today in the live stream and there was a question about relationships between the races and crossbreeding. A lot of it doesn’t happen because while we have all these races living together in Eorzea, there’s this tension between them. That’s there because they have these histories of fighting for a long time and then not really making up, but agreeing to disagree and living together because it’s better than living by our self and being more susceptible to Garlean attacks or whatever. We work together because we have a common enemy type of thing. Most of the races don’t really like each other and it”s gone on through multiple Eras. There are times when Eorzea has been more populated by one race over another and there will be conflict there. With the Hyur and Elezen, that’s very recent. In the sixth astral era, Elezen migrated in and in that era they were like “we’re the first ones here!” even though they weren’t, but they were the first at the beginning of the sixth astral era and they settled and of course the pesky Hyur who are everywhere come in and the Elezen are like “oh my god we left you that whole continent up there why are you here!” and the Lalafell come in and you have these cycles of clashing and moving part and that gets ingrained in their society and their racial cultures. There’s always these power struggles, you’ll have times when the Lalafell rise for whatever reason and they’l side with one group and then turn on another group and that’s one of the reasons there’s not a lot of interracial relationships because even though they’re living in the same towns it’s like well yeah… but you’re an Elezen.
F: I can just imagine some young Elezen bringing home a Hyur woman and the Grandma going “Why couldn’t you have found a nice Elezen girl!”
MCKF: There’s a lot of that going on. Like i mentioned in the stream, in the future we’ll have some characters that are half one race and half another and we’ll see how they’re treated in society and quests with that.
A: I know a lot of roleplayers are going to be all over this figuring out how they’re treated and what they’ve been through. This kinda indirectly answers another question that came up about if the Hyur are such recent arrivals, how come they’re all the Allag we’ve seen. So that explains that if it’s a constant flux we may have just forgotten they were here.
MCKF: And you haven’t’ seen all the Allagans yet.
A: and if we’re going to look at the game mechanics as cannon they had outfits that fit all the races.
MCKF: You look at the Garleans and again, the Garleans are a different race, the pure-blood ones with the third eye. But when you look at the army they have people of all races because they go and subjugate a nation and tell people they can gain citizenship if you join our army and prove your worth. So that’s why you have so many soldiers that are Elezen, because all the real Garleans are back home ruling while their conscripts conquer the land, sometimes using the magic that they can’t.
A: Entities like Diabolos and Fenrir have always been separate from Primals like Ifrit, Shiva etc. But it seems odd seeing them as simple dungeon bosses. Will they have future appearances maybe as more powerful forms? Story related appearances?
MCKF: Now I’m worried because you’re the second guys I’ve heard at Fan Fest pronouncing it like that.
F: I’ve heard it both ways! Its what I like to call the first rule of podcasting, if you can say something and people know what you’re talking about then it’s ok!
MCKF: So I can answer half of this. You haven’t even seen Fenrir yet! You know he’s in there but you don’t know everything!
F: And Typhon!
MCKF: You mean Chupon? Sorry to the people hoping for a Chupon.
F: Im sure some of our listeners are like “what?”
A: I remember when that was a thing, deciding which name to go with.
MCKF: Yeah, that was a mis-translation by whoever did it back in the day, it’s supposed to be Typhon, I confirmed it. The katakanization was based off the Greek so yeah, Typhon.
But yes! Diabolos. I was told that when you defeat him… did you really defeat him? Did you see anything in the final cut when you defeated him?
A: He had only just woken up too and didn’t seem very strong.
MCKF: I was told you should check out the scene after you defeat him so .. check it out! Did you really defeat him? Did you REALLY defeat him?
A: Whenever you have a knee jerk reaction to seeing something in a trailer you see Fenrir in Snowcloak and you think he deserves more grandeur than that !
MCKF: I’m sure there will still be people that complain but you know…
F: At least they’re in there at all though right? It could just be a giant wolf!
MCKF: Yeah, White Wolf! I named him that because he’s white!
F: What was the original plan for Dalamud? Was it that different from what we got with the Coil? What was it like adjusting those plans when Yoshida came in and told you to bring down the moon?
MCKF: I asked about this, and there was originally no plan to bring down the moon. Yoshida came in and said “we need to find a way to destroy the world because we need new maps”. He was playing around in the game, looked up and saw that there were two moons that we never really touched upon and went “That’s good! We can use that!” If we bring that down there’s still another moon. And I thought “but bringing down a moon? That’s going to wreak havoc on the tides” I don’t think he thought that part through. He said he wanted to do that, and it was up to us. He had a really good story of how he wanted to do it and we filled in the details and made sure things worked. The Lambs of Dalamud came after hearing this story and I thought “Yes, perfect!” We had this group that were the remnants of that story from thousands and thousands of years ago when everyone knew about Dalamud and what it was for, they saw them construct it and shoot it in the space and knew they had the power to bring it back but then along came the calamity and people forgot about it. The few people that remained passed it along to their children and the more that happened the more it got diluted. The core remained though that one day Dalamud might come back.
F: It’s like the longest game of telephone ever.
MCKF: So you had these crazy people thinking it was some kind of lesser god. Yeah everyone worships Menphina but it’s actually Dalamud, her hound is the one that protects her because she’s the one that’s weak and he’s only going to save the believers. It’s a cult, they’re not driven by reason and logic they’re driven by “That’s what Dad believed in, that’s what grandma believed in.”
F: and they drank a lot of punch.
MCKF: and they drank a lot of punch!
A: I had no idea so much of that was created from Yoshida going “Let’s bring down the moon!”
MCKF: Everyone made it work pretty much seamlessly, and it was a really big achievement. Everyone on the team, graphics, quest writers, battle team, they all had to work out these things. It wasn’t just bring down the moon, its lets bring down the moon and how can we do it? And it’s still something we’re talking about today with the Final Coil of Bahamut coming up. You’ll finally see the culmination of that “Let’s bring down the moon”!
A: I know a lot of people are looking forward to that, they haven’t really gotten the answers they’re looking for.
MCKF: Oh you’re getting answers!
A: We see Lousoix saying “You deserve to know the truth” in the new trailer.
MCKF: And you’ll learn the truth right after that! It’s going to be awesome.
A: You mention that you came up with a lot of landmark names. There is a spire in Gridania named after Dunstan. Is this the same Dunstan from 1.0?
MCKF: Yes! He was the second in command of the Wood Wailers back then. During the final battle he just went out and kicked arse and became a hero to the people and you know.. historical heroes get things named after them.
F: Give that man a spire!
MCKF: That’s right. You know it’s like George Bush Library – Dunstan spire!
A: We know Teledji Adeledji has a connection to the royal blood line, hes a prince. But is he connected to Nanamos blodline?
MCKF: No he’s not. I can tell you he’s not part of the Ul bloodline.
A: So we’ll just keep speculating on that in the forums them!
We’ve heard of a language one time.. Rhotano Bloodcant. It was referred to as an ancient seafaring cultures language and somehow it ended up on a tablet that may have been connected to a horn that might have summoned something very powerful that the Sahagin may have wanted. Are the Sahagin connected to Rhotono Bloodcant?
MCKF: Yes, this is there’s. You’re absolutely right, its Sahagin based.
A: If Nanamo is only 21 years old and Eynzahr was the last Mistbeard pretty recently and there were some rumors about maybe Mistbeard crashing the royal wedding….
MCKF: And stealing a bunch of stuff beyond actual treasure….
A: Is it the same Mistbeard?
MCKF: Well, there are a lot of Mistbeards. There will be a Mistbeard and he’ll do his thing and get his treasure and fade off into obscurity and go to the Oregon coast and he’ll make booby traps and the Goonies will try to find his treasure.
F: I had a real Goonies vibe from doing Hullbreaker Isle. I couldn’t place what it was, but I couldn’t help but think of them.
MCKF: … Yeaaaah.
MCKF: I really wanted to name one of the bosses like one-eyed Willy but the lore guy said that was a little too much
MCKF: So you have when one fades away, another pirate comes up and calls himself Mistbeard. Anyone that denies it will get knocked down. And so you have the Mistbeard legend that goes on forever because you have all these pirates that all want to be the next Mistbeard.
F: And now in 2.4 we’ll have a thousand Mistbeards.
A: So anyone that can’t stand up to the claim gets called a pretender and knocked off but anyone that can top the last and move on keeps going.
MCKF: So yeah, in this case, it’s pretty close so there is some speculation there. But again, it is a rumor. That’s how its supposed to be, it’s one of those pirate rumors that turns into legend. Is it 100% real? Is it 70% real? What’s the 30% that’s not real?
A: I can never look at him the same way again knowing it might have been him in the story.
F: Or maybe it’s some guy named Bob that’s like “I’m gonna be Mistbeard! I did a quest and got a helmet!”
MCKF: He just gets drunk and crashes a party!
A: We noticed the Ixale carry staffs with the symbols of Llymlaen and Oschon on them. Why would Garuda be OK with them carrying those around?
MCKF: I don’t think Garuda cares about what some little Ixali Fogcaller is doing somewhere off in the forest. She’s got more important things to do.
A: So she’s not that jealous after all?
MCKF: She’s jealous, but she doesn’t have the time to really care about what’s going on with all her minions. The Ixali are crazy compared to the Amaljaa who are a bit more advanced and the Sylphs are pretty down to earth. So they just hate everyone, they’re going to kill their enemies, take their stuff and use it like “I’m using your staff on you! haha I’m better than you!”
A: We used to joke about how they just stole them from the Hamlet raid.
MCKF: Yeah pretty much. They just steal them. They’re using a club and attack and adventurer that’s maybe AFK and goes “I’m using this staff! It’s better than the one I have!” It’s stuff they’ve stolen and Garuda doesn’t care because she has other stuff to care about.
A: To follow up on a question from the stream earlier- the taxonomy that fairies fall into. Is there an origin to how they become fairies of Scholars. Were they fairies and then bound to scholars? or did the scholars create them?
MCKF: Yes, the second one. Fairies again, while they fall under the taxonomy of elementals, they are actually beings that were created. They did not exist before. The Scholar would take the energies and elements from around them and would basically create these beings that were made of the elements.
A: Those are bound to the soul crystal then and passed from one person to the next where carbuncle is more one per person. Very cool.
One that goes very far back and very few people may even know what I’m talking about… but Amberscale Rock is still in the game. And not only does it look kinda like a dragon… there was a story about a boy and a dragon and then we bumped into a boy that may have been that boy trying to return to Ishgard. Is Amberscale Rock the Dragon from The Boy and the Dragon Gay?
MCKF: It is not the dragon from The Boy and the Dragon Gay because you’ll learn more about these kind of dragons in the coming patch, Dreams of Ice. We won’t touch on Amberscale Rock, but we’ll touch on the other parts of the question.
A: I bumped into a guy in line today who wanted to ask about this, in the most recent dungeons we saw in Stone Vigil Hard Mode that there were the Thaumaturges that turned themselves into Dragons. Is that permanent? Temporary? An Illusion?
MCKF: Please look forward to it!
Most of the stuff that has to do with Ishgard and Dragons where people are asking “oh what does this mean?” That means we’re doing our job. We’ve been laying down tons of hints in the past few patches because we know what’s going to culminate in 3.0 and so that’s one of the cool things we’re able to do. I think the English team might even do it more than the Japanese team does. Foreshadowing is a really cool thing and it can make the game experience better because people that pick up on it can start speculating and those that don’t pick up on it can go back and go “Oh my god! That was there the whole time!”
A: Like when Bahamut first came out, we found a whole bunch of stuff afterwards!
F: Like in the new 2.4 Trailer now where you watch the chamber with all the tubes.. and the tubes are all filled with dragons it’s like ooh!
A: We’ve seen the Allag have spacefaring technology. But we’re told that what destroyed them all was related to earth quakes. How did they get destroyed by earthquakes when they have space ships? Are there any still out there?
F: They forgot to cast float I think.
MCKF: Well I mean… us here on earth we have planes and ships that can go to the moon and things but there’s not a lot of them right? Most of the people are stil on the ground. Same thing with the Allag. An earthquake will still destroy everything on the ground like mission control.
A: So we can say Dalamud was this high military grade project that was not representative of what the average person would have access too.
MCKF: They were very technologically advanced and they tried to reach too high and that’s what brought down the wrath but you know… most of the people were down there doing their thing, listening to their iPods… (laughs) I’m not saying that Allagan technology is filled with iPods but they had their tech. They had USBs because Allagan Tomestones, all that information is in there. To a person 10,000 years in the future if there’s some kind of apocalypse on earth and someone picks up a FFXIV USB that we hand out at a Fan Fest or something they’ll be like “what is this? This is some kind of strange stone” and you plug it in and it’s just a bunch of my work documents. Some collector will collect them and give you great armor in exchange for them because someone has a little computer with a USB port on it.
A: When you guys added the Duty Finder flavor text to the first coil, we realized that the internment hulk was an actual internment hulk and turn 4 not necessarily an elevator but a drive cylinder turned into a makeshift elevator. A lot of people were wondering then if they had space ships what were they doing getting killed down here?
MCKF: Then there’s the question “So.. if they had spaceships did one or two of them get away?” I’m making my “I don’t know…. maaaaybe?” face. We all know that the Allagan civilization was destroyed because yeah, most of the people were on the ground. All of their power sources too, even if a ship did escape, there’s nothing there, fuel wise where can they go?
F: And like we said earlier, every time there’s a calamity there’s always a few people that survive…
MCKF: That’s right! Like it was brought up earlier, the Archons aren’t the same person, but there’s always people out there that read their history and realize the destruction is in cycle and if you study the books you know it’s in a certain order and you know something is coming and the people find that, gather books and tomes and they have these societies that bring this information together and then they realize its gonna be bad and they have this information that before there was a group and so we’re going to be the ones that go out and try to convince the people. Of course there are the legends, fairy tales and songs that talk about these Archons. To normal people they think they’re these people sent by the gods but actually its just these people that have learned about what’s going to happen and are going to warn them. Of course people are gonna be like “Moon is coming down? You can’t expect me to believe that, no way!”
F: It’s like those people with the end is near signs.
MCKF: That’s the guy that’s going to survive the apocalypse because he’s ready, has a bunker and canned food (laughs)
And then you know, they become the Archons so it’s that same kind of thing.
A: We’ve seen a couple data banks come into the game so far like the Sightseeing Log, the minion and mounts, and we’ve heard rumors that something related to gear might be coming soon. I’ve been tearing my hair out with trying to get some kind of player built bestiary under control. Is that a worthwhile venture? Are you guys working on anything like that in the future?
MCKF: I’d say you’re probably safe. Who knows if someone on the producer side decides to give us an in game library that’d be something cool but until we get the OK for that I don’t know. So what you’re doing is awesome so keep working on it because a lot of people use it and its a great place to get info and now that you know the twelfth grouping…
A: OK next question.. is Sthalmann dead?
MCKF: … no.
MCKF: He’s not dead! And I was happy to hear that as well, we haven’t heard anything about him and he’s been gone, no quests or anything. Sthalmann was my favorite character from 1.0.
F: Mine was Pissed Pirate.
MCKF: I was in charge of Limsa Lominsa so I got to translate his stuff and i love that character and his arc, it was awesome. You could see he was doing his thing and then he betrays someone because he wants power and then loses his power and becomes a drunk but still has a bit of that honor left. Its a great character.
A: the first time we saw him, he was commodore and wanted to get at Carvallain so bad. The last time we saw him he was a worthless, drunken pirate but he still wanted to bring him down so bad. I saw that and thought this is a man that wants to be on a road to redemption.. and then he disappears!
MCKF: He’s not dead and I spoke with Oda-san and said “If he’s not dead and you’re not gonna write the quest for him, let me write the quest for him when he returns” So I’m going to make sure he comes back.
F: Patch 2.5 Sthalmann Returns!
MCKF: (Laughs) Dreams of Ice, Sthalmann Returns! I don’t know if he’ll be back that quickly.
A: We can clear up a lot of lose ends because of inferences but a lot of the small things people were wondering about we’ve managed to clear up which is excellent! Something a little more recent… vague.. a little more “Can we even talk about it?” The Dravanians are coming in like crazy. Everything connects to them lately and before all we knew about it was ok there’s some Dragons there and Ishgard is nearby and that’s where Sharlayan is. Did the Sharlayans choose to settle there because of anything related to the Dravanians?
MCKF: No. When you look at the map, it looks like it’s kind of close but it’s not as close as you think so the Sharlayans didn’t go there because they wanted to sit on their doorstep. It’s still in closer proximity than like Limsa Lominsa or Gridania, but they’re not close enough to be in danger. And they’re not even there anymore because they left due to the Garlean threat.
A: So they weren’t trying to learn something by building there.
MCKF: They’re always trying to learn about everything. They went to Eorzea so they could gain knowledge on that place so of course they probably sent parties into Dravania to study up on them and they would have known about the dragons as well. Their whole thing is they’re a city state of knowledge and they gather it and use that knowledge. They send people out everywhere around the world and bring it back to their island nation. Sharlayan in Eorzea was basically an outpost. So saying they weren’t connected would be a lie because it was more to educate people.
A: Just wasn’t their main goal then.
OK… just one more question! The lore panel hit a high note today when you started talking about Thal’s balls. You mentioned that you loved the idea of creating expletives with blaspheme. Are there any others that connect to the twelve?
MCKF: By the Matrons’ Teets. Because after seeing.. you know the poster I’m talking about right?
A: We all know it.
MCKF: After seeing it it’s just like oh whoa I know my next one.
A: Bounty indeed!
MCKF: Bounty! There’s all sorts of stuff in there and trying to find different ways to swear without going beyond our Teen rating with our colorful language descriptor. We get to do a lot of stuff. You’ll see the shytes in there and the arses and gain we’ll use the British spelling because I guess it makes it less of a swear word in America. We have a lot of stuff in there and were always trying to push the envelope. There’s.. neuker.
F: Ah yes.
MCKF: I put that in there thinking they would literally say no and they didn’t!
F: I remember seeing that, I found out what it was and I messaged you like “Was this approved!?” You said “Its good!” and I was just like.. “OK then!”
A: We were curious at first because we couldn’t find another meaning for it. It’s funny to see it there.
MCKF: There’s gonna be ones we make up and take in and we want to make sure it fits into the world. With neuker we used it with the Ixal because to the five races, the Ixal are foreign and using something that’s different so it seemed like something cool to have in there. With the way we chose them to speak too… it’s sad we cant have them voiced because we know what they sound like in our heads when were translating them. Think like the chancellor from Dark Crystal.
A: Chamberlain! I was just about to.. oh my god.
MCKF: Theres like a ten minute clip with his little “Mmmmm!” strung together.
A: There are a lot of people that have attached that voice to them in their head.
MCKF: I don’t know if there are plans to get the Ixal voiced in the future but if they are when we write down the kind of characters they are, I’m just going to put in the YouTube link and say this is how they need to speak. When we saw the models that was the first thing that popped into my head. The nightmares of my childhood just started coming back to me and I thought “I have to haunt a new generation!”
A: There will always be a soft spot in my heart for children’s movies that seemed like they were made to traumatize children.
MCKF: Yeah, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth… though I think the most traumatizing from Labyrinth was.. you know… David Bowie’s Package.
A: That’s the first memory we’re all coming back too. Every time we joke about the possible someday goblin king in XIV…
MCKF: He’s just going to come in and start singing Magic Dance!
F: Thal’s balls!
MCKF: Thals balls indeed!
Huge thanks to Michael-Christopher Koji Fox for taking the time to sit down and talk to us!