FFXIV: What Happened To The Warriors of Light?This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Warrior of Light is a term that’s been in use since the very first Final Fantasy game. It was used then to refer to the player-controlled party, and it’s used now to refer to our characters in Eorzea.
Early on in your journey throughout Final Fantasy XIV, NPCs will constantly make references to the Warriors of Light. Eventually you’ll come to be known as one yourself, as your character’s journey marks a turning point in the world’s recovery from the cataclysm that almost wiped it out.
So what happened to them?
Just what was the event that caused all these legendary heroes to vanish without a trace?
Well, technically, they didn’t.
Many of the original Warriors of Light are still roaming Eorzea to this day.
They’re just players that “survived the meteor”. This refers to the apocalyptic event that wiped out XIV in its original iteration, and paved the way for the game we’re all playing today with A Realm Reborn.
What Makes The Warrior Of Light Special?
The Warrior of Light is guided by Hydaelyn, both the planet on which Eorzea is located and an entity of light.
The main thing that separates the Warrior of Light from everybody else is the presence of the Echo, a power that allows them to resonate with other people’s souls.
It’s basically something of a McGuffin – it’s whatever the plot needs it to be in order to move forwards.
It provides the player character with important and timely glimpses of history, gives them the strength to persist when no-one else can, and prevents them from being tempered (mind controlled by Eorzea’s Primal forces).
Besides the Echo’s importance to the plot, it has some gameplay implications too.
It appears as a status in certain situations, boosting the player’s (and entire party, if applicable) health, damage, and healing capability.
It’s used to manage difficulty in instanced quest battles, too. As failing and reattempting on Easy or Very Easy will apply a 50% or 100% Echo buff, respectively.
The Echo can also be applied in older trials.
If the party wipes, the Echo buff may be applied, stacking up to five times.
This makes it easier for parties to clear the content if they keep failing repeatedly, keeping players moving through the older content faster.
Why Did The Original Warriors Of Light Disappear?
To cut a very long story short, the original Final Fantasy XIV was not reaching its full potential.
Control was eventually handed over to Naoki Yoshida (also known as Yoshi-P), who transformed the game into the momentous juggernaut it is today.
Of course, with a property as story-heavy as Final Fantasy, it wouldn’t be possible or satisfactory to just hard-reboot it without upsetting a lot of people.
Despite the game’s problems, it still had players who loved it.
Players who’d spent a long time getting invested in the world and what it had to offer.
So for Eorzea to become A Realm Reborn, something big had to happen.
The world almost ended entirely, and was only saved thanks to the heroic actions of Louisoix Leveilleur.
Louisoix cast a spell which launched a bunch of people five years into the future, and this is what kind of excuses/explains those players from the original world-ending catastrophe surviving into this day.
If you played in 1.0, your character in 2.0 is a Warrior of Light who survived the cataclysm and has reappeared in the game’s modern day.
Players who began after 2.0 launched will be up-and-coming adventurers making a name for themselves.
I’ve seen reports that some NPCs will occasionally acknowledge players from the 1.0 release of the game as who they are, but I only started playing this game properly a couple of years ago – so I’ve been unable to verify that myself.
So There Are Multiple Warriors Of Light?
Well, yes, but actually no.
Canonically, there is one Warrior of Light, and that’s you.
You’re the one with the gift of the Echo which makes you impervious to the mind-controlling effect of Primals.
You’re the one blessed by Hydaelyn, the chosen one, carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.
All those other players? Just randoms you’ve pressed/bribed/seduced into service.
They’re just bog-standard bards, warriors, and paladins who get to go on an adventure with the real chosen one.
And yet, to those players, you’re the random rank-and-file adventurer and they’re the Warrior of Light.
It doesn’t really make sense – don’t think about it too much.
Plus it’s all just an excuse to go out and fight stuff anyway.
It could be that we’re all Warriors of Light, but our individual characters are considered the Warrior of Light. The story doesn’t really touch on the concept, though – I think it just kind of hopes we’re all happy with thinking we’re the chosen one and glosses over it as fast as possible.