Final Fantasy XIV has been a really interesting experience. It has felt like a love letter to two of my favorite Final Fantasy titles of all time: FFV and FFVI. How, you might ask? Well to some folks it might be readily obvious. Square-Enix is very fond of referencing older games/characters, which admittedly means they have to come up with fewer ridiculous names, and it makes longtime fans fanboy [Like me! I do it all the time in Stormblood!] which is totally fine. I mean, one of the big areas/castles in the game is Doma, which is the home of Cyan Garamonde in Final Fantasy VI. This made me so damn happy. It even has the Doma theme from VI, re-orchestrated! One of the ending dungeons also is very similar to the Imperial Magitek Factory in Final Fantasy VI’s Vector. Lots of Magitek technology, it even has the experimental “Number 024” which is reskinned as the Magi Master in the Cult of Kefka Tower. That’s really just the beginning of it. The largest call to the series probably comes in the “Deltascape”, which is the first raid, introduced in 4.01.
Our current goal is that we’re searching for Omega. That leads us to the digital Deltascape, where a mysterious being tests us by pitting us against entities from other realities and such. Specifically, the first four rounds of the Deltascape [1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0] we do battle with some of the major bosses in Final Fantasy V! I wonder if the next set of Deltascape encounters will be from other games too! After all, they made it very clear they are from other places. I’d love to see the four fiends from IV, bosses from X, or the original Four Fiends from 1. But for now, let’s run these bosses down and what they can do!
- Alte Roite: In FFV, Alte Roite was an old man, who was found in the Tower section of the Interdimensional Rift. In this version, he takes the form of a winged serpent, a’la Quezacotl. Lots of Ice, Fire, and Lightning magic, the tank should point the boss away/stand at a great distance for the cone attack. Also, fire orbs. Lots of fire orbs. Don’t stand near them, it can be very bad.
- Catastrophe: This was the hardest one for me, for the first few runs. Catastrophe too hails from Final Fantasy V, and is one of the Demons of the Rift. You do battle with it when you try to leave the dungeon of the Interdimensional Castle. The second boss is more mechanic heavy [and it keeps getting deeper] and you have to keep an eye on the gravity of the situation, literally. You get a new command that gives you levitation/float. If you’re under a purple AOE, you want to be floating. Orange AOE, you want to be on the ground. There’s also Earthquakes, a “look away” mechanic, and he also summons four tentacles that do massive damage. You want to be standing under the one that’s rotating the “slowest”. Weird.
- Halicarnassus: Do you like board games and tea breaks? Well, that’s what you get in this boss battle! They’re one of the Demons of the Rift, in FFV to boot and are the “Master of Illusions”. The biggest, most important thing, is to know the mechanics. Stand where you’re supposed to, solve the puzzles. If you do everything the way you should, she even rewards you, including an invulnerability buff, which is super useful. She has a huge Frog Debuff Cone, which you do not want to be in. But if she’s about to place the Frog Tiles, you do want to stand in it. Then you find the right tile, stand on it to remove the buff. She changes the tiles to the Damage/Tank/Heals/etc and you want to be on the right one. She can also change the tiles to look like a rocky ground. Stand on the blue tiles. Oh, and she also draws the team into a puzzle area at 60%. You have to navigate a moving ground puzzle. Get to the end as fast as possible! Whew. This fight was stressful.
- Exdeath: Mother. Fucking. Exdeath. The final boss that borrows from Golbez’s fashion designer. The cyan-armored master of the Void even gets an arrangement of “Decisive Battle”, which is absolutely beautiful. Knowing the mechanics are key, but it’s not formulaic. It changes every time, but he does have one tell, and that’s for the phase 2 change. He casts pretty much the same spells in Final Fantasy V: Meteor [damage to everyone], Flare [Three people get AOE markers, casts three times. Damage depends on how close they are to others], Holy [Party Stack], Black Hole [Lots of damage, lots of “Black Hole” orbs to avoid], The Decisive Battle [Roots shoot cones all over the map. Find the “safe spot” fast], Oh, there’s also Fire III and Blizzard III which you also have to watch for. Those have two different versions also. Then there’s Exdeath Tree [Zombie AOE, as well as Vuln Up], Vacuum Wave [knockback, can knock you off in phase 2], and Doom [2 to 3 people, can be Esunaed off]. It’s such a fun, and frustrating fight. What a suitable boss for the end of what I assume is the first stack of Deltascape bosses.