Final Fantasy series is no stranger to memorable villains. It has created some of the most iconic antagonists in the history of video games. And what makes many of them so amazing is that they are tragic, yet relatable characters that players can easily identify with.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker sends a new member into the franchise’s legendary pantheon of villains, and somehow he manages to be the most devastating character the series has seen yet.
Endwalker technically has two main villains, with Thoroughbred Zenos yae Galvus returns. But it is the secondary antagonist, Fandaniel, where the tragedy really begins. Finally, you will reveal his very important role in the history of the game and the coming days. And it’s devastating.
Warning! Big story spoilers follow FFXIV: Endwalker.
Shadowbrings gave much more context to the Asians and their motivations, and post-expansion patches introduced a whole new villain. Where people like Emet-Selch and Elidibus had intentions behind their actions, the rogue Ascian Fandaniel seemed to want nothing more than to see the world burn. Endwalker reveals that Fandaniel ended up that way because of how his past distorted and distorted him.
There is a whole lot of complex knowledge behind it Final Fantasy XIV, and we will not give a primer on everything, but there is a basic knowledge to cover to discuss Fandaniel. Here’s what you need to know:
In essence, the shared world is off FFXIV was once a single unified world known as Etheirys. The last days divided the world into the Source, the main world of the game: and thirteen different reflections. Prior to secession, Fandaniel was a human named Hermes who served as chief researcher for the ancients.
“It is this kindness that makes him so easy to crush. “
Later in Endwalker, you travel to the past to a place called Elpis, where the ancients used their creative magic to test whether the creatures they create were fit to inhabit the world. There is a fascinating coldness in the way the ancients created living beings and then simply discarded them if they did not meet the standards. All the ancient beings you meet are warm and welcoming, but there is a deliberate interruption written into the way they think about other beings.
Hermes is different. He wants to give created beings every chance to flourish. As chief researcher at Elpis, he is responsible for overseeing all disposal, and it began to eat away at his psyche. To combat his doubts, he creates a creature named Meteion and various identical sisters. He then instructs them to explore other planets to discover what other beings live for.
Loneliness is a recurring theme for villains in Final Fantasy. Sephiroth is a lab-produced completely without family, Jecht is taken away to an unknown world never to return, and Ardyn is betrayed by his own brother and imprisoned. The loneliness Hermes suffers is dizzying by comparison as he thinks he is the only one in the world who can feel sadness.
“I do not understand the history of Fandaniel out of my brain. “
Hermes’ spirit and mind are constantly broken with every creature he has to lay down, and the last nail in the coffin comes after hearing the report from Meteion’s sisters. Every planet they traveled to was either plagued by conflict, or its inhabitants were long dead. They found nothing but sadness, destruction and hopelessness. Long story short, because of these events, Meteion decides that she will take all the sadness from the universe, leading to the last days and the extermination of the ancients.
Hermes is an inherently kind person, perhaps friendlier than any other person on Etheirys. But it is this kindness that makes him so easy to crush. He simply wanted to do justice to all the creatures of the planet, but brought about unintentional extinction. It’s a relentlessly depressing twist on a character who at first seems like a pretty clean-of-the-mill malicious.
Fandaniel and Hermes’ bow is the perfect illustration of how Final Fantasy XIV undermines players’ expectations in heartbreaking ways. I was initially surprised to defeat Fandaniel early Endwalker, but the last half of the expansion does a fantastic job of giving his character new layers. After Shadow Brothers, I doubted the team behind Final Fantasy XIV could dream of a better villain than Emet-Selch, but the game’s author, Natsuko Ishikawa, completely proved that I was wrong.
There are already a lot of emotions tied up in Endwalker, but even weeks after the release, I can not get Fandaniel’s story out of my brain. It even raises some important real questions about how humanity treats the other creatures that live on Earth.
Final Fantasy XIV was already a contender for the title as best contributor in the series. Endwalker and Fandaniel does it all except indisputably.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is out now on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.