A murderous Red Chocobo is wrecking Final Fantasy 14 players

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Chocobos have been in Final Fantasy 14 for years. They're mounts that can also join you in combat. They're cute. They go "Kweh!" It's hard not to love a chocobo.

The red chocobo is different. Scroll through the Final Fantasy 14 subreddit and every few posts you'll find a meme about how scary the red chocobo is, thanks to a recent patch that adds a new area, the Bozjan Southern Front, where red chocobos can spawn. They are absolutely murdering people.

Final Fantasy 14 patch 5.35 released on Monday, but it took a day or two for word of the murderous chocobo to really spread. It's not actually just any old red chocobo; there's a specific enemy players are scared of. Patch 5.35 adds a new system called "critical engagements" that let players queue up for battles where they fight on behalf of the Bozjan Resistance. Some of those battles are pitting players against a new chocobo named Red Comet.

These fights can have dozens of players in them, which is apparently no problem for the Red Comet. It's a monster.

After getting wiped by the Red Comet—which, appropriately, summons red meteors to blast a huge swath of the battlefield—players started posting about how vicious it was.

And then the memes started. I love them. I think it's the Red Comet's face that really does it for me. Does that really look like the face of a murderer?

Okay, kinda, yes.

Getting mixed signals... from r/ffxiv
I'd like to thank my chocobos for their hard work. from r/ffxiv

My favorite part about this is that it's a long-running joke in the Final Fantasy series. Chocobos are rarely a big threat—usually they're the stars of minigames or are easily tamed in battle—but Red Chocobos have a history of being bastards. In one particularly infamous battle in Final Fantasy Tactics, a bunch of red chocobos cast meteor on your party over and over. It's unrelenting.

In Final Fantasy 12, there's a powerful level 99 red chocobo that's hard to find, but drops a Ribbon, a particularly useful item. This isn't even the first time the red chocobo has terrorized Final Fantasy 14. Two years ago, the red chocobo popped up in the Final Fantasy 12-themed Return to Ivalice raid, leading to what players called the Great Chocobo Massacre of 2018. Final Fantasy 12 designer Yasumi Matsuno was behind that raid, and was also the designer of Final Fantasy Tactics. I'm beginning to think there's a connection here.

If I had to guess, the Red Comet will not be nerfed. Players are just going to have to learn how to avoid its meteors or accept its fiery embrace.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).