Final Fantasy 14 is a very cute game filled with very cute pets that you can collect and show off to other players as you wander Eorzea. Most of these minions are chibi versions of classic Final Fantasy enemies and characters—adorable little puppets that scurry after you. Some are exceedingly rare, some are rewards for completing difficult challenges, and some are so goddamn ugly that passing strangers are compelled to drop what they're doing and stare. Manjimutt, this bespectacled dog with the face of former New York mayor Rudy Giulani, is absolutely the latter.
It's so ugly that I have no choice but to give it PC Gamer's Editor's Choice Award for Ugliest MMO Pet Ever.
Though I've been an avid Final Fantasy 14 player for years, I had no idea this minion was in the game. Apparently I'm not the only one. Sabriel Iryut, a player on FF14's Gilgamesh server, tweeted yesterday about the hilarious reaction their ugly man-dog draws from other players. "Everyone hates my hideous ff14 minion," the tweet reads, "and i get /tells asking what the fuck it is all the time."
Obviously I had to know more, so I reached out to Sabriel on Twitter. "I've been keeping that minion out most of the time for the last few years, so people who haven't seen it before ask me where it's from pretty often," they tell me. "But something about having a creepy old man-dog hybrid following you around in a fantasy world is very funny to me."
If you're a fan of Yo-kai Watch, a popular Pokemon-style RPG and anime series, you might recognize ol' Manjimutt. He—is it even a he?—is one of the demons that players can catch and battle, and was introduced into Final Fantasy 14 as part of a promotional crossover event back in 2017. That's when Sabriel got theirs, but because the event only lasted a limited time and Final Fantasy 14 has grown more popular since then, a lot of players don't even know Manjimutt exists. Ignorance is bliss.
For the past two years, Manjimutt has been Sabriel's trusted sidekick. They tell me that whenever they play, they make sure to summon Manjimutt so other players can see it. Sabriel says they started doing it just for fun at first, but after seeing how much attention Manjimutt got from other players, he earned a permanent spot by their side.
"A few dozen players have asked me about Manjimutt over the last few years at least," Sabriel says. "And like three in the last week or so since I've just been idling with it out by the pier a ton. Everyone's reaction is generally just 'WHAT IS THAT?' I also always notice people's heads swiveling towards it when they target it to see the name of the minion, which is fun."
I mean, I get it. If I came across Sabriel while playing I'd also do a double-take. The good news is that, very soon, you'll be able to horrify others with a Manjimutt of your own. Square Enix recently announced the Yo-kai Watch crossover event would return soon—though no firm date has been announced.