I cannot get enough of the utterly fantastic Final Fantasy 14 right now and apparently, neither can the man who birthed the entire series in the first place.
Hironobu Sakaguchi (opens in new tab) has been extensively documenting his journey with the MMO on Twitter, and it's been a joy to comb through his timeline. The father of Final Fantasy picked up the game at the end of September, creating an adorable lalafell paladin.
He's been no-lifing it pretty hard ever since, somehow managing to get through the entire base game and first two expansions in under a month. His tweets suggest he's been watching every cutscene too, making it even more surprising that he's powered through so quickly. That might be partly down to the fact he's been staying up all night to play, replying to a tweet (opens in new tab) that FF14 is "the type of game I skip sleep to keep playing."
スタート直後と、第七西暦エンディング時。同じチョコボな馬車なのが感慨深い。#FF14 #FFXIV pic.twitter.com/JFrGGEZR3wOctober 12, 2021
Final Fantasy 14 also has a fair number of references to earlier games in the series, with Sakaguchi reminiscing over the references to Final Fantasy 3 in particular. "A crystal tower full of nostalgia," he tweeted (opens in new tab) in reference to the game's Crystal Tower raid. "Among them, this one (Amon?) was the best for some reason. Maybe it's because I strong remember Mr. Amano's illustrations." Sakaguchi's even had time to meet up with another former Square Enix developer, Yasumi Matsuno, to run dungeons together. The two apparently caught up (opens in new tab) on a Zoom call, with Matsuno helping Sakaguchi navigate the game's UI while helping him (opens in new tab) heal through some content.
Sakaguchi is on Shadowbringers now, currently the game's latest expansion. With Endwalker (opens in new tab) less than a month away, there's a good chance he may actually finish up in time to dive into it from day one. Sakaguchi hasn't been a part of Square since 2003, so it's super endearing seeing him find so much joy in a game that technically wouldn't have existed without him. I also feel like it's a testament to just how great Final Fantasy 14 is—with soaring player numbers (opens in new tab), the game feels stronger than ever right now.