Final Fantasy 14 director Yoshi-P implies that Dawntrail's story will have something to do with the Twelve and the Ascians still, and my brain is on fire

An image of game director Naoki Yoshida holding up a single finger to the fans, informing them he'll give them exactly one week to finish the Elden Ring DLC before Dawntrail arrives.
(Image credit: PAX 2024 / finalfantasyxiv on Twitch)

Final Fantasy 14: Dawntrail will be arriving later this month—and with it, the start of a new epic story arc similar to the 10-year saga spanning from A Realm Reborn to Dawntrail. In case you're completely uninitiated, firstly I should warn you that this article will be full of spoilers for Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker. Secondly, you should know that FF14 has a habit of being the best in the business when it comes to foreshadowing.

Now, some of this foreshadowing is retroactive—I don't doubt that the setting's Ascians (tragic villains who wished to see their world rejoined) were just nasty wizards with red masks initially. Any good writing involves a little narrative sleight-of-hand. Still, what's set up in one expansion may be of vital importance 10 years later—which means that we're all going to be ravenously combing Dawntrail for scraps that'll pay off years from now, when I'm deep in my midlife crisis.

One such scrap was shared courtesy of YouTuber Jessie Cox on his channel during the game's media tour, while in a group interview with Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P). Cox says that, during the roundtable, one interviewer asked whether there was any current content Yoshi-P would recommend current players complete before beginning Dawntrail.

"After he let out a very long 'ugh'," Cox says, then "he said two things. One, do Myths of the Realm, the new alliance raid series from Endwalker, and two, do you remember all the names of the Convocation of Fourteen?"

Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail Spectacular | Media Tour - YouTube Final Fantasy XIV Dawntrail Spectacular | Media Tour - YouTube
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Dear reader, my brain is on fire, because that's not what I was expecting. I'd assumed that Dawntrail would, fittingly, introduce us to new threats, enemies, and cosmic problems. Before I make a spiderweb out of red string on my corkboard, though, I'd like to break some things down.

Firstly, the Myths of the Realm raid features the Twelve—the setting's gods, revealed to be close friends and colleagues of Venat, an ancient (something she shared in common with the Ascians) who disagreed with the whole "let's smush the planets together" thing that later ascended to divinities. Which means that whatever the hell's going on with Solution Nine could have something to do with them or, as Cox points out, be responsible for some mysterious paintings he found (depicting godlike figures) in one of the media tour's two zones.

Secondly, we happen to know that there are still some Ascians kicking about. I'd like to thank the FF14 subreddit for putting some lists together for easy reference—and I won't rattle off the full list. However, we know that—of the original convocation of fourteen—only a few are truly alive while also being unaccounted for.

Pashtarot and Halmarut are both mentioned in Final Fantasy 14's long story, but neither has made much of an appearance. We also know that Gaius Van Baelsar "killed" Altima and Deudalaphon, but that they've probably reformed, since you need to kill Ascians under a set of specific circumstances to truly put them in the ground.

Said Ascians are, unless they're pulling a Fandaniel, unlikely to be up to anything nefarious since their big bad evil goal has been completely spoiled. Zodiark's gone, and even if he wasn't, the Final Days have been averted. So just what the hell are they doing? Well, we know that Solution Nine has incredibly advanced technology, and that it'll also be the source of a tournament arc. Maybe one of them's just running a fight club there, bringing in hyper-advanced technology to get it done.

Alternatively, their past meddling could simply have laid the groundwork for the foes we'll face in Dawntrail. We know that both the Garlean Empire and the Allagan Empire were the result of grumpy grandpa (and OG tsundere) Emet Selch, and the impact those societies had on the world basically drove the entire plot—Dalamud, the Crystal Tower, Black Rose, and so on. The unaccounted four could be completely absent from the story, with Dawntrail's higher stakes merely being a result of their distant meddling.

Either way, I'm excited to find out more. Dawntrail will be releasing July 2, though early access players can start plumbing its depths for story snippets June 28.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.