One person is transcribing the whole of Final Fantasy 14's massive main quest, just because

An elf in a library
(Image credit: Square Enix)

The phrase "Final Fantasy 14 has a lot of cutscenes" is a major understatement, like saying that the ocean has "a lot" of water. When asked about the game's story, I always give it a glowing recommendation, followed by a warning that it'll take hundreds of hours to chew through. Astonishingly, u/eriyu of the Final Fantasy 14 subreddit has been trying to write it all down.

The average novel is around 50,000 to 110,000 words. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy 14's cutscenes outstrip this number by a few hundred thousand, give or take. This makes the task of digging through the game's titanic word count for lore a tall order. Sure, you can view most of its cutscenes in any Inn via The Unending Journey, but there's no simple way to CTRL+F for key phrases or moments.

Enter the fanbase. u/eriyu's humbly named Final Fantasy 14 Game Script has, at the time of posting, just sunken its teeth into the Heavensward expansion. They plan to note down every main quest cutscene, voiced and unvoiced, from the base game to the current patch, as well as any required sidequests for progression such as the Crystal Tower Alliance Raid, which was made mandatory in patch 5.3 

While this titanic ledger isn't the only third-party place you can view FFXIV's quest dialogue, u/eiryu notes that "they're missing some scenes and contain some errors, so that's why I'm primarily getting text from the game itself."

Even playing through the game once is a massive undertaking, let alone penning down the entire experience as you go. It's slow going. "I'm getting 99% of the text directly in-game playing through on an alt, rather than using a text dump or something, so updates won't be super fast."

While it's fun to think that u/eiryu is painstakingly re-writing the entire saga word-for-word, like some kind of monk reproducing a holy text before the invention of the printing press, they've confirmed that they're able to copy the lion's share of text from the events tab of the chat box.

Nonetheless, it's a similar labour of love: "I owe my life to people putting game scripts for PS1 JRPGs on GameFAQs, and I couldn't believe a similar script didn't already exist for [Final Fantasy 14] when I went looking for one, so I took matters into my own hands."

Thanks to their hard work, it'll eventually be far easier for lore aficionados to sift through the game to back up their theories and gather fuel for their fan content. Alternatively, you could just find out how many times the dread-inducing phrase "Pray return to the Waking Sands" was said (surprisingly, only four). If you frequent the Final Fantasy 14 subreddit, go and send them some love.

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.