Mon, 10 October 2016
We've done it! We finished Rhapsodies of Vana'diel, and will be putting FF XI behind us..... Or will we?!?!?!!? Find out soon!
Rhapsodies of Vana’diel
Rhapsodies of Vana’diel is the final expansion/add on for Final Fantasy XI. It was released in thirds: part one in May 2015, part two in August 2015, and part three in November of 2015. The game was designed by producer Akihko Matsui, and the extremely memorable final themesong was composed by longtime FFXI mixmaster Naoshi Mizuta. Rhapsodies was meant to be a sending off for Final Fantasy XI, as well as a big thank you to players for their years of service within the game.
Rhapsodies begins with our heroine, Iroha, visiting the great crystal and voicing her need to visit Reisenjima to warn her master… We then meet up with captain Gilgamesh, who claims that he found a woman on a rowboat who cried out Elhusk. Since, at this point, Elhusk was in a relationship with Lion, he had no choice but to investigate. This is where we formally meet Iroha, who claims to be our future scullion or something, and wants to stop the Emptiness from consuming Vana’diel. Iroha dissolves, and the Reisen Shrine orb we’re holding brings us to the mothercrystals Holla, Dem, and Mea.
A vortex appears, and a monster with it, in Quifim Island. We impale the beast, and enter the vortex. And then we see him. The masked man…. Dun Dun DUNNN!!! We enter an alternate Zi’Tah where the Emptiness totally won, and swallowed life. Lions spirit takes form, and she adds herself to the Reisen Shrine orb. Once the shadow lord is defeated in the original storyline, we are able to go through Reisenjima’s gates.
About a year later, when we finally jumped back into the game, we meet up with the man in the mask, who has Siren fight Elhusk. Elhusk, being the stout warrior that he is, defeats siren while barely taking damage. Siren is released from the masked man’s thrall, and let’s us know that Iroha will reappear again. Then we have a bit of a world tour, getting Tenzen and Prishe to add their powers to the Reisen Shrine Orb. We then move to visit another past girlfriend, Nashmeria, who informs us of the masked man using power from the future to open these portals. The masked man breaks into the Walahra temple, and tries to siphon the Astral Candescence’s power, but is stopped. We head to the Alzadaal Undersea Ruins.
Phoenix reaches out to Alexander, requesting some of his power to help sustain Iroha’s existence. He obliges, and we then head to meet up with Cait Sith, who confirms that the future we saw earlier where the emptiness had consumed everything wasn’t a forbidden one, thus Atomos cannot consume it. Cait Sith then suggests we get in touch with Altana to protect Iroha.
We then meet up with yet another past sweetheart, Lilisette. She heard that Elhusk had become a god, so she adds her light to the Reisen Shrine orb, and vows to find a way to contact Altana. The masked man stole away Atomos’ power, and took off. We then meet up with Iroha, who is a complete BEAST now, by the way. Iroha claims that Siren and herself are abominations to the world. We of course reassure her that she’s the bomb, but she never listens. We then train, and head to Ugilappeh to speak to Grav’iton Berrisaci, who informs us that we must pass through a mothercrystal to cross into the realm of the gods. We then meet up with Selh’teus and some baddies, who are trapped in the crystal.
Siren shows up again, and helps Iroha, and Siren Prime, try to banish all who do not belong. Tenzen stops the show, since he doesn’t want Iroha to leave. She’s pretty mad about this, but whatever. We meet up with Dr Shantotto, who gives us Koru-Moru’s magic doll to point us in the right direction. We head to Escha - Ru’An and encounter our old friend Balamor, who has stolen Selh’teus’s crystal energy, and wants to create a world of his own. He goes super sayan, and we whoop his ass. Selh’teus then reveals his plan to become the new mothercrystal. Then the big reveal: The dark man is Elhusks future dark side, created to fight the darkness, but failed. Elhusk defeats bizarro Elhusk, and sends him off Boromir style.
We then get a sweet vision showing all of those we’ve beaten down. Then we head to the Reisenjima Sanctorum. Reisenjima is revealed to be the site of our last stand, and an ethereal shield is erected to save it from the void. In deciding to gather light, Elhusk creates bizarro Elhusk, who gathers darkness. We then head to Adoulin, seeking Arciela’s advice. Balamor has been travelling many different worlds, but many were swallowed by emptiness. He is pretty stoked on the Reisen Shrine orb, though, and gives us some of himself just to see things unfold. We head to the Hall of the Gods, where it’s revealed that darkness will descend when the five mothercrystals shatter, and rejoining them will bring Paradise, yet end Vana’diel.
Selh’teus then offers Elhusk the power of the crystal in order to become a god. We then fight an ascended form of Promathia, a dragon named Sempurne. Elhusk crushes this scrub, and meets up with bizarrro Elhusk. The time to fight is now. The darkness sends out a ton of those Sin Scale things at the beginning of X, and all of our favorite characters wreck their faces and drive the darkness back for now. Then comes the most frustrating quest in the game…. Panopt hunting…
We are tasked with killing 11 of these fuckers, and being the stalwart hero he is, Elhusk also decided to take on the king of the panopts in a gruelling, twenty minute fight. With the panopts dead, order has been restored to the lifestream, allowing Selh’teus to regain his powers. We then meet up with Altana, who asks Bizarro Elhusk and Elhusk to fight to the death. Bizarro Elhusk is revealed to be Metus, but it’s no matter. Elhusk triumphs. Everyone is super stoked, but then the Cloud of Darkness begins corrupting the mothercrystal. We can’t really destroy the thing though, and the Phoenix Blade leads us to a stone circle in La Theine, where the Gods enter the material plane. We then pack our Reisen Shrine orb with the powers of Alexander, Odin, Ifrit, Shiva, Ramuh, Titan, Garuda, Leviathan, Atomos, Cait Sith, Diabolos, Fenrir, and Bahamut. We head for the Sanctorium for the final fight. All of our previous expansions heroines trust forms are auto summoned fight tooth and nail to stymie the advance of the Claws of Darkness. We then get a fucking ballin cutscene where Iroha is given all the power of the Shrine Orb, and Phoenix is restored to full power. This causes the Cloud of Darkness to manifest in physical form, and now we commence the final fight. Which was a BITCH! Special shoutout to Abbu for helping us out. Elhusk’s body couldn’t survive the clas, and must find respite in the mothercrystal. The only way his light will shine in this world again will be through a chorus of life, crying out through time and space; The Rhapsodies of Vana’diel. Iroha donates her hair to us, which is good since I’m totally losing mine, and disappears once again. Then the final song picks up, and we hear the Rhapsody to rival Queen’s.
The expansion is so very much a thank you to fans, that Mizuta came up with the idea of asking players to contribute to the final song. Indeed, the voices that ring out during the final cutscene of the game are none other than adventurers from Vana’diel! How fucking cool is that?! Square Enix had a page dedicated to fan submissions of “la la la’s”. There is a zip file of the music, a vocal sample, and the music sheet. They requested that users submit the file along with their character name, so they could get the recognition. It was available to active players and unsubscribed ones alike. Unfortunately, the voices of Nooborious and Elhusk are not among those singing the rhapsody.
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