Beastmen, Primals, Chocobos and more...
Is there a tougher task than selecting the coolest things to see in a game as vast as FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn? If there is, we haven't found it yet - but at PlayStation.com we never shrink from a challenge. We managed to whittle the list down to the following magnificent seven:
Floating City of Nym
The mysterious Floating City of Nym guards a profound secret: the lost history of its own fall, many centuries before the action of A Realm Reborn. We won't give too much away here, but be sure to explore this mesmerising city, which is suspended on a series of small islands in the sky.
Not only is Nym wondrous to look at, but the Wanderer's Palace at its heart is infested with the green, slimy enemies known as Tonberries. These apparently simple beings may be familiar to veterans of previous FINAL FANTASY games, but their story is different this time around.
One Tonberry in particular holds the key to Nym's forgotten past... and to a tale that's as moving as any you'll ever hear.
Primals are among the most visually arresting elements of any game, ever, let alone FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn. These gigantic supernatural beings wield phenomenal power and are summoned to Eorzea by the Beastmen tribes, for whom they are objects of worship. Doing battle with a Primal can be daunting, but defeat one and great rewards may flow your way - not least the ability to summon it yourself in future.
Many of the Primals are drawn from real world mythologies - including ancient Greek, Norse and Arabic legends. The sheer scale and spectacle of the warrior god Odin charging into battle on horseback or the dragon Bahamut rearing in a stormy sky has to be seen to be believed.
If you don't know what a Chocobo is, you must be a FINAL FANTASY rookie; these feathered creatures have been a fan favourite since they first appeared in FINAL FANTASY II.
And where once they were cute, fluffy things, this time around Chocobos make a striking sight: taller than most warriors, with sharp beaks and massive talons. When armoured up and ridden into battle, they can make you feel pretty invincible. Just don't wind up on the wrong end of those claws.
Scattered throughout Eorzea are tribes of Beastmen - weird and warlike beings who combine human intelligence with many of the traits of wild creatures. From the lizard-like Amalj'aa, who hunt the deserts around the city of Ul'dah, to the deceptively childlike Sylphs, a mystical woodland people inspired by the elemental sprites of Western folklore, the Beastmen live on the outskirts of civilized society - and all too often come into conflict with it.
Variously described as a primeval monster or spawn of ancient magic, in A Realm Reborn, Ultima Weapon is a machine of battle created in the distant past to wage war on the Primals. When the time comes to confront it, make sure you're feeling confident...
Named after a real Middle Eastern king of the third millennium BC, this wandering warrior has appeared in almost every FINAL FANTASY game - and in A Realm Reborn, he's up to his old tricks.
Engaged in a perpetual hunt for the "sword of legend", Excalibur, Gilgamesh challenges other adventurers to duels and makes off with their weapons when he triumphs. A fearsome fighter with a knack for making a fool of himself, his great size, eight arms and arsenal of crazy weaponry make him a sight to behold - as does his companion, the chicken Enkidu.
The Remains of Midgardsormr
Eorzea is a region plagued by war. The tangled history of conflict between the Garlean Empire, various city-states, the Beastmen tribes and a host of other creatures has fractured the land and the peoples within it, and made much of the terrain dangerously inhospitable. Nowhere is this truer than at Silvertear Lake in Mor Dhona, once a crystalline body of water surrounded by lush forest.
Decades before the start of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn, a terrible battle took place here between a swarm of dragons, led by the wyrm Midgardsormr (a classic FINAL FANTASY character), and the airborne armada of the Garlean Empire. There were no winners. The dragon king was killed and the Garleans suffered catastrophic losses; today, the carcass of Midgardsormr can still be seen entwined around the wreck of the Imperial airship Agrius. As landmarks go, it's pretty grisly - and is sure to send a tingle down your spine.
If you're yet to venture into Eorzea to see these wonders for yourself, why not grab FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn from PlayStation Store?