FFXIV Shadowbringers is now available for anyone far enough into the game to jump in and play and boy is it a doozy… It’s not only the best saga we’ve seen in Final Fantasy XIV to date, it’s an all-time great JRPG story. If you’re here, you’re (hopefully) done with the story and are looking for an explanation for what happened at the end of plot. Here’s FFXIV Shadowbringers’ ending explained.
Super Spoiler Warning: Obviously, this article is going to talk about the ending of FFXIV Shadowbringers. We highly recommend that you play through the campaign yourself before reading this article. Turn away now if you have somehow still not realized what this article is, and you are here on accident.
Even if you don’t own Shadowbringers or FFXIV yet, if there’s even a remote chance that you might one day pick up Final Fantasy XIV, you should not read this article and experience the saga for yourself. With those warnings out of the way though, if you still want to read on, let’s get into it…
*Final Warning Turn Back Now if You Don’t Want to be Spoiled on the Ending of FFXIV Shadowbringers.*
Ending of FFXIV Shadowbringers Explained
Let’s pick up right before the final battle versus Hades, AKA the true form of Emet-Selch since that is when the ending sequence kicks off into full. If you you want more details about what happens prior to this fight, scroll on down the last part of our story summary.
Emet-Selch is about to put down the scions once and for before Ardbert realizes his true purpose and offers the player character his strength. Now imbued with overwhelming power, the player character isn’t weak like he/she was before. In fact, when Emet-Selch views the hero, he sees another equal staring back at him.
On top of that, the Crystal Exarch, aka G’raha Tia, summons more heroes from other worlds to give the player character the power they need to fight and defeat Hades, which assuming you’re able to complete the A Dying Gasp Trial, you will do.
After the epic battle with the monstrous Hades, Emet-Selch is extremely weakened but not entirely out of the fight just yet. However the hero uses Ardbert’s light infused axe to mortally wound him, which gives the Scions the opportunity to use the blade of light method to destroy Emet-Selch permanently.
Defeated, Emet-Selch appears before the player and privately asks him to “remember us” – meaning the Ascian people – and to remember that they once lived.
Emet-Selch, although a villain, is a complex one. Throughout the story of Shadowbringers he has been trying to bridge the gap of understanding between the Ascians and the people who now populate all of the shards and The Source.
Although Emet-Selch ultimately judged the people to be unworthy of concern and decided to go ahead with his original plan sacrificing people, continue the rejoining, and eventually ushering in the rebirth of a powerful version of Zodiark capable of returning the world to the way it was during his time… there were still nuggets of humanity and truth to everything that Emet-Selch was saying throughout.
The Ascians were just people (albeit very powerful ones) living their life in cities just like the player character and his/her allies do now. Faced with a world ending scenario, they got scared and turned to primals to save them. And while the methods of the Ascian leaders like Emet-Selch are brutal and not in the best interest of non-Ascians, ultimately they just want to go home.
Emet-Selch in that moment when he is dying is just hoping that the hero at least learned something from all this, that the Ascians are not 100% pure evil; and when the hero nods in approval back at Emet-Selch, he smiles back and is able to die about as peacefully as one can after all of that.