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Final Fantasy XIV‘s last expansion came out just over a year ago. Stormblood tells a captivating story about imperialism, survival, and the indomitable power of friendship. Square Enix has crafted an intriguing post-game lede to the next expansion that has fans guessing. The stakes are higher than ever, and our excitement has reached a fever pitch. The community has gone wild with plot rumors about new characters, enigmatic villains, and shady hidden players in the next FFXIV expansion. Here’s our summary of Eorzea’s most popular conspiracy theories.
Major spoilers for Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood below!
Final Fantasy XIV Plot Rumors Round-Up: Gaius is Alive
This one’s been making the rounds for some time. Ever since we supposedly condemned Gaius van Baelsar to an explosive death on defeating the Ultima Weapon, we’ve had our doubts. Unless a corpse is found, it’s safest to assume that a character is alive. We’ve operated that way for quite a while, and our hope may have paid off.
In the recent Under the Moonlight patch, a mysterious Ascian hunter was introduced to Alphinaud. Aside from being tall, dark, and handsome, this man has a familiar aura. We couldn’t quite place it at first, but us fans are resourceful. The Ascian hunter was actually holding on to a very distinctive mask i.e. Gaius’ mask.
This is important for a few reasons. Firstly, the Ascian hunter had collected quite the variety of trophies from his prey. This is indicative of a person with a deep grudge against said Ascians. As we know from Gaius’ reaction to the Ultima Weapon’s true purpose and the Ascian plot, he was betrayed and his dreams of a new empire were crushed. It’s easy to see how he would hold the Ascians responsible for their meddling.
Secondly, the Ascian hunter admits to having a relationship with the Scions. This implies that it’s someone we’ve encountered before. Furthermore, he has other very distinctive traits. The third eye, his combat style, and the presence of a gunblade all point to a Garlean association.
Fans are all but convinced that Alphinaud’s newest ally is Gaius van Baelsar. If this speculation turns out to be true, it cements the fact that we’ll be visiting Garlemald in the next expansion. However, what Gaius is thinking by assisting the Scions now is as much a mystery as his new persona. Bloodshed usually follows revenge plots in Final Fantasy XIV so we’re definitely buckling in for conflict.
Final Fantasy XIV Plot Rumors Round-Up: An Ascian Controls Zenos’ Body
This one sounds a little bit like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but stay with us. We’ve had some questions after Zenos yae Galvus’ shock suicide and subsequent resurrection. The new Zenos is a lot less unhinged than he used to be, which is suspicious in itself.
We already know that the Ascians can play magical chairs with people’s bodies after all the mess with Thancred. The shock that the good ol’ Emperor experienced at the end of the preliminary Stormblood quests also suggests that he saw someone that he wasn’t expecting. Once Zenos has recovered, we’re treated to dialogue between him and the Emperor. His lack of subservience is striking.
We also know that Zenos has always had a particular aptitude for bloodlust, but the Garlean hierarchy would have tempered his attitude towards the Emperor. Instead, we get a calm rendition of our favorite thicc boi that dispenses with any conversational niceties. This new Zenos speaks to the Emperor without deference, which is unthinkable unless the latter is also in the loop about this possession. Fans reckon that it’s Elidibus who’s wearing this hunk’s skin, and Tsukuyomi’s summoning only adds fuel to the fire.
Zenos’ death had seemed pretty open and shut when it happened. However, we do know that he had an incredible bond with the Echo thanks to his manifestation as Shinryu. Someone with a strong grasp on those skills could easily have shunted themselves, as the Ascians do, into another body at a later date. We can assume that the Ascian possession was pre-planned, so the real Zenos is likely wandering around somewhere in Eorzea, being pissed off about everything.
Final Fantasy XIV Plot Rumors Round-Up: Zenos is Deep Inside an Elezen
This is linked closely to the fan theory that Zenos’ body is being puppeted by Elidibus. We’re operating on the assumption that it’s the truth. However, if we accept that Zenos isn’t inside his own body, then where is he? The answer is weirder than you think.
A mysterious Elezen has popped up around Ala Mhigo ever since Zenos’ untimely first death. We noticed him lurking around Zenos’ empty coffin. We also noticed him fiddling with some Garlean tech in Ala Mhigo proper, which was the Garlean stronghold in the region. More attentive fans have also noticed that he says some rather unsettling things. In fact, he utters some trademark Zenos comments about “the hunt”, which was the prince’s favorite pastime in his, well, past life.
On top of that, he’s clearly got familiarity with said Garlean tech and has no qualms taking out civilian guards. The real kicker? His katana and his skills, both of which bear an extremely striking resemblance to Zenos’ kit. Some fans were positing that the Elezen was, in fact, Estinien gone rogue, but why would he be using a different weapon? We know that Estinien is a proud Dragoon, and he doesn’t sound one iota like our mystery man.
So far, we think that Zenos is wreaking havoc in a new body, that Gaius is alive, and that Elidibus has some scheme in place for the Garlean Empire. With Ala Mhigo shrugging off the chains of imperialism, things are shaky right now and its uneasy peace could well be disrupted by Garleans returning to make a statement. Some climactic event is going to have to bring these wayward bois and the Scions together, so a large-scale military conflict is basically inevitable at this point. The Emperor won’t suffer another slight like Ala Mhigo, which ensures that the Garleans will do something reprehensibly brutal that the city-states will have to deal with.
Do you have any plot theories that we haven’t covered? Are you convinced that Estinien is the mystery Elezen? Let us know how you feel about these conspiracies in the comments section below!