It’s October and the Halloween spirit is upon me. Obviously, I have to make my Final Fantasy 14 character spooky for the season.
Unfortunately, the race I play, Viera, doesn’t have many options for headgear. Most witch-y caster hats don’t show up on my bunny lady at all, as her ears would just clip straight through. As my Free Company showed off their great Halloween costumes, I was stumped. I tried on horns. I thought about being a were-rabbit. But then, I remembered that there was a really good ghost costume I could buy for $5.
The ghost costume was given out to players for free during an old Halloween event that I missed years ago, and I had to have it. The costume is known for turning serious cutscenes into silly memes, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt.
I have already noticed people selecting my character to see what’s going on. In Final Fantasy 14, when you click on a player character or NPC, your character’s head will turn to them ... and a lot of heads turn when I’m walking through a major area.
There’s something about the ghost costume. Maybe it’s the simplicity of the bedsheet-like outfit. Maybe it’s the fact that it covers every part of my character. It’s a wonderful costume, yet not enough people are celebrating Halloween in it.
The latest Final Fantasy 14 event incentivizes players to run The Praetorium and Castrum Meridianum, two dungeons integral to the base game’s story. The cutscenes in this dungeon are long and unskippable, making the dungeons take nearly an hour to clear each. Players used to be able to skip the cutscenes, but rude folks clearing the dungeon for the 100th time were unhappy with new players standing around and watching the cutscenes. To remedy this, Square Enix made it so you would never randomly queue into these dungeons if you didn’t choose to, and made the cutscenes unskippable so new players could fully enjoy the game. In exchange, a hefty amount of experience is rewarded for anyone who joins these dungeons via the Main Scenario Roulette.
While the cutscenes in Castrum only feature your player, the ones in The Praetorium show the full party. This means while the NPCs are dramatically ranting at a player’s character (which will typically stand in the front), people will see my stupid ghost hanging out in the background, dramatically holding a weapon.
It’s pretty standard to have people just chat about whatever while the long cutscenes play. Depending on the time, people might talk about a sports game that’s on right now, or maybe what they’re eating for dinner. With the ghost suit equipped, after the initial reaction of, “Oh my god, we have a dead person in our party?” or something similar, people begin to discuss their Halloween costumes or feelings about the holiday. (There’s a lot of Halloween haters out there. Shame on you.)
Even the groups I’ve cleared Praetorium with that have been completely silent throughout the run have people patting my head or using the surprised emote at me before they leave the instance. Even more surprising: I have yet to have a new player yell at me for ruining the dramatic integrity of their experience.
Dressing up in silly costumes is certainly not new to Final Fantasy 14. There are frog and pig suits. There are chocobo heads. There are even mascot heads of the beloved catfish-esque Namazu. If you’re going to run the long, Main Scenario Roulette dungeons, consider equipping something silly to ease the agony of spending an hour rewatching cutscenes.