We need heroes. We need those larger than life personalities that we can get behind. People we can root for. That face challenges and overcome them. It’s what we want, it’s what we need.
Heroes are not born. They are created. Sometimes it’s by trial. Sometimes it’s by hard work and success. Sometimes it’s by loss.
And sometimes, they are created through a handy character creation tool on games such as Final Fantasy XIV.
It has been years since I dared to venture into the world of online gaming. I remember fondly being a part of a brief beta test for the now infamous World of Warcraft. On the day it dropped, nearly ten years ago, my good friend Tyler and I made sure to purchase the game and play for real as soon as possible. The paychecks from my high school job at the local library went to feeding myself after school and immersing myself in this fun fictional world.
Something changed since then. Tyler and I would both go through spurts of playing WoW, him normally more consistent than mine. And I think my problem often came from the fact that those who played games with me took things much more seriously than I would. They would lay out careful plans to best handle sticky fights that laid ahead of us, but I would just have my character break into tears in the middle of the fight and openly talk about how he just didn’t have it in him to adventure anymore.
The longstanding memory I have from that beta test wasn’t about any quests or fights I was a part of. No, my memory of it was the moment the game told us the servers were closing down in ten minutes for maintenance. What did I do? Well, I announced to all around me that we should gather in the town square and have a dance party until they went down. Before the ten minutes were up, several hundred players had gathered and begun dancing until we couldn’t dance any longer. We couldn’t do anything any longer. We had been locked out of the game. Didn’t matter. I was hooked.
Games are supposed to be fun, so why not have as much fun as we can with them? Let’s jump into FFXIV (which I chose to play because it was on sale one day) and see if we can create The Greatest Adventure Of All Time (The GAOAT).
The first step to creating a great adventure is to create an adventurer. However, it can’t just be any adventurer. It must be the most unlikely hero of them all, which is the basis of any adventure. And the first step to creating the most unlikely hero of them all is to pick the race of said hero. My choices include a wide range of races, including the Hyur (normal humans) and the Lalafell (some sort of vegetable probably?)
The Lalafell seems to be the perfect choice to create an unlikely hero out of. Their small stature and apparent love of farming make them-HEY WAIT A SECOND WHO IS THIS GUY?
I don’t know how to pronounce that, but the Roegadyn looks so awesome. Maybe….maybe they can still give us an unlikely hero? Like, maybe if he had a dark past he was trying to get away from? He could have been a mercenary who is now trying to do something with his life. Or like, a Pirate who is changing his ways or something like that. Let’s see what backstories are available to me.
Beyond the fact that “they still subsist as fishermen and women” seems like an odd way of wording things, our hero now has a great backstory. He was either a pirate or a fisherman or a woman. And he’s huge. That’s awesome. So let’s change his appearance a bit to make him even more unlikely awesome.
After race and appearance has been decided, we must give our hero the most unlikely of heroic….birthdays?
Our great hero, who used to either be a pirate or a fisherman or woman, was born sometime during the Second Astral Moon. Or something. Doesn’t really matter. What does matter, though, are his skills, because that decides what his ultimate goal in this world is. Will his reputation as a swordsman make him world-renown? Will he be a powerful sorcerer? Or will he be….
Perfect. And with all of these options, we’ve created a stone giant who will surely be the most unlikely of heroes. He’s not supposed to be a hero. He is simply a man who finds his only joy in punching things. He only finds peace when it is found with his fist. He only knows happiness when he makes sweet, sweet physical contact with another person’s face. A hero like this, who replaced his emotions with some brass knuckles, deserves a legendary name that will go down in history.
Now we’re ready for The Greatest Adventure Of All Time