Square-Enix unveiled Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.4 – Futures Rewritten today and it’s got one question on everyone’s mind: Are we about to see our first girl/girl relationship in FFXIV? SE has had a long and weird history with LGBTQIA+ relationships. While they’ve never been vocal against them, they’ve never been featured prominently either. They’re usually hinted at very subtly, if at all. Looking at you Fang and Vanille. So is Square-Enix finally set to give the LBGTQIA+ community a lesbian relationship to fawn over? Let’s dive in.
A rather poor history of LGBTQIA+ relationships
Everyone! Tell me your favorite LGBTQIA+ character in Final Fantasy. I’ll wait. Most people will respond with something that involves a great deal of head-canon, but as far as confirmed characters go, it’s pretty slim pickings. I hinted at Fang and Vanille earlier, and that’s truly about the best you’ve got. After that, you start getting into “uh… Cloud? He cross-dressed that one time.” This is taken a step further in Final Fantasy XIV, which really doesn’t have relationships in general. Who’s your favorite FFXIV couple? Again, I’ll wait.
Okay, so my wife just mentioned the ongoing love triangle between the Warrior of Light, Alisae, and the Crystal Exarch. So fair enough. My point is that relationships are few and far between in the world of Eorzea. And honestly, who could blame them? With the world on the precipice of annihilation every year or so, finding love would be difficult indeed.
The Eden raid of Final Fantasy XIV – Shadowbringers has been one of my favorites. Not just because of the Final Fantasy VIII aesthetic, although I admit that’s a big part of it. The fights have been fun, the concepts interesting, and of course, because it’s giving off some serious gay vibes. The Eden raid explores the story of Ryne, the new Oracle of Light, and introduces us to the Oracle of Darkness in the form of Gaia. Gaia is the ultra tsundere darkness to Ryne’s optimistic light. And of course, there is some serious chemistry between the two.
The LGBTQIA+ community is one that will look for any hint of a gay romance because typically we’re an afterthought. Whereas many saw the scene of Ryne asking Gaia to go get a meal with her as just her trying to make friends, the LGBTQIA+ community saw the beginning of a possible relationship. You’ll have to excuse us if we seem thirsty. It’s only because we wander a desert of straight relationships, characters being gay but “we can’t show it”, characters being ‘just friends’, or gay characters being killed off. Yes, we’re still bitter about the whole Sailer Uranus and Neptune thing.
So is this going to happen or not?
As with all things in Final Fantasy XIV, I urge caution. They will hurt you if you let them. Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.4 is definitely teasing an LGBTQ relationship between Gaia and Ryne, but there’s still a lot of ways this could go sideways. They could wind up being the same person and merging into one. One of them may be killed off. Or maybe they have to be separated and spend eternity in different worlds. (Remember Lillisette? I do.) Or maybe it’s all just a giant red herring and they’re going to be close like sisters.
I think Square Enix would be foolish to tease such a monumental thing for the LGBTQIA+ community and then not deliver on it, given the vast amount of LGBTQIA+ players in the game. But then again, I wouldn’t have this career today if SE didn’t do foolish things. As with all things Square-Enix: hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
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Lead Image Courtesy of Square Enix