As I went on my adventures in the world of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, I kept hearing talk of a Netflix series called Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light. I kept hearing nothing but good things, and I decided I had to watch it so that I could find out what all the praise was about.
I was concerned, to say the least. It sounded like a cute, but unbelievable; and even silly concept - a father and son who rekindle their relationship over the MMORPG. That is until I found out that it is based on a true story. Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light is a TV-series adaptation based on a Japanese player’s blog. The moment I learned that I grew even more curious. I was greeted with a very cute and endearing drama with characters that were filled with life, and a familiar soundtrack as all of it (minus the opening) is pulled straight from the game.
I found it especially interesting watching the father learn how to play the game, as at first, he doesn’t know what a MMORPG is. This doesn’t stop him and he goes through many of the struggles that new players often do, which is something I believe veterans to the game sometimes forget about, leaving them frustrated with new players. One example of this is when we see the father having to learn how to dodge attacks from bosses. Almost every fight in the game, especially boss ones, will have some kind of attack that needs to be dodged, and to experienced players, it’s likely second nature and they can have a hard time trying to imagine how a newbie has an issue with something that they feel is so obvious.
It was refreshing getting to see some of the fights from both perspectives - the son gets fed up with his father being a newbie and wants to give up. Yet, his father knows they have to keep playing and that he’ll only learn if they keep going. As such, it makes it easy for both new and old players to see the viewpoints of each other and why others may be getting frustrated with us, or why we should try to be more patient and understanding of others.
Now, there were some continuity errors that made me cringe just a tad as an avid FFXIV player. Things like the father using the MandervilIe Dance for comedic purposes, while he is supposed to be well below level 50; and Twintania being the final boss in the game, despite the characters wearing glamours that came out much later. I understand that these things were likely added to help the atmosphere of the show, and make it a little more fun, but as someone who has played FFXIV since 2011, it did pull me out of the immersion, thinking things like, “Hey! You can't do that!”
Although, there is some good merit to this. I watched the series with my sister, who has never touched the game before, and she found it very enjoyable and easy to understand - becoming engrossed in the story while also falling in love with the characters. Not only that, but it left her wanting to play the game. In fact, that was one of my biggest issues that I struggled with while watching this. I loved the series so much and wanted to keep watching, but at the end of every episode, I found myself yearning to play the game so much. So, I easily recommend this as a good way to introduce someone to the game if you want to get them to play with you. Which, after all, is what the show is all about.
In Fact, the best thing about Dad of Light, for me, is how it reminded me of the very reason I play MMORPGs. I play them to escape to other worlds, and bond with my friends and develop the relationships with those whom I care about. Yet, recently, I had forgotten that. I’ve been stressing so much over things like placing in the top 100 of Ranked PvP, and getting a house in the new Shirogane area for my Free Company, that I had actually been putting a strain on the very relationships that I play the game for.
In the end, this show which I had thought would be cheesy and unrealistic is the very thing that reminded me of what’s important to me in the world of Final Fantasy XIV. Though that may not be the case for you, I still highly recommend it for just how adorable; and endearing it is; as well as being just pure comedic gold. It was an incredibly fun ride and one I even went back and watched a second time, and could easily see myself going back for a third.