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If you're ever told by fellow gamers that MMORPGs are time-consuming money eaters with mediocre storytelling, believe them with one exception called Final Fantasy XIV. The second expansion pack of FFXIV, Heavensward, told the grand tale of a thousand-year war between humans and dragons—an event that contained multiple storytelling elements players might recognize from FFX and X-2.

I think I like both games just a little too much.

Between belief systems

Across FFX and X-2, Spira underwent years of transition after its belief system (i.e. Old Yevon), which lasted for a millennium previously but was found to be built on lies and deception, broke down. Ishgard, a city-state in Heavensward, experienced similar changes when a civil conflict uncovered the truth that Ishgardians had lived under false teachings by the church for a thousand years. The story of Ishgard was perhaps more tragic—those who started the war were believed to be heroes while innocent victims were labeled as heretics, but the underlying concept in both cases overlap: oftentimes the true enemy is amongst ourselves.

Between races and prejudice

Another parallel between Spira and Ishgard is their approach to readjust deeply rooted values of racism, preceded by major changes in respective belief systems and social structure. For Spira, religious persecution of the Al Bhed was a long-time road blocker to advancement in technology. For Ishgard, dragons were distinct targets of discrimination even though humans were the true culprits who brought about the thousand-year war. In both worlds, leading factions of society were put to the challenge of striking good balance between logic and emotion when enforcing changes in law and order: it's easy to forget that many forms of prejudice are results of misunderstanding between people of differing characteristics.

In a nutshell, humans make too much trouble for themselves, both on paper and in practice. Perhaps life is more interesting that way.

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