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10 Most Tragic Final Fantasy 14 Characters, Ranked

You can’t have a good story without tragedy. Final Fantasy 14 is rightly renowned for its dramatic, high stakes drama, where the fate of the world rests on the actions of a select few. However, for every triumphant hero, some poor schmuck must taste the bitter sting of defeat. Final Fantasy 14 has its fair share of tragic figures; characters who have suffered cruelly at the hands of fate.

As is always the way, though, some of Final Fantasy 14’s characters are just more tragic than others. Here are the most tragic characters in Square Enix’s hit MMO. Grab your tissues.

This article contains major spoilers for every Final Fantasy 14 expansion.

10 Estinien

Forced to devote most of his life to a war based on lies, Estinien is one tragic Dragoon. When we first meet him, he is consumed by rage against dragon kind, blaming them for the hardships of his people.

Thanks to the Warrior of Light, he soon learns that the Holy See has been lying to its people. Still, however, Estinien burns with rage, eventually leading him to fuse with Nidhogg: his hated enemy. Eventually, it falls to the Warrior of Light to defeat him in his new form, and to save him from himself.

9 Gaius Van Baelsar

Despite having achieved meme status for his role as the would-be conqueror of Eorzea, Gaius is a surprisingly tragic figure, especially in the later expansions. Overcome with the tragedy of his manipulation at the hands of the Ascians in A Realm Reborn, Gaius takes on the mantle of “shadowhunter” in Stormblood, and ruthlessly seeks his revenge.

Despite this, he remains haunted by his past as a Garlean military leader. During the Terncliff arc, Gaius is forced to fight his adopted children, who have been coerced into piloting the Empire’s latest technological terror: the Weapons. Though he is able to find redemption, it comes at a heavy cost.

8 Misija Votyasch

Misija tried her best. She grew up a commoner in Bozja during Imperial occupation and won a scholarship, despite her lowborn background. Here, she learned that she was descended from Queen Gunnhildr herself. The fact that she had grown up poor, despite being of royal blood, caused her to lose any sense of loyalty to Bozja and its arbitrary system of nobility.

Instead, she sided with the Fourth Legion, infiltrating the Bozjan resistance and hatching a plan to turn the Blades of Gunnhildr against the Bozjans by summoning Save the Queen, a powerful primal. Swiftly defeated by the Warrior of Light, she is imprisoned by the resistance. Despite her misery and regret, Save the Queen offers her a chance to fight for Bozja one last time. After saving Bozja from the Diablo Armament, she asks to be executed for crimes against her people. It doesn’t get more tragic than that.

7 Alphinaud

Scion of the Seventh Dawn, and grandson of Louisoix, this young man had some enormous boots to fill. Framed for the attempted murder of the Saltana of Ul’dah and betrayed by his own army of Crystal Braves, Alphinaud begins Heavensward in a humbled state.

Unfortunately, though he overcomes his more arrogant and hubristic tendencies, Eorzea never seems to run out of hardships to inflict upon the young Elezen. Despite his impressive skills as a healer and diplomat, he remains the butt of his sister’s jokes In the run-up to Endwalker, he is publicly disowned by his father and, during the expansion, he and his sister are briefly captured and become Garlean hostages. To make it worse, on Ultima Thule, he offers up his own life so that the Warrior of Light might eventually defeat Metion. Though he and the rest of the Scions are saved through the power of Azem’s Crystal, it’s clear that Alphinaud has endured more than his fair share of hardship.

6 G’raha Tia

Bound to the Crystal Tower, G’raha had to weather not one but two apocalypses in order to save reality. In an alternate timeline, G’raha presided over the Crystal Tower as The Source was wracked by an Umbral Calamity. In a last ditch effort, he used the Tower to travel backwards in time to The First, where he’d spend the next one hundred years helping the locals fight back against the Flood of Light.

Eventually, his plan would work and the Warrior of Light would join him in The First. With his help, the Warrior averted the Flood of Light, saving the Source from the Umbral Calamity. In the end, G’raha got to be a hero; all it took was a hundred years of suffering.

5 Zenos

On the surface, this fan-favourite killing machine may not seem particularly tragic. Prince of the Garlean Empire and master swordsman, he doesn’t seem like a particularly misfortune figure.

However, scratch the surface and you’ll see an emotionally stunted man, bereft of joy, whose only happiness in life comes from doing battle with the Warrior of Light. He lives for the thrill of the hunt and, having been spoiled by the power of Eorzea’s Champion, nothing else will do. Obsessive and amoral, Zenos is tragic because of the depths of his inhumanity and his inability to form emotional connections with others.

4 Yotsuyu

When we meet Yotsuyu in Stormblood, we are introduced to her as the cold and calculating Imperial Viceroy of Doma. She rules with an iron fist, using psychological torture to keep the oppressed peoples in line.

However, scratch the surface and we see that Yotsuyu has a deeply tragic past. Abused by her parents, even the amnesia she developed after her defeat at Doma castle wasn’t enough to keep the horrid memories of the past at bay, especially not when her brother, Asahi, took cruel steps to restore them. Eventually, she rejoins the Garleans and, thanks to her brother’s manipulation, turns herself into a Primal. With a heavy heart, the Warrior of Light defeats this new threat and puts Yotsuyu out of her misery.

3 Fandaniel

Once Amon of the Crystal Tower, Fadaniel was a sundered Ascian driven to nihilism by the suffering of his people. During the events of Endwalker, Fandaniel successfully travels to Eorzea’s remaining moon which serves as Zodiark’s prison. Having used the Tower of Babil to break four of the five seals, Fandaniel overcomes the final seal in person, merging with Zodiark in an attempt to force the elder Primal to destroy itself.

After we defeat him in his new form, Fandaniel relishes in his own demise. He knows that his defeat will usher in the Final Days and consign all life on Etheirys to oblivion. Though he was a villain through and through, it is heartbreaking to think of the suffering Fandaniel endured before turning to destructive nihilism.

2 Emet-Selch

Shadowbringers’ main villain is as tragic as they come. Responsible for the Flood of Light in The First, Emet-Selch is resolute in his desire to restore his lost home by bringing about the Rejoining. Sure, this would involve a massive apocalypse on a cosmic level, but you can’t make an omelet without cracking a few billion eggs.

In the end, you foil his plans and destroy his hopes of restoring the world he lost. What makes things worse is that, thanks to the machinations of Hermes before the Sundering, Emet-Selch had lost a key set of memories. These recollections would have made it clear to him that his plan was doomed from the start. He was so driven, so committed, but, in the end, it came to nothing.

1 Meition

The Meiteia were created by Hermes to travel the universe, seek out new life and to pursue friendship with creatures beyond Etheirys. What she found was beyond tragic. She, and her siblings found only pain, suffering and hopelessness. This misery led the Meiteia to conclude that life was meaningless and that, by ending all life in the universe, they could spare the suffering of all living things.

So they retreated to the edge of the reality and began to sing the Song of Oblivion, a metaphysical dirge that would stagnate and destroy the aether of any world it reached. Meition, originally created to spread a message of hope and friendship had been twisted by despair and grief. It doesn't get more tragic than that.

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