This week’s article is a continuation of the Heavensturn Lore published last week. In today’s issue, I will be summarizing the story of the Heavensturn events of 2016 to 2018.
Heavensturn is the Final Fantasy XIV seasonal event for the New Year celebration. The focus is upon The Twelve as they discover which one of them will ascend, watch over and guide Eorzea for the coming year. Among the citizens, however, attentions are drawn to the creatures represented in the Far Eastern traditions where each year a beast is honored in place of The Twelve. A more detailed description can be found here.
Date: 31.12.2010 – 17.01.2011
A Far Eastern delegation has come to impart upon Eorzea the good fortune of the monkey. Those who would honor this special bond between man and beast are encouraged to speak with the Saru Bugyo.
During the Heavensturn of 2016, we pay a visit to the Saru Bugyo who tells us of the antics of this year’s honored beast, the monkey. In the Far East, the monkey is a beacon of positive energies and part of the reason why they are recruited by their festival performers. The Saru Bugyo are saddened that the Eorzeans do not seem to appreciate the monkey for its playful nature and would rather see it as a nuisance. He requests your aid to see that the reputations of these creatures are set to rights.
We are sent to talk with Mochi Daikan, the master of rice cakes. The idea is presented that a mountain of rice cakes are made then dispensed to the citizens of Eorzea by the monkeys themselves. The preparations were begun on the outskirts of Ul’dah, using some of the strongest creatures to pound the rice: coliseum Cyclops. However, this attracted the attention of some local Opo-opo’s who disrupted the proceedings and reinforced the already poor reputation of the monkey. The Saru Bugyo begs us to retrieve the mochi and deliver it to Jiromaru and his handler, who will be traveling behind us at a safe distance.
The player must participate in the FATE ‘Pounding Rice, Pounding Hearts’ located near either of the following destinations: Zephyr Gate, Salt Strand, Bentbranch Meadows, Hyrstmill, Ul’Dah Dispatch Yard or Camp Drybone.
We return, to the relief of the Saru Bugyo who greatly appreciates our efforts. The unfolding events were seen by the local residents and the situation was somewhat misunderstood. In their view it had all been part of a Far Eastern festival performance and that the Opo-opo’s were, in fact, trying to save the ‘foolish’ adventurers from the big bad Cyclops. The Saru Bugyo hopes that this chain of events will improve the opinion of the creature’s reputation among the citizens and thanks us for our help. They have decided to continue making and distributing the rice cakes throughout the festival and would greatly appreciate our aid if we would wish to help them again in this endeavor. In return for our efforts we are presented with the See No/Speak No/Hear No Helm.
Date: 31.12.2016 – 16.01.2017
With Heavensturn upon us, the Twelve convene once more to decide who amongst them shall ascend the throne and take up the reins for the coming year. As the deities on high discuss matters of the divine, Far Eastern delegates arrive on Eorzean soil, intent on celebrating the advent of the new year with a different figurehead─the Chocobo. Unfortunately for them, local citizens are far from enthusiastic to join in on their festivities and their leader, the Tori Buygo, makes one last-ditch attempt to garner interest. Join their cause, and be rewarded with not only a shower of smiles and praise, but also one-of-a-kind equipment from the far side of the sea.
In the year of the 2017 Heavensturn event, we meet with the Tori Bugyo who is dismayed that their festival celebrations have not been well received by local residents. We are sent to speak with the citizens of Limsa Lominsa to assess how successful the distribution of rice cakes will be to encourage participation and positivity towards the event. The reactions suggest the crowds would be amenable to such an endeavor so we rush back to the Tori Bugyo with the good news. However, during the report we are interrupted by the breathless Mochi Daihan. He reports that insensed Chocobo’s have been flocking to the mochi pounding site and are devouring the rice cakes intended for the festival-goers. We are asked to accompany Mochi Daikan back to the pounding site to help chase the beasts away and salvage festival treats. As you prepare to leave, he informs you he will meet you there as he must escort Jiromaru (a paissa who will look after the recovered mochi).
The player must participate in the FATE ‘Pounding More Mochi, Pounding More Hearts’ near either of the following locations: southeast of the Zephyr Gate or to the east of the Salt Strand.
Upon rescuing the remaining mochi we return back to the Tori Bugyo who is overjoyed at our return and presents us with our very own ‘cock Kabuto’.
Date: 31.12.2017 – 15.01.2018
After another prosperous and eventful year, Heavensturn is upon us at last. In Far Eastern tradition, an animal is selected to lead the proceedings, and this time it is the turn of the loyal and courageous dog. Its representative, the Inu Bugyo, aims to share the customs of the east with Eorzea, while the pirates known as the Rabid Wives have other ideas. A host of unique rewards is on offer, so be sure to join in the celebration!
Heavensturn 2018 is upon us and with it comes an encounter with the Inu Bugyo, who wishes for a moment of our time. The Inu Bugyo introduces himself to us as the healer of a Far Eastern delegation seeking to strengthen the bond with the citizens of Eorzea. He informs us that although the festival is celebrated in both lands, they choose to grant the honor to a beast rather than a deity among the Twelve. This year that honor falls to the noble dog.
Once again, as with the previous two years events, they are to celebrate the festival by handing out rice cakes. Our aid is requested to help spread the word, to which of course we agree! First though, we are asked about our knowledge of mochi pounding and of course, it wouldn’t be an FFXIV seasonal event without some questionably humorous dialogue.
If we choose the option of a virgin mochi pounder, a Far Eastern Lilt, none other than Mochi Daikan, appears and educates us on the matter. Following this, we are told that although rice cakes have been distributed before, the tradition is being altered to align with this year’s honored beast. Taro the dog, who is able to perform a special trick for the celebration, is introduced to us and we are asked to join him to promote the festival to the citizens.
We search the city for Taro, who is busy entertaining the locals with his cute demeanor and they await his performance and the rice cakes with great anticipation. Not all are impressed and we receive threats from the Rabid Wives Houndkeep, who believes that if people think dogs are cute and cuddly, his fierce deck hounds will not sell.
The Inu Bugyo greets you upon return but informs you that Taro is visibly shaken and enquires as to the events of the Lower Decks. He is shocked and dismayed at by the threats of the ‘detestable pirates’ who make beasts of their dogs. Sadly Taro is now in no state to perform and they must make do with mochi alone. Mochi Daikan arrives with terrible news that vicious hounds are attacking the pounding site. We are recruited to lend our aid to protect the mochi. Surprisingly, Taro displays his determination to follow along behind and aid us in securing the mochi.
The player must participate in the FATE ‘Who Let the Hounds Out’ in either of the following locations: southeast of the Zephyr Gate or to the east of the Salt Strand. Avoid the Cyclops beating the drum and obtain the mochi rice Advent Cakes by attacking the deck hounds.
After a successful outing, we return to Limsa and a very pleased Inu Bugyo, who informs us that even Taro has regained his strength and is able to perform. There is an interruption by an ‘Obnoxious Voice’, still angered by the presence of Taro. The Rabid Wives Houndkeep appears once again to confront us, informing us that this is pirate town and strength matters, that we must purchase one of his dogs before leaving otherwise it is deemed incredibly rude. The Inu Bugyo exclaims we must protect the citizens, however, in a surprise show of strength, Taro confronts the hound and keeper. The citizens praise him for his protective instincts and rally to his side, telling the Houndkeep to “Go to the shitehole whence you came!” at which he turns tail and runs. The Inu Bugyo believes this to show that the festival has already become a great success and rewards our efforts with our very own Inu Kabuto to remind us of the events of the day.
The Final Fantasy seasonal events are always a pleasant and much-anticipated occurrence. The Heavensturn festivities are on a significantly smaller scale than those of the Starlight Celebration, but in previous years it seemed a little more effort had gone into the story and quest surrounding the celebration. The past three years event is basically a copy and paste scenario with even the FATES being duplicated alongside a different ‘honoured beast’. Each year the event rewards have somewhat reduced even though they exclaim that ‘a host of rewards’ is available. There is also less mention of the Eorzean Celebration in recent times and I find it difficult to even see a reference to the ascended deity of The Twelve (perhaps I’ve missed something!).
My hope is that this won’t become the pattern for all seasonal events (even though most share similarities, the stories have much greater depth) where we get the exact same task each year, for example, events within World of Warcraft. I very much doubt this fear will be realized though, as the developers of Final Fantasy XIV care deeply about the game and its story. Even the duplicated Heavensturn events have a short, pleasant and humorous storyline interwoven into them, along with a unique event reward, so I doubt there is much to worry about!
This concludes the Heavensturn special edition of Echoes of Eorzea for the time being, until next year!
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