So… I was thinking about the Echo… the story.. and the linear game path… and I think I have decided Buy FFXIV Gil that the game has a nefarious underlying tone…
I think the Echo passes on memories of prior Warriors of Light.. and considering that you can be any job… I have the suspicion that we are not playing our own story… but that we are, in fact, reliving the story of the warriors of light. That would explain how you can experience fights from any perspective.
I think that this entire game is actually the flooding of recollection to a new Warrior of Light of times long passed. “Our Story” is actually history already lived.
No, that doesn’t make it any less exciting or enjoyable… but it does kind of allay my objections of “gaming on rails”… since we are not actually living out our story..but experiencing the story of Heroes of Light Past.
(I confess that I got this idea by the narrative intros of HW when you go into a new area… it seemed like a narration of things past).
If that is the case… then who are we? Are we a new Warrior of Light … or are we simply the audience for the “Tales that Time Tells”? =-)
The irony is, how the Echo was depicted in version 1.0 and revelations by Ferne about what was really happening in 1.0’s original storyline, it seems this idea was actually a lot like what SE seemed to be leading to all along – the Echo in 1.0 worked a little differently in that there was no actual visual difference when inside an Echo vision or in ‘reality’ – the only clue you were given especially early on was a subtle ‘woosh’ effect to show the transition between reality and the Echo, where as now Echo visions are rendered more like an old grainy VHS video complete with static and a washed out sepia tone.
Additionally, Ferne confirmed on the old 1.0 forum that the original starting city storylines in 1.0 actually were mostly within Echoes – the player’s character, a newly arrived adventure who has just been awoken to the Echo, did not realize they were not actually living those events as they were occurring but were actually bouncing around in various characters’ memories of events that had happened about ten years earlier – they were still an adventurer, but they were not really actually doing anything other than relive past events. It was a real mind screw that no doubt influenced the writing and lore teams to change how the Echo was handled in ARR and resulted in the transition into viewing a scene through the Echo to be more obvious.
Of course this isn’t quite the same as ‘you’re living another person’s life through the entire story’, especially as 1.0’s original storyline has been mostly cannibalized for Final Fantasy XIV Gil ideas for ARR (and is thus retconned), but it comes very close.