For several millennia, the Crystal Tower remained hidden, buried deep underground. But, like so many other things that were better left undisturbed, the structure was freed from its stony prison by the great upheaval which accompanied the coming of the Seventh Umbral Era. It now stands revealed in all its splendor, a gleaming spear of crystal, pointed at the bosom of the heavens.
The Crystal Tower is a series of level 50 raids in Final Fantasy XIV located in the Mor Dhona territory. It was the first series of raids with 24 players, and are important for earning higher level equipment. Both the structure, and the enemies thriving there, is a homage to Final Fantasy III.
A weekly quest known as The Gift of the Archmagus requires the player to beat all three raids, which earns an item from each, and present them to Koh Rabntah (21, 8) in Mor Dhona, to earn either Carboncoat, Carbontwine or an Unidentified Allagan Tomestone, along with a guaranteed Allagan Catalyst.
According to ancient scriptures, at the height of their prosperity, the Allagan Empire crafted a resplendent tower forged entirely of crystal that collected and stored energy from the sun. The tower had numerous defenses, including ancient beings revived and augmented by Allagan technology. However, when the Allagan Empire began to fall into decline during the late Third Astral Era, its ruler Amon used their technology to create a clone of their founding ruler Xande to restore their empire to its former glory. Unfortunately, motivated by his mortality, Xande's ambition was insatiable and he made a pact with the Cloud of Darkness to bring her and her voidsent brethren into Eorzea to wipe out everything.
To support the necessary Voidgate to the World of Darkness, Xande commissioned the creation of Dalamud to transmit solar energy to the Syrcus Tower. The resulting energy was too much for the tower to contain, and was catastrophically released in the form of a terrible earthquake that ushered in the Fourth Umbral Era. Though the tower sank into the earth and faded into legend while the Allagan civilization was laid to ruin, Amon had kept himself and Xande in suspended animation inside the tower. When Nael van Darnus called forth Dalamud with Meteor and Bahamut emerged at the onset of the Seventh Umbral Era, the tower was unearthed with its inhabitants reawakened in response, along with Xande.
Motivated by curiosity about the technologies within, while also fearing it may contain Allagan weapons similar to the Ultima Weapon, Cid nan Garlond and Rammbroes of the Sons of Saint Coinach enlist the adventurers enter the tower. The entrance is protected by barriers created by four pairs of statues called the Eight Sentinels. To rectify the matter, the Baldesion scholar G'raha Tia commissions the adventurer to find four Perfect Crystals and four Aethereal Sands around the realm for Cid to craft into crystal fangs that would enable their party, whimsically named NOAH ("Nominated Observers of Artifacts Historical") by G'raha, to venture into the Labyrinth of the Ancients.
Once they destroy the sentinels, deciding that his group should study their mechanics, Cid requests the adventurer and his/her companions to continue in their stead to deal with any threats within the labyrinth of Ancients before they continue. Throughout the Labyrinth, the party needs to open the path to the Walk of Ascension that leads to the center of the tower through the Hall of the Inexorable where the tower's gatekeeper Phlegethon, a hero of the Allagan revolution, resides. Once Phlegethon is defeated, Cid and his group decide to fall back to Saint Coinach's Find to recuperate before resuming the expedition. Meanwhile, Nero tol Scaeva secretly begins surveying the Eighty Sentinels, noting how a great power source lies at the top of the spire.
Progress into the central spire—known as Syrcus Tower by ancient Allag—reached a standstill due to the front door being impervious to all forms of physical, magical, or magitek force. It was then that two strangers approached the camp, claiming to be from the Students of Baldesion. Introducing themselves as Doga and Unei, they accompanied NOAH to the front door where they were able to open the front door by emitting a bright light. It was then that Nero approached the team, claiming that the door had been sealed to all but Allagan royal blood and select Allagan personnel, and revealed that the mysterious pair were Allagan constructs: clones of ancient sages Doga and Unei. Coming clean, Doga and Unei reveal they were created to prevent Eorzea from being threatened by the revived Xande, needing the adventurer's help to neutralize the potential threat. Climbing the massive spire, the alliance of adventurers battle their way through the tower's defenses, confronting Amon and eventually Emperor Xande himself.
As the ancient king lies defeated, Cid and the others, including Nero, arrive. Doga and Unei move forward to seal the Voidgate and break Xande's covenant. As they begin their ritual, Nero begins laughing in excitement, as he detects the energy source from the gate is greater than even the Ultima Weapon. However, refusing to let the pact be broken, the Cloud of Darkness summons a group of Doga and Unei clones to hold off the adventurer, NOAH, and Nero while dragging Doga into the World of Darkness before grabbing Unei. Nero attempts to intervene but is pulled into the Voidgate as well, allowing the void to enter his body to protect Doga and Unei as the Cloud of Darkness, who cannot directly harm them, sics other Voidsent on the two.
As the gate subsides, Cid suggests they return to Saint Coinach's Find. With the new threat of Cloud of Darkness revealed, the investigation goes from studying Allagan relics to dealing with dangerous voidsent. But they soon learn that the Crystal Tower is still acting on Xandes's order of gathering energy for the Cloud of Darkness and cannot be stopped except by someone with Allagan royal blood. This requires the group to save Doga and Unei so they can perform the task. After Cid finishes the machine that would produce the Voidgate, the adventurer and G'raha venture into the World of Darkness. After weakening the Cloud of Darkness, the adventurer and G'raha find Doga, Unei, and Nero as the two clones decide to remain in the World of Darkness to hold off the bodiless Cloud of Darkness while G'raha is revealed to be of the Allagan Royal bloodline as they transfer their blood into him to augment his powers, allowing him to control the Crystal Tower. G'raha and the adventurer return to Eorzea. Nero also escapes from the World of Darkness, restored to his original self by Doga and Unei and rescued by Cid.
Upon returning to Eorzea, G'raha tells the rest of NOAH that Doga and Unei's blood has revealed to him the secret of his own bloodline and his purpose. After the calamity that claimed the Allagan Empire, the remaining Allagan survivors wished that, some day, their tower could be revived as a symbol of hope for Eorzea. The last remaining Allagan princess used technology to transfer her bloodline to G'raha's ancestor, hoping that his family would one day be able to fulfill that dream. G'raha states to the rest of the group his intent to seal the Crystal Tower, with himself inside. When, one day in the future, technology has caught up to the level once wielded by the Allagans, the tower will be able to be reopened, and G'raha will awaken to greet the people of that era and guide them to make Allagan's dream of hope a reality. He bids farewell to his companions, who promise to help make that day come sooner than he expects, before sealing the doors of the Tower. The Sons of Saint Coinach remain to record NOAH's findings, while Cid, Nero, and the adventurer go their separate ways.
The scale of this structure defies comprehension... Someone clearly thought bigger was better.
The first line of defenses, these statuary are located outside the main entrances in Mor Dhona. Each pair of statues creates an elemental barrier that prevents any means of breaching, even with flight. The player must first help Cid assemble the elemental fangs needed to overload the Sentinels before the raid instances can be undertaken.
Labyrinth of the AncientsEdit
With the help of Cid nan Garlond, members of the expedition to the Crystal Tower have successfully penetrated the defenses of the Eight Sentinels. The ancient Allagan structure is not so easily entered, however, and the Labyrinth of the Ancients now awaits the fellowship of NOAH as they seek the ultimate prize.
A maze that circles around the Crystal Tower, serving as the only path way leading to the tower itself. The raid alliance must clear several halls containing voidsent before they can activate the lift leading to the labyrinth's guardian: Phlegethon.
The treasure coffers are split for each party in the alliance, and contain armor based on classic Final Fantasy designs, such as the Warrior of Light and the Onion Knight.
Having secured a path through the Labyrinth of the Ancients, the fellowship of NOAH finds itself before the entrance to the Crystal Tower proper. With the aid of their new comrades, Unei and Doga, the companions succeed in opening the gate whose workings had baffled even the brightest minds among them. Upon learning that dark forces have awakened within, the fellowship decides to suspend its investigative effort in favor of sealing off the tower. You must fight your way to the apex and defeat the resurrected Emperor Xande, that Eorzea might be free of his all-consuming ambition.
The immense central spire of the tower complex itself. The full alliance must climb the tower and defeat its guardians to confront Emperor Xande himself.
The treasure coffers are split for each party in the alliance, and contain armor based on the various humanoid bosses in the Crystal Tower raid, as well as items needed to upgrade Gerolt Masterworks equipment.
The World of DarknessEdit
In the twilight of his reign, the first and last emperor of Allag, Xande, desired power above all else. He turned to the terrible being known as the Cloud of Darkness, a ruler of the void, and asked of her strength to make the world kneel before his throne with a covenant of blood.
When Xande was slain, his ambitions were laid to rest alongside him. Yet the Cloud of Darkness still seeks to enter the material realm, and will soon find passage through the Voidgate set to manifest within Syrcus Tower. With the fiend's coming, can the fellowship of NOAH brave the void and rescue the three souls able to stem the Cloud's flood of shadows, or will the expedition itself vanish beyond the rift in the World of Darkness?
Located beyond a Voidgate created by Syrcus Tower's energies, the raid alliance must brave the Void itself in order to confront the Cloud of Darkness and rescue her hostages.
The treasure coffers are split for each party in the alliance, and contain Demon equipment.
In the Labyrinth of the Ancients part, plays a rearranged version of "The Altar Cave" from Final Fantasy III, called "Hubris". The battle theme, called "Ever Upwards" is also a more aggressive remix of the same theme.
A rearranged version of "Battle 2", called "Tumbling Down" plays during the battles with Phlegethon, Xande, and Cerberus. A muffled variation plays for players who are in Cerberus's stomach.
In the Syrcus Tower part, a rearranged version of "The Crystal Tower" plays throughout it. The track features a more active sounding variant that is swapped to whenever the raid group is in combat.
In the World of Darkness, a rearrangement of the "Dark Crystal" titled "Blind to the Dark" plays. Like the previous raids, a more active sounding version called "Hamartomania" plays once the raid alliance is in combat.
- The Crystal Tower in Final Fantasy XIV is filled to the brim with callbacks to the similar tower from Final Fantasy III. The Eight Sentinels reflect the statues blocking the path to the Crystal Tower on the world map in Final Fantasy III, both being disabled with elemental "fangs." The Labyrinth of the Ancients instance is based directly on the Ancients' Maze which surrounds the tower in Final Fantasy III, from music to similar color palettes and visual elements (particularly the lava) to the enemies and bosses being similar (the Bone Dragon, Thanatos and King Behemoth all being enemies in Final Fantasy III, and Phlegethon being based on the version of Titan who served as a boss). Concept art for a number of other classic Final Fantasy III enemies has also been shown, and all are intended as bosses for later parts of the tower.