Crystal bearer... I am Hydaelyn, all made one.
Hydaelyn, also referred to simply as The Crystal or The Mothercrystal, is a central character in the main storyline of Final Fantasy XIV. She shares her name with the world where the game takes place, which she had created. A sentient crystal, she sends the adventurer on their quest against the machinations of the Ascians.
Sentient crystals have been a core element of the Final Fantasy series since the first game, their chosen being the player characters known as the Warriors of Light. Crystals are deity-like figures that tend to govern the world's elements or souls and the cycles of incarnation in some manner.
Hydaelyn is a gigantic sentient crystal, shaped roughly like a teardrop with several smaller crystals orbiting her in a ring.
Hydaelyn shows kindness and care towards the world she created, feels threatened by the encroaching darkness, and sees the adventurer as her warrior who will return light to the world. She speaks in a soft, gentle voice, never venting negative emotions.
Mark her words well, Adventurer, for it is Hydaelyn herself who speaks.
Hydaelyn speaks with the adventurer before s/he receives a vision of the Ascian mage Lahabrea. After the adventurer gains the first crystal of light Hydaelyn appears to him/her in a vision with instructions to find the other crystals and banish the encroaching darkness from the world. During the final confrontation with Lahabrea, the adventurer and the Ascian appear before the goddess.
The adventurer glimpses a dark crystal identical in shape to Hydaelyn in a vision. Whether the crystal is a vision of Hydaelyn being corrupted by darkness, or a different deity, remains unknown. Nevertheless, she no longer speaks with the adventurer after Midgardsormr cancels the Blessing of Light to test the adventurer's worth. This enables Nabriales to attack the Scions of the Seventh Dawn directly. Later, while escaping through the Sil'dih Aqueducts, Minfilia Warde claims to hear Hydaelyn and decides to stay behind.
Ysayle Dangoulain is another of Hydaelyn's chosen, and the adventurer gradually regains the Blessing of Light with Hydaelyn warning of a great darkness. Once the blessing is restored, Midgardsormr recognizes the adventurer as Hydaelyn's chosen. Krile possesses the Echo, and mentions people with it are born around the time of Umbral Eras. She reveals Hydaelyn gives gifts in the form of Crystals of Light whose potency depends on the time Hydaelyn created it prior to her waning strength. The crystal eye in Matoya's possession is one such Crystal of Light from an older era.
Hydaelyn had urged Minfilia to return to Y'shtola and Thancred Waters's side following their escape attempt. Minfilia was caught up in Y'shtola's Flow spell, which brought her into the Aetherial Sea to Hydaelyn herself. Minfilia offered her body to the weakened Mother Crystal, and became the "Word of the Mother," her avatar. When the adventurer enters the Aetherial Sea looking for Minfilia, Hydaelyn channels herself through the Word to speak with him/her.
Hydaelyn uses what little strength she has to reveal the truth of the Ascians: servants to Zodiark, her opposite, who once existed in perfect harmony with her but was corrupted by his thirst for more power. To protect the world, Hydaelyn fragmented him into twelve pieces and worked throughout the ages to prevent him from becoming whole and reviving. She could not prevent the calamities that brought the Umbral Eras into being, which meant one more fragment rejoining Zodiark. She urges the adventurer to stop the Ascians before it is too late, while warning that her strength is waning. She sends the adventurer back while Minfilia's form dissipates into aether.
Hydaelyn is voiced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn in English, but from Heavensward onwards she is voiced by Joanna Roth, Masako Ikeda in Japanese, Véronique Augereau in French and Sonngard Dressler in German. She shares her English voice actress with Nora Estheim in Final Fantasy XIII and Rosso in Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-, and her Japanese voice actress, Masako Ikeda, with the Cloud of Darkness in Dissidia Final Fantasy and its sequel and Miotsk Aufmachyt in Final Fantasy Type-0.
- At PAX East, Michael-Christopher Koji Fox revealed that the songs "Answers" and "Dragonsong" are from Hydaelyn's perspective. The former is her explaining to the wandering tribes that hardship is how one understands their true self, while the latter is Hydaelyn struggling to understand why the Ishgardians and Dravanians created a nigh unbreakable cycle of bloodshed in the Dragonsong War.