The Warrior of Light, also known as Hydaelyn's chosen, the hero of Eorzea, the champion of Eorzea, the warrior of warriors, the slayer of gods, the eikon-slayer, the liberator, khagan of the Azim Steppe, the Bringer of Light, the Bringer of Shadow, the Warrior of Darkness (while in the First), stealer of pants (if some of the more puzzling rumors are to be believed), or simply as the adventurer, is the player's created character in Final Fantasy XIV who serves as the protagonist. Warrior of Light is a recurring term in the series since the original Final Fantasy, referring to the player character(s).
The player character is an adventurer in Eorzea during the Seventh Umbral Era who joins one of the three Grand Companies and becomes a key member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. The Warrior of Light can be one of the eight major races of Eorzea: Hyur, Miqo'te, Roegadyn, Lalafell, Elezen, Au Ra, Viera, or Hrothgar.
In the CG cutscenes and most of the game's trailers, a young male Midlander Hyur represents the Warrior of Light, appearing as an Archer in the opening of the original game, as a Warrior in the "End of an Era" cutscene and A Realm Reborn trailers, as a Dragoon in the opening of Heavensward, as both a Monk and Samurai in opening of Stormblood, as a Dark Knight in the trailer of Shadowbringers, and as a Paladin in the trailer of Endwalker.
In addition to the main character, the phrase "Warriors of Light" is also used to describe adventurers who fought in the Battle of Carteneau and disappeared during Bahamut's rampage thanks to Louisoix Leveilleur's magic. Whether the Warrior of Light in Final Fantasy XIV was one of these adventurers or not depends on if the player started playing A Realm Reborn with a character who has gone thru the 1.0 version of the game's story.
The life of an adventurer is the pursuit of fortune and fame and devoting oneself to seeking out danger and glory. It is an endless quest taken up by the most intrepid and dauntless of souls.
The term came into popular use among Eorzeans little more than a decade ago. Left idle by the onset of the Age of Calm, a leading mercenary officer gathered a number of trusted companions to form a guild dedicated to the common cause of aiding the realm. Outside the modest station of their humble beginnings, a simple sign hung for all to see―Adventurers' Guild.
The Adventurers' Guild has since spread, and is now found in each of the realm's great nations. Eorzeans come with their myriad pleas and requests and adventurers heed the call, whether it be slaying of foul beast plaguing the countryside, or the crafting of wares demanding a master's touch.
While the adventurer's personality is crafted by the player's preference, they are initially depicted in cutscenes as stoic and silent, often responding to others with a nod. They are always willing to help those in need.
Following the events leading up to Heavensward, the adventurer's emotions become more pronounced and the player is given more freedom over their character through multiple-choice responses, though there are rare instances where the adventurer's emotions become more expressed independent of player input. At one point, the adventurer becomes enraged to the point of wanting to strike Emmanellain de Fortemps for his panicked attempt to shift blame after an order to strike down a coup's leader, and it is a running joke at various points of Heavensward that the adventurer is leery of drinks offered to them due to the events of Nanamo Ul Namo's botched assassination. The Warrior of Light regrets Haurchefant's death, but continues to honor his memory. When they reunite with the Scions, Papalymo Totolymo remarks that they seem more world-weary and rugged.
The Warrior of Light is uncertain of the future once their mission is complete. When asked by Ser Aymeric during a private social gathering on what they wanted for themselves, not as a Scion, the Warrior of Light is surprised as if having never considered it and is unable to answer.
During the final events of Stormblood, the Warrior of Light controls their emotions and anger. Even in the face of Asahi's insults and hate-filled words, the Warrior does not take the bait, knowing of the political conditions. In Yotsuyu's final moments, the Warrior offers comfort and condolences despite the crimes she had committed to her people.
The Dark Knight job questline delves into the adventurer's psyche. Fray is a manifestation of resentment and bottled up anger at being viewed as a weapon or errand-boy, with the journal entries for the questline referring to an admiration of Fray for voicing the adventurer's own frustrations without worrying about the consequences. This is the adventurer lashing out against their will or "speaking without thinking", as Fray is their dark side fighting for supremacy and is likely not actually visible to anyone else. Fray is also a manifestation of the adventurer's desire for a tutor in the dark arts, as they have no satisfactory starting point for learning to become a Dark Knight beyond the provided Soul Crystal and must teach themselves.
Later, their sorrow manifests as Myste, a boy resembling Ysayle Dangoulain and Haurchefant Greystone, as a representation of the lives the adventurer has taken simply because they or their allies were opposed, and for being unable to save those close to them. With Myste, however, it's much more ambiguous as to whether his motivations align with the adventurer's on any level, as he routinely makes poor decisions in his choices of who to offer post-mortem comfort to among the living, and permission is given to use the aether of the adventurer's Dark Knight soul crystal only grudgingly to begin with.
In Shadowbringers, the Warrior of Light (after taking the mantle of Warrior of Darkness) is angered and sad over the suffering the denizens of the First face. They reunite with their counterpart and former foe, Ardbert, and provide each other advice during the struggle against the sin eaters. The Warrior becomes the catalyst in Arbert regaining his sense of hope, and together they are able to defeat Emet-Selch. The Warrior of Light shows the capacity of sympathy, or at least pity, for their foes, after defeating Vauthry and Solus.
It is also shown that the Warrior is attuned to the personalities of their friends. For example, the Warrior very well knew not to provoke the temper of Alisae and tried to warn Alphinaud not to laugh when she made a clay piece.
Depending on whether the player has played the original version and therefore transferred the data to the relaunch version A Realm Reborn, the Warrior of Light may be one of the original adventurers who disappeared five years ago at the Battle of Carteneau due to Louisoix's spell, suddenly reappearing in the world. If starting from A Realm Reborn, the Warrior of Light is a new adventurer journeying to one of the 3 starting city-states of Eorzea in order to pursue the adventuring life.
The Warrior of Light joins the Scions of the Seventh Dawn after being scouted out in whichever region the player started out in. Their joining marks the Scions' turning-point as an effective organization thanks to the Warrior's ability as a possessor of the Echo to reliably come in contact with primals without fear of enslavement, and their fighting prowess along with Hydaelyn's blessing.
The role of the Warrior of Light beyond the main story is mostly decided by the player's activities and choices made. Progress in certain jobs or tradecraft disciplines has a measure of change on dialogue, such as Estinien Wyrmblood acknowledging the Warrior's status as a second Azure Dragoon in Heavensward.
The ending of Shadowbringers suggests the Warrior of Light may be a reincarnated Amaurotine who did not escape the sundering of the world when Hydaelyn bested Zodiark. It is later revealed that they are the current incarnation of the fourteenth member of the Convocation, Azem. Azem was a member of the Convocation who left Amaurot to see the world and learn of its people, unlike the other members. According to Hythlodaeus, if trouble arose during Azem's travels, he/she would not return home to ask for help, but would seek their comrades and confront the issue directly as was their wont. If asked, Urianger speculates Azem may have been related to the goddess Azeyma and the Au Ra Dawn Father, Azim, due to a similarity in names and mythic connection to the sun/light. Azem's power and memories of them were preserved by a friend in a crystal that the Warrior of Light obtains later in Amaurot during the events of patch 5.3, Reflections in Crystal. This "friend" is later shown to have been Emet-Selch, given implied later involvement in a critical encounter with Elidibus as the original Warrior of Light.
"Meteor Survivor", the CG Warrior of Light
This Midlander Hyur who acts as a poster boy for Final Fantasy XIV represents the player when the player's model can't be used, such as in pre-rendered CGI cutscenes and trailers. He first appeared in promotional images and the game's original opening movie, and has since appeared in the "End of an Era/A New Beginning" videos and related promotional media for A Realm Reborn and the following expansion.
Officially known as Meteor Survivor, a name used in the recordings of the event sequences from 1.0 on the Realm Reborn Collector's Edition lore compilation disc, many fans refer to him as the "CG Midlander", "Hyur Midlander" (first name Hyur, last name Midlander), or "Derplander". He is often shown alongside other characters, including a Sea Wolf Roegadyn, a Wildwood Elezen, a Seeker of the Sun Miqo'te, and a plainsfolk Lalafell, though he is consistently the main focus. These companions do not appear in later expansion opening movies.
At the launch of the original Final Fantasy XIV, most promotional artwork presented him as an Archer and Gladiator. Starting from the "End of an Era" cinematic and into most promotional material for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the character is usually presented as a Warrior and is wielding the Bravura Relic Weapon. In the Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward expansion trailer, the character removes his Warrior armor and replaces it with Dragoon armor. In the Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood expansion trailer he switches to Monk attire and fights unarmed on his adventures through Gyr Abania, while appearing later as a Samurai in Kugane, fighting with a katana. In the CG trailer for Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, the Warrior of Light cycles through all of his previous jobs before settling on Dark Knight. In the trailer for Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, he assumes the role of Paladin. In the beginning, he is also seen wearing a dark robe over his gear, his outline made prominent by a bright light, invoking the image of an Ascian and his alleged Ancient heritage.
As of Patch 3.1, "As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness", characters almost identical to the Hyur Midlander and his companions appear, this time as antagonists titled the Warriors of Darkness. The characters go by aliases in their initial appearances before their real names are revealed in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, with the Male Hyur/Hume Midlander being named Arbert/Ardbert, and the rest are named Blanhaerz/Branden (Male Sea Wolf Roegadyn/Galdjent Paladin), J'rhoomale/Renda-Rae (Female Seeker of the Sun Miqo'te/Mystel Archer), Naillebert/Nyelbert (Male Duskwright Elezen/Elf Black Mage) and Lamimi/Lamitt (Female Plainsfolk Lalafell/Dwarf White Mage). Ardbert shares the same voice actor as the posterboy from the 1.0 trailer.
Behind the scenes
During the 2019 edition of The Rising event, illusions of the player character appeared alongside Naoki Yoshida, dressing in costumes the Meteor Survivor wore in promotional arts; Archer from the original version, Warrior from A Realm Reborn, Dragoon from Heavensward, Monk and Samurai from Stormblood, and Dark Knight from Shadowbringers.
The chosen gender for the Warrior affects Azem and Fray's manifestation. In Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, the Warrior of Light is mentioned by some of the Final Fantasy XIV characters, though without specifying gender.
Since the end of Heavensward, Tataru crafts new outfits for the adventurer to wear, tailored specifically for them and the next journey they embark. At the end of Heavensward, they are given a set of Scion's Adventurer gear consisting of a white shirt with a tie and monocle, the female version featuring a skirt and leggings. At the end of Stormblood, they are given the Scion Traveler gear, a stark contrast featuring a black and red ensemble with a long black cape and a hood with a face cast. The adventurer later wears this outfit in Urianger's vision of the Eight Umbral Calamity. Both attires can be dyed to the player's preference.
In each story expansion, the Warrior of Light chooses jobs based on context, first starting out as a green Archer in version 1.0 before becoming a hardened Warrior at the end and throughout A Realm Reborn. In Heavensward, they become a Dragoon to fight in the Dragonsong War and their connection to Estinien Wyrmblood is strengthened if the player completed the Lv 50 Dragoon job quest. In Stormblood, they take on dual jobs as a Monk and Samurai to fight on two fronts, as those jobs are tied to Ala Mhigo and Doma, respectively.
In Shadowbringers, they become a Dark Knight to take up their role as the Warrior of Darkness and to tie in their relationship with the Ascians. In Endwalker, the Warrior becoming a Paladin calls back to Cecil Harvey from Final Fantasy IV, who underwent a similar transformation from Dark Knight to Paladin. According to Naoki Yoshida, Paladin was chosen to represent the full circle aspect of Endwalker as the character was depicted as a Gladiator in the boxart for 1.0 despite never having taken up the role in any trailers or key art. The Warrior is depicted in the same pose to illustrate their growth throughout the years.
According to Hancock Fitzgerald, one of the stranger epithets given to the Warrior of Light in Stormblood is the Stealer of Pants. Though this is in reference to the Heavensward Hildebrand missions, Hancock claims this is more of a rumor.
In Endwalker, a new male Midlander Hyur facial option was added, allowing players to create a character that closely resembled that expansion trailer's version of them.
The Warrior of Light appears in vision cards from War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
- Scions of Shadow
Ala Mhigo is at last free from imperial rule, but that liberty may prove fleeting as the Empire moves to both reclaim this bloodied nation and subjugate all of Eorzea. In their hour of need, however, they cannot turn to the Warrior of Light. Nor to the Scions, who yet slumber, their souls adrift. The realm is left to struggle without its saviors, for they have been beckoned beyond time and space─beckoned to the First.Vision card description
Scions of Shadow is an UR-rarity vision card. It was illustrated by Akihiko Yoshida.
- Bringers of Shadow
In order to restore darkness to the Norvrandt of the First, in danger of being consumed by the Flood of Light, the Shadowbringers fight against fate itself.
Adventurers who became known as the legendary Warriors of Darkness, the Scions, and the Oracle of Light come together to try to subdue the grotesque Sin Eaters.Vision card description
Bringers of Shadow is an UR-rarity vision card. It was illustrated by SQUARE ENIX.