Imagining Final Fantasy XIV’s island shrine if it looked more like Animal Crossing

Like many others, I’ve spent the last two weeks obsessing over the addition of Island Sanctuary to Final Fantasy 14. This new content gives you access to your very own little island haven, where you can build various structures, plant crops , breed animals, gather materials, craft items, let your minions run wild, and even create your own mammet sweatshop.


I’ve scraped every last bit of EXP I can to chase Sanctuary Tier Ten. My mind became numb from the repeated message “You gain 10 island experience” in the process, but it also gave me plenty of time to think about what Island Sanctuary might have been like if it had felt a bit more like my last island getaway – Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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There are already many parallels between the two. You start with an empty island that you have to farm, but instead of dealing with annoying tanuki requests and exorbitant loan repayments, you have Felicitous Furball on your case. You can build different landmarks and buildings, though the level of customization is next to nothing compared to New Horizons, and you’ll soon find yourself busy gathering, crafting, and collecting animals.

The idea that each island is randomly generated is interesting. Sure, that would wreak havoc with players looking for where to find these rare grazing animals, but I bet countless people would reload again and again to get their ideal layout on the island. Different beaches, rivers, waterfalls and more – you get the idea. This would make visiting other players’ islands all the more interesting if things looked very different from your own sanctuary.

Imagine if you could have your favorite FF14 characters move in as neighbors. You know Emet-Selch would be the equivalent of Raymond. Players would be desperate to get him to move in and would likely be willing to part with anything to bring him to their island. I like to think his house would be themed around the recreation of Amaurot in the Tempest. But who would be among the characters we wouldn’t want in our island sanctuaries? Who would be the Wart Jr. of the FF14 world? Personally, Minfilia would be the one I would try to start.

This train of thought also got me thinking about what personality category each character would fall into. I couldn’t decide if Estinien would be grumpy or athletic. Y’shtola would probably be the big sister type, and Thancred would fit in well with the lazy crowd. Don’t just think of main characters like the Scions either, because Magnai might be smug, while Sadu might be arrogant. Oh, I could do this all day!

Maybe some of our favorites wouldn’t be possible villagers at all, but set NPCs instead. When it comes to all the grazing animals we collect, it’s not hard to imagine having to donate them to a museum. There are a few candidates who could fill the role of Blathers, but for some reason my headcanon is determined to be Urianger. He strikes the right balance between being super knowledgeable but prone to being silly and a completely lovable jerk. Try giving him a goobbue, and he’ll start telling you how they’re usually from La Noscea as he anxiously tries to guide him around the museum. And we all know there’s no doubt that Tataru would take on the role of Isabelle.

Our FF14 islands are subject to a weather cycle, like everywhere else in Eorzea, and this affects the rare grazing animals that spawn. However, it would be interesting to see a seasonal cycle as well. Different grazing animals could appear at different times of the year, while the environment would visually change to reflect the time of year. This could see a wider variety of animals to find and capture, and it would be great to see this expand to fishing. We all know that it is one of the basic elements of life simulations. Mostly, I just want to see snowfall on my little island.

As much as I appreciate Island Sanctuary, I feel like there’s more to come. It needs to be updated in the future to keep it relevant and keep us going back, but more importantly it needs to be more unique for each player. Right now, I have no desire to visit other players’ islands just to see a replica of mine. In the meantime, if you want to play pretend and act like your island sanctuary has a New Horizon twist, the best you can do is roam your popular FF14 NPC minions. Excuse me while I go see what Estinien is doing near the public baths.

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