Final Fantasy XIV is a wonderful game, with a compelling storyline and gameplay mechanics that transcend the MMO genre. But for the last few weeks, the excitement of logging into my account and working on quests has been coupled with the dread of again coming face-to-face with a banner advertising a super expensive, super unsettling doll.
I love Y’shtola Rhul, a Miqo’te (read: catgirl) sorceress who’s been part of the Final Fantasy XIV adventure since it launched over a decade ago. Not only is she one of your predominant allies, but she’s often a major player in story events as well, utilising her immense magical abilities to pull off some really incredible feats.
All this makes Y’shtola an obvious reference for use in high-quality collectibles. That said, I wasn’t quite ready to see this doll every day.
Created by Volks, a high-end manufacturer known for its line of ball-jointed Dollfie figures, this Y’shtola doll is the first thing that greets Final Fantasy XIV players on the log-in screen since it was announced earlier this month. The large banner ad is hard to avoid as it’s one of the few images present in the menu, and while I wouldn’t call the doll scary, it definitely gives off an uncanny valley vibe.
“What’s the big deal? It’s only a doll,” you must be saying to yourself. Well, for your information, I’m not the only one who’s been haunted by this vinyl figure. Here are some choice quotes from users on the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit:
“Every third rotation of the ad the picture changes to stare at you.”
“Finally hit a point in my college where I had time to play again, load up the launcher and am greeted by that nightmarish face.”
“Haunted Y’shtola doll that drinks all your Pepsi and calls you a bitch.”
“She can see into my soul. She calls to me.”
“It’s almost October so I’m fine with being perpetually terrified.”
Oh, and did I mention this thing costs $US980 ($1,365)? At that price point, it better perform chores or something too. Lord knows I could use some help folding all these clothes.