The hype for Endwalker’s impending launch recently pushed me back into the arms of Final Fantasy XIV. Instead of doing the smart thing and working my way through the massively multiplayer role-playing game’s litany of main story quests so I’d be caught up in time for the expansion’s November 23 release, however, I’ve been grinding for mounts. And of the many choices, one sneezy boy holds a special place in my heart.
My love affair with mounts started with the Quartz Regalia. I don’t have any lasting fondness for Final Fantasy XV, but seeing its iconic automobile return to Final Fantasy XIV awoke a strange hunger. I wanted to fly that beefy muscle car around Eorzea, but more importantly, I wanted to be seen flying that beefy muscle car around Eorzea.
As a relatively new FFXIV player, I don’t have accomplishments to brag about or magnificent outfits with which to stunt on other players. Here, I thought, was an easy way to exponentially increase my swag.
Mounts, if you’re not familiar with MMOs, are items — cars, horses, planes, and all manner of other conveyances — that allow you to zoom across the genre’s huge, digital worlds quickly rather than jogging around on foot like a schmuck. Over its decade-long existence, Final Fantasy XIV’s stable of rideable creatures and contraptions has expanded to almost 200 mounts, with different requirements — ranging from levelling up to paying actual money — for unlocking each.
A simple way to acquire Final Fantasy XIV mounts is to participate in the game’s regular events, wherein you can interact with characters from other games or celebrate the fantasy version of some real-world holiday. One such event recently saw Final Fantasy XV pretty boy Noctis Lucis Caelum mysteriously teleported to Hydaelyn (the planet on which FFXIV takes place) and it was up to players to help him repair his iconic motor vehicle, the Quartz Regalia, so he could return home.
Whenever the event, first introduced in 2019, returns to Final Fantasy XIV, it unlocks several special Final Fantasy XV-themed items. Noctis’ all-black casual outfit, for instance, is rewarded as you complete the event’s short quest line, but if you want to complete the ensemble with the prince’s swoopy hairstyle and automobile (which in FFXIV functions as a four-seat mount), you’ll need to take a trip to a casino known as The Gold Saucer.
Yes, that’s how I got sucked into the world of Final Fantasy XIV gambling.
The Gold Saucer is a palace of diversions, all of which pay out in a unique currency known as Manderville Gold Saucer Points (MGP). You can participate in Chocobo races, for instance, or Maple Story-style jump quests. There are multiple lotteries, some of which promise huge MGP rewards. The casino even hosts regular tournaments for Triple Triad, the card game from Final Fantasy VIII. It’s a really cool place that I’m just now starting to appreciate.
That said, all of this pales in comparison to the MGP that’s up for grabs in the Fashion Report, a weekly challenge to find clothing that closely matches themes presented by the contest’s organiser, an NPC named Masked Rose. Every Tuesday, Masked Rose gives you a new fashion challenge with vague requirements like “vagabond” gloves or something “avant garde” for your feet, and it’s up to Final Fantasy XIV players to figure out what he means and construct a unique outfit.
It’s possible to win up to 60,000 MGP by way of the Fashion Report and a little help from Kaiyoko Star, a Reddit user who posts Fashion Report solutions every Friday. Thanks to Kaiyoko’s findings, I’ve reliably added tens of thousands of MGP to my coffers on a weekly basis, which greatly assisted my quest to purchase a Regalia mount for its 200,000 MGP asking price. But once I had the car in my possession, it felt hollow. Had I really earned it? I tried flying it around a few times but quickly returned to my trusty Chocobo.
Having only just begun, I wasn’t around for the dark ages of Final Fantasy XIV’s initial launch and its subsequent rebirth under beloved producer Naoki Yoshida. I’ve been watching YouTube videos in my free time to learn more about that period, particularly the wonderful Noclip documentary about how the MMO was rebooted.
At one point, host Danny O’Dwyer explains how players came together to form a wall of Goobbues (depicted in the video above) at one of the game’s major cities as the original world came to a cataclysmic end. I immediately fell in love with the large, dopey-looking monsters, and you can probably see where this is going.
While I was bummed to find out those original Goobbue mounts are no longer available, I soon learned that the Laurel Goobbue variation is still offered as a reward for strengthening your relationship with a Beast tribe — that’s how FFXIV refers to non-playable races, which kind of sucks — known as the Sylphs. All you need to do is complete small quests on a daily basis, basically doing grunt work for the fairy folks until they think you’re cool. Eventually they think you’re cool enough to let you buy a Laurel Goobbue horn, which adds that lovely creature to your retinue of mounts.
After several days of faithfully completing these Beast tribe quests, earning my Laurel Goobbue felt like much more of an accomplishment than simply following someone’s dress-up instructions. I appreciate the community effort that goes into solving the Fashion Report every week, of course, but helping out the Sylph was a special way to further involve myself in the world of Final Fantasy XIV, even if the missions themselves weren’t all that fun or compelling.
And seriously, just look at the guy. He has a dedicated sneeze button and everything. What a cutie!
Sometimes, it’s not about having the coolest clothes or the wildest mount. I’ve found a simple joy in riding atop my glorious Goobbue from quest to quest. Maybe it’s because of the added work I put in to get him, or maybe I just like treating traditionally ugly things with all the love and respect given to their more aesthetically pleasing counterparts.
I’m sure future updates will bless us with more great mounts, but I don’t see myself giving up my Goobbue anytime soon.