It's that time of the year again, when the cities take on a dark, ominous feel and images of jack-o'lanterns, ghouls, and skeletons walk the streets. When even the most kind-hearted of souls will don a creepy costume to scare little children for the sake of a laugh. Yes, the seasonal Halloween event is returning to Final Fantasy XI, promising fights and frights like never before! In addition to the annual Wake of the Lilies and Moogle events, players can track down costumed NPCs for a chance at some brand-new Flan related surprises! So be prepared, for starting October 21st, one may never know what is lurking in the shadows of Vana'diel!
Excited for this new Halloween event? Let us know over on the ZAM forums!
"Trick or treat!"
It's that terrifying time of year again, where people primp, pose and portray themselves as a multitude of macabre monsters and traipse about town muttering that mild yet mischievous mantra, kupo.
However, even the spookiest specters are strikingly less scary as you acquaint yourself with their appearance. And of course, Halloween takes place during the decidedly dazzling draping of daylight, which prevents the populace from feeling fidgety...
So, even with these revelers rollicking in their resplendent raiment, the fewer and fewer fluffy favors are bestowed on their burgeoning bellies each year. Furthermore, the children have become immune to these innumerable indulgences of the senses and don't drop at the daunting disguises. Or at least, that is what us moogles are hearing, kupo!
As an aside, it has been brought to my attention that somebody has solicited a significant request to the Moogle Workshop for a nefarious new monster costume!
If we are lucky, then the town may just tremble in trepidation like it used to!
Oh, and remember to take your treats with you, kupo!
While watching the smoke wafting from the chimney of the Metalworks out of the corner of her eye, Hannati scowled at the cheeky young boy that stood before her.
"Like I said before, I think you've fallen into a rut with your costume," said the young boy with a devilish grin on his freckly face.
Unable to hide her anger, Hannati replied curtly, "You're the one that started all of this, Maurito!"
"That's only because you said 'adults aren't afraid of monsters!' and I wanted to prove you wrong."
"Yeah, I said that, but..."
"So, since you're an adult, you're not afraid of anything, right?"
"Not a thing."
"So, even if you dress up as a big nasty monster, you wouldn't be scared?"
"Of course not! Who would be!?"
"That's what you said back then, too. Don't you remember?"
"W-Well, yes, but..." she said as her words trailed off at the end.
Maurito was a young boy who lived in the Bastok Mines and at 12 years old, was 5 years younger than Hannati. From her viewpoint, he was nothing more than a child: a kid, a little brat.
So why was it that she always ended up losing these arguments?
Normally, having lived her entire life in the residential district of the markets, Hannati never would have even met somebody like Maurito. However, a number of strange coincidences led to them becoming friends. And ever since then, Hannati lost every single argument she had with Maurito.
"So, back to what I was saying... Your monster costume just isn't scary. It's the same thing every single year"
And so every Halloween, she would dress up as a monster amongst Maurito's endless provocations. Perhaps it was her naturally timid nature showing through, but adults and children alike generally found her costume to not be very frightening at all; in fact, the children even enjoyed being around her.
"You're the same thing every single year. Where's your sense of professional pride?"
"I'm not some kind of performer here."
"If you want to make an impression, then you have to put some effort into it! Something that'll really grab people's attention!"
"You sure seem a lot more invested in this than I am, Maurito."
"Sure, whatever. Now listen up. I just read about this monster located in the Near East..."
The book that Maurito opened up was entitled "Memoirs of the Near East," a very popular book released that year that was supposedly edited by the publisher of the Vana'diel Tribune.
In the book was an illustration of a mysterious-looking monster whose body consisted of a flabby silhouette with no definite shape. In fact, it kind of looked like a squashed mound of pudding. Indeed, it was perhaps the most disgusting-looking monster one could ever lay eyes on.
"A-Are there really things out there that look like this thing?"
"See! I told you so! You're scared!"
"I never said that! I'm not scared of a picture of some little blob in a book!"
"So you're telling me you could dress up as this thing? I seriously doubt it."
"O-Of course I could! It'd be easy!"
The two of them were really going at it.
"It's not enough to just dress up like it! This monster is known for berating its victims while boasting about itself at the same time, too. You're way too prim and proper, Princess Hannati! You'd never be able to act like that!"
"S-Sure I could!"
Finally, Halloween arrived. The specially ordered costume arrived, so exquisite a piece of moogle craftsmanship that Hannati immediately began to regret her decision before even trying it on.
However, she was not about to let Maurito get the last word in!
And this is how a new type of monster was introduced to the streets of Bastok on Halloween. Despite being a "Black Pudding" supposedly from the Near East, it had one feature that separated it from the real thing.
Each time a person would come up to the Black Pudding, it would timidly say to them, "I-It sure would be nice if you could give me some candy! Did you hear me, oh downcast and weary members of society!?"
"Although, I know how you feel. My servant quit just the other day and now... Oh yeah, right. Um, how about giving me some candy? I'd be so happy if you did. Hey, why are you looking at me with such pity!? I'm really trying to be really mean and nasty while I make fun of you here!"
For some reason, in addition to children, even the response from adults this year was also quite favorable.
Watching from the shadows, the freckled boy muttered, "I knew she'd never be able to act like a monster, but this isn't the response I had in mind..."
And so, Hannati's costume was a big hit this year. She kindly thanked each and every person that gave her candy and she brought a smile to the faces of children and adults alike.
Having quarreled with her year after year, Maurito could only look on in regret as his plan had seemingly backfired.
Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita
This spooktacular event will rise from the grave at 1:00am (PDT) on Tuesday, October 21, 2014, before it returns to its eternal slumber on Tuesday, November 4, at 12:00 AM (PST).
Trick or Treat!
People from around the land are walking about dressed as a variety of fearsome monsters, hoping to scare the living daylights out of adventurers like you. By giving these costumed NPCs in the following areas a treat, you will be able to dress up in a costume of your own. And if you are really lucky, you might even obtain a special Halloween-themed item!
Southern San d'Oria / Northern San d'Oria
Bastok Mines / Bastok Markets
Windurst Waters / Windurst Woods
*NPCs will accept most sweets, with certain exceptions that do not appeal to their finicky palates.
Additionally, there some citizens of these fair cities are dressed up as this Halloween. This is your chance to obtain new flan-related items, so be sure to bring along plenty of treats!
People dressed as flan can be found in the following areas:
Northern San d'Oria / Bastok Markets / Windurst Waters
Your Purple-winged Partners
Brave adventurers willing to take up the task of driving off the unholy infiltrators should seek out the moogles stationed in the areas below. Complete the tasks assigned, and you shall be met with great reward!
West Ronfaure (I-6) / East Ronfaure (G-6)
North Gustaberg (L-8) / South Gustaberg (J-7)
West Sarutabaruta (J-8) / East Sarutabaruta (G-11)
Bomb Decorations and More Fun With Costumes!
Throughout the festivities, players will be able to enjoy the illumination of the now-famous bomb decorations. As in previous Harvest Festivals, one can't help but wonder what might happen if two characters in full costume were to approach these decorations while in the same party...
Wake of the Lilies
The Harvest Festival will again play host to the Wake of the Lilies, with three aspiring exorcists from the West making their annual pilgrimage to the three nations. Would-be shadow-hunters should seek them out at the following locations:
Gertrude in Northern San d'Oria (D-8)
Brian in Bastok Markets (G-8)
Roger in Windurst Waters (north side) (F-5)
*After successfully completing an exorcist's request, players will be required to wait one Vana'diel day before accepting another.
Special Harvest Festival stalls will make an appearance in the following areas, offering all manner of seasonal goodies for sale. Furthermore, decorate your Mog House with three new lanterns available in each nation, and your moogle just might have a surprise for you the next time you speak with him!
*This special gift may still be obtained after the Harvest Festival has ended, as long as the necessary conditions have been met.
Northern San d'Oria (D-8)
Bastok Mines (H-9)
Windurst Waters (north side) (G-10)