As gamers we all have our guilty pleasures. Some of us can’t help but pick up the newest release as soon as it comes out regardless of their ever growing backlog of unplayed games (me). While others feel so compelled to completely uncover a map in an open world game to the point where it almost hinders the enjoyment of the game itself (also me…). As for myself, I am the patron saint of gaming and only have one great gaming guilty pleasure (more like one hundred). I am guilty of keeping my Final Fantasy XIV subscription active even when I’m not presently in the mood to play the game.
There are several reasons for this, most notably because I personally think it’s the best MMORPG on the market right now, but I think at the core of it is that I just like being able to step into that world whenever I want and know that it will be there to welcome me back at any time. I’ve always found comfort in that fact, especially in the current dystopian nightmare that is 2020.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I could spend the entire day singing the praises of this game, its world, its storied history, and its generally lovable playerbase. However while there is a million different things one could do once they set foot inside the shoes of an Eorzean adventure I wanted to call your attention to one particular character who has stuck with me throughout the years and never fails to bring a big stupid smile across my face everytime he appears on screen.
That, ladies and gentleman is none other than Hildibrand Manderville, inspector extraordinaire and the most gentlemanly of gentlemen! He, alongside his ever faithful (and adorable) assistant, Nashu, travel the realm in search of mystery, intrigue and adventure! Originally debuting in patch 2.1, Manderville has been up to his shenanigans for quite a while, including a series of quests in all but the most recent expansion. Each of these questlines are presented in a sort of episodic format with funny TV show esque cutscenes buffering the beginning and end of each storyline, letting you know that all of this is meant to be taken in a tongue in cheek sort of way. However after your first encounter with the man you will discover that any foreshadowing of cheekiness is completely unnecessary.
I admit that I would love to go into more details regarding our gentleman inspector and his many heroic exploits, but to do so would venture too far into spoiler territory and thus deprive you, my dear reader, of the joy that I experienced my first time through. As such allow me to give you a few examples of some of my more favorite moments in the form of snapshots.
If any of the above images has captured your attention and left your imagination to wander, you can experience some of the magic yourself by signing up for a Final Fantasy XIV account. And with the launch of that patch I mentioned earlier they also extended their free trial to level 60 on any class which is enough time to not only play through the entire first expansion; Heavansward, but also to join Manderville on his myriad of miraculous misadventures! Head on over to Ul’dah – Steps of Nald and speak with Wymond to accept the quest “The Rise and Fall of Gentlemen to begin this wonderful adventure. you’ll gasp, you’ll cry, and if you’re anything like my wife who introduced the gentleman inquisitor himself to me, you’ll cackle violently to yourself in the corner while trying not to spew your drink all over the screen.