FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood: An introduction to Ala MhigoWe introduce you to the wonders of Ala Mhigo, and some of its famous residents. Plus, the devs explain the inspirations for this beautiful city-state.
Here’s a PSA in case you missed the news: FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood is currently free to anyone who owns or buys the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Starter Edition (ends May 28, 2023).
This epic second expansion takes the ongoing saga to new heights, with a daunting new task for the Warrior of Light and Scions of the Seventh Dawn: liberate the East from the tyranny of the occupying Garlean Empire!
For those of you who have just finished, or are nearing the end of, FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward, you may be wondering what to expect from the expansion. Join us as we take a tour through one of its major new locations: Ala Mhigo, introduce some notable (former) residents, and hear from the developers about its inspirations.
And for those of you who have played Stormblood… enjoy the nostalgia!
Please note that this article contains spoilers for the A Realm Reborn main scenario quests (Patch 2.0 to Patch 2.55) and the Post-Dragonsong War main scenario quests (Patch 3.4 to Patch 3.56).
An overview of Ala Mhigo
Welcome to Ala Mhigo!
This vast city-state in the mountains of eastern Aldenard was once a majestic sight, full of imposing citadels and ornate architecture. You might wonder if there was any real-world inspiration for Ala Mhigo, and so did we in our “Ask the developers” corner!
Ask the developers:
What were the main inspirations for Ala Mhigo as a nation?
Banri Oda, Senior Story Designer: Istanbul, Turkey, was the motif in the sense that the nation is located at the junction of two civilizations and is a geopolitical strategic point.
In terms of building design, however, the Agra Fort in India, otherwise known as the “Red Fort,” also provided a lot of inspiration for us.
A bloody history
While some of that beauty still remains at the start of Stormblood, a darkness also hangs over the city - the result of two decades of occupation by the Garlean Empire.
Years earlier, the metropolis was famed for its strength and martial prowess - its mercenaries were feared and admired the world over. This focus on strength and aggression often led to conflict with Eorzea’s other city-states, leading to frosty relations between them for years.
Everything changed when Ala Mhigo’s citizens rose up against its tyrannical king, and civil war engulfed the city. Little did the people know that events were being manipulated behind the scenes by the Garlean Empire, who took advantage of the chaos to launch a full-scale invasion.
Before long, Ala Mhigo was under total Garlean control, and its population was scattered across Eorzea. Many made their way to Thanalan and now reside in the area known as Little Ala Mhigo.
Twenty years have passed since the occupation, and as Stormblood begins, plans are afoot to wrest the city back from Garlean control. It’s up to you to help stoke the fires of rebellion and free the city from oppression.
Of course, the Empire isn’t going to take this sort of thing lying down…
Some notable Ala Mhigans
Your quest to free Ala Mhigo will put you in contact with many of its people. Some have built new lives in Eorzea, while others continue to fight for their homeland.
The "Bull of Ala Mhigo" is among the most prominent Ala Mhigans in Hydaelyn. As leader of the Ul’dah’s Grand Company, the Immortal Flames, he commands great respect from those around him.
But such adulation isn’t given freely - Raubahn had to earn his reputation. After fleeing from his home during the Garlean occupation, he soon found himself forced into the life of a gladiator. His incredible success in the arena amassed him a small fortune, and he was able to use it to work his way into a position of power within Ul’Dah.
As a leader, Raubahn is firm and decisive, and greatly values strength and power. Even so, he has a good heart and is fiercely loyal to those he loves or respects.
As a former resident of Ala Mhigo, Raubahn will be a key part in the plans to free the country.
Meffrid has never given up on the dream of freeing Ala Mhigo from oppression. He’s a deeply passionate man whose enduring love for his countrymen keeps the fires of rebellion burning - even two decades after his nation fell.
He works with the Warrior of Light throughout the saga and is always grateful when you lend your strength and time to his quests. With your help, he finds sanctuary in Little Ala Mhigo, but he is never one to stay away from the fight for long.
You can be sure he’ll be taking the fight to the Garlean Empire in Stormblood.
Ilberd is a perfect example of the phrase “appearances can be deceiving”
On the surface, Ilberd seems like the perfect officer - affable and diligent in his interactions with the Warrior of Light, and a steadfast ally to his countryman, Raubahn. However, underneath this veneer of respectability is a bitter man, wracked by guilt over the loss of his home.
And sadly, guilt and grief can lead to anger.
Ilberd has little respect for those Ala Mhigans who have moved on and found new lives in Eorzea and loathes the other city states of Eorzea for their inaction in defending his nation. Naturally, that means a lot of his rage falls upon Raubahn, who represents both.
After double-crossing his friend and the Warrior of Light in spect-arm-cular fashion during A Realm Reborn, his schemes were fully exposed in Heavensward. This led to him embarking on a dangerous - and potentially world-ending - scheme to provoke all-out war between the Garlean Empire and the Eorzean Alliance and to force them to strive for the liberation of Ala Mhigo.
In a sense, he succeeded.
Ilberd may be gone now, but the consequences of his plans can be felt throughout Stormblood.
That’s just a glimpse of Ala Mhigo - and the drama that awaits in FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood’s thrilling main scenario. If you’re yet to experience this incredible expansion, it’s completely free to everyone with the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Starter Edition, until May 28, 2023.
Head over to the official FINAL FANTASY XIV website to find out more:
Be sure to claim your copy before the promotion period ends… and let the liberation of Ala Mhigo begin!