When I came home, I heard my mom say this.
“He’s always breaking his promises!”
What… is she talking about? A promise my dad has kept until now?
And like what the heck kind of welcome for your son is this mom? I’ve been away for a while you know!
And if he’s always breaking promises, why would you make a new one with him?
Anyway, what promise is it this time?
“Him! He promised that if I bought him that game console…!”
“But he hasn’t walked the dog a single time since!”
She looked to my dad…
Wait, isn’t that something you’d have some kid do as a chore? He’s the Father of Light!!
“You said buy a PS4 for my birthday and that before you played your games every day you’d walk the dog!”
He’s… over 60 years old…
“I know, I know… I just said I’ll do it…”
The Father of Light Project.
That was what I called my plan to get my 60+ year old dad to play FFXIV and become his friend while hiding my identity.
We would adventure together until finally, when the moment was right, I would reveal my identity in a dramatic display of family love.
In order to become friends with the Father of Light, I, Maidy, tried to get closer to him. However, as the Father of Light did not have a keyboard for his PS4, the plan proved difficult.
Plus, upon reaching level 9, the Father of Light had seemingly vanished from the North Shroud and not returned.
Has he found out about my plan…? I grew nervous thinking about it.
With fear of the plan’s failure looming, I had to take drastic measures and find out in the real world what the Father of Light’s thoughts have been.
The day I came home it was late, so my dad was sleeping.
I couldn’t bring myself to wake him, so I decided I would try after work the next day.
I couldn’t have a keyboard prepped and ready to give to him… That would smell way too fishy.
I would have to talk to him normally, lightly nudging the conversation to the point where I could be like “It’d be great if you had a keyboard, right?” and it would seem totally natural.
Wait… I’ve first got to find out if he’s figured out just who Maidy really is.
If he’s already found out, the surprise would be dead in the water.
Dad had taken his dinner to the table. I sat down, and my mom brought me dinner as well.
Being here… is amazing.
I figured randomly jumping to FFXIV would seem fishy too. I needed to slowly bring it into the conversation. I have to bring it up in a way that doesn’t seem abrupt or anything… so first I joined in the silence.
A silent dinner… The clanging of utensils echoed… All of this a side to a lovely curry dinner.
Dad doesn’t seem to be going to say anything… Maybe I’m over thinking it…
That only leaves the option of bringing it up myself… But I’d have to be subtle about it…
At this rate dinner would end without a word and he would go to his room where it’d be even weirder to bring this up.
I had to say something.
“Hey dad, you still playing that game?”
I couldn’t look at him… I couldn’t look, I could only listen. I was practically shouting I was hiding something.
A great businessman can read people’s emotions through their faces easily. My dad’s someone who would know the ins and outs of the business world too…
If he looks at me… that’d spell bad news.
“Ah… that game…”
Yeah, that one…
“…Finale Fantasy, yeah…”
…Finale… It’s… Final Fantasy. And 14 at that!
That “finale” totally threw me off. But I shouldn’t argue little things like that.
My dad kept quiet for a few moments…
D-Did something happen?!
What happened to him in Eorzea?!
I waited for what else he had to say…
He said as he finished his curry and placed his spoon down.
Interesting… That’s good right?! Then why… why haven’t you logged in in forever?!
Something must have happened, right?! It must be that he realized who I was, right?!
Time for the second attack!
“Interesting? So then have you been playing everyday?”
That’s how I asked.
Though I realized that it would likely end in a yes or no answer…
But there was something in that way he said “interesting” that I felt was hiding something else…
I felt like there was something he wanted to say after that “It’s…”. His real feelings had to be hiding there. It was like he was phrasing it such that he wanted to be asked about it. The conversational art I’d call “guided sympathy”.
My prodding paid off and he started talking.
He started with after I left last time.
“After you left, I followed the ! marks like you said to.”
Yup, yup, I know. I saw before I came home.
“Anyway, I got used to the fighting and all…”
I tried my best to feign disinterest, but I was hanging onto every word.
The details trickled by until finally…
“Then there was this thing… it said to change into level 5+ clothing…”
Yeah, yeah that quest!
“But… I couldn’t figure out how to change clothes so I ended up dying to monsters…”
Ah, he must mean the time he fought those anoles…
That was when I tried talking to him and ended up using shoulder tackle…
“Because I didn’t know how to change clothes, I ended up wandering around…”
Ooh, I see. That’s how he ended up in North Shroud from Central Shroud. Not because of quests.
“Before I knew it… I was in this… snowy place…”
Snowy place…? Coerthas?!
He walked all the way from the Black Shroud to Coerthas?!
At level 9?! Through all of that?!
Ah! He did say he cleared MGSV!!
H-He… went on a sneaking mission!
That just kinda slipped out of my mouth.
My dad continued.
“I kept going… then I found a town.”
He made it to Dragonshead? In starter gear?! AT LEVEL 9!!
“Everyone in the town had on long sleeves for the cold weather…”
“Yeah they would…”
“But I… had short sleeves!”
Ah… Y-yeah… the starter gear… has short… sleeves…
“I got… really embarrassed…”
“So I quit.”
Yo…….. Yo…. Yo-Yo-Yo…
CHANGE IT! CHANGE THE STARTER GEAR’S SLEEVES RIGHT NOW!!
CHANGE IT AS SOON AS FUCKING POSSIBLE!!
AT… AT THIS RATE ALL THE NEWBIES WILL QUIT!!
TO GET NEW PLAYERS… YOU GOTTA MAKE THE GEAR HAVE LONG SLEEVES!!
MAKE THEM HAVE LONG SLEEVES!!
Wait. Deep breaths.
I’m someone who loves MMOs. I’ve helped tons of newbies find their way in many different worlds.
In ECO… and in FFXIV…
But I don’t think… I ever really understood newbie’s problems…
Just the short sleeves… Just that?! Really?!
This is bad. I’m getting distracted…
I’ve gotta use my brain… The Father of Light seems serious about this.
But… if that’s the only reason he stopped… then I can totally fix this!
“Hey, I could maybe show you how to change gear if you want…”
He seemed really happy.
Once he knows how to change gear, he’ll likely return to Eorzea once more.
We’ll play a bit together… with me lending support. I’ll try to teach him some other adventurer fundamentals too…
I don’t think what dad said was a lie.
So… I don’t think I’ve been found out yet.
After we finished eating, the two of us headed to my dad’s room.
I’ll be sitting beside my dad giving him support. Explaining how to change gear…
Of course I won’t just leave it at that! I’ll try to guide him to interacting with other players too!
With this moment… the Father of Light Project was about to take a big leap forward!
I can barely contain my excitement!
At that moment… we had totally forgotten about the whole dog walking thing.
To Be Continued in Part 2
- The screencap in the original post is from the Japanese lodestone database. This screencap is of the same quest but from the ENG database taken on 4/5/2017 so the layout differs slightly
- ECO is short of Emil Chronicle Online