I reluctantly returned to Vana'diel after finishing my Mythic Weapon in order to experience the end of an MMO - no, the end of an era - with the conclusion to XI's story and the final chapter of Rhapsodies of Vana'diel.
I was not disappointed.
From the start of the missions earlier this year to the climatic, bittersweet yet heartwarming ending, Rhapsodies reminded me - reminded us all - why we fell in love with Final Fantasy XI in the first place.
XI was always more than a game for me. What began as a simple escape from reality slowly became a universe full of everlasting friendships, unforgettable experiences, and indescribable feelings. XI was there for me when nobody else was, it shaped my life more than any celebrity or idol could, and during the 719 days I spent logged into this magical world, I did more than watch Jkun grow from lowly adventurer to almighty god, I lived through it.
Now, the game as close as a family member has come to a close. While the game's servers and Jkun will still live on for who knows how long, I feel like this is where my journey ends.
From childhood to adulthood, XI has always been by my side. Now, I feel like I can walk by myself. I have the confidence to make new friends, play new games, live new lives, all thanks to the life I lead over nine years in Vana'diel.
I cannot express how thankful I am, but, here goes:
Thank you to everyone I met. Thank you for fighting by my side. Thank you, readers. Thank you for watching my adventures step by step. Thank you, Final Fantasy XI. Thank you for making me who I am today.
Also, thank you Square Enix enemy modeller. Thanks for finally fixing the Scarab Beetle's backwards-facing foot after all these years, it was driving me insane.
From the bottom of my heart, Thank you!