A tearful farewell as the real-world pandemic creates a hole in Final Fantasy XIV’s online realm.

Though the remake of Final Fantasy VII just came out, Final Fantasy XIV, the franchise’s current online multiplayer iteration, is still going strong and connecting gamers worldwide. However, being connected means not only sharing fun times, but sadness as well, as friends of the character known as Ferne Le’roy recently experienced.

After becoming infected with the coronavirus, Ferne’s human player succumbed to the disease. However, while Ferne will never again ride over grassy fields on Chocobo-back or raid a dungeon with companions, the player still had the power to bring others together one last time.

Following a discussion on Reddit, Ferne’s Final Fantasy friends organized a funeral procession in the player’s honor. Mourners gathered in the desert city of Ul’dah on the game’s Zalera server, and were also joined by those who knew Ferne’s player from an alternate character, Poppy Rose, on the Coeur server. The group, which looks to have been hundreds strong, was dressed primarily in funeral-appropriate black, as shown in the video of the event here.

Setting out in the middle of the night and traversing the sandy badlands as the sun came up, the group passed into the lush, forested regions of the Central Shroud, to the north of the desert, a journey of some 33 minutes of in-game walking. Ultimately, the procession ended under the boughs of the Everscade, also known as the Guardian Tree, a holy site within the woods.

The Final Fantasy XIV funeral procession comes roughly one month after a group of Japanese schoolkids held their graduation ceremony in Minecraft after coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancelation of the on-campus ceremony. Still, as these virtual gatherings show, in times like these, any connection with friends is one to be thankful for.

Source: Livedoor News/Den Faminico Gamer via Otakomu
Top image: YouTube/Psyjinx
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