Even though I’m level 33, I still don’t have my first job yet because I’m lagging behind on the main storyline. Two levels behind, I guess, since last night the game finally sent me to Haukke Manor, a level 28 dungeon that I’d heard about here and there. FFXIV’s notion of a haunted house, or what my guild master labeled, “the first big boy dungeon.”
I’m always down for haunted houses in MMOs, so bring it on, FFXIV.
The lead-up to this dungeon was fairly grim — pretty girls killed, their faces mutilated beyond recognition (not that the game shows it to you… in fact, in some cutscenes you can clearly see that their faces are normal, so this is informed details), and their bodies dumped around the world and left guarded by winged eyeball things. Not quite sure why investigating this was left up to me instead of the local authorities, but sure. I’ll go track down this serial killer. Bet it’s Kevin Spacey.
It didn’t take long before I discovered a witness who pointed me to Haukke Manor, where a particularly crazy lady who was scarred in the Calamity has been butchering girls in some sort of magic ritual to reclaim her glory.
Yes, it’s a thinly veiled fantasy homage to the real-world Elizabeth Báthory, a Hungarian serial killer and countess who killed hundreds and hundreds of girls and became somewhat of a folktale for supposedly bathing in their blood to retain her youth.
The description of the Haukke Manor includes the following passage:
“No amount of man-made tinctures, however, could hide the hideous scars she eventually suffered during the Calamity, and soon she was forced to turn to a darker solution, signing away her very soul in a final effort to literally ‘save face.'”
I… don’t think I can forgive the game for the bizarre pun in quotes at the end there. Maybe it was the intern’s day to write the flavor text.
Anyway, the dungeon itself wasn’t too hard, probably because I was the only fresh-faced newbie on the team. It also wasn’t quite the haunted house that I was expecting. Oh sure, there were a few cobwebs, some bats, and skeletons, but the place was quite well-lit and spacious. Spacious like an aircraft hanger, actually. I could’ve piloted Voltron through those halls and doors with room to spare.
The dungeons down below were kind of neat, but I didn’t have a lot of time to play tourist since I was running behind a Team On The Go. The final fight in the lady’s chambers was pretty atmospheric, although it left me wondering why she would want to stay in this decaying house. Would be pretty depressing day in and day out.