I am one of Eorzea’s Minfilia defenders. As a Final Fantasy 14 character mostly relegated to barking orders from behind a desk for your first 30 or so hours, I completely understand why some folks may not be so fond of her. She goes from being a central figure in 1.0 to a bit of a weird carrot on the stick in later expansions. It was mostly her brief portrayal in Shadowbringers that really brought me around on her, but for this entire time, I’ve longed to see more of F'lhaminn, Minfilia’s adoptive mother, help round out her story. It wasn’t until the other day that I remembered she was in the game again, and boy, was it a bit of a letdown.
To be clear, I know F'lhaminn popped up sporadically after A Realm Reborn, but I desperately wished to see her more involved with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, an organization her adoptive daughter helmed. Just ten years apart, Minfilia came under F'lhaminn’s care during 1.0 when her father was killed because of F’lhaminn’s actions. After the calamity, we see her role sidelined, and your Warrior of Light mostly just pops in to remind her of bad news – Minfilia is either missing or dead. The updates never get better for the adoptive mom.
F'lhaminn has seemed a bit like someone Square Enix didn’t know what to do with after its big Final Fantasy 14 reboot. I’d often forget she existed in long stretches, but then we’d get these random reminders about her and I’d wish to see a little more. She’s quite the absent parent, but I always figured someone of her skill wouldn’t be just hanging out after their daughter went missing.
In Shadowbringers, we see Thancred fall into the adoptive parent role with Ryne, and like most dads in games, he’s quite the hero. He saves Ryne – on multiple occasions, mind you – and helps her come to terms with her identity, role, and ultimately how to save the realm. Loved all that, it was great, but considering we’ve had someone who has served in Thancred’s very position since 1.0, I can’t help but feel bitter over F'lhaminn’s fate.
Anyway, you do ultimately see F’lhaminn get some kind of closure once we realize Minfilia really is gone, and boy, did I ever forget that it was even a thing. Back in 2019, during Final Fantasy 14’s 5.1 Vows of Virtue Deeds of Cruelty patch, Square Enix added the quest One Final Journey. I remember mentioning it in passing with a friend who played it, then she confessed about how she sobbed hysterically from it, and then I moved on. Being the annoyingly doting Final Fantasy 14 fan I am, I said I’d play it soon. Long story short, I forgot, somehow, and did not play until last week.
So here we are, a million main scenario fetch quests later, a nice rounded arc for dad Thancred and Ryne, and I have forgotten poor F'lhaminn waiting to hear about Minfilia. It wasn’t until I was passing through Mor Dhona, wondering why I had another quest marker in the city when I knew I’d done everything there, that I realized I had left her behind. So, more than a year late, I dove in.
The quest was well written, I absolutely give it that. It hurt, feeling like a gut punch upon realizing this woman had waited forever for some kind of closure. F'lhaminn invites you to accompany her as she wraps up loose ends from Minfilia’s complicated fate. As Ul’dah works to restore its waterways, someone has found a jewel Minfilia possessed, and F'lhaminn ultimately decides to bury it beside her father.
F'lhaminn’s speech is crushing. It’s all of the weight of her guilt, her regrets, and her grief pouring out in one moment where Minfilia’s fate finally seems real. I definitely cried, feeling horrible that your Warrior of Light ultimately could not save someone so special, but also, feeling pain for a mother who was mostly sidelined until the end.
F'lhaminn herself isn’t gone, she’ll still be there waiting for us in Mor Dhona, but I can’t help but feel a little cheated. All of this turmoil around Final Fantasy 14 constantly insisting Minfilia is special, but arguably the most important person in her life is relegated to a side story after getting little attention otherwise. The ever enigmatic video game mom, someone who’s really important, but games never seem quite interested in showing us that, only sometimes telling. Final Fantasy 14 remains one of my favorite stories, but man, F'lhaminn really deserved some better moments.