The FFXIV Diaries: The Adorable Tale of Tiny Pony Time
Posted On June 3, 2020
I’m starting this diary series a little bit late, so forgive me. I got too caught up in the energy of the game—which is always the case with everything I play—and forgot my fundamental goal. Writing a review of FFXIV: A Real Reborn wasn’t my key conquest.
It was to showcase fun happenings, get people invested, vent my gaming demons, and tell stories. Like I always do.
This series will focus on my wholesome, fun, crayola, interesting, and insightful adventures throughout Eorzea. If you’re up for some goofy stories, this is the blog series to follow.
You don’t have to know anything about the game to enjoy these little diary entries. You just have to want to be taken on a journey of magic, merriment, moogles, mystery, and mayhem.
Nervous Ninja is Nervous
My knight in shining armor arrives
Even though I’m an extrovert, I’ve been oddly reclusive in this game. Despite being added to a Guild of sorts [known as a Free Company], I’m rarely talkative. I chalk that up to the fact that I have no fucking idea what I’m doing, I’m playing a Ninja which is notoriously maligned and difficult to wield, and I’m nervous.
Nervous about failing dungeon runs, which are instances where you and a group of other players [either random or you form a party] bop enemies upside the head in a controlled setting.
I do not like letting people down (on principle), and as I’m also used to being the guide/teacher in most cases, I’ve been shy and awkward.
Enter my current favorite gaming companion, saving my bacon in style:
Mr. Tsunami (username changed to protect his identity).
Mr. Tsunami waits for no man, nor woman.
He doesn’t care if you’re a noob, if you have no idea what you’re doing, what your class is, or if you were even in the middle of something before he invited you to a party.
Mr. Tsunami just wants to run dungeons, he wants to do it now, do it his way, and he usually wants to tank [be the character enemies flock to while others bop them].
Even if he’s not the tank, he is. Because that’s what he wants to do, and no one else has any say in the matter.
Because I talked to Mr. Tsunami briefly, and I was patient and willing to chill with him, he took me with him wherever he went.
Wherever, whenever, and for any reason—I was required to follow. And because I wasn’t at his level yet, he made it his mission to get me there, regardless if I had planned on mining shiny rocks or staring at my own navel for hours at a time.
If I’m online, he wants to be there, with me, stabbing beasties. No exceptions.
Mr. Tsunami might sound like a nightmare for some people who play MMORPGs, but he isn’t. Not for me.
Mr. Tsunami was just what I needed to break out of my shell. If he was having fun just doing whatever he wanted, I could do that too.
If he was willing to help me get up to speed, I had to put in the effort to not just dick around and let my anxiety stop me from progressing.
Once I let his ethos wash over me, wholesome moments resounded. I began to fear failure a lot less, and felt more comfortable making buddies.
I’m also pretty sure my heart grew ten times bigger by just hanging out with this blunt, hip-attached, adorkable little nerd.
Enter Tiny Pony Time: Cuteness Overload
You can ride on Chocobos [big chickens] in this game. You can also ride on mechas [robots], ponies, and various other creatures. I won’t get too detailed, but suffice to say you can ride around on plenty of ‘vehicles’, and all of them are pretty sweet.
But none truly hold a candle to Boreas, Shiva’s pony. Because ‘tiny pony time’ is a thing.
You see, I wasn’t very interested in getting a new mount: my Chocobo is cool, and I was nervous about grinding to get the items I needed to score this ride.
However, that all changed because Mr. Tsunami had something he wanted to show me.
Whenever Mr. Tsunami wants to show me something, he’ll generally bleat out a single sentence, usually consisting of only two to six words.
LOOK THIS, is common. Or WATCH ME. This time, he was very, very excited, and took to flexing a lot and making as many emotes as possible.
Apparently, he had always wanted to be a Lalafell, which are a small race you can play as in FFXIV: ARR. They look like little potatoes, to be honest.
When he scored the item necessary to switch his race, he took to hopping on his mount right before my eyes. This was what he wanted to show me; I steeled myself for what wonders he’d unearth.
Suddenly the shining, powerful radiance that is Boreas became a glowing, teeny, tiny little pony. My heart exploded; it was impossibly adorable.
With this, Mr. Tsunami beckoned and emoted, trying to psychically prompt me into doing whatever it is he wanted to do, only relenting in frustration to utter one simple phrase to get me on his level:
TINY PONY TIME.
Because of this, I know now exactly when he wants to go run around with no discernible goal or trajectory. I’ve learned his behaviors, and I’m down for the journey.
Furthermore, this event gave me the courage to go snag my own, much larger pony. If he could do it, so could I.
I don’t have a good screenshot of Boreas just yet, but suffice to say he’s beautiful, and the alt jpop that plays when you ride around is just my flavor of weeb.
Mr. Tsunami hasn’t been online in a bit, but I’m going to bleat out a similar sentiment when he shows up.
This time, it will be BIG PONY TIME. We will ride into the sunset as multiple party members curse our existence.
I will laugh as he decides he wants to tank a dungeon, despite not actually being the tank, and this will make people mad.
But it won’t make me mad. Not at all. And why is that, exactly?
With Mr. Tsunami, I don’t have to focus on being good at anything.
Because Mr. Tsunami, as I’ve found out recently, is a kid whose only goal is to have fun—not be perfect.
I knew something was up when we ran a very chaotic main story quest dungeon with a bunch of randos, and he had no idea where he was going. He’d somehow done this before, but retained no knowledge of where to go and what to do.
I was fine with this, because I also have no idea what I’m doing.
After we finished that agonizingly long, cutscene-laden venture, equipped with Mr. Tsunami singing my praise with ‘he’s a good ninja’, I started to get the sinking suspicion that he wasn’t on my brain level.
He’d done this before…so why did it seem like everything was fresh and new? Why was he so very capslock-upset about a mecha’s untimely death, that he would already know wasn’t really dead?
Afterwards, when I told him that I was a girl to kindly correct him, which is something people face with me in online games pretty regularly (I don’t play gal characters for various reasons), his only answer was ‘k’.
This is highly unusual.
Usually you get something like the token ‘there are no girls on the internet’ 4chan-ism, or people tryina’ hit on you, or whatever.
No. Mr. Tsunami did not, and does not, care.
Tiny Pony Time.
The ideas were coming together. The way he typed was the first tell, and his actions in dungeons started to form a picture of who he was, in my mind. The pieces were in place; Tiny Pony Time.
Each thread was weaving the tapestry into focus.
I started to think that maybe, just maybe, this tiny potato was probably not an actual adult human. Turns out, I was correct.
I heard through the grapevine that he was, indeed, a very young person. I’m pretty sure pre-teens aren’t allowed [? is this the right word ?] to play this game, but here he was, playing it.
At that moment the maternal instincts—that I often forget I have—kicked into overdrive.
Tiny Pony Time.
Bless this adorable child. It is now my goal to help him have as much fun as possible, defend his honor, and get to where he is so I can help him like he’s helped me.
Mr. Tsunami can do no wrong, in my eyes.
Mr. Tsunami helped me take FFXIV: ARR less seriously.
I know people have probably insisted he’s playing it ‘wrong’, but they’re the ones who’re wrong, ok?!
Tiny Pony Time is Life. Tiny Pony Time is Love. Tiny Pony Time makes the game actually worth playing, because almost everyone else takes a woobie MMORPG with actual Cat Girls way too gardarm seriously.
This is not the Olympics. You are not esports champions, ok?! You are making no money by being the baddest bish around. Nobody should care if other people are playing the game ‘wrong’.
There is no ‘wrong’ way to play a goddamn video game (unless you patently don’t care if you’re ruining someone else’s experiences, malignantly. Mr. Tsunami is a child, he gets a pass)!
If enjoying yourself means running around doing nothing, or blasting through a dungeon like you have amnesia, flexing your tiny potato self, or riding around on a very small horse, then do that.
That is exactly how FFXIV: ARR should be played, and I will entertain no contrary opinions.
Mr. Tsunami changed the way I play FFXIV: ARR for the better, and I regret absolutely nothing.