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A Gaia Final Fantasy guide is something I could read over and over again. Until FFXIV’s Gaia introduction, when I heard the word Gaia, I thought of my first MMO – Gaia Online. A cringe time of my life, indeed.
Thankfully, I now have a more positive connection to the word Gaia. I love Gaia from FFXIV so much that I even cosplayed her in 2020. There’s something about her character development and anti-hero status that I find interesting.
Not to mention, Ryne and Gaia’s relationship is one of the purest in the game. However, Ryne’s relationship with anyone is pure. Maybe she’s half the reason I fell in love with Gaia in the first place.
WARNING: Spoilers for the Eden questline ahead.
- Race: Hume
- Gender: Female
- Hair: Black
- Eyes: Blue
- Hometown: Eulmore
- MSQ: None
- Questline: Eden
Gaia is a goth teen introduced in the Eden questline in Shadowbringers. So far, she hasn’t taken part in any other questline, including the Main Scenario Quests. But her presence is strong in the Eden quests.
She was an easy character for me to connect to, and it’s not just because I’m a sucker for edgy characters that aren’t trying too hard. I hope I’m not the only one that likes the Eden raids for more than one reason.
Sure, they are a blast, but they also follow a character I find far more interesting than Alexander or Bahamut. The Stormblood ones take second place, though the story isn’t as engaging as Gaia’s, which is why they will always be number one in my heart.
Gaia is an Eden raid exclusive. Over a hundred years ago, she was an Ascian called Loghrif, who helped cause the Umbral Calamity. Back then, she was defeated by the Warriors of Light at the time. It wasn’t until Shadowbringers that she was reincarnated as a girl in Eulmore.
When she was brought back, she had no memory of her past life. Due to her former lover’s (and Ascian’s) influence, she took on her true name, Gaia, rather than her Ascian name Loghrif.
It is slowly revealed that her lover, Mitron, telepathically erased her memories and asked her to free him from his sin-eater form, Eden. Soon after, the Warrior of Light must defeat her for the first time.
Of course, this is all a simplified version of the story, which is hours long. But the first fight in the Eden raids is against Mitron, in a way, who is manipulating Gaia through most of the Eden story.
Gaia in the Eden Raids
The Eden Raids are all about Gaia’s story in Shadowbringers. They are the regular raids that I love most. In fact, they are the only ones I like more than Alliance Raids, and that is partially because of the story surrounding them.
Eden’s Gate: Descent
Eden’s Gate: Descent is the first time you fight Eden as Gaia. The first time, Resurrection, it’s Mitron. After you defeat her, Thancred takes her back to camp to learn more about her.
This is when Ryne finds out she has a strange connection to Eden/Gaia. Only at this point, the Scions only know her as Gaia. I love the slow unfold of Ryne and Gaia’s relationship, the yin and yang of aether.
We don’t get to see much of Gaia during this first phase, as she’s more of a mystery than anything. But if you rewatch the cutscenes, it’s easy to spot the foreshadowing.
From Enemies to Allies
Between Descent and Refulgence, you fight the Primals in Eden form in order to gather aether from them. This entire time, Gaia has been asleep. This is when you learn her name, but she has no memory of your fight with her.
In fact, she knows she’s from Eulmore but no one seems to know her. This is one of my favorite parts of the questline because it’s the first time we see Gaia acting as Gaia rather than Eden.
She comes across as irritable and short, but then again, she’s practically been kidnapped. She admits that she listens to the voice in her head, a connection similar to Ryne and Minfilia.
At one point, Gaia runs away, and the Scions chase after her, convincing her that they will escort her to Eden. They do so, but for some reason, the voice in Gaia’s head stops. So Gaia helps the gang fight Eden.
Gaia and Ryne Connect
Now, everyone seems to be working together to restore the Empty, which Eden once destroyed. That’s why you’ve been gathering the elements from the Primals. While this is happening, Ryne is troubled.
This is when we really get to see Ryne and Gaia begin to connect, and I love it. Ryne expressed that she worries about Gaia and wants better for her. She tries to talk to her, but Gaia will have none of it.
After defeating more Primals, it seems the voice in Gaia’s head is fighting for a return. Though it is a concern, most of the Scions are happy that they are returning pieces of the Empty one by one.
Shiva Takes Her Toll on Ryne
Gaia seems to be getting worse the more Primals you defeat. She even seems to unintentionally summon darkness made of sin eaters (Antithesis Conscient: The Idol of Darkness) in Iconoclasm, which leaves her unconscious.
When she awakens, it’s because Ryne snaps her out of her. So whenever a fight with Shiva turns into a fight with a Ryne/Shiva hybrid, Gaia is the first to rush to her side as the battle ends.
This moment was amazing for me because it was the first time Gaia shows real emotion (oh, an FFX-2 reference.) I also love the moment they return to the Empty because lush green has returned, clearing the gloom that Eden had left.
This is also a key scene because Ryne makes a necklace out of Shiva’s ice crystals. This could be concerning, but it really is her accepting her connection to the Primal and the light within her.
The Calm Before the Storm
This part of the story is super chill. The Scions believe they have restored the Empty fully and have no current use for Eden. This part is sad for me because Thancred and Ryne’s connection is made evident when Thancred has to leave.
However, that’s another story, not Gaia’s. Gaia’s part in this is that she is there for Ryne whenever Ryne has to say goodbye to Thancred, who she sees as a father. The next time we see Gaia, it may be my favorite Gaia moment.
Whenever you (the Warrior of Light) meets them again, they talk about their time in the Crystarium, which involves laughing, chatting, and eating cookies. But what I like most about this conversation is the character development we see in Gaia.
The Thunder Rolls
Though Gaia seems to have good control over the voices in her head and has even gained some empathy, something happens as you journey through the Empty. The Empty seems to be regressing, and so does Gaia.
The green is beginning to die, and Gaia begins a new conversation with the voice. A beautiful analogy follows as it becomes evident that they had used Ryne’s aether to restore the empty, leaving too much “light,” causing the plants to wither.
Because Gaia’s aether is pure darkness, she believes using it will balance things. But in order to do that, you need to summon something similar to a Primal of darkness. In this case, the Cloud of Darkness.
You defeat the new foe. But unfortunately, the darkness did nothing to help. At a loss, the Ascian known as Mitron appears. He admits to being the voice in Gaia’s head, and promises answers if you follow him.
Mitron tells Gaia that she must reenact a fight between the Shadowkeeper and the Warrior of Light. But when Gaia refuses, Mitron gets angry, holds Gaia captive, and summons the Shadowkeeper for the Scions to fight.
Eden’s Promise: Eternity
After the fight, Gaia is found back at the camp. Everyone is doing well, but they know this isn’t the end. Gaia has new knowledge of her past. Mitron is the true first sin eater, Eden.
Though at one point, Gaia was merged with Mitron before being destroyed. When she was reincarnated, the connection remained, giving her some control over Eden, but also making her a vessel for darkness.
The next enemy you face is in Eden’s Promise: Anamorphosis, a enemy born from Ryne’s fears and memories. Immediately after this, the same is done with Gaia, only this time, the point is to remove her memories, including the precious moments she shared with Ryne.
I admit I cried during the scenes of Gaia’s disappearing memories of her and Ryne sharing tea. Of course, the Scions succeed, but it leaves Gaia unconscious again.
Gaia Finds a Home
Just as it seems all hope is lost, Ryne cries out, and a light glows from under Gaia’s sleeve. It turns out that glow is coming from the ice crystal necklace that we find out Ryne made for Gaia.
My mind was blown, and my heart warmed when I saw this. Moments later, Gaia awakes, and the Empty is doing better than ever. Lush trees and bright skies clutter the scene.
The Warrior of Light feels the mission is a success and leaves Ryne and Gaia on a well-deserved vacation in Mord Souq. Whenever you get a chance to hear even more about Gaia’s life, you refuse, choosing to see your friend for who she is, not who she was.
Yes, let’s blame my sniffles during this scene on my allergies.
Gaia Items You Can Own
For the longest time, you couldn’t get any Gaia items. But for some reason, with 6.3, new Gaia items were added to the MogStation. Now I’m going to have to break out my wallet.
Gaia’s Attire is a one-piece set, so you have to wear it all together. It’s also only for females. So sorry if you wanted to mix and match or wear it as a male character. I still like it because I would have worn it like this anyway.
Gaia’s weapon is a large hammer for many different classes. It is super cheap but is designed to be used as a skin. You can get the Hyposkhesphyra on many weapons, even on healers. Just make sure you choose the right one on the MogStation.
Question: Are Gaia and Ryne a Couple?
Answer: Fans want Ryne and Gaia to be a couple, which makes sense. But Square Enix has yet to confirm nor deny this. FFXIV has a ton of unconfirmed relationships in it, which is wonderful because then fans can dream of anything.
Question: How Old is Gaia?
Answer: Gaia’s age is never disclosed. Though her soul is over 100, her new body is likely a teen since it was insinuated that she and Ryne were the same age. Ryne is confirmed to be a teenager.
Question: Will Gaia Come Back?
Answer: This has never been shared. I don’t see it happening unless for a small cameo or a side questline featuring Gaia and Ryne. After all, it is likely Ryne will return. But I would love to see Gaia in the MSQ.
Gaia Made Shadowbringers
Gaia is one of the most unique characters in FFXIV. She’s the “Oracle of Darkness,” opposite Ryne, the Oracle of Light. But in a way, she’s also opposite the Warrior of Light, which gives a nice dynamic.
But I’d say the two reasons I love Gaia the most are because of her aesthetics and character development. We don’t get to see many goth characters, and that’s a shame. So I was excited to see that with Gaia.
Gaia was the goddess of Earth, and mother to the Titans and Giants in Greek mythology, the mother of all. It’s easy to see how that aligns with her character in FFXIV. She has the potential to take over the world, but all she really wants is to eat cookies with Ryne.