Thursday, April 18, 2024
Opinion

7 Final Fantasy 14 locations that would be epic queer venues in real life

Final Fantasy 14 occupies a lot of my time – in fact, the only other thing that occupies more of my time is doing… well, gay stuff. Whether it’s sampling the many fine venues on Soho’s Old Compton street or queuing up to line the coffers of Jeremy Joseph for a night in Heaven, I’d say it’s time well spent if you ask me.

However, I started to wonder: how would the queer denizens of Eorzea spend their time? What kind of queer venues would they venture to? How much would a vodka soda be? Would every bottom drink White Claw? 

In order to find the answers I so desperately craved, I’ve perused the lands of FFXIV with my trusty unicorn mount and put together a list of what I think would be the best hangouts for the LGBTQ+ individuals of Eorzea – and what they would be like if they were real.

Check it out below, then let us know in the comments which place from FFXIV you’d like to see reimagined as a queer venue!

Final Fantasy 14 queer
The Canopy, Eulmore
The Beehive

No matter the gender of this establishment’s workers, they’re often referred to as ‘honeybees’, with the owner of the venue being known as the ‘queen’. If that isn’t enough to make you want to work here, let alone visit, then I don’t know what will.

Elmore’s Beehive Club is described as a place of noise and excitement within the town of Eulmore. There are several stages, featuring performers of all genders – complete with both poles and spotlights. The decor is opulent and classy, with a large chandelier presiding over the room.

Whether we’d see Bimini Bon Boulash cartwheeling across the stage or a sensational stripper clinging onto a pole by their clam, we know a night out in Elmore’s Beehive Club would be a night to remember. With definite Two Brewers and Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club vibes, the venue would play host to all manner of queer performers. It’d launch the careers of lesser-known artists as well as be a must-stop location for every touring Drag Race queen. There’d be cheap drinks, always served with far too much ice – as well as a resident bathroom attendant who’d be famous in the town for their perfume selection and smile.

Norvrandt
Lyhe Mheg

Also known as The Garden of Dreams, Lyhe Mheg is a special world that can only be accessed through – you guessed it – a dream. Seemingly floating high in the sky, there are rolling green fields, dotted with colossal slides and climbing frames, all in bright colours. The buildings look as though they are pulled straight from a fairytale – made out of gingerbread, with meringues and candy canes scattered around.

Now this is a bit of a tricky one, but let’s just imagine this could be real. There’d be pride floats with go-go dancers adorned in pink leather harnesses, carnival-style cotton candy stalls and all of the drinks would be pink. Due to there being a lot of physical activities like slides and climbing frames, there’d either be soft drinks only or – more likely – a gaggle of gays tumbling around, inebriated and tripping over everything. 

Old Gridania, The Black Shroud
Mih Khetto’s Amphitheatre

Opened by a famed Miqo’te minstrel, this namesake venue plays host to many of Gridania’s festivals.

Paired with its fantastic acoustics, thanks to the ponds located behind the stage, Mih Khetto’s Amphitheatre would be Eorzea’s primo performance venue for queer artists. Being an outdoor venue, it would demand slushie cocktails, festival-style clothing and a top-class performer to entertain the audience.

I can imagine The Bitten Peach spread out across the open-air venue, treating the audience to cabaret and burlesque shows. There’d be free-flowing soju shots and at some point, we all know a twink would be scolded by security for trying to pole-dance with one of the lamp posts.

Limsa Lominsa Upper Decks, La Noscea
The Drowning Wench

If Kennington’s Cock Tavern and Gordon’s Wine Bar in Charing Cross fused together, it would be this place. By day, it would be a quiet pub with the best seafood cuisine – thanks to Limsa Lominsa’s fisherman population. But by night, mature and young queer people alike would venture down here for tall drinks, good conversation and La Noscea’s best pub quiz. 

The first reason this place makes it on the list is its location. Being one of the first places you can encounter in-game, it has a level of familiarity and warmth to it. The second reason is the name: not only is it fantastic, but I can also literally hear Baga Chipz performing here and saying ‘The only Drowning Wench is me on Grindr tonight’.

Idyllshire, Dravania
The Hard Place

Located within a quiet libertarian town, not only does The Hard Place have a fantastic name, it also has connotations with important aspects of real-world queer history. With Idyllshire being a place meant for those who value freedom above all else. In a way, this could be the Stonewall Inn of Eorzea. 

I can imagine full tables of mature LGBTQ+ people, those with the best stories and the best lessons to tell and share. There’s a roaring fire in the corner, so you know it would be warm, cosy, and a safe yet quiet space for queer individuals. Maybe they even have a distillery in the basement and make their own whisky, with part of the proceeds going to charity? Or maybe it’s like a gay Wetherspoons and the best place to buy £6 pitchers of Blue Lagoon? I feel as though it’d be a pretty versatile establishment, perfect for anything from a quiet Hinge date to a catch-up with an old friend, The Hard Place isn’t fussy.

Final Fantasy 14 queer
Thanalan, Aldenard
The Gold Saucer

Now, I couldn’t do this list without mentioning The Gold Saucer – FFXIV’s favourite amusement park. Founded and managed by a master goldsmith, there’s all sorts of games such as racing, cards, and fashion shows. The staff wear cute uniforms and when there’s an event happening, it’s positively bustling. There’s even a giant Cactuar statue in the Entrance Square, making the perfect selfie location for the beginning of your night.

But if this venue was real? There’d be drag queen and king waitstaff touring the hallways with trays of Jägerbombs, crowds of people dancing on the Main Stage in the Event Square, and Charity Shop Sue would be judging the fashion competition.

There’d be twenty-somethings studded along the many red-carpeted hallways, making out against the wall. There’d be thirty-somethings trying their luck at the various games on offer, trying to mask their Aperol Spritz buzz. Not to forget the forty-somethings, who would be sat at the Gold Saucer’s many gambling tables, giving the regulars at The Hippodrome a run for their money. 

Bloodshore, Eastern La Noscea
Costa Del Sol

Now I know this isn’t an in-game venue per se but from the picture alone, I know you can imagine a flood of gays dancing to The Vengaboys here. 

Purchased originally by a wealthy Ul’dahn entrepreneur, the land has been designed and developed into the style of the South SeaIsles. Expect tropical climates as well as specially imported fauna from the Cieldalaes – a small group of native islands in the Rhotano Sea.

Sink the Pink (RIP) would host an annual event here, which would begin with brunch and end with regret – as most brunches tend to do. There’d be floating Margarita bars on the water, limbo tournaments and a private platform for Jodie Harsh to DJ on. I can just see myself losing my drinks tickets, getting my chewing gum confiscated by a mildly homophobic bouncer and them vomiting into the ocean – and I can’t wait to do it.

Tom Edwards

[He/Him] Tom Edwards is a freelance writer. He loves video games, film and fashion. He can be found most nights in Soho and most mornings wherever the biggest cup of coffee is served.