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The Allagan Empire is referenced all over Final Fantasy XIV.
They’re a long-lost civilization responsible for many of Eorzea’s technological marvels – and dangers.
They were plunged into darkness by the actions of their emperor, Xande, long before we ever stepped foot into the game.
But what exactly happened to them?
What were the events that led to the downfall and total disappearance of an empire that mastered bio-engineering, forged artificial moons, and bent the laws of nature to their will?
To understand the importance of Allag to XIV’s backstory, we’re gonna have to break down a few plot points.
Be warned: major spoilers for Final Fantasy XIV follow!
What Impact Did The Allagans Have On Eorzea Today?
Remnants of the Allagan Empire are everywhere, even now.
We use Allagan Tomestones as currency at certain vendors, and they frequently come up as you progress through the main storyline.
Our first major introduction to them is the Crystal Tower Alliance Raid, made mandatory as of 2020.
This massive structure was built by the Allagans to store energy from the sun, powering their vast technological empire.
It became a huge plot point for the Shadowbringers expansion, but until last year it was possible to miss it entirely.
We also visit Azys Lla, a giant floating research facility we see towards the end of Heavensward.
This was the focus point for all of Allag’s scientific advancement, and it’s where they perfected the technology to bind the Primals we spend so much time fighting off in modern times.
In his never-ending quest for domination, Emperor Xande sought new ways to bring the world to heel, ever increasing his grip on Eorzea.
But, as usual, pride came before the fall.
Xande kept pushing, kept bending the laws of nature, unable to rest and accept what he had already accomplished.
His empire spanned most of the planet, but not all of it.
His actions would eventually lead to the downfall of the entire Allagan Empire.
So How Did The Allagan Empire End?
If you’ve made decent progress through the XIV: A Realm Reborn storyline then you’ve already heard plenty of references to Dalamud, Bahamut, and Allag.
These things are all entwined.
Dalamud is the name given to the artificial moon the Allagan Empire created, which contained Bahamut, who would later go on to break free and cause a string of world-changing events.
Bahamut’s escape from Dalamud was used as the catalyst to change Final Fantasy XIV into the game it is today. But that’s a story for another time…
The Crystal Tower and Dalamud are part of the same process, technology built to store solar energy to power the Allagan Empire.
Bahamut was imprisoned within it to serve as the catalyst for that energy collection, with the moon constructed so well he would suffer within it for millennia.
And Xande was desperate to conquer Meracydia, a continent players have yet to visit (as of this writing).
It was the only realm on the planet that had resisted him. And his pride would not suffer it to stand.
He made a pact with beings from the World of Darkness to bring them into the world, in exchange for their power, and so he achieved his last goal.
With the world laid low before him, and the infinite power of darkness in his grasp, Xande realized that all life was pointless, and decided he would return it to nothingness.
To do this, he needed to bring the Cloud of Darkness through a portal so she could obliterate all life on Eorzea.
The portal required power, and Xande demanded that Dalamud’s solar energy be directed into the Crystal Tower all at once to tear it open and unleash the Cloud of Darkness.
But the Tower was unable to hold such a gargantuan amount of power. It caused an earthquake which shattered the very seat of the Allagan Empire.
The tower sunk into the earth, and the Empire that was so reliant on its power faded into eternity.
Xande was buried alive in the tower, and there he would remain – until the Warrior of Light and their allies would storm the Crystal Tower and bring his dark machinations to an end once and for all.
But What Made The Allagans Bad?
Well, they probably weren’t all bad.
Xande could have just been a particularly bad egg.
If this was any other game, I’d be able to give you a quick rundown of his individual motivations that drove him to such insane lengths for power.
But this is one area where XIV is actually extremely simple.
It was Ascians!
I know, I know – massive shock.
These guys are behind basically every bad thing that happens.
I’d be surprised if the Warrior of Light didn’t blame them whenever stubbing his/her toe at this point.
But specifically, it was Emet-Selch: the very same character we come to understand on a much deeper level throughout the Shadowbringers story.
Emet-Selch influenced Xande to expand his empire and dominate the world, setting the stage for the Calamity the Ascians needed to further their plans.
This really gives you an idea of how far back the Ascian scheming goes, though.
The Allagan Empire existed five million years before we were trotting around the place.
The Ascians see the life that exists around them now as utterly insignificant, because, well, it is.
We’re just another civilization out of an infinite multitude they’ve watched rise and fall.
Bringing societies to an end is just what they do.
And they’ve become extremely good at it.
What would Eorzea look like today if the Ascians hadn’t caused Allag to collapse?
Would XIV be closer to sci-fi than fantasy?
It’s interesting to think about.
The Allagan Empire may be over, and Emperor Xande’s plans brought to a final conclusion.
But we’ve not seen the end of the Ascians yet. We’ll have to get into Endwalker to see how all that shakes out.