Even the Final Fantasy 14 devs thought this weird anime reference was too much

Final Fantasy 14 in Pop Team Epic
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Anime series Pop Team Epic keeps making references to Final Fantasy 14, but the producers wanted to make a joke so obscure even the developers thought it was too much.

If you're not familiar with Pop Team Epic, each episode is basically a collection of surrealist skits and rapidfire jokes - imagine if WarioWare was an animated series, and you've probably got a decent idea of what to expect. Someone on staff is clearly a fan of Final Fantasy 14, because the recently-ended second season of the show keeps making absurdly specific references to the critically acclaimed MMORPG.

Take this one for example. We see the Pop Team Epic leads enter a pitch-perfect recreation of the FF14 intro, settling in for a grand adventure across an epic fantasy world - until they find the Manderville Gold Saucer and spend so much time in the game's robust mahjong tournaments that they start ignoring linkpearl calls from Minfillia back at the Waking Sands.

Or how about the floor sommelier check, where one of the characters licks the floor to try and tell the difference between the Titan EX and Titan (Hard) raids. After a successful guess, we go straight into a reference to the twinning.mp4 meme, which - okay, look, I really don't have the space to explain twinning.mp4 here. Just trust me that referencing it is the mark of a true-blue FF14 fan.

As you might have guessed from all the highly specific references and music use, Square Enix has had some involvement in signing off on these skits, but as revealed in the latest Final Fantasy 14 live letter, there was one idea that was too obscure for the devs to agree to - an appearance from the developers themselves.

pop_team_epic_x_ffxiv_rejected_idea from r/ffxiv

In the rejected skit, which was shown as part of today's FF14 live letter broadcast, the anime characters appear as director and producer Naoki Yoshida and community manager Toshio Murouchi exactly as they do in a typical live letter to announce an entirely fake new job called the Sky Mage.

Yoshida (the actual person, not the cartoon one) rejected the idea because, as translated by fans in the unofficial FF14 Discord, "that's NOT FF14! My appearance has nothing to do with the game!" It seems Yoshida would really prefer your cross-media FF14 references to stick to the game itself.

As part of today's live letter, the Final Fantasy 14 patch 6.3 release date was confirmed for January 10, alongside some details on the impending Paladin rework.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.