GAME FINAL FANTASY XIV: HEAVENSWARD / FORMAT PS5, PS4, PS3 PUB SQUARE ENIX / DEV SQUARE ENIX / RELEASED 2015
05 Introduced in Final Fantasy II, the Dark Knight class has long been a staple of the Final Fantasy series. Clad in black armour, these warriors use their own pain to harm their enemies and are at risk of losing their minds to the darkness. To complete the Guts-like look, the signature weapon of the class is a greatsword, the Deathbringer.
As well as the visual parallels with Guts’ Berserker Armour, the notion of using your pain to fight reflects the Berserker Armour’s ability to push its wearer beyond their limits even at risk to their own body. Similarly, there are mental consequences to wearing it as well as physical ones, with the armour amplifying bloodlust and negative emotions that can consume the wearer’s mind, leaving them incapable of telling friend from foe.
The Dark Knight class has always had an air of Berserk about it, but this is seen most clearly in the version introduced in Final Fantasy XIV’s Heavensward expansion (the job quests are well worth playing). This version is so widely seen to be a reference to Berserk that thousands of players donned their armour for an in-game memorial to author Kentaro Miura when news broke of his passing. Game director Naoki Yoshida has stated that all the games he’s been a part of, not only FFXIV, have elements consciously or subconsciously influenced by Berserk, of which he is a fan.
“Thousands of players donned their armour for an in-game memorial to Kentaro Miura.”