A few months ago, 1up ran a story detailing a Square Enix-produced strategy for Final Fantasy XI's toughest boss, the ridiculously-titled Absolute Virtue. More recently, at the Premier Site Summit event in late July, Sage Sundi, the Global Online Producer and Lead Game Master for Final Fantasy XI, claimed that the Absolute Virtue battle takes about 18 hours.
Yeah, you read that right. There's a boss in Final Fantasy XI that takes 18 hours. This raises a few questions, the least of which is WTF. Secondly, why would anyone spend 18 hours on one boss? There's a reason I will never understand MMOs, and this is it. Nevertheless, the linkshell (like a guild or clan) Beyond the Limitation has since beaten Absolute Virtue.
A recent update to the game, however, has brought an entirely new set of megabosses along with it. The toughest of these has an equally grandiose moniker: Pandemonium Warden. Never ones to back down from a challenge, Beyond the Limitation took it on, but had to quit after a grueling 18 hours.
Says player Sylphet of BtL:
People were passing out and getting physically ill. We decided to end it before we risked turning into a horrible new story about how video games ruin people’s lives.
Sylphet also mentions that several members of the linkshell actually vomited over the course of the battle.
With this in mind, Square-Enix' reminder that players shouldn't let Final Fantasy XI interfere with their school, work, families, or physical health -- shown at the beginning of every play session -- seems ironic at best and hypocritical at worst. Square Enix' critics are quick to accuse that these types of time-consuming challenges are simply an attempt to keep players interested and to stem the loss of players that Final Fantasy XI servers have been experiencing recently.