The Final Fantasy XIV Fender Stratocaster comes with a crystal-effect finish and a meteor inlay on the 12th fret.
For a while, the worlds of gaming and guitars crossing the streams meant only one thing: Rock Band/Guitar Hero and the admittedly fun, but not very environmentally friendly clacky plastic guitar peripherals, destined for landfill in their millions.
Those days are over now, but that doesn’t mean guitars and games can’t still play nicely together.
And where there’s a licensing crossover, there’s money to be made, like the opportunity to buy Ellie’s Taylor 314ce acoustic guitar from The Last of Us Part II, or today’s offering, the limited edition Final Fantasy XIV Fender Stratocaster.
Now I like guitars, and I like video games, but I don’t much like Final Fantasy XIV or Fender Stratocasters. That’s not to say I don’t like Final Fantasy generally, or Fender guitars – they’re probably my favourites from either milieu. It’s just I find an MMO the least appealing implementation of Final Fantasy, and the same is true of the Strat and Fender’s classic formula. (Give me a Final Fantasy IX-themed Fender Mustang or Musicmaster any day of the week, please.)
But as Strats go, the Final Fantasy XIV Fender Stratocaster does have a few interesting accoutrements that lift it above your common-or-garden, honky-toned Strat.
A trio of V-Mod single-coil Strat pickups is a fairly standard (albeit high-end) configuration, but a push-push tone pot (which Fender has referred to as the guitar’s “limit break”) to put the bridge and middle pickups into series should sort out that spanky Strat tone I loathe.
Then there’s the body itself, which is a fairly standard alder with an all-black finish, with a black pickguard and pickup covers to maintain a sleek, silhouette-like look. So far, so standard… except for the blue and pink crystal-effect sections on the guitar’s lower horn and forearm contour. They’re translucent (presumably some sort of phenolic resin and pigment?) and coloured to represent Final Fantasy XIV’s Crystals of Dark and Light. It’s a strikingly pretty effect against the black polyurethane finish.
And finally, there are the Final Fantasy XIV-specific bits, including the lovely meteor inlay on the 12th fret of the rosewood fingerboard (and no other fret markers breaking up the sleek, dark effect), and the Final Fantasy logo on the guitar’s neck plate.
The guitar also features a black synthetic bone nut, a Fender-standard 25.5″ scale length and “Modern C” shape neck, with a 9.5” radius fingerboard and narrow-tall frets. You’ll also get a vintage hardshell case featuring both the Fender and Final Fantasy logos, plus “a special book containing a numbered certificate and an exclusive FFXIV illustration card made by Square Enix”.
With a hefty price tag of £3,199.00 for this limited edition guitar, it’s no surprise they’re chucking in some extras.
And Fender, if you’re looking for a guitar player in the games media to review this one, just give me a shout. I would be more than happy to have the Final Fantasy XIV limited edition model be the guitar that changes my mind on the Strat as a species, and I really want to play Still More Fighting/Those Who Fight Further on it.