Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker has suffered from some update droughts lately—we've received a lot of fun tasks to do, but they've all been short-lived. Variant Dungeons and Island Sanctuary have tried to fill the gap left by exploration zones, but they're unfortunately one-and-done experiences.
Thankfully, patch 6.4's trailer is utterly loaded with story hints to whet my cutscene–starved appetite. I'm here to pass my theories onto you, so if you haven't watched the trailer yet, now's the time.
Before we get started, I'd like to mention that I'll only be covering information regarding the Main Scenario Quest, otherwise we'd be here all day.
The trailer opens with Golbez—our big bad for this patch cycle—stood atop the Thirteenth's red moon, beseeching someone to join him. His objective? To fully invade the Source, where his immortality-cursed subjects can finally die a true death.
While this seems like a plea to the player at first, it's followed up by a demand to "feast upon this dragon, and its ardent longing for home with it". "This dragon" refers to Azdaja, who he's been keeping captive in the void for centuries.
We know the Archfiends we've been slaying grew strong because they'd devoured Azdaja's aether, so my gil's on Golbez raising an army through similar methods, one that shares Azdaja's burning desire to return to the Source. We also see Vrtra reuniting with Azdaja, though what mental state she'll be in after centuries in the Void is anyone's guess.
The trailer shows us hints as to how we'll return to the Thirteenth after our previous portal was destroyed in patch 6.3. Zodiark's former lunar prison swells with energy, followed by a scene of us flying through the rift between worlds upon Vrtra's back. There's also a beam of light shooting from the Tower of Babil, which is particularly interesting, as we know it isn't actually powered by anything right now.
My pet theory is that our journey to The Aetherfont—patch 6.4's dungeon—will be required to pour aether into the Tower of Babil and power it. We'll then use its connection to the moon to create a gate to the Thirteenth there.
This makes practical sense in a MacGyvery, high-spectacle, Final Fantasy sort of way. Even if we could go back to the Thirteenth, we'd still have to travel to the moon to confront Golbez. By opening a gate on the moon in the Source, which is far easier to get to, we're cutting out the middleman.
Our final Main Scenario Quest reveal comes from the fight with Golbez himself. In it, there's a serpent dragon wrapped around his blade, which doesn't give me much hope for Azdaja making it out alive. While it has no wings—probably because Golbez's army ate them—the dragon has horns that are exactly the same shape as Azdaja's. She's likely to be corrupted or changed by his machinations.
Finally, there's a flash of a birdlike mask wreathed in shadow, which could very well be FFXIV's take on Zeromus from Final Fantasy IV. Given that this entire story arc has been a long reference to that game, I wouldn't be surprised if patch 6.5—or even the next expansion—will see us fighting this creature, whatever form it takes on Etheirys.
There is, to put it lightly, a lot to unpack here. No doubt we'll be seeing lore–lovers more dedicated than I am scrubbing through the trailer to fuel their own theories, but it's clear this patch will be frontloaded with a huge amount of story to work through. That's not to mention the new raid series and variant dungeon—us lore fans are going to be kept busy.