So I love the Binding Coil. The battles are fun and I had an absolute blast clearing it for the first time with my friends. However, since we were clearing so quickly, I had to skip all of the cutscenes. So here’s my question for you: what’s up with that T12 boss? Why is there a primal fighting for Bahamut, and where does it fit into the game’s lore?
DEAR MYSTIC FEATHERS:
This probably goes without saying, but major spoilers for the Binding Coil of Bahamut lie ahead. If you want to the full experience, I highly recommend setting aside some time for the cutscenes. I can’t do the entire story justice in such a short response, but I’m sure going to give it a try!
Now, the entire story of the Binding Coil (which I’m going to call Coil from now on) is pretty fascinating. We actually had articles dedicated to explaining where it came from in reference to the Calamity, so I’d highly recommend checking them out in previous issues of The Moogle Post if you want to know more. For the sake of this question, however, I am only going to talk about the boss of T12, Phoenix.
Now, Phoenix has been a primary summon in many Final Fantasy games long before this one, appearing for the first time as a high level summon in FFV. It is most commonly associated with rebirth, and it’s appearance usually involved saving characters from death, or the player from a game over. It is a being born from fire, and is often considered one of the strongest summons in the Final Fantasy universe, alongside Bahamut.
So, why would such a powerful creature be fighting on Bahamut’s side? The answer is actually found in the very lore of FFXIV. As you probably know (or maybe don’t), these summons in Eorzea are instead known as primals. Think of Garuda with the Ixal, or Bismark with the Vanu. Primals are born through the prayers of their worshipers, and a massive amount of aether. Each primal has their own personalities, ambitions, and most (aside from Ramuh) are violent beings. The one big exception to the rule is Shiva, whose form and goals manifests themselves through Lady Iceheart. However, it is not difficult to think that Phoenix- a primal capable of taking on Bahamut on his own- would need a massive amount of aether, and a lot of prayers to bring him into the world. There is no known tribe that worships Phoenix, so who summoned it?
Eorzeans. Or, more specifically, Louisoux Leveilleur channeled the prayers of Eorzea in his fight with Bahamut.
You read that right. Like every other primal, Phoenix was born of the prayers. The hopes and pleading of all of Eorzea mixed with the massive amount of aether released by Bahamut’s escape from Dalamud. Louisoux was able to channel these prayers into the resurrection of Phoenix, and channel its power to destroy Bahamut. However, when he tried to disperse the aether (which would have ended in his death), Bahamut was able to grab a some of his aether and temper him. Essentially, Bahamut brainwashed Phoenix/Louisoux into serving him. This is who you fight in T12. By taking down Phoenix, you free Louisoux from his servitude to Bahamut, and can finally reach the burning heart challenge the dragon king himself.
This explanation only breaks the surface of the Binding Coil. The T12 cutscene, in particular, is amazing to watch. I highly recommend going back and listening to the game’s answer for itself. But I hope I have offered at least a small amount of insight into the lore of Binding Coil.