This one is… kind of FFXIV-related? It’s about the Yoshi-P Sanpo events.
#103: “Yoshi-P Sanpo Special Edition – Part 1”
Published in 2018/03/01 issue
During the month between December 30, 2017 and January 29, 2018, instead of playing in private on my personal character, I played on a public character named “Yoshi’p Sampo.”
As the name “Sanpo” (stroll) implies, it started off as a whimsical thing I did without any prior announcement. The people who happened to end up in my parties were skeptical at first, but after they understood that it really was Yoshida, I got to see many different reactions. So, this time, I’d like to write a bit about the strolls I went on in FFXIV at the start of the year.
First off, what sparked this idea was a New Year’s Eve stream in 2016. At the time, the plan was to get together the producers and directors of the MMOs Phantasy Star Online 2, Dragon Quest X, and FFXIV, and spend the night drinking and conversing. There was a bit of an accident(?) during the stream, but I’ll run out of space if I explain it in detail, so I’m afraid I must omit it. My apologies to both the Chocobo world, which we were supposed to be visiting, and the Hades world, which we visited by accident.
One year later, at the end of 2017, I found myself with no plans. There was no stream planned, and I couldn’t go snowboarding because maintenance was still being done. Sitting at home doing nothing only leads to playing FFXIV, so I figured I might as well visit the worlds that we’d caused trouble for last year, and then secretly play on some other worlds that hadn’t been visited yet. I wanted to spend New Year’s in the world of FFXIV with the Warriors of Light.
The management team supported my idea and duplicated my “Yoshi’p Sampo” character across each world. They also prepared the equipment that I’d specified, and I was excited to play for real. I play FFXIV regularly on my own time, too, so I felt that I’d be able to handle any content besides the “Unending Coil of Bahamut” which boasts difficulty of the highest caliber. However, in this day and age, if I play poorly, people are bound to go, “Oh, Yoshida? He sucked and kept messing up lmao” on social media. Though I may be old now, I’m still a gamer at heart, and I’d like to avoid that for the sake of what little pride I have. So, there were quite a few instances where I was playing with sweaty palms.
On the night of December 30, 2017, I wandered around aimlessly on Hades—but there was a reason for this. When I logged in, my character was on a map called a “guest room,” which looks the same as an inn room. We use this map for events, meaning that regular players can’t enter, and it doesn’t show up in Player Search. I praised the management team for their foresight—if I entered the Duty Finder directly from here, I wouldn’t have to worry about being swarmed by players! However, upon closer inspection, I didn’t have any caster (Black Mage) food to use. This was bad… I wanted to do the high-end raid “Omega: Deltascape (Savage)”, and going in without food would be inexcusable. So, I left the guest room and ran towards the market board. Once you leave the guest room, you can’t go back unless a GM teleports you there, so I was quite anxious as I moved.
So, I walked around the market areas of Eorzea for a bit, but no one noticed me. Well, it was only natural since nothing was announced. Upon using “Teleport” magic, I found Warriors of Light chatting near the aetheryte. The friendly chatter and silly jokes made me feel warm and fuzzy in front of my monitor. It’s great to experience that “everyday life” feeling four years since launch… My character also seemed happy as she walked around.
Past midnight, I began jumping into players’ Party Finder listings. I joined three or so parties that day, but no one pointed me out in any of them, and we completed the content in silence. The next day, on the 31st, I went to Gaia datacenter at around 2 P.M. Since I planned on going to Chocobo world at night, I decided to take a stroll on a different datacenter beforehand. The location was Ultima world. As I was perusing the market board, someone finally called out to me:
“Wait… are you… Yoshida-san?”
Then, as the rumor that “Yoshida is wandering around on public worlds” spread on social media, players would constantly call out to me as I joined their parties. However, everyone was doubtful.
My character looked the same as the one I use for the “Yoshi-P Sanpo” live streams. During these streams, a guest and I simply visit regular worlds and play the game with everyone. My character name was also the same as the one used on the stream, “Yoshi’p Sampo.” However, even though I believe the correct romanization should be “Sanpo”, for some reason the character’s name is “Sampo.” It’s an official character, but people may think it’s a fake. Still, this name is reserved across all worlds, so regular players can’t actually use it. In other words, so long as the character has this name, the person in control is either me or a staff member preparing for the stream. Here’s the first screenshot I took with the players:
On the night of New Year’s Eve, I went to Chocobo world as planned, and met with players at the aetheryte in Limsa Lominsa. We chatted and took a commemorative screenshot, and one person said, “Actually, there’s an event going on later where we go to the beach at Costa del Sol and shout ‘YOSHIDAAAAAAAAAA!’ when the New Year comes. Would you like to join in?” to which I replied, “That’s quite the bizarre event lol”. Shouting my own name in a game for the New Year…? “Oh, but we hold this event every year!” Bizarre indeed. *laughs*
So, I accepted their offer and headed to the beach, which was already flooded with people. Apparently, news that “Yoshida is here! Hurry to Costa!” began to spread across linkshells and FC chat, so more and more Warriors of Light kept coming in—at a rate where the servers could crash. The next day, I heard at the office that the zone had reached its player cap, and players were unable to enter afterwards. I’m very ashamed.
Thus, I happily greeted the year of 2018 on Chocobo, together with many players in the game that I created. I can’t think of a better way to spend the New Year. And to me, it was the greatest possible respite. I’ll continue this story next time.
(Taken right after the new year, at the Royal City of Rabanastre with players from Chocobo)
 The stream is still archived on Niconico, so please watch that for the details. Many jokes were made at my expense… (TL note: Since you probably don’t have Niconico premium, basically what happened is that each MMO had their communities gather in-game to celebrate the New Year. Due to a communication mistake, players went to the wrong location, and FFXIV was the only game where no one showed up to the gathering.)