Welcome back to Secrets of a Realm. In this episode we’re returning to Thanalan. Last time we were here, we visited The Sand Caves, a seemingly massive and unfinished dungeon located south of the aetherial gate of Halatali. Just southeast of the Sand Caves, you’d find the aetherial gate of Sandgate. And southwest of Sandgate, you’d find the entrance to a mine. More specifically, Sandgate Mines. This dungeon is special, as it featured a fully constructed mine entrance. Sure, it was hidden to the far south of Eastern Thanalan, and it was not acknowledged on the map, but the structure at the entrance was a clear indication that something was lurking inside. The entrance was guarded by a brass blade by the name of Zinbyrt. Upon interacting with him, he’d say the following: “I cannot permit you to enter here.
Please, seek your adventures elsewhere.”. Sorry Zinbyrt, I don’t take orders from you. Let’s get inside! Like all dungeons in 1.0, the entrance tunnel heads down. After a short while – I encountered the entrance door. Similar to that of Nanawa Mines, however this one is closed. A nice change from the previous dungeons is the lighting. This dungeon is well lit, so I won’t feel as uneasy in this one, thank the Twelve. Past the entrance gate, I’m faced with a closed door to the right, and a corridor to the left. I follow the corridor to the left, obviously, and after a short while I enter this intersection with lots of crates and junk placed on the floor.
To the left is a closed mine track door. I really like how the door looks like a normal door, but because it’s used to close off a mine track, it has a small opening at the bottom, for the tracks. The most eyecatching detail however, are the minetracks close to the ceiling. It’s a neat little detail, and no, the tracks don’t actually lead anywhere. I checked. Anyway, straight ahead is what appears to be a hallway similar to where I came from, and to the right I see a fence, and some kind of structure. I would normally go straight ahead, but whatever was ahead here seemed way more interesting than whatever was ahead.
I enter a room with a small shack and some more junk. Also, pipes. Oh and this weird ass flower… thing…. OH and these giant mushroom things. A hallway to the right leads to a dead end, most likely meant to contain a treasure coffer. Following the corridor past the shack room, I encounter a small room with a small water puddle. After the incident in the Fesse, I decided to not step into the water. The sight of that floating head scared me to bits. So far I’m impressed. The dungeon seems to be filled to the brim with props. Sure, a lot of it are just the same items over and over again, but come on, it’s 1.0! Small things, like a pickaxe left in a pile of rocks, or a cart full of ore, helps sell the illusion of an active mine. I leave the room, and I’m now at another road crossing. Left, straight ahead, or right. At this point I remember that this dungeon could be massive. I have to stick to a strategy, or I’ll get lost. I decide to once again go for the linear path. I head into the corridor straight ahead.
The dungeon seems to get darker the further I walk now. After walking through the corridor for a while, I get an opening to the left. It has an iron gate. A first for this dungeon. I clearly have to head this way, but the path ahead carries on still. I walk ahead for a while, only to discover that the corridor has collapsed further ahead. Good, I can turn back and head towards the iron gate now. The iron gate room is not lit.
After I chose the corridor that lead to this, the lanterns are no longer lit at all, so I’m probably onto something here. There is another path to the right, but I don’t care. There is an iron barred gate ahead of me, and there is no way I’m headed any other way. It is possible it’s just an alternate route to this room, leading from the minetrack room. I pass through the gate – aaaaand. Oh. It’s blocked. Well that sucks.
I walk back in disappointment, and head through the second corridor. And oh boy. Well well well. What have we here. A lift. This looks a lot like the lift we’d later find in Copperbell Mines, however this one looks somewhat different. Smaller, and with no lever inside. It was clearly never meant to be operated. And after further investigation, I can confirm that there was no lower level for the lift to descend to. A shame.
The next room contains very little of interest, 3 pipes, a closed door – but also an unlit torch. Now this is interesting, as we’ve not encountered any of these in the dungeon so far. Only lanterns. You know you’re desperate to find something interesting, when an unlit torch peaks your interest. Anyway, carrying on ahead, I eventually encounter a closed door! Most likely the entrance to a boss room! Exciting! As I pass through the door, I’m initially disappointed. It’s just a regular room. But then I notice the path to the right having a much wider corridor. Almost twice as wide as the ones I’ve been passing through lately. Could it be because it was made for larger groups of people passing through? I carry on down. And lo and behold our second torch! And it’s lit! But most importantly, it’s placed ominously close to that door there.
Also worth noting the second path to the right, with a regular sized opening. But screw that, there’s a door here! And oooh yes. There we go. A large room with lots of props, including two lifts! This was either a boss room, or possibly even an aetherial gate room! But as I head towards this area to the left, I couldn’t stop smiling. Look at this. A room about he same size as the one we’re in, is visible below. It has lots of tables and benches placed in a circle, with a torch in the middle. However, some of the tables and benches are flipped over. These things I assume were lanterns placed on the tables, but they are now all knocked over all over the room, indicating that something or someone caused whoever was here to flee. It’s such a strange scene, because I don’t know how to get here yet, or if I even can.
Maybe it’s just a nice view. Maybe something was supposed to happen here when I reached this point? We’ll have to carry on to find out. I follow the path ahead, into a dead end. This one is different from the other dead ends, as it actually looks like it’s an active area. This place is still being mined. This is a corridor in progress! Look at all that ore! I find it interesting that the ore on the actual map looks better than the ore in the… uh what are these called? Mine… boxes. But is this it? What about that room downstairs? I must know. I start backtracking, and look through paths I ignored on my way here. I notice some interesting rooms. Most of them are just dead ends, but each dead end seemed to be somewhat unique. Like this one, with the lone lantern, and the shovel. I’m actually quite impressed with this place.
It feels like it was more or less complete. Only waiting for the monsters to be placed, and the gates opened. After a long time, I finally make it to another door I haven’t seen yet. I pass through – and oh lords. This is where the similarities with Copperbell Mines really start to shine. A massive open room, with bridges, mining equipment, lifts are placed all over the room. The path circles a massive open canyon, before leading to the other side of the room, via a series or bridges connecting to and from the middle section of the room. This leads to another door, and on the other side I’m faced with another choice of left and right. I choose the left path, and notice that the corridor is wide again.
That’s usually a good sign. I find myself in another room with minetracks near the ceiling. And to the right, a door. However, it’s closed, and the other paths lead to dead ends. All of which still somehow feel fresh. After what feels like an eternity in a confusing labyrinth of corridors, I finally get to it. The room we saw from above earlier. Or so I think. As I look up to find the ledge I was standing on earlier, I find nothing. The ceiling isn’t high enough for that. Also, the torch isn’t lit, whereas the torch in the room we saw earlier was lit. I am confused. I’ve been here for hours now. Where is this room? I rush through more unexplored areas of the dungeon, stumbling across boss rooms and dead ends, but I cannot find the room we saw earlier.
After – I kid you know, 30 minutes, I managed to find the room we were in earlier with the ledge overlooking the mysterious room – and I cheated my way down. There was no way I could find the actual way inside. The room was indeed connected to the dungeon proper, but through a series of corridors I had not been in yet. This dungeon contained a lot of really interesting dead ends, like this one, where you could actually see a completely other part of the dungeon. Getting to this part of the dungeon, you’d have to walk really far! That’s the big open room we saw earlier! Imagine being stuck on this end, with a party member on the other! Nightmare fuel! Obviously, in the finished release there would be a map, but still. After returning to map and record footage for this video, I realized that the room with the view of the lower room was literally meant to be a teaser for what was to come, as the dungeon seemingly comes to an end in that room.
Once entering that room, you’ve basically walked the entire length of the dungeon. I can’t remember if this was a thing in Copperbell Mines, but even still, that is pretty neat. Now throughout this video I’ve been playing some obscure tracks that rarely or never made it to ARR. But one question I kept asking myself again and again while walking through here, was “what music was planned to play in this place”? Nobuo Uematsu made a lot of music in 1.0, and a lot of it never really got used, or got used once – like the mining questline theme. Shposhae and the Mun-Tuy Cellars got their own themes in patch 1.19, “The Promise of Plunder” which you all know today as the generic dungeon battle theme in ARR. But that was only two of the many existing dungeons. Other dungeons would not receive this treatment. Possibly because after patch 1.19, FFXIV 1.0’s fate had been sealed, and the game would only receive quality of life patches after this. It is possible The Promise of Plunder was the theme intended for Sandgate Mines. We’ll never know for sure. While the other dungeons I’ve walked through have felt dark, ominous, and creepy.
This one just makes me feel sad. Sad to realize that work was put into this dungeon. It feels like someone had an idea here, and it was nearing completion. I know I often make fun of 1.0, and yes, sometimes that is completely fair, but I think it’s important to think about the people that created this. Someone worked long hours on this, and they never got to see it in use. That sucks. And that’s why I’m even doing this series in the first place.
All of this would have disappeared forever, unless someone documented this. And that’s my goal. To preserve everything that was Final Fantasy XIV 1.0. And what better way to appreciate the work that was put into this dungeon than a really somber unused track from 1.0, by Nobuo Uematsu – Final Respite. Thank you for watching. See you next month! May you ever walk in the light of the Crystal! .
As found on Youtube