Ul’Dah, the Jewel of the Desert. For years she’s been the home to many of FFXIV’s players. By now we are all familiar with the secrets she holds. The burial chambers, the Sacrarium, the missing or relocated shops from 1.0, 1.0’s suspected housing area in Ul’Dah, the list goes on. But unbeknownst to all the players rushing around in the streets, there was something rumbling far below their feet. In the darkness below – a lone minecart travelled down on its tiny tracks in an infinite loop, waiting for players to enter. This is Secrets of a Realm – The Dungeon Below Ul’Dah.
Ul’Dah has really been one of my favorite cities in terms of design and overall layout. It’s by far the best planned city state in 1.0 – compared to the nightmare of Gridania and the infuriatingly spread out design of Limsa Lominsa, Ul’Dah definitely comes out on top. Sure, the city-state would end up having a lot of empty space, but it all felt consistent, and the city’s circular design made it very easy to get around.
So easy, in fact, that the city-state became a major problem for 1.0’s struggling servers. For more information about Ul’Dah I recommend watching the Remnant of a Realm special about Ul’Dah on this channel. Link in the description. Now when this show started I was drawn to the mysteries of this dead and forgotten game. Because of the way it was designed, a lot of dungeons were set up for later use – not uncommon back then, and still something that is done in certain games to this day. But 1.0 has the added layer of being a dead game – these assets, dungeons, settings, never got used. Destined to rot away – never to be used for what they were designed for. In SoaR, we have been everywhere. We have traversed the dry and dark dungeons of Thanalan, the wet dungeons of La Noscea, the cold and gray dungeons of Coerthas, and the murky and overgrown dungeons of The Black Shroud, where we even made a friend.
While all these dungeons have been exciting to uncover – they were all in easy to spot locations on the overworld map. Some even having NPCs giving you a hint that *something* is behind them – just waiting for the day it would be patched into the game. Today though, we are going somewhere I never thought we would ever go. As you no doubt know from the title, and the whole introduction, today we’re actually uncovering something that resides underneath a city-state. For you see, underneath the City-State that never sleeps, there used to exist – a dungeon. And its location was always there. Visible from the very beginning. Right next to the entrance to the Miner’s Guild.
A staircase leading down into a mine. A mine we’d never actually enter ourselves, but one that actually exists below. Today, this area has changed from heading down left – to heading down right – to The Goblet Housing District. Before we venture down and discover this dungeon together, I must ask you all a favor. Getting information about 1.0 is not easy, so if you have any information about the dungeon we’re about to enter, please send it to [email protected] or simply leaving a comment down below. There is a possibility this dungeon was used in a Miner Quest duty, but I can’t for the life of me find anything about it, and let’s just say – I wasn’t a good miner in 1.0. If we find any accurate information on this I’ll consider making a follow-up video to this one. With that out of the way, let’s start our exploration of the Ul’Dahn Mines. First it’s important to note that the stairs actually end abruptly here. However, going directly down from there leads us to a lift, making it the likely starting point in the dungeon.
So the stairs from Ul’Dah proper would likely lead to a lift. Anyway we have arrived in the Ul’Dahn mines. The atmosphere is exactly how you’d expect a Thanalan dungeon to be – dark, mysterious, and frankly, a little scary. But just think – above us is the bustling city-state of Ul’Dah! This is so exciting! This treasure was just hiding down here all these years! The entrance hall is a large room filled with mining equipment, lit torches, lamps, and minecarts. Some have wheels, others don’t. I always try to figure out what the tone of the dungeon is – what the purpose for our entry could be. Is this a hostile situation? Are we merely exploring? I notice a lot of rubble on one side of the room, but I can’t tell if this is just “general rubble” or a sign of distress caused by a disaster, or intruders attacking the miners working down here. We’ll have to keep an eye out for further clues as we progress through the mines. I felt a draw to the northernmost exit, so that’s where we’ll be heading for now. I encounter minecart tracks in the first room.
There’s little else in here, other than a couple of locked and blocked doors. As I prepare to exit the room, I hear a rattling sound. I look up and to my surprise a minecart rushes by on the tracks above! A sign of life that’s rare in the unused assets of 1.0! Exiting through the connecting room we enter perhaps the most impressive room in the dungeon. It’s almost an exact replica of the big open rooms found in Copperbell Mines and Nanawa Mines, but still very nice to see what I assume is the center of the dungeon.
It’s also a sign that this dungeon is quite small, considering how quickly we reach it. Normally 1.0 dungeons would build and build until you finally reached the centerpiece of the dungeon. The room is filled with neat little details like the cargo cranes, shovels, toolboxes, and these rope and pulley systems hanging up high. I dunno… I just think that’s really neat. From the center of the room we move clockwise, heading to the easternmost exit.
This leads to what I assume would have been a trash mob room. It ends abruptly at a locked door which leads nowhere. It’s strange, but not uncommon. I am starting to suspect that we’re looking at a quest duty dungeon at this point. I would have expected more branching paths in a room directly connected to the center room. We head back. I fully expected there to be a door on the north side of the center room, but there is nothing there.
Even stranger. Instead there’s an opening on the west side of the room. And this room is quite intriguing. First of all – there’s this strange window thing in the wall. Does it make sense? No. Is it neat? Yes. But more importantly – it was placed there for a reason. If a dungeon in 1.0 has anything that breaks from the mind numbing copy paste it means you want to remember or notice this specific location. And moving just a few feet inside you see it. Tools, carts, sandbags at what looks like a mining site.
However what really makes this area stand out are the hitboxes added to the tools in this area. Approaching the toolbox or the shovels will instantly block your path and even push you away slightly. Even the pickaxes on the ground have absurd hitboxes that behave in the same way. While I don’t fully understand why they would do this, considering the risk of getting stuck seems quite high here, I think this was supposed to be an area filled with NPCs. Possibly triggering an event, or being a quest goal – perhaps miners trapped in the mine. As I leave the western tunnel, I continue following the path North.
Since the outer circle is above the area we came from, we now enter a new part of the dungeon. Or so I thought. Instead we enter the same room we came from – this is the other exit I first discovered when we entered the dungeon! That’s it! The dungeon is complete. But what was it for? That’s the big question. It was either planned to be part of a questline that never got finished, or an actual part of a questline that I simply cannot remember or find any information about. The dungeon is very linear, with no branching paths and only 5 rooms total, so it’s likely that if it was ever used, it was used in a quest duty.
I do have faint memories of running around in a mine as part of a quest, but I am most likely confusing this with a levequest in Nanawa Mines, or something similar. So I now turn to you, Legacy Eorzeans. Do you remember anything like this? And if you do, do you remember what it was for, or have any footage available of this dungeon in use? This could simply be an abandoned dungeon – ready to be used, but ignored when the new management took over and changed the direction of the game – but what if – what if this dungeon *was* used in 1.0 in some capacity. I have to know. Like mentioned earlier in the video, any and all information relating to this dungeon can be sent my way via the Speakers email: [email protected]
And that was the final secret of Ul’Dah. The dungeon hiding directly below the Jewel of the Desert. Regardless of its intended purpose, it is quite remarkable to think about the existence of a small dungeon hidden below a major player hub. It makes me wonder if there are other dungeons hidden somewhere below the other city-states… But it’s time to wrap up the video. Thank you for joining me on yet another adventure through ancient ruins of 1.0 Eorzea. If you liked what you saw, make sure to like this video, and subscribe for more content like this. And don’t forget to leave a comment down below. I’d love to hear your theories, observations, or opinions about the content in this episode! This is likely the end of the regular SoaR format that you’re used to, but SoaR will never die. In the future I’ll be making follow-up videos to some of the past videos, confirming and/or debunking theories presented in them based on new information that has surfaced since the videos came out.
I hope you will join me in those adventures as well, I do love video game mysteries, and I can’t wait to see where we’ll go next. And who knows, maybe I’ll stumble upon some new mysteries in the future as well. Thank you for watching. I’ll be back in the next episode of Secrets of a Realm – until then – May you ever walk in the Light of the Crystal!.