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Very well. Let us show these mortals the true power of the Echo. The power to break down the barriers of existence!
The Echo is a special ability that some rare individuals possess, and an important part of the Final Fantasy XIV storyline. Those that have been 'gifted', as the members of the Path of the Twelve call it, have the power to resonate with other people's souls—and see their past, albeit not able to interfere or change it, as well as being able to speak every language in the world. The Echo also seems to prevent its user from being tempered by Primals, and advanced users have shown to transcend their mortal forms.
Those who awaken to it often experience a vision of meteors falling from a burning sky. It said the Echo activates whenever a Calamity draws near, which came to pass with the fall of Dalamud in the Seventh Umbral Era. The Students of Baldesion were a Sharlayan institute devoted to studying the Echo and its connection to the "Rejoining" phenomena.
Final Fantasy XIVEdit
It is revealed on the third quest of the main storyline of all city-states that the Adventurer has been 'gifted' with the Echo. Upon discovering this, s/he is called to the Merchant Wards of Ul'dah where they are invited to join the Path of the Twelve. The true nature and origins of the Echo are currently unknown. According to Ifrit, there's a specific deity who gave the power of Echo to everyone who possesses it, but not even he seems to know who that deity is.
Anyone who possesses the Echo is branded as a Beastman by the Garlean Empire, and therefore is considered an enemy of the empire.
The power of the Echo is used on most class quests. Therefore, even if the Adventurer reaches rank 20, s/he is unable to begin any class quest before finishing the fourth main storyline quest.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornEdit
It is revealed that the Echo is linked to the mothercrystal, Hydaelyn.
The Adventurer discovers an affinity with the Echo after finding the first Crystal of Light during the early storyline, complete with a vision of the starshower. S/he soon after see visions of the Scion encountered during the story.
Throughout the Main Scenario, the Adventurer has various visions depicting prior events, such as the leaders of Eorzea at the Battle of Carteneau or the steps that led to an altercation in Ul'Dah. This trait leads to the Adventurer being invited to the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, the successor to the Path of the Twelve.
A Realm AwokenEdit
Minfilia and later the Adventurer are approached by a white-robed Ascian named Elidibus, who claims the Echo is a gift that the Adventurer has yet to master, and in time it may allow them to see the Ascians for who they really are. He also further implores him/her to understand the true nature of the Echo.
Through the MaelstromEdit
Taking Elidibus's words into consideration about "the true nature of the Echo," Minfilia accompanies Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn and the other Scions to the Sahagin's spawning grounds after learning they mean to summon Leviathan. During the ritual to summon the Lord of the Whorls, they witness the Sahagin Priest has achieved an advanced stage of the Echo that enables him to enter the bodies of his fellow Sahagin upon death....only to eventually be absorbed by the newly awakened Primal.
Dreams of IceEdit
Ysayle, another bearer of the Echo, was able to channel the primal Shiva into her body and transform into the Lady of Frost.
The Ascians reveal that they can use the Echo, referenced by Lahabrea as the "power to break the barriers of existence", to combine into Ascian Primes. Similar to the Sahagin Priest, he ends up getting absorbed by the primal King Thordan once he's struck down.
As Goes Light, So Goes DarknessEdit
Krile reveals she possesses the Echo, and can trace aetheric signatures. When confronting the Warriors of Darkness at Lost ast Gnath, Krile and the Warrior of Light have a simultaneous Echo vision of the mysterious party confronting an Ascian. It is implied the group conversely had an Echo vision at the same time of the Warrior of Light.
Revenge of the HordeEdit
Unukalhai confides to the Warrior of Light that he possesses an ability similar to the Echo.
The most profound ability is seeing memories of another being to view past events. This power occurs automatically without the user's control, but can yield information they would not obtain otherwise. These visions can even be from millennia ago, as the Adventurer once saw an event from Emperor Xande's life in the Third Astral Era.
A more subtle effect is the implicit understanding of languages. Throughout the story, any foreign language is automatically understood by the player character, usually with the dialogue boxes slightly altered to imply this is in effect. The most obvious instance of this is whenever Ascians have speaking roles. The exact powers granted by the Echo apparently vary in utility and potency; according to Krile, her own allow her to sense the traces of a person's soul, and even track it through the Lifestream through a potent enough focus.
Some users have exhibited the power of metempsychosis due to the Echo; a sahagin priest was able to restructure himself by entering the bodies of fellow sahagin despite being mortally wounded by Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn. It is implied that this is the same principle by which Ascians are able to manifest in Hydaelyn. Lahabrea and Igeyorhm also used the Echo to fuse into a more powerful form called Ascian Prime.
In addition to its plot significance, the Echo is a gameplay mechanic applied to instanced duties in certain cases.
This Echo boost is a boost to all stats granted with the following conditions:
- In the event a solo instanced duty is failed, an Echo bonus will be applied when trying again.
- For trials, an echo bonus may be applied to the party in the event of a wipe, up to five times. This bonus is either a 5% or 10% boost (per increment).
- For older raid content, the echo is a fixed bonus automatically applied to the party. The strength of the Echo varies based on duty, and will not increase.
In most cases, the Echo is only applied to content in subsequent version updates. The Echo only affects the players' attributes; it has no effect on fight mechanics themselves. Additionally, the player can turn off the Echo like any other buff if they wish to take on the duty without the extra help.