Fortnite isn’t the same battle royale it was when the game first introduced the mode in 2017, having gradually become home to a plethora of pop culture crossovers and empowering editing tools for creators. Now, one of those creators has transformed the popular game into an MMO—like with serious Final Fantasy XIV vibes, complete with multiple classes and a huge raid boss.
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Creator Sigirs uploaded a boss battle map to Fortnite on August 9 that you can access by punching in a special island code. The “Doomsday” encounter pits you and up to five other players against a massive, armor-plated God known as “A-283 – ‘The god of exiles’” that’s giving Necron from Final Fantasy IX. It’s an intimidating but cool-looking fight, and you get to select one of three available classes to take it on: Assault, Support, and Vanguard.
As you can see in Fortnite YouTuber RoyalMishMash’s video above, The God of Exiles has a relatively large moveset centered around big area-of-effect (AOE) attacks and laser beams, all coming from its fists. Talk about throwing hands. RoyalMishMash died here and there while taking the boss on solo, but death isn’t the end. According to the boss battle map’s description on Fortnite’s website, you can retry from a checkpoint, though The God of Exiles does replenish its health every time.
Selecting the Assault class—which comes with two rifles—RoyalMishMash hopped in to duke it out with The God of Exiles. After a couple of deaths, RoyalMishMash’s video came to an end, so they didn’t get to see the conclusion of the boss battle. However, Twitter user Mlick—who challenged A-283 with a full team of six—posted what they claimed is the “world’s first recorded Fortnite Doomsday raid clear.”
In Twitter DMs with Kotaku, Mlick said it took him and his friends about nine tries and “a lot of revives” to take The God of Exiles down because they aren’t too used to raiding and the boss was challenging.
“Usually, those large warnings MMOs have to warn players of attacks are useful from a top-down view, but from third person, it led to us finding ourselves confused. We memorized most of its attacks later on,” Mlick said. “Also, there was a bug that prevented a full party from finishing the boss if anyone died. We either had the choice of doing a no-death run or resetting whenever somebody screwed up. Was that a bug? Or is that the raid life?”
While those questions linger in Mlick’s mind, he was quick to point out that the raid boss was quite enjoyable despite some minor issues.
“[One of my friends raiding with me] was the one to find the creative map and we gave it a shot on a whim and had a lot of [fun with] it,” Mlick said. “You can hear me freaking out in the original video because I was caught off guard by its quality. I wouldn’t change much, other than player collision; we kept on running into each other when trying to rotate. We could tell that the creator [Sigirs] has a lot of love for the genre, and used their talent to show it.”
In Twitter DMs with Kotaku, Sigirs, a Japanese indie game maker using AI for translations, said they use Unreal Engine in their freelance work and are also building their own high-speed 3D action game, Link: The Unleashed Nexus RH. This experience helped them create The God of Exiles boss fight which, Sigirs said, took about a month to conceptualize and finalize.
“I tried to use pre-existing effect assets, but I couldn’t transfer them to [Unreal Editor for Fortnite] properly,” Sigirs said. “It was a bit of a hassle, so I decided to learn about UEFN’s effect feature, ‘Niagara,’ and create my own. I then spent some time implementing effects and revising features. So really, it was the same as my regular game development process. I used Blender to create the boss’s model and animations and built the logic in UEFN. I’ve dabbled a bit in [desktop music], so I tried making the [background music] myself. I relied heavily on sample materials, though! Still, it was fun since it’s a genre I don’t usually work on. I’ve made it so that different [musical] phrases play depending on the boss’s phase.”
Sigirs said The God of Exiles’ punishing difficulty was a result of them “solo test playing” too much, with them admitting that the continuous punches in the latter phase “might have been a bit too much.” While this raid is their first Fortnite creator map, Sigirs took inspiration from more than just Final Fantasy XIV and has plans to create more in the future.
“I’ve played a lot of FFXIV and have dabbled in Destiny 2,” Sigirs said. “I love the feeling of cooperating with friends in raids. I’ve also seen such raid battles in [user-generated content] like VRChat and Roblox. I thought that people would appreciate having such serious PvE in Fortnite, so I’m really happy that many people get to see my content! I’ve come up with various genre ideas, and I want to keep creating maps in the future—including a sequel to this raid battle.”
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While The God of Exiles just dissolving in the end may make for an anticlimactic finish, the hype in Mlick’s video is palpable. There’s overlapping chatter, screaming, disbelief that they finished it, and celebratory shouts of “yes!” as the boss’ body fizzled into nothingness. It’s glorious to witness, recalling raids from other MMOs like Black Desert Online and Final Fantasy XIV in which the tension of these boss encounters can be all-consuming. It’s just one more way in which it’s wild to see what Fortnite has become as of late.
Update: Added comments from The God of Exiles Fortnite map creator Sigirs.