Another Step

“If you had the strength to take another step, could you do it?”

I think about Sisyphus a lot.

The agony of forcing a boulder up a hill, only for it to all come crashing down. It’s something that Final Fantasy XIV’s Warrior of Light experiences on repeat. They save a people, a land, their friends – but the happiness never lasts. They are a hero in a story, and a story needs conflict. They must always return the boulder to the summit, teetering where it belongs.

I don’t form good habits easily. My ADHD diagnosis has thrown a life battered by Sisyphean landslides into perspective. The work is unending, and hard-won ground can vanish at a moment’s notice. Health and happiness shine at the summit, while apathy and sorrow lurk at the bottom. I oscillate between; life is a mountain.

In Shadowbringers, the Warrior of Light is asked a question when they’re at the base of one such mountain; outmatched and about to give in: “If you had the strength to take another step, could you do it?”

Why do stories about heroes so often reflect a mythological punishment? King Sisyphus was punished for trying to cheat death, but for the Warrior of Light the boulder is a weapon, not a prison. It’s how they defy death no matter how much they’ve suffered. At the summit they find a reason to endure that suffering: a sunrise on a world they love. They get there one step at a time.

Shadowbringers reminded me that in my lowest moments, I don’t need to be strong enough to climb a mountain, I just need to be strong enough to take another step.

By Harvey Randall

Harvey is a writer and artist with an avid love for digital and tabletop gaming. When he’s not contemplating the enormity of it all or obsessing over how pretty his characters are, you can find him at @HJRwithpen on Twitter or at

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