Final Fantasy 14’s Scholar class is a healer for the smart cookies, wielding a book and a fairy to provide the big shields and damage mitigations. But what if you could swap out your usual keyboard or controller and play with an actual book for the full immersive experience?
Well, that’s exactly what self-proclaimed “controller bender” SuperLouis64 has done. He’s well-versed in building controllers specifically for Final Fantasy 14 jobs at this point, having previously turned boxing gloves into Monk weapons (opens in new tab) and playing card-wielding Astrologian with a whole-ass Yu-Gi-Oh deck (opens in new tab). This time, he’s turned a book and cartoonishly jumbo pencil into a real-life Scholar weapon and it’s pretty dang cool (thanks, GamesRadar (opens in new tab)).
There are a few caveats right off the bat—there weren’t enough buttons to fit everything on, meaning broader role spells like Swiftcast (vital for quickly rezzing players) were off the table. SuperLouis was also limited by the single analog stick on his big cartoon pencil, meaning he was unable to move his character either left or right, and couldn’t move the camera up or down.
It meant he occasionally had to go and give his mouse a little wiggle to stop staring at the floor, but for the most part the book appears to be completely functional. With sensors in the top and bottom part of the book, a few seconds of scribbling would trigger certain inputs and allow SuperLouis to cast his spells. He took the book for a spin in a few NPC dungeons before diving into a slightly panicked trial with real players.
I always enjoy seeing the way SuperLouis can turn anything and everything into a controller, even if it doesn’t work perfectly or hinders the overall gameplay. It’s super fun to see what can be done with a little bit of programming. While I couldn’t see myself successfully raiding with one of these peripherals, I’d love to give a casual dungeon with my pals a try in this way.