According to an interview with Famitsu, Yasumi Matsuno stated that there were plans for the player to fight Gabranth as he appears in Final Fantasy XIV sometime during the Save the Queen questline. In the interview, he revealed why they decided to change the fight so that the player would fight Varis zos Galvus instead. [Thanks, Famitsu!]
The answer as to why they scrapped the Gabranth fight in Final Fantasy XIV is relatively short and straight forward. Matsuno stated that it wouldn’t have made much sense for Cid to have known Gabranth in his youth, since he wasn’t involved with the IVth Legion. Additionally, Yoshi-P revealed that while Varis isn’t fought within the main scenario of Final Fantasy XIV, the team had already prepared battle animations for the character.
The transcription can be read in full below. However, there are some major spoilers for Final Fantasy XIV Shadowbringers in the interview.
Matsuno: The battle for The Bozja Incident was initially proposed by the battle team as a fight against Gabranth instead of Varis. However, looking at the setting there was no reason for Cid to fight Gabranth at the citadel. On the other hand, Varis does appear in Shadowbringers, but wasn’t he killed quite easily? So I counter-proposed that the player should fight Varis instead.
Yoshi-P: It was already decided that Varis would die during the main story, but we had already prepared battle animations wondering “Maybe we’ll fight Varis someday..” But when I told Matsuno-san that we weren’t going to use the animations, he said “Let’s use Varis.” The result was the Memoria Misera battle in Patch 5.25
In June 2021, Matsuno revealed that the Save the Queen relic weapon story had come to a close. Matsuno revealed this through a Twitter post when asked if it would potentially continue in the future.
Final Fantasy XIV is immediately available for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.