The fourth dungeon in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is a race to the end for the Warrior of Light. We’re going to go ahead and get this out of the way — this article contains spoilers. Due to the nature of the location, how you get here, and most importantly, the Trusts you bring with you, this dungeon is jam-packed with story spoilers.
To hunt down Hermes and Meteion, you’ll head into the Ktisis Hyperborea, a research facility that contains multiple environments and wildlife species and serves as a place of study, with Emet-Selch, Hythlodaeus, and Venat. This dungeon features a handful of environmental shifts, so don’t lose track of your goal as you progress.
As we’ve already warned: Dungeon guides contain spoilers. If you prefer to preserve the surprise of dungeons for yourself, give them a try first before referring to a guide. Then, come back here for some help if you have trouble!
First Mob Pull
The creatures of the Hyperborea are no more or less different from the creatures you’ve already faced during your travels. Starting with the Ktiseos Panthers, which feature conal attacks that must be faced away from the party, the rest of the creatures in this dungeon follow a similar pattern. However, be careful with the wall-to-wall pulls here, as the Ktiseos Ktenos enemies later on can hit relatively hard.
First Boss: Lyssa
Lyssa is a strange boss — while not particularly difficult, Lyssa will require you to pay careful attention to your surroundings to avoid massive damage. Take special note of the craters spread throughout the circular arena.
- Frostbite and Seek: Lyssa summons a blizzard to blind you temporarily while turning invisible. However, Lyssa leaves behind a set of footprints in the snow. Figure out the direction of the footprints and head to where they end, then move closer to the arena wall so that you’re behind Lyssa when it emerges. Failure to do so will lead to getting hit by the massive AoE that blankets the rest of the arena.
- Icicall: Summons icicles in the arena. Avoid the AoEs but be aware of their positions — they will launch themselves in a line AoE after a few seconds.
- Frigid Stomp: Arena-wide AoE that must be healed through.
- Skull Dasher: Tankbuster — tanks, use mitigation to lessen the damage.
Second Mob Pull
There is nothing really to note in the next set of trash mobs. You will face a variety of beasts and avians, but otherwise nothing you haven’t handled already. Be aware that the Kitseos Ophiotauros will launch AoEs at random party members.
Second Boss: Ladon Lord
Ladon Lord is another boss that will require you to pay attention — but instead of watching the arena, you will instead need to watch Ladon Lord itself. The main gimmick of this fight lies in the three heads using an attack that is not normally telegraphed.
- Scratch: Tankbuster — tanks, use mitigation here to lessen the damage.
- Inhale: Ladon Lord soaks up aether in either one or two of its three heads. Pay attention to which head pattern is swollen, as that will tell you what version of the next attack is coming.
- Pyric Breath: This is where the fight gets tricky. Ladon Lord will face a specific direction, and based on which heads are swollen with aether, blanket that entire side of the arena with damaging AoEs. If the middle head is swollen, then it will be the third of the arena immediately in front of him. However, if either of the side heads are swollen, it will be the third of the arena to the boss’ sides that are blanketed in aether. In short, stand on the side with the unswollen head to avoid damage.
- Summon Fireballs: Ladon Lord will shriek, conjuring up four fireballs in the arena. These fireballs function like Bomberman bombs, dealing line AoE damage in a cross-shaped formation.
Final Mob Pull
The last set of hallways before the final boss requires you to defeat a wide range of beasts in order to activate the jump portals connecting the islands. Again, nothing truly noteworthy or dangerous here, but due to the number of Ktiseos Alkyones in the second arena, the healer will want to keep an eye on their tank’s health.
Final Boss: Hermes, Winged Defiance
You’ve finally tracked down Hermes. Utilizing his Ascian powers, he has transformed into his avatar form and stood defiant against The Convocation. This fight involves a lot of mobility due to Hermes’ power over wind and speed, as well as his ability to duplicate spellcasts, so quick thinking and reflexes will be required.
- Trismegistos: Arena-wide AoE that deals damage to everyone and creates a barrier around the edge of the arena.
- Hermetica: Hermes will summon squares on the outside of the arena, which will shoot line AoE attacks after a few seconds. Make sure you’re not standing in the path of one.
- True Tornado: Tankbuster — tanks, use mitigation here to lessen the damage. Be aware that this attack will fire twice in a row if Hermes casted Double.
- Meteor: Hermes summons four meteors in a cross pattern into the arena. Stack in the middle to reduce the damage you take, but also take note of which meteor is not damaged after the fall. Hermes will follow this attack with another Hermetica, but this time you will have to use the unbroken meteor as a barrier to prevent damage. This will require you to move to another side after the first Hermetica wave. Always keep the rock in between you and the next blast of Hermetica.
- Double: Hermes will buff himself, making whatever spell he casts next attack twice. This is usually followed up by True Aero or True Tornado.
- True Aero: Targets all party members with a line AoE attack. Standing at the four cardinal directions surrounding the boss will ensure no one gets hit twice. Be aware that this attack will fire twice in a row if Hermes casted Double.
- True Bravery: Hermes will attempt to buff himself. You must interrupt this when you see it or else his attacks will gain a significant damage boost. If you took Trusts along, Emet-Selch will automatically interrupt this.
- Quadruple: Much like Double, Hermes will buff himself with this attack to quadruple his spell output. This will be followed by another Hermetica set, which will appear in order. The key to avoiding this damage is finding the first pair of Hermeticas and moving diagonally away from them. Once that pair and the subsequent pair fire off, you can move diagonally back to where the first pair fired.
- True Aero II: Hermes will drop AoE circles on the party. Do not stack with anyone to avoid taking critical damage. These AoEs will be followed by another set of AoEs that are dropped on a specific location, so move immediately after the first set fires.
While we won’t spoil what happens next, we can say you’re going on a much bigger adventure than you originally believed. You might want to brush up on how to play your Job. You can’t save the world if you can’t do your Job, after all. If you’re curious about how to play the new Sage or Reaper in Endwalker, check out our guides for those Jobs as well as the expansion’s aether currents, dungeons, and trials.
If you’re looking for other dungeon or trial guides, you’ll find the links to those below:
- FFXIV Endwalker Dungeon Guide: Tower of Zot
- FFXIV Endwalker Dungeon Guide: Tower of Babil
- FFXIV Endwalker Trial Guide: The Dark Inside
- FFXIV Endwalker Dungeon Guide: Vanaspati
- FFXIV Endwalker Dungeon Guide: The Aitiascope
- FFXIV Endwalker Trial Guide: The Mothercrystal
- FFXIV Endwalker Dungeon Guide: The Dead Ends
- FFXIV Endwalker Trial Guide: The Final Day