FFXIV Endwalker Trial Guide: The Dark Inside

Face the darkness itself. Rage against the dying of the light. 

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Well, it feels pretty early for this, doesn’t it? The first Trial in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker pits the Warrior of Light against Zodiark himself. Hydaelyn’s opposite number, the result of sacrificing half a civilization, the original Primal. This is what a lot of FFXIV’s story has been building to, so the rest of Endwalker must be a hoot, yeah?

Zodiark is a two-phase trial. Even though it’s early in the expansion storyline, it will challenge you a bit. Be prepared to live up to your best. The arena is a square floating in the void — one you can fall off of. The boss occupies the north side of the arena.

Be warned that trial guides contain spoilers. If you prefer to preserve the surprise of trials for yourself, give them a try first before referring to a guide. Then, come back here for some help if you have trouble!

FFXIV Dark Inside Phase 1

Phase One – Zodiark

Like a number of other fights, this first phase is just about getting to know the foundation of the fight. Zodiark will use these abilities in order, and then randomize them throughout the rest of the fight.

  • Kokytos: Right out the gate, this lowers everybody’s HP to 1. Healers should be prepared to cast big AoE heals.
  • Exoterikos: The boss shoots a purple beam towards one side of the arena; when this is done, a symbol will appear on that side. If the symbol is a triangle, then a cone AoE will be cast from where the symbol is. Hug the corners of the arena near the symbol to avoid damage. If it’s a square, the AoE will cover the entire half of the arena that the symbol is on. Move to the opposite side to avoid damage.
  • Ania: Single-target tankbuster on the highest enmity target. (Hopefully, that’s your tank.)
  • Paradeigma: There are two versions of this attack. The first summons two glowing behemoths at opposite quadrants of the arena. These will eventually explode with two huge circle AoE markers. The other version summons two Leviathan-style snakes on one side of the arena. These will then cast a line AoE across the platform. Stand in the area between the snakes to avoid damage. 
  • Phlegeton: Three waves of circle AoEs will appear under the party. Keep moving outward to avoid it. 
  • Styx: Oooooh, a new icon! This is the mega-stack marker. The Light Party will need to have everyone stack in one place and to not move. Zodiark will hit the marker target six times for heavy damage if you haven’t stacked.

Phase Two – Complete Control

After a certain point, Zodiark will take on a brand-new, fallen angel form. Now the fight gets a bit tricky. Immediately after the transition, the boss will cast Paradeigma. What’s different this time are the arrows on the side of the arena. Those are the result of…

FFXIV Dark Inside Astral Flow

  • Astral Flow: Zodiark will spin the entire arena in the direction the arrows are pointing. It’s one quarter rotation, not a full one. This will happen prior to the Paradeigma AoEs hitting. The trick is to figure out where you need to be after the rotation of the arena ends to avoid those attacks. You won’t get any time to move after the rotation happens. The Behemoth casts are pretty easy; stand inside the AoEs before the rotation and you’ll be outside of them when it happens. The snake casts are slightly more complex, requiring at least a little spatial awareness. 
  • Adikia: Zodiark slams either side of the arena with his massive fists. The safe spots are under his chin or the exact opposite end of the arena. 
  • Triple Esoteric Ray: Zodiark summons three glowing green portals at one end of the arena. Either the center one or the outer two will come first, followed by the remaining ones. The one that came first will fire a larger beam of energy across the arena first, followed by beams coming from the other portals. Dodge the beam from the first portals, then the follow-ups.
  • Algedon: Zodiark moves to one of the corners of the arena. He’ll then cast a line AoE that will cover most of the platform, outside of the corners to his left and right. This AoE will deal damage and knock back, potentially pushing you off the platform. Move to the safe corners as soon as you see Zodiark move because the cast is a quick one.

FFXIV Dark Inside Astral Eclipse

  • Astral Eclipse: The one that will generally cause a wipe. At the end of the cast, Zodiark will fly around the arena in a counter-clockwise pattern. At each side of the arena, he’ll leave a new arrow marker related to a star constellation. The constellations all fit on a nine-point 3×3 grid that matches the arena itself. One-by-one, in the order they were dropped, stars will hit the arena with huge circle AoEs, based on constellations shown. You basically have very little time to figure out the safe zones in each pattern. (Warning: Zodiark will usually follow this attack with Styx.)
  • Trimorphos Exoterikos: This places three Exoterikos symbols in a row. It still works like the standard attack; you merely have to deal with three of them back-to-back. Make sure you keep track of the order in which they were placed. (They’re actually slightly different shades of purple.) 

Zodiark will continue to mix-up these attacks until the end of the fight. So you’ll dodge a Trimorphos Exoterikos, only to immediately deal with a Phlegeton or Styx. Keep on your toes and keep laying into the boss, and you’ll finally vanquish your ancient enemy. 

That said, the story continues on, doesn’t it? It might be time to make sure you’re the best tank or healer that you can be. Or check out where you need to go to get the rest of the aether currents on Mare Lamentorum. The Linkshell, our upcoming FFXIV vertical, is full of helpful articles and guides for all your FFXIV needs!

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If you’re looking for other dungeon or trial guides, you’ll find the links to those below: