FFXIV Endwalker: The Dark Inside Trial guide

If you’re either struggling with FFXIV: Endwalker’s The Dark Inside, or wanting to prepare yourself for it, I’ve got your back. As hectic as this trial is, it’s not hopeless either!

Everyone, and I mean everyone, has had a chance to play through the first couple of dungeons in Endwalker by now. We’ve gotten a taste for our new abilities and the massive mobs that devour our screens with their sheer size. Now it’s time to delve into the nitty gritty beginning of Main Scenario Quests and the immense Trial bosses along with them. First up: The Dark Inside.

Although I’ll be trying to keep spoilers to a minimum, I do have to warn you all now that unless you’re up to this Trial, I’ll be mentioning at least one by name. With that said, allow me to introduce you to the Endwalker world of Dance Dance Revolution.

Zodiark: Phase 1

The spoiler is in the name, of course, so prepare yourselves for a hard fought battle. Zodiark doesn’t have a positional ring, so all my melee DPS friends are in luck – use your shit freely. Just watch your step, my beloved floor-tanks.

Zodiark’s abilities are as follows:

  • Kokytos: A raid-wide ability that reduces the HP of all party members to 1. No amount of shielding or damage reduction will affect this, instead use your burst heals here and save the mana and cooldowns for later.
  • Phlegethon: Mid-sized, circular AoEs will be placed around the feet of various players around 2-3 times. Spread out and dodge accordingly.
  • Styx: A stacking mechanic that will hit multiple times. You pretty much need at least seven people alive and on top of the marked character to survive this one as a group. Your mitigation is best used here, because it hits like truck. Panhaima, Sacred Soil, Passage of Arms… you got something for this? You use it.
  • Exoterikos: An arcane sigil will pop up with one of two shapes and colours. Purple/Blue will always be a Triangle that casts a large conal AoE in the same shape originating from the sigil. Reddish Purple will create a Square, but don’t be fooled – one half of the arena closest to the sigil will become dangerous thanks to an AoE.
  • Ania: A tank buster that will target the current main tank and obliterate anyone else standing too close.
  • Paradeigma: Creates two untargetable creatures that will appear on the arena and place AoEs after a short duration. Behemoths cast large circles and Snakes create lines that run along the length of the arena.
arena shift zodiark
Image: FFXIV: Endwalker / Square Enix

Complete Control: Phase 2

Zodiark will begin this phase by casting Complete Control. A lot of Zodiark’s previous mechanics will make a comeback, along with a couple new ones, so stay sharp.

Toss in some crazy combinations and it starts to feel like a real party. Disco lights included, courtesy of our oversized friend.

  • Astral Flow: This binds players in place and rotates the arena (and any Paradeigma creatures), but not players. A cutscene of this plays the first time around to give you an idea of what’s going on. Take note that the arrows shown around the arena move in the opposite direction that the arena will shift in. I’d really recommend watching our gameplay video to get an idea of what I mean here. Or experience the mayhem for yourself and have fun with the chaos! Remember you can keep casting and attacking while bound.
  • Adikia: Two large semicircle AoEs will pop up, the only safe spots being directly in front of Zodiark, either up close or far away.
  • Triple Esoteric Ray: Three green sigils will pop up in front of Zodiark. Either the middle will appear first, or the two on either side of him – they will then explode in that order. Stand in the area meant to go off second and dodge into the first one as soon as it explodes to avoid the second. If you’re unlucky enough to get hit the first time around, just stay where you are.
  • Algedon: Zodiark will move to a corner of the arena and then charge diagonally down the middle. Your best bet is to run to the corner opposite him to dodge this or you’ll be blown away.


Dance Dance Revolution: Phase 3

You thought Phase 2 was bad? I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but it gets oh so much worse. Phase 3 starts when Zodiark casts Astral Eclipse and begins to fly around the arena.

  • Astral Eclipse: The lines of arrows will be placed, pointing from the sky and onto the ground, one by one. Move towards the first that appears and look above it. Stars will outline where Zodiark will drop AoE meteors and indicate where your safest spot will be. The same goes for the following two lines. Hot Tip: If you’re still struggling, dodge the first set of AoEs, then move into where they landed. They generally become safe zones.
  • Trimorphos Exoterikos: This now casts Exoterikos (the sigils) on the three sides opposite to Zodiark successively. Make use of Sprint if you have to, or other mobility abilities.

Other than these two additions, our big bad will make use of every other mechanic we’ve already gone over from the fight already.

And that’s pretty much it! I wish you all the best of luck in vanquishing this foe. As for my beloved Black Mages? My deepest sympathies.

Endwalker is available now.