11 Enemies from FINAL FANTASY XI Online that NEED to be in FFXIV’s ECHOES OF VANA’DIEL

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FINAL FANTASY XI | Echoes of Vanadiel

While watching Naoki Yoshida (“Yoshi-P”) present the Keynote at FINAL FANTASY XIV FANFEST 2023 London, my favorite part of it all was the announced raid series for the upcoming Dawntrail expansion titled ECHOES OF VANA’DIEL. Drawing upon FINAL FANTASY XI Online, this upcoming alliance raid series instantly caught my attention and my heart, as I played and raided in FINAL FANTASY XI Online for almost two decades now. In fact, I wrote a lengthy essay about my love for FINAL FANTASY XI Online as part of my ongoing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online cooking series titled Cooking Eorzea.

FINAL FANTASY XI | Royal Eggs final dish

I made the Royal Eggs dish for Cooking Eorzea, and I celebrated the 20th anniversary of FINAL FANTASY XI Online with the coasters of your adventuring partners across the various expansions. (Photo by author).

As a result, I immediately started writing up a list of 11 enemies from FINAL FANTASY XI Online that need to be part of the ECHOES OF VANA’DIEL raid series in FINAL FANTASY XIV: Dawntrail. This list is comprised of a mixture of storyline fights and endgame fights that only the very best raid groups could successfully take on.

I sincerely hope that SQUARE ENIX takes this alliance series seriously and implements fights that are at least a faithful homage to their original FFXI forms. All that said, I cannot wait to dive into these new raids when Dawntrail launches in Summer 2024.

Warning: There WILL BE story spoilers for FINAL FANTASY XI Online in this list. You have been warned.

So, without further ado…

1) Shadow Lord



(Photo from FFXIclopedia).

No list of potential FINAL FANTASY XI Online-inspired raid bosses could possibly start with anyone other than the main antagonist of the base FINAL FANTASY XI Online game through Mission 5-2, as the Shadow Lord truly is what kicks off the sequence of events that impacts multiple future expansions with the Crystal War that concludes 20 years before the start of this MMORPG.

Deep within the Throne Room inside of Castle Zvahl in Xarcabard, Shadow Lord will constantly switch between either magic or physical attack immunity during the fight in his first form and then constantly cast Implosion, a major AoE magic damage attack non-stop until he is beaten down in his second form. While this seems incredibly simple, the sheer amount of damage that Shadow Lord can do at the original level cap of 50 made this an incredibly hard battle to win.

With Shadow Lord as the capstone to the opening chapters of FINAL FANTASY XI Online before you set out all over the world to fight more enemies, see more places, and save the world too many times to count, this fight is a no-brainer to be included in ECHOES OF VANA’DIEL. This fight’s inclusion would also mean that Warriors of Light will have to have a mixture of physical attackers and magic attackers in order to win and be able to drive down Shadow Lord’s HP before he can kill them first.

2) Kam’lanaut

(Rise of the Zilart)


(Photo from FFXIclopedia.)

Kam’lanaut is the Archduke of the Grand Duchy of Jeuno, and Eald’narche is his ‘younger’ (though technically older story wise!) brother. Both of them are members of the Zilart race who plot to open the Gate of the Gods and bring about the destruction of Vana’diel throughout a fair bit of the early FINAL FANTASY XI Online storyline – and they will use Kam’lanaut’s position as the head of the most powerful city-state in Vana’diel to make it happen.

This fight is a lot of fun and it requires adventurers to pay attention to what is happening at all times. Kam’lanaut’s signature fight skill is that he casts an elemental en-spell onto his weapon that will cause him to do particular elemental damage to the alliance…while also being healed by magic cast upon him of that same magic. For instance, if he has fire en-spell cast upon his weapon, then fire spells cast upon him will actually heal him. He also has an attack, Great Wheel, that will reset hate and does AoE damage.

This, plus the fact that he can cast dispel, silence, and slow enmasse makes him a worthy and challenging fight that Warriors of Lights cannot just mindlessly defeat and move on into the next room.

3) Domina Shantotto and Shantotto 

(A Shantotto Ascension – The Legend Torn, Her Empire Born)

FINAL FANTASY XI | Domina Shantotto

(Above: Photo from FFXIclopedia; Below: Photo from PlayOnline).


Four words: Hilariously written, non-stop rhyming.

In one of the three digital-only add-on mini content expansions, the ultimate fight of A Shantotto Ascension – The Legend Torn, Her Empire Reborn is to prevent the Shantottofication curse from being cast across Vana’diel where everyone will be turned into Shantotto, and so you end up fighting two versions of Shantotto in this fight at the same time. (Just go with it, trust me.)

Domina Shantotto is equipped with a scythe that can use an AoE attack called Salvation Scythe that inflicts various status ailments and a lot of damage. When she isn’t swinging her scythe around, she is capable of casting every spell in the game. Unfortunately, you don’t have just Domina Shantotto to deal with. You also have regular Shantotto too. She utilizes a staff, uses a variety of black magic, and she will cast Meteor below 10%. She also has a powerful AoE attack called Divine Malison that inflicts a variety of status effects on players.

And if THAT wasn’t enough to deal with, both of them will enter a ‘rage’ mode when either of their HP drops to various percentages. During this time, their defense is massively boosted, their HP auto-regens, and they will use level 3 skillchains with each other to seriously damage adventurers and cause status effects.

If it isn’t obvious, double Shantotto is double trouble, and this fight to save Vana’diel is not a fight that you can just sleep on, but instead requires careful planning and attacking in order to survive and would make a great fight for FINAL FANTASY XIV Online to include.

4) Gessho

(Treasures of Aht Urghan)


(Photo from BG Wiki.)

Gessho is a beastman tribe member who has been excommunicated from the Yagudo theocracy after being branded a heretic, and he turns out to be one of your strongest allies throughout the Treasures of Aht Urghan expansion. He is incredibly well-written, and he gave a real humanity to the Yagudo that has not been present in the story up until that point.

In Mission 35: Legacy of the Lost, you end up fighting Gessho while he is a fully equipped ninja. He uses Ninjutsu spells, including Utsusemi that allows him to take zero damage from attacks, ranged weapon skills, and summon clones of himself to the field to attack alongside him. And if that isn’t enough, him and his clones can all use Mijin Gakure – the Ninja one-hour ability that causes significant non-elemental magic-based damage to everyone around them. And unlike the one-hour ability being used by adventurers using the Ninja class, it will not K.O. Gessho or his clones.

In other words, Gessho is a ninja that can explode repeatedly while also not taking any damage and would be a significant challenge for any Warrior of Light to overcome in battle.

5) Lilith Ascendant

(Wings of the Goddess)

FINAL FANTASY XI | Lilith Ascendant

(Photo from FFXIclopedia).

Lilith Ascendant is the enemy born from when Lilisette is absorbed by Lady Lilith- who is also Lilisette, but from another timeline where the Crystal War never ended, the Shadow Lord was never defeated, and she where she forged a pact with Odin- at the end of Wings of the Goddess. I promise, it does make sense in the storyline.

This ultimate fight of the Wings of the Goddess expansion is primarily about causing status effects in players. For example: her Dark Burst ability resets job ability timers, her Dark Sun ability causes AoE Death, Dark Freeze does conical ice magic damage and terrorizes, and Dark Quake causes earth magic damage, amnesia, and bind. The most terrifying attack of all though is her Dark Moon skill: that causes AoE light damage and will place adventurers in a weakened state – like if they had just been raised.

If that wasn’t enough, Elemental Gyves will also spawn in the battlefield whenever Lilith Ascendant does a special attack. These are different elemental, non-moving targets that can be killed or despawned that create status effects in players and will also cause a state decrease. For example, the Water Elemental Gyve will cause drown and will give anyone within the range of effect Magic Defense Down.

This turns any fight into one where one where not only player positioning is vital to staying alive but requires healers to be on top of their skill sets in order to remove debuffs and status effects as quickly as possible while the tanks and melee are in a weakened state. Lilith Ascendant also looks like a classic FINAL FANTASY ultimate enemy, and fights like one too. This enemy – especially with the fairly unique focus upon status effects – would make a great raid enemy in FINAL FANTASY XIV Online.

6) Pandemonium Warden

(Treasures of Aht Urghan)

FINAL FANTASY XI | Pandemonium Warden

(Photo from FINAL FANTASY Wiki.)

This was an end-game raid from the Treasures of Aht Urghan expansion, and arguably one of the hardest raids in all of FINAL FANTASY XI Online. A Tier V Zeni Notorious Monster, it is spawned deep in Aydeewa Subterrane after trading a Pandemonium Key to a ??? spawn spot.

Pandemonium Warden has 11 total forms that it changes into one after another, and all 11 must be defeated in order to win the fight. Each form has a massive AoE attack and moves reminiscent of the original enemy- including a unique skill for each form. With each form spawn of Pandemonium Warden, eight Pandemonium Lamps also appear. They must be dealt with separately away from the main tanking group as they also have a powerful AoE attack, and they must be killed quickly as they will be nearly impossible to pull off of the main Pandemonium Warden tank after a few minutes thanks to shared hate.

When you reach Pandemonium Warden’ s final form as a Dvergr, then you still have to deal with Astral Flow every 25% that will wipe out everyone within a large area if you don’t move out of range quickly enough. Each use of Astral Flow also will respawn all of the Pandemonium Lamps that were already killed, meaning that they have to be quickly dealt with all over again. You also cannot go too far away from the fight, as Pandemonium Warden also has drawn in, and it will pull everyone into the center of the battle arena together.

This is a small overview of a chaotic, difficult, and crazily fun fight that is absolutely unlike anything else you will experience in Vana’diel. It is also a perfect fit for a FINAL FANTASY XIV Online raid, and one that will give any raid group a challenge as it will force different alliances to handle different aspects of the fight all at the same time.

7) Nidhogg

(Rise of the Zilart)

FFXI | Nidhogg

(Photo from FFXIclopedia.)

For many years, Nidhogg had a chance to spawn within a 30-second window every half hour for three hours every 21 hours after it was last killed as the HQ chance spawn of Fafnir. The spawn chance of Nidhogg also went up for every day that Fafnir spawned instead of Nidhogg. If it sounds confusing, then just imagine being up at 3:20 AM, bleary-eyed, and desperately hoping that the Nidhogg would spawn after 10 days of only Fafnir.

This fight takes place deep within Dragon Aery inside of The Boyahda Tree. Positioning in this fight is fairly unique, as all players have to stand on either of his front feet in order to avoid the frontal AoE Dragon Breath ability that does a lot of damage. Among Nidhogg’s abilities are the ability to single target terror, dispel a single buff with Horrid Roar, and to cause both blindness and AoE damage with Hurricane Wing.

There are two things that makes this fight worthy of a FINAL FANTASY XI Online-inspired raid. First, adventurers could not use AoE attacks while fighting Nidhogg. Dragon’s Aery is a very small area, and there are 11 Darters (dragonfly enemies) that spawn around him that are both higher level than the then-level cap of 75, and that will aggro if they are attacked first. Oh, and they will also all link up together to attack if one is attacked. This means that instead of just fighting one Dragon, you now are dealing with potentially 11 other highly-leveled add-ons at the same time. Needless to say, it can be EXTREMELY chaotic, and this would force Warriors of Light to be unable to spam their regular move rotation.

Second, there is Spike Flail. If you attack Nidhogg from behind, he will use his tail to cause massive AoE damage that will kill everyone in the area. Wipes to Spike Flail were not common, but they would absolutely change the game when they happened, as you can see below during one such fight that I was a part of.

For context in the below pictures: SA stands for ‘Sneak Attack”, which is a Thief job specialty move that generates hate, and it is used behind the enemy for the critical hit damage. Usually, you pair it with Trick Attack to transfer enemy to correct player (aka ‘SATA’). When it doesn’t go off perfectly, you wind up with enmity being given to the Thief…who was behind Nidhogg in the below screen caps. Finally, all of these players below are equipped with the best gear possible in FINAL FANTASY XI Online at the time:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(Photos by author).

Causing Warriors of Light to care a lot about positioning, worrying about add on mobs, and not being able to use their default rotation makes this a fight that would be a real stand out in ECHOES OF VANA’DIEL, and Nidhogg would be a better gameplay shakeup than almost anything else in FINAL FANTASY XI Online.

8) Schah

(Rhapsodies of Vana’diel)


(Photo from FFXIclopedia.)

Located in Reisenjima, Schah is the hardest Notorious Monster introduced in the Rhapsodies of Vana’diel expansion and most likely the hardest fight in the entire MMORPG. Also: if you want an Aeonic Weapon, you will have to eventually fight it.

Whereas Pandemonium Warden focuses on managing eleven different forms and the battle mechanics for each form with the adds somewhat secondary, Schah is the opposite. Schah spawns fourteen additional enemies that have to be all killed before you can do any damage to the main enemy: seven Bhata (Pawns), two Ashva (Knights), two Gaja (Bishops), two Ratha (Castle/Rooks), and one Mantri (Queen). These adds start spawning 30 seconds after the fight starts and will keep spawning 48 seconds after each rank dies, with the Mantri first appearing three minutes into the fight. Also: if a Bhata is not killed within two minutes after spawning, then it will turn into a Mantri. These adds all have various abilities, cast high level magic, and will do incredible damage if not properly managed. And on top of all that: Mantri will use Enthrall to AoE charm everyone.

As I said at the start: until those additional enemies are dealt with, adventurers cannot damage Schah. Schah is no pushover over, as it can also use every spell that the different adds can use, can use Royal Decree (which is AoE damage and resets all ability timers), and can use Banneret Charge. Banneret Charge is an AoE attack that resets both hate and affected players’ HP to 1. And if that wasn’t all enough, Schah also has heavy resistance to attacks and to all magic but Dark.

It is a very hard fight that is very, very fun and it would require a high level of coordination among Warriors of Light to conquer.

9) Garazu-Horeizu

(The Voracious Resurgence)

FFXI | Garazu-Horeizu

(Photo from FFXIclopedia.)

In the latest expansion for FINAL FANTASY XI Online, Garazu-Horeizu is the ultimate villain who is determined to resurrect Chaos. Like Shadow Lord, Garazu-Noreizu is more notable for his role within the expansion’s storyline than anything else, but that doesn’t mean that he is a pushover.

These skills include casting Tier 2 Ancient Magic, Comet, Meteor, and spamming Silencega instantly over and over again. And if that wasn’t enough, he can use Tartarus Tocsin, which is an AoE damage and sleep skill. Additionally, he can also absorb some of the player’s stats and cast dispel…And it is all AoE. When his HP starts to drop, he will summon multiple cloned allies of YOUR allies, the Destiny Destroyers, to help him. This quickly devolves into, like the Shadow Lord, a damage race to kill Garazu-Horeizu before he and his allies can kill you.

I ultimately chose Garazu-Horeizu over the final boss, Chaos, because I did not want all the raid fights to be ‘gods’ or ‘god equivalents’, but to be characters who also had a major role in FINAL FANTASY XI Online. While this would undoubtedly be a mid-run ECHOES OF VANA’DIEL raid boss, I know that there would be a place for him in the content.

10) Promathia

(Chains of Promathia)

FFXI | Promathia

(Photo from FFXIclopedia.)

Promathia is the God of Twilight and the namesake of the Chains of Promathia expansion. There is a lot to be said about Promathia, what the chains that bind him are, and what it means for the Vana’diel of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I am being purposefully vague here, since Chains of Promathia is probably my favorite FINAL FANTASY storyline of all time (narrowly beating out Lighting Returns: FINAL FANTASY XIII) with a plot that just drops mind-stunning revelation after revelation upon you as you play through it and you just need to experience it for yourself.

In this fight, you are partnered with Prishe and Selh’teus (two major expansion story NPCs) alongside your own party of adventurers. There are two stages of the fight. In the first stage, Promathia has different AoE and cone attacks that inflict dispel, plague, curse, and various amounts of damage. He can also cast the magic attack Comet. What really sets this stage apart is that he has five different ‘Chains’ attacks, and each one only affects one of the five playable Vana’diel races (but is negated by a story item collected previously in The Garden of Ru’Hmet).

The second stage has Promathia hitting incredibly hard, and he now also uses AoE abilities such as Mute and Amnesia, and he will cast Meteor once a minute. If that was not enough, he will also switch between magic and physical attack damage invincibility.

This is a hard, and difficult fight in a battle arena that is my absolute favorite in all of FINAL FANTASY XI Online. It is truly an epic battle, with incredible stakes, and there is nothing like fighting alongside Prishe and Selh’teus. In addition, due to ‘plot reasons’, the Chains attacks would have to land on the various inhabitants of Eorzea- unless, of course, SQUARE ENIX includes a way to negate them as well in the raid dungeons. Promathia is simply an amazing, iconic fight, and both the God of Twilight and his battle arena would be perfect for ECHOES OF VANA’DIEL.

11) Maat


FFXI | Maat

(Photo from BG Wiki.)

Like there could be anyone else in this final, 11th, slot from FINAL FANTASY XI Online for the ECHOES FROM VANA’DIEL raid series in FINAL FANTASY XIV: Dawntrail expansion.

When you first hit level 50, and every five levels after that point, you have to seek out Maat to increase your level cap inside Ru’Lude Gardens in the Grand Duchy of Jeuno. While he appears to be just an old man, Maat is a master of all 15 jobs that were created before the Chains of Promathia expansion was released. In order to break your ‘limits’ (level cap) and unlock the then-final level increase from 70 to 75, you had to test your might against Maat himself as you both fight each other on the same job.

And he WILL test you. He is incredibly powerful, incredibly strong, and any player who played FINAL FANTASY XI Online knows just how hard taking him on can be. He is an obstacle that everyone faced who wanted to get to the level cap, and he takes no mercy on anyone. You can have all the best buffs, eat the best food, and wear the best gear…And still easily lose against him.

While this fight is undoubtedly the one that would require the most change, I would personally love Maat to shift between all of the FINAL FANTASY XI Online jobs to fight Warriors of Light with and make an alliance prove their worth in a raid by besting him in battle. It would be a true fight of strength and a way to test FINAL FANTASY XI Online jobs against FINAL FANTASY XIV Online jobs in a way that would make sense in-universe.


And there you have it! Eleven enemies that would be perfect for any Warrior of Light to test their might and mettle against.

I will admit that I had a very hard time narrowing down my list to just 11, and I ended up regrettingly leaving out Hades from the Seekers of Adoulin expansion and the Ark Angels from Rise of Zilart expansion- they would have been my 12th and 13th choices if I could have permitted myself to have two.

Regardless, I know that SQUARE ENIX and the team behind FINAL FANTASY XIV Online will do a wonderful job implementing and honoring the history and story of FINAL FANTASY XI Online in ECHOES OF VANA’DIEL and I just cannot wait to explore it all!

Who did I miss and who have you fought during your own adventures in Vana’diel?

Let us know in the comments below!