To unlock The Howling Eye (Hard) trial, also known as Garuda HM, you need to accept the quest called “In for Garuda Awakening” from Papalymo in The Waking Sands (X:6.1, Y:5.0).
But before you can accept this quest, you’ll need to complete a few pre-requisite quests, and you’ll need to complete the Ifrit HM trial by clearing The Bowl of Embers (Hard).
Below we’ll cover the exact unlocking requirements + the battle mechanics for this trial.
Quick Step-by-Step Unlock Guide
- Complete the MSQ “The Ultimate Weapon” from Raubahn in Northern Thanalan (X:15.0, Y:16.0)
- Complete the quest “A Recurring Problem” from Minfilia in The Waking Sands (X:6.9, Y:6.1)
- Complete the quest “Ifrit Bleeds, We Can Kill It” from Thancred in The Waking Sands (X:6.1, Y:5.1)
- Accept “In for Garuda Awakening” from Papalymo in The Waking Sands (X:6.1, Y:5.0)
- Talk to Serpent Commander Vorsaile Heuloix in the Adder’s Nest at New Gridania (X:9.7, Y:11.1)
- Attune yourself to the Natalan Aetheryte in Coerthas Central Highlands (X:34.3, Y:24.9)
Detailed Unlock Guide
To unlock The Howling Eye (Hard) trial, you need to do some pre-requisite quests, starting with the Main Scenario Quest (MSQ) called “The Ultimate Weapon” from Raubahn in Northern Thanalan (X:15.0, Y:16.0).
This MSQ is part of the Main Scenario Questline for patch 2.0, so you need to finish every MSQ leading up to “The Ultimate Weapon” before you can unlock the trial.
Once you finish “The Ultimate Weapon” MSQ, you will be able to take on the Primal Questline from Minfilia in The Waking Sands (X:6.9, Y:6.1), starting with “A Recurring Problem.”
As the quest name implies, the primals you have defeated in the Main Scenario Questline (Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda) will return. In this second bout with the trio of primals, you will face their Hard Mode versions, starting with Ifrit.
So after completing the quest from Minfilia, go to Thancred in The Waking Sands (X:6.1, Y:5.1) and accept the “Ifrit Bleeds, We Can Kill It” quest. This quest will unlock The Bowl of Embers (Hard) trial.
Defeat the Lord of Inferno’s Hard Mode version in his lair to complete Thancred’s quest.
Once you finish the “Ifrit Bleeds, We Can Kill It” quest, head to Papalymo in The Waking Sands (X:6.1, Y:5.0) and accept the “In for Garuda Awakening” quest to start unlocking the trial.
Papalymo will inform you of the Ixals’ successful attempt to summon a more powerful version of the wind primal Garuda. He will tell you that the reincarnated primal has fortified her domain’s defenses, so flying with a ship to her lair will not work this time.
To confront Garuda once more, go to Vorsaile Heuloix in New Gridania (X:9.7, Y:11.1) to arrange another encounter with the wind primal.
The Serpent Commander will inform you of the Twin Adders’ discovery of a beastman Aetheryte that you can use to re-enter Garuda’s domain.
As instructed by Vorsaile, head to Coerthas Central Highlands (X:34.3, Y:24.9) and attune to the Natalan Aetheryte.
After you to the Aetheryte, The Howling Eye (Hard) trial will be unlocked, allowing you to fight Garuda’s Hard Mode version.
To enter the trial you’ll need at least an average item level of 52 and a level 50 Disciple of War or Magic job.
Trial Boss: Garuda (Hard)
Due to the trial being released way back in patch 2.0, it’s very easy to solo Garuda HM when you enter the trial unsynced with a level 90 or above character. Just use your hardest-hitting skills and ignore the mechanics until Garuda is down.
If you’re interested in doing the trial while synced, here are the mechanics:
Upon entering the trial, you’ll notice four rock pillars near the middle of the arena. Keep these pillars in mind throughout the encounter, as they’ll help you get through some of the mechanics.
- Downburst – A frontal cleave attack that can’t be dodged. The primary target should face Garuda away from the rest of the party to avoid excess damage.
- Wicked Wheel – An instant AoE attack that will damage players and stone pillars near Garuda. Keep Garuda away from the center of the room to minimize damage to the stone pillars.
- Slipstream – A frontal column attack that will stun. The primary target can avoid this attack by moving past Garuda as she’s casting it.
- Mistral Song – Garuda will jump to one side of the arena and cast a strong conal attack without a telegraph. Make sure you have a stone pillar between you and Garuda.
- Mistral Shriek – Garuda will teleport to the middle of the arena and cast a large AoE attack. Mitigate and heal through the damage.
- Razor Plumes – Plume mobs that spawn after Garuda teleports and casts “Mistral Song” or “Mistral Shriek”
- Reckoning – A room-wide AoE attack that will destroy all of the stone pillars in the arena. Keep as many stone pillars up as possible to decrease “Reckoning’s” damage.
After Garuda casts “Aerial Blast,” the second phase of the fight will begin.
Four whirlwinds will spawn throughout the arena, cutting through the middle and dividing the arena into three. These whirlwinds will knock back any player that touches them. Move Garuda to one of the safe zones and avoid the whirlwinds.
- Chirada and Suparna – Garuda will spawn two underlings that can also cast some of her abilities, such as “Slipstream” and “Downburst.” Chirada and Suparna will be tethered to Garuda by either a green or red tether. The green tether will heal Garuda, while the red tether will increase Garuda’s damage. Destroy the green-tethered mob, then the red-tethered mob, before attacking Garuda again.
- Satin Plume – Plume mob that spawns with “Razor Plumes” during the second phase. Destroy the Satin Plume to avoid a trial wipe.
- Eye of the Storm – Garuda will summon a whirlwind around the arena that will push the players to a safe zone in the middle. Avoid touching the outer edges of the safe zone to prevent unnecessary damage. Chirada and Suparna will also respawn during this phase.
|Garuda’s Abandon||Firearms||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Beak||Polearm||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Blood||Katana||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Embrace||Book||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Gaze||Sword||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Honor||Rapier||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Lift||Star Globe||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Pain||Greatsword||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Plumes||Daggers||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Scream||Greataxe||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Spine||Bow||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Tail||Cane||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Talons||Fist Weapon||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Van||Staff||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda’s Will||Book||Blue (Primal Gear)|
|Garuda Card||Triple Triad Card||Basic|
|Garuda Feather||Crafting Material||Basic|
|Vortex Weapon Coffer||Other||Basic|