Garuda is the first major Eikon you’ll fight in Final Fantasy 16 and also the first proper Eikon vs. Eikon battle, excluding the prologue, so believe us when we say things get epic.
You will have already gained the power of this wind-based Eikon in a fight against her domineering Benedikta Harman in Final Fantasy 16. However, she somehow manages to transform into Garuda, forming a tempest that threatens to lay waste to the land, so en It’s up to Clive to finish the fight against Benedikta for good.
This battle occurs during the main scenario mission ‘Awakening’ at the end of the Eye of the Tempest stage. The stage itself is fairly short, although the boss fight is long and split into two parts. But, with more Eikon abilities to play with than in previous encounters, and an Eikon to awaken as well, it’s time to see what you’re made of.
This guide will provide you with all the information you need to fend off Garuda’s winds, including how to beat Garuda during Eikon vs Eikon.
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How to prepare for Garuda in Final Fantasy 16
When you take on Garuda in Final Fantasy 16, you will have also unlocked Garuda’s powers for your own use along with your starting Phoenix abilities. Unlike traditional RPG mechanics, picking an elemental ability won’t be better or worse against an enemy with the same element, so you can definitely use Garuda’s abilities against it.
We highly recommend unlocking Rook’s Gambit, an ability that allows you to jump back to dodge an attack before launching back in with a punishing counter. When timed correctly, this counter is even more effective, and even more so if you spend skill points to upgrade it, which will increase the number of hits. Combine this with Gouge, which is very effective at knocking down the will meter and staggering enemies, and you have an excellent combination. If you’re low on skill points, remember that you can reset any skills you’re not using much and then spend those points on your new powers.
Don’t ignore Garuda’s Eikonic ability, which turns into a deadly takedown when a boss is partially stunned when their will gauge has dropped to 50 percent. The knockdown will give you a good window to cry on them, but you need to do it very soon after they go into partial wobble, for which you will also hear a sound effect.
You shouldn’t need to put any effort into preparation as it’s still relatively early in the game, but be sure to stock up on potions and other consumables at the Hideaway, as well as forge new gear from the blacksmith. If you notice that the new equipment has lower stats than the last equipment you upgraded, you can reinforce it to get all the benefits, if you have the necessary materials of course.
Once you are prepared, go to the world map and head to the Eye of the Tempest.
How to defeat Garuda in Final Fantasy 16
At first, you’ll chase a hooded figure in this stage, while Garuda occasionally descends to bar your path. Once you get to the end of the stage, a scene will begin where Garuda uses his wind magic to launch Clive into the air before grabbing him. You’ll receive a QTE prompt to pressure Square into performing a cinematic attack, before the fight properly begins.
This fight takes place in a fairly small arena space with Garuda kneeling, but still towering over Clive in front with his massive winged claws on either side. As expected, he will use those claws to attack; either pushing both at the same time down in front of her, or using one to hit you. It should be noted that these claws are part of his wings, since she still has arms, which curiously telegraph how his winged claws are going to attack. She can also lift her leg to carry it briefly before performing a spinning tornado kick.
In any case, keep an eye out for these attacks and try to time a dodge precisely, so you can follow up with a counter, or better yet, go for the Rook Gambit. You’ll find that lock targets on his head, which you’ll have a hard time hitting with ground attacks alone, so using Phoenix Shift to dash to his head is good for landing a couple of air strikes.
Still, the damage you deal is a bit negligible, although you will notice Garuda’s will gauge decreasing faster. I do use your Eikon abilities like Gouge. Since it will be your first time using Garuda in a boss fight, when you bring it down to 50 percent, a pop-up tutorial will explain the knockdown mechanic. ,s So make sure you use Garuda’s Deadly Embrace to take the Eikon down, and ideally have another non-cooldown ability to take advantage of this window.
While you won’t deal much damage when she’s knocked down, the point is to lower her level so she’s properly staggered. Garuda falls to the ground once staggered, leaving her head exposed for all the combos and Eikon abilities you can muster, assuming they’re not all on cooldown if she spent all of hers trying to stagger her.
The Burning Blade skill is a very effective alternative to unlock and master in this situation as well. While charging up the attack with Square and then letting go to unleash it (mastering the ability reduces the charge time), you can start charging up another attack in the middle of the animation of the first one. That means it’s very possible to perform a Burning Blade attack and then have another charge ready to go several frames after the first attack has finished. This way, you can take on a few of these in quick succession while you wait for the cooldown on your most powerful Eikon abilities to reset. If you’ve been efficient, you’ll have reduced Garuda’s health to 50 percent by the time he recovers from the stagger.
Once his health reaches half, Garuda unleashes Aerial Blast where, instead of hunching over you, he waves his magic, sending columns of tornadoes hurling you into the air. During this, you can’t physically reach him, but you can still fire your own magic spells at him from a distance, Chared Shots being ideal for this, to continue reducing his will gauge. Mainly, you’ll want to focus on dodging those tornadoes or making sure you have a quick recovery so you can get back up quickly.
After this, the aura will dissipate and Garuda will crouch down again to attack you with his winged claws again. It’s similar to before, except there will also be sporadic columns of tornadoes to watch out for, telegraphed by green and black light.
Continue with the same tactics until you can stagger Garuda, then continue wailing until you are down to around 5 percent health. At this point, the action will transition into the cutscene with some QTEs. You will be prompted to press Square to perform a cinematic attack twice, followed by a prompt to press Square to perform a cinematic attack.
At the end of this, a message will appear saying Garuda Slain and you will get 55 Sharp Fang Materials, 100 XP, 100 Skill Points, and 500 Gil. Only it’s not really over. Watch the scene below and you’ll get an important revelation in the story. More importantly, the fight against Garuda continues, except this time you have control of Eikon Ifrit!
How to defeat Garuda during Eikon vs Eikon in Final Fantasy 16
While Clive was at a disadvantage previously, it’s now an evenly matched Eikon vs Eikon kaiju style fight. That said, your Eikon controls are pretty basic here; with Square for melee attacks, Triangle for ranged fireballs, R1 for evade, and Circle for a lunge.
That makes this phase of the fight a bit simpler, as you’ll just have to watch out for Garuda’s attacks, evade, and then charge in to crush Ifrit’s attacks. When Garuda retreats, he simply chases after her and continues the assault, being careful to dodge any gusts of wind she fires from a distance.
Garuda also has a Tornado attack, where he sends three pillars of tornadoes towards you, which you can dodge. While it’s tempting to hold back and just throw fireball projectiles, although you can cancel out any wind projectile Garuda sends out like in a Street Fighter match, aggression works well. Especially since Ifrit’s lunge is quite fast, so hurry up and attack hard when you have a chance. At the end of these melee combos, you can also punish even more, as Ifrit will grab Garuda and then pummel her like a pro wrestling match.
When at about two-thirds health, Garuda will fly up to unleash Skyfall, where it gathers nearby rocks into a huge boulder to hit you with. This triggers a QTE, so he mashes Square to execute a cinematic clash.
After this, Garuda can, just like the first phase, unleash Aerial Blast, but, like Ifrit, this will be more of an AOE attack that you’ll want to back off of until it’s over. But other than that, the fight will continue more or less the same way.
When Garuda is at one-third of his health, the action changes to a cutscene of the Eikons colliding in mid-air. It’s pretty wild, so we won’t reveal the details, but there will be quite a few QTE prompts throughout the game. The first three are to pressure Square for cinematic attacks, followed by three where you smash Square for cinematic showdowns, culminating in Ifrit’s signature Hellfire ability and this time killing Garuda for good.
Garuda reward in Final Fantasy 16
In addition to the rewards for defeating Garuda in the first phase of Final Fantasy 16, successfully killing Garuda earns a rare Wind Shard material that is used to create a new weapon, 60 Wyrrite and 2 Meteorite crafting materials, as well as 400 XP, 200 skill points and 2,500 gil.
More important is the reveal of who Ifrit is and how Clive is going to handle that. However, we’ve still barely scratched the surface of this journey and there’s still much more to Ifrit, which you’ll discover as you continue Final Fantasy 16.
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