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Final Fantasy 14: How To Unlock The Palace Of The Dead

Once one of Square Enix's biggest flops, "Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn" now offers a mind-boggling amount of content. The main story alone, at four expansions and counting, runs over 200 hours to complete (per Inverse), yet doesn't even scratch the surface of all the non-mandatory side pursuits players can delve into.

Of these options, perhaps the most obscure and difficult side content to get into are the Deep Dungeons Palace of the Dead and Heaven-on-High. Calling back to the early 8-bit days of "Final Fantasy" with a retro UI unseen in any other part of the MMO, the Deep Dungeons take players through procedurally generated floors in a Roguelike fashion. Players are restricted to two save slots that record their progress, and can no longer progress in a save slot if they suffer a full party death. There's random loot scattered throughout the floors that can either reward permanent gear upgrades or loot bags that can be rolled for extremely rare items. Furthermore, it's a great way to level classes under level 50 that don't have access to all the time-saving EXP options offered in late-game content.

The catch is that actually getting into the Deep Dungeons can be confusing if you don't know where to look. Here's a rundown on how to unlock and successfully queue into the Palace of the Dead in "Final Fantasy 14."

It starts in the Black Shroud

Despite its unique configuration, the process of unlocking the Palace of the Dead is similar to that of most other content in "Final Fantasy 14": lots and lots of legwork. To gain access to the first Deep Dungeon you must finish the level 17 main story quest "Into a Copper Hell," after which the quest "The House that Death Built" will be offered by Nojiro Marujiro in the Carline Canopy of New Gridania. The gossipy Lalafell will tell you of a strange portal opening up during an excavation project that may or may not hold riches beyond reckoning — but only for adventurers brave enough to enter the almost certain death trap.

The quest will send players to the South Shroud, where they can find the Wood Wailer Expeditionary at the pit labeled Issom-Har, who will then point them towards the settlement of Quarrymill a ways to the east. After a bit of dialogue, the Wood Wailer Expeditionary Captain you find there will serve as the entry point into the Palace of the Dead. Unlike with other dungeons, you'll have to return to Quarrymill each time to access the Deep Dungeon — if you're planning on making frequent trips, it might be worth registering the Quarrymill Aetheryte as a favored location to save on teleport costs.

How to get inside the dungeon

Talking to the Expeditionary Captain will pull up a menu displaying your Aetherpool stats as well as the option to enter the Palace of the Dead. The choices are then split into entering as a Fixed Party or Matched Party, where a Fixed Party loads your party as is and a Matched Party places you in a queue to match with three other players at the same floor progression. Both options have their pros and cons. 

A Fixed Party means that you'll be able to enter even during slower times of the day when not as many players are online. However, you can't resume progress on a Fixed Party save slot without the same exact party composition recorded at the beginning.

In contrast, a Matched Party save only records your personal information and can be used to queue with any other players trying to resume from the same set of floors so long as you are the same class you began with. While a good deal more flexible, it still relies on there being at least three other players aiming for the same floors and might not be suitable for those who generally play outside of peak hours.

Either way, players will be faced with an entirely different leveling and item management system upon loading in— you can find more details on what to expect once actually inside the Deep Dungeons on the Square Enix official website's guide page.