Main Walkthrough

Occasionally while exploring the realms of Final Fantasy XVI you'll come across ancient, unexplained menhirs, secreted away in little corners of the game's various maps. It isn't until you proceed far enough in the story that the purpose of these menhirs is revealed, and even then you need to look for one to discover it has been activated. These are Chronolith menhirs, and they open the way to challenging trials.

This guide covers the seven Chronolith menhirs, and their respective trials, in Final Fantasy XVI. You can attempt these at any time once you've activated the Chronoliths, though you may want to save yourself some irritation and wait until you've reached the end of the game. You'll see why in a moment.

Chronolith Trials

Interacting with a Chronolith will begin its Chronolith Trial. These are timed battles, four per Chronolith, that pit Clive alone against waves of enemies. Each Chronolith is tied to one of the game's seven Eikons, and during the trial you'll be restricted to the abilities of only that Eikon. Successfully complete all four stages of the trial to earn a prize.

As you fight a timer will tick down, and if time runs out you'll get booted out of the trial and have to start over. You can earn time bonuses by performing specific battle techniques during the trial. A simple Precision Dodge will earn you an additional second, for example, while performing Multi Burst (a Triangle magic attack after a melee combo) will earn you five seconds. Each trial also has bonuses specific to its Eikonic Abilities. You can view the bonuses between stages, and moving the cursor to each of the bonuses will explain how to perform the move.

During the first three stages in a trial you can use moves to accumulate more time, prolonging the trial and increasing your chances of success. Once you reach the fourth stage, however, you'll have a showdown with a boss, and you can no longer receive bonus time. It is very much to your advantage to build up as much excess time as possible during the first three rounds so you don't run out during the final confrontation. All of the bosses are enemies you've fought elsewhere in Final Fantasy XVI.

The Eikonic Abilities available to Clive will change each round. Pay close attention to these changes and adapt your tactics accordingly. Bonuses related to Eikonic Abilities yield the most bonus time, so making the effort to use battle techniques will pay off in the long run. 

In addition to bonuses awarded for specific moves, there are also several additional bonuses. You'll receive these if you execute enough battle techniques. You'll receive a bonus of three seconds for executing one battle technique, for example, or five seconds for executing three different types of battle techniques. Execute all eight different types of battle techniques and you'll receive a twenty second bonus. Try to use all of them at least once per stage and you'll make life much easier on yourself. 

It is important to note that you will receive no bonuses to your time when you reach the fourth, final stage of a trial. Ideally you want to stock up two minutes or more while fighting in the previous three stages, which should be plenty of time to deal with the final boss that awaits.

Additional Notes and Tips

  • Time carries over between stages of a trial. You can use this to your advantage by farming bonus time in earlier stages, where bonuses are typically easier to acquire.
  • You can't use any items in the Chronolith Trials. This includes Potions, High Potions, and Elixirs. The only way to heal is via Limit Breaks. Be sure to deploy your Limit Breaks wisely. Health and Limit Breaks carry over between stages.
  • Speaking of Limit Breaks, you should save them for the larger boss enemies. Not only will this help you wear down their stagger bars, you'll most likely Parry their attacks while unleashing Clive's flaming sword. Very handy.
  • Clive can still use all of his non-Eikonic Abilities. The most useful of them is probably Lunge, which can carry Clive from one enemy to the next with great speed.
  • Clive is not level-restricted while undergoing trials, and his equipment remains in place. The further you get into the game, in other words, the easier the trials become, as the enemies within don't get any stronger. This means you can outfit Clive with accessories specifically catered to a trial's Eikonic Abilities, granting yourself quicker cooldown or stronger moves (or both).
  • If you manage to complete a trial and claim its prize the Chronolith will become inactive, and you'll be unable to challenge the trial again.

The Hand of Hyperion - Trial by Fire (Phoenix)

Reward: The Favor of Fire (Flames of Rebirth)

The first Chronolith (though likely not the first one you'll find) is the Hand of Hyperion. It is located in Greensheaves, next to the path that passes through a Fallen spire in the middle of the region. You can use the following abilities in this trial:

  • Phoenix Shift - Move rapidly towards a targeted enemy
  • Rising Flames - Instant, close range fire attack
  • Scarlet Cyclone - Close-range AOE attack
  • Heatwave - Dispels projectiles and launches shockwaves
  • Flames of Rebirth - Burns all nearby enemies and restores some of Clive's HP
This is one of the easier trials, thanks in large part to the familiarity of the Eikonic Abilities (you've been using the Phoenix longer than any Eikon) and the simplicity of their related battle techniques. Rising Finish (kill an enemy with Rising Flames before it hits the ground) and Collateral Cyclone (hit more than two enemies with Scarlet Cyclone) will likely go off on a regular basis, without any planning needed. Stock up on time when these moves are available and you'll have no trouble reaching the end.

The final battle of this trial pits you against the Firebound Plague, a flying enemy similar to Ahriman, the first Notorious Mark. Rising Flames and Phoenix Shift are your best friends in this battle, as they'll allow you to stay in the Plague's face and inflict heavy damage. You should only move out of its range when an AOE attack is about to go off; otherwise, remain on the offensive at all times.

The Hand of Dione - Trial by Wind (Garuda)

Reward: The Will of Wind (Aerial Blast)

The second Chronolith is the Hand of Dione. You'll likely notice its presence much earlier than you'll find it, as it is located next to the Krozjit Echoes, but accessible only via the Drakos Deep. Fast Travel to the Laetny's Cleft Obelisk, travel south to the Abandoned Fishing Village, and head west to find Drakos Deep. You can use the following abilities in this trial:
  • Deadly Embrace - Grab a light enemy and pull it to Clive, or latch onto a heavier enemy and leap into the air
  • Gouge - Close-range, multi-hit melee attack
  • Wicked Wheel - Close-range AOE attack that lifts enemies into the air
  • Rook's Gambit - Jump back and counter - actually avoiding an attack makes the counter more powerful
  • Aerial Blast - Conjures a tornado that sucks in and damages enemies
This is one of the trickier trials. Garuda's moves are decent, but you'll have a bit of trouble consistently lining up battle techniques. One way around this - at least early on - is to use Deadly Combo (Deadly Embrace plus a four-hit melee attack) to pick away at the smaller enemies, then hold off on your stronger Eikonic Abilities. You can pick up a ton of time grabbing the mooks and using Deadly Combos over and over.

Your best friend later in this battle is the Aerial Blast. In additional to Collateral Blast (catching three enemies or more in the tornado at once) giving you lots of extra time, Aerial Blast on its own is excellent for chewing away at the larger enemies, like the Minotaur or Gigas. Set it up, then turn on Limit Break and blindly smash away at things. The health you regain will more than offset any damage you might take from missing a Parry.

The final battle of this trial pits you against the Windbound Coeurl, which, unsurprisingly, is a Coeurl. Unless you nailed all of the bonuses you probably won't have much time to fight this creature, so you need to make the most of your attacks right off the bat. Start by immediately using Aerial Blast, then get up close and smack it with Gouge. This should stagger it, or at least come close, which will give you an opportunity to carve big chunks out of its HP with Limit Break activated. Repeat this once Aerial Blast refreshes. You can stall for time a bit by using Gouge and Deadly Embrace once the Coeurl is partially staggered, which will keep it stalled for a bit longer. Every second counts.

The Hand of Iapetus - Trial by Thunder (Ramuh)

Reward: The Favor of Lightning (Judgment Bolt)

The third Chronolith, and the first you can come across while exploring, is the Hand of Iapetus. This menhir is located in the northeast of the Norvent Valley, near the bridge you crossed to enter Caer Norvent much earlier in the game. The Caer Norvent River Gate Obelisk is the easiest way to get to the menhir. You can use the following abilities in this trial:
  • Pile Drive - Close-range AOE attack
  • Thunderstorm - Long-range lightning attack on a single enemy
  • Lightning Rod - Creates a stationary ball of lightning that zaps nearby enemies when struck by Clive
  • Judgment Bolt - Long-range attack on a single enemy
Slightly more difficult than the Phoenix menhir, Ramuh's trial still isn't too difficult. His long-range EIkonic Abilities allow you to strike enemies without needing to move too far, and Lightning Rod in particular will allow you to demolish big groups of foes. Use the Collateral Drive and Lightning Rod battle techniques early to rack up lots of bonus time.

The final battle of this trial puts you up against the Thunderbound Griffin. The evasiveness of this foe can make taking it down in time a bit of a pain, as it likes to fly away - and you don't have any great techniques for catching up. Smash it with your longer-range Eikonic Abilities whenever it backs off, and try to save your Limit Breaks for moments where it zips up close to Clive.

The Hand of Titan - Trial by Earth (Titan)

Reward: The Favor of Earth (Earthen Fury)

The fourth Chronolith is the Hand of Titan. It's located in the Northern Velkroy Desert, northeast of the Velkroy Desert Obelisk. Head into the ruined town of Ceratina near the Obelisk, then travel east until the path narrows. The menhir sits in a small clearing. You can use the following abilities in this trial:
  • Titanic Block - Blocks attacks, and allows for melee (Square button) attacks when timed perfectly
  • Raging Fists - Deliver a flurry of fists to a single opponent - More powerful if used to block an attack
  • Upheaval - Deliver an AOE strike to the ground that does more damage if button is held down
  • Windup - Deliver a heavy hit to a single enemy that does more damage if button is held down
  • Earthen Fury - Heavy conical attack that hits every enemy in front of Clive
Unlike many of the other trials, where you get most of your bonus time from the smaller enemies, Titan's trial forces you to capitalize on the bigger foes for a lot of your extra seconds. Titanic Rampart (three Precision Blocks), Titanic Payback (six counters after performing a Precision Block), and Raging Counter (block with Raging Fists) all give you ample opportunities to accrue lots of time, though they're best saved for fighting boss enemies. Try to wait for the smaller enemies to attack and they will, quite often, just waste your precious time. Use Upheaval or Earthen Fury to wipe out the mooks.

The final battle of this trial pits you against the Earthbound Giant, an Iron Golem variant. This fight is very simple: Stand in front of the Iron Golem and wait for it to attack. When it does, perform a counter. If your Raging Fists is charged, then let it fly; otherwise, go for a Precision Block. Precision Blocks aren't quite as good since they don't fully stop every hit in the Giant's combo, but they'll still let you get in tons of damage. Unleash your Limit Break if your health gets low and just keep on swinging. 

The Hand of Mimas - Trial by Light (Bahamut)

Reward: The Favor of Light (Gigaflare)

The fifth Chronolith is the Hand of Mimas. It's located in the Royal Meadows, to the west of Northreach. Leave Northreach via its northern exit, then immediately trek west, towards the Westwatch watchtower. Keep going west onto Cape Orsiere and you'll reach the menhir at the edge of the land. You can use the following abilities in this trial:
  • Wings of Light - Slowly charges up to Megaflare, which bombards the arena with magic bolts - Dodging attacks charges Megaflare more quickly
  • Flare Breath - Unleashes a continuous stream of fire
  • Satellite - Summons familiars that will blast enemies that Clive hits with magic
  • Gigaflare - Unleashes a massive beam that you can redirect for several seconds
As far as collecting bonus time goes, this trial is the easiest of the lot. For the first few rounds all you need to do is use Flare Breath and Impulse on crowds, then save Satellite for the larger enemies. You can rack up tons of extra time with this combination, and given that they're all ranged attacks you can do it from a safe distance to boot. Collateral Gigaflare (hit two or more enemies with Gigaflare) is also tempting, though you may want to just direct it at a single, powerful enemy and wipe them out. Megaflare is not recommended during all this, as it takes too long to charge.

The final battle of this trial pits you against a Lightbound Warlord, which is just another Orcish Warlord. Your ability lineup here is a bit deceptive, as using Flare Breath will typically get you smacked around for very small returns. Start the battle with an immediate Gigaflare, then engage the Warlord with normal attacks, dodges, and Limit Breaking. Once Gigaflare is ready, fire again. Keep this up until the Warlord is toast.

The Hand of Rhea - Trial by Ice (Shiva)

Reward: The Will of Ice (Diamond Dust)

The sixth Chronolith, and the first 'active' one you'll come across without backtracking, is the Hand of Rhea. It's located in the Angry Gap, in the south of Waloed and west of Eistla. Fast Travel to Eistla, travel west to the Angry Gap, and check along the south of its western section for a hilly path. On your left at the top of the hill is a narrow gap leading to the menhir. You can use the following abilities in this trial:
  • Cold Snap - Allows you to slide in any direction, also freezing any enemies caught in Clive's path
  • Rime - Summons an ice crystal that continuously damages any enemies caught in its sphere of influence
  • Mesmerize - Launches ice shards at enemies that pull them to Clive
  • Ice Age - Releases a line of ice that knocks enemies back, and is stronger the longer you hold down the button
  • Diamond Dust - Unleashes an AOE wave of ice
There's not a whole lot of nuance to this trial. The bonuses all involve using the Eikonic Abilities, and since they charge quickly that's exactly what you should do. Mesmerize is especially useful for gaining time early on, since you'll almost always be fighting more than one enemy at a time, and you can use Cold Snap to glide through enemy formations and freeze everything in your path. Diamond Dust only makes this process easier as you reach the third stage, and should be unleashed the second it recharges.

The final battle of this trial pits you against an Icebound Necrophobe, the same enemy that you fought while invading the Crystalline Dominion. It uses the final phase attacks of that boss, meaning lots of sword slashes and a few doubled-up spells. Keep in the Necrophobe's face for the entire battle, using Cold Snap often to freeze it and halt its attacks. Rime can rip through the Necrophobe's HP, though make sure you give yourself a bit of distance before using the attack or the ice crystal will appear behind the Necrophobe, rather than directly on the fiend.

The Hand of Enceladus - Trial by Darkness (Odin)

Reward: The Will of Darkness (Dancing Steel)

The final Chronolith is the Hand of Enceladus. It's located on the grounds of the Badbach Conservatory, on the east side of Vidargraes, in the north of Waloed. You'll find the conservatory to the south of the Vidargraes Obelisk, and the menhir is on the east side of the grounds, protected by a Lindwurm. You can use the following abilities in this trial:
  • Arm of Darkness - Changes Clive's weapon to Odin's blade, which charges up his Zentetsuken attack - also allows you to use Zantetsuken by holding down the Square button
  • Gungnir - Slices up an enemy and fills the Zantetsuken gauge
  • Heaven's Cloud - Hops from enemy to enemy, inflicting hits and filling the Zantetsuken gauge
  • Dancing Steel - Use two blades to freeze time and unleash a large number of hits, greatly filling the Zantetsuken gauge - can be interrupted by enemy attacks, and takes a few seconds to execute
If you've used Odin's powers at all you won't be surprised to learn that this trial is all about using Zantetsuken to murder your foes. Immediately transform your sword to Odin's blade, then use your abilities to inflict countless cuts on your enemies. The more you tap the button (Square or Triangle, depending on the attack) the more times you'll hit an enemy before the move ends. Rift Slip is a bit more challenging to use in this regard, but it - and Parries - are very helpful for building up Zantetsuken against boss enemies. Regardless of the fight, don't bother unleashing Zantetsuken until you hit fifth level, or you won't receive any bonus time.

It is important to note that Zantetsuken, while having a wide range at the fifth level, does not cover the entire field. You don't need to be too picky about where to unleash the attack, but you should, ideally, wait until the enemies are somewhat grouped together before you use Zantetsuken. Your hits while building up the gauge will do very little damage, and completely missing an enemy who's somewhere far afield can ruin your run.

The final battle of this trial pits you against a Darkbound Chimaera. Its slow attack speed makes this beast ideal for using Zantetsuken, and as soon as it uses an attack that takes some time - breathing fire, for example - you should dodge and retaliate with Dancing Steel. If Gungnir isn't charged up you can press the Square and X buttons to unleash a similar, multi-hit basic combo which is similarly great at building up the Zantetsuken gauge. A few Zantetsukens will wipe out the Chimaera.


If you complete a single Chronolith Trial you'll receive the Trial Run Trophy. If you successfully complete all seven trials you'll receive the Circle of Malius, a Curiosity for the Wall of Memories in Clive's Chambers - and the most difficult one to get.