So begins the third phase of Operation Archon, which entails a frontal assault upon Castrum Meridianum, Gaius van Baelsar's seat of power. Forming the main thrust, the Immortal Flames will strike at the stronghold with all their strength, though this is but a feint. While the garrison's eyes are drawn outwards, you and your comrades must steal past its defenses and attempt to deactivate the magitek field which protects the Praetorium, the fortress within a fortress wherein the Ultima Weapon is believed to be housed.Duty finder description
Castrum Meridianum is a dungeon in Final Fantasy XIV. It is the first of three duties representing the climax of A Realm Reborn, with The Praetorium and The Porta Decumana being the remaining. As part of the Main Scenario roulette, several cinematics play throughout the duty that cannot be skipped, preventing new players experiencing the dungeon for the first time from being left behind.
Originally released as an 8-player instance, the dungeon was overhauled in patch 6.1 which included downscaling to 4 players and being made compatible with the Duty Support system.
Objectives are paraphrased and expanded on from their in-game listing for clarity.
- Arrive at the central crossing
- Clear the central crossing
- Arrive at Area V
- Clear Area V
- Arrive at the parade ground
- Defeat Livia sas Junius
Defeating the Black Eft will allow players to use the Disposal Chute in the Crossing's southeast corner, providing a one-way shortcut to Waste Disposal in the Castrum's south end.
Livia sas Junius is the final boss of the dungeon.
"The Emperor's Wont" serves as the main background music for the first half of Castrum Meridianum, while "A Fine Death" plays while during the battles against the Black Eft and the Magitek Vanguard F-1. "Torn from the Heavens" plays in all areas after defeating the Magitek Vanguard F-1, including during the fight with the Magitek Colossus Rubricatus. "Steel Reason" plays during the battle with Livia sas Junius.
Behind the scenes
The title card and map markers for Castrum Meridianum identified it as "Castrum Meridianum Baileys" when first released, though the duty itself was always simply "Castrum Meridianum". All instances of "Baileys" were removed in patch 2.1.
Until patch 6.1, Castrum Meridianum and The Praetorium were notorious among fans for being extremely easy dungeons made long due to the numerous unskippable cutscenes. Because the dungeons were tuned for the minimum item level of 42, but only synced to level 50 (effective item level 130), most mechanics were skipped and it was speed-ran as fast as possible.
As part of updates to the original A Realm Reborn Main Scenario in patch 6.1, both dungeons were heavily modified and converted into 4-player instances with compatibility for the Duty Support System. Other modifications to streamline progression through the dungeon were also made.
Castrum Meridianum is split across three dungeons in Record Keeper. The Classic versions of Part 1 can be unlocked upon completing Cape Westwind (Classic), while Part 2 is unlocked by Ultima's Castle, Part 8 (Classic). Completing Part 2 unlocks Part 3, while completing each part unlocks their respective Elite versions. The three parts see players fight through Waste Disposal, Via Principalis, Area V, the Phantom Train Depot, the Armamentarium, and finally the Parade Ground, battling records of the Magitek Vanguard F-1 and both Livia sas Junius encounters along the way.