Episode Gladiolus

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Several months after the release of Final Fantasy XV, the public was treated to the very first major piece of DLC for the game; at least the first major piece of DLC that actually had some form of impact on the story and in gameplay. Throughout Episode Gladiolus I’m sure you can imagine that you’re going to be playing as Gladio the entire time and as a result it will involve many mechanics that you’re already used to – just a little bit changed around for Gladio to use, that’s all.


Achievements / Trophies

A New BlademasterBronze110Scored 1,000,000 or more points in Score Attack.
Column ColossusBronze10Uprooted all columns.
Master and PupilBronze10Performed 5 link-strikes with Cor.
No Pain, No GainBronze10Scored 500,000 or more points in Score Attack.
Picker-UpperBronze10Picked up all items.
Shield of the Chosen KingBronze10Completed the trials on Normal.
TranscendenceBronze10Defeat Cor


The Well-Tempered Gladio

Here you will embark on your trial to become the “King’s Shield” and it is Gladio’s quest to become stronger so that he can protect the future king of their world. When the quest starts off you’ll have a fair amount of linearity to endure as you basically hold forward on your controller, but before too long you will come into your first instance of combat with Gladio; hence why it’s recommended that you do the tutorial as Gladio before you start, just to make things easier on you. Anyway, the first group of foes don’t require much effort and the only real task that you’ll be faced with is the Brunnrsormr.

This snake-like demon doesn’t have too much up its metaphorical sleeve, but it does have an unblockable attack that you’re going to want to keep an eye out for. The way to know whether or not they are about to do it is when they start to glow red, at which point you’re going to want some distance between you to not lose a chunk of your health. Other than that, you don’t have too much to concern yourself with on this boss fight.

After the serpent has been defeated, you’ll go up against the Blademaster in a fight that you literally cannot win. You can choose to indulge him if you please, but simply standing there and waiting for it to be done and over with is certainly a quicker way to speed up the inevitable one way or the other.

When you’re ready, make a start on the waypoint up the cliff and get some rest at the campsite and receive a quick cutscene to go along with it. Once you’ve made a move, be careful about the next group of foes that you come into contact with, as they are Thunder Bombs – enemies that don’t tend to keep your health bar exactly where it once was. Take your time on these guys and they should go down without a hitch!

Shortly after that fight you’re going to come to a split in the road, with two potential outcomes depending on where you go. Choose to go right and you will lead to a dead end, but there will be a potion waiting for you for your trouble. Decide to go to the left and you will come out the other side and be able to follow the waypoint in whichever direction it points to.

As you follow the waypoint you will encounter a short spiral that will lead to some easy to defeat reapers and then a drop to follow. Follow around the linear path until you come to one more cliff, get climbing, and prepare to go against another boss: the Nergal.

When it comes to the Nergal you’re going to want to keep a fair amount of distance from him most of the time, mainly because of his poison attacks that are going to melt your health bar. There are a couple of small moves that you’ll want to keep an eye out for, but they can be easily blocked and defended, so you shouldn’t have much to worry about. After every successful block, be sure to punish for a bunch of extra damage and you will quickly slay this boss.

For the remainder of this quest you are basically tasked with following along a linear pathway that is hard to get lost in. As you go along you will be taught the column mechanic which has you pulling a column from out of the ground and using it as a weapon, but that’s very little else to it other than “it’s a really big weapon, so use it”!

You will soon find a set of stairs; follow them up and turn around the corner to move onto the second part of Gladio’s trials.

Path to Perdition

At the start of this trial you are going to be faced with quite the formidable foe by the name of the Enkidu. This is not a boss to be taken lightly, as the amount of damage they can do in one fell swoop is terrifying and awe-inspiring all at the same time. Just like the last boss, taking a defensive approach is an idea that I would recommend - all so you don’t have to restart the fight once more.

To get a little bit of extra damage in when it’s not expecting it, run around to the back of the Wyvern and you’ll be able to get some nice damage against it without putting yourself in too much danger. When the beast has plans to attack you, be sure to put up your shield and walk backwards to decrease the impact of any potential AOE abilities. Basically, rinse and repeat, and before long the beast will finally fall to your blade; even if you did use a fair amount of your items trying to get through the fight – but trust me on this, it’s normal.

Know Thine Enemy

Almost as soon as you finish off the boss you will be expected to fight against some smaller, much easier enemies; head down the stairs once they have been defeated and keep moving forward. After you reach the bottom there will be some more enemies for you to swing your sword at or one of the columns that you will find around you.

When they’re defeated, head through the wall near the side of a cliff and a wooden bridge in sight. Exploring around this little area will get you some potions that might be worth the effort in the oncoming fights, so it might be an idea to pick them up while you’ve got the chance. Head down the path and keep on going until you reach the bottom – be aware that when you step off of the path that you will be introduced to a number of enemies, one of which is a Bandersnatch, a creature that is not going to make your life easy. Despite this, leave the Bandersnatch for last, as the remaining enemies are easier to deal with; yet harder to ignore if you don’t do something about them.

Once the battle is over, look towards the left and you should notice a staircase that will provide a linear path to your next objective. Climb all the way up to the top, take out some easily dealt with enemies, and then get some rest at the next campsite. When you’re ready, keep on moving along the linear path, defeat any small-fry that come your way and look out for a crawl space that you can just barely fit through; on the other side is a boss.

This fight has you going against a creature known as the Inannaduru, but he has a couple of friends to help him out. Thankfully, these friends of his don’t take much to deal with, which is why you should focus on them first before you go for the boss. A lot like the other boss fights, taking a defensive stance is for the best and a fair amount of distance is recommended the whole time, due to the fact that this fellow can in actual fact poison you. The moment his HP reaches 0 a wall behind him will fall down and you’ll be expected to have another fight before you can move on; yet thankfully this little battle isn’t quite as challenging as the previous boss fight, not even in the slightest.

If you thought Inannaduru was the boss for this trial you would sadly be wrong, as the Humbaba is the actual boss of the area and while he may be able to deal some serious damage if you’re not careful and blocking when you should be; with just how slow he is, he’s a pretty straightforward fight. For the most part it boils down to: “he charges up an attack, you get in a few strikes before he swings, and then you proceed to block and rinse and repeat”. There’s not much to this fight, so a slightly more aggressive approach can actually work in your favour here.

To Serve as Shield

The fourth and final trial is the hardest, which should surprise no one. When you walk and follow along the path there’s going to be a campsite that you can rest and a few steps away from it you will be treated to a cutscene when you approach the waypoint. This brand new cutscene symbolises the start of your fight with the final boss of the trials to become the Shield for the king – the Blademaster known as Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh manages to announce his attacks rather easily, so that makes your life easier, but since they come in the form of combos, blocking and parrying is the only way to deal with them. Blocking is going to help mitigate the damage; whereas parrying is going to deal a nice chunk of damage to this rather tanky boss. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for you to strike against Gilgamesh, but one of the best weapons comes in the form of him changing his weapons because it’s one of the very few times where he can’t punish you for striking against him.

After you deal enough damage to Gilgamesh he will fully heal, become stronger and faster, and is a lot more likely to kill you in one quick burst! As a result of this, though, he has a number of new openings for you to strike against and if you manage to keep that up for long enough and play smart, Gilgamesh will eventually be struck down and your trial will be complete.

Thus, it will lead to the final cutscene for Episode Gladiolus – treating you to the end of Gladio’s ordeals and coming out even stronger as a result.

Score Attack

Episode Gladiolus Score Attack is an arcade-style combat mini-game from Episode Gladiolus DLC.


There’s a lot that came along with the brand new release of Episode Gladiolus and even though the main focus was on the story for Gladio, there’s a lot you can enjoy in the episode – especially in the form of the “Score Attack” mode that you gain access to the moment you beat the episode. Why would you want to play this mode? Well, that’d be because there are trophies/achievements waiting for you on the other side and a new attire option for Gladio; providing you play this mode well enough.

There’s a lot you can do well in this mode and there’s a lot you can do wrong, hence why this guide does what it can to fill you in on some of the best tips, tricks, and general guidance for this mode so you can get the highest possible score that you can muster!

Rewards and Achievements

Tips and Tricks


One of the biggest and most useful tips I can give to anyone who wishes to attempt this mode is to do what you can to keep your combo up. Every single strike you make against an opponent is going to increase your multiplier, so you keep that up and before too long your score is quickly going to rise to levels that you should be satisfied with. When you need a break, be sure to only make one that lasts only a few second, because if you’re not too careful that combo will drop and will require you to restart it all over again.


Parrying is a great way to achieve a huge chunk of points and that only gets better with how high your multiplier is at the time. At first it might take a little getting useful to try and figure out how to time your parries accordingly, but after you spend enough time slaying the same creatures over and over again, you’ll eventually have an idea of how they coordinate their attacks accordingly.

Ignore Columns

During the main story you are bound to encounter these things a fair amount of the time and the same can be said for the score attack mode, but that doesn’t mean they are all that useful. Yes, they are pretty decent at racking up your combo, but they don’t allow the user to block or parry; what this results in is a serious lack in defence. This notion wouldn’t be so bad, but considering that if and when you get hit too much your multiplier will reset and your score isn’t going to appreciate that at the end of the day.

Careful with Curatives

At the start of this mode you’re provided with a set number of items and curatives that you’re more than likely going to need to use every now and again to keep yourself standing. What this means is that you’re going to need to be careful with when you use these items, as you’re only given a finite amount throughout this entire mode. However, since you only have a finite amount of these items and won’t be finding any when you run through the episode, so that simply means you don’t need to worry about looking for new items while you’re out on the run.

Try, Try Again

The likelihood is that you won’t manage to get enough score during your first run-through and possibly even a few more runs after that, so take your time, enjoy yourself, and try again if and when you end up failing. Just take your time when you’re going through the score attack mode for the first few runs, learn from your mistakes, and you are bound to get a decent score in this particular mode before too long!

Tips on Getting 1 Million Score

  • Against humanoid enemies, focus on parries. Only attack them normally once they enable the unblockable buff.
  • Against animal enemies, you should always have a pillar at hand. Focus on picking them up and strike with them three times using normal attack and once with warp strike/ Glaive attack to maximize them.
  • Try to save the final Glaive art for bosses like the Red Gigant or snake, since they make perfectly easy targets and might not have enough pillars around.
  • Obviously, run everywhere as fast as you can.
  • Don't worry too much about the combo count. Even when having super high combo counts (5x) and attacking normally, you'll still be better off focusing on parries and letting that combo drop.
  • When in rooms with multiple mobs (especially skeletons because they attack A LOT) chain counter attacks. Getting your rage up and the chain will net you tons and tons of score. Later you'll fave red mobs who can't be blocked, just kill them quickly and continue. First boss will wipe the room clean if you kill it first so make sure you chain counter the mobs before hand. The rest of the trials won't be like this, the mobs will stay but do this anymore to make sure you'll have enough score.
    • I had around 445k by the end of trial one and that was without taking advantage of the 3-4 waves of mobs on the first boss.
  • A tip I have and I'm not sure how many people know about this is when holding square/x to block, tap it again when you see an attack. This is safe to prevent yourself from getting hit and dropping the chain, and an easy way overall to make sure you'll get a counter without getting hit. A visual glitch will sometimes make gladiolus' shield go away even though it's being held, but will bring it back up when getting hit.