- “This is the end... of nothing...
Defeating me proves only that you harbor the seeds of evil within your trembling flesh...
Someday... they shall come... into fruition...”
- —Pandemonium Warden
Pandemonium Warden is one of two High Notorious Monsters in Final Fantasy XI (along with Absolute Virtue) to garner special maintenance to weaken its powers. Upon its introduction into Final Fantasy XI, more than 36 players marathon fighting Pandemonium Warden for 18 hours were unable to defeat it. They were forced to retire after members of the party started to become physically ill; after such a prolonged period of gaming, they began to faint and vomit, creating news reports to be filed in argument of the game's User Message present at every login, which states that Square Enix "...does not wish to see [their players'] lives..." suffer as a result of extensive play. Following the 18 hour attempt, the monster (along with Absolute Virtue) was patched to only have a spawn time of two hours, and its overall difficulty was significantly decreased — if not beaten within that time, it despawns and vanishes; also, its satellites no longer have 25,000 HP each, but closer to only 2,400.
Though rewards for felling the Warden are essentially negligible, they are unique to its loot pool, making the ornate weapon and armor models more trophy items than applicable gear choices. Until the update to augment additional damage to Relic Weapons, the Shenlong's Baghnakhs, for example, were a particularly strong hand-to-hand weapon for Monks and Puppetmasters, but no longer hold a fight against a fully-upgraded pair of Spharai.
It is initially seen in one base form, a Dvergr, but instantly shifts to resemble other High Notorious Monsters from the Aht Urhgan expansion, such as Cerberus, Khimaira, and Medusa. It will spawn multiple satellite monsters, which assist each version in battle. When one form is defeated, it transforms into another. It has a total of ten forms, which when defeated forces it to return to its "base form". All eleven forms must be defeated to claim victory.
The primary difficulty with defeating the monster nowadays involves how to deal with its use of the Summoner 2-Hour ability Astral Flow, which all 8 satellites execute simultaneously three times when it is in its final form. Pandemonium Warden was defeated first by the North American Linkshell Apathy on the Remora server, and several other times by various other groups since. The first kill involved using Blue Mages to sacrifice themselves using a strong spell called "Cannonball" to deal damage and then be the single person take all of the damage dealt by Pandemonium Warden's intense attacks.