Along with series staple summon monsters like Bahamut and Ifrit, the ice goddess Shiva makes an appearance in every mainline Final Fantasy game after debuting in the third game. From her appearance in Final Fantasy III on, Shiva has several characteristic features that have come to define the character in the franchise. These include a sometimes regal appearance befitting a goddess, hair made of ice, blue or white skin to indicate her relationship with the cold and a signature recurring attack in the form of Diamond Dust. And, like many other summon monsters in the world of Final Fantasy, Shiva has roots in being a real-life object of worship.
Taking her name from the Hindu deity of the same name, Shiva’s importance in Hinduism as one of the principal goddesses in its pantheon translates well to the character’s importance across the series. Shiva is a goddess but also a bringer of destruction and death through her torrential rain of ice. She’s even taken on greater narrative importance in the latest games in the series as an avatar of some of the games’ primary female protagonists. Shiva is just as much an integral figure in the plot of Final Fantasy XVI as her human Dominant Jill Warrick.
Final Fantasy III
Players acquire Shiva early on in the game as one of the earliest available summon spells and she is castable after purchasing the level 2 summon spell Icen. She has three different attacks depending on the chosen job of the player when casting the Icen spell. Evokers, Summoners, and Sages are each able to cast the Icen spell, but it is the Sage’s summoning of Shiva that calls forth her signature Diamond Dust attack that deals ice damage to all enemies on the battlefield.
Final Fantasy IV
Shiva’s appearance in Final Fantasy IV comes courtesy of the party’s resident summoner Rydia, who upon returning to the team in the Underworld has Shiva available as one of her starting summon spells and even uses her Diamond Dust attack to destroy Golbez’s Shadow Dragon before it can eliminate the party. As in her other series appearances, Shiva has blueish skin and hair made of ice to signifify her affinity for the cold and comes in handy against the fire-resistant enemies in the Underworld area of Final Fantasy IV.
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy V‘s version of the iconic Shiva summon is unique in that it is the first time that the party must defeat the goddess in battle before they can summon her to their aid. Players will encounter Shiva at the top of Castle Walse along with three Ice Commanders who are serving as her personal guard. After defeating Shiva in battle, players using the Summoner job can call upon Shiva to use her Diamond Dust attack, which will deal ice damage to all enemies on screen and cost 10 MP.
Final Fantasy VI
Shiva, along with Ifrit, is one of the iconic series summons that players will obtain during their invasion of the Magitek Research Facility in Final Fantasy VI. After defeating a boss, Shiva is one of the several Espers that will turn herself into Magicite in order to aid the party, surrendering her life in the process. Players can use the Shiva Esper to call the goddess forth and have her execute her Diamond Dust attack, but the Shiva Magicite also teaches some valuable magic to the party. Blizzard, Blizzara, Osmose, Rasp, and Cure are all spells that the party can learn from the Magicite (and all at respectable rates, too), but she does not offer any stat boosts to party members on level-up.
Final Fantasy VII
Players will receive the Shiva summon Materia in Final Fantasy VII after defeating the Bottomswell boss in lower Junon. Again she appears as a goddess with blue skin, although her hair is now much longer than in previous games in the series. Despite the subtle changes to her appearance, Shiva still calls forth the Diamond Dust attack when summoned and has an ice-elemental affinity when slotting her summon materia into weapons or armor.
Final Fantasy VIII
Along with Quezacotl, Shiva is one of the first two Guardian Forces players will acquire after interacting with Squall’s study panel in the SeeD classroom at Final Fantasy VIII‘s beginning. Again she uses her Diamond Dust attack to deal ice damage to all enemies, and her Guardian Force abilities come in handy during the early hours of the game, especially as it relates to Squall’s journey through the Fire Cavern as part of his SeeD exam. Shiva grants any party members equipping her with Strength, Vitality, and Spirit junctions and has some unique Guardian Force abilities for players to focus on such as Doom and the refinement ability to turn items into water or ice spells.
Final Fantasy IX
Shiva once again makes an appearance as a summonable companion in Final Fantasy IX, and Dagger can obtain the ability to summon Shiva after equipping an Opal and learning the ability for 20 AP. As in previous series appearances, Shiva is an icy-blue goddess with the ability to decimate foes on the battlefield with the Diamond Dust attack. Similar to Ifrit, players can increase the attack power of the Shiva summon by farming Opal and keeping them in their inventory, as the power of Diamond Dust is equal to 36 damage plus whatever number of Opals that players happen to have.
Final Fantasy X
Players obtain Final Fantasy X‘s version of Shiva after visiting the Macalania Temple and allowing Yuna to commune with the Fayth residing there. Once players summon Shiva with Yuna they are able to control her in battle, and her appearance is that of a Macalanian princess, calling forth Final Fantasy X‘s southeast Asian influence into focus. Shiva has both the Heavenly Strike and Diamond Dust abilities available to her in battle, and players can even challenge her as one of Final Fantasy X‘s optional “superbosses” in the form of Dark Shiva.
Final Fantasy XI
Along with Ifrit, Shiva is one of Final Fantasy XI‘s six Avatars and is the ice-elemental Avatar to Ifrit’s fire-elemental Avatar. The Avatars are essentially deities in the world of Final Fantasy XI that a summoner can call upon to aid them in battle, and Shiva behaves according to her previous series appearances by bringing forth a wave of destruction via a torrential blizzard. Players can learn the ability to summon Shiva after completing the “Trial by Ice” quest and at higher levels Shiva has attacks that can put Diamond Dust to shame in terms of damage output.
Final Fantasy XII
Rather than have the series’ iconic summon monsters appear in their traditional forms, Final Fantasy XII introduces the mainstay creatures as various airships in the Archadian fleet. Shiva is a Light Cruiser Class Airship and one of the dungeons that the party will visit throughout the course of Final Fantasy XII‘s adventure, and is part of the same fleet containing the warship Leviathan.
Final Fantasy XIII
Shiva is the Eidolon under the control of Final Fantasy XIII‘s Snow, but rather than appear as a singular being she splits into the twin sisters Stiria and Nix. As in some of her other series appearances, players must first defeat the sisters in battle before they can call upon Final Fantasy XIII‘s version of the iconic summon for help. When summoning the sisters in battle, one focuses on being a support for the party through healing and occasional ice damage to enemies while the other is an outright combatant and casts ice-elemental spells to defeat foes.
Final Fantasy XIV
Shiva is one of the many Primals in Final Fantasy XIV (that game’s version of the iconic summon monsters from the series) and players must defeat her in battle as part of the “Dreams of Ice” patch. The human who summons Shiva opts to use her body as a vessel for the primal, in-part setting in motion the events leading to the Heavensward expansion where both she and Shiva return as important characters in the narrative. In addition to facing off against Shiva as a normal boss fight, she appears as the ultimate challenge of the Eden Raids in the Shadowbringers expansion.
Final Fantasy XV
Shiva is one of the six Astral deities in Final Fantasy XV‘s world of Eos and many consider her to be the one closest to humanity thanks to her affinity for the species. Players will acquire the ability to summon Shiva at level 12, and as in previous games in the series she executes her signature Diamond Dust attack that deals massive amounts of ice damage to enemies. However, unique to Final Fantasy XV is the goddess’ ability to replicate herself into multiple clones during the Diamond Dust attack, maximizing the area of effect of the spell.
Final Fantasy XVI
The latest appearance of Shiva in Final Fantasy XVI positions her as one of the most important characters in the story thanks to her being the Eikon of main character Clive’s childhood best friend and love interest Jill Warrick. After the fall of Rosaria and Clive’s enlistment into the Sanbrequian Empire’s military, Jill falls under the control of the Iron Kingdom, who exploit her being the Dominant of Shiva for military conquest. At several points throughout the story of Final Fantasy XVI, Jill will come to Clive’s aid by calling on Shiva. Eventually, Jill willingly parts with her power as Shiva’s Dominant to grant her abilities to Clive so that he might use them in facing off against Ultima.