There are over 50 boss fights in Final fantasy 5, one of the most difficult chapters in the successful Square Enix series. Most are required to complete the story, but others – like Bahamut and Carbuncle – are purely optional. These skippable skirmishes are generally tougher than average and capable of tripping reckless players with a volley of powerful assaults.
But there are two optional bosses in FF5 that dominate the rest. They’re so tough that in the 1990s and even early 2000s kids would whisper to each other that they were downright impossible and that it was all a big joke at the expense of their fragile confidence. (Being a kid isn’t easy, you know.) One of the bosses is Omega, a mechanical robot that does business. The other, and the obvious topic of this guide, is Shinryu.
Shinryu is an ancient dragon that dwells in the Interdimensional Rift, also known as Final Fantasy 5’s final dungeon. Common translations of this clearly Japanese name include “God Dragon” and “Divine Dragon”, which makes a lot of sense. once you’ve been subjected to his gauntlet of attacks.
But despite all of his flashy antics, Shinryu is far from invulnerable. With the right setup and a fundamental understanding of the task ahead, he is no more of a threat than any other. Here is the proof.
How to find Shinryu
No matter how prepared you are, it stands to reason that you won’t stand a chance of defeating Shinryu if you can’t. find Shinryu. And while you don’t have to look beyond the final dungeon to find it, its particular choice of hiding place makes it both perfectly camouflaged and an absolute troll.
Shinryu, it turns out, is hiding in a treasure chest in the inner shrine area of ââthe Interdimensional Rift. Several older Final Fantasy titles put the occasional surprise monster attacks in treasure chests, just to keep players on their toes, but only the designers of Final Fantasy 5 would be sneaky enough to do it with the divine dragon.
You’ll know you’re in the right area of ââthe Rift when the eerie facades of forests, libraries, castles, etc. screenshot.
The four floors of this area are the deepest recesses of the Rift, home to the toughest random encounter creatures in the game. There are boss fights on every floor, but the treasure chest containing Shinryu (and the legendary weapon Ragnarok) is on the third floor. Make sure to keep an eye on our screenshot so you can match things up correctly.
Prepare to fight Shinryu
Don’t open that chest without a game plan.
First, give two of your characters the Coral Ring accessory. The Coral Ring is technically available in Bartz’s World at Istory, but with a price tag of 50,000 gil, it’s safe to say the item isn’t on the menu, unless you’ve grinded to an extent unbelievable. Most importantly, Coral Rings are sold in the Merged World (the third and final world) at Phantom Village. The price hasn’t changed, but at this point in the game it’s not such a high investment anymore.
Ice shields must be fitted by anyone who can wear them. Shinryu has a specific attack that can and in all likelihood will be your demise without at least one character able to negate the damage from the ice element, and since he can often attack twice in a turn, it’s best to have one in two or more ice shields. characters just in case the bucket gets kicked before anyone can react.
You will also need a way to launch Berserk when the battle begins. There are many methods, including the aptly named method White magic spell “Berserk”, and a chemist can use the To mix together order to mix one Holy water with a turtle shell to inflict sneaky status. Other routes, like breaking a staff of power on Shinryu, are totally valid but not necessarily as commonly available.
Weapons and armor are easy to choose. It’s just a matter of the strongest stuff you have. The better protected you are, the fewer turns your healers will have to spend catching up to Shinryu’s devastating physical strikes. The harder you hit the dragon, the faster it falls.
If you were expecting one size fits all here, there’s not much to say – other than the fact that stealing a Dragon launcher before the fight is a great idea. Dragon Spear has a 100% critical hit rate against dragons. It can be stolen from Crystal Dragons, the most powerful non-Shinryu variety in FF5. They happen to be making their lair here in the Inner Shrine where you’ll find Shinryu, so it’s going well. Besides, what could be more emblematic than to skewer a saurian with a spear?
Sterling’s healing abilities are vital to the survival of your party. Consider giving each character at least one way to restore everyone’s HP if needed. The Chemist’s Revive resurrects all allies for zero MP. Their recovery ability is a free multi-target Esuna. The white magi have Curaga and Arise. Don’t overlook the usefulness of a blue mage with spells like White wind and powerful guard.
How to beat Shinryu
Now that you are prepared and ready to go, all you have to do is win. Shinryu always starts the fight by throwing Tsunami for massive water damage. This is the same ability that you probably experienced several times during your confrontation with Leviathan earlier in the game, but the difference here is that Shinryu only uses the tidal wave once.
That’s why it’s a good idea to only give your characters two coral rings and save the other prop slots for something else. Survivors wearing the Ring can resurrect their fallen allies, and you’ll never have to face Tidal Wave again.
Make every effort to polish the heroes. If anyone invokes, Golem and Carbuncle are must-haves. Otherwise, the same effects can be reproduced with White Magic, Blue Magic, Mix, etc.
Shinryu’s move pool includes Maelstrom, Roulette, Ice Storm, Lightning, Atomic Ray, Level 3 Flare, and Mighty Guard. Characters equipped with coral rings will cancel Atomic Ray. Maelstrom and Lightning are only particularly threatening when Shinryu takes his turn twice, but when that happens, well, that’s what emergency healing is for.
Level 3 Flare will kill anyone with a level divisible by three, so whatever you do, never go into battle against Shinryu with a group that will be sensitive to it.
Ice Storm is the reason you collected Ice Shields. Mighty Guard is a nuisance, but given what you’re about to do to turn this conflict into a cake, it’s hardly worth worrying about.
Do whatever it takes to inflict Berserk on Shinryu. Will Berserk status make Shinryu’s physical attacks even stronger? Sure. Is it better to fight a monstrous superboss that can only attack physically than one that has a veritable arsenal of abilities designed to destroy you in seconds? Absoutely.
Once Shinryu suffers the effects of Berserk, winning is a matter of time. You will gradually erode his health. Rapid fire, Zeninage, high level elemental spells, Bahamut, anything you can think of that will wipe out ordinary enemies in a flash can also cause major pain to Shinryu.
With 55,000 HP, Shinryu will take several turns to descend, but he will descend. The Ragnarok Sword will be yours however you want it to be, and you’ll be a giant leap towards achieving everything Final Fantasy 5 Pixel Remaster has to offer.
Next: Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade: Nero Boss Guide
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