Ereshkigal is one of the two superbosses in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, fought in the Extra Day in the Ultimate Lair, which is unlocked after Lightning completes enough quests. Ereshkigal is Bhunivelze's most powerful creation, hinted to be ready to replace humanity when humans no longer meet the deity's standards. Lightning faces the creature to prove humanity's worth to him.
Ereshkigal drops the Diamond Matinee Necklace on the ground after its defeat, and Heroic Guard is a guaranteed drop on Hard Mode. Defeating Ereshkigal earns the Holy Garb of Destruction and Monster Bane achievements.
- During Grand Impulse
- During Judgment or Final Judgment
Ereshkigal is slow, but at first has strong defenses that will mitigate most damage, starting the battle with Walled Heart and Spirit Barrier. It will buff itself at certain intervals. Any debuffs will need to be cast twice to take effect. Ereshkigal's Grand Impulse is a physical attack that affects the entire floor, and its Judgment shoots bolts at Lightning.
Ereshkigal's countdown is indicated by uttering phrases "Meteor unleashed", "Words of power intoned...", "Gathering energy...", "Invoking Meteor..." and lastly "Meteor". Its Meteor spells ignore resistance, allowing each hit to do around 3,000 damage, unless Ereshkigal has Defaith. Meteor increases in power the more Ereshkigal uses it, upgrading to Mega Meteor, Giga Meteor, Tera Meteor, and finally Exa Meteor, with each upgrade summoning more meteorites and becoming harder for Lightning to overcome.
Ereshkigal's Resonance deals multiple strikes that grow stronger with each successive hit. It deals high damage even through guarding but it is not lethal if one heals. Ereshkigal can also use Trine, which summons three energy balls that slowly home in on Lightning before exploding.
At half health, Ereshkigal will use Awakening to remove its barriers and double its Strength and Magic. It will start using its ultimate spell, Super Nova, that also ignores resistances and can easily kill Lightning, unless Defaith is active. During Awakening, some of Ereshkigal's attacks change. Judgment becomes Final Judgment, which assaults Lightning three times in a row for lethal damage, and Trine becomes Hexine, increasing the number of energy balls from 3 to 6.
Staggering Ereshkigal removes barriers, making it more vulnerabile to damage. The first stagger adds the Foggy effect, making it unable to use magic abilities. It will only use the physical ability, Grand Impulse, and its stagger gauge can be rapidly affected by magic attacks. The second stagger removes the Fog effect. When Ereshkigal is staggered a third time, debuffs will only require a single cast and it becomes highly susceptible to Poison.
The player should bring some Ethers, Enaero Potions, and Bravery or Hero's Potions. Recommended equipment includes Equilibrium+ for the Standby ATB Recovery+ auto-ability (greatly hastens the ATB recovery of unused schemata), L'automne for the low-cost high-powered spells along with the Stagger Siphon auto-ability (restores some ATB upon staggering an enemy), and another garb (e.g. Splendid Admiral for its Transform Bravery auto-ability) preferably equipped with Chaos's Revenge for its Quick Stagger 75% auto-ability.
Heavy Slash should be equipped in the two schemata other than L'automne, with equipment to steal buffs from Ereshkigal (Crippling Hood, Warrior Hunter's Mask). Equilibrium+ should be equipped with Aero and Light Slash. Light Slash will allow Lightning to go airborne during staggers (for the lowest ATB cost) to avoid Grand Impulse, while Aero should be used to remain airborne by alternating spell casts with L'automne. Ailment abilities should include Deprotect, Imperil, Poison and Slow. Slow is also an ideal spell to use for draining ATB from Splendid Admiral to trigger Bravery.
The player should immediately cast Slow to render Ereshkigal even slower than it already is (any debuff takes two castings to take effect on Ereshkigal) to give a better margin of time to stagger it without risk of Meteor or Resonance, although Slow must be cast frequently during the battle. The player should use Equilibrium+ to perform Light Slash and Aero, and then switch to L'automne and cast Aerora twice, and then switch back to Equilibrium+ and perform Light Slash and Aero again, and switch once more. With this tactic the player will remain afloat rendering Grand Impulse useless, and maintain a rapid and constant stagger level. As soon as Ereshkigal uses offensive buffs, like Bravery or Faith, the player should steal them. Continuing with this setup will guarantee Ereshkigal gets staggered.
Once Ereshkigal is staggered, the player should repeat the above procedure until staggering it again. On its second stagger, Ereshkigal is freed from Fog but the above methods still apply. The player should persist or Ereshkigal will regenerate its barriers. The player should steal any offensive buff during this stage, preferably Bravery, as it will be crucial during its third stagger. The player should also use an Elemental Potion during this stage. Once Ereshkigal is staggered a third time, the player should cast Poison as it can deal enormous damage to Ereshkigal over time. If Poison comes with increased Status Ailment Duration, it can deal close to a million damage with a single casting. The player should cast Deprotect and Imperil, then switch to Equilibrium+ and with the Enaero Potion equipped, one can hack at its HP quickly combined with Poison. One should also abuse Overclock if possible to cut Ereshkigal's HP as fast as possible.
If the player doesn't kill Ereshkigal in its staggered stage, once it recovers it likely has lost enough HP to enter its more aggressive battle phase where it has reduced defense and remains susceptible to Poison, and thus the player should just focus on dealing damage and casting Slow and Poison regularly.
"The Ruler of Time and Space" from Final Fantasy XIII-2 acts as the battle theme for Ereshkigal. When it is staggered after using Awakening, "Unseen Abyss", Final Fantasy XIII-2's final boss theme plays.
Behind the scenes
Even though Ereshkigal only appears in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, it was created as early as of Final Fantasy XIII, the concept art revealed in the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Ultimania Omega: a complete and functional model for the monster exists in both games' data, possibly as a type of Cie'th, but was dummied out in both cases. The model is identical to Ereshkigal, but has a different color scheme.
Ereshkigal was the goddess of Irkalla, the land of the dead or underworld, and the only one who could pass judgment and give laws in her kingdom.In Mesopotamian mythology,