Shiva is an Ice-elemental Guardian Force in Final Fantasy VIII. She is one of the two initial Guardian Forces together with Quezacotl. It is implied that she knows Ifrit, as he will comment on her if the player summons her in the battle against him.
Shiva learns Str-J, Vit-J and Spr-J, elemental attack and defense junctions, as well as support abilities that boost the equipper's Vitality and Spirit. Her unique abilities are Doom, which places a death sentence countdown on the target, and the refine ability that lets one make Ice and Water spells from items.
Shiva is a blue-skinned woman with golden hairlike appendages flowing from her head. Spikes like icicles protrude from her hips, elbows and behind her knees. She is barefoot, and her hands, feet, hips and intimate regions are covered in dark blue patterns. She has a human-like face and sharp elf-like ears.
Shiva is available as one of two default Guardian Forces assigned to Squall Leonhart at the start of the game. She is obtained by accessing the tutorial section of Squall's Study Panel in his desk. If Squall does not access the tutorial before leaving Balamb Garden for the first time, Quistis will give both Quezacotl and Shiva to Squall before reaching the world map (in the Japanese version, Squall and Quistis will leave without any GF if Squall did not access the tutorial before).
Shiva's attack, Diamond Dust, is an Ice-elemental attack that damages all enemies. Her summon time is 12.9s, which, according to the Final Fantasy VIII Ultimania, allows the player to boost its damage to around 180% of normal damage using a regular PlayStation controller.
Its damage is calculated as follows:
- $ Damage = 62 * Level / 10 + 43 $
- $ Damage = Damage * (265 - TargetSpr) / 8 $
- $ Damage = Damage * 43 / 256 $
- $ Damage = Damage * Boost / 100 $
- $ Damage = Damage * (100 + SummonMagBonus) / 100 $
- $ Damage = Damage * (900 - ElemDef) / 100: $
Elemental Defense starts at 800 (0%), 900 nullifies damage and 1000 absorbs it. If an enemy is shown to be weak against an element, its Elemental Defense is below 800. If damage becomes negative (due to high Elemental Defense), the target is healed by that amount.
The charge time for summoning depends on the compatibility between the character and the GF and the Battle Speed. The greater the compatibility, the less time it takes to summon. Compatibility can be boosted with compatibility boosting items, by casting magic that is the same element as the Guardian Force and by summoning the GF during battle. Compatibility is reduced by using "opposing" magic to the GF's element and other summons.
|Summon Effect||Shiva +20, Ifrit -10, Every other GF -1.6|
|Compatibility Items||Arctic Wind +1.6, North Wind +3.2, LuvLuvG +20.2|
|Casting Magic||Blizzard +1, Blizzara +2, Blizzaga +2.4, Fire -0.8, Fira -1, Firaga -1.2|
The below values are the base compatibility values with all playable characters at the start of the game.
The following table represents the base stats:
Abilities learned naturally by Shiva are listed below:
Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008) and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
Shiva appears as a summon. When summoned, she uses Diamond Dust, "freezing" the opponent's Bravery Points. Shiva's automatic summon, which summons her immediately when the user is attacked by an HP attack, shows her Final Fantasy VIII artwork.
Shiva (also spelled Śiva) is a Hindu god. The Hindu Shiva once saved the world by consuming poison, giving him blue skin around the area of the neck and throat. Shiva is a male god, but can merge with his consort Parvati to become Ardhanari, an androgynous Hindu god of duality. Shiva is the god of destruction along with Vishnu, who is the god of preservation, and Brahma, the god of creation. Together they are the three principle deities of the Trimurti (Hindu Triad). It is believed he periodically destroys the world, then recreates it.
Shiva has different human forms, males and females. When he was in his avatar form, he spent most of his times in the Himalayan snow mountain. Shiva in the Final Fantasy series is likely inspired by one of his female avatars.
There is a possibility the name was simply the Japanese way of pronouncing the word "shiver", given her icy nature. Another possibility is the reference to the Slavic goddess Živa, the goddess of love and fertility.
- A good use for Shiva's I Mag-RF refine ability early on is to fight Fastitocalon-Fs on the beaches of Balamb and turn their spoils of Water Crystals into Water spells, a powerful magic early in the game.
- Squall's magic attacks in Dissidia Final Fantasy games focus primarily on ice and thunder spells, which may allude to the two Guardian Forces he has at the start of Final Fantasy VIII, Shiva and Quezacotl.