Persona 5 Royal: How To Defeat Shadow Niijima (2023)

By Gabrielle Castania

Ready to take on Shadow Niijima and finish Sae's Palace for good? We'll walk you through how.

Persona 5 Royal: How To Defeat Shadow Niijima (1)

Quick Links

  • Preliminary Information
  • First Phase
  • Second Phase

You saw the ending of this fight during the intro for Persona 5 Royal, but the battle against Shadow Niijima catches you back up with where the story of the game begins. You’ve spent hours by now in a real-world interrogation room with Sae Niijima explaining how your Thieving has worked so far, but now, it’s time to use everything you’ve learned against her in her palace.

RELATED: Persona 5 Royal: The Best Personas For Niijima's Casino (And Ones You Should Avoid)

The fight was made notedly easier for Royal, but there are still tips and tricks that can help you win against Shadow Niijima. Follow along with our guide to make quick work of this boss fight.


Preliminary Information

Persona 5 Royal: How To Defeat Shadow Niijima (2)

It’s somewhat difficult to plan ahead for this fight, as the crux of the second phase is that Sae’s second form is able to shuffle its affinities, decided by roulette. We’ll explain how this works more in that section, but we can give you a few pointers ahead of it.

You can do a few things to prepare for the coming battle, such as:

  • Getting Hifumi Togo (Star) to Rank 1 for the ability to switch out active party members on Joker’s turn. To begin befriending Hifumi, you’ll need to have done the following:
    • Get Yusuke’s Confidant to Rank 2.
    • Unlocked the Kanda district by watching television on 6/25.
    • Achieved Rank 3 Charm.
  • Use Joker as a catch-all for any affinity or skill gaps in your party.
  • Visit Takemi’s Clinic for items that heal, cure status ailments, and revive.

While it’s fruitless to give you Shadow Niijima’s affinities, we can give you a list of her attacks below.



First Stage - Shadow Sae Niijima

Roulette Time

Begins roulette spin that forces the Thieves to bet either HP, SP, or money.


Undodgeable attack that reduces HP to 1 for anyone who attacks Shadow Niijima while the wheel is spinning.

Second Stage - Sae Leviathan Niijima

Roulette Time

Begins a roulette spin to determine Leviathan's affinity.

Elemental Punishment

Heavy elemental damage against one foe, in the element decided upon during Roulette Time.


Negates any buff given by a move ending in -kaja to all foes.

Gattling Gun

Light gun damage to all foes that hits between 1-5 times.

Brutal Impact

Heavy gun damage to all foes.

Severing Slash

Heavy physical damage to one foe.

Hundred Slaps

Heavy physical damage to one foe with a medium chance to inflict dizzy.


Heavy almighty damage to all foes.

Berserker Dance

Severe almighty damage to all foes.

First Phase

Persona 5 Royal: How To Defeat Shadow Niijima (3)

When the fight against Shadow Niijima begins, the Phantom Thieves join her in an oversize roulette wheel, which is how she’ll determine the progression of your battle. You’re given one turn to attack her before she begins the roulette wheel, but nothing you throw her way will do much damage for now. You’re best off conserving the SP for later on.

When Shadow Niijima spins the wheel, she’ll make the Thieves gamble on the result using your choice of HP, SP, or cash. Make your choice and wait for the result.

Shadow Niijima warns you that attacking her during the roulette spin is a bad idea, and she’s telling you the truth. Attacking Niijima while the roulette wheel is spinning will reduce the HP of Phantom Thief who attacked down to 1. You cannot damage her during this phase, so save yourself some hassle by not even trying.

Regardless of what you choose on the first spin, you will not win. Sae isn’t only cheating in the Casino itself, but also during the boss battle as well. Morgana will eventually ask if you noticed, and the only way to keep the fight going is by saying that you saw her using a glass screen to cheese the results in her favor. Any other response will lead to Shadow Niijima spinning the wheel again and starting the cheating cycle anew.

Once you’ve confirmed how she’s cheating, you have to send a party member to go to a vantage point to help stop her from cheating.

Persona 5 Royal: How To Defeat Shadow Niijima (4)

As with previous special missions during boss fights, the Thief you choose will leave the party for a bit, but without a way to damage Shadow Niijima right now, it’s not a big loss.

With this vantage, you’re able to use the roulette to give yourself your choice of prizes based on what you bet.

  • Betting HP or SP on this spin rewards you with an HP or SP refresh before the second phase.
  • Betting money on this spin rewards Joker with a cash payout.

As soon as Shadow Niijima realizes she’s been caught, she switches up her strategy to usher in the second and final stage of the battle.

Second Phase

Persona 5 Royal: How To Defeat Shadow Niijima (5)

To kick off the next part of the battle, Shadow Niijima transforms into another, tougher form: Sae Leviathan Niijima. This stage is dangerous because it’s impossible to completely prepare for, with so much of it left to random chance that changes each time you do this boss fight.

To begin, Leviathan will spin the roulette wheel again, but this time, the result decides what elemental affinities Leviathan will have for the moment. Sae is able to spin this wheel a few times throughout the fight, changing seemingly at will, so do your best to stand up to the changing tide of the fight.

In order to damage Leviathan, you need to be able to use attacks of the opposing affinity to what it rolls for its own typing for this round. Once the elemental typing is decided, Leviathan will be strong against any attack other than the opposite of its own affinity, while that affinity does normal damage. For example, if Leviathan rolls an affinity to wind, every attack other than electric will do less damage.

Persona 5 Royal: How To Defeat Shadow Niijima (6)

This is where Hifumi’s Rank 1 confidant ability comes in handy, as if you don’t have an attack capable of dealing noteworthy damage to Leviathan, simply swap out for a party member that does. You should be able to cover most things with Joker’s ability to keep multiple Personas, but it’s helpful to have it in your back pocket just in case.

The fight will proceed like this until Leviathan is at half HP. From there, the roulette wheel will always land on almighty, so Leviathan will stop using Elemental Punishment without a specific affinity.

Once this happens, the fight is more or less a straightforward exchange of damage. Leviathan defaulting to almighty moves means all its other affinities have become neutral, so you can attack with anything for a normal amount of damage now. It makes chipping away at the second half of its health that much smoother, so just keep your party healthy enough to attack and damage Leviathan until it goes down.

When you’re finished with this boss fight, you’re in for a long section of cutscenes, so once Sae admits defeat, kick back and enjoy the cinematics of what happens now that you’re caught up with the story.

NEXT: Persona 5 Royal Confidant Guide: Priestess - Makoto Niijima

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