Here he is, the battle you've been waiting for. As soon as it was announced there were all kinds of articles published laughing about new players experiencing the Shin Megami Tensei III Matador battle. Matador is infamous for throwing players into the deep end and emphasizing the use of buffs and debuffs and how useful they are in combat. Up until now, battles you've had are mostly your enemy physically attacking you or using damage spells.
You'll fight the Matador in the corridor after the Great Underpass of Ginza gate guard lets you through, if you're stuck at the gate guard be sure to check out our guide on how to find the 1000 Yen Bill. Before you read too much into how to beat the Matador I recommend facing off against him, you might totally be ready for him. If he absolutely stomps you like he stomped me the first few attempts then continue reading to find out the best way to make it through the battle safely.
Shin Megami Tensei III Matador Boss Fight
Reward: 700 Macca and 1200 Exp
Resistances: Force (Void), Expel (Void), Death (Void), Curse (Void), Nerve (Void), Mind (Void)
What makes Matador so hard?
There's a number of reasons that Matador will catch you off guard. The first of which is that he hits like an absolute truck with Force attacks. On top of that his signature move is Red Capote that will allow him to increase his dodging power four times more than a normal evasion spell would. In a game where missing a hit wastes two actions instead of one that means that even with a party of four you might only get two attempts at attacking. This is the first fight where a boss has a specific strategy and it can definitely catch you off guard.
How to prepare for the Matador fight?
You can do a lot to prepare for this fight, I'm going to skip the obvious "just keep battling to level up" but will say that I was level 18 when I defeated Matador. Here are some other ways you can prepare your team to withstand Matadors enraging fight.
- Right before the Matador fight, there will be a Junk Shop, purchase the Hifumi Magatama for 4000 Macca. This is a Force-based Magatama and while you won't be acquiring it for the Force-based attacks you can learn it does mean Demi-Fiend doesn't take damage from Force attacks. This also has the added benefit of every time one of his Force attacks hits you he'll also waste a second move keeping your party safer for longer
- Fuse an Angel and Pixie together and you can create Uzume. This is another double benefit for your party, Uzume is immune to Force Damage but is also likely to be your first demon with Media, the mid-range healing spell. At this point in the game, a single cast should heal the majority of your party's health.
- A general tip for the whole game, but also something that will help with this fight is when leveling up Demi-Fiend you'll want to put points into Str, Agi, and Luc. The emphasis should be on Str and Agi though. What's a better strategy than being able to hit the other guy harder, or making sure that you dodge as much as possible. (With Demi-Fiend getting so little in terms of magical attacks that you'd want to use it really is recommended that for the rest of the game you keep this Str/Agi strategy)
Once you get into the Matador fight you'll want to get as much damage in as fast as possible before he starts casting Red Capote. The Matador will now have a 50% chance of targeting someone with his force attack that will take zero damage meaning it should be your turn a lot more often than expected. If you really need to focus on healing your party it's not a poor choice to spend a whole turn using healing items, or skipping turns to allow Uzume to get multiple chances at Media in one round.
As Red Capote is cast the battle will slowly shift from being a frontal assault to a slower more drawn-out battle of dodging or negated attacks. Once you're at this point you can almost put your characters on auto-attack watching every now and then for a turn you need to heal yourself. After a while though the battle will be over and you'll have successfully defeated the Shin Megami Tensei III Matador.
Was it as tough a boss fight as you expected? Did you try it on your own before getting some pointers? Do you enjoy the way Shin Megami Tensei III teaches you about boss strategies by throwing you in head first?