FromSoftware has made its name with a number of incredibly difficult video games that have inspired the “soulsborne” genre to challenge die-hard fans, including 2019’s hit Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Players step into the shoes of a shinobi warrior as he learns ancient arts while fighting in an epic war for power, land, and honor.
True to form for any game developed by FromSoftware, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice does not make it easy for players as they encounter some seriously difficult bosses and mini-bosses across the various areas of the game. Taking a look through some of the hardest bosses from Sekiro that gave fans a rough time might reveal which boss is the most difficult.
10 Jinsuke Saze Is An Ashina Elite Mini-Boss With A Devastatingly Quick Attack
The Ashina Elite are blue-robed warriors who specialize in quick techniques from the art of Iaijutsu, making attacks from a sheathed stance. Jinsuke Saze is found guarding the Ashina Castle Dojo and is especially talented with the sword technique, making it hard to predict the mini-boss’s devastatingly quick attacks.
Players will have to be quick with their deflections in order to survive the powerful attacks as well as break the posture of one of Sekiro‘s most frustrating mini-bosses. Ujinari Mizuo features a similar move-set, though is a red-eyed version of the Ashina Elite that might give players almost as much trouble as Jinsuke Saze.
9 Lady Butterfly Tests Players To See If They Are Truly Ready To Play The Game
The “soulsborne” genre can be so difficult that fans have identified certain bosses as “gatekeepers.” They provide an elevated challenge early in the game to test players to make sure they are ready for the increased difficulty. Lady Butterfly acts as the player’s first real boss challenge in Sekiro and serves to test players while also breaking them out of their usual tactics.
Fans of Dark Souls and related games might be used to a slower style or a battle of attrition, but Lady Butterfly forces long-time players to step into the quick and aggressive gameplay that separates Sekiro from some other FromSoftware games. Players will need to get in close and get used to deflecting Lady Butterfly’s projectiles and quick attacks in order to survive.
8 The Guardian And Headless Ape Battles Are Both Horrifying And Difficult
Sekiro pits players against a number of other human warriors as well as powerful monsters that include mythical snakes and cursed apes. The Guardian Ape battle is a multi-phased horror show that forces players to be quick on their feet as they memorize the monster’s moveset and avoid its roar that inflicts Terror.
The monster even returns later in the game, but this time the player is forced to fight both the Guardian and Headless Ape phases at the same time, all while trapped in a small cave to make the battle even more impossible.
7 Lady Emma, The Gentle Blade Is A Difficult And Heartbreaking Mini-Boss
The Shinobi warrior known as Wolf receives a lot of assistance from Lady Emma, a doctor who was raised by the Sculptor that crafts new prosthetics for the player to use in battle. Emma serves Lord Isshin Ashina and is friendly and helpful throughout the game.
But if a player chooses to side with Owl and follow the Iron Code, they will find out why she is called The Gentle Blade. Lady Emma is really only the first phase in the epic fight with Isshin Ashin in the dark Shura ending of the game, and she is a memorable enemy that will continually punish players for attempting to heal themselves.
6 O’Rin Of The Water Is A Powerful And Graceful Mini-Boss With Brutal Combos
While the musically-talented O’Rin of the Water might not seem initially intimidating, she is a deadly mini-boss with quick combos that can take out players quickly if they aren’t prepared for the fight. She is an optional mini-boss and an Apparition-type enemy which makes Divine Confetti a useful tool in the battle.
O’Rin can be found in Mibu Village and will ask players if they know the location of her lost master, which will lead to her vicious attack regardless of the player’s answer. The battle feels more like a dance between the two warriors, forcing Wolf to earn his victory through artful deflections, powerful counter-attacks, and strategic deathblows.
5 The True Corrupted Monk Has Three Deadly Phases With Illusory Forms
The player will first encounter an illusory spirit version of this boss on the way to the Wedding Cave Door that will give them an idea of its moveset. Unfortunately, that won’t help when they later encounter the True Monk at the entrance to Fountainhead Palace. While the attacks are somewhat choreographed, the player will have to stay light on their feet and be aggressive.
The True Monk also has more illusory forms to complicate matters, though they can be dispersed with a Snap Seed. Thankfully, the player can pull off two stealth deathblows by attacking from the treetops so they only have to face the third phase of the True Corrupted Monk, though that is still an incredibly difficult battle filled with new attacks.
4 Genichiro, Way Of Tomoe Is His Hardest And Most Aggressive Phase
Wolf’s main rival in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is Genichiro Ashina. He is a skilled warrior and the son of Lord Isshin Ashina, one of the first characters the player will encounter in a battle that leads to the loss of Wolf’s arm. The player will encounter Genichiro a few times over the course of the game, though his most dangerous form embraces the lighting-fueled Way of Tomoe.
The second phase of the boss fight at the top of Ashina Castle will test players who are still reeling from dealing with Genichiro’s fully-armored form. Genichiro, Way of Tomoe is vulnerable to lightning reversals, so players will need to focus on proper timing with Sekiro’s abilities in order to take down their rival’s deadliest phase on more than one occasion.
3 Hirata Estate’s Owl Father Is Even Deadlier Than His Great Shinobi Phase
Wolf’s father Owl is a master shinobi who follows the Iron Code to the letter, which makes him an enemy of his own son when he threatens Kuro, the Divine Heir. While players might have a hard time with the elder Great Shinobi Owl version of the character that they face when they choose to stay loyal to Kuro, there is an even deadlier version of Owl they can encounter in a memory.
Fans playing for the Purification Ending can find Owl in the Hirata Estate memory, where they encounter the shinobi master in his prime. This makes him even more difficult and aggressive than the Great Shinobi phase of the character. After dealing with his Perilous Attacks and prosthetics, Owl also has an intense second phase with a powerful animal form.
2 The Fiery Demon Of Hatred Is A Massive And Powerful Transformed Oni
The Sculptor, who helps Wolf on his mission throughout the game, has a dark fate after he succumbed to the wrathful emotions that guided his life. He transforms into an oni known as the Demon of Hatred, a fiery and powerful giant with huge sweeping and ranged attacks that will make players rely on their usual tactics from other “soulsborne” games.
Players will have to avoid huge one-shot-kill attacks that give little room to rest and heal while delivering enough damage to slowly whittle down the Demon of Hatred’s huge health bar. While the Demon of Hatred is optional, it is one of Sekiro‘s most challenging boss fights and will prove very rewarding to players.
1 Isshin, The Sword Saint Is The Most Difficult Man-To-Man Fight In Sekiro
While players can face off with the elderly Isshin Ashina in the Shura ending, that isn’t the character’s deadliest form. Isshin, the Sword Saint makes the player take on the character at his peak, only after defeating a two-phase Genichiro, Way Of Tomoe. This two-part battle made the ending of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice almost impossible for some fans.
Isshin in his youth is far faster than the Ashina version of the character, and he hits hard enough to take Wolf out of the fight pretty quickly. Defeating all three phases of Isshin, the Sword Saint provides players with one of the most rewarding victories as it tests every skill learned throughout the game in a tactical and tense sword fight.
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