Skyward Sword: How to Beat the Demon King Demise (Final Boss)

Updated on September 24, 2016


This hub is going to explain how to beat Demon King Demise, the final boss of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Once you have beaten Demise, the game is over. Fittingly, the Demon King is also the hardest boss of the game. Demise's second phase has the distinction of doing the most damage in one blow in the entire game (2 Hearts).

I will list what you should have in your Adventure Pouch to prepare for this crucial fight. Afterwards, I will break down this fight into each of its distinct phases.

Prepare yourself for the battle of a lifetime, starting now!

Suggested Adventure Pouch Inventory

Here is what you should be carrying in your Adventure Pouch, at a minimum:

  • Your shield. At a bare minimum, this should be a Goddess Shield. If you can best eight bosses in Boss Rush mode, you will get the Hylian Shield, which is essentially an indestructible Goddess Shield.
  • Four uses of Heart Potion +. Alternately, you could have two full bottles of Heart Potion ++ (each bottle of Heart Potion ++ has two servings when full).
  • The Life Medal. This gives you an extra Heart Container, and each Heart Container counts in such a hard battle.

You can squeeze all of the above in a four-slot Adventure Pouch, but if you have more space, you can take more goodies (namely, more bottles of Heart Potion ++ or perhaps a bottle of Guardian Potion +).

Phase I

The battle starts with Demise slowly walking towards you, Ghirahim Sword (well, the sword used to be Demon Lord Ghirahim; I get the right to call it that!) in hand. In this phase, you will have to patiently whittle away at Demise's health by exploiting minute openings in his defense. A good way of getting an opening early on is by varying the angle of your sword swings. If you do it fast enough, he won't be able to adjust his parrying fast enough and will eventually take a blow. Once you do this, you can expect a counterattack. Said attack can be dodged with a backflip or Shield Bashed. If you only block it, the force of the blow will stagger you (as the fight advances, Demise will exploit your opening to damage you); additionally, your shield will be damaged unless it's the Hylian Shield.

Note: Alternately, you can Shield Bash his sword to achieve the same opening. Careful though, Demise doesn't stagger. You'll eat a sword slash to the face if you don't dodge/Shield Bash fast enough.

After taking enough damage, the next blow you land on Demise will send him flying back, which marks the start of Phase II.

Phase II

The Demon King Demise will pick himself up off of the ground and raise his Ghirahim Sword skyward. A lightning bolt will promptly land on the sword and electrify it. You're probably used to fighting foes with an electric weapon already (Technoblins come to mind; the goblins with the electric clubs). You need to make sure you don't strike the weapon, lest you get shocked (for a full Heart of damage, mind you), which leaves you open for getting slashed (while the sword is electrified, it deals TWO Hearts of damage per hit). Demise will use the electricity stored in his sword to launch a Skyward Strike at you. That attack can be dodged easily though, and Demise will waste time charging up his sword once again.

Additionally, Demise likes to do a charge attack on you, usually when you're trying to electrify your Master Sword or drink a potion. Bait an attack before you try to do one of those two things if it gets annoying for you.

There's two ways to finish Demise off, and one is substantially easier than the other:

  • The hard way: Create openings with the Shield Bash, as in the first part of the fight. As Demise nears death, he will swing a whopping three times in a row. If you don't Shield Bash all of the slashes, you will be staggered. You can guess what happens next. As someone who did it mostly this way the first time, I wholeheartedly recommend you do it the easy way instead.
  • The easy way: Raise your Master Sword skyward and charge it with electricity. Worked for Demise didn't it? Use the electrified sword to launch a Skyward Strike at Demise, which will leave him stunned and allow you to land several free shots. Two rounds of this should be enough to finish the fight.

If you're having trouble in this part of the fight, feel free to quaff that bottle of Guardian Potion + I suggested you bring back in the Adventure Pouch section.

Once Demise is severely damaged, he will be sent flying back to the ground. It is at this time that you must use a fatal blow to end the fight. If you don't do so fast enough (or if Demise is still too healthy), Demise will roll out of the way and jump back to his feet. If he does this consistently, just deal more damage to him until you can land the fatal blow.


Once you have dealt the final, fatal, blow, Demise will give a dying speech and you will be treated to an important revelation. In addition, the ending cinematic is sweet, if a bit short, and I won't be spoiling any part of it!

To be honest, my boss guide doesn't do Demon King Demise justice. He can mess you up if you don't know what you're doing to counter his attacks (which will most likely be the case in your first battle versus him). However, once you do know, I also have to admit that the fight becomes a lot easier (which, incidentally, is why this walkthrough is somewhat shorter than some previous ones).

Feel free to post in the comments section if you believe I missed something, want to offer constructive criticism, or just want to talk about The Legend of Zelda in general (keep spoilers to a minimum, please).

Until the next time, take care and have fun! ;)


Questions & Answers


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      • Willsummerdreamer profile image

        Will English. 4 years ago from Marietta, Georgia.

        Am I the only one who thinks that Skyward Sword's final boss looks a lot like Blanka from Street Fighter?....long lost relative anyone? lol. Good hub.

      • profile image

        James 5 years ago

        Honestly this fight is way too easy. For the first part, all you have to do is walk up and swing at him 3 times, angling your strikes so that the third strike will let you hit him. Sidestep his charge attacks and do that over and over until he goes to phase two. Then just dodge his "skyward strikes" and hit him with an electrified strike when he charges at you. He will get stunned again and agin, and then you can waggle him to death. Simple

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        Brad 5 years ago

        in the first phase of the battle if you stay close to him then he will punch at you and if you shield bash it he will be momentarily staggerred and you can get one or two hits in but be ready for a sword slash

      • profile image

        DanMan 5 years ago

        If possible, get a potion medal if you plan on using a guardian potion+. In Hero Mode, I highly suggest it.

      • Winterfate profile image

        Darrin Perez 5 years ago from Puerto Rico

        Then you can do something like that particular guy did in that video. The battle gets harder, as you rely on your reflexes a lot more than you would normally, but it can be done. :)

      • profile image

        Link 5 years ago

        What if I lose my shield,damaged against demise

      • profile image

        videogamer88 5 years ago

        you helped me once again! but i have a question bout the game... how did groos get thruogh the gate of time if it is only for link and ika and super people you know what i mean right?

      • profile image

        Tony V 6 years ago

        There is a stool in the room where you planted the tree of life, try sitting for a few seconds, it does wonders for your health.

      • Winterfate profile image

        Darrin Perez 6 years ago from Puerto Rico

        If you upgrade a Heart Potion twice, it becomes a Heart Potion ++. A Heart Potion ++ can be used twice before the bottle becomes empty.

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        Shelby 6 years ago

        What did you mean when you said a "full" health potion had two uses. Mine can only be used once and then it's an empty bottle.?


      • profile image

        6 years ago

        ohhhhh ^^; lol I feel kinda stupid now...

        well, thanks~! That'll definitely help out! :3

      • profile image

        ButterflyNebula 6 years ago

        D: You can't go to the sky because you're still back in time. Go through the gate!

      • profile image

        6 years ago

        so...after you beat girahim and there's the whole cutscene, then demise goes into the ortal and says to come and get him, there's a brief moment where I can run over to the bird statue and save. However, I have no way to get back to the sky to get more health, as I only have 6 hearts and 1 Heath Potion+ left, as well as just the Goddess Shield. Is there any way for me to get more hearts or potions or do ANYTHING to heal myself(other than waste the potion right there)? I just stuck fighting like that....?

      • profile image

        Linkjj 6 years ago

        Overall happy with the Skyward Sword. Any gossip on another one coming before a four/five year lapse?

      • Winterfate profile image

        Darrin Perez 6 years ago from Puerto Rico

        Hello there!

        You get the Hylian Shield near the end of the game, from an optional challenge in the Lanayru region. To be precise, there's only one more dungeon left by the time you gain access to the challenge.

        You upgrade your potions by talking to the man stirring the cauldron in the Bazaar. Make sure you have the right bugs and that you have an unupgraded potion in your inventory. For example, if you want to upgrade a Heart Potion, you need a Heart Potion in your inventory.

        Hope this helps!

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        CaptainRed1000 6 years ago

        Dude, Thanks a lot

        One question, at what point in the game do you get the hylian shield and how do you upgrade your potions?

        I get that theres a guy in Skyloft who upgrades potions but he wont let me. Why is that?