Skyward Sword: How to Beat the Demon King Demise (Final Boss)
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 +).
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.
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! ;)