"Sekiro" and My Mental Status

Updated on June 4, 2019
Lukestclair profile image

Luke is an appraiser in Texas and has been playing video games and reading comic books since childhood. He's a bearded family man in plaid.

All Aboard the Struggle Bus

So I've been subjecting myself to the digital manifestation of self-loathing known as Sekiro for over a month. I've fought 5 bosses and 5 mini-bosses. Now I say "fought" and not "defeated" because I'm still working on the fifth boss, the Guardian Ape. He's rude, gross, and incredibly tough and is my current nemesis. But I haven't given up yet and neither should you! Here's a list of bosses and the methods I used to defeat them. Also, I refuse to use their true names because they don't deserve the respect and honor that comes with that. Instead, they will be given the nicknames that I bestowed upon them when I was first facing them.


There are some spoilers are below. I am also using lingo from the game i.e., "Deathblow," "Posture," and "Prosthetic Tool."

Big Horse Boy

This boss is one of the first proper boss fights that you will experience in the game. He's one big dude on an enormous horse that's almost twice as tall as the playable character. And not only is he big, but he's also fast. The field of battle for this boss is vast, but with his speed and the range of his attack, he can close the gap in seconds. He uses a big spear that he can also detach and swing around on a chain. Here are some tips that I wished I had when I faced Big Horse Boy.

  • During his ranged spear-chain attack, look out for the grapple icon to appear and try to be close enough to sling yourself over to him. This move pairs very well with the prosthetic move that allows you to attack after grappling.
  • When you're close, use the Firecracker Prosthetic Tool. You can buy it from the memorial mob vendors. The firecrackers affect animals very effectively and will fill the Posture Gauge of your foes. During his second phase, the firecrackers are not as effective.
  • In his second phase, the horse starts to leap and attempt to crush the player, so watch out for that. Big Horse Boy gets more aggressive with his attacks so be patient and watch for the green grapple icon.
  • On the final Deathblow, you have to do it twice! I almost missed it my first time so be sure to press R1/RB again after the initial Deathblow.

Mean Needle Granny

At the end of the Hirata Estates mission, you will face a very frustrating elderly lady. She's a fellow ninja who loves throwing needles, summoning ghosts, and talking trash after she murders you. Her deadly accuracy and awful ghost powers make this boss tough to beat.

  • Get ready to deflect a lot! Her attacks repeat often and always look out for the unblockable sweep attack. Consistent deflection is the key to defeating this boss.
  • She jumps onto hidden wires throughout the room and throws her needles at you. Watch for when she jumps because it gives you an opportunity to hit her with a shuriken and knock her flat on her back. She has an evening-ruining attack that she can attempt from her wires, so when you see a warning, run like crazy.
  • In her second phase, she can summon multiple ghosts that have absolutely no chill. You have a couple of options. There is an item called a snap seed which can banish ghosts and illusions from the area. You can also corner her and aggressively attack before she has the chance. Or you can quit the game for a few days and go back to playing Stardew Valley.

Sloppy Beefy Boy

Oh, Sloppy. This guy should not have been as hard as he was to defeat. He's a formidable opponent: he's a big sumo, spits poison, has about 15 goons with him, and carries an absolutely huge sword that he can have poison applied to it as well. If you want an honorable fight, then run up to him and block a lot. But if you're like me and you want to be sneaky and play dirty, then check this out.

  • clear out his bodyguards. take out a couple, run, and hide. The further the better.
  • After Sloppy's guys are gone, sneak up behind him and take out one of his health bars with a Deathblow. This will enrage him and he'll start to chase you. Nearby you'll find a lone samurai who will help you out. Take turns attacking the boss and chip away his health.
  • while your samurai buddy is attacking, throw some oil at Sloppy Beefy Boy and light him on fire. This will drain his health points and help you get closer to defeating him.

General With a Magic Spear That Hits You From 20 Feet Away

This guy had me questioning my whole life. Even with a sneaky Deathblow taking half of his health down, he still killed me dozens of times. He hits hard from far away and never lets up the whole time he's killing you. My best advice would be to practice with the Mikiri Counter, study his attack pattern, and don't get yourself cornered. You can also jump on his head during his sweep attack to get some extra posture added, but this is really a boss that takes skill to defeat.

Emo Samurai

When I faced this boss I felt ready. He has patterns that were easy to learn and by the time I reached Emo Samurai I finally had a good grip on the deflection mechanic. This boss made me utilize all the skills that I had practiced. I fought him around 10 times before I took out both of his health bars and I felt like I had truly mastered the game. But then a cutscene happened and Emo showed his new form and he became a Samurai Pikachu, shooting lightning bolts everywhere. It was his secret third phase and I was out of healing gourds and had used up my resurrection power. He killed me almost instantly. After that, it took me another 20 times to kill him for good. And here's how I did it.

  • Master the Mikiri Counter. One of his main moves is the sword thrust and will devastate your health if you mess it up. This is particularly useful in his last phase as Lightning Boy.
  • After you heal, be ready to block. He loves to shoot his arrows and really lets one fly when you're trying to drink some gourd juice. Keep an eye on him when he pulls his massive bow out and be ready to deflect some arrows like an ancient Jedi.
  • Be aggressive. Get him in a corner. If you attempt to dodge his attacks, he will punish you. When you deflect, you increase your chance to break his posture.
  • When he's Japanese Thor and throws some thunderbolts your way, jump and swing your sword. If you time this correctly, you'll shoot his lightning right back at him and obliterate his health.

The Junior Varsity Ninja Team

These guys show up quite a bit and they love to kick, punch, and stab. They have the potential to be around a group of goons. Thin out the easy guys and do your best to stealth attack the JV squad members.

These bosses were tough. But after beating them I felt such a rush and a relief that I would never have to fight them ever again unless I decide to replay the game. After beating Needle Granny I yelled "VINDICATION!" loud enough to scare my dogs. There were times that I was ready to quit the game and get back into Persona 5 again, but after beating each boss just pulls me in deeper. I am determined to finish this game and become a shinobi that no boss wants to face.

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