Let’s get one thing out of the way. This fight is a huge pain in the ass. The Guardian Ape is basically a wall in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice that you simply have to get past. Otherwise, you might as well put down the controller or keyboard and mouse.
He’s fast, he’s strong, he ignores must interruptions and he can pull out his perilous attack at moment’s notice. But he’s not unbeatable, he’s just damned tough.
Once you get to the point where you need to take on the Guardian Ape, you should already have at least upgraded your Healing Gourd 6 or 7 times by now. You’ll want as many heals as you can have for this fight. Having a few Pellets won’t hurt either.
Having the Shinobi Firecracker is also recommended as you can use this to interrupt his attacks. The Ashina Arts Skill, Double Ichimonji, is also very useful in this fight. Bring some Antidotes for the first phase and Pacifying Agents for the second phase.
Guardian Ape Phase 1
He has two perilous attacks, a frontal swiping attack that will grab you, causing massive damage, and then sending you launching. You can safely get away from this by jumping the second you see the red kanji appear. He’ll whiff the attack, allowing you free hits. The second is a rolling attack that he’ll jump towards you try to grab you. He’ll only do this one if you’re at a distance, so if you stay close you can ensure he doesn’t use it on you.
During the fight, he’ll also attempt to fart on you and toss feces (he is an Ape after all) that will do poison damage. Watch out for when he tosses the feces, as it also does damage. The fart attack can come out randomly, while the feces attack can only occur when he jumps in the air (1:26). You’ll definitely see it coming. Either dodge or hook onto a tree to escape it. If you do manage to dodge it, the boss will be stunned for a few seconds as it nurses its sore bum. Wack him a few times and get out.
He’ll also throw a tantrum at times (1:04), either rolling on the ground or swinging his arms. Or running around swinging his arms wildly and pounding the ground. Either block or deflect these attacks or move away if you are low on health. He’s susceptible to being stunned during this as well.
If you manage to stun him with the Shinobi Firecracker and you are standing in front of him, move to the rear. He will belly flop on you if you do. He also has a nasty habit of turning with you (1:33). Even when he’s stunned, so don’t stop to attack until he’s on the ground. Yes, that’s a bit cheat on his end.
The Ashina Arts Skill, Double Ichimonji (1:09), can hit him out of just about any attack and adds a lot of posture damage. With this skill, you can stun him, and follow up with another attack, and then repeat. This will dish out a lot of posture damage.
The remainder of the fight is just trying to block/parry or trying to damage him. As long as you watch out for the attacks I mentioned, you’ll get past this in no time. I found that playing aggressively works out better for this phase.
Perform the Deathblow when it’s available
Guardian Ape Phase 2
Once you kill the boss the first time, he’ll come back to life, pick up his head as nothing happened, and wield the same weapon you used to kill him with. He also swaps out his perilous attacks with two new ones.
An AOE Terror attack that can kill you quickly. This attack is telegraphed, giving you time to get away from it. The moment you see him raise his severed head onto his shoulders, RUN! Don’t dodge, just run out! (3:11) Pop a Pacifying Agent to help reduce the amount of terror that might have stacked up.
The other attack is also telegraphed, and you’ll see him jump up into the sky. He’ll land where you’re standing, so move out of the way (2:21).
Don’t waste your time using the Shinobi Firecracker on this phase. It will no longer work.
Other than this, the tantrum attack is also present. However, it’s more dangerous as his reach is increased with the sword he now holds. He’ll approach you swinging wildly, just not with much precision. These can be easily avoided by running out. The main concern is due to the increased reach. Thankfully, the swings are much slower and you can easily block or deflect them. Managing to deflect them will cause the Guardian Ape’s posture meter to build up quickly.
This phase is about being patient and keeping your distance. If you rush in, he could easily trap you and kill you with his damaging attacks or the terror. Get in, attack, then back out. Repeat until the Deathblow is ready.
There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? You can watch the entire fight in the video above.
Be sure to check out our other Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Boss Encounter guides here.