Final Boss.....I think I have to give up

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Humanity

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#51 Humanity  Online

@inevpatoria: I agree with everything you wrote (and I must compliment you on your writing) and have actually been calling this sort of stuff out from the time of Dark Souls 2 only to be shouted down most of the time. Demons was their first game in what we refer to now as “Souls” style and while I fell in love with it there were issues - but it’s the first one so you look past it because surely the mechanics will over time get better. Dark Souls comes out and the same camera and geometry issues persist. Now you can’t even fast travel for half the game but once again this is heralded as a step forward by many. It’s still a great From game, but plenty of bosses are awful and in no small part because of the camera and lock on system. Dark Souls 2 rolls about and while they introduce some changes that I enjoy (and ironically most fans are against) the same camera and lock-on issues once again rear up. Dark Souls 3, Bloodborne and now Sekiro and it seems like nothing has changed. Like you wrote, at this point it must be intentional. It is impossible the makers of these games would be this incompetent to see playtesters engage bosses at ankle level and swing wildly without the ability to see what attacks are coming from up top and think “yes this is good!” How could they make a game with such a precise counter system and then have a pivotal boss fight take place in a box with lightning and environmental effects bringing the framerate down to low 20’s.

Beating the final boss took me less time than I anticipated but after I was done, I was really done. Like many have written before, when the combat clicks Sekiro can be an exceptionally satisfying experience. It is also the first From game that I had absolutely no desire to keep playing after finally finishing off the story because I was simply so tired of actually playing it.

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inevpatoria

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@humanity: First, thank you for the kind words.

Second, 100% agree. After I finally struck down Isshin I still had plenty I could've tracked down. All the Headless warriors, for instance. Or any number of side quests I'm sure I left unfinished. Could even start New Game + to round out all the skills still locked on the tree.

But, man. I just don't think I care enough to do it anymore. I ended up summoning through most of the back half of Dark Souls 3 because, honestly, this whole "persevere alone until you win" mountain is a mountain I climbed way back when with the first--and second, AND Bloodborne--Dark Souls.

For a time right in the middle there, I thought Sekiro was going to be different. I was positively lighting up bosses in the mid-game. But the one-two-three combo of Demon of Hatred and Genichiro/Isshin was just enough to completely burn me out.

Sekiro is at its absolute, studio-defining best when it's just the player and another enemy walking the razor's edge between control and mistake. For whatever reason, From just can't--or won't--seem to leave it at that.

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Jesus_Phish

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There's a fight with a possessed ape, which feels every bit as earned and gratifying as From wants it to be. But then, not ten minutes later, Sekiro faces down the ape a second time. Except here, a second ape--even faster and more aggressive--joins the fray, despite it being well established that you really can't fight two enemies at once with the way the Posture system operates and the paltry amount of damage you can withstand.

Near the endgame, an optional boss ripped straight from the beastly archive of Bloodborne ravages an open plain. Through the entirety of Sekiro, you've reached the understanding that dodging is out of the question, save for key exceptions, usually individual attacks. You don't have the distance or the invincibility-frames of the roll that a Dark Souls or a Bloodborne might offer. So you prepare to face this monstrosity carrying dozens of hours of training blocks and parries. Yet, this boss is coated in fire. Every attack, no matter how well-blocked or deflected, scalds your health. You will die if you stand and fight. So, the game insists, you must dodge. Or, more likely, you must sprint. Sprint in constant circles around its heaving thighs and giant, hilarious hitboxes to whittle away at its interminable health pool, while the tornadic camera makes wild, sweeping, unpredictable motions, sometimes entirely counter to your inputs on the controller.

Once again, From Software builds an experience as a hard counter. Not as a hard counter to your ability, but to your abilities. Instead of correcting the problems of their mechanics or their camera or their hitboxes or their enemy design, they go the opposite way, ensuring that these shortcomings are the very definition points of the fight.

You've written a lot here and it's very well written, but I'm going to come in here and explain how you're wrong on both accounts of these two bosses, and possibly other bosses you've mentioned.

You can defeat the Demon of Hatred with minimum dodging and never sprinting around in circles. I tried that initially and it works terrible compared to using the abilities and tools that are available to you. You can absolute wreck the boss with the umbrella and the whistle and minor dodges. You can use dosing powder - which at that stage in the game is absolutely being thrown at you by every single ministry enemy you've killed on your way to that boss - to negate the effects of the fire. You can also use a gourd, though it's an optional purchase that people may not have gotten by that stage in the game.

There are plenty of other fights that require you to dodge instead of trying to parry or block, so it's not unreasonable that you have to do it here.

As for the second Guardian Ape fight - the ape that drops down is a beast, so you can use the firecrackers to stun it and you can absolutely demolish it's health with oil and the flamethrower. Also by killing the brown ape, you can get a second or even third resurrection on the boss fight. And just like in the first fight - the loaded spear will absolutely ruin the Headless ape. Also this boss is actually optional. You can get past the area in it's in long before you kill the original Guardian Ape, which means you can just use a shrine to jump past it.

In short I disagree. They're not countering your personal ability or even the abilities they've given you in the game. You're just not exploiting the abilities they have given you to the fullest potential. Seikro is basically Megaman. Once you have the right tool for the boss, it becomes must more trivial, but only so long as you use the tool correctly.

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inevpatoria

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#54  Edited By inevpatoria
@jesus_phish said:

You're just not exploiting the abilities they have given you to the fullest potential. Seikro is basically Megaman. Once you have the right tool for the boss, it becomes must more trivial, but only so long as you use the tool correctly.

I appreciate the response.

This is a super, super important point that I've definitely overlooked. And, frankly, I don't know what it is about From Software games that, without speaking for anyone else, compel me to fight these fights without the use of additional tools. Particularly consumables like Dousing Powder or Divine Confetti. I think I still carry a little bit of compunction for easing the burden, which is total nonsense on my part and obviously makes my experience worse. But I also find managing items mid-fight extremely cumbersome and tedious. I tend to strap on the Healing Gourd and work with that resource alone.

Regarding the Demon of Hatred, I ended up using the Umbrella, but not Malcontent (despite knowing its effect). That boils down to me being stubborn. The double ape fight ended up being laughable--not regarding its difficulty, but my strategy. I circled the room at full sprint chucking shurikens at the brown ape until it opened a deathblow. Then it became just another fight.

I see your logic but I don't know that I fully agree. And that's fine. We can call it an impasse. Again, to be stubborn, citing a list of consumables that mitigate the unique properties of these problematic fights seems to highlight the very ways in which they're designed to antagonize the game's base mechanics. (And, beyond the Chained Ogre and a handful of minor and/or Perilous attacks, I almost never felt like dodging provided more benefit than learning deflect timings.)

Perhaps it's a matter of expectation versus execution. Halfway through I realized I wanted a near-fighting game from Sekiro. Set the stage to Final Destination and give me one-on-one combat with another humanoid enemy. Give me a vacuous space and a level playing field to deconstruct the attacks and assert a counteroffensive. It's why I think Corrupted Monk, Genichiro Ashina, and Owl (Father) are the three best fights in the game. About three-fourths of the way through, it was clear Sekiro had no intention of being that game. Nor had it ever promised to be. Maybe a little at its start.

I've begun poking a little at New Game +. Maybe I'll give more items a shot this time around.

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NTM

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#55  Edited By NTM

I don't come on here as much as of recently (mainly because I took my computer desk out of my room and put my computer in my closet, on my floor [so I sit on the ground when I'm on here]), but I actually came onto bump this thread because I'm not playing anything new and after feeling like I wanted to play some Souls games, Sekiro was the game I put on. I quit Demon of Hatred and Isshin after a few rounds around the time the game came out. Coming back to it now, I totally cheated on Demon of Hatred and I don't feel bad about it. I jumped on top of a building and let him fall off of a cliff to his death.

With Isshin, I fought him five or six times and finished the game. I played it like a wuss though because I didn't, aside from the first form, use the skills that Sekiro wants you to which is parry/counter mainly. I did the typical Souls thing and ran around him in circles waiting for a specific attack and then when he did the attack, I ran up behind him and used the empowered mortal draw. While my palms were sweating and my heartbeat was pumping, he was much easier than I had expected and overall I was quite calm, even laughing at times.

I like Sekiro, but because I'm not as into the setting/locals, and prefer the more mysterious (for the lack of the word I'm looking for) story of Bloodborne and the Souls games, Sekiro is my least favorite game from From that I've played. More than anything, I'm just happy I finally finished the game because I hate getting to the end, or far into games and not finishing them. This just felt like checking a box off and I'm relieved.

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inevpatoria

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@ntm: Frankly, I don't think there's any shame in cheesing the Demon of Hatred. Every From Software game has at least one "oof" boss battle. That boss is Sekiro's.

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NTM

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@inevpatoria: I think I could have beaten him 'properly' given a little more time, but I really just wanted to finish the game and I couldn't leave Demon of Hatred undefeated since he was an available boss to me. I knew his move set, and I could dodge a lot of his attacks. It was mostly about staying really close most of the fight, and blocking his feet or running away from specific attacks, but it just took too long to defeat him so I 'moved on' if you will (by cheesing him). Maybe ironically, maybe not, but despite me liking the Soulsborne games more, my least favorite boss encounters were the bosses that required less of what Sekiro wanted you to use, which is the skill of parrying, and went back to a more Soulsborne approach of running away and waiting for an attack. That's why the Guardian Ape, as interesting as his moves are and creepy-cool his music is, is my least favorite boss in the game, and by extension, one of in all of From's games. Luckily I beat the twin apes on my first go as you merely need to take out the headless one to defeat them. I was so relieved when that happened because I was almost dead.

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Hayt

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#58  Edited By Hayt

Just to piggy back on this but I am up to Owl and I was curious how much game I had to go (retreading Ashina Castle again wasn't the most exciting level) and inadvertantly found out the extent of repeated bosses in this game. 5 fucking headless? I thought the Apes repeating was pretty lame but I kinda assumed it was to demonstrate the immortality lore but then it seems you fight a reskin of basically every boss. Why is this game not just half as long and more focused? Stats are less important and there is basically no loot so bosses are more roadblocks than opportunities to progress your character. I dunno I think I'm a little disappointed that the bosses are mostly a slog and that they repeat so many of them.

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inevpatoria

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#59  Edited By inevpatoria

@hayt: Trying to be delicate around spoilers in this response. When you say "...up to Owl," what do you mean? Did you fight him on top of the castle?

EDIT:So, just for the sake of efficiency, I'll assume you either just hit or just completed the "Great Shinobi - Owl" fight at Ashina Castle. If so, you're in the game's back third. Depending on your choices and your situational awareness, you have between two and three full areas between you and the end of the game. One of those areas is optional.

Probably worth mentioning here that Sekiro has a lot of optional bosses. All of the Headless are entirely optional. Others that I will refrain from naming here are optional as well. From your point to the end of the game, you have three mandatory boss-ass bosses.

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Hayt

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@inevpatoria: yeah the fight with Owl in the same spot as the Genichiro fight. I know you fight him more than once but I kinda wish you didn't. I know this is a bit different from the Souls games but the amount of "oh cool a new spot" and it's just an almost identical fight to one I've done before.

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Efesell

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If you fight Owl a second time it will definitely not just be a change of scenery.

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NTM

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#62  Edited By NTM

@hayt: You fight Owl twice, but it's up to the choices you make throughout your playtime. You have to do specific things, so you may very well not have to fight him again unless you seek him out through a guide, or just happen upon the route it takes to get to him. Even then, you're not required to fight him. Also, not to get into details, but the second Owl fight is not in a new location. You fought another boss there (just like the first time you fight him). Also, the headless are not really bosses like Genichiro or the Guardian Ape; they're side, optional bosses or just really tough enemies that are only necessary to kill if you want the item they give you. They're only there to teach you how to play the game well by using the mechanics the game gives you. There are really only two (or three) bosses that repeat that is required to defeat to move on through the story (and yes, even that's too much). As for Owl, I guess he's the hardest boss fight in the game? The second time you fight him. I had no idea you could fight him again, so I was already done playing the game the first time when I had learned of that. Honestly, it wasn't until recently when I picked the game back up that I found out that you could fight him as I was watching 'funny rage quit' videos of the Soulsborne/Sekiro games.

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inevpatoria

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@ntm said:

@hayt: As for Owl, I guess he's the hardest boss fight in the game?

And probably the boss fight that represents the pinnacle of Sekiro's combat design.

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fram

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I'm glad this thread got bumped!

On paper the Souls games are completely my jam but I bounced off them hard. Sekiro's "offensive defense" combat hooked me from the beginning and it pulled me through the entire game. I even rang the damned Demon Bell and left it active for all the boss fights because I was finding a ton of joy in learning the fights and trying out different combinations of shinobi prosthetic tools.

Pretty sure I busted the right bumper on my xbox controller playing Sekiro. Heck I'd bust another controller playing it again if DLC ever materialises!

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@fram: Yeah, the combat is good in Sekiro (it's the one thing I really appreciate when it comes to the changes from the Soulsborne games). For me though, it's everything else that makes the Souls games and Bloodborne better in my opinion (and I like the style of combat those games have as well). If you can say, how far into each of the Souls games, including Bloodborne did you get? Bloodborne actually has a different style of play than the Souls games that you may enjoy as well if you hadn't played that.

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@ntm:I got a fair chunk of the way through Dark Souls 1, was enjoying my time with it too but then life got busy and I just never felt the urge to go back. I got what I needed watching other people stream their playthroughs I think. Didn't play DS2 and bounced off DS3 almost immediately - I still don't really know why.

I don't have a Playstation so Bloodborne isn't an option for me sadly.

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Hayt

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@ntm: You weren't kidding about needing a guide for the second Owl fight. I felt the endgame approaching (having finished Fountainhead. Man I wish more of the game was as out there as that zone) but turns out I'd already missed the chance. What better way to take on the hardest boss in the game than with NG+ where he's even harder haha.

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inevpatoria

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@hayt: The Fountainhead is Sekiro's best level, bar none. I loved the lightning reflect mechanic and wished the game used more of it more consistently.

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Watch Video guides. Theres a shit ton out there. Do the best strats and try and learn them better.

you'll eventually do it. The key is the master his 2nd form. Imo Genichiro and SS's 1st form are easy once you know the moves. The issue with the 2nd and 3rd is theres very little room for error so use up your healing for those 2 parts only.

Umbrella is great for deflecting his jump attack.

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Shindig

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I keep popping back into the endgame and it just seems too steep. I need a foothold but the fact Owl 2 comes with a new moveset sets me back to base.

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@shindig: like every boss, it's all about learning their moves, seeing when you can strike. And I recommend using all the tools at your disposal, especially the special moves you unlock. The red sword techniques might be of help, see what works for you. Test the moves on other NPCs or do a boss suicide run. The second owl fight is hard, but you can do it. I quickly stopped counting deaths when fighting him, and after a while it became relaxing, like learning a dance routine. But if you just get frustrated, stop for the day. These games never click for me if I get angry.

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Sahalarious

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i started this thread ages ago, deleted the game without beating the last boss months ago, and honestly its the consumables that drove me far the fuck away from this game. The journey to the end was pretty good, but far more linear than Dark Souls, and the idea that the key to defeating a boss residing in a consumable item clashes with the precise action that makes me love DS games. I'm not fast, but I like to be smart, and this game says fuck your brain wheres your finger. not a fan ultimately.

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Shindig

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I'll be honest, the only consumables I look into are the occasional sugar and divine confetti. Only IF I think it's the difference and I've learned some of the fight. I don't see it as crucial to victory but the fights get so long and become such a commitment. Consumables can at least speed them up.

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inevpatoria

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@shindig said:

I keep popping back into the endgame and it just seems too steep. I need a foothold but the fact Owl 2 comes with a new moveset sets me back to base.

The second Owl fight is far and away my favorite fight in the game, but it's only as a result of mainlining it directly after having completed the first one. I couldn't imagine trying to deal with his bullshit after being away from the game for a while.

The fight is optional, if it makes you feel any better. Though the final boss has just as much tiring nonsense, if not more.

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InStInCt666

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if it makes you feel better :
i gave up too

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Haz_Kaj

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Last boss was frustrating but ultimately rewarding in a way most bosses aren't Hes a TRUE last boss.

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Shindig

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Okay, I did Owl 2 and the final boss today. There was definitely a point over the weekend where I got it. I looked at the attacks they were throwing at me, picked a couple to punish and took it home.

With the second Owl fight, I decided to keep things in the centre of the arena so the camera wouldn't unlock and be a big nuisance. There's a definite rhythm to how Sekiro plays their big fights, though. A hit or two and then getting ready to guard and deflect. It's about the trade.

I did try to farm a couple of extra attack levels but felt my time was better suited to learning the fights. It paid off and jumping into NG+ shows me just how much I've improved over time.

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Hayt

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Demon of Hatred is pretty dogshit. I can't wait for Ashen Ring to come out and for it to have the exact same camera issues as Demon's Souls did. How long are From gonna keep getting a pass on their incompetent camera?

I am extremely salty but this is a boss fight that would be a fraction as annoying if you could have the camera pan further out. Or hit a checkbox that says "never under any circumstances unlock without me pressing it".

I've read a lot of advice on this boss and it is still almost luck. Without fail the runs I get the furthest are the ones where the boss chooses not use charge moves or doesn't get stuck in the corner.

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Humanity

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#79 Humanity  Online

@hayt: I cheesed that boss because I simply don’t have the patience for that sort of bad design in From games anymore. Normally I would feel kind of bad because overcoming hard bosses is what these games are about - but not in that case.

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#80  Edited By development  Online

@hayt: Yeah I was playing DS3 again a couple weeks ago and was thinking how uniquely terrible-yet easy to fix their cameras are. Two things. They just need to do 2 things to fix their camera:

  1. If pressed up against a corner, the camera should move into the wall and that wall should become mostly transparent.
  2. Never unlock from an enemy unless it's clear that it's an intentional design choice, like Lost Sinner in Dark Souls 2 (but also that was a really stupid boss hurdle since I could clearly see the boss the entire time)
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inevpatoria

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#81  Edited By inevpatoria

@hayt: Yeah, the Demon of Hatred is basically a war crime. From always has at least one lemon in their boss design and, unfortunately, you've just found Sekiro's.

There are a couple of specific tips and hints I'm sure you've already seen or heard elsewhere. And, of course, there's the way to cheese the boss.

Frankly, there's no shame in ignoring the boss altogether. It's optional, it's arguably the game's most flawed fight, and it gives you a reward that truly doesn't make up for the struggle. Save your sanity and move on.

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Aristotled

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Yea its pretty bad that the only remotely good thing about Demon of Hatred is the Lore implication

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