Guardian Ape (獅子猿, Lion Monkey, Shishizaru) is a required Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Bosses are special Enemies that feature a special display on-screen when defeated, such as "Shinobi Execution" (or other message, in certain circumstances). You will need to perform multiple Deathblows on them in order to defeat them, and filling their Posture Gauge is one way to accomplish this, as well as depleting their health. Decreasing their health will also make it so their Posture Gauge refills more slowly, assisting you in accomplishing this feat.
The Guardian Ape is an immortal being that guards the Lotus of the Palace. It has white fur with a red scar running vertical from the top of its head to its left cheek through its left eye. The Ape has large, sharp claws on its hands and feet. There is no fur covering Ape's buttocks. Noticeably, there is a large nodachi-style weapon running through the neck of the beast.
The Guardian Ape has two (2) health bar that must removed in order to kill this boss. During the first phase of the fight you will be dealing with a beast-type enemy that roams around the arena on all fours. You can easily stun the beast using the Shinobi Firecracker. Dealing the first deathblow to this enemy will decapitate it using the large blade through its neck. As an immortal being the ape will now resurrect and fight you with the sword used to decapitate it in its right hand, and its severed, still living head in its left. The ape is no longer a beast-type enemy and has become an apparition-type enemy. The Guardian Ape (headless) is not affected by the Shinobi Firecracker, but will now take additional damage from Divine Confetti, the Mortal Blade, and--in specific instances--the Loaded Spear. The Loaded Umbrella can be used to block the terror status from the blood scream which allows you to capitalize on this opening.
Guardian Ape Location
- This boss is not optional.
- Sunken Valley Passage: Found in a pool of water near the Bodhisattva Valley Sculptor's Idol.
- Featured boss in the Gauntlet of Strength: Severance.
Guardian Ape Rewards
- Memory: Guardian Ape
- Slender Finger (Used to create the Finger Whistle Prosthetic Tool)
- Lotus of the Palace (located in the cave behind the fog wall guarded by the Guardian Ape)
- 4,000 Exp (NG), 13,000 (NG+)
- 19,500/ 23,401 XP without Kuro's Charm (NG+2)
- 70201 XP without Kuro's Charm (NG+7)
Guardian Ape Strategies
The key to this phase is to stay close to the Guardian Ape, and bait it into attacking. The vast majority of its attacks can be blocked, so defend and wait for its combos to finish before attacking. While this is not overly hard, reading the combos can be a bit tricky at first.
Be wary to its body slam attack, where it jumps on its back and proceeds to thrash the ground. When it does that, try to stay away from its arms and hit his head.
Its most dangerous attacks in this phase are its hand swipe grab and its body slam grab, both unblockable. To avoid the hand swipe grab, simply jump; for the body slam grab, dodge as it jumps.
Another vicious attack is a poisonous poo, which when thrown inflicts massive damage and instant poison status. However, this attack is very telegraphed as it jumps high before throwing the feces; simply run below as it jumps and retaliate, as its recovery from this attack is quite lengthy. Additionally, it also has a fart attack which is often used when Sekiro is behind it; while this doesn't inflict instant poison, it fills the poison status bar considerably.
Occasionally, the Guardian Ape will jump back and unleash a roar. A prompt to use the Grappling Hook will appear, allowing Sekiro to close the gap and causes a brief stagger.
Finally, being a beast-type, the Guardian Ape is very susceptible to the Shinobi Firecracker, which can be used to briefly stun it. The Flame Vent is also very effective, inflicting flame status and having a chance to knock it down.
In this phase, its attacks are much easier to deflect and will inflict more posture damage compared to the previous phase, so try to deflect as much as possible. However, it is advised to stay far from the Guardian Ape as its attacks have higher range. Only move in close to deflect attacks when its health is low, so that you can build up Posture.
Be mindful of its sword swipes that cover a wide area. Don't stay on top of it attacking for too long. Attack it a few times after its combos and back away.
The Guardian Ape has a very telegraphed attack where it lunges forward with a swipe while falling on the ground, leaving it very vulnerable. To capitalize on this, jump over as it dives and strike it in the air, following with a full combo.
Another attack that can be exploited is its large overhead attack, that be deflected; this has quite a large window of opportunity, and once deflected it will inflict massive stagger, allowing for a quick flurry of hits before the Guardian Ape recovers. Also, when it is down, using the Loaded Spear and directly attacking its neck will allow to pull out a centipede and do massive posture damage.
Its most dangerous attack is a battle roar, which unleashes shockwaves that fill up the terror meter, meaning it can inflict Terror status, which instantly kills Sekiro. Despite being focused on terror build-up, the Phoenix's Lilac Umbrella isn't required, any Loaded Umbrella type prosthetic will completely negate the scream. Phoenix's Lilac Umbrella can still be useful with Projected Force, as the slash will temporarily be buffed with a Divine Confetti effect. Note that this buff will override and cancel any other buffs on your sword, such as actual Divine Confetti or Living Force.
Since in this phase the Guardian Ape changes from a beast-type to an apparition-type, the Shinobi Firecracker does not affect it. The Flame Vent is still is effective, inflicting flame status, but it doesn't knock it down.
A long but safe strategy is to constantly hold down the run button, and kite the ape around the arena. When the ape dives, leap over the ape and swing three times. As soon as you hit the ground, start running from the ape again.
Attacks & Counters
|close range attacks: rapid slamming, 2 grabs||All slamming attacked can be blocked, try to deflect all of them. first grab, it will swipe the floor from left to right, you must time your jump correctly in order to dodge it, second grab, it will jump and attempt to grab you, you must time your dodge to avoid this ( do a double dodge, tap the button twice, just to be safe)|
|status attacks: poisonous farting, poisonous poo||
When his back is turned, if you attack him there's a chance he's gonna fart, inflicting heavy poison build up. Quickly dodge away from cloud to avoid poison. This attack is always followed by him running away, jumping high in the air, and throwing you his poo. Dodge close to him at the last second to avoid poison build as this leaves him open for a few attacks
|Sweep attack: Jumping sweep||He jumps high into the air and does a sweep attack upon landing. You can jump into him as he lands and kick him, dealing posture damage and forcing him to do an overhead slam.|
|Overhead slam||After deflecting hits from certain combos, or mid-air kicking him after his jumping slash he will go for a delayed overhead slam. Successfully deflecting this attack will stun him and leave his neck exposed. Using the Loaded Spear will briefly pull out the centipede within dealing high posture damage. (You need to hit R2 twice to pull back with the spear)|
|Scream||Upon putting his head back on his neck he lets out a scream, dealing damage and building up terror if you're too close. Either make distance when you see it coming or use a Loaded Umbrella to negate it.|
Guardian Ape Lore
- The Guardian Ape is an ape who became undying, or infested, by some means. This caused it to grow very old. Its mate, however, did not, and died while the Guardian Ape kept living for many years. However, the Guardian Ape wanted another mate, and tended to the lotus of the palace carefully, since the aroma of this flower would attract a new mate. however, the Guardian Ape's potential love life was cut short by Sekiro, as the Guardian Ape was killed by him. It does appear to find a new mate in the second encounter with a simple call and without the aroma of the lotus, but that too is cut short by Sekiro.
- According to the description of the Slender Finger item, along with dialogue told you by the Sculptor should you give him Monkey Booze: the Guardian Ape is most likely responsible for the death of the character "Kingfisher," who was a female shinobi that once trained in the Sunken Valley with the Sculptor when the hermit was still a master-less shinobi. Why the two parted ways (as the Sculptor expresses surprise upon you returning the Slender Finger to him) and how the Guardian Ape came to kill Kingfisher are still a mystery, however.
- The skeleton of an ape can be found in the small cave right above the Guardian Ape's Burrow, where one Monkey Booze can be found. Is very likely it is the remain of the Guardian Ape's former mate. The booze is possibly an offering to the dead(either from the monkey sitting besides it, or from the Guardian Ape itself,).
Guardian Ape Notes & Trivia
- During Phase 1, this boss is a beast-type enemy, thus the Shinobi Firecracker stuns it and deals additional Posture damage, while using Oil and the Flame Vent prosthetic tool can set it on fire and inflict the Burn status. During Phase 2 of the fight, however, the Guardian Ape becomes an apparition-type enemy, and thus will only take extra damage from Divine Confetti.
- If you attack under the effect of Divine Confetti while the Guardian Ape is screaming, you'll hear a special sound and visible white slashes will appear each time you attack (especially noticeable when using Combat Arts). It's really dangerous to do without having resistance to Terror or on low health, so make sure to use some Mottled Purple Gourd or Pacifying Agent beforehand.
- During Phase 2, if you parry the Ape's overhead slam attack and stun it, then use the Loaded Spear's "pull" attack by activating the spear twice, you can actually pull the centipede out from the Ape, dealing high damage to its health and posture.
- The Finger Whistle Shinobi Tool does not work on the Guardian Ape
- Like the Folding Screen Monkeys and the monkeys found throughout the Sunken Valley, the Guardian Ape is most likely based off the Japanese Macaque, meaning that it is not actually an ape but an oversized monkey.