|Deathblow Markers||2 (Ashina Outskirts, Ashina Depths, Sunken Valley)
1 (Ashina Castle, Fountainhead Palace)
Phoenix's Lilac Umbrella (with Projected Force)
|XP||Ashina Outskirts (Ako)
Sunken Valley (Gokan)
Ashina Depths (Gachiin)
Ashina Castle Tower Lookout (Ungo)
Fountainhead Palace (Yashariku)
|Reward||Ako's Spiritfall (Ashina Outskirts)
Gokan's Spiritfall (Sunken Valley)
Gachiin's Spiritfall (Ashina Depths)
Ungo's Spiritfall (Ashina Castle)
Yashariku's Spiritfall (Fountainhead Palace)
Headless (首無し, Kubinashi) is a Mini-Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Mini-Bosses are special Enemies that are uniquely named, and have 2 or more health bars. This means they require at least 2 Deathblows in order to kill, they are generally much more difficult than normal enemies, and they drop some of the best loot in the game.
The Headless are large, pale-bodied apparitions with no head, from which they get their namesake, wearing only a fundoshi. They wield a large glowing purple blade which they use to attack.
The Headless are highly resistant to normal blades; the most efficient way to kill a Headless is by using a Divine Confetti which will allow your blade to harm them for a significant amount of damage. The Headless surround themselves with a black mist that stops those near them from sprinting or dashing, this can be dispelled by attacking them consecutively and dealing enough damage with a Divine Confetti empowered blade. Their attacks and abilities inflict the Terror status.
- Ashina Outskirts (Ako): Found near the Underbridge Valley Idol. Head back up and along the cliff until you reach a small shrine with a note. Use your Grappling Hook to jump across and then turn back to the cliff. Jump across and grab on to the ledge and shimmy across it to the left. Then drop down and head inside the cave to find Headless.
- Alternate Route: Senpou Temple, Mt. Kongo : From the Bell Demon's Temple Sculptor's Idol, go back to the room with the centipede enemy, and then press up against the rotating wall (has a figure of a man) to fight this Headless.
- Sunken Valley (Gokan): From the Under-Shrine Valley Sculptor's Idol. Turn around and grapple across the gap there will be two rifleman to kill. From the rifleman double jump and climb the wall across the small gap. Jump up another wall then hug the next wall and shimmy across the ledge. This is a previously-inaccessible location in Ashina Outskirts. Run past or defeat the three phantoms and dive into the body of water to the right. Follow the cave until you can surface. The Headless will be in-front of you in the cave. You cannot reach this enemy until you obtain the Mibu Breathing Technique Latent Skill.
- Ashina Depths Hidden Forest (Gachiin): Hidden in the mist on the lower level of the Hidden Forest close to the buddha statue. From the monk at the Buddha Statue, grapple to the tree opposite the buddha statue, The Headless will be below you. NOTE: It is recommended to wait until you have defeated the Mist Noble and cleared the area of mist and Spirits. The Headless will remain after clearing the mist.
- Ashina Castle (Ungo): Found at the bottom of the lake near the Lookout Tower just prior to the Old Grave Sculptor's Idol. You cannot fight this enemy until you obtain the Mibu Breathing Technique Latent Skill.
- Fountainhead Palace (Yashariku): At the bottom of the Great Carp's lake to the right of the Flower Viewing Idol.
- Ako's Spiritfall (Ashina Outskirts)
- Gokan's Spiritfall (Sunken Valley)
- 22810 XP without Kuro's Charm (NG+7)
- Gachiin's Spiritfall (Ashina Depths)
- 19872 XP without Kuro's Charm (NG+7)
- Ungo's Spiritfall (Ashina Castle Tower Lookout)
- Yashariku's Spiritfall (Fountainhead Palace)
- 24538 XP without Kuro's Charm (NG+7)
Headless Notes & Tips
- IMPORTANT: Without Divine Confetti, Headless fights can be much more difficult.
- Damage without Divine Confetti effect gets reduced in 10 times.
- IMPORTANT: The Terror Status Abnormality can be cured with Pacifying Agent. You can unlock Fujioka the Info Broker who sells them if you continue on until Ashina Castle before facing Headless and similar enemies, or find these across the world.
- It is recommended to not attempt a Headless fight if the player does not have at least 2 Divine Confetti and 2 Pacifying Agents, at the very least.
- Mottled Purple Gourd can be used to reduce Terror build-up significantly.
- Loaded Umbrella and specifically Phoenix's Lilac Umbrella can be useful for Headless fights as its deflect prevents any Terror build-up. The Projected Force skill, when used in conjunction with this version of the Umbrella, will add the Divine Confetti effect, eliminating the need for it.
- Malcontent can stun Headless, allowing you to get free hits in, but only three times per fight.
- A known bug when fighting a Headless is that if a Deathblow is preformed on it right as it starts to turn invisible, it will remain invisible until it is killed or the fight is reset. This bug is also present if Malcontent is used to stun the Headless right before it starts to turn invisible.
- The bug can also follows if he appears behind th player when he's invisible, he will strike down the player and shove it's hand through the rectum to grab and pull their head backwards.
- Headless are one of the few enemies in the game that you cannot use Stealth Deathblow on.
- Parrying the sword swings of a headless 4 times in a row will cause it to disappear and reappear behind you to attempt a grabbing perilous attack which is easily avoided and highly punishable.
- The underwater Headless fights are considerably easier for these reasons:
- They require 1 deathblow instead of 2
- Your movement is not limited by the mist created by the Headless above ground.
- You do not need Divine Confetti to fight them. This is possibly due to the fact that you can't use most items underwater.
- It is possible to use Divine Confetti prior to going underwater, which makes the fights fairly trivial.
- Lore Theory: It is implied that the Headless are apparitions of the warriors the sugar candies are named after. This can be inferred by the first line of text in their respective Spiritfall items: "Fallen, headless spirit of..."
- Lore Theory: If the Headless executes a successful grab, it is possible it pulls out Sekiro's "shirikodama" - a mythical ball said to contain a person's soul, which is located inside the anus. This behavior is from another mythical Japanese creature called the “Kappa,” which could be found in water. This may explain why there are headless underwater as well.
--The first Headless video Strategy--
--Regular Confetti Strategy--
For this fight, you'll need Divine Confetti to deal considerable damage to this mini-boss. To start the fight, you'll want to jump and land as near as possible to the him to begin dealing early damage while he's "waking up". Attack him as fast as you can because the Headless won't be attacking in the first few seconds (even though it looks like it's winding for an attack). During the fight, the Headless will cast a mist around him that will slow your movement. To negate the effect, continuously land blows and that will disperse the mist surrounding him. Headless also has an attack where he becomes invisible, only to reappear behind you and perform a grab attack. When this attack commences, quickly turn around and start swinging. Your successful hits will pull him out of the invisibility cloak. His attacks are slower than average and easily deflected, but he also launches sweep attacks, so be ready...
Fighting the Ashina Outskirts' Headless is best reach through from the Demon Bell Idol located in Senpou Temple, Mt. Kongo. Right before starting the fight buff yourself with the following: Divine Confetti to deal damage, Pacifying Agent to resist and remove terror, Pellet to minimize health damage, and an Ako's Sugar to deal extra attack damage and posture damage. The reason for the Pellet is coming from this specific way may cause the Headless to attack early although it seems to be uncommon. Alternatively, popping the Pellet create a small buffer window where if your deflect wasn't perfect it will recover your last health. Jump into the center of the arena staying close to the direction you came in so you can quickly lock-on the boss and attack. You can get about 4 attacks in before you need to start deflecting. Most of his attacks are slow that you can chain deflect into attack and repeat until his posture is broken. Deathblow him and pop another Pacifying Agent to remove your terror bar. Repeat once more until he is defeated. The headless may teleport in which case he will almost definitely be right behind you so attack the air behind you to get some early hits in. The Headless likes to chain his teleport into a grab so jump away of dash. The mist he creates will slow you down so it helps to be aggressive to negate the mist altogether. Even attack power 4, this boss shouldn't take too long. -
--NO Confetti / NO Pacifying Agent cheese strategy--
First, to execute the cheese we need to understand a bit about the way the Headless act. Here are somethings to remember:
- Headless will never start an attack if you are behind them. "Behind" is actually quite generous here as it seems to be the full 180 degree back arc.
- If you are behind a Headless and if it has not started an attack it can do only one thing: turn ~180 degrees. The direction he turns depends on if the player is to the right or left of the Headless. The amount rotated is always the same, approximately 180 degrees, only the direction of the rotation changes.
- Headless will always telegraph their teleport ability. It will start with a normal horizontal swipe. If the player is close enough it will be followed up with the large long lasting 360 degree swiping attack. At the end of this attack the Headless will go invisible and attempt to teleport. It will try to prioritize behind the player; however if the space behind the player is blocked then a seemingly random location near the player (including the front) will be picked. If the player is inaccessible (grappling/on a branch/etc...) then the Headless will cancel the teleport. After a successful teleport the Headless will always try go for his grab attack.
- Headless will only do his ranged homing attack when the player is at a far range or if there is something blocking the line of the site to the player.
All that is needed to execute this cheese understanding 1 and 2. By getting right behind the headless, you can control his movements to perfection with room for error. Whenever the Headless turns he gives a small pause which is enough time for a single attack. Simply attack and then rotate with the Headless. Since you are behind the headless he will never start an attack. To keep this up you will need to hold down the sprint button consistently due to the slowing mist. The only hard part about this is determining to which direction the Headless will turn on his rotate. It will always be towards the player, but it can be a bit hard to determine when you are right behind him. If you are not behind Headless when his rotation ends, he will begin an attack.
The challenge is getting behind the Headless consistently. 3 and 4 help with this. The teleport can be baited by standing just outside the mists range. The telegraph is very apparently once you realize it requires a series of very specific melee swipes to occur. Once Headless teleports he will attempt to do his grab attack, if you are moving forward when he teleport he will always miss and continue to try to grab for several seconds. During these second you can run to the left of Headless (his right) with ease and get behind him and start the cheese.
The teleport is the safest way to begin the cheese strat, but if you can get behind headless during any attack you can start the cheese. Once his attack finishes he will be 100% predictable as long as you are behind him. I found the vertical swipes to be the second easiest. Just make sure you don't get to far to have the headless start range attacks. Maintaining the cheese will take bit of practice to keep it consistent which you may need to do for the harder headless (The one in hidden forest took me about 20 minutes at 4 sets of beads and 2 memory upgrades).
TL;DR: Stay in the 180 degree arc behind Headless and do a single attack, then move, to ensure you are always behind him. This strategy was posted by u/treemakesagame to r/Sekiro on March 24th, 2019. This guide has not been edited other than for formatting, spelling changes and readability for the Sekiro Wiki.
--Underwater Headless Video Strategy--
--Mottled Purple Gourd, NO Confetti / Pacifying Agent Underwater Headless Strategy--
For this strategy, simply use the Mottled Purple Gourd before the fight starts. No additional consumables (other than perhaps a healing gourd) are required (On the Headless with an extra apparition, kill the apparition first. Do not relent, do not move away from his melee and kill him asap even if it kills you provided you have a Resurrection).
The trick is to never leave melee, ever. Be on the offensive, always. The moment it looks like he's channeling anything or about to do a big swing (be it the Perilous Attack or anything that remotely looks like any kind of channel or cast), dash-swim through it so you end up behind him. While he's channeling his stuff, you can calmly swim back and hit him in the back (or use the time to heal). Mottled Purple Gourd will ensure you cannot die of Terror even if you make a mistake and get hit. Rinse and repeat.