1. Headless Ape

    Location Ashina Depths
    Useful Tools Loaded Spear (Headless)
    Loaded Umbrella (Headless)
    Shinobi Firecracker (Brown Fur)
    Flame Vent  (Brown Fur)
    Loaded Shuriken (Brown Fur)
    Reward Memory: Headless Ape
    Bestowal Ninjutsu
    2 x Prayer Beads
    5000 EXP (NG)

Headless Ape is a Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Bosses are special Enemies that feature their own arena, a large and prominent health bar, and a variety of unique moves and abilities. You will need to perform multiple Deathblows on them in order to defeat them, and filling their Posture Gauge is the only way to accomplish this. However, decreasing their health will make it so their Posture Gauge depletes more slowly, assisting you in accomplishing this feat.

The Headless Ape is a continuation of the Guardian Ape boss fight first encountered in the Sunken Valley. The Headless Ape is located in the Guardian Ape's Burrow of the Ashina Depths, past the Poison Pool. This Boss WILL NOT spawn unless the Guardian Ape has been defeated in the Sunken Valley Passage. This boss has two (2) health bars that must be removed in order to defeat it. The 1st Phase of this fight will be the same as the 2nd Phase of the Guardian Ape fight in the Sunken Valley Passage; upon dealing the 1st Deathblow, however, the Headless Ape will summon a second brown-furred Ape, which does not have a sword, in order to assist it in battle. Though killing the brown-furred Ape helps with the overall difficulty of the battle (performing a Deathblow on the brown-furred Ape will allow you to resurrect a second time, provided you have already resurrected once and have a second resurrection charge available) you only need to kill the Headless Ape to win.

Upon killing the Headless Ape you will receive Memory: Headless Ape, and 2 x Prayer Beads. Using the Mortal Blade to sever the Headless Ape's immortality after it has been defeated will unlock the Bestowal Ninjutsu, while not using the Mortal Blade will allow the boss to revive. If you defeat the Headless Ape before obtaining the Mortal Blade, the boss will not revive, and the immortality centipede will remain docile on the ground of the arena indefinitely until you return with the Mortal Blade.

After defeating this Boss and resting at the Hidden Forest idol, a Shichimen Warrior will appear in the Guardian Ape's Burrow.



Headless Ape Location

  • Ashina Depths Guardian Ape's Burrow: Located behind the Poison pools fog gate guarded by Snake Eyes Shirahagi. This  boss will only spawn after  defeating the Guardian Ape in the Sunken Valley Passage.
  • You can enter this fight from either the Ashina Depths Posion Pool or Hidden Forest Sculptor's Idol location.
  • You can skip this boss provided you have found the Hidden Forest Sculptor's Idol prior to defeating the Guardian Ape



Headless Ape Rewards


Headless Ape Strategies

Video Strategies


Guardian Ape with Mate Spear & Firecracker Method

Strategy Write-up

IMPORTANT: You can avoid this fight by traveling to the Ashina Depths and sitting at the Hidden Forest Sculptor's Idol prior to defeating the Guardian Ape in the Sunken Valley Passage. You can then travel to the Hidden Forest Sculptor's Idol at any time, allowing you to skip this encounter. Failing to do so will require you to defeat this boss in order to proceed to the Hidden Forest or back to the Ashina Depths, as a fog gate will block your path in either direction.

You can see the Headless Ape standing/leaning against the far wall of the Ape's Den with its back towards you from outside the arena. The fight will begin once you enter the arena. Though entering the arena from the direction of the Hidden Forest (i.e. from the direction where the Headless Ape will be beneath you once you enter the Ape's Den) seems as though it would allow you to perform an Aerial Deathblow on it, you cannot. The same also holds true for sneaking up on it from the Ashina Depths-side of the arena.

Phase 1 of the Headless Ape fight is exactly the same as Phase 2 of the Guardian Ape fight, only in much smaller area with no grappling points available to you. After performing your first Deathblow on the Headless Ape, it will make a beastly roar that summons a second, brown-furred Ape to fight alongside it during Phase 2. Though the Headless Ape can take damage while roaring, the force of the roar itself pushes you back too much to exploit. The Brown Ape summoned by the Headless Ape requires 1 Deathblow to kill, and has largely the same move-set as the Guardian Ape during its Phase 1—minus farting or throwing poop at you. The Brown Ape is a beast-type enemy, so use the Shinobi Firecracker to stun the Ape and inflict large amounts of Posture damage on it, or use Oil and the Flame Vent to deal a large amount of health damage, burn the Ape, and momentarily stun it.

You only need to kill the Headless Ape to end the battle. The brown-furred Ape, though much more aggressive than the Headless Ape, does NOT need to be killed in order for you to win—it is recommended, however to focus down the brown-furred Ape for two reasons: 1)  Performing a Deathblow on the brown-furred Ape will allow you to resurrect a second time during this battle, provided you have already resurrected once and have a second resurrection charge available; and 2) Lowering the brown-furred Ape's health down enough will cause it to start running away from/avoiding you, making it so that it will mostly only growl and harmlessly beat at the ground rather than engage you directly.

After performing the 2nd Deathblow on the the Headless Ape, you will have to perform two (2) additional QTE (quick-time event) deathblows in order to kill the mini-boss: the 1st to remove its centipede-host, while the 2nd is to kill the centipede. If the player has received the Mortal Blade from the Divine Child of Rejuvenation, they may perform an additional execution after a short delay on the Headless Ape, severing its immortality and finally putting the apparition to rest. The "SHINOBI EXECUTION" screen will be displayed upon defeating this boss normally, while the "IMMORTALITY SEVERED" screen appears after killing its centipede with the Mortal Blade.

Severing the immortality of the Headless Ape will result in an additional reward—the Bestowal Ninjutsu.

LOADED SPEAR: If you wait until the Ape does his large over-head slam attack and parry it, the Ape will be stunned for a few seconds. Get in front if it, then use the Loaded Spear, and use it again when you connect in order to pull the centipede inside of its body out of it to deal a good amount of damage and Posture damage. If you're quick, you can also throw a few slashes in there before he gets back up.

Shuriken + Prosthetic Follow up: this will make the brown ape much easier.  simply toss a shuriken then do the dash attack follow up.  then get back and repeat.  using this technique you can deal with the brown ape without too much trouble, and it goes down pretty fast to this method.

Attacks & Counters

Attack Counter
Phase 1
4-Thrust The Headless Ape readies its sword then performs 2 long-range thrusts in-front of itself twice There is a short delay between 2nd and 3rd thrusts allowing the Ape to change the aim of this attack. You can deflect the attacks or avoid them by staying behind the ape.
Double Feet Slash The Headless Ape will quickly slash left-to-right then right-to-left towards its feet dealing damage to players below and immediately in-front of itself. You can deflect the attacks or avoid them by dashing away from the ape.
Overheadless Smash The Headless Ape raises its sword high into the air before slashing it straight down to inflict massive damage. You can deflect this attack or avoid it by dashing or sprinting perpendicular to the ape.
Trip/Dive Slash The Headless Ape will raise its sword then run towards the player where it will fall forwards and dive towards the player while performing a slow high-to-low, left-to-right slash. This can be avoided by sprinting or dashing left of the Ape's sword-wielding arm. This attack leaves the Ape vulnerable for the player to get off 2-3 attacks if positioned correctly.

Sweep Slash (Perilous)

 The Headless Ape readies it sword then sweeps its blade from left-to-right in a large radius in-front of itself. This attack can be jumped over. Jump over the blade the perform a double-jump on the Headless Ape to inflict increased posture damage.
High-Jump Sweep Slash (Perilous)  The Headless Ape jumps high into the air and dives back towards the ground where, upon landing, it sweeps its blade from left-to-right in a large radius in-front of itself. This attack can be jumped over. Jump over the blade the perform a double-jump on the Headless Ape to inflict increased posture damage.
Terror Roar (Perilous) The Headless Ape will raise its decpaitated head high into the air and let loose a thunderous roar dealing massive damage and inducing Terror build-up in a large area-of-effect around the Ape for a few seconds. You can avoid this attack by sprinting away from the Ape when it begins to raise its head and the perilous attack symbol appears. This attack can be blocked but will still deal moderate damage and induce Terror; the damage and terror build-up can be negated with the Phoenix's Lilac Umbrella upgraded Loaded Umbrella Prosthetic Tool.
Example Example
Phase 2
Headless Ape Same as Headless Ape Phase 1 and Guardian Ape Phase 2.
Brown Ape Same as Guardian Ape Phase 1, minus its Fart and Throwing Poop attacks.


Headless Ape Lore

  • Lore Theory: Though it is certain the Headless Ape is the Guardian Ape (as explained by the item: Memory: Guardian Ape, which reads: "The Guardian Ape was defeated, though its roar can still be heard. It is said that an infested body marks the undying...), less certainty can be applied to whether or not the brown-furred Ape summoned during the 2nd Phase of the fight is its current mate or not. This is due to the fact that the item Remnant: Headless Ape explains how: "At one time the Guardian Ape shared its den with a mate. But he alone became infested, while the other passed away," while the description of the Lotus of the Palace reads: "The flower’s aroma attracts female apes. Thus, the Guardian Ape carefully tended to it, so as to offer it to his bride,".

  • The brown-furred Ape may be a new potential mate, however, as the description for the item: Remnant: Guardian Ape explains: "Perhaps the echoing roar of the Guardian Ape," (when you first killed it) "was in fact a solicitation of sorts...". Because the brown-furred Ape is also a beast-type enemy, and not an apparition, we can also assume that the one we encounter is not the original mate mentioned by the description of Memory: Guardian Ape.

Headless Ape Notes & Trivia

  • The skeletal/decomposing remains of an Ape that shares extreme similarities to the Brown-Furred Ape can be found in a slightly hidden alcove located directly above/overlooking where the Headless Ape boss fight occurs. You can also find a normal Monkey enemy there, as well.

  • The Finger Whistle Shinobi Tool does not work on the brown-furred Ape summoned for Phase 2 of this fight.

  • Like the Guardian ApeFolding Screen Monkeys, and the Monkeys found throughout the Sunken Valley Passage, the Headless Ape and brown-furred Ape are most likely based off Japanese Macaques.

  • If you parry the Headless Ape's over-head 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.
  • Killing the "Headless Ape" before the Brown Ape will result in the Brown Ape watching and then sitting in defeat before disappearing.
  • Returning to the Guardian Ape's Burrow idol after getting the mortal blade allows wolf to deal a mortal blow to the still living centipede in the corpse of the ape




Headless Ape Image Gallery

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    • Anonymous

      17 May 2019 13:25  

      Are we certain the brown ape isnt an apparition of the apes former mate? It seems odd otherwise and when it dies it fades away.

      • Anonymous

        15 May 2019 18:56  

        There is one more attack pattern this boss has to offer and it's mean af: Everything looks like a sword three hit combo BUT after the first thrust comes a shorter roar which fills your TERROR bar. Be careful, as this attack is absolutely unpredictable.

        • Anonymous

          14 May 2019 23:48  

          Fun-fight if you (are) buff enough and you run away fast . It needs to give more xp as a reward though, I dont get even a full point from it at the point where I was happy fighting it... not even a half one. How meager for two of them !

          • Anonymous

            14 May 2019 08:22  

            Got him on third try without Kuro's bell. Let's just say 1. Wail on him from behind with Ako's and Confetti by dropping down from Hidden Forest idol side. 2. Ungo's during mate call and then kite during phase 2 until he screams, which the mate will most likely break off and attack you during this. It gives you a good chance to Long Spark and take down the mate within 1-2 firecrackers if you're lucky. 3. Lilac umbrella or kite and confetti. 4. ?????? 5. Profit!!!! 6. Cry because you ran out of confetti.

            • Anonymous

              13 May 2019 09:59  

              I went to the hidden forest BEFORE I beat the first Guardian/headless ape...now the headless/brown aren't spawning where they should....does this mean I miss out completely on fighting the two apes all together?? That's a bit dumb how is anyone meant to know that sequence !!??

              • Anonymous

                12 May 2019 10:20  

                Ahhh, yes. The boss taking the cake from bed of chaos for worst boss ever designed by from. ***** this thing. Like, really.

                • Anonymous

                  06 May 2019 08:34  

                  I found the best strategy for second phase was to target the brown ape but maneuver/move based on headless ape as you did in phase 1. Brown ape will rarely attack you for long without being near headless. Use this to your advantage by waiting for a long deliberate attack from headless (his skyward leap is perfect) then move to brown ape, use the firecracker to stun, and get some good hits in. If you have unlocked the jumping ninja tool usage this is useful since you can close the gap to brown ape and use your firecracker before he can react.

                  • Anonymous

                    05 May 2019 01:30  

                    A really easy way to kill him is using the mortal blade art and you can easily get about 3/4 of his health down.

                    • Anonymous

                      01 May 2019 22:57  

                      Starting with NG+ I had a lot of trouble with the brown ape due to his increased HP. I ended up cheesing the fight by throwing all my shurikens at him (her?). This leaves IT HP low enough to finish it with 2 sword strikes.

                      • Anonymous

                        26 Apr 2019 06:10  

                        It’s nice that if one Ape is attacking, the other will typically wait for the other to finish its combo. They also have some synchronized attacks, too, like if you use the spear to yank out the centipede, the brown ape will leap into the air for a slam attack, and it’s always timed so that the moment you withdraw the spear, you should be able to block/deflect the mate’s attack in rhythm with your R2 presses. The only thing I don’t like about this fight is, as usual, the camera. Getting too close to the wall always causes me to unlock, and figured it’s always right as the Headless Ape charges up the scream attack…

                        • Anonymous

                          26 Apr 2019 01:38  

                          First phase is easy and short (you know pretty much every attack by now). Second phase is hell (firecrackers didn't work at all for me, maybe I did something wrong but when I saw none of them stagger I gave up because they punished me hard), lots of running to create distance/rush to the brown ape. Thankfully it is not nearly as dangerous as the headless one and only has one nasty combo it rarely uses. When it dies it's easy peasy to finish (which is a good thing because I had no gourd left at that point).

                          • 25 Apr 2019 00:02  

                            If you fight this boss coming from the hidden forest side, in phase 1, you can take almost 50% off health of headless ape once you drop down and wail on him. This significantly shortens phase 1.

                            • Anonymous

                              19 Apr 2019 21:38  

                              I dont really think the brown ape is his mate, since his mate died and he carefully tended to the lotus of the palace to offer it to another bride, but then it was stolen so how is he even gonna get a bride, especially if hes headless. I think its more likely that the brown ape is his child, the size difference is also quite big and I think it makes a lot more sense.

                              • Anonymous

                                15 Apr 2019 05:51  

                                Are there any videos showing the brown ape's reaction if you keep her alive while killing her mate? Cuz I want to watch it, but I'm never doing this fight again.

                                • Anonymous

                                  15 Apr 2019 01:01  

                                  *needs confirmation* Somehow i've found some "phantom hitboxes" in this fight. If the ape slashes me while I start a jump, I take damage, but the Wolf doesn't flinch and the jumping animation continues. Is it a hidden mechanic or just a minor glitch?

                                  • 13 Apr 2019 19:28  

                                    Brown ape can be killed VERY easy in like 10 seconds: just use 3 or 4 rounds of firecrackers near it cause it's posture gauge fills this way nearly immediately.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      13 Apr 2019 19:06  

                                      I fought him easily by parrying all the attack and attack only when he is downed. Not a single emblem used on the first phase. On the second phase, i spam Gouging Top on the brown ape until it's close to die and slash it to death with mortal blade. Only need about 10 shurikens to get it close enough for execution.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        11 Apr 2019 05:16  

                                        Hi, Got tired of dying and tested instead the "safe method" described which is to keep running until he does his 'neck first' dive toward you with a sweep, to then jump back to him and hit him. Only two difficulty here is running without loosing lock on him, which can happen quite frequently. Don't sweat it and keep running, and when at the sound of it he appears quite far, you can stop to look behind and retarget. The other obvious difficulty is to not try to over-exploit the windows : Two attack, or maybe even one if you got late on him, as he is quite unpredictable as to what he will do after : Most of the time the terror roar with it's long range, or he may also do the sweep combo which can one shot you if you are caught while running away. This method also works on his second encounter, got him on the first try with him, but there is some additional difficulties : First, at the beginning of P2, you have to kill his wannabe mate. I found the goughing shrunken the best method to do it safely, spent all 17 of my spirit emblem but she had only like 5% HP left so i just had to run in, attack once, and then deathblow. But also, the arena is much more smaller, making the method more risky, including loosing lock on him while running. The shape of the arena also doesn't help. You may even find yourself, since you will be on average at a closer range than in the other arena, to jump on him earlier when he neck-dive, and get caught by his sweep. So don't jump too early over his dive.

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