1. Headless Ape

    Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide
    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. This Complete Headless Ape Boss Guide gives you strategies on how to beat the Headless Ape easily, as well as tips, tricks and lore notes. Bosses like the Headless Ape are special, dangerous 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. If you defeat the Headless Ape but don't trigger the final finishing blow to sever its immortality, the boss will not revive, and the immortality centipede will remain docile on the ground of the arena indefinitely until triggering the final finishing blow with the mortal blade. 

After defeating this Boss, severing its immortality, and resting at the Hidden Forest idol, a Shichimen Warrior will appear in the Guardian Ape's Burrow provided you have the Finger Whistle equipped.



Headless Ape Location

Where to find the Headless Ape in Sekiro?

  • 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 Poison 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

What do you get from defeating the Headless Ape in Sekiro?


Headless Ape Boss Guide Strategies

Sekiro Headless Ape Video Strategies




Sekiro Headless Ape 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.

Sekiro Headless Ape 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 decapitated 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 any Loaded Umbrella variant 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

Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide

Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide

Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide

Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide

Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide

Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide

Sekiro Headless Ape Boss Guide



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    • Anonymous

      01 Aug 2021 06:18  

      Headless ape takes alot of posture and vitality damage from the mortal blade. If you save your emblems during the first part of the fight you can quickly take out the Headless Ape in the 2nd phase by spamming Mortal Blade and just ignore the brown ape.

      • Anonymous

        28 Jul 2021 01:56  

        Why does every From Software game has to have one shitty gank boss?

        Ornstein & Smough was a once in a lifetime struck of luck, From Software, you'll never reach that level again, no matter how much you try.

        **** this boss.

        • Anonymous

          15 May 2021 03:19  

          Camera is bullshit on this fight. It's been several games with this issue From, stop ****ing ignoring it and fix it.

          • Anonymous

            02 May 2021 04:40  

            "Muh gank boss, muh bad design"

            It's so easy to notice the shitters that got filtered because they panicked over the brown ape entering - despite it having miles less hp, and is incredibly passive.

            • Anonymous

              23 Mar 2021 15:56  

              Weird that you can skip this fight by going to the Hidden Forest before you kill Guardian Ape, but that at the same time it's impossible to kill Guardian Ape with the Moral Blade when you first encounter him, provided you've already been to Senpou Temple. I think that would've been a cool secret.

              • Anonymous

                04 Mar 2021 17:32  

                Fighting this pair is a small price to pay because id rather fight them than that cheating snake eyes and his whole entourage. Id rather have the headless ape go through there and tear up their encampment before heading in.

                • Anonymous

                  27 Feb 2021 03:12  

                  The funniest thing about this fight is that you can easily skip it on subsequent playthroughs, but I always forget it and get pissed because the brown cocksucker ****s my **** up and I want to kill him to spite Miyazaki. BECAUSE **** 'EM, THAT'S WHY.

                  • Anonymous

                    19 Feb 2021 21:51  

                    Best recommendation for this fight is practicing/warming up by taking on the Red Guard dude in the Ashina outskirts and defeating him without stealth killing hisbodyguards/entourage

                    • Anonymous

                      02 Feb 2021 04:26  

                      Yashikura's sugar and mid-air mortal draw twice. He is now down one deathblow. do a mid-air mortal draw immediatly after the deathblow animation finishes. This will let you instantly deathblow him again. Congratulations you beat a boss in 10 seconds.

                      • Anonymous

                        27 Jan 2021 21:31  

                        Thanks From. Hasn't made a decent duo boss since O&S and doesn't seem to plan on getting them right ever again.

                        • Anonymous

                          24 Jan 2021 06:27  

                          I feel like this fight would be fine if it wasn't for the camera constantly getting stuck on the walls. As ever. It's not nearly aa fun as the first encounter, though.

                          Although, one detail I do like is how they sometimes work together to perform a single combo, which makes it much easier to keep track of them. Namely, yanking out the centipede seems to invariably trigger the brown ape into leaping on top of you, so you should know to always try and block that after the spear retracts. I think it also does this whenever you jump on the headless ape during its falling sweep attack?

                          It makes me wish that if they keep making these gank bosses, they'd design them more as a unified AI system as opposed to two separate enemies entirely. One boss, two bodies. Every combo is divied up to alternate blows from each enemy, creating a complex, yet recognizable pattern that the player can still memorize, even if they sometimes switch it up a little to keep you on your toes. I dunno if I'm making any sense...

                          • Anonymous

                            08 Jan 2021 03:55  

                            I got stuck on the Guardian Ape for 3 days, beat him, then came down and one-shot this guy. It shows how much easier the second phase of Guardian Ape is than the first. Provided of course that you don't blow all your spirit emblems on the first.

                            • Anonymous

                              05 Dec 2020 18:35  

                              Fill the brown ape's posture with firecrackers while the headless ape is roaring, you only need 3-4 charges. Careful because if you stop this halfway through you'll have wasted the emblems and won't be able to try again (unless tanto).

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