Inner Father

owl father1
Location Hirata Estate Revisited
Deathblow Markers 2

Bestowal Ninjutsu
Mikiri Counter,

Fistful of Ash,

Empowered Mortal Draw

Reward Memory: Inner Father
Another's Memory: Shura

Inner Father (心中の義父, Shinjū no Gifu) is a Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This Complete Inner Father Boss Guide gives you strategies on how to beat Inner Father easily, as well as tips, tricks and lore notes. This boss is a variation of the Owl (Father) ( 義父, Foster Father, Gifu) and is added to the Sekiro Free Update, Patch 1.05. This boss can only be encountered in the new feature, Gauntlets of Strength.

Bosses like Inner Father 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.


Inner Father Location

Where to find Inner Father in Sekiro?

Inner Father is the boss you'll encounter in the following Gauntlets:



Inner Father Rewards

What do you get from defeating Inner Father in Sekiro

Completing the Gauntlet of Strength: Shura rewards the following:



Inner Father Boss Guide Strategies

Sekiro Inner Father Video Strategies



Sekiro Inner Father Strategy Writeup

WARNING: Just as in the Great Shinobi Owl Bossfight atop Ashina Castle, this boss has access to an extremely powerful Mikiri Counter that can be used against thrust attacks by the player. This counter deals extremely high damage and will likely kill the player if they are already slightly hurt.

He uses many of the same attacks and styles as his earlier battle, but now he's faster and more aggressive. Fortunately for you, he doesn't use poison or the healing block. As always, you should make arrangements--spend money, get a new skill point--and then dedicate some attempts to learning to defend against his attacks. He will usually take one hit then deflect the second. Sometimes he'll merely guard the first hit before he deflects, but it's all posture damage.

He has a short recovery after many of his attacks--use them to punish him once you're comfortable deflecting. When he does his long attack sequence that ends with his gunpowder slash, dodge towards him as he tosses the gunpowder and get behind him to injure him. Sometimes he'll wind up a heavy overhead chop and it's possible to dodge it and punish--but if you get too far away from him while he raises his sword, he'll feint and leap into the air. If you get him with his back to a wall or a corner, you can attack relentlessly and you'll damage him outright or interrupt many of his attacks and movements for a short spell, enough to wear down his health and damage his posture.

Once his health is about half-way down, you can stop actively trying to bait attacks and switch into defense--deflecting all of his attack sequences and the occasional hit will wear his Posture away quickly. When he's on his second phase, run when he turns invisible until he drops out of it, and use Mikiri Counter to defend against his Shadowrush attacks--he most often does one after he throws a larger sweep of gunpowder and after he launches his blazing owl.

In the second phase, use firecrackers to interrupt his attacks and hurt him while he shields his eyes. Otherwise maintain the same principles as the first phase, just be ready for his owl-based attacks and don't be afraid to run from him to make some space for yourself to heal and douse your flames.

If you defeat the boss you will see the writing "SHINOBI EXECUTION" upon the screen.


Alternate strategy:

If you're having difficulty mastering deflections against this boss, a fairly reliable way to make the fight more manageable is to equip the Mortal Draw (or it's enhancement) combat art, & during the fight, keep dash/sprinting away to keep most the length of the arena between you and Owl so he has to run after you. When he starts running from far away, he usually limits his attacks upon reaching you to 1. a simple running slash, 2. a shuriken throw quickly followed by a strong slash from his left side, or 3. two side dashes followed by his Shadowstep piercing charge. These three abilities can be avoided fairly reliably. The simple slash can be dodged forward & left (passing Owls right shoulder) & quickly followed up by the Mortal Draw two uses as long as you stay within range after your dodge (if you moved too far, simply use a single dash attack to close & deal damage) then quickly run back to the other length of the arena & repeat. The shuriken slice must be dodged forward & left TWICE QUICKLY (past Owl's right shoulder again - if you dash directly at him, or to your right instead, you run the risk of dashing into his outstretched blade & trigger a massively damaging slash that can instantly kill you from full vitality in NG) & again attack with the Mortal Draw 2X. The Mortal Draw combat art will always connect on the first attack (provided you stayed close enough) & the second will usually either land directly, or force him to block & prevent his quickest counter attacks. Finally, for his Shadowstep rush, Mikiri counter & follow up with a quick single slash (he recovers more quickly & can usually escape the Mortal Draw following a Mikiri Counter).

If Owl starts running towards you when at medium range, he is more apt to use one of his other move sets, including an off time (slightly delayed relative to his other animations), multi hit slash that can pivot & follow your dash to hit you in the back & flow into a multi hit combo including a sweep attack.

Following this strategy, you can quickly remove Owl's vitality in chunks & end the fight more quickly. In phase 2, continue to use the same strategy as his base move set remains the same; the only change necessary is to keep running when he enters the invisible owl teleport to avoid his drop attack & dash behind a pillar for easy protection from his fire owl projectile + Shadowstep as neither attack will move past the pillar (this also provides a safe window for using healing items or combat buffs before he resumes his offensive). The most frustrating problem I encountered during this strategy was fighting the camera as it can be easy to run into a pillar or wall while running to long range & occasionally the target lock may be lost after a dash, & if that happens, your initial attack may miss & leave you open for Owls close range offensive.


Another strategy to brute force this fight is to use a combination of Ako's Sugar, Divine Confetti, Rice, & Red Lumps to stay on the offensive, & force Owl back toward a wall to keep interrupting Owl's heavier combos & end the first phase very quickly. The second phase is a little harder due to the invisibility/teleport but the saving spirit emblems & Mortal Draw for phase 2 can keep Owl off balance long enough to quickly end this phase as well.


Sekiro Inner Father Attacks & Counters

Attack Description Counter
Phase 1
Zig-Zag Many of Owl's attacks initiate after a zig-zag motion designed to confuse you. After this, he can do any of the following 5 moves:  
Shuriken Throw Owl throws a single shuriken Block, deflect or dodge to the side
Double Shuriken + flip Owl will throw 2 shuriken then flip towards you in the air and then perform a single downward strike with his sword.  Deflect/block the shuriken and dodge sideways to avoid the flip and counter.
Shadowfall Just like your Mushin Shadowfall Combat Art. Owl will charge up for an unblockable thrust, and if it hits, he will jump off and come down with 2 huge slashes.  Mikiri the thrust.
Shuriken Slash Owl throws a shuriken at the player immediately followed by a running slash. Similar to the Chasing Slice Shinobi Martial Art Block/Deflect both. If well timed you can also dodge his slash to the right for a counter opportunitybut it's difficult.
Perilous Sweep Owl will move from the side and perform an unblockable sweep. Jump over it. He can perform the following after this: Jump over it and stay close to him to bait out his overhead slash. Alternatively, jump back so you can jump kick his head and inflict posture damage
Large Overhead Slash Owl will load up for a very powerful overhead slash. If you dodge to the side he will switch to a turning slash. If you dodge backwards he will perform a flip towards you and slash. 

Dodge the overhead slash at the last moment and counter. 

Circling him may be safer than performing a  dodge, as dodging too early prompts him to switch to a quick horizontal attack instead. 

You have time to get one or two hits in while he is charging up.

Backflip Owl leaps off of you. It deals no vitality damage but much posture damage. Deflect to minimize posture damage
Firecrackers Owl throws blinding firecrackers in your face, then makes them explode. He can follow up with either Shuriken Throw, Shadowfall or Shuriken Slash  Dodge backwards to avoid
Running Slash Owl runs towards you and performs a single strong slash. He can perform the following 2 moves after this: Block/Deflect. You can also dodge to the left but you might get hit by the followups.
5-slash Firecracker Combo Owl performs 3 consecutive slashes with his sword, followed by an elbow, followed by firecrackers, which he will slash through.

Deflect/block his slashes, then dodge to the right when he throws his firecrackers for a counter opportunity.

Dodging too quickly after the firecrackers are thrown will cause you to get hit by the follow-up slash, so a momentary pause is needed.  

Double Slash into Perilous Sweep Owl performs 2 consecutive slashes with his sword and ends with a Perilous Sweep. He can perform his Large Overhead Slash after this Jump over it and stay close to him to bait out his overhead slash. Alternatively, jump back so you can jump kick his head and inflict posture damage
Shuriken Slash Owl throws a shuriken at the player immediately followed by a running slash. Similar to the Chasing Slice Shinobi Martial Art Block/Deflect both. If well timed you can also dodge his slash to the right for a counter opportunity, but it's difficult.
Stomp (deathblow)

Owl will raise his foot into the air then stomp down pinning the player to the ground and stabbing them through the chest. This attack does massive damage and cannot be blocked and does not have a Perilous indicator. 

Owl will likely use this after breaking the player's posture if he is close enough. 

Dodge backwards/safety roll in order to avoid it.
Phase 2
Backflip + Shuriken Same as in phase one but he throws shuriken after.  Block/Deflect both.
Owl Teleport Owl will use his summoned owl to teleport above you and drop down with a slash You can deflect his slash, or just run away/stay away from the owl to avoid
Fire Owl + Shadowfall Owl will summon his owl to his hand and throw an unblockable fire owl projectile towards you, then follow up with Shadowfall.  Jump over the fire owl and mikiri his thrust



Inner Father Lore

Lore theory: Owl is implied to be the one who originally killed Wolf during the events of the Hirata attack three years prior to the events of the game. 

The first time Sekiro uses a shinobi prosthetic tool during the fight, Owl will comment on it, recognising it and implying he knew the previous owner, possibly from his time with the Sculptor and Dogan".


Inner Father Notes & Trivia

Resistant to poison, burn is effective though.

Unlike when fought in the present at the top of Ashina Castle, this version of Owl does not use the Shinobi Charm to prevent the player from healing.

There is an archer close to the idol who can be backstabbed (jump through the window-like gap in the wall to get behind him), allowing the player to start the boss fight with the Bestowal Ninjutsu. Because Owl will frequently try jumping away from you to escape damage, the extra reach from bestowal lets you keep striking him while he's attempting to evade you. Can be combined with buffs such as Ako's Sugar for additional damage. 




Inner Father Gallery

 [images go here]



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    • Anonymous

      For people who keep getting cucked by mist raven mid-swing: Never attack more than twice in a row, whether Owl blocks or takes damage, it doesn't matter. He won't always do mist raven, but the extra damage you can chip out by spamming r1 isn't worth the buckets of damage he piles on you if you're stuck mid-swing and he does mist raven.

      • Anonymous

        The Fire Owl attack, because there is no clear way how to guess if the owl comes vertical or horizontal, you don't take the dmg like a man, you Jump and Deflect mid-air and hope for the best. If it's perfect parry it there is no damage.

        • Anonymous

          after struggling with owl father for like 1 and a half days on my first playthru, i was really scared to fight inner father so i could get the shura skin, thought i was gonna struggle like i did on my 1st playthru, then i did him first try without dying, thats what i love about these games, fe,t so awesome

          • Anonymous

            Flame vent is enormously helpful here. He can proc in just one full blast, 2 max. The Living Force skill can get you some of the way there too. You have plenty of time to charge a blast after dodging his slow overhead swing or his long gunpowder combo. 2 procs and his health is down where you need it to quickly break posture. It's harder in phase two as his normal pauses are where he vanishes. However he sometimes does a different punishable slow overhead after a mist raven combo ending in a deflection, and I haven't seen him vanish out of that one.

            • Anonymous

              I like how this is just the exact same fight as shinobi owl except now he's dashing around the room like a spider monkey pumped up on a concoction of pixie sticks and cocaine and he's got two moves that go across the entire arena and he's got hitboxes worse than DS2.
              Still pretty cool boss 7/10

              • Anonymous

                He's way harder on last gen hardware. Feels like there's additional input delay or something, which makes reacting to his Mist Raven more difficult than it should be.

                • Anonymous

                  I haven't fought inner geni or ishin yet but so far this is definitely the hardest fight in the game. Originally i didn't even know this owl was an upgraded version, the mist raven **** took me by surprise. I think it took me like 5 tries to beat him, and probably had a 30-40% winrate afterwards, but it took me a couple days of practicing on and off to learn how to beat him consistently. I use fire umbrella for all of his multi mist raven moves, countering only the last to reserve emblems, and using projected force (practiced the fights without confetti).
                  And by only ever attacking twice maximum (unless he's staggered into a new moveset), i can always anticipate the mist raven parry and have time to deflect both hits without worrying about it activating mid attack.
                  This is also a fight where i learned how important it is to attack only right before you're ready instead of mashing attack button or early queueing, since spamming attack during a mist raven parry will put you in a situation where you're likely too far into your attack to deflect.
                  I would say though, after learning to kill him consistently, this is one of the funnest boss fights i've fought since Nightmare king grim in hollow knight.

                  • Anonymous

                    I'd say this is the hardest fight in the game, at least it feels harder to me than inner isshin. I think the additions were a little too much simply because he already had a large moveset and you get in situations where he just combos special moves 4-5 times in a row leaving almost no space to deal any damage and little time to react. With that said it's feasible if you know the original father fight well, the new slash is very forgiving so you almost never get chip damage and the mist raven is at least predictable. The vertical owl is the only attack I can't consistently counter, it homes on you and it seems to be faster than you can reliably sidestep... or maybe the timing is just tricky. Either way you can tank through it if you deflect or even just block.

                    • Anonymous

                      Not gonna lie I think this fight is worse than the original. Well, the first phase is fine, but in the second, between the owl teleportations and the Mist Raven tricks, it feels like you can hardly ever hit him and very few of his attacks are guaranteed to be punishable because he can just teleport afterwards. Feels an awful lot like Elden Beast all over again.

                      • Anonymous

                        A few cool bits I found out

                        A) Owl's Whirlwind Slash recovers his posture the closer his health is to full, but you can interrupt him early on. Attack him in his start up frames, or deflect the 1st hit, then hit him. If you deflect both attacks while his health is high, he will recover a good chunk, around 7% of the posture bar.

                        B) It's actually very easy to hit Owl mid-air with a shuriken. When he does is [lunging sweep->roll] attack, jump counter and arc back to make distance. The moment right before you land, throw a shuriken. 60% of the time, he will jump away to reposition, and timing your shuriken throw right will land a hit on him.

                        It doesn't do a BIG amount of posture damage. About the same as deflecting 1 hit of any of his ground attacks, but it keep the pressure on him.

                        C) Even though it's not optimal, using the Spear prosthetic is actually doable and will help keep the pressure on his posture. The most obvious way is the Cleave attack, though it takes a moment to setup. But you can still attack with the normal thrust too.

                        After his Firecrack slash, thrust through the smoke. For any big slash, you can dodge to his side and thrust, since Owl can't mikiri from that angle. If you thrust from the front as far as possible, Owl will either get hit or he will try to mikiri but miss, leaving him open for a free hit from chasing slince.

                        In the 1st phase, his jump counter sends him back a long distance. Dash forward once, and you spear will be far enough to not be detected for him to mikiri, and he will get hit. In the 2nd phase, his jump counter gets shorter and he throws shuriken. Instead of dashing forward, deflect or dodge to the side, then spear thrust. Again not optimal, but very cool to pull off.

                        • Anonymous

                          This version only has a few more attacks, and they're all pretty manageable if you already know how to beat him normally. The whirlwind slash is very forgiving, and a free hit afterwards. His mist raven is just a flashy series of his normal moves (perfect deflect the last move for a free head-stomp), and the fire owl can be bypassed by mid-air blocking whenever you jump. That's really about it. His health seems jacked up, so it will be a longer fight. Just stay patient and whittle his health down until his posture builds up fast enough for you to get a deathblow

                          • Anonymous

                            I finally defeated Inner Father in the Shura boss Rush charmless with demon bell... Shhhish, that was painful. I had to play offensive in his first phase but pretty defensive in the second one. This is long, but he is way too dangerous and unpredictable, and cam, always unlocking when he becomes the owl, is very disturbing. The Umbrella (I used the Phoenix's Lilac version) works very well against the vertical fire owl. He is the most difficult boss I ever fought for sure. Inner Genichiro, yet very difficult, is a joke compared to him.

                            • Anonymous

                              For those struggling agains the fire owl. You dont know if it would be vertical or horizontal ? Just jump on the side and you will cover the 2 possibilities.

                              • Anonymous

                                This boss is much more aggressive than his counterpart version and has additional moves in addition to the normal ones.

                                In his first phase, he has a whirlwind like attack with two swings relatively easy to parry, but the timing to deflect is a bit slow than the rest of his moves and at first it may be tricky to get the timing right. IMPORTANT: he can do this as an stray attack or after the jumping downward slash that is normally punisheable, but there is a trick. The jumping downward slash is always punisheable (by dodging to the right) except when he does the double shuriken throw before jumping, like he usually does on his other versions, but if he throws the two shurikens before the jump attack, he will ALWAYS do the whirlwind move afterwards and can't be stunlocked prior to this, so do not punish the jump if he does the double shuriken throw.
                                He can also use two variations of mist raven, usually when he is apart from you or if you are spamming attacks on him. The first one is a downward slash from the air, appearing in front of you or slightly to your sides, and the second one is the double quick slash that he usually does in the middle of his combos, usually appearing on your back. Both of these can be deflected and it is the safest bet. If the camera turns slightly up when he dissapears, he will do the air slash, and if it turns back, he will do the quick double slash. The timing of these, specially the double slash is very fast and again, it could be hard to read them at first. If you are having trouble with the second one try to be less aggressive, he won't do that move that much if you don't spam attack.

                                On his second phase he gains two mist raven combos and the fire owl can fly sideways or parallel to the ground like in the normal father boss fight. If it comes sideways, dodge to the left, and if it comes low jump over it, but it is not easy to read. The thing that worked for me was that if you can't tell that it will come low, it will fly sideways (i know that sounds stupid, but it worked that way). A safe option is to jump backwards to the left. By doing this you won't be able to mikiri his thrust, but you can avoid the two variations easily.
                                The mist raven combos are a pain in the ass, but they are not random and you can and should deflect them, cause the other option is running like a headless chicken and will probabily get hit anyway.
                                The first combo starts (i think) with the running slash, followed by an air shuriken throw and an air downward slash. The time gap between the shuriken and the last slash is very small, keep that in mind.
                                I can't remember how the second combo starts, but it is followed by the whirlwind and then a sideways air slash, slower than the other combo. Both combos end usually with a perilous sweep a short time after Owl touches ground or with the heavy overhead slash, you can punish both of these. Once you get it, you can do a lot of posture damage by deflecting all of these moves and get a couple hits at the end, and you may want to to it like this if you are playing charmless.

                                Don't know if i'm leaving anything behind, but hope this helps!!

                                • Anonymous

                                  When he sends out the flaming owl in phase 2, it will either fly low as an unblockable sweep attack like in the original fight, or with its wings sideways. In either case, it has sharp tracking and will likely hit you if you try to run sidelong, but you CAN deflect the sideways wing version. Since it's hard to tell which version it will be until it's too late, this basically means that the game wants you to unlock the midair deflect or midair prosthetic so you can jump and deflect simultaneously to cancel the possibility of being hit by either, or jumping and using the Phoenix Umbrella to completely block it. It's a bit tricky to find the right distance, but this seems to be the most reliable way to counter it and still have the reflexes to mikiri his immediate shadowfall.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    The map absolutely sucks for this fight. I don't think I've died straight from the owl. Every time it's because the camera gets caught on one of the columns so i can't see what's happening while he pins me. When I force the fight into the center, it's all fine. But when it gets anywhere near the columns (which inevitably happens when you and owl are perpendicular to the rectangular room), it either gets stuck or starts flying in an out like an erratic heartbeat.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      There are at least two major glitches in this fight (I say at least because I think there are way more, but after fighting him literally over a hundred times and beating him a few, I have no doubt that these two are legit):

                                      - If you dodge forward through his firecracker attack, he has a chance to do the attack where he throws a shuriken and quickly follows up with a powerful strike. Even if you deflect this attack it will completely wipe out your entire health bar. You will hear and see the deflect but you will die instantly.

                                      - The mikiri counter on his shadow rush is glitched if he passes through a pillar (it seems more likely if the pillar is closer to you than it was to him when he started).

                                      Camera is also the worst of any fight in the game. It will lose lock on him frequently if he is anywhere near a pillar (doesn't have to be behind it - in fact, many times it will retain lock when he's behind it but then lose it when he emerges).

                                      • Anonymous

                                        It's a copy paste of owl father. Can someone please confirm if inner owl father is different/difficult than owl father?

                                        • Anonymous

                                          basically owl father but he can teleport from time to time. honestly if u beat owl father, you probably can beat this guy in 1-3 tries

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