Sekiro Shadows Die Twice: How to Beat Headless (All Headless Boss Fights)

How to Beat Headless

The Headless is one of the more terrifying Mini-Bosses to be found in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and there are multiple entities to be found and fought across the regions.

Headless differ from normal enemies – and even Mini-Bosses, in that that cannot be damaged by normal means – sword strikes do nothing, and little posture damage is dealt that will last. On top of this, their slow swinging weapon strikes will also deal Terror Damage, which means any attacks not deflected at the right time will cause Terror buildup – and kill you instantly if the meter is filled.

In order to safely combat these creatures, you will need to stockpile two items:

  1. Divine Confetti is the only item that can imbue your sword with the power to damage and kill apparitions like the Headless. Divine Confetti is located sparsely as you explore the regions – in places like the shrine before the Ashina Outskirts Headless cave, or in the Ashina Castle. You may want to wait until you find the Memorial Mob merchant at Mibu Village to sells more of these.
  2. Pacifying Agents can help you reduce Terror Buildup, and stop you from getting a full meter of Terror that will kill you. These items can be found all over, or dropped from Rotting Prisoners in the Abandoned Dungeon, and also bought from Fujioka the Info Broker after finding him at Ashina Castle and getting him back to the Dilapidated Temple.

With both these items, you’ll have a much better chance of being able to stand against the Headless – but there’s also a secret weapon you can employ.

In the fourth tier of upgrades for your Shinobi Prosthetics, you can purchase the Lilac Phoenix Umbrella, which is unique in that it can be deployed to protect you from all sides of attacks from apparition enemies – including the Headless and his terror-inducing attacks. The shield soaks all incoming blows and stops you from building up Terror, and you’ll only take a bit of posture damage in the trade-off.

Headless Locations

  • Ashina Outskirts Cave – to the right of the second Samurai General past the Ashina Outskirts Wall – Stairs Sculptor’s Idol.
  • Ashina Castle Reservoir – in the giant lake past the castle leading to the Sunken Valley entrance.
  • Sunken Valley – Memorial Tomb
  • Fountainhead Lake

Headless (Ashina Outskirts)

Location: Ashina Outskirts – Outskirts Wall Stairway
We’re gonna do some backtracking now to finish up old bosses that were too hard previously. Where you fought General Tenzen, head to the right and jump on a tree branch by the cliffside, then jump down towards a cliff below that you can hang on to. From there you can jump over to a dark cave, inside it you find the Headless.

Strategy: To defeat the first headless boss you must consume a Divine Confetti to damage it and a Pacifying Agent to protect yourself against its Terror Attacks (which otherwise instant-kill you). By this point in the game (end of story), he’s quite easy as you deal a ton of damage. You are slowed by his mist, just attack with normal sword strikes and walk around him to the left (do NOT lock on to him). It takes a bit of luck still but he might miss you when doing this or not attack much at all. You can also try to lure him to the little cliff at the top of the area, then stand below the cliff and use normal sword strikes to hit him, but he won’t be able to hit you nor can he drop down. It takes a bit of trying around to find a sweet spot where he can get stuck but where you are still able to hit him, without being hit yourself. Really though, if you waited this long you should have enough attack power and health items to just bash him with sword strikes, heal, repeat. When he attacks block it (still causes you damage but not as much). Don’t forget to refresh Divine Confetti and Pacifying Agent when the effects run out. The same strategy will apply to future Headless bosses, there are multiple of the Headless.

Reward: Ako’s Spiritfall (infinite consumable that uses spirit emblems to buff your attack power for a time)

Underwater Headless (Ashina Castle)

Location: Ashina Castle – Old Grave
This headless is found underwater in the pond after Old Grave idol. Requires diving perk that you get by defeating Corrupted Monk main boss in Ashina Depths (unmissable).

Strategy: Consume a Divine Confetti (lets you damage the headless) and a Pacifying Agent (protects you from its terror damage). Dive down and just hit it with your sword. This enemy doesn’t have many attacks and is luckily rather slow. When it powers up an attack, dodge away, then get behind it to land a few hits.

Reward: Ungo’s Spiritfall (an infinite consumable that that allows you to temporarily take less damage in exchange for spirit emblems. Can be used repeatedly but costs spirit emblems to use)

Headless (Ashina Depths)

Location: Ashina Depths – Hidden Forest
From the Hidden Forest idol, jump down and you’ll find this headless under the trees.

Strategy: To beat the headless consume a Divine Confetti (lets you damage the headless) and a Pacifying Agent (protects you from its terror damage). Always walk around the boss to the left but do NOT lock on to it. It’s a lot easier to get to the side / behind the enemy when you don’t lock on and increases the odds that it will miss you with its attacks. Still, when it attacks block it. You take unblockable damage but way less than if you hadn’t blocked. When your terror gauge builds up too much, use a pacifying agent. Other than that just walk around the enemy while hitting it, block, repeat, use pacifying agent (and refresh Divine Confetti when it runs out).

Reward: Gachiin’s Spiritfall (an infinite consumable to suppress sound from walking and be harder to detect. Costs spirit emblems to use).

Headless (Sunken Valley)

Location: Sunken Valley – Under-Shrine Valley
From the Under-Shrine Valley idol. turn around and walk uphill slightly. Then you can jump across an abyss to a tree branch. There on a platform you encounter 2 riflemen. Kill them, then walljump up to their left. Lean against the cliffside to walk over to a hidden area. There you find a small pool of water that you can dive in (requires diving perk from killing Corrupted Monk boss). After diving through that pool you come to a dark room with the Headless boss of this region.

Strategy: To beat the headless consume a Divine Confetti (lets you damage the headless) and a Pacifying Agent (protects you from its terror damage). Always walk around the boss to the left but do NOT lock on to it. It’s a lot easier to get to the side / behind the enemy when you don’t lock on and increases the odds that it will miss you with its attacks. Still, when it attacks block it. You take unblockable damage but way less than if you hadn’t blocked. When your terror gauge builds up too much, use a pacifying agent. Other than that just walk around the enemy while hitting it, block, repeat, use pacifying agent (and refresh Divine Confetti when it runs out).

Reward: Gokan’s Spiritfall (an infinite consumable that temporarily reduces posture damage taken. Costs spirit emblems to use.)

Underwater Headless (Fountainhead Palace)

Location: Fountainhead Palace – Great Sakura
In the big lake of Fountainhead Palace you find this headless deep under water.

Strategy: This time the underwater headless has a weaker clone (which is purple). This can be ignored though. He hurls some attacks at you from far away but they can easily be dodge and killing just the main headless (the non-purple one) will also make the clone go away. Consume a Divine Confetti (lets you damage the headless) and a Pacifying Agent (protects you from its terror damage). Dive down and just hit it with your sword. This enemy doesn’t have many attacks and is luckily rather slow. When it powers up an attack, dodge away, then get behind it to land a few hits.

Reward: Yashariku’s Spiritfall (an infinite consumable that lets you temporarily sacrifice vitality and posture in exchange for more attack power. Takes spirit emblems to use)

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