Guardian Ape Headless Ape

The Guardian Ape (獅子猿, Lion Tamarin) is a mandatory Boss with one Deathblow Counter in each phase.

He's found deep within the Sunken Valley. In a shallow pond overlooked by a giant statue, this lonely and immortal beast protects the Lotus of the Palace. As the flower's aroma attracts female apes, he carefully tends to it, hoping to offer it his new mate.

The Ape also has a connection to the Sculptor from the latter's younger days when he trained in the Sunken Valley. His partner, Kingfisher, had a finger with numerous holes bored into it that could create a howling whistle when blown into. When the Guardian Ape is defeated, Wolf receives the Slender Finger, which the Sculptor recognizes as that of his friend's. This implies that the woman ended up devoured by the beast after a fight, possibly scarring his body and leaving her sword in his neck.

Behavior and Tactics

Phase 1

  • Perilous Attack.pngPerilous Grab: hops up and slams fists against the ground, then scrapes his right hand across the ground in front of him. If the grab connects, he smashes Sekiro and drags him across the ground before throwing him away. This attack acts sort of like a sweep and can be jumped over. Performing a Nightjar Slash Reversal shortly after the animation begins is another way to avoid this attack - this method is quite consistent.
  • Perilous Attack.pngPerilous Jumping Grab: runs a distance before leaping towards Sekiro. If the grab connects, he smashes Sekiro against the ground, and deals a tremendous amount of damage. This attack can cover huge ground very quickly, and the hitbox on the grab itself is quite large. It is possible to jump over this attack at the very last second - just before the Ape clasps his hands together, but this is very dangerous and not recommended. Running away is a much safer and more consistent option.
  • Poison Attack.pngDung Throw: reaches for his bottom then leaps high into the air and throws a piece of poisonous dung. The camera will zoom out as he leaps into the air. This attack is extremely telegraphed, and the projectile can be deflected either in mid-air or on the ground. Following the attack, the Ape is vulnerable as he holds his hand against his bottom for a couple seconds.
  • Poison Attack.pngFart: if Sekiro is behind the Ape while he is sitting down (which can occur following a number of his attacks), he lets out a poisonous fart, applying the "Poison" status abnormality to Sekiro nigh instantly. He will always follow up with Dung Throw unless beneath the overarching cliff.
  • Circling Slam: quickly slams both fists against the ground and shifts laterally or backwards relative to Sekiro.
  • Fake Out Combo: attacks twice with his right hand and falls down, faking an opening, before turning over, smashing twice, then ending with an extended swipe. He may stand up after falling down without continuing the combo.
  • Feral Claws: a three piece combo performed only with his left hand.
  • Intimidate: roars intimidatingly, revealing a grappling point on his head. Grappling onto this point briefly stuns the enemy. Occasionally, the grappling point will reveal while he is crawling.
  • Onslaught: a five hit combo finishing with jumping smash.
  • Prey: dashes quickly towards Sekiro and swipes once.
  • Rear Chaser: quickly turns around and claws, before smashing down with his right hand if target was behind.
  • Recovering Roll: if Sekiro manages to deal a large amount of damage to him, the Boss will fall to his knees, opening himself up to further damage. After taking enough damage during in this state, he roars and rolls backward. This creates distance between him and Sekiro, but this attack is almost always followed up by the Perilous Jumping Grab.
  • Rumble: throws a left hook and falls over. This is always followed by Tantrum.
  • Tantrum: flails on the ground, smashing his right and left arms against the ground in sequence. In total, there are 4 hits to this attack. His legs are also dangerous during this attack.

Phase 2

Shortly after performing the Shinobi Execution, the Ape suddenly resurrects, picking up his severed head and the sword used to decapitate him. He now has a completely different moveset from his previous phase:

  • Perilous Attack.pngPerilous Sweep: places the blade near the ground and drags it across in a quick motion from left to right.
  • Perilous Attack.pngSwan Dive: leaps high up in the air before diving down on top of Wolf, performing a Perilous Sweep. If he was kicked during the attack, he follows up with Charged Overhead.
  • Terror Attack.pngDeath's Growl: places his head back on his neck and lets out a deadly growl, inflicting damage and Terror build up, covering a huge radius around him. The growl spreads further in front of him than it does behind.
  • Blade Dance: weaves the sword two times, then another two. He may do one of the following after a hit was deflected:
    • Another cut and Charged Overhead.
    • Four strong smashes, then a quicker Charged Overhead.
    • Quick Death's Growl.
    • Quick Perilous Sweep.
  • Charged Overhead: a charged overhead with the camera zooming out. Deflecting successfully will topple his balance. He may follow up with this move after any moves was deflected.
  • Mad Swing: wildly swings his sword two times.
  • Roundabout: slashes once then does a fake-out, which is him turning back and quickly turn around slashing up to five times. If deflected at any time, he follows up with a Charged Overhead.
  • Sliding Slash: slips and slides forward, swings his sword once.

In his first phase, the Guardian Ape's Dung Throw can be abused, allowing Wolf to keep his distance, only attacking when the Boss uses that attack.

Making use of the Shinobi Firecracker prosthetic will also leave the Boss open to attack. The Flame Vent in conjuntion with Oil will also stagger the Boss, dealing major damage to his Vitality and stopping his Posture from regenerating through Burn, and the fire damage can also be applied to various Combat Arts via Living Force.

Most of his attacks can be completely avoided by running around the Boss as the combo progresses and punished with a couple of swings when it ends.

His Perilous Grab can be avoided entirely by jumping over it or using the Divine Abduction to turn the beast around.

After a certain number of consecutive hits, the Boss will remain stunned for a short while and can be further stunned twice if attacked relentelessly during his recovery.

The first phase can be quickly ended by stunlocking the Boss at the start of the fight with a combination of Ceremonial Tanto to gain further Spirit Emblems, Yashariku's Sugar to enhance physical damage, Shinobi Firecraker to immobilize the Ape and five swings of the Mortal Draw directly to his face to fill the entire Posture Bar.

In his second phase, deflecting the now headless ape's attacks becomes much easier.

A valuable tactic in the second phase is to deflect the Charged Overhead attack, then use the Loaded Spear prosthetic's Drag ability to extract the Centipede from his body, dealing large amounts of health and posture damage.

The Mottled Purple Gourd and Pacifying Agent will help to deal with the Terror inflicted by his Death's Growl. The Loaded Umbrella - Magnet can also nullify both the damage and Terror build-up of this attack. Dealing enough damage for the Ape to reach a certain Vitality treshold will stagger the Boss and interrupt the move.

Both the Shinobi Firecracker and Flame Vent won't stagger the Boss in this phase.


+4000 Skill Experience Sen.png 0
Memory Guardian Ape.png
Memory: Guardian Ape
Slender Finger.png
Slender Finger


  • Retrieving the Mortal Blade, the Lotus of the Palace and the Shelter Stone triggers the next stage of game progression, causing some of the Mini-Bosses in Ashina Castle to be replaced by others as part of the invasion of the Central Forces.
  • Killing this Boss will move the time of the day foward.
  • The underwater pond can not be accessed while fighting him.
  • Despite owning the Mortal Blade, it's not possible to severe the immortality of this Boss here.
  • The Finger Whistle has no effect on this Ape.
  • While phase one can be poisoned, it can't be inflicted on phase two.
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