Image taken via IGN
Sekiro is a title well-known for its difficulty. Through updates from the developers and self-imposed challenges that can be activated on later playthroughs, Sekiro is a title that only gets harder the more you play it. And yet, it’s been on the forefront of numerous discussions on whether games should have more difficulty options - despite practically starting on an “easy mode” when you first launch it.
Nothing accentuates Sekiro’s love for difficulty better than the Demon of Hatred boss. An optional battle found only during the endgame, some people consider it to be harder than the final boss itself. Such a sentiment is easy to understand when you consider its fire attacks and larger-than-life bestial form. Defeating Sekiro’s Demon of Hatred will require a full understanding of the game’s mechanics, including some tricks not used very often by most players.
Preparing for Sekiro’s Demon of Hatred
Image taken via Fextralife
No items in this section are required to defeat the Demon of Hatred. However, they will make the fight much easier, and can help you survive situations that would otherwise kill you.
If you haven’t already, you might want to get every Gourd Seed, Prayer Bead, and Memory you can. If you’re particularly having trouble, you may even want to defeat the final boss first; you can choose whether to move on to New Game + after beating it, so you don’t have to leave the Demon of Hatred behind.
A particularly strong item to use during the fight is the Malcontent, a prosthetic tool that’s upgraded from the Finger Whistle. You can use it to stun the Demon of Hatred during its fight, leaving it open to your attacks. This is particularly useful with stronger combat arts that utilize the Mortal Blade, if you have them unlocked. Be warned that this tool will only work three times during the fight; it won’t have any effect after that.
Crafting the Malcontent
The item to craft the Finger Whistle is dropped by the Guardian Ape, so you’ll likely already have it. The upgrade requires:
- x2 Adamantite Scrap
- x2 Lump of Grave Wax
- x4 Scrap Magnetite
- x4 Lump of Fat Wax
You’ll also need the Malcontent’s Ring, which is only dropped by the Shichimen Warrior in the Headless Ape’s second boss arena. You’ll need to sever the ape’s immortality and complete Mibu Village to get the miniboss to spawn.
Also useful is Suzaku’s Lotus Umbrella, which acts as an upgrade of the Loaded Umbrella. It will defend against fire attacks, making it especially helpful for some of the Demon of Hatred’s deadlier moves. You can avoid many of its fire attacks with practice, but the umbrella will act as a fine last-resort option.
Crafting Suzaku’s Lotus Umbrella
In order to get the Loaded Umbrella, you’ll need to purchase the Iron Fortress item from Blackhat Badger. If you’ve missed it by the time you reach the Demon of Hatred, you can purchase it from the offering box at the Dilapidated Temple.
The upgrade requires:
- x2 Adamantite Scrap
- x2 Fulminated Mercury
- x6 Scrap Magnetite
- x6 Yellow Gunpowder
Most of these can be found throughout the world, though Fulminated Mercury can be difficult to search for. You can find a few around Ashina Castle and the outskirts during the endgame.
Other useful items include Divine Confetti, which offers a damage boost, and the Withered Red Gourd, which helps in mitigating the Burn status. You can purchase the gourd from the Pot Noble at Hirata Estate; just be sure you have two Treasure Carp scales. If you’ve used the True Precious Bait from the Pot Noble at Fountainhead Palace, you’ll need to speak with him instead to purchase the gourd.
The Demon of Hatred only becomes accessible after obtaining the Divine Dragon’s Tears, which will trigger the game’s final sequence. To reach the Demon of Hatred fight, you’ll need to head out from Ashina Castle and find a certain kite to grapple onto. It will bring you over to the Ashina Outskirts; you’ll know you’re in the right place if you encounter Shigekichi of the Red Guard. Just head through the area and you’ll come across an idol at the end, allowing you to access the boss arena.
Battling Sekiro’s Demon of Hatred
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The Demon of Hatred is a highly aggressive foe, able to deal large amounts of damage in mere moments. It’s one of the tallest, most imposing enemies in the game, but that size is also its weakness.
The fight won’t start immediately when you first enter the Demon of Hatred’s arena. The moment it sees you, it will strike a pose - you should take that time to move in as fast as you can. Staying near the boss will limit its capabilities, keeping it from effectively utilizing many of its ranged attacks. By getting close enough, certain attacks will actually miss you entirely, letting you get in some free hits.
Dash Constantly and Stick to its Right Side
By staying near the Demon of Hatred, you force it to use a certain number of moves. Stomps, kicks, and other attacks with its body can easily be deflected, but its flaming left hand will inflict burn if you try blocking it. However, by abusing Sekiro’s unlimited stamina, you can constantly dash around the boss, avoiding many of its strongest attacks. You’ll want to stay by the Demon of Hatred’s right side; if you were playing on a keyboard, holding the W and A keys together would be your best chance at victory.
Focus on Attacking and Less on Deflecting
In general, the boss’s posture bar won’t decrease much. Your focus should be less on deflection and more on attacking. You should also try to wait until the third phase of the fight before using the Malcontent, if you have it. The third phase is by far the most dangerous, so stretching out all three stuns during that time will prove immensely helpful.
Surviving Sekiro’s Demon of Hatred
Image taken via Rock Paper Shotgun
You’ll need to train your reflexes if you want to avoid taking too much damage, but many of the Demon of Hatred’s attacks are highly telegraphed. Its stomps and slams are easily learned, and some players might not even see its full moveset. Even so, there are some attacks that can catch even the best players off guard.
Here are some of the trickiest attacks, as well as how to handle them:
Jumping Slam - The Demon of Hatred will jump into the air and slam straight down in an explosion. The actual attack isn’t hard to avoid, but a gust of wind will fire from the blast, knocking you down. The boss will gain a grapple point you can latch onto to avoid the knockdown. You should wait to jump and grapple until the boss finishes its slam, in order to avoid being knocked away at the end of your animation.
Fire Combo - A short-range string of attacks. The Demon of Hatred will first swipe its fiery arm at you, then swing it upwards before trying to stomp you, ending with another flaming swing. You should jump backwards if you see the initial attack, as well as back and to the right during its final swing. Despite appearances, both attacks in the middle of this combo can be deflected without any burn buildup.
Bursting Fireball - An attack only performed at medium range. The Demon of Hatred will throw numerous fireballs at once, launching one volley after another. Because it only uses this when you’re far away, your best bet to avoid the attack is staying as close as possible to the boss. If it manages to get far enough away from you, dashing directly towards the Demon of Hatred will make it easier to avoid the attack; running slightly to the left can allow you to avoid the first volley entirely, if you’re lucky.
Sweep - A perilous attack. The Demon of Hatred will sweep the ground, running a large distance away before striking a pose. Jumping back and away from the boss will allow you to easily dodge the attack, and you should run towards the Demon of Hatred before it can start to use any more dangerous ranged moves.
- In phase 2, this attack will usually be followed up with a second one. The Demon of Hatred will swing his hand through the air before slamming down, creating a spread of fire in front of him. If he does this, do not run towards him. Run left or right and jump the moment his hand crashes into the floor. A grapple point will appear on the boss, allowing you to avoid the flaming ground before landing.
- In phase 3, the Demon of Hatred might instead use a second sweep attack with its flaming arm. Time your jump carefully and do your best to stay away from it until the attack is finished. You’re safe to close the distance when you see its signature pose.
Meteors - A ranged attack. The Demon of Hatred will swing its head around, spawning balls of fire before launching them towards you. Running diagonally towards the boss is the best way to avoid this attack, but it can be unavoidable if either of you is too close to a wall. After the final ball, the boss will strike another pose, leaving it open to more free attacks.
Flaming Whirlwind - A perilous attack. The Demon of Hatred will sweep its flaming arm in a circle, raising it up before performing a second sweep, creating a massive ring of fire around the area. The first sweep can be avoided with a careful jump, and staying behind the boss during the attack will leave you relatively safe.
If you find yourself unable to avoid the ranged attacks, Suzaku’s Lotus Umbrella can mitigate most - if not all - damage from the flames. Any attack not listed here can be easily avoided through deflection or strafing, and keeping these moves in mind should make the fight much more manageable.
Bonus: Extra Dialogue
Image taken via YouTube
You can trigger extra dialogue before and after the Demon of Hatred fight. You can only do this earlier in the game, particularly before the Great Shinobi boss. For the sake of avoiding spoilers, this guide won’t go too in-depth on that, but here are the important parts:
- Give Ashina Sake, Unrefined Sake, and Monkey Booze to the Sculptor at the Dilapidated Temple
- Eavesdrop on him and Emma after reloading the area
- Talk to the Sculptor one more time after reloading the area
Other requirements can be fulfilled as you progress through the game normally, such as obtaining the Finger Whistle, exploring Hirata Estate, or curing Dragonrot.
The Demon of Hatred’s difficulty cannot be understated, but it isn’t invincible. Keep at it and eventually you’ll learn how to take it down. Though it might not be a necessary fight to complete the game, very few things compare to how satisfying it is to finally take down one of Sekiro’s greatest challenges.
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L O A D I N G
. . . comments & more!
As an apparition-type enemy, the Demon is vulnerable to the Divine Confetti buff and Malcontent can be used to stun him up to three times, while Lazulite Shuriken and Lazulite Sacred Flame can damage his health severely.How do you avoid the Demon of Hatred fireball? ›
Use the Suzaku's Lotus Umbrella to absorb the hit, then pop up and get next to him again. If you're confident in your speed and dodging, you can instead sprint and dodge directly toward him to avoid the line of fireballs. Finally, you can turn and run away from him — the fireballs will hit the ground behind you.Is the Demon of Hatred hard? ›
One of the most difficult Gauntlets involves slaying the Demon of Hatred, a massive three-stage boss that has given even the most experienced Sekiro players trouble.Why does owl betray Wolf Sekiro? ›
Description. Owl (Father) (（義父）, (Foster Father)) is the veteran master shinobi in his prime, who took Wolf under his wing as his adoptive son when he was just a kid. After Wolf defeats Lady Butterfly, he was assassinated by Owl for his own selfish goals of obtaining the Dragon's Blood.Can you skip Demon of Hatred? ›
Yes, it is an optional boss. Fighting him or not has no effect on the story ending that you are going for.Which is harder isshin or Demon of Hatred? ›
Isshin for sure. Demon of Hatred is unconventional for the kind of game it is, which makes it more difficult than it needs to, but Isshin is an endurance test with so many moves to memorize in order to succeed.Does Demon of Hatred affect ending? ›
No, it's an entirely optional boss which is only needed for the achievement.Can I fight Demon of Hatred after Divine Dragon? ›
Demon of Hatred Approach
To get to the Demon of Hatred, you'll have to have beaten the Divine Dragon. This will trigger the Ashina Castle to enter into night, and along with it, the whole area will be overrun in chaos and civil war.
Isshin the Sword Saint is the final boss in Sekiro, found in the game's Ashina Castle area, following on from Divine Dragon in our walkthrough of the game's bosses and mini-bosses.Why did sculptor become Demon of Hatred? ›
The Demon of Hatred, formerly known as "The Sculptor" (as well as Orangutan and Sekijo) is a major antagonist and optional boss in the 2019 action-adventure game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. He was a former shinobi who gave up his quest for peace, causing his inner rage to transform him into a feral monster.
Sweep attacks can be neither guarded nor deflected. however, Sekiro can jump to avoid them. Jump-kicking an enemy during their sweep attack will deal a large amount of Posture damage, often leaving them vulnerable to a Deathblow.Is Wolf the Sculptor Sekiro? ›
Description. The Sculptor (仏師) is the hermit who inhabits the Dilapidated Temple, where he passes his days carving Buddha Statues. He rescued Wolf after his defeat at the hand of Genichiro and gifted him a Prosthetic Arm to replace the one he lost.Is Owl Wolf's father? ›
Great Shinobi - Owl is the father of the Wolf, and while you may have previously thought you were done with him on the roof of Ashina Castle, he returns for one last bout with you in a harder version of the Hirata Estate Memory later in the game. Defeating this boss is integral for the Purification Ending.Who named Wolf Sekiro? ›
Wolf's quest leads him to cross paths with Isshin, who gives him a new name: Sekiro, the "one-armed wolf".Why is Wolf named Sekiro? ›
"Sekiro"「隻狼」is not the protagonist's actual name, but one derived from pairing 「隻」 "seki" (derived from sekiwan「隻腕」, meaning "one-armed") and 「狼」"ro" (meaning wolf). The name was created by the Tengu of Ashina, as Wolf refused to reveal his name.How much XP does Isshin give? ›
Once Isshin Ashina is down, you'll receive the Isshin Ashina Memory, the One Mind combat art, and 10,000 XP.Which boss soul is hardest? ›
Depending on which boss is slain first, the survivor will absorb his partner, giving him more damage with lightning or increased range. Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough are the hardest bosses in Souls-likes history, and it's not even close.Which is the hardest boss in Sekiro? ›
1) Isshin Ashina
While this is a quicker ending, it is also considered the hardest, as you'll have to face two optional bosses in a single fight: Emma the Gentle Blade and Isshin Ashina. While Emma has just one phase, Isshin has two, and adjusting between these is difficult enough.
That's even more true considering that Sekiro has not one, not two, but four different endings, each explaining different aspects of the game's lore.Can you keep playing after purification ending Sekiro? ›
You can continue to play until you choose to go to ng+ at the dilapidated temple idol. Be careful though, IIRC progressing the main story may close sidequests, and you cannot meet all bosses in a single play-through. For that matter, once you beat the last boss, you don't have to actually "end" the game.
The Bell Demon and its effect does not carry over to NG+.Is the Divine Dragon the final boss? ›
is the final boss you'll face before heading into the endgame of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. You'll find him by entering the Divine Realm at the end of the Fountainhead Palace area. Note: Finishing the battle with Divine Dragon will lock you out of completing questlines related to two of the endings.How do I fight Emma Sekiro? ›
In brief, you want to be very aggressive, sticking close to Emma and landing hits until she parries (the golden-orange flash when you cross swords), then deflecting a few of her attacks in a flurry, then getting aggressive again.How tall is Sekiro? ›
Figma Sekiro stands at approximately 6 feet tall.What is the hardest FromSoftware boss? ›
Aside from maybe a few other bosses in FromSoftware's catalog, the Orphan of Kos is one of the most challenging bosses out there and definitely among the top of the list in Bloodborne. If Sekiro didn't exist, Kos might be the most formidable FromSoftware boss ever created.Can you miss bosses in Sekiro? ›
Like most of the studio's other titles, Sekiro is home to many missable and/or optional events, bosses, questlines, and NPC characters. Some are more interesting than others, but it's a shame that some players complete the game without knowing they missed out on some incredible experiences.How do you save the Sculptor? ›
There's no way to manually save your progress in Sekiro through the menu system, and you'll instead have to walk up to a Sculptor's Idol, press X/A to interact with it, and it's when you exit the menu of the Idol that the game saves your progress.Is Demon of Hatred mandatory? ›
The fact that the Sekiro Demon of Hatred boss is a completely optional encounter almost makes it more important to take down. This is not a game where you walk away from a fight. It's also one of the biggest, hardest bosses in the game.Should I give the Sculptor unrefined sake? ›
Unrefined Sake is a Key Item in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Give this item to the Sculptor, Emma or Isshin Ashina for special lore-focused dialogue regarding their personal history or the history of other characters.What does red symbol mean in Sekiro? ›
The Perilous Attack symbol - a red Kanji symbol that appears when a Perilous Attack is about to be performed by an enemy - is the same for all three kinds of Perilous Attack, as far as we can tell.