Game Discussion: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Forum

Owl (Father) Boss Fight is Broken

AuthorMessage
SYMF0N1K KL4W
402,777
SYMF0N1K KL4W
Posted on 07 April 19 at 21:41
Ok, so sure, I see that people have beaten him, and there's a nice guide for how to cheese the fight, but it doesn't work for me... and the reasons are manifold...

Problem 1. The camera doesn't stay locked on. Yeah, any time Owl does a dramatic move in the fight, my camera heads for the hills and I have to frantically search for him and pray that he's close enough that it will lock back on. Fighting him straight up this isn't much of a problem (any more than it was in the guardian ape fight where I had the same issue). Trying to do the cheese method this is especially problematic as running around the edge of the arena, the pillars are constantly getting in the way and giving the lock-on more and more opportunities to just forget what it's doing.

Problem 2. The pillars. Not only do the pillars keep the camera from tracking Owl consistently even when he isn't pulling off one of his many MANY long range moves, but they also impede your progress when you do have the camera focused on him, all too often you'll be just barely evading one of his attacks and OOPS, ran into a pillar that I couldn't see, sorry game over. They don't noticeably impede Owl since even if they stop one of his attacks, he can immediately initiate another attack with only the smallest window of opportunity. Between this and the first problem, that pretty much made the cheesing strategy untenable since I either kept getting stuck on something I couldn't see because the camera was locked on to the monster chasing me or the camera didn't stay locked on and I couldn't see the charge attack that was coming for me until it was too late. That being the case, I went back to trying to fight him head-on. I would rather this arena have no pillars and endure his slightly greater opportunities to attack me rather than putting up with constantly running into obstructions.

Problem 3. Neither his vitality nor his posture can be damaged easily. In just about every other fight in the game, you can win your way through if you figure out whether to target an enemy's posture or vitality, you just need to pull off come counters and parries and you should get an opportunity for a deathblow in no time or alternatively, you just need to evade attacks and get in opportunistic hits on the enemy to whittle their health down. Neither works here. The damage he actually takes per hit is ridiculously small, even when you do pull off a counter or a stun, the opening allows AT MOST two hits. Parrying is worthless because he recovers his posture almost instantaneously and your own posture disappears shockingly fast against his hits and his combos just keep going on and on. After an untold number of attempts, I have yet to get a single deathblow on him and I don't think I've gotten below 50% on his health...

Problem 4. Unstoppable attacks. Particularly the attack where he lifts his sword above his head. This is one of the few opportunities to actually hit him several times in a row, but it's a massive cheat because regardless of how many times you hit him, the sword is coming down and despite the fact that it's a simple overhead slash, it has a HUGE hit box, basically a 90 degree cone in front of (and above) him. Note, THIS IS NOT a charge attack but it acts a LOT like one. Oddly, you can interrupt his charge attacks. As a result, you HAVE to be pretty much directly behind him or this attack will kill you.

Problem 5. Shifting attacks. So you see him lift his sword over his head and think "I better get behind him". Turns out, that's a bad idea, because IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ANIMATION, he can switch to a sweeping attack that hits everything around him. That sucks, you think, oh well, I'll get a hit in and then run away. Oh wait, HE CAN ALSO CHANGE FROM A STATIONARY ATTACK TO A LEAPING ATTACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ANIMATION. In my many attempts, I noticed that repeatedly, Owl would cancel attacks halfway through and change to something that would hit me (I can't think of any other bosses in the game up to this point that employ this cheat move), making parrying and dodging even harder than it usually is. Honestly, if I could change one thing about this fight, this would be it because this basically makes it impossible for me, I just don't have the reflexes to respond instantly in the one correct way to the seemingly infinite variants of his attacks and the alternative, waiting for a opening and striking, is made null because of this insanity.

Problem 6. Reversal Deathblow. That's right, he can deathblow you if you attempt a charge attack on him with what is basically a Makiri Counter, which makes it all the more outrageous that if you pull off a near suicidal counter on him, the game rewards you with a single hit and a tiny chip of his health. Where's the reward for the risk? Even if the charge attack does land, it does only a slightly larger amount of damage.

Problem 7. Hit Box and Parrying. I don't know how many times I've been hit by one of his simple forward sweep attacks when I was behind him, likewise I don't know how many times, I could've sworn I had parried and the game gave him a free hit. Given that each of his hits takes out at least a third of your health (and I've got the 9th necklace), this is insanely frustrating because it means that if you try to run around or doge past an attack or he over-estimates and attacks past you, you may get hit anyway and given how hard he hits, you probably won't be able to recover until after his animation is done. I HAVE noticed that I have to hit parry earlier than the game claims you need to, and I wonder if this is because I'm operating a basic xbox one rather than a more powerful S or X model. If anyone has played on both I'd be interested to hear if there's a difference in timing on parry inputs due to the different system performance.

Problem 8. Firecrackers. So he uses firecrackers A LOT and turns out, they do INSANE amounts of damage. If you are stuck in a corner with him when he pulls out a firecracker, you're pretty much toast as you can't roll towards him because there's nowhere to go, you can't roll away because he doesn't throw the firecrackers and jump back like he usually does, so even if you roll away, you're still in his damage radius and you can't jump BECAUSE THE FIRECRACKERS WILL LITERALLY ONE-HIT KILL YOU mid-air. Did I mention that using the purple firecrackers on him gives barely enough time for ONE HIT. ONE.

Look, I understand this is a hard game, I'm literally up to the freaking dragon boss and the endgame. I worked my way past all the other bosses and minibosses in the way before now and while most of them were not easy (well, apart from the folding monkeys and the okami master), I fought through, I learned and felt fairly comfortable with their patterns by the end, but this boss is just punishing me over and over and over and I'm not making any progress and worse, the game doesn't reward me when I do something good (I've countered him a ton of times, I've parried him, I've stunned him, and I feel like doing that should at least let me shave off a quarter of his health, but when I've done them, I'm lucky if I get 2 pathetic hits in and don't lose most of my health to his overly quick counterattack) by giving me a chance to do the same to him instead mocking me with the miniscule damage it allows me to inflict. I've tried different tactics, different tools, anything I could think of, and I CAN NOT GET HIM DOWN TO HALF HEALTH ON HIS FIRST HEALTH BAR. It's ridiculous. It's like FromSoft wondered what it would be like if they made an overpowered boss with no weaknesses and put him in the worst possible arena (too big for the lock-on to work consistently, way too small given the boss's speed and the pillars congesting the space, and no verticality options). Even the 2nd Guardian Ape fight was more fun than this, HECK, I beat that in like 2-3 tries.
vSully
717,738
vSully
Posted on 07 April 19 at 22:43, Edited on 07 April 19 at 22:45 by vSully
This boss is hard. There's no denying that. But like with all of the others, it's fair. You just have to know how to respond to everything he does. And that will come with practice.

I think it took me four hours to beat this guy and it was on NG+ as I missed him during my first (blind) playthrough. Isshin Ashina took me about the same amount of time. A few other bosses took two or three hours- Demon of Hatred, Isshin Ashina in NG+, and Emma/Isshin for the Shura ending in NG++. It was the same pattern with each: get stomped initially, learn the boss' attacks, figure out timing, figure out when it's safe to counterattack, make progress and do better over time and eventually triumph.

Watch my run and see if it helps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24KXQiV5JGk

The biggest key was jumping back/left when he does the lunging swipe, landing near him, and punishing him with several attacks. And if he follows up with the overhead slash, punish him even more.

It's a war of attrition with this guy. You MUST know how to avoid damage since it takes so long to wear him down.
Stoic Slab
293,142
Stoic Slab
Posted on 08 April 19 at 04:30
Yeah, he's certainly one of the harder bosses in the game. But vSully is right, it takes some persistence before you'll overcome him.

It took me about 2 hours to get past him on NG. On NG+, I beat him on my first attempt, and much of that was thanks to the lessons learned the first time around.
SaucyCooper
1,088,545
SaucyCooper
Posted on 08 April 19 at 04:34, Edited on 08 April 19 at 04:37 by SaucyCooper
If it helps, I struggled for a couple hours of trying to be very defensive and playing mid to long range with him.

I changed tactics and got in his face like you have to do with genichiro by trading parries. When he jumps back you might get a few free hits in or when he zig zags and try’s to sweep you, if you’re attacking you’ll hit him and prevent the sweep attack.

Also whenever he did his firecrackers I would always dodge forward to the right, his left, which guaranteed two free hits plus kept the pressure on him.

With the pressure and offensive tactic I was able to down him in 6 to 10 tries.

Edit: FYI, because of the parrying he would usually get deathblowed at around 50% health due to posture kept getting filled.
SYMF0N1K KL4W
402,777
SYMF0N1K KL4W
Posted on 10 April 19 at 22:56
Thanks for the advice, I don't know if I'm going to bother going back and trying again (I fought him for probably at least 3 hours on Sunday, I kind of lost track after a while and while I did start to get certain combos fairly well, the sheer variety of them (and all my above issues) just made it a nightmare of frustration and moments of "NO WAY, I WASN'T ANYWHERE NEAR THAT SWING" or "I PARRIED THAT, DANGIT!" or "I LANDED THAT COUNTER!!" or "HOW IS HE COUNTER-ATTACKING WHEN HE HASN'T INTERUPTED MY ATTACKS AND HE'S STILL TAKING DAMAGE!!?!?!" or "WHY ARE FREAKING FIRECRACKERS ONE-SHOTTING ME!?!!?" or "WHY THE HELL DOES HE GET TO DEATHBLOW ME BY PARRYING MY CHARGE ATTACK WHEN MY MAKIRI COUNTER DOESN'T EVEN HALF-FILL HIS BLOODY POSTURE METER!?!?!" or "WHO THOUGHT DRAGONROT WAS A GOOD GAMEPLAY ELEMENT?!? I ALREADY FEEL BAD ABOUT BEING UNABLE TO BEAT THIS STUPID BOSS AND THIS STUPID GAME IS KICKING ME WHILE I'M DOWN WITH A BLOODY GUILT TRIP ABOUT HOW I'M GIVING PEOPLE DRAGON TUBERCULOSIS?! WHHHYYYYY!?! interspersed with various unkind imprecations against FromSoft's game designers and their parentage (you get the idea)) or if I'll just try and get through the final boss pair (though after my failures with Owl and Demon of Hate, I'm dreading those fights), but I also kind of feel like I've reached a point in this game where I'm just not good enough to make it through (to my shame, especially since I'm on my first playthrough), which really sucks because Owl (Father), Demon of Hate, and Isshin & Son are all I've got left. In Dark Souls I'd go on a leveling spurt and improve my stats and weapons, but once you've got all the minibosses down (and I did) and unlocked the better passive abilities in the skill trees, there's really not much you can do to overcome a lack of good reflexes and cool nerves in Sekiro past a certain point (pretty much everything after the dragon, which feels very much like the switch from endgame to DLC in the Dark Souls games).
ThaGurk
419,156
ThaGurk
Posted on 10 April 19 at 23:55
Haven't struggled too much in this game until this boss, which surprised me as I'm a super casual gamer and always play on easiest settings, but this boss is damn hard. However, I'm only at 8 on attack and thinking maybe I should move forward to fountainhead and the end-game bosses as well.
But I'm wondering, is there at any point no way for me to longer return to this version of Hirata and this boss? Can I return after the final boss of Fountainhead? Can I return after the very last boss of the game? If anyone knows and could shed some light on this I would appreciate it smile
JungAndReckless
Posted on 11 April 19 at 00:07
ThaGurk said:
Haven't struggled too much in this game until this boss, which surprised me as I'm a super casual gamer and always play on easiest settings, but this boss is damn hard. However, I'm only at 8 on attack and thinking maybe I should move forward to fountainhead and the end-game bosses as well.
But I'm wondering, is there at any point no way for me to longer return to this version of Hirata and this boss? Can I return after the final boss of Fountainhead? Can I return after the very last boss of the game? If anyone knows and could shed some light on this I would appreciate it smile
You can after the boss of Fountainhead, but I don't know about the final boss. However, I wouldn't wait until after the final boss, as an item that Father gives you when you beat him is used in one of the endings. If you wait until after the game, you will have to fight him again in the next playthrough in order to get the purification ending.
JungAndReckless
Posted on 11 April 19 at 00:12
SYMF0N1K KL4W said:
Thanks for the advice, I don't know if I'm going to bother going back and trying again (I fought him for probably at least 3 hours on Sunday, I kind of lost track after a while and while I did start to get certain combos fairly well, the sheer variety of them (and all my above issues) just made it a nightmare of frustration and moments of {#}NO WAY, I WASN'T ANYWHERE NEAR THAT SWING{#} or {#}I PARRIED THAT, DANGIT!{#} or {#}I LANDED THAT COUNTER!!{#} or {#}HOW IS HE COUNTER-ATTACKING WHEN HE HASN'T INTERUPTED MY ATTACKS AND HE'S STILL TAKING DAMAGE!!?!?!{#} or {#}WHY ARE FREAKING FIRECRACKERS ONE-SHOTTING ME!?!!?{#} or {#}WHY THE HELL DOES HE GET TO DEATHBLOW ME BY PARRYING MY CHARGE ATTACK WHEN MY MAKIRI COUNTER DOESN'T EVEN HALF-FILL HIS BLOODY POSTURE METER!?!?!{#} or {#}WHO THOUGHT DRAGONROT WAS A GOOD GAMEPLAY ELEMENT?!? I ALREADY FEEL BAD ABOUT BEING UNABLE TO BEAT THIS STUPID BOSS AND THIS STUPID GAME IS KICKING ME WHILE I'M DOWN WITH A BLOODY GUILT TRIP ABOUT HOW I'M GIVING PEOPLE DRAGON TUBERCULOSIS?! WHHHYYYYY!?! interspersed with various unkind imprecations against FromSoft's game designers and their parentage (you get the idea)) or if I'll just try and get through the final boss pair (though after my failures with Owl and Demon of Hate, I'm dreading those fights), but I also kind of feel like I've reached a point in this game where I'm just not good enough to make it through (to my shame, especially since I'm on my first playthrough), which really sucks because Owl (Father), Demon of Hate, and Isshin & Son are all I've got left. In Dark Souls I'd go on a leveling spurt and improve my stats and weapons, but once you've got all the minibosses down (and I did) and unlocked the better passive abilities in the skill trees, there's really not much you can do to overcome a lack of good reflexes and cool nerves in Sekiro past a certain point (pretty much everything after the dragon, which feels very much like the switch from endgame to DLC in the Dark Souls games).
The best way to beat him is to learn his combos and anticipate which of his attacks are punishable. When he chucks firecrackers at you up close, dodge up right and hit him twice. When he raises his sword, wait until the last second to dodge so he doesn't switch it up and slash you. If you can keep on the offensive, he will usually end his combos with one of these two attacks. Whenever posture gets low, sprint away and hold block to regain posture more quickly. If all else fails, bait out his firecracker thrust and his shuriken jump attack until you have done good vitality damage. I think his second phase is actually easier than his first, as he only learns 2 new attacks and both of them are very punishable, so try to make it that far if you can.
ImaginaryRuins
Posted on 11 April 19 at 01:42
@SYMF0N1K KL4W'

One thing I found immensely helpful is to watch no-damage videos of the bosses - they tell you exactly how to react to each move. Only adopt what you think you can pull off to your playstyle.

For Owl (Father), this fight is hard and a test of your patience; I always wait until Owl attacks, then I counter to chip away his health. Of course, you can be more aggressive but you may want to play it safe, your call.

1. Owl's overhead slam is programmed EXACLTY to counter Soulsborne players who circle around bosses to dodge their attacks. Owl would roar right before he slams his sword down so that's your cue to dodge. When you see him raising his sword up you may feel the urge to move sideway; don't overdo that. Do not move past his 3 or 9 o'clock or he will quickly switch attack.

2. Owl would use firecrackers to either retreat or at the end of his long combo. Like others have said, when he uses it during his combo (as soon as you him casting blackpowder), immediately dodge forward to the right (his left) twice and you will be able to slip in two slashes against Owl's back.

3. Owl doing his Shadowrush attack is probably always the best opportunity to mikir-counter and then slash him once.

4. When Owl charges at you, his first three hits are mostly one strike followed by two swift strikes (deflect, wait, double deflect). After that, he either uses a sweep (thus the red cue "危") or an elbow push. In the former case, just jump; in the latter case, be prepared to forward-dodge his firecrackers.
ThaGurk
419,156
ThaGurk
Posted on 11 April 19 at 18:27
JungAndReckless said:
Whenever posture gets low, sprint away and hold block to regain posture more quickly.
Thank you. Completed it on my fifth try today with this mind. Yesterday I didn't get passed first half of his first phase. Only lost vitality due to the bloody overhead slam haha. Never managed to stay cool enough, but didn't matter too much as I nailed everything else.
JungAndReckless
Posted on 11 April 19 at 18:39
ThaGurk said:
JungAndReckless said:
Whenever posture gets low, sprint away and hold block to regain posture more quickly.
Thank you. Completed it on my fifth try today with this mind. Yesterday I didn't get passed first half of his first phase. Only lost vitality due to the bloody overhead slam haha. Never managed to stay cool enough, but didn't matter too much as I nailed everything else.
Congrats! Now get ready to experience it all again with the final boss.
DoctorWho426
127,357
DoctorWho426
Posted on 13 April 19 at 02:23, Edited on 13 April 19 at 02:25 by DoctorWho426
So, some tips and tricks I picked up from my recent and final playthrough on ng+++.

Get on him and get on him fast. Stay the hell on him, when he jumps away, run to him. Stay on him. This prevents many ranged bullshit attacks and keeps him in a fairly predictable pattern.

Be aggressive as he his. Always always always attack until you are deflected, then deflect his blows, then start attacking again. If he stomps you to jump in first phase, run up and start attacking again, in 2nd phase deflect the shuriken, then rush. This keeps his posture up and again, locks him into a predictable pattern.

He I not a hit and run type of boss. Attacking, then running away will not work. Stay on him and keep those combos up.

When he does the running perilous sweep attack, you can actually hit him out of it. Not sure on the timing, but I've done it many times, and he takes about 3 hits from it. Else, just jump and stand still. If he's close enough, he'll do the slam. Wait until his elbows are locked, then dodge to the side, and either hit him, or ichimonji double for massive damage (recovery on ichi is a little lacking for my taste).

When he does the firecracker combo, the shoulder-swing-firecracker-swing combo, I found it super rewarding to dodge through the firecrackers. There for s a brief brief window where you can step dodges through the firecrackers before they pop, and get next to him/ behind him, and attack him as he is swinging. You can usually get 2 swings or an ichi.

If he is in a corner and jumps away from you, you can get about 3-4 free hits as he recovers from the jump animation.

For the shadowrush, nothing I found, but to get the mikiri counter timing down. In the phase 2 stuff, usually as soon as you jump over the fire bullshit, wait a beat, then mikiri counter.

For the camera, honestly, stay close to him. Being aggressive means the camera is on him all the time, and he doesn't have the chance to hide behind a pillar. For the owl teleport.... Just get used to it. Usually as soon as you hear the slam, look directly behind you (assuming you're running around like a madman to abovoid his slam), then lock on.

In my most recent fight, both phase ended with him around half health. Aggression really is the key here... I also have a clip of my first fight where stuff started clicking I my recent clips if you wanna watch that...

Good luck, friend.
SYMF0N1K KL4W
402,777
SYMF0N1K KL4W
Posted on 15 April 19 at 00:37
Hey, thanks everybody for the encouragement and all the suggestions. I DID IT! Such a feeling of accomplishment, the key for me was actually to leave the boss and fight the demon of hatred. Although he's also super-painful his combos were just a little bit easier for me to follow and with his memory damage boost I felt like I was bringing down Owl's health much faster. That and Owl just doesn't seem as scary after fighting a 20 foot tall monster. Oddly, the second phase was much easier for me, the problem was getting to it. The added attacks have fairly obvious tells and for some reason he never bothered with the poison mist attack that I've read he can do in that section. Anyway. Victory. It is sweet. Now on to Super Isshin & Son...
FL trooper be
1,250,294
FL trooper be
Posted on 23 April 19 at 08:40
For Me it was all about learning bosses attack patterns. I did 4 full runs (NG+++ included) and first run it took Me 3 sessions to beat Ishin Sword Saint. Every session I made it 1 phase further up to the point where I beat Him. You just need to put in the time to practice and learn the boss. In my last run (NG+++), I did the default ending and killed every boss again in less than 3 tries. Practice makes perfect. I do agree with the lock on/camera issues in the Owl Father fight. But that's the only fight that had these issues. Did'nt have much issues with camera in other fights. Anyway , just keep at it and You will prevail eventually. I 100% Sekiro yesterday which I never expected since I haven't really played Dark Souls games before. I did 100% games like Ninja Gaiden 2 and DMC4 but those don't use stealth so the only thing similar are the bossfights. The bosses in Sekiro are tough but fair imo. Unlike most NG bosses.
FL trooper be
Want to join in the discussion? Please log in or Register For Free to comment.