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1 NGS2 on Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:14 pm

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (Advanced mechanics & Boss Breakdowns)


Disclaimer - The information described below is strictly for Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, however, certain applications such as shuriken cancelling, block resets, essence holding and onlanding attacks are ubiquitous throughout the series with the exception of Ninja Gaiden 3, Razor's Edge and Yaiba.


Intermediate mechanics


  • Shuriken cancelling - The art of shuriken cancelling is rarely discussed, however, it's an invaluable technique that can be used both offensively and defensively.

    Shuriken cancelling or SC refers to cancelling the active frames of your attack with a single shuriken. This allows you to make your move safe/safer so you have less recovery and can perform extended combos whilst your opponent is kept in hit stun.

    All nine of Ryu’s weapons can take advantage of this intermediate technique, however, some are easier to master than others. I would strongly recommend the Dragon Sword for beginners because it is one of the easiest weapons to learn how to shuriken cancel.

    However, not all attacks can be shuriken cancelled, as a general rule all light attacks can be cancelled and only specific heavy commands can be cancelled. If you throw more than a single shuriken, you're not performing this technique correctly.

    I strongly urge new players to learn how to shuriken cancel within a controlled environment to practice their craft. As such, you need to master the fundamentals of shuriken cancelling before you tackle more complicated routes.  

    Dragon Sword Examples - Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing) into a shuriken. Square, Square, Triangle into a shuriken. Square, Triangle (Hold Triangle after pressing), shuriken, neutral jump into aerial Square, Square, Square, Triangle.





  • Onlanding attacks - The ability to consistently perform onlanding attacks and charges is paramount for your survivability. This becomes apparent when playing on the harder difficulties when used in conjunction with essence holding. As the name suggests, an onlanding attack is performed the moment you touch the ground after an aerial attack or jump.
     
    Example - There are a few advantages of mastering this technique, first and foremost you can abuse a move such as the 360 Triangle with the Blade of the Archfiend the moment you land to protect you from taking damage due to the amount of I-frames it provides. Alternatively, you can use a failed essence technique or ultimate technique cancel to the same effect providing the attack has frames of invulnerability.





  • Essence holding - Throughout your playthroughs you're forced to make on the spot decisions, should I hold the essence around me or should I absorb it. The catalyst to getting better is by making smarter decisions within these moments. By holding block whilst essence is surrounding you, you're able to keep essence floating within the atmosphere for 15-20 seconds before it will vanish.

    Depending on the colour and the amount of essence surrounding you will allow you to instantly charge either an essence or ultimate technique. This is referred to as essence/ultimate technique cancelling within the community. When used in conjunction with the bunny hop or wind path technique it becomes an extremely potent combination.

    Example - You have just Izuna dropped an enemy to their demise, upon landing you keep hold of block. Another ninja approaches you, you wind path or bunny hop off the ninjas back, the moment your feet touch the ground you press Triangle to unleash a UT cancel.




Advanced mechanics


  • Instant blocking - Any seasoned player with a shred of credibility will strongly urge beginners to hold block religiously as if your life depended upon it. Fundamentally, this is critical to your development, however, if you wish to push the boundaries even further, you can attempt to instant block incoming attacks.

    There are many reasons why instant blocking is advantageous over generalised play first and foremost you're able to punish attacks that would normally be impossible. Secondly, you're able to break through the skill ceiling into a realm few have ventured.
     
    Instant blocking, in a nutshell, is blocking an incoming attack the moment it is about to hit you. However, multiple hitting moves will require block resetting and instant blocking together in order for the user to prevail.

    As such, I strongly urge new players to learn how to instant block within a controlled environment against solitary attacks to initiate your development within this discipline.

    For instance, I suggest a training regime, first you should practice instant blocking Genshin's charge attack on a low difficulty therefore if you make a mistake you will not be penalised by death for your mistakes.

    Once you feel confident in your ability to instant block his attack you can move on to multi-hitting attacks to further your development.






  • Block resetting - Block resetting is an advanced mechanic that is utilised by professional players to terrible effect, coupled with instant blocking and counter attacks. Block resetting requires you to momentarily release block and hold block in the middle of multi-hitting attacks.  

    For example, Elizabet has a triple tail stab attack that she uses from time to time. If you simply hold block you will be unable to block each strike individually as your guard will be broken after the first strike, therefore, the second stab will cause you to take damage.

    In order to succeed you will need to block the initial hit normally, now you need to quickly release block and hold it again before the second stab strikes you if you're quick enough you will block the attack!

    Once you have grasped the concept of block resetting it is time for you to practice within the single-player campaign. You can progress to more difficult block resets once you're accustomed to the technique. The infamous Elizabet loop requires you to use this invaluable tool.






  • Counter attacks - Countering in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is a risky affair on the hardest difficulties which epitomises risk vs reward. However, there are situations where you can counter specific attacks provided you block reset them first, which creates more opportunities to punish your opponent.

    Regrettably, your weapon of choice will determine the impact or reward of your success on a successful counter. Countering attacks can be used in conjunction with both block resets and instant blocking.

    Under no circumstances should you attempt to learn or practice countering your opponents on a high difficulty setting, although this gives you the feeling of mortality it will stump your development. To familiarise yourself with the timing of counter attacks you need to press counter the moment your opponent's attack is about to strike you.

    Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 has evolved exponentially over the years, what we know now would have been inconceivable back in the day. It is possible to counter grabs, however, you must be standing with your back to the opponent, then and only then will you be able to counter them.

       




Boss Breakdowns

Adult Quetzalcoatl

Mechanically the Adult Quetzalcoatl in chapter 13 is without question the easiest boss to learn, despite being an optional encounter, it's in your best interest to engage it. Upon death, you're rewarded with a chest containing 10,000 yellow essence which comes in handy when you're low on funds.

Generally speaking, the only means of dealing damage to this foe is from afar, however, the Quetzalcoatl will swoop towards you at the start of the battle allowing you to land damage with your preferred weapon of choice. Since the majority of the fight is fought at arm's length you can either use the Fiend's Bane's Bow or the Howling Cannon.

Attack 1: Aerial fireball volley [Guard Damage if blocked] [Unable to Counter] - The first aerial attack is in the form of a fireball volley, the Quetzalcoatl will fire a series of fireballs towards you. The easiest method of avoiding this attack is to simply dash or jump out of the way.

Attack 2: Aerial giant fireball [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The next attack is a gigantic fireball that explodes on impact, creating a blast radius in its wake. Once again the preferred option is to dash or jump out of the way to avoid taking damage.

Attack 3: Aerial Laser beam [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The final attack in the Quetzalcoatl’s repertoire is a laser beam. This will traverse the entire length of the battlefield, therefore, you need to time your dash, jump or 360 Triangle with the Blade of the Archfiend to avoid taking damage.

Pro tip - You can fire arrows at an accelerated rate providing you strafe as you shoot this will allow you to defeat the Quetzalcoatl in record time. Surprisingly, the Howling Cannon is the optimal weapon of choice for this encounter.





Gomodus Troll

Although this cumbersome giant may look intimidating, it's actually one of the easiest bosses in the game. The Gomodus is blind and resorts to sound location to detect you, every move the troll is capable of is easily avoided and punished on reaction.

There's actually a very easy or cheap strategy to kill the troll with relative ease, simply fire arrows from your bow at distance, however, do not get greedy otherwise you will regret it.

Pro tip - Like the majority of bosses, the best way to approach the fight is to stay up close and personal. Try to position yourself between the troll’s legs for maximum efficiency. If you accomplish this you only need to avoid the stomp attacks. Remember you must obliterate the Gomodus in order to defeat it!

Attack 1: Scream [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The troll will only resort to screaming if you stray too far. This attack has incredible range and will cause you to spiral out of control should you get hit. The best way of avoiding this attack is to jump or dash to the side, as the coverage is not as wide as you would think.

Attack 2: Stomp [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - Providing you stay between the troll's legs it's go-to get off me move is to stomp the ground. This attack can be easily blocked and punished with your weapon of choice.

Attack 3: Swinging arm [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The Gomodus will only resort to this attack if you're attacking one of its legs from the side therefore by staying in-between its legs, you never have to worry about this attack!

Attack 4: Arm smash [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The next attack in the troll’s repertoire is an arm smash which the Gomodus will only perform if you're too far away. Thus, if you follow the advice provided, you can avoid many situations that you would otherwise have to deal with.

Attack 5: Grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - With the exception of the Quetzalcoatl, every boss in the game has a grab attack! Fortunately, this grab can be avoided entirely if you stay between the troll's legs, as the grab is only performed when you're far away.

Spoiler:

Dragon Sword - Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, slight delay into Triangle, Triangle.

Blade of the Archfiend - Forward and Triangle (Hold Triangle after pressing), SC, Forward and Triangle (Hold Triangle after pressing), SC into 360 Triangle.

Falcon Talons - Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle or Square, Triangle, Onlanding 360 Triangle, Triangle.

Kusari-gama - 360 Triangle, Triangle.

Lunar Staff - Square, Square, Triangle.

Eclipse Scythe - Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, slight delay, Triangle, Triangle.

Enma's Fang - Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, slight delay, Triangle.

Tonfa - Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle into 360 Triangle to avoid taking damage to the stomp.

Rachel - Square, Square, Dash cancel, Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.







Buddha Statue

At first glance, this intimidating figure seems impossible to defeat, however, if you follow the advice provided, you will make him look like a pushover. The Buddha Statue excels when fighting at distance, therefore you should get as close to the hand as humanly possible to prevent the statue from spamming laser beams at you.

Attack 1: Laser beam [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Without question one of the most telegraphed moves in the Buddha statues arsenal. The Buddha will fire a laser beam across the battlefield which will momentarily explode, the easiest way to avoid this attack is to jump or dash away. Alternatively, you can use an essence technique and release the instant the explosion occurs to walk away unscathed.  

Attack 2: Energy pillars [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - If you see the Buddha praying, this is a visual cue of what is about to unfold. The Buddha will begin to chant, erupting pillars of energy from underneath you. There are a few ways of avoiding this attack the first is to simply run and jump around until the Buddha stops or you can dash to the same effect.

Generally speaking, the Buddha will chant between 4-5 pillars of energy. However, this is one of the statues get off me moves which is normally spammed at some point throughout the fight.

Attack 3: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - If you cannot tell when a mountain of stone is trying to grab you then we have some serious problems. To avoid being grabbed to your untimely death you should always attack the arms of the Buddha from the outside of his palms.  

Attack 4: Arm swipe [Guard Damage if Blocked] [Unable to Counter] - Without question the rarest attack in the Buddha’s repertoire. The Buddha will extend its arm and attempt to lash out at you, however, this is very easy to identify as the window of opportunity is abundant.

If you time your dash correctly you can avoid taking damage otherwise you can use a 360 Triangle attack or failed essence technique provided it grants you I-frames.

Attack 5: Hand smash [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The Buddha will smash its arm on the battlefield up to 3 times in quick succession. As such, the easiest method of avoiding the attack is to block each strike individually or you can dash away from each strike.

Spoiler:

Blade of the Archfiend - You have 2 options when punishing the Buddha Statue you can either use Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle and 360 Triangle the hand smashes or you can replace Triangle with Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing) into Sc.

Kusari-Gama - You can use running Triangle to punish the recovery of the energy pillars and aerial Square, aerial Square to punish in-between the arm smashes. However, during the last arm smash you can follow-up with running Triangle into 360 Triangle, Triangle for optimal damage.

Dragon Sword - Triangle, Triangle upto 3 times depending on the situation.  

Lunar Staff - Square, Square, Triangle.








GigaDeath


Quite possibly one of the most annoying bosses the game has to offer, not only is it difficult to reach this boss after clearing a troublesome section in the subway tunnel but then you're pitted against this monstrosity.

Unlike the Adult Quetzalcoatl, it's impossible to deal damage with your weapon against this adversary, therefore, you have to use the Fiend's Bane's Bow in order to take it down. Remember to strafe as you shoot to fire arrows at an accelerated rate!

Attack 1: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The only way you can be grabbed is when the beast frantically moves around, you will know it when you see it! Fortunately, this move is very easy to distinguish and is easily avoided.

Attack 2: Long-range projectile [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The GigaDeath has a long-range projectile which is actually a large flurry of energy balls. This attack is very annoying to deal with, as the GigaDeath can fire at an incredible rate. As such, there are only 3 ways of avoiding this attack: you can either hurl ninpo, use an ultimate technique to pass through it which has to be predicted or run like hell.

Attack 3: Minion attack [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - On occasion, the boss will have support from its minions which will come at you in large quantities. Under no circumstances should you let them hit you because they do a lot of damage, simply jump out of the way to avoid the brunt of their attacks.  

Attack 4: Mask [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The final attack in the GigaDeath’s arsenal resembles a mask. Once this mask comes into contact with either a wall or you it will explode dealing massive damage. This move has without question one of the longest windows of opportunity to get out of the vicinity, therefore if you get hit then you have serious problems that require immediate attention.





Statue of Liberty


The climactic finale against the colossal Statue of Liberty in chapter 4 is a boss that is generally loathed by the majority of players for being a troublesome foe. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal to tackle this tricky adversary.

Like the majority of large-scale bosses, you must attack both arm bracelets before attacking the neck. Since the neck is beyond your reach, you need to fire arrows from your bow before obliterating the behemoth.

Attack 1: Arm smashes [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The first attack in the Statue of Liberty’s arsenal is referred to as an arm smash. The Statue will smash its arms against the ground causing shockwaves of lightning to appear.

The easiest way to avoid taking damage is to block then jump or block dash away. The Statue of Liberty can perform this attack up to 3 times in quick succession, therefore, you need to remain mobile in order to come away unscathed.  

Attack 2: Floor traps [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Occasionally the Statue of Liberty will raise its arms, casting traps that set-off lightning from the ground. The easiest way of avoiding this attack is to run and jump out of the way.

As such, the maximum number of reps the statue is capable of is 3. During the start-up animation, you have the option to hurl Piercing Void ninpo at the neck, once you have reached the final phase.

Attack 3: Lightning orbs [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Once you've depleted the Statue of Liberty’s health below a certain threshold, the giant will have aerial support in the form of lightning orbs while it attempts to cause you problems from its arm smashes. Avoid this attack at all costs, or you will regret it.

Spoiler:

Blade of the Archfiend - You can use a combination of Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, 360 Triangle and Forward Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing) to destroy the statue in record time.

Dragon Sword - Triangle, Triangle, Triangle or Square, Square, Square, Triangle.

Kusari-Gama - Aimed jump (Square and Cross together) into aerial Triangle, aerial Square in-between or after an arm smash or the final floor trap, otherwise you can use running Triangle or 360 Triangle, Triangle.

Falcon Talons - 360 Triangle twice.

Eclipse Scythe - Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.






Tengu Brothers

The dynamic duo can be a difficult obstacle to overcome, however, they're very exploitable. On the surface their colouration appears to be aesthetical, in actuality, one brother has less health than the other. I strongly recommend fighting the Tengu Brothers in close quarters as they excel at long-range combat.

If possible, you should focus your attacks on a single Tengu to even-up the playing field otherwise you will be forced into an unfavourable encounter. Fortuitously, the majority of their attacks are well telegraphed, however, instant kill grabs are ever-present, so remain vigilant!

Attack 1: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Counterable] - No boss would be complete if they lacked an instant kill, unfortunately, the Tengu brothers have 3 ways of achieving such a feat. Their short-range grab is very easy to avoid, simply dash out of the way, more daring players can attempt to counter it.  

Attack 2: Long-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The long-range grab has a relatively long start-up animation, therefore, you have ample time to get out of the way. Remember to dash horizontally otherwise you're putting yourself at risk.  

Attack 3: Projectile [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The Tengu brothers on occasion resort to kunai throwing in a similar manner to Genshin, you can easily block the attack or dodge out of the way.

Attack 4: Aerial stomp [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - Generally, aerial attacks cannot be blocked, however, this is an exception to the rule. The Tengu brothers can simultaneously stomp you to keep you on your toes.

Attack 5: Melee combo [Instant Blockable] [Counterable on the First attack] - The Tengu's bread and butter combo, consisting of 3 hits the final of which will result in a grab. The easiest way of avoiding each hit is to block the initial hit then block dash to the side until he finishes his attack.

Attack 6: Wind blades [Unblockable] [Counterable] - If you've ever used the Wind Blade ninpo as Ryu this attack should look very familiar to you. As soon as the Tengu begins to chant you need to get the hell out of the way, ideally, no more than 2 jumps away.

Spoiler:


Blade of the Archfiend - Whenever an opportunity to land damage presents itself you can punish with Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing) or you can counter the first hit of their bread and butter combo with Triangle into a 360 Triangle.

Falcon Talons - The optimal weapon of choice providing you use the correct punish. If you counter with Triangle into a 360 Triangle you will absolutely decimate them.

Kusari-Gama - Counter their melee combo with Triangle otherwise you should use aimed jump (Square and X together) into aerial Triangle, aerial Square into an onlanding running Triangle for maximum damage.

Tonfa - Forward and Triangle together, Triangle, X or L1 into Triangle is the optimal punish however, it's not uncommon to see players counter the first hit of their melee combo with Square into X or L1, Triangle.





Blue Dragon


The Blue Dragon is without question one of the most annoying bosses in the game. Its homing projectile is one of the most challenging attacks to evade. Unfortunately, the Blue Dragon excels at ranged combat and rarely allows you to engage in close quarters.  

Furthermore, the battlefield is incredibly minute, therefore, there's not a lot of room for mistakes as you're manoeuvrability is very restricted. However, you can use ranged combat to land damage from afar. Surprisingly, the Art of the Phoenix ninpo is a solid choice, however, I would strongly suggest using the Piercing void ninpo, especially during the scream attack to land considerable damage.

Attack 1: Scream [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The Blue Dragon will often resort to screaming, during the attacks animation is the optimal moment to fire a Piercing Void at his face! After the dragon screams the radius of his attack will explode, therefore, you need to time your ninpo wisely.

Attack 2: Icicle projectile [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Without question the most difficult attack to avoid, you can time a 360 Triangle with the level 2 Dragon Claw and Tiger Fangs to pass through unscathed or if you predict the attack you can charge an essence/ultimate technique.

Attack 3: Water wave [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - On occasion the dragon will tilt its head to one side, sending a shockwave of water across the battlefield, you can use the usual tactics to avoid taking damage such as jumping or dashing out of its path.

Attack 4: Summon Piranha - Last but certainly not least, the Blue Dragon will get frustrated by your actions and will slightly turn its head whilst emitting a plea or roar of desperation. A school of Piranhas will come to the dragons aid, however, the window of opportunity to charge an essence/ultimate technique is incredibly lenient.

Spoiler:


Blade of the Archfiend - The boss killer is the preferred weapon of choice to punish the scream attack especially if you combine it with Art of the Piercing Void. You can use Forward and Triangle (Hold Triangle after pressing) SC, rinse and repeat or Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.

Enma's Fang - You can use Ultimate techniques to cheese the boss if you wish. Otherwise use Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle or Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.

True Dragon Sword - Triangle, Triangle, Triangle or Square, Square, Square, Triangle.

Tonfa - Square, X, Triangle or Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.







Nuclear Armadillo

Without question one of the most visually striking bosses in the franchise, the Nuclear Armadillo has the most annoying attack in the game, in the form of a meteor shower. Regrettably, this boss is completely random, therefore, there's currently no guaranteed strategy against him that is risk-free.

Unlike every boss in the game, a condition must be fulfilled after obliterating the beast, you MUST hold block to block the explosion upon its defeat or you will have to redo the entire fight. The art of the Piercing Void ninpo deals considerable damage if you saved your ninpo, aim for the head! 

Attack 1: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - If you stay to the side of the beast whilst attacking the head, you're putting yourself in danger of being eaten, therefore, if you stay well away from its jaws you do not have to worry about the attack.

Attack 2: Fire breathe [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - This move has incredible range and deals a lot of damage. There are a few ways you can avoid this devastating attack, you can either 360 Triangle through it with the Blade of the Archfiend or you can simply jump away, however, this is your most reliable way of inflicting damage.

Attack 3: 360 [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - Every now and again the armadillo will rear up on its hind legs and move 360 degrees. Should you get hit this will deal considerable damage, therefore, you should avoid it at all costs.  

Attack 4: Meteor shower [Guard damage on block] [Unable to Counter] - This is the most annoying move in the game and also one of the coolest! The armadillo will spew meteors from its back that rain down upon the battlefield, each meteor will cause you to take a chunk of damage, therefore, feel free to use whatever resources you desire to survive the apocalypse.

Attack 5: Roll [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - This is another difficult move to avoid because the armadillo can roll more than once in quick succession and can even delay it, making it even more difficult to avoid. Feel free to use whatever resources you have in order to survive, however, you can safely time your dashes or you can jump out of the way but this requires precise timing.

Spoiler:


Blade of the Archfiend - Using a combination of Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle or 360 Triangle or Forward Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing) will allow you to deal damage whilst being relatively safe.

Tonfa - The tonfa method is a very risky strategy, however, it is the fastest method to date. Simply use running Triangle into X or L1 to dash away from the head after a successful attack. Simply rinse and repeat, however, a word of caution this strategy is not for the faint-hearted as there's a lot of risk involved.






Marbus


Marbus is technically a greater fiend of the underworld, therefore, he needs to be an imposing figure with a diverse move pool to boot. As such, this is one of the few boss fights where the boss will summon backup once you deplete his health to a certain threshold. Backup consists of 3 infernal shadow demons for company at regular health intervals.

As a greater fiend he has excellent mobility and can pressure you from distance better than any other boss, therefore, you need to be fully aware of how to deal with his attacks to prevent you from tearing your hair out. Surprisingly, he is the only boss in the game that has the ability to absorb nearby essence to charge his aerial dive. I would strongly suggest you should not give him the opportunity to absorb any essence from you, especially if it's health or ninpo.

Attack 1: Aerial dive [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Arguably his worst attack, Marbus will begin to spin in the air before spiralling towards you in a downward trajectory. This attack has excellent tracking, if you stay immobile you will have difficulty avoiding the attack.

For those of you unlucky enough to get hit this can potentially result in a grab so be very careful. You can avoid this attack in a number of ways you can charge an essence/ultimate technique and release the moment he begins to fall or you can simply dash or jump away.

Attack 2: Aerial projectile [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Whilst airborne, Marbus likes to spam his energy balls at your face, however, if Marbus has his minions on the field for company his energy balls can hurt and even kill his pets for you! Normally he will fire between 4-6 orbs in a row, however, he has been known to spam this attack on occasion, therefore, I recommend staying mobile when he performs this attack to come away unscathed.

Attack 3: Aerial dash [Guard Damage if blocked] [Unable to Counter] - Sometimes Marbus will perform an aerial swoop or dash towards you. This attack does a lot of damage on the harder difficulties, fortuitously, it's very easy to avoid.

Attack 4: Aerial stomp [Guard Damage if blocked] [Counterable on the First hit] Follow-up 1 dash [Guard Damage if blocked] [Unable to Counter] Follow-up 2 grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - His aerial stomp has 2 follow-up attacks that you need to be aware of. The first is a simple stomp to the ground below, if he remains grounded you can punish him with your best combo.

After your attack, he will likely perform his ground dash which needs to be avoided because if you block the attack you will receive guard damage. However, if you do not heed my warning and you attack Marbus from either directly in front of him or on either side he will perform a wake-up grab that will instantly kill you!

Spoiler:


Blade of the Archfiend - Once Marbus is grounded after his aerial dive get behind him and use the following punish Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing) SC a few times into 360 Triangle.

Tonfa - You can use Forward and Triangle together, X or L1 into Triangle. Alternatively, you can use Square, X or L1 into Triangle then immediately 360 Triangle.

Rachel - Basic punish would be Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle. Advanced would be Square Square, Dash Cancel (DC), Square, Square, DC, Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.





Obaba


Obaba is a demonic witch of the Black Spider clan as such, she is one of the most formidable commanders within the division. You do not want to give her any room to breathe because she has excellent range and excels at playing keep away, therefore, I strongly recommend fighting her up close and personal.

She can be temporarily stunned which gives you an opportunity to land damage providing you block and punish a specific attack within the time-frame. If you time it correctly, this is the only way to guarantee a stun against her.

Attack 1: Long-range projectile [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - If you stray too far from Obaba or give her too much room to breathe she will begin to chant a homing projectile, this move has excellent tracking, therefore, you need to be alert in order to avoid taking damage.

Please note during the animation, Obaba, is invulnerable to damage. To avoid taking damage you can dash or jump out of the way, however, this requires timing. Alternatively, you can charge an essence or ultimate technique and release as soon as she finishes casting or you can use ninpo as a last resort.

Attack 2: Long-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Obaba will attempt to grab you from a distance if you give her too much room. I personally recommend neutral jumping the attack because if you time it correctly, you can perform an attack on the way down as a punish!

Attack 3: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The risk of fighting Obaba up close and personal is the risk of being grabbed. As a visual cue, she will put her hands together in a feeble attempt to grab you to your demise. As such, you can simply dash or jump out of the way, however, I recommend neutral jumping.

Attack 4: 720 [Blockable] [Counterable on the First hit] - Her 720-degree spin is the only attack you can guarantee a stun providing you time your attack correctly. Simply block all her attacks then slightly delay your aimed jump by a fraction of a second before you flying swallow her, should you hit her within the window of opportunity you will stun her!

This means you can follow-up with a combo, therefore, I suggest performing the Izuna drop as it leaves you in an airborne state, thus if you time your Izuna correctly you will avoid her desperation wake-up grab!

Attack 5: Aerial stomps [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Occasionally, Obaba will leap into the air before smashing the ground, a feat she can do up to 3 times in quick succession. You can avoid taking damage by dashing or jumping away from the attack or to the side, however, like everything else this requires timing.

If you land an attack at the precise moment she hits the ground you can potentially stun her, therefore, you have 2 solid opportunities to land consistent damage.

Attack 6: Melee combo [Instant Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - This is Obaba’s bread and butter combo when you're up in her face, she will attack you up to 3 times, however, her attacks are slow and predictable, therefore, if you use a fast attack you can land damage in-between her melee combo!
Spoiler:


Ayane - You can loop Obaba to her death as Ayane, however, you must time each repetition otherwise you will take damage. You should use Square, Triangle, Triangle as soon as she's stunned then simply rinse and repeat until she dies. Although, this takes a small degree of rng or luck to succeed. The payoff is huge as this allows you to kill Obaba within 15 seconds on the hardest difficulty.

Blade of the Archfiend - After landing a stun the most optimal punish is Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing), SC twice into an aimed jump (Square and X) together into aerial Square, Square, Square, slight delay, Triangle. Other players have been known to perform an onlanding 360 Triangle after the flying swallow.

Tonfa - The best method of stunning Obaba is to use an aimed jump (Square and X) together, Triangle, X or L1 into Triangle. Once she's stunned perform the full Izuna drop combo to avoid her wake-up grab.





Black Dragon


The Black Dragon is an intimidating adversary, however, this encounter is a lot easier than the Blue dragon because you have more room to manoeuvre. The age-old strategy of keeping your opponent as close as possible will serve you well.

If you fight the beast from close quarters, you will not have to deal with its fire breath, fireballs or its running charge. Fortunately, the remaining moves are very easy to avoid, as far as weapons are concerned you can not go wrong with the boss killer!

Attack 1: Fire breath [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - It should come as no surprise that dragons breathe fire, as such, this attack inflicts a tremendous amount of damage and envelops the majority of the battlefield. Since there's no way to block or counter it, you should get the hell out of its way!  

Attack 2: Flame pillar [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Occasionally, the beast will lay down its body which is a visual cue that a fire pillar is about to be summoned from underneath you. Simply dash or aimed jump to avoid getting hit.

Attack 3: Aerial stomp [Unblockable] [Counterable] - The behemoth will ascend to the air before slamming its body on the ground, creating a shockwave in the process! You can use 360 Triangle with weapons that have invincibility frames or you can avoid it the traditional way, however, advanced players can actually counter the attack!

Attack 4: Tail swipe [Guard Damage if blocked] [Unable to Counter] - From time to time the dragon will attempt to slash you with its tail, however, the visual cue is the dragon will spin 180 degrees first!  

Attack 5: Running charge [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The dragons running charge is generally performed when the dragon is far away from you. As such, this attack hits like a truck, therefore, you should avoid it at all costs with either dashing at the correct time or using I-frames to come away unscathed.

Attack 6: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Whilst attacking the beast, I strongly suggest you stay away from the head, otherwise you might become lunch! You should always attack the dragon from either the side or behind its legs to prevent an untimely death.

Attack 7: Fireball volley [Guard Damage if blocked] [Unable to Counter] - Without question one of the rarest attacks in the game. The dragon will fire a volley of fireballs from its mouth since you're unable to counter them you can instant block or jump/dash away.

Spoiler:


Blade of the Archfiend - You can use a combination of Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing), SC twice. Alternatively, you can use Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle and 360 Triangle to the same effect.

Kusari-Gama - 360 Triangle, Triangle. You should always use the strong counter or Triangle when you counter his aerial stomp.

Rachel - Square, Square, DC, Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.

Dragon Sword - Square, Square, Square, Triangle or Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.






Archfiend (Larval form)

Vazdah is ensconced in its protective cocoon, the only way to reveal his true form is by defeating his outer shell. The general strategy is similar to GigaDeath, as the larval form is immune to physical damage. As such, you will be using the Fiend’s Bane's bow throughout because it's far superior to the Howling Cannon.

Although the immature archfiend is an intimidating prospect, it’s a very straight-forward fight. Simply stay mobile throughout to avoid its attacks before firing an arrow to his face. Once your arrow hits its mark, you will need to quickly avoid the blood rushing down upon you before shooting the glowing orb within its chest.

Unfortunately, this is the most drawn-out battle in the game because the fight is split into 5 sections. Once you've defeated a section you MUST block the incoming attack that grants you a path to the next phase, should you die on any section, you will have to re-do the entire fight!

Attack 1: Projectile [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Occasionally the boss will summon projectiles. Surprisingly, you can destroy them with ranged combat and they drop essence!

Attack 2: Hand Smash [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The immature archfiend will smash its arms upon the battlefield when it's enraged. As such, you can block the attack or you can get out of the way, the choice is yours.

Attack 3: Laser beam [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Without question the most damaging attack in the bosses arsenal, if there's any move you don't want to get hit by, this is it! Unfortunately, the laser beam can be fired vertically and horizontally, therefore, you need to be focused in order to avoid an untimely death.

Although you can avoid the attack through evasion, I suggest using I-Frames with the Blade of the Archfiend's 360 Triangle, as this will cover both eventualities.    

Attack 4: Blood [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Once you've fired an arrow at the head, blood and sinew will rain down upon you. Since you're unable to block or counter the falling debris, I recommend running and jumping to the other side of the battlefield to avoid taking unnecessary damage.







Bone Giant


This lumbering pile of bones is very slow moving, however, if he hits you, you're going to feel it! Before you face-off against the Bone Giant, you'll have to dispose of his minions who are protecting the nest.

The giant has one of the largest hitboxes of any boss with arguably the most health, as such, it's imperative you deal with this foe in a swift and precise manner. An easy but very lengthy exploit exists using the Howling Cannon, although I would strongly urge against it as it will take around 350 shots on Master Ninja difficulty to fell the beast.

If you wish to use ninpo against him, your best option is to aim Piercing Void ninpo at the glowing light in his ribcage when he falls to deal considerable damage. However, you can deal optimal damage without resorting to ninpo, so the choice is yours!    

Attack 1: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - No Ninja Gaiden boss would be complete if they lacked an instant-kill grab. Due to his long reach, there are several ways of avoiding the attack you can either dash away, use 360 Triangle for its invincibility with either the Blade of the Archfiend or the Tonfas or you can jump away.

Attack 2: Kick [Blockable from close quarters] [Unable to Counter] - Occasionally the giant will attempt to kick you sending a barrage of bones and debris towards you, especially if you're too far away. As such, you can block dash the original kick from close-range, however, you cannot block the bones or debris.  

Attack 3: Spinning attack [Instant Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - When you're fighting up close and personal, i.e. between his legs, this is the giant's go-to bread and butter attack to attempt to dislodge you. You can block the first hit and then block dash to the right until he stops, however, if you predict the attack you can charge an essence/ultimate technique and release as he's about to spin.

Alternatively, you can use 360 Triangle with the Tonfas or Blade of the Archfiend or you can jump away. Advanced players can actually block reset both attacks to be extra flashy!

Attack 4: Dinner time [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Although this attack is very rare, you may come across it. The giant will begin to feed on bones from the ground, whilst he's dining, you're free to attack him, however, you should attack his tail because if you attack his leg you will take damage from falling debris.

Furthermore, once the giant has finished its supper, it can potentially do a few follow-up attacks the first is a stomp to the ground with its foot or he can throw the remaining bones at you.

Attack 5: Hand smashes [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - If you fight the giant from a distance he will try to reach you by smashing his hands against the ground. Due to the giant's large stature, this move has a tremendous hitbox and should be avoided at all costs. He can do this a few times in short succession.

Attack 6: Fake stumble - Every now and again the giant will pretend to stumble to the ground to bait you, because normally when he stumbles you go on the offence. If this happens you need to be on your toes!

Spoiler:


Blade of the Archfiend - Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing), SC repeatedly whenever an opportunity to land damage presents itself, alternatively you can use 360 Triangle.

Tonfas - The Tonfa strategy requires more skill to perform, however, you can defeat the giant in a timely fashion! Once he's about to spin, instead of blocking the initial hit use aimed jump into flying swallow then X or L1 into Triangle to avoid taking damage.

Generally you need to use Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, however, you must hit-confirm the attack otherwise you run the risk of being kicked in the face! If he stumbles and consequently falls on his arse, I stand near his right arm and punish with Square, Triangle (Hold Triangle after pressing), Triangle, X or L1, Square, Triangle.

Lunar Staff - Use 360 Triangle repeatedly, once the boss falls get right between his legs and spam this attack!

Kusari-Gama - 360 Triangle, Triangle.






Shadow Ninja Rasetsu


The Rasetsu is one of the high ranking demonic life forms within the Black Spider Ninja Clan. This adversary is versatile in both close quarters and ranged combat and is very aggressive.

Fortunately, every boss has its weaknesses that you can exploit to your advantage. Fighting up close and personal is your best option, however, you need to be careful of his grabs! Please note you MUST obliterate the Rasetsu in order to defeat him.

Attack 1: Rushing strike [Blockable] [Counterable] - At the start of the battle the Rasetsu will perform a rushing charge towards you. The easiest way to avoid the attack is to either dash out of the way or block it, however, more advanced players can counter it.

Attack 2: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The Rasetsu has a tendency to grab you, especially when you’re punishing him for his mistakes. He will always try to grab you with his right arm, therefore, the easiest way of avoiding an untimely death is to dash to the left. Under no circumstances should you attempt to neutral jump his grab, unless you do not value your life!

Attack 3: Long-range grab [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - This is the Rasetsu’s second grab as if one wasn’t enough! The visual cue between this grab and his other is the Rasetsu will take a step back before lunging forward, as such, you can avoid the attack by dashing away.

Attack 4: Melee combo [Blockable] [Counterable on the First, Second or Third hit] - This is the Rasetsu's go-to combo to get you off him, the sequence hits 4 times, however, once he finishes his offence he's vulnerable. You can simply block the entire string, even without dashing.  

Attack 5: Melee combo 2 [Blockable] [Counterable on the Second hit] - His second combo string begins with a cartwheel into 2 follow-up attacks. As such, you can simply block the entire string normally without the need for dashing.

Attack 6: Roar - Technically this isn't a move because it does not make contact, however, you need to be aware of it. If you stray too far from the Rasetsu he will on occasion emit a roar. This slightly regenerates his life bar, therefore, you should not give him the satisfaction.

Attack 7: Projectile [Instant Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The Rasetsu will only perform this attack from distance, therefore, if you took my advice you will not have to deal with the attack. For those who have not listened the Rasetsu will spam a projectile very similar to Wind Blade ninpo towards you. You can dash to avoid the attack, however, professional players can instant block each projectile individually.

Attack 8: Aerial stomp [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The Rasetsu will attempt from time to time to stomp you from the air multiple times in quick succession, however, the attack is quite rare. To avoid being hit you need to time your dashes away from him to prevent taking damage.

Attack 9: Cartwheel [Blockable] [Unable to Counter] - The final attack in the Rasetsu’s arsenal somewhat resembles a cartwheel. As such, this is a single hitting move, the easiest method of avoiding the attack is to simply block it.

Spoiler:


Dragon Sword - Square, Square, Triangle, Forward and Triangle together, Square, Triangle (Hold Triangle after pressing) Triangle, Triangle, onlanding 360 Triangle, onlanding Failed ET, Square, Square, Square, Triangle.

Blade of the Archfiend - Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing), SC into 360 Triangle. Alternatively, you can use Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle.

Tonfas - The optimal punish is to use Square, Triangle, Square, Square, Square, Triangle into an onlanding 360 Triangle.

Ayane - Arguably the easiest loop against the Rasetsu, simply wait for an opportunity to land damage and repeatedly mash Square until he dies!

Momiji - Square, Square, Forward and Square together, Square. If you wish to counter his attacks you can use either Square or Triangle.

Kusari-Gama - Outside of loops the Kusari-Gama tears the Rasetsu apart if you use Square, Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle then 360 Triangle, Triangle.

Eclipse Scythe - A loop exists against this formidable foe, simply spam 360 Triangle and it will interrupt all of his attacks!  





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2 NGS2 Part 2: The Continuation on Sat May 19, 2018 10:26 am

Zedonius


Zedonius is the greater fiend of fire and is known as the malevolent ruler of flame, as such, he's a formidable opponent. Throughout the battle, Zedonius will summon 3 Blood Red Gajas every time his health drops below a certain threshold.

Under no circumstances should you give Zedonius room to breathe, you should always engage him as close as possible because his moves from distance are incredibly potent and have the ability to juggle, therefore, if you're hit by one you're hit by them all.

Occasionally you can stun Zedonius, although, I am unsure as to the catalyst to make this occur, should you temporarily stun Zedonius you're granted with a narrow window of opportunity to land damage. A word of caution, if you stun Zedonius he will attempt to wake up grab you the majority of the time so be careful.

Attack 1: Short-range grab [Unblockable] [Counterable] - One of the easiest attacks to avoid because Zedonius will always try to grab you with his right hand, therefore, dashing to the same side or neutral jumping will prevent you from certain death.

Attack 2: Fireblast [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - The attack looks very difficult to avoid, however, it's extremely easy! If you're standing directly in front of him as he casts, you can stand there and his attack will miss, allowing an intelligent player an opportunity to land damage.

Attack 3: Melee combo [Blockable] [Counterable on the first hit] - His go-to melee combo is very easy to avoid simply block the first attack then block dash to either side then punish once he stops attacking. The first hit of his melee combo can be countered for those of you who like to live life on the edge!

Attack 4: Aerial stomp [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Occasionally Zedonius will take to the air before crashing down upon you, creating an area of effect around him. This attack is extremely damaging and can be avoided in multiple ways, you can either 360 Triangle through it using certain weapons, aimed jump or use an essence/ultimate technique at the correct time.

Attack 5: Laser beam [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Arguably his longest attack, once you exhaust Zedonius’ health to a certain threshold he will fire a laser beam from his chest. If you get behind him or even to his side the moment he begins to fire, you can cause a lot of damage in a very short period of time.

Attack 6: Fireball volley [Guard Damage if blocked] [Unable to Counter] - If there's any move you will despise, this is it! Zedonius can fire a volley of fireballs from both range and close quarters. Fortunately there are a few ways of avoiding the attack, however, the easiest way for beginners is to cast ninpo as it grants you complete invulnerability for the duration.

Another method involves evading his first fireball then quickly perform an aimed jump into a flying swallow to cancel his assault, however, it's imperative you extend your airtime by throwing aerial shurikens or firing an arrow from you're quiver because Zedonius likes to kick you as you're landing.

Alternatively, you can use a very advanced technique which involves run dashing, as soon as he's about to throw the first fireball if you time you're first run dash correctly, you can dash his second and third fireball, however,  to evade the last fireball you must perform an aimed jump to come away unscathed.

Attack 7: Kick [Blockable] [Counterable] - The next attack in Zedonius' repertoire is a simple kick, you can simply block the attack, however, advanced players can counter it and follow-up with a combo.

Attack 8: Fire Pillar [Unblockable] [Unable to Counter] - Occasionally he will cause a pillar of flame to erupt from underneath you, you can evade the attack by dashing or jumping away, however, you can 360 Triangle through it using the Blade of the Archfiend but you're timing needs to be on point.

Spoiler:


Dragon Sword - As far as combo notation is concerned, I use Triangle, Triangle into Square, Triangle (Hold Triangle after pressing), SC into Square, Square, Square, Triangle.

During his laser beam, I use 360 Triangle, onlanding Failed ET, Square, Square, Square, Triangle. If Zedonius tries to kick immediately after I counter with Square into the follow-up Square.

Tonfa - You can semi-loop Zedonius with the Tonfas, however, it requires countering to pull off. If you counter his kick with Square you can hit confirm into X or L1 into Triangle. It's not uncommon to see players using Square, Square, Forward and Triangle together to bait his kick.

Blade of the Archfiend - Without question, the most versatile weapon against the greater fiends and Zedonius is no exception. You can use Triangle, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle against his melee combos and grabs. Forward and Triangle together (Hold Triangle after pressing), SC after evading his kick and fireblast.

Advanced players can punish his aerial stomp by performing an aimed jump to avoid the attack and then punishing with an aerial combo Square, Square, Square, slight delay Triangle as soon as he lands.

Kusari-Gama - A secret art exists using the level 2 Kusari-gama, if you repeatedly use Forward and Square together into SC, you can loop him to death. However, this is a multi-hitting move, therefore, you can shuriken cancel after the first or second hit to sustain the loop. Unfortunately, each repetition needs to be performed quickly to keep him in hit stun.

Rachel - By utilising dash cancelling, Rachel is a formidable offensive powerhouse when an opportunity to land damage presents itself. The optimal punish is Square, Square, DC, Square, Square, Triangle, Triangle, Triangle. However, if you're fast enough during the laser beam attack you can dash cancel twice into the same combo!

Ayane - Ayane can loop Zedonius by repeatedly using Forward and Square together, however, the window is very strict.




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