Long read: What might the ultimate character creator look like?

Baldur's Gate 3, Street Fighter and Lost Ark developers discuss.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Zelda: Skyward Sword - Demise boss battle strategy explained

How to defeat the final boss of Skyward Sword!

Demise is the final boss you'll face in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

You'll battle Demise after collecting the Triforce from Sky Keep and defeating Ghirahim for the third time at the Sealed Grounds.

This is the last challenge you'll face in Skyward Sword, so make sure you're properly prepared!

Battling Demise will test your sword fighting skills, so, if you need assistance, check out our Demise boss battle strategy below.

Cover image for YouTube videoThe Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD soars onto Nintendo Switch July 16th!
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD trailer

If you'd like to learn more, visit our Skyward Sword walkthrough.

Demise boss battle strategy in Zelda: Skyward Sword explained

It's important to ensure you're properly prepared for your battle against Demise in Skyward Sword.

Firstly, we highly recommend earning the Hylian Shield, because this fight involves a lot of shield bashing and, since the Hylian Shield is invincible, it's the perfect tool for the job. If you don't have the Hylian Shield, then it's worth bringing at least one guardian potion and an extra shield.

You should also bring a couple of heart potions and, if you have the same, both of the Life Medals for the additional hearts.

It's also important to note that entering the battle with Demise is the point-of-no-return in Skyward Sword and, if you wish to fully complete the game, now is the time to find all of the Heart Pieces, Gratitude Crystals and, if you wish, fully upgrade all of Link's equipment.

The battle with Demise is divided into two stages:

Stage One

Your battle against Demise starts with pure sword-on-sword combat and, it's important to note, that Skyward Strikes will not work during this portion of the battle.

Instead, you need to hit Demise either when there's a small opening after he attacks or making him stagger with a shield bash. If you try to attack Demise like a regular enemy, he will block nearly all of your attacks with the sword formerly known as Ghirahim.

The easiest attack to shield bash is when Demise raises his sword, before slamming it back down towards you; successfully shield bashing this attack will allow you to hit Demise at least once.

Shield dash this attack.

If you successfully shield bash enough of Demise's attacks in a row, then you'll knock him to his knees and give yourself the perfect time to attack him.

Demise will also attack with a sword thrust, which, if not blocked or avoided, will turn into an upwards swing. He will also just punch you.

Keep blocking his attacks with a shield bash and getting those hits in when you can, until this stage ends.

Attack Demise when he staggers.

Stage Two

As the second stage of your battle against Demise begins, the sky will darken and lightning will rain down from the heavens.

During this stage, it becomes very hard to shield bash Demise's attacks, so be prepared to run and dodge when necessary. He will attack you by sending out waves of energy, sword slashes and charging forward before performing a sword attack.

Demise can also imbue his sword with electricity and, if you're hit by one of these electric attacks, Link will be momentarily stunned. Demise, however, isn't the only one who can use this trick.

Shortly into the battle, you'll notice that Demise can also electrify his sword when the lightning is actually occurring on the battlefield. If you also raise your sword, as if you're charging a Skyward Strike, when the lighting is present, then the Master Sword will also gather electricity.

Rise your sword when the lightning strikes.

When done successfully, this will allow you to send a wave of electricity out towards Demise, which will stun him and create the perfect opportunity to stun him.

You'll only fail to stun Demise if you miss or his and yours wave of electric energy clash.

This technique is the best way to defeat Demise in Skyward Sword and while there are other strategies, like using vertical spin slashes when he's electrified, we recommend following this tactic due to its ease.

Once you cause enough damage to Demise, he will fall backwards onto the ground and you'll be prompted to perform a Fatal Blow.

Demise can, however, return to his feet if you're not quick enough. If this happens, you simply need to attack him again until he once more falls to the ground.

Demise can avoid your Fatal Blows.

Don't worry if you miss a couple of times - you'll impale Demise eventually!

You can now enjoy watching the final cutscenes and the credits! You will also be given the option to convert this current save into a Hero Mode file.

Hero Mode is basically the Hard Mode of Skyward Sword where enemies become more powerful and you can't find hearts lying about the world or from defeating monsters. You can skip any cutscene, battle Demise in the Thunder Dragon's Lightning Round and, once you obtain the True Master Sword, you won't have to charge Skyward Strikes anymore.

It will, however, return you to the beginning of the game, so make this decision wisely.

Congratulations - you've completed Skyward Sword!

From Assassin's Creed to Zoo Tycoon, we welcome all gamers

Eurogamer welcomes videogamers of all types, so sign in and join our community!

In this article
Related topics
About the Author
Lottie Lynn avatar

Lottie Lynn

Guides Editor

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer's Guides Editor. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora's Mask.