Ghost of Tsushima: How to Beat the Ryuzo Boss Fight Duel

Ghost of Tsushima: How to Beat the Ryuzo Boss Fight Duel

The climatic duel against rival Ryuzo, head of the Straw Hat Ronin, marks the end of Act 1 for Ghost of Tsushima and the beginning of a new area.

As a final test of all the basics you've learned in Ghost of Tsushima, you'll need to know how to beat the Ryuzo boss fight, a challenging duel against an equally-skilled opponent. We'll take you through everything you need to know to claim victory against the leader of the Straw Hat Ronin in our guide below.

The following contains spoilers for the plot of Ghost of Tsushima. Read on at your own risk!

How to Beat the Ryuzo Boss Fight Duel in Ghost of Tsushima

To beat the Ryuzo boss fight in Ghost of Tsushima you'll need a strong knowledge of the fundamentals of one-on-one dueling, as the whole siege of Castle Kaneda acts as a kind of final test for everything you've learned until now, with Ryuzo being the perfect test of single combat. We've laid out all the best tips and tricks on how to conquer this dangerous foe and see the end of the game's first act.

Ryuzo Boss Fight Tips

Ryuzo is a powerful foe who utilises a fast and unpredictable attack style to get past your defenses. We've laid out a good set of advice below on how to beat him.

  • It probably doesn't need saying, but we'll say it anyway: stick to Stone Stance for the best chance of defeating Ryuzo, as it's a perfect counter to any opponent with a sword.
  • If you're having trouble, switch to the Samurai Clan Armor for the health and defensive boost. You're probably going to take a few hits no matter how good you are, and you'll want to negate the impact of it as much as possible.
  • Ryuzo tends to use slow, sweeping strikes that are hard to predict and harder to dodge, as they have long animations that don't always make it clear when they're going to land, and thus when you should parry them. Dodging is the safer method, though it's going to be harder to land good hits on him.
  • The Perfect Parry and Unyielding Sword Parry do a lot to even the odds, making some of his unblockable attacks parryable and leaving him open to massive counterattacks. Buy these if you have any spare technique points available.
  • When Ryuzo lowers his sword to the ground, he's actually preparing for an unblockable rising attack, followed by several blockable strikes in quick succession. It's easiest to dodge the first and simply block the rest, though a brave warrior might try and parry the latter attacks for a powerful riposte.
  • When Ryuzo sheaths his sword, he's planning a big unblockable attack, followed by a single blockable strike. You'll have to dodge the first one.
  • Even if you've unlocked powerful attacks that cost resolve like The Heavenly Strike, we can't recommend using them. Ryuzo's attacks do so much damage that you'll want to have as much resolve banked as possible for self-healing.
  • If you do want to use The Heavenly Strike, time it to land just after a perfect parry for the maximum amount of damage.
  • Every now and then the two of you will lock swords. This is just a brief animation that allows the two to have a moment of dialogue, and as far we can tell there's no way to turn it to your advantage.

Once you defeat Ryuzo, he'll flee rather than let you kill him, calling in Mongol reinforcements to cover his escape. As a reward, you'll get to keep his straw hat with the tattered brim, referred to in your inventory simply as the "Betrayer's Hat." Jin clearly isn't the sentimental type.

Ryuzo is an unpredictable fighter whose attacks can do a lot of damage. | Joel Franey/USG, Sucker Punch Productions/Sony

If you want all the guides you'd ever need on Ghost of Tsushima, why not check out our full Guides Hub here? Whether it's bosses, collectibles or getting the best armor and weapons, we've got everything you'll need to liberate Tsushima here.

How to Beat the Second Ryuzo Boss Fight at Castle Shimura

Later on the game you'll have a second duel with Ryuzo at Castle Shimura under very different circumstances. We won't spoil what they are, but Ryuzo's been practicing since last time and though it's recognisably still the same opponent, he's got some new tricks and there's some things you'll want to keep in mind for the best chance of victory.

  • Because Ryuzo fights similarly to last time, all the advice we mentioned above still applies. The changes made to him are nearly all additional, with little-to-no subtractions.
  • Ryuzo now has a multi-swing combo that gives you very little warning and, though largely blockable, is very difficult to time correctly for parries. Hold back unless absolutely certain.
  • He'll also make frequent use of the Stone Stance heavy stab attack, which pierces through most defences unless deflected with the Unyielding Parry.
  • Ryuzo is evasive, but his stagger resistance is low. It's difficult to land a heavy attack on him, but doing so will shred his defences and leave him vulnerable.
  • If you've unlocked the Dance of Wrath, this move can stagger Ryuzo in a single use, leaving him completely vulnerable to a follow-up attack. Alternatively, using it when his defenses are already broken will do huge damage.
In your second fight Ryuzo is a lot quicker, though often leaves himself open to counterattacks. | Joel Franey/USG, Sucker Punch Productions/Sony

There's no rewards for beating this fight, as the main prize of this mission is the Ghost Armor, which you receive just before this fight.

Now you've emerged victorious celebrate with some of our other Ghost of Tsushima content! Mike's in-depth review can be found just here, or take a look at how the studio behind The Last Guardian helped contribute to Ghost of Tsushima.

Joel Franey

Guides Writer

Joel loves books, games, comics and drinks that make a person feel like they just got kicked in the head by a mule. He has a Masters in writing from Sussex, which he somehow got by writing about Superman. He is absolutely NOT three children in a long coat, so please stop asking.

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