This is a test. This is a real test. The Yatsu-no-Kami fight in Nioh 2 is the toughest in the game so far - here’s how to beat it.
More so than many of the battles up until now preparation for fighting the Yatsu-no-Kami is absolutely key, or else you’re in for a bad time. The positioning for Burst Counters is also very different from what you have faced before, let alone the difficulty of fighting multiple enemies.
Because of the way the lock-on and camera system often works in this kind of super-hard action game, fighting more than one monster at once is extra tough. It’s extremely naughty of Team Ninja to mess with us like this - but there’s no easy mode, you’re just going to have to step up.
I’d recommend setting up with a full set of Elixirs, as many Antidotes as you have to combat poison, and either some bombs or a full set of arrows and bullets to deal with threats at a distance.
You can also bring a Purification or Elemental Talisman to the party for some extra Ki or chip damage, but it’s not as necessary. The Yatsu-no-Kami likes a good Burst Counter or two, so exhausting its Ki with Purification can help you to get some grapples off after a stagger.
Nioh 2 - How to beat the Yatsu-no-Kami
Embedded below is my successful run from my first blind playthrough of Nioh 2. I played it very, very, cautiously because I was raging pretty hard by this point. It gives you the general idea of how to manipulate the size of the arena to your advantage, and win through a war of attrition. It’s by no means a flawless example, but shows how to get the job done dirty.
As soon as you enter the arena, dodge roll out of the way. You have a brief moment now to imbue a talisman if you have any.
There are two main opportunities for you to punish the Yatsu-no-Kami. The first is when it sticks its little snake arms into the ground for them to burst out at you.
When it does this, sprint away from the red circles on the ground where the mouths are about to surface and run in an arc towards the main body. After the snakes have popped out, but before the Yatsu-no-Kami resets itself, you have a small window to chip away with some damage.
The second opportunity is with the Burst Counter. Here, the boss dives down with its narwhal tusk and slithers along the length of the arena.
You cannot Burst Counter the hit once the snake is on the ground. You need to counter the move as it is diving towards the ground. If you miss, dodge out of the way and reshape to go again. Once the Yatsu-no-Kami reaches the other side of the arena it will repeat the attack once.
If you find yourself behind the main snake, back off quickly. It will just hit you with its tail for your trouble.
Most often the main snake will swish out with a very long range tail attack. You can block this with your primary weapon, even if it takes a lot of stamina.
This also goes for the paralysing needles it shoots at you, as well as the thrusting attack its about to do when it leans back. Keep your distance and guard up.
You need to dodge the green blob though, block it with still blight you with poison status - so bring some Antidotes.
Don’t get greedy when you’re chipping away with attacks. Stay close for too long and one of two things will happen. The Yatsu-no-Kami will either squeeze you to death with an unblockable black-and-white fuzzy Dark Realm attack, or it’ll straight up punch you in the mouth with its snakey mouth fists.
Speaking of snake arms, they can be damaged separately, and when you exhaust the main body’s stamina become their own separate enemies in the Yokai Realm.
They will spit poison and generally be very annoying.
To deal with these you can either run around in a circle around the arena to wait for the Yokai Realm to go away like I do in the video. Or you can lock onto the smaller snakes and throw bombs or arrows their way.
Once the Yokai Realm times out, the snakes regrow on the main body, so there’s not much incentive to finish them off.
If you use a wide reaching weapon like the Odachi while they’re still attached to the main body you might be able to catch the smaller snakes at low health as you run past - but as I say, it’s not vital. You just need to stay alive in this section, and interrupt with Burst Counters where you can.
Eventually, you will emerge victorious from the hardest fight in the game so far.