Now that the plans are laid for the endgame, it’s time to tackle the final major area in Sekiro: the Fountainhead Palace. It’s bigger than it first appears, and is packed with things to do.
There are a few mini-bosses, key items to collect, and a massive set-piece.
From the Vermillion Bridge shrine, walk through the gate and grapple down to the tree branches below, then jump onto the ground.
In this large lake area, you do not want to get in the water yet. Otherwise a mini-boss on the other shore will shoot huge bolts of lightning at you.
To advance, head towards the wooden house to your left. Wait a little to let the manor noble enemy get in range, then sprint in and attack it. They go down easily, but cast a special weakening status on you which severely hampers your health, agility, and combat skills. You’re pretty much done for if you’re not quick.
With the first noble dead, move into the next room and creep up on the second noble on your left. Then there’s a third behind the screen to your right.
With them taken care of, exit the house through the door next to where you killed the second noble and turn right. Grapple up onto the rooftop and crouch.
On the left-hand side of the roof a sword-wielding noble will have its back to you, so stealth it. Then creep up to the second one further up the roof. There’s a third on the right-hand side to take out as well.
Jump down this side of the roof towards the walled square in front of you.
There are now two options, either go left through the house in front of you, or sneak right towards the larger building.
To get through the house, jump and deathblow one of the white dogs below, then take them out as you would any of the other dog enemies - wait until they run and bite you, block, then retaliate.
The thing to look out for with the white doggos is that they can jump into the air and shoot lightning at you. When the kanji appears, step dodge out of the way of the blast.
With those three down, head to your left to the bottom entrance to the house. Rush in and take out the noble enemy, otherwise you’ll be in big trouble if he can cast his status on you- then deal with the dogs.
Walk forward, then around to the right. There’s another pack of doggos to deal with, as well as some items to acquire.
Go out through the exit in front of you and through the open door of the gate. Rest at the Shrine, and take stock. This area is called Mibu Manor, and houses a lot of powerful items, but can go very, very sour very quickly.
This area is mostly inhabited by the weakening palace noble enemies you encountered earlier, but is also home to many sword and spear wielding nobles who will make short work of your life if you get afflicted.
From the Shrine, walk through the ruined wall through the water on your right, then over to the entrance on your left.
Inside on your right is a palace noble, so wait out of sight at the corner until it’s safe to deathblow it.
Crouch to avoid the attention of the other noble in the courtyard to the left, then continue up this corridor.
In front of you, you’ll see a friendly NPC, and the room open out into a larger courtyard.
Speak to the woman then head left, sticking to the left-hand side of the room. You’ll eventually reach a side exit to the room which leads to a more secluded part of the main courtyard.
You need to be quick to avoid being weakened here. Sprint to your immediate left at the door and kill the noble here, which will alert another to your right on a little bridge. Sprint up to that second noble and kill it quickly, which should mean there are no more enemies aggroed to you.
Turn around, and you should be able to see a sword-wielding noble sitting inside a room. Creep around behind it, then sprint over to the noble on the other side of the room and kill it.
Follow this path around and you’ll find an item at the end at the watery corridor, as well as in the main room.
Now retrace your steps to the little bridge where you sprinted over to kill the noble earlier. On the other side of the bridge is another house. Just inside, you should be able to grapple up into the attic.
Walk over to the hole on the left, and you should be able to see three enemies walk below you. Instead of dropping down, walk a little right and go down the hole in the centre of the attic, which leads to behind another noble.
Kill this noble and it might aggro the three enemies, so jump back up into the attic.
If it does, this should separate the group which lets you pick off the flute noble, before engaging the sword guys from behind.
However if they’re still together just drop down behind them, stealthblow one of the sword guys, slash the flute noble quickly, then engage the last sword noble.
Now this area is clear, loot what you can, then continue around to the left by crossing the little bridge.
Leave the area in the middle, and you should be able to see two last noble enemies stood together - a flute and spear noble.
Sprint in and take out the flute noble, then square up to the spear. You can be aggressive in your attacks, but be wary of the spear-wielder’s moveset. They can jump in the air and shoot lightning, which deals tons of damage, and have a multiple sweep similar to the corrupted monk.
You can lightning reversal (jump out of the way and press attack as soon as you hit the ground) their lightning strike, and bounce on top of their sweep for posture damage.
While they’re not attacking, rush in and swing away - they’re bad at dodging and blocking.
Finally, there’s one last flute noble in the area just past these guys, by the exit of the manor, so deal with that quickly.
Before you leave though, back up the small flight of stairs before you fought the spear noble there’s a hole in the decking. You can jump in here and drive under to emerge in a secret area. Inside there are tons of Carp Scales, as well as the Waters of the Palace.
You can take these Waters of the Palace to the NPC in Mibu Village inside the house between the Water Mill and Wedding Shrine where you found the Prayer Bead. After gifting it to them, go and rest at a Shrine, then return to them - the resulting encounter will net you five Carp Scales.
To advance though, head through the double doors and rest at the next Shrine.
Before you press on, there’s a beefed up version of an old boss that you can go and take down: the Sakura Bull.
To get to him, you need to go left from the Flower Viewing Stage Shrine, towards the pagoda, and grapple up to the rooftop behind you.
Run forward along the rooftop past the square until you reach the second rooftop with a spear-wielding enemy perched on top. Sneak up behind them and deliver a deathblow.
To your right you should see two bow and arrow wielders on the lower part of the roof. If you sneak up, deathblow, and use your puppeteer ninjutsu on these guys they can provide ranged support during the boss fight, but it’s not necessary.
You will want to deal with them though, so they’re not a nuisance later.
Before you drop down to fight the Sakura Bull, be sure to equip your Shinobi Firecrackers - it’s a beast after all, and will be spooked by the noise.
The Bull is wandering around the right-hand side of this building, off the edge of the rooftop.
Drop down and engage when you’re ready.
The optimal position to attack the Bull from is just in front of its back leg. Standing here keeps you out of the way of its horn attacks, as well as its kicks.
It tends to move in a circular motion, which you can match to position yourself at its rear.
Be warned though, the Bull has a rather large amount of health, and can squish you very quickly. Avoid facing it head on, otherwise you might get melted without warning.
If you do get caught square on, retreat backwards as quickly as possible. If you get caught in a combo you’ll most likely die, and the bull likes to keep thrashing at your corpse to make reviving difficult.
However, when you need to heal if you focus on maintaining a safe distance first you’ll find plenty of time at the end of the Bull’s combos to safely drink. Just don’t panic, reach for your Gourd in a precarious spot and get caught in a death stomp for all eternity.
As its health depletes, the Sakura Bull will start to charge with more regularity. Chase it down by sprinting and landing some hits to its flank and it’ll soon go down.
It’s death grants you not just a Prayer Bead, but a boost to your max Spirit Emblems as well - well worth the diversion.
Return to the Flower Stage Shrine and rest before pressing on.
Palace Grounds & Underwater Carp
From the Shrine, move to walk over the wooden bridge and a giant carp will nom a big bite out of it. Grapple to the tree branch on the other side, then jump onto the other side of the bridge.
Grapple up to the left-hand side of the pagoda in front of you, then circle around the back of it. You can then grapple to another tree branch behind it, then up and over to the right.
There’s an enemy in front of you, so sneak behind it, jump up and land a deathblow.
Now jump over to the rooftop next to you, then drop down to the left and walk along with the small river. At the waterfall at the end, you’ll see some of the white dogs down below. Jumping deathblow the first, then quickly slash the second.
Continue walking forward, then jump up the ledge to the left and grapple up to the second ledge.
Now grapple up to the tree branch inside of the waterfall and then up to the wooden walkway. On your left is a door that you can’t open yet, so walk down the stairs to the right.
Two enemies will run out of the temple in front of you, so sprint and take down the archer first, before engaging the sword-wielder.
When they’re done, look over the left-hand side of the platform you’re on and jump down to the sakura-covered floor below. Now look to your right, there’s an open platform with lots of noble enemies here.
You can either wade in and take them all out, focusing first on deathblowing one of the sword guys before mainlining the enemy kicking the ball.
Alternatively, you can skip the fight altogether by jumping over to the extreme left-hand side of the platform and crouch-sneaking against the wall.
Now jump up the stairs and rest at the Shrine here.
Okami Leader Shizu
Once you’ve had a lovely rest, jump off the edge of the platform and grapple to the Great Sakura tree.
You’ll come face-to-face with the goober that’s been shooting lightning at you if you so much as dip a toe in the main lake: Okami Leader Shizu.
The Leader is only dangerous if you give them too much respect. Their lightning attacks deal a heck of a lot of damage, but if you just run up at whack them with your sword a few times they’ll stagger very quickly.
Their guard is terrible, so rather than try and deflect their attacks just go on the offensive and push forward. Your reward is a Prayer Bead!
Rest at the Sakura Shrine when you’re done, then jump off the side of that large tree branch into the water.
Underwater in the main body of the lake you’ll find another Headless. You don’t actually have to beat it to swim up and collect all the items - one of which is a Prayer Bead.
Back next to the Sakura Tree, In front of you is a submerged house with an old lady marooned on it - speak to her, then get back in the water.
Go underwater and underneath that house is a Lump of Grave Wax that you can collect.
Keep swimming over to the far side of the lake and you’ll find another submerged house with three Carp Scales in.
Then go over to the left, and you’ll find a large underwater cave that you can swim into. Inside, you’ll find the giant carp from earlier, so to avoid the big boi swim down and hug the right-hand wall.
There are some submerged tunnels here that you can take cover in. Swim through, using your dash to make a break for it through the gaps between them.
At the end of the tunnels dash towards the cave in front of you and you’ll be able to surface.
On the other side, grapple up the trees until you reach the Castle Grounds shrine.
Gourd Seed and Pot Noble
Rest at the Shrine, then go into the building in front of you. Kill the gorging nobles, then look to your left - it’s the other side of the locked door from earlier.
Now turn around and head to the right. On the right-hand side, you’ll find a treasure chest with a Gourd Seed as well as another door you can open.
Return to the Grounds Shrine and teleport to Kuro’s room to give the final Seed to Emma.
When you’re back at the Castle Grounds Shrine, walk forward into the building, then through the door you opened to the left.
To your right there’s a waterfall, walk towards it. On the other side of the waterfall, walk a little to your left and you should be able to see a grapple point on your right. Jump off the side of the cliff towards the point and grapple up towards it. Run through the tunnel it brings you to, avoiding the geckos here.
Jump off the other side and grapple to the rooftop in front of you. Run to the other side of the roof and look down, you’ll see another one of the weird little Pot Noble dudes here who you can swap Carp Scales with for fabulous prizes.
This is your chance to get the final Mask Fragment and start to use skill points for attack boosts, as well as enough pieces of Lapis Lazuli to upgrade your Shuriken up to the maximum.
Rest at the Shrine next to the Pot Noble and use it to travel back to the Castle Grounds.
From the Castle Grounds Shrine go into the building in front of you, then turn to the right, past the treasure chest where you found the Gourd Seed, and through the opened door.
Grapple up to the tree branches in front of you, then up to the waterfall.
Now you need to run up the long set of stairs, avoiding the lightning. On your left, you’ll have to fight two Spear-wielding nobles. Face them aggressively, and keep slashing to interrupt their attacks. They’ll stagger quickly, but keep watch for the large lightning slash.
Continue up the stairs and rest at the Shrine on your right.
After you’ve rested, continue to the top of the stairs and pray at the altar.
When the cutscene is finished, you’ll find yourself in one of the few required boss fights in the whole game: the Divine Dragon.
In this first stage, you need to destroy all of the light-colored weird tree things. They’re not hard to kill, but be careful of getting in the middle of a lot of them, since they can barf and poison you.
Stick to the edges of the ground and hack away. After a while dark-coloured enemies will start to appear and attack you more aggressively with melee. You don’t need to take these out, so keep focused on the white ones.
When this first health bar is reduced another cutscene will play.
After the cutscene, you’ll be fighting the giant dragon itself.
You need to block its vertical slashes with your sword and jump over its sweeps.
To deal damage to the dragon, you need to grapple to one of the trees in front of you that’s sparkling with electricity. You’ll jump into the air and get a lightning bolt so press attack and point it at the dragon.
Repeat this three times more and the trees will disappear. The dragon will then start to attack more quickly, so continue to block the vertical slashes and jump over the sweeps.
After a while the trees will reappear, so grapple to the glowing one and land the final bolt. Then run up to the dragon, sprint up its sword and slice out its tears.
You’ll find yourself back in Kuro’s room, so rest at the Shrine.
Speaking to Emma will start the events of the end of the game’s main story, so now’s the time to go back and clean up the Shichimen Warrior just next to the Castle Grounds Shrine.
From the Castle Grounds Shrine, go into the building in front of you and go through the door to the left. You’ll find the Warrior at the base of the waterfall on the left.
All you need to do to beat him is throw some Divine Confetti and make sure you have the Terror Gourd or some Pacifying Agent ready.
With the Divine Confetti active, rush up to him and hack away - it’ll do a load of damage. Eventually he’ll disappear and teleport away down the river.
Sprint to the side of the beam attack that he casts, then close the distance and hack away again.
Repeat this for the second phase and he should go down quite straightforwardly.
Your reward for this fight is another piece of Lapis Lazuli, which now means you could upgrade any of your tools to the maximum.
With that, return to Kuro’s room and begin preparations to clean up any other bosses you want to fight and take on the final boss!
- Sekiro walkthroughs
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 1 - Yamauchi, General Naomori Kawarada
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 2 - Chained Ogre
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 3 - Find the Flame vent, Shinobi Axe and fight General Tenzen Yamauchi
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 4 - Find the Shinobi Firecracker and fight the horse-rider
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 5 - How to reach Ashina Castle
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 6 – finishing the Hirata Estate
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 7 – Ashina Reservoir
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 8 - Senpou Temple, Long-Armed Centipede Sen'un
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 9 - Ashina Castle Upper Tower
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 10 – Where to find Lord Isshin
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 11 – Ashina Depths and Hidden Forest
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 12 – Mibu Village, Corrupted Monk Spirit, Screen Monkeys
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 13 – Sunken Valley, Gun Fort and Bodhisattva Valley
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 14 – Owl and Fountainhead Monk Cheese
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 15 – Finding a Persimmon and collecting the Frozen Tears
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 16 – Mibu Manor, Fountainhead Pot Noble and Dragon
- Sekiro walkthrough Part 17 – Clean up and Isshin Sword Saint Cheese
- Sekiro - best ending guide
- Sekiro crafting and items
- Sekiro - how to remove Rot Essence and cure the Dragonrot
- Sekiro - crafting and upgrade materials guide
- Sekiro - Gourd Seeds and Prayer Beads locations
- Sekiro - Treasure Carp Scales Guide
- Sekiro - Mask Fragment Guide
- Sekiro - where to find more Divine Confetti and Snapseeds