Reasonably early on in Nioh, you’ll encounter a boss that you’ll die to – many times. Hino-enma is a strange Yokai monster, apparently kidnapping men, and kissing them while they are suspended, trapped above her lair. She’s quick, hits hard, and can stun you very easily, but with our handy tips, you might just be able to overcome her.
First of all, go in prepared: use a quick weapon, for starters, in mid-stance, so it’s able to damage her enough, but you can also guard. Secondly, along the way you should have found some Archer’s gear, which has paralysis resistance. Yes, it’ll probably lower your overall stats, but you do not want to be caught by her paralysis projectile, because almost always, that’s game over.
Unlike the first proper boss, she doesn’t really have a second phase to speak of, but her attacks do change. The most important thing about this fight is to not be too afraid to attack, but also know when to get back away from her. Don’t get greedy or a victory will become a floor punching, one-more-hit-needed defeat.
Note that she fires a projectile at you that will paralyze you, allowing for her to take away almost your entire health bar, or worse yet, kill you. But rather than be afraid of this, use it to your advantage. Don’t dodge sideways, dodge forwards: as you go through you can easily get close enough to get one, or maybe two hits in on her. Two is plenty, back away. Don’t ignore the audio of the game, either, as she will make a very audible grunt when she’s about to fire off this projectile.
She also has a kick moveset, that starts off as two kicks, then eventually moves into final phase with a third, overhead roundhouse. It’s easy to dodge, so let her do all three kicks and move in for one hit. Don’t even try a second hit as we found she has frame invincibility during recovery of this move, so you can only hit her once.
The umbrella (ella, ella, oh ohh) move-set is similar, starts with two, and eventually has three hits. Avoid, easily, then hit twice.
When she takes to the air, it’s more tricky. For one, if she throws her shurikens/knives at you and you get hit, that’s two hits. You can’t dodge after being caught by the first run. The paralysis projectile, this time, requires you to dodge to the side, purely because if you move in closer, vision gets trickier and you can’t see if she’s about to do her air attack. This one hits on a delay, meaning you would normally dodge at point A, where you need to actually delay your dodge, whereby she’ll miss and you can get a couple of hits in.
A note on her grab move: this is almost certainly curtains for you unless you’re at full health. If you remain calm, you can telegraph this, and dodge backwards or to the side. Again, this is a window for a few hits in on her. You don’t want to get caught by this because she will suck health out of you, and she’s already hard enough.
One move you don’t want to get hit by, also, is the whirlwind attack. This will almost certainly knock you to near-death, but also take off most of your Ki, leaving you open to a grab, or a follow up attack. This is the hardest move to dodge, and will often require you dodging forwards so she spins behind you. Be cautious about rushing in after dodging because this attack is the longest one. Be sure she’s finished, and get in and get a few hits in.
The key, then, is to be fairly aggressive, but not greedy. If you take advantage with a few hits in each window, she’ll drop easily. Don’t forget to Ki Pulse where you can (though this battle doesn’t really give you much chance if you’re jumping in for a hit here, and a hit there), and remember she will leave Yokai realm areas on the floor which will stop you from recovering your Ki.
This is one of the hardest bosses in the game, mostly because she has attacks that feel hugely unfair. The fact she has frames you can’t hit her during, and the fact you can drop her by knocking her Ki down, but you can’t do an execution-style attack, make her tough. Couple that with the horrendous grab attack that sucks you in even if you’re just outside of the window of the grab, and you will tear your hair out.
Ki management is also important. Don’t rush! If you attack when you have barely any Ki you risk leaving yourself open and failing another attempt.
Hopefully, though, with these tips, you’ll overcome her.