The boss fight with Kuroki the Artist offers possibly the coolest set-pieces in the game, but also one of its biggest challenges. In this guide, we’ll go over all of Kuroki’s moves, and give specific strategies as well as general tips and tricks for dealing with her.
- Kuroki uses bladed weapons in both phases, so guarding will result in you taking chip damage, unless you have a weapon. Try to dodge or avoid attacks, and parry once you have the timings down.
- For the first few minutes of the fight against Kuroki, try to run away when she starts attacking, and simply watch her combos. They are flowing and complex, and you’ll need to get a feel for their timings before you can even hope to face her.
Kuroki has a lot of combos that look similar, and she mixes high and low attacks into them. For this reason, it’s incredibly difficult to stand fight with her. Instead, try to bait her into starting an attack, running away, and then sprinting at her once she’s finished. Get a few hits in, then run away again. She will sometimes dodge backwards after a combo, so this strategy requires patience. Here’s the strategy in action:
The trick is getting just close enough for her to start her combo, and running in right as she’s finishing. She sometimes ends combos with an extra attack, so be careful. You can also of course try to parry or avoid her attacks, but the former requires perfect timing, while the latter requires learning and being able to recognize her various moves.
Low + High
This is one of her shorter moves, but it’s fairly difficult to distinguish it from the other combos at first.
This five-move combo goes high, low, low, high, low guardbreak, and is one of the reasons this phase of the fight is so dang hard. Particularly hard to avoid or parry, best dodged away from instead.
High Low Combo
This one lacks a guardbreak, but starts in a similar fashion as the other high/low combo. Unfortunately, it goes both low and high in a different order, so you have to identify it before you can avoid or parry it successfully.
Four High Combo
It’s actually possible to see this combo coming, since Kuroki doesn’t spin her body before beginning it. Because of this, it can be avoided instead of dodged, or even parried (though screwing up the parry timings results in a ton of damage taken, so only do this if you’ve got the rhythm down).
Incredibly fast and hard to avoid. Sometimes chained into other combos or moves.
Not that hard to see coming, but difficult to parry or avoid. She’ll chase you with his if you run away, so you’ll have to parry or avoid it.
Often tacked onto the end of other combos, but also sometimes used by itself. Not particularly hard to dodge, but can be an issue if you’re using the recommended strategy and running in after a combo.
Phase 2 is actually somewhat easier than Phase 1, because her attacks are much more predictable, there’s less of them, and if you have the Weapon Catch skill you can get some free damage if you manage to catch her knives. In this phase, you don’t need to dodge or run away — instead, stand still and focus on parrying/avoiding at the right time.
None of her moves from Phase 1 are present in Phase 2.
Telegraphed by her short run up to you, this combo is fairly easy to avoid, though the first attack comes very quickly. Parrying is risky because blades do chip damage, so avoiding is usually your best bet. There is an alternate version of this, but the timings are essentially identical.
Her non-combo melee attack, this guardbreak does massive structure damage. However, since she frequently backs off and attacks from range, it’s OK to simply guard when in melee range against her — you don’t need your structure that badly against her. If she starts her other combo, you can start avoiding instead of guarding.
Triple Dash Attack
This can be parried fairly easily. Note the glint of her weapon before she charges. Sometimes, this move immediately follows a Dagger Toss (see below) — in these instances, there are no sideways dashes — so be ready.
Similar to the Triple Dash Attack, but with no sideways dashes
When she leaps backwards, you’ll know this move is coming. Avoid down right after the daggers leave her hands. If you have the Weapon Catch skill, you can try catching it instead and throwing it back at her, but be careful; sometimes she’ll throw a dagger upon landing, and you can’t avoid it while throwing.
Only done when she’s standing far away, so you can kind of predict it. That being said, it’s very fast. Can be avoided, or caught with the Weapon Catch skill. Sometimes, she will throw a dagger, dash, and then throw another dagger.
Once you defeat Kuroki, you’ll find yourself back in the Wuguan. You can use the Skill Tree to spend the points you earned from defeating the boss, then use the window to start the next level — The Tower.