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Nioh First Boss Guide: How to Beat the Executioner

Derrick the Executioner – Nioh

Derrick the Executioner is the first boss you will face off against in Nioh, the PS4 exclusive from Team Ninja (Ninja Gaiden, DOA). He’s a formidable foe that gives players an early taste of the type of power you’ll be up against as you explore this game’s world. You’ll face Derrick the Executioner at the end of Nioh’s prologue which sees you escaping the Tower of London.

Once you reach the final area you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a large man with a huge axe. He’s a bit more nimble than he appears to be, capable of charging at the player and pulling off a devastating combo that can hit you no matter what side of him you happen to be standing on. While that can be intimidating, this isn’t one of those Nioh bosses that is going to send you off cursing under your breath, as long as you employ a bit of patience.


Derrick the Executioner has two forms, the first being a normal warrior. In this form, you have only two things that you absolutely must watch out for – a charge attack, and a spinning attack. After either of these, he is left open for attack, allowing you to get 2-3 hits in before returning to evasive maneuvers. The charge attack is an obvious one, he’ll lower his head and you’ll see wind gather before him as he rushes towards you. Just sidestep (he can’t turn while charging) and use a heavy attack on his back. The spinning attack starts with a quick wild swing of his axe, followed by a spin, then a huge overhead smash. After this final smash attack, you’re free to deal serious damage. Just don’t get too close or he’ll grab you.

Repeat this process until this Nioh boss falls and the first phase is over. A mysterious man will show up and revive Derrick the Executioner, giving him mystical abilities, more power, more speed, and a new, red, devilish look. Fortunately enough, the fight doesn’t really change, you’re just going to have to be more alert as Derrick the Executioner will move much more quickly.

Rinse and repeat the same steps from the first phase until the boss becomes staggered – his stamina will run out as you do damage. At this point, you’ll be prompted to trigger your Living Weapon (Triangle + Circle), and Nioh will switch to a cutscene as you emerge victorious and the real adventure kicks off.  Congratulations, you’ve taken down Derrick the Executioner and your first boss in Nioh.

For more on Nioh, make sure to check out our wiki.

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