Mortal Shell contains 7 Boss Fights. This Mortal Shell Boss Guide will walk you through the best tactics to defeat all bosses in the game. They are listed in chronological order below. Please note that some bosses can be encountered in a different order depending on what area you visit first, this list is just what’s recommended but it doesn’t matter in what order you fight them.
This guide also contains videos for a No Shell/No Damage playthrough. In order to get two trophies you can’t use any Shell (Character Class/Armor) for an entire playthrough: “Forever Alone” (Beat the game without ever bonding with a shell.) & “Life is Suffering” (Beat the game in obsidian dark form).
Whenever you encounter a new boss, it’s recommended to do a practice run and only focus on blocking and dodging, without even attacking. This will teach you the attack patterns and when there’s an opening for attack.
Boss #1 – Hadern
Hadern is the tutorial boss at the start of the game.
Hadern is relatively basic to fight, as they have the exact same moveset that you do. Swings when you are close like your light attack, thrust when you’re farther away like your heavy attack. They will also harden to bait attacks from you, though this is what makes the fight simple to do a specific way. The basic idea is to walk Hadern in circles around the area, waiting for them to start an attack and then harden. Y0ur goal is never to swing at them before then, as if they block your attack with harden they’ll get free damage on you. Once they harden, back up and wait for them to follow through with their attack, then do a running attack at them right when they finish the attack animation. After your attack connects, you want to harden (after starting a light attack swing if you can) because they will immediately swing at after you hit them. When you are hardened, them hitting you will stun them for a moment, allowing you to get a couple more swings in. You then back up and wait to bait them into hardening again. Repeat this for the entire fight, for a somewhat slow buy very safe strategy for beating Hadern.
Boss #2 – Grisha
This is the “Normal” version of Grisha, found in a cave in the Fallgrim area (woods), you basically need to deal with it to get to the Solomon Shell. The fight with this one takes place in a relatively small cave, so you don’t have much room to move around. When it does its swipe attacks it will always be in groups of two, with either one or both arms to the side, then again to the other side. If you see the prompt from the tarnished seal about an unparryable attack, it will either be slamming one arm into the ground or stabbing one arm forward. When it slams one into the ground you can harden to block it if needed, but you then don’t want to be near it’s front when it pulls its arm out as that animation will damage you. If it does the stab animation you do not want to harden against it, as it will hit your right through the harden, doing a grab attack that will likely kill you unless you have full health on the shells. While fighting you basically can just wait for it to do its swing attack, then do jumping attacks at it, then dodge away. If you have time you can get extra hits in then harden through a swing attack, then get some more hits then dodge away. Repeat until dead.
Note “Weak Grisha”: There are actually two Grisha that appear when you have enabled the fog in Fallgrim after acquiring one gland. These are mechanically about the same as the “normal” Grisha, but they are regular enemies and not bosses, so have way less health.
Boss #3 – Imrod
The Imrod boss is located at the end of the Shrine of Ash area. Imrod is a tall humanoid enemy that wields a large club. It primarily does swings and slams with the club that are easy to get in after with jumping attacks. It is also thankfully very predictable in how you can get it to do its specific attacks as well. The main trick you can use to deal with this boss very safely, is to just back away from it and get it to do the attack where it charges towards you, then swings its club twice around its head. Once it does the second swing it will be open for a few seconds, so you can get easy jumping attacks on it every time. During the second phase of the boss fight it still does this without a followup to the second swing.
The other attacks it does are slams or large swings. These are easily avoided by dodging away from it, then you can hit it with a followup jumping attack if you feel confident. If you are close to it it will sometimes breathe fire in an area in front, which you can also just back away from and wait for it to finish the animation. Sometimes it will walk away from you and pick up bodies off the ground, then light them on fire before throwing them at you. If it does this you can go in and attack it in the back, and if you have enough resolve perform a weapon ability to stun it. During the second phase, it will follow up its larger swings with a kick that will knock you down, so it’s generally not worth going for jumping attacks during the second phase after attacks other than the charge one if you are trying to be really safe. If you end up too close to the boss when it is starting an attack, you can harden through all of them then safely dodge backwards immediately after to get away.
Boss #4 – Crucix
The Crucix boss is located at the end of the Seat of Infinity area. Note for this boss that when you select the chalice to challenge the boss it doesn’t warp you to the boss room, it drops you through the floor into it, so you need to harden before you land to avoid dying from the fall.
Crucix is a large humanoid enemy like Imrod, and largely has similar predictable attacks. The first phase is probably really harder than the second because the boss has its conjoined twin still alive, which will allow it to hit you with ranged attacks. For melee attacks it basically only does three swing combos at you, which you can just stay away from. if it swings just its hammer first the third attack will be a poke with the spear, but if it swings both arms together the third attack will be a very delayed downward slam with the hammer that you should wait for before jumping at it. If it dodges backward away from you and crouches down it will start shooting crossbow bolts at you, which you need to get closer to it to have it stop doing by dodging towards it to avoid the shots. If it dodges backwards from you and the unparryable flash from the seal goes off it is going to jump into the air them slam down towards you will shooting bolts, so in either case when it dodges back you are generally best off just immediately hardening and waiting to see what it does, because the bolts along don’t break harden, and you can take the hit from the slam then dodge away immediately.
During the second phase the conjoined twin will no longer be shooting at you, which generally makes the boss easier because it only does melee combos at you. If it swings near you without a unparryable flash it will normally do a three swing combo with the last attack being slamming the spear into the ground, which you can do a jumping attack after. If you get an unparryable flash and the boss jumps slightly back you will want to back up slightly. It will then lunge forward with the spear, then slam the hammer down on the ground a couple of times, then after a slight delay it will do a kick. Wait for the kick to occur, then you can get in with a jumping attack.
Boss #5 – Enslaved Grisha
Enslaved Grisha is found in Crypt of Martyrs at the end of the Abandonded Chamber area. You need to defeat it to continue farther into this area, so it’s not possible to miss this version. It has basically the same entire moveset as the normal Grisha, but it will also do charging attacks at you if you are farther away, and will bash its head directly into the ground if you are close. The head bash will have the unparryable flash from the seal when it is about to happen, but the charges won’t, so just be aware that it might charge when it’s farther away from you. Otherwise you can fight it the same as normal Grisha, doing jumping attacks and hardening through its normal swipes. If you have upgraded a weapon to +5 already this should go down even faster than normal Grisha.
Boss #6 – Tarsus
Tarsus, the First Martyr, is the boss located at the end of the Crypt of Martyrs area. This boss has very drastically different fight phases, so they will be explained separately. Do note that for this boss arena you cannot go near the outer edges or you will take damage, so try to stay mostly in the center of the area.
As soon as you spawn into the boss area, you won’t be able to see where the boss is. It will immediately start sliding towards you from somewhere around the arena, swinging the sword once as it goes by then disappearing again. If will normally do this three times, then spawn in normally. You can harden through the attack, but you can’t get your harden charge back before the next swing, so you’re better dodging to avoid the swings. After it finishes them it will then be walking around normal and doesn’t do those slides again. During the rest of the first phase it largely does large horizontal swings in pairs of two which you can dodge away from. These will be after the boss disappears, then reappears shortly nearby. After the second swing it is safe to attack it, but watch for if it swings the sword around itself slightly more, as it will then do a vertical slim in front of it. Otherwise during the first phase, if it doesn’t disappear but looks like it is raising the sword above its head it will throw the sword towards you, then slide forward to grab it and do a large tracking swing which you don’t want to be near. Lastly, it will sometimes plant its sword in the ground, then there will start appearing a white circle on the ground around it. After a while the area will white out and obscure your vision or freeze you, so you want to be outside the circle. If you have a resolve charge to do a weapon ability or want to risk it you can put enough damage into the boss to stun it out of the attack, allowing you to get more hits in.
During the second phase, the boss will now be skating around and moving faster. It will now largely be doing sliding stabs and swings, and has an attack that is much easier to bait constantly. If you do a jumping attack towards the boss, it will dodge backward, then wind up to do a slide at you. After you land from the jumping attack, dodge backward to avoid its stab, then you can get a guaranteed jumping attack after. Be careful not to do the second attack to fast, because landing on the enemy’s sword before it starts pulling it away it will damage you. For the remainder of the fight it will not disappear again, it will constantly just skate towards you and do sliding attacks. If it does a sword plant during the second phase it will summon a large field of ice spikes around it. If it does this you should get far away from it outside the area they appear in, it’s not worth trying to avoid them inside the field or stun it out of the attack, as the spikes will freeze you or kill you if you don’t have a shell on.
Boss #7 – Unchained
The Unchained is the final boss in the game. This boss is basically only one long phase, but the explanation will be broken up based on normal attacks and then things that start happening when it is around half health. This boss differs from the others in that you basically want to play aggressive and almost always try to be near it, because most of its normal swings are easily avoided by dodging directly towards or away from it, and you want to force the fight to go as quickly as possible because this allows you to stop the boss doing some annoying things during the fight. Also note that for this bosses stun animation it will drop its head onto the ground, and the drop animation will actually damage you if you are right beside it, so you’re better being to the side or waiting for the animation to finish before attacking.
Right from the start of the fight, the boss will be far away from you, and will slide quickly towards you and swing with the arm to your right. It does this attack lots after jumping away from you, so you need to learn how to avoid it. The best way, in general, is to dodge directly towards the boss when it gets close and starts the swing. If you are very close to it then it will appear like it is normally swinging its tail to either side to attack. If it’s swinging to your left, you can take one side step to the right, but if it’s swinging to your right you want to dodge backward and to away. If you are directly under its head, it will sometimes drive its nose into the ground, which you can dodge to either side to avoid. Sometimes it will jump far away from you, and you need to watch for waves moving out in a circle from where it landed. You need to either dodge through (recommended) or harden (only in an emergency) to stop being affected by the waves. If you sit in one too long it will knock you over, which deals damage and will instantly kill you if you are doing no shell. There will be two circular waves, then the boss might either do the slide and swing towards you again, or it will dive into the water. If it dives into the water, you need to start moving sideways quickly and dodging constantly if possible. The boss will either go in the air then try and land on top of you, or it will drop two large orbs then land farther away. Both these attacks can be avoided by going sideways. At times if you are directly underneath the boss, it might do either an attack when it spins around violently in a circle, or rolls back and forth on the ground twice. If either of these starts happening your are best just dodging directly away from the boss until either animation finishes.
When the boss reaches around half health, it will sometimes jump back once without spawning waves, then slam its right arm into the ground in front of it. What happens now is a number of shellless Foundling copies will start spawning from outside the arena and run towards you. It will typically spawn around 7 – 8 of these during one of these waves, and you need to deal with them while the boss is still trying to attack you. The enemies all die in a single hit, but they all just sprint straight towards you constantly, and will normally try jump attacks if they are sprinting. The most effective way to deal with them is to wait for the boss to do a sliding attack towards you, then walk constantly away from it while also leading around enemies. The boss typically won’t attack while you are walking away, it will still just follow along with you, you just need to watch for it to jump away again because it will perform another sliding attack. The other enemies you can deal with either by doing jumping attacks to hit them far away, or start an attack then harden to bait them into attacking and you will hit them after the harden is broken. If you are quick enough with damage you can avoid the boss spawning these extra waves of enemies, which is part of why you want to be aggressive because this makes the boss take a while if you need to deal with multiple waves of the enemies.
The other big thing that happens is around a third of its health left the boss will dive into the water, and a large whirlpool will appear in the middle of the area. A number of the enemies will spawn from the opposite side of the whirlpool from you, and will start getting sucked in. Each one that sucks in heals the boss for a small amount of health, where if all get sucked in it will be healed to just over half. When this is happening you can try to kill some of the enemies to make it heal less, but it’s generally safer to just wait it out. When the whirlpool goes away the boss won’t spawn it again, it will go back to repeating the same attacks as before. It does seem more likely to jump away much more often though, so be sure to be chasing towards it through the waves.
That’s all of the bosses in Mortal Shell!
More Mortal Shell Guides:
- Mortal Shell – All Shell Locations
- Mortal Shell – All Item Locations
- Mortal Shell – All Secret Lore Locations
- Mortal Shell – All Weapon / Equipment Upgrade Material Locations
- Mortal Shell – Trophy Guide & Roadmap