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Ranking the Sifu Boss Fights

“Is revenge a science, or an art?”



SIFU boss battles

From Worst to Best: Ranking Bosses of Sifu

Sifu is a thrilling journey through a day of revenge against the five assassins that killed a father and left their child for dead. The plot of Sloclap’s action beat ’em up game is carried on the shoulders of five spectacular fights that reveal more about its characters and test the player’s resolve. In this ranking, we are going to be looking at Sifu’s boss fights from worst to best.

Image: Sloclap

5. Sean The Fighter

“I recognize that uniform. It represents a school for the weak and feeble.”

Sean is the second boss on the protagonist’s hit list and resides in The Club, represented by the Confucian value of Li: Proper Rite, and the Wuxing Element of Huo: Fire. The Club acts as a cover for Sean’s secret burning school where he brings in fighters to participate in three trials to become his disciples and members of the organization. Ruthless doctrine makes Sean’s warriors and they are branded by his own hands.

Sean’s father was not only a dojo master but one of the Talisman Guardians who died fighting to protect Sifu’s relic from the five assassins. While Sean outwardly is imposing and arrogant, he hides mementos of his father in a box tucked away in his dojo. There is guilt suppressed by intense training and a drive to grow stronger than his father, and perhaps in that, feel closer too.

Sean is a ferocious fighter. Fire is dynamic and relentless, and his martial ability is fast flurries and lunges. Armed with a bow staff, he attacks with powerful sweeps, elbow strikes, and shoulder charges reminiscent of martial arts styles like Tiger and Bajiquan. While the staff has a wind-up, the strikes come hard and fast, followed by charges in a style meant to stagger and knock down enemies. Deflecting these strong blows is a risky move and so the fight is a lesson on dodging, focus, and awareness. Sean is the enemy, and the staff is a distraction. With eyes on center mass, Sean’s intent can be read. It’s important to not dodge too early in anticipation of the strike.

The strength behind his staff means a slow recovery when it misses, which is perfect a counterattack. It plays out like a visceral dance, evoking the movement of fire itself. When the second phase commences in the burning dojo of his past, he only grows more ferocious with these techniques like a growing pyre. The score behind the fight is one of deep percussion that reverberates in your chest like the beating heart of a fighter, punctuated by stinging guitar licks. The strength of Sean’s fight is in its purity.

Image: Sloclap

4. Jinfeng The CEO

“Accept your sentence.”

Jingfeng is fourth on Sifu’s revenge hit list and resides in The Tower. The location is represented by the Confucian value of Yi: Justice, and the Wuxing element Jin: Metal. The Tower is the Organization’s headquarters and is a state-of-the-art structure of steel covering and underground networks with a golden tribunal beneath it. The whole place is staffed with employees to well trained to be simple office workers.

Jingfeng was one of the five Talisman Guardians and the traitor among them. As a philanthropist at heart, she sided with Yang under the belief that they should not be hoarding the Talismans when they could be helping the world. She has built an empire, accruing wealth from the caverns below, bankrolling The Museum and The Sanctuary, and running a charity.

Jingfeng is armed with a rope dart and meteor hammer, reminiscent of wushu style, that she uses with masterful precision despite the loss of her right arm. Her energy is that of metal and is characterized by unyielding strength and determination. Its martial power is expressive of accuracy, focus, and speed. What separates her from the other boss fights in Sifu is her range, making the challenge revolve around closing the distance to strike. Jingfeng tests everything learned by Fajar, Sean, and Kuroki, requiring a blend of dodges and parries while maneuvering through her graceful ballet of swings, sweeps, and pushes that chop like an axe.

Her second form is a spectacle as the chamber falls away like an elevator in free-fall, driving a sense of urgency that threatens to distract while you close the distance again. Like Sean, her second phase does not change the game but instead ramps up the intensity with her rope dart changing to a meteor hammer that strikes harder. Grabbing both ends of the rope into a strangle is the best final blow the player can perform in all of Sifu’s boss fights.

Sifu Boss ranking  fajar
Image: Sloclap

3. Fajar The Botanist

Fajar is the first assassin on the hit list and resides in The Squats, an area represented by the Confucian value of Ren: Humaneness and the Wuxing element Mu: Wood. The Squats are a rundown industrial district where a drug-dealing gang has set up shop. The urban jungle slowly turned overgrown with plant life, hiding the greenhouses that produce a purple flower and with it the drug Purple Mist.

Fajar is mute and suffering from an unknown illness that he is being treated for at The Sanctuary. Yang has been watching over his mental and physical health for years. He is known to be a bit of a hermit, rarely leaving the warehouse where his plants grow. It is possible he has dealt with feelings of guilt over being the one to slit the protagonist’s throat as a child.

The martial power of wood is characterized by strength and flexibility. It expresses itself in rooting, torqueing, bouncing, throws, and strikes. Fajar’s fighting style is unusual though as his use of a machete and leaping kicks is not typically seen in Chinese martial arts. While Tiger style focuses on aggressive speed and agility, his style leans towards something closer to a southeast Asia discipline like Silat. Fajar is an Arabic name, and Indonesia has a high Muslim population. The jungle that his second phase takes place in is also reminiscent of an Indonesian jungle. Perhaps a retreat and comfort that feels like home.

Fajar begins his boss fight by throwing a knife before charging forward and jumping off a plant shelf with a leaping kick. His kicks, high and low, are incredibly fast and seek to overwhelm. Blocking quickly wears down one’s structure, making Fajar the first true test in avoiding and deflecting. He leaps over the haphazard gardens strewn about, using them to his advantage while they remain an obstacle to you. This is his jungle and you are an outsider.

The second phase is the second most distinct in the game. Armed with a machete, Fajar retreats into a lush jungle changing the very landscape of the fight. A faint rustling in the foliage signals a leaping strike, and from here his kicks are mixed with vicious swipes from his blade. Rough bamboo fences must be quickly scrambled to and broken to secure a piece to deflect and block his blade. Without it, deflects must be pitch-perfect to avoid getting sliced and reliance on avoiding will keep his form in good shape. Like Jinfeng, the key to countering wood is to strike like a chopping axe.

Fajar’s battle feels almost primal, and this focus on the roots of martial arts makes Sifu’s first boss fight such a thrill. It is proof you don’t have to open weakly.

Sifu Boss ranking yang
Image: Sloclap

2. Yang The Leader

You want revenge, little sister? Show me.”

Yang is the last on the protagonist’s hit list and the final boss fight players are challenged with in Sifu. He resides in The Sanctuary, an area represented by the Confucian value of Xin: Integrity and the Wuxing element Tu: Earth. The Sanctuary is a shelter and retreat for the ill of body and mind, a place of healing. It is a serene and minimalist structure built on a sacred mountain.

Yang was raised and trained by the protagonist’s father. One day, his wife and child passed away and he asked for the Talisman’s aid. Denied his wish, he disappeared and returned one day with Fajar, Sean, Kuroki, and Jinfeng to kill the Guardians including his Sifu and father figure to take the Talismans. However, it was too late for Yang as the Talisman could not bring back his family. Yang started The Sanctuary in the mountains as a refuge for the terminally ill, offering a range of traditional healing methods but also some more “miraculous”.

Yang is a mirror image of the protagonist in Sifu and thus is trained in Pak-Mei. Yang uses every technique you have against you but faster and stronger, making this fight the ultimate test of all your abilities, focus, and awareness. He may feel unconquerable, but the key to victory is in knowing yourself, and your enemy. Thinking back on all the fights that lead to this and everything that broke through your defenses. If Yang is the mirror with all your strengths, then he has all your weaknesses too. With every move he uses, the player knows the best way to defend and counter against it. In martial arts, we often think we are fighting one another when we are really fighting ourselves. In Sifu, this is all made more important during Yang’s boss fight as no Focus Attacks can be used on him. It’s an equal fight that demands mastery.

It’s an incredible scenario that makes for one of the greatest final fights ever.

Sifu Boss ranking Kuroki
Image: Sloclap

1. Kuroki The Artist

“I do not want to fight you. That feeling of vengeance… it will not cease here. I speak from experience.”

Kuroki is the third on the hit list and resides in The Museum, an area represented by the Confucian value of Zhi: Wisdom and the Wuxing element Shui: Water. The Museum features an exhibition of Kuroki’s own, split in to three exhibits of Identity, Cycle and Twins. Kuroki’s thoughts line the walls giving insight into the tragic core she layers over. It is a self-reflection on her life and the death of her sister at her own hand. Kuroki is the only member of the five who has given up her past of violence. Her guards even plead for you to walk away.

Kuroki is Japanese, exiled to China. Her fighting style reflects this in her use of a three-sectioned staff and the ninjitsu influences of her second phase, but some similarities can be drawn from Crane style which is associated with water. Water energy is fluid and manifests in throws and counterattacks. To stand against Kuroki, one must ground their self with earth.

Kuroki sits at the top of the museum in a gentle, snowy glade in the moonlight, like Lady Snowblood herself. She is at the halfway point in this journey of revenge and her two-phase fight is an exam of all before her. She moves forward swinging her bladed split-staff around her, high and low, in a form that is both offensive and defensive. To strike at her means entering the fray. There is no way around it. Like a lethal game of jump rope. Eyes must remain on center mass, watching her intently, and quickly reacting with a series of low and high avoids before countering. Kuroki is deadly and graceful, cold and firm in her resolve like the snow beneath her feet.

Kuroki’s second phase is the most distinct in the story of Sifu. She channels the memory and trauma of her deceased twin; her other half that she has dedicated to suppressing. Her calm gracefulness switches to ferocious rage. The snowy glade turns to the arena in the middle of a furious ocean, waves swelling and crashing, threatening to overtake and drown.

Kuroki rushes forward, her past self reflected only in the wavering reflection in the water at her feet. Armed with kunai now she mixes close-range flurries with ranged attacks. Rapid avoids and deflects are needed before she backs off. From afar she throws waves of kunai that can be dodged or caught to throw back and interrupt her charge. Her charge requires a lighting quick dodge in order to take advantage of her moment of recovery. Her relentlessness must be met and taken advantage of, punishing not only her recoveries but her charges. At the end, the protagonist takes her own weapon against her–her own rage against her–and yet, in an embrace. A kindness.

The brilliance of Kuroki is seeing the rage in her fight that she tried so hard to bury. This duality in character, fighting style and location makes the fight feel like fighting two as one. A twin heart. Kuroki stands alone in her glade as the true highlight of the story and Sifu’s best boss fight.

Geordi fell in love with storytelling when he was just four years old. Watching movies that kids maybe shouldn’t, reading books with too many big words, and exploring new worlds on his NES and SNES, he found his passion. Left with a deep empathy for countless worlds and all who inhabited them, he pursued not only media, but firefighting, much to the confusion of his teachers. When he is not consuming every film, book, and game he can get his eyes on, he’s writing about them… and perhaps making his own.

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