For all its faults with pacing and linearity, Skyward Sword has one of the best gameplay loops in The Legend of Zelda. The core combat is incredibly refined and the difficulty curve is a welcome change of pace for a franchise that usually gives up challenging players as soon as they get the Master Sword. Skyward Sword does not relent from testing your skills and the Sandship is a standout dungeon when it comes to action set pieces.
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Beyond a thrilling boss battle against Tentalus at the end, the Sandship stands out for featuring an excellent fight against the mini-boss Scervo – a skeletal, robotic pirate who fights Link on a narrow plank. The battle against Scervo is a duel to the death that actually gets reiterated upon during the Sky Keep.
Skyward Sword’s final dungeon, the Sky Keep, eventually pits you against Dreadfuse – Scervo’s opposite in more ways than one. Scervo and Dreadfuse offer two of the best fights in Skyward Sword, going above the call of an average mini-boss. Defeating both pirates is easier said than done, however, since Scervo and Dreadfuse are master swordsmen themselves.
Your fight against Scervo will take place on a long plank above the sandsea that the Sandship is sailing on. Your goal during the fight is to push Scervo all the way to the back of the plank in order to knock him down into the sand below. You’ll need to do this three times before Scervo dies, each time the plank gets smaller as a barbed wire fence inches closer behind you.
Scervo won’t actually take damage from your strikes, but he will get physically pushed back. Keep in mind he can do the same to you, so you should be aiming to attack whenever you see an opening. Like with most mini-bosses, you’ll need to carefully aim your sword to strike where Scervo isn’t blocking.
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Be patient and prioritize precise hits over long combos. After knocking Scervo down once, he’ll start counterattacking more regularly, so be ready to parry his hits with your Shield if you don’t want to be pushed back. Whenever Scervo is stunned, use a Jump Attack to push him even further back.
Once Scervo’s been knocked down twice, his arm will break and he’ll get even more aggressive in the tighter arena. Be ready to use your shield to block his hook often, and swing whenever you see an opening. The last stretch of the fight requires quick reflexes and Scervo will not relent. Stay on the offensive, block those hooks, and drop the pirate dead.
Fought in the Sky Keep, Dreadfuse is a literal mirror match to Scervo – wielding his sword and hook in opposite hands to trick you up. All the precision you mastered in the fight against Scervo has to be mirrored when fighting Dreadfuse. Likewise, the bridge you’re fighting on is much shorter than the Sandship’s plank, so you can’t afford to be passive.
Dreadfuse’s attack pattern is more frantic than Scervo’s, especially during the second phase. Dreadfuse will try to bait you into attacking too often, channeling electricity through the Master Sword to deal damage. Only attack when it’s safe and mainly try to use Shield Bashes to deflect attacks. Other than needing to react a bit more carefully, the fight against Dreadfuse isn’t much harder than the one against Scervo.
Next: Skyward Sword Boss Guide: Ghirahim
Master Override and Expunge to earn this solo-friendly title.
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