Like a Dragon: Ishin Masked Man boss fight guide

Like a Dragon Ishin Masked Man boss fight
(Image credit: SEGA)

The Like a Dragon Ishin Masked Man boss fight is the first big challenge, and Swordsman style will carry you through for the most part. You'll also definitely need to be patient - while this boss fight isn't as big as you think, it is still a challenge and as much an endurance test as anything else. It also doesn't help that while you've probably been mowing through goons prior to this, the Masked Man is a wall who needs to be fought a lot more cautiously, able to evade and counter a lot of your attacks if mishandled. We'll explain properly how to beat the Masked Man in Like a Dragon Ishin below, with tips, tricks and more besides.

How to beat the Masked Man boss fight in Like a Dragon Ishin

Like a Dragon Ishin Masked Man boss fight

(Image credit: SEGA)

The Masked Man boss fight in Like a Dragon Ishin is the first real challenge, now that you're past the main tutorial section and have had a few practice goons to test your skills on. Unfortunately, the Masked Man is a cut above - which makes sense considering he just split your dad open with a katana. Here's what you need to know about how to handle this deadly assassin.

  • Stay in the Swordsman or Brawler Styles. When picking between the Like a Dragon Ishin fighting styles, Swordsman is definitely the better option, but Brawler can work if you're fast and play cautiously. This is an enemy you'll need to be able to defend against, and the Wild Dancer or Gunman don't offer good enough defense or speed opportunities, generally speaking.
  • Bullets do very little against him. Again, you probably shouldn't be in the Wild Dancer or Gunman pose, but even if you are, don't expect much. The Masked Man isn't exactly bulletproof, but individual shots will do so little that it's hardly worth it, unless you've managed to clear some distance and want the free damage.
  • Heat attacks are your big advantage. Your best strategy is to take occasional shots, without committing to any major combos, and just build up your heat to spend on high damage attacks. It's a slow, but reliable system, using individual stashes and parries to build up to a more meaningful strike,
  • Don't forget to heal. There's medicine in the corner of the arena, and you've likely picked up more along the way. Remember to pause and use it whenever you get injured, it's a reflex worth developing.
  • Play defensively. Each attack the Masked Man does lands significant damage, and a few strikes can shred your health bar. Focus on blocks, parries and dodges! This is a slow fight where patience and precision are rewarded, and aggressive fury is punished. Fortunately…
  • You don't have to kill him. The Masked Man has a monstrous health bar, but you only need to whittle away a third of it! Once you do so, a cutscene and quick-time event will kick in, Complete this, and you'll have made it through the Masked Man fight.

This effectively marks the end of the game's introductory prologue. There's still more to learn, but congratulations on making it through the first chapter of Like a Dragon: Ishin! Next you'll need to know where to go in Fushimi in Like a Dragon Ishin, exploring the new district ahead of you, or check out our Like a Dragon Ishin tips if you want a refresher on gameplay basics.

Joel Franey
Guides Writer

Joel Franey is a writer, journalist, podcaster and raconteur with a Masters from Sussex University, none of which has actually equipped him for anything in real life. As a result he chooses to spend most of his time playing video games, reading old books and ingesting chemically-risky levels of caffeine. He is a firm believer that the vast majority of games would be improved by adding a grappling hook, and if they already have one, they should probably add another just to be safe. You can find old work of his at USgamer, Gfinity, Eurogamer and more besides.