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Hagane (SNES) Boss Guide
~By tankMage (November 2021)
It’s been six years since I first reviewed Hagane and I have been eager to write a guide for it ever since. While I’ve always wanted to do a full walkthrough for this game, there isn’t really much point in doing so, because the vast majority of the game is a straightforward platformer. With that in mind, Hagane has some tough boss fights, so I thought I’d focus on those and throw in a few tips for good measure. I should mention that I was not able to find names for the midbosses, so I made up nicknames for them. As always, I hope that this guide turns out to be useful and I’m willing to add to it if there is a demand for more.
This section describes Hagane’s controls, special moves, and weapons.
|Spin Jump (Somersault)||B + B while ascending|
|Wall Jump||Spin Jump into a wall to bounce off of it|
|Use Ninja Art||A|
|Change Weapon||X (It’s possible to cycle through weapons with the game paused)|
|Move Left/Right||Left or Right on the Directional Pad|
|Hang From Ceiling/Platform||Press Up while jumping upward|
|Slide||Press Down + B|
|Down Kick||Press Down on the D-Pad while in the air to kick downwards|
|Backflip||Depending on the direction Hagane is facing, pressing L or R (whichever is opposite to the direction the player is facing) to flip backwards|
|Cartwheel/Front Flip||Press L or R (relative to the direction Hagane is facing)|
Pressing L or R in accordance with the direction Hagane is facing will make him do a cartwheel. While performing his cartwheel, Hagane will flash blue, then yellow. Pressing Y or B will make him do a special attack. The attacks change and become stronger depending on Hagane’s color and what button the player presses. Special attacks cost nothing aside from their charge up time and deal far more damage than most of Hagane’s other attacks. The downside is it that it takes both time and careful positioning to use these moves.
Rotation 1 Special Moves
Wolf Power (Y): Hagane will glide forward a bit while surrounding his fist with energy, then dart backwards. This ability is really effective against ground based enemies thanks to its high damage and quick charge time.
Rapid Wind Kick (B): A short range flying kick. Good for pushing forward, but not as useful as Wolf Power.
Rotation 2 Special Moves
Kami Kick (Y): A spinning upwards kick. Not very useful compared to Wolf power due to its longer charge time.
Fire Bird (B): This whirling kick deals a lot of damage and is great for hitting anything above Hagane. While less powerful than the Death Kick, it has a shorter charge time and is easier to aim.
Rotation 3 Special Moves
Dragon Bomb (Y): Hagane will create flames that travel a few body lengths to the left and right. This ability is really powerful, but not convenient to pull off due to its long charge time and limited range. However, it can be used on certain bosses rather reliably if you are good at special attacks.
Death Kick (B): This upwards kick is essentially a boss killer. One or two of these can wreck any flying boss. Since most bosses and midbosses fly around the screen, a player who has mastered this move will plow through the game.
Sword: Hagane’s basic weapon, the sword can be swung rapidly and does a mediocre amount of damage. Despite being a bit underwhelming, the sword’s inherent speed and good coverage make it an essential tool. Use the sword to dispose of weak enemies when possible to conserve weapons that have a limited supply.
Genbu (Chain/Grappling Hook): The grappling hook serves as both a weapon and a tool. It has long reach and can damage anything it hits. More importantly, it can be used to hoist Hagane onto the underside of platforms or other solid surfaces and quickly pull him towards walls. Despite being a weak weapon, it can hit enemies from afar, has infinite uses, and can strike enemies twice.
Byakko (Bomb): One of Hagane’s consumable weapons, this bomb is thrown in an arc and explodes on impact. It has a fairly wide effective radius, which makes it great for killing things that have small weak spots or destroying multiple targets at once.
Shuriken: I’m fairly certain this is actually a Kunai, but the manual calls it a shuriken, so we’ll go with that. Terminology aside, the shuriken is a powerful weapon that flies in a straight line. While individual shurikens only inflict about as much damage as the sword, they can strike things on the other side of the screen and can be fired with great speed.
Ninja Art: This special weapon hits everything on the screen and deals a lot of damage. It also makes Hagane invulnerable for a brief period of time. The player can only hold 9 ninja arts at a time and they tend to drop infrequently, so save these for emergencies.
Here are a few tips that can help you complete this game. Many of them may be obvious, but there are a few tricks that may not be readily apparent.
The early stages are generally very easy, but the difficulty ramps up in stages 4 and 5. Get used to spin jumping, using front flip abilities, and familiarize yourself with the weapons. Spin jumps are particularly important, because they are great for evading certain attacks and necessary for clearing obstacles.
Every now and then you will see a power up with a Japanese character on it. These are precious Ninja Arts, the most powerful attack Hagane has at his disposal. A single use of the Ninja Art can clear the screen or heavily damage a boss. Hagane can carry 9 Ninja Arts and they tend to be rare, so save them for emergencies. Personally, I like to save Ninja Arts for the very last boss, who is very hard to defeat without them, though it doesn’t hurt to use a few here and there over the course of the game.
The two consumable weapons in Hagane are very effective for fighting enemies at a distance. They also work well against certain bosses. Players can carry up to 99 of each weapon and picking up a weapon powerup will refill the reserves for that weapon by 10. Enemies are generous with drops, which makes it difficult to run out of ammo. Use your shurikens or bombs to take out enemies from a distance, especially in situations where it’s awkward to fight with the sword.
The game manual says the grappling hook is weak (which is true) but also useful (which is also true). Hagane can use this weapon to hit enemies at medium range in order to save ammo and latch onto ceilings. As a weapon, the grappling hook is quite slow, though it can get 2 hits. The first hit can occur when it extends, the second one when it retracts.
Hagane can use a variety of special attacks by performing a cartwheel with L or R, then unleashing the attack with Y or B. Flipping leaves the player exposed, so it’s important to be able to time special attacks properly. They are also best used against bosses. Watch the boss carefully and begin charging the attack when you have a wide opening or use quick moves like Wolf Power.
It’s possible to boost Hagane’s max health from 3 to 5 by finding blue flame icons hidden away in stages or dropped by enemies. While it’s nice to have a few extra life bars to work with, they disappear when Hagane dies. Try not to rely on these too much, because you can’t count on finding blue flame icons outside of a few rare instances. Instead, learn to play carefully and conserve the health you have.
Pressing B to jump, then pressing it again while Hagane is still moving upwards will make him spin forward a short distance in the direction he is facing. This technique is vital for clearing obstacles and getting position to unleash attacks. Get used to timing and aiming these jumps and the game becomes a lot easier.
Being a boss guide, this section is the main part of the guide and covers all of the bosses in Hagane. The bosses are covered in the order the player meets them. I tried to explain their movesets and weaknesses along with strategies for beating them as best I could. However, this game is all about the action, so your skill as a player will be what really determines the outcome of these battles.
I may be too charitable calling this thing a midboss, but it’s the biggest enemy Hagane will fight in 1-1, so I’ll go with it. The airship will appear twice in the first stage, once near the middle and once at the end.
It will simply hover around and release a few soldiers the first time it shows up. You can destroy the turrets with a few quick sword swipes to get a few powerups from them. The turrets tend to drop health refills and Ninja Art powerups, so they are worth smashing.
The second fight with the airship is a bit more difficult. The turrets will fire away at you this time and the hatch near the middle of the vessel will open, dropping bombs that release a shockwave. Soldiers will still pour out of the ship. The easiest way to deal with this foe is to use the Ninja Art to clear away the turrets and deal with the soldiers. Usually this would be a waste, but the ship tends to drop Ninja Arts and you may come out of the fight with more than you started with.
Alternatively, you can slide and jump around to avoid bullets. Stay low when fighting the soldiers since they can’t hit you while you are ducking. After dumping a few soldiers, the airship will leave for a moment, then return. Deal with it the same way when it comes back. The stage will end when it leaves a second time.
Hagane will encounter this creature at the end of 1-2. It will make several short hops before leaping high into the air. When close to the player, the Sewer Monster will jab at him with a claw that extends for about a body length. Slide under this beast when it high jumps and avoid its claw by doing a spin jump or grappling to the ceiling. Try to kill the bats in this room before the boss appears.
Any weapon is effective against the Sewer Monster. For those comfortable dodging its claw attacks, the sword is probably the most efficient. Bombs, shurikens, and even the grappling hook work well at range. Those who want to play it safe can grapple onto the ceiling and throw bombs at the Sewer Monster. The only way it can hit Hagane while he is sticking to the ceiling is by making a high jump and you can avoid the jump by moving left or right.
Musha is a lot stronger than the midbosses of Stage 1. He flies around the room while the two samurai statues on the side of the room try to grab Hagane or breathe fire on him. Spin jump past the hands and stay on the far left or far right corner of the room to shelter from the flames they breathe. The statues become more erratic as the timer counts down, so you will have to watch them carefully and respond to their attacks.
Musha himself will occasionally fire a series of blue flames at Hagane. These flames can be destroyed with the sword or another weapon. Alternatively, you can slide or spin jump past them. You can swipe at Musha with the sword and hit him with downward kicks, but I prefer to use bombs on this boss. Bombs deal a fair amount of damage and their arcing trajectory makes it easy to hit Musha with them. They also destroy his fireballs.
Regardless of what weapon you use to fight Musha, mobility is key in this battle. Try to get hits in on Musha while you are evading attacks and hide patiently when the statues start breathing flames.
Pro-Tip: The walls in Mushb-Mukuro’s lair can be bounced off of if you spin jump into them. Use this technique to avoid being cornered.
The flying head will emerge from the ground after being summoned by a warrior with a cybernetic arm. It switches between hovering from one side of the screen to the other and swooping into Hagane. While moving from side to side, the flying head will fire a couple of orbs into the ground. These orbs turn into rock spikes that jut upwards, damaging Hagane if he makes contact with them. Hit the flying head to get him to stop spitting orbs. You can evade all of his attacks by walking away from them or jumping.
To kill this boss quickly, perform a front flip until Hagane glows yellow, then press the B Button to make Hagane kick upwards. Two vertical kicks will kill the boss and you can pull them off really quickly, though it takes a bit of good timing to get them to connect. It’s possible to beat the boss without special moves. Use the grappling hook or sword if you do not want to Death Kick the boss; you’ll need bombs and shurikens for later.
Sentry Bot is barely worth mentioning even as midbosses go. You will encounter this thing in a chamber at the top of a long hallway. It’s basically a round device in the center of the room that’s surrounded by spiked platforms. These platforms rotate around the Sentry Bot. Hagane can stand on the platforms, but they will harm him if he touches the spikes. A ball of energy will shoot out of the turrets and bounce around the room at 45 degree angles every few seconds. The Sentry Bot is impervious to damage unless it opens up, which happens about every five seconds.
Stand in the lower left corner of the chamber; don’t even bother standing on the rotating platforms. Jump over the energy balls if one happens to come your way. Use the grappling hook or shuriken to hit the bot when it opens up. It took me about ten hits with the grappling hook to kill this thing.
En-Mikoshi is a floating robot that houses the boss’s soul. The boss can only be hurt while the central ball that holds his soul is exposed. This happens when the larger sphere on the bottom of the machine detaches and falls to the floor. Slashing the small sphere or hitting it with a special attack will damage the boss. Beware: The inner sphere will fire off a few energy shots after a couple of seconds before retracting into its housing. Duck to avoid the bullets and keep slashing the sphere.
While floating around, the boss will launch spinning balls of energy that cover a wide area. They come from the top of the screen and can be difficult to avoid. Watch the energy balls closely and flip or slide away from them. Sometimes the boss will fire lasers from a pair of cylinders that orbit the upper half of the machine. The cylinders pause and gather energy before firing, so use the opportunity to get out of their way.
A pair of robotic gun arms defend the exit out of 3-2. The arms move in a somewhat erratic manner and stop to fire a blue shot that moves in a straight line. Hagane must hit the blue lens near the top of each arm to damage each turret. The flat part of each arm can be used as a foothold to reach the lenses. This midboss isn’t even a minor challenge unless you are low on life. Stand on the arms and slash the lens with the sword or use front flip moves to destroy the turrets.
Jasei-Jyu has two phases and is very sturdy. Try to get through the first phase as quickly as possible, because the second takes a lot more effort to kill.
Jasei will move around the screen, occasionally spitting fireballs that fan out in an arch. The further away you are from the fireballs, the easier it is to move your craft between them. It will sometimes pause and howl to summon spirits that home in on Hagane. Either slash the spirits or fly around to shake them off your tail. Be ready to move to the top or bottom of the screen (whichever is closer) when Jasei-Jyu flies to the center left or right side of the screen, because it will charge to the opposite side after a moment. It can adjust course and charge several times, so stay near the middle and move up or down to dodge it.
Jasei’s head is her only vulnerable spot and its small hitbox makes it difficult to damage her. The sword and grappling hook are decent choices, but the fact that you have to get close with the sword exposes you to danger. Personally, I like to open the battle by positioning myself about one body length away from the boss and firing shurikens right into her face. If you are really quick, you can damage her enough to get her into phase 2 before she can attack more than once or twice. If not, switch to the grappling hook and attack from mid range.
Pro-Tip: You can start attacking this boss before the battle with her begins.
Hurt Jasei-Jyu enough and she will grow a long tail that swings around the screen. Touching the tail will cost Hagane some health, so try to avoid it. This phase is a lot tougher, because of the tail and the fact that she still spits fireballs as well as summons spirits. You’ll have to focus on evading her tail and projectiles or Jasei will make short work of you.
Select the bomb and wait until you can position yourself just under or above the boss’s head, then rapid fire them at her. It’s best to be very defensive until you can get into position so you can eat some damage while chucking bombs. Two or three rounds of bombs should be enough to kill the boss. Use the grappling hook if you don’t have enough ammo. Watch out if you are behind Jasei, because she can shoot backwards.
This guy can be tough and may take practice unless you can quickly master fighting him. He has three moves, all of which are easy to dodge if you spin jump. The first move is a quick short range sword slash. There’s not much indication that the samurai will use this move, so expect it to happen if you get up close to him. The second is an energy slash that has medium reach. The samurai will hold his sword at his side for a moment before using the energy slash, which is your cue to move. Finally, he will surround himself in energy and dash across the screen. The samurai ducks before dashing, so spin jump when you see him start to crouch.
While dodging his moves is not hard, attacking the samurai is rather difficult. He’s aggressive and you will have to move constantly, making it tough to get shots in. Additionally, hitting him knocks him back a bit and gives him a few frames of invincibility. I like to spin jump over the samurai’s attacks and perform a downward kick after he stops to damage him. It works very well if you can get into a rhythm of drop kicking and spin jumping away from the cyborg. Otherwise, shurikens work very well if you prefer to keep your distance. Don’t try to use special attacks on this midboss, because he will almost always knock Hagane out of his flip before he can perform a special move.
This serpent-like creature hides underground and surfaces to attack Hagane. It relies on two basic tactics. First it will stick its tail out of the ground and slam it into the floor or ceiling, making stones fall and unleashing a small shock wave that travels towards Hagane. The snake will also poke its head out of the ground and lunge for Hagane. Walk in the opposite direction to avoid the lunging head. You can stay on the far left of the screen when the rocks are falling from the tail slam if you are looking for a safe spot.
The snake’s entire body is vulnerable to damage and it doesn’t take a lot to kill it. Bombs and shurikens are good for hitting this midboss from a distance. You can also use special moves, but the timing isn’t easy.
Jyuso-Dama is another multiphase boss. His first three phases are extremely easy if you know how to fight him, while the final phase can be somewhat difficult, so try to play carefully to conserve your health for the last phase. Also, the sword is by far the best weapon for most of this battle.
Jyuso will fly around the room, pausing occasionally to open up and fire bullets that go off in six directions. Hagane can damage this boss only when he opens up to fire the bullets. This part of the battle is a breeze thanks to the fact that Jyuso does not fire bullets directly beneath himself, leaving the player a blind spot to attack from.
After getting hit a few times, Jyuso will teleport to the center of the room, then he will begin flying around in a random pattern while launching the armor plates from his body at Hagane. The plates track Hagane for a moment before returning to the boss. Stay on the ground and use the sword to bat the plates away. It helps to walk away from or towards the plates while swinging the sword to keep them from mobbing you. Four hits will destroy a plate.
You may have to duck at times if the plates come in low. Do not jump or attempt to attack the boss himself during this phase. The boss cannot be harmed at this point and jumping will leave you open to getting hit by the plates. The boss will move onto the third phase once all of the plates are destroyed.
Jyuso is now vulnerable without his armor, but he becomes more aggressive. He will quickly fly towards Hagane in an attempt to slam into him. Do not blindly slash or jump away from the boss during this phase. Either action will get you hurt. Instead, simply walk away from him when he starts moving towards you. Move in the other direction when you get near the end of the room to prevent the boss from cornering you.
Damaging Jyuso is a bit more challenging than dodging him at this point. You’ll have to quickly turn after stepping away from him, then slash him with the sword. You can get two or three hits in before you have to move if you time it correctly, though two is a safer number of swipes. Use shurikens to hit Jyuso-Dama if you are having a hard time connecting with the sword.
By far the hardest part of the battle. Jysuo will turn into a demon face that hovers from left to right at the top of the room. He will open his mouth to stream blue flames at the floor that spread along the ground. The flames go pretty high, so you’ll have to jump directly upwards as far as possible to avoid them. You should also wait until the split second before they hit you to jump. Use the spin jump to avoid the flames if you are having a hard time dodging them.
The most efficient way to damage this boss is to stand just left or right of him, then jump upwards before the flames hit you. While airborne, strike him with the sword. Repeat this pattern about six times and Jyuso-Dama will end up in the scrap heap. If the sword technique proves too difficult, you can keep your distance and use bombs or shurikens.
The last stage of Hagane features a number of midbosses and two stage bosses. The midbosses lack names and it’s difficult to describe some of them, so I’ll refer to them as Midboss A, Midboss B, and so forth. Try to save up your Ninja Arts at this point, because you will want them for the final boss.
This contraption flies around the upper part of the screen. Every so often, it will spawn a blue spirit that will track Hagane. Use your weapon to destroy the spirits. Do not try to jump into this midboss, because the laser drones that orbit it will inflict contact damage. They also fire beams downward. Both the spirit attack and the beams are preceded by a brief glow that indicates they are gathering energy.
This machine is very simple to beat. Move away from it as it approaches and throw bombs at it. The bombs will destroy the spirits it spawns and its laser drones as well as damage the boss itself. About 30 bombs will destroy this midboss.
This strange vehicle uses a target reticle to lock in on Hagane. Once locked, it will fire a couple of energy balls that fly towards the player. Jump over or duck the energy balls. Watch out for the beam it fires from its mouth. A Japanese character will appear by the midboss’s mouth a moment before it fires. Jump upwards before it fires to avoid it. Be ready to back away if the midboss starts to spin its wheels rapidly, because this is a sign that it is about to charge.
I like to rapid fire shurikens at this thing to take it out as quickly as possible. You can even ignore damage and focus on spamming shurikens if you have a lot of health, because this midboss is likely to drop a health refill when you beat it. You can also use the Wolf Power special move on it a few times if you are good at timing it.
Remember this guy from Stage 4? He’s a lot tougher in this battle and has a lot of new moves. He will use the sword slashes from before and charge at Hagane, though his slash attacks tend to be more aggressive. In addition to his ground based charge, he can use a jump charge this time around. If that’s not bad enough, the Cyborg Samurai can also teleport and land right by the player.
Shurikens do not work very well on this guy since he can block them. It’s also difficult to get special moves off with him dashing around the screen. Bombs work very well, because you can spin jump over his attack and toss a bomb at him. However, you may be low on ammo at this point. Play defensively: walk, slide or spin jump over his attacks and counter him with a sword slash or bomb. If you watch carefully for his tells, you can counter all of his attacks by stepping or jumping away, then pivoting with a sword swipe. It takes about twenty sword slashes to defeat this guy for good.
The 3rd midboss occupies a single room and will fly around it in a semi random circular manner. It opens its mouth to spray Japanese characters at Hagane (you can’t make this stuff up) that can be destroyed by weapons or dodged. It also spawns circular characters that fly around the chamber, tracking the player. These circular characters turn into laser beams that shoot across the room horizontally, which makes it difficult to avoid them. The only part of this enemy that is vulnerable is its head.
This guy is not an easy target thanks to its random movements and hard to reach weak spot. Luckily, bombs have a wide explosion radius that can damage the midboss as long as you hit it near the top or center of its body. Rapid fire bombs at this guy to kill him quickly. You can ignore damage from him if you have four or more health bars, otherwise you will have to jump and slide to get away from the circular characters. Players who are really good at pulling off special attacks can use the Death Kick (three forward flips + B) to kill this boss quickly.
Shura is the next to last boss in Hagane. As such, he has a complex moveset and is only vulnerable at certain times. Much of Shura-Oh’s body is intangible aside from the semi-circle near the floor. Hagane can safely stand on the top of the semi-circle, but the blades on the sides can harm him if he touches them.
At the start of the battle, Shura will move from one side of the room to the other, pausing every few seconds to generate a cluster of energy balls that move outwards. The balls have a limited range and are easily avoided by simply spin jumping to the other side of the room or crouching in the corner if there is enough space. Jump away from this boss if he gets too close to the edge of the screen to prevent him from pinning Hagane. After using his energy ball move three times, Shura will retreat into the semicircular machine and try to ram Hagane. Spin jump over the machine and approach it when it stops moving. A cylinder will emerge from the machine once it stops. Use the sword to damage it. The cylinder retracts after a second and appears on random parts of the machine, so you’ll have to act quickly to hit it.
Shura will add moves to his repertoire as he takes damage, though he will always attack three times before retreating into his machine. The first move he adds is a downward punch with both of his arms. This move is not difficult to avoid, because it has the same range as the energy balls. Next, he will add a pair of fireballs to his moveset. Shura throws these fireballs on the floor and they will create flames that travel from right to left. Spin jump away from them or stand in the center of the machine and jump straight upwards to get to safety.
Finally, Shura starts using an ability where he snaps his fingers and lightning bolts start striking the ground right in front of him, then move outwards. This ability is the most difficult to evade, because the player only has a small window of time where he or she can walk forward into the space where a bolt just struck before a bolt strikes the spot where he or she is standing.
Shura uses these abilities at random, so you’ll have to watch carefully to react to them. Simple spin jumps can get you to a safe spot most of the time. You can also spin jump off the walls to avoid the fireballs and punches. The lightning is the real problem, because it takes good timing to dodge. Fortunately, Shura doesn’t use his lightning move much and he is near death by the time he starts using it anyway.
Amano is certainly a worthy last boss for Hagane. This missile (or rocket) starts ascending the moment the player enters the room, which is a huge vertical shaft. The player will have to climb this shaft by leaping up the platforms and grabbing onto pipes that run along the shaft horizontally. This matter is complicated by dragon heads that breathe flame on the player if he or she waits around them for too long.
The boss itself has two rings of heads that must be destroyed. The first set of heads is near the top third of the rocket, while the second is near its pinnacle. The heads are not without their own defenses and can spit fireballs at the player. Those on the sides spit a single fireball, while the head in the center spits several that fan out. Both sets of heads attack in this manner.
The fact that the boss constantly moves upwards and tries to knock the player down with its defenses makes this fight difficult the first few times around, since you have limited time to destroy the heads. I strongly recommend doing a few dry runs where you do not use Ninja Arts or Bombs on this boss if you have a few extra lives, because learning the layout of the stage makes fighting it a lot easier. Concentrate on climbing upwards, which generally allows you to avoid flames and fireballs from the boss. Use the sword to slash the heads or toss bombs at them if you have any left.
Hopefully you saved a few Ninja Arts (4-6 should be enough) to use on Amano. The power wave from the Ninja Art can deal a lot of damage to an entire set of heads if you time it so they are near the bottom or middle of the screen. Ninja Arts also save time, since you can destroy an entire set with two or three blasts. Use the sword or bombs to finish off any you may have missed if Amano got out of range.
Defeating Amano without Ninja Arts is a lot tougher, because it takes a good number of sword or bomb hits to take out a head and there’s a lot of them.Climbing to the top of the rocket and hitting it from a stable foothold (the long pipes are good for this) is a good technique to use, since it allows Hagane to get out of the way of fireballs. Special moves can also be used on the pipes. Death Kick and Wolf Power are especially good if you can get them to connect. It’s also worth noting that the pattern of pipes and platforms repeats, which makes it easy to learn. With a bit of practice you can get ahead of the boss a bit and hit it from a position of your choosing.
There’s precious little info available for Hagane and I’ve only been able to find two other written guides for it. Both are on Gamefaqs, I’ll just leave the link to the one I prefer below.
Click the download link below for a free PDF copy of this guide.
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