Surprises are a difficult thing to pull off properly in games. Poor execution can make it predictable which ruins the surprise or the event itself is unfitting and not fun. Thankfully From Software has a lot of experience in this kind of setup and rarely disappoints.
Guardian Ape: Sekiro
perhaps this wasn't the guardian you were expecting
High Lord Wolnir and the Gapping Dragon are great examples of Boss encounters that take you off guard and make you stop for a moment to rethink your choices that have led you to this point. Most often this is followed by a swift death as you try to take it all in and figure out how to proceed.
Now with Sekiro having been released Guardian Ape continues this tradition in a different unique way. For the two aforementioned cases these Bosses are super large and imposing, immerging from an obscure area that may otherwise appear innocuous when you first enter, catching you off-guard. In the case of Guardian Ape you can tell by the layout of the area and the figure you are approaching that a boss fight is soon to follow, likely with said giant ape. It is a fun and interesting fight and can actually be done rather quickly. The problem comes after you have decapitated the beast. Keep in mind you get the standard Shinobi Execution text once you kill the ape.
Yes indeed, once you turn around to leave this macabre beast rises up again and arms itself with the sword that decapitated it and it’s now severed head. That isn’t the worst of it though. The way it moves is uncanny and unnerving. It moves as if it is being controlled like a puppet, snaking along and swiping its blade as if to both strike and feel around. Periodically it reattaches its head to perform a scream attack. This isn’t an ape anymore; it is being piloted like a fleshy mobile suit. This is confirmed by the end of the fight when a giant millipede immerges from the bloody stump of what used to be the apes neck. I cannot describe how nightmare inducing this is to me. I’d rather drown than be infested by another creature, let alone a huge millipede. This is probably Froms best “what the frick” boss fight to date. If you haven’t played it yet I do recommend giving Sekiro a try, though if it isn’t your cup of tea I'd still encourage you to at least watch a speed run of the game.