Ashen, or the Jokell's Moustache Appreciation Thread


Quick question for you all, does this game have any way to pause? Parent of a young child here, and trying to figure out whether it’s viable for me to play (even if offline).


No hard pause in the game, but if you’re playing on console it works perfectly with sleep mode. Also, if you quit out of the game it will reset you to the nearest checkpoint with all of your accrued currency,


Thanks a lot, that helps :slight_smile:


Im in the same situation, It’s been fine so far, theres enough empty, quiet zones with no conflict you can hide. After enough time passes your character takes a seat and chills anyway.


Is anyone else having a hard time orienting themselves on the map? I’m the type of player that likes to meticulously pick through every area, but I haven’t been able to do that here because I’m constantly losing track of where I am. I think it’s because I’m trying to play it like a Souls game, all of which have very deliberate, recognizable architecture, whereas this has more of a BOTW vibe, with more organic, messy level design.


I beat the game last night. I super enjoyed it.

One thing I’d say that I kinda wish I didn’t so was go back and try and find all the things.
I got maybe one thing that was kind of useful, but I never used it. It just added a few hours to my playtime without adding much worth.

It’s cool that the multiplayer on PC started working just in time for the last two areas, and that was fun. Overall I really enjoyed the game and want more.


A small point I think folk might appreciate is that during customisation you choose either a feminine or masculine build which is purely aesthetic, and there isn’t actually much between them. On top of that, all other appearance options are independent of build. As a fairly slight dude I would have a better representation of myself with the feminine build and facial hair.

Beyond that it’s been fairly chill so far with some quite delightful scenery.

Also, I only have a slim laptop with Intel graphics and this runs smooth enough with resolution scaling whilst still being reasonably clear.


I’m getting pretty into Ashen! But is there any save/checkpointing other than dying and ending up back at the town? It feels like I must be missing something. Disclaimer: Never played a Souls game so there might be some fundamental paradigm that I just don’t get, yet. Is every run supposed to be a fresh start?

edit Oh, just found another ritual stone! Heeeey there.


Welcome to the wonderful world of Soulslikes!


Aaaagh this is so frustrating, it’s not wonderful, okay just one more try.


What’s nice about the ritual stones is unlike Souls you don’t have to rest there to replenish health and healing and doing so won’t necessarily reset all the nearby enemies. It seems like that’s more based on time and distance. (In a Souls game the general rule is that resting resets the “run” i.e. enemies, traps, etc. while keeping your shortcut progresses and currency and whatnot,)

As a counter to how nice it may be that enemies soft respawn I’ve had enemies respawn while I was exploring around a large group of structures and ran into them on my way back out. :upside_down_face:
Also I think you might need to sit at the shrine before you can warp there using the… uh… crow bones item or whatever it’s called, the homeward bone equivalent. I just know I’ve used it at times and it’s taken me all the way back to the hub.


On the other hand, I do wish enemy respawns were more predictable. I had a number of times where the multiplayer would match me with a new player mid-zone, and it was clear that it put me in their game, not mine, as nearby enemies I had just defeated had respawned. To me, that has been the most annoying part of multiplayer, and why there is merit to turning it off.


Endgame question:

Does anyone have any tips for the Shadow of the Ashen boss fight? I’m struggling to the point of giving up on its second phase, when tons of smaller enemies spawn to distract you. I’m having trouble getting hits in on him without either them or him hitting me and they’re too many for my partner to aggro.


I had decent luck with a solid two-handed weapon. I’m blanking on the name of the weapon that I had, but it was one of the blunt weapons with a big heavy attack that was great at hitting multiple targets. At least, that’s how I primarily dealt with the smaller enemies. And then I just kept chipping away at the boss, and I got lucky that my AI partner was able to stay alive for pretty much the whole fight.

If I recall correctly, his attacks often have a longer than expected range, and I had more luck sticking right by him, and dodge rolling through attacks. I also used the talisman that gives you more healing potions, and the relic that negates one damage hit after not being hit for a set amount of time. Just keep grinding away at it, and you’ll get it eventually! For me, it was definitely the hardest boss encounter in the game.


throw LOTS of spears


Finished this a few days ago, and while it has solidified it’s place as one of my faves of the year, I do wish it had the self-awareness to see that its combat isn’t strong enough to handle the late-game focus on it. The last “real” “zone” in particular was a bit of a slog. Other than that though, the finale was a visual stunner, and the plot developments were fantastic. The Silaren reveal was a real gutpunch, and even if they didn’t really commit to it, killing off Amara mid boss-battle had me actually do a real life “NO”. Man, what a good fight. Twinspears are cool as fuck. Unfortunately I can’t give any tips for it though, because I continue to be Good At Videogames and I beat it first time without any trouble.

Belting game. Everyone please copy the town development aspect wholesale for more videogames, thank you.


Is weapon variety severely lacking or is it just me? I’m a couple hours in, just unlocked fast travel, and so far I think I’ve seen two different movesets for 1h weapons and only one for 2h. I legitimately can’t see any reason why I would switch to any of the new weapons I’m picking up unless I’m going between a crit and non-crit build, none of the stats seem to vary in any real way.


As far as I can see, outside of stats, the main difference is some of the weapons’ heavy attacks. I found a mace or something late game that was really high level already so it only took a couple of upgrades to surpass the hatchet I was using before. The hatchet had a jump forward on the heavy which was good on weaker enemies, but this mace had a jump back, which is great when there are a lot of them, or when you’re dealing with a big one.

I think most of the light attacks are the same, so maybe mess around with the heavies? I need to get back into it, just have the final boss and like two more sidequests to do.


You’re right, the weapon variety and move-sets are disappointingly limiting in the game, it’s all axes, clubs and halberds (essentially axe clubs), and it just doesn’t have the same kind of complexity and expressiveness in combat as you’d find in a souls game, maybe that comes down to a limit in resources.

In the end I had found a nice one handed axe and upgraded it fully to serve as my main weapon so I could carry a lantern with me, because I found that’s way more important than slightly heavier hits in this game.

Still haven’t beaten that last boss, I just can’t get hits in on the second form, whereas all the other bosses were refreshingly easy. This game has some weird difficulty spikes, that’s for sure.


I just finished this game, and I liked it quite a bit! The world design and animation is beautiful and so full of life. There’s a hopefulness about the game that manages to make its way into almost every part of the game. The lighting system is amazing! When it’s dark, it’s profoundly dark, and every bit of light tears through the darkness in an otherworldly way. The bright parts of the game are lit beautifully too, especially in the final boss fight. The way the red light from the Ashen’s giant eye lights everything from that low angle is gorgeous. The lighting system ties into the themes of the game beautifully as well!

There were a few things that disappointed me a bit though. I’ve been playing over the past week or so on PC, and I didn’t match with a human player even once. I didn’t have much trouble with the AI companions, except for their penchant for jumping off cliffs, but it’s kind of sad to see a game fall off this fast. Also, as many of you have pointed out, the combat design starts to fall apart near the end. This is especially true in the last two boss fights, where it feels like they had to make some compromises to meet the desired difficulty level. The Shadow of the Ashen had all of those extra mobs to deal with, and Sissna had a bunch of one hit kill moves. That was especially disappointing because these bosses seemed incredibly well designed otherwise.

Even with those caveats, Ashen is the best non-From soulslike in my opinion. It has the meticulous world design that makes the From games shine, which I found lacking in Ni-oh and The Surge. I only wish I had played it while others were still playing.