Regarding the appearance of the final boss: There’s a chest that appears outside Isshin’s room after Owl infiltrates Ashina Castle. Inside the chest is a scroll that says the Black Mortal Blade can open up a gate to the underworld, and that whoever comes through is brought back at the prime of their life. I missed the chest my first time playing the game, so Isshin Prime climbing out of a dying Genichiro was as confusing to me as it probably was to 90% of the player base.
Can i just say that as i get farther and farther the better this game gets. the Fountainhead Palace area is probably my most enjoyed area yet. I’m assuming based on unlocked trophies and such i have to be on the home stretch. This game is really incredible.
The broken bridge did get me down to Ashina Gate and points beyond. I’ve sent the horse rider boss to the land of wind and ghosts, then feeling frisky, went back to Lady Butterfly and got a deathblow on her. Pretty pumped about all this I must say! Thanks for the help!
Right now at the boss fight i’m at:
Near the end of NG+ and the difficulty has really caught up to me. You need to keep one eye on your opponent and one eye on your posture meter because fights can be over in an instant.
Yeah! I just beat the game! Whew…
That was rough lol. The turning point for me was definitely the fight with Genichiro at the castle. I feel like after that fight, I had started internalizing how to play the game to an okay degree. It was still really difficulty and there were times where I had to look up YouTube videos to figure out how to respond to certain bosses attacks, but I finally understood how I could succeed in the game. I really wish it wasn’t through a like 15 hour process of banging my head into the wall though. Those moments were so incredibly frustrating and I think because of that, I would say overall, I wouldn’t recommend this game. The good moments are buried under too much crap for me. Maybe I’m slow or certain things are hard for me to understand — I don’t know — but that’s why I would love to have ways to tweak the difficulty in these games.
Edit: I took some screenshots at the end of the last boss and I just noticed that I only used two gourds the whole fight. That’s ridiculous and incredible! I’m surprised at myself lol.
So like…hi everyone! I’m here to ask if I should be discouraged that it took me like 15-ish tries to kill the first miniboss fella in Ashina. (This is after practicing on the temple guy for about half an hour and yes, I did open with a stealth deathblow.) When I finally did kill him I couldn’t decide if I got lucky or actually learned something - basically I got impatient with all of my attempts at deflection and such not doing much to his posture and so I just started slashing him recklessly to get his health down. This is what finally seemed to do the trick, but I also came away feeling like…am I doing it? Should it have already been this tough?
So. A thing they unfortunately don’t tell you until a bit later is that it’s a lot easier to keep someone’s posture low if you do vitality damage to them, so going hard whenever you you think you can get away with it is generally what you want to do.
I can’t remember how many tries it took me, but I remember it being really difficult. For at least half the game I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing and was just getting by however I could manage, like spamming the block/deflect button. For me the problem with Hanbei the training guy is that it doesn’t feel it matches the urgency and fear of fighting a real enemy; Hanbei deals no damage and there’s no worry of losing half my xp and money and spreading dragonrot.
I felt like I only learned how to play from a frustrating and painful amount of trial and error. So, so many hours. And sometimes it felt like what I had learned could fall apart so easily with how much this game demands.
For advice, I would say it helps to learn that you shouldn’t deflect everything. This isn’t something I was able to intuit on my own though. I had to learn it from watching videos and put it into practice. Some attacks you’ll want to dodge because they do too much posture damage to you if you deflect. Also, like Noelle just said, some enemies’ posture is more tied to their vitality than others, with some enemies even having posture bars as big as their vitality. By dodging or countering, you can get in some attacks that cause vitality damage. When you’re attacking, try to attack in measured/rhythmic strikes, looking for openings (you can cause vitality damage that way too). When their posture bar glows reddish, that’s how you know it will start decreasing much more slowly.
I hope that helps.
Thanks to both of you! I agree trainman doesn’t really prepare you for the intensity of the real thing. Also good to know I shouldn’t be trying to deflect everything, because at first I definitely was.
Even if your posture gets broken — which it definitely is going to lol because sometimes it either is or feels safer to deflect or block — the game thankfully lets you get away from the enemy most of the time if you spam the dodge button to recover and move out of the way. Jumping works too I think?
Fortunately you can’t get posture broken when you successfully deflect. That makes it possible to control the timing so that it turns into a free posture reset for you.
In any case, I can’t really say if it’ll feel easier, but the more you understand the systems, the more tractable every encounter will become. Having the idea to just go ham on a fool is honestly a pretty important lesson. That’s progress!
Also, FWIW, I think the idea is to introduce things one at a time to not overwhelm you. So while you don’t get the tutorial text explaining that ↓Vitality → ↓Posture Regeneration for some time, that knowledge doesn’t really help in most of the early game. That said, it’s frustrating that there isn’t just a menu option where you can review the tutorials at any time.
Basically what’s been said so far. I’ll emphasise staying aggressive though, whether it’s chipping at their health or smacking at their sword, it’ll help keep their posture down (can’t recover if you’re being pummelled) and thus get you to that death blow far sooner.
When you’re swinging away at an enemy you’ll notice one of their blocks have the same sound and effect of a deflect, that means they’re breaking out of the stun-lock and is looking to go on the offense, which means you want to begin deflecting as soon as you can (This is especially useful for [early-ish game boss] Lady Butterfly).
That ceaseless back and fourth is essential for some mini-bosses and later game enemies, but of course if you need to back away to heal, topping yourself off will also result in your posture recovering quickly (some enemies have annoying chasing moves though so often you’ll want to back away far or heal while they’re stunned).
Some of these things they do tell you but as VHGS mentioned they don’t have an aggregate list of these tooltips so they’re easily missed. Like how being on fire will halt any posture recovery (also applies to enemies though so use your fire stuff where you think it makes sense), or how mashing side-step can get you out of a stun when your posture breaks.
Also I cannot recommend the heal on death blow upgrade enough, later it’ll also upgrade to account for an increased health bar, it’s so useful to let you mash through large groups of fodder or heal with easily broken enemies like basic dudes, chickens and wolves.
I’m chipping away at the last couple of bosses Demon of hatred is a boss where I’ve figured out what I need to do for all his attacks, just need to keep it together for an entire fight cause it’s long. Sword Saint Isshin on the other hand is completely tooling on me, I can’t even get a single deathvlow on him haha
Thanks for all the advice, folks. I felt a little better after I went into the area right after the miniboss, and accidentally stumbled into a giant guy with a hammer and one of the new, straw hat fellas and managed to take them both down on my first try. I dealt with the giant mostly by dodging, because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to parry the hammer; is it safe to assume that I was right?
Also, super awesome move by me: took out that entire area without having to resurrect once and then fell off a cliff and died. Cool.
P.S. I just went into the “Three Years Ago” memory thing. Is it advisable to go ahead and buy stuff from jarman with scales (like the red gourd) or should I save them?
Buy the thing you mentioned specifically from him it’s very useful.
You can parry almost every physical attack in the game that isn’t clearly marked as a grab or a sweep, even if it doesn’t look like the kind of thing that parrying would be effective against.
You can parry pretty much everything that isn’t marked with red kanji (and you can parry a good chunk of those, too). This includes stuff like animal bites. The worst thing that will generally happen is you’ll take pictures damage and/or get pushed around, but even that is really rare.
I’ll also add to everyone else’s (excellent) replies, just about everyone who plays this game hits one or (usually) more early game walls like that, that they feel like they shouldn’t have. I think it’s just a natural part of learning the game, with how distinct its combat is from most other similar games. Which is to say, I definitely don’t think you should feel bad, because what you described seems in fact very typical.
I’m basically done with the game (I have That Boss left) and I have some things I wanna get out.
The new traversal mixed with stealth mixed with the blurring between mini-bosses and bosses means that you very rarely get completely walled in this game which is really great. I remember being able to do like 4-5 separate things at one point and that felt so liberating. World design is the best it’s been, and level design isn’t too far behind, either. (It’s sometimes pretty contrived though, which is varying levels of weird)
As much as I like the focus on the combat (which is good and complex and feels like a never-ending uphill battle in the best way possible), I ended up liking the gimmick/puzzle bosses of this game a lot, whereas bosses like Genichiro and Owl are like… pretty good. Those monkeys, though? They ruled. Divine Dragon? Probably my favorite setpiece boss of the entire From lineage.
Is it just me, or does this game show some of its limitations a bit more than the others? You fight like 5 Lone Shadows and they don’t change too terribly much over the course of the game. Between them and the normal enemies with the same moveset, you encounter that type of enemy a looooot. And they weren’t that fun to me, so every time they showed up, it kinda made me wince.
I like the fact that there’s an actual plot to this game. It’s made me more immediately interested in what’s going on than any of the Souls games, personally. Once I’m done I’m gonna fuckin’ research so much Shinto/Buddhist stuff, let me tell you.
My pro tip for late game bosses on NG+: Don’t get hit
Additionally: Blocking instead of parrying will lead to getting hit.