Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (topic now 200% easier to find)

I’m jealous! It’s happened to me a few times now. I must be missing a path or a door somewhere. It’s discouraging but I’m not looking up hints.

The only boss-type things I haven’t killed are the Headless dudes. I know of three of them in different locations and I could try going at them again tonight. Last time I forgot to use my divine confetti so my attacks were worthless. I don’t get the feeling that killing them will open up any paths, though I could be wrong about that. Hopefully that’s what I need to do cuz I’m getting sad wandering all around trying to figure out what I’m missing. At least I earned two full skill points last night and the night before. Maybe a headless will give me whatever item my boss boy wants next. I’ll try the one in the Hidden Forest first.

He got manageable for me when I realized I could engage him in close combat and parry and dodge around behind him to get a few licks in before needing to dodge his phantom balls again. The ones that hang in the air require careful maneuvering… he’s kind of a bullet hell boss.

I did a ton of nooks’n’crannies diving. In fact my problem was usually too many potential paths rather than too few. The Headless are extremely optional.

Well, crap.

Yeah, I’ve been all up in every single nook AND cranny. Nothing worse than finding a new path and then discovering it’s a dead end with a Mibu balloon or some shit.

One thing I’m loving is my Floating Passage attack which I recently bought for 5 treasure carp scales.

I also got the diving skill so I’ve been going back to every body of water and exploring the briny deep.

I killed a headless! It was the first one I came across in a cave early in the game. I was hoping for a prayer bead but nope, just some weird item I’ll probably never use. I also discovered an underwater headless so I still have three left to kill.

During my aimless wandering around, I managed to unlock a new skill tree with a conversation at the Great Serpent Shrine. I also got a new fetch quest in the Abandoned Dungeon but I already had the red carp eyes he wanted so he handed me a lump of wax.

I know the game isn’t linear but I can’t help but feel like I messed up the order of things somehow. I shall persevere, godammit!

Sekiro is unique because like a Rifleman’s Creed, you’ll only ever need to get good at one thing–your own sword and I like this concept over multi-weapon system like most other action games do as the combat flavors only come from the sword arts you pick and each of them play very differently because of the timing required to pull it off. A Whirlwind Slash is easier to spam but low damage whereas Ichimonji double can deal much higher posture damage but makes the player vulnerable to quick counter attack. The combat is much more nuanced than any other action games I’ve play which is why I love it so much.

I assume you’re in Fountainhead Palace now? Because if you have discovered that place already, that will mean you’ll settle the game in one of the 3 different endings, which was already determined by how you approached Kuro’s quests before you discovered Fountainhead Palace. The rest of the FP is pretty linear and straightforward so you shouldn’t have trouble advancing.

I have not found that palace… but I will!

How about Senpou temple? Did you settle your monkey business there?

It was the stupid bell.

Just sitting on a table in Senpou Temple, Main Hall. All I had to do was press X to Inspect so I would pick it up and ring it.

I’m not sure how I missed it but I think it’s because my attention was focused up in the rafters when I first discovered that location. And the inspect icons sometimes blend in with the remnants which I always ignore so I just failed to notice it. Also, that whole location had been mentally filed away as a place I’d probably need to come back to later because the enemies didn’t stay dead.

Anyway, Sekiro defeated me. I sat down for the fifth night in a row of not knowing where exactly to go and trying to make a good effort to explore every single area to see what I missed and I was just annoyed. I spent another 45 minutes staring at that kite and talking to the old lady sitting on the edge of the cliff and the little ex-merchant and trying to solve the kite puzzle somehow.

Then I failed myself and disappointed my ancestors and I just fucking went to youtube and watched a guy run straight to the bell. So I killed the folding panel monkeys and got my puppeteer ninjitsu skill and tonight that little tyke is flying his kite for me but I’m just dead inside.

So I may finish the game, but all I will know is humiliation and defeat because I didn’t see the bell on the table.

Good news! I got over it.

I’m having fun again, re-exploring Ashina Castle and finding all new enemies to fight… IN-TRUDERS!

I also did this and enjoyed it Very Much:

So satisfying.

True Monk DOWN!

Made my way to Fountainhead Palace and had to spend a few evenings working on all three stages of the True Monk on the bridge. Even though it took me a while, I always felt he was manageable so it was fun instead of frustrating. With his third centipede form I lucked into discovering that I could set him on fire pretty easily and that was quite effective.

I’m still marveling at that rope giant that delivered me from the wedding cave up into the clouds. That was so damn cool!

“Giant rope man, do you understand how you got like that?”
“Nope. I’m a frayed knot.”

I know you specifically mentioned that you don’t want spoilers but here’s the thing, do you want full proper closure on Sekiro’ story? Like, what REALLY happened on that night of the attack on Hirata estate? I missed it during my playthrough because I was a dumb ass. But I also don’t want you to feel that way too. YOU SURE YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED THAT NIGHT??

It’s optional and it’ll add another 5-10 hours worth of story progression (depending on your skills) Sekiro Owl (Father) - how to find and defeat the hidden boss | Rock Paper Shotgun

Thanks, Bacon, but holy crap, do I ever not care about Sekiro’s story. (There’s a story?) I love the design and the atmosphere and the esoteric inscrutability of it all, but I’m not exactly in it for the story. I’ll read your spoiler when I reach whatever end I reach. I may feel like a dumb-ass, but I’ll be a dumb-ass who COMPLETED SEKIRO.

I defeated the Divine Dragon last night. That was mercifully easy. Just when I thought I would need to settle in for a few hours and really try to learn the impossible timing of a new mikiri counter for phase 3 of the dragon, I found myself just grabbing one last lightning bolt and I roasted that big fella.

Got to the secret passage and quit for the night. I have 17 skill points in the bank as I’m saving up for two pre-requisites and the Spiral Cloud passage which looks hot. But chances are quite good that I’ll just stick with my trusty Whirlwind Slash.

This image was an awesome prelude to the dragon battle:

That image is amazing. So evocative. I should reinstall Sekiro again some day.

I was just thinking today I needed to go back and do the other two endings. I actually do care about Sekiro’s story!

Perhaps I overstated that. It’s hard to explain except to say that I’ve spent 90 hours over almost four months playing this game and that isn’t because of the story; it’s because of the feel of the gameplay and the imaginative world building and enemy/creature design.

But I do enjoy the basic narrative setup having to do with my devotion to my young master and doing whatever I need to do to protect and save him. Given that I go weeks between cutscenes and story beats, it’s possible I’m not retaining key details, character names, etc. Plus, Fromsoft is famously inscrutable.

So, yeah, I’ll rephrase and say that I do care about the core story. When I’m done, I’ll enjoy reading a synopsis or watching a few alternate ending videos or whatever. But through whatever combination of the storytelling and the way I’m experiencing that story, I simply can’t process it fully.

This is kind of the thing with videogames and narrative! It’s still a phenomenal experience and it has just about everything going for it that a good story should have. I don’t know if it’s a me thing or a Fromsoft thing or some combination of the two. But I do know that some of the specific details of the story are not that important to me.

I think that’s the only way these kinds of games can work. I think if they had a clear narrative and easy-to-understand plots, then the players would be driven towards completing that plot. Then suddenly all these boss fights would be an impediment to completing the story instead of the point of the game. If you know what I mean. It wouldn’t flow nearly as well, I don’t think. By keeping the story kind of vague and inscrutable, From Software games don’t ever make me feel like they’re putting in barriers between me and something. Defeating the barrier is the whole point.

Sekiro has the clearest plot of any Souls game,.I think. Except maybe Demon’s Souls.

Demon’s Souls has a clear plot?