Sunday, December 10, 2017

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - Walkthrough

Hellblade is very different from other games - there's a lot of slow sections of methodical walking, voices in your head, and nightmares to face. There are also several puzzle elements, interspersed with combat against small waves of slow but deadly enemies. There are also certain sections that can be taken on in any order, and difficulty will progress the further you get.


Part I - Road To Hel
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The Road to Hel (Part 1)

After the opening scene leaves you on the shores of a river, note the large stone in front of you. It is one of many Lorestones, and focusing on it will give you some insight into your journey and the Nordic lore surrounding Helheim.

After checking out the Lorestone, make your way through the swamp to get a taste of “The Darkness”, one of the manifestations of Senua’s psychosis. Thankfully, the shift won’t last long, and as the fog clears to reveal the path to Hel, you’ll learn more insight into Senua’s mission - to find the soul of her beloved, Dillion, and to get it back from the Goddess Hela herself, who dwells within Helheim.

Make your way to the beach where a large edifice can be seen at the end of a large raised bridge, high over the spike-filled waters below. The building is apparently the entrance to Helheim, and you need to find a way up to the bridge - which the voices say lies in a secret path.

Walk along the shores under the bridge to the other side and towards a small waterfall, where you’ll encounter another Lorestone. After listening to it, take a right and find a small wooden ladder you can take up to a raised platform.

Following the path, you’ll take a small detour and have to jump down into a tunnel through the mountain - which won’t allow you to go back. As you move through the passage, you’ll come to an odd door with a large red Rune, as more glowing runes swirl around it.

As you near it, a voice from a phantom memory will reach you - a man named Druth, who will teach you how to see the puzzles of the Nordic Runes. Focus in on the main Rune that looks like an M, and Druth will tell you to find something like it in the room to unlock the gate.

Step away from the gate and head back the way you came, looking along the left wall for where a shaft of light has hit the wall, casting shadows with the roots above to form a symbol like the one on the door. Get close and Focus on the wall to unlock the path.

The Road to Hel (Part 2)

Continue along the path up the ladders and across the narrow walkways as the thunderstorm rages above you, until you clamber across a very narrow beam that crosses to the other side of the rocks. Be sure to listen to the Lorestone before moving on and taking the ladders down to a small passage leading to The Gate.

Arriving at the Gate to the Gjöll Bridge, the door will not budge, but Senua is not alone. As The Darkness of her mind descends, three nightmarish Northmen will appear one at a time to do combat. While flashy, fighting is fairly simple here - you can dodge away from attacks, or block attacks at the right time to create an opening for either quick or strong attacks. Parry and take down each of the enemies until three phantoms rise up that cannot be killed - meaning you’ll have to lose here, because you learn an important lesson.

Each time you fall in combat from here on, rot from The Darkness will spread through Senua. If it reaches her head (i.e. if you fail too many times) the game will be over, and you will have to start from the beginning.

As for moving on, the voice of Druth will tell you that the door cannot be opened to Helheim until you defeat the gods that guard it. Two doors lie behind you, one leading to Surtr, the god of fire, and the other to Valravn, the god of illusion. Both must be defeated if you wish to continue.

Once you regain control, be sure to listen to the Lorestone near the gate, and then turn your attention to the two doors at the end. We’ll go left first, to find and defeat Valravyn.

Note that you can choose either path - Valravyn's Keep or Surtr's Domain, but the enemies will grow stronger and more varied in the second path.

Part I - Valravyn's Keep
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Valravyn's Keep (Part 1)

Entering the domain of Valravn, things don’t look all that terrible yet. Move around the stones in the center, and be sure to inspect the ruined stone tower on the right to find a Lorestone up the short steps. Afterwards, enter the tunnel in the center.

Coming out the other side, follow the stone path to a large slab door with the sigil of Valravn. Druth will warn you that as the god of illusion, Valravn has tricks to hide his doors, and that you shouldn’t rely just on your eyes.

Turn around and head up a path on the right to a large wooden bridge that has been raised. Push it down, and heed the voices that tell you to follow. You’ll enter a raised area with several effigies, and what appears to be a large circular portal. Look through the portal towards the door to find it has vanished, and walk through the portal. Now the doorway will remain open, letting you enter the tunnel.
On the other side, take the stone steps up and climb up the ladder. The Darkness will descend as you move up to a large set of doors - be on your guard. Entering this new room, you can try heading to the next set of doors, but the Darkness is here, and enemies will begin appearing. Remember to bait their attacks and either dodge to the side or parry at the last moment to counter with big attacks. When multiple enemies show up, listen to the voices in your head to know when to parry or dodge ambushes - and jump backwards to get them all in view.

Once the enemies are cleared out, you’ll be good to go forward. In the next room, there’s another one of Valravn’s Doors, but this one is different. Similar to a Rune Door, you’ll need to find the right symbol, but for this time you’ll need to match the ravens to the symbol hidden in the room. Turn around and look up, you’ll spot a figure watching you, as well as the dangling symbols that don’t quite align yet - you need to get to higher ground.

Look around the room for another portal made of glowing bones and wood, and step around to see that a new opening has appeared to the left of the door. Walk through the portal and into the new area. Climb up to an upper platform, and find that the figure is gone, but you can now look out over the room below to align the symbol. Now you can head back down and open the door into a new area.

In this large open forested area, there’s a lot to take in. The main path leads up past some ruined stone structures to a large fortress with another of Valravn’s Doors. Off to the left, you can spy another red-tinged portal door, and a maze of stones and ruined towers.

Start by inspecting the main door, and turn around to find your target - more symbols hanging in the air that are again facing the wrong way. You’ll need to look at it through another angle, so head back down the path and go right towards the portal door with the stag skull hanging in the middle. As you pass through to find a new opening to the left of Valravn’s door, you’ll begin to hear his chanting, and following the path, you’ll see the figure again - Valravn himself is watching you.

As you try and get close, he’ll disappear again, reappearing farther up into the woods, across from a small ravine. Use the portal near where he was standing to find a new path towards this ravine, and hang to the right to find a bridge over it. Once more, Valravn will vanish before you can get to him, opting to reappear in the ruins further up. Pass through portal to open up an area on the right you can duck under - causing him to move again. Open the door on the left before giving chase, and climb up the ladder. He’s gone now, but his effigy points to a portal that now opens up a ramp to a platform looking at the raven symbols.

Before you head over, climb back down the ladder and look for the stone steps where Valravn once stood. At the top of the steps, look for a beam you can cross to spy a Lorestone - but how to get to it? Drop down and look for the portal on your left you went through to find a way into the ruined fort. Go through it again to undo the changes and leave the wall leading to the stone intact. Since you opened the door, you can now head in without the alternate path, and get to the Lorestone.

Head over to the watchtower in the middle of the area you were first in, and now a spiral staircase should lead you up to it, and from it, look across at Valravn’s Door to complete the symbol.

Now you can finally head up the main path to the door, and continue onwards into the keep.

 
Valravyn's Keep (Part 2)

As Darkness descends in the next area, you’ll find a locked door - and the path ahead leads to a circular room. Expect enemies to ambush you here - including tougher enemies if this is you've defeated Surtr. You’ll also be attacked in groups - so watch yourself. Once all of the enemies have been dealt with, you’ll be free to move on up a ledge.

Once up on the ledge, check out the nearby Lorestone, then move through the ruins and down a ledge into the next large forested area. As you can tell by the various hanging symbols, one of Valravn’s Doors is close by - as are his spooky effigies.

Make your way along the main path and look for an inactive portal up on the right. Turn around you’ll find a Lorestone hiding near the back of the area. Continue along the main path as it dips into a ravine that eventually leads out onto a hill pointing you in the direction of the door.

Head up the path to the door and inspect it to enter the illusory realm of Valravn. He’s trying to trick you with symbols strung up everywhere - but may be playing his hand by appearing in two different places far up on the left and right.

Head down and go left first, over to a red portal by one of the effigies, and look through it to spot a new bridge farther up. Cross the gap to the other side, and head towards the tower Valravn is atop - there’s a winding staircase below him. Climb to the top to find a portal - one that gets rid of many of the excess symbols hanging from the trees.

From the tower, head down to the bottom again and hang along the left to find a bridge you can knock down to get back to the middle - but the bridge is out to get to the other side of the ravine. Look instead for a hanging skull that denotes another portal nearby, and look through it to find the bridge rebuilt.

You can now cross to where Valravn is, but the door ahead is locked. Luckily, there’s a bridge to the right here you can knock down to find a portal on the other side, which will open up part of the wall. If you cross back, you can now enter the crumbling ruin. Be sure to open the bolted door, and look to the right of some stairs to find a small entry into a room with a Lorestone.

Heading up the stairs, you’ll find that the ladder leads to an upper area that doesn’t quite reach Valravn - the wall you made disappear needs to come back first. Retrace your steps and make the wall whole again, then use the now open door to get back in and climb up. Entering this portal, and you’ll find all but a few symbols are left - back in the center of this area.

Head back to the center and across the bridge near where the first phantom of Valravn was perched, and looking back to the door, you should be able to align the symbols to open up the door.

 
Valravyn's Keep (Part 3)

Through here, Valravn appears in a large nest, but vanishes in a flash of lightning as the storm grows. You’ll have one more test if you wish to face him in his keep, so inspect Valravn’s Door to get started.

Head to the right of the door to find a beam you can climb over to a ladder leading up to a portal - creating a bridge up ahead. Drop down and climb up the stone steps on the left to find a passage you can cross that doesn’t quite reach the nest - but leads you to yet another portal. Look through the portal to find a new wooden beam that will put you behind a lifted bridge. Cross, and drop the bridge, then return to the portal and go through again to find the branches behind the bridge have lifted, taking you up to the nest. Check the symbol - only to find that the Darkness has caught up with you.

Boss Fight: Valravyn

As Senua lies trapped in the Darkness, Druth will call out to her to take his iron mirror and focus, casting a light on Valravyn and forcing him to fight.

Valravyn is a quick and crafty opponent, but many of his attacks can be blocked. In particular his spinning two-strike can be parried and leaves him open to retaliation. Later, he’ll start mixing things up by back-flipping away and tossing one or both of his curved swords at you - but again, a parry can deflect them back at him.

However, when he charges at you like a spinning missile, it’s better to dodge this powerful move, as will it be to dodge his follow-up as he jumps into the air and brings both weapons down in a powerful strike.

At certain points, he’ll vanish and summon other enemies to contend with. Keep your opponents in front of you, and take them out quickly to bring Valravyn back into the fight. After you’ve he’s done this twice, he’ll start appearing as a shadow, and the voices will yearn for you to use the mirror to focus - slowing down time and making him vulnerable. Wait for an opening and when time is slowed down, run in and hack him to pieces, and the god of illusion will shatter for good.

RETURNING TO THE GATE

With the God of Illusion gone, you can quickly jog back through the now-opened door, and make your way back to the get to Hel without incident. Along the way, one of the voices will talk about seeing faces in the world - and you can spot the face of Senua’s mother, Galena, in the rocks above a ladder on the way out of this domain. Be sure to look for her face hiding in the environment in other areas, too.

Arriving back at the gate, be prepared, as enemies will have arrived to stop you, including some new ones that change things up - mace wielders, and some with a shield too.

These enemies hit slower but harder, and make it riskier to try parrying. Instead, dodge around behind them to finish them off quickly. Be wary of their tendency to fight through your own swings. Eventually, you’ll come up against three or four enemies wielding maces and swords. Since they move slowly, your best bet is to dodge backwards until you face all three of them, and bait out their attacks separately.

Know that you can now use your focus in battle like you did against Valravyn to slow down time, indicated by the glowing trinket on your hip. Your final fight is against a warrior bearing mace and shield, making frontal assaults impossible. Wait for his slow swings and dodge left to his unarmored side and follow up with a strong slice, then back off or risk getting rebuked by a shield bash.

Part III - Surtr's Domain
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Surtr's Domain (Part I)

Entering a small valley, you’ll find two paths - a high path going left over a bridge, and a dirt path going through the trees and into a cave on the right. Take the path on the right first to find another Lorestone.
Return to the path on the left and go towards the bridge - is that a face in the waterfall? Walk up to it and focus on the face to speak with the face of Senua’s mother, Galena.
Crossing the bridge into the larger valley beyond, the skies will darken, heralding the incoming Darkness. Over on the left you can spot a large door with two runes - but as you draw close, enemies like the ones you encountered at the Gate will appear. Focus on blocking and retaliation - and use your melee kick attack to break their guard if they start blocking. Once you defeat enough warriors, the Darkness will retreat, and you’ll be ready to solve the next puzzle.

As you inspect the door, you’ll spot two runes that look like an N and a Y. Druth will mention screams of burned victims carried on the wind - and that’s your clue. The screams will point you in the right direction of the runes in the world, so turn around and start looking.

Head back the way you came, but take a left before the bridge to find a pile of burnt corpses. Up on the right you can see several bodies tied to Y posts, which is close but not quite. Instead, walk up on the path left of the bodies and turn around to find a long straight post in front of one of the tied up bodies, and align the post in front of the body to create the rune you seek.

Next, head to the far corner of the valley near the watchtower in the distance to find a path leading up around above the gate where more dead bodies are stacked. Look left, towards the entrance to Helheim in the distance, to find two posts you can align to form an N, completing both runes you need.
Moving on through the hanging dead bodies, ascend up the path towards the fire and smoke in the distance until you find yourself in an enclosed area with the large wooden door bearing the mark of Surtr, as the darkness descends once more. More enemies will appear here, and they’ll start dodging your attacks to performing heavy strikes that can break your guard. Dodge around these strikes and parry what you can. Eventually, you may start getting attacked by multiple opponents - listen to the voices in your head to know when to parry an incoming blow from behind to turn the tables on them, and finish them off before you get overwhelmed.

Once the Darkness fades, focus in on the portal with Surtr’s emblem, and the words of Druth will give you a clue - only a fire sacrifice can open the portal to Surtr’s domain. Head left through a now open door, towards a bonfire stacked with bodies. Around the other side, the stone slab holds the emblem of Surtr - approach it and focus to bring about a world of fire. Now you can run down to the Fire Door and break through to reach the other side.

The fire fades quickly enough - perhaps Surtr is testing you, but more tests await. As you head out to the bridge leading to the pyre, you’ll find the path at the other end blocked, and the voices in your head suggest you find your own way. Make your way left down the path below the bridge, and look left again to spot another Lorestone before continuing on the path beneath the bridge

Past the bridge, another Fire Door lies before you, meaning you’ll have to find another bonfire sacrifice to open it. Head left to double back under the bridge and into the burnt woods beyond. The voices will warn you to be careful; once everything is on fire, getting back may be tricky. To the left is a rocky passage leading up, but be sure to look right first for yet another Lorestone.

Take the path through the rocks on the left up to the higher ledge, and cross a narrow beam down to the area full of burnt bodies, and sacrificial altar. Inspect the stone slab once again. When the world again becomes fire, don’t go back the way you came. Run right and then hop down a ledge on the left to get to lower ground. Heed the voice and keep running, sticking to the right side along fiery edges until you can head straight back on the path under the bridge and into the Fire Door to burst out on the other side.

 
Surtr's Domain (Part 2)

Heading up this new path, look on the left side to find - once again - another Fire Door. Surtr really enjoys his fire sacrifices, so you’ll need to explore the rest of this area. There’s a few burnt and broken buildings on the right - but more importantly, across from the Fire Door is another Rune Door that leads to the fire sacrifice. Inspect it to find two runes, one with two triangles like |><|, and one that looks like an R.

The ruined buildings hold your answers, so first check out the one on the right that’s just a husk of a home now, and be sure to look inside on the left for a Lorestone.

The secret is near, but we need a different point of view to spot the R. Head into the more intact home on the left, and take the stairs up to the second floor and climb along the roof to the destroyed building. From this new vantage spot, look along the ground below you to find embers glowing along the ground that form the R.

For the second symbol, head to the front door of the intact building, where visions will start to blur around you. As you move towards the grove of trees in front of the house, look off towards the blacksmith table to the left of the Rune Door to spy several fallen trees that create the two triangles along with two standing trees.

With both runes found, enter through the door to find the next fire sacrifice stone slab, and interact to set the world on fire once more. Race back through the door, and take a hard left as the fire blocks the path back to the portal. Instead, run through the back of the large building, veering left through the hall as the fire burns the center of the room. You’ll need to wrap around the stairway to come around and head up, then climb across to the other building. Drop down and go right towards the Fire Door - but enemies will ambush you here.

You’ll need to be wary of the fire, and listen closely to the voices in your head for ambushing enemies coming in from behind you. Counter and push them back until all enemies are defeated. If things get too crazy, dodge backward until you can see both enemies to better time incoming attacks. Once the foes are gone, race for the exit to make it into a new area.

As you climb up you’ll enter a long broken building, connected by a bridge to another similar building with a courtyard below it. One one end of the courtyard is yet another Fire Door, and at the opposite end, a Rune Door. Before you get started with this one, cross the bridge to the other house, then head left onto the balcony to find the final Lorestone in this area. Then head back through the other doorway into a backyard blacksmith area with a door you can open from this side.

Approach the Rune Door at the end of the courtyard to inspect three symbols that look like a X, P, and D. To find the X, head through the door you unbarred and take a left at the blacksmith area, looking along the side of the long house to find some missing boards that match the rune you seek.

For the next rune, enter the house and go back across the bridge to the house you first entered. In the doorway, look right at some broken beams with odd angles, and align them to form a P.

Now exit the home going towards the watchtower in the far right corner of this area, and climb the long ladder. At the top, head out onto the broken walkway to the edge, and look left at the roof of the house on the right, and align the top with the pole on the walkway to form a D.

With the Runes clear, head through the door to the last sacrificial altar, and touch it. Heed Durth’s words: run, and don’t stop for anything - even if you get on fire. Once you make it inside, Senua will collapse - seemingly dead, but fret not. After a brief flashback, you’ll be face to face with the Surtr, the God of Fire.

Boss Fight: Surtr

Surtr may just look like a bigger version of the other creeps you’ve faced - but don’t be fooled, he’s very tough. Blocking his flaming sword will get you nowhere, so familiarize yourself with dashing and dodging to the side. He likes to perform wide sweeping swings in slow combos that end with a downward slash - dodge where you can, get a few fast swings in, and keep dashing until he stops swinging before unloading on him.

If he starts to raise his foot, dash backward to avoid a fiery stomping explosion, then dash back in to keep attacking. Eventually, he’ll plant his sword in the ground, and the voices in your head will scream that he’s gaining power. This is your cue to sprint in and keep swinging fast until you break his concentration, or you’ll suffer the consequences. Usually after this, he’ll be stunned and fall to one knee, allowing you to deal massive damage with your slower attacks until he roars and sends you stumbling back.

After repeating this, he may start to wrap himself in flames and become harmful just to be near or attack - at this point, the voices tell you to “focus” and you should do so. Focusing at this point will trigger a slow-mo mode where his fires no longer phase you, and you can run into to unleash your damage and extinguish him. Keep this up, know when to dodge and when to charge in, and eventually you’ll snuff out the God of Fire.

RETURNING TO THE GATE

With the God of Fire gone, you can quickly jog back across the bridge that was blocked earlier, and make your way back to the get to Hel without incident. If you haven't defeated Valravyn, expect enemies to confront you at the gate.

If you have both sigils, the way to The Bridge to Hel is now open

Part IV - The Bridge to Hel
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After a long nightmare sequence that sheds more light (and dark) on Senua’s story and quest, you’ll find yourself at last on the bridge to Hel. There’s no going back now. Several enemies will appear on the bridge to stop you - but we know how to deal with them. Draw them back, parry advances from swords and break their guards to keep on the offensive. When the shield-bearer appears, dodge around him to start up your attack, and keep kicking his shield when it’s up so he doesn’t regain his footing.

As you reach the end of this part of the bridge, open the door - only to be ambushed by a deadly two-handed axe-wielding nightmare. This enemy attacks very slow but cannot be blocked. Zip around when it does large swings (if the swing seems quick, make sure you dodge the follow up to). When he roars, get ready to jump to the side as he charged past - and he’ll stun himself running into a wall, letting you spring up behind him to deal major damage.

As soon as he goes down, more mace and sword-wielding enemies will appear in groups, ending with a shield-bearer. This is a great place to make use of your focus to slow down time, especially if you bunch them up to slice them all at the same time. Just keep them in front of you, and note the shadows on the ground if more appear behind you.

With this group of enemies dealt with, enter the door at the end to find a hall with a Rune Door at the end, a blocked door on the left and a balcony on the right. Be sure to inspect the Lorestone out on the balcony to learn about the giantess that guards the Bridge to Hel. As for the runes, we need to find one that looks like an A, S, and X.

For starters, head back into the previous hall and to the now-locked door. Turn around and look up at the second story to spy a cage, and next to it, pieces of wood that form the X.

At this point, you might notice the missing staircase over by the broken wall where the ship crashed in - but there seems to be something in the air - shards where the stairs once were. Head out onto the balcony and down the steps into the boat, and walk along the boat until you can see the shards align to reform the stairs - focus on it, and it will be so.

Head up the stairs, and note the wooden pieces that you saw from below to form an X. This time, walk around the upper floor past the slowly twisting cage until the wood pieces form an S while you look out onto the boat.

As you move onward, look for an open window on the left and step out onto the narrow ledge. If you carefully move left along the ledge, you’ll come to a section of rooftop that resembles Senua’s mother that you can speak to.

Moving back onto the second floor, look for a ladder leading higher still and take it up to an attic space. Look back once more at the wooden pieces hanging in the air to find the A, completing the set.

Now you can head back down the ladder to one last Lorestone in this area, and open the door to the now unlocked Rune Door.

Now all that’s left is to cross the remainder of the bridge. That is, until Hela makes her appearance, sending you crashing down to the Shipwreck Shore.

Part V - Shipwreck Shore
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After a long scene, Senua will hear a voice, perhaps a vision of Dillion, her lost love. Wounded and swordless, you’ll have only to walk towards the shining blue light ahead of you. Rounding the bend, the blue light appears to have a form - that of a man wielding a weapon. But as you get close, the vision will fade. Get to where it was, and you’ll find that although you’ve fallen off the Bridge to Hel, you’re at least on the right side of the bridge this time.

Head down the slope to the shores of the shipwrecked area below, and keep moving onward - ignoring the voices. Keep going until you find a slope going up, where the figure is again at the top. Before heading up, keep going past it towards the rocks, where you can find a small cave with the face of Senua’s mother inside that you can speak with.

Run up the slope to find the vision has faded once more, but in its place, you can spy a great tree in the distance. Curious. Moving forward, you’ll find that the vision of Dillion is indeed under the tree, as if he wants you to get to it.

Climbing down from the slope, note the Lorestone over on the left side by the shore, as it tells of a tree where Odin planted a sword.

Over on the rocky cliffs to the right, you can spot a path leading up to a large Rune Gate, with scaffolding and shipwrecks below. You can climb up the paths below or use the ladder under the wooden posts to get up to the door where another Lorestone waits below it, but this door needs no runes - instead it is inscribed with a great tree - like the one the spirit of Dillion waits at.

With this in mind, return to the shore and keep moving past the various shipwrecks. Keep to the water’s edge, and you’ll find yet another Lorestone by a opening in the rocks to keep moving forward.

You’ll eventually move through the cavernous overturned hulls of several ships. When the road turns left to go through the overturned ships on either side, turn around to spot a little alcove along the rocks that leads to another Lorestone.

As you move towards the large tree and exit the shipwrecks, a large flash will transport you into happier times - keep moving to the tree until it ends. When you regain control, make sure to look right and left as you get near - there are odd metal runestones placed in corners around the tree by the shore. Additionally, you can find another Lorestone between two of these stones on the left side of the tree, and a final Lorestone in the back right corner that tells of a reforged sword of Odin’s called Gramr.
Return to the tree to find a blue glow inside the trunk of the tree, surrounded by skulls. Inside, the glow appears to be coming from a sword embedded in the tree, Gramr. However, Senua cannot pull it from its resting place - it needs to be reforged, which can only be done by accepting Odin’s Trials at the four glowing metal runestones, and surviving the challenges that wait.

You can take on the challenges in any order, and each of them will involve doing something different:

The Labyrinth Shard Trial, located just to the right of the base of the tree
The Tower Shard Trial, located at the bottom left corner of the tree.
The Swamp Shard Trial, located at the top left side of the tree.
The Blindness Shard Trial, located at the bottom right entrance to the area with the tree.

Part VI - Labyrinth Shard Trial
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Senua will now be on an island some distance away from the tree - a burial mound, it appears. Before you follow the red flags to the right, head left along the shore first to find a Lorestone. Then follow the flags up the hill onto the entrance of the burial mound - where a lone torch sits besides a dark and foreboding passage.

Entering the dark corridors, a roar will echo forth, followed by the sound of someone calling out - and it appears to be coming from the right path, although there is a left path too. Take the path to the right and chase the echoes of what appears to be Dillion’s voice. In the next room, light the brazier and you’ll spot the glowing figure in a room beyond - but you can’t get to it.

Head back and take the left path this time, and at the crossroads - be sure to light the brazier here too - it will note where you have been. The voices are muffled now, but it appears to be coming from the right path again.

Before moving on, go left first into a room with a shaft of light on the right, and a barred door on the left with a Lorestone in front of it. Inspect it, then return to the previous crossroads.

Head right - and note when you light this brazier, the one to the right also lights up - and looks identical to the room you’re in. With that being the case, head left here into the unlit room. Be sure to check the Lorestone here - but take a look at the emblem of the tree on the floor of the room.

Notice how the branches from the trunk diverge at specific points - almost like paths to take in a labyrinth - all the way to the sword in the tree.

Following this pattern, from the entrance, the path to take is Left, Right, Left, Right, Right, Right, Right. Of course, there is something for going the wrong way. If you get lost - remember to keep lighting the torches, and don’t enter a room that’s already lit.

If you go the right way, you’ll find a room with a ray of light, and a broken wall. Go the wrong way, and eventually, once you get deep enough, you’ll find another Lorestone as Dillion’s voice gets more...abnormal.
From the Lorestone, the only room ahead is sealed - so how do we get in? Backtrack to the room with the broken wall and climb under. Moving ahead to the next intersection, note the path on the left is already lit, so light this room and keep going right. In the next area you’ll find an entryway with a very eerie red glow. Enter, and you will have solved the labyrinth’s challenge.

Part VII - Tower Shard Trial
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In this area, you’ll be at a large ruined tower far away from the tree. At the base, you can see the glow of Dillion’s figure entering. Trying to exit the boardwalk and you’ll find the bridge it out - but there is a way to the right if you lower the other bridge to the rock here. Up top you’ll find a creepy giant mask - but with no other options - look through it.

Doing so will transport you to the tower as it was in the past, during relatively nicer times. This means the place isn’t crumbling, and the bridge that was previously gone has been restored. Head back down and up the stairs to get to the tower. There’s a gate here you can’t open yet - but there is a Lorestone to be read to the right of it.

Further up, the entrance to the tower is blocked by a Rune Door, and you’ll need to find a rune that looks like an F.

Since the other gate past the door is also locked, we may need to go back to the present, but before you do, walk down the other boardwalk and knock the other bridge down back to the mask, and look through this other mask to warp back.

Back in the present, both of the iron gates are now down on either side of the tower. Head over through the one on the right to find the gate to Dillion blocked by roots - but a new mask is here that will send you to the past. Unfortunately, Dillion isn’t in this version of the world, but we can enter the tower anyway. Inside you can find a Lorestone sitting next to a dining table.

As you move to the floor above, look back towards the front door to spot a shaft of light hitting the wall near the crates on the right to form the F you seek.

Before heading back to the Dark World, be sure to leave through the barred door on the right, and unbar the door back to the front area as well. You can also start walking under the bridge to the edge of this place to see your mother’s face in the fog under the bridge and speak with her.

Return to the present, and open the Rune Door with the rune you now have (you can also open it in the past and it will already be opened in the present. Inside the ruined tower, there’s a new Lorestone to find, but the way up is shattered and you’ll need to stand to the side of the doorway to see the stairs properly and focus to rebuild them.

Heading to the second floor, Dillion disappears behind a new Rune Door - this one with three runes: ↑, M, and J. Before we try out the mask in this room, note that stairs lead to a third floor. You can also find a new Lorestone up on the second floor in the present.

Up here, you can push a bridge down to yet another mask up here, and a door at the far end can be unlocked to enter a balcony looking down at the bridge Dillion is on. Here you can align beams and rope on the bridge to form the M rune.

Return to the second floor and use the mask to enter the past.

In the nicer looking second floor, there are signs the ↑ Rune is near. Look to the left of the stairs up to see a broken window, and move left and back until the wooden planks align to form the ↑ Rune.

Now move up to the third floor, where you’ll find the door at the far end to the balcony is still open, but now there’s a walkway here with a Lorestone, as well as a path to the other metal door you can unlock to the balcony.

Sadly, the last door leading to the opposite balcony and the bridge to the mask still cannot be reached. Return to the mask on the third floor by the stairway, and go to the present.

In the present, you can now pass along the balcony through both opened doors to reach the other balcony on the far end, leading to the bridge you can knock down back on the platform with the mask. Warping to the past, you can see the J symbol right in front of you - but it’s backwards. Head out onto the balcony via the path you opened to focus on it from the other side.

Before leaving, grab the last Lorestone out here before heading back down to the second floor and back to the present.

Back in the present, head through the unlocked Rune Door and carefully navigate the narrow plank to reach Dillion, and end the trial.

Part VIII - Swamp Shard Trial
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This will transport you next to a swampy on land opposite the burial mound, high up in the hills above the tree. As you start exploring, you’ll find an abandoned village with a blue light coming from a house.

Jump into the fetid swamp, and make your way through the first house until you find a stone arch reminiscent of Valravyn’s illusion gates. Look through the portal towards the debris and you’ll find it clear once you step through.

Moving onwards, you’ll find a bridge is gone, but you can just make out slightly visible shards like the ones you saw on the Bridge to Hel - meaning you’ll have to look at it from the right angle to make it whole again.

Keep moving past the broken bridge to find another illusion gate, and step through it to make a barricade disappear. Beyond is yet another gate - as well as a Lorestone for this area.

Go through the gate to open a doorway, then double back to the previous gate to go through it again to seal the barricade - but leave the door open. Go back through and you’ll find a walkway up to one of the watchtowers. Once you climb it, head out onto the bridge to look at the broken bridge below and put it back together.

Once across the rebuilt bridge, enter the large house. Dillion’s figure is gone, but his voice beckons you further inside. To the right of the large hall is one more Lorestone, and to the left is a Rune Door.

When you go to inspect the Rune Door, you’ll be taken to an entirely different house - where angry voices are coming your way, and a light at the end of the hall is getting bigger.

If this fiery entity finds you, you’ll die, so turn right and run. At the first intersection, follow the light left until you spot the first rune on the wall on the right that looks like an I.

From here, hug the right walls until you find areas you can slip under, and look for the white shape of Dillion in the far right corner. When you find him again, you’ll net the second rune that looks like a D.

For the final Rune, keep running straight and against hug the right wall as you spy Dillion’s figure further up, and dive under a high wall to find the last symbol that looks like a Y.

Now to get out - the door is located to the left - but if the entity has cut you off, you may need to double back the other way to lose it in the maze and then find Dillion’s figure in front of the door and sprint to the unlocked Rune Door. Doing so will end this trial.

Part VIIII - Blindness Shard Trial
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After stepping away from the stone, Senua will be in the dark - with no light whatsoever to guide you, only the voice of Dillion. As you gain control, he’ll ask Senua to feel - and she’ll feel a breeze. Swivel your camera until you can hear the breeze, which should be on the left, and head towards it.

In the next area, again listen for a breeze and head to it. Eventually you’ll hear dripping water, and the metallic swaying of brazier. Once you hit a door, Senua will despair, but you shouldn’t. Listen and look left to hear a lit torch, and follow it down the corridor. It should curve right as you follow the sounds of the flame and wind, and eventually you will pass through them.

Next, with no wind to guide her, you must focus on what else you can hear - a stream of water. Follow the noise a bit to the right and then left until you finally reach the stream. Once at the water source, turn your head until you can hear the rush of water to follow it upstream. The stream curves a bit both ways, so keep the noise in your ears to follow it through. If you start to see the shadows of bodies on the floor, you’re on the right track, as bad as that sounds.

Eventually the path will get lower and you'll need to crouch down, but keep following the noise of the stream until you reach a waterfall. Now you’ll need to move left towards what sounds like a house. Drop down, and you’ll hear that you’re not alone. Dillion will suggest you move quietly, and slowly - this means you can’t attract attention by knocking into anything. Start moving forward, but do so carefully - the blobby mass you can just make out is the monster, but there are several metal trinkets hanging from the ceiling that will make noise if you run into them. As long as you sidestep around them, the monster can’t detect you.

Once you sidestep it, hug the right wall again until you are past it, then turn left and listen for a torch - that’s your next goal. Move slow to avoid hitting anything - you can’t hug the right wall going towards the torch as there is more instruments here, so you’ll again be forced to move near the creature in order to pass by it - then make for the exit.

Outside the house, there’s a swinging brazier to the right - unfortunately more monsters appear to be patrolling between the lights - and don’t stay in one place. If you can, wait until they all wander off to the side before moving to the next light source, and keep this strategy by watching the blurry shapes move away or listen to the receding growls.

Eventually, you’ll come a door, and enter another house. Moving forward, you’ll hear more growls, and turning left you can just make out a thin beam over a pit of monsters. You’ll need to move slowly across, and re-position yourself if Senua tilts too far in one direction. At the other end, you’ll dive into a well, where more monsters wait in the dark - but a ray of light shines at the far end.

To make it out, wait for the monsters to move out of the ray of light’s path to move forward, and carefully move around any hanging bodies you encounter. Only a few of the monsters near the front actually patrol, so don’t worry if you slide past others, so long as you keep the light in front of you and dodge around bodies. Once you get up out of the water, follow the light, and the test will end.

With all trials complete, you can now grab the legendary sword Gramr from it’s resting place. But do keep in mind - everything has a price that must be paid. Welcome to The Sea of Corpses.

Part IX - The Sea of Corpses
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As you awaken in a new nightmarish hellscape, enemies will begin appearing - but with your new blade Gramr, you now have the edge. This adversaries will first be incorporeal and immune to attacks, but you can stun them into physical form by holding down the strong attack to light up your blade and hit them. This also greatly replenishes your focus meter on your mirror - allowing you to also stun these enemies to reveal themselves.

Once the northmen are dead, move through the narrow canyon of arms and corpses. As the darkness in your head taunts you, you’ll have to engage in a long gauntlet of enemies, including those cloaked in shadow, shield-bearers, and even an axe-wielder. Make liberal use of your focus power to decloak the shadowed enemies, and slowdown time to cut them to pieces - but always be careful of newly spawned enemies ambushing you from the side.

Once they’ve been cut down, you’ll hear the voice of Senua’s mother calling - climb into the nearby canyon and wade through the blood as you make your way towards seeing her face once. As you move on, prepare for another big encounter.

In this new wave, you’ll face a new berserker enemy wielding two small axes. He fights similar to Valravyn, preferring quick running attacks and slashes, often pulling two swings off to follow up with a powerful overhand attack. Luckily, most of these attacks are blockable - but beware him trying to kick you to stun you. When he gets low on health, he’ll thrown down a smoke bomb and become shadowed - meaning you’ll have to focus or light your blade to bring him back to his physical form.

After he falls, more shadowed northmen will appear - but remember that a perfectly timed parry can also charge your sword to bring them from the shadows. There are many enemies here - and they often spawn all around you, so distancing yourself is paramount to survival, especially when the two-handed axe-wielder appears. Leave the slower sword-wielders behind as you focus on the bigger threats, then pick them off when things get easier.

As you move through the canyon toppling enemies, eventually two berserkers will rush you at once - let them come to you, and parry or focus then repeat, keeping both of them in sight at all times since they move and charge so quickly. You’ll have to deal with the bigger axe-wielders after that, so again, have them charge you to lose their allies behind while you mop them up.

When at last the remaining opposition is taken out, the path up out of the bloody water will lead you onwards. Take the path higher and higher until you must cross two large corpses with linked arms, as you move onwards to find your mother once again. Find her, and you’ll be free of the Sea of Corpses, and with Gramr in hand, it’s time for a second assault on Helheim.

Part X - Helheim
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Inside, be sure to check the first Lorestone as you step in.

The bridge has broken on the right, but you can still drop down on the left to climb up the other bridge to the door at the other side. Opening the door, the presence of the hound that guards Helheim will make its presence known. Garm, also known as Fenrir. This beast will stalk you - but only when you step into shadows. With this in mind, sprint from the doorway into the next room with light in the middle.

From here, the path to the right is barred, and the path left is all in darkness, so keep running straight to find a torch in a lit brazier - as well as a vision of your mother. The door she’s behind is a Rune Door, which means you’ll have to face the shadows once more to find them all. The runes you need to find look like a D, A, and P.

With the torch in hand, Fenrir can’t hunt you, so it’s a good idea to get a lay of this maze. Turning around from the Rune Door, you can spot the entrance down the corridor with the lighted room in the middle. The first door on the right is barred from the other side, and the first door on the left leads to a stairwell. Moving on, the second door on the right leads to a pit, while the door on the left wraps around the room in the middle’s barred door, and there’s another door here also barred from the other side.

From the middle room, head right down a flight of stairs into a darkened room with several torch stands and blood on the floor. Try and light some quick, because enemies will begin appearing, and you’ll need to take them out before moving onwards. When everyone is cleared out, look for a small stairs up to a ledge above the room, and look down to see the blood has traced the A rune.

Return to the room with the circular stairs and head up first. Go through the darkened hall into a room with a single torch you can light next to some bars. Lighting it will cast a shadow of the P rune to the right.

Now continue on to unbar the door - back on the first floor?

Go back to the stairwell and this time, head down. Enter the sewers until you come to a large gate you have to swim under - dousing your torch. Quickly run to the next shaft of light, and then again run onwards hanging to the left to find a tiny light source. Stay a moment and look into the large cave beyond. There’s a large area over to the left, but no light, so look instead for an unlit brazier bathed in light, and sprint to it. To the right, you can finally see fire in the distance - sprint over to it.

Armed with the torch once more, return into the cave and light the torches along the way. Once you light the torches in the shaft of light, look left back the way you first entered this cave, and to the left of the water you can illuminate another Lorestone.

Now head into the darkened section of the cave under the wooden arch. Light the torches along the way until you come to a submerged piece of wood, and use it’s reflection in the light to find the D Rune.

Head up the stairwell where you regained the torch - but be sure to look left of the door to find an opening in the wall where another Lorestone lies.


The door leads right back to the Rune Door, which is now open to you. Unfortunately, it’s a trap. Sprint for the bridge ahead - but in doing so, you’ll lose something of great importance.

FIND THE HEAD

When you regain control, you’ll be on the side of a large pit, with an open grate on the far side. Sidle across to the right. When you reach the other side, you’ll find a new torch to wield as you go further down the tunnels. They empty out on a lower level of the pit, where you can cross a wooden beam towards a Rune Door with an R you must find.

Before you can interact, you’ll be ambushed by several enemies in a very small room. You’ll need to constantly reposition yourself to keep the constantly-appearing enemies in view, especially when berserkers show up, and use Focus to slow down time whenever you can to even the odds - especially when enemies cloak themselves in shadow.

After defeating them, inspect the door, then head up the stairs on the right. There’s an unlit brazier here you can light, illuminating some wooden planks looking down on the pit in the previous room. Return to the pit and look up at the wooden planks to form the R, and return to the door.

The good news is opening the door won’t douse your torch this time. The bad news is that the waterfall up ahead will do that anyway. Run through the waterfall and keep sprinting until you reach another torch to relight your own. Up ahead, cross the narrow beam to reach the room with the pit once more - but be sure to look right first for another Lorestone among some corpses.

Heading down the slope, you’ll almost be at the bottom of the pit, but another Rune Door remains. Be sure to inspect the Lorestone to the left of the door, and note that there’s a waterfall blocking the door to the right, where another brazier can be seen higher up that would finish illuminating the M Rune you seek.

Instead, turn around and go back the way you came to spy a passage to the left of the slope. Crawl through the tunnel to find a pit with a raised bridge you can’t reach yet - but a brazier you can light. Now you have something to run to when you cross through the waterfall. Return to the waterfall, and sprint through while going right to the fire in the distance.

Smash into the bridge and knock it down and you’ll be safe to relight it. Now you can return to the raised area near the waterfall and light the brazier up top, and it will complete the illumination of the M Rune you can see back on the other side of the waterfall.

On the other side of the Rune Door, head down the tunnel and inspect the last Lorestone in this area before continuing on.

After wading through the sewage, you’ll need to make the final sprint right into the lair of Fenrir.

Boss Fight: Fenrir

This beast cannot be harmed by light attacks, but your heavy strikes will do good here - especially when you charge up Gramr’s power. It will strike with powerful claws that cannot be parried, but it’s fangs can be blocked and countered. Otherwise, it’s best to dodge to the side, and follow up with a heavy strike or two.

At certain points, Fenrir will spew out shadows that will wrap you in darkness and despair, making it near impossible to see what is happening beyond the brief flashes when he attacks. You’ll need to be constantly dodging and listening to the noise it makes when it strikes. If you’re good, you can try parrying his fangs - otherwise, wait until you have confirmed to dodge his strike, then light up your sword and attack to bring the light flooding back into the arena.

Fenrir will also scamper out of the arena at certain points, and prepare to make a move from the shadows. You can try and follow him by listening to where the growls are the strongest, and prepare for him when he emerges to lunge by getting out of the way - or stunning him with a burst of focus. Focus will really help you in this battle, and unleash as many strong attacks as you can, even when darkness closes in, and eventually you’ll put down the great beast.

Part XI - Hela's Sanctum
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Head left and climb up the ladder and start following the path upwards. When you find a crossroads, go right first to find a Lorestone at the bottom of a stairwell.

Take the stairwell up to a higher floor which has a balcony you can look down from to repair the first part of the bridge by inspecting it.

When you try and return, you’ll be ambushed in the next room by up to four enemies in a fairly small room - so be on your guard from ambushes, especially by the nimble berserker - and use focus whenever you can to even the odds.

Back down below, head the opposite path to enter the pit area and cross a beam over to the broken bridge. There’s a door behind you here where the Bridge to Hel is locked, go towards it, and inspect the Lorestone on the right.

Now go right from the broken bridge and up the steps. The way to the left is blocked, but the way up right lets you look down on the bridge and build another part back up. However, it’s not enough.

Head down onto the partially complete bridge and look right towards the blocked up landing to find you can open it by focusing on the shards that reveal the illusion.
Head back up the stairs through the now open passage down into a prison area. Be sure to check the cell on the right for another Lorestone before going left to a locked door - but there’s a small hole just next to it.

It empties out into a stairwell - be sure to unbar the door before heading up.At the second floor, be sure to keep going up until you reach the top to find the final Lorestone.

Heading back down to the second floor, beware the arena where a two-handed axe-wielder will fight you, and another will support him in a few moments - so use Focus to slow things down and get your hits in where you can. Once all the enemies are gone, head out onto the balcony and align the broken bits to complete the whole bridge.

Heading back down, as you make to cross the span of the full bridge, one last wave of northmen will try to stop you. Take them on carefully, and try to knock them from the bridge if you get the opening - otherwise play it safe and use focus to quickly cut down groups and uncloak any who hide in shadows. Once this group is dealt with, Hela’s Gate waits for you at the end of the bridge.

Once inside, head down the long corridor until you find a portal - this is the path you must take to Hel, and leave behind all doubt. Once you are at the end of the corridor, a final rune gate will give you a vision of Druth, and then you must face Hela.

Boss Fight: Hela

In this sequence, you need to fight your way to Hela, who will not make things easy for you, as you try and move forward, bridges will explode and hordes of enemies will begin appearing all around you. However, with nothing left to lose, Senua will charge in with Odin’s sword alight in blue - and you’re damage output will be tremendous as will your ability to focus. Slow down time whenever possible and leap from target to target. There’s only one friendly voice in your head now, use it to dodge or deflect incoming attacks.

Once you’ve cleared the first wave, start racing to the next platform where again the bridges will be knocked away. However, this time you will face a rot-version of Surtr, Valravyn, and Fenrir that can appear and disappear at will - sometimes swapping for another boss, and sometimes appearing all at once. Remember your fights and know when to dodge and when to block their attacks, and use your strongest attacks and focus to wear them down until they all disappear.

As you reach the final platform with Hela herself, she’ll spawn endless waves of enemies to combat you. No matter how much you fight, there is no end in sight, as more and more enemies rise to take the place of the fallen. After killing and being knocked down, you’ll eventually hear a voice pleading for you to let it go, and give up your fight. Only by stopping, can you move forward. Once this happens, you can enjoy the conclusion to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

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