5. The Forest of Separation and Water Dungeon
The Forest of Separation
This area is massive and confusing. If you ever needed an in-game map of some sort, it would be for the forest. I'll do my best to guide you through it fully with a lot of images for clarity.
Start by following the linear path past a few tougher enemies. Bait them towards you and a single normal, hard combo will kill them. Cross a bridge and take out a large knight with a hammer, then cross another bridge to find a Shrine of Power. Rest, then head left to a ground hint that gives a vague direction to the Water Dungeon. Take the lower path to the left, kill an enemy, and continue heading left. Stay on the lower/left path and you'll curve upward and have to fight an enemy, then continue to the left and fight another enemy. Keep going left and you'll be attacked by shadow enemies, then you'll see a large skeleton and some spider webbing that you can burn with your torch.
If you go downward and right from here you'll encounter a stronger sickle enemy and find a chest with a useless Dagger. Backtrack to the large skeleton and take the lower left path to reach a glowing shrine guarded by a red knight with a flaming sword. Handle him as usual with range and normal, hard combos, then interact with the Shrine of Courage (1/4) and you'll be taken to an ethereal area. Go to the right and interact with an NPC, after which you'll return to the Forest with a notification that an Echo from the Other Side has been unlocked. Press to open your inventory and see that part of the microchip image in the upper left has been filled in by finding the first Shrine of Courage. You'll need to find all four eventually.
Follow the path to the left and you'll see a pillar with a torch. Head upward/left and circle around to a path that goes downward/left and eventually leads to a wooden bridge. Go across, then left to find a campsite with an NPC- the Hunter.
Exhaust his dialogue (you'll have to come back after killing all three giants to talk to him again), then break the nearby crate to collect a Fragment of Luce (1/10, 16/100). There are several enemies nearby so be careful. Head left from the Hunter's camp and follow the path downward and it will curve to the left. You'll see a torch along the top of the path and to the left of it out in the open is a Fragment of Luce (2/10, 17/100).
Continue downward/left and cross a bridge, following the linear path down a slope and past some knights to reach a Shrine of Power. Rest, then go to the left side of this area. Kill a large knight, then find a Fragment of Luce
(3/10, 18/100) at the bottom of the area out in the open.
Backtrack (linear path to the right) towards the main area of the forest. You'll cross a wooden bridge, then go through an open area and the path will lead up through some trees. When it forks, go left and you'll eventually see another large skeleton and a bonfire.
Go left here and there will be a small camp beyond some hanging skulls. Kill the two enemies, then break the barrel on the left in front of a tent to find a Fragment of Luce
Continue along the path and it will fork again, so take the right fork. The path will curve upwards and fork again; again, go right. You'll see a wooden structure that leads into a large area with a bunch of enemies.
This is where Aether will be taken if shadow enemies abduct her. There are multiple platforms with archers and numerous normal enemies around the area on ground level. Quickly climb up the ladder of the first tower
to the right and kill the archer (be careful to avoid the spiky wooden structures as they will kill you instantly if you touch them), then climb down and go right along the lower part of the area to the second tower, climb up, and kill that archer. You'll see a third archer tower above you so head to it and kill the third archer. Drop down and take out any normal enemies you may have stirred up, then continue to the top of the area and climb a ladder to take out the last archer on a larger wooden structure. Kill the strong sickle enemy up here if you want, then drop down and kill the remaining enemies on ground level. Break a crate on the left side of the area to reveal a Fragment of Luce
(5/10, 20/100). Exit this area on the right side and continue to the right to find a Shrine of Power
Go up and to the right and you'll encounter a strong enemy with a sickle. After killing him, continue right and you'll see a stone path at the top of the screen. Follow it upward to find a runic circle that you can activate by stepping on it. Go back down the stone path and continue downward, following the path downward/right until you see a ledge on the right side of the path.
You'll be coming back here shortly, but for now head left/downward and you'll see a fragment in an area on the left
. Circle around the bottom of this area, kill the sickle enemy and collect the Fragment of Luce
Head back to the ledge and drop off to the area below. Aether will not follow you and should get abducted by shadow enemies before you can get back to her, which isn't a problem. Follow the path to the right and drop down to a lower level where you'll encounter a strong enemy. Use your range and normal/hard combo to take him out, then head to the right and drop down once more to find a weapon.
This is a Bastard Sword +, so swap it for your current Bastard Sword, then walk into the nearby ring of lights to be teleported to the runic circle.
Assuming Aether was abducted (you'd hear her scream and get a notification), follow the stone path downward and head left when the path forks. Continue past the pillar with a torch and take a downward/left angle to get back to the area with platforms and archers. Make your way to the top of the area and climb onto the larger platform, killing any necessary enemies. Take out a strong sickle enemy guarding the switch that you can use to free Aether from the jail cage.
Then drop down, kill any hostile enemies, and exit the area on the right side again. Rest at the Shrine of Power if needed, then head across the wooden bridge upward/left of the shrine
. Go left after crossing and hug the wall until you can take a left turn down a path. Stay near the top of this path as you continue left and you'll soon see a Shrine of Power.
Rest here, then head downward and kill an enemy before following the first path to the left. Keep going directly left and you'll encounter an archer enemy. Continue heading left and you'll see a large, circular blue structure. You'll also see a fragment just above it, so go to it and collect the Fragment of Luce (7/10, 22/100).
This giant shrine serves a very important purpose. There are three in the game, each of which is found in an area near where you will obtain an elemental shard. This shrine is connected to the Water Shard found in the nearby Water Dungeon. After obtaining the shard, you are teleported to this shrine and you have a limited time to carry Aether to a sunray, which is located somewhat close by. If you fail to get Aether there in time or if she is attacked by an enemy, you will lose your chance at the good or normal endings. YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE AT THESE THREE SEQUENCES AND FAILURE LOCKS YOU INTO THE BAD ENDING! It is crucial, then, to know the path you need to take and where enemies appear so that you can get Aether where she needs to go without issue because if you make a mistake, you are locked out of the good/normal endings and would need to start a new playthrough for another chance at them.
We will do some more exploration before I bring you back to the shrine to show the exact path to the sunray. Head downward and when the path forks, go left. Continue downward until you reach a Shrine of Power.
Rest, then head back up and follow the path to the right. Go downward when you can until you reach a large spider web that you can burn away with the torch
. Do so, then kill an enemy and continue downward/left along the path. When the path forks, go right and you'll see a Fragment of Luce
(8/10, 23/100) in some bushes on the right side. Go back to the left and follow the linear path to the end (ignore a fork to the right) to find the sunray I mentioned earlier.
Backtrack to the spider webbing, then follow the path up and around to the left, then downward to the Shrine of Power and rest. Head straight up, then when the path forks, go directly to the right. The path will veer upward but continue along to the right and you should see the second giant in the distance.
These guys are tough. They hit like a truck and will kill you quickly. The best strategy I found is to bait them into your hard attack, then roll away as soon as you can.
You'll have to work out timing and distance and I suggest swapping weapons so you can move faster when you're waiting for stamina to regen. Kite him around and repeat this process until he dies, then collect the 10 Fragments of Luce that he drops (33/100). Note that there is a Bastard Sword upgrade in the Water Dungeon so you can always come back for this guy later when you are a little stronger, but I'm not sure that a little extra damage will mater- it's all about technique and timing.
From here, go upward/right to get back to a Shrine of Power and rest. Head downward and follow the path to the left, then go upward until you see a black knight patrolling. Remember that these guys can one hit you so use your range and normal/hard combo to kill them without issue. Along the top of this area is a large structure with two big statues in front and an opening with a tree in the middle. Break the pot on the left side of the left statue to find a Fragment of Luce (9/10, 34/100).
Continue left and kill another black knight, then follow the path downward/left and it will curve to the right and bring you back to the giant shrine. Head downward from the shrine and take the downward/left fork. At the next fork, go right and continue downward until you reach the Shrine of Power. Rest. Before heading to the Water Dungeon, you want to practice the run from the shrine to the sunray
. This sequence covers the most distance of the three sunray sequences and you'll have to set Aether down twice to fight two enemies along the way. I suggest running from the shrine to the spider webbing a few times so you know the exact path to take (it's linear from that point). Once you're comfortable with this, go back to the nearby Shrine of Power and rest.
Head upward and take the left path when you can. Continue heading left and you'll eventually be engaged by a knight. The path will turn upward and there will be a second knight and a new enemy- a frost sorcerer. This enemy will create circles of frost on the ground that cause burst damage within the marked area a few seconds later, so when you see these circles appear, move off of them to avoid damage. These frost bursts can damage other enemies (even the frost sorcerer himself). Kill him, then continue upward to enter the Water Dungeon.
As soon as you enter, smash jars on the right to find a Fragment of Luce (1/5, 35/100). Then head downward to encounter a shielded knight and then two assassins. Head right at the four-way split, take out the knight with the big mace, and flip a switch on the right wall. Then go back and take the downward path. Kill a halberd knight and a frost sorcerer and follow the linear path around until you see a grey plate on the ground. Inch forward and a gate will slam down behind you, locking you in. There are two giant knights in the room ahead, and if you stay on the left side of the path and inch downward, you can aggro the one on the left by himself. He will do two attacks- an overhead slash and a spinning slash. I don't have a good strategy for these guys since they don't seem to walk into your attacks like other enemies do, so try to avoid their attacks and get close to use your hard attack (two hard attacks should kill them). Once the first is dead, move down, kill the second, the continue downward and you'll see a grey path going left.
Take it to find an Amulet of Shadows upgrade
. Continue downward along the main path, kill a knight, and you'll see another grey path on the right
. Take it and as soon as you get into the new area, go downward to reveal a secret path
that leads to a Shrine of Wisdom
(2/5). Interact with it to increase Aether's power, then go back up to find a black knight guarding a chest on the right. Carefully kill him, then open the chest
and swap to the Bastard Sword ++ before heading back to the main path and continuing downward.
The path will turn left and lead to a room with a strong shielded knight and two normal knights.
Inch forward to aggro the shielded knight and kill him (as always) by leading him into a normal/hard attack combo, then backing away and repeating. Kill the normal knights one at a time and open the chest in this room that contains a Warhammer (feel free to try it out if you want, I stick with the Bastard Sword). If you approach the top wall, you'll get a prompt to climb
; do so to pull a switch, then drop down and backtrack to the four-way split.
Head left and you'll reach an area with a knight and a frost sorcerer. Kill them and then interact with a grey pillar, then break a jar on the left for a Fragment of Luce (2/5, 36/100).
Take the downward path from here and kill two halberd knights, after which the path will split. You'll see a shielded knight on the left path; kill him, but then go downward further. Be careful as a black knight will charge you. After killing him, follow the path to the end to interact with a second pillar
, then go back to the path leading left.
Kill a halberd knight and when you reach a central column, shadow enemies will appear. Quickly kill them because if they abduct Aether, you'll have to go all the way to the Forest to retrieve her. Continue left and kill another knight and frost sorcerer, then follow the path downward and you'll be engaged by a knight with a giant hammer. After killing him, continue downward and you'll be attacked by two assassins. Interact with the book on the right side of the next room (Book VI, 5/7), then continue downward and take out a strong shielded knight. The room at the end has three pillars on either side that you can pull. Pull the center pillar on the left side and the bottom pillar on the right to trigger a cutscene, then backtrack (up, right, then up) until you get back to the main path where you can head left.
Kill a halberd knight as you continue left and when the path splits, go downward to find a Fragment of Luce (3/5, 37/100). Continue left (the upward path leads to a Halberd ++) and you'll have to kill three frost sorcerers. Break a jar on the top right side for a Fragment of Luce (4/5, 38/100), then break jar on the bottom left side for another Fragment of Luce (5/5, 39/100).
Head left from here to enter the Guardian of the Water Shard area.
Moving forward, be sure to activate the runic circle
to create a shortcut back here. Should you die, you can run from the Shrine of Power back to the front of the Water Dungeon (where the first frost sorcerer is) and use the circle of rocks to teleport to the runic circle. Just be sure to reactivate the runic circle each time you have to use it.
For whatever reason, the enemies in this area were not hostile to me and I could approach and kill them without resistance. There are two halberd knights and a black knight and after the grey plate on the ground, a gate closes behind you. The path splits four ways and shadow enemies will appear, so kill them, then go left and then right to kill the giant knight on each side to open the way forward. Continue along the upward path to reach an area that contains the Guardian of the Water Shard.
I found the best strategy was to try to circle around him and use hard attacks when you can. There's not a lot to this other than avoiding his attacks and attacking when it's safe to do so. After you kill him, an achievement will unlock:
Unlocked by 3 tracked gamers (2% - TA Ratio = 8.00)
You can then proceed upward so that Aether can absorb the Water Shard, after which the sequence to reach the sunray will begin.
Again, it is very important that you not fail this sequence or you will be forced onto the path to the bad ending, so I hope you know exactly where to go and what to do. Puck Aether up with (keep it held to carry her, let it go to put her down) and run downward to the swirling lights to be teleported to the forest shrine. Pick her up again and head downward, staying close to the right wall as to not aggro an enemy on the left. Set her down by the wooden pole and run forward to kill an enemy, then pick her up and continue downward. Take the left fork, continue downward, and then take the right fork and continue downward until you see the spider webs. Set her down again and move forward to kill another enemy, then pick her up and run downward and left until you reach the circle with the sunray. Set her down inside and she will absorb the beam of light for several seconds, after which the sequence will be complete and an achievement will unlock:
Unlocked by 3 tracked gamers (2% - TA Ratio = 8.00)
Backtrack into the forest. Pass through the spiderwebs and continue following the path up and around to the left, then downward to get to the Shrine of Power. Rest here, then make your way upwards. When you reach the large shrine, continue heading up along the path to the left of it. You want to get back to the large structure at the top of the area that has two statues in front as well as a few black knights. There will be a newly accessible room on the left side of the structure indicated by a glowing orange light.
Go inside and break some jars on the left side to find a Fragment of Luce
(10/10, 40/100), then continue forward and into an open room. There is a new type of enemy in the back- a golem with spears- and two enemies at the front of either side obscured by the walls. Inch forward to aggro the golem, then lead him back and use your normal/hard combo to kill him. Then kill the two bandits and approach the pedestal in the back for an Amulet of Shadows upgrade. The weapon on the right side is a Large Shield that should be of no use to you.
At this point you should have 40 Fragments of Luce, having found all 5 in the starting area, 10 in the City, 10 in the Forest, and 5 in the Water Dungeon (plus 10 from the second giant). The goal now is to make your way to the far right/bottom area of the Forest to exit back to the City (be sure to rest at any Shrines of Power you see along the way). The Forest is massive with numerous winding paths, but you've been through basically the whole thing by now and as long as you keep going to the right and down, you should find your way to the exit that leads back to the City. You're almost there when you see the Shrine of Power near a wooden bridge.
Once you get back to the City, hold to grab Aether and run to the right as you'll spawn in right next to a strong shielded knight. Follow the path to the right past two witches to reach a Shrine of Power and rest. Then continue right through the area full of skewered corpses and then up through the mist-filled alley. Continue straight up and into the gate at the top to enter a desert area called The Dying Land.
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