3. Story Walkthrough - Chapters 1-5
Chapter 1 - The Road to Helheim
Once you gain control after leaving the water, the first Lorestone (1/44) will be right in front of you. To activate it, focus on it with after you've approached it. Each rune in the circle you see here represents a Lorestone in the game. They will turn white as you activate them. As you continue, you want to see each rune turn white in clockwise order. You'll see that they are divided into groups by dots, which separate them into the different areas/chapters of the journey. If you activate the last Lorestone in a chapter and see that you haven't completed the current group, then you missed one in that chapter. In most cases, it is not possible to backtrack to earlier Lorestones, but you should always try to in case you can save yourself from restarting the game.
Continue on the path until you pass under the bridge on the beach. A little way beyond that you'll see stairs leading up the cliffside. A Lorestone (2/44) is at the bottom of a waterfall to the left of the staircase. Activate it and then begin ascending the steps. Climb the ladder with .
Keep going until you reach a gate in the cave. This is the first of many rune door puzzles. The shape of the red-glowing rune can be found somewhere in the environment nearby. After the cutscene that introduces your companion Druth, focus on the rune with and then turn around. You'll see some light casting shadows on the cave wall. Line up the overlay of the rune with the branches' shadows on the wall and then focus again. Now focus on the gate again and make your way through with .
Continue to the top of the cliff, where you'll find a broken wooden bridge mended with wooden beams. Make your way across slowly, keeping your balance by moving left and right as needed. At the opposite end, you'll see a Lorestone (3/44). Activate it. Catch the view at the far end of the next cave if you'd like, then go down the ladder. Continue forward to the gate.
Then comes another cutscene, which will introduce a new kind of challenge, the rot, as well as your first foe. Here's a quick reminder on the combat controls:
- Fast Strike =
- Heavy Strike =
- Melee Attack =
- Evade =
- Block =
- Parry by blocking right before an attack hits you.
- Bash an enemy by sprinting into them with
- You can also sprint then strike for a more powerful attack.
- The first few times you're downed in a fight, you can tap quickly to get back up.
You'll fight two enemies one after the other. The combat is much like you'd expect. You want to block light attacks (usually a horizontal swing) and evade heavy attacks (vertical swings). String together fast strikes if the enemy isn't blocking and use a heavy attack if it is. You can parry either type of attack, but the timing can be tricky. Melee attacks will stun the enemy, giving you a chance to land some strikes or mentally reset. After the second enemy, a ghostly version of the two you defeated will appear. You can't beat it so don't worry about being downed in this duel.
Afterward, the rot will be explained. Every time you are killed, it spreads on Senua's body. Obviously, you want to avoid this, but don't let the warning given concern you too much.
Look to the right of the two doors for the final Lorestone (4/44) in this section. Activate it. Now you'll have to choose between two ways forward. It doesn't matter which you pick; you'll get to both. One factor to consider is that the second route you pick will have more difficult battles than the first, and the encounters will be described as if you picked the left door first in this guide. You can approach both doors to learn more about your options. The left door is chapter 2 and the right door is chapter 3.
Chapter 2 - Valravyn
Not long after passing through the door, the path splits into two. Look toward the right path to see a Lorestone (5/44) in the distance at the top of some steps. Go up there and activate it. Go back down the stairs and into the tunnel to your right.
Continue to the red markings on the wall ahead and focus on them. Continue on the path to the right of the yellow tree behind you. Push down the bridge at the top and walk across. Approach the portal ahead on the right side. Look through it to where the red markings are and then walk through. Now you can drop down and go through the door. Climb up the stairs and ladder beyond.
Once you pass through the door ahead, approach the next door to trigger the next round of enemies. Combat becomes a bit more complicated now because multiple enemies can come at you at once if you don't take them out fast enough. If this happens, it's best to move backwards and position yourself so that all enemies are in front of you. The voices in your ahead, proving helpful for once, will warn you when you need to dodge or parry attacks coming from behind in case a foe sneaks up on you.
After the fight, go through the second door. Focus on the red rune ahead. This puzzle, slightly different than the one before, requires that you line up the symbol (found in the environment) with the door itself. Turn around to see some glowing pieces of the symbol and a visitor above. On the left, a skull with glowing red eyes hangs. This is a portal. Go to the other side and look through it toward the opposite wall. Pass through the portal and the door. Continue until you're below the spooky figure, now just a skeleton. Look toward the door below and move so that the glowing pieces line up. Focus on them when they match the rune. Now pass through the door below.
On the other side, you'll see a large gate in the distance slightly to the left. Inspect it up close. Turn around to see another set of glowing pieces. Head back down the hill, taking a sharp right when you can to get to the next stag-skull portal. Approach it on the left side and look through to see a new path behind. Go through the portal and continue on this new path.
Continue toward Valravyn. There's a portal to the right of where he was standing. Walk through it toward where he was and then turn around to see another new path revealed. Continue on this path until you see a bridge on the left that leads to Valravyn's new location. Move toward him. As you get close to the portal, it will reveal a third path with a torch ahead and slightly to the right. Right after ducking under the beam before the torch, you'll see a ladder. Open the nearest door on the left before proceeding.
Climb the ladder to get Valravyn to vanish and then immediately climb back down. Ascend the stone steps on the left and cross the wooden beam. You see a Lorestone ahead, but it's currently inaccessible. Drop off the ledge and go left toward the portal you last used. Walk around to the other side of it and then back through to erase the path you previously unveiled. Now you can enter the walled-in area via the open door and then climb back up to the Lorestone (6/44) you saw and activate it.
Go back to the top of the ladder and use the portal here to reveal a stone staircase ahead. Go through and then make your way back down the ladder and through the first door on the right. Go under the wooden beam straight ahead and then up the stairs. At the top, line up the symbols with the gate. Now go through it and try to open the next door, then continue on the right side until another fight begins. A few enemies await and this time you'll have multiple enemies coming at you no matter how fast you off them. Try to keep everyone in sight. Move left and right to switch targets.
After the fight, spot a Lorestone (7/44) at the top of the only ledge you can climb. Activate it and continue left. In the next large area, follow the path for a little way until you can see a portal on the right. Approach it and keep turning right to see a Lorestone (8/44) back toward where you entered. Activate it. Continue on the main path until you reach the next rune-locked door. Focus on it.
The manifestation of Valravyn in the distant left is your first target. Descend and turn left toward a portal. Look through the nearside to create a bridge ahead. Walk through and then around on the left to cross this bridge. Directly below Valravyn is the staircase leading to him. Climb it and then the ladder. At the top, cross through the portal, eliminating many of the useless symbols hanging around.
Go back down. At the bottom of the stairs, continue straight ahead to a bridge that needs to be pushed down. After crossing, you'll see a missing bridge ahead of you. Use the nearby portal to cause it to appear. Cross it and push down the next bridge on the right side of the path ahead. Then use the portal on the left to reveal an opening in the wall across the ravine. Carry on through it.
Once inside the ruins, open the door on the left and then pass through the low opening right of the stairs. The final Lorestone (9/44) in the section is on the other side. Activate it.
Now you could climb the stairs and ladder, but you'd hit a dead end. Much like before, you need to bring back the wall that vanished. Open the door in this area and then go back through the previous portal on the other side of the bridge to bring the wall back. Now get back to the stairs via the door you just opened. Climb to the portal above and cross through it from the left to make all remaining unnecessary symbols disappear.
Make your way back out the door, over the bridge straight ahead, and then the next bridge farther ahead. Near this spot, you can line up the three glowing pieces and focus on them to unlock the door. Enter it and continue forward.
Inspect the door at the end of the path. Facing away from the door, you'll see a beam on the left you can climb over. Ascend the ladder behind it. Use the portal to create a new tree bridge ahead. Once it's in place, look down over the ledge in front of you to see a small staircase below. Climb down the ladder and then up these stairs.
Continue on this path to a second portal. Use it to remove a tree blocking the way and then continue across the wooden beam in front of you. Drop at the end and push the bridge down. Return to the portal to bring the tree back and then climb it. Balance carefully as you near the top and then align the symbol.
Your first boss fight begins after the cutscene. Most of Valravyn's attacks can be blocked, but he is quick so try to parry attacks so you have an opening for strikes of your own. The mirror Druth gave you can now be used in combat with to slow down time. You'll see it flash from its place on your hip when it's ready to use, with lit symbols on its face indicating how many uses are available. Here's a list of Valravyn's moves and how to deal with them:
- Basic strikes, often in groups of two. Block or parry them. Timing a parry is easy on the second strike.
- Backflips away and throws swords. Try to parry to send the sword back to damage and stun him, in which case you want to sprint at him and strike.
- Leap attack. Try to dodge or parry or else you'll be thrown down.
- Charges at you, spinning through the air. It's best to dodge this, but a well-timed parry will leave him disabled on the ground for a bit.
- If you do manage to knock him down with a parry, he'll eventually jump into the air and slam his swords down. Dodge this strike.
After some dueling, Valravyn will vanish and bring in other enemies to fight you. Deal with them as you have before to get him to return. After the second groups of these minions, Valravyn will start to shift into shadow form multiple times during his final round against you. When he does, the voices will tell you to focus with the mirror. This causes him to materialize. Keep fighting until he's finished for good.
Now you can backtrack all the way to the gate to Hel without any hindrances. About halfway, before descending a ladder, you can focus on a face in the rock formation ahead for some narrative.
A battle awaits you at the gate if this was your first chapter. Some of these enemies, those with maces, are slower and hit harder, making parries slightly tougher and dodging more favorable. They're also better at interrupting your attacks with returned blows so watch their movements carefully. Avoid getting surrounded and remember to use the mirror when you can. The final foe will be carrying a shield. Don't bother attacking from the front. Wait for his slower attack, dodge left, use a heavy strike, and then back off before he whacks you. You can also create an opening with a melee attack. Slow time on him for an easy kill.
Go on through the second door for the domain of the next challenger, Surtr, or through the gate if you've already defeated him.
Chapter 3 - Surtr
A short way into the clearing after the door, there's a spot on the right where you can break away from the main path. Follow it into a cave where a Lorestone (10/44) is waiting. Activate it. Go back to the main path and follow it to the bridge. Once there, you can approach the face behind the waterfall on the left and focus on it for more backstory.
In the large area after the bridge, go to the door in the distant left. You'll have to fight a large group of combatants, including a few of the heavier type if this is your second area. Make it a priority to keep all enemies in your sight because there will be a lot of attempted flanking in this battle.
Now you can focus on the two runes and begin your search for them in the environment. Turn away from the door and head to the Y-shaped posts on the left. Go toward the large tree in front of them and find a straight post to its right. You can line this post up with the rightmost of the lower two Y-posts to create one of the runes.
Start heading back to the door, but veer toward the upward path on the right when you see it. At the top, look back toward the Y-posts to see two nearby posts you can use to form the second rune. Return to the door and pass through.
Keep on going until you reach a circular door, where a fight awaits. You'll now see enemies parry and block your attacks more often, often following up with a heavy attack. Keep your finger extra close to . Save the mirror's effects for the shielded units. When it isn't available, dodge their strikes and break their defense with melee attacks.
Afterward, focus on the yellow symbol on the door. Behind and to your left, there's a door frame you can now enter. Focus on the yellow symbol on the opposite side of the bodies ahead (you have to stand at a certain distance quite close to it to do so). In the frightening scene that ensues, sprint back down and break through the door before the smoke suffocates you.
Continue to a bridge, which is blocked on the opposite end. Walk down the path to the left instead. At the bottom, turn left for a Lorestone (11/44). Activate it and then continue behind you until you've reached the next yellow door. Keep going on the path past it until you reach a clearing.
Move toward the pyre that you can see straight ahead until a Lorestone (12/44) becomes visible on the right. Activate it and then go to the far left side of the clearing, where you can enter a cave and begin your climb to the pyre.
At the top of the incline, cross over the beam and continue to the pyre. After activating it, don't return the way you came. Instead, run to the right and jump off the ledge on your left. At the bottom, the fire forms makeshift paths. Take the right one and then keep on sprinting to the door.
On the other side, you'll find a third fire door on your left as you enter another open area. To your right, there are burnt buildings and a second two-rune door. Head to the door first to begin the search for the runes. Head inside the charred building nearest the yellow door, the one that's barely standing . You'll encounter a Lorestone (13/44) inside. Activate it.
Enter the front door of the other blackened home and go up the stairs on the right. At the top, there's a path back to the upper level of the first building. At the end of it, turn right and look down toward the embers on the ground to form the first rune.
Exit through the front door and look toward the group of trees straight ahead. On your right, there's a ball of spikes. Move close to it (not right next to it) and then look toward the trees again to find two crossed trunks in between two vertical trunks, which you can use to shape the second rune. Now open the rune door.
Activate the pyre behind the door and then sprint back to the circular door. The fire will redirect you to the left and into the side of the building, where you need to pass through the left hall and then wrap around on your right to get to the stairs. Climb up them, carefully cross the beam, and then drop down straight ahead. Continue toward the door until the ambush.
This is a smaller group than you've seen recently. Defeat them as normal. You can kick them back into the fire with melee attacks for extra burn damage. Sprint into the door as soon as the last foe has fallen.
Continue to a new broken building. Cross the left bridge to the next house and then out to the balcony on the left for the last Lorestone (14/44) of this chapter. Activate it and then climb down the stairs on the opposite side of this building. Open the door on the right. At the top of the nearby slope, you'll see the final fire door. Before worrying about that, go and get the runes (three this time) from the red door in the opposite direction.
Go back through the door you opened and around to the other side of the house. You'll see a hole in the building's wall that matches the first rune.
Enter the house and then cross back over to the other one. Upon entering, look to the right for a post and column that can be merged for the second rune.
Exit this building via the stairs and follow the path on the right to the top of a watchtower. There's a thin post at the end of the walkway at the right. Approach it and line it up with beams on the roof of the right house for the final rune. Return to the rune door and enter.
Trigger the last pyre and then sprint toward the circular door, not stopping for anything until the cutscene begins.
At the other end of the lengthy sequence, you'll face Surtr. In this battle, blocking is no good. His flaming sword will still burn you. You need to rely on dodging. His attacks are as follows:
- A group of slow attacks followed by a downward slash. Dodge all attacks and then unleash strikes afterward.
- Raises his foot for a fiery stomp. Dodge backward as soon as the foot goes up.
- Kicks you toward the fiery wall if you get close to it. Use dodges to stay away from the wall.
- Sticks his sword in the ground to power up. Rush at him with fast strikes to interrupt him.
- Becomes engulfed in flames late in the duel. Getting close to him will hurt you, unless the mirror is active. Use it to get in some heavy damage.
- If you get a good combo in on him either while he's powering up or you've slowed time, he'll fall to one knee. Hit him with your heavy strikes for as long as you can.
You'll find this battle to be much easier than Valravyn, in large part because there are no minions to deal with. It's just you and the big guy until one of you is burned out. If you keep light on your feet and choose your strike opportunities with care, you'll down him without much of a challenge.
Backtrack to the most recent pyre to see the bridge that was previously blocked behind it. Cross it and backtrack all the way to the Gate to Hel. If this was your first route, refer to the end of Chapter 2 for help on the fight that waits for you at the gate and then proceed through the left door to Valravyn's domain. If not, pass through the gate for Chapter 4. The next several chapters will go much quicker than these last two.
Chapter 4 - The Bridge to Helheim
After the cinematic, make your way forward to trigger a new set of enemies. There's nothing you haven't seen before in this fight so call upon the tactics you've used thus far. Afterward, continue to the door.
On the other side, you'll be introduced to a new axe-wielding foe. Evade its blow at the end of the cinematic. This type of warrior can't be blocked, but its slow strikes make for easy dodging. Sidestep its swing, unload your hits, and repeat. He may try charging at you and then stun himself by crashing into the wall if you successfully dodge. There will be a bunch of weaker enemies right after him.
Pass through the next door after the brawl. Inspect the Lorestone (15/44) outside on the right before getting the three runes from the door ahead.
Head back to where you just fought. Above the center of this room, there's a cage hanging with some red broken beams on its left. Go to the other side of those beams and focus on them to form the X-shaped rune.
From this position, look out at the bright sky on the right. Note the translucent shards in that direction. Return to the Lorestone and climb down the steps onto the ship. Focus on the shards from about the midpoint of the ship to rebuild the staircase. Climb it and walk around to the part of the second floor that's opposite the bottom of the stairs. The wooden beams you used for the first rune will form the second one from this angle.
Continue on the second floor path and walk out the first window along the way. Turn left and sidle along the ledge to find another hidden face you can talk to on the roof.
Return to the inside of the second floor and climb the ladder at the end of the walkway. At the top, you can now combine two sets of red beams for the last rune.
Go back down the ladder and then out the nearby window to climb down another. Activate the last Lorestone (16/44) in this section. Open the nearby door and then the rune door to traverse the remaining stretch of the bridge.
Chapter 5 - Shipwreck Shore
Once you gain control after another cinematic, you'll notice that you lost your sword in the commotion. This is cause for relief, not panic, because you won't see any combat for a while. Press forward through the ship wreckage and on to where you see the blue silhouette.
Drop down to the beach ahead and then continue straight forward until you can see the silhouette of light again at the top of a slope ahead. Before going up there, look for a path to the right of the slope that leads deeper into the rocky cliff face. You'll find a face to talk to at the end of that path.
Now climb the slope toward the silhouette's position. Look out over the ledge at the other end to see a tree, your next destination, in the distance. Continue on the path to the left until you drop down to a second beach area. Activate the Lorestone (17/44) at the water's edge ahead.
Turn right to spot a rune door and an upward path leading to it. Ascend that path and activate the Lorestone (18/44) located just in front of the bridge above. Go up the stairs to the Lorestone's right to reach the door. You'll find that it's unlike those seen before, with a tree imprinted in red light. It can't be activated or opened until much later. Return to the shore below.
Continue along the shore to the right, sticking close to the water at first. You'll find a Lorestone (19/44) on the other side of the large ship near the broken bridge.
Farther along the sandy path toward the tree, you'll see the path stretch into a tunnel made of the fractured hulls of giant ships. You'll see the blue silhouette on the opposite end. Before going through this tunnel, look behind you for a place where the path branches off on the left to a Lorestone (20/44). Activate it.
At the far end of the tunnel, the scenery will change. Continue to the tree for a sweet moment before returning to grim reality. Once you're back in control, you'll see paths on the left and right. You'll see an interesting metal runestone on the right path, but otherwise nothing of note. Go left.
There's another runestone on the left, and a Lorestone (21/44) in the water ahead. Activate it.
As you continue around the back of the tree, look for this section's last Lorestone (22/44) in the distance straight ahead near a rocky outcrop. Activate it.
Look back toward the tree to see a path up on its left. Go up and inside the tree, where a sword is lodged in a glowing mass of skulls and branches. Try to pull it out to discover you can't get it yet. You must complete four trials, each marked by one of the metal runestones seen outside. You can tackle the next four chapters in any order. Four red flags point you to their locations (the fourth is behind the tree).
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