Mortal Shell Articles RSS Feed | Mortal Shell RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Mortal Shell: The Virtuous Cycle DLC "Coming Soon" Fri, 11 Jun 2021 19:34:10 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Mortal Shell, the action RPG from developer Cold Symmetry, is getting a full-fledged DLC called The Virtuous Cycle. The announcement was made during the IGN Expo and was accompanied by a short cinematic trailer showing what appears to be Solomon, the Scholar taking on Brigands in Fallgrim outside of the Eternal Narthex.  

Beyond the announcement, there's not too much information about the upcoming DLC. It's "coming soon," according to Cold Symmetry, and we know that it will launch on all platforms, including PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. 

Hopefully, we'll hear more about The Virtuous Cycle DLC sooner rather than later, but right now, that's all we have to go on. Currently, there's no firm release window or date for the expansion. There's also no word on how much it will cost when it does release. 

Mortal Shell released in 2020, and it wears its FromSoftware inspirations on its sleeve. It received a free update in October of 2020, called the Rotten Autumn update, that added new shaders, music from band Rotting Christ, and a photo mode. 

We said of Mortal Shell in our review: "Far from being a pretender, Mortal Shell is a sometimes exceptional entry to the genre. Its stumbles are noticeable only because there is so much to enjoy." Stay tuned for more. 

[Source: IGN]

Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition Brings the Pain to PS5, Xbox Series X|S Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:11:19 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Mortal Shell is coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S on March 4, 2021. Following a long line of games that have already received next-gen enhancements and upgrades, the Enhanced Edition of Cold Symmetry's Soulslike ARPG is set to take advantage of new console hardware. 

The upgrade will be a free download for those who already own the game and will retail for $39.99 for those who haven't yet picked it up. 

The official reveal trailer above shows all of the console enhancements in action, which include 4K 60fps performance on PS5 and Xbox Series X and refined in-game assets. Mortal Shell will run at 4K 30fps on Xbox Series S, according to the developer. 

Alongside these enhancements, Mortal Shell on PS5 will, unsurprisingly, take advantage of the DualSense's haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and built-in speaker to add new nuance and fully flesh out the experience. 

Alongside this new update, Cold Symmetry has revealed that it is working on a special limited edition of the Soulslike, a Deluxe Edition, that features a massive "140-page artbook showcasing never-before-seen art and illustrations created during the game's development, as well as an exclusive reversible cover and art postcards." 

This physical version will retail for the same $39.99 as the Enhanced Edition

Mortal Shell was one of our favorite games of 2020. We praised it for its "strong combat and enjoyable boss fights, elegant and streamlined progression system, and mysterious world that begs for expansion." 

Every Video Game Halloween Event in October 2020 Thu, 01 Oct 2020 14:41:13 -0400 Josh Broadwell


Torchlight 3 Halloween — Gears 'N' Goblins Update


The Torchlight 3 Halloween update brings the pets along for the ride. Players can rescue three new Halloween-themed pets from bosses and dungeons: the Midnight Cat, Spooky Retriever, and Dragonling Spirt. Each with a special skill that summons skeletons in battle, but the pets are only available until December.


Aside from battle-pups, the update introduces the Ancient Ember gear set and two new skills along with it, plus new fort decorations and two new weapons: Sword of the Lost and Lightning Baller mace.


And that's it for now! Feel free to bookmark this page for more Halloween event updates throughout October! If you found this list frightfully delightful, please consider sharing it! 


Hardspace: Shipbreaker Halloween: Haunted Frontier


Hardspace: Shipbreaker's Halloween event is Haunted Frontier, full of spooky haunted ships that put your bravery — and desire for salvage — to the test.


The update, which is live now on Steam, turns any ship into a potential ghost ship. Things start deteriorating as you gather materials and fend off rogue AI nodes. Lights flicker on and off. Air gets sucked out of the room. And somewhere deep in the ship, unsettling sounds can be heard...


Should you make it out alive, you can show off your hard-earned rewards with new stickers and badges.


Hunt: Showdown Halloween Event


Hunt: Showdown has its first-ever Halloween event on now until November 4, with a gourd-full of ghoulish events and treats to earn.


Players earn Event Points for special equipment and other items by doing the following:

  • Destroying pumpkins scattered through the world 
  • \n
  • Destroying the Butcher's pumpkin head 
  • \n
  • Investigating a Halloween-themed Clue or Rift 
  • \n
  • Destroying pumpkins mounted on scarecrows 
  • \n

There's only so many Event Points you can earn each day, but using the special Halloween item Wormseed Shot increases the points earned by 25%.


1,000 Event Points are needed for all the event's special gear. Any points earned over that will be converted into Blood Bonds once the event ends.


Minecraft Halloween in the Minecraft Marketplace


Minecraft Halloween celebrations run through November 2, with frights aplenty in the Minecraft Marketplace. Mojang's got Halloween-themed maps and items in store there, plus Halloween Collections to choose from in the Character Creator and Marketplace.


Until November 2, you can grab a free Halloween skin pack and Halloween character creation item for free. These will still be available to get after November 2, but they won't be free then.


[Source: Mojang]


Fire Emblem Heroes Halloween  Special Heroes (Dragons Harvest)


Fire Emblem Heroes' Halloween event runs through November 7 at 7:59 p.m. EST and offers a chance to summon four new Halloween-themed units:

  • Fall Vessel Robin (Awakening)
  • \n
  • Autumn Trickster Xane (Mystery of the Emblem)
  • \n
  • Harvest Goldoan Dheginsea (Radiant Dawn)
  • \n
  • Harmonic Hope Ninian and Tiki duo unit (Binding Blade and Shadow Dragon)
  • \n

As always, the seasonal Fire Emblem Heroes' units come with a new Paralogue event, Dragons Harvest.


No Man's Sky Halloween Update


Head back to the outer reaches of the galaxy to find some new loot in the No Man's Sky Halloween update. Brave explorers can scour Desolation's wrecked vessels again to find a new item, Tainted Metal, and have a chance to snag some Quicksilver. But it comes at a cost. The freighters are full of new treats and a security system gone haywire.


Trade Tainted Metal with the Scrap Dealer to get new base decorations and additional customization options, or you can stockpile it to exchange for the Horrific Flesh-Helmet.


Scrap Dealers also have Orange Pustules and Detoxified Slimes for infesting and purifying bases.


[Source: Hello Games]


PixARK Halloween


PixARK Halloween brings a spooky makeover to the survival game from now until November 2, with costumes and treats galore.


Things kick off at the main menu, which is getting a Halloween re-skin. The main attraction is the Pumpkin Soul Reaper though.


When you defeat the Pumpkin Soul Reaper, it might drop:

  • Pumpkin Seed
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  • Magic Broom
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  • Flying Firework
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  • Clown Costume
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The Firework and Broomstick only last seven days, but you have a slight chance of getting a permanent one from defeating Ancient Wyvern King, Beach Bully, and Aurora Butterfly King enemies.


Then there's candy grenades, Halloween decorations, a creepy scarecrow costume, and plenty of events to make the most out of the season.


[Source: Steam Community]


Apex Legends Halloween: Fight or Fright 2020


Apex Legends' Halloween Fight or Fright event is back with Shadow Royale and more from now until November 3.


Shadow Royale sees night fall on Kings Canyon and its trio matches. When a Legend falls, they're reborn in Shadow form with a thirst for vengeance.


This year's event sees several all-new skins plus re-imagined versions of last year's, including Sweet Dreams Caustic and Wicked Harvest Bloodhound. Skins from last year are available on rotation in the in-game store as part of bundle offers or special offers.


There's a set of exclusive rewards in the event's Prize Track too with skins, charms, and more.


[Source: EA]


War of The Visions Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Halloween Special


War of the Visions is celebrating Halloween with two featured UR summons and a bucketful of rewards. Players can summon UR Little Leela and UR Rairyuu from now until November 10, both in Halloween attire with appropriate skills to match.


The Halloween Special also includes a Rewards From the Producer reward period from now until November 10. It features:

  • 2,000 Visiore
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  • 20,000,000 Gil
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  • 1 Rainbow Fragment of Thought
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  • 3 Rainbow Vision Sphere
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  • 50 Adamantite (Large)
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  • 50 Burst Pot
  • \n
  • 50 Armor Pot
  • \n

In a separate update, new players who start the game get a 7-day free summon period where a UR summon is guaranteed.


From October 28 through Halloween, players can take advantage of 6-UR Guaranteed Step Up 10x Summon, which guarantees:

  • one UR unit or vision card on step 1
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  • two UR units/vision cards on step 2
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  • three UR units/vision cards on step 3
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There's also a  5-step 10x Summon which guarantees a MR+ unit or vision card on steps 1-4 and UR “Exorcists” on step 5.


And there's even more, from daily login bonuses and Halloween Challenge Missions to a spoopy new Halloween-themed game icon.


GTA Online Halloween Bunker Series


GTA Online has a bunker full of frightful delights this Halloween. Halloween Bunker Series features triple RP and GTA$ plus three Slasher maps: the depths of the bunker, the silo, and The Diamond.


Taking part in the Halloween Adversary modes such as Beast Vs. Slasher and Come Out To Play doubles your RP and GTA$.


The peyote plants are back, in keeping with the spooky season, though Rockstar isn't saying what they'll transform you into yet. Nightclub income rates are going up as part of the event, and there'll be an influx of Freemode Events with triple payouts through October 28.


[Source: Rockstar Games]


Mortal Shell Halloween: Rotten Autumn


Mortal Shell's first content update just so happens to be a Halloween update called Rotten Autumn.


After downloading the update, speak with Gorf to unlock a new mini-quest. Completing it earns you new shades to deck out your Shell with. And you can show the world just how you spruced up your Shell with Mortal Shell's brand-new photo mode.


There's also a separate download alongside Rotten Autumn that adds a new soundtrack for boss fights, courtesy of Rotting Christ.


Those who haven't jumped into Mortal Shell yet can do so with a limited-time 20% discount for the digital version on PS4 and PC. That same discount isn't live for Xbox players yet, but it will be come October 27. 


Mortal Shell's physical version releases November 3 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in the U.S., then on October 23 for PlayStation 4 and PC (case containing a key) in Europe and October 30 for Xbox One in Europe.


Fortnite Halloween — Fortnitemares 2020


King Midas is back from the great beyond in Fortnite's Fortnitemares 2020 event from now until November 3, and he's giving you the chance to wreak havoc on friend and foe alike.


When you're eliminated in a Solo, Duos or Squads match, you get the chance to return as a Shadow in Nitemare Royal. Attack surviving players from the shadows and even possess vehicles to bring their game to an end.


That's the trick side of things, but the island has plenty of treats in store too. You can get your hands on the Pumpkin Rocket Launcher, Fiend Hunter Crossbow, a special Midas invention, and of course, candy.


There's a suite of Fortnitemares challenges where you can unlock costumes and weapon skins such as the Smash-O'-Lantern Pickaxe and Midas' Shadow Wrap.


Finally, on Halloween night (October 31) at 9 p.m. EST, award-winning reggae singer J Balvin kicks off the Afterlife Party at the Party Royale Main Stage.


[Source: Epic Games]


PUBG Mobile Infection Mode


PUBG Mobile's Infection Mode is back from the dead from now until November 9, with new content, themes, costumes, and plenty of zombies.


Infection Mode's classic combat returns, pitting a team of Defenders against a team of Zombies in an all-or-nothing fight. Zombies — sporting Halloween masks, if you so choose —  can only use melee attacks, but fallen Defenders transform into Zombies with chances for form shifts and stat buffs.


If it all gets too much for the Defenders, they transform into Vanquishers when their team is down to three members. Foes they vanquish can't be resurrected.


These hellish fights unfold across maps decked out with pumpkins, gravestones, and other seasonal paraphernalia. More costumes and decorations are planned before the end of the event.


World of Tanks Halloween — Burning Games


Free-to-play war game World of Tanks is hosting the Burning Games Halloween event until October in partnership with Korn and their new video for "Finally Free." It's a chance for Tier V and higher vehicles to complete challenges and earn special items and take part in the new Wasteland map.


In World of Tanks Wasteland, tanks start with 1 HP and have to attack others to replenish it. Players can attack allies to restore teammates' health, and respawning increases the tank's overall power.


From October 16 through October 31, players can join The Way of the Raider 60-stage event to earn XP, camo, and the two new tanks featured in Korn's music video.


Finally, from October 24 through October 31, World of Tanks brings back Mad Games, a limited-time chance to outfit your tanks with the wildest abilities possible.


Red Dead Online: The Halloween Pass


It's spooky time at the Red Dead Online corral, with the game's first-ever Halloween Pass. Now through November 16, players can get their hands on wagon-loads of Red Dead Online Halloween rewards, ranging from weapons and costumes to decorations for the tavern. Everything acquired during the event lasts after it ends.


The Halloween Pass is available in the progress menu or the Wheeler, Rawson & Co selection.


Pokemon GO Halloween 2020


Pokemon GO Halloween 2020 runs from October 23 at 9 p.m. EST through November 3 at the same time and offers the first chance to get your hands on Galarian Yamask among other things.


Completing the Halloween Special Research "A Spooky Message Unmasked" gets you one step closer to finding both Galarian Yamask and Spiritomb. Other Field Research tasks will also center around Halloween themes during the event.


Ghost-type Pokemon will be more common in the wild, in Raids, and in Eggs. You might even find a costumed Gengar in Raids or hatch a Sableye in costume if you're lucky.


Talking of Raids, Darkrai takes center stage for five-star Raids, but there's more Halloween Raid goodness in store.


On October 31 from 11 a.m. local time through 5 p.m. local time, there's a higher chance Alolan Marowak will show up in Raids.


There's a special Halloween Cup from October 26 at 4 p.m. EST through the end of the event where only Poison, Dark, Bug, Ghost, and Fairy Pokemon can compete, and they have to have less than 1,500 CP.


It just wouldn't be Halloween without costumes. Pokemon GO Halloween 2020 amps up the costume game with a Gengar onesie, Sableye goggles, Pikachu mask, and more, along with bundles in the in-game shop.


Finally, there's an all-new event on October 26, the Catch Mastery event, which we cover in more detail elsewhere.


Harry Potter Wizards Unite: Darkness Rising 2020


Harry Potter Wizards Unite is back for 2020 and, like its Pokemon counterpart, you can play it safely from home.


This year, Darkness Rising revolves around weekly events where completing tasks — brewing potions, collecting notes, and the like — earns you rewards such as extra XP, Portkeys, and books.


The ultimate goal is finding the Dark Witch, masquerading as a Brilliant Oddity. Other oddities abound, too, including Brilliant Witch, Brilliant Dark Wizard, and Brilliant Giant Stone Hand.


Dreams Halloween


If you're looking for a more atmospheric experience, Dreams' Halloween event, All Hallows' Dreams, may be for you. The whole thing is user-generated, like the rest of Dreams, and All Hallows' Dreams pops up at the top of the world list when you boot the game up.


Choosing it takes you to a dream world with different scary mansions to explore.


Some are reportedly very scary indeed, though they have their biggest frights confined to the upper floors. Others are just fun, creepy haunted houses to explore, complete with pumpkins carved by other Dreams players and a costume zone.


Call of Duty Halloween 2020 — Haunting of Verdansk


Call of Duty Warzone and Modern Warfare share a Halloween event in 2020: Haunting of Verdansk. The event runs from October 20 through November 3. It's a multi-pronged event featuring crossovers with SAW and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but some of it does come at a cost.


If you want the film crossover treats, you'll have to shell out for the SAW and Chainsaw Massacre bundles, both of which include skins, items, and weapons inspired by their respective franchises.


Activision promised more Halloween-themed bundles for the in-game store, including the new Dr. Karlov bundle focused on regional Verdansk folklore and a Grim Reaper bundle.


In addition to Trick or Treat crates with Halloween items galore, Haunting of Verdansk adds night modes to event maps, zombie battle royale, scavenger hunts, and much, much more.


[Source: Call of Duty]


Minecraft Dungeons Spooky Fall Halloween Event


Spooky Fall is coming to Minecraft Dungeons from October 26 until November 3 with challenges and rewards galore.


Seasonal Trials are summoning up ghoulish mobs for players to take on. If that weren't spoopy enough, the event turns down the lights with Night Mode — but only until the event ends.


Completing the Season Trials earns exclusive seasonal weapons and gear, whether Night Mode is enabled or not.


Elder Scrolls Online Halloween — Witches Festival 2021


Elder Scrolls Online's annual Halloween Witches Festival is back once more with double XP and plenty of treats to go around. ESO's 2020 Witches Festival runs from October 22 at 10 a.m. EST through November 3 at the same time.


If this is your first time taking part, you'll need to complete "The Witchmother's Bargain" quest from the Crown Store and earn the Witchmother's Whistle item. If you already have it, just select it from your collections to get started.


Using the Whistle kicks off a two-hour period of bonus XP, but there's a lot more.


Players can earn new mementos, furnishings, and Dremora and Hollowjack-themed items through Plunder Skulls earned in battle.


Bosses drop Dremora Plunder Skulls with extra goods, including treasure maps and pages for the Grave Digger weapon style.


There's the final evolution of the Indrik, a costume gala, grab bags, deals, and more. Check out the full details on the ESO event site.


Overwatch Junkenstein 2020


Overwatch's Halloween Terror 2020 event, aka Junkenstein 2020, is live now through November 3, bringing the Junkenstein's Revenge Brawl back alongside new skins and more.


Baptiste and Ashe are added to the brawl mix as playable characters this year, and there are weekly challenges to take on to earn new skins.


These are the new Legendary skins for the Halloween Terror 2020 event:

  • Karasu-Tengu (Genji)
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  • Dai-Tengu (Hanzo)
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  • Werewolf (Winsto)
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  • Flying Dutchman (Sigma)
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  • Shin-Ryeong (D.Va)
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That's in addition to three new Epic skins:

  • Fantasma (Sombra)
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  • Stone (Brigitte)
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  • Ragdoll (Echo)
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Here' the schedule of events.


October 13-20

  • Vengeful Ghost — get chased by ghosts
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  • Frenzied Stampede — chase down fast-moving zomnics
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October 20-27

  • Volatile Zomnics — zomnics explode when you get close
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  • Three They Were — take on missions with just three characters
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October 27-November 3

  • Mystery Swap — heroes get randomly changed
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  • Shocking Surprise — shock tires spawn from defeated enemies
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Overcooked! 2  Moon Harvest Festival


Overcooked! 2's Halloween celebration isn't technically Halloween-themed. It's in honor of harvest and autumn celebrations throughout eastern Asia, but it's fall-ish, so it works.


Better yet, it's a free update with no end time, and the content will appear in Overcooked! All You Can Eat for next-gen consoles.


Overcooked! 2's Moon Harvest Festival introduces new kitchens themed around water and lily pad obstacles. There are five new levels total, plus three succulent-looking mooncakes to add to the menu.


Doom Eternal Halloween 2020


Doom Eternal's Halloween 2020 event is pretty straightforward. Until October 29, log in every day, complete campaign missions to earn XP, play Battlemode, and complete weekly challenges to unlock skins. Challenges refresh every Thursday.


These Doom Eternal skins include:

  • Halloween Slayer
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  • Black Widow Mancubus
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  • Webenant Revenant
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  • Cultist Marauder
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[Source: Bethesda]


Dragalia Lost — Postmortem Panic


Dragalia Lost's Halloween event for 2020 is Postmortem Panic, a series of increasingly difficult challenges with a slew of rewards. It's live from October 12 at 2 a.m. through October 19 at the same time, but the event rewards can be claimed until October 26 at 1:59 a.m.


Postmortem Panic divides its missions by difficulty. Completing all the challenges at one tier earns battle charts and stratagems for unlocking the next level of quest.


Some of these are special dragon battle challenges, pitting adventurers against the toughest of foes like Astral High Mercury.


Victory earns wind and water tomes to unlock new skills for certain characters, while completing quests earns primal crystals used for treasure trading.


[Source: Nintendo of America]


Splatoon 2 Halloween Splatfest — Splatoween


Splatoon 2 is hosting a Halloween Splatfest called Splatoween, where the Tricks face off against the Treats. The special Splatfest kicks off on October 30 at 6 p.m. EST/3 p.m. PST and runs through November 1 at 5 p.m. EST/2 p.m. PST.


During the event, players can get their tentacles on some Halloween Splatoon 2 gear, including:

  • Kyonshi Hat
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  • Li'l Devil Horns
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  • Hockey Mask
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  • Anglerfish Mask
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These will be available via a Switch News article, so make sure you're signed up to get Splatoon 2 news on your Switch system. 


Star Citizen: Alpha 3.11 High Impact and Halloween


Star Citizen's Alpha 3.11 update includes a bounty of additions, and among them is Star Citizen's first-ever Halloween event. It kicked off earlier this month and runs through Halloween on October 31.


During the event, players can earn Halloween helmets and a special Day of the Vara Cutlass skin. There's a cosplay competition and even a pumpkin carving contest with plenty of "sweet prizes" in store for those who take part.


Borderlands 3 Halloween — Bloody Harvest Returns


Borderlands 3's Bloody Harvest Halloween event is back for October 2020. The ghoulish festivities run through November 5, and it's easier than ever to get your hands on some sweet, ghastly gear.


To kick things off, head to Sanctuary III, and speak with Maurice. Maurice tasks you with collecting Hecktoplasm from haunted enemies, easily spotted by their ghostly green glow.


Defeating haunted enemies spawns specters you'll need to defeat as well, and that's when you finally get ahold of Hecktoplasm.


After collecting enough of Hecktoplasm, Maurice opens the gate to Heck, where you can chat with Captain Haunt to access a number of quests, through which you'll earn Bloody Harvest items and cosmetics.


This year, the Bloody Harvest quests are less demanding than before, making it easier to get loot.

  • 4 challenges completed  “A Shrinking Feeling" weapon trinket
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  • 8 challenges completed  "Message from Beyond" ECHO Device skin
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  • 12 challenges completed  "Haunted Look" shared Vault Hunter skin
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  • 15 challenges completed  "Porphyrophobia" weapon skin
  • \n

Destiny 2: Festival of the Lost 2020


Destiny 2 brings back the Festival of the Lost and the Haunted Forest for 2020, with new weapons, triumphs, armor sets, and cosmetics for Exotics to celebrate the spookiest season of the year. Festival of the Lost 2020 is free for all Destiny 2 players and runs from October 6 through November 3. 


Festival of the Lost 2020 adds new perk rolls for the Braytech Werewolf and Horror Story, plus new sets for a few classes:

  • Hunter — Lycanthrope Set
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  • Warlock — Daywalker (vampire) Set
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  • Titan — Promethean Set
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On the official Festival of the Lost blog post, Bungie provided more information on the Halloween event. The Spider is a new NPC that gives players Cipher Decoders that unlock special chests at the end of The Haunted Forest. The chests are worth pursuing because they contain Legendary items specific to the Festival of the Lost. 


Rounding things out, there are new Sparrow skins available, as well as festival masks and vanity items for various armor sets, including broomsticks and witch hats. 


Resident Evil Resistance October Update


Resident Evil Resistance has a big October update in store, which is basically a Halloween update without actually being called a Halloween update.


Jill Valentine joins the ranks of the Survivors, with powerful weapons and her characteristic dodge mechanic from Resident Evil 3: Nemesis remake. And as is only fitting, Nemesis itself is a playable Mastermind for the first time. Players control Nemesis through playing as Nicholai, another new Mastermind.


The Prison is a new map added in RE Resistance's October update, and the Uptown Raccoon City and Bemusement Park maps get a remix with new layouts.


Finally is a slew of new costumes and weapon skins, Survivors' perks and customizable abilities, and Mastermind traps.


[Source: Capcom]


Grounded October Update


Grounded’s October update adds ziplines and more to the survival game, including some Halloween-themed items. The initial announcement is relatively light on details, but players can expect decorations, recreational items, and doodads to use with friends. These include harvestable Candy Corn and a new landmark in the Frankenline, which is described as "a creepy discarded Etch-a-Sketch you can actually draw on."


Aside from washing The Backyard in a spooky glow, the October update for Grounded does a lot on the backend as well, including fixing a handful of bugs, fine-tuning combat, and unlocking new perks. You can see the full patch notes here


Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath  All Hallows' Eve


Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath is getting some Halloween goodness with the All Hallows’ Eve character skin pack. It’s available now and is free for Aftermath owners. Those who haven’t upgraded to Aftermath yet would need to purchase the expansion, which also unlocks the Summer Heat and Femme Fatale packs from earlier in 2020. 


Mortal Kombat 11’s All Hallows’ Eve skin pack trailer highlighted three of the included skins. One is the “Blizzard King” outfit for Sub-Zero, and then there’s the part-werewolf part-school spirit “Beast Within” skin for Johnny Cage. Then there’ “Bad Medicine” for D’Vorah, turning the Kytinn fighter into a spidery nurse from hell. 


It’s not certain if Warner Bros. is adding anything else to Mortal Kombat 11’s Halloween event, but we’ll update if something new turns up.


Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Halloween


The Halloween fun isn’t limited to New Horizons, as Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp celebrates spooky season in its own way. The 2020 Pocket Camp Halloween event features a number of special activities with ghoulish treats on offer for those who complete certain goals.


Jack comes around and demands sweet treats. Hand over bat-themed lollipops to get bat furniture as a reward, and plant pumpkins during the month’s Garden Event to nab hatbats. Jack offers exclusive items such as mystical pumpkins in return.


Taking part in the October Fishing Tourney nets some goodies as well, with potion-themed furniture on offer every time players reach a size goal with the fish they catch.


Then there’s a fright night gyroidite scavenger hunt, new Happy Home classes and challenges, wall and carpet sets, special cookie items and more. The Pocket Camp Halloween and October events are live now.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons Halloween


Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Halloween update is available to download for free now, and it’s bringing more than just the Czar of Halloween to the island. 


Animal Crossing patch 1.5 paves the way for Halloween by adding Candy as an item players can purchase from the Nooklings’ store and pumpkins as growable DIY fodder.


The patch 1.5 trailer shows players planting, watering, and harvesting at least four different pumpkin varieties and then using them in various Halloween-themed DIY recipes.


On Halloween night (October 31), Jack himself visits the island. It’s not clear yet what he requires of the player, but all the residents will be lurking about, asking for Candy and showing off their costumes.


The patch adds new skin tone options for players to look their creepy best as well. We’ll update with more information about what New Horizons Halloween brings to the table as it becomes available.


Monster Hunter: World Iceborne — Fun Fright Fest


Capcom’s brewing up a special Monster Hunter: World Iceborne Halloween event called the Fun Fright Fest, part of the hefty Title Update 5. It runs from October 15 at 8 p.m. EST through November 5 at the same time and is exclusive to the expansion.


The Autumn Harvest Fest is returning to the base Monster Hunter: World game, but Capcom hasn’t said much about it yet.


Fun Fright Fest (starting at 7:06 in the above trailer) sees the Seliana Gathering Hub decked out with spooky furnishings, and the handler dons a Cute Demoness outfit to celebrate the occasion. There are two special ticket types to collect during the event and trade in for loot: the Fun Fright Ticket and the VIP Fun Fright Ticket. 


The former get doled out as daily login bonuses for the MHW Halloween event and can be used to craft armor with Decoration slots. Players can exchange the latter for in-game decorations and Layered Armor, but these are only available as random item drops. Both ticket types can be exchanged for Melding Tickets too.


There’s at least one new set of armor coming to the Fun Fright Fest, Demon Lord Alpha+. Wearing pieces of this armor set increases the chance of getting VIP Fun Fright Tickets.


Capcom may reveal more about Monster Hunter: World Iceborne’s Fun Fright Fest as the start date approaches, and we’ll update if that happens.


Killing Floor 2: Infernal Insurrection


It wouldn’t be Halloween without Killing Floor 2’s annual Halloween celebrations, and 2020 is no different. This year’s Halloween event is Killing Floor 2: Infernal Insurrection, and it brings treats galore, including new weapons, maps, and cosmetics.


Infernal Insurrection’s new map is Hallmark Station, a twisted take on London’s famous King’s Cross Station. Hallmark Station has been overrun by zeds, of course, and players must team up with fellow mercenaries to take down the demonic threat. Hellmark Station includes Survival, Endless, and Weekly modes.


Two new HRG weapons make their debut in Killing Floor 2’s Halloween event.

  • HRG Scorcher (Firebug class bonus) — a flare gun that marks targets by setting them on fire
  • \n
  • HRG Arc Generator (Survivalist class bonus) — fires EMP blasts in short bursts or powerful charges
  • \n

From now until November 10, Killing Floor 2 is also introducing a number of Halloween events, objectives, bonuses, and cosmetics.


October 2020 is upon us, which means it's time for scary movies, The Simpsons Tree House of Horror, and Halloween events in all our favorite video games! While we're still on announcements from Overwatch and Apex Legends, games like Killing Floor 2Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and MHW already have their in-game-event plans laid out for the spooky season.


From new weapons and outfits to new DIY recipes and Palico Halloween costumes, there are plenty of tricks, and even more treats, in store for the witching month. 


Games that haven't announced Halloween plans yet likely will in the coming weeks, and we'll update this list of Halloween events when that happens. Be sure to bookmark this and check back throughout October!

Mortal Shell Guide: How to Renounce All Shells Fri, 04 Sep 2020 14:15:35 -0400 JosephYaden

While Mortal Shell is no pushover, veteran Dark Souls fans have been vocal about its difficulty (or lack thereof), calling it a great starting point for players who are new to this type of game. That's not a bad thing at all, but there is a way to make the game tremendously more difficult, and it has to do with the ability to renounce your shell. 

Renouncing your shells makes Mortal Shell that much harder, perfect for those looking for a greater challenge. In this guide, we'll explain what that means, how to do so, and give you other tips that will make the process easier for you.

What Happens When You Renounce Your Shell?

Pop up menu warning player that renouncing shells cannot be undone.

Renouncing your Shells means you give up the ability to use any Shells for the remainder of the game. Remember how the beginning of the game starts you off as a Foundling with no Shell? That's how you'll be playing the game if you choose to renounce your Shells. 

Doing so will convert your Foundling to the Obsidian Dark Form. Though you won't be able to use the skills and abilities associated with any of the four shells (Harros, Solomon, Tiel, or Eredrim), Obsidian Dark From does have its own pros and cons. 

The upside of renouncing your Shells is that you'll get a massive stamina boost, and you'll be very quick on your feet, which some players actually prefer. All the Tar you earn can go into buying items and weapon upgrades since Shell upgrades are useless.

The downside of renouncing your Shells is that your health is insanely low while in Obsidian Dark Form. Basically, everything is a one-hit kill in this mode. That means you also won't be able to harden, and any progress you've made with your Shells thus far will be deleted, including upgrades and any Glimpses tied to them.

Aside from making the game more challenging, there are three trophies/achievements tied to using renouncing your Shells:

  • Forever Alone  Beat the game without ever bonding with a shell
  • Life is Suffering  Beat the game in Obsidian Dark Form
  • The Nihilist  Renounce humankind

Finding the Strange Altar to Renounce Your Shells

Solomon walking up to the Strange Altar made of bone, surrounded by lit candles.

If you want to take the plunge, you'll need to visit the Strange Altar, which is found in Fallgrim. We'll walk you through finding the Altar by starting at Fallgrim Tower.

First, head out the door to the right of the Sester. 

Solomon holding hallowed sword, running toward the wooden door of Fallgrim Tower.

Once outside, take a right and continue until you reach the open area with many branching paths.

Solomon running into the misty swamp outside of Fallgrim Tower.

Take the leftmost path that leads up to a camp with a couple of enemies.

Solomon entering a bandit encampment with two bandits sitting next to a fire pit.

Continue down and take the next left path, past the archer and Sturdyman (the red hooded enemy). You'll be heading towards the giant toad NPC, Gorf.

Solomon approaching the giant toad, Gorf.

Head towards the toad and follow the path past him. If you keep going, you'll come to a split, where you can go left, right, or seemingly to a dead end ahead.

Solomon walking up to a hidden entrance to the Strange Altar.

Keep going ahead. You'll find a little tunnel you can crawl through, which leads to the Strange Altar. 

Solomon crawling through the small tunnel to the Strange Altar to renounce his shells.

When you arrive on the other side, interact with the Altar, and you'll get the following warning:

"Choosing to renounce all shells forsakes your connection to mortality. You will play the rest of the game without a Shell. Your connection to the Shells will be severed, and you will lose all progress made with your Shells."

You'll then have the option to proceed or back away. If you choose to renounce your Shells, an animation will play, showing your character stabbing their armor off.

From here, you'll respawn at the starting area of Fallgrim, where you're free to continue playing  without a Shell and with a sliver of health.

That's everything you need to know about how to renounce your Shells at the Strange Altar in Mortal Shell. Renouncing your shells is a great way to increase the game's challenge while making your character faster and more agile in the process. For more on Mortal Shell, including other tips and walkthroughs, be sure to visit its hub page here.

Mortal Shell Ornate Mask Guide: How to Fast Travel Fri, 04 Sep 2020 14:51:52 -0400 JosephYaden

Mortal Shell is a Soulslike, meaning it leaves nearly everything up to you to discover. One of the many things the game doesn't tell you about is fast travel, which you're able to do if you have a certain item called the Ornate Mask.

Though, as expected, the Ornate Mask won't fall into your lap. In this guide, we'll show you everything you need to know about locating it, along with some tips and tricks to make finding it and using it easier for you. 

Where to Find the Ornate Mask

Solomon standing in front of Sester Genessa, looking at her inventory and the ornate mask.

To get your hands on the Ornate Mask, you'll need to buy it from a Sester for 30 Glimpses. However, the Sester won't sell the Ornate Mask to you until you've fully leveled up a Shell. Once you do fully level up a Shell, you can view her items by speaking to her. One of those items is the Ornate Mask.

Unlocking the Ornate Mask

Solomon's abilities and skills wheel.

You'll likely unlock the Ornate Mask near the end of the game since it requires you to fully level up a Shell. It can be any Shell, but you must buy all the abilities tied to it first.

Upgrades cost Tar and Glimpses, which you get them by defeating enemies and collecting certain items around the world. 

If you're at the end of the game, you'll have accumulated a handful of Tar related items, which can be consumed for Tar. For example, Unguent Tar, Congealed Tar, and Slurry of Tar are ones to look out for. These items give more Tar as your Familiarity rating with them increases. 

Head to your inventory and tab over to Tar to see what you have. At this point, go ahead and consume as many as you can to quickly rack up the Tar required to level up your Shell.

The same can be said about Glimpses. Head to the inventory, tab over to Glimpses, and consume any available items to give you a quick boost. 

Depending on where you are in the game and how many of these items you've come across (or farmed), you'll likely still have to grind a little to fully upgrade your Shell.

In total, you'll need around 18,000 Tar and 107 Glimpses to fully upgrade your Shell, so keep that in mind while playing.  

It's also worth noting that Glimpses are tied to specific Shells. They aren't available across all Shells. For example, if you consume 5 Glimpses while embodying Tiel, The Acolyte, you won't have those 5 Glimpses if you switch over to Solomon, The Scholar. 

How to Use the Ornate Mask

A gray text menu showing fast travel locations in Mortal Shell.

After you've fully upgraded your Shell, talk to a Sester and purchase the Ornate Mask for 30 Glimpses. At this point, you can tab over to the Travel menu by talking to the Sester.

Here, you'll see every area you've unlocked in Mortal Shell. As long as you've spoken to the Sester of a particular area, that location will appear here and be available for fast travel.

It doesn't cost anything to travel around to the different locations since the Ornate Mask is an unlimited use item (unlike the Tarnished Mask). When you use it, you'll arrive next to the Sester of that particular area.

The one thing to note is that you are unable to fast travel while the mist is active, so make sure you talk with Thestus on the second floor of Fallgrim Tower. You can banish the mist in exchange for one Glimpse.

If the prompt to banish the mist doesn't appear, talk to the giant bird-like creature (The Unchained) at the top of the tower. You'll likely need to give him the gland of the most recent boss you defeated if Thestus isn't offering to banish the mist. Once the mist goes away, you'll be able to fast travel via any of the Sesters in the game. 

And with that, you should have everything you need to find and use the Ornate Mask to fast travel around the world of Mortal Shell. For more on Mortal Shell, including other tips and walkthroughs, be sure to visit its guides hub page here.

Mortal Shell Quenching Acid Locations Guide Mon, 24 Aug 2020 17:23:25 -0400 JosephYaden

In Mortal Shell, you'll want to take advantage of the game's upgrade system to enhance your weapons. To do so, you'll need to find an item called Quenching Acid, which is scattered around the game. In total, there are 11 Quenching Acids you can find throughout the world on your initial playthrough. You can find more in new game plus. 

In this guide, we'll show you where all 11 are, along with the easiest routes to find them. Once you've got a Quenching Acid, equip the weapon you'd like to upgrade and visit an anvil (or the workbench in Fallgrim's tower) to enhance its damage output.

That said, these are the locations of the initial 11 Quenching Acids you can get on your first playthrough of Mortal Shell. Keep in mind that you don't have to find them in the specific order we've listed below  this is simply the path we took.

Quenching Acid 1+2 Fallgrim

The first two Quenching Acids can be purchased from Vlas at the central tower in Fallgrim. Vlas is located at the top of the tower and can be located by taking the exterior spiral staircase from the second floor.

Each Quenching Acid costs 2,500 Tar, which is pricey  at least at the start of the game. 

Quenching Acid 3  Fallgrim

Use the giant burning monument that leads to the Temple Grounds as the landmark to find this Quenching Acid. With the front of the burning monument ahead of you, turn around and go back to a small camp where there will be enemies to defeat. The Quenching Acid is in a chest amongst a pile of sacks and crates against the crumbling cliff face. 

Quenching Acid 4  Fallgrim (Mist Active)

You won't be able to grab this Quenching Acid immediately. What you have to do for this one is activate the mist, which is done by defeating any of the main bosses in the game:

  • Imrod, The Unrepentant
  • Crucix, The Twiceborn
  • Tarsus, The First Martyr

It doesn't matter which boss you defeat first, but once you've obtained its gland, you can head back to the tower to speak with The Old Prisoner (the metallic creature with a long beak in the tower, where you obtain the Tarnished Seal for parrying). 

Once you've done that, you'll be able to trigger the fog whenever you'd like by speaking with the new NPC, Thestus, that appears on the second floor of the tower. For one glimpse, you can turn the mist on or off. 

With the mist activated, leave the tower from the door to the right of Sester Genessa and take a right. Follow this path (past the Weltcap on the left), and you'll come to a frog statue on your right. Interact with it to obtain this Quenching Acid. 

Quenching Acid 5  Monument of Ash

From the first Sester at the start of this area, follow the way ahead. Take the left path up the hill, and go through the door. Go up the small set of stairs, and when you get to a fork, take the left path down the steps.

From here, go into the next large room, and on the right, you'll see a couple of Iron Maidens, one of which contains a Quenching Acid. 

Quenching Acid 6  Monument of Ash

From the last Quenching Acid, continue ahead through the room with the giant hole in the ground. Go into the large area with a ton of enemies. You'll find those creatures who shoot flaming projectiles at you here.

Take the right door (you'll need to wrap around the left side to reach it) and go up the steps into a room where you can trigger a shortcut. Another flaming projectile enemy will be on your right.

At the top of the steps, take a left into the next room, and you'll find another Iron Maiden towards the back of it on the left side. It's just before the hall narrows, leading into the next room. Interact with the Iron Maiden to get the Acid. 

Quenching Acid 7  Abandoned Chamber 

From the Sester at the start of this area, follow the path until you reach a room with a few different ways you can go. You'll find a pillar in the middle of this room, along with a handful of enemies.

Take the first path on the left through a narrow hall, and then take the next left. You'll reach a larger open area with a huge enemy guarding a chest. Defeat the enemy and grab the Quenching Acid from the chest behind it. 

Quenching Acid 8  Enshrined Sanctum 

From the Sester right next to the boss arena, head back towards the way you came, past the frog statues and up the stairs. Keep following the path up, and you'll find another set of stairs. At the top of them, take the small tunnel immediately on the right.

Here, you'll be in a large room with two enemies. The chest containing this Quenching Acid is in the back left of the area. 

Quenching Acid 9  Eternal Narthex

From the Sester at the start of this area, go towards the way ahead. Go through the narrow path and past the Faceless Clerik, the large enemy with a hammer. Once outside, take the teleporter on the left.

When you spawn, you'll see a few ramps ahead that lead down. Go towards them and stick to the leftmost ramp, where you'll want to take a left when you reach the bottom of it.

Here, you'll see some enemies way off in the distance, along with one of the braziers you need to activate. Head towards this brazier and take a right when you reach it, towards the massive tree.

Ahead, there will be two very narrow paths. One goes left, and one goes right, terminating in a small alcove. Take the right one. The chest you're looking for is straight ahead, against a wall. In it is the next Quenching Acid.

Quenching Acid 10  Dim Gate

Finding this Quenching Acid is a bit of a journey, so stick with us. From the first Sester on the bottom floor, turn around and go back the way you came. You'll want to take a right, up the steps that lead to the spiral staircase. This is the path you'd take to advance through the story.

Keep going, and when you reach a fork where you can either go right up some more stairs or left through a narrow path, take the left path. Follow this up to the next area and up a few ramps. You'll then come to a large circular section that almost resembles a stage.

Go down to the center of this circular area, take the steps on the left, and make a left into the next area. Keep going, and you'll come to even more spiraling stairs. Take them up.

At the top, you'll come to a section with metal grating on the floor. Take the ramp on the left, and you'll reach another set of stairs. This leads to a larger section with two teleporters towards the back.

Take the teleporter on the right, and you'll end up in a new place. Run down the ramp ahead, and follow it down until you reach some platforms you can drop down onto. Try to drop down onto the one directly below you, because you'll take heavy damage if you skip any. 

Keep dropping down, and you'll come to a final teleporter. Take it, and the Quenching Acid will be on the edge of the platform ahead.

Quenching Acid 11  Dim Gate

The final Quenching Acid is located just before you reach the Shifting Archives. In reference to the area with the metal grating on the ground (mentioned in the previous Quenching Acid location), take the ramp on the right, and when you reach the area at the top, take the ramp on the left. This leads to a massive open area.

From here, you'll want to keep going ahead until you reach a narrow ramp that leads upward. Guarding it is a Faceless Clerik. Before you go up to continue the story, take the path directly behind the Clerik.

Keep following this path, and you'll find the Quenching Acid on the ground at the end. 

Quenching Acid on NG+

Once you've completed the game, you can start new game plus, which features more difficult enemies and allows you to carry over most of your equipment. If you speak with Sester Genessa in Fallgrim's tower, you'll be able to purchase 8 Quenching Acids from her for 10 glimpses each. 

And that's everything you need to know about finding every Quenching Acid in Mortal Shell. Since there are 11 in the initial playthrough, you'll be able to fully upgrade the damage on two weapons, so make sure you pick one and stick with it for maximum efficiency. For more on Mortal Shell, including other tips and walkthroughs, be sure to visit its hub page here.

Mortal Shell Boss Guide: How to Beat Hadern Mon, 24 Aug 2020 11:35:25 -0400 John Schutt

You'll fight Hadern four times in your journey through Mortal Shell. He is the boss guarding three of the game's four weapons: the Smoldering Mace, the Martyr's Blade, and the Hammer and Chisel. He's one of the easier bosses you'll face — as long as you know a few basic strategies to counter him.

This guide will detail the core tactics you'll want to use against Hadern, as well as some of the more specific ones for the different weapons since his attacks change a bit for each of them.

How to Beat Hadern: The Basics

You'll first face Hadern in the tutorial area. How you fight him in subsequent encounters doesn't change much. There are three core tactics here: dodge, Harden, riposte (if possible). 


All of Hadern's forms use telegraphed attacks. Make sure you always have a little bit of stamina at your disposal. After a two-hit combo, he's liable to stagger before a brief period of stagger resistance where he'll hit you regardless of how many attacks you get in. 

The bread and butter strategy is:

  1. Attack twice 
  2. Dodge
  3. Go back in
  4. Wait for Hadern to Harden
  5. Harden yourself
  6. Attack twice
  7. Repeat

As mentioned above, Hardening is part of the core strategy for fighting Hadern. He'll teach you the ability's power in your first fight, and he'll use it in all subsequent engagements. Usually, if you're any distance away from him, he'll open by Hardening in the hope you attack and bounce off his stone skin.

You can — and should — counter his Harden with your own. He'll stun himself rather and leave himself open. At that point, you'll want to back up to let your Harden recharge, as the safety and counter-attack options it provides are too useful. 


You won't have the ability to parry in your first fight with Hadern, but as long as you have the Tarnished Seal and some resolve, future fights can go much smoother. Check out our parry guide if you need a refresher or some extra tips on how to get the most out of Mortal Shell's riposte abilities.

Hadern's jumping slashes are the safest attacks to riposte. The timing is generous, and depending on your weapon upgrade level and unlocked abilities, you can potentially remove a full quarter of his health.

Be aware of the faster attacks with weapons like the Hammer and Chisel. Some of Hadern's attacks with that weapon have almost no startup animations, so be prepared to either dodge or Harden if you don't want to take damage.

Hadern Weapon Strategies

Fighting Hadern with different weapons requires different strategies. The most challenging encounter is probably the Hammer and Chisel, only because the attacks are fast and sometimes difficult to avoid. The Martyr's Blade and Smoldering Mace encounters are much slower, making dodging them a much less harrowing task.

Hammer and Chisel Hadern

You'll want to play passive in this fight, using Harden and Riposte abilities only as necessary. The main attack you want to watch out for is the offhand chisel swipe. It comes out almost instantly and usually leads into a three-hit combo that deals severe damage if you can't dodge out of it.

He's liable to throw it out alongside a Harden of his own, meaning you'll be staggered, damaged, and open for more attacks.

Watch out also for his attack with a long, spinning windup. Hadern will rotate his body before jumping in the air and slamming down with a large burst of spikes that can one-shot the squishier Shells like Harros or Tiel. You can Harden through the attack and stagger the boss, or dodge it entirely.

Other than those attacks, your tactics are still bread and butter.

Martyr's Blade Hadern

Fighting Hadern with the Martyr's Blade is dangerous but straightforward. The bread and butter strats will serve you well, save for any of Hadern's ice attacks.

If you see him charging up ice on the blade, get the heck out of dodge. One of them, when he buffs the weapon, ups his damage and increases it enough that you'll probably want to let the buff run out before you re-engage.

The other attack is an area of effect ability that sends out ice spikes in all directions, which will freeze you and deal high damage. 

The Martyr's Blade also has a deceptive range, and the stab follow up attacks will hit you from a significant distance, stagger you, and open you up for more hits. Anything else is easy enough to either dodge or Harden through.

Smoldering Mace Hadern

Probably the easiest fight to win, Smoldering Mace Hadern only has one attack you need to watch out for: his jump attack. When he lands, the mace will create a massive explosion that deals big damage and knocks you back.

Watch out for any of his slam attacks as well, as they have a smaller area of effect, and his smash attacks tend to have a lingering hitbox, meaning you can be hit even if the animation looks like it's over.

Other than that, be mindful of the horizontal swings, and they can catch you at the end of a roll. The range of attacks is deceptive, as well, so never assume they're going to miss unless you're on the other side of the arena.

That's about all there is to know about the various ways to beat Hadern. Check out our other Mortal Shell guides for more tips, tricks, and walkthroughs.

Mortal Shell: How to Find and Unlock the Ballistazooka Fri, 21 Aug 2020 12:43:30 -0400 John Schutt

It's slow, clunky, and hits like a truck. It's the Ballistazooka, the most powerful single-shot, shoulder-mounted siege weapon in Mortal Shell. The only one, actually. If you want to leave your enemies as a smear on the wall, accept no substitute.

It's not hard to find, nor unlock or use, but it is expensive both to buy and to arm. This guide will tell you how to find the Ballistazooka and all its associated items, as well as a few tricks that will make repairing it a cinch. 

How to Find the Ballistazooka

The Ballistazooka is initially unusable, and you can find it on the workbench in Fallgrim Tower. The workbench is in an alcove across from the weapon racks on the second floor, near the Old Prisoner. Specifically, the bench faces the Hammer and Chisel and Martyr's Blade racks.

You won't be able to interact with the Ballistazooka at first. It will, however, tantalize you in the upgrade menu.

You'll need a set of tools to repair the Ballistazooka, which you can get from the merchant, Vlas. He is near the top of Fallgrim tower; his shop is on a broken causeway above the Old Prisoner.

From the tower entrance nearest the workbench, look left, and you'll be able to see him in the distance through a hole in the wall.

If you pass through the hole in the wall, you'll come to a bell. Alternatively, you can leave from the other side of the tower and take the path to the right. 

Near the bell is a staircase that takes you straight to Vlas. He's quite the jolly fellow, and once you exhaust his initial dialogue, he'll show his inventory. Inside is no small number of valuable items, from Quenching Acid to healing items, other consumables, and the most important item in the game: the lute.

You're here for the tools, though. They're the last item in Vlas' stock. Note that the Tools are 8,000 tar, which is one of the most expensive items in all of Mortal Shell

Farming Tar

There are a few good ways to farm Tar in Mortal Shell. You could do things the long way by killing every enemy you come across and, if you die, making sure to recover your shell. An arduous process, but there are enough enemies around to make it possible.

The Mist, which you can summon as you please as noted in our Glimpses guide, spawns the ghoul-like enemies, which have a good chance of dropping Bags of Tar, granting 300+ Tar per use.

The Mist also spawns Grisha world bosses, which grant ~800 Tar and 6 Glimpses per kill. Combined with Nocteserper ghoul enemy kills, gathering the necessary currency shouldn't take too long.

The third option is something of an extension of the first. Boss enemies drop the best Tar item in the game, Nascent Tar, which grants 2,500 units of the stuff. Three of them and a couple of smaller consumables makes an easy 8,000 Tar.

Repairing the Ballistazooka

However you go about farming Tar, when your pockets are stuffed, head back to Vlas and buy the Tools. Once that's done, head to the workbench and select the "Repair Ballistazooka" option. It's to the right of the Quenching Acid upgrade slot.

That accomplished, you are now the proud owner of a dark fantasy rocket launcher. All you need now is ammo. Luckily, Vlas sells the weapon's bolts for 800 Tar a pop and has an infinite supply. There are also more than a dozen out in the world to find.

Now that you've been able to find the Ballistazooka, brave adventurer, go forth and turn your enemies in a red smear against the rocks. For more on Cold Symmetry's action RPG for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, be sure to head over to our other Mortal Shell guides here.

Mortal Shell: How to Seek Name Fri, 21 Aug 2020 15:19:51 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Each of Mortal Shell's classes has a name. To take full advantage of a shell's abilities and skills, you need to know how to seek that name. It's possible to play all of Mortal Shell without a class or without spending tar or glimpses in a shell's skill tree. But it makes the game much harder. 

When you find a shell, you won't have access to its abilities until you learn the shell's name.

To do that, go to Fallgrim Tower wearing the shell you want to seek the name of. Speak with Sester Genessa, and pay her the required amount of tar (which I've listed for each shell below).

You can find Genessa on the bottom level of the tower by the crypt, the same place you can also change shells. When she asks if you want to sip the Diving Tar, say "Yes." 

This will bring up the abilities wheel for the shell you're currently wearing. "Seek Name" will be to the right of the wheel, alongside information about how much tar is needed to seek the name. Luckily, you won't need glimpses for these initial upgrades. 

Press and hold "X" on PS4, "A" on XB1, or LMB on PC to reveal the identity of each class. Here's how much it costs for each character: 

  • Harros, the Vassal: 250 tar
  • Solomon, the Scholar: 500 tar
  • Eredrim, the Venerable: 500 tar
  • Tiel, the Acolyte: 500 tar

You'll easily farm this much tar from the enemies and bosses in Fallgrim, especially if you're seeking out each of the four shells early on. Upgrade your Hallowed Sword and pick up the Tarnished Seal from Fallgrim tower so you can parry, and you'll make short work of it.

Here's how much tar each enemy in Fallgrim drops: 

  • Brigand: 22 tar
  • Brigand Ranger: 26 tar
  • Nocteserper: 28 tar
  • Stone Slinger: 26 tar
  • Sturdyman: 52 tar

There is only a small handful of Nocteserpers in the opening area, and it's not clear if they respawn like other enemies and mobs. I've cleared out a cave of them, but they have yet to return. 

There are also two minor bosses in Fallgrim that provide a good chunk of tar: 

  • Ven Noctivagu: 356 tar
  • Grisha: 750 tar

You can also speak with Thestus at Fallgrim Tower to summon the green mist to the area. This will spawn higher-level enemies, including multiple Grisha mini-bosses and Nocteserpers. However, you must acquire a gland before Thestus appears at the tower. 

That's all you need to know about how to seek the name of a shell in Mortal Shell. For more tips and walkthroughs, head here. Mortal Shell is out on PC via the Epic Games Store, PS4, and Xbox One now. 

Mortal Shell Guide: How to Change Shells Fri, 21 Aug 2020 11:35:40 -0400 JosephYaden

In Mortal Shell, the latest action RPG from developer Cold Symmetry, you gain access to various Shells that have different abilities. These are the game's classes, and after finding your second, you may want to know how to change Shells to test them out and see which one suits you best.

Thing is, the game doesn't explain how to do that, so you might be stuck using the same one for a while. However, we're here to help. In this guide, we'll detail how to change Shells in Mortal Shell.

There are two ways to do so.

Change Shells at the Fallgrim Tower Crypt

The first and most straightforward method of changing your Shells is to visit the main tower in Fallgrim, where you encounter Sester Genessa for the first time. Here, you'll see a creepy-looking section with what can only be described as a tomb. If you've already discovered a shell or three, you'll see bodies lying in the tomb. If you haven't, you'll see a flickering blue light in each burial spot. 

You can then interact with each to change into them with ease. If you haven't unlocked a particular Shell, interacting with the empty, blue spot will give you a glimpse of where to find it. 

There are no downsides to using this method other than the fact that you have to run back here on foot if you haven't unlocked the ability to fast travel with the Ornate Mask. 

Alternatively, if you have last spoken with Sester Genessa in Fallgrim Tower — before speaking to another incarnation of her elsewhere — you can use the game's save trick to teleport back here. 

Change Shells with an Effigy

The second  and slightly more complicated  method of changing your Shell is to consume an Effigy that corresponds with a specific Shell. If you check your inventory, you should already have at least one, if not a couple. You get one Effigy for each Shell you unlock, and you can obtain more by killing enemies, looting camps, or opening chests. 

For example, the Effigy of Harros allows you to change into Harros, The Vassal. The Effigy of Tiel allows you to change into Tiel, The Acolyte, and so on. The problem is that the Effigies you find throughout the world are rare and have limited uses, so it's tough to recommend consuming an Effigy unless you're really in a bind.

However, there is an alternative that makes this a lot easier. 

You can visit the Corrupted Sester, located in front of the entrance to Eternal Narthex, to purchase Effigies. The best part is that they're relatively cheap, costing no more than 2,500 Tar each. They still have limited uses, but you can rest easy knowing you don't have to discover them.

You'll likely come to Eternal Narthex early on in the game, but if you're having trouble, look for the gigantic structure with large tombstones leading up to it. In fact, it's the area beyond where you discover the Shell of Eredrim, The Venerable. 

The Corrupted Sester is located on the left side of the structure, next to the stairs that lead up to the entrance. 

Using this method will allow you to switch Shells on the fly without having to visit the tower in Fallgrim. It will cost you some Tar, but by the later stages of the game, this should be no problem for you. 

Why Change to Different Shells?

There are multiple Shells for each playstyle, and you'll want to take a look at all of them before deciding which to pick. For example, Eredrim, The Venerable will give you lots of health, while Tiel, The Acolyte features high stamina.

The other thing to remember is that the number of Glimpses you have is tied to a specific Shell, so if you switch to a new one, you'll start with zero (or however many you had when you last used that Shell).

If you switch back to the Shell you used before, you can obtain the Glimpses you had previously. This is one of the game's quirks that you'll want to take note of so you aren't wondering where your Glimpses went. 

With Mortal Shell taking a page out of the Souls games, it's not always clear how to do many things such as parrying or even upgrading your weapons. The game wants you to figure it out on your own. Hopefully, this guide helps you know how to switch your Shells and get the most out of your playthrough and the early stages of the game. For more on Mortal Shell, check out its hub page here

Mortal Shell: How Long Does It Take to Beat? Thu, 20 Aug 2020 01:28:22 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Compared to other Souls-like games, Cold Symmetry's Mortal Shell is on the shorter side. It's not as big as the action RPGs developed by From Software, such as Dark Souls, Bloodborne, or Sekiro. But that doesn't mean it's shallow or easy. And if you're here, you're wondering how long it takes to beat. 

According to the developers, Mortal Shell takes between 15 and 20 hours to beat for the average player. Completionists may take longer.

That information was released ahead of the game's PC beta, alongside a new gameplay trailer. And it seems to hold up now that the game is out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

The length of Mortal Shell partly depends on how much exploration you do. There's plenty of lore to find, and there are several secrets to uncover, including hidden locations and important items. That completion time can be extended, too, with new game plus, which offers players more collectibles, challenges, and opportunities on top of the base game. 

How long it takes to beat the game also depends on your skill and how fast you learn new systems. 

For some, like me, Mortal Shell is a bit harder than Dark Souls. I'm still learning how to parry because I can't seem to get the timing down. Though, I've already found all of the shells and weapons in about six hours.

For others, such as John Schutt, who reviewed the game for us, it's relatively easier. He beat the game in about 10 hours by mainlining the story, wrecking through bosses like Grisha, Tarsus, and Imrod with little problem.

To put some context around Mortal Shell's length, How Long to Beat says it takes about 46 hours to beat the main story in the original Dark Souls. A completionist run clocks in at about 105 hours. Bloodborne comes in at about 34 hours and 76 hours, respectively. And Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice takes roughly 28 hours and 69 hours. 

Despite the help of Sester Genessa, the world of Mortal Shell can be rough, no matter how long it takes to beat or your final completion time. If you're looking for tips or some extra help, take a look at our growing list of guides, which includes a complete item familiarity list and info on how to upgrade your weapons. 

Mortal Shell Walkthrough: How to Get Every Shell Fri, 21 Aug 2020 00:37:17 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Unlike some other games in the genre, Mortal Shell doesn't let you choose a class when you start. Instead, you have to know how to find the four shells scattered across Fallgrim. Each has its own unique abilities and stats geared to specific playstyles, and each is completely missable. You can play the entire game without a shell at all if you want to increase the difficulty. 

The game shows you exactly where to find each shell through visions called instincts. To see where a shell is located, go to the crypt in Fallgrim Tower. Interact with each of the glowing graves across from Sester Genessa and choose "sense instinct." 

A series of disjointed visions will show you that path of each fallen warrior, culminating with the area in which you can find them. Figuring out where the visions are leading you in Fallgrim is half the fun of finding the shells, but if you'd rather skip all of that and get the shells now, we'll tell where they are below. 

We also include all of the abilities and stats for each shell, so you have access to everything in one convenient place. All shells have three common abilities at the bottom of their ability wheel:

  • Recollection of Strength: 1,000 tar, 6 glimpses
    • Put your enemies off balance with a powerful kick
  • Recollection of Knowledge: 2,500 tar, 15 glimpses
    • Harden in the air to create a devastating area of impact upon landing. Foes killed by the blast may drop an additional glimpse
  • Recollection of Death: 4,000 tar, 25 glimpses
    • Regain last chance upon defeating tough foes

It's also worth noting that the abilities for all shells are named the same thing. However, their effects and costs are much different. 

To gain access to abilities, you first have to find the name of the shell, which you can do by speaking with Sester Genessa at Fallgrim Tower and paying a certain amount of tar. You can also change shells at will by visiting Fallgrim Tower or using effigies. 

Harros, the Vassal

Harros, the Vassal is the first shell you will get in Mortal Shell. After fighting Hadern for the first time and getting swallowed by the catfish, you'll find yourself in Fallgrim. You'll then crawl through a long tunnel and emerge on a small cliff with kneeling statues. 

Jump down from the cliff and continue a short distance to the fork. Turn left, and you'll see Harros' shell leaning against a rock. 

  • Durability: 5/10
  • Stamina: 5/10
  • Resolve: 5/10
  • Accretion of Inheritance: 1,100 tar, 8 glimpses
    • Hardening lasts for twice as long upon being broken
  • Accretion of Ascent: 5,00 tar, 2 glimpses
    • Killing two enemies in quick succession resets your harden cooldown
  • Accretion of Endurance: 3,000 tar, 20 glimpses
    • Hardening causes Harros' stamina to rapidly refill
  • Accretion of Resolve: 2,500 tar, 15 glimpses
    • Harden cooldown is reduced by 25%
  • Accretion of Dominance: 1,000 tar, 6 glimpses
    • For a short time after hardening, enemies killed have a chance to drop an additional glimpse
  • Accretion of Foresight: 500 tar, 2 glimpses
    • Gaining a glimpse has the chance to restore some health
  • Accretion of Yearning: 1,100 tar, 8 glimpses
    • Adds a chance for enemies to drop an additional glimpse on death

Solomon, the Scholar

Solomon, the Scholar will most likely be the next shell you pick up because he is so close to Fallgrim Tower. 

Exit Fallgrim Tower and go straight ahead, past the tree on your left. Go through the pool of water and towards the cave entrance on the other side, but beware the six beartraps right after the pool of water. 

Once inside the cave, you'll be met with the game's first minor boss: Grisha. You can take him on later. For now, run straight past him toward the back of the cave. Follow the path down to the right. 

At the end of the path, you'll see a pile of logs and brush. Strike the pile to reveal a tunnel, and crawl through it. On the other side, you'll see Solomon's shell leaning against the far wall behind a crouching Nocteserper. 

Defeat the Nocteserper and interact with the shell to claim it. 

  • Durability: 7/10
  • Stamina: 5/10
  • Resolve: 10/10
  • Accretion of Inheritance: 1,100 tar, 8 glimpses
    • Solomon gains a small amount of resolve when being struck while hardened
  • Accretion of Ascent: 3,000 tar, 20 glimpses
    • Killing an enemy with an empowered riposte has chance to restore all resolve
  • Accretion of Endurance: 500 tar, 2 glimpses
    • Solomon has a chance to heal on using a weapon ability to slay an enemy
  • Accretion of Resolve: 2,500 tar, 15 glimpses
    • When holding a scared gland, Solomon gains 25 maximum health, when not holding a gland, Solomon gains one maximum resolve segment
  • Accretion of Dominance: 1,000 tar, 6 glimpses
    • The duration of time enemies remain hardened when you are separated from Solomon is increased
  • Accretion of Foresight: 1,100 tar, 8 glimpses
    • Solomon becomes familiar with items more quickly and gains a glimpse on reading lore for the first time
  • Accretion of Yearning: 500 tar, 2 glimpses
    • When talking to an NPC, Solomon gains a segment of resolve

Eredrim, the Venerable

From Solomon's shell, exit through the tunnel back into Grisha's cave. Follow the path back up and go to the left side of the cave. You will find another tunnel. Go through it. 

When you emerge, you will see a small encampment in front of you. Beware of the bear traps leading up to it, as well as the enemy laying against the tree on the left side. There are a handful of enemies in the camp, including a Sturdyman, so bait them out one or two at a time. 

Once you've beaten them, continue down the long path. There are three Brigand Rangers on the right side, as well as a Sturdyman patrolling in the middle. At the end of the path, you will find a Brigand and two Sturydmen. Defeat them and go left, toward the tower in the distance. 

Follow the path right and up, defeating the enemies at the next camp. Now follow the path left onto the giant stone slab and then down the cliff to the left. At the bottom, you'll see large, gravelike stones on either side of you and a set of stairs leading to the tower in front of you. 

Look to the left of the stairs to find Eredrim's shell leaning against a stone.

  • Durability: 10/10
  • Stamina: 3/10
  • Resolve: 3/10
  • Accretion of Inheritance: 2,500 tar, 15 glimpses
    • Eredrim deals extra damage against enemies who are alone
  • Accretion of Ascent: 1,100 tar, 8 glimpses
    • Eredrim's attacks deal additional poise damage, causing enemies to stagger more frequently
  • Accretion of Endurance: 1,000 tar, 6 glimpses
    • Eredrim's max HP is increased by 15%
  • Accretion of Resolve: 1,100 tar, 8 glimpses
    • Eredrim gains an execution stack upon killing an enemy, each stack increases base attack damage. Stacks are lost when separating from Eredrim
  • Accretion of Dominance: 3,000 tar, 20 glimpses
    • Upon reclaiming Eredrim, your next attack will deal massive damage, sometimes exploding your enemies into a bloody mist
  • Accretion of Foresight: 500 tar, 2 glimpses
    • On kill, Eredrim gains a buff which reduces damage taken by 5% for 10 seconds
  • Accretion of Yearning: 500 tar, 2 glimpses
    • Eredrim is occasionally able to resist being knocked down

Tiel, the Acolyte

Note: Ven Noctivagu guards Tiel's shell. This is the same boss from the beta, and he's tougher than the Nocteserper you fought at Solomon's shell. You must defeat him to get Tiel's shell. Make sure that you at least upgrade your Hollowed Sword to +1 with Quenching Acid to deal more damage and make this fight easier. 

With the main entrance to Fallgrim Tower to your back, go right. Pass the lute player, and enter the watery part of the swamp. Take an immediate right. Stay left when the path forks at the crumbling tower column.

You'll see a glowing lore stone ahead and tree that's fallen over the path. Take a left at the lore stone. There will be a Sturdyman and Brigand sitting in the path, with a Brigand hiding to the right. 

Defeat them and go towards the large tree covered in hanging bats. Take a left at the tree and pass the encampment and lore stone. Go through the opening in the cliffs ahead, and you'll emerge into a grove with a small pond and a small camp. 

Go to the right of the camp to find a tunnel covered in limbs and brush. Destroy the pile and crawl through the tunnel. Fight Vin Noctivagu and find Tiel leaning against the wall in the back left corner. 

  • Durability: 3/10
  • Stamina: 10/10
  • Resolve: 2/10
  • Accretion of Inheritance: 2,500 tar, 15 glimpses
    • Striking a poisoned enemy increases the chances Tiel's other passives will trigger
  • Accretion of Ascent: 1,100 tar, 8 glimpses
    • Tiel gains a 20% chance to lose stamina instead of health on taking damage
  • Accretion of Endurance: 500 tar, 2 glimpses
    • Gain a damage bonus when low on stamina
  • Accretion of Resolve: 3,000 tar, 20 glimpses
    • Sprinting doesn't consume Tiel's stamina
  • Accretion of Dominance: 1,100 tar, 8 glimpses
    • On killing an enemy, Tiel gains a buff that poisons enemies on hit. Lost this buff when you are hit
  • Accretion of Foresight: 500 tar, 2 glimpses
    • On Empowered Riposte, Tiel will sometimes release a poisonous cloud
  • Accretion of Yearning: 1,000 tar, 6 glimpses
    • Taking poison damage heals Tiel for a portion of the damage which would have been dealt

And that's how you find every shell in Mortal Shell. Now that you have access to all of the game's classes, you can find the one that best fits your playstyle. For more tips on this new Souls-like from Cold Symmetry, be sure to check out our Mortal Shell guides page, which includes everything you need to know about parrying and so much more. 

Mortal Shell Guide: How to Save Your Game Wed, 19 Aug 2020 22:53:19 -0400 Jonathan Moore

As fun as Mortal Shell is, it can be a highly challenging game. Enemies are tough until you learn their attacks, and learning how to parry can take some serious patience. Since you'll likely die quite a bit, it's good to know how to save your game and how saving works in Mortal Shell

This quick guide will tell you everything you need to know. 

How Mortal Shell's Autosave Works

The game autosaves often, making sure the items you pick up stay in your inventory even if you die. You'll lose your Tar if you die (just as you lose your souls in Dark Souls), but you keep items such as weltcaps, effigies, and glimpses.

You can force an autosave by:

  • Exiting the game to the main menu
  • Quitting completely

This will let you keep your items and your Tar, as well as some progress, such as uncovered secret areas. But enemies will respawn.

The first save point after the tutorial is actually at the cliff after you exit the long tunnel. A mask totem on the left cliff wall will light up, letting you know your game has been saved. 

It's worth noting, though, that there is no on-screen icon or indication that the game is autosaving. 

How Mortal Shell's Manual Save Works

Manual saves work like they do at bonfires in the Souls series or sculptor's idols in Sekiro. Here, Sester Genessa is your bonfire. You can find her in every major area, from Fallgrim to the Sanctum of Flame and the Abandoned Chamber. Speak with her, and you will manually save your game.

Where You Manual Save Determines Where You Spawn

Kind of. 

Two things determine your spawn point:

  • The last Sester you spoke to
  • Where you went after speaking to that Sester

If you look closely, you will find mask totems marking the entrances to new areas, like the one just outside of the tutorial area. These are often attached to walls or cliffsides. They act as proxy save points for the Sester in the next area. If they are active, the eyes of the masks are lit by blue flame.

Let's say you speak with Sester Genessa at Fallgrim Tower. You then head to the Temple Grounds, but you don't speak with Sester Genessa at the Temple Grounds, and you die. You will spawn back at Fallgrim Tower. 

Speak with Sester Genessa in the Temple Grounds and then go back to Fallgrim, you'll notice that the mask totem near the entrance is lit with blue flame. Die anywhere in Fallgrim, and you'll spawn at the entrance to the Temple Grounds, at the mask totem. 

You must speak with Sester Genessa in Fallgrim Tower to move the spawn point from the mask totem to the tower. 

Use Saves to "Fast Travel"

Since all your items save when you exit the game, you can use Mortal Shell's autosave system as a sort of fast travel. Get in a pinch, exit to the main menu, and continue your game. You'll spawn either at the last Sester you spoke to or the last mask totem you visited. 

You can legitimately fast travel to Sester Genessa with the Tarnished Mask and the Ornate Mask. But save method is a good stand-in during the early parts of the game. 

You can also find out where you will spawn by looking at the game's main menu. Fallgrim is a swamp. The Temple Grounds is a stone corridor lined with lanterns. And the Abandoned Chamber is an ice cave. 

Just like Familiarity and weapon upgrades, figuring out how to save in Mortal Shell isn't immediately clear. But once you understand how saving works, you can use it to your advantage, even using it to fast travel. If you came here wondering how to save in Mortal Shell, I hope this guide helped. For more tips, be sure to head over to our primary guides page for other tips, tricks, walkthroughs, and lists. 

Mortal Shell Items and Familiarity Guide Wed, 19 Aug 2020 17:21:50 -0400 John Schutt

There are almost 75 different items scattered across Mortal Shell, including consumables, upgrades, key items, and equipment. Many of these items also come with a Familiarity score, a 10-dot meter that increases as you use them more and more.

High Familiarity changes an item's effect permanently, and always increases the benefits an item offers in some way. That might be as simple as improving the speed at which a healing item works to reducing its cost. No matter what Familiarity does, you will see increased value for finding and using items when you find them.

This guide lists every item in the game and describes its usage. If the item changes based on Familiarity, that info is listed as well. The categories we won't talk about are Glimpses and Upgrade Key Items. We covered the former in our complete guide to Glimpses.

Key Items like Sacred Glands and Upgrade Items are coming in their own guides, as you'll want to know where to find them and what they do (though we do have a general upgrade guide to get you started).

Also, note that we aren't going into strategies to use any particular item. That's a whole series of other guides. 

Consumable Items

Consumable items are just that: consumable. Once you use one of them, you have one less of that item in your inventory. Use them all, and the item symbol will grey out in the menu and on your shortcut bar.

Some consumables tend to respawn after about every five minutes: mostly things like weltcaps, tarspores, and other plants. Others can be found in the frog chests only unlockable during the Mist.

  • Baguette: Offers a small boost to health
    • Familiarity 2: Gain more health on use
  • Boiled Frog: Increases stamina regeneration speed for three minutes 
    • Familiarity 4: Buff lasts for 5 minutes
  • Bronze Bell: Grants a 10% bonus to all Tar gains for six minutes
    • Familiarity 2: Adds a 10% chance for enemies to drop a Glimpse for six minutes
  • Effigy of [Shell Name]: Transforms you into the item's named Shell at a heavy cost of health
    • Familiarity 4: You lose less health on transformation
  • Ethereal Diapason: Restores the ability to reclaim your Shell upon death
    • Familiarity 2: Restores all Resolve when used
  • Golden Bell: Ringing increases resolve gains for three minutes
    • Familiarity 2: Increases the effect's duration
  • Inferior Moonshine: Grants a small amount of Resolve, but you take damage
    • Familiarity 4: Grants the same Resolve but you take less damage
  • Mango: Offers a small boost to health
    • Familiarity 2: It tastes even better. Too bad you can't actually taste it.
  • Mortal Token: The next hit you take while Hardened restores health
    • Familiarity 3: Harden returns more health
  • Ornate Token: Being struck while Harden is active reduces the next damage taken
    • Familiarity 10: Negates the next damage completely
  • Roasted Rat: Heal 30 HP over 40 seconds at the cost of Resolve
    • Familiarity 8: Heal 40 HP instead
  • Rotten Food: Restores a small amount of health at a heavy cost to your Resolve
    • Familiarity 4: You take less Resolve damage, but you're still eating disgusting garbage, you disgusting person.
  • Scripture of Ardor: Your next successful parry poisons the target
    • Familiarity 3: Strengthens the poison damage
  • Scripture of Defiance: The next successful parry refunds resolve
    • Familiarity 3: Grants 2 bars of Resolve
  • Scripture of Despair: Your next successful parry does additional damage
    • Familiarity 3: Magnifies the damage further
  • Scripture of Euphoria: Next parry grants health on success
    • Familiarity 3: Gain more health on a successful parry
  • Scripture of Repent: Your next successful parry sets the target on fire
    • Familiarity 3: Increases the duration and damage of the fire
  • Simple Lute: Sit down a lure nearby enemies with a jaunty tune
    • Familiarity 10: Playing your lute with such grace extends the radius of the enemy lure—the audacity of it all.
  • Spectral Token: Being struck while Harden is active boosts damage for your next attack
    • Familiarity 10: Damage increases further
  • Superior Moonshine: Grants a large amount of Resolve
    • Familiarity 3: Grants 4 bars of Resolve
  • Tainted Nectar: Ejects you from your current Shell without expending a regain token
    • Familiarity 2: Gain a single drop of Tar
  • Tarspore: Deals 40 poison damage over 16 seconds
    • Familiarity 2: Gain immunity to poison for two minutes
  • Untarnished Mask: Recall back to Sester Genessa without expending Glimpses
    • Familiarity 2: Gain one bar of Resolve on use
  • Weltcap: Regenerates 40 health over 60 seconds
    • Familiarity 10: You heal the same amount of health in a much shorter span.

Tar Items

Technically a type of consumable, Tar items give Tar, Mortal Shell's version of souls. Basically, it's the catch-all currency for upgrading Shells and abilities, as well as for trading. You'll need lots of it for the late game upgrades, too, so get as many of these as you can.

  • Remnant of Tar: Grants 80 Tar
    • Familiarity 6: Grants 100 Tar
  • Congealed Tar: Grants 150 Tar
    • Familiarity 5: Gain 200 Tar
  • Bag of Tar: Grants 300 Tar
    • Familiarity 4: Extract 375 Tar
  • Slurry of Tar: Gain 500 Tar when used
    • Familiarity 3: Grants 600 Tar
  • Unguent Tar: Gain 750 Tar when used
    • Familiarity 3: Extract 850 Tar
  • Extracted Tar: Gain 1,300 Tar. 
    • No Familiarity bonus.
  • Nascent Tar: Gain 2,500 Tar
    • No Familiarity bonus.

Unlimited Use Items

As with other examples, Unlimted Use items never expire. Use them as many times as you want without cost or caution. Unless you want to lose Glimpses. Then exercise caution.

  • Disciple's Rag: Switch your weapon to the Smouldering Mace, as long as it's not currently equipped
    • No Familiarity bonus
  • Impervious Lute: Lute is life, and you can play it forever. Never stop playing lute. It is everything.
    • Familiarity 10: You are the best musician. Keep playing lute.
  • Martyr's Shawl: Summon the Martyr's Blade to your hands, so long as you aren't using it.
    • No Familiarity bonus
  • Ornate Mask: Allows travel between instances of Sester Genessa
    • Familiarity 4: Increases Tar gains for one minute
  • Sester's Blessing: Summon the Hammer and Chisel, as long as it isn't currently in your hands
    • No Familiarity bonus
  • Tarnished Mask: Return to the last Sester Genessa you awakened at the cost of all of your Glimpses.
    • Familiarity 2: Lose only half of your Glimpses per use
  • Tattered Vestment: Summon the Hallowed Sword to your hands, so long as you aren't currently using it
    • No Familiarity bonus

Those are the majority of the items in Mortal Shell and what Familiarity will do for them. For more tips, head over to our Mortal Shell guides page. Oh, and play the lute. Never stop.

Mortal Shell: How to Parry — A Complete Guide Tue, 18 Aug 2020 09:18:16 -0400 John Schutt

In Mortal Shell, mastering how to parry is integral. And understanding the various powers that come with the ability will all but trivialize almost any enemy or boss encounter. All it takes to parry is timing and Resolve, a meter you build up through hitting enemies and successfully landing unaugmented (unempowered) parries. 

Deflecting attacks is both art and science in any game, especially a Souls-like. In Mortal Shell, you'll need to relearn a lot of what you know about the parry (it's not like the system found in Sekiro or even Dark Souls), and this guide will give you the tools to crack this game wide open.

But first, we'll show you how to get the item that actually lets you learn the skill.

How to Find the Tarnished Seal

Tiel, the Acolyte in thief's armor holding an axe behind him and a talisman in front of his face in a misty swamp.

You won't be able to parry when you first set foot in Fallgrim, the first area of Mortal Shell. To be able to parry, you need the Tarnished Seal, which you pick up in Fallgrim Tower next to the Dark Father.

Fallgrim Tower is hard to miss. As you exit the starting area where you find your first shell, there will be a short cutscene zooming in on the tower. It's up and to the left of the exit from the starting area.

Once you regain control of your character, go straight through the pair of trees ahead of you. Follow the path around and to your left. You'll see an open door emitting glowing orange light. Inside you'll find Sester GenessaMortal Shell's talking bonfire stand-in and your respawn point. 

In the innermost chamber of the Tower is a large creature identified only as the Old Prisoner. Walk up the stairs to your right, and you'll see a large red token holding a chain in place. This is the Tarnished Seal. Pick it up.

How to Parry in Mortal Shell: The Basics

Tiel in thief's armor facing a red, glowing item chained to brass against a cliff.

Now that you have the Tarnished Seal, you have access to the standard parry and the Empowered Healing parry.

All you'll need for the standard parry is good timing. Press "L1" on PS4 or "LB" on Xbox One/PC. The Empowered Healing Parry works the same way, except you'll need one bar of Resolve to activate it.

Each of the Shells in the game has a different resolve value:

  • Tiel, The Acolyte: 2 bars of Resolve
  • Harros, The Vassal and Solomon, The Scholar: 5 bars of Resolve
  • Eredrim, The Venerable: 3 bars of Resolve

Parrying without Resolve reduces your active parry frames by what feels like roughly half, so each attempt will carry a much higher risk.

Empowered parries, the ones that consume Resolve, will cause a big red dot to appear on the enemy's chest.

Harros, the Vassal knight shell using an empowered parry against an enemy with a red dot on its chest.

Precision isn't necessarily the name of the game here. Your character takes about half a second to pull the Tarnished Seal off their back, so you need to account for that amount of time when making the input. 

In practical terms, rather than parrying at the last possible second like in Dark Souls, parry when the enemy is mid-swing or as they're winding up.

Watch for a red flash and listen for a high pitched sound from your Seal, however. These indicate an unparryable attack, so dodge these.

Attacks you can counter almost always have some longer start-up animation, especially the safe ones. Don't hesitate to use the Harden ability if you aren't comfortable with your timing.

Empowered Parry Abilities

Harros, the Vassal using the crystalline parry & harden skill on an enemy, turning them to white crystal, in Fallgrim swamp.

As you beat certain bosses throughout the game, you'll come across Sacred Gland items. Turning these in to the Old Prisoner will unlock additional empowered parry abilities. The symbol next to your health and stamina bars will let you know which of these is currently equipped. 

There are three additional types: 

  • The Knotted Gland: Knotted Empowered Riposte. You obtain the Knotted Gland in the Shifting Archives. This ability, denoted by a golden glowing rune symbol, throws your enemy into the air and slows time for them, allowing you to get more hits in safely.

  • Inflamed Gland: Inflamed Empowered Riposte. Denoted by a gland symbol and obtained in the Sanctum of Flame, the Inflamed Parry has the ability to attach a glowing larva to the enemy, which explodes shortly after being attached. The explosion deals impressive damage and if used in a group will spread that damage in a large area of effect.

  • The Crystalline Gland: Crystalline Empowered Riposte. Crystalline parries are denoted by a bright white human-looking symbol. Found deep in the icy Martyr's Altar, Crystalline parries cause your character to cast aside their shell and hit the enemy from all sides for a brief period, dealing large burst damage.
The Best Parry Ability in Mortal Shell

A knight shell using inflamed riposte with a longsword while lunging on a large armored enemy in a swampy grove.

Ultimately which parry ability you use most will come down to personal preference, skill level, and risk aversion.

The safest option will always be the healing parry, as it does exactly what you expect of it: it heals you. If you have enough Resolve and you know the timing, you won't really have to use a healing item: just parry. 

The Inflamed Riposte is good for use in groups, though it's application in boss fights is a little limited. 

Both the Crystalline and Knotted Ripostes are great for damage, but which you use will depend on how you want to deal damage.

If you want what amounts to free damage without having to think too hard, go with Crystalline. One button press leads to massive damage, though it's static: it will always do a set amount of damage.

If you'd prefer to control your damage yourself, go with the Knotted Parry. Your attack speed and efficiency rule here, and with the right setup, you can potentially deal even greater damage than any of the other abilities. 

That's pretty much it on how to parry in Mortal Shell. Without shields, it comes down to relearning timings, practicing those timings, getting hit and dying, then trying again. There is some awesome empowerment to augment your damage or magnet yourself out of a bad situation, so give them all a try. Check out our Mortal Shell hub for more guides, tips, and tricks. 

Mortal Shell Guide: How to Upgrade Weapons Tue, 18 Aug 2020 13:16:21 -0400 JosephYaden

Mortal Shell holds many secrets. Like the renowned Souls games, this Souls-like is tricky in that it doesn't give you much information at all. Learning how to parry, for example, requires a lot of trial and error. Figuring out how to upgrade your weapons can be just as confusing.

After all, you'll likely need as many upgrades as you can get in order to beat this tough-as-nails RPG, and Mortal Shell's cryptic messaging doesn't help. In this guide, we'll show you what you'll need to know to modify your swords and other gear to make sure they're as useful as possible. 

How to Upgrade Weapons and Gear

A workbench menu overlaid on a knight and anvil showing various weapon, armor, and gear upgrades in square boxes.

Mortal Shell doesn't explicitly tell you how to upgrade your weapons, but if you've stumbled upon the first upgrade area with Sester Genessa on the bottom floor in Fallgrim Outskirts you probably know where the Workbench is located.

If not, you'll need to progress through the first area of the game until you reach the tall tower that will serve as a hub for you in this section. It's effectively like a Bonfire from the Souls games, as it includes a way to upgrade your Shell and weapons, along with a nifty shop and a couple of NPCs. 

You'll find the first Workbench on the floor above the initial Sester you run into. Here, you'll come across a number of different upgrades you can delve into, all of which require certain items depending on what you want to do.

The thing to keep in mind is that you'll find Anvils at the start of each temple, so you don't always have to double back to the one in Fallgrim Outskirts. 

The main thing to know is that you'll need to find the items that pertain to each upgrade, and they work differently than they do in the Souls games. Instead of being random drops from enemies, the upgrade materials in Mortal Shell are found in fixed locations, similar to the way Estus Flask upgrades work in Dark Souls. 

Some enhancements will give you special finisher moves, while others, like the strength upgrade, will add to a weapon's damage output. To increase the damage, you'll need to find Quenching Acid, which can be found in chests throughout the world.

Where to Find Quenching Acid

The first Quenching Acid is in the Fallgrim Outskirts area, not far from the Sester. Take the long tunnel to the left of the Sester, which leads to a crawlspace. Crawl through, and take a left down the hill, and when you get to the bottom, take a sharp right down another hill.

Keep following this narrow path, and you'll run right into a lute player, with a Weltcap on the right. Make sure you grab the Weltcap if you need it and wrap around to the left, towards the little camp. Here, in a chest, you'll find the first Quenching Acid. 

This area is right in front of the giant burning landmark that looks like bull horns. You can't miss this area, as it's on the way to the next section in the game. Open the chest and head back to the Workbench to upgrade your damage output.

Other Ways to Upgrade Weapons

A wheel of interconnected circles showing abilities for Harros, the Vassal.

The nice thing is that Mortal Shell gives you a few different ways to upgrade your gear, so you don't have to only focus on finding items throughout the world.

For starters, you can actually purchase a handful of the upgrade materials you'll need from Vlas, who is located at the top of the tower mentioned above — aptly named Fallgrim Tower.

He'll sell you various items, including Tools for 8,000 and Quenching Acid for 2,500 Tar. You can buy two of them from him, so you'll have 3 Quenching Acid very early. We're currently working on a full Quenching Acid locations guide, which we'll share here once it's completed.

The other thing you'll want to remember is the ability to upgrade with the Sesters. Many of these upgrades impact your Shell, but some will also affect your weapons, so make sure you take a look at them to see what they offer.

You'll find a Sester at the beginning of each temple, along with more further in, so you'll have multiple opportunities to upgrade.

In short, look out for upgrade items like Quenching Acid, and keep an eye on your Tar so you can upgrade with Sesters, or buy items from Vlas and you'll be in good shape!

With all that in mind, you should have everything you need to know about upgrading your weapons in Mortal Shell. For more tips and guides on the latest Souls-like, such as how to farm Glimpses, be sure to head over to the game's primary guides page here!

Mortal Shell Review: Stepping Out of the Shadows Mon, 17 Aug 2020 11:01:04 -0400 John Schutt

Streamlined, slick, soundly designed, Mortal Shell is an enjoyable take on the Souls-like genre, even if it is a bit short. It’s by no means perfect, nor does it have the volume of content or systems found in the larger-budget entries, but I found myself absorbed by the mysteries it leaves unanswered and some of the worlds on offer.

Both its greatest strengths and weaknesses come from its reliance on the template laid down by FromSoftware. Some of the ways Mortal Shell iterates on that formula are to its detriment as well. Many of its characters lack any kind of robust backstory, it’s various environments act only as arenas, and some of the enemy mechanics are more frustrating than they are elegant.

That said, the combat, shell system, and boss fights make up for some of Mortal Shell’s weaker elements. There are no extremes here: the “bad” doesn’t come close to dealbreaker-status, and the good is plenty enjoyable without shattering expectations. It’s a game made with love that has some rough edges, but it will scratch every Souls-like itch you have.

Mortal Shell Review: Stepping Out of the Shadows

Mortal Shell’s shell system, a kind of static, class-based mechanic, is an ingenious way to avoid balancing a complex RPG while still offering a satisfactory progression experience with enough depth to last dozens of hours.

There are no “stats” in the traditional sense. Each of the five shells has set health, defense, and stamina values that, even in NG+, can’t be altered. Instead, you upgrade each shell with a set number of upgrades that grant passive and active abilities keyed to the theme of the shell itself.

Tiel, the Acolyte, the game's thief-looking shell, has a large stamina bar, but low defense, and their skills are built around speed, poison, and damage mitigation. The heavily armored cleric, on the other hand, has an enormous health bar but minimal stamina. Its upgrades focus on tanking hits and dealing massive damage.

With each of the four shells geared toward a particular playstyle, and all four of the equipable weapons eating your stamina for dinner, every action takes additional forethought. Strategy is paramount, no matter how you want to tackle the game.

Resource management also plays a vital role in how you progress, as upgrade materials are more limited than in other similar games, and farming them before the end-game is almost impossible. You’ll want to decide which weapon you want to play early and stick with it.

Leveling your shell is expensive, as well. There are two experience types in Mortal Shell — Tar and Glimpses — and you’ll need a lot of both to unlock even a few of the "cheaper" abilities. Enemies don’t drop much of either, bosses included. You’ll be reliant on consumable items for them. By game’s end, you’ll probably have enough to fully upgrade a single shell and most of one weapon.

This design philosophy of Mortal Shell favors mastery and specialization over an all or nothing approach. In a game like Dark Souls, by mid-game, you can use almost anything with some degree of efficacy, though favoring a single stat over others usually leads to better damage, for example. In Mortal Shell, unless you want to handicap yourself severely, you must specialize and “git gud” with a single kit.

It’s a satisfying way to play because when you reach the final boss, you know how to approach every attack and deal with every mechanic. There will be no enemy in the game you cannot handily defeat with enough patience and proper use of your shell’s abilities. The reward structure here isn’t so much the weapons or the experience, but it is instead the knowledge that nothing truly threatens you.

That sense of mastery extends to the boss fights, as like some of the better mainline Dark Souls bosses, once you know how they work, you can bully them into submission again and again. Even in NG+, where everything hits harder and has more HP, it won’t take you long to completely dominate whichever boss you encounter.

There are plenty of enemies in Mortal Shell that I don’t like for their attack patterns or no-frame startups, but all of the bosses in the game made me feel powerful for defeating them.

Understand The Lesser

One of the defining features of any of the Souls games is the mystery and majesty of its world. The lore and story of Lordran are almost as important as the quality of Dark Souls' bosses and the enjoyment of the game's combat. It’s easy to find yourself drowning in FromSoftware’s universes, buried beneath a mountain of ancient secrets and forbidden knowledge.

Mortal Shell's world lacks much of that depth and mystery. The game is more than happy to tell you exactly what’s going on, what that strange thing in the distance means, and what you should think about certain situations.

The game's environmental storytelling is also less than stellar. A single location in Lordran tells the story of its inhabitants, its history, and enlarges the world in some key way. None of the areas in Mortal Shell do so with the same aplomb. The various levels serve only to explore new visual designs and to change how each encounter runs.

Not that area aesthetics aren’t appealing, because they are, but I would have preferred there to be more interconnection between the various locales to show that the world is more than a collection of levels.

The level design is also based almost entirely around hallways and single routes of progress. There are no shortcuts, no areas to double back to, and enemy density is inconsistent.

The various areas could play home to new enemy designs, but variety is an issue as well. Most boil down to “thing with sword/mace,” and even when you do get something more interesting, it seems to come out of nowhere and only tangentially fits the environment.

It’s a shame, too. I loved almost all of the boss fights in Mortal Shell, and while their arenas played some roll in the story, where they came from always eluded me. There was only one real exception to this rule, and it was probably my favorite fight out of all of them. Surrounded by ice and having a name based around the game’s dark religious themes, I understood, to some degree, who he was and what he represented.

The same could not be said for some of the other important characters you meet. One of them seems to serve a single gameplay purpose, the other is a quest endpoint, and a third is a bonfire stand-in whose only other job is delivering way too much exposition.

Who they are or what they want in the world is either left completely vague or is entirely predictable, and in none of their cases do I feel any emotional attachment to them. By the end of Dark Souls, I am both angry with and hold pity for the shell of man Gwyn has become. Mortal Shell’s final boss, on the other hand? Well, you can discover for yourself.

Mortal Shell Review — The Bottom Line

  • Strong combat and enjoyable boss fights
  • Elegant, streamlined progression system
  • A mysterious world that begs for expansion
  • Flat, uninteresting narrative
  • Middling level design
  • Lacking enemy variety and uninspired designs

Where it’s map design, enemy variety, and narrative falter, Mortal Shell makes up for it with satisfying combat and streamlined progression systems. It also offers plenty of character in its boss fights and enough visual style and solid aesthetic choices to build a believable, if somewhat rote, world.

There is some missed potential, but the game has a lot of heart, and if it sees any additional content in the future, there’s a solid foundation to build on. A few more shells, a couple of new areas and bosses, and some adjustment to the level design to add shortcuts and interconnectedness, and Mortal Shell would become something exceptional.

As it is, this is an impressive first outing by an otherwise untested team. Though it’s on the smaller side and unfortunately leans into some of its rougher edges, there’s nothing here that acts as a deal-breaker.

Souls veterans will find a tasty snack lasting about 15-20 hours, and newcomers will be challenged in ways they’re not ready for. To me, that’s all a solid Souls-like can hope to offer: a game that takes time to learn, but once mastered, provides both power fantasy and the pure elation of victory over a dying world.

[Note: A copy of Mortal Shell was provided by Cold Symmetry for the purposes of this review.]

Mortal Shell Guide: How to Get and Farm Glimpses Tue, 18 Aug 2020 10:03:36 -0400 John Schutt

Glimpses are an experience item in Mortal Shell, and you'll need plenty of them if you want to unlock every ability for each of the five Shells. However, there's also a more abstract use for Glimpses that somewhat changes up the game. 

Think of Glimpses like Humanity from Dark Souls or Insight from Bloodborne. Though they serve a slightly different purpose, they coexist beside the standard experience points you'll be collecting from monsters and the like, this time called Tar.

This guide will tell you all about Glimpses, including:

  • What they are and how you get them
  • The different types of Glimpses and their values
  • How to farm Glimpses (and "game" the system)

What Are Glimpses and How Do You Get Them?

As stated, Glimpses are a type of experience in Mortal Shell. Your primary source — Tar, this game's version of souls — is much easier to come by. You can farm Tar by killing enemies over and over and collecting the various Tar consumables throughout the world. There are quite a few, so the resource is relatively easy to find.

Glimpses are almost solely gained from Glimpse items, which are rarer. If you somehow land on a trove of them, though, they're probably not worth the trouble. Most Glimpse items only give you a few Glimpses of experience.

The higher-value Glimpse items come from boss fights or in other dangerous areas surrounded by fierce enemies. In other words, to unlock your Shell's potential, you'll have to deal with some of the most powerful denizens of Fallgrim and its surroundings.

Enemies have a low chance of dropping low- to mid-value Glimpse items, but the odds aren't in your favor for the good stuff. Bosses also provide a set number of Glimpses, but not as much as the number found in their items.

The Different Types of Glimpses

Mortal Shell inventory screen with glimpses, some looking like sparks others flames, with armored knight shell to the right.

Glimpse consumables all have a set value. At higher familiarity, which you gain simply by using an item a set number of times, several Glimpse items grant additional experience Glimpses. 

  • Glimpse of Futility: 1 or 2 Glimpses
    • Familiarity 10 required for more
  • Glimpse of Wisdom: 2 or 3 Glimpses
    • Familiarity 8 required
  • Glimpse of Affection: 4 or 5 Glimpses
    • Familiarity 4 required
  • Glimpse of Hope: 6 or 7 Glimpses
    • Familiarity 6 required

The remaining Glimpse items are only obtainable by defeating bosses or succeeding in other high-risk scenarios — the rewards are equal to the danger.

  • Glimpse of Reverie: 15 Glimpses
    • Found by defeating Hadern before reaching Fallgrim
  • Glimpse of Insignificance: 15 Glimpses
    • Found in the Martyr's Altar
  • Glimpse of Truth: 15 Glimpses
    • Found at the end of the game
  • Glimpse of Annihilation: 15 Glimpses
    • Found in the Sanctum of Flame
  • Glimpse of Oblivion: 15 Glimpses
    • Found in the Shifting Archives
  • Glimpse of Cowardice: 10 Glimpses
    • Found just before entering the Shifting Archives; you will need the Eredrim, the Venerable Shell
  • Glimpse of Courage: 10 Glimpses
    • Found in a chest in Fallgrim on the way to the Abandoned Chamber catacombs. Will need the Mist active
  • Glimpse of Disdain: 22 Glimpses
    • Found at the top of the Dim Gate in a torch in the large open hallway

How to Farm Glimpses

Harros, the Vassal shell knight standing in front of a frog chest against a cliff near a lit brazier.

Once you obtain your first Sacred Gland, Fallgrim will be covered in a dark, green mist. Enemies will become vampiric, ghoul-like creatures, and the toad-shaped chests will unlock. 

These chests contain rare loot, including upgrade materials and, important for our purposes here, higher-value Glimpse items. Normally, the Mist only appears once you have a Sacred Gland in your possession, but there is a way to spawn it at your leisure and farm the frog-shaped chests whenever you like.  


Eredrim, the Venerable shell holding a fiery spear in castle ruins standing in front of the robed Thestus statue.

Meet Thestus, a creepy priest-like figure who, for the low cost of a single Glimpse, can return the Mist to Fallgrim. For a second Glimpse, he will remove it.

He's in Fallgrim Tower, in the second-floor antechamber with the weapon rack and workbench outside where the Old Prisoner lives.

The Mist changes some enemies into Grisha boss monsters, which drop 7 Glimpses when defeated. Plus, various Frog Chests scattered about have Glimpse items inside them, and that loot respawns when the Mist returns. So long as you aren't carrying a Sacred Gland, Thestus can call and dissipate the Mist whenever you'd like him to, making farming a breeze.

As long as you're okay with the ghoul monsters everywhere.

And that's about all you need to know without Glimpses, with as few spoilers as possible. Check out our review of Mortal Shell if you haven't yet, and stay tuned to our game hub for more.

Mortal Shell's Epic Release Date Trailer Unveils New Shell, Ballistazooka Wed, 05 Aug 2020 11:13:26 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Steel yourselves, Foundlings: Mortal Shell is releasing very soon. The hard-as-nails Souls-like will make its way to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC (via Epic Games) on August 18. 

The game's brand new release trailer, which you can see above, is all killer and no filler. For some fans, it provides perhaps the best look at Mortal Shell to date, including a glimpse at the ludicrously named (but awesome) Ballistazooka.

It's also the first time fans have seen Solomon, one of the game's four shells, who will take up arms against the rotting darkness alongside Harros, The Vassal; Tiel, The Acolyte; and Eredrim, The Venerable. 

Though Mortal Shell resembles a certain game from a certain developer, it does have "a soul of its own," according to John Schutt, who was able to go hands-on with the recent PC beta.

Mortal Shell wears its Dark Souls inspiration on its sleeve but modifies and iterates on the formula in ways no other title has yet attempted.

This game is an interesting amalgamation of Souls combat and systems, and traditional gothic imagery and themes bound up in a gritty fantasy world. It's at times frustrating, obtuse, and overwrought, and at others, it's a thing of beauty — intuitive and demanding and mysterious.

Sounds like my cup of tea. 

Mortal Shell will cost $29.99 at launch and take "around 20 hours to complete," per developer Cold Symmetry. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Mortal Shell, including our review and a slate of walkthroughs and guides!

Mortal Shell Beta Impressions: A Soul of its Own Tue, 07 Jul 2020 12:15:29 -0400 John Schutt

Mortal Shell wears its Dark Souls inspiration on its sleeve but modifies and iterates on the formula in ways no other title has yet attempted.

This game is an interesting amalgamation of Souls combat and systems, and traditional gothic imagery and themes bound up in a gritty fantasy world. It's at times frustrating, obtuse, and overwrought, and at others, it's a thing of beauty — intuitive and demanding and mysterious.

Here are my impressions from the recent open PC beta.

Solid Systems

Mortal Shell's gameplay both is and isn't typical Souls-like fair. You spawn at a set location, fight until an enemy surprises you to death, come back to your lost tar (read: souls), and repeat until you reach the game's stand-in for bonfires. Dodge rolling is still one of your best defensive options, and your attacks are mixes of light and heavy variants. 

On the other hand, there is no option to equip a shield. Spamming attacks doesn't stun-lock every enemy in the game. Stamina is always in limited supply. And you have one chance to come back after death but at great risk to yourself. 

There's more Bloodborne and Sekiro DNA in Mortal Shell than there is Dark Souls. You're incentivized to be aggressive, as you'll be overwhelmed if you don't take the fight to your enemies.

Unlike something like Sekiro, however, combat felt heavy. Even the weakest enemies take more than a few hits to take down, and recovery from attacks was slow. There also appeared to be an optimal timing for each swing of the weapon. Sometimes I would attack quickly and with purpose, other times, the game felt unresponsive to my inputs.

Enemy feedback was a little lacking, too. The hitstun you expect out of a greatsword hit wasn't there, and some enemies didn't recoil at all, as if the weapon went clean through them. For that reason, even though I wanted to be aggressive, I had to be cautious with how I engaged lest I took two thumps on the head. 

Another reason to measure your aggression in the Mortal Shell beta was the lack of resources.  There were almost no healing items, and the ones I did find healed slowly over time, meaning if I went in too hard, I'd find myself needing to retreat to wait for my health to regenerate. 

Instead of an Estus Flask, Mortal Shell's biggest source of health is its parry. So long as you have a bar of Resolve, a meter you fill by dealing damage and killing enemies, a successful parry will instantly refill about a quarter of your health. Parrying without Resolve will send your enemies reeling, but won't give you anything but a free hit or two.

If there was no opportunity for escape, there is a panic button built into Mortal Shell: harden.

Your body becomes stone for a few seconds, interrupting any animation you're in and staggering most enemies when they hit your hardened flesh. It's not something you can rely on every time, as the ability's cooldown increased based on how long you remained in a hardened state. 

Dying was particularly punishing in the beta, as well.

There were only two respawn points: one at the beginning and one at the entrance of the second area. You could do what most Souls players do once they have a handle on the enemies — run past everything — but if you choose to fight, be aware that one mistake is all it takes to send you straight back to the starting block.

Your Shell

There's don't appear to be any stats or character customization in Mortal Shell. Instead, you play as a featureless, faceless thing that inhabits the corpses of warriors long past. These become the "mortal shell" you inhabit between deaths. 

We could try out two shells in the beta: a fully armored knight with a greatsword and a thief-looking fellow with a hook and dagger.

The greatsword was deceptively short, and I was consistently running out of stamina with the hook and dagger. Though that was due in large part to my need to play well than anything else. You may find that your methods are different.

You could swap between shells and weapons at the beginning of the second area: a crypt with poison-clawed ghouls and undead swordsmen. In the first area, a forested ruin, you started as the knight, though you could come back as the roguish type if you chose to.

Instead of stats, each shell had a tree of upgrades you can spend tar and Glimpses on, the latter being a much rarer consumable not immediately lost on death. Most upgrades were locked in the beta, but the ones we could see were quite strong, with a cost to match. 

I mentioned earlier that you had two chances to succeed per life, and that's possible because of the shells.

When you "die" the first time, your blank slate character is flung from the shell it's in with a tiny health bar and limited movement options. You must make it back to your shell to get combat-ready again.

You come back at full health if you make it back to your shell, but it's very likely surrounded by the enemies that killed you. If you die again, it sticks and you get sent back to respawn and must toil again.

Final Notes

There wasn't much I didn't like in the Mortal Shell beta, but I was surprised by how small each of the two areas felt.

There was only one (and well-executed) boss fight. If I'd learned the game's quirks faster, I don't think it would have taken my much more than an hour to complete. That's including fighting every enemy in both areas and beating said boss.

There was a nice enemy variety, and what little I could see of an inaccessible snow area looked good, as well. 

I did think the controls could be a little more responsive, and the game could do with a bit more color generally. I'm also concerned that there won't be much in the way of build variety, as there was no obvious way to continue upgrading your shell past a certain point, and each shell came with its own armor that seemed aesthetic only. However, we will see once the game actually releases.

The last thing I want to mention, is that the level design reminded me more of Nioh than a traditional Dark Souls game. There wasn't much verticality to be had in Mortal Shell, though there were plenty of death pits that went straight down.

The playable space was flat for the most part. I felt like I was progressing forward no matter where I went, but part of the charm of a Dark Souls game is the movement up and down, either into the skies or the depths of the earth. This beta had neither, and that is something I'd very much like to see different in the full game.

I'm excited to try Mortal Shell when it releases later this year, despite a few reservations. We'll see if there's more to the game than the core mechanics and designs we saw in the short time we've had with it so far.