Master Difficulty = Huge spike

228 posts in this topic

First of all, what's with the moaning about this game not having NG+?! It doesn't make this game bad, or 'unplayable'. Having all abilities from the start breaks the story progression, and opens up too many strategies otherwise gated behind the narrative. [It's too tempting, but 'git gud, scrub' applies]

The graphics hide a dark story about loss, death, powerlessness, anger, misunderstanding, and more subjects you wouldn't expect from such a pretty and colorful game. Kena herself has a more somber background than I initially thought. Would you hate a Souls game if its setting was in a saturated, brightly lit Disney-inspired realm?


For those who complained about the huge difficulty spike: just admit you played on Story Mode (easy), not on Spirit Guide (normal) or Expert Spirit Guide (hard). Only on the easiest difficulty does your courage (Rot ability gauge) fill up automatically. In none of the other settings it does this. Normal takes away auto-fill, hard takes away "gain on damage received". On Master they added "lowers gauge on damage received".

Playing on Normal versus Easy is a world of difference in terms of damage received (and dealt). It could easily be a factor 5 difference. That means you can simply face-tank anything bosses throw at you and out DPS them with raw numbers. You'll have learned nothing during your encounters.


On Master you're supposed to be avoiding damage as much as possible. Your previous run should have taught you the basics of combat, of dodging, parrying, boss patterns and enemy combos. Yeah, you'll fail encounters, yes you'll have to retry the bosses more often than before. Or you can apply the knowledge you got from the first (normal or hard) playthrough and beat these opponents faster than you'd expect.

I'm currently playing through on Master and have arrived at the second major boss. I've beaten all the other ones with some struggling, and discovered more strategies that made some of them absolute cake walks. You say you hate the little guys? I like them, they're super easy to parry and instantly give you a Rot Point to use against the main boss. Abuse this!


The Shrine Guardian was an eye opener to the potential of the Rot Hammer (didn't much use it on Normal) and after watching back my footage, the damage output is phenomenal. Using the little guys to gain Rot Points was something started to figure out late in the last attempt. It makes such a difference!

Stone Guardian trouble? Use the little guys and Rot Hammer to ignore his armor. Want to melee him during openings? Just bomb off one leg: They're damageable once you blast off the stones. Nobody said you need to take off all the armor pieces!

Like some have said, heavy attacks can and will interrupt many bosses (including the Mage's healing ability) and almost every non-boss. I've also noticed that hitting some charging bosses with a bomb will instantly detonate it, interrupt the attack and even create an opening for counter-attacks.

Some bosses took multiple tries on Normal, but I managed to beat the Vine Knight in one try. I knew the moves, the openings, the strategies that worked on Normal can be applied on Master. There's just less room for error regarding damage received. You'll have to be more careful and take your time.


Like I said, I have yet to beat the story on Master, but it is definitely not the nightmare people are saying it is. Give it a try yourself.


As to why the advice for a 100% non-Master run: some Cursed Chests have time limits on them, and they don't change on higher difficulties. Instead it becomes a DPS check rather than just an encounter with a special rule (time limit, no-hits, beat mini-boss). It also alleviates the stress of searching for anything other than Rot and Meditation spots on Master difficulty. Extra Rot give more special attack points during combat, while meditation give more health. Know where they are will significantly make the rest of the encounters easier; not by much, but they matter!

I plan to get 100% on Master after clearing the story to see if (with all abilities) the Village trio chests are easier to do, and the 15-kills-in-60-seconds at the Village Heart is doable (I used Rot Arrows on Normal to make short work of 'em). I couldn't spare the points yet: extra bomb + quick draw took priority.



Story Mode is a cakewalk, Normal is tough, Master is doable.


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It's a pretty big spike from Expert to Master. That's the order I did them in. It's not an unexpected spike but it's definitely big.


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On 7/14/2022 at 5:35 PM, Shikotei-kun said:

Story Mode is a cakewalk, Normal is tough, Master is doable.

Agreed. Use your rots every chance you get, take advantage of your skills, & after some practice, you can do it. I’m not the best at parrying & make plenty of mistakes. Still, master is challenging but not impossible. Proof is below. The two links are for beating Toshi & Rot God on master. 



Edited by KingIndominus

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