This guide will walk you through the best way to earn all achievements (including videos for the trickier bits), how to beat bosses, and a full walkthrough of Pacifist mode. The guide is cross-referenced so you can use it for both of your runs to optimise time, or you can pick & choose as required.
As ever with Metroidvanias, this game is open-ended so I recommend you get stuck in and see what you can discover 😊 However, you may want to check out the section on ‘Missable Achievements’ first so you can watch out for opportunities on your way through.
Warning:Spoilers ahead! I’ll make modest use of spoiler tags in the early sections but you have been warned.
Achievements – Story
These achievements are unmissable in your first playthrough.
Finish the first chapter
Runs from the beginning through to when you leave the Grand Library, having collected the Yellow Gemstone and talked to Saga again.
Finish the second chapter
Concludes once you leave the Grand Library (again), this time having been given the Incantation of Umbra.
Finish the third chapter
The final chapter wraps after you beat Vicar in the Arcane Halls
Defeat Imprisoned King
A fairly straight-forward battle in Rose Castle. Stay on or around the middle platform whilst he fires projectiles & flies overhead – once he reaches the far side jump back across and start getting hits in while he lowers & subsequently rests on the ground.
Note it’s also possible to skip the fight until later – getting the Yellow Gemstone & upgrading twice (11 Orbs total) trivialises the fight to point of a few seconds. To skip, from the warp point before the boss, descend the ladder and head back over the spikes – there’s a secret pa*sage in the wall to the right. On the next screen, there’s another pa*sage to the lower right – from here you can block/bubble up, solve the puzzle to get the Petal and finally climb the ladder to the exit to Kloki’s Bridge.
Saving Imprisoned King for later can also be beneficial for the Slick Moves and/or Idle Hands achievements – see the ‘Achievements – Missable’ section below.
Defeat Sir Pent
Usually the 2nd boss, fought in Sylvan Temple. The only tricky thing about this fight is keeping an eye on your air supply – I usually stay on the middle block so you’re never too far away. You can attack when he dashes across the screen, which is both a free hit and prevents him from damaging you. Pay attention to which hole he disappears into, and be ready to hit him when he re-surfaces.
Defeat Desmond Grim
Usually the 3rd/4th boss, fought in Abandoned Ruins. There are two phases to this fight – the second phase triggers when he hits half health and warps the stage to the ‘past’, which makes the spike pit larger and activate an occasional trio of shurikens along the track in the backwall. Given the shurikens always travel right to left, you should stick to the left side of the spikes to give more reaction time.
You can only hit Desmond Grim when he opens his eyes. Use a bubble to each the left platform, then patiently dodge his projectiles and time your jumps onto the crumbling platform to hit his eye when it opens. Use dash to get back to safety, or commit fully to the jump and land on the bottom crumbling platform (be quick!).
Defeat Queen Eydie
The other of the 3rd/4th bosses in all likelihood, fought in Eydie’s Keep. As with Desmond Grim, you can only hit her in the eye when it’s open, however, given it’s a far bigger target and she keeps it open a lot more, it’s usually an easier fight. I highly recommend the first two Yellow Gemstone upgrades for this fight – fire point-blank when she closes in, immediately followed by a regular attack, to inflict 4 HP of damage. She won’t last long!
Honestly, I would ignore the gravity pads altogether unless you really need to conserve health by dodging her dashing attacks – going upside down will only open you up to risk from confusion and insta-death spikes.
Defeat all Guardians
There are 3 Guardians, located in Valley of Reprisal, Central Alwa and Eastern Highlands. In a normal playthrough they must be killed to deactivate the pink forcefield, as the areas they block are mandatory to progression. They have a simple attack pattern of launching projectiles into the air, which fall back down on straight paths.
Note: Guardians do not count as bosses for achievements that care about this.
Finish the game
After finishing Chapter III you’ll be warped to a small playable epilogue – proceed through this area (talking to the characters if you wish) and approach Saga to launch the credits & complete the game.
Achievements – Missable
These achievements have a specific requirement that must be fulfilled at a certain time/place(s), and can be permanently missed on a playthrough.
That’s Not Right
Upon waking up, immediately jump into the water
If you’re anything like me this will be the first achievement you get… I did it in Alwa’s Awakening too, which works out even worse yet I didn’t learn. Missable if you leave the first screen to the right, but you can simply start a new slot anytime and get it right away.
Reunite a father with his son
Rescue Lincoln in Sylvan Temple, and then talk to him back at his house in Boyd’s Farm. In order to do this, you must find two buttons to open the two doors holding him in, and then talk to him, before hitting any of the save points on either the same vertical level as Lincoln or above.
WARNING: If you activate a save point to raise the water level before releasing and talking to him, he will drown and the game will immediately lock it in with a save, making the achievement impossible on that run!
Despite the [well deserved] severity of that warning, I’ll now completely contradict myself and suggest that you actually do let him drown on your first run…! Why? Because this way, you can enjoy completely different dialogue & events by asking Trine the Necromancer in Central Alwa to resurrect him, allowing you to still obtain 100% completion and the Perfectionist achievement. You will then pick up the Family Matters achievement on your next run, which will be a Pacifist run (see section below), where it is mandatory to save Lincoln meaning you can then see the other set of events 😊
Finish any boss without being hit
Both this achievement and the next one are technically not missable, since the Vicar fight will always be available even on a completed file. However, it makes life a lot easier to plan ahead a little and polish these achievements off on easier fights, as opposed to breaking your back in harder fights. I recommend two options:
- Skip Imprisoned King in Rose Castle, as described in the ‘Achievements – Story’ section above, until after you’ve gained more Orbs, some movement skills, and the Incantation of Orbis. This is the easiest way.
- Another late game method available is to max everything else out and then beat The Collector in the Gloomy Cellar, since he counts as a boss.
Defeat any boss using only the Incantation of Orbis
See above. As an aside, the Incantation of Orbis is a fairly lacklustre ability which pretty much finds it’s only use in this achievement… I find teleport / spike immunity infinitely more useful for swift movement across maps.
Carry exactly 3 Keys, 3 Tears and 3 Petals in your inventory at the same time
This is an interesting achievement… Keys are by far the scarcest and never hang around in your inventory for long, and Petals are quite rare too, yet it’s frivolous use of Tears that will catch you out if you’re not careful… upgrading those save points is just so tempting!
This achievement synergises very well with a Pacifist run, given that you’ll want to hang on to two keys from Eydie’s Keep, which you’ll be doing on your Pacifist run regardless to save time & make things easier. In a normal run, these keys are found in Eydie’s Keep and used in the same area to unlock rooms to fight the minibosses, which is a requirement to reach Queen Eydie. However, on Pacifist, fighting the minibosses is illegal as Tombstones are used instead, meaning you never need unlock the rooms!
A third key can be found in either Abandoned Ruins if you haven’t already been there, or failing that in Arcane Halls. You should have 3 Petals are this point (but won’t have the 4th to get the final upgrade, as this is located in Arcane Halls), so as long as you kept 3 Tears back you’re all set!
Below: be very careful not to accidently use a key here when you climb the ladder! Use a bubble to be avoid this.
Achievements – Special
The achievements in this section are for specific challenges that can be done at any time during a normal game mode playthrough, so there’s no harm in leaving them until the very end (even after you win the game).
Lord Of The Flies
Kill any enemy from above using a block
Technically missable, but I think you’d be hard pushed not to do this by accident sooner or later (especially on a Pacifist run…!) Easiest method is for the first Guardian in Valley of Reprisal– use the ladder to travel up to the Tombstoneon the previous screen, then jump along the platforms and simply push the pre-spawned green block off the edge.
If you’ve already killed the Guardian, there are also plenty of easy spots in the Castle Gardens to kill the white flower enemies.
Let There Be Light
Light every single torch in Ancient Catacombs
Once you obtain the Ember’s Nest in Central Alwa you’ll be able to see in the dark to order to safely navigate the Ancient Catacombs, and you’ll also be able to light the torches by pressing up. This is fairly straight-forward if you work methodically across the level as most of them are in plain sight, but there’s two areas worth calling out:
- At the entrance to Town of Westwood, you’ll need the fully upgraded Green Gemstone to knock a block across and then explode the wall with Lightning.
- At the lowest point of the map, located behind a locked door towards the western side, you’ll descend a ladder to seemingly a dead end with a spike pit. Using the exact same item/method as #1 (combined with dash) you can explode the wall and make your way across. (there’s also an Orb that requires Umbra to reach hidden in the pa*sage at the very end of this area)
If you’re struggling, the eldenpixels.com – https://eldenpixels.com/files/maps/Catacombs.png by Elden Pixels contains all the torches.
Use Incantation of Umbra three times without touching the ground in between
There’s a number of places in the game where this is possible, and two things to take into consideration – firstly, Umbra can only be performed between a solid wall where both sides are clear; and secondly, you’ll need to transition a screen between each use in order to instantly recharge the ability.
I advise using the very top area of Grand Library, as it has a convenient warp point for retries, and ample opportunity to perform the required 3 teleports. The game seems to restore abilities twice during a transition, once at the start & once again at the end… in the video below I used this to pull off six teleports in the same free fall!