A short guide to cover basic mechanics, as an extended manual of sorts.
This is meant to help out beginners or clear out some curiosity there might be on the mechanical aspect of things. I doubt any veteran will learn anything, but you never know. Think of this has an extended manual with a bit more detail.
By pressing Start or Enter (depending on what you are playing with) you will open the menu in game. Note that as of writing this, this key is not rebindable. This button doubles a skip cutscene button.
Where you equip your Incenses. You can have up to three active Incenses and two passive Incenses. Active incenses come with a limited number of use, replenished every time you save. You can swap depleted incenses out for filled ones, and they will all be replenished at the same time.
Note that active incense that boosts your damage will not have an effect on displayed stats in the corresponding submenu.
As far as I could tell, active Incenses that boost your damage are not additive.
Incenses that sacrifice HP can kill you if you do not have the corresponding amount to sacrifice.
Where you find your weapons (upper part) and the keys and other specifics items you have (lower part). Also holds your current Silver Coins (money) count.
Breaks down into four different submenus:
- Archives: lore bits about the game you will unlock as you progress, either by picking them up individually or by defeating some specific foes.
- Map: the map of the game with your current level of advancement, notably this map can be moved around (unlike the one you get by pressing the map button) to find out what you might be missing or where you need to go.
- Stats: current level and attributes, as well as statistics about your current playthrough in this save file.
- Accomplishments: achievements, recorded here if you are not playing on Steam. Not limited to this save file.
As the name says on the tin, pretty much the same thing as the main menu stuff, but without refresh rate parameters.
Each press of the attack button will execute a different attack, up to a chain of three. Each weapon has their own moveset, but after three the chain will start anew. Each hit in a rapid succession increases damage, peaking at the third hit. With each attack, Semilla will move forward slightly, regardless of whether the attack is successful or not. Attacking enemies does not stagger them nor prevent them from doing their own thing.
Successful hits, hits that actually do damage to the enemy, will push the enemy back a little bit (if the enemy is not much bigger) and increase the Stun Gauge.
Importantly, attacks will prevent you from doing a block or a dodge as they wind up but not once they are finished, which means you can attack and Parry/Block almost instantaneously after, or use an Incense in that same window.
If you are crouching, attacking (or using an Incense for that matter) will make you stand up. If you are ducking, bide your time until the danger is over.
Parrying and Blocking
Pressing the Dodge/Block button at the right time (and without directional input) when an enemy attack connects will result in one of two things.
A successful Parry will occur when the enemy attack can be parried (otherwise, it will a Block), and the following will happen:
- Semilla will disappear and be invulnerable for a short time during the animation of the Parry
- The enemy whose attack was parried will be damaged, as will enemies near it.
Upon completion, Sister Semilla will reappear and be invulnerable for a very short amount of time (less than a second). There is no Block/Parry lockout, meaning you can chain as many Parries as you need. Parrying has global range for the actual counter attack animation and the damage that ensues from it, but it will not move you away from the spot your body was in or should be in (if you are Parrying as you fall, you will reappear at the end of the fall as if you had never parried at all). The damage animation from parrying is, however, not global and will hit enemies in a certain range around the enemy who was parried but not necessarily all enemies across the screen. Not all attacks can be parried. Damage from a parry is significantly higher than a normal attack and will apply on-hit effects if there are any.
Blocking happens when you can’t parry an enemy’s attack, but still time the defense properly, and will produce a different sound. Semilla will not disappear and no animation will be played. This is the case with bosses’ attacks, and compared to Dodging, there is a specific reason to Block, as it will significantly increase the Stun gauge of the enemy, bosses included. Parrying or Blocking an attack will not move you backwards at all, it will keep you in place, and will not negate the advance of the enemy, so you need to mind your spacing when using it as it can lead to you blocking/parrying the attack but taking contact damage by the end. Sometimes it’s better to Dodge then Block or Block then Dodge for attacks that come in several parts.
Regardless of the result, if done properly it will entirely negate damage for that attack.
When pressing the dodge button with a directional input, you will perform a dodge roll. While there is no lock out on those and you can chain dodge as much as you want, it is important to note that you are not invincible for the entire duration of the roll, as the last part of the roll will proc contact damage if you are in contact with an enemy during that moment. For a dodge to completely negate damage you need to roll through the attack or enemy and be out by the time you stand up.
It is also slightly faster than walking so you can go full tumble dryer if you want the extra move speed.
Below the enemy HP bar is another bar that will fill progressively as you hit them or perform blocks. Once filled, your next attack will gain a damage boost, stagger them for a very brief moment (around one second), and empty the bar, ready to start again. If not landing a hit or a block for a while, the gauge will gradually empty itself. Proper management of that gauge can let you create openings against bosses or monsters for an extra hit or two. Do note that boss attacks with finished wind ups will still go off even if the filled Stun Gauge is activated.
Bombs can be destroyed mid-air if attacked at the right moment, and all projectiles can be parried accordingly.
Enemies who are approached from behind will not react to you until attacked or until you come into their line of sight.
Different enemies have different attack patterns and will require you to be on the defensive more or less early on depending on who they are. Once engaged, they use their limited movesets accordingly, and some have defenses of their own.
An enemy that has noticed you will not necessarily jump down a platform to get you, but can if it is part of an attack that makes them fall down.
Enemies do not forget you so long as you are in the same room as them, but they do not necessarily have room wide engagement rules.
Your damage taken and done is based on your level, with more levels resulting in better damage done and less damage taken. Each level gives you 6.5 more Physical Attack and 14 more HP.
Defeating an enemy gives out a fixed amount of experience per enemy type, regardless of your level. Doing twice the damage of the enemy’s HP will double the experience gain (there is a period after the enemy is dead where attacks still count). Note that leveling up will not heal you.
Boosts to experience gain are not additive.
There are only three, and only one of them actually does damage by itself. However, many sources that inflict an ailment can themselves do damage, even if the ailment itself does not.
- Cursed: Take double damage.
- Silenced: Cannot use Incenses.
- Poisoned: Take periodic (percentage based) damage.
If attempting a no-damage run, be especially wary of poisoned as the damage will not necessarily be easy to see.
The map will update with the possible exits of the tile you are in, even if they are hidden as part of secrets, but will not indicate if there is a secret in a specific tile.
Secrets come in four flavors: walking into a wall, attacking a specific section of a wall, dropping down a secret part (enter the command as if you were trying to drop down a ledge), or almost invisible platforms. If you suspect a secret, try all fours.
If a door says Locked, and it shows an icon of a key, then it can be opened by the corresponding key. If it just says Locked with no icon, then it is opened by a remote lever you need to find.
Using a save point will not make the enemies of the same room respawn if they were killed earlier. They will respawn once you switch screens as usual.
Be wary of flowers that are below ground level, you need to drop down on them to get the jump boost they provide.
After falling from some height, dodging immediately upon landing will bypass the short animation you get from such a fall. Note that there is no fall damage.