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Returnal - Do you see the White Shadow?


Vemsie
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Aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I cannot overstate my fury.

 

Just spent the last hour and 15 mins very carefully going through the first biome clearing every room and finding all the resources I could. Ended up with loads of extra health, a level 5 pistol with extra damage and loads of extra projectiles on a successful overload and, crucially, an astronaut figurine. 

 

When I decided to face the boss, I had full health, which, through judicious use of an increase-your-max-health fabricator, was about 60 or 70% higher than your default max health normally is. The most health I've had on any run by a long way, in other words. 

 

I'm getting reasonably good at the first phase, and only took a couple of hits. Second phase I'm less good at and keep panic-hitting jump instead of dash when he comes in close for a melee attack, but I still had a fair old chunk of health left by phase three. Got him down to about half of his health bar before he killed me, but aha, here's my trump card, the astronaut figurine will revive me and I'll have a shit load of health to take him down with! Easy!

 

Only, the fucking, shitting, cocking, pissing, wanking, twatting, cunting, assing, bastarding, bollocksing, christing fucking thing didn't revive me. I woke up at the crash site. Nearly threw the coffee table at the telly.

 

I guess the astronaut isn't a guaranteed revival then? I'm pretty sure it had revived me every time I'd had one previously. Just not when I really needed it to. Bah.

 

Is it like the item from Binding of Isaac that gives you a 50% chance of being revived?

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I’ve been there and it turned out I’d forgotten to buy the damn thing from the fabricator :facepalm:

 

Probably too late now but you can save the last hour of gameplay with the share button to see exactly what happened. When I was attacking Phrike I’d often spend a similar amount of time getting tooled up and then lose a “life” in the room with 2 yellow dudes and the big orange tenatacled guy.  Frustrating…

 

Keep at it - I really enjoyed the change of biome 2 after struggling in biome 1 for ages :)

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6 minutes ago, fretnoise said:

I’ve been there and it turned out I’d forgotten to buy the damn thing from the fabricator :facepalm:

 

Probably too late now but you can save the last hour of gameplay with the share button to see exactly what happened. When I was attacking Phrike I’d often spend a similar amount of time getting tooled up and then lose a “life” in the room with 2 yellow dudes and the big orange tenatacled guy.  Frustrating…

 

Keep at it - I really enjoyed the change of biome 2 after struggling in biome 1 for ages :)

 

Ah, didn't know that, thanks. Yeah, too late now, unfortunately. I'm certain I did buy it because I bought the 25% max health upgrade at the same time, and It was the last thing I did before fighting the boss.

 

I guess I must have used it during the fight and not noticed somehow? Ah well. I'm sure I'll go through the same process on this as on other rogue-likes, where you spend ages not being able to beat the first level, but by the time you're regularly completing runs, the idea of failing on the first level seems laughable.

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24 minutes ago, dug said:

Aaaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I cannot overstate my fury.

 

Just spent the last hour and 15 mins very carefully going through the first biome clearing every room and finding all the resources I could. Ended up with loads of extra health, a level 5 pistol with extra damage and loads of extra projectiles on a successful overload and, crucially, an astronaut figurine. 

 

When I decided to face the boss, I had full health, which, through judicious use of an increase-your-max-health fabricator, was about 60 or 70% higher than your default max health normally is. The most health I've had on any run by a long way, in other words. 

 

I'm getting reasonably good at the first phase, and only took a couple of hits. Second phase I'm less good at and keep panic-hitting jump instead of dash when he comes in close for a melee attack, but I still had a fair old chunk of health left by phase three. Got him down to about half of his health bar before he killed me, but aha, here's my trump card, the astronaut figurine will revive me and I'll have a shit load of health to take him down with! Easy!

 

Only, the fucking, shitting, cocking, pissing, wanking, twatting, cunting, assing, bastarding, bollocksing, christing fucking thing didn't revive me. I woke up at the crash site. Nearly threw the coffee table at the telly.

 

I guess the astronaut isn't a guaranteed revival then? I'm pretty sure it had revived me every time I'd had one previously. Just not when I really needed it to. Bah.

 

Is it like the item from Binding of Isaac that gives you a 50% chance of being revived?

 

It's always activated for me. Sounds like a bug.

 

Maybe try practising against the boss as much as possible by just making a beeline for him from the very start. Focus on dodging as opposed to attacking. Then, once you feel like you've got his attack patterns down, go for the full run, getting all the health upgrades and so on as much as you can, then have a go at killing him.

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12 minutes ago, dug said:

 

Ah, didn't know that, thanks. Yeah, too late now, unfortunately. I'm certain I did buy it because I bought the 25% max health upgrade at the same time, and It was the last thing I did before fighting the boss.

 

I guess I must have used it during the fight and not noticed somehow? Ah well. I'm sure I'll go through the same process on this as on other rogue-likes, where you spend ages not being able to beat the first level, but by the time you're regularly completing runs, the idea of failing on the first level seems laughable.

 

As a general rule, if you have the option, it's better to go for the large medkit than the astronaut. The astronaut doesn't revive you with much health, whereas the large silphum essentially gives you a full health guage to go again. You just have to have the presence of mind to activate it at the right time!

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3 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

As a general rule, if you have the option, it's better to go for the large medkit than the astronaut. The astronaut doesn't receive you with much health, whereas the large silphum essentially gives you a full health guage to go again. You just have to have the presence of mind to activate it at the right time!

 

Ha, well, the idea was to have both, but I got into a spot of bother before the boss and had to use the silphum. I didn't know the astronaut doesn't give you full health, so that puts a different spin on things.

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I do have a question: can destructible walls be potentially found in any room? Well, obviously not the rooms where you're jumping around on ruins in a big, open space without any walls. But any room with walls? 

 

Or does the experienced player know not to bother looking for destructible walls in certain room types because they cannot appear there?

 

Or is this another case of 'work it out yourself, you lazy bastard'? 😆

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19 minutes ago, dug said:

I do have a question: can destructible walls be potentially found in any room? Well, obviously not the rooms where you're jumping around on ruins in a big, open space without any walls. But any room with walls? 

 

Or does the experienced player know not to bother looking for destructible walls in certain room types because they cannot appear there?

 

Or is this another case of 'work it out yourself, you lazy bastard'? 😆

 

Only certain walls are destructible - they have holes in and sort of look like plaster on a mesh or web. It's difficult to describe but you'll see what I mean when you spot one. They appear in the same rooms each time. The game isn't properly procedurally generated - there are number of different rooms in each biome that are put on a sort of shuffle each time you die and then linked together. You'll learn to recognise each room in time, especially in the first biome!

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1 hour ago, dug said:

I guess I must have used it during the fight and not noticed somehow? Ah well. I'm sure I'll go through the same process on this as on other rogue-likes, where you spend ages not being able to beat the first level, but by the time you're regularly completing runs, the idea of failing on the first level seems laughable.

Maybe. He’s a bit of a bastard though. I found the 2nd boss much easier to cope with. Something about Phrike’s melee attacks I think - he’d get me once and I’d lose the flow and it’d be game over. 

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1 hour ago, Jamie John said:

 

Only certain walls are destructible - they have holes in and sort of look like plaster on a mesh or web. It's difficult to describe but you'll see what I mean when you spot one. They appear in the same rooms each time. The game isn't properly procedurally generated - there are number of different rooms in each biome that are put on a sort of shuffle each time you die and then linked together. You'll learn to recognise each room in time, especially in the first biome!

 

Ah, so they only appear in specific rooms in specific places? Ok, thanks. Is there always a destructible wall in those particular rooms? Or are they there only sometimes? Like, if you've found one before, will there always be one in that specific room type in that exact position, or are they there in some runs but not others?

 

Basically what I want to know is if I'm wasting my time searching the outer walls in all rooms for destructible bits. Oh, I know what they look like, by the way. There's one in the tutorial. I don't want to imply I'm going round shooting all the walls in all the rooms just in case 😀

 

 

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3 hours ago, dug said:

I'm certain I did buy it because I bought the 25% max health upgrade at the same time, and It was the last thing I did before fighting the boss.


Isn’t that like 600 obolites for both of them, and you said you also used a silphium vial on the same run, so another 100-200 or so? That’s potentially a lot of obos collected for B1 alone. Are you suuuuuuure you bought the Bezos? 😁

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Its quite possible you went through the astronaut either on the way to the boss or during it. It's a very fast transition and if you get knocked to the floor by a heavy attack its easy to miss the popup and because you come back with little health from the revive it can just look like you took a bunch of damage normally. Another (very unlikely) scenario is you collected so many artifacts that the astronaut got shunted off the end of the list, you can only have a max of 15 at any time, but given its biome 1 that would be insane.

 

As for Phrike, he always pulls his arm back before surging forward for the melee, so keep an eye on his arms and thats when to prime yourself for dashing. In phase 2 he always fires red rings horizontally before doing the melee so its easy to predict. In phase 3 its harder but he usually does follow up swings so get ready to spam that button after dodging the initial swipe. Also always keep at a far range to give yourself more time to predict his incoming melee surges, if he moves around the arena always get to the other side ASAP. 

 

I also agree that for Phrike big health kit is the way forward. Also don't forget to use Alt-fire whenever you can, if you hit him it causes major damage.

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6 minutes ago, SpagMasterSwift said:

I got hit with a malfunction during a fight that causes enemies to counter when hit, was a new level of bullet hell!

I've had this malfunction but never noticed the results. Do they just fire a shot at you for every hit? What about melee enemies?

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It was mostly the water squids firing as they explode while two giant squids fired out blue bullet waves and red rings. I had a portal going so it got rather hectic. Lost my astronaut and then died on the last boss because I had the parasite that heals you as you damage enemies, but stops you picking up health resins. It was super close tho, next run…

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And Phrike is down.  2nd proper run and I’ve only played about 2 hrs but really loving it. The next level is such a change in surroundings and I got massacred by some armoured fauna.

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6 minutes ago, Bonzai1888 said:

Got the first boss for the first time....is that him open now and I just need  to work my way to him now without finding relevant key etc? (Obviously with a decent levelled weapon).

Yes the red door will appear on the map and you can go straight in. Better to level up first though. 

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14 minutes ago, Welrain said:

And Phrike is down.  2nd proper run and I’ve only played about 2 hrs but really loving it. The next level is such a change in surroundings and I got massacred by some armoured fauna.

 

Yeah, that'll happen.

 

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12 hours ago, jonamok said:


Isn’t that like 600 obolites for both of them, and you said you also used a silphium vial on the same run, so another 100-200 or so? That’s potentially a lot of obos collected for B1 alone. Are you suuuuuuure you bought the Bezos? 😁

 

Yep, I had a massive obolite run, apparently. First time I got to the fabricator room I had about 300, so had a choice of either heal item (150 oblongs) or revive (250). Went for the heal item and ended up using it before clearing out the level. Went back to the shop last thing before the boss with 800-odd obols and bought the astronaut and the health extension (350) leaving me with 200-odd with which I bought a thing that gives you extra damage for every level of adrenaline (I think. It was some sort of stat up anyway).

 

So in all, around 950 oblobos. Which I'll take your word for being a lot for level one.

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And that’s Act 3 finished! Absolutely loved this from start to finish! I guess there are still the daily challenges to try and some glyphs to hunt down, but yeah. Well done game!


447637F6-0CA4-4730-A29F-9AF509A2817B.thumb.jpeg.b006760a1d05d2304c54cb4a9cffbb7b.jpeg


***END GAME STORY SPOILERS***
 

Spoiler

I really enjoyed the way the story played out, but two moments were especially effective imo.


The neglected child being told to cook their own tea, the cereal box being empty and being ignored by their mother at the kitchen table. The guilt of putting her work ahead of her child and repeating the neglect that she felt when she was a child by her own mother (hence the appearance of the astronaut).

 

The moment we see her reach into the TV, then in a later scene when the child is pulled into the TV we see the same moment but she is now shown as the astronaut reaching into the TV. 

 

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Haha, take that Phrike, you prike!

 

I like the fact that the second biome is very different. Both in appearance and general feel. Those armoured enemies don't fuck around! 

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A couple of points:

 

1) I bought a pair of the PS5 headphones, and they've really made me appreciate the sound design in this. Not just the directional aspect of everything, but the ambient nature sounds and all the little technological bleeps and bloops are great. In the first biome I walked past a tree (or tree analogue) and there was a little chittering sound coming from it, which seemed to indicate there was a little critter of some sort living in it. A totally unnecessary but brilliant little touch which shows the depth of the world Housemarque has created here. I also love that it would be possible to tell which biome you're in, purely from the ambient sounds. At least I assume so; I've only got to the second biome, which sounds distinctively dry and dusty compared to the wet, squelchiness of biome one. Hopefully the remaining biomes will be equally as distinct.

 

2) The Metroid Prime 4 devs must have looked at this and gone "fuck."

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Made some great progress in the last few days, I'm onto the fifth biome now. Had a great run where I managed to kill the third boss and the fourth on my first attempt in the same run, and picked up several new permanent suit upgrades.

 

Spoiler

Well, that's if you can consider the fourth biome to be in the same life as the third? I guess technically it's a separate run as it resets your stats.

 

The difficulty has definitely bumped up a notch now though. Fifth biome is repeatedly kicking me in the nads.

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Finally caved and bought this. Played for a couple of hours today. It’s bloody not too bad, eh?!

 

Made it through to the second biome by the skin of my teeth and then got super murdered by some horror.

 

Already annoyed by the lack of a standard save system but I’ll survive…

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Soooo close to getting to the end of Biome 5.

 

Hollowseeker with Portal 2 on it saved my bacon no end of times.

 

Can I ask do I pick up something later so that I can pick up items that seem to be in water ?? Just a yes or no will do. Got to keep the mystery.

 

Is there a making of video about at all would love to see the thought process into the world and sounds of this game.

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