Let's Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Sekiro is You - Hesitation is Defeat

informative
video
#1

Hello there I’m Tolvo, back to trying out LP’ing again after getting an external hard drive and working on fixing all of my technical problems I’ve had in the past. I will be LP’ing in this thread Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, a game I’ve already beaten a few times and have already done challenge runs(Including no hit) of the bosses and game. Those videos are on youtube so beware, if you want to avoid spoilers do not look at my videos tab on youtube.

Content Warnings!
Sekiro has a good amount of content people may wish to avoid, I will do my best to list things that I believe fall under this category below with explanations for those that require it.

  • Blood and Gore - Sekiro features a lot of combat. It is not as gory as a lot of Souls games are or Bloodborne, it is more inspired by Japanese cinema so it goes for the blood burst a lot, but there are moments with gore and beheading which are especially frowned upon in Japan.
  • Flashing Lights - Sekiro has fires, and explosions. It has energy attacks, it also has a system for parrying which involves a flash of light to indicate when you’ve parried(Deflected) an attack.
  • Overloading Stimuli - Sekiro has moments and areas with a ridiculous amount of particles, moving characters, fire, and other lights. Frequently there is falling snow or flora and a lot of areas are on fire. This is on top of all the various different attacks and sounds.
  • Animal Cruelty - Sekiro features enemies that are animals, every enemy in the game that I know of has deathblows(Executions) which may be upsetting to people.
  • Violence Against Children - Sekiro often does censor this, when a child is to be harmed, which is usually done in a ritual manner not an attack the game hides the child with the camera and environment or completely fades to black(Wolf is even told to close his eyes). The opening cinematic does feature a sword being dragged across a child’s cheek and them cutting their hand intentionally on the blade in contrast to the rest of the game. However while it does fade to black you will hear audio.
  • Gunshots - Sekiro takes place after Westerners landed in Tanegashima in Japan during the Sengoku Era, as such guns are around and there will be loud gunshots.
  • Alcohol - Sekiro has alcohol in it. Usually it is just given to an NPC to hear dialogue though it is in a few other moments.
  • Body Horror - Sekiro does feature some body horror, not to the degree of other Fromsoft games but it is still there.
  • Centipedes - Centipedes are core to the story of Sekiro and are in key moments in the game.
  • Darkness - There are very dark areas in Sekiro. Wolf naturally can see in darkness but it still has a very dark filter. I play on max brightness.
  • Ghosts - Sekiro has an Apparition enemy type, some of them are kind of creepy and have spooky music.
  • Suicide - Suicide is not actually very common in Sekiro despite when it is set, very rarely is it mentioned and mostly it is done so in relation to rituals.
  • Disease - Disease is core to the story of Sekiro and people can get violently ill and die in the game.
  • Loud - Sekiro can get very loud, I’m playing on the lowest difficulty available for the LP and will try to adjust things in editing if it is needed, this is especially difficult with voice over so I will do my best.
  • Heights - Sekiro has some incredible heights, and you can fall for dozens of seconds at points. As well using grappling hooks and climbing are core parts of the games.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest Fromsoftware game. It is a spiritual successor to the Souls series and Bloodborne but is quite different in many ways. There will be some carry over features like dying and returning to a resting area, the camera and basic movement and button layout are similar, but largely it is quite different in a lot of ways and borrows a lot from the Assassin’s Creed series and even Legend of Zelda at times. Sekiro released on March 22 in 2019 and was met with a lot of acclaim and frustration. This is a game personally I find very easy, but with certain specific parts being incredibly hard(Notably a few of the fights). Sekiro relies a lot more on movement and solving fights as well as finding the weaknesses of a boss and tools that counter them. When you have figured out which items make a boss much weaker they’re mostly very easy. This rewards a lot of exploration in the game.

Sekiro is set after the end of the Sengoku Era which is considered to have ended after the Battle of Sekigahara near Gifu in 1600 in Japan. Judging by the opening cinematic and other dialogue it is set around 1620, which is also after the Osaka Campaign(1615), as such this should be under the Tokugawa Shogunate. There was a real Ashina Clan in history but the one in Sekiro is fictional and uses a different Mon(Clan Emblem) and the names of the leaders are different from those in history. Ashina appears to be located deep in a mountainous region, possibly near Kyoto but it is very hard to tell as Japan does have multiple holy lands. There are later clues that make me think it is near Kyoto but it’s not easy to tell. How much of our actual history it follows is largely unknown other than that the Warring States Period(Sengoku Era) happened and this is after it.

The LP will be done by me, Tolvo. Currently I have no plans for guests(I’m not sure how to even do that with my setup). This will be an informative high skill LP, I have already beaten Sekiro on NG+ and am about to finish it on NG+2 with two kinds of hard mode on top of that(Without Kuro’s Charm and with Demon Bell). I have done every boss in the game and can no hit many of them with multiple tries and prefer to fight them without cheese(Though I may show off how to for those curious or stuck). I will be trying to show off all of the paths, endings, fights, and secrets. As well I will be discussing the history of this period and things that are being referenced, I will try to be detailed and factual such as discussing who the statues in game depict or bits about Japanese culture and how the game is showing views regarding historical Buddhism. I will be trying to explain how to win fights for those who do not have the capabilities I do in this game(Which is nothing to be ashamed of, I obsessively play Fromsoft games for thousands of hours). There is a guide of mine up on how to do the Mikiri Counter but it does contain one miniboss if you don’t want spoilers for that. In the first video there wasn’t too many opportunities for it but I will go through tutorials and explain how to do everything in the game in detail and as best as I can. There will be sections for item descriptions, images of characters, what we know about them so far, areas, a sort of mini wiki for those who want to brush up or maybe missed who someone or what something was. If you can please hide spoilers and tag them appropriately.

Accessibility is very important to me, it’s something I’ve been thinking about more and more with my LP’s and I’ll be trying to do some things to make my LP more accessible. I will be trying to do captions using youtube’s system, I will try to do transcripts. For posting of images with text I will also write out the text. This LP is in Japanese(Voice) so I may also do transcripts for all dialogue spoken by characters in game that I can read in English(I do not speak Japanese). And if I do find the time and it is possible I may even do supplemental videos with all of the dialogue in the English dub for those who wish to be able to just listen to them rather than read it(Or who can’t read it for one of many reasons). If I do my own captions at any point I’ll try to use easy to rad fonts for people with impaired vision and dyslexia.

LP Playlist

Sekiro LP Playlist

Episodes

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 1 - Prologue

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 2 - The Basics

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 3 - Bells of Awakening

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 4 - The Visitor

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 5 - Oops All Minibosses

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 6 - Dynamic Entry - BOSS

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 7 - Medicinal Beef

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 8 - Forks in the Road

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 9 - Iron Codified

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 10 - Ashina, Ash, Get It?

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 11 - Thunderstruck - BOSS - END OF EARLY GAAME

Posts

LP Episode 1 Post

LP Episode 2 Post

LP Episodes 3, 4, and 5 Post

LP Episode 6 Post

LP Episode 7 Post

LP Episodes 8 and 9 Post

LP Episodes 10 and 11 Post

1st No Hit NG+3 Charmless Demon Bell Post

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#2

Characters

Characters






Wolf - Wolf was a boy scavenging the battlefield after the end of Ashina Isshin’s coup, while scavenging he was discovered by the Shinboi Owl who took him in. Owl trained him as his own son and taught him the Iron Code. This Code demanded he follow his father first, and master as a close second. Owl then set Wolf to be in servitude to his new master Lord Kuro the Divine Heir. Wolf is the protagonist of the game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Prologue - Wolf awoke inside of a well, he had lost his memories. Lord Kuro had been captured and Wolf was without his weapon. He managed to sneak to Kuro, get his weapon, and escape for a time with his master. However they were confronted by Ashina Genichiro who cut off Wolf’s arm and stole Kuro away. Wolf awoke in a strange hut with a prosthetic arm.



Lord Kuro, the Divine Heir - Lord Kuro is the Divine Heir, this means that his blood holds the secret to immortality. He is the master of Wolf who is sworn to protect him at all costs. As a young boy he is physically weak but is of great character. Prologue - Kuro has been captured by the Ashina Clan. He has been betrayed. Wolf manages to rescue him from the Moon-View tower but not before Ashina Genichiro arrives. He cuts of Wolf’s arm and takes Kuro away.

Ashina Genichiro - Prologue - Ashina Genichiro appears to be acting as the current head of the Ashina Clan. He has decided to capture Lord Kuro to use his blood. During the 2nd capture of Kuro he cut off the arm of Wolf and left him for dead. - Mid Game - Atop Ashina Castle, Sekiro faces off against Genichiro. Genichiro is revealed to have the power of lightning from his mentor Tomoe and is immortal and can return from death. He has given up his humanity and plans to do whatever it takes to save Ashina and regain its former glory.


Ashina Isshin - 20 years ago at the end of the Sengoku Era, Ashina Isshin betrayed his Lord(s) and tried to take power. In a fierce civil war he killed General Tamura then took over the clan, which may or may not have previously been called Ashina. Isshin was considered a Kensei(Sword Saint). Eventually we meet Isshin, it turns out he has been supporting Sekiro all along and was secretly the Tengu. He wishes to prevent his grandson Ashina Genichiro from falling to darkness and ruining the clan, and wishes to protect Kuro.



The Sculptor - A man missing an arm who endlessly carves sculptors of a Buddha of Wrath. He saved Wolf after Wolf lost his arm, and gave the Shinobi Prosthetic to Wolf. The Sculptor was once a Shinboi and was gifted this arm by the master doctor Dogen.



Emma the Physician - Emma is the student and apprentice to Dogen the great doctor. She is the creator of the Healing Gourd and is an ally to Wolf. Her goal is to see Lord Kuro rescued and she is able to aid with healing and improving the Healing Gourd.



Shinobi Owl - Owl is the foster father of Wolf. He found the boy scavenging a battlefield and took him in. Owl trained Wolf in the ways of the Shinboi, taught him the Iron Code, and put him in service of his new master Lord Kuro. In Hirata we discover that Owl died defending Kuro, he gives us a key then tells us to go save the young Lord.



Hanbei the Undying(Infested) - Hanbei is an immortal, he is incapable of dying. This is a curse to him but he does see value in this and wishes to aid Wolf in sparring. This way he can help Wolf hone his skills.



Tengu of Ashina - A mysterious figure, the Tengu hunts the “Rats.” He is a great warrior who finds spies and enemies of Ashina then kills them personally. He takes great joy in the killing and likes to inspire fear. He gives Wolf the name Sekiro when they meet, and takes a liking to him. We learn the Tengu is really Ashina Isshin in disguise.


General Tamura - General Tamura was the leader of the forces that were fighting against Ashina Isshin during his rebellion. He was killed in the opening cinematic of the game that is set 20 years ago at the end of the Sengoku Era, likely around the time of the Battle of Sekigahara. The text shows “General Tamura” but the Japanese voice says “Tetsuo Tamura.” This can mean that perhaps his name isTetsuo Tamura, but in Japanese Tamura would be the family name and said first and Tetsuo is commonly a given name and would be second. It may also mean “Iron Husband” or “Iron Man.” So it may be a title for him like “Iron Tamura.” Tamura was a clan name at this time but it was of a very insignificant clan. They were located near the Date Clan at this time as far as I know. In either case while important to the backstory he is insignificant to the game. UPDATE: I have learned they actually don’t say Tetsuo from a native Japanese speaker. It sounds similar to me because I’m not fluent, they do actually say Enemy General Tamura in Japanese. 敵Teki 将Shou Tamura. Miyabi(Someone I know) let me know this.

Bosses/Minibosses

Bosses/Minibosses


Leader Shigenori Yamouchi - Basically just some guy.



General Naomori Kowarada - A general of the Ashina, not much is known about him.



Chained Ogre - A possibly foreign person, these creatures are large people who have unbridled rage and attack whatever is near to them.


Headless - The Headless were once warriors who died horribly and were dishonored in death. As such they have come back to haunt and kill the living.



General Tenzen Yamauchi




Shinobi Hunter Enshin of Misen




Giant Immortal Snake - A mysterious creature that is worshiped in the Sunken Valley as a god. It is immortal, and perhaps there is more than one. People of the Sunken Valley offer themselves as spouses to the snake, only to them be devoured.





Gyoubu Masataka Oniwa - A member of the Gyoubu family, he is known as The Demon. He guards the gates of Ashina and was originally an enemy of Isshin. After Isshin faced him in battle he was so impressed he took Gyoubu Masataka in as a retainer of the Ashina Clan.




Blazing Bull - A poor creature, it had its horns replaced by a flaming log. It is used by the Ashina Samurai in war.


Seven Ashina Spears - Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi - One of the Seven Ashina Spears, he is a great warrior from the Rebellion and wears a coat carrying the symbol of Hirata.


Lone Shadow Longswordsman - A Lon Shadow seeking a pitiful Shinobi.



Ashina Elite - Jinsuke Saze - A Samurai who is of the Ashina school.



General Kuranosuke Matsumoto


Ashina Genichiro - Way of Tomoe

Items

Items


Healing Gourd - A gourd filled with Vitality-restoring medicine. Resting refills the Gourd. Made by an apprentice of the extraordinary doctor, Dogen. Though it is strange that the gourd’s medicinal waters refill automatically, the seeds within may hold the secret to how it works.


Pellet - Medicinal Pellets that slowly restore Vitality. A secret treatment passed down for generations in these lands, records say it has been used in battles since times long gone, and lent to the famed resilience of the Ashina warriors. A pill case full of these pellets would also serve as a battle charm.


Fistful of Ash - Ash gripped into a hardened clump. Throw it at an enemy to temporarily distract them. In Ashina, the snow falls thick and thus the hearth runs thick with ash.


Homeward Idol - A small, palm-sized wooden Buddha. Can be used repeatedly. Held by the Wolf ever since he was saved by his father, its corners are rounded with use. This Buddha is used to return home. It will return the user to the last visited Sculptor’s Idol or the Dilapidated Temple.


Kusabimaru - A katana given by Kuro, the Divine Her. An heirloom of the Hirata Family a cadet branch descended from Ashina. Once thought lost, it has found its way back into the hands of the Wolf. The name Kusabimaru beseeches, “A shinobi’s role is to kill, but even a shinobi must not forget mercy.” A mantra the blade itself may manifest.


Shinobi Prosthetic - The artificial arm of a shinboi, passed down by the Sculptor. A replica of a human arm fitted with a variety of mechanisms, apparently designed with modification in mind. While it bears a number of cuts and is stained thick with blood and oil, it has been impeccably maintained.


Ornamental Letter - A letter thrown into a well. “Kuro’s Wolf. Your destiny awaits you at the moon-view tower. Escape from the well and find the tower bathed in moonlight. Even without a blade, you can reach it. Stay silent. Stay vigilant.”


Ceramic Shard - A piece of pottery that breaks with a satisfying crack when thrown. Throw it at an enemy to draw their attention. Throwing and smashing such pieces made for a popular sport amongst Ashina boys. Even after growing up they remember the old games well.


Light Coin Purse - A purse filled with a small amount of sen. t can be used to acquire the sen inside. Has a somewhat satisfying weight to it. The den in this purse is not lost upon death.


Shuriken Wheel - A mechanical device made by the mechanical genius Dogen. Can be fit into the Shinobi Prosthetic to become a working Prosthetic Tool. While it is palm-sized, a surprising number of shuriken can fit into the Shuriken Wheel, as the edges were designed for stacking. A fine example of what can be achieved when one matches mechanical finesse with a Shinobi’s talent.


Loaded Shuriken - A Shuriken Wheel Prosthetic Tool, fitted to the Shinobi Prosthetic. Costs Spirit Emblems to use. Pull a shuriken loaded into the wheel and launch it at a target in a single, flowing motion. The swiftly thrown shuriken damages enemy Vitality and Posture, particularly against those with a tendency to take to the air.


Gourd Seed - Seed from which healing waters continuously spring forth. Give to Emma to increase the maximum uses of the Healing Gourd. The twisted gourd of medicinal waters was known throughout Ashina since long ago, but it was the extraordinary healer Dogen and his pupil Emma who discovered the self-replenishing nature of this seed.


Prayer Bead - A loose prayer bead. Offering 4 of them at a Sculptor’s Idol will increase maximum Vitality and Posture. Currently the Wolf has 1 bead(s) in his possession.

Real World

Real World Information

Heian Period

Kamakura Period

Muromachi Period


Sengoku Era - The Sengoku era was a period in Japan named for the many Warring States. It is known as the Sengoku Jidai, the ending of it is known as the Azuchi-Momoyama period. During this time Imperial power and the power of the Shogun severely waned to the point where puppet Shoguns were appointed and Daimyo began to attack the Shogunate in the hopes of taking over. And in actuality some succeeded, such as Oda Nobunaga. This was a brutal period known for its many military advancements and in the 1500’s the introduction of guns to Japan. During this period Oda Nobunaga rose to power and ruled much of Japan before being betrayed and assassinated by Akechi Mitsuhide. Hideyoshi his trusted general and friend killed Akechi then waged war in the Kiyoshu region to secure his place and take over, after he was named the Imperial Regent and technically ruled Japan though it was still slightly fragmented. It was he who ordered the brutal invasions of Korea though he died while his armies were overseas. After that failure his heir was to take control with a council guiding him that Tokugawa Ieyasu was a part of. However Tokugawa sought to rule Japan as Shogun and split the nation in two, forming the Eastern army. He and the minister Ishida Mitsunari became bitter enemies until Ishida was defeated at Sekigahara. The era ended in 1600 with the Battle of Sekigahara and Tokugawa coming to rule as the Shogun of Japan.


Sekigahara - The decisive final battle of the Sengoku Era. This was the battle between the Western and Eastern Armies. Respectively the Toyotomi/Ishida forces and the Tokugawa forces. This battle contained over one hundred and forty thousand soldiers. Those who fought in it who were of note are too numerous to list, but one who can’t go without mention is Kobayakawa Hideaki who was offered victory by both sides. He was undecided when the battle began and after Tokugawa fired upon him with cannons he joined Tokugawa’s forces and assured them victory with his numbers and positioning. Why he did this is not fully known, but he is considered one of the greatest factors that led to Tokugawa’s victory. An excessive battle and one of the bloodiest at the time, Sekigahara assured that Japan would become highly isolationist under the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Most of those on the losing side were killed in battle or executed later, with some managing to come out still quite well like the Shimazu Clan. This was likely the battle that ended the Sengoku era which is mentioned in the opening to Sekiro, meaning Isshin’s rebellion took place in 1600, making the game’s main story take place in 1620 roughly.


Osaka Campaign - Despite Tokugawa Ieyasu quite effectively taking place as Shogun and ruler of Japan, there was an obstacle left for him. Toyotomi Hideyori a son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, former Imperial Regent and ruler of Japan who was once Tokugawa’s comrade and friend. They resisted his rule with the support of the Toyotomi Clan and those who saw their claim to power as just. The Sanada Clan joined the Osaka campaign to aid the Toyotomi led by Sanada Yukimura, considered one of the greatest warriors of the Sengoku Era. After the death of Sanada Yukimura in the Winter Campaign the Toyotomi forces were defeated. Nearly everyone was killed by the forces of the Shogunate including Hideyori’s eight year old son Toyotomi Kunimatsu. After this Tokugawa went unchallenged into his death.


Ashigaru - The above is an image of Ashigaru that was made in the Edo Period. Ashigaru were the main footsoldiers of the Sengoku era. They were essentially mercenary peasants who were hired by Samurai and Daimyo. They fought alongside Samurai and were the main fighting force of Japan. With the introduction of the Arquebus to Japan it became a staple weapon for the Ashigaru. While not as heavily trained as Samurai they could be quite battle hardened.


Samurai - Samurai, or Bushi, were the warrior nobility of Japan. They rose to power as cavalry and cavalry archers in warfare and functioned within that role for quite some time. While normally they still serve the Emperor during the Sengoku era many Daimyo and Samurai wielded greater power and challenged the Shogun and the Imperial Court. Samurai as the nobility wielded great influence and functioned similar to knights in ways within the feudal system. It is why Clans were called Samurai Clans.


Kabukimono - Kabukimono is a sort of style and attitude, it was kind of like a bandit ronin that was rude, sort of like a Punk Samurai. They liked to be very flashy and dress in bright colors that made them stand out.

Statue_of_Tsukahara_Bokuden
Kensei - Above a statue of Tsukahara Bokuden. Known as Sword Saint, this was a title given to few in the history of Japan. Very few people have actually been considered holders of this title, for reference Miyamoto Musashi is considered one of the greatest duelists in history and most consider him not good enough to be a Kensei. Figures like Honda Tadakatsu are considered more in line with the title of Kensei, despite the term translating to Sword Saint the Kensei usually was master of most melee weapons. Ashina Isshin in Sekiro is called Kensei(Sword Saint), meaning he’d be considered the greatest warrior in Japan at the time. As far as we know, no one called a Sword Saint has actually been killed in a one on one battle. Most who have been considered for the title are Swordsman who founded their own schools and were considered undefeated.

220px-Strings_for_night_firing
Tanegashima - The Japanese Arquebus, named as such due to Tanegashima being where the Europeans with the guns first landed.


Onna-bugeisha - Above is supposedly art of Tomoe Gozen one of the most famous Onna-bugeisha, and one of Japan’s greatest warriors. These women were mostly of the Samurai class and were trained in the arts of war. Japan did have strict gender roles but even back then they recognized the importance of women who could fight. Tomoe Gozen is the most famous and while they didn’t fight in every battle they were common enough around Japan. Tachibana Ginchiyo for instance had battle nuns who served her. Be wary of photos, there are many false photos of Onna Bugeisha around from the 1800’s. Normally their weapon of choice was the Naginata.


(Oda Nobunaga made in the 1800’s)
Daimyo - Daimyo were similar to Lords in Feudal Japan. Typically they were people who rose by amassing power through politics, money, or war. Many Daimyo used a combination of these paths. Daimyo ruled over a clan and were in service of the Shogun and Emperor. However during the Sengoku era those greater powers were highly diminished and the Daimyo came to mostly rule Japan with the Shogun and Emperor and Regents as figureheads. Above and considered one of the greatest Daimyo was Oda Nobunaga who came to rule much of Japan despite starting out as a leader of no more than two thousand soldiers. Daimyo rose up mainly from the Samurai class and many were Samurai themselves. Most Daimyo were male but some women Daimyo did exist rarely such as Tachibana Ginchiyo. Ashina Isshin would be a Daimyo in Sekiro with Ashina Genichiro being next in line, despite being adopted this was actually quite common and many in Japan did not have direct hereditary lines.

Clans

Japanese Buddhism - Buddhism came to Japan and spread greatly prior to the Sengoku era, while it was around since the early AD’s it really gained a foothold and spread wildly throughout Japan during the Kamakura Period. In Japan there were multiple sects of Buddhism with the largest being the Pure Land, Zen, Nichiren, Tendai, Esoteric(Chinese), and more. Buddhist artwork and statues depicting deities and monks are all around in Sekiro and one of the major factions, Senpou, is a Buddhist organization. Sekiro draws a lot upon Buddhist concepts surrounding life and death and immortality. In general the game has a sort of battle going on between different religions in Japan, of Shugendo, Buddhism, and Shinto. Even Confucianism is in the mix in some regards. The game shows many corrupt Buddhists but also those who are truly devout and divine, and draws upon the use of the Buddhist deities as a way to try and ward off and fight the evil of its own practitioners who have gone off the true path. This is possibly based upon real attitudes from the Sengoku Era that are still held over of corrupt religious leaders within the Buddhist ranks who sought power during the wars that came before.

Shinto - This is one of the most recognizable religions of Japan. Shinto focuses greatly upon the old ways of Japan and drawing upon its history and culture. This religion heavily emphasis rituals and folklore from Japan. The Torii gates are a very easy to recognize symbol from Shinto and Shinto and Torii gates are quite commonly featured in Sekiro. In Shinto the flow of water is incredibly important as is the appeasement of spirits. This is also a religion which features belief in many of the Yokai of Japan though not many Yokai actually appear in game. Instead the focus in Sekiro is more upon architectures and concepts as well as historical events relating to the Kamakura Shogunate and those from before it. Water that is moving is a core focus and is considered pure while still water is seen as possibly unholy or evil. This fits well into the themes of seeking immortality and the drinking of various forms of the water of rejuvenation in Sekiro and what forms of it are the most likely to corrupt the drinker.

Shugendo - Shugendo is a Japanese mountain religion. It is a sort of folk religion or old way of life dating to the Heian era and is based upon even older teachings and concepts. It combines a lot of folk religions from around Japan and has a heavy focus on mountain life. Tengu wear the garbs of the Shugenja and are associated with them. This religion is referenced in Sekiro. The idea of mountains and mountain life being sacred and a natural state that is in itself divine is heavily important to some of the messaging and characters in Sekiro such as Ashina Isshin.

Shura - Shura is a concept from Hinduism. They are sort of demigods of power. They can be seen as demons or servants, and are great warriors seeking battle. There are many interpretations of them. In Sekiro they use the term Shura based on Ashura, though Asura is also correct. Shura in Sekiro are more like demons that are created when someone gives in to their bloodlust and lose who they are. After they become beings of only slaughter.




Kongo Rikishi



Kannon



Mandala of the Five Buddhas




Vajra



Tanuki(Hard to find images without their massive balls)

Resources

Resources

Note: Not all resources listed here are of the same quality, it is hard to find only the highest quality most verified sources available free online and in English.

https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/en/publications/jjrs/listofjournals/

http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/discussionpapers/Reader.html

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/

https://thedhamma.com/

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2055.html

#3

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 1 - Prologue

In the first episode we get an introduction to the setting, at the end of the Sengoku Era Ashina Isshin the Sword Saint(Kensei) staged a coup against his own clan and took over. In the aftermath a Shinboi named Owl found a boy on the battlefield scavenging who he named Wolf and took in as his own. Wolf was trained in the ways of the Shinobi and grew up to become a servant and guardian to his master Lord Kuro, the Divine Heir.

Wolf awakes in a hole, in the Ashina Reservoir at Ashina Castle. He has lost his immediate memory and is awoken by a message to not give up and to go save Lord Kuro. Wolf manages to sneak his way out and find his Lord, who gives him his sword so he may take out the guards and make a safe path to a secret passage for escape. After making it the two are confronted by the Lord(Likely a Daimyo) Ashina Genichiro, who seemingly rules the Ashina Clan now. He and Wolf fight, with Wolf ultimately losing his arm and Kuro is taken away. Wolf awakens later in a strange building with a prosthetic arm.

Characters Introduced


Wolf


Owl


Lord Kuro the Divine Heir

Ashina Genichiro


Ashina Isshin

Other Images and Details


Healing Gourd - A gourd filled with Vitality-restoring medicine. Resting refills the Gourd. Made by an apprentice of the extraordinary doctor, Dogen. Though it is strange that the gourd’s medicinal waters refill automatically, the seeds within may hold the secret to how it works.


Pellet - Medicinal Pellets that slowly restore Vitality. A secret treatment passed down for generations in these lands, records say it has been used in battles since times long gone, and lent to the famed resilience of the Ashina warriors. A pill case full of these pellets would also serve as a battle charm.


Fistful of Ash - Ash gripped into a hardened clump. Throw it at an enemy to temporarily distract them. In Ashina, the snow falls thick and thus the hearth runs thick with ash.


Homeward Idol - A small, palm-sized wooden Buddha. Can be used repeatedly. Held by the Wolf ever since he was saved by his father, its corners are rounded with use. This Buddha is used to return home. It will return the user to the last visited Sculptor’s Idol or the Dilapidated Temple.


Kusabimaru - A katana given by Kuro, the Divine Her. An heirloom of the Hirata Family a cadet branch descended from Ashina. Once thought lost, it has found its way back into the hands of the Wolf. The name Kusabimaru beseeches, “A shinobi’s role is to kill, but even a shinobi must not forget mercy.” A mantra the blade itself may manifest.


Shinobi Prosthetic - The artificial arm of a shinboi, passed down by the Sculptor. A replica of a human arm fitted with a variety of mechanisms, apparently designed with modification in mind. While it bears a number of cuts and is stained thick with blood and oil, it has been impeccably maintained.


Ornamental Letter - A letter thrown into a well. “Kuro’s Wolf. Your destiny awaits you at the moon-view tower. Escape from the well and find the tower bathed in moonlight. Even without a blade, you can reach it. Stay silent. Stay vigilant.”

3 Likes
#4

Hey awesome. I’ve been hoping someone would do an informative Lp of this game. I’m garbage at the souls type games but love all the lore and details.

1 Like
#5

I hope to do it justice! I wanted to make sure I could do it right so I made sure to beat the game a few times on higher difficulties and hard modes, and have done a lot of experimenting and testing of fights and mechanics. So I hope I can show off a lot of the game.

I should mention Sekiro also does have a mod someone made that allows for you to slow things down, and change various options, that can make the game easier and more accessible for many. I haven’t used it myself yet(I might to slow down certain things and show them in detail and analyze them), I’m unsure if I can link it but sites have been doing articles on how good it is.

#6

I’m glad to see that you decided to do this! I haven’t played this game yet myself, but it will be interesting to see someone who is actually good at games play it XD

3 Likes
#7

Thank you! And welcome to the LP Zone(I know we talked on the Discord but it also said this was your first post on the forum). I’m hoping as well that seeing how i play can help others, a big thing in these games is that it’s important to be confident in what you’re doing and not panicking. At times the “It’s super hard!” mentality can psychologically make people play worse, especially in this one where you need to be confident in your Deflects and stand there awaiting the attack. As is stated, Hesitation is defeat. Even when if someone screws up many things can be recovered from as long as one doesn’t panic, it’s so often about staying cool under pressure and focusing and I hope this can help people in having the confidence to do that too.

#8

So I wanted to run a poll by people, I was considering for the LP allowing mods to be used. Cosmetic ones and things that fix issues(Like it displaying Xbox prompts when I’m using a PS4 controller). Sekiro doesn’t let you change your appearance at all, and there have been some costumes uploaded to the mods nexus that look decent(I’d only want to use ones that seem fitting). I’d mention in video when something is a mod, and at times not have them active to make it clear still what the base game is like. But they do seem nice and Sekiro’s lack of customization can be a bit stifling at times.

  • Mods are Ok
  • Mods are not Ok

0 voters

#9

I’ve been playing since the game came out and I don’t think I’ve even hit the halfway point of the game. I think I’ve hit my skill cap so I don’t think I’ll ever beat it. Which is fine. I just don’t have the time or motivation to attain shinobi mastery.

#11

As long as you got some satisfaction and joy out of the experience. It’s totally fine to be unable to beat Sekiro, I really don’t like when people consider it a negative mark on someone’s character or even abilities. While I find this game easy many do not, and there are parts of this game where unless you can flawlessly do a fight if you don’t look up a weakness or where to find a tool, it’s practically unbeatable.

Also from talking to others and looking at the poll I’ll be showing mods in videos, mostly just different outfits for Wolf. As well as things that help like PS4 button displays(I’m using a PS4) controller.

And thank you GreaJoe(GreatJoe was helping me figure out a post issue).

EDIT: Testing Alt Image code below for screen readers.

#12

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Ep 2 - The Basics

In the second episode of the Sekiro LP we examine more of the basics of how to play the game, we talk to our new friends at the hub, and we get early on into the Ashina Outskirts. This is a very simple episode that introduced a lot of the game to us. We meet the Sculptor who saved us and his past a bit, we meet Hanbei the Undying(Infested) who is an immortal that wishes to be a sparring buddy, and Emma who wishes to see Lord Kuro’s rescue, and who aids us with our Healing Gourd. Wolf faces off against a general of the Ashina as well. It is also revealed that thanks to Kuro’s blood and the pact made with his master that Wolf can revive from death.

Character Introduced


Sculptor


Hanbei the Undying(Infested)


Emma the Physician

Other Images and Details


Ceramic Shard - A piece of pottery that breaks with a satisfying crack when thrown. Throw it at an enemy to draw their attention. Throwing and smashing such pieces made for a popular sport amongst Ashina boys. Even after growing up they remember the old games well.


Light Coin Purse - A purse filled with a small amount of sen. t can be used to acquire the sen inside. Has a somewhat satisfying weight to it. The den in this purse is not lost upon death.


Shuriken Wheel - A mechanical device made by the mechanical genius Dogen. Can be fit into the Shinobi Prosthetic to become a working Prosthetic Tool. While it is palm-sized, a surprising number of shuriken can fit into the Shuriken Wheel, as the edges were designed for stacking. A fine example of what can be achieved when one matches mechanical finesse with a Shinobi’s talent.


Loaded Shuriken - A Shuriken Wheel Prosthetic Tool, fitted to the Shinobi Prosthetic. Costs Spirit Emblems to use. Pull a shuriken loaded into the wheel and launch it at a target in a single, flowing motion. The swiftly thrown shuriken damages enemy Vitality and Posture, particularly against those with a tendency to take to the air.


Gourd Seed - Seed from which healing waters continuously spring forth. Give to Emma to increase the maximum uses of the Healing Gourd. The twisted gourd of medicinal waters was known throughout Ashina since long ago, but it was the extraordinary healer Dogen and his pupil Emma who discovered the self-replenishing nature of this seed.


Prayer Bead - A loose prayer bead. Offering 4 of them at a Sculptor’s Idol will increase maximum Vitality and Posture. Currently the Wolf has 1 bead(s) in his possession.

2 Likes
#13

How do you say “eyes on the inside” in japanese?

#14

Well I mostly know historical and cultural terms. I don’t actually speak Japanese. :sweat_smile:

Oh yeah at the end of the LP I might also post my NG+2 Charmless Demon Bell videos, just so people can see those. I technically might have a world first with them since it seems like no one else has uploaded any videos of them beating that challenge level(Though I can’t check Japanese sites). But I’m about to start my NG+3 Charmless Demon Bell run so if that’s done before the LP I might post those instead.

#15

Supplemental Material Also Known as: Tolvo Destroys Herself

So hey there I’ll be doing some supplementary videos and things for the LP. One I made prior to the LP is actually a Mikiri Counter Guide, it is text only but goes over how to Mikiri Counter. A warning though the final part contains an end game miniboss as it is a type of spear boss in Sekiro that is important to learn and it was the only one alive when I was recording.

So I’ve already done NG+, then done an NG+2 Charmless Demon Bell run of Sekiro. Each NG+ multiplies enemy damage, health, posture, posture damage, and posture damage done to you on deflection. Kuro’s Charm is an NG+ difficulty you get, without this charm you will take chip damage when you block instead of deflect. Demon Bell is hard mode for Sekiro, it greatly multiplies all stats of enemies and supposedly makes more items drop.

I have made a poor decision, and have started NG+3 Charmless Demon Bell No Hit All Bosses, for Sekiro. I will only post videos of things we have seen in the LP. If you’d like to see some of this you can below.

The Start

Leader Shigenori Yamouchi

Ashina Genichiro Prologue

2 Likes
#16

No worries. I just wanted to make a Bloodborne joke.

#17

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Episode 3 - Bells of Awakening

In this episode we get to know some of the residents of Ashina. We meet a few of them and learn more about the land and its people. This is a very simple episode with a lot of the setup for things to come. Because of this I’ve decided to upload more episodes than just one today. I’ll actually post Episode 6 as well today but a bit later as its own post.

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Episode 4 - The Visitor

Finally we reach Hirata Estate. The events seen here took place three years prior to the main game’s events. Hirata is not really time travel, it s more of entering a dream or memory, in game it is called a dream. In Hirata we will get to learn more about the past of Sekiro and the Divine Heir as well we will get glimpses into the events behind the main story. On top of that we find some cool Shinobi Prosthetic Tools.

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Episode - Oops All Minibosses

Well it’s time to enter the thick of it. Sekiro starts a bit slow, talking to NPC’s and merchants and setting everything up takes a moment, but now it’s time to fight FOUR minibosses in a single video. I show how to fight three of them with one being saved until we have the right tools to reasonably beat him. Through these bosses we are able to get closers to Ashina Castle and to rescuing Lord Kuro.

Characters Introduced


Nogami Inosuke


Nogami Inosuke’s Mother


Anayama the Peddler


Crow Mob Merchant


Pot Noble Harunga


Anayama the Bandit???


Dying Hirata Samurai

3 Likes
#18

Let’s Play Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Episode 6 - Dynamic Entry

It is TIME. In today’s episode we deal with Liquid Snake. After dealing with him we move on towards the Ashina Fort and learn a little bit extra about the things going on in Ashina. But then it happens, we face our first true boss. This bombastic big boy Then we meet some weirdo with a long nose that kind of resembles a bird beak if you squint your eyes, he hates rats which is strange because they can be quite adorable animals. But this brings us to just before getting to Ashina Castle proper. Also below for the LP I recorded the intro in all the languages available, and made a separate video for that if you need the clip.

Characters Introduced


Tengu of Ashina


Battlefield Memorial Mob


Old Ashina Priestess

1 Like
#19

Four episodes in one day. That’s a hell of a pace. How often can we expect updates in the future?

#20

It’s hard to tell at the moment, the reason I did this was due to some things coming up and having to wait, then uploading things to make up for it. For the first three as well it was so that we got the stuff that’s not quite as interesting to some like talking to all the NPC’s out of the way and could get to boss fights. Gyoubu I’ve been wanting to reach to show people how silly the game can be at times and that it has fun with itself. My goal would be every other day, unless an episode has a lot of talking then I might upload a 2nd part where there’s a big fight. This weekend I’m a bit busy so I’m unsure if I’ll manage to upload over the weekend given the holiday. Rendering can take quite some time, I actually record the footage a week ahead, then record all my voice over, then slowly render each completed video. This is more time efficient.

#21

I’m not sure if this is how you’d want to do it, but one idea is to make every video beforehand, upload them to YouTube and then make them public when you’re ready to do so.