Death’s Door has a Metroidvania-lite structure. You’re always on a linear quest, but you’ll gain new spells as you progress that open more areas of the game for you to explore. You’ll have to obtain these spells by completing nonlinear dungeons, but there’s one obstacle you can use right from the start of the game. You can’t set fires, or blow open walls, or hookshot to anchors until you’ve unlocked those powers. But you can enter Sewer Grates when you first encounter them. You might just never know how.
Opening Sewer Grates — those round symbols on the ground with a lock icon — requires using a power you never have to use in-game, and that you never get any tutorial for. If you’re like me, you saw these weird symbols and just assumed we’d need to get a power-up to access them. Maybe they’re a telepad and we need to gain the portal-summoning skill? There’s nothing like that in this game. You just need to use the right abilities.
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Manholes (Sewer Grates) are round sigils on the ground with a lock emblem. They look like things you can’t interact with, but you can use them at any time. You don’t have to unlock anything. They can be used right from the beginning of the game.
- To enter a Sewer Grate, reach a higher level above them. Drop down and press [Attack] to perform a ground slam strike. You’ll break through the manhole and enter the underground! You can leave by interacting.
Sewer Grates can be used to access secrets and Soul Energy very early in the game, and they utilize a mechanic you might not even realize exists in the game. It wasn’t until very late in the game that I realized how to make these weird mechanics work — and you shouldn’t fall for the same trap. They look like pads for a future movement ability, something you’ll unlock later, but they’re absolutely not. One drop from above can get you into any sewer grate.
Learning to overcome these early will make traversal in later levels so much easier. Eventually, you will need the Hookshot to reach every single one of these Sewer Grates, but there are plenty you can reach before that. And that means plenty of rewards to reap.