Thymesia takes familiar Dark Souls features and turns them on their head. A brutal indie combo of Sekiro and Bloodborne, the tight combat is the best thing going for Thymesia — and there’s plenty we wish we knew before facing off against the brutal first boss. The starting zone is the Sea of Trees, with winding paths and mutated circus performers waiting to slaughter your masked protagonist. If you’re struggling in the starting hours or just want a few tips to get you going, here’s everything we wanted to know (but didn’t) for the first hours of Thymesia.
Society isn’t going to cure itself. The world of Thymesia has fallen to ruin, and protagonist Corvus barely remembers why — he just knows his mission. To put an end to the plague ravaging the kingdom, you need to find cores. Somehow, they can be employed to treat the tainted blood flowing through everyone’s veins. The story is suitably dark and creepy because Thymesia patterns itself after the sticky grossness of Bloodborne. And the combat is just as fast. This isn’t your standard Souls-like, and even veterans like us need a few pointers.
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#1: Don’t Bother With Deflect, Just Dodge!
Deflect allows you to parry enemies attacks — but it largely isn’t worth it. Dodge is your bet to avoid damage — advanced players can use deflect on tough opponents like the first boss, but a good dodge is your bread-and-butter for almost every fight in the game. Make sure to get the Short Dodge instead of the Long Dodge.
One of the best ways to avoid almost any attack is by dodging directly into an enemy attack. Get Short Dodge Lv. 2 to give yourself an Offensive Buff that builds up extremely fast. Learn how to dodge through attacks and you’ll be earning stacks of buffs.
#2: Unlock Claw Combos Immediately
Combat in Thymesia is fast and furious — and every enemy has two health meters. Health and Wound — and if you don’t keep the pressure on enemies constantly, they’ll restore their Wound. You’ll need to use Claw attacks to deal fast damage to the Wound Meter, and your starting claw is extremely crappy. Unlock the Short Claw power ASAP. The Long Claw gives you a second attack, while Short Claw gives you an extremely fast combo. Either works but unlock these upgrades early or you’ll be struggling against the bosses.
- NOTE: You can respec talents at any time — so don’t be afraid to experiment with different builds. In the Talents Menu, press [Triangle / Y] to reset.
#3: Give Yourself A Mikiri Counter To Deal With Tough Enemies
The “Mikiri Counter” is a useful ability ported almost verbatim from Sekiro. Under [Dodge] in the Talents Menu, select [Step and Jump]. Dodge into enemies during a Critical Attack to interrupt it, allowing you to disrupt and attack at the same time. You should be dodging all the time anyway, so dodging into enemies will become second nature.
#4: Get More Souls By Using The Only Item In The Game
There’s only one truly useful item in the game, and you might never even know it. As you defeat enemies and clear side-quests, you’ll earn Collections of Memories. Using them rewards you with 100 Memories for Level 1, 1000 Memories for Level 2, and so on. To use them, open your in-game stat menu and tab over to Items -> Navigate to Collection of Memories. Seriously, there are two items you can use from this menu — the Bloodstained Dagger returns you to the last Beacon you’ve visited, and the Collections of Memories. Use them often!
#5: Beware Counterattacks
Every enemy has an invisible meter called a Counterattack Meter. Dealing enough damage will cause the enemy to auto-block your attack and instantly counterattack. Using any types of attack will build up the counterattack meter, so always be on your toes. After the enemy flashes and blocks, you need to immediately dodge.
If you’re afraid the meter is almost 100%, you can throw Feather Darts to trigger the counterattack from far away. There are Talents you can unlock that also lower the rate the Counterattack Meter builds. Grab those Talents if you’re sick of eating attacks from enemies and bosses.
#6: Can’t Make Progress? Just Run & Grind
You’ll encounter powerful enemies as you progress deeper into each area of Thymesia, and some are a real nuisance — if you’re struggling to get further in a stage, try ignoring the bad guys and sprinting to the next beacon. Enemies can’t follow you up ladders or through doorways. If you’re sick of dying, try skipping the annoying enemies. You’re only gated sometimes from making progress.
When you are gated, you’ll eventually unlock side-quests. These are accessed from the Philosopher’s Hill map, letting you return to different areas with new memories. These are absolutely required to level up and get tough enough to fight the late-game bosses. Do all the side-quests! They’re worth it.
#7: Defeat Tough Enemies To Earn Alchemy Enhancers
The only way to increase the amount of Healing Charges Corvus can carry is with Alchemy Enhancers. These rare items are dropped by extremely powerful enemies in each memory. If you run into an enemy that’s especially tough to defeat, you can count on them carrying an Alchemy Enhancer. Before the first boss, go back and defeat the Knight Spearmen and the Giant-Armed Mutant to earn +2 Alchemy Enhancers. I recommend using the enhancers to give yourself more charges first.
#8: Dealing With Red Attacks & Green Attacks
Bosses have a special red attack that can’t be countered with Feather Darts. These attacks come in many different forms — area of effect or deadly grabs. The best way to deal with these attacks is to run. Don’t try dodging them! Just get as far away from the boss as possible and heal up to 100%. Always better to be safe than sorry.
Bosses (and tough enemies) also unleash green Critical Attacks often. You’ll see green energy swirling around before coalescing and unleashing a powerful attack. Save your Feather Darts to stun them, or use your handy Mikiri Counter (Step and Jump) to interrupt and drop some serious Health damage.
That’s 8 tips that helped us handle the difficult early hours. Once you’ve got a hang of Thymesia’s combat, the game gets a lot easier to deal with.