On this page of the guide to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice we have published the recommended procedure for visiting the starting locations, i.e. those explored in the first 2-3 hours of the game. Our proposed mode of operation involves unlocking useful tools and fighting bosses, who leave behind very valuable items.
More information about the locations and opponents listed in this section can be found in the sections entitled Walkthrough and Bosses.
- Step 1 - finish the prologue and make your first visit to the Dilapidated Temple
- Step 2 - Explore the Ashina Castle Grounds
- Step 3 - meet the old woman in the village and get the bell from her
- Step 4 - Unlock access to the Hirata Estate
- Step 5 - obtain materials required for crafting the Loaded Axe and the Flame Vent
- Step 6 - craft the Loaded Axe and the Flame Vent
- Step 7 - return to the Ashina Castle Grounds and explore that location
- Step 8 - Meeting the great serpent
- Step 9 - Defeating first main boss - General Gyoubu Oniwa
Step 1 - finish the prologue and make your first visit to the Dilapidated Temple
Finishing the prologue is linear and you can't miss it or cut it short. There is only one, very easy mini-boss.
When you find yourself in the Temple, we advise you to spend some time training with Immortal Hanbei making basic attacks, bounces, and dodges. The training is safe - you don't receive any damage.
Step 2 - Explore the Ashina Castle Grounds
The entrance to the Ashina Castle Grounds is located at the opposite end of the Dilapidated Temple. Starting from this place, we advise you to:
- Look around a lot. This will allow you to find a lot of small boxes with loots, as well as to discover secret locations.
- Attack all weaker opponents. It is important to start gaining experience points. After you go back to the Sculptor in the Dilapidated Temple, you will receive the first ability book and will be able to spend your points on developing the character.
When exploring the Castle Grounds, you will duel with a new, slightly more complex mini-boss - General Naomori Kawarada. Defeating this boss will yield, in particular, the first Healing Gourd, which you can give to Emma in the Temple to unlock the second charge of the Gourd (the most important potion in the game).
Step 3 - meet the old woman in the village and get the bell from her
This topic is described in more detail in a separate section of our guide, called How to unlock access to the Hirata Estate?
You will find the old woman in one of the destroyed buildings in the village. You reach this location before reaching the first big fortress. Take the bell from the lady.
Step 4 - Unlock access to the Hirata Estate
Go back to the Dilapidated Temple, show the bell to the Sculptor and use it on Buddha statues to pray. The hero will be moved to a new place - the Hirata Estate.
Step 5 - obtain materials required for crafting the Loaded Axe and the Flame Vent
Explore the initial areas of the Hirata family estate and, in particular, the villages. The sections Loaded Axe and Flame Vent contained in this guide, give precise information on where to obtain the ingredients needed for crafting the two items. These are found in different parts of the village - in a large bonfire, and in a hut, next to which there are two enemies.
Further exploration of the Hirata Estate is not recommended at this stage of the game. The main character will have to fight with quite difficult bosses. It is best to return to the Estate only after completing all the following steps.
Step 6 - craft the Loaded Axe and the Flame Vent
Return to the Dilapidated Temple and meet with the sculptor to give him the materials and craft both tools. Install them in the active tool slots.
Step 7 - return to the Ashina Castle Grounds and explore that location
Once you get back to the Ashina Castle Grounds, focus first on re-investigation of the village, where the old lady is living. You will find interactive grappling spots that will help you get to the nearby hill.
At the top of the hill, you will meet the first merchant of the game (Crow's Bed Memorial Mob). Try to buy from him a component to manufacture another prosthesis gadget - the Shinobi Firecracker. Create the firecracker with the Sculptor's help.
Explore other areas of the Ashina Castle Grounds. The hero will battle with the new bosses:
- The Chained Ogre - defeating the Ogre will be much easier thanks to the Flame Vent you've created because the weakness of the Ogre is fire. After defeating the Ogre, it is worth examining the surrounding wall of the fortress, as you may come across new Healing Gourds and hence unlock the third load of the Healing Gourd.
- General Tenzen Yamauchi is the new mini-boss. The rules of the fight with him are identical as in the case of the previous General.
Step 8 - Meeting the great serpent
General Tenzen Yamauchi is in the fortress and it can be reached via two main ways. Don't choose the one requiring use of the grapple hook because it leads to the lair of a powerful monster called the Headless - come back to it later in the game. Select the path where you jump to lower stone shelves.
You will encounter the big white snake - it is a difficult opponent, although the confrontation with it is linear. All the steps needed to survive the encounter with the snake are described in a separate section of the manual, entitled Bosses.
Step 9 - Defeating first main boss - General Gyoubu Oniwa
When you run away from a big snake, you will get to the new fortress, which is the last part of Ashina Outskirts. Get to the big battle field, where there will appear a new strong boss - General Giubo Oniva. Defeating the boss will be easier, if you already created a Shinobi Firecracker. This item can be used to scare the horse the General uses to travel around the battlefield.
As a reward for defeating the boss you will get, in particular, the first Memory, through which you can increase the strength of all attacks (reach any statues of the sculptor). More specifically, we described it on the page how to increase the hero's attack power?.
Finally, we recommend you to explore the previously inaccessible staircase around the main building of the fortress. There you will find another merchant (Battlefield Memorial Mob), who puts up a new gourd seed for sale (this has a maximum of 4 loads at the moment).
From now on, you have more leeway. You can continue your way through the Ashina Outskirts to reach the castle (access to the castle is guarded by a new boss) or return to the family mansion of Hirata and resume her research. Defeating the mansion's bosses should be a bit easier thanks to the presence of four medicinal gourd charges and increased attack power.