Ska Studios' latest Metroidvania-RPG Salt and Sacrifice, like many of the Souls-like genre that makes up half of its DNA, can be a touch intimidating for players looking for their first mage. Sacrifice's menus are purposely (and often painfully) opaque, there's no mapping system, and characters have an impractical tendency to speak in hazy riddles with references to esoteric parts of knowledge, much like the first game in the series.
So it's fortunate that this essay includes some sound tips for an aspiring Inquisitor. These hints will help you get through the first few hours of any quest, from where to find edible berries to how to deal with a Skallin at fifty yards.
1. Use Health Items
While Hearthen flasks will be a player's major source of healing on the move, Inquisitors in need of a quick boost should turn to the modest Bloodberry. They're common enough that most inventory will end up with a full stack of five sitting in them practically by mistake while foraging for Valley Herbs.
Though they heal less hit points at a slower rate than their medicinal siblings, they can be a lifeline if a character is caught without a flask after a difficult combat.
2. Make Use Of Trinkets
On top of two Rings, an Amulet, and a Charm, each Inquisitor can equip up to three Artifact slots at a moment (Offensive Artifacts, Defensive Artifacts, and Utility Artifacts). These trinkets range from jewellery to mystery idols that grant advantages to anything from melee attack strength to resistance to various sorts of magic.
Because it's not always evident whether a new item is a powerful stat-factory or just a piece of junk, it's crucial to keep an eye on the inventory to prevent missing out on some vital boosts. Players can also farm particular wizards to change their foes' entrails into more useful trinkets, so don't waste all of your resources on some strange-looking weapon varieties.
3. Look After Your Money
While the measure of experience in Salt and Sacrifice, Salt, is returned to the player when they return to the location where they last perished, any precious silver lost to the wilderness remains there. Because there is no visible financial system in the early game, the benevolent Merchant must save an Inquisitor's hard-earned bacon.
Silver bags holding 100, 500, or 1000 pieces can be purchased for a tiny premium and then sold when a player has enough money to purchase a new weapon or armour set. Silver kept in this manner will not be lost upon death, allowing Inquisitors to take risks without fear of financial ruin.
4. Keep An Eye Out For Shimmering Buds
At the best of times, Salt and Sacrifice can be a frustratingly difficult game, made even more difficult by the lack of cost-free healing. Verdantvoice Trista, who can be located in the Pardoner's Vale, can employ Shimmering Buds to increase the amount of times a Hearthen Flask can be drank between Obelisks.
When Bol Gerahn becomes available, one such bud may be located simply up a set of staircases to the right of the first Obelisk, a massive, dead tree. A Shimmering Bud rests at the summit of the tree, unguarded but for a few simple opponents, which should make any Inquisitor's path a lot easier.
5. Your Enemies Have Enemies Too
During Mage Trials, adversaries created by a fleeing magic-user have a ghostly blue tinge that marks them as Hazeburnt. Regular adversaries don't get along with Hazeburnt foes, and instead of attacking the player directly, the latter will often make a beeline for their conjured allies.
Canny Inquisitors can take advantage of the resulting commotion to down a few Hearthen Flasks, but they must be cautious: Hazeburnt opponents are usually far more powerful than conventional rivals in the same region, and after they're dead, they'll quickly turn on any mage-hunters nearby.
6. Test Out All Attacks
While the combat system in Salt and Sacrifice appears to be a straightforward light-heavy-block-dodge affair, each weapon offers a variety of combinations and special strikes with which to bash the inhabitants of the game's sparsely populated realms. For example, rushing forward before striking with the Vanguard may send smaller adversaries across the board, giving you valuable breathing room to deal with more difficult enemies.
Meanwhile, the Greatblade's massive combo culminates with a tremendous uppercut, stunning opponents and providing plenty of opportunity for adversaries to pile on the damage on their own.
7. You Can Reuse Skill Points
The skill tree in Salt and Sacrifice can be frightening at first, but players who want to play around with their numbers shouldn't be frightened off by the abundance of options.
Inquisitors gain Black Starstone as they level up, which they may use to unlock new skills, but every few levels they gain Grey Starstone, which can be used to recall the Starstone spent on any branch of the tree. This implies that players can progress through the skill tree and earn new weapons without having to worry about the long-term ramifications of purchasing a sidearm they won't use.
8. Spend Your Salt
A player will have enough Salt to gain a level or two not long after the first Skallin-skull hits the floor, but the game has little time for hand-holding once that stage is reached.
Return to Pardoner's Vale, turn left past Champion Hera, and keep going until you reach a climbing stairway that doubles back on itself. Taking the stairs up to the winged deer-type creature's monument unlocks the game's skill tree, where vanquished creatures' lifeforce can be swapped for some delectable stat improvements in Salt and Sacrifice.