Master unlocks after you've completed the game once and it is going to be a hell of a task for you to complete. The trash mobs will murder you, the mini-bosses will make you find religion, and the main bosses will turn you into a born-again Christian. This difficulty is not easy by any means, so you want to prepare yourself before jumping into it. The increase in difficulty from Expert to Master is quite a jump. On Expert, your Rot-attacks still felt like they did a good chunk of damage and there weren't nearly as many adds/trash mobs constantly being spammed throughout the fights. On Master, your heaviest attacks do very little damage and you'll constantly be fighting a multitude of enemies at once, requiring you to stay on your toes and be alert at all times. If you spent 4-5 minutes on the boss fights on lower difficulties, you can expect to spend 10+ on Master, not including the number of restarts you'll be needing to do.
- The first recommendation I have is to turn of Combat-Assist and Attack-Assist camera/s in the options menu. While on the lower difficulties, these did tend to come in handy, but when you have 7-8 enemies surrounding you, the camera assist is very finicky as to which enemy it decides it wants to target and can easily get you turned around and facing enemies you didn't want to. They just don't work that well on Master, so just turn them off.
- The second recommendation is to collect everything, even if you already did on your first playthrough. You'll need the HP from the Meditation Spots, you'll need the Rot Points from the Rot, and you'll need to upgrade everything ASAP with what little Karma that game provides you. There is no NG+ so nothing from your original game carried over, but you can rest assured that if you did collect everything on your first run, going back through a second time is so much quicker and should be far less of a headache.
- The third recommendation is to save your Rot Points on the main bosses. Taro and Adira (Woodsmith) both have two phases to their fight. You want to build up your Rot Points in the first half (and do your best to not get hit) and save their gem attacks until the second half (more info on these below). Toshi has 3 different parts so his will be a by-fight basis (see below as well). Then of course the final boss which will... look, we all have to go grey at some point, might as well let it happen during a video game fight. See below for tips on all of these bosses.
- The fourth recommendation isn't even a recommendation, but more so a "do not do this period". Do not go chasing after yellow orbs. If you're close enough to them, just use your pulse ability and your Rots will pick them up for you. Running into danger for them is not worth it. Put your itty bitties to use.
From there, you'll need a bit of patience, a lot of practice, and a dash of luck. While patch 1.06 did ease the timing restraints for your parry, please take note that on Master, it is still not the easiest move to perform. At least for the bosses, it really felt like the chances of parrying was a lot smaller than with the trash mobs/mini-bosses. While this move is a great counter-attack, you really need to save your shield and HP, so if you find yourself struggling to perform parries, it's best to move past them and find another method to defeating the enemy/ies. If you find yourself not struggling at all, make sure you get the "successful parry = 1 Rot Point" upgrade as soon as you can. It will make your life so much easier. The Mini-Boss Fights
Compared to the main boss fights, the mini-bosses are far more forgiving. You don't really need to save your Rot Points and can use them at your leisure. They're also, or so it seems, a bit easier to time the parry with, so feel free to use that at your disposal (if you can). See the video below if you need any further assistance. This shows the mini-bosses as well as the main bosses, so it should be a decent enough reference to aid you.The Main Boss Fights
These are a whole other story. It's not as easy as saying "just try again". They are very specific with their attacks and at times, even feel a bit unfair. These are also included in the video below, but I've also tried to do my best to explain how each fight will work out and what you need to look out for in hopes that it helps you, even if just a little bit. Corrupt Taro
You want to have the Rot Hammer and/or the Rot Arrows for this fight. If you have enough Karma, also try and have a shield upgrade and the upgrade that slows down time when aiming your bow (this is useful for the lantern and the blue gem). You also want to try and have at least 3 Rot Points at your disposal.
Taro will be the first boss you go up against and as mentioned above, he has two phases. The first phase, you'll be using the lantern around his neck as often as possible to stun him, then attack him to build up your Rot Points. In fact, that should be the first thing you do right out the gate. The lantern is a bit finicky, so just remember to aim low versus right on it. There will be times when you clearly hit and it just kind of swings back and forth, so really try to aim for the actual glowing part. When it's hit, he'll become dazed, but will take 3 swipes at you before he regains himself. Shoot him with your Bow during this time. It'll take about 10 seconds for the lantern to turn back on after each time it's hit. This may feel like a slow process at start, but it's well worth it to save the Rot Points for phase 2. Almost all of his attacks can be evaded by rolling out of the way, so don't worry too much about trying to parry (as mentioned above, the parry ability can be quite hard to time properly on Master). You want to do your best to get through this first phase without getting hit.
As soon as he hits 50%, he'll move into phase 2. When he does, he'll stop in the center of the fight area, have some purple-ish emblems surround him, then do a blast. You'll need to shield this blast if you're too close to him as it does a hefty amount of damage. Immediately after this, he'll back away and run up to you, unleashing a combo of 3-4 moves. Evade this by rolling to the side. Do not roll directly forward or backward.
He will smack you in the face if you do. The final attack of the combo will be him jumping up in the air and doing a smash attack. You can try to parry this if you feel confident, but I personally found shielding it to work the best since it won't break your shield and you'll be saved some damage. He will lose his weapons at this point and just be left with claws for days.
Now for the rest of Phase 2, you want to repeat the lantern process from Phase 1, but it'll be a lot more tedious this time around. Just remember to try and aim low whenever it's on and if you hit him, he'll become dazed. As the fight progresses, make sure you are always sprinting sideways/straffing. He has an attack where he'll go to the outer rim of the area and jump in the middle to try and grab you. As long as you're constantly straffing, you should be able to evade this with a roll right before he actually grabs you. You need to time the evade perfectly/right before he actually touches you. This is one move that felt rather cheap half the time because even if you clearly see yourself rolling out of the way, he'll still manage to grab you. It's a little annoying. When you get him down to about 1/4, go ahead and use your rot on the glowing blue gem on his shoulder. When the Rot are distracting him, you need to shoot the blue gem, which is much easier said than done because he moves very quickly and you only have about 4-5 seconds to shoot it. This may take a few tries, but once you hit it, it'll do a pretty hefty amount of damage, giving you little to finish him off with. Adira (Corrupt Woodsmith)
You want to have the Rot Hammer, Rot Arrows, and Rot Bombs for this fight. If you have enough Karma, also try and have a shield upgrade and the upgrade that slows down time when aiming your bow (this is useful for the yellow gem in Phase 2). You also want to try and have at least 4 Rot Points at your disposal and the upgrade that allows you to start with one Rot Point in each fight.
As mentioned above, Adira also has 2 phases to her fight. Compared to Taro's, though, her 1st phase is pretty tame. It's the 2nd phase that will drive you nuts. Just remember to not use any Rot Points in phase 1 to give yourself a fighting chance.
In Phase 1, the village heart will be in the middle of the room and Adira will be connected to it via a tether. You need to place a bomb on the heart, use your pulse (
) to explode it, then shoot the crystal that appears 3 times to break the tether with Adira. When the fight starts, Adira will immediately try to attack you. Double jump over her attack and proceed to bomb/shoot the heart. When she's disconnected, go absolutely ham on her. You should be able to gain a full Rot Point if done correctly, but it's ok if you're a little under. When she stands up, she turns a little bit before jumping away. Move out of the way before she jumps
. It does minor AOE damage, but you really want to try and avoid getting hit in Phase 1. If you do, just let her kill you and try again. Do not use the healing plants. Save those for Phase 2.
After she jumps away, she'll hit the heart with her hammer (where arguably some of the best boss fight music will play out). Each time she hits it, a wave of fire will circle out. Additionally, fireballs will also fly around the room. When they land, they will also send out a wave of fire and spawn an added enemy. Jump and double jump to avoid these. As soon as the heart closes back up, jump and aim (to automatically slow down time) and repeat the process of bombing the case and shooting the heart 3 times. When the tether is broken, repeat the process of attacking Adira. Again, be sure to move out of the way when she stands up and turns. Repeat this process one more time and when you shoot the heart 3 times the 3rd time, move away from the center
. A small blast will happen that you don't want to get hit by. Phase 2 will start here.
In Phase 2, Adira loses her damn mind and will throw everything she possibly can at you. You want to try and have at least 3 full Rot Points to start, then fill in the 4th (if you have a 4th point available, of course). This is where your Rot Bombs will come in super handy. Also, just to further emphasis this whole parry situation, it is incredibly difficult to parry Adira's attacks. If you're having trouble, you'll need to rely on evading/rolling and jumping over everything she throws at you.
There are a few attacks you need to be on the lookout for during this fight. If Adira backs away and starts charging a glowing sword in front of her, she's about to throw it at your face. You need to wait until she actually throws it before jumping over it. If you jump too early, she'll toss it up in the air at you, making it impossible to evade. If she starts to chase you, she is more than likely about to do a 2 or 3 swing attack. As long as you're in a constant sprint, you should be able to roll out of the way of these pretty easily. If you get too close to her, she'll fly up in the air after a few seconds and come smashing down, releasing a wave of fire that you need to jump over. Finally, and this is the pain in the ass one, she'll fly up and land in the center fire. She'll start smashing her sword, releasing wave after wave of fire. Two add-enemies will also spawn during this time. Fair warning on these little guys... while they are easier to parry than Adira, they can attack you from across the room. If you see them starting to run towards you, they're getting ready to attack, so just be prepared. Adira has one more attack that she does, but it's related to your bombs so please see below for that one.
Throughout the fight, your main method of attack will be the random one-off arrows if you can land them, but will mostly be your Rot Bombs. When these explode, they create a bubble and any enemy within the bubble will become frozen/slow down tremendously for a few seconds. The issue is that you can't quite throw the bomb directly on her unless she's in the middle of an attack. For at least the first half, you want to throw the bomb on the ground near here, explode it with
, then attack her while she's slowed down. If you throw the bomb on her when she's not in the middle of an attack, she'll catch it, get rid of it, throw her sword at you, try to punch you, then smash the ground to create a mini wave of fire. As with her other sword throwing attack, you want to wait until she actually tosses it before jumping over it. The other two moves are pretty easy to dodge.
When she jumps into the center the first time is when you want to throw a regular bomb on her (wait until she actually starts smashing her sword so she doesn't throw it back at you). When it explodes, she'll freeze in a place and a yellow gem will appear from her chest. Quickly shoot this gem 3 times to do some decent damage and stun her, then just attack her like mad. After a few seconds, she'll pull her hand back and get ready to swipe you. Just roll out of the way before she does. You can only break this gem once, so after it's done the first time, you'll need to rely on your Rot Bombs to get you through the rest of the fight (as well as the random arrows you can land, of course). If she ends up spawning the two minions, try and aim to get all 3 within one Rot Bomb. If you can take out the minions, you can easily gain about 1 1/2 Rot Points. If you feel yourself getting pretty close to defeating her, you can use your Rot Hammer and Rot Arrows to do more damage to get her down.
Don't rush any of this. You need to be reactive to whatever she is doing so you can be sure to dodge what you need. If you start button mashing all over the place, you'll start to struggle with combos and it won't be a pretty sight. This will undoubtedly take a few tries, but it just gives you a chance to really learn her moves and what best works for you. Corrupt Toshi
Dash, dash, and dash some more. You want to make sure you have the Rot Bomb and "start fights with one Rot Point" upgrades for this (which you should already have from your fight with Adira), but the Dash ability is what will make this fight so much easier for you (to the point where it's arguably the easiest Boss fight in the game).
Toshi has 4 main attacks and 1 main counter that he will use against you.
- If he raises his staff up in the air and purple orbs start to swirl, he's about to toss a spirit shield your way. Dash through it to avoid taking damage.
- If he starts running towards you, he's about to beat your face in with a painful 5 move combo that you can parry, but use dash instead (see below).
- After he takes a few hits, he'll teleport to the opposite side of the arena and fly up in the air. He'll start to summon a lot of spirit orbs and unleash them on you (these will actively chase you around, so be careful).
- After the second dose of beatings he takes, he'll fly up in the center of the Arena. After about 2-3 seconds, he'll slam down, causing a shockwave to fly out and sharp boulders to come up from the ground.
- If you're having a bit too much fun punching him in the face, he'll swipe his sword at you, causing fire to surround him.
The strategy for this fight is easy to follow and will save you the headache of even attempting to parry his gnarley combo attack. When the fight starts off, he'll do one of two attacks - he'll either do the spirit shield or immediately start with the combo. If he starts with the shield, wait for him to deploy it, then dash through. If he starts with the combo, immediately dash into him, stunning him for a second or two, giving you a chance to get a few hits in. You should have one available Rot Point at the start of the fight, so after your first dash, toss a Rot-infused bomb on the ground near him
(do not throw it directly on him, he'll just absorb it) and detonate it with
. He'll freeze for a few, allowing you to hit him. At this point, he should fly across the room to do the spirit orb attack, but if he doesn't, dash into him again and hit him a few times more. Just keep an eye on your shield during this since the dash depletes it.
When he flies across the room and unleashes the spirit orbs, there will be a glowing halo around his head. Jump and aim your bow (to slow down time) and send him an arrow right in the head. This will cause the orbs to explode and him to fall to the ground for about 4-5 seconds, allowing you to get a hefty amount of hits in. When he gets back up, wait for him to stand up properly (otherwise he'll just dodge everything) and dash into him, stunning him again. Get 1 or 2 more hits in, then back off. Let him follow you around the room and wait for him to start to jog towards you. When he does, as mentioned above, he's about to do his combo move. Instead of running away, run towards him and right before he gets a chance to even prep the first hit, dash into him to stun him. Bam. Combo move dead before it began. Hit him a few times, then dash into him again to get a few more hits off. At this point, you should have at least 1 Rot Point (possibly 2) available for use. Use whichever you have to keep in a stunned position and attack him. When you run out of bombs, you may have to do another dash attack, but he should make his way to the center of the arena at about this point.
When he's in the center, he'll stay up in the air for about 2-3 seconds before slamming down. Double jump over the shockwave he produces and aim your bow while in the air (to slow down time). Just as before, he'll have another halo around his head. Shoot him in the head to stop the boulders and bring him down. Rock his world with a few heavy attacks and when he starts to get back up, back off a bit so he doesn't block your shots.
From here, you'll basically be repeating these steps. When he goes to attack you, dash into him to stop him. If your shield is low, run far away from him and let it regenerate. When he gets to about 1/4 of the way, you can stop using the Rot Bombs and switch to either Rot Arrows or your Rot Hammer (use these after a dash so he's stunned). They should bring him down the rest of the way pretty quickly, allowing you to defeat him. Corrupt Rot God
Before starting this fight, you want to make sure you have collected all the Meditation Spots possible, collect as much Rot (you should have 4 Rot Points before going in), and clear enough corruption to have at least the 5-arrow upgrade. If you can get the 6, that will be even more ideal, but it's ok if you don't have enough Karma/don't want to go get more (it's tedious, I understand).
No beating around the bush, this fight is the worst. It's by far the longest and due to your inability to heal for the first 3rd of the fight, making sure you evade, dodge, and parry what you can is crucial. There are a whopping 5 phases to this boss, the first two of which you won't have your Rots to help. This is a very bow-heavy fight, so go easy on the trigger buttons. Make sure you're always aiming before firing so you don't kill yourself by doing a slam attack when you meant to fire an arrow. Phase 1
Phase one will include a lot of jumping/aiming (to slow down time), even more sprinting, and even more rolling around like a madman... woman... person. The Rot God will start across from you and they'll have 7 corruption points on their body: 2 on the left side of the body, 2 on the right side of the body, 1 on his right shoulder, 1 on his left hand, and 1 right in the middle of his big 'ol head. As the fight progresses, you need to aim and shoot these until they explode. Go for the ones that you can see when standing in front of him: right shoulder, left hand, head, and the two that are on his legs. You'll need to get his HP down 1/3 of the way to finish the phase. In this first phase, he has 5 main attacks that he'll use against you:
- He'll chase after you (albeit slowly) from which you'll need to sprint towards him (yes, towards him!) and roll underneath him (try to roll between his legs so you don't get stuck under his tail). He'll swipe at you with his right hand, attempting to grab you. If he does, he'll immediately take about half your HP away and toss you into the Rot.
- Similar to above, he'll chase you (and you'll run and roll), but he'll swipe with his left hand, attempting to hit you. Immediately after, he'll raise his right hand up and slam it down, creating a small shockwave that you won't have to worry about if you're far enough away from him (it's not that big at all, tbh... that's what she said...)
- Also similar to above, he'll chase after, but then eventually stop and stand on his legs. After about 2-3 seconds, he'll slam down with all his might and create a massive shockwave that you'll need to double jump over. You'll know when he's about to do this one if he's chasing you and it suddenly gets a tad too quiet and he appears to have stopped tailing you so close.
- When he's on the other side of the arena, he'll pull his right arm back and send a ground splitting shock at you. This is pretty easy to just roll out of the way of.
- If you get too close to his face, he'll try and headbutt you. Just roll out of the way of this one as well.
All while this is going on, you want to continue shooting your chosen corruption points. When you've removed the final one, he'll stand up in the air all dramatic-like and you'll be pushed into Phase 2. Phase 2
In Phase 2, you'll find yourself in a much smaller fight area where you'll need to defeat two waves of enemies to start. The first wave will have 1 Moth and 2 Skeletal enemies (that are insanely cheap, btw). Take out the moths first (jump and aim to slow down time and use charged arrows versus just normal ones), then quickly take out the skeletal enemies. If the skeletons start to run, they're about to attack you and even if you roll away, they will hit you from all the way across the room. If you can parry, that would be ideal, but if you're like me and just struggle to do so, just hit them before they hit you to break their attack and burn them down.
After this first wave is done, the second wave will appear. This will include 2 more Moths, 1 Skeletal, and 3 Crocolisks. Be careful with the Crocolisks - if they stick their tongues out, they're either about to shoot an exploding orb your way or try to bite you. Try your best to stay away from them until you're ready to take them out. Take out the Moths first, followed by the Skeletal, then the Crocolisks. After you defeat the second wave, a portal will open up, but you're not done yet!
Dash through the portal and you'll be in another fight area. This time, you'll have 2 Moths, 2 Skeletals, and 1 Wood Guardian to take out. As before, take out the Moths first followed by the Skeletals, but always make sure the Guardian is in view so you can jump over (or parry if you can) his attacks. When it's just the Guardian, how you take him out will be based on your skill level. Again, if you have no trouble parrying, you're good to coerce his attacks and counter them accordingly. If you've had issue with the parry, you're going to take a note from the Toshi fight and utilize your dash, but more importantly, you're going to use your double jump/slam attack. When you shoot him with an arrow (or even just aim at him), he'll 90% of the time run towards you to try and hit you. Double jump over him and hit
to slam down on him. Get a few light attacks in, then dash into him to get him away from you. Run away from him, then repeat this process. Every now and then he'll throw his weapon at you. Just double jump over this and use your bow to try to hit his crititcal spots to deal even more damage. This will take a few to get him down this way, but it's a lot better than him just beating your face in. After you defeat him, you'll get a few Rots back and 1 Rot Point. Dash through the next portal to start Phase 3. Phase 3
This will be very similar to Phase 1, but one additional attack will be added. You'll still need to destroy the corruption points on his body (it doesn't matter which ones you did in Phase 1, they'll be the same no matter what), this time it'll take 4. The extra attack he has this time around is a giant laser beam. If he backs away from you and starts to spark, he's about to use it. You can legit just roll through
this to get away from it. Even though it's clearly touching you, you won't take any damage (finally something in your favor, eh?). Since you have a Rot Point available now, you can use your Rot-infused arrows to take out the corruption spots a little quicker. After you destroy the last one, you'll get bumped into Phase 4 which will be a welcomed break from the straight combat you've been pushing through for the past almost 10 minutes. Phase 4
Basic platforming with no enemies. You need to jump across the rocks and fly from flower to flower until you reach the top, where you'll get the remaining Rots you were missing. Don't worry about if you fall during this phase - you won't die (thank God!). You'll get all of your Rot points back as well (though they won't stay full for too long, but it'll be nice just to know that they're there). Collect them, then go through the portal to start the 5th and final phase. Phase 5
By far the roughest phase of them all thanks to your Skeletal friends that don't know the definition of evade (as well as your Moth friends). You'll be done with corruption spots on his body now, but your focus will shift to the large spears sticking out of his back, each of which will take 1 Rot Point to remove. You don't start with a Rot Point (even if you have the upgrade) so you'll need to gain one. Stay away from the boss at first as he's going to do a bit of a lightning attack and if you get too close, he'll send a shockwave at you. When he's done, fireballs will drop from the sky and create waves of fire that you need to jump over. There will be about 6-7 of these. All the meanwhile, there are skeletal enemies that you need to be aware of and hit as best you can to build up your Rot Points (also be on the lookout for any yellow orbs that drop and use your pulse ability to pick them up). After the fire is done, the boss will send out a massive spirit shield that you'll need to dash through. After this, moths will join the fight.
The boss will come back and start charging up again. At this point, you should be close to getting a Rot Point if you don't already have one. When he's charging, use your Rot Point on one of the spears on his back to remove it. This will royally piss him off and he'll basically jump back into Phase 2, but the skeletal and moth enemies will remain. Dodge his attacks as best you can while attacking the adds when you have time to do so. You'll need 2 more Rot Points to finish off the fight. Each time he sits back and stars to "charge up" is when you want to use your Rots on the spears (the spears will actually be glowing here). Repeat this process until all of the Spears have been removed and you will have defeated the Corrupted Rot God and, more importantly, beat Master mode.