While the new Samurai action game Nioh may not be quite as obtuse as its spiritual cousins, Let it Die and Dark Souls 3, there's a lot of cool hidden stuff in the game.
Eight Things You Didn't Know About 'Nioh'
From little facts to mechanical tricks, there's a lot you might have missed in #Nioh that sets it apart from other #VideoGames. For example, did you know the bizarre burning wheels in the title image were from Japanese mythology? According to legend, they were monks who sinned so much their bodies were burned up and they were cursed to walk (or roll) the earth for eternity! And that's only the beginning...
1. The Cat Clock Is Real
Okay, so maybe ninja didn't carry them around in their coats like an olde-timey pocket watch (can you imagine the scratches), but they did tell the time using a cat's eyes. The closer it was to dawn, the less dilated the cat's eye would be. A handy thing to know for a warrior who worked in the dark.
2. Almost Every Character In The Game Actually Existed
From Hanzo Hattori to Yasuke, the first western samurai, almost every character you meet in the game comes straight from the Sengoku era of feudal Japan. There's a little bit of time fudgery to get them all in one place at the same time, but not as much as you might think. Most of them are even wearing their actual historic armor.
Even the Western characters are based on real people. The protagonist is based on the sailor William Adams, who served as an advisor to Tokugawa, while the villain is based on Edward Kelley, the insane alchemist who believed he could talk to angels!
3. You Can Customize Your Character
While Nioh may not offer full character customization on the level of the Dark Souls series, it does let you customize your character's hairstyle and even apply new skins to appear as other characters!
To unlock new hairstyles, you'll simply have to spend a lot of money at the Blacksmiths, doing so will unlock patronage points. Once you've spent enough, open a dialog with the blacksmith and choose the option to unlock the barbers.
The other customization option comes with the hidden teahouse, which unlocks after you beat the "Spider Nest Castle” mission. Here you can spend glory points to take on the appearance of other NPCs in the game.
4. Amrita Is A Real Thing
The Amrita of Nioh isn't just the game's equivalent of XP, it's taken from a real concept. In both Buddhism and Hinduism, Amrita is considered the drink of immortality, similar to Ambrosia from ancient greek. It's consumed as part of sacred rituals and is said to provide numerous health benefits.
One legend states that it came to earth when the monster Rahu stole the Amrita from the Bodhisattva Vajrapani. Vajrapani struck Rahu down with a thunderbolt, but since the monster had eaten the Amrita already, he didn't die. Instead his blood spread across the earth full of diluted Amrita, where it caused healing herbs to grow.
5. You Gain Benefits From Passive Bonus Skills In Other Weapon Trees
If you've sunk some points into one weapon tree, then decide you prefer another, don't despair! The passive skills for weapons affect every weapon, not just the weapon you bought it for. Skills like Fortitude will give you the extra health no matter what weapon you use, and ever skills like Tachi Arts for the dual swords, which gives 10% more damage against enemies with full life bars, don't care which weapon you're wielding.
6. You Can High Five Your Friends In-Game
There's a hi five emote in Nioh, but like many games, all it appears to do is make you raise your hand as if asking for one. Normally you'd be eternally waiting for someone to give you some skin, but in Nioh, you can go one step further and complete it with a sick jumping hi five. Just line yourself up with your friend, choose the gesture, then close the gesture menu and hit square; you'll both jump in the air and finally seal your perfect co-op friendship with the hi five you always wanted.
7. There's Another, Even Harder Difficulty Level Once You Beat The Game
Finally, you've overcome every brutal challenge in Nioh, beaten every boss (perhaps with the help of a guide or two) and leveled up. Mission complete right? Time to go celebrate with a nice glass of Sake.
Not so I'm afraid, beating the game unlocks a new, even harder difficulty for every mission. It's not just more health and damage either. There's new enemy placements, more aggressive AI and mixed up boss battles with more enemies to fight!
8. You Can Blind Bosses
Onryoki's pretty tough with those big 'ol brass balls of his right? Well it turns out he's still vulnerable to the blinding shells you obtain through the Ninjutsu skill tree. Hitting him with one will lock him into a loop of picking them up and throwing them at his own feet, which gives you plenty of time to walk up and put him down at your leisure.
If you loved this list, stay tuned for the release of the latest Dark Souls 3 DLC in May, when we'll be delving into the hidden depths of The Ringed City.
Got any Nioh secrets to share? Did you know everything on this list, or learn something new? Let us know in the comments!