Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is yet another gaming masterpiece from From Software. The developers behind the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne are known for creating vast worlds populated with unforgiving enemies. They also have a penchant for making games that balance on the border between extremely difficult and nigh impossible. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is no exception to this From Software rule. With the addition of a grappling hook and a more direct storyline, Sekiro should be proud to stand alongside its other From Software counterparts.
One of the major attractions of a From Software game, aside from its punishing gameplay loop that has us (insanely) begging for more, is the design of the world. As the shinobi Wolf, you explore a re-imagined version of 16th-century Japan. While the environment might be reminiscent of actual landmarks in Japan, there are certain aspects of the world that are just too fantastical to be real. And what is a From Software game without some hidden, hard-to-reach areas for its players to find in its fantasy world?
There are several areas that even the most ardent fans would find difficult to locate. Prayer Beads, Shinobi Shortcuts, Gourd Seeds, and more are hidden across the expansive map that comprises the land of Ashina. With determination and more than a little skill, you can find these secret spots for yourself. Read on if you want to learn about the most well-hidden and concealed areas with small surprises that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has in store for you.
25 Sunken Valley Pyramid Graves
Upon first dropping into the Sunken Valley, don't let yourself be swept away with the grandeur of this mystical place. Find and eliminate a pair of riflemen nearby. To your left, there should be a ledge for you to clamber on.
This path will lead you to a ravine that veers back toward the Ashina Outskirts. At the end of this path lie some stone graves in the shape of pyramids. Search around the graves and you will be rewarded with some much-needed Prayer Beads.
24 The Three-Storied Pagoda Near The Hirata Estate
The Hirata Estate holds many secrets. The most important is in a three-storied pagoda. A purple-cloaked enemy blocks your path to the building, and casual players might be tempted to skip past him and ignore it. Hardcore players will take the time to fight him.
Enter this pagoda once you've defeated him and search the rooms. Inside, you should find the Mist Raven's Feather. This item can help you craft the Mist Raven Prosthetic Tool. If you skipped out on the pagoda, you skipped out on that upgrade.
23 Deep In The Abandoned Dungeon
Violent crickets and undead enemies plague the bowels of Ashina Castle. However, exploring that area makes for some unsettling discoveries. The Abandoned Dungeon is spookiness personified, especially once you figure out what the surgeons of Ashina Castle are up to down there.
Be sure to talk to Doujun, a physician who only seems to want to stand in front of door leading further in, and fulfill his disturbing quest in order to gain access to a Bottomless Hole. Why? Well, for fun, of course.
22 Secret Passageway In Hirata Estate Audience Chamber
The Hirata Estate is more than just memories. It's chock-full of secrets. In the Audience Chamber, an especially observant player can find a Shinobi Door. These doors are secret revolving walls that lead to hidden areas.
In a hallway that looks like an impasse with a painting, hug that wall and find yourself in a secret room. There are plenty of goodies inside, including some Prayer Beads, so be sure to look around thoroughly before departing once again.
21 The Flames Of Hatred
This hidden area is only accessible once you've committed to the path of fighting the Demon of Hatred. (Spoilers ahead.) The Flames of Hatred is the location where you fight this optional boss. This boss, sadly, is what used to be the Sculptor.
If you want to find and fight him, you must side with Lord Kuro instead of Owl. Once that choice is made, interact with a Sculptor's Idol in the Ashina Outskirts (the one next to the gate on fire) and you will be transported to the Flames of Hatred.
20 Prayer Beads In The Attic
It is never a bad idea to go exploring for Prayer Beads. In the later stages of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, you're going to want the boost they can give you. (And by boost, we mean the ability to barely cling to life.)
Near the Battlefield Memorial Mob in Ashina Outskirts, there is a tall wooden building. You can recognize this building as the right one by the fact that it has a man in a red mask near it. If you go inside and climb up to the hidden attic, you'll find a chest with some Prayer Beads inside.
19 Across The Sunken Valley Canyon
Alongside Prayer Beads, Gourd Seeds are items you do not want to miss while playing Sekiro. They help you heal, and as any Dark Souls veteran can tell you, healing is key to surviving in a From Software game. One Gourd Seed, in particular, is extremely hard to find in the Sunken Valley.
Start at the Under-Shrine Valley Idol. Drop down below (carefully) and then leap across the gaping chasm. Go through the nearby tunnel and then grapple onto a branch to your left. Go onto the cliff ledge and keep to the left again. If you follow the path further, you'll find a sunny spot to take in a view of the canyon. Oh, and you'll also find that Gourd Seed.
18 Beneath The Lake By The Old Grave Idol
Some of the best-concealed locations in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice don't hold pleasant surprises. Instead, they hold secret mini-bosses.
There is a small pool near the Old Grave Idol by the Ashina Castle Tower. Dive below the water's surface to find a Headless mini-boss. The Headless are scattered around the land, and some of them are underwater. Before finding them, be sure Wolf knows the Mibu Breathing Technique. You can't be diving underwater without that.
17 Secret Armory In Ashina Castle Antechamber
While you're in the upper tower of Ashina Castle, make a pit stop in the War Room of the Antechamber. In the War Room, there are two suits of armor standing in front of a portrait on the wall. Hug the wall, and you will find that it is another Shinobi Door. It revolves and leads you to a hidden armory.
Unfortunately, you don't deck yourself out with a billion swords here, turning Wolf into a porcupine of weapons. But you can find some Prayer Beads and Coin Purses inside.
16 The Lake Near The Bamboo Thicket Shrine
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice definitely includes the strangest form of currency in a From Software game to date. Items can be paid for with Treasure Carp Scales (essentially scales from a fish), so it behooves you to find them.
While at the Hirata Estate, visit the Bamboo Thicket Slope Idol. There is a body of water nearby with a hapless fish for Wolf to carve up for a Treasure Carp Scale. Don't miss this spot or else you will miss out on a chance to stuff your shinobi wallet with...fish scales.
15 Mummy Room In Senpou Temple
Casual players of From Software games don't take the time to appreciate the environment. They're too busy surviving, which is understandable. When you reach the interior of Senpou Temple, there is a room within where some Priests are contemplating a mummy on a kind of altar.
After taking care of the still living Priests in the room, take the time to examine the mummified one on the altar. He's holding onto a Gourd Seed just for you. He's not too happy once you take it though.
14 Old Grave At Ashina Castle
The Old Grave is located by the reservoir behind Ashina Castle. Make your way to the courtyard where you fought the Shinobi Hunter and take a left past the main door. You will find a tranquil spot, complete with the said old grave and a Dragon's Blood Droplet.
The place is a surprisingly peaceful area, given that Ashina Castle itself is crawling with enemies. The surrounding area includes a bunch of goodies, but nothing beats the aura of calm emanating from the grave site.
13 Giant Carp Skeleton By Fountainhead Palace
A good rule of gaming to follow is that if a piece of the environment looks interesting and eye-catching, it might be worth your while to explore it. A good example of this is the giant carp skeleton located underwater by the Fountainhead Palace.
Casual players might glance at this landmark and think nothing of it. But you can approach it, explore it, and maybe find yourself some Treasure Carp Scales in the bargain. Only From Software can make a game where exploring a big fish skeleton seems natural.
12 Shinobi Shortcut In Kuro's Room
If anybody missed this next hidden area, they might need to get their ears checked. While exploring Lord Kuro's room, he will tell Wolf that there is a Shinobi Door nearby. The door/wall is by the library and the stairs.
This revolving door forms a secret passageway that connects Kuro's room in Ashina's Castle all the way to the Dilapidated Temple in the Ashina Outskirts. If that's not a shortcut of epic proportions, we don't know what is. Sometimes the walk is not worth it.
11 Downstream Of The Memorial Mob
This area can be easily passed over by players not plagued with curiosity. The Memorial Mob merchant by the Mibu Village Shrine is selling items, including Treasure Carp Scales. But why buy your scales when you can just take them from hidden areas?
Find a river near the Memorial Mob. Follow it downstream and you'll find a nifty little area. This area is unfortunately guarded by a purple enemy. If you defeat him, you can pick up a Treasure Carp Scale behind him and know you've earned it.
10 Ravine By Gun Fort Cave Shrine
After defeating the Long-Armed Centipede Giraffe, you might think that's all there is to it in that area. You would be wrong. There is a secret area right underneath the floorboards of the room you just slew the Long-Armed Centipede Giraffe in. (From Software uses pretty imaginative names for its enemies, don't you think?)
There is a network of tunnels to explore down there. One of these tunnels even includes Prayer Beads. Be warned. Another one of these tunnels includes some very unhappy lizards.
9 The Tree At The Center of Mibu Village
Don't feel too bad about destroying the villagers of Mibu Village. They are inadvertently concealing Gourd Seeds from you. Follow the river upstream from the Mibu Village Shrine. You should find a path that leads you to a fenced-off area with a tree at the center.
There are plenty of items by the tree, including a Gourd Seed. However, there are also plenty of villagers who are fool enough to take on Wolf in combat around there too. This area is set out pretty neatly before players and makes for an engaging find.
8 The Hidden Hut Of The Hirata Estate
From Software excels at hiding great items in inconspicuous locations. There is a tiny hut that stands innocuously on the Hirata Estate. This small building can be found past the campfire where you found the Flame Vent.
Continue on this path, sticking to the left, until you see two enemies outside this teeny shrine. Deal with them (quietly if you can) and then enter the building. Another delightful surprise, equivalent to the Flame Vent, awaits you inside.
7 Snow Adventures By The Under-Shrine Valley Idol
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will not only have you traverse the depths of underwater locations. It will also call upon you to journey up snowy heights.
If you go up the hill from the Under-Shrine Valley Idol, you will come across two enemies with rifles. After you dispatch them, you can climb up to where they were and observe your surroundings. There is a convenient Prayer Bead located nearby in case you want it. Or you could ignore it and just have Wolf breathe in the frigid air.
6 The Locked House In Ashina Depths
Locked doors mean nothing to a shinobi of Wolf's caliber. While wandering around Ashina Depths, you might have noticed a group of villagers praying to an imposing house. If you thought this situation at all strange, you might have attempted to enter said house. The door's locked, so there is no getting in that way.
What you're supposed to do is find a crawlspace to the area beneath the house. A Shinobi Door (more like a Shinobi Floor) will be above you, and you can flip the surface to gain ingress.
5 Past Snake-Eyes And Into The Cave
In Ashina Depths, there is a mini-boss fight with a Snake Eyes Shirafuji. There is a cave just past him that you can enter. As soon as you enter, look up and to your left to find a ledge you can grapple onto.
Using the grapple and your wall-jump ability, climb up the statue that you find there. On the statue's head is a small, hidden area with some handy-dandy Prayer Beads. You can linger in this place as you solemnly contemplate the next boss fight you're going to encounter.
4 The Gatehouse By The Ashina Castle Reservoir
When you return to the Ashina Castle Reservoir, you will be able to explore it more thoroughly than you could during your hushed journey in the prologue. You may have noticed a nearby bridge by a locked gatehouse.
On the bridge, two enemies are strolling along, minding their own business. Ruin their day by defeating them and stealing the key to the gatehouse for yourself. Inside the gatehouse is another prosthetic tool and the ability to give Wolf a little breathing room before heading out into the world again.
3 The Small Pool Past The Under-Shrine Valley Idol
Once the Mibu Breathing Technique is acquired, water can't stop Wolf from going wherever he wants. If you cross the chasm by the Under-Shrine Valley Idol, you can follow a path to a small pool of water.
Wolf can dive into this pool, which leads him to a dark cave. You can't enjoy the scenery while in this secret location. Why not? Well, a Headless mini-boss is lying in wait for you there. There's no time to dilly-dally when your life is in danger.
2 Riven Cave Exploration Before The Monkeys
Once you reach the Riven Cave Idol, don't burst through the tunnels looking to reach the next fight immediately. Explore the nooks and crannies of this small area. Plus, if you grapple up to a branch while still next to the Idol, you will be led to a tunnel that stores some Adamantite Scrap.
While calling a material as valuable as Adamantite "scrap" is confusing, it would be a waste to not collect it while you have the chance. You need this "scrap" to upgrade your prosthetic arm.
1 The Shinobi Shortcut To Senpou Temple
Shortcuts are a delight to the weary traveler in a From Software game. Access to a shortcut in Ashina Outskirts can be found just past the place where you fought the Chained Ogre. Continue forward and then take a right until you find a sign warning you about a Headless enemy.
Look down from a nearby shrine and you'll find a ledge you can grapple to beneath you. This ledge leads to a cave, which does indeed lead to a Headless mini-boss. Once past this guy, you can find the next Shinobi Door to the Senpou Temple region in Mount Kongo.