Kena: Bridge of Spirits Cheats and Tips
Blocking Should Be A Last Resort
Kena possesses an omnidirectional shield that she can hold for a pretty long time, which, in a pinch, is a powerful defensive measure. But it’s not one that you want to rely on. Kena’s shield should be considered a last resort–something that you use when all else fails and you know you’re about to get hit.
This is because the shield slows Kena down. Early on, this isn’t too much of a problem, but after the opening hours of the game, you’ll start facing groups of enemies, minibosses, and bosses, all of which are both fast and hit incredibly hard. Standing in place and raising a shield may protect you from the first few attacks, but even once it’s upgraded, the shield can’t withstand multiple blows from groups of enemies or combo platters dished out by hard-hitting minibosses and bosses, some of which can smash through Kena’s shield in a single swing.
So early on, get into the habit of parrying, dodging, and jumping to counter and avoid enemy attacks. Parrying is a crucial skill to get down, and one that can come in clutch later down the line–it’s a skill you’ll just have to practice to get better at. Most of the hardest hitting attacks in Bridge of Spirits have a tiny window of opportunity to parry, so having a solid grasp on dodging is good for avoiding those. Jumping can help too, in that smaller enemies and larger enemies that attack with horizontal swings can’t reach Kena when she double jumps. As you play, you’ll naturally begin to recognize patterns and learn whether to parry, dodge, or jump to protect yourself–and since all three of those actions can lead into attacks, they’re much better than just standing still and blocking, waiting for the enemies to stop pummeling you in order to attack.
When All Else Fails, Stun Interrupt
Beyond just defending, Kena can aggressively stop certain attacks too. As you play, you’ll notice that all enemies–including minibosses and bosses–usually have a couple of attacks with long wind-ups. Parrying or dodging these attacks is all about timing, but there is an easier way of avoiding them: arrows and bombs.
Kena’s long-range arsenal can knock enemies out of their animations (in most cases–not all!), which will stop them from using whatever attack they were preparing. Once you unlock new powers, using an arrow is the easiest way to do so, given the speed at which Kena can fire one off. However, bombs (which you unlock later in the game) can typically work too–the key is that you usually have to hit the enemy in the head, which is easier to do with the bow.
There is a big exception to this rule. You’ll see that some minibosses and bosses have these powerful attacks with huge wind-ups–they’re easy to spot because during the wind-up, the enemy emits a red mist. That red is telegraphing a blow that Kena cannot interrupt nor block–you’re only hope is an exceptionally well-timed dodge.
In Bridge of Spirits, combat is hard, and the only way to really alleviate its challenge is through Kena’s powerful Rot-based abilities. They are excellent for dealing massive amounts of damage and controlling the flow of battle to give you some breathing room. The only way to use those abilities is by spending Courage, which can most easily be accrued in combat by dealing damage to enemies. There are other ways to gain Courage–on the two easier difficulties, you also accrue it whenever you take damage–but regardless of difficulty, you want to keep attacking and earn more Courage because beyond damage, Courage is also the only way you can heal during a fight too.
So never back off from a fight unless you absolutely need to (like you see an enemy approaching that’s going to self-destruct)–staying in the thick of combat and weakening enemies is crucial for both dealing the most damage and staying alive. Hitting most enemies also knocks them off-balance, so you’ll often avoid most damage by keeping your enemies reeling.
Don’t Heal Until You Have To
Kena has a “just one more hit and you’re finished” state. You can tell when you’re one hit away from death by looking at the health bar–it will be red and flashing. Kena will always enter this state before death. So even if she only has a tiny sliver of health left, if it’s not red and blinking, you have at least one more hit before you’re one hit away from dying.
To maximize the effects of healing, it’s better to wait until you’ve entered this state before you send the Rot to grab more health–you can usually only heal a few times each fight, so just healing whenever is not an ideal strategy. Wait until you really need to heal before deciding to heal.