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Abyss Odyssey Guide: Hints, Tips and Notes for the Underground

15 Jul 2014  by   Peter Parrish
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ACE Team have just released their Roguelike-meets-Fighters title Abyss Odyssey, and it turns out to be rather good. Like many such procedurally generated titles, the depths of the Abyss hold many secrets and mysteries. If you’re struggling with any of that, or just want to know how to unlock the Pincoya as a playable character, look below.

Bear in mind that some of what follows will be outright spoilers for things. If you wish to maintain the whole sense of mystery for Abyss Odyssey, think carefully before reading below. It’s a lot more difficult to unread things.

Unlocking Characters:

Ghost Monk will become a playable character option after you defeat your first mini-boss with Katrien. Mini-bosses are those guys who look like shadow/nightmare versions of the main characters, and hand around in larger chambers in the Abyss. You’ll know when you meet one.

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Ghost Monk is pretty easy to get hold of, Pincoya takes more work.

The Pincoya requires gold. Quite a bit of gold. First, you need to get yourself to her realm. It moves around each time the Abyss reforms, but is marked as a yellow room on the map. Get yourself to this yellow room and then interact with the statue there. You’ll be given the chance to donate 1,000 / 5,000 / 10,000 gold. It takes something in region of 25,000-30,000 to unlock her. This doesn’t have to all be in one run, the game will remember how much you’ve put in so far. If you’re donating gold in a co-op game, it’ll count towards the host’s total (Tim did this when we played co-op and she appeared to unlock for both of us, but it was actually just in “my” game.)

All other playable creatures have to be acquired with a full mana bar and a sufficiently high level. You can only grab the souls of creatures who have a level equal to or below yours. Mini-bosses, for example, are around level 30, while earlier foes like undead soldiers are far easier to absorb.

There’s a priest in the upper levels of the Cathedral entrance (over on the left) who will sell you versions of the creatures you’ve captured to date. This way you can start your adventure with a transformation option (for a price.) For me, the priest only showed up after unlocking Pincoya. However, this also coincided with a pre-release patch for the Abyss Odyssey review code, so I can’t say for sure which was responsible for his appearance.

Camp Tokens / Respawning:

There are two types of altar in the game, Warlock altars and what I’ll call Character altars. The former is marked with a Warlock mask, while the other has statues of the main three characters. It’s possible to use a Camp Token to set a respawning checkpoint at either, but you can only revive characters at the Character altars. If you soldier makes it to a Warlock one, that won’t do much. Warlock altars tend to have random weapons or items on them though.

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This is the Warlock type shrine/altar.

If you character is very low on health and near a Character shrine, it can be wise to just get yourself killed and give your soldier an easy trip for a full health revival. Doing this will cost you any ring/amulet type items you were holding (this seems a bit inconsistent, as I’ve sometimes kept them) as well as any potions. Keys and weapons can be recovered from your corpse by the soldier, so you should always get to keep those. Be aware that a shrine will only work once. If you die on the very same stage (or your co-op partner dies,) you’ll have to go deeper to find a new one for a fresh revival.

If you die and your soldier dies before making it to a Character shrine, you’ll respawn at any camp site you set a Camp Token at. You get a number of respawns corresponding to the Camp Token type (one, two or three.) Be smart about where you use these. There’s very little point using one right near the top of the Abyss. Wait (if you can) until you’ve at least made some significant progress.

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And this is the Character altar. The character statues are your clue, there.

Camp Tokens can be purchased at the second entrance to the Abyss (from the shopkeeper) and shopkeepers in the Abyss will sometimes sell them too. Dying soldiers will hand you one as a random item drop if you’re pretty lucky.

The Warlock stage at the very bottom of the Abyss has a Character shrine before the boss confrontation, so don’t worry if you’re entering there as a solider. Your main character will get revived before the showdown.

Character Skills and Abilities:

The official ACE Team guide on Steam covers the nitty gritty of Abyss Odyssey combat very well, so give that a read for the subtleties behind cancels and the like.

Each of the three main characters gets their second special ability after dying and returning to the limbo area, so it’s arguably to your benefit to die quite quickly in a first run in order to pick that up as soon as possible.

Another special ability is hidden across the second Abyss entrance. Double jump across the pit to get it.

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Here’s the ability sphere in the Cathedral rafters.

There’s also one in the rafters of the Cathedral entrance.

I’d advise levelling up the special cancels before adding damage/mana to the other abilities. Cancels are incredibly useful in fights, so you may as well get all three as quickly as you can.

Special Abyss Stages:

A few of the Abyss Odyssey stages are marked with special icons on the map. I’ve already mentioned what the yellow room means (Pincoya’s realm,) but here’s what the rest are.

Floating violin. In this stage, the skeletal violist Niccolo Paganini will appear at an altar and offer you a random magical item (sometimes a creature soul.) If you accept, he’ll show up later to fight you. Doing so and winning will get you an achievement if you’re wanting to collect all of those.

While we’re on the subject of skeletons. The skeletal guitar player who shows up on some stages and asks for 100 gold in return for some wisdom is a decent source of experience points. His sayings have various effects, but almost all are worth the experience point to gold cost. Occasionally he’ll heal you too, so unless you’re incredibly strapped for gold it’s pretty much always worth it.

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Thanks. I think.

Floating devil face. In this stage, the mini-boss will not be so mini. You’ll have to face a weirdo called Verbum Dei (Voice of God) who wears six crowns, has a sword in his mouth and enjoys calling forth a horse to trample you. Beating him gets you an achievement and (I had to do it twice for this to happen) a Warlock journal page. You should get a character ability the first time you defeat him too, though that may be randomised.

Mysterious ? stages. Entering these stages casts you as a random creature in the shadow/limbo realm. Generally, you have to defeat four other creatures to succeed. If you win, your main character will be restored to full health (or returned from death if you’re controlling the soldier at this point) and gain that creature’s soul. Lose, and your main character (or solider) will take a health hit. This seems to correspond to how poorly you did.

On Hidden Shops and Fighting Shopkeepers:

Indents on the map (see image below) indicate hidden rooms. Bash the wall down to go through and find weapons, chests or shopkeepers. Sometimes the wall will be constructed from an element like ice or fire. Use the element’s opposite on it (if you have one) to knock these walls down. Katrien and Monk’s fireball will always work on the ice walls, for example.

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See the indent on the mini-map? That’s your clue for hidden rooms.

Fighting shopkeepers has only ever netted me experience points. You get a decent amount (400 or so,) but I’ve never had them drop an item on death. This may be random, or they may just never drop their wares.

With these pointers in mind, you can go forth and conquer the depths of Abyss Odyssey.

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