GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon launched last year for PC and Nintendo Switch as a modernization of the classic that debuted in the 1980s on the NES and now comes in a physical edition. Even if it has taken some hits from critics and users alike after a while in early access, some of us on the Gamereactor team have become addicted to this dark fantasy set in feudal Japan.
So, like a samurai, we prefer to sacrifice ourselves and die over and over again so that we can all the secrets of this demonic game that, once the gameplay and mechanics are understood, shows its most fun and satisfying side, taking you to many spectacular and exciting moments.
This guide collects some tricks and tips especially to get started in GetsuFumaDen, because the explanation of some concepts, especially those related to character evolution and game progression within the roguelite concept, are darker than Ryukotsuki’s heart. So, without further ado, if you are “rushing” through the first few levels of the game feeling like you are dying and making little to no progress, keep reading.
Health comes first
There are base enemies (Oni, we’re watching you) that will send you back to the clan base with a few punches, so aside from learning their attack patterns and trying to make sure regular enemies don’t take your health away from you except for unforeseen traps, it’s good to have a big health bar and some potions.
To have more health you need to Soul Devour Use one of the four upgrades you can see at the bottom of the screen. If you look closely, every time you pick up a blue soul (not a purple soul reminder, but the ones you find in large chests or on enemies with a pink aura) the Soul Devour marker moves to the next power from left to right. Our advice is that in the first few runs you should only press the right stick when the marker is at Health +, something you should do a few times before considering other options. Depending on your initial health, the first “injection” will be quite significant (about 700 HP), but then it will drop with each injection until it is not so useful (when it barely adds 300 HP).
And why start with Health+? It’s really quite simple: the longer your health bar is, the more your potions will recover, because they always restore half of your current health . In this way, you will quickly reach 4,000 HP and be able to meet almost any challenge.
- Tip: When you defeat a boss, the chest he leaves behind after his death spits out four souls. Look at your current Soul Devour marker and try to figure out how many souls you need for the effect you want instead of grabbing them all on the run.
Use healing potions wisely
With regard to potions, and based on what we just explained, it’s really very important to choose the best time to drink one. Of course, if you are on a boss and he hammers you while you are in the red zone, drink it as soon as possible, but it is wiser to have a strategy for potions while you are in a level.
You start the game with two potions (an amount that can be increased by investing Spirit Minerals), and you should not use them until you have increased your HP. To more potions to get, you can read one of the rock engravings in each level (you always get a potion and a small bag of materials), or use the fourth power of Soul Devour, which you want to use at the beginning to expand your health bar.
If you clear the level fairly easily, keep in mind that both the engraving rock and the spit potion are both on the map and won’t disappear, so you can leave the potion there to drink it or fill it up just before you face the boss, using the nearest teleporter. This can further improve your health along the way and the potion will then restore more HP when the time comes.
In fact, if you have a great run, your health bar can do very well while still having a backup potion, so using Soul Devour to generate an extra potion is an extremely consuming resource that should only be used when you are in trouble.
Play yellow: exhaust your enemies
To keep your health bar full, there are primary and secondary weapons you can use to health can recover if they have the right stats. The most common is the Fang of Pursuit: Yellow, which allows you to drain the enemy for a while. What’s that supposed to mean? It sucks the life out of them through a kind of umbilical cord, of vital link. You can even link up to several at a time with weapons like the Eldritch Bow or the Vampiric Gun, so you can hit them from afar and then watch them slowly fall. The problem is that it breaks the rhythm of the game and is a bit “lame.”
Once you start feeling more powerful, you may decide to forget this technique and look for others that are more suited to faster gameplay. But it never hurts to carry one of these in your bag.
- Tip: Study your enemies and the different states they cause, because they also know how to deflate, burn or bleed.
It’s a roguelite: you can turn off your console
Even if GetsuFumaDen is presented as a dark and merciless game, and although the progression is difficult and confusing, it is not as devastating as other roguelite games. So, here’s a trick: if you look closer, the game automatically saves as soon as you enter a level or a boss and saves your game not at the exact moment you die, but rather when your soul arrives at the clan base. If you’re crafty, you can turn off the console immediately after you die (or rather close the game) so you can just try the last part again. Of course, you lose some of your player honor in the process …
- Tip: Actually, in the most advanced areas and their respective bosses, if you push too hard and try to get through with this trick while having little health, potions and attack power, you will find out that it becomes impossible or not worth it for the next part, so don’t forget to take resources to the grave, Let yourself die and improve your character a little more to become more powerful next time.
Bring more resources and minerals to the grave
The way to improve in GetsuFumaDen is through resources and scrolls. The problem, as you may notice in your first few games, is that you can barely save anything when you die, so it feels like you’re starting from scratch. Therefore, we recommend that your first upgrades be focused on bringing more resources to the grave, especially Spirit Minerals, that kind of nine-shaped magamatama amulet which is used to permanently upgrade in the Training (green Spirit Minerals, the six basic skills) and Maestry Of the Secret Arts (yellow Spirit Minerals, the six secondary) sections.
The specific upgrade for this purpose will be Spirit Mineral Recovery named. Once set to Rank 2, it already saves you 40% of the green and yellow magatamas in your base’s warehouse the moment you fall. This upgrade allows you to progress with more confidence, so you might consider increasing the number of maximum healing potions you can carry, or even increasing the number of weapons that appear upon rebirth at the clan base (and their serial number). Base materials are also crucial for refining weapons, so Recovery upgrades will still matter after a while.
Returning to Getsu Clan Estate after death
We know that as a member of the Getsu clan you are ambitious and want to send demons to the underworld as soon as possible, but given that impatience is your worst enemy in roguelike and roguelite games, you need to meditate and rest in GetsuFumaDen to face the “suffering” with a clear mind. So, especially during your first games, it’s a good idea to return to the Getsu Clan Estate as soon as you defeat one of the first bosses. For example, we have Ryukotsuki, the boss of Land of Limbo (level 1) or the boss of Colossal Centipede, the boss of Hellfire Cliff (level 2).
You may ask: but why would I do that if I end up losing the weapons? Well, you get a much more powerful start, with increased health and the Soul Devour you used in the previous run. Moreover, you can take all the materials with you to use or store them in the base, instead of having to choose between boss and upgrade and probably losing materials on the next death. We stress that this exercise is ideal in the beginning when you need to upgrade your character a bit to feel more confident.
It is better to find than to buy
There are two kinds shops in GetsuFumaDen, even if you find the first one only in some levels: one for weapons and one for material bags. In both, besides the shopkeeper, there is another dead lady who offers to give you your weapon rank increase or to enable upgrades for the weapons you carry.
Both, activation and refinement, are always better than spending money on new weapons for a number of reasons. First, the weapons you find around, dropped by enemies or in chests, are usually better in both type and stats, but they also tend to come with some upgrades already activated or unlocked. You will soon find out that it is better to pick up a weapon, even if it looks simple, and upgrade it instead of spending money on another weapon. It is best to spend your gold and soul on increasing your rank and activating upgrades on the weapons you already have … until you find an attractive one with more upgrade potential during your journey. Besides, if you are well equipped, almost any weapon that appears will be no better than the one you are carrying, so it is a good idea to their materials and souls to dismantle.
If the Spirit Materials were important for upgrading your Getsu Clan member, the remaining materials are crucial for refining weapons, along with the armor rolls (diagrams) you throw around. The good thing about unlocking weapon upgrades (you can’t do this in stores, but at the clan base or after defeating a boss) is that you can activate them with souls when you pick them up in later games, and several can already be activated. You can also take a basic weapon from the Getsu Clan Estate and refine it with materials before going to the Lands of Limbo.
- Tip: You’ve been playing for a while and can’t get the resources you need to unlock that one awesome weapon or ultimate upgrade? (Great Demon Fang, we’re looking at you). Maybe, if you always walk the same path, you won’t defeat the enemies that give you the right materials. If you keep an eye on the bestiary before leaving the clan base, you will find the clue you are looking for. Go to the Hall of Treasures and open the “Battle Record,” where you will find descriptions of all the enemies and bosses you have defeated, as well as their special strengths and the “acquirable materials” they drop when they die.
Combinations of weapons and styles and transformation
By now you have probably seen that carrying a short, fast primary weapon and a longer and/or powerful weapon is quite a good idea, as well as a secondary throwing weapon and perhaps a striking or catching weapon. But this depends on personal style and choice.
As for the primary weapon, I personally prefer a katana or dual blades (two-handed weapons, swords or fans) for progressing levels, and then a club or mace to face bosses and tougher enemies. If you are more of a parry person, you will like the special action of the katana or the defense of the umbrella, and if you prefer to keep your distance, choose whips and spears, rather than gauntlets.
In addition, some primary weapons can more easily take you to Transformation, a kind of Super Saiyan Getsu that the game describes in a very romantic way:
As for the secondary weapon, it is best to have a bomb-type weapon like the Lily of the Valley (easy to quickly boost damage to 1,000) and a ranged weapon like the rifle or bow. But again, kunai can do a lot of damage by bouncing, and thistle traps can be great for holding off a tiring enemy. Remember the above tip, study their special effects and spend your resources unlocking the ones you’re going to benefit from, especially the Fang of Pursuit: Yellow.
Of course, the new Talismans change all this a bit, as they are equipped as a secondary weapon that you can’t use. But if you look good with the one you carry and the two primary ones, they can boost your damage or break stats, for example, or even revive you if you’re in a hurry.
Tips against bosses
Finally, we are going to collect some basic tips for dealing with the various bosses in the game:
- Ryukotsuki: The return of the NES game’s final boss as the first final boss in this edition. Stick as hard as you can to break their hearts as quickly as possible with a bunch of bunt hits. Just stand back when they attack horizontally with their hand (if you stay at the edge of the screen, you can take the chance of hitting them) and do your double jump at the same time as they hit the ground and do area damage. Their skulls are quite harmless and their big ball is easy to pull to one side and then go to the other side and jump over the blue fires.
- Colossal Centipede: As the exoskeleton shows, it is much harder to handle than it initially appears. It must take a real beating as it rolls into the center of the stage to rest. Its train-like crawling attack is easily dodged by double-jumping to get on top of it and keep hitting. Its direct bites or its giant balls (I mean … the one it throws at you) are the most dangerous but easiest to see, and when it flies across the stage, it’s all about jumping and fighting back.
- Twin Tempest Demons: This battle against Raiki (yellow, lightning) and Fuki (blue, wind) can be super easy or super hard. Even if Raiki seems like the bigger threat, our advice is to go for Fuki first. He always stays to the right and his consecutive wind ball attack is the most dangerous because he does damage, but he can also throw you into spikes. If you can take him out quickly, they cannot make their combined attack, which is deadly, but can be avoided at one of the edges of the screen. When Raiki is left alone, it is really easy to see where he is going to throw the lightning or electricity balls, and as he moves more, he finishes quickly. Figuring out when to take a drink is crucial.
- Hydra of the Depths: It lurked the entire level of The Great Wave of Damnation, but only showed one of its five heads. This boss can be deadly if you stand too far away because it will drag you into the water. The key is to hit it very close.
- Subterranean Spider: It’s not as hard as it seems. Don’t mess with the geishas of the Avenue of Pleasure and Illusion and the other enemies in the Pleasure District that he revives with his nets, and try to figure out the places where he usually lands to hit him at close range. The strongest attack costs up to 1,000 HP in one hit, so try to catch him while attacking so you don’t receive as much of a hit.
- Nine Tailed Fox: This winter Kyubi is even easier, which you can kill on the first difficulty levels without getting a scratch from him. Jump from the first minute to get the stories on one side and break a few, so that his head falls off. At that point, take the opportunity to deliver a killing blow and take half the health bar. Once he has recovered, do the same to those on the other side, he will fall again and the battle will be yours.
- Daidarabotchi: He is the only boss with 100% resistance to all special stats, the most menacing (you can see his haunting eye through the windows) and the one who can do the most damage to you as you go through his tricky level, the Subspace Citadel (actually because he takes out buildings with one hit). In other words, an unfair one in every sense of the word, and more worthy of the title of final boss than Amatsu-Tosu. Still, the procedure is the same as the Fox of Amatsu-Tosu: limbs first, then head. The problem is that he is so big that it takes a while to move from one arm to the other. It’s better to concentrate on one arm, then the other, and eventually go for the head. Don’t get frustrated with his health bar barely dropping until you start hitting special strikes. And when he turns red with anger, it’s the same thing, but faster. However, it doesn’t stop him from doing the double two-handed combo to crush you, or some attempts to figure out how the mountains he sends out in a straight line work: if you see one coming, just jump at it to avoid the damage.
- Amatsu-Tosu: More impressive than problematic, the strategy to take out this boss is actually quite similar to the previous one: go for a few tentacles to drop it and then go for the head. You should focus on the one on the floating platform first (start with a good bomb and have it almost done), and then use that platform as an escape from the one below. When it drops, do what you already know: go for the head.
Getsu Clan members
Former clan members are also a challenge to Fuma:
- Renge’s Remnants: The ghost of this powerful fighter appears randomly as an interference between a boss and one of the levels. She is like a pain in the ass because she can crush you if you were hurt by the previous boss, but it is not too difficult and if you defeat her, you will get a double prize. On one hand, because of the family ties, your Soul Devour will go up by one. On the other hand, defeating her for the very first time will unlock Renge, allowing you to start a new game with her as a playable character (more agile than Fuma) from the clan base. Moreover, you will regain the life lost in battle to start the next level.
- Getsu Rando: Fuma’s older brother and the core of the game’s story: he has the memories you read on the stones, but he is cursed. Beating him the first few times is harder than with Renge, and his presence is much more dramatic and transcendent. Furthermore, it is (so far) impossible to unlock him as a playable character. The strategy, as with Renge, is to try to corner him and combine primary and secondary skills. If you are good at “breaking,” the best defense is a good offense.