Bamboo Thicket Slope Walkthrough
Past the Shinobi Hunter is the Bamboo Thicket Slope Sculptor’s Idol, and a long pathway where a Bandit with a torch patrols – and you can grapple up to a ridge on the left or hide in the bushes and take him out quietly. The path ahead has an Archer watching the road, so instead head up on the ridge that overlooks the river, and look to the right to spot another clearing to jump to, letting you bypass the Archer. From here you can jump up and take out the two sitting Bandits – but be careful if you try to ambush the lone Archer watching the road, as more Archers are waiting on the ridge above.
To deal with them, you can try grappling up right below the archers to ambush one and alert the nearby Bandits, then let them chase you back down out of range of the remaining Archers to pick them off. Once the Bandits are dead, leap back up to finish the rest of the Archers and grab the Oil nearby. When you go back to kill the first Archer, look for another ridge across the path that you can grapple to and find Dousing Powder in a small clearing.
Before heading to the bridge, admire the river below for a moment, you can swim upstream to the waterfall to find a Treasure Carp to kill for its Treasure Carp Scale, and then jump to a platform above to get Contact Medicine. Look to the right of the medicine and you can spot a hidden bamboo door covering a cave entrance – slash it aside and step in.
The cave leads to a narrow shaft you can use wall jump to get up onto a high ridge overlooking the waterfall and the bridge. More importantly, a path goes the other way leading to the three-tiered pagoda that the talkative bandit-who-will-turn-merchant spoke of.
Waiting for you atop the roof is an enemy Ninja in a purple cloak. This enemy is incredibly fast and dangerous – possibly too dangerous for you to take on at this stage in the game, as he’s able to use martial arts in wicked ways, including a perilous stabbing kick, and a perilous spinning sweep kick! With so many different running sword sweeps and kicks, it’s hard to accurately track his movements, so be ready for some really punishing combo attacks. Be extremely careful if he leaps into the air, as he’ll slam down with his foot with a powerful shockwave than can hit you even if you dodge nearby.
Thankfully, he only has the one health bar, but it will still take a lot more punishment than usual to take down, so make use of those Mikiri Counters for his thrust kick, or jumping down on his foot sweep to punish him. If his kicks are getting to confusing, back up and fight carefully, and don’t get trapped in his combo spinning kicks he loves so much.
Defeat him, and you can help yourself to the treasure in the pagoda. Actually, if he’s just too frustrating to deal with at this point, you can run around the pagoda to lose sight of him and open the door before he reaches you. The treasure inside is the Mist Raven’s Feather, a valuable object that can be made into a Prosthetic Tool. With the Mist Raven Prosthetic Tool, you can actually absorb an incoming attack and teleport in the direction you hold to gain the advantage of your opponent, so be sure to try it out!
Now back to the bridge leading to the main estate – a large Taro Troop Brute blocks the way with two Shield Bandits, and possibly an archer, making the approach a really great deathtrap. However, you can disorient the lead Brute by jumping off to the left to grapple to a nearby branch, then pop up behind the shield-users and ambush them quickly before finishing off the Brute. In a pinch, the Shield Bandits advance fairly slowly, so you can also bait out the Brute alone too. Be sure to pick up the Fistful of Ash before moving up the stairs.
At the entrance to the burning estate you will find everything on fire, and lying against a rock in the middle is your mentor and father, Owl. Speak to him, and heed his dying wish to take the Hidden Temple Key, where the young Lord Kuro is hiding. The way behind will burst into flame, so you must grapple up to the only tree still standing, then to the top of the tower not on fire. As a good rule of thumb, if it looks like it’s on fire, don’t jump into it or you’ll burn to death quickly. Instead, look back down the river for a number of lighted shrines along the cliff walls, and grapple between them down to the right where a path leads to a small house.
The other side of this building leads to a small graveyard and bamboo grove, where a couple of Bandits are patrolling and looking into a large cave. You can eavesdrop on them to learn that this is the only way into the main estate.
Be wary, as the two Bandits looking into the cave are guarded by two more Bandits – one with a shield via a path on the left, and an Archer stands against the back of the grove in support – so hug the left wall to take the Archer first, and then lure the others out.
Before heading into the cave, note an alternate path lead among the bamboo leading down a slope to two regular Shinobi Hunters. One will walk halfway up the slope, and you can backstab him on the way down, but must face the other head on.
They aren’t as durable as the Mini-boss, and only have one health bar, but they can still utilize many perilous thrust attacks, including one from behind if you try and dodge around them, so be extra cautious. Killing the second one will grant you a Bulging Coin Purse, and you can find a Mibu Balloon of Soul and Pellet in the back of the clearing. On the way back up the slope, look for a small hole on the right wall to duck into and find a Mibu Possession Balloon and alternate path back to the river.
Back at the cemetery, enter the cave and watch out for lurking Bandits on the right side. The path leads to a well you can wall jump up using consecutive wall jumps, and leads out to the burning estate.
Next up is: Hirata Estate Main Hall
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