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Poison Pool Walkthrough
Be sure to turn back around and grab the Mibu Balloon of Soul nearby. Unfortunately, the serpent has now moved to block the exit with his body – you’ll need to find another way out. Look around the ceiling outside the main shrine building, and you can find a ledge on the rocks to grapple up to, as well as a Divine Confetti on a lower platform. Keep grappling upwards to reach the Ashina Depths, and below you’ll find the Poison Pool Sculptor’s Idol.
Note that this place is full of giant statues to grapple along, but also the aforementioned poison pits, and the place is guarded by many Sunken Valley Cannoneers – so be sure to remain stealthy here.
Up above on the right by the Sculptor’s Idol, look for a ledge above the nearby statue to get up behind the first Sunken Valley Cannoneer and take him out quietly, and grab the Oil next to him. Return back to the Sculptor’s Idol and look for a nearby island among the poison for a Pellet, and grapple past it to the ruins of a few shacks. Here you’ll find Scrap Magnetite, and Black Gunpowder. You can even spot some more items on the nearby statue’s head but we can’t reach it yet.
Mini-Boss Battle – Snake Eyes Shirahagi
More importantly, just past this area, you’ll spot another Sunken Valley Cannoneer patrolling an island, with one more watching him from some wooden platforms along the back wall – and to the left guarding the exit is a Snake Eyes – Shirahagi.
There are a couple of ways to approach this fight. From your current position, you can actually sneak along the left wall behind the Snake Eyes – so long as the patrolling cannoneer doesn’t see you – and get a free backstab on the miniboss. Unfortunately this alerts the others, so you’ll have mortar fire to deal with in addition to this tough fight. It’s possible to tag her and run away from the others to fight where they can’t see you, but it’s risky.
Another method involves taking out the lesser folk from a different vantage point that involves a different point of entry. Recall the Bottomless Pit in the Abandoned Dungeon – where the Old Hag said you to “cast yourself in”.
You can actually do that, and fall down the pit for awhile before seeing grapple point to climb up and find a Mibu Balloon of Soul, and head left along a ledge to find a cave with a Fistful of Ash and Rotting Prisoner, and then locate a pit down to find a Pacifying Agent and the Ashina Depths Sculptor’s Idol.
This leads out to the back of the Poison Pits, allowing you to carefully drop down and take out the Sunken Valley Cannoneer on the wooden platforms, and then grapple using the trees to take out the second Cannoneer to leave only the Snake Eyes left.
As before, make sure to utilize the Loaded Umbrella until you can close the gap – and try not to fight around the poison as she’ll often retreat into it making it hard to chase her down. When you get close, stick with the attack-deflect-attack chain and jump over her grabs to wear down her posture for an easier kill, and she’ll drop a Prayer Bead when she does down.
After the battle is over and the area is clear, be sure to check the main island for Scrap Magnetite and a Mibu Possession Balloon, and check the cliffs past the wooden platforms and a statue head to find Yellow Gunpowder, and below the first Cannoneer to grab a Heavy Coin Purse. There’s also Scrap Magnetite in the hand of the statue by the wooden platforms – but as for the tallest statue, there’s a different way to reach it.
Head into the cave that the Snake Eyes chieftain was guarding. If you drop down, you’ll find a wounded Sunken Valley man who was mauled by something familiar down the path. However, look up instead to grapple up to the left and enter a crawlspace. When the path opens up, stand up, and grapple upwards, and then find a shaft you can wall jump up to find the exit back into the Poison Pit behind the statue, where you can find Yellow Gunpowder and a Prayer Bead atop the statue’s head.
If you return to crawling through the rest of the passage, you’ll come to an area above the same cavern you’d be entering from the lower route. Here you’ll find a solitary Monkey sitting over the bones of a giant ape, which you can loot for Monkey Booze. As for what’s down below…. You should recognize this familiar acquaintance.
Boss Battle – Headless Ape
Yup, it’s him again, and boy is he happy to see you, when he holds his head up to look at you that is.
The good news is you already know this fight by now – and you’re probably much stronger by now: You’ve got more attack power and the Mortal Blade! You’re going to want to repeat the familiar beats of parrying his side thrusts, jumping over his staggering sweep attacks, and running when he pulls his head up. Be sure to also look for the large slamming attacks when he holds his sword straight up – deflecting those will stagger him to the ground and give you many free hits before he gets up to scream.
Be sure to stock Pacifying Agents just in case, and take this fight carefully – you may know it well, but there’s no need to get greedy. If he tries to do a running slide, sprint around behind him or jump on him to slash at his legs, and keep the damage up – you can chip away at his vitality without worrying about him blocking, and eventually his health and posture will break away.
Enraged by his defeat, the Headless Ape will run to the far corner of the room and let out a loud bellow – calling to…something. Another Giant Ape.
It’s OK. Go ahead and scream if you need to, you can have a moment.
You good to go now? OK, don’t worry – this phase isn’t as bad as it seems. For starters, the Guardian Ape’s child is a lot less durable, even compared to the fight in the Sunken Valley. It won’t take a lot to get Player 2 out of the game – but you will need to be careful.
This phase will be all about spacing, and getting your hits in where you can. You need to focus entirely on getting the addition out of the equation before going back to focus on the Headless Ape – but that doesn’t mean you can ignore his attacks. You’re going to want to start sprinting around the arena to try and get them apart – or at least get the Headless Ape into one of his slower attacks that you can run around to focus on his offspring.
The good news is that the Headless Ape’s only perilous attacks are the staggering sweep, and the jump into a sweep – so if you see the symbol when fighting the lesser ape, just be ready to jump. You can also still use the Shinobi Firecrackers against the Headless Ape’s child to great effect – but since it doesn’t work on the headless wonder, don’t expect him to give you a free pass. Use it when he’s otherwise occupied swinging away far from you – and then start wailing on the lesser ape.
You can also use the Flame Vent to deal a good amount of damage, and let the burns soak in as you run away from incoming attacks from the Headless Ape. As for the lesser Ape’s attacks – it only uses a few of his attacks from the Sunken Valley fight – namely the jumping grab, and uppercut attacks that send her sprawling, as well as wild slashes – so take care when engaging. they may also do a giant leaping strike that’s best to get out of the way of – and if you’re lucky, she’ll do this while the Headless Ape does his long scream – giving you plenty of time to attack the lesser ape while he’s busy.
Once the child is dead, it’ll stay gone, and you can go back to slowly whittling down the Headless Ape’s health and posture – just play it patient. Defeating the pair will earn you the Memory: Headless Ape, as well as not one but TWO Prayer Beads!
You may notice that the body won’t disappear this time, as the centipede controlling the body you stabbed still wriggles around. Take the time to finish it once and for all with your Mortal Blade to earn the achievement and make sure the beast does not rise again. Doing with will also earn you the Bestowal Ninjutsu – allowing you to backstab an enemy and imbue your katana with extended reach and power.