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Some tips, tricks, and synergies to make the game easier and/or more fun.
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew Tips, Tricks, and Synergies
Just a heads-up: This is not a walkthrough, just some general tips and tricks that may be helpful throughout the game, as well as some synergies between crewmates that I found. I will also try to not overlap with the strategy guide that the developers made, so that means no controls section or something. The game does do a good job of telling you how it works, so I won’t go into detail there. I wrote this guide with newer players in mind but more experienced players may also find things they didn’t consider, perhaps. I also won’t tell you in what order to revive crewmates, and assume you at least have access to their info screen (after the second mission), so please do that before reading in the synergies section. Aside from that, should be good. Let’s dive in.
In this section I’ll note down some general tips to keep in mind while playing. The difference between tips and tricks is that tips are just general knowledge of the game that isn’t immediately obvious and may change your perspective on things, while tricks are things you perform in game to solve singular tricky situations (or just feel cool to pull off). Here we go.
Tip #1: Capture memories often.
Of course the game tells you this, but it’s common for people new to the genre to only save when the game reminds them to. Do it when you’ve set up what you’re going to do in Shadow Mode. Do it right after it succeeds. Do it before you’re about to cross a guard’s viewcone. Do it before you’re about to take down a guard, do it right after it succeeds. Some challenges will make you not unleash a memory, but that doesn’t prevent you from capturing as many as you want. Doing it often will prevent you from losing progress and it’s a very intended game mechanic, so don’t be shy.
Tip #2: Alarms
It’s easy to want to unleash a memory when a guard spots you and raises the alarm. But alarms work differently in this game than previous games the developers made – The alarm is very local, and reinforcements will only be summoned if a guard wearing a bell is alerted. In fact, sometimes, it can be beneficial to have the alarm raised, as it will have guards in places they are normally not, making perfect opportunities to kill them during an alarm. Just make sure you have someone ready to revive your characters if you intend on using this to your advantage, since it’s likely they will be taking damage.
Tip #3: It’s always possible
No matter what crew you choose on a mission, it’s always possible to finish it. So don’t get discouraged if you encounter a bit of a roadblock later in the mission, there is always a way to overcome it, even if it’s not immediately obvious. The one exception to this is doing the game’s challenges in a mission – but by then you know what challenges you are going for so you can prepare accordingly.
Tip #4: Switch it up
It’s also very easy to stick with a group of crewmembers you like for every mission when possible, but trust me when I say that switching it up is a very intended part of the game (you’re even rewarded for it once you have enough to switch it up). You might stumble on a synergy you’ve never considered, or a way to take down guards you didn’t realize. And it helps to be familiar with the whole crew as opposed to just a few of them for later missions.
As stated above, this section is more about tricks you can perform to help you dismantle guard setups ingame. These may take some practice to master or a change in mindset to get your head around, but sometimes they can really come in handy. Character Specific tricks will come later.
Trick #1: Distract Stack
This trick is best used by setting it up in Shadow Mode, and then one by one popping a distraction on a guard you need to not see what’s going on right as the one before it finishes. For example, using Afia’s time stop, followed by Teresa’s Ashen Judgement right after Time Freeze finishes. The hotkeys from Shadow Mode should make this a lot easier.
Trick #2: Non-ability Distractions
These are especially useful during the day, but can also work at night. Footsteps in sandy/muddy areas, unlit torches at night, a tied-up ally and accident-killed allies are all ways to get guards out of position that are not necessarily dependant on the characters you brought along. They can come in handy in general, but are likely more required when you start doing challenges later.
Trick #3: Prognosticareful
Prognosticars are probably the most dangerous enemies in this game. They require at least 2 crewmates or environment kills to take down. (Compare to Samurai from Shadow Tactics or Longcoats from Desperados 3.) When the first crewmate distracts or attacks one, it will put them in stasis. However, this does not alert any surrounding guards. So, if you have a way to take one out from range, don’t be afraid to do a closer range distraction or attack (that does not trigger) to then immediately follow it up with the ranged kill. Or vice versa.
Trick #4: Heads Up
Normally, you can only see one guard’s view cone at a time. However, if you observe it for a few moments, you can see how far it goes. If you then observe the model, you can see where the guard is looking by seeing what direction the head is pointing at. You can use this to sneak past or kill things when they are not looking despite not having their viewcone active.
Here I’ll be noting down some nice crewmate synergies I have found. Some synergies only really come into effect once one or both of the crewmembers are upgraded, but I’ll note that down when it comes up.
Gaelle and Quentin
This is an obvious one. Gaelle can shoot crewmates into places, and Quentin can fish crewmates to his position. Shoot him up a wall, he fishes her and the other crewmate up.
Pinkus and Gaelle
Not a massively big one, but Pinkus can essentially just take over a guard and bring it over to Gaelle – free ammo!
Quentin and Teresa
Quentin’s fishing hook is not limited to just downed enemies and all crewmates – Crewmates’ objects work too. Once Teresa is upgraded, any crewmember can pick up her bolt – This includes Quentin, with his fishing hook, from a distance.
Teresa and Pinkus
Kind of the same deal as the above – Pinkus can walk around undetected, so once Teresa is upgraded he can easily pick up her shots for her.
Afia and John
Afia and John mesh together in two ways. They can bypass viewcones with Blink and The Below, and with those same abilities teleport onto guards to take them out. This means you can take out Kindred or guards that are looking at eachother with little risk at the same time. Afia’s Time Freeze is also exactly enough time for John to kill someone with Anchor Up and go back into The Below before the duration is up (against Acolytes).
Toya and Quentin
Remember what I said about Quentin being able to use Treasure Rod on things crewmates put down? The same applies to Toya’s little paper doll. It will then be on the ground where Quentin was, perhaps right in the patrol route of a guard. Quentin can also quickly pull Toya out of trouble, who can then teleport back to where he was with the teleport afterward if he puts down a paper doll first.
Suleidy and Pinkus
These two work surprisingly well together. Between Pinkus distracting everyone so Suleidy can sneak by, to Suleidy sending a guard into a corner with Wander Dust so Pinkus can possess them, their abilities compliment eachother a lot more than you’d think at first.
Afia and Suleidy
A smaller example, but Suleidy’s bushes that she creates make perfect extensions to Afia’s Blink range. Afia can blink from bush to bush without being detected, and Suleidy can easily extend that distance.
There’s probably a lot more that I’ve either not found or not experienced yet. So if you have a favorite combo that’s not on here, feel free to post it in the comments.
Character specific & general knowledge
This section is for things about individual characters and just some general knowledge of the game that I didn’t see in the strategy guide and what I don’t remember the game telling you either.
Not terribly much to say about Afia, the game does a good job. Something to note is that higher tier guards are less affected by her Time Freeze, and Grand Blink, which is her upgrade, will only have one charge per mission once you unlock it, so make sure you keep that in mind when selecting upgrades.
Remember that the range to teleport to his little paper doll is infinite. This is easy to forget as you use it for things close by, such as killing guards and hopping up small ledges, but it can also be used as an escape tool, especially when upgraded.
Suleidy’s Cover Seed bushes do attract guards’ attention for a moment as they grow. This is not a lot and guards will not investigate, but it can certainly break up their view cone pattern if you need to slip by.
Once you upgrade Gaelle, her melee takedown is as fast as that of Suleidy and Toya. This makes her a lot more useful as faster takedowns means the distractions that don’t last as long can be useful to her. Also remember that Gaelle’s abilities are perfectly suited to no-kill runs, as nothing aside from her melee dagger strike does any lethal damage.
Oh man, this guy. First things first, since it’s not that obvious – Golden Head actually shines, so guards can see it from any distance in their viewcone at night. Nest is Treasure Rod, and… This thing is ridiculous. Aside from what the game tells you, triggering environment kills (stacks of boxes, rocks, and cannons) with the treasure rod doesn’t make it take any longer or shorter. Treasure rod always has the same duration, which is faster than activating a cannon from right beside it. Also, important for challenges later: Fishing up a tied up or unconscious enemy does NOT count as a kill, making it very useful in those challenges. Not only that, Quentin can use it on merely knocked out enemies, no need to tie them up first. This again, combos super well with Gaelle’s skillset. And the last thing is that Quentin needs to wait until dying or KO animations are finished before he can reel in downed enemies.
Keep in mind that there is absolutely NO way for Pinkus to be detected unless he does something specifically suspicious, such as firing his host’s gun or interacting with certain objects (usually mission objectives). Not even by Prognosticars or Iudexes. Other than those, he has completely free reign to go where he pleases within his range when possessing someone. And of course, tracks he makes while possessing someone are not suspicious.
I have noticed two things about John’s kit. One, when using Anchor Up on a Prognosticar to agitate them and get them ready for another crewmate to take down, he will stay in the Below for the duration, and cannot be spotted by other guards. Combine that with the fact it does not alert guards and you can use that for shenanigans. The second thing is that, when spotted by a guard and still going into the Below with Anchor Down within that viewcone, guards will lose sight of him, so he’s perfect for completely sitting out an alarm duration when you upgrade him.
Teresa is most useful when upgraded, so that she doesn’t have to retrieve her bolt herself every time. The kill or knockout duration of her crossbow shot is very long, but if you have another crewmember close by, they can interrupt the animation and speed it up by tying up/carrying the body.
Higher ranked guards are mostly immune to most distractions, but tied up or dead allies will always have them investigate.
When going for challenges later, be sure to read properly. When it says to ‘kill’ something, they actually need to be dead – knocking out and tying up will not count. On the flipside, when you want to do a pacifist run of a mission, do not toss tied up enemies into water or into canyons – that counts as killing them.
You can replay all missions after you finish the story – don’t worry if you think you missed something. Each mission has a set of challenges for you to do after the story is finished, but you are able to get the challenges done on your first run through by accident, so don’t be annoyed if you can’t 100% a mission the first time through.
Well, hope you found that useful, or maybe got a new perspective out of it. Any feedback is appreciated, but know I tried to avoid overlapping with the strategy guide and avoided spoiling too much of the game for newer players. Use the synergies as a guide for what crewmates you want to revive if you want, but I recommend just doing as you like – the game is great and I have a blast with it.
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