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Easy steps to obtain the Evilest Ending, and more fun facts inside! Includes locations, effects, and names.
Shadow Taint and Its Effects
Similar to the bovine taint from the previous game, you gain Shadow Taint levels by consuming the accursed items you find in shadow holes, rifts, or anywhere else really.
Unlike West of Loathing, however, the counter is seemingly infinite- it’ll just keep going up and up as you eat more items. You only need five to get the “evilest ending” where you swallow the world whole in your shadow, but don’t let that stop your wicked dreams!
As you level up your shadow taint, you can talk with the freaky shadow creatures you randomly encounter, turning them into friends, and they’ll give you an item or exp. You can also remove the weird items found inside if you have the right level of shadow taint! There will also be more shadow orbs and new rifts as well. Finally, you will be able to solve the shadow magic problems in the story with your own, higher level shadow powers.
Note that once you’ve “opened your eyes” by reaching level 3 of shadow taint, there is no way of going back, and you also now loathe the un-cursing machine. You also lock yourself out of talking to certain NPCs, and hobos will no longer wish to speak to you (except for Obie and the gator hobo, for some weird reason).
Once you get supercharged with the shadow taint*, you are locked out of obtaining the buddy-specific ending achievements, except for Molly who is not putting up with this shadow-throne.
PS: Shadow Taint is shown on you character sheet below stats.
*See the perks section of this guide.
Removing Shadow Taint
There is currently no in-game way to lower/remove shadow taint, so for anyone who accidentally raised it too high when they didn’t mean to, or changed their mind, here’s how to edit your save file to get rid of your shadow taint according to another user:
Originally posted by TheAmazinBlazin: Closing the game and going to %appdata%/LocalLow/Asymmetric Games, LLC/Shadows Over Loathing, there should be JSON files of all save games. Open the most recent save in notepad, hit ctrl+f, and type "consumables". It should take you to a value called "shadow_fromconsumables", set that to 0. Under that, "shadoweyes" needs to be set to 0 as well. (also set "shadow_confirmconsume" to 0 if you want to be extra safe, i dont think its required though). Save the file, and open the game back up, and you should be taint free.
If you want to go full in, you can choose to NOT un-curse all of the cursed items, Jessica none the wiser (yes including the fedora, just go back into your room anyways when Jessica stops you).
Doing so, the cursed items keep all their prior effects, and make you feel pretty evil.
Here’s what they do:
|Fedora||Will let you bypass certain random encounters and skill checks by speaking forbidden words||Story item|
|Dangerous Pocketwatch||Lowers a target’s stats by 13||Story item|
|Compass||Leads you to shadow item encounters||Story item|
|Key||Opens any locked object, including the Black House gate||Story item|
|Sickle||Deals your class stat +13 spooky damage||Story item|
|Duck Call||Deal spooky damage and cause bleeding, both equal to your mysticality; will also scare the ducks on the McMillicancuddy farm||Throw the Haunted Duck Call in the H*** Hole|
|Fishing Rod||Deals your muscle +3 spooky damage; will sometimes fish up shadow items||Found on the S.I.T bridge|
|Librum Umbra Malum Ovilla||Reading will grant you special shadowy perks*||Story item|
Here’s a list of Shadow food items:
|Wine||+2 to every elemental armor|
|Beer||+7 physical armor|
|Mead||+70% meat drops|
|Milkshake||+1 mysticality and +2 ap|
|Hot Dog||+1 muscle and +5 to your melee attacks|
|Pickle||+1 moxie and +5 to your ranged attacks|
|Salad||+1 mysticality and +5 to your magic attacks|
|Elixir||+1 muscle and +11 maximum hp|
|Grease||+1 moxie and +50% item drops|
And here’s the physical items you can snag from rifts:
|Apple||Increase all your stats by 13 once per fight||Cherry orchard, by the Wormfather during the grodeworm sidequest|
|Briefcase||Grants a forbidden perk increasing your class stat by one; requires shadow taint skill check||S.I.T library|
|Boots||You now travel around by skating across the shadows||Behind the cracked wall in Gumbuckle mine; note that you will not gain access to the mine if you have 3 or higher shadow taint|
|Candle||Sets an enemy on fire for your mysticality +7||Basement of the Dauphin House; note that you will not gain access to the Dauphin House if you have 3 or higher shadow taint|
|Chalice||Grants a perk*||Inside the fishmother lair under the S.I.T bridge|
|Coin||+100% meat drops||Black-Gold mine/Papascau ranch|
|Egg||Hatches into a familiar that does spooky damage to all enemies and increases your stats||Barbara’s basement; requires that you offer to get birdseed for her. Note that this will replace your original bird familiar.|
|Hammer||Deals 5 spooky damage to all enemies||By the “important machine” in the S.I.T Hexquarry|
|Knife||Deals your Moxie +7 bleeding||Goldthwait park, by the jagged rocks; needs high level of shadow taint to be seen|
|Loop (ring)||Increased shadow creature encounters||Crystaldream junkyard, leftmost path|
|Mirror||Swaps stats with an ally or opponent once per fight||Boardwalk Vampire bar; requires you to progress the Mob questline|
|Rat||Familiar which does spooky damage to enemies||Present-day Sandwich basement; cannot be obtained after solving the witch problem, requires you to interact with the basement in the past|
|Rift Fragment||Can be turned into a necklace at the accessory shop; unlocks gatorman Alphonse as a buddy||Zimmer’s House basement|
|Shorts||+50% item drops||Tentacle House|
|Skullcap||+13 physical armor||Gilmore House bunker|
|Syringe||Poisons an enemy for your muscle +7||Cave full of flies at Haim Quarry; can be obtained regardless of what you choose to do with the frogs|
|Rope||Stuns one enemy for a turn|
|Clarinet||Reduce one enemy’s stats by 13|
|Bomb||Does 13 spooky damage to all enemies|
*See the perks section of this guide.
There are several available perks and skills, most from the Librum Umbra Mallum Ovilla (whose title is too long to write, honestly), and a few other perks here and there.
|Forbidden perk||Increases your class stat by 1||Read the item in the rift briefcase; requires 5 levels of shadow taint|
|Shadow-Charged||Changes the ending you take the malevolent entity’s throne||Absorb the energy from the umbratanium pillars around Government Valley|
|Shadowy Waters||+10 maximum hp and +3 hp regeneration||Drink from the shadow chalice; will also give you a fish-head|
|Haunted||Gives themed dialogue options||Say you’re searching for something dark during the prologue|
|Shadow Chomp||Deals 5 spooky damage and heals you by the damage dealt|
|Shadow Embrace||Deals 13 spooky damage to an enemy and also yourself; damage done to you can be reduced by you elemental armor|
|Shadow Vortex||Steal 1 muscle, mysticality, and moxie from each other combatant; includes allies|
|Occlusion of Shadow||Elemental armor challenges are easier|
|Suffusion of Shadow||Stat challenges are easier|
|Collusion of Shadow||You start combat with three shadow creatures on your side|
|The Shadow’s Vision||+1 mysticality and +5 to magical attacks, -10 maximum hp|
|The Shadow’s Vanity||+1 moxie and regular familiars will not aid you in combat; only the shadow rat and bird will aid you|
|The Shadow’s Protection||+1 muscle and +5 physical armor, -1 ap|
- Alphonse will sometimes randomly find shadow items for you.
- you can absorb the president
- No more candy from the nice hardware store man :,((( (thank you fillanator)
- If you put P O O P in the rift guarded by the dean it makes a “special” noise.
- Tony Fiasco doesn’t like your cursed hat, but he’ll pay you anyway.
- If you have a level 5 shadow taint, you can absorb your class’ rival and take their cool hat during their final encounter! Neat!
- When you open your eyes, they’re full of the same starry material as all the other evil things. You probably already knew that, but it’s still a fun fact.
- Most NPCs, especially quest NPCs will not react to your sudden evilness, which is funny.
- Interacting with yourself in mirrors after opening your eyes, your reflection will say “perfect, never change” and you’ll respond back with garbled shadow speak.
- Getting St. Polycarp’s blessing while tainted or having the haunted perk will cause you to respond with “it burns a little!”
- Approaching the Church of St. Polycarp with a high level of shadow taint will cause you to be struck by lightning.
- The Sandwich museum guard is immune to the cursed fedora and all other compulsion. Truly the power of minimum wage is great.
- High levels of shadow taint will affect the environment, e.g. more dead trees and an omnipresent black fog.
- Using the fedora on the man in the S.I.T archives will cause him to say a string of cursed words back at you.
- As you gain more shadow taint, your dreams will be increasingly haunted by demonic eyes and mouths.
- You can kiss one of these mouths!
More of this sort of thing:
- Shadows Over Loathing Cursed Items and What They Do
- Shadows Over Loathing Endings Guide
- Shadows Over Loathing Prologue Guide (Fuel Reserves Achievement)
- Shadows Over Loathing Gatorman Village – Midnight Man Puzzle
- Village of Sandwich Achievement in Shadows Over Loathing
- Shadows Over Loathing Sewer Vaults and Fish Egg Locations