Lies of P Beginner's Tips and Tricks: Things to know to succeed in Krat
Lies of P is a fascinating and attractive Souls-like RPG, even if it doesn't quite surpass the games it uses as its template. Nevertheless, the city of Krat is a dense and dangerous place, full of powerful threats and potentially frustrating ambushes that could end Pinocchio's journey prematurely. To give you a leg up on the many horrors infesting the city, we've come up with a few quick tips and tricks that should help you make the most of P's trip to the Puppet Frenzy's origins.
Note: Worry not, for all the tips below are spoiler-free. Part of the appeal of Souls-like games is plumbing the little unmarked mysteries littering the game world, so this guide won't have any quest-specific solutions, and will instead be focused on gameplay advice and explanations of systems to help smooth out certain sticking points we encountered during the review period.
Explore, Explore, Explore
Even more than the average Souls game, Lies of P is brimming with little nooks and crannies full of treasure. Much of it will be quite visible against the game's gloomy color palette, visible as bright, shiny flowers or glowing treasure chests emblazoned with the Puppet Workshop's symbol. Find your way to them by exploring off the beaten path and keeping your camera on a swivel. While most of the unboxed pickups will be consumable items, the majority of treasure boxes like the one pictured above, and contain valuable items, including Quartz for upgrading your P-Organ, cosmetic costume parts, or whole weapons. Additionally, exploring will frequently uncover shortcuts and the other sides of locked doors you can open to reduce your travel time.
In fact, with the exception of major bosses that drop special Ergo that can be traded to a certain NPC for weapons or amulets, all your new weapons will either come from a treasure chest in the world or a vendor, so it pays to explore every area thoroughly.
M. Butterfly (The "M" Stands for "Murder")
Another way to score some valuable resources is to hunt down Lies of P's special butterflies. Butterflies are the equivalent of the Crystal Lizards in Souls games, in that they're a harmless enemy type that will attempt to flee. Killing them before they get away rewards useful items. Thankfully, butterflies are somewhat easier to track down in Lies of P. As you journey through Krat, your lamp will occasionally take on a red hue. That means you're in the general vicinity of a butterfly. When you get near enough, the butterfly will appear, giving you a window of time in which to attack and kill it.
Killing it shouldn't be hard, but beware: Most butterflies will flee along a set course that will take you near stage hazards or enemies. You may end up taking damage or dying if you're careless.
Butterflies don't respawn once you kill them, but if you die and respawn at a Stargazer, you'll get another chance to attack them. They'll often drop high-level upgrade materials.
This is My Weapon
Lies of P's most unique system is its Weapon Assemble system. As mentioned in the review, most "Normal" weapons can be disassembled at the Hotel Krat or at any Stargazer. You can then reassemble them for no cost and mix and match any weapon Blade to the Handle of another weapon. The Blade determines the weapon's damage type and strength, and is upgraded in a linear way. The handle determines the weapon's animations and stat scaling.
There are also "Special Weapons" that can't be disassembled, but often have a more unique gimmick. For example, the Holy Sword of The Ark is a big, slow, heavy greatsword in its default mode, with a long wind-up slash as its Fable attack. However, triggering its second Fable ability, "Alter", causes Pinocchio to extend the sword's handle into a haft, turning the Holy Sword into a polearm with wide, quick sweeps and a whirling circular charge attack.
One of my favorite go-to weapon-crafting tactics was to bolt a long greatsword blade onto a dagger or club handle. This allowed me to benefit from the weight and reach of a heavy blade while using the quicker, more precise animations of a dagger. Of course, your own preferences should take priority.
A Balanced Build Blows The Doors Open
Most Lies of P enemies move pretty quickly, which means you'll want to have a fair amount of mobility to deal with them and stay out of harm's way. With that in mind, I suggest you favor balancing your stats somewhat in the early game, to maximize your versatility when it comes to weapon stat scaling.
At the start of the game, you'll be given a choice of three preset stat allocations to enter Krat with. One is a build heavy on "Motivity" (your "Strength" equivalent), while another focuses on "Technique" (read: Dexterity). The third is balanced. I suggest picking Balanced, so that you don't end up favoring one kind of stat scaling to heavily before you acquire more weapons. Some of the most interesting animation sets in the game favor technique, but a good number of useful handles have balanced scaling between Motivity and Technique, as well. "Advance" is your "Magic" equivalent, and really only affects your "elemental" damage when using certain Legion Arms or when using certain weapons.
As you get further in, you'll be able to allocate stats as you please to the different categories, tailoring your build towards your favorite weapon styles. I also suggest putting points into Vitality (for more health), Vigor (for more Stamina, which you'll need as you learn to Perfect Guard), and Capacity (which improves your carrying capacity).
He Ain't Heavy, He's Only Slightly Heavy
Speaking of Carrying Capacity, Lies of P does involve a weight and encumbrance system. The gear you can equip and your weapons all contribute to your weight limit. You can be encumbered once you go over 60% of your current maximum weight limit. When encumbered, you move slightly more slowly, and your dodge roll slows slightly. It's nowhere near as dramatic as the infamous Souls "fat roll", but try to at least stay only at "Slightly Heavy" status or below. You can unequip a weapon to drop excess weight.
That said, I don't recommend using only lighter gear pieces, as you'll want to have a lot of protection. In general, Lies of P will have you taking a fair amount of damage as you tank hits and learn to Perfect Guard, so you want to keep your mitigation as strong as possible. Note that your weapon blade will also have a stat for how much damage is reduced when blocking (heavier weapons tend to have a higher damage reduction percentage).
Power Is Stored in the P-Organ
Your P-Organ contains a number of highly beneficial perks, but unlocking its full potential can be a little confusing. You'll want to acquire rare Quartz, a certain type of resource. Your P-Organ screen will show 5 "Phases" with multiple nodes. Each node corresponds to a major benefit, like "Increased Pulse Charge Uses," and has a number of sub-nodes. For example, nodes in "Phase 1" of your P-Organ will have two sub-nodes, while Phase 5 nodes have four each. Each Quartz will unlock one sub-node.
This means you'll need a minimum of two pieces of Quartz to unlock your first P-Organ node. Don't worry, though: You'll get smaller benefits of your choice each time you use Quartz to unlock a sub-node. These choices come in four categories: Attack, Defense, Supply, and Misc. For example, Attack benefits might increase the damage of your Fatal Attacks, while Supply benefits might increase the number of throwing weapons you can carry on your item belt.
One wrinkle. You can't stack two categories in the same node. So if you unlock an Attack benefit with your first piece of Quartz, the second piece must unlock a benefit from a different category.
I recommend unlocking the following P-Organ nodes as soon as you get the Quartz to do so:
- Linked Dodge - Adds a second sidestep to your dodge when locked on a target. This can be a lifesaver in boss fights.
- Increase Pulse Cell charges - Extra healing is essential!
- Extra Amulet Slot - Amulets can provide some powerful damage reduction, stat increases, and even health regeneration. You'll want to equip as many as you can carry.
- Floor Dodge - This unlocks the ability to roll aside when knocked flat. Many bosses have powerful strikes that knock you onto the floor. This'll allow you to roll away from their wake-up attack, if they have one.
The Left Hand of Destruction
Early in the game you'll unlock the ability to equip new Legion Arms. Legion Arms contain powerful gadgets whose abilities are governed by a separate fuel supply. This limits their actual endurance, but in a pinch a Legion Arm ability can open up new tactical options for you. Your first Legion Arm will be the Puppet String, which pulls an enemy close.
When you find Legion Plugs (or buy the few that are for sale at certain vendors), you'll be able to use them to unlock a new Legion Arm type. Acquiring Legion Calibers will allow you to improve an existing Legion Arm. For example, the second-level upgrade for the Puppet String lets you hold the Legion Arm button to pull yourself to an enemy instead.
Legion Arm upgrades can considerably improve the usefulness of your Legion Arm, so in general it's better to upgrade an existing Legion Arm further over spreading upgrades out between many arms. Note that each Legion Arm has its own weight and stat scaling, so you should consider them in light of your personal stat build, as well.
For my part, I tended to favor the three Legion Arms that can deal status damage:
- Flamberge - Can set an enemy on fire (burning damage over time)
- Fulminis - Can cause enemies to be shocked (they take increased physical damage from your weapons)
- Pandemonium - Can cause corrosive damage (acid damage over time)
Blocked, Blocked, Blocked. None of Them Are Free From Being Parried.
Blocking is life in Lies of P. Almost literally so! When you block an enemy's attack, you'll take less damage, and usually be in a position to strike back immediately, regaining a bit of the health you just lost. Timing a block correctly will result in a louder hit sound and a little effect to signify a "Perfect Guard", where the only price you pay is in stamina. You can parry almost every attack, and doing so will vastly improve your survivability in Lies of P's many boss and mini-boss encounters.
The game's combat system heavily favors this give-and-take of blocking, parrying, and biting back, so the sooner you get used to it, the better you'll do in combat. You'll still want to dodge and sidestep to keep an advantageous position, but in any major engagement you should be prioritizing reading the enemy's attack pattern and learning their parry timing.
Lies of P launches on September 19, 2023 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.