Note: This guide contains spoilers for all of Returnal’s bosses, and the game is best enjoyed by experiencing it for yourself without any prior knowledge. We recommend going in blind, but if you still need help, read on.
Bullet-hell roguelike Returnal will put you through your paces with its fast-paced battles, and that’s never more true than against its tough, powerful boss characters. You’ll find a boss at the end of just about every biome and they’ll challenge you to utilize all your skills, weapons, and consumables to defeat them.
However, if you know what to expect from each boss, and can read their moves, it’s more than possible to defeat them–sometimes without even taking a hit. The key is to watch their moves, anticipate their actions, and avoid their attacks. We’ve powered through every boss in Returnal to help you master each one. Below, you’ll find all the info and strategies you need to defeat Returnal’s toughest challenges, find the White Shadow, and uncover the mysteries of Atropos and its eternal cycle. Here’s everything you need to know to beat Returnal’s bosses.
We’ve got lots more Returnal coverage for you. Check out our tips and tricks to survive on Atropos (many of which the game never mentions), read why you should definitely let yourself die a lot in Returnal, find out how to open those pesky orange barrier doors, and read our Returnal review.
What To Bring To A Boss Fight
First and foremost, you’ll want to prep for every boss fight well before you take it on. You’ll usually need to unlock the boss chamber as you work through each new biome, but once you’ve opened it, it’ll stay open–you can just sprint straight to the boss on later runs. It’s always a good idea to find as much Silphium Resin as you can to increase your health before a boss fight, and to bring a hard-hitting gun with you as well. It’s a good idea to prioritize having a gun you like and are comfortable with over one with the highest stats you can find, however. These boss fights are battles of attrition where sustained damage is the most important thing, so bring something you can use well to do a lot of damage quickly.
You should also try to find and power a Recombinator in the biome you’re exploring. These are the large, round machines with an indentation of an alien body inside. You’ll need six Ether to run them, so make sure you’ve stockpiled some. A Recombinator will give you an extra life should you die, so you’ll have a second shot at the boss.
In addition to the Recombinator, prioritize a few key artifacts and items to bring with you. If you can find one, the Astronaut Figure and Child’s Watch artifacts are great; they’ll instantly bring you back to life mid-fight if you die, which is even better than the Recombinator, since you won’t have to restart the fight from the beginning. Other key items are Large Silphium Vials, which can heal you in a pinch, and Damage Siphons, which allow you to convert the damage you do to the boss into health for yourself. Other than that, bring the items you like and which are good for defense, such as Shield Vials.
Phrike is pretty easy to deal with for the first phase of the fight, especially if you stay well away from it. The boss tends to stand very still and fire off blasts of shots that you can avoid mostly by strafing left and right, and dodging only if you really need to. Pay attention to how many of its hands are glowing, as this will dictate what’s coming your way. Be most careful of the big blasts of blue rockets fires from all three hands; these fast projectiles will arc up into the air and coalesce on your position, and they have tracking, so you’ll want to sprint or dash to build enough speed to get away. It’ll also fire off plumes of purple shots into the air with two hands, which will drift down slowly, but while these seem like they’ll be problematic, you can generally just ignore them–they tend to scatter so much that you can avoid them easily.
When Phrike isn’t just blasting umbrellas of attacks at you, it’ll aim more pointed bursts of orange bullets your way with one hand. These, too, are fairly easily avoided by strafing, but they come fast and it’ll try to lead you with them. If you stay back, you can stand still and gauge which way you need to move to avoid them pretty easily.
Phrike will draw energy into its chest for a quick, vertical laser beam blast from its eyes that arcs forward, burning the ground straight in front of the boss. When you see this, dash fast to one side; it’s easy to get clear of, but it hurts a lot if you’re caught in it.
Every so often, Phrike will disappear and move to a new location in the room; you can anticipate this by watching for an orange glow on the ground, which shows its movement and where it’ll come up next. Move away from where it’s headed so you can be ready for its next attack.
When you get Phrike to its second phase, the boss will add two attacks you need to watch out for most: a blast toward the floor that releases a radial wave of energy you must jump over or dash through; and a melee attack in which it’ll dash toward you to slap you with its arm. These two attacks come together, with the boss starting the wave and then coming after you itself when you’re distracted. First, stay back so you have ample time to deal with the wave, then wait for Phrike to come at you and dash away, being sure to hold down the dash button so you get the full distance. You’ll then probably need to hop to dodge the wave, but it’s slow and easily timed. Another way to handle this attack is to jump and dash toward the blast wave when Phrike comes at you, effectively dodging both moves at once, but the distance on this can be tough to judge depending on your location in the room.
You’ll also see the boss now using its disappearing fog trick to close the distance on you for a melee strike. Keep an eye on it when it goes to ground, and be prepared to dash.
Less often, Phrike will do its eye beam attack, but horizontally, rather than vertically. You can jump this, but it’s more reliable to dash through it to avoid the hit. It comes very fast, so be ready to dash toward the beam as soon as you see the boss readying this one.
Its final bag of tricks, several of Phrike’s attacks become twice as dangerous. It’ll continue to do the melee dash, but now, it’ll often add a second dash to the mix, right after the first, requiring two dashes. There’s a slight delay between the two attacks, so keep the camera angled toward Phrike so you can see it coming. When Phrike does its downward blast attack, you’ll have two slow-moving waves coming at you, plus its melee attacks. The best way to handle this is to jump and dash so that you can avoid the melee strike and get yourself in the air to land clear of the slower waves.
The same is now true of its sweeping horizontal eye beam attack–it’ll swing it across the room in one direction, and then after a second, back across in the other direction. Again, keep an eye on the boss and be ready to make a second dash opposite the first. You still want to dash through the beams or jump over them.
Phrike also inverts the combination of purple bullets and blue rockets–it’ll now spray purple bullets downward, sending them out in a spiral moving across the ground, while shooting rockets at you in the air. The rockets remain top priority because they’re fast, but you’ll have to watch where you move on the ground. The purple bullets are spacey but numerous, so you can slip between them, but be careful you don’t catch one while distracted.
Keep your head on a swivel and avoid getting overwhelmed during this phase and you can take down Phrike with sustained fire. It won’t require too much damage, but you’ll have to be careful especially of its melee attack–that second one can be a doozy because of the delayed timing.
The boss of the Crimson Wastes flies, which can make dealing with it a bit tougher as it mixes aerial strikes and ground strikes. However, the boss’s head is a big weakness, and if you can sustain fire on it, you can stagger it and knock it out of attack animations when you do enough damage. That’s a big part of this fight: Keep hitting Ixion in the head and it’ll stop fighting for a second, giving you a chance to hit it even harder.
In the first phase, Ixion will try to hit you with a series of inaccurate bursts of bullets. It’ll shoot a heap of blue bullets straight at you that are easily dodged, and when it dashes to a new location, it’ll release a blast of orange bullets that just spread out in all directions and can be mostly ignored if you’re not close to them. Watch out for Ixion to charge up and fire a cone of blue bullets straight at you, though–you’ll need to move quickly sideways to get out of the range of fire.
Keep hitting Ixion in the head, though, especially with a powerful gun, and you can stagger it out of several attack animations. Do that, and you might be able to render this first phase mostly trivial.
Here’s where things get tougher. Ixion will shoot up into the air and then land in the center of the arena–stay well back. Waves of fire will then start to emanate out from the boss, which are a pain to deal with. You’ve first got a big blue wall-shaped wave to deal with; you can dash through this, but it’s often better to try to jump straight over it. Hold the X button to ensure you get maximum height. On the other side of the wave will be both orange bullets that move along the ground toward you, which are fairly well spaced out and can be slipped between, and bursts of blue bullets Ixion will blast out from its hands that make being in the air a bit dicier. Ixion will fire off three or four bursts of this attack, but none of these are hard to dodge so long as you’re able to reliably get over or through the blue waves.
After that, Ixion will take to the air again and fly at you from the sides of the arena, blasting out two blue wall waves and a spiral of bullets that fill the area between them. Watch the ring around Selene’s head for an indication of where Ixion is coming from so you can get clear of its initial swoop; using headphones and listening to the direction Ixion is coming from is also really, really helpful here. The boss will cross the arena in a straight line, so identify where he’s coming from and get well to the sides of it, then jump or dash through the blue wave it leaves behind. It’ll do this three times in succession, but it seems like it always comes from the same direction once he’s committed, so stay where you were safe and repeat your dashes.
Now Ixion will hover around the arena, blasting bursts of blue bullets at you before dashing away, just like in the first phase. However, the blue bursts will be more sustained and aimed a little better, so keep moving sideways and dodging to avoid them. If you can hit Ixion in the head here, you can stagger it out of these attacks, so keep up the fire whenever you can.
When it’s not shooting straight at you, Ixion will fire a ton of blue bullets back and forth across the arena like a sprinkler passing back and forth over a lawn. If you stay far enough back, you can position yourself to pass between the spaces between the bullets without issue; if not, dash through a group quickly and reposition. Try to go forward or back, though, and not sideways.
As it nears the end of this phase, Ixion will trade its blue bullets for those tracking blue rockets, firing a heap of them. Run sideways or dash hard to one side to get clear–these come fast, although you can get past them if you force them to track you as you move left or right relative to Ixion. It’ll also fire a big blue laser beam in a straight line in front of it , just like Phrike did; move sideways quickly and you can avoid both.
Ixion will take to the air again and come down in the center of the arena, kicking off the waves you dealt with at the start of the last phase. This time, though, the bullets he shoots from his hand will come out in an angled disc formation, making it tough to jump up and over bullets. Try to keep moving to the side where the high edge of the disc is and you can avoid these altogether; if they’re angled right at you, you’re probably going to take a hit. Luckily, this part lasts only a second before Ixion moves on to something new.
Here, Ixion pulls a melee weapon from its chest, a sort of whip. This is the most dangerous portion of the fight–Ixion will be on the ground and stalking directly toward you instead of flying around in the air in random directions. The boss will then jump straight at you and come down with a melee attack. Dash away and run from it, as the attack will also release a short burst wave of red energy. It’ll likely try to strike you again, but if you’re moving away, you should be able to dash clear of the second strike as well. Hop to get over the first two waves as they catch up to you and watch for Ixion to shoot a third red wave at you as well.
Ixion will then charge up and start slapping the whip against the ground, sending more waves your way. These are slow and thus easy to jump over, but use the time to get as much distance from Ixion as you can. It’ll now take shotgun-like shots of bullets at you, alternating blue and red. The blue bullets are the dangerous ones; they come fast and straight at you, and you’ll need to dodge them. The red ones are more of a red herring (heh), as they’re super slow and spread out over time, and thus easy to sidestep. They’re meant to confuse you as you prioritize dodging fire, though–pay closest attention to the blue shots and use your speed to avoid them, and keep your distance from Ixion to give you time to recognize and avoid the red ones.
Get ready for more melee attacks from Ixion at this point–you’ll want to run for it, hopping to avoid the red waves and running and dodging to get clear of it as he takes multiple swings at you. Finally, it’ll start to stalk toward you, dashing to close the distance and releasing rings of bullets in your general direction. Hop, dash, and run to get away from it; head toward the side of the arena he’s not and you should be able to get distance on it to avoid these attacks. If you’re keeping up the fire, it won’t be long until you take Ixion down.
This big boss is actually pretty easy once you get the hang of fighting it. It’s recommended that you bring a strong, long-range gun to this fight, however–the Thermogenic Launcher is a good one in particular, but shy away from things like the Sidearm or anything with an arc in its trajectory. You’re going to need bullets to cover a long distance accurately, so keep that in mind.
First, Nemesis starts launching stuff at you as you stand on a big platform in front of it. Shoot the big red spot on its chest–that’s your weak point, and where you’ll be aiming for the duration. The first few attacks are easy to deal with, as Nemesis fires bursts of orange bullets at you and volleys of purple rockets that you can avoid by running sideways. It’ll fire more bullets at you in general, but all of these are pretty easy to handle while strafing.
What you need to be worried about are the four puppet-like things floating around Nemesis. One by one, these will float down toward the battlefield and shoot straight laser beams at you. They’ll first start high, cutting a beam at a diagonal across the middle of the battlefield while Nemesis throws waves of blue bullets; prioritize dodging the beams and slip between the rows of bullets, as they’ll be very spaced out.
After two puppets fire diagonal lasers, one in each direction, another two puppets will come at you, one at a time. These will go down parallel to the ground to sweep their lasers across the entire arena. You’re going to need to dash through them to avoid them, so stay back so you can avoid Nemesis’s bullets after you’re clear of the beams.
When all four puppets have swept the arena, Nemesis will shift to bursts of blue bullets aimed at you, while its puppets shoot lasers straight at the arena, which will release waves of red energy. Watch where the waves are starting from so you can hop over them; you’ll need to do so while keeping clear of the bullets Nemesis has aimed at you, which will be potentially deadlier because they’re targeted. If Nemesis is still up after one puppet creates three red waves, it’ll send two puppets to start cutting beams across the center of the battlefield. Avoid these by staying to one side and keep laying on the fire to try to end this phase quickly.
Next, Nemesis starts teleporting around the arena, which shatters and splits into pieces. You can use your grapple to move around here, and pointedly, if you fall off, you can use it to catch yourself and get back; look for the grapple points on the ledges behind you when you’re facing Nemesis, as these are usually easier to snag.
You can identify where Nemesis will be by where the puppets arrange themselves. Get in position for the fight and start wailing on the weak point. Keep moving from side to side to dodge the bullets Nemesis sends your way.
Again, the puppets’ laser beams will be the more dangerous attacks. Nemesis will send two to shoot their beams straight at the arena to create red energy waves for you to doge, all the while continuing to fire at you. If a single puppet comes down, it usually means you can expect a beam to sweep all the way across the arena; if there’s a puppet on each side of the arena, you’ll get two energy waves (two sets of two together); and if two puppets are on one side of the arena, you’re going to get two beams cutting across at a diagonal in rapid succession. Dash through the beams and watch out for Nemesis’s many bullets in the meantime.
Toward the end of the phase, NEmesis will start heaving a ton of extra bullets at you that will be tough to avoid, especially in concert with the laser beams. Try to stay back from the boss to slip between the gaps; you can fall back to other platforms if you have to, or hop off the side of the arena in an emergency and save yourself with the grapple.
This is where things get bonkers. Nemesis will explode, turning all the platforms into a series of falling blocks, while sending you falling through the air. The fall might panic you for a second but unless you go very, very far down, you won’t descend too far and die. That means you’re free to jump off platforms whenever you need to–in fact, this is a great way to avoid Nemesis’s bullets and laser beams, as the platforms can often act as cover. Your grapple will save you when you need it. In fact, the grapple is as good as a dash. It protects you from damage when you’re using it in most cases and can reposition you very fast. Use it to get out of danger and don’t be afraid to get aerial.
Open fire on Nemesis no matter how far away you are–remember when I told you to bring a gun with good range? You can hammer the boss quite a bit, but slowly make your way toward it. Your first clear and present danger are the puppets, which will shoot lasers at you as you approach. They’ll target you directly but they’re easily avoided, so just look for when one is readying to fire. Use platforms and the rapple to zap clear and you shouldn’t ever take a hit from one of these.
As you near Nemesis, it’ll start sending all kinds of bullets at you, and they track a bit better than in the past. The blue bullets are generally easily avoided–dive off the side of a platform if they’re coming in too hot. The orange bullets, however, will home a bit more and are more dangerous when you’re in the air, so make sure you’re using the grapple, rather than just freefalling, as you make an easy target. Keep firing but try not to get too close to Nemesis, as he’s tougher to dodge when you’re right up close to it. After a bit, he might explode again, sending you flying to the back of the area and forcing you to close the distance again–but just repeat the process from before and you’ll be fine.
The other thing to avoid are Nemesis’s blasts of purple rockets. These can come either in tight volleys or in huge groups, but the big groups are actually another distraction. When you see a giant bloom of purple rockets, know that there’s actually a group of only four or five at the very center that are actually dangerous and actively coming straight at you; the rest are going to fly off around the edges of the area, so just dodge the core group. It can be tough to see them, but as a big rocket blast is coming in, use the grapple and you can zip yourself out of the line of fire without incident.
Even when you’re falling, keep firing on Nemesis and you should handle this last phase with relative ease.
This might be the toughest boss in the game. Hyperion really leans into the bullet-hell genre’s moniker, throwing all sorts of stuff your way throughout this fight. The good news is that the boss stays mostly stationary, meaning it’s easy to hit it continually with fire and to strafe back and forth to avoid its attacks. The bad news is that they are many, varied, and wide-reaching–constant motion is a must, as is the ability to read attacks coming in at all different altitudes, including far overhead.
Of course, the first phase is the easiest, specifically because Hyperion stays in one place the entire time–the back of the arena, at the organ. Unload on it constantly while you dodge the attacks it fires from this one spot. Get used to running side to side from one end of the arena to the other, as this is the best way to avoid a lot of its incoming fire. You’ll also need to get used to jumping and dodging forward so that you can land clear of danger, as Hyperion fires a lot of bullets that track across the ground, making your landing zones perilous.
Stay well back in the beginning of this phase, as Hyperion likes to use several attacks in tandem so that it can be hard to prioritize which to dodge and when. Watch for blue rockets matched with a red energy wave to start, which you can strafe and hop fairly easily, especially if you move from the center toward the sides of the arena. Later, you’ll get the rockets, energy wave, and a laser beam that sweeps the arena all at the same time, but varied just enough that you can strafe the rockets and dash through the beam to protect yourself.
When it’s not doing that, Hyperion will shoot a plume of bullets that will fall toward the ground around itself, while also launching a heap of untargeted bullets into the air. If you stay back, you can generally avoid all of them without too much trouble, but it’ll likely limit your movement so get ready to use the dash to mitigate incoming damage.
At about a quarter health for this phase, Hyperion will lean into the organ, firing a mess of bullets from its pipes. These come in arcing blasts of different types; some will just flutter down in loose groups, some will stay in tight vertical lines, and some will be rockets that track you. Keep strafing and dashing sideways, prioritizing the rockets; you can keep away from the loose bulasts fairly easy if you gauge about where they’ll drop, and make sure to stay between the vertical lines. Keep firing this whole time to end this part of the phase as fast as you can.
Here’s where things get bonkers. Hyperion leaves the organ and comes to the center of the arena, where it’ll stay put, launching all sorts of intense volleys at you. Never stop moving and strafing, but stay well back from the boss. This whole time, Hyperion will flood the arena with random bullets spraying out in all directions around it, but you can mostly ignore these–they’re meant to crowd your vision but aren’t targeted and mostly are pretty thin, so just be sure not to accidentally smack into one.
When you see blue and Hyperion swinging its arms, start running sideways and dodging–you’ve got rockets incoming, and a lot of them. Hyperion will follow this up with another plume of bullets that fall toward the ground around it, but when you see it raise his arm straight up, start dashing again. The boss calls on vines from the ground to snag you, slowing your movement and damaging you, but if you’re quick you can get clear and avoid them altogether. Hyperion will attempt to use the opportunity of having you slowed to hit you with two big blasts of bullets arrayed in a cross–pick a direction and sprint sideways, dashing to come through the attack without taking damage. The cross covers a really, really big area, while moving very fast, so you really need to commit to dodging it.
Hyperion will send more bullets along the ground while replicating the cross with his tracking rockets. You can run and dash clear of it generally, but it’s a big attack as well, and you might need to jump to get over the horizontal group of bullets.
Keep hammering Hyperion and you should send it back to the organ again. Expect the same set of dangers as last time, but with more variants this time–the rockets are still your priority, but you can’t get too far out to the sides because bullets are dropping like rain on the edges of the arena, and you’ll now have waves of bullets moving along the ground. This is where jumping and dashing toward Hyperion will serve you well, so you can land clear of any danger. Just keep firing. The faster you’re through this section, the less damage you’re likely to take.
If you thought that was nuts, get ready for this–if you’ve got healing items, you’ll probably need them at the ready here. Hyperion again comes out to the center of the arena and will do everything previously mentioned, but with scarier, more intense variations. Hyperion will send bullets to the sky that will rain down in diagonal patterns, then send more bullets tracking along the ground toward you, and then try to grab you and hold you with vines, so keep moving and be ready to dash before the ground erupts beneath you. It’ll also fire more big X-shaped blasts of bullets that come in fast, but you can side-step or dash past those relatively easily. It’ll continue with X-shaped blasts in groups of two, but it’ll try to anticipate your direction and shoot them where you’re headed; if you quickly change direction and strafe the other way, you can avoid them.
One of the most damaging things Hyperion will do here is call up a mess of plants to create a walls on either side of you, walling you into a narrow hallway. Stop moving when you see it bend over, as that’s the telegraph for this move, and the walls will damage you if you touch them. Next, stand in the center and watch for Hyperion to send vertical waves of bullets at you; you should be able to sidestep them. As you’re dodging these, watch near Hyperion’s feet for a charge of energy–as the walls fall, Hyperion sends a blast of bullets low to the ground that spread out horizontally and these are very tough to dodge. As soon as those walls drop, dash clear.
Hyperion will again summon the cross-shaped attacks of rockets, but in rapid fire volleys. Try to dash toward Hyperion when these groups come, as the vertical group of rockets is fairly easy to avoid but the horizontal group will angle down and often nail you, even if you try to jump them. Hyperion will pair these with a red energy wave, so don’t forget that as you plan your landing.
Keep hammering Hyperion to try to limit the number of times you have to deal with any one of these attacks and you’ll send it back to the organ one last time. As mentioned before, this is a mad dash to do as much damage as you can before you’re overwhelmed, because there’s a lot happening here. Stay back from the boss–get too close and it’ll summon the vines again–and keep sprinting around to try to lose the blue rockets as you unload. You’ll still have to deal with vertical waves of bullets, groups of bullets falling in a tight area, and waves of bullets spreading out from the boss on the ground, and you’re probably going to take some hits here. If you’ve got any consumables for health, healing, or protection, this might be an emergency worth using them.
Keep up the damage, though, and you’ll eventually outlast Hyperion and silence the music.
Ophion is a bit of a different speed from the other bosses, as it has several weak spots on its body, and you’ll have to destroy all of them in each phase to advance–which means you need to hammer a spot until it’s gone, a tougher targeting requirement than any other boss has had up to now. What’s more, you’ll need to reveal those weak points by shooting the glowing white orbs floating on the sides of the boss, and they’ll periodically disappear, requiring you to continually target the orbs to reveal them again.
Generally, any sustained fire weapon is good for this fight, but I really like the Thermogenic Launcher with rapid fire. It allows you to spray a lot of explosive damage with a fair degree of accuracy at the boss very quickly. Note however, that it’ll often cover its chest with its hands to obstruct your aim.
Your dash is actually much less useful than usual in this fight, because Ophion employs laser beams you can’t dash through. Thes will come in straight beams emanating from portals the boss deploys in front of it, as well as in waves that come from impacts when it smashes its tentacles on the ground. Because of this, you don’t want to stray too far to the sides of the arena in this part of the fight; Ophion’s tentacles are a problem and they’re very big, so you’ll probably get smashed by them if you get too close.
Nail one of the white orbs to start the fight and watch for its field to disappear every so often; whenever that happens, shoot another one, so that the weak points on Ophion are constantly revealed. Try to pick one and focus on it until it’s gone, then move on to the next one, as it’s a bit easier to keep track of what you need to destroy if you don’t fire haphazardly at the boss.
Ophion summons bullets and lasers from portals, while also smashing the ground to send purple energy waves your way on the ground. You can deal with these by jumping, not dashing–your underwater jump gives you the height to get over them and you’ll still take damage if you dash through, so get vertical. Watch out for multiple waves crossing at the arena at the same time and pick your landing spot.
While you’re dealing with that, Ophion will shoot bullets at you either in haphazard sprays that go everywhere, or in tighter grids that you can dash through and avoid. Try to get through these while in the air jumping over the purple waves and you’ll be better able to choose your landing position. Watch out, though, for Ophion to open a bunch of portals roughly in a straight horizontal line, all of which will spit bullets directly at you–sprint sideways or dash forward or sideways to get clear.
Generally, everything Ophion throws at you in this phase, you’ve seen before. In addition to the grid formations, spray patterns, and blasts of bullets, you’ll also get those tracking rockets that you can easily dash past or outrun. The most dangerous attacks are undoubtedly the energy waves, as well as beams that Ophion will shoot from portals, starting high in the air and then dropping down. Again, you can’t dash through these, so get between the beams and jump to avoid the simultaneous waves. Dealing with these attacks is all about placement and spacing, so just focus on staying away from and between them.
A lot of the bullet-based attacks can be dodged simply by sprinting hard to one side of the arena or the other or using your increased jump height, so keep moving and jumping over the energy waves and keep firing until all the weak spots are destroyed to trigger the next phase.
Ophion trades tentacles for hands in the second phase, and they’re a lot more present in the battle. It’ll reach into the center of the arena and smash down with one or both hands, trying to either hit you with its hand or nail you with the purple energy waves created by the impact. All this takes up a ton of room in the middle of the fighting area. It’ll also sweep a hand across the entire arena from one side to the other. You need to avoid those, so if you’ve been fighting relatively close to Ophion up to now, move to the back of the arena, almost to the wall, and prepare to use the sides a bit more.
When it’s not trying to nail you with one giant hand, Ophion is spraying lots more bullets at you from portals this time. The rocket volleys increase in volume, and the boss will pair scatterings of bullets to fill the air with purple beams criss-crossing the arena and taking up a lot of space, which you can’t dash through. Both of these are best dealt with by sprinting hard to the sides of the room, while trying to be conscious of Ophion’s hands–you don’t want it smashing you with one while you’re over there, but the rockets and beams have a hard time threatening you when you’re far to the left or right of the boss.
Along with the bullets he shot at you last time, Ophion has new tricks for those purple laser beams. It’ll send them across the arena from up in the air downward, moving at diagonals and in large groups. You’re going to want to try to strafe sideways across the arena toward them as they come down to you so you can pass beneath them. They’re not too hard to avoid especially if you make it out to the side of the arena, where fewer will get near you. Ophion also summons beams to track along the ground horizontally, sweeping the arena so that you have to jump over them.
As opposed to the beams in the air, you don’t want to be at one side of the arena when this happens, because that’s where the beams tend to start and they’ll nail you as soon as they erupt. Try to stay somewhat centered as soon as you’re clear of the beams dropping through the air, and make use of your elevated jump to avoid the sweeping ones. Along with those sweeping beams, Ophion likes to shoot a heap of bullets at you from several portals at once, so get ready for a quick dash in the air when you see those beams pop up. Keep hammering the weak points until they’re all gone again, triggering the last phase.
In this phase, tentacles are back, as are the impact waves they create when they hit the arena. But now Ophion will target you with those purple lasers directly, so get to sprinting to stay clear of them. Most of what it throws at you from here on out will be combinations of things you’ve seen before–grids of bullets paired with direct blasts of them, for instance. With all the slower-moving bullets, they’ll seem overwhelming until you realize how slow and spaced out they are. Stay in the back of the arena and slip through the gaps.
The tough attack is when Ophion summons a ton of portals at once to shoot a spiraling blast of bullets at you that cover a huge area, coupled with a massive circular volley of rockets, and direct, targeted masses of bullets to go with them. Essentially, this is a mess, and you should just sprint for the sides of the arena to dodge as much as you can. When you run out of room, change direction, dash straight back through the incoming fire, and sprint back the other way. Everything should move slowly enough that you can probably avoid most of it if you’re quick, but speed here will be essential, because most of the arena will be a death trap during this attack.
The last item you’ll have to worry about is a new orientation for the purple lasers, which Ophion will send your way arrayed in two spinning windmills of death. The lasers will cut across the arena as they spin, but you can pretty easily step through and past these wheels if you have enough opportunity to time it accurately. Stay toward the back of the room and watch them, then move forward to get past them, all the while firing away at weak points.
Ophion mostly just looks scary, thanks to those easy-to-nail weak points, though. Keep destroying them, and you’ll send it back to the depths in no time.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.