Infernax - Death

Let’s face it: Infernax is no walk in the park. Unseasoned players are going to be absolutely stomped by this brutal Metroidvania game. I had some controller-smashingly frustrating moments myself. However, all is not lost. Once you start figuring out how things work, you can start building a strategy for success.

So here are some useful tidbits that I learned over the course of my adventure. Had I figured these things out sooner, I would have had a much smoother and more rewarding experience. Hopefully, new players will find these to be helpful.

Plan for multiple runs


Infernax is designed for repeat playthroughs, since you’re forced to make a lot of A/B choices, where choosing A locks you out of B, and choosing B locks you out of A. The results of these choices can oftentimes be surprising, where what seemed like the “correct” option leads to tragedy down the road.

And that means it’s simply not possible to see everything there is to see in a single playthrough. Embrace it. Make a mental note of each choice you make, so that on subsequent playthroughs, you can make different choices and compare the results. There’s a lot to see and discover in this 8-bit world, and multiple runs will allow you to experience all of it.

Use your map


This is probably second nature for anyone who plays a lot of Metroidvania games, but you should know that you have a map, and it’s incredibly useful. The map in Infernax has some really useful information on it. For example, a yellow square indicates a shrine location, while a red block indicates an uncompleted dungeon — completed dungeons will turn blue.

As you explore new areas, the map will fill in based on where you’ve been. If the background is black, it means you’ve not been to that specific part of the map. Places you’ve already been will be either brown (if it’s out in the world) or green (if it’s a town).

To access the map on PlayStation consoles, press the touchpad, then press R1 and L1 to cycle through your menu options until you get to the map. The map should be the option on the left-hand side of the screen.

Skip death animations to save time

Infernax - Death

It’s likely you’re going to see a lot of death animations in Infernax. After all, this is a game where dying is just part of the learning process. But those death animations, over time, will take up a noticeable chunk of your game time.

Thankfully, you can skip these animations. On PlayStation, you do so by holding square, circle, or X. Yes, this will only cut off a few seconds of the animation, but over the course of your journey, it could ultimately save you a substantial amount of time, depending on how often you die.

Learn to deflect projectiles

Infernax - Projectiles

Projectiles can really mess up a good flow. You’re smashing enemies left and right, and all of a sudden you’re hit from behind by an axe, or a spear, or whatever it is that those frog things spit out.

Thankfully, Infernax gives you some ways to deal with projectiles. The first is your shield. As long as you’re not attacking, your shield is up in front of you. It doesn’t mean you’re completely invulnerable from the front, though, as enemies can still get a low spear toss to hit your feet. If you duck (by pressing down), you can cover this weakness.

Additionally, you can deflect projectiles if you hit them at the right time with your mace. You’ll have to unlock the Precision Strike skill first, but you’ll do that fairly early in the game (it’s in the Combbelton Necropolis dungeon). Once you have Precision Strike, you’ll have the ability to deflect projectiles — you won’t have to press any special button combos or anything; you just have to hit the projectile with your mace.

It takes a little bit of practice to get the timing just right, so it’s best to practice this in the early parts of the game when the stakes are fairly low. I actually didn’t know that I could do this until I absolutely needed to, and by that time, the game had ramped up in difficulty quite a bit. Had I known about this sooner, I would have had it mastered the timing long before I got to this point.

I should point out that you can’t deflect spells like fire and ice, so be super careful around sorcerers.

Save knights when you can


Scattered around the world are knights locked in battle with demonic creatures. If you can get to the scuffle fast enough and kill the monster, you will save the knight. If you do, the knight will oftentimes thank you and give you some money. Just make sure you talk to them afterward.

As far as I can tell, there doesn’t seem to be a penalty for not saving knights, as you can usually just back out to the next area, then come back to reload everything, including the knights. And I’m not even sure you can save all of them (there are several who will die before you can even reach them). So don’t stress out about this, but use it as a trick to get a few extra coins here and there.

Don’t miss out on the Guided Strike skill

Infernax - Map to Danielle's House

Once you have access to the Precision Strike skill (which you’ll find in the Combbelton Necropolis dungeon), you can break through a cracked wall to find Danielle. Check out the map above to see the exact location.

Danielle will ask you to fight a monster in her basement (which you’ll kill by deflecting projectiles into its eyes), then she’ll teach you Guided Strike.

The Guided Strike skill allows you to jump into the air, then smash downward for a powerful attack that shoots flames out in either direction. It’s a really powerful attack that gives you a good amount of range without costing any mana, so it’s a valuable addition to your toolkit.

And for that matter, don’t miss out on the Teleport spell either

Infernax - Teleport Spell

The Teleport spell will become incredibly useful as your map expands outward, as it allows you to travel to any shrine you’ve uncovered at the press of a button. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this one.

You can purchase this spell for 200 gold at Horace’s Magic Shop. Here’s a map of the location:

Infernax Map

To reach this shop, you will need the Precision Strike skill to smash through the wall, and the Skycall skill to launch yourself up to the platform where Horace’s shop sits.

Don’t explore entire dungeons all in one go

Infernax - Dungeon

Dungeons in Infernax tend to feature multiple paths that branch out from one location. Typically, you’ll find a new skill or spell in a chest, and that ability will allow you to get deeper into the dungeon. Of course, there will usually be a ton of backtracking involved.

Every dungeon has a shrine right outside of it, so whenever you make some progress in a dungeon, go back out and save. This will allow you to “bank” whatever you’ve managed to acquire in the first wing of a dungeon before moving on to the next one.

Note that it won’t always be obvious where the path is branching, so you’ll want to make extensive use of your map while in dungeons. But if you’ve made it this far in this list, you should already be doing that.

Mana potions are way more valuable than health potions

Infernax - Mary Selling Potions

Toward the beginning of Infernax, you’ll meet a tavernkeep who will offer to fill your flask with a health potion for free. Later on, you’ll be offered a free health potion or a mana potion for 25 gold. If you have, say, three flasks at this point, you can fill all of them with health potions, all of them with mana potions, or a mix of the two (two mana potions and one health potion, for example).

Always take mana potions over health potions.

A health potion will restore your health to 100%. Your Heal spell also restores your health to 100%, but it costs 3 mana. So if you have at least six mana slots, a mana potion is worth two full heals. If you have nine, it’s worth three full heals. As you can see, the mana potion is more valuable by far.

Of course, you’ll later get elixirs, which restore both your mana and your health to 100%. When that’s an option, you should take that over the other two.

Don’t use the Casual Restart option

Infernax - Classic Restart

When you die, you’ll have the option to choose Classic Restart or Casual Restart. If you use the Casual Restart even a single time in a run, it will void your Classic rating and you won’t be able to get the Here Come the Tears Trophy/Achievement (unless you start over and do a fresh save).

It’s tempting to want to hang onto some of your gold and XP in between deaths, but you really don’t need to. By the time I was at the end of my first playthrough, I had purchased everything and maxed out all my stats. Beyond that, XP and gold is meaningless. So using the Casual Restart voids a Trophy/Achievement while not really getting you anything that’s all that useful anyway.

Use cheat codes if you want to

Infernax - Cheat Codes

Infernax can be challenging, but you can reduce the game’s difficulty to almost zero using cheat codes. These can be found in the Accessibility section of your game menu, and, oddly enough, they don’t seem to void out your Classic difficulty rating.

The game will ask you if you’re cool with seeing spoilers, and if you hit “Yes,” you’ll have a new option at shrines called Game Wizard. Here, you can enter cheat codes to modify the game’s difficulty.

Another option is simply using the Konami code at the title screen

Don’t use your Storm spell inside of towns

Infernax - Thunderstorm Spell

Early in the game, you’re going to get a spell called Thunderstorm, which zaps every enemy on the screen at the push of a button. It’s a nice way to cut through thick clusters of enemies. (If you’re playing an evil run, you can upgrade that to Fire Storm.) However, for the love of all that is holy, do not use it while in town. You might be tempted to see what happens, but I promise you, there’s nothing but horror and sadness in your future if you don’t heed my advice.

Okay, try it just once. But make sure you’ve just saved in case you don’t like the results of this devious little experiment.

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