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Guide: 7 Tips to Survive Unexplored’s Dark Ritual Mode

Unexplored's newest free DLC provides a new mode where players have to stop an cult planning an eldritch ritual. Unsurprisingly, the cult won't go down easy, but if you follow the tips in this guide, you'll stand a much better chance at stopping them and saving the world.

Unexplored. Now with 20% more eldritch horrors!
In the third free DLC for Unexplored, a group of cultists is seeking to call a Great Old One into the world. The only thing standing against them is you and the notes of your now-dead assistant Rodney. With the tips from this guide, you stand a better chance at stopping the ritual.

1. Prepare carefully

Unexplored. So much to choose from.
Before you start a run, you can buy equipment and items for you starting inventory. The items you choose can make your run a good deal easier depending on what you choose. Some personal preferences:

  • The ring of +2 Lore can help you identify scrolls and potions you find in the game, which can help save on Identify scrolls.
  • Identify scrolls are useful for when your Lore skill isn’t enough, and you need to know what something does.
  • Swap out your leather armor for scale armor and a shield. This helps you retain more life, which can be pretty limited.

You can get more gold at the pre-game shopping screen by completing achievements for Dark Ritual. Every completed achievement gives you five more gold, allowing you to bring more equipment into the game.

2. Watch the time

Unexplored. Tick tock.
You’re on a time limit for this mission. The game starts at 10:10 PM and the clock only moves for one specific action. Every time you move to a new area of the mansion, whether by teleporter, pitfall, or staircase, the time advances ten minutes. If the clock strikes midnight, the ritual will commence and all is lost.

3. Find the weakness

Unexplored. Could this be the Vessel's weakness? Maybe.
As part of the ritual, one of the four cult leaders becomes the Vessel for the Great Old One. Fortunately for you, the ritual gives the Vessel a fatal weakness to a certain weapon, and will die instantly if hit with it, winning the game. The weakness can be:

  • Acidic blood from a monster.
  • An obsidian dagger.
  • A silver short sword.
  • Holy water, which is coated onto your weapon.

You don’t necessarily need the weakness to defeat the Vessel, but it makes the final fight much easier, since you only need to land one hit to win the game. The Vessel’s identity and the weakness can be learned from notes left behind by your assistant Rodney.

4. Beware the star spawn

Unexplored. It's hard to fight stars with just a plain ol' sword.
In every run, one or two areas will be crawling with Star Spawn, strange creatures with powerful magic attacks and immunity to normal weapons. You can fight them if you have magical weapons, but they’re still pretty strong. If you manage to find the Purple Pipe, they’ll be much easier to handle. Otherwise, your best bet is to run past them or sneak by. Just be careful, since they emit light that can help them see you.

5. do some reading

Unexplored. Book learning will save the day.
Although your assistant Rodney is dead, he left behind some important notes that can help you finish the job. Notes and books scattered around the mansion grounds can include hints from Rodney. They can give clues as to who the Vessel is, their weakness, and the location of useful items. The Mansion has a room or two devoted to a library, so you can usually find a good bit of information there.

6. Seriously, watch the time

Unexplored. What, you thought eldritch rituals DON'T do weird things to the world?
Unsurprisingly, demonic/eldritch rituals do some pretty strange stuff when they’re being performed. When the in-game clock hits 11:00 PM, you’ll start to experience strange phenomena. Myst (a blue gas that does strange things to magical projectiles) and flammable gas may suddenly appear around you, and you’ll have to deal with the occasional shadow imp spawning nearby. They can do a good bit of damage with their claws, so try to get the jump on them and kill them before they can cause much harm.

7. Crack some skulls

Unexplored. 'O' for obliterate?
In order to get into the secret labyrinth where the cultists are hiding, you have to find the skull key to unlock a door on the manor grounds. Somewhere in the game are four clay skulls in the same chest. When broken via a throw, one of these skulls has the skull key, while the other three summon powerful wraiths to fight you. One of Rodney’s notes tells you which skull to break. If you find the skulls but don’t know which one is the correct one, there are no rules against you carrying them with you until you find the answer.

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