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Rogue Legacy survival guide: How to keep that family tree growing

Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

So you're brand new to Rogue Legacy and you find that you've died, well, a lot? Worry not, we've got some advice for you.

Although Rogue Legacy has been out for more than a year on other platforms, its arrival on PS4, PS3 and Vita means that plenty of newcomers are experiencing the pain of death and rebirth for the first time. We already gave some developer tips on how to survive the game's hardest trophy, but maybe some more general tips would be of use? Let's get it on!

It's OK to Die

It may be frustrating, but death is a part of Rogue Legacy just as much as life is. Early on in the game you're liable to die a ton, but that's ok. Every time you die, the game will get very slightly easier, as your character can be upgraded in the castle. The game also doesn't scale as you level up, so there's no need to worry that you're picking the wrong upgrades and screwing yourself.

Which upgrades should I get?

Rogue Legacy has a couple dozen potential upgrades to unlock, so it's easy to be overwhelmed. Here are a few suggestions.

  • One in everything - Certain upgrades are nested behind other upgrades. Spending a single point in each will ensure that you've got all potential choices unlocked. As an added bonus, you'll unlock a trophy for doing this!
  • Focus - Once you have all the upgrades unlocked, it's a good idea to decide whether you want to focus on magic or melee attacks. If you're going to be magic-centric, stick to the right side of the tree, improving aspects like your total mana and how much it costs to cast spells. If you're going melee-centric, focus on your strength, health and chance to cause critical attacks. What path you choose should also determine which classes you select.
  • When in doubt, Equip Up - If you're not sure what to spend your cash on, drop some points into "Equip Up." This allows you to carry higher level gear which will, in turn, give you huge benefits to your stats. Equip Up is also nice as it is useful to both melee and magic users.
  • Other helpful upgrades - "Invul. Time Up" is an expensive one, but it increases the amount of time you'll be invincible after taking damage. It's hugely helpful. "Gold Gain Up" is also pricey but it'll be worth the investment as cash will start flowing a lot faster.

What about runes?

Runes are found in chests and can give special abilities (like a double jump) or passive upgrades (like increasing your gold gain). You can equip five runes at a time, and which ones you select are dependent on your play style.

f you're just starting the game, a solid rune loadout of Dash, Double Jump and three Vampire runes (good for increasing your health after kills) will keep you alive for much longer.

When should I fight the bosses?

There's no need to rush when going after the game's four main bosses. Feel free to take your time and focus on upgrading your character. But, if you're getting antsy, a good rule of thumb is that you're generally ready when it takes one or two attacks to kill the smaller enemies in a given boss's area.

In terms of difficulty, the castle is easiest, followed by the forest (on the east side of the map), then the tower (on the north side), then the caverns (on the south side). Newcomers should follow that path, as stumbling into the caverns early on is almost certain death.

Boss Tips

If you're still having a tough time conquering the game's bosses, here's some boss-centric advice:

  • Khidr (The Eye) - Dodging is crucial against Khidr as his eye beams will make short work of you. Playing as a dwarf will make dodging a bit easier. He's also really susceptible to the Blade Wall spell, which will summon a massive sword and deal damage-over-time on him.
  • Alexander (The Skull) - The easiest boss, in my humble opinion. Just keep in mind that his flame attacks only come out at 90 degree angles. Also, if you have some Vampire runes or Blood equipment, you can earn some easy health on the smaller skulls he spawns.
  • Ponce De Leon (The Fireball) - This guy can be brutal if you're not good at maneuvering around his flames. It make things easier, play as a barbarian. The barbarian's shout will cause his flames to dissipate instantly. Just keep an eye on your mana bar.
  • Herodotus (The Slime) - Another pretty managable boss if you have the right equipment. Go heavy on damage and Vampire runes and you should be able to maintain on his parts as he gets smaller and smaller.
Still looking for help? Let us know in the comments and we'll try to get you through the jam.

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