Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The best zones to explore first

Archvale is a lovingly crafted spherical hell RPG with a lot of open exploration. The kingdom you are exploring wants to be discovered. You can move freely to any country to reclaim the arch stones. There is always something new and fresh to discover in the world of Archvale, with each zone being linked to the next. Plus, you can easily quickly travel between zones as you see fit.

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Given the openness of the game, where to go first can often be a little overwhelming. Don’t worry, Archvale has a few zones that are definitely worth trying out first, mostly because of lighter enemies and a lot of crafting materials that you can acquire. If you find yourself in too difficult a zone, just head in a different direction to find a better fit. Here are the top five zones to explore first in Archvale.

5 Cradlewood – The Forest Zone


Exploring the Cradlewood Zone in Archvale

Cradlewood is the very first area you explore in Archvale. While this is the first area, so it’s the easiest area, that doesn’t mean you should skimp on exploring each of its rooms. Cradlewood is the perfect introduction to Archvale. This forest zone is full of detail and vibrancy. Here the game also introduces you to the Twin-Stick Bullet Hell RPG mechanics.

What makes Cradlewood so important is that it is home to two separate and distinct villages, namely Timberwell and Fairreach. Timberwell is a very small town that gives you nothing tangible but gives you a great sense of world education. Fairreach is the first big city you come across and here you can learn crafts, buy items, keep coins in the bank, and upgrade your weapons from the local blacksmith.

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4th Amberpath – The autumn zone


Amber Trail Autumn Zone in Archvale

Amberpath is perhaps one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in all of Archvale. This autumnal and orange zone is utterly magical and heartwarming until you meet the first tougher baddies. Amberpath is one of the main locations that serves as a branching zone. Amberpath is where you can access some of the other zones in the game, so it’s a great central location.

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Although Amberpath doesn’t have a village like Cradlewood, it does offer an abundance of bandit hideouts. These challenging combat rooms will be your first major combat challenge in bullet hell, with new bandits popping up from hatches in the ground time and time again. If you can take them all off, you will be generously rewarded with coins, crafting materials, and sometimes a loot chest.

3 Crab Claw Maw – The cave zone


Location of Crab Claw Gorge in Archvale

Crabclaw Chasm, a cavernous zone that you can reach from Amberpath, might not look like much. Crabclaw Chasm is just a damp den in every way. While the place might not be a visual feast compared to Amberpath or Cradlewood, it does give you a wide variety of crafting materials for some of the best early game items.

As the name suggests, Crabclas Chasm is teeming with all sorts of crab enemies. When you defeat these crabs you will be given crab shells. Crab shells are vital to making some of the best and most powerful initial weapons and armor in the game. Make sure to get to this location early so your craft can be much more effective at the start of your adventure.

2 Murkmire – The swamp zone


Location in the gloomy swamp in Archvale

When you stumble upon Murkmire, a place accessible from Amberpath, you are greeted by a murky, damp, drab swamp. Despite its outward appearance, Murkmire offers one of the catchiest and most entertaining music tracks in the game, reminiscent of music from games like Banjo-Kazooie or Yooka-Laylee.

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Murkmire is an excellent place to explore first as it is home to some really punishing enemy types, has some of the best crafting components, dark steel ore, and even a quaint swamp town called Bogtown. Murkmire will likely be a very challenging area to begin with, but the difficulty will be rewarded with fantastic crafting materials that you can then use to craft better and stronger equipment in Bogtown.

1 Pine Peak – The Snowy Zone


Pine peak snow zone in Archvale

The first time you step onto Pine Peak, the snowy mountain village, you will feel soothed by the calm music and the slowly falling snowflakes. All of this is quickly interrupted by magical yetis, powerful spheres of sentient energy, and many space hazards like frozen water to slip into. If you are up to the challenge, Pine Peak will generously reward you for your time.

Pine Peak is tough, period. You’ll likely die a couple of times trying to reach Sprucepoint village, but you’ll collect valuable crafting materials like cobalt ore, undead essence, and frozen capsules along the way. The latter of these materials is used to craft frozen weapons, some of the more powerful in the game. In addition, the village of Sprucepoint is downright charming and relaxing.

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