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Welcome to Zenozoik
Zeno Clash is one of the most unique games to come to the PC in the last few years. Its first-person melee combat is smoother than that found in Mirror's Edge, and is teamed with a backdrop of strange characters and strange places, all imaginatively drawn by Valve's versatile Source engine. It is a game that I think everyone should at least try, but the gameplay which makes it so much fun can also be difficult to understand.
This walkthrough will over the entire game and give pointers as to how to emerge victorious. With this walkthrough, and with the combat tips covered the Zenoclash Combat Guide, you should be able to beat the game on Hard difficulty without losing an embarrassing amount of times.
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The Gates of Halstedom
Zeno Clash opens into its first fight after a brief introduction which shows Gnat attacking Mother-Father, which is followed by a tutorial that covers the basics of punching, blocking, and dodging. Considering the limited amount of skills which the first tutorial sequence provides, the first fight is difficult. You'll be pitted against three of your siblings, Gastronis, Rimat, and Onpa, who are eager to take you down for your murder of Father-Mother.
Gastronis and Onpa don't have much spice to them. Subjectively, Gastronis seems more aggressive than Onpa, but the both tend to stick to run-of-the-mill punches and blocks. It is Rimat who can do the most damage, as she is capable of performing a spinning kick attack which seems impossible to stop once the first hit lands. You can avoid this attack by simply moving away from her when she begins it, as she cannot move during the first stage of the animation.
Note that this first combat takes place in extremely tight quarters. Of all the areas in the game used to stage fights, the gates of Halstedom is among the most difficult. There are many obstacles nearby, and it is easy to be backed into a corner. While conventional gaming wisdom dictates that a player should focus on one target until it is down and then focus on the next, this fight will require you to diversify your victims. The moment you find two enemies attacking you at once, retreat, drawn one of them towards you, and then fight that opponent until the others have caught up. Eventually, you'll KO all three.
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After a second tutorial in which you'll learn how to use weapons, you'll find yourself in a small village area on the other side of Halstedom's outer gate. As you might expect, the developers placed the gun tutorial here for a reason - there are weapons located in this village you can use. The fish-guns are located to the rear right near the center buildings, while a skullbomb gun is to your left. I prefer to pick up the fish-guns. As Daedra warns, there is trouble coming.
Looking towards the gate, you'll see strange creatures leaping through the holes. I can't honestly tell you what they're called - Daedra seems to call them "bumkrubs" - but they are four-legged hopping creatures that like to bite you if you wander too close. The fish-guns can take out these guys quickly however, and are accurate at long ranges so you shouldn't need to worry much about being hit.
Once the "bumkrubs" are all dead, a brief sequence will play. Then you will be in another three-person fight, this time against Gastronis, Xetes, and Rimat. Xetes seems to be a fairly aggressive fighter who will sometimes charge attack you, but Rimat is still the most difficult. You'll be working with a new dynamic in this fight, since guns are involved. If you stay towards the rear of the map you may be able to knock off one of your opponents with the fish-guns before melee starts. Once melee does start however, I suggest throwing the fish-guns to the floor (press space) and focusing on your brawling skills.
Because you have so much more space in this battle, the actual melee combat should be easier than the first fight. But be careful, because opponents can use guns as well. If you drop a weapon they will pick it up and use it again you. If you seen an enemy pick up a gun, charge over and give them a whack. They'll drop the guns, and most times they'll be momentarily vulnerable. Once you've vanquished all three of your siblings, this chapter will end. Don't worry about having a gun on you, because it won't be available at the beginning of the next chapter.
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This is the end of the Prologue chapter and the end of this portion of the Walkthrough. The next section of the Walkthrough will cover the journey away from Halestedom and towards the forest of the Coriwids.