House of Ashes – The Ancient One and Blood bearings
Let’s talk about The Ancient One and Blood bearings in House of Ashes.
The Ancient One bearing
The Ancient One bearing in House of Ashes is actually about the Akkadians from the Cursed prologue, Balathu and Kurum. You cannot prevent them from dying here. Whoever dies last in the prologue will be the reanimated wight that chases the group in later chapters. For the sake of convenience, let’s say Balathu was the last one to die in the Cursed prologue:
- In The Horror, Balathu appears as a reanimated wight.
- He pops up once more during The Ancient One chapter. Eric can help Nick fight him off.
- He appears towards the end of The Vault:
- Nick can decide to blow up the central pillar with all the cocoons. If he succeeds in the “Don’t Breathe” minigame, the explosion wipes out most of the vampires. Although Nick survives the blast, Balathu corners him. Succeed in the QTEs to prevent Nick’s death. The rest of the team arrives to destroy Balathu for good.
- However, if Nick decides to retreat, Balathu will follow your team:
- During Semper Fi, while Jason is rescuing Salim, he’ll throw a spear that can potentially kill Jason.
- Balathu will attack your group during the Daylight finale. It’s imperative that you pass the QTEs here. If Balathu kills the characters that he’s fighting, then the vampires will automatically kill the rest. Now, if you manage to defeat Balathu, you still need to contend with the remaining vampires.
The Blood bearing in House of Ashes involves finding Joey’s medkit during After the Fall – Slayer. As Nick, you’ll want to take a look inside the dark chamber first to pick up the medkit (seen in the next image). If you go to the well-lit tunnel, it’ll trigger a cutscene that advances this chapter. Oh, and this is actually alluded to by the Curator if you ask for a hint. He says that you need to find “a way through hell that leads up to light,” implying that you can grab this important item if you follow his advice.
The medkit is used during the Strange Aeons chapter. When you reach the Star Chamber, a character that has suffered wounds will be able to patch themselves up with the medkit. However, as of now, I’m not yet sure what happens if multiple people are wounded and there’s only one medkit to go around. My guess is that it might be similar to “The Bends” in Man of Medan. You think you’re safe, but a character succumbs to their injuries during the ending.
In any case, here are the possible sources of injuries:
- The Truce (Nick) – Failing the QTEs while trying to get the jump on the monster.
- The Horror (Salim) – This happens when a vampire is lunging for Salim and another has Rachel pinned down. Shoot the one that’s leaping toward Salim to prevent an injury. Rachel is guaranteed to get infected (but not killed) here, so no worries.
- The Horror (Nick) – Regardless of how you choose to fight back against Balathu, Nick will still get injured here. It’s why the medkit is important since this is, technically, the only guaranteed injury in House of Ashes.
- The Horror – Enemy of my Enemy (probably Jason or Salim) – Although I haven’t fully tested it yet, either Jason or Salim might get injured during encounters with the vampires.
Assuming only one person got injured during your run (i.e., Nick) and he patched himself up in Strange Aeons, then you can progress onwards. At the end of The Vault, you should receive the “Ain’t Got Time to Bleed” achievement. It means you escaped The Vault without anyone having lingering injuries.
All right, let’s go to the next part of our House of Ashes guide series to talk about the Until Death bearing and a secret scene for players of the previous game.