Lords Of The Fallen Complete Umbral Guide Featured Image
Screenshot: Hexworks

Lords of the Fallen: Complete Umbral guide

The Shadow Realm is so last year.

Lords of the Fallen’s big new innovation on the Soulslike formula is Umbral: a second, much darker version of the game’s core setting of Axiom. Umbral is packed with sinister twists on the core gameplay, but also ample rewards if you know how to take advantage. If you’re unsure about taking the plunge into Umbral in Lords of the Fallen, then let this complete guide be the lamp that holds back the deep darkness within.

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A full guide to Umbral in Lords of the Fallen

Entering and leaving

Before we discuss Umbral itself, let’s cover how you get there, and, if you’re lucky, get out. You can enter Umbral in two main ways: 

  • By using the Rift function of your Umbral Lamp.
  • By dying while in Axiom, the game’s default, standard world. 

The former method can be used when you want to intentionally engage with Umbral, for reasons we’ll outline below, while the latter serves more as a safety net for players who stick to Axiom, giving them a second chance at a tough boss fight or area if they fail at it once. It’s worth noting that being reborn in Umbral this way won’t reset your healing items or ranged weapons, so you’ll just have your base health to work with, but that can be enough to close out many close encounters.

Lords Of The Fallen Complete Umbral Guide Emerge Point
Screenshot: PC Invasion

To leave Umbral and return to Axiom, you’ll need to interact with special objects known as Emergence Effigies. You can usually find these at regular intervals in each area, and it’s a good idea to take note of their locations as you find them, since these will serve as your emergency exits as things in Umbral heat up.

Environmental changes

Once you’re in, Umbral offers a range of changes on Axiom. Firstly, and perhaps most notably, parts of the environment are different in Umbral compared to Axiom. A huge chasm in Axiom may have a staircase across it in Umbral, for example, or a blocked path in Umbral may be open in Axiom. Areas with cross-world environmental differences are indicated by the presence of blue butterflies.

This means that switching between the two worlds is important, and often crucial for progression. It’s worth noting that you don’t need to fully switch into Umbral to enact these changes, however. You can trigger them in Axiom simply by holding your Umbral Lantern aloft, which is a quicker and safer solution in some circumstances.

Enemy changes

Beyond environmental changes, Umbral also features changes to the type and number of enemies in each area, as well as the amount of Vigor you gain by killing said enemies. As you explore in Umbral, you’ll see outlines of different enemies, which may or may not become real versions of those enemies as you approach. These renew over time, meaning you can walk back and forth in Umbral and grind enemies as you would in a classic JRPG.

As you kill enemies in Umbral, you’ll notice your Vigor multiplier in the top right of the screen increasing. This will rise from 1.00, to 1.10, to 1.20, to 2.00, and finally, to 3.00, as you vanquish more and more foes. The extra enemies mentioned above will help greatly in increasing this multiplier, letting you easily farm large quantities of Vigor very quickly just by wandering around in Umbral for a few minutes.

Lords Of The Fallen Complete Umbral Guide Reaper Enemy
Screenshot: PC Invasion

There are downsides to this, however. The extra enemies that spawn in will grow more difficult and more numerous as your multiplier increases, thus making survival harder the longer you farm. In addition, once you reach a 3.00 multiplier, a new, incredibly dangerous enemy will spawn: a cloaked red figure with two scythes for hands. His design calls to mind the Grim Reaper, and, since he will more than likely kill you in a single hit, his functionality will as well.

Narrative changes

Finally, Umbral also offers you the chance to explore more of Lords of the Fallen’s rich lore, through special objects known as Stigmas. If you use your Umbral Lamp’s Soulflay ability on these, you’ll be shown a short scene that reveals some of the background to the area you’re in. This is a nice touch and an extra incentive for those interested in the game’s narrative elements to enter Umbral regularly as they play.

And there you have it: a complete guide to Umbral in Lords of the Fallen. As a core mechanic, it’s fittingly complex and nuanced, balancing risk and reward to offer players of all stripes an exciting experience. Once you’ve mastered its ins and outs, you’ll be able to farm levels and escape the reaper’s clutches in the nick of time.

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Author
Nathan Ball
Nathan Ball is a freelance games writer with a deep love for the medium. Having studied Game Design at the University of Abertay, Dundee, he's always on the lookout for games that push the envelope and try out fresh and exciting design techniques. You can usually find him covering the latest indie gems, but he does dabble in the world of AAA from time to time as well. Nathan has written professionally for various outlets, including TheGamer and the Scottish Games Network. When not writing, he enjoys good books, good TV, and analysing both within an inch of their life.