Legacy Unearthly Item Reviews
Looking for an unearthly item that's not mentioned here? Items that are currently in season or are candidates for being included in the upcoming season are discussed over at the unearthly item buying guide.

Recurring Considerations

A Note on Summoning Skills

Several unearthly items grant summoning skills. A basic overview of the mechanics that govern them can be found here. All of these skills share some important features that makes having access to at least one very desirable.

  • Summoning skills are available in every season, even when the items that grants them are no longer available from Zack's House of Coins. This makes them especially good buys, since you will be able to enjoy their benefits in perpetuity.
  • Summoning skills let you burn off unwanted energy of Etheric-type effects. Being able to control the duration of Etheric type effects more precisely makes it easier to avoid unwanted etheric-only encounters or get encounters that only appear when you are not etheric. This is a powerful ability int its own right. Being able to convert energy of the unwanted effect into useful items is even better.
  • Summoning skills do not take up an equipment slot. Since they are skills, summoning skills do not compete with any of your equipment, unearthly or otherwise.

For these reasons, not to mention the actual bonuses provided by the items you can summon using the skills, having at least one summoning skill is strongly recommended. Having more than one gives you more options, allowing you to fine-tune the bonuses you are looking for to fit your current situation. Also, the effects granted by the set of items from a given summoning skill are mutually exclusive, but stack with effects from other summoning skills.

Items that grant summoning skills:

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The Rankings

Mysterious Puzzle Box

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Recommendation Highly recommended. Extremely potent in-run, especially for ranged decks. Allows access to a treasure trove of content post-run through powder pouring.

This item takes a lot of time to get familiar with, and a lot of effort (and/or greasemonkey scripts) to take full advantage of, but it is definitely worth it. It is extremely potent in-run, as it can provide both a hard-to-get offensive boost from the gadget inventory slot, and very good food, which is also hard to get early in a run.

Post-run, when useful gadgets are more plentiful, the puzzle box will not be your go-to gadget as often. Still, the large stat buffs it grants and the useful drugs it can provide via powder pouring make it well worth having. The massive boost to Etheric techniques it makes possible and the fact that there is still a mystery or two hidden in it might add to its appeal.

This is one of the few unearthly items where it is advantageous to own multiple copies (so that you can make more use of its various capabilities without having to spend turns changing its form constantly, the prime example would be to keep one in a box form and one in a rod form, cutting powder pouring time from 25 turns per powder to only 15 tuns per powder).

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Prototype Coat

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Recommendation Highly recommended. This item is almost game-breakingly good in-run, and still useful for modifying your chance of encounters of various kinds post-run.

The Cinematic Dodge technique this item grants is extremely useful. At chain 5, it combos well with Dive for Cover, and is one of the few Evasion techniques that is effective vs. Stealth attacks. When used in conjunction with the coat, the technique also gives temporary buffs that add defense, further improving your survivability in combat. This item makes early-game combat dramatically easier.

With other shirts competing for its equipment slot you will probably use it less post-run, even if it is the best shirt for Evasion Power. In particular, if you are heavily focused on gang warfare the shirt's defensive capabilities may not be of much interest to you. Even then, however, you can use it once per day to make it best in slot (or close to) for various chance of encounters modifiers. Sloppy Hacker is helpful for hacking, particularly if you don't own a biofeedback vest or coat of mysterious circuitry.

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Urban Legends, Vol. 1

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Recommendation Highly recommended if you do not already have a summoning skill, and opens up more options if you already have (or are planning to get) one.

This item grants a summoning skill, Urban Lore, which has the basic benefits common to all summoning skills.

The items have a nice mix of uses both in and out of runs. The defensive buffs are very helpful in-run for tough fights — the creepy clown statue deserves special mention as a way to help get enough Etheric Defense to avoid getting Crushed Perceptions in the Saber fight. The hefty stat boosts could conceivably help to pass the Low Road if you get the right items.

Post-run it shines even more, since you can stock up a large supply of items and make those +20% attribute boosts count more. The organ transport box lets you regain Body once per day if you have enough First Aid. The panacea pill is a good healing item in its own right, and is one of the few ways of curing The Jitters and Rasping Teeth.

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Crystalline Flame

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Recommendation Not a powerhouse in-run, but potentially a source of useful techniques (especially if you have Fae Eyes).

Most of the content in this item requires you to be Etheric, so it will probably not see much use in-run unless you're deliberately going out of your way in pursuit of a conduct or something. You can get the Crystal Strike technique without being Etheric. At chain 2, it could be handy if you're running a Melee deck and have not yet gotten any instances of Brutality. This technique is also handy for spading out opponent Will values, if you're into that sort of thing.

Post-run, both fae- and fish-aligned characters alike can get Fist of the Herald and Voice of Wrath, reasonably powerful techniques. Voice of Wrath is notable for being a relative rare chain 9 technique. If you have Ocean Eyes you get Crystal Gate, which is also powerful but for which substitutes aren't hard to find. If you have Fae Eyes, though, you get the wonderful Defensive Burn technique. It doesn't require Eclipse to power it, defends against Melee and Etheric, and can also do direct damage following Etheric techniques.

The good news for the fishy set is that the drowning flame is still currently best-in-slot for Etheric Power. Also, both the drowning flame and the serene crystal give +1 Eclipse Duration. This bonus has been eclipsed by the charmed chain in the seasons since this item was first released, but if you don't have one those are currently the only other sources of that bonus from the weapon equipment slot.

Kinak says there is still something interesting we could learn by carefully looking at the messages you get when you [use] a drowning flame or serene crystal. Other than that, this is one of the few unearthly items in the game that are fully understood.

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Festive Knit Hat

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Recommendation This item is not necessarily something you'll want to have equipped all the time, but the situations where it comes in handy are common enough to make it worth having.

The Will bonus is moderately useful for boosting your maximum HP and a few stat tests. The hat's hefty bonus to Etheric Defense makes it much easier to prepare for fighting Saber. For example, the hat, the Focused Mind skill and the Gummy effect suffice to prevent Crushed Perceptions, which means you don't need a tome of binding in your offhand slot and can instead equip an unearthly coin or other more useful item. However, the lack of an air filter makes the hat less useful in The Slags or against opponents who use techniques like Gas Grenade.

The main value of this item is the Winter Spirits effect and its +3 Morale bonus. With this item, resting to make sure you go into an important fight with full HP also gives a significant boost to your attack power (as long as you are careful to make sure the bonus will boost the right kind of attack power). The extra XP from winning hard fights with the effect active can be helpful, but it's often something of a booby prize since the effect is so useful. Unfortunately, removing the hat also removes the effect, so you have to be careful not to unequip it inadvertently after resting, especially if you are using custom outfits. This can make getting the Morale bonus somewhat fiddly, especially post-run when you have more equipment in your inventory.

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Elegantly Torn Pants

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Recommendation Good for resetting, but really shines for post-run use if you're interested enough in optimizing to expend Energy on crafting and potentially some hard-to-get items to make high-end patches and reinforcements.

In-run, this item's base enchantments are reasonably helpful. The bonus to Will is especially nice if you're using mostly Melee and need your Will to keep pace with your Strength to increase your maximum HP. Tough cloth is a fairly common drop when you have the pants equipped, so you should be able to get +2 Melee Defense out of this item for most of your run. Reinforced cloth for +3 Melee Defense or steel scrap for +2 each to Melee Defense and Ranged Defense are not out of the question later in the run. However, most of the really strong uses of the pants are only practical to get post-run.

Post-run, this item is very versatile and can give a wide variety of bonuses, many of which are not otherwise available (or, at least, not with such magnitude) from the Pants equipment slot. The downside is that you have to devote Energy to crafting advanced reinforcements, and some of them require hard-to-get materials. On the other hand, energy of your buffs is saved when you unequip the pants, so if you're willing to put up with some fiddly equipment-switching, you can save them up for when you really need them. If you do manage to build up a decent stock of black cloth scraps, crafting spiked cloth makes these far and away the best pants for Melee fighting, especially if you also use a fist patch. Taking advantage of the + power effects of many of the reinforcements also allows you to get Fire Power and Ranged Power from your pants, which is otherwise not currently possible. Also of note is the +5 Reactive Defense you can get from from slimy cloth, provided you have reactive gel to burn.

This item is less about flavor than it is about the numerical bonuses you can get out of it. If squeezing out more attack Power or Defense is important enough to you that you're willing to spend the time figuring out how the pants can help you and crafting the items you need in order for them to do it, the payoff can be significant. If crunching numbers isn't your thing (or if you're a hopeless packrat), you may be happier with a more thematically-rich item.

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Hungry Ooze

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Recommendation Worth having for some niche applications in-run if you're speedrunning, but otherwise recommended mostly if you want to help spade it or are speculating on its utility improving when it's fully spaded.

This is a versatile item, capable of taking a number of different forms if you have the right kinds of items to feed it. The most obviously useful form for in-run use is the hungry ooze caul and its +3 Etheric Defense, which would be very helpful for fighting Saber. The hungry ooze egg would be nice for finding the Faerie Guide and other important Etheric-only encounters, but finding gadgets to feed to it might be difficult, especially early on. Otherwise, the hungry ooze lash might come in handy if you desperately need Reflexes and are not expecting a tough fight, and the hungry ooze cloak could be a source of Stealth Power for sneaking past a Security Hole.

Post-run, almost all of the ooze's forms are overshadowed by other items. The main exception here is the hungry ooze cloak, which is currently the optimal shirt to wear if you want to maximize your Stealth Power. However, there are some big gaps in our knowledge about this item. We now know that feeding the ooze items with a high stash value charge it somehow. We have gotten special results from the ooze lash and pants when charged, but there's probably unfound content in the other forms if the ooze is sufficiently well fed.

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Feathered Cloak

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Recommendation Highly recommended. There are many occasions both in- and post-run where you are looking for choice encounters, and this item helps you find them. The feather buffs are useful and there's lots of additional content to explore as a bonus.

The full mechanics underlying this item are fairly complex, but the intrinsic bonus to chance of choice encounters is straightforward and easy to get. More choice encounters also translates into fewer combats, which is helpful early in a run. And if you do get into a fight, the item's bonus Evasion Power comes into play. Deliberately getting a specific kind of feather takes some doing, but just wearing the cloak and playing normally will eventually get you feathers, and it doesn't even take a turn when one drops. The feathers can be helpful to buff up for fights, and further boost chance of choice encounters.

There is a great deal of additional content packed into this item—special boss fights, an outfit, several techniques, a cool avatar, and very likely some other undiscovered goodies. Figuring it out on your own would be a monumental task, and even if you consult the wiki it is still a bit tricky to get everything that has already been spaded. But you can choose not to mess with all of that and still take advantage of this item's core functionality.

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Extreme Tackle Box

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Recommendation A must-have if you plan on doing a lot of fishing. Also generally useful for optimizers, as it's currently the only gadget that boosts chance of noncombat encounters.

The recommendation pretty much covers it. In-run, the most obvious application for this item is coinfishing (see unearthly coin above), although even then you may not want to use it for fear of getting a mud eel instead of a giant pike.

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Midgard Player

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Recommendation Strongly recommended if you are interested in powerful (but resource-intensive) buffs for gang warfare and other post-run uses.

Kinak says this item is not primarily intended to be useful in-run. The recordings that drop when you have this item equipped can be used to gain a few XP. When played, the recordings give stat boosts, which may be helpful for getting past the Low Road. The right combination of recordings can also yield a "harmony" effect that provides an offensive boost, although whether the recordings that drop combine in a way that happens to boost your preferred combat style seems to be a matter of luck. It is possible to unlock this item with a processor chip so that it can be used for hacking, which can be situationally be useful in-run, particularly if Dr. Amundsen died. It comes with a significant code finesse penalty, but by way of compensation it provides an extra die worth of functions, so it's a trade-off that's at least worth considering.

Post-run, this item can yield powerful buffs (and apparently there is a whole other tier of buffs that we have yet to figure out how to unlock). Furthermore, if you unlock it with a processor chip and use a juryrigged link, you can run programs like white noise producer to get a large amount of Etheric Defense in addition to the Player's buffs (some of which already provide Etheric Defense on their own). Furthermore, Twisted Harmony and Whispered Harmony both provide a whopping (and best in slot) +4 to Eclipse Duration. The downside is that getting these buffs, especially the higher-end ones, requires you to use up potentially valuable code modules, and also requires a fair amount of record-keeping and trial-and-error to find the right combinations (although this might be easier with a better understanding of how the item works). Still, if you are interested in optimizing, you can get a lot of buffs out of one equipment slot (for gang warfare, say) with this item.

Kinak says this is one of the unearthly items with the greatest amount of unfound content associated with it.

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Zalian Defense Tool

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Recommendation Helpful as a source of Stealth Power at rare moments; temptingly cool to use but probably not optimal otherwise

There are a few situations in-run where it's nice to have Stealth Power. Early on, it's helpful for sneaking past the Security Hole in the Sewer Hideout, which is something you'll probably want to do at least until you get Dr. Thomas as a contact. (Make sure to equip a proper gun if you want to fight the gang boss!) Other places you could consider using it: Fleeing Pool Shark, Spying on the Supervisor, Abduction if you're doing a conduct that prevents you from being Etheric and/or getting Pep In Your Step, maybe Beaten Man if you're sure you can win the fight without a more straightforwardly powerful weapon.

There are two big drawbacks to using this item. One is that the base form is very weak, since it grants only a few points of Ranged Power at best and stealth techniques to take advantage of its Stealth Power are hard to get early on. This makes fights more challenging, and you need to win fights with the item equipped to make it upgrade and/or grant its special techniques. Unfortunately, the other drawback is that we still do not understand how to get it to do these things quickly and reliably.

If you can overcome these drawbacks, the item's special techniques are worth a look, The Zalian blade technique is tempting for melee runs, since it gives you something powerful at chain 3 while you're waiting to upgrade Punch to Crushing Punch. At chain 5, Zalian Shot is a definite step up from Single Shot and even Shotgun Blast (at least for fights where your opponent won't be using primarily melee techniques). Furthermore, it can be devastating if you use it with the Zalian Blade effect active, but unfortunately you can't get it until day 3 of a run at the earliest.

Post-run, the special techniques are easier to get, but with access to all your items even the bonuses of the Zalian multiweapon might not be compelling if you own a carved crystal orb, personal sniper rifle, or similar weapon unless you're building a deck composed of stealth, ranged, and fire techniques.

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HKGames Helmet

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Recommendation Recommended mostly if you want to look for neat undiscovered content or are looking for extremely powerful techniques to use in gang warfare.

This item gives a substantial Will bonus. In-run this is mostly helpful if you take the Low Road and maybe for one or two other encounters. It might also help boost your maximum HP if your buffed Strength is higher than your buffed Will. The non-Etheric versions of the special encounters from choosing to [use] the hat give one or two stat points (given the number and kind of techniques you will likely have in-run) without costing Energy. However, the opponents that replace the tests if you are Etheric are very hard to defeat in-run, so you have to time things carefully in order to get the XP without getting beaten up. It also appears that unequipping the helmet resets the countdown for getting a test, adding further difficulty to getting the free XP.

The main value of this item is the extremely powerful techniques you can get from beating the Etheric versions of the tests. For example, Gem Break is a powerful Etheric attack that also defends against opposing Etheric techniques. Thus, if you are interested in taking part in high-level gang warfare, this is almost a must-buy item. Still, these techniques can be challenging to get even with post-run resources at your disposal, so amassing a deck full of them requires a serious commitment.

Kinak says we're still missing one chunk of content associated with this item.

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Emerald Gift scrapbook

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Recommendation Highly recommended if you do not already have a summoning skill, and opens up more options if you already have (or are planning to get) one.

This item grants a summoning skill, Emerald Meditation, which has the basic benefits common to all summoning skills.

The common sketches it yields provide helpful defensive buffs, which last twice as long as those from the comparable items from Urban Lore. The inspiringly strange sketch deserves special mention as a way to help get enough Etheric Defense to avoid getting Crushed Perceptions in the Saber fight.

The Channel Inspiration technique is potentially an extremely versatile attack, which (if you summon the right sketches) lets you make otherwise hard-to-get Fire and Stealth attacks. However, to get the full benefit out of this technique and the sketch buffs, you have to be Etheric. Since you probably won't be Etheric much in-run for other reasons, and until you have Experimental Chemistry and can make liquified Eclipse it uses up a great deal of Body to keep the effect active, it's not clear how practical this is.

It's not likely that you'll get all the sketches you need to fight a Flickering Guard in-run. The equipment it drops is mostly useful if you want to increase the power of your Channel Inspiration attacks, but the imaginary spear gives +2 XP each combat if you're willing to fight with a weapon that's, well, imaginary, and the best helmet can come close to living up to its name if you're Etheric.

The buffs from sketches and the items from other summoning skills stack, so having several such skills helps in buffing up for tough fights. This is especially true post-run when you have access to stockpiled items.

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Shield of Scales

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Recommendation Criminally underpriced at one coin. A frequent go-to item post-run and good for resetting if you are planning to use Melee or Stealth techniques.

This item has one drawback early in a reset run, namely that it competes with an unearthly coin for the key offhand equipment slot. This makes for some interesting (agonizing?) trade-offs. The ability to learn Shield Block right off the bat has to be weighed against missing out on the large stat boosts from the coin. As your run progresses and your base stats get higher, it's easier to sacrifice to coin's stat bonuses in hopes of learning the technique. A chain that starts off with Shield Block and Dive for Cover together can be strong for any combat style, but probably works best with Melee or Stealth. You can't count on getting the other techniques the shield has to offer (Sudden Bash and Striking Shield) without going out of your way, but they may be worth pursuing depending on your strategy.

Even if you don't use Shield Block at all, the base enchantment on this item is a useful one. There are many opponents later in a run who use melee attacks, and there are a few key fights where Etheric Defense is very important. The shield probably doesn't change things much for the Saber fight, since getting enough Melee Defense to make the bonus worthwhile could be hard. But it'd be a real boon if you want to get the Dr. Johnson recording.

Post-run, where you have access to more sources of Melee Defense, this item is very strong in zones where you face lots of melee and Etheric techniques. And there are many such zones: the Ghost Ship, The Charnel House (Reopened), Lake Metroplex (South) (especially if you fight the Ocean King!), etc. It might also be helpful in high-end gang warfare against somebody running an Etheric/Melee deck.

It's almost unfair that in addition to being a strong defensive item, the shield also enhances some already-strong offensive techniques. If you're willing to let the shield dictate your loadout of equipment and effects, you can do truly frightening amounts of damage with Serpent Pattern and Striking Shield. Making a full chain of those plus Shield Block, Sudden Bash, and Serpent Strike gives the Shield of Scales effect making the shield even stronger than it already is. Unfortunately, you only get the effect if the opponent is still alive to give you something to block by the time you get to Shield Block, which will only happen in the toughest of fights. That's right: the biggest drawback here is that the serpent-y combat suite the shield makes possible is too lethal for its own good.

This item very likely has some as-yet-unfound interactions with the antique floor mirror, and perhaps also with other ophidian content.

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Spacious Cargo Pants

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Recommendation Recommended for resetting if you are planning to use Ranged combat, and a source of good Ranged techniques for gang warfare and other tough fights post-run.

Good pants are hard to get in-run, so if you're resetting these pants are attractive just for the +2 Melee Defense. Getting the other benefits from the pants requires you to Check Your Pockets. This involves some trade-offs. For one thing, at chain 4, this technique conflicts with the all-important Dive for Cover, so there's an element of risk and uncertainty involved in using it. Furthermore, you have to be Etheric to get the really powerful rewards from the pants. Still, the gamble is probably worth taking if you are primarily using Ranged combat. The Lucky Shot technique is available even if you are not Etheric. While it's not guaranteed to do more than its low base damage unless you get, well, lucky, it does let you make long chains very early on. The rest of the non-Etheric pocket items aren't especially impressive, although the serviceable bandages are always nice to have.

The Etheric-only items and techniques are another story, even if you have to wait until post-run to get them. The "Bullet for … " techniques do solid damage and, more importantly, allow you to do damage and potentially block attacks with the same technique. They're also nice to have given the dearth of chain 6 Ranged techniques that work well as filler. Bullet for Surt is especially nice, since there are many opponents who use all or mostly Melee techniques. In gang warfare you are more likely to encounter opponents with Stealth- and Etheric-heavy decks that would allow you to use Bullet for Ginn and Bullet for Ymir to good effect. Unfortunately, the "Bullet for … " techniques do not seem to work while underwater.

The knuckle bones are still a bit of a mystery. There is likely something more to the knuckle strands, but we have yet to figure out what.

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Wolfskin Belt

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Recommendation This item is helpful in-run, especially early on. It seems to be geared more toward awesomeness than being useful for any particular purpose post-run.

In-run the base effects are pretty strong. The +2 Strength helps mostly if you are using Melee attacks, but the +2 Power when your target doesn't have a technique helps all combat styles. This bonus will come into play often while resetting, since few opponents you encounter in the course of a typical reset run other than ghouls make long chains. The belt will be most useful early in a run; later it will have to compete with a Myers sampling kit, electrical kit/salvaging tools, glass bauble, PDA, or First Aid-providing gadget. Still, it will be extremely valuable in fights where running out of techniques can be a real problem, e.g. the Gang Boss or fighting the two Writhing Masses in order to get Experimental Chemistry, not to mention in must-win fights vs. Shard and Saber.

Werewolf form is not yet fully spaded. Details like the exact composition of your deck of special werewolf techniques and which special unlockable techniques there are still need to be worked out. There are no fights where it's glaringly obvious that being a werewolf would be optimal, either in- or post-run, but some may turn up as people think (or discover) more about the possibilities the belt affords. For example, the belt gives immediate access to a set of Etheric techniques that do not consume energy of etheric-type effects to use. This makes getting the Etheric Master conduct dramatically easier.

Kinak says there is some cool aftercore-related stuff in this item, but that it's not really designed to have a specific purpose other than being awesome. Being able to turn into a freakin' werewolf is undeniably cool. Kinak has also confirmed that there is a (yet-to-be-found) werewolf avatar. This is a solid item for resetting, but based on what we know so far it's more neat than optimal for post-run use.

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Rag Man's Cape

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Recommendation Ragged Dodge is an extremely useful technique, and being able to get rid of Rasping Teeth is very helpful for gang warfare.

This item's base bonuses make it the best in its equipment slot for Etheric Power and Reflexes. The bonus Reflexes can be helpful in-run for dashing through security holes, chasing down the Fleeing Pool Shark, or maybe instakilling a guard when rescuing David. It might also make it possible for you to run away from an enemy without having it cost Energy. The bonus Etheric Power will probably matter mostly post-run.

The key feature of this item is that it unlocks special fights that allow you to learn the very nice Ragged Dodge technique if you win. If you have the cape equipped, this technique defends against everything except for Stealth. It does defend against Etheric techniques, which very few other Evasion techniques do. Since you have to fight to get the technique, this item is a mixed blessing in-run. On one hand, since the fights do not take Energy, they give "free" stats. However, they can cost quite a few HP even if you win, which you may well not versus opponents who can dodge many attacks and use difficult-to-defend-against Stealth attacks. At least pending further spading, the fights happen unpredictably, so if you are wearing the item mostly for its bonuses you have to be vigilant. Post-run, when you have access to better equipment and higher stats, winning the fights is less of a problem, although the relative infrequency of the special encounters makes the XP gains more of a perk than a main selling point.

The downside of using Ragged Dodge is that it only works well if you have the cape equipped. Also, if you are fighting while outdoors, you may not want to have the Rag Man show up to fight you periodically. On the other hand, fighting The Rag Man's More Powerful Ultimate Form is awfully cool. Also, the clean rags you can get as drops from these fights remove the nasty Rasping Teeth effect — the only known way other than the panacea pill and the serum mushroom (and then only with Fae Sight) to do so.

Even if you are not enough of an optimizer to care about this item's base bonuses, it may be worth picking up just to be able to use Ragged Dodge in locations like the Ghost Ship. If your aftercore focus tends more towards gang warfare, though, you may not find it as useful.

Kinak says there are two items that we still have yet to find that interact with the cape, so there are still secrets hiding in its folds.

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Nostalgic Toy Catalog

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Recommendation Highly recommended if you do not already have a summoning skill, and opens up more options if you already have (or are planning to get) one.

This item grants a summoning skill, Long Lost Nostalgia, which has the basic benefits common to all summoning skills.

The offhand items you can summon with this skill grant +4 to one attribute, but if you have this item you probably also have an unearthly coin that grants +3 to all four attributes, so getting an extra point in one attribute will probably not be worth giving up +3 to the other three stats very often. In-run, you will probably be more interested in using these items to get 20 energy of +2 Power to all techniques based on a given attribute. This is a fairly significant bonus, and, unlike the bonuses to attack power from sketches summoned with Emerald Meditation, you don't have to be Etheric to take advantage of it.

Fighting a Tin Soldier with a nostalgia effect active and a nostalgic offhand item equipped (?) lets you learn special toy-based techniques. At chain 4, these compete with Dive for Cover, so in-run they will probably be more for niche uses than general-purpose fighting. Further spading might uncover features that make them more attractive.

Toy bricks may well have some helpful applications in-run, but until more is known about how frequently you get them when using the skill and what you can make with them, it's hard to say how helpful they are. Post-run the brick figure is a very useful bit of furniture that over time can save you a significant amount of Body.

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Grappler Gauntlets

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Recommendation Solid for in-run use if you're using mostly Melee techniques, but not terribly useful post-run based on what we have been able to discover.

Whether you're in- or post-run, the gauntlets are only useful if you are using a Melee deck, perhaps mixed with low-chain Stealth techniques and bonus Power to Techniques Using Reflexes. If you are, the gauntlets are fairly powerful in-run. The bonus power at short distance doesn't only come into play against opponents using low-chain techniques; it also applies when your attack is unopposed. Since most in-run opponents use fairly short chains, the easy-to-get Grappler Jab technique will yield an impressive damage output in many fights.

Post-run the item seems less useful. To unlock its full power you need to have cyberarms installed, and even then there are questions about whether it's worth it. See the discussion here for full details.

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Scuffed Mining Helmet

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Recommendation Unlocks loads of cool content, but seems to have mostly niche applications for optimizers.

This item tied for best in slot for Stealth Defense, and all of its competitors are also unearthly items. The bonus to Etheric Defense is pretty niche, but in-run it might come in handy for getting a Dr. Johnson recording or for fighting Saber if you didn't manage to get the lieutenant's shades for some reason.

Good hats are hard to get in-run, so you might want to wear this in the Abandoned Building to protect against Kidney Punches. Participating in the mining encounters might be helpful for gaining stats if you are pursuing a special conduct, but probably take you out of your way in a typical speed run.

The special mining encounters this hat unlocks are very cool, and seem to include some rare drops. If you want to be sure not to be at the mercy of the OmniMall for access to them, or if you want to farm them yourself or just experience the special content, this is a fun item. If your attitude towards mining is "Lord, I am so tired. How long can this go on?" this may not be the item for you, pending further discoveries.

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Goblet of Bones

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Recommendation This item is potentially important for high-end gang warfare, but otherwise largely a niche item.

The base bonuses on this item are potentially crucial if you are facing opponents with a great deal of Etheric Power and want to respond in kind. This alone might well make it a must-have of you are serious about gang warfare. Otherwise, the Will and, for upgraded forms, Etheric Defense this item grants can be gotten from other offhand items that may be more useful overall. In-run, swapping this item in for an unearthly coin means more trouble with stat tests and may impair your ability to get maximum offensive power out of your techniques. However, if you take the trouble to upgrade to an overfull goblet in-run, the +4 Etheric Defense might be very helpful for fighting Saber or getting a Dr. Johnson recording.

The item's healing ability can come in handy if you don't want to spend energy resting, but it takes quite a bit of charging up to activate it. Furthermore, it appears you don't charge the item on lost fights, so you have to win fights with a goblet equipped and take significant damage while you do. So it's debatable how useful this aspect of the item is.

Pouring Blood is notable as one of the few high-chain Etheric techniques, which may make this item worth a look for combo decks with Ranged, Stealth, or maybe Fire.

Kinak says there's still a mystery here, and that whoever finds it "will be really excited".

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Crystal Spine

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Recommendation Strongly recommended, especially for those who do not own a mysterious puzzle box or a Midgard player. Good basic bonuses make it attractive for in-run use, and with some work it can give a big boost to combat power post-run.

In-run, the +2 to all attributes from the base form is an extremely helpful bonus, even if you also have a unearthly coin equipped. Finding anything to fill the gadget slot very early on is difficult, and this item can help you get enough Perception to follow the Couriers, or with stat tests in the Beaten Man encounter to lure away a guard or instakill a guard when you rush Shard. Later on, gadgets become more plentiful, so it will have to compete with first aid gear, the Myers sampling kit, a computer, etc. Still, if you are running a deck based mostly on one attribute, you may be able to switch it to a form that boosts your combat power, which could provide an important edge vs. tough opponents like Saber, the two Writhing Masses to get Experimental Chemistry, etc.

You can charge up the spine while sober, but to change it to another form you need to be Etheric, which you may not be doing all that much of in-run unless you are going for a conduct like Eclipse Purist. Post-run, it will be much easier to find the time to charge the spine up without going out of your way. The special techniques the spine can teach seem reasonably powerful, but to get the most out of them you need to have the spine equipped and in the right form, which limits their usefulness.

Post-run, it will take some time and effort to get to the higher-tier resonating forms of the spine, but once you do they give substantial bonuses. The attribute boosts from the resonating crystal spine are large, but as your base stats grow, you will probably be more interested in the "power to techniques …" bonuses from the other resonating forms. This puts it in the same general neighborhood as previous unearthly gadgets like the mysterious puzzle box and the Midgard player. If you don't own either of those, this item is probably a strong buy, since it gives combat power bonuses that you otherwise are just not going to be able to get from your gadget slot. The mysterious puzzle box is still king of the hill if you get Secrets of the Cube and are using single-style Etheric, Melee, Ranged (or, I suppose, Evasion) decks. The highest-tier buffs we have found so far from the Midgard player can give bonuses equal to those from the resonating forms of the spine. Getting these buffs from the player, however, can require you to consume difficult-to-get data. On the other hand, many of those buffs also give defensive bonuses, unlike the spine's. The player's buffs, like those from the puzzle box, are based on technique type rather than base attribute. Where the spine really shines (with a greenish light?) is in combo decks based on a common attribute, e.g. a Reflexes-based Stealth/Fire/Evasion deck.

Also note that, unlike other multi-form unearthly items, it is useless to buy more than one spine. Whenever you change the spine's form, all the spines in your inventory also change form.

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Toad Statue

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Recommendation Can't hurt and might help in-run; post-run its value probably depends on your willingness to rearrange your furniture

As furniture, this item is pretty much a "freebie" in-run. You can install it in your apartment from turn 1 of a reset run, and it won't compete with any of your equipment. There doesn't seem to be a way to force a particular "Smiling" effect, so getting a bonus to the kind of combat style you're using is iffy. You probably won't be making long enough chains to charge it up until late in your run (if at all), but you get at least one use a day out of it as long as you can afford Metros fare to and from Southside to use it. Other than that, there's essentially no cost to using it in-run.

Post-run there is more competition for furniture slots. There doesn't appear to be any penalty for removing this item and reinstalling it later, though, so if you are willing to spend the Energy to swap it in and out as needed it can give extra combat power for high-end gang warfare and other tough fights. You can gradually increase the duration of the buffs you get from this item, and this increased duration persists across resets.

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Holosight Rifle

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Recommendation Helpful but somewhat niche for in-run use, but potentially a very powerful ranged weapon for aftercore, especially for high-end gang warfare.

How much use you'll get out of this item depends mainly on how frequently you use Ranged combat. In-run, it might save you a smuggle if you typically get a roomsweeper. The Holographic Shot technique is handy through the Sewer Hideout, but will probably take second place to Explosive Shot except for fights where you are buffing your Etheric Defense. It can be better filler than Explosive Shot once you incorporate chain 7 techniques into your deck, particularly if you don't get a needler rifle to drop. The Holosighting technique is probably not much of a consideration in-run, since you generally have to go out of your way to get a scope before you hit the Buried Lab, and because the technique is not as good for multi-opponent fights.

Post-run, this item can be a source of large amounts of Ranged Power, especially when paired with a solid gunman hologram. This makes it generally useful in gang warfare, particularly against an opponent making use of Etheric techniques, and even moreso in conjunction with other anti-Etheric Ranged techniques like Disruptive Shot or Bullet for Ginn.

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Designer Vines

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Recommendation Moderately helpful in-run if you are using Melee, and has some niche applications post-run.

The base bonuses on this item are reasonably strong. The +2 Melee Defense is decent even post-run, and the Strength bonus the pants provide is best in slot. In-run, these bonuses will carry you pretty far, especially if you are using a Melee deck. The whopping bonus to Strength makes it possible to get instance of the Crushing Punch technique much earlier in your run than you typically would, and also allows you to get enough Strength to take full advantage of your Melee Power, possibly obviating the need for an unearthly coin or crystal spine and thus freeing up an equipment slot. The vines can be handy for getting rid of the Vile Camouflage effect if you get it while looking for the Sewer Hideout, and then similarly later on for getting rid of Dripping With Gore from the Southside Lab Corpsepile if you do the Hel's Suspicions quest (or from the Bloody Still Life). If you do manage to pick up the Take Root technique this way in-run, the Vine Shirt effect might come in handy fighting the two Writhing Masses for Andrea the Grad Student.

In general, though, the Take Root technique is for post-run use. At chain 7, it's difficult to work into a standard Ranged or Melee deck. The highest-chain Melee attack is chain 4, which makes it all but impossible to incorporate Take Root easily. Ranged decks are higher-chain, but you might want to have a vine spear equipped along with the pants, which limits your sources of Ranged Power significantly. Eventually, you can make a dedicated deck of vine-related techniques, but it requires extensive farming of vine drops to do so.

The vine content seems largely self-contained for post-run use, as most of the drops craft into items that grant techniques that mostly depend on using Take Root and having the vines equipped. Farming vine drops is relatively slow and difficult to combine with working towards other goals, but the vines and a vine-centric deck might work well for fishing at the Tainted Shoreline, allowing you to do decent damage even with a fishing pole equipped and healing most or all of the damage you take each fight thanks to using Take Root while outdoors. The soaked vine fungus is notable as being second only to personal Eclipse in terms of energy of effect per Body. The Fungal Resilience effect from the vitalized fungus is potentially very valuable, especially if you don't have access to a mysterious puzzle box for Ancient Resilience, but even if you do having the option to use Body rather than Hunger to Use your highest Attribute to calculate Hit Points might come in handy.

There may well be a vine-related avatar.

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Book of Common Dreams

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Recommendation Although its power is modest, this item is strongly recommended because it permanently opens up new options for your character with essentially no downside

The Common Dreams skill this item grants is almost pure powercreep. Once learned, it will be available in every season, even when the book has rotated out of Zack's House of Coins. Using the skill costs only one energy of Etheric and no turns. Unlike the summoning skills, its cost does not increase as you use it more times in a day (and it does not affect the cost of summoning skills no matter how many times you use it). Another difference from the summoning skills is that you cannot control exactly when it fires, so it's a much less precise way of burning off energy of Etheric. Still, while the bonuses this item grants may not be overwhelmingly powerful, in many situations the opportunity cost to getting them is negligible.

In-run, this item is potentially helpful, but with no apparent way to control which dreams/items you get, you can't really plan a strategy around getting any particular item. If you are extremely lucky, you might be able to score a carnivorous beetle, which could help considerably with the Fifth Floor. More commonly, you'll wind up with at least one stat-boosting item, which give hefty boosts for the various points in your run where attributes matter; these can be particularly helpful for passing the Low Road. Again, though, you may not get the item you're seeking. Since in-run you don't generally get Etheric without a fairly specific goal in mind, you may not have a great deal of energy of Etheric to spare for getting dream items. On the other hand, if you are accustomed to using summoning skills several times a day, grabbing a dream item or two might be more a case of "can't hurt, might help".

Post-run, the stat bonuses are not likely to be as important. This is likely true even if the bonuses are doubled, especially since you may well not want to devote your offhand slot to a dream item in order to get the double bonus. If you don't have a Midgard blastshield or one of the limited-time items that provides +4 Fire Defense, the charred wooden souvenir can be a valuable piece of equipment for post-run use. Otherwise, there are also generally more potent alternatives to the dream offhand items as far as defense goes, although the Chance of Etheric Encounters modifier they grant may be a compelling bonus in some cases. One final point for post-run use is that (again, as far as we know) once you have one of each offhand item there is no benefit to having additional ones.

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Anniversary Pocket Mirror

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Recommendation This is a very versatile item, one whose utility will likely grow as more content is added to the game. Recommended.

This item grants +2 Stealth Defense, which is very hard to come by, especially in the offhand slot. This alone makes this a valuable item to have, especially since you can double that bonus if you have a weapon that also grants Stealth Defense. The "Reflects Your Weapon" bonus makes this item extremely versatile. As new items are released or discovered, its possibilities can only increase.

In-run, using this item means not equipping an unearthly coin. However, it can provide double the stat boost of an unearthly coin if you can survive without having a weapon equipped, e.g. if you want to dash through the Security Hole in the Sewer Hideout. It also makes the passing the Low Road much easier. Paired with a weapon, it can provide significant boosts to attack power, but the trade-off is that without an unearthly coin equipped, you may not have high enough stats to take full advantage of the extra power. In places like the Abandoned Building, though, this may be a sacrifice worth making in order to get extra Stealth Defense against the Kidney Punch technique that the Third Eye Gangers use.

Post-run, you will have access to a greater variety of offhand items, but with time and ingenuity, it is probably possible to discover many cases where this item is optimal. For example, with any fishing pole equipped, this item is as good as an inky sapphire, which was previous the best in its equipment slot for bonus fishing modifier. Furthermore, if you are fishing on the Tainted Shoreline while Etheric, this item's ability to reflect gaze techniques can make fights vs. Flying Eyes much easier. It is currently the best-in-slot Morale offhand item if you have a morale weapon.

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Coat of Mysterious Circuitry

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Recommendation A must-buy if you plan on doing any significant amount of post-run hacking.

This item requires a significant investment of time and resources to upgrade to its most powerful known form. For in-run use it is therefore essentially a glorified light armored vest unless you are doing an unusually large amount of hacking. However, if your post-run plans include more than a smattering of hacking, this item is simply indispensable, especially if you plan to use a juryrigged antenna to find sites to hack in zones where you might also have to engage in regular combat.

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Abstract Domino Mask

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Recommendation If you can put up with some fiddliness, very helpful in-run, especially for Melee decks, and useful for optimizing post-run

The base bonuses on this item are not spectacular, although the +2 Stealth Power can help in a couple of places in-run (e.g. creeping through the Security Hole or instakilling a guard in the Beaten Man encounter). However, with one of the "Hide" effects active, the mask is optimal or tied for best in slot for many of the bonuses its effects provide. The mask is reasonably friendly about the "Hide" effects; they don't go away when you unequip it, so you can save them for when you need them. On the other hand, you can only use the mask to get a "Hide" effect once per day. Furthermore, at some point you have to charge up the mask to unlock the effect you want, so making good use of the bonus can be fiddly.

The mask can yield an impressive array of techniques and substantial dollops of XP, but it takes some record-keeping and long-range planning to take full advantage of this. Also, the precise mechanics that determine getting the techniques and XP are still being spaded. Still, even with what we know so far it should be possible to get several instances of Gnawing Mask or Masked Shot on day 2 of a run, providing a noticeable boost to combat power for basic combat styles. Gnawing Mask in particular unlocks without you having to go much out of your way, as using Hide Your Decisions on day 1 helps you find choice encounters you need to make progress on quests. Its bonus damage at Short Distance also applies when it is unopposed, so against most in-run opponents it is very effective. Furthermore, sticking with a Melee deck makes is fairly easy to get Shadowed Mask on day 3, which works well in a hybrid Melee/Stealth deck, perhaps using some knife-based techniques. A deck like this works well if you are using a wicked knife to try and pickpocket Southside lab notes in the low-alert Buried Lab.

To unlock Masked Shot you need to run Hide Your Hunt, with its increase to Chance of Combat Encounters that more often than not is actively detrimental to finishing a reset run quickly. (Both this and Hide Your Decisions give stat boosts that you might need to get rid of guards in the Beaten Man encounter, though.) Still, Masked Shot does 11 base damage following Single Shot even if you don't have the mask equipped, so it's extremely potent in-run and often valuable chain 6 filler even in a post-run deck. In a long aftercore stint getting the various mask techniques will be easier, but post-run they will have to compete with a much wider array of other possible techniques. Also, the fact that the mask doesn't provide an air filter limits its usefulness for a many post-run environments.

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Black Tablet Shard

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Recommendation Helpful for tough fights in-run, with lots more spading of post-run uses to come.

In-run, the base bonuses on this item are fairly strong. It can give a substantial boost to attack power early on, provided that your attacks depend on your highest (buffed) attribute. This makes it somewhat more helpful for Ranged decks, which are generally entirely Perception-based than for Melee decks, which generally include both Strength-based techniques and Reflexes-based ones like Lash Out. The bonus Chance of Etheric Encounters will presumably help with finding the Faerie Guide and the Evil Eye in the Park, and with the Dock Song quest. As your run progresses, you will acquire other items you'll want to use in the gadget slot, but you might want to pull out the shard for tough fights like the two Writhing Masses to get Experimental Chemistry, etc.

There is a lot more to this item beyond the base bonuses, including the Shard of Language skill, but to get to it you need to invest a fair amount of effort into amassing a deck full of the various shard-based "script" techniques. These are Etheric techniques that do not require Eclipse to power them if you have the shard equipped and are willing to use a Script technique, which may be a useful feature for some applications.

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Blade of the Snows

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Recommendation Helpful in niche situations in-run. Offers some techniques post-run whose usefulness is still being evaluated.

The base bonuses on this item are fairly weak — it can quickly become outclassed in terms of raw attack power bonuses even by equipment obtainable in-run. However, in-run an item that grants a substantial Stealth Power boost is generally important enough to warrant spending a smuggle on a wicked knife (see discussion here). So even if you have little interest in learning or using knife-based techniques in-run, having access to this item means getting crucial medical supplies earlier, or having more chances at smuggling in an all-important pinch of Nova. The Snow Blade technique does not seem to be very hard to obtain if you are using low-chain techniques, but the Thawing Blade effect it gives reduces the already-low bonuses on the blade, so you have to be very careful about including it in your deck (although having a fairly large duration of it is required to unlock most of the rest of the techniques the blade offers).

While it is not very practical to obtain the other techniques that the blade can teach in-run, it does offer a fair number of them. They seem unlikely to form the cornerstone of a go-to general-purpose deck, but relatively little spading has been done on them, so they may have hidden uses. Still, if you are a fan of Yuki-onna, a snow maiden-based combat suite may be irresistibly appealing. It's also possible that there is an unfound avatar or other content associated with this item.

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Stainless Skulls Helmet

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Recommendation Potentially powerful (but with some drawbacks) in-run for Melee users and useful for optimizers post-run based on what we know so far

The base bonuses on this item are not outstandingly strong. The +2 to Melee Defense is hard to get from a hat in-run, but most of the opponents you meet in-run who use Melee attacks are in zones where you also want to be using an air filter, which this item doesn't provide. However, if you have music playing, the helmet grants hidden bonuses depending on the type of music. This makes it the optimal hat for several of them and, in the case of Melee Power, the only source from the hat equipment slot.

Getting music to listen to in-run is not easy, but the helmet does provide a little of its own: once per day it can give you 20 duration of the Stainless Skulls effect, which can give a fairly significant boost to Melee Power. It also gives an additional, hidden, boost to Melee Power if you are wearing the helmet while a metal song like Stainless Skulls is playing, which you likely would be. Unfortunately, this comes with a penalty to Evasion Power and an increase in Chance of Combat Encounters, with the former being a straight debuff and the latter being generally undesirable in-run. Also, the effect does not go away when you remove the helmet, so you'd have to time its use carefully since you can't get the effect and then save it for later. Still, if you are using Melee it can give a significant power boost for tough fights or areas if you can deal with the drawbacks.

Of the several techniques it can teach, only Rhythmic Chopping is likely to be gettable in-run, but at chain 4 it competes with Dive for Cover, so unless you are pursuing the Ironman conduct or are for some other reason indifferent to defense, it will probably not be one of your go-to techniques.

The other techniques the helmet can grant are easier to get post-run, where you have more access to different kinds of music. Spading is still in progress on these techniques, so it's difficult to say at this point how powerful they are. We know of a few items and an effect using this item can give. Since the helmet is a two-coin item, it's entirely possible there are special opponents or other further goodies hidden somewhere in it, so the jury is most definitely still out on its overall post-run usefulness while we await further discoveries or confirmation that we have found most of what there is to find.

This item has some interesting synergies with the Midgard Player.

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ReflexCoil Pants

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Recommendation Useful for optimizing Reflexes but otherwise not outstandingly useful based on what has been spaded

The base bonuses on this item are moderately helpful. In-run the +2 Melee Defense would be hard to replicate with other readily-available pants, and even post-run these are currently the optimal pants for Reflexes. Especially when your base stats are still low, the large boost to Reflexes from these pants might save you an energy or two each day by allowing you to run away from an opponent so quickly that it doesn't take a turn.

If you charge the pants up and then start a combat from a choice encounter, you can get the Unleashed ReflexCoil or Explosive ReflexCoil effects for that fight only. It's not clear how often bonus Evasion Power or Stealth Power will be especially helpful in-run, though. You can also get the ReflexCoil Kick technique, but at chain 4 it competes with Dive for Cover, so using it ironically means you'll have less use for the bonus Evasion Power unless you can also get the ReflexCoil Leap technique. Unfortunately, this technique requires running away from a fight and does not seem to be easy to get even then, at least given what we know so far about this item's mechanics. Also worth noting is unequipping the pants seems to remove any charging you may have done, which means using them is problematic late in a run where you will want to equip pants like scrubs bottoms, containment suit pants, and (if you are doing Hel's quest) smelly old pants.

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Charmed Chain

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Recommendation Strongly recommended if you ever plan on taking any Eclipse (and if you don't, why are you even playing this game?)

This item is well worth having just for its best-in-slot base bonus of +2 Eclipse Duration alone. Both in-run and post-run, this can save you significant amounts of Body. In other respects, this item seems to be more about a wealth of flavorful content that optimizing, but spading is still in its preliminary stages.

Since using this item as your weapon replaces your deck with its own special set of techniques, it can be challenging to fit it into a typical reset run, especially since it requires getting etheric to access anything but the basic chain techniques. The basic chain techniques are largely Melee-focused, and might be helpful very early in your run when you just know Dive for Cover and Punch by allowing you to make 3-chains. Unfortunately, there are two drawbacks here: (1) unless Chained Fist hits the same counter as using Punch, using the chain will mean you aren't making progress towards getting the Pugilism skill and (2) instead of Dive for Cover you have Swinging Chain, which does not seem to work against the Ranged attacks most early-game opponents use. All this said, nobody has yet completed a reset run using this item as their main weapon, so it may have important undiscovered in-run uses.

Post-run, you are more likely to be able to make use of this item's advanced charm-based techniques. Some are quite strong, although it's not clear yet whether what the chain has to offer provides clear advantages over other competing combat suites. The Unlocked Chain skill lets you gain otherwise-unavailable derivative items from using the chain, although their uses are still being spaded. It's entirely possible that there's an avatar related to this item. All content aside, though, this item has a place in every character's Eclipse Duration outfit.

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Bullet-Holed Vest

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Recommendation The flexible defense and perception bonuses can be situationally helpful in run, and Vindictive Shot is quite effective against many in-run opponents.

At the start of a run there's little reason not to use this, especially if you're going for a ranged approach. The +2 to your highest defense can be tuned with your other equipment, and the bonus to perception from both the shirt and Ectoplasmic Gore are useful for stat checks and damage output, if going ranged. Getting Ectoplasmic Gore does require losing a fight, however.

You probably won't get too many instances of Vindictive Shot in run, but it provides an etheric attack without actually having to be etheric, and even without a power boost aside from Ectoplasmic Gore it will still hit most in-run enemies pretty hard. Once Shot won't help against melee, but it does protect against ranged and, importantly, stealth, making it a good option to have if you're going to try fighting Third Eye Gangers.

Post-run, Ectoplasmic Gore is a pretty easy source of etheric power, if you're willing to deal with getting beaten up and then healing afterwards. It also counts as a sludge effect, giving it some synergy with the designer vines.

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Lens Focused on the Unknown

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Recommendation Provides a selection of useful buff options.

If you're using ranged techs, this is a very useful item in-run and doesn't require a very large deck to work with. The lens focused on the distance in particular provides buffs to both ranged power and power to techniques using perception. Other forms can also provide stealth defense or etheric defense, which can be tricky to come by in run. Even post-run, the lens focused on minutiae is at the time of writing the only source of stealth defense in the gadget slot.

The 'exaltations' are still not well understood, but they can provide XP or energy of Fluid Focus, which can allow you to make use of etheric power bonuses that might otherwise not be helpful in a ranged or fire deck making use of perception.

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Incredibly Abused Pants

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Recommendation Provides some techniques and experience, but still poorly understood.

The rankings for this are with the caveat that this item is still poorly understood. In-run, the etheric power won't be of use most of the time, though the evasion power may occasionally be useful, depending on what opponents you're fighting and what other pants you have available. The technique granting encounters require you to be etheric, and you can only learn Ghoul Bite until you already know that tech and can use it in fights, so you likely won't be getting much on that front.

How to control whether you get Stalk Through Snow or Fire Run is not understood at all, though people have managed to learn both of them. Further content may require knowing both of these techs, which has limited spading attempts thus far. Stalk Through Snow is a powerful stealth tech with Eclipse, and Whirling Snow also helps to reinforce a stealth deck. Fire Run is in need of further spading.

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Costume Crown

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Recommendation A bit niche, but scrolls of lineage are generally useful. Provides a goal for gang warfare, and the True Royalty avatar provides some bragging rights.

With its focus on gang warfare and being etheric, as well as gravediggers being moderately tough opponents, this item is of limited use in run. The +2 etheric defense can be handy if you don't get the lieutenant's shades, and +4 Will may buy you a couple HP, but it's unlikely someone will upgrade this to the coronation crown during a run.

Post-run, the coronation crown is best in slot for etheric defense and will, strictly better than the shining mask which has less will. The few points of will probably matter less than the ability to generate scrolls of lineage, however, which give you access to 25 turns of Royal Truth, with +4 Etheric Power/Etheric Defense without any Body cost. The remaining item drops are neat, but equivalent bonuses can be found elsewhere.

To earn rewards from the Chamberlain you must either fight gravediggers or conquer contested areas in gang warfare. Defeating gravediggers can be done without entering gang warfare, but only one set per day. In addition to getting the royal outfit pieces and then earning scrolls of lineage, completing tasks lets you move up a 'leaderboard'. You can check how far behind the front runner you are by asking the Chamberlain about pretenders. Making it to the top lets you qualify for the True Royalty avatar, after doing some additional tasks. The exact trigger hasn't been nailed down, beyond needing to be in the lead.

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Ferry Coin

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Recommendation Useful for getting etheric techniques in run, and for grinding will XP.

In run, the increase to will XP from any given encounter won't be huge, but it will add up over time. It also applies the square root of your buffed will to your other stats, but it will take some time in-run before that can beat the bonus from an unearthly coin and only works if buffed will is your highest stat. The real shining point in run is if you want to pursue the Etheric Master conduct, as you can learn Offer Passage just by losing fights, and then Watery Passage from as soon as you have access to the Waterfront. The occasional heal after losing a fight may come in handy, too.

Post-run the techniques have a fair bit of competition, though the flavor for using Offer Passage against undead opponents is fun. With higher stats the bonus for having will as your highest stat may potentially become more prominent. And, of course, if you need to grind will XP you'll probably want to use this. Ideally in combination with the antique floor mirror in the Fractured Reflection (Winter), but there are other sources of will XP through choice encounters.

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Classic Writing Desk

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Recommendation Some potentially useful effects in-run, and later a source of whichever chance of encounters modifiers you want.

Since by default you only get one use of this item per day, the in-run utility is somewhat limited. By saving your use to the end of one day and the start of the next, though, you can have a chance at an item for story effects. Failing that, if you can get chance of encounters modifiers from some other source, you can control which of the fiction effects you receive when using the desk. Fantastic Fiction and Observational Fiction both have modifiers that could be useful to pass particular tests. The etheric defense from Creative Hollowness is in theory useful, but arranging it for the times you want it may be difficult, unless you want to spend some time doubling the effect.

Post-run you will be able to more easily take large amounts of Eclipse and control which fiction effects you get, but stocking up on writing items for the story effects seems like the real win. Energetic Story, Technical Story and Brutal Story in particular seem useful, depending on your playstyle.

Kinak says this is one of the unearthly items with the greatest amount of unfound content associated with it. We know one of the unfound skills from around the time this item was released is associated with an unearthly item, and this one is a strong candidate.

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Dueling Jacket

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Recommendation A strong item for resetting, especially for Ranged decks, but looks to have limited post-run use

The base bonuses on this item are not outstandingly helpful, but it grants two techniques that are extremely useful for resetting. Dueling Dodge defends against both Melee and Ranged, and at chain 5 combos well with Dive for Cover. Dueling Shot has low base damage, but presumably gains power following Dueling Dodge and at chain 6 serves as good filler if you can learn some chain 7 techniques. Especially for Ranged decks, this item ought to boost in-run survivability and combat effectiveness substantially.

With the main selling of this point of this item looking like the techniques it gives access to early on, it appears to be much less useful post-run when equivalent or better techniques are relatively easy to get. Keep your eyes peeled for a sweet duelist avatar, though.

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Ecofuel Flamethrower

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Recommendation Best fire weapon you're likely to get in-run, and the Smoking Ecofuel technique can boost post-run fire decks

For pure fire power, this is in line with the other strongest weapons available (aside from the smoldering coal under certain circumstances), but the +2 Evasion Power is usually overshadowed by the bonuses of other options. When available in run, though, it's probably your best weapon to use for the Firestarter conduct. Unlocking many of the techniques associated with the weapon in run will likely be tricky because of the amount of resources involved, but post-run it's fairly straightforward. The techniques are not the strongest in their chains, but Smoking Ecofuel stands out for the ability to apply the Inhaled Ecofuel effect, giving your target -5 Fire Defense and making this much more attractive for a pure fire deck. You can also unlock the Ecofuel Persona avatar by unlocking ~40 technique instances, though the precise unlock hasn't been nailed down.

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Tactical Goggles

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Recommendation Tied for best in slot for both ranged power and stealth defense

Definitely the best headgear for ranged power in-run. Post-run, competes with the blindshot visor but fills a slightly different niche. Also best in slot for stealth defense, tied only with the scuffed mining helmet, another unearthly item. The Chipped Tracer technique is weak, but the Tactically Tracked effect will debuff your enemies for other ranged hits. The tactical neural mesh provides a decent extra hacking die, and works with the goggles for even more ranged power and stealth defense, if you're up for the body cost for the cyberware. There's still some content we haven't discovered with this. Another recipe seems likely, but it could be something else.

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Trick or Treat

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Recommendation Provides buffs to combat power, or foods that can provide those buffs, but with a risk of combat instead. Nothing amazingly powerful, but post-run cost is fairly minimal.

In-run you probably won't be spending enough time Etheric to get much use out of this. And even if you do, running into the Harvester could be trouble. Post-run, at a cost of 1 etheric energy per encounter the cost is fairly minimal unless you run into the Harvester when not prepared. The buffs are a useful +2 to techniques using a given stat (or unopposed), but since you don't seem to be able to control which one you get, shooting for the candy is probably better. It's okay food, and you can control which effect you get by which type you eat.

You can also get the Harvester library, which can be crafted into a suite of programs. It's a pretty solid general-purpose set of programs, with useful functions and modest memory requirements.

Kinak confirms we're missing at least one item associated with this skill.

Moodlight Glove

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Recommendation Packed with techniques, but mostly a niche item.

The base bonuses on this item are not terribly difficult to equal or exceed, even in-run. Its main trick is to replace your deck with a new set of techniques if you are Etheric. You can also learn some permanent glove techniques, which you can put into your normal deck. The techniques are reasonably powerful, but probably not worth the trouble in run and not so powerful that you'd make them your go-to combat style post-run.

Like the parties that inspired it, the Moodlight glove is more about having fun and being cool than getting things done. Where it might really shine (even if too brightly) would be if you were pursuing the Etheric Master conduct and wanted a suite of Etheric techniques you could start using as soon as you found a supply of Eclipse.

We have found a lot of content from the glove, but there's no definitive word from Kinak about whether there's still more to find.

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Mascot Adapter

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Recommendation Hard to beat for in-run hacking. Worthwhile but not a must-have for aftercore hacking.

In aftercore, the adapter competes with the expanded handheld. Sometimes you want the extra Memory, sometimes an additional Novos die and some extra Hardening is better. It's not indispensable, but opens up some good options.

For in-run hacking it's no contest, especially if you are choosing Dr. Amundsen as your contact. Coupled with even the humblest learntop it can get you past easier hacks. It's a little more situational for harder ones. For example, you may prefer to equip a Slags medical ID when you go after the computer in the Slags Lab. But there's more hacking content to come as more quests are added to the main quest line.

The Branded Lash technique isn't hard to get and is helpful when you have to fight in your hacking gear, especially in run where you likely don't have access to a memory sidearm.

Kinak confirms we're missing some content associated with this item.

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Personal Tree

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Recommendation A very slow-paced item that rewards patience.

The personal tree is not for those seeking instant gratification. It operates on its own, very slow schedule. As such, it's not a particularly good fit for speedrunning. it's more suited to a long aftercore stint, provided you can remember to tend to it every day.

If you are Etheric and your tree is in the right condition, you can fight opponents to get items and techniques. It is also possible to learn the powerful Green Shot technique from trimming the tree, but the precise unlock conditions aren't known.

We know one of the unfound skills from around the time this item was released is associated with an unearthly item, and this one is a strong candidate.

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Blood Rose Amulet

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Recommendation Versatile and powerful both in-run and out. Recommended even if the over-the-top gothiness is a little much for you.

Despite its outré theming, gaining access to this item's other forms does not require you to be Etheric, which means you can take advantage of its full functionality in-run. All you have to do is kill a variety of human opponents, something you'd be doing anyway.

The pistol and cape forms are mostly valuable for the techniques they teach. Rose Shot is pretty weak in its base form but with with any blood rose item equipped it makes solid filler, letting you extend to chain 7 techniques without worrying about losing your closer bonus from Short Burst. Swirling Blood defends against Melee, Ranged, and (with a blood rose item equipped) Etheric, i.e. most of what gets thrown at you in the course of a reset run. It chains nicely with Dive for Cover for strong defensive openings or frees up chain 4 for offensive techniques.

The crown form takes some doing to get, but if you can manage without an air filter its huge boost to all stats will make it a lot easier to pass the Low Road. Finally, the pants form gives a very strong defensive buff, Swaying Blood, which also enhances all of the techniques this item gives. Most notably, the effect gives Stealth Defense, which is hard to get even with aftercore resources, making this item handy for gang warfare and some boss fights.

We're a little unclear on the mechanics of exactly how to charge up the amulet, but Kinak confirms we have found all the content associated with it.

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Dusty Clipboard

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Recommendation Eveything about this item leads up to a big mystery we have yet to solve, so it's hard to evaluate its potential.

The clipboard, along with the orbital watch and the wispy hospital pants, is one third of a linked set of items. It unlocks post-apocalyptic encounters that form a self-contained story and also apparently have links to the content from its sibling items. You have to be Etheric to get these encounters, but it doesn't take long for them to show up so getting them in run is not out of the question. Unfortunately, the clipboard content culminates in an encounter that we have not yet found a good way to resolve, so we are missing out on the big payoff here. (It's unknown whether the solution requires content from the other items in the set or is self-contained.)

The item's base bonuses are outclassed by other equipment in aftercore, but in run its Etheric Defense is always welcome. Fire Power is less generally useful, but it's hard to get in run and might help if you are pursuing the Firestarter conduct.

Based on what we know about it now, the biggest value of the clipboard is as a source of buffs. You have to be willing to go to the trouble of setting them up, though.

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Orbital Watch

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Recommendation Unlocks some interesting high-chain techniques, but this item is mostly about content.

The orbital watch is the second part of the dusty items trilogy. Its content, and even most of its base bonuses, are only accessible with Etheric. As such, it's not of much use in run except to save Body if you can find another item that gives a bonus to Eclipse Duration.

There's a fair amount of content in the watch to play around with in aftercore, including some neat minigames and three item-specific skills. The watch can also give an array of high-chain techniques, all of which require either Etheric or a specific item you can get from the watch to power them. Most notable is Echo of Doves, which defends against Melee and Ranged attacks at chain 9, giving you the unique ability to kick off long distance, descending chains with a defensive technique.

It's not clear whether there is any additional content to be found within this item. It almost certainly has interactions with the other dusty items, but the extent and significance of these interactions is unknown.
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