The Demon Bell in Sekrio offers players the chance to take advantage of a bittersweet mechanic that will reward those that have mastered Sekiro’s punishing, sword-clashing combat.
Demon Bell Mechanic
As mentioned above, ringing the Demon Bell is not recommended for beginners to Sekiros combat. By ringing the bell, all the enemies in the game become stronger and more punishing. Adversaries will now be able to deal out far more damage, and they also gain more resistance to your damage output.
While ringing the bell may not seem that enticing now, there is a certain incentive that makes the challenge worth it. Enemies will now drop rare items more frequently, and overall loot increases greatly. This is a great mechanic that can keep the game fresh for those on multiple playthroughs, as well as a fun challenge for those who feel that they can handle the difficulty increase.
Demon Bell Location
The Demon Bell is easy to miss for new players, as it is not along the main story path, and requires the players to intuitively explore the vast, colorful world of Skeiro. It is located in the Senpou Temple on Mount Kongo and comes right before the Armored Warrior fight on the bridge.
The Bell can be accessed in two different ways, with one route allowing you to activate the Bell mechanic relatively early in the playthrough. To get to the Demon Bell, start at the Shugendo Sculptors Idol, where you will want to grapple up the mountain in front of you. There will be small enemies scattered across the path, and my advice would be to avoid them.
Their hard hats act as a shield, and every time I engaged them, I ended up getting ganged up on by the others and consequently dying. After about 3 or 4 grapples, you will see a long wooden walkway gripping the side of the mountain with a small hard hat enemy in the middle. Either jump over or take out the enemy on the path and continue down it until you reach what appears to be a dead end.
From here, there are two ways you can reach the bell, however, I find one to be much more convenient. I like to use the walls to the right to jump up the mountain, where I then grapple onto a tree, which finally takes me up to a long bridge. This is the bridge where you will fight the Armored Warrior, however for now ignore that. Instead, when facing the bridge, turn all the way around to see a small cliff protruding out.
Walk towards the cliff until you reach 4 White pinwheels in the ground on the left side. From these pinwheels, look down, and you will see a few places to land down below. Drop down to the last area, and then you will see a broken wooden path attached to the side of the mountain. From here you need to jump on to that platform, where I feel like a running jump is the safest move.
Once you land on the path, follow it up and along the side of the mountain until you end up at another dead end. From the edge of this cliff, look down to see a few ledges on the side of a neighboring mountain below. From here, you need to jump across to the other mountain and grab onto these ledges. Remember that you do not need to perfectly time when to press the button to grab the ledge, instead hold it the whole time after you jump.
This will allow Sekiro to easily grab hold of any ledge, and allow you to worry about timing one less mechanic. Shuffle to the left of this ledge until you can stand on the ground above, and then jump up the ledge to the right and follow the path up. Here, you will see two walls facing each other, and you will need to use these walls to jump up to the top of the mountain.
There are two lizards here, so be sure to take them out before you start jumping. Once you reach the top, you will see a White Pinwheel that you should make sure to grab, as giving this item to Kotaro, who can be found in Senpou Temple, will send him to the Hall of Illusions. After grabbing this item, turn around and continue up the mountain until you reach a building with a closed door.
Before opening this door, head to the right and enter the building through the hole in the wall, and be sure to grab the Monkey Booze on the statue. Next, go back to the closed door and open it up, where you will be greeted by a mini long-armed centipede. Take him out, and then head straight through the open door and up the path. Here you will see the Bell Demon’s Temple Sculptors Idol, which you should interact and/or rest.
There is a way to reach the Demon Bell earlier in your playthrough, which can be useful for players on NG+ and beyond. To be more specific, the Demon Bell can be accessed even before you fight General Tenzen Yamauchi, which comes right after the Chained Ogre fight. Be warned, though, as one of the most notorious Sekrio mini-bosses stands in your way.
From the Underbridge Valley Sculptors Idol, grapple up to the broken bridge above. From here, make sure to not engage the enemies, and run along the outer wall on the left side. You will eventually come to a path leading down to what looks like a small house, and make sure to head this direction. Approaching the house will present you with your first warning of the dangers ahead. A note on the outer wall of this small house labeled Temple Posting will read, “Turn back if you value your life. You can’t behead the headless.
Our swords and pikes did nothing.” Yes, sadly there is a Headless that you will have to fight in order to reach the Demon Bell this way. In my opinion, this warning is enough to make me turn around. I can battle with Isshin, Genichiro, the True Monk, and pretty much any enemy that Sekiro has to offer.
The Headless, however, remains the enemy in Sekiro that will punish me every time we fight, and in the early game with little Divine Confetti, this will stand as a true test for all players. For the brave few who are confident enough to take this path, continue towards the broken deck at the back of this house.
You are going to want to grapple down to the tree sticking out of the isolated rock, and then jump down to the ledge on the right side of the cliff. Once you have grabbed the ledge below, shuffle to the left until you can stand up. From here, you can see a large piece of snow-covered land below, and that is where you are trying to go.
Jump down to the land below (don’t worry, you won’t take fall damage), and continue forward towards a cave. Drop down into the cave and navigate the narrow passageway, and you will eventually make it to a large, pitch black room. Go to the ledge in front of you, and below you will be able to see the Headless.
Make sure to use your buffs, and be ready for a whole lot of Terror buildup. Once you have gotten through this brutal fight, head up the giant rock stairs to a small entrance to a tunnel leading out. Take this tunnel, and you will eventually come to a wall with a human figure painted on it.
This is a Shinobi door, and it acts as a teleporter of sorts, connecting two distant parts of the map. Walk up to the human figure, and hug the wall. This will activate the door, and after a brief loading screen, you will end up in the house right next to the Bell Demon. Head out of the house and up the hill to interact with the Bell Demon’s Sculptors Idol.
Ringing the Bell
To the left of the Sculptor’s Idol is the Demon Bell, which the player should approach. As you approach the bell, you will be prompted to read a note that says: “Do not ring this bell. Inviting misfortune is an act of virtue, but only the stoutest of heart should ever consider it.”
This can scare a player worrying about story implications upon ringing this bell, but through my multiple run throughs of this game, no ending has been affected by the Demon Bell being activated or not. Grab hold of the wooden stick hanging next to the bell, and Sekrio will then swing the stick, ringing the bell. After doing this, red characters will appear on the screen, with the worlds ‘Sinister Burden’ below.
You will then be granted the Bell Demon item, and an item description will appear on screen. The mechanic will automatically apply to all the enemies, so congratulations! You have made it to the Demon Bell, and are now free to explore the deadly yet gorgeous world that Sekrio has to offer.
The Demon Bell is an interesting mechanic that players can use to test the limits of their skill, and offers a reward that some may find hard to resist. As we know, in this game, hesitation is defeat. There are many vital aspects of combat that require the quickest of reaction times, and between tracking different unblockable attacks to measuring your posture meter all while needing to focus on the flurry of attacks being thrown your way, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
This makes mastering the basics essential to survival, and players who choose to ring the bell can more precisely hone in on their skills, making deflecting and timing second nature. Ringing this bell is not mandatory in terms of story progression, so players shouldn’t feel forced to beat the game with this mechanic active. Sometimes in From Software games, however, players can easily get lost with all the items and prosthetics, and we can easily forget if we have activated certain buffs or debuffs.
If you have forgotten if you rang the bell or not, simply just look at your health bar. When the mechanic is active, you will see a small Bell Demon icon hovering below your health bar. Also, if you notice that you have the Bell Demon item in your inventory, that means that the Bell Demon mechanic is active. This was something that I did not realize until my second or third playthrough, which definitely led to some confusion through my journey.
While I personally wish it had a greater effect on the loot, I cannot complain about the Demon Bell as a whole. Partnered with a Mibu Balloon of Wealth, the Demon Bell will allow for faster XP grinding, and loot grinding in general.
Players have been clamoring for From Software to add an easy mode, or difficulty option, to their games for years. I personally love the idea of a set difficulty, and just taking the game for what it is can really give the player a sense of accomplishment that is hard to recreate for other titles.
That being said, I do find it funny that the Demon Bell acts as a difficulty slider, but instead of making the game easier, it makes the experience more punishing. This hammers home the concept of mastery and practice that Sekiro works hard to instill from the jump, and the Demon Bell serves as a great way for players to perfect the high-octane, rhythmic combat that makes Sekiro one of From Softwares standout titles.
Question: How do I ‘undo’ the effects of the Bell Demon?
Answer: This part is surprisingly easy. Just using the Bell Demon item that you got when you rang the bell will get rid of the effect entirely, reverting the game back to normal. Once used, the item will leave your inventory until you ring the bell again.
Question: Does the Bell Demon Affect Bosses?
Answer: Yes and no, and sadly not in a good way. The boss loot will not increase, as those special items are set in stone. However, the bosses will benefit from the Bell Demon buff, making them much more punishing.
Question: Will the Bell Demon Affect Spirit Emblems?
Answer: Sadly, no. Spirit emblems gathered from enemies will stay the same, so keep that in mind when farming enemies.
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