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Ghost of Tsushima - Shadow of the Samurai: how to win the duel and sneak into Castle Kaneda

How to get through Shadow of the Samurai in Ghost of Tsushima.

Shadow of the Samurai is the final tale of Act 1 in Ghost of Tsushima, and naturally piles on the action and melodrama as a result.

You have a few different tasks to complete here, in a fairly lengthy mission, so below we'll be covering everything from how to sneak into Castle Kaneda, as well as how to win the duel and fight your way out the other side, too.

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How to sneak into Castle Kaneda in Ghost of Tsushima's Shadow of the Samurai

Shadow of the Samurai will begin once you speak to Yuna at the Forge, transporting you to a base camp just outside the castle's front gate. This time however, you're sneaking in, meaning you'll need to do a spot of Tsushima's light platforming before some sneaking about when you get inside.

Scale the cliffs to infiltrate Castle Kaneda

Once the mission begins, look for the rope-marked tree branch up above you on the rock wall, and grapple up (jump and press R2, if you forgot!).

Go straight ahead, running left along the cliff face, where you'll jump to a small tree branch then need to grapple mid-air to a higher one. You'll swing to some grips on the rock ahead, and climb up to a platform with a fallen red flag.

Turn right towards the castle fence and sneak through the gap, pressing R2 when prompted - immediately crouch on the other side to hide in the pampas grass and get your bearings.

Do not raise the alarm; find the Mongol alarm

There's only a handful of guards in this outer area, so pick them off one by one with assassinations or archery - we went left first, via the left-hand building.

To get to the inner area you need to go through the right-hand building, where there's an open window. On the other side, more Mongols await. (Note that there's actually a fourth guard sleeping in this building, you can ignore him or give him a quick jab to top up some Resolve.)

Do not raise the alarm; defeat the Mongols guarding the alarm

There are only two guards on this side, one roaming around and one by the alarm, which looks like a cluster of fireworks. Pick them off to trigger a quick cutscene where your allies arrive safely.

Advance to the upper courtyard; defeat the Mongol guards

You and Lady Masako are working together for the next bit, which is simple enough: you need to defeat the guards on the other side of the open gate up ahead. You're free to do it with open combat or stealth - if you want the stealthy route, look up and left at the gate, and you can grapple to a conveniently-placed tree stump to get the high ground.

Or, you can just run in and have a big fight. Lady Masako will already be in there either way, so take down the grunts and talk to her when you're done. Hoover up any supplies you find and head to the next waypoint to meet up with Yuna.

From here, you can go stealthily (head left to take out the guard by the tower and pick off the rest) or again go in swords blazing, which is easy enough.

Advance across the main bridge; find a way around the locked gate

Cross the bridge next, and this time you're not getting thrown off it. At the far side, jump to the rocks to the right where there's some rope and blood on the ground, for a bit of quick platforming.

There are grips just to the right of that bloody patch, which take you down below the bridge.

Hop across the two beams supporting it then be sure to look upwards so you can grapple a branch the other side, and swing to the far ledge.

From there, jump to a smaller branch and grapple again after that, swinging to another rock ledge.

Climb up the little hand grips, grapple and ledges to reach another gap in the fence and sneak through.

Open the bridge gate for Yuna; defeat the Mongol guards

Here, there are much more enemies, so while you can again go in all guns blazing it's easier to thin them out a bit with stealth first. Take out as many as you like - we let Yuna in at the gate first (immediately on your right and down a bit) and then snuck left.

Cut through those that remain - there are a lot of archers and a couple of leaders, so prioritise assassinating the most awkward ones first - and do your best to save up some Resolve as you go.

Advance to the main courtyard

Once you're done, hoover up some ammo and supplies and head up the sloped path by the campfire. You'll reach another gate - head left through the gap in the fence and prepare for a fight!

How to win the Shadow of the Samurai duel in Ghost of Tsushima

That's right, it's your old buddy Ryuzo. Time for a duel, which if you haven't fully experienced yet - outside of that early encounter with Khotun Khan - is Ghost of Tsushima's version of a boss fight.

There's no set way to win this one, but here are some tips that we found good to know!

How to beat Ryuzo and win the Shadow of the Samurai duel

Get into Stone Stance - Ryuzo is a swordsman after all, so your heavy attacks in this stance will be most effective at breaking his guard.

On that note, the jabbing move you can do in Stone Stance - holding down then releasing Triangle - is useful here. You can get in at least one of those relatively easily, whenever he's on the defensive.

You can't use Kunai, or any other non-sword attacks or abilities. It's just quick and heavy attacks, dodging, parrying, healing, and any special moves you learned from Mythic quests.

Obviously, be sure to dodge his red-mark attacks, which you can't block. A single tap of Circle is usually enough, and timed well you can usually get a follow up hit in. He has a low red-mark attack in particular that's tricky, where he immediately follows with another parry-only one. Best to steer well clear when you see this.

You get extra Resolve when your swords lock together. There'll be the odd dramatic moment where you clash swords and stay there, grappling a bit, and you might notice your Resolve glowing - these moments add most of a Resolve bar to your meter, which might be enough to buy you an extra heal. It's only temporary, so use it in that moment or lose the chance for the free heal.

Attack when Ryuzo sheathes his blade. This means he's preparing to do an unblockable attack which is quite fast, but it takes him a while to actually do it. It's a chance to get a good free hit in, so always attack as soon as he does it!

Keep moving. This is a big one for most duels in Ghost of Tsushima, as enemies tend to be quite poor at dealing with your attacks if you get round the side of them. Stay close, and a quick dodge to the side - even if you're going on the offensive - will let you get hits in past their guard.

Finally, stay calm! These aren't as challenging as they often feel. Follow the usual rules of combat, don't be too timid to launch attacks of your own, and don't be too chaotic or aggressive as to button-mash and let them counter themselves - stick to a maximum of three consecutive attacks before stopping and preparing to dodge or parry again.

Looking for more help? Our Ghost of Tsushima walkthrough provides an overview of the critical path, including how to complete missions The Broken Blacksmith and Shadow of the Samurai. For those who've yet to begin, our Ghost Of Tsushima length page lets you know how much time you need to dedicating to finishing the game. For those looking for completing side-quests, we have lists of Ghost Of Tsushima Hot Spring, Ghost Of Tsushima Bamboo Strike and Ghost Of Tsushima Mythic Tales locations.

How to rescue Lord Shimura and escape Castle Kaneda in Shadow of the Samurai

With Ryuzo defeated, a few more grunts will attack, which might be awkward if you're on low health and Resolve from that duel.

Defeat the Mongols; enter the keep to save Lord Shimura

Keep your cool and dispatch them one at a time, then rush the castle itself.

Defeat the Mongols; advance to the top floor

Deal with some more enemies inside, then head up the ladder and kill the enemies on each floor one at a time. Inside there's a shield grunt with a flaming sword, which might be a new enemy for you and can be a pain - double tap Circle to dodge-roll if he catches you, which puts out the flames.

At the top, there's a final swordsman waiting, then it's time to free your uncle.

Defeat the Mongols

Enjoy the cutscene, then cut down the enemies outside, and you're done! Nice work.

Head back to our main Ghost of Tsushima walkthrough for more pages like this, including plenty of other collectables guides too.

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