Fallgrim Guide – Mortal Shell

Upon completion of the tutorial in Mortal Shell you will crawl through a long cave and will arrive in the first area called Fallgrim. In this area you will find your first shell and will have free-reign to explore a far less linear location. To help you make your way through this area use our Mortal Shell Fallgrim guide below.

Fallgrim Map and Guide

Image showing a map of the Fallgrim/Fallgrim Outskirt layout.

Once the tutorial is behind you you will end up in a cave. Walk forward and crawl through the hole there. Continue crawling through the hole while the title pops. Crawl forward until you reach the end where you will enter an area called Fallgrim.

Fallgrim and the Fallgrim Outskirts serve as the game’s hub area. From this hub the world-design is a spoke and wheel approach with three distinct areas you can visit from the hub. The entrances to the unique locations can be seen on the map above. They are as follows:

  1. Shrine of Ash.
  2. Seat of Infinity.
  3. Crypt of Martyrs.

For now our main goal is to reach the Fallgrim Tower in the centerish portion of Fallgrim. At the tower you will find three NPCs: Sester Genessa, the Old Prisoner, and the merchant called Vlas. Along the way we will grab the first shell which is located close to the tunnel we just crawled through.

Where to Find Harros, the Vassal Shell

Image showing where to find the Harros, the Vassal Shell in Mortal Shell.

Upon emerging from the cave you will be in a canyon area. Walk forward until you reach a T in the path. Head left at the T to encounter the first shell you can inhabit called Harros, the Vassal at the path’s dead end. Harros is a sort of jack-of-all trades shell with decent damage and armor (more shell information here). When you inhabit this shell your health/defense will go up and you will gain a set of abilities specific to this shell which you can level-up (later).

Shell Mechanic: Once enough damage is taken by the shell you (the Foundling) are knocked out of it. While knocked out you are free to move as usual but are much weaker. In this state you want to try and get back to your shell to re-enter it to give you a second life.

Where to Go in Fallgrim First

Once you have the Harros shell return to the T and take the right path this time. Go up the path until you reach an open area with a set of mushrooms on the left side of the path. When you go into this area you will see the Fallgrim name appear on your screen.

Mushroom Mechanic: Mushrooms are an important mechanic to understand in Mortal Shell. These pickable items regrow after time has passed. Given the healing properties of the Weltcaps you will want to keep your eyes peeled for mushrooms you can pick and add to your inventory. With that said not all mushrooms are created equally. The Tarspore mushroom poisons you when consumed, but gives you poison tolerance at max familiarity.

After you’ve picked the 2x Meltcap Mushrooms (Item) go right and head up to the abandoned campsite you see there. Use Sense Instinct by interacting with the stone there to trigger a cutscene that shows you the Fallgrim Tower. After you’ve interacted with the stone head over to the nearby corpse and loot the Glimpse of Futility (Item). Once you’ve grabbed this item head behind the tent on your left to find a chest that contains a Lute (Item) and Remnant of Tar (Item). With the camp area looted return to the mushroom path and continue down it into the big open area.

Reaching Fallgrim Tower

Image showing how to reach Fallgrim Tower in Mortal Shell.

Fallgrim really wants to entice you to explore the area. It is sprawling with numerous paths you can go down. Before you do anything you will want to head to the Fallgrim Tower in the center of the area. This tower can be accessed by going diagonal from the entrance path you trigger the cutscene where you look at the tower on. Make your way over to the path entrance and grab the Remnant of Tar (Item). Defeat the enemies on the slope up until you reach a + intersection. At this intersection you will encounter some traps.

Trap Mechanic: Traps are littered throughout the Fallgrim and Fallgrim Outskirts area. These bear traps are activated when stepped on. You can trigger them which deals damage to you but so can enemies. Use traps to your advantage whenever they are around. Remember they refresh quite quickly so always watch your footing.

Avoid the traps and take the right path of the + to reach a camp where you can get a Boiled Frog (Item) from the pot. Head back to the + and go along the left path to reach Glimpse of Wisdom (Item). Return to the + and go up it until you reach an area with standing water around the base of a tree. This area is behind the tower.

Sester Genessa

Image showing the back door to Fallgrim Tower.

In this area look to the left at the back of the tower to see a door that is slightly open. Go into the door to enter the basement of Fallgrim Tower. Inside the basement on the right you will meet Sester Genessa. Talk to this NPC for some lore and to unlock the ability to “Sip the Divine Tar” which is basically a fancy way of resetting the area and accessing the game’s leveling system.

To level up a shell you need to acquire Tar and Glimpses. Tar is earned by defeating enemies and using items that grant Tar (like Remnant of Tar). Glimpses are found in the world and on drops off strong enemies and bosses. Once you have the required Tar and Glimpses you can learn the name of the shells you inhabit. Once the name is learned you can then level it up. Each shell has different abilities you can unlock (shell abilities list). When you unlock each shell’s name you will earn an Effigy of that shell. When used effigy items equip that effigy’s shell on you.

Discover Other Shells and Weapons Locations

After you’ve spoken to Sister Genessa you will want to head into the crypt that is nearby. In the crypt you can gain insight into the game’s other three shell locations by interacting with the three Sense Instinct prompts. The locations of the three shells are as follows:

  1. Solomon, the Scholar: Cave reached through tunnel in Grisha cave behind Fallgrim Tower.
  2. Eredrim, The Venerable: Outside entrance to Seat of Infinity.
  3. Tiel, the Acolyte: Fallgrim Outskirts – Ven Noctivagu cave.

Now that we know where to go to find the shells let’s head upstairs to learn the locations of the game’s different weapons. Along the wall here you will find weapons on which you can also use Sense Instinct on. When used you will see an enemy wielding the weapon somewhere in the world. The location of the other three weapons are:

  1. Smouldering Mace: Shrine of Ash – Temple Grounds.
  2. Hammer and Chisel: Seat of Infinity – Eternal Narthax.
  3. Martyr’s Blade: Crypt of Martyrs- Abandoned Catacombs.

All of the weapons are unlocked by defeating Hadren in a battle where he wields the weapon you will unlock. These battles are activated at specific statues with books next to them. If you follow this guide you will understand what I mean by these statues later.

Where to Get the Tarnished Seal

Image showing the Old Prisoner in Mortal Shell.

Once you’ve learned the weapon locations you can head through the doorway between the weapon holders. In this room head up the stairs to the right and Remove Seal. This will trigger a sequence that gives you the Tarnished Seal. The Tarnished Seal allows you to riposte (parry). Getting this item also frees the NPC here called the Old Prisoner. This NPC tasks you with gathering Glands for him. This is the main story-line objective. The three areas mentioned earlier all have a Gland in them you need to gather and bring to the Old Prisoner to beat the game. Each time you bring a gland to the old prisoner he will upgrade your Tarnished Seal with a new ability:

  • Inflamed: When empowered by Resolve, your riposte will attach a charged larva to your enemy which explodes.
  • Knotted: When empowered by Resolve, your riposte will bend time to your will.
  • Crystalline: When empowered by Resolve, your riposte will unleash your true form upon your foes.

When active these Seal Infusions change the result of your ripostes. You can only have one active at a time but can cycle through them via a simple button press. But enough about riposts, let’s meet the merchant NPC.

Meeting Merchant Vlas

From the weapons room leave the tower out the door to the exterior. Make your way to the backside of the tower next to the bell to find a staircase leading up. Head up the stairs to reach a merchant called Vlas. Vlas sells a number of items that can be useful on your journey. You should purchase some of the rats for their healing properties ahead of the boss fight we will be undertaking next.

Ranged Weapon: Vlas sells a key item called Tools for 8000 Tar. If you purchase the Tools you can use the workbench to make the Ballistazooka. This is the only ranged weapon in the game. It fires the Large Bolt ammunition you will find/can purchase. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TAR ON THIS. The Ballistazooka fires so slowly and has an absurdly long reload animation.

Grisha Boss, Mechanical Spike & Solomon, The Scholar Shell

Now that we’ve established a home-base of sorts its time to advance the story. First off make your way to the backside of the Fallgrim Tower to the door you entered to reach the basement/crypt area. Across from the door you should see a cave entrance with a number of traps around it. Go to the cave entrance and grab the Glimpse of Futility (Item) off the corpse. Continue through the cave to reach an open area with the boss named Grisha.


Image showing the Grisha boss in Mortal Shell.

Important Note: In the boss arena with Grisha there is a slope going down along the back wall. Go down this slope and smash the wood covering the tunnel there to access a room with the shell of Solomon, the Scholar and an enemy inside it.

Grisha is the first real boss you will fight in Mortal Shell. If you played the beta you will immediately recognize its move-set as similar to the Enslaved Grisha, but slightly less frantic. Like the Enslaved Grisha you don’t want to spend to much time close to this boss as it will punish you with long combo strings you won’t be able to harden through. The best method of approach is to bait out a combo string then back off. Once the combo is finished duck in for a quick attack. Rinse and repeat this hit and run strategy until the boss is dead. Congratulations on beating the easiest boss in the game.

Upon defeat of the Grisha you can open the chest it was guarding to get the Mechanical Spike (Hallowed Sword Upgrade). You can also get the shell of Solomon, the Scholar by going down the dirt ramp in the back of the arena and through the tunnel blocked by wood there. Solomon as a shell is a parry-boy with emphasis on generating Resolve. If you have good timing you may want to consider using this shell from here out.

Once you’ve grabbed these items you will want to head back to the tower to upgrade your sword at the workbench in the weapons room. This upgrade unlocks the ability to use Mechanical Spike when charged with two-bars of Resolve. This ability is fairly powerful so you will want to get comfortable using it.

To the Shrine of Ash

Once you’ve defeated Grisha you can explore Fallgrim to your hearts content. There are a number paths you can take (including some in the Grisha boss room) that lead to various sections of Fallgrim and the Fallgrim Outskirts. Consult the map at the top of the post if you wish to unlock all the shells before advancing the story. Also note each weapon unlock is found in the first room of each unique area so you may wish to go to each of the first rooms to get the weapons so you have more options.

With that said if you all you wish to do is advance the story the next area you should head is the Shrine of Ash. While there is nothing stopping you from going to any of the other areas at any time this area is the easier of the three (in my opinion). It is short and less difficult, so you can wrap your head around mechanics and combat in an easier setting than the other two unique areas.

How to Reach the Shrine of Ash

Image showing the tunnel to enter in the Grisha boss room to reach the Shrine of Ash.

To reach the Shrine of Ash head into the Grisha boss room and face the chest. Turn to the left and walk towards the wall. Here you will find a tunnel you can enter. Go through the tunnel into the next room.

When you emerge from the tunnel you will see a pike enemy in front of you. There are four traps on the ground. Lure the pike enemy into the traps and take him out. Continue forward to encounter another pike enemy and a lesser mob next to a campfire. Take them out then continue along the path dispatching enemies until you reach a large area with a campsite

Image showing the entrance to the Shrine of Ash in Mortal Shell.

In this large area on the right there is a huge open gate. The entrance to the Shrine of Ashes lies through at the top of a stair path through that gate. Head through the gate and dispatch any enemies that get in your way. Go up the staircase/path that leads up the mountain until you reach the entrance to the Shrine of Ash. Go in it to reach the first section called the Temple Grounds.

Shrine of Ash >

To the Seat of Infinity

Once you deliver the first gland to the Old Prisoner you will need to head to get the next one. The options left here are either the Seat of Infinity or the Crypt of Martyrs. I am going to level with you both areas are much harder than the Shrine of Ash so be prepared for a jump in difficulty with these next two areas.

With that aside I like to go to the Seat of Infinity next as the Crypt of Martyrs cuts off you ability to backtrack to useful services like merchants and workbenches. This is a real pain if you hit a difficulty wall since you are stuck in the area and have to beat it. So now that you know that let’s head to the Seat of Infinity through the other hole in the Grisha boss cave.

How to Reach the Seat of Infinity

Image showing how to reach the Seat of Infinity in Mortal Shell.

When facing the chest in the Grisha cave turn right and head to the wall to find another tunnel there. Go through the tunnel into the next room. In this room there are a number of enemies around a campfire. Take out the enemies and follow the path along the cliff-side until you reach the end of it where you can go left or right. Pick the path heading left towards the hulking building in the distance.

Eredrim, The Venerable Shell

Follow this path down until you reach the area just in front of this large building which is the entrance to the Seat of Infinity. Before going into the new area you will want to grab the nearby shell called Eredrim, The Venerable that is slumped against the broken column on the left. Eredrim is easily the most powerful shell in the game as he has a ton of health and has an unlockable ability that allows him to stack damage on kills made. If you are struggling with the game’s combat this shell is for you.

Once you have the Eredrim, The Venerable shell unlocked head along the path into the building and take out the enemy blocking the stairs leading up. After this enemy is defeated go up into the building to reach the first section of the Seat of Infinity called Eternal Narthax.

Seat of Infinity >

To the Crypt of Martyrs

Upon delivery of the second gland to the Old Prisoner you will have one final gland to collect. This final gland is located at the bottom of the Crypt of Martyrs. This area is short, but fairly annoying to traverse. As mentioned earlier you will be locked into this area after fighting the Enslaved Grisha half-way boss, so explore Fallgrim and the Fallgrim Outskirts for items before heading into this location.

How to Get to the Crypt of Martyrs

Image showing where to go to get to the Abandoned Chambers in Mortal Shell.

You can access the Crypt of Martyrs from a couple of directions but I will guide you along the path that leads you to easily past the final shell, Tiel, The Acolyte. Head out of the tower and stand in the center of the large area so you can look up at the tower. From here head to the left along the path there until you reach an Inscription pillar. Go along the path to the left of this pillar to reach a room with a number of bats on a tree.

Ven Noctivagu and Tiel, The Acolyte Shell

Image showing where to go to find Tiel and reach the Crypt of Martyrs in Mortal Shell.

Hang a left at this bat covered tree and follow the path through the sort of cave/tunnel thing to reach the section of the game that was featured in the open beta. In this room to the right of the campsite there is a hole in the wall behind some wood. Break the wood and crawl through the hole to reach a cave with the Tiel, The Acolyte shell and a boss named Ven Noctivagu. Ven Noctivagu is basically a health barred version of the creatures that invade in the fog.

Once you’ve defeated Ven Noctivagu and claimed Tiel leave the cave and head to the right into the next area. Straight ahead of you there is a ruined building. This is the entrance to the Crypt of Martyrs first section called the Abandoned Chambers. Head there now or explore the surrounding area for items and Tar.

Crypt of Martyrs >

What to Do After Delivering Final Gland

When you give the final gland to the Old Prisoner he will disappear. This may leave you wondering where to go next since the NPC giving your directions is now gone. Well the answer to this question is rather simple. All you need to do is go down the hole that appears when the Old Prisoner leaves. This hole is in the exact spot the NPC was and will prompt you to interact with it when available. When you feel ready to go jump down the hole to trigger the final boss fight of the game against The Unchained.

The Unchained Boss

Image showing The Unchained boss in Mortal Shell.

Important: The Unchained does not have two phases (health bars). Instead it will summon a whirlpool that can suck down adds that will regenerate its health if the adds are not killed in time. This occurs at around 30% remaining health.

The final boss in Mortal Shell is The Unchained. This boss is part-bird, part-slug, and full annoying. When you land in the arena you will notice water on the ground. This water plays an important part in fight for a few reasons. The first and arguably most important is that it distorts your camera if you aim it so it is in the water. Second, The Unchained will send waves of water at you during the fight which knock you over if you don’t roll through them or harden when they are about to hit. Finally as mentioned above the boss can summon a whirlpool that sucks adds and you down into it.

Besides the environmental water hazard The Unchained is a fairly simple fight to complete. Much of its attacks have noticeable tells that make dodging them fairly easy. The one to be most aware of is when it slams its fist into the water as this summons the shadow adds from around the arena that will attack you.

When you manage to slay The Unchained beast you will have ‘beaten’ the game. If you wish to continue exploring the world with your current progress opt NOT to remove the gland and instead leave via the fish. If you want to jump right into NG+ choose to remove the gland. Regardless of what option you choose the credits will role and you will have unlocked one of the Mortal Shell endings.

Thoughts on our Fallgrim guide? Drop them in the Pit below.

Eli McLean

Eli "Enricofairme" McLean is the Founder and lead writer on holdtoreset.com. He has been creating content about video games for the past 5 years. You can follow Eli on Twitter @enricofairme.

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