Nioh’s William Is Hiding In Rise Of The Ronin, And Here’s Where To Find Him

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Over 60 hours into Rise of the Ronin and I still haven’t discovered everything that Team Ninja’s latest open-world samurai adventure game has to offer. And now, outside of all the cats to collect and fugitives to kill, there’s another secret connected to Nioh that I only just came across. That’s right: William Adams, the protagonist of Nioh, is lurking in Rise of the Ronin. Here are the details, including where and how to find the “Blue-Eyed Samurai.”

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On March 31, the PlayStation UK X/Twitter account revealed something I suspected was in the game: William Adams, the protagonist of the first Nioh and the first non-Japanese samurai, is in Rise of the Ronin. Well, not exactly. Since Nioh takes place hundreds of years before the events of Rise of the Ronin, he’s called the “Blue-Eyed Samurai” here, reminiscent of the excellent Netflix anime with the very similar name. Anyway, William—I mean, the Blue-Eyed Samurai—plays a small role here, a mere sub-boss encounter as part of the open-world photography activities, but crossing swords with him is very much worth the effort.

You can find him in the Shiba Prefecture in Edo, which is the second major city in Rise of the Ronin. If you pop open your mini-map and head toward Shiba’s bay, you’ll notice a photo objective called “View of the Bay at Shiba.” You don’t have to complete this activity, but snapping a quick pic of the waterfront will give you silver coins to purchase extra Intellect skill points. Just left of where you’d take the picture is a little alcove with a dimly lit fire illuminating the entrance. Saunter in there.

Image for article titled Nioh’s William Is Hiding In Rise Of The Ronin, And Here’s Where To Find Him

Screenshot: Sony / Team Ninja / Kotaku

Image for article titled Nioh’s William Is Hiding In Rise Of The Ronin, And Here’s Where To Find Him

Screenshot: Sony / Team Ninja / Kotaku

The rest of the way is blocked by a poorly constructed wooden barricade, which you can destroy by blowing up the fire barrel just in front with either a bomb or a gun. Once you’re inside, take the only left at the end of the short, narrow pathway, and William—dammit, the Blue-Eyed Samurai—will be standing there, just waiting for you to try him. And try him you must, because this isn’t one of those encounters where there’s a bit of dialogue before the blades get inevitably soaked in blood. He aggros the moment he spots you, but it’s not a particularly difficult fight, especially if you’ve played Nioh. His moveset is identical to the standard attack pattern you see when wielding a katana in Team Ninja’s 2017 Japan-set Soulslike, so that familiarity should make the fight easier to manage. Anyway, go ahead and lay him out.

After the fight, you’ll earn some pretty sweet rewards. The first is a set of armor themed around Yasuke, the first Black samurai whose name is the title of another excellent Netflix anime. Then there’s the real prize, the Nioh-ryu combat style. It’s the same sword technique that the Blue-Eyed Samurai, and Nioh’s William Adams, use, and it’s great. See, there are four overarching combat style types that the myriad combat styles in Rise of the Ronin fall under: Ten, Chi, Jin, and Shinobi. Each of these four is strong against certain weapon types and weak against others, but Jin is the most well-rounded combat style of the bunch because it’s effective against sabers and other lightweight weapons. The Nioh-ryu is a Jin-based combat style, which means, since most enemies in Rise of the Ronin use either katanas or sabers, you’ll essentially always do more damage. Sure, there are a handful of enemies that use other combat styles which can effectively counter a Jin-based one, but even then, because Jin is a jack-of-all-trades, it can still cut through even the heaviest of weaponry, such as clubs and odachi.

I love little details like this, optional objectives that connect a studio’s games together in interesting and entirely missable ways if you don’t know where to look. The nice thing about Rise of the Ronin is that if you happen to miss anything in the game, there’s a feature that lets you replay whole areas and entire missions for totally different outcomes. So, if you wanted to see what would happen if you saved an anti-Shogunate official instead of killing them, you could bend time to see what happens. Unfortunately, once you murk the Blue-Eyed Samurai, he’s dead for good.

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