Sifu, created by developer Sloclap, is an extremely unique brawler mixing roguelike elements. The game is also incredibly difficult and not everybody will likely finish it. Even if you do beat it, there are many details about the story and gameplay that you might miss along the way.
Although Sifu is a short game — It would probably only take two or three hours to run through if you managed to not die a single time —, the levels are filled with tiny details, and the gameplay is packed with nuance. Some entries will also reduce the challenge and give you the upper hand in some battles.
9 The Real Ending
Sifu is not over once you defeat all the bosses. The first ending implies there is more to it, but the game does not explicitly state how to unlock the true ending. You need to spare all the bosses, including the final boss Yang.
To do this, you have to stumble the boss in their second form twice. When it first happens, do not enact the takedown. Another prompt will let you spare the boss the second time they are dazed. Be careful not to completely deplete their health bar, though.
8 The Big Paintbrush Is A Weapon
The third level, The Museum, includes a room where you fight a bunch of enemies while a giant paintbrush swings around.
You can use this to your advantage. Move it with your body and then move out of the way to let it swing — it can daze enemies. Be careful, though, because it can also hurt you. Even though you are fragile, enemies can similarly be taken out by environmental interactions like this.
7 Unexpected Environmental Interactions
One of the special moves you unlock lets you kick and throw objects in the environment. It appears like this only applies to chairs and bottles, but there are way more objects than you'd think.
The third level in particular has a lot of objects you can throw to make certain fights significantly easier. Throw hanging light bulbs to take out two particularly hard foes without even getting in range of them. The small dolls also help.
6 Some Fights Can Be Avoided Altogether
Sifu is another in the long line of games that have hidden opportunities for pacifism. It is a more commonly explored theme in recent years — telling players there was a choice for non-violent solutions. Perhaps a decade ago, they wouldn't even think to try a pacifist run.
In addition to sparing the boss's lives, there are also a couple of fights you can avoid by just waiting. The people training in The Club before the three trials don't fight you if you don't attack them. It is still helpful to get some extra experience, though.
5 Getting The Extra Shrine In The Shortcut In The Museum
Once you reach the shortcut in the third level, you can go directly from the first floor to the boss. However, you would be missing one shrine if you did this. You can take still an advantage of the shortcut and get the extra shrine.
Use the card to ascend the stairs and make your way to the fourth floor. There are a couple of fights here, but they are quite easy. Then go to the fourth floor, find the shrine, and call the elevator to go straight to the boss. Every shrine helps, so take the extra time to get this one.
4 Filling Out The Detective Board
You miss a lot of Sifu's story if you just go through the levels and beat the bosses. Filling out the Detective Board is vital to understanding the villains' motivations. There are various clues hidden through the levels you add to the detective board as you find them.
Most of these you can only get on a second playthrough or by restarting a run while already at the fourth or fifth level. We recommend beating the last boss for the first time and then finding these clues again on a second run through the levels.
3 The Old Boy Reference
The first level has a fight where you take on a bunch of enemies in a small highway. The camera changes from behind the shoulder to a side-scrolling perspective. This is most likely a reference to the legendary fight from the Korean film Old Boy.
In the movie, a one-shot fight scene has the protagonist take on a bunch of opponents in a similar environment. A few more scenes happen like this throughout the game. It also might be an homage to other games that may have influenced Sifu, such as Kung-Fu Master.
2 Fall Damage Is Both An Enemy And A Friend
Fall damage is brutal in Sifu. If you are knocked down a flight of stairs or off a small ledge, it adds a significant amount of damage. It can turn a small combo into a death sentence. This is frustrating, but you can also use this against enemies.
Try and knock them downstairs, which will add a lot of damage to your hits. Plus, if you make enemies jump down a small platform, it leaves them momentarily vulnerable, giving you the upper hand.
1 You Can Ambush Enemies Who Talk First
A couple of bouts start with the enemy delivering a short speech. You will want to hear what they have to say, but on subsequent runs, you can take this opportunity to get the drop on them. While they are talking, pack in a surprise punch or do a sweep kick to put them on the floor.
It does not have any consequence on the story or ending if you do these, even if it is unsportsmanlike. With even some sub-bosses putting up a brutal challenge, you need to take every advantage you can get.
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