In the epic game God of War, exploring the various realms of Norse mythology is a crucial part of the adventure. However, there are two realms that stand out from the rest: Muspelheim and Niflheim. These optional locations offer the toughest challenges and the best equipment in the game, but unlocking them requires some extra effort. With the release of the PlayStation 5 version, now is the perfect time to revisit these realms and discover all they have to offer.
Unlocking the Languages
Before you can journey to Muspelheim and Niflheim, Atreus, Kratos’ son, must learn to read their languages. To achieve this, you need to find and complete two sets of language ciphers, one for each realm. Each cipher is divided into four pieces and hidden within special purple treasure chests scattered throughout Midgard, the central realm of the game. Here’s a guide to help you find all the cipher pieces and unlock the fiery and misty worlds of Muspelheim and Niflheim.
Muspelheim Cipher Pieces
Cipher Piece No. 1: Forgotten Caverns
Begin your search for the ciphers at the Lake of Nine. Head to the Forgotten Caverns on the western side of the island. Pass the rune-covered yellow Nornir chest and look for a green brazier, part of the “Unfinished Business” Favor. Nearby, you’ll find a chain that you can climb up. At the top, you’ll discover the first cipher chest, recognizable by its peculiar mask lock and purple coloring.
Cipher Piece No. 2: Cliffs of the Raven
The second piece awaits you at the Cliffs of the Raven, located on the eastern side of the lake. After landing at the dock, follow the path that leads to a giant dead troll. Go around the troll and find a spot where you can boost Atreus up to a ledge. From there, he can kick down a chain for you. Ascend the chain to discover the purple chest.
Cipher Piece No. 3: Tyr’s Temple Bridge and Vanaheim Tower
As you leave the Lake of Nine and make your way towards the Mountain, you’ll encounter the third piece of the Muspelheim cipher. Cross the large bridge from Tyr’s Temple in the center of the lake to reach the Vanaheim Tower at its end. Inside the tower, you’ll pass by several poison-spewing torches before descending into a cave-like area just outside the tower. Look to your left to find the third cipher chest.
Cipher Piece No. 4: Witch’s Cave
To obtain the final piece of the Muspelheim cipher, you must have met Mimir. Once you’ve met him, the story will take you back to the Witch’s Cave. Enter the cave from the lowered water level of the Lake of Nine. Upon docking, take the elevator up to the main level. Clear the sap barrier with a lightning arrow and head towards the west wall instead of going up the path to the house. Inside a small stone structure emitting green energy, you’ll find the coveted chest.
With all the cipher pieces collected, you can now access the fiery realm of Muspelheim and face its formidable combat challenges. It’s recommended to explore Muspelheim early on, as the battles will reward you with valuable crafting materials to create incredibly powerful Epic gear. Remember, if you delay too long, the gear in Muspelheim may become overshadowed by even more potent equipment later in the game.
Niflheim Cipher Pieces
Cipher Piece No. 1: Ruins of the Ancient
Once the Lake of Nine has been lowered for the second time, new locations will become accessible along its coast. Row to the north end of the lake to find the Ruins of the Ancient. Land at the beach and venture inland to locate a Frost Ancient patrolling the area. Beyond the Frost Ancient, you’ll discover the first cipher chest.
Cipher Piece No. 2: Lookout Tower Beach
Travel east of Vanaheim Tower and land on the beach after the water has receded. You’ll notice spikes blocking your path to the right. Look up and to the left to find a large wooden gear that you can spin with your axe. Activate the gear to remove the spikes and gain access to the area. Among the spikes, you’ll find the second cipher chest. Be careful not to stand where the spikes emerge from the ground!
Cipher Piece No. 3: The Mason’s Channel
Head to the eastern side of the channel and search for a beach near the tower. Pass a chest covered in blue brambles and find a climbable wall. Ascend the wall, go past the Realm Tear, and look down at the path below. You’ll notice a World Tree sap crystal that can be destroyed by Atreus’ lightning arrows, clearing the barrier. Beyond the barrier, the third cipher chest awaits.
Cipher Piece No. 4: The Mountain Summit
The final piece of the Niflheim cipher becomes available after you’ve traveled to Helheim and then returned to the Mountain. Once you reach the room that previously housed the mining claw used for your ascent, clear away the brambles and take an elevator instead. When the elevator reaches the top, you’ll pass one of Sindri’s shops before heading outside, where the chest awaits near a Realm Tear.
With the fourth Niflheim cipher piece gathered, you’ll gain access to the realm itself. Niflheim houses Ivaldi’s Workshop challenge, which offers some of the most demanding content in God of War, along with top-tier gear.
Now that Atreus can read the names on the giant brazier torches found on each of the Realm Towers in the Lake of Nine, you can light them up by reading the names. Lighting all the towers completes one of your Labors, granting you experience and a special item for battling the nine optional Valkyries scattered throughout the realms.
Finally, collecting the fourth Niflheim cipher unlocks the “Trilingual” trophy, marking a significant accomplishment in your God of War journey.
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