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8 Things To Know Before Jumping In

A screenshot of Kril triumphantly posing in front of the Moon Snail.

Another Crab’s Treasure is out now and thankfully it’s a really solid soulslike game, one which wears its influences on its sleeve. Despite the fact that it’s much more accessible than most of the games that inspired it, it isn’t without mechanics and features that need to be explained to some degree. Luckily for you all, I’m here to provide exactly that service. So as you prepare to dive into the depths of the ocean in Another Crab’s Treasure, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

Shark eggs —> Respec —> ??? —> Profit

When you get to New Carcinia, which functions as Another Crab’s Treasure’s central hub and main city, you’ll meet a host of vendors that you’ll be coming back to over the course of the game. The most helpful of these is a pawn shop fronted by Prawnathan, the guy who won’t sell Kril his shell back for anything less than 999,999,999 microplastics. Talk about the effects of inflation…

Anyways, he will sell you a number of things that you should absolutely pick up, and he’ll also buy your junk. You come across sellable junk literally everywhere and will be positively swimming in things you can sell off for huge amounts of microplastics, so don’t skimp out on buying most things in his shop. While most of the items in the shop bear a helpful description, there are some that don’t, like the shark eggs. Instead, the item description for these pokes fun at the morality of selling them (for good reason), but the lack of a description might turn some players off to buying them. Go ahead and pick them up though, because shark eggs give you the ability to respec your stats, as well as your skill tree and Adaptations, which are super moves that can be unlocked and upgraded.

I’ve respec’d at least once, and it’s always a helpful ace to have up your sleeve in case you come to a hard wall and need to redistribute your skills and stats, which is pretty common in soulslikes like Another Crab’s Treasure. You can respec your skills by talking to the Moon Snail specifically; otherwise you can refund your level-up points and redistribute them by using a shark egg at the level-up screen after entering any Moon Snail Shell location.

Pay respect to your elders and grow powerful

Speaking of the Moon Snail and leveling up your abilities, I keep poking fun at the fact that I didn’t know how to unlock my skills for the longest time. I basically played the first half of the game without using any abilities outside of the core moveset, which is not the easiest way to play this game. I eventually learned where to go, though, and folks, it’s pretty simple, even if the game doesn’t bring much attention to it.

Early in the game, you’ll meet the Moon Snail, an enigmatic and sassy figure who bestows Kril with the ability to use Umami, which is Another Crab’s Treasure’s form of magic. They’ll prompt you to unlock the ability to teleport between the game’s checkpoints (called Moon Snail Shells here) and returning to the Moon Snail’s Domain will allow you to use the purple crystals that can be collected across the ocean and unlock powerful new abilities, including some very basic but necessary ones like parrying and a riposte. Others are very powerful game-changing skills, like the Scrap Hammer, which allows you to effectively dual-wield shells and modify your weapon into a Dark Souls ultra sword. So don’t forget to keep returning to the Moon Snail. Additionally, a boss fight against Topoda the Grovekeeper will unlock the aforementioned Adaptations, and visiting them will allow you to level these super moves separately.

Image: Aggro Crab

Metal Gear Shelled

As an action-focused game, Another Crab’s Treasure prioritizes funneling you into tense and exciting encounters often, but sometimes it’s just better to hit the fucking bricks. In most cases, sprinting past enemies will aggro them, but after a certain distance, most of them will disengage and go back to whatever they were doing before. What the game doesn’t do a great job of telling you is that there are some light stealth elements that are absolutely worth taking advantage of.

By holding the guard button, Kril will protectively crawl into the recesses of his shell. Additionally, you can slowly walk around while holding the guard button, allowing you to sneak around enemies. Enemy AI isn’t the brightest in Another Crab’s Treasure when it comes to stealth and visibility, and I was able to duck into my shell more or less in front of enemies, crawl around behind them, and get a sneaky charged attack in. You don’t always have to fight though, so I encourage you to test what you can sneakily get away with!

For extra points, find the cardboard box, hold the guard button, and sneak around like stealth gaming’s greatest legend, Solid Snake.

Arise ye Tarnis-I mean Clawed One

Without spoiling much, there is a lawless wasteland in the heart of Another Crab’s Treasure’s map that is dangerous to walk around in. That’s because at least one giant killer crab stalks this land, called the Sands Between, and is far too powerful to take on when you first meet. After solving the killer crab situation here, the Sands Between becomes fully explorable, and it’s a surprisingly large area of the game with many secrets to track down and cool rewards at the end of countless paths. Before getting to the endgame, it’s worth plumbing the depths of the Sands Between for some good shit, and at least one wonderful Dark Souls reference you won’t want to miss.

Go with the motion of the ocean

This sounds kind of esoteric but bear with me: the arenas of the boss fights are talking to you. They’re shouting at you even, and they’re worth listening to. Every boss arena is littered with shells that Kril can jump into, and these shells aren’t just here for the hell of it. They often have specific shell spells (magic attacks unique to the shell you’re wearing) that greatly increase your chances of beating the fight without too much hardship. One particular boss fight got dramatically easier when I stopped trying to brute force it with a shell that was otherwise incompatible with the encounter and used the nearby ones instead, which let me deploy a decoy to bait out attacks and sneak behind the boss for more damage opportunities.

By all means, have fun with the range of builds on offer in Another Crab’s Treasure, but don’t let that preclude you from experimenting with the rest of the abilities on offer in the game!

Cause they’re one step closer to the edge and they’re about to break

I haven’t spoken much about Stature in Another Crab’s Treasure yet, so here’s the deal with that. Stature is this game’s version of stagger damage or poise in soulslikes. Repeatedly doing damage and successfully blocking and parrying will build a gauge underneath your enemies’ health bars. Filling them will make your opponent glow, at which point you can use a “powerful” move like a charge attack, certain hard-hitting shell spells, or Adaptations, to stagger them. This stops any and all enemies in their tracks for a few seconds, opening them up to damage opportunities and buying you time to heal, or simply swap shells.

I think it’s a helpful mechanic, but is mostly useless on the average enemy after unlocking heavy damage-dealing skills like Scrap Hammer. It is most effective on bosses, and in those cases, I recommend using Adaptations, especially Royal Wave, which does damage and also debuffs your enemy, making them take extra damage. Using your Adaptation just before the gauge is completely full will often push the enemy past the damage threshold to get the stagger in one swoop, at which point Royal Wave’s damage multiplier goes crazy.

A screenshot of Kril in a soda can shell against a much bigger knight-shaped crustacean.

Image: Aggro Crab

Hey kids, wanna run an insurance scam?

I’ve mentioned Scrap Hammer, my favorite ability in Another Crab’s Treasure, a few times already because it is just that good. It lets Kril skewer a shell with his weapon, modifying it and greatly increasing its damage. It also lets him swap between the shell on his back and the one on his weapon by holding down on the d-pad, which gives players two shells to use at any given point. While some smart players will probably mix and match shells of differing weight, skills, and defensive rates, you can also be like me and double up on one of them and just become a fucking tank.

While some shells are pretty common, like the soda can or shot glass, some of the most powerful ones are much rarer, like the Valve, which has one of the highest defenses, if not the highest defense, in the game. Luckily, there’s a way to make rare shells like these a more common occurrence as long as you’re smart with money and willing to run an insurance racket.

Unlocking a shell is as simple as finding it in the world and wearing it once, or going to a shell vendor in New Carcinia who sells and insures them. Insurance in Another Crab’s Treasure allows Kril to respawn with a shell of your choice when he dies without one, letting him keep some of the rarest and strongest shells at a bit of a premium. Once you find the one you want, insure it and then die without wasting the shell’s health, which amounts to taking hits without guarding. When you respawn, you can recover your XP and the shell you died with, and since you didn’t break your shell when you died, you’ll spawn with it already on your back thanks to the insurance policy. Use Scrap Hammer to add the second shell to your weapon and boom, you’ve successfully duplicated your super powerful shell.

This tactic was especially handy in boss fights, since Another Crab’s Treasure offers to spawn you in a spot closer to the boss arena rather than back at the last Moon Snail Shell you entered. You’ll basically spawn on top of your XP and shell, allowing you to quickly duplicate it and jump back into the fight without skipping a beat.

Yes, I’ve found Another Crab’s Treasure’s “burn down the house for the insurance money” exploit. To be fair, the game is explicitly about the unfairness of capitalist structures and society, so in this case, I might as well make it work for me and kick the shit out of the evil crabs enforcing the status quo. Really, I’m a proletariat legend helping arm the working class. That’s right, we’re communists down here in the deep blue sea.

Bring a gun to a claw fight

Another Crab’s Treasure is a soulslike, which means it’s generally tougher than your average game. Thankfully, it’s got a host of cool accessibility settings that can be toggled at any time from the menu, including damage mitigation and the ability to hold onto your XP even after you die. Its best accessibility feature is one of its wilder jokes, though. At the very bottom of the accessibility menu, you can toggle the ability to give Kril a gun. Once you select it, Kril will have a giant pistol for a shell that has ridiculously high defense and lays waste to everything. It’s a gun after all. So yeah, give it a shot.

I do believe that wraps up most of what I wished I knew going into Another Crab’s Treasure. I haven’t discovered every one of its nooks and crannies just yet either, so I look forward to you all using these tips to go even further than I have and make the most cracked crab builds the world has ever seen.


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