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Gorn has you fulfill your childhood fantasies of being a gladiator and tearing through the arena as a champion worth his weight in oil. In order to escape the king’s treachery you will need to handle yourself like a true champion! Don’t worry, warrior. I know the challenge seems daunting and your weapons are rubbery and stretchy, but we got this. Today I’m putting on my Chiron boots, two of the four at least, and training you from a toothpick snapping grunt to an armor bashing champion!
Bottom Line Up Front
- Beating all the matches unlocks the final mission which is a boss rush and a final unique fight against the King and the Arena Spectators..
- Weapons will be unlocked in custom matches as you kill with them in the main mode. This usually amounts to five kills.
- Always Attack Archers ASAP.
- Change the movement settings the moment you have access to the settings wall on the main floor of the main menu screen.
- Be safe and take mind of your surroundings. This can be a physically demanding game, and the excitement and immersion can lead to harmed controllers and knuckles.
Fixing the Movement
Gorn’s original movement method involved a very strange decision to have you reach out, grab the air, and pull yourself where you want to go. Novel as this is, this will get you killed quickly. Change the movement settings to work off of your thumbstick (HMD, this means it will have the direction of forward be based on where your head is facing) and the rotation to be controlled by the opposite thumbstick.
The difficulty levels will affect multiple factors to your missions. The first is how many enemies will spawn in each match. The second is how decked out in armor and weapons they are. The final bit is how much damage you do and how long you have to kill an enemy after being hit before you fail the match and have to start that particular match over again. Thankfully, you don’t have to start the entire mission over.
- Always go for any gladiator with a bow first. Always take out archers first.
- Being hit will start an invisible counter, designated by hearing your heart beating in your ears, which will end in your death if you do not kill an enemy in that time. It doesn’t have to be the one who hit you. As such, always keep track of what enemy at any time has an exposed cranium and swing for it the moment you get hit.
- To disarm, aim for the hand. To dismember, aim for the center of the limb. To remove a heart, aim for the center of their chest right at the crease of their pecs. To cleave, aim for a chest without armor, preferably from the shoulder, and cut diagonally towards the hip. To decapitate, aim for the neck.
- The easiest way to kill a gladiator is by aiming for the head with any weapon, aiming for the middle of their chest with a piercing weapon, or cleaving them in half with a two-handed weapon.
- ALWAYS AIM FOR THE ARCHERS ASAP. I can not stress this enough.
- If you grab a leather-helmeted gladiator by the head and pull, it will remove their helmet leaving their head open from the crushing by the melee weapon in your opposite hand. A metal helmet will not be so easily removed.
- Know your weapon. A spear is good for stabbing and piercing out hearts but a glaive (a spear-sword) is a weapon made to cleave and slice through your opponents but is rather poor at getting to that juicy heart in their center. A sword is good at slashing, a rapier at piercing, and a katana excels at both. Blunt weapons will crush and destroy armor but a piercing or slashing weapon, while able to break armor, will take far more hits to achieve the same goal.
- If you find yourself being cornered or overwhelmed, sweep the leg to take them to the ground while disorienting them. This will leave you an opening to either focus on breaking their helmet or clearing the enemies ganging up on you.
- Caestus are add-ons to your hand. Sometimes you’ll be able to wield a weapon while this is active, you will be able to tell by if your hands are still visible. They can be added to your custom matches from the wall-perched menu on the Custom floor.
- In cases of emergency, or enjoyment, a gladiator may be used as a weapon. While holding them by any area and flinging them around will see results, holding them by the torso or shoulder will prove the most efficient and longest lasting. This is how I beat the crab mission.
- To remove a gladiator’s heart with a piercing weapon such as the rapier, spear, or wolverine claws you need to aim for a specific part of the chest. Not the left pec like you would expect but instead in the area directly under the pecs and just above the stomach. I have included a handy instructional photo below showing a heart seconds from being born.
Parry and Parry Kills
To parry an enemy means to hit your weapon against theirs as the enemy is attacking you, staggering them and giving you a damage multiplier for a short time. Simple in theory but practice is the only way to get particularly good at this.
A few things I would like to note.
- You must strike their weapon while they are in the process of attacking with it in order to initiate the parry slowdown. Killing the enemy during this slowdown is what counts as a parry kill.
- You can not parry fists as you’ll just crush their arm or slice it off.
- You can parry arrows but the window for getting a parry kill is short.
- You need to hit the dangerous bit of the enemy’s weapon. The handle of a blunt weapon doesn’t count, the leather wrapped bit, but the spiked ball of a mace will. Imagine you were wielding the same weapon then aim for the part you’d attack with, not their hand or arm. This is effective but will not count as a parry.
Each mission has 5 matches. Two to three normal matches that have you facing off against the gladiators, a fourth match which is a free for all where the gladiators will also focus on and fight each other, and the final match against the mission’s boss.
At the beginning of each match in a mission, a crate will drop down in front of the door you started the arena in front of. Killing enough enemies with that weapon will unlock it in the custom matches.
Achieving this might seem like a worry at first, but it is easier than you might think. The game doesn’t mind you getting hit, what you need to do flawlessly is survive. If you get hit you must IMMEDIATELY start going for an enemy and kill them before the darkness takes you.
The main takeaway is, in order to achieve Flawlessly, you merely have to be sure not to have to fight any matches again in a mission. Remember my combat tips and you’ll have no issue.
Every time you complete a mission flawlessly, it will fill in the symbol on the poster’s left and unlock an added bit of decor to the floor their door is on the wall.
The fourth match of every mission, the free for all, includes a Bonus Objective. You will find some of these objectives absurdly easy, others difficult. Their difficulty, to their credit, will improve your combat abilities such as honing your abilities to rip out a heart or parry an enemy’s attack. Both of these will do wonders for impressing your friends at parties.
Completing the bonus objective for a mission will unlock a large card nearby. Take this card down to the main level and show it to the prisoner to get some lore on the champion it represents.
You don’t even trade with him. You just give him the satisfaction of staring at the pictures of champions not currently chained to a wall through a bar window.
This floor will get your blood flowing and prepare you for the challenges ahead. The enemies will rarely have armor and even when they do they will have openings in one of the weak points. Even if they are wearing armor, it will break easily.
Potential Unlocks: Nailbat, Spiked Mace, Spiked Flail, Wooden Shield
Bonus Objective: Kill 15 Enemies
While this sounds easy, and it very much is, the small thing to remember is that YOU are required to kill the enemy, not another enemy. As this is a free-for-all match you need to be quick to kill enough gladiators before the fodder-pool dries up.
You have to kill every enemy in the free-for-all yourself. Even being the first mission you face, this bonus objective will be a pain. I know just the method to get past this though.
This trick is to destroy the shield at the start so long as you reach this stage naturally and not via respawn. If respawning, you will ONLY get the shield.
If you are having difficulty with this bonus objective, as I did even as Gorn’s embodiment of Chiron, keep the difficulty on normal purely to cut down the number of rounds you have to face before taking on the bonus objective. The reason for this is that starting the match from a respawn will give you only a shield to fight with.
On the other hand, fighting your way to the free-for-all, regardless of dying, and making it with two melee weapons is the easiest method to gaining this objective. As you don’t have to wait for the gate to lower, you aren’t stuck watching as the three starting gladiators fight and potentially kill each other before you can do anything.
The simplest method is to go into the free-for-all of this mission with the idea of killing EVERY gladiator in the arena yourself in mind. Any gladiator killed by another is going to ruin you in gaining this bonus objective.
So, to summarize, go into the free-for-all with two melee weapons and aim for the head. Don’t let a single gladiator fight another. If you see them going at each other, smack them to the ground before they can kill a single gladiator. Even if you don’t kill them immediately, this will give you the time to kill any that might be dangerously close to a death blow on another gladiator.
I once more stress, from trying for this objective on Normal and Hard, you need to kill all gladiators in this match in order to obtain this bonus objective.
BOSS: Crazy Two
Don’t let his absolutely amazing skills with a pair of nun-chucku fool you. The guy falls over from a swift breeze. Knock him on his butt and clobber his, truly terrific, skull helmet until his skull is open for a smacking.
Potential Unlocks: Bow, CAESTUS: Throwing Daggers, CAESTUS: crossbow, CAESTUS: Wings
Bonus Objective: Get 10 Golden Arrow Kills
First tip: Never fire the golden arrow at an enemy in front of one of the arena doors when they are open, if you miss you will lose your arrow. Don’t forget to retrieve your golden arrow until you make the 10 kills.
Second Tip: Aim for the head. If you find too many enemies with helmets are spawning, for the purposes of this objective or your own sanity, feel free to turn down the difficulty. Otherwise the golden arrow will take a second shot to kill them unless you are a fantastic shot and nail them in the heart. The head is a much easier target and will kill them every time, should they be lacking a helmet.
Final Tip: You can kill them with a shot to the heart but this takes quite a bit more practice. If you are having an issue I recommend using the vanilla arrows to make a shot to the center of mass then follow it with the golden arrow.
BOSS: The General of Archers
As his name implies, this fight’s main concern is that lesser gladiators will enter the arena the entire time their leader is alive. Keep yourself alive and focus on killing the general first, then take care of the fodder that has accumulated and make the terrible decision not to fall in the crossfire.
I KNOW. I have said, repeatedly, to focus on archers not on the warriors. This is a unique case as, if you don’t kill the general first, he will keep spawning in his archers.
Potential Unlocks: Sword, One-Handed Battle Ax, One-Handed Hammer, CAESTUS: Grapple Hook
Bonus Objective: Kill 10 enemies, each with a different weapon.
During the mission keep an eye on any gladiator that has a two handed weapon, such as a glaive. The enemies in the free-for-all never seem to carry a two handed weapon. Furthermore, I was always merely one weapon away from succeeding at this mission. So, the strategy was simple. Once I saw a glaive, hold onto it. Whenever a weapon is offered to you, hold it with one hand and the two-handed weapon with the other when you salute. Keep this up until you reach the free-for-all. Then, finally, you must select the sword. The hammer and ax will appear held by gladiators, but I have never seen any enemies using swords or two handed weapons.
When choosing your starting weapons, pick the sword as it is the least likely to be wielded by another gladiator. The moment you land a killing blow with one weapon, quickly hurry and grab the nearest weapon you haven’t yet used.
If you find yourself missing one or two weapons to finish this objective, remember that a rock on the ground counts as a weapon towards the score. HOWEVER, a fist or a shield do NOT count towards the score. Neither does using a gladiator as a weapon. These have all been tested by yours truly and it never raised the counter.
It is Achilles. Go for that legendarily lack-luster leg of his and he’ll go down without even needing to break a sweat.
We’re upping the pressure now. As the battles go on you are going to find more and more gladiators hiding behind more pieces of armor. You’ll find your shortcuts being patched with leather and metal. Terribly rude if I must say. It is like they don’t want us stealing their heart. Isn’t that what 80’s music bred in us? Don’t worry. I got methods.
A blunt weapon will make short work of any pieces of armor. A few swift bashes across the area will have it demolished in a couple strokes leaving their melon open for your best Gallagher impression.
Potential Unlocks: Rapier, Katana, Staff, Large Shield
Bonus Objective: Parry kill 10 Enemies
I went into more detail in the section about parrying. A parry kill, specifically, is the art of hitting your weapon’s head (spear head, mace head) against the opponent’s. NOT their handle. Once the weapon is flung back, quickly kill them with the damage multiplier you have gained. You will know this has happened due to the bullet-time that activates upon doing this.
I will be square with you. This is an absolutely annoying one. The enemies like to clump up and kill each other far away from you while you can only slowly meander your way over and watch your only chances of parrying die one by one.
That is if they decide to spawn in with a weapon that is feasibly parried. Arrows seem to not count, and also are archers and problematic for you and their ability to completely kill another enemy quickly. Nunchucks are an absolute PAIN to parry. The staff keeps getting tangled up on itself when wielded by an enemy and is next to impossible to parry. Any enemy with the weapons that are easy to parry come in with iron helmets and metal chest plates making a quick and efficient kill before moving on impossible as you have to break their helmet first which takes multiple hits with the swords you have. Pick up a weapon capable of destroying armor immediately.
This would be easy if one, they didn’t kiill each other so quickly, and two, stopped tangling their own weapons up on themselves wasting SO much time just watching helplessly as these terribly stupid AI fumble with their sword being hooked on the opposite leg and just struggling unless you push the weapon to its side or kill them.
This is going to take luck, I am afraid, because of those factors.
Get the two swords at the beginning, focus on taking off any helmets or piercing hearts if exposed to quickly kill the gladiator the moment the slow-down for a parry activates. If the enemy is wearing a leather helmet, you can get away with cracking the head rapidly as it should only take one well aimed hit to break it and another to kill them.
If you manage to bring them into the match or see them during, go for the throwing shield and an axe/mace/hammer. The former to parry with and the latter to destroy armor, both to kill once the slow-mo begins.
It might help to practice this using endless mode or custom matches if you find yourself having difficulty during the free-for-all.
Upon getting to this match you are going to be given two small rapiers. This might seem like a joke, but the Blademaster has absolutely no armor on his chest and the Rapier is a secret weapon of absolute chaos. Aim for the divet just under the crease of the gladiator’s pecs and just above their stomach, this will either pull out his heart or, if it doesn’t, still kill him upon repeated stabbings.
Potential Unlocks: Spear, Tomahawk, Chakram aka the Throwing Shields,
Bonus Objective: Remove the Hearts of 10 Enemies
This one can be quite the pain, I am not going to lie. The trick is knowing exactly where to stab with the rapier to get to their heart. YOu want to stab just where the ribs end. Visually, this means you stab in the small divot where the crease between the pecs ends and the stomach begins. Stab with gusto and yank back as straight as you can to the angle of attack you initially stabbed in. You’ll know it worked by the burst of blood coming from the spot.
Many of the enemies are going to spawn with chest-plates, so it is advised that you pick a rock up to allow you to smash the chestpiece off of them as you will otherwise be unable to perform the heart pierce.
The rock will also allow you to knock them onto the ground without killing them by hitting them against the chest whether armored or not. Attempting to remove their heart while they are flat on the ground is the easiest method as there is little chance of them blocking with their arm or moving just as your blade reaches their chest causing you to stab them but miss their heart.. Down time is variable so there is still the chance they snap out of their daze just as you stab.
You also NEED to do this to their front. Stabbing them in the same area from their back not only lacks the spot to aim for, but also just doesn’t work.
First off. Pick your jaw off of the floor and remember you’re not hallucinating. This daring dude is actually using honey badgers as weapons. Once they are released they will go for your ankles intent on making you unable to move while the Badgermancer boxes you like a proper gentleman. The badgers will not count as a potential-killing blow, so focus entirely on their master. His head and heart are ripe for smashing or stabbing so let loose.
Potential Unlocks: Great Hammer, Great Flail, CAESTUS: Iron Fist,
Bonus Objective: Smash 10 enemies against the arena walls
While the bonus in the game merely says ‘smash enemies’, I have tested out what this means. Smashing them when they are on the ground does not count. The gladiator needs to died by being violently smashed against the wall. It is alright if you kill them on the way to the devastating smash, but they need to be killed. Aim for the spikes if you wish, but this is not required.
You use the Iron Fist Caestus for this match, which does not allow you to use any other weapons besides the iron fists. Don’t worry, this is EXACTLY what you need. For a tactic that works 9.9 out of 10 times, slam both of your hands into their chest making sure to angle the momentum just slightly upwards, but not too upwards. You want both fists to hit their chest parallel to each other on the vertical plane. Meaning one fist to the pec and one to the gut.
Goliath is big and heavily armored, so this is a test of your endurance and his armor. Like all helmets in this game, it just takes a few thwacks to make it shatter. So pick your weak point, head or chest (I recommend the head, it is a Thanos approved tactic after all) and focus on that until the flesh is revealed and you can open that head up for all its juicy insides.
Be careful though, The Goliath’s biggest surprise is his ability to spring himself forward like a missile. The upside is this leaves him momentarily defenseless. Once he starts twirling his mace in the air like his is stirring the clouds, get ready to start circling around him. Once you know his angle, hurry as he is landing and start punishing his helmet for its master’s transgressions then take the killing blow.
Now things get really interesting. No matter how hard these enemies might seem, they’re all susceptible to your new best friend, the spike pits. The arena on this floor will include a spike pit for all but the boss fights. A strong enough weapon such as a mace or shield will help you either smack them in the direction of the pit or push them right in when they are precariously perched next to it.
Potential Unlocks: Nunchuck, Crab Claws, Wolverine Claws,
The levels that have you using the crab claws are going to be the one big sticking point here. Aesthetically they are absolutely amazing, clickity-clackity calamity. However, they are not as good for plucking heads from shoulders as you might expect. They *are* insanely good for picking enemies up whether they are unconscious or not.
So we have two winning strategies we can use. The first is to simply pick them up and fling them into the spike pits. This has drawbacks, especially if they fall between the spikes when you are seconds from death and need a sacrifice for your continued living.
I personally suggest our second and far more fun option. Pick up an enemy by the torso and languish in your new weapon until the ferocity of your play-time requires you to pick up a new toy to use for your carnage.
Bonus Objective: Break 40 pieces of armor
This number might seem threateningly huge but as this is dependent on individual pieces of armor to unlock the number, there will be plenty of opportunities. Pick the mace and hammer from the beginning selection of weapons and go buck-wild.
There will be plenty of gladiators who will spawn so do not worry about that. Instead focus on not accidentally flinging them into a pit like I kept doing. Even so, I managed without a worry so, again you have plenty of gladiators.
The other thing to remember is that the gladiator’s legs, particularly the ones fully decked out, have a lot of armor on them, not to mention the pauldrons, chest pieces, and helmets decking out many gladiators. In this mission all this armor is going to be your friend.
Be quick, be brutal, be a champion.
BOSS: the Crab Rider
Once more you are going to need your senses about you because you are, in fact, witnessing the glory of a Crab Mounted warrior. First, smack the rider off the crab like a freshly tee’d-up golf ball. This will keep him distracted for a moment as you crack into a giant helping of crab meat. Smash its head until the shell crumbles and it stops moving, then finish off the rider for dessert.
Potential Unlocks: Two-Handed Great-Ax, Two-Handed Great Sword, Boomstick(Semi-Bolt action gun)
This set of matches is unique thanks to the introduction of the massive giant variant of the standard gladiator. They might seem intimidating and have a mean punch, but a bare head is still smashable and an exposed chest is still an ample heart harvest. If you find they are a real pain, sweep the leg.
Bonus Objective: Kill 25 enemies
Ending off the bonus objectives, this one is a bit more difficult given the sheer amount of enemies you need to kill. Work quickly, and destroy every gladiator you see. Break up any matches you see going on and kill both parties, as otherwise you might run out of enemies to slaughter before you end the match.
Much like the Berskerer’s bonus objective on the first floor, this one requires you work fast and focus on taking out every gladiator you see. IF you see groups of them together hurry and break it up focusing on knocking the big guys down, or into pits, and killing the little guys so the giants can’t steal your kill. If you see any on the ground in reach, hit them.
Between the choice of the two-handed great-ax and the two-handed greatsword you should go for the Ax.
BOSS: The Duo
Giving me EXTREME deja-vu around the new Mortal Kombat trilogy, this fight comes in the form of a small archery riding on the shoulder of a giant gladiator.
Remember your training, remember what I always say: the three ‘A’s. Always Attack Archers. You need to rush the pair with your shield held up in such a way that the archer’s arrows won’t take you out early, then smack that bugger off of the big guy’s shoulder. Hurry after him to kill him so you don’t have to worry about him finding his second wind and shooting you in the back when you aren’t looking.
Now the big guy. Scary as he might be, get in close and keep your shield up near his right bicep, keeping him from being able to fully swing his weapon and being ready to block it if he finds himself able to. A sharp blow or two to the head should knock him down.
While you do this, unleash your inner aggressions on his head. That helmet will crumble and, shortly after, so will he. Admittedly that helmet can take a hell of a beating.
The final mission is locked behind a boarded-up doorway. On that doorway are a series of helmets representing each champion. These symbols are then crossed off every time you beat a champion, removing the boards and allowing you to face the Arena’s king, Alimta.
Bonus Objective: Praise the stars there are none for this one mission.
If none of the other missions gave you a headache, this one might do it. Unlike the other missions, there is no bonus mission and no mark for doing it flawlessly. You might get out of this one by the skin of your teeth. Don’t fret, my dear champion, we got this. This mission is split between two matches.
Every champion you have faced up until this point will have to be murdered in a massive match. They will come out three at a time, but the ones who will give you trouble will be the armor of the Goliath and the General, the Giant and his little archer, and the Badgermaster’s Badgers. The latter of which will be unleashed the moment he comes onto the field.
Your saving grace is only three come out initially with more slowly lining in, so work quickly and efficiently. Remember what boss gave you the least amount of time and either kill them off quickly or save them for health when the ones who give you trouble give you pause.
The ultimate tactics, though? Herd and bash them all right into the spike pit. It works with every single boss that comes for you in this match.
The Spectators, The King, and the Arena
The king has had enough of our nonsense and has taken to sicking the spectators on us. These disembodied heads will attack you by screaming, setting themselves on fire, and rushing you causing an explosion with a small area of effect. Hitting them will send them flying based on how hard you swing and the angle. Eventually, the king will sick gladiators on you to further distract you.
What isn’t immediately apparent is that the king’s throne is your target, not the spectators nor the gladiators rushing to stop you.
You have one goal and one goal alone. I have been saying it all along. No not the bit about the archers, though do keep it in mind as the Spectators are essentially kamikaze archers and, once the gladiators are upon you, they will also be a factor.
No the OTHER thing, aim for the head. The biggest head in the game, the one the king is sitting in. When the spectators are rushing you and on fire, they do nothing if not on fire. I have tested this, then they will explode and damage the structural integrity of the king’s throne.
It takes 3 hits of the throne for him to send out the gladiators and a further 2-3 for the throne to come crashing down. Once this is complete, congratulate yourself champion! You beat the game and ended Alimta’s cruel blood soaked reign for good! Huzzah!
Question: What is the Best Weapon to Use in Gorn?
Answer: The one-handed Battle-Ax is, ar and on, the most versatile and most common weapon to appear during your average mission. It will crack a piece of armor effectively and cleave through flesh efficiently. Paired with either a shield or your favorite weapon to finish the job after removing their armor is a tried and true solution to gladiator problems by yours truly.
As for fun and efficiency but only showing up in the Crab Mission (Floor 3) where you unlock it or in custom matches after being unlocked the winner is, bar-and-none, the wolverine claws. Not only are you able to pick up any weapon you want while these are active, though the claws themselves will not extend should you hold a weapon, if you have an empty hand and hold the grip button you will unleash the wolverine. These claws are capable of cleaving flesh, ripping out hearts, destroying armor, and best of all, making your inner child absolutely squeal in glee.
Question: How Much is Gorn and Where can I Buy/Play it?
Answer: Gorn is available on the Steam, Playstation, and Oculus/Meta marketplaces for $20. As it is a old classic VR title it is often on sale or in bundles.
Playstation Store Link
Question: Is Gorn available for Oculus/Meta Crossbuy?
Answer: No. While Gorn is available for both the Rift aka Oculus/Meta PC and also available for the quest headset, it is not available for crossbuy. So, your decision relies on if you want your Gorn game to be mobile (Quest Marketplace) or to be reliant on a PC which may or may not be mobile while having better graphics and overall game-fidelity. (Rift/PCVR)
Gorn is a game that will continue to keep you not only entertained, but be a staple of your cycle of melee-combat workout games. It has amazing, reactive combat and just enough comedy and cartoony elements to keep the gore from being too unsettling to softer stomachs, but enough to keep the bloodthirsty instincts of the gamer fed.
Please be safe and keep aware of your surroundings when playing games such as Gorn that involve swinging the weapons in the air and towards the ground. Take caution of yourself, your pets, your home, and anything alive near you.
I am afraid this is where we must part. While we were dealing with the King a champion got me in the ribs with an arrow soaked in Medusa’s blood. The darkness is seeping in and I feel myself about to respawn at the start of this article to train a new gladiator. You did well to end the king’s Reign. No gladiator nor giant crab stood against your might. You may leave this arena knowing you are worthy of the title Gorn Champion.