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Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut: How to play the Hidden Grove Tournament on Iki Island

Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut welcomes players to Iki Island, a place where the Sakai name hasn’t been welcome since Jin was a small boy. The Director’s Cut added plenty of new activities to the game, but one that has Ghost of Tsushima fans excited is the Hidden Grove Tournament. Thankfully, players won’t have to progress too far in the Tales of Iki to unlock it. Here’s everything you need to know about unlocking and winning the Hidden Grove Tournament in Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut.

How to unlock the Hidden Grove Tournament

Unlocking the tournament itself is pretty easy. For starters, you do have to unlock Iki Island by progressing to Act II of the main Tsushima story. Once you’ve begun the Tales of Iki, play up to and complete the mission entitled “Jin from Yarikawa.” You’ll spawn back at the raider’s secret hideout with Tenzo, overlooking a fighting circle surrounded by many warriors — The Hidden Grove Tournament.

To beat the tournament, you’ll have to defeat three unique fighters before challenging the fourth and final combatant. Jin is not fighting to the death in this tournament, so it doesn’t matter what kind of armor he’s wearing. Instead, combatants use Bokken Sticks, which are wooden Japanese training swords, to get touches on each other. The first to five touches wins. Let’s dive into the different opponents and the weaknesses you can exploit.

How to defeat The Brutal Raider

Jin in Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut.

Kai, also known as The Brutal Raider, fights like the bosses you’ve grown accustomed to in Ghost of Tsushima. Most of his attacks, though, cannot be parried. You must dodge out of the way and follow up with a counter. Don’t be afraid to go on the offensive either while in Stone Stance. A pair of heavy attacks can break his guard and reward you with a point.

Kai also has a double overhead attack that’ll get you on the second swing if you’re not careful. Finally, Kai will use the draw-sword quick attack, which is easy to see coming but difficult to time. When you see Kai sheath his sword to prepare for this attack, either backstep until he swings and misses or start swinging with heavy attacks.

How to defeat The Exiled Monk

Jin kicks the Exiled Monk in Ghost of Tsushima.

The Exiled Monk is the easiest opponent in the Hidden Grove Tournament. You’ll hear the announcer say punches and kicks are legal before each fight, and the Monk uses kicks more than anyone. So Jin should too. Switch to Moon Stance, the same one you’d use against brutes, and keep kicking the Monk to break his guard. Then, hit him with a quick attack to score a point. Getting kicked and landing a kick will not award a point to either side.

How to defeat The Murderous Merchant

Jin rides his horse across the screen as the sun sets behind him.

She is the toughest opponent you’ve faced thus far. The Merchant plays a reactive game and will wait for Jin to attack, counter, and then land an attack of her own. She will take the initiative at times, but expect to circle each other for a few seconds before someone makes a move. Thankfully, most of her attacks can be parried and countered. That being said, her timing is odd, and her attacks come quickly. She’ll leave you in the dirt if you play too aggressively, so strike a balance between active and reactive play.

Once you score three points on the Murderous Merchant, she’ll play 100% reactively, only attacking after you swing first. However, once you go back and forth once, she’ll become more aggressive.

How to defeat The Crimson Fisherman

Jin squares off against the Crimson Merchant in Ghost of Tsushima.

Once you’ve defeated the first three fighters, the Crimson Fisherman becomes available as the fourth and final combatant. He plays incredibly dirty, and, of course, the referee is blind to his tricks. He’ll throw what looks like a bag of dirt at Jin, which disorients him long enough for the Fisherman to land a hit. Anticipate the dirt throw after the Fisherman does his unparryable spinning-ground attack.

Avoid the dirt throw by dodging left or right. Then, get ready to parry an incoming attack right after he throws it. The Fisherman doesn’t always stick to this spin-dirt-attack pattern. However, all his attacks do stem from the initial spinning-ground attack. He’ll either follow up with the dirt throw or with a quick attack that can be parried. There’s a reason why he’s the “boss battle” of the Hidden Grove Tournament.

Hidden Grove Tournament rewards

Sword rewarded for winning the Hidden Grove Tournament in Ghost of Tsushima.

After you defeat the Crimson Merchant, he’ll become available as a dye merchant on Iki Island. He sells a unique line of crimson-colored dyes, a hat, and two face masks exclusive to his shop.

You’ll also unlock The Hidden Heart sword kit as an additional reward for winning the tournament. It’s supposed to look like you’re carrying around a Bokken Stick as a weapon.

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Mike Colucci
Michael Colucci is a lifelong video game fan based out of the greater Boston area. He's the one insistent on searching every…
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