Other than beating the eight Valkyries scattered throughout the realms in God of War, the toughest challenge in the game is fighting through Ivaldi’s Workshop in Niflheim. The strange location is bathed in cursed mist, which puts a timer on your forays into it. What’s more, Ivaldi’s Workshop changes every time you enter it, making it easy to get lost in the deadly maze. Venture into the Workshop, though, and you can earn some of the best equipment in the game.
Though it seems like a confusing compendium of traps and battles, there is actually a method to Ivaldi’s madness. Once you know the setup of the maze, it’s easily navigable. Here’s everything you need to know to clear Niflheim and get the most out of Ivaldi’s Workshop.
First, to get the Niflheim at all, you need to find all four pieces of the Niflheim cipher to unlock the location in the Realm Travel Room. Good news: We have a guide for that. Once you’re there, at the end of the bridge from Tyr’s Temple in Niflheim, you’ll find Sindri, who will give you something of a rundown of Ivaldi’s Workshop. The place consists of a central, locked room, with a series of rooms ringing the outside: Big rooms with enemies to fight, smaller ones with traps to dodge, and hidden in all of the rooms are treasure chests full of Mist Echoes, which you will spend to create and upgrade equipment and open chests within the workshop. The goal with each run into the workshop area is to gather Mist Echoes and bring them back out. If you die in the Workshop, you lose everything you found within it.
Ivaldi’s Workshop is also covered in cursed mist and you can only withstand it for so long. Your mist resistance is dictated by a meter at the top of the screen. When it runs out, the mist will drain your health until you die. Every time you open a chest, however, you get a shot of Cleansing Fog that increases your mist resistance slightly, so the more chests you open, the longer you can stay in the workshop.
You’ll find a lot of equipment and objects that can increase your resistance to the mist, but first, you need to run in and gather some Mist Echoes so Sindri can make a key to the Workshop’s inner storeroom.
Getting the key
Your first couple of runs into the Workshop can’t be very deep, because the mist will kill you very quickly. Start with just the area out front of the workshop’s inner storeroom, which always contains a few chests. You can’t open any of the treasure chests until you kill all the enemies, though, and the grouping of creatures is random. If you don’t like what you’re fighting or it’s giving you a lot of trouble, you can always run back toward Sindri again to reset the area.
After you’ve cleared the first room, you might want to go past one of the sets of traps to the left or right to find a few more echoes before you head out. Look for gaps in the walls and alcoves that might hide chests. The Mist Echoes you bring out of Ivaldi’s Workshop are yours to keep, even if you go back in — it’s only the echoes you’ve picked up during the run you’re on that you’ll lose if you die. When you have your first 500 echoes, return to Sindri’s shop. Though Sindri says he’ll craft the key, it’s actually located under the “Buy” menu in his shop. Once you have it, you’re ready to go back in.
Crafting Mist armor
Your second order of business is gathering up Mist Echoes to buy yourself a suit of mist-resistant armor. Head into the Workshop area, kill the first group of enemies, grab the Mist Echoes in the room and use the key to open the door by interacting with the pedestal in front of the inner storeroom. That will let you inside and as you climb up the stairs, you will realize that this room counts as being “out” of Ivaldi’s Workshop. If you need to hurry out of the Workshop to survive the mist but can’t make it all the way back to Sindri, you can head into the central chamber to refresh your mist timer and officially keep all the things you gathered in the workshop.
Next, open all the chests you can in this area. There are a ton, although several toward the back are sealed with Mist Echoes, and you need to bring more back to open those. One chest contains the item you’re searching for, called “Ivaldi’s Rusted Armor.”
Bring the armor back to Sindri and he can use it and some Mist Echoes to craft you three pieces of mist-resistant armor. You’ll want to get all three and upgrade them as much as you can, as quickly as you can. The armor greatly reduces how quickly your Mist timer runs out, allowing you to stay in Ivaldi’s Workshop much longer. You will also find Enchantments scattered throughout Niflheim that you can socket into your armor to give you a chance of adding time to your meter, usually by killing enemies in specific ways.
The workshop layout
Ivaldi’s Workshop is a tricky place, but it’s not nearly as complex as it first seems. The layout of the workshop is basically a diamond, with the storeroom in the center. The area in front of the storeroom where you fight enemies forms the bottom “point” of the diamond. Follow the hallways either left or right and you’ll hit a side point, which is another big battle room. Continue on to the top point of the diamond and another battle, then to the other side point, and finally back to the beginning. Between each of the battle rooms that form the points are hallways laden with traps, and smaller intermediate rooms between the hallways that never contain battles, but occasionally hold chests.
There are two extra rooms that are not part of the diamond, which are reachable from the trap intermediate rooms on either side of the top point of the diamond. These rooms always have fights in them as well and they’re tougher than the other battles in the workshop. We’ll get to those later.
Battles you fight in Ivaldi’s Workshop are mostly to challenge your speed. Though the enemies can kill you, the real threat is that they will run down your mist timer and you won’t make it out of the workshop before it depletes. Therefore, the goal in every fight should be to take out enemies as fast as possible. You also can’t open any treasure chests until all the enemies in a battle room are defeated, so you need to take them out quickly to stop the mist from killing you.
These are tough enemies with levels ranging from six to eight, so you’ll need strong gear to take them on. The composition of enemies you will fight varies, but it generally stays pretty much the same through all the points of the diamond once you start a run. Generally, you will want to use Atreus’ Light arrows and Kratos’ bare-fist fighting to try to drive up enemies’ “Stun” meters and get executions on them. That usually ends fights the fastest, so pour on the arrows as quickly as you can.
The traps in each of the hallways aren’t just hazardous to Kratos, they can kill enemies too. If you can knock or throw a bad guy into a hallway, it’ll often die there, especially if you’re quick about stunning it by throwing the Leviathan Axe. Use the environment to your advantage and concentrate on ending every fight as quickly as you can.
Nornir chests are the best
Most runs in Ivaldi’s Workshop will have a rune-sealed Nornir chest hidden somewhere. It will always be in a non-battle room between trap hallways, so you’ll have time to look for the three bells that open the chest. Those three bells are always located above you, on the cliffs that ring the maze; two will be close by, one will be farther away.
It’s best to start with the far-off bell first when hitting all three. These are usually the most finicky to hit as well. Use the heavy ax throw to get the distance to nail them, and try standing in different locations if all you’re hitting is rock. Once you ring the first bell, you should have plenty of time to zero in on the next two and get the chest open. Nornir chests in Ivaldi’s Workshop don’t give a ton of Mist resistance, but they always pack a lot of Mist Echoes, so these are definitely worth getting if you can spare the time.
How to open the entrance Nornir chest
Oftentimes when you start a run in Ivaldi’s Workshop, the first area in front of the storeroom will have a Nornir chest against the wall closest to Sindri’s shop. You won’t find the means of opening it in that first area, though. You will need to visit each of the points on the diamond and kill all the enemies you find there in order to have a chance of opening it.
First, make a note of the three runes on the chest, because you won’t see it again until you open it. Head into the workshop maze and stop at the first battle room point on the diamond and finish off the enemies there. When you’re done, look up at the cliffs around the edges of the room. You’re searching for one of those spinning pillars that show a rune. Match it to one of the runes before moving on.
One of these pillars is located in each of the battle rooms at the points of the diamond, so you will have to make the complete loop to open the chest at the front. It’ll always have a good haul of Mist Echoes, plus usually some rare Niflheim crafting materials as well.
Finding the Valkyrie
There are eight Valkyries hidden throughout the realms in God of War, and if you’re looking to defeat them all, you need to venture into Ivaldi’s Workshop at least a few times. The Niflheim Valkyrie is located in the back of the workshop, in one of the two battle rooms accessible from the hallways on either side of the top point of the diamond. It’s a tough battle, especially with the mist timer running. The good news is that if you survive it and defeat the Valkyrie, your mist timer will be completely refilled to allow you to make it back out of the maze.
Where to find Anchors of Fog
Once you have opened the central storeroom of Ivaldi’s Workshop, your main goal becomes to open all the chests you find there — which all require Mist Echoes to open — and to seal the three Realm Tears. The tears also require Mist Echoes to access the battles within them, as well as one extra item: Something called an Anchor of Fog. This Exotic item can only be found in specific areas of Ivaldi’s Workshop.
Anchors will appear in the gold Legendary chests found in the two back battle rooms, located on either side of the top point of the diamond. You can access these rooms from the two trap-filled hallways on either side of the top point. Be ready for a tough fight, though: These rooms will always contain regular enemies, as well as tougher guys like Travelers, Dark Elf Lords, or Fierce Ogres. Beating them can suck up a lot of your time, so be ready for a tough battle that might drag on.
Win the fight in these tougher battle rooms and you’ll often find an Anchor of Fog. This won’t always happen, but if you don’t get an Anchor in one of the extra battle rooms, you will in the other. We have never encountered a situation where we weren’t guaranteed an Anchor in one of the two rooms.
The inner storeroom
Once you have enough Mist Echoes and Anchors of Fog, you can open up all the treasure chests in the inner storeroom. These will give you rare materials you can’t get anywhere else to upgrade your weapons and armor to their peaks. This includes a Chilling Mist item in one of the treasure chests you can open for Mist Echoes. Bring it back to Brok or Sindri’s shops and access the “Buy” menu. Under “Resources,” you will be able to trade the Chilling Mist for a Frozen Flame, which you need for the final upgrade of your Leviathan Axe.
You also have to contend with the three Realm Tears in the storeroom. You will find they are not too terribly difficult if you’ve been upgrading your Mist armor anyway to make it through the maze. You also won’t have to worry about the Mist timer for these fights, so take your time and fight smart. The first battle is mostly Draugr and smaller enemies; the second is poisonous baddies like Revenants and their ilk; and the final is Ogres matched with Wulvers.
The other battles are pretty straightforward, but the third will drag on if you focus on killing the weaker Wulvers. More will continually join the battle until you take down the Ogres, but it’s easy to get the upper hand in the fight if you can stun an Ogre and use it to kill everything else.
If you manage to liberate everything from the storeroom of Ivaldi’s Workshop, you’ll unlock the Darkness and Fog trophy.