Once unlocked*, orphans are the most tempting targets in In Death Unchained, they score lots of points and often drop valuable health, armor, or arrows. They are also the among the most challenging aspects of the game. They can spot you from a mile away and will be long gone before many players can ever reach them. Even if you do get close, they have high health, run fast, teleport frequently, and attempt to lead players into enemy mobs. Spend too much time evading enemies and they will often escape, leaving players with a battered body and pride, if they even survive. However, by understanding their behavior, you can rescue most orphans you run across. My personal record is 44 orphans in a single afterlife. That run took me to Anakim 10, included every pit except the one in Purgatory 9, and I saved all but one orphan. With this guide and some practice, you can save most orphans you run across, too!
*Visit the Achievements section for all of the unlock conditions.
Most first encounters with an orphan start with the sound of distant childish laughing in the background which eventually leads to a swooshing sound before the laughter disappears. In those cases, the orphan has spotted you and ascended before you even knew what happened. Those that do spot the orphan will often only see them for a few moments before seeing them rise into the sky. New players will see that a lot, as they'll be unable to save the orphan from a distance and unwilling to get close to an orphan surrounded by enemies. Those that do get close will find their arrows appear to do little damage while they quickly lead the player into the middle of large groups of enemies where they escape while the players attempts to survive.
Basic Orphan Behavior
- Orphans are small, easily hidden by obstructions, and have very good eyesight. For these reasons, they will usually see inexperienced rescuers before they are seen. Spotting a rescuer puts them into an alert status. Unlike most enemies, they do not make a unique sound when alerted.
- Orphans can also be alerted without seeing you. They'll be alerted if you fire an arrow near their location, if they are close to an enemy that enters alert status, or if they take damage such as from Tempest, Pestilence, or Curse of God. All three of these arrows can penetrate walls, and Curse can jump from an enemy from a fair distance away.
- Orphans will not be affected by alerted enemies that only get close to them while they are on the way to attack you.
- Once an orphan is alerted, players will only have about five seconds before the orphan stops, crosses her arms, and starts ascending into the sky.
- Orphan ascents can be interrupted by damaging the orphan, getting very close, or in some cases, teleporting to a nearby area (but far from the orphan) with many enemies (causing the orphan to despawn and her laughter to immediately cease).
- Orphans can not begin their ascent while taking damage, this includes damage-over-time (DOT) such as fire, ice, poison, or curse.
- Orphans can also not begin their ascent while players are close. When this happens, they will try to escape by running and teleporting until they are far enough away to begin their ascent.
- There is a sweet spot distance where you can be too far away for the orphan to run TOWARDS you. By learning this distance, one can direct where she runs and even trap her in a dead end where she'll remain in the same spot looking around but unable to run nor teleport.
- If an orphan completes her ascent, she's permanently gone from that area of the game.
Best Arrows to Rescue Orphans
- Tempest is easily the best arrow to use against orphans for most people. It's the fastest, the easiest to aim, and goes through walls. If you are conserving Tempest by using other arrows, a quick switch to use a single Tempest to delay an ascent is still a good idea.
- Pestilence is the second best arrow for new rescuers. The wide area and long duration of the poison can buy significant time while damaging the orphan and is easy to aim with it's wide AOE(area of effect) radius. The poison will also damage and kill nearby enemies as well, particularly at lower cycles.
- Cataclysm 1/3/5 works well for damaging the orphan and nearby enemies in significant chunks, but care must be taken when firing these arrows as they are heavier than others and will have a different trajectory. A good thing about these arrows is that even if you do miss, the radius of the explosion will often be big enough to damage all nearby enemies as long as you don't miss by too much.
- Other DOT arrows such as Wildfire 1/5 and Winter's Bite 1/3 work well in delaying ascent and damaging at the same time, but they do require that the arrow connects. Curse of God (COG) also works well, but the arrow must land closer to the orphan than any other enemy as the curse cannot be controlled otherwise. Care must also be taken when using COG when an orphan is nearby as the curse can inadvertently jump to the orphan or an enemy nearby and put her into an alert status.
- Azure Fury can be useful in delaying an orphans ascent while dealing with other enemies that are around, however, if there are more than a few, the electric shock might not target the orphan.
- Volley 5 can be used to rescue an orphan with a single shot to the head at close range for at least the first cycle or two, but it can be a very risky choice for less experienced players as it involves quickly teleporting next to the orphan to save her, then escaping before other enemies can attack. Volley 3, and Wildfire 5 may work as well for the first cycle. Note that certain achievements also affect the amount of damage inflicted by headshots.
- Wrath of God (WOG) works very well for both damaging/saving the orphan and nearby enemies at the same time, but appears much later in the game and has a lower arrow count per quiver. Deciding to use limited WOG arrows for orphans when they might be needed for panic situations or boss fights can also be a difficult decision.
- Hand of God (HOG) works well in slowing the orphan initially and works very well in conjunction with any rush/multi-arrow headshot attack, but this arrow appears MUCH later in the game and will be the last arrow unlocked for most people. Nevertheless, this arrow and Cataclysm 3/5 will be the go-to for many experienced orphan rescuers with WOG and/or Tempest as backups.
- The Teleport arrow is actually the best arrow for intermediate/advanced rescuers. Usage described in the next section.
- The photos in this guide, experience, and careful listening will give clues to the orphans exact location, use this information to plan your approach so that you never cross an area where the orphan can see you until you're ready for the save.
- As soon as you hear the orphan's laughter in the distance, STOP advancing and try to determine her most likely location. The next section has photos of the most common ones.
- Note all areas where the orphan might run off to and carefully fire arrows to draw enemies to you to reduce enemy density or even clear those areas. Remember to make sure those arrows land significantly far from where the orphan could be.
- If you suddenly hear an orphan's laughter stop after teleporting, that means you've entered an area with enough enemies to make her despawn. You can stay where you are and use this opportunity to fire arrows to draw enemies closest to where you think she'll reappear or her escape routes to reduce the number of enemies there without the risk of alerting her. DON'T use Curse of God to do this as it can kill an enemy, cause her to respawn, then jump to her. Make sure to stop firing near her suspected location once the laughter returns.
- If you only have one shot to stop an orphan from escaping, it's usually easier to teleport next to her rather than hitting her with an arrow to bring her back down. Tempest, Wrath of God, and maybe Pestilence are the only exceptions.
- Advanced technique: Try to get to areas with lots of enemies if you can do so without the orphan seeing you to despawn her as described in the previous post. This vantage point will give you the best opportunity to pick off enemies near where she'll reappear and where she might run off to. However, you'll also need to be ready to suddenly begin your pursuit if you kill enough enemies to cause her to respawn in a position where she can see you.
- Advanced technique: If led into a mob, alternating between damaging ENEMIES and TELEPORTING next to the orphan will greatly increase the odds of surviving with as little damage as possible. By keeping close to her, you'll have more time to focus on enemies as she'll need to keep running far enough away to ascend. However, if you're not sure if there are bloods laying around anywhere, it might be better to call it a loss and retreat.
Click here to continue to Orphan Rescue: Specific Layouts
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