‘Ghost of Tsushima’ Trophies Explained: Finally, a Platinum Prize Worth Playing For

     July 29, 2020

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[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for Ghost of Tsushima. For more on the Sucker Punch Productions title, be sure to check out my review, basic tips for beginners, a breakdown of combat mechanics, what a possible sequel could look like, and even a rundown of the game’s new patch, which introduces the brutal Lethal difficulty.]

Ghost of Tsushima is one of those rare games where putting the time and effort into obtaining a Platinum trophy isn’t just worth it, it’s a pleasure to do so. The Devs over at Sucker Punch Productions have done a bang-up job of making trophy-hunting rewarding in all kinds of ways, from the story-focused rewards, to character progression, to fun Easter eggs and hidden trophies that pay off in interesting ways. With 52 trophies in all, including the Platinum trophy that you’ll get after achieving the other 51, Ghost of Tsushima offers plenty more adventure for those of you who, like myself, didn’t want to put the controller down after finishing the main story. But what’s the best way to tackle them?

Having just completed the Platinum trophy achievement myself, I’m happy to say that just finishing the main story, completing character quests and side missions, and fully exploring / liberating the whole island of Tsushima will get you most of the way there. We’ll break down those easy-to-get trophies below. Others will take a bit more effort, but the game’s lightning-quick fast-travel mechanic and excellent Guiding Wind “compass” make these achievements a breeze, pun intended. Sucker Punch opted not to punish trophy hunters with mundane or frustrating quests — looking at you, Red Dead Redemption 2 — but rather rewarded fans of the game with loot, a sense of achievement, and recognition of players’ hard work. Yes, there’s more than just a trophy waiting for you at the Platinum level, so here’s how to get it:

Story Progression Trophies:

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Image via Sucker Punch Productions, Sony Interactive Entertainment

The following (11) Bronze trophies are earned as you progress through the story, be it on any difficulty from Easy to Lethal, with the final (1) Gold trophy being awarded for finishing the main story:

  • Gathering Storm – Recover the katana of clan Sakai.
  • Point of No Return – Break your code to help a new friend.
  • Company of Wolves – Recruit the Straw Hat ronin.
  • Stoking the Flame – Rescue Taka from Mongol captivity.
  • Family Reunion – Free Lord Shimura from the Khan’s clutches.
  • Leader of the People – Rally the peasants of Yarikawa.
  • Birthright – Recover your father’s armor.
  • Dying Embers – Eradicate the traitors in the name of a fallen friend.
  • The Ghost – Embrace your new identity.
  • The Exiled Alliance – Reunite with your allies in the frozen North.
  • Sovereign End – Confront the Khan.
  • Mono No Aware – Leave the past behind and accept the burden of your new mantle. (Pronounce that trophy title in Japanese and it’ll make more sense, fellow Westerners, especially since it’s the title of the theme song that plays out over the final credits. You did stick around for the credits, right? Good, because there’s a post-credits scene that leads into the post-game content.)

Ally / Character Stories:

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Image via Sucker Punch Productions, Sony Interactive Entertainment

These (4) Silver trophies can be earned simply by completing your allies’ specific quest lines:

  • The Warrior Monk – Complete all of Norio’s Tales.
  • The Vengeful Warrior – Complete all of Masako’s Tales.
  • The Unbending Archer – Complete all of Ishikawa’s Tales.
  • The Headstrong Thief – Complete all of Yuna’s Tales.

Trophies for Tales:

These two trophies, one Silver and one Gold, won’t necessarily automatically pop up in everyone’s playthroughs since they require satisfying two completions of certain Tales storylines. Here’s where some more effort is required:

  • Teller of Tales – Complete all of the Mythic Tales. (Relatively easy as long as you seek out the musicians around the island and complete their quest lines. Good to do just to obtain the Mythic abilities.)
  • Helping Sword Hand – Complete all Tales of Tsushima. (This one’s Gold since it requires you to finish both the ally side quests listed above and the NPC side quests scattered throughout Tsushima. There are 61 of these in total, and they are both easy to find and easy to miss since they’re triggered by speaking to citizens, listening to rumors, or stumbling across the quest-giver on your travels. When in doubt, explore and talk to anyone and everyone with a speech bubble!)

Skill-Based Trophies:

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Image via Sucker Punch Productions, Sony Interactive Entertainment

I hope you’ve been brushing up on your samurai and stealth skills because these (10) trophies will put them to the test. These (9) Bronze and (1) Silver trophies require a bit more attention to detail than merely battling your way across the island:

  • Flash of Steel – Defeat 20 enemies with a counterattack after a Perfect Parry. (The Charm of Mizu-No-Kami, which can be found at the Spring Falls Shrine in the first area, Izuhara, makes Perfect Parries easier, opening up your opponents to counterattacks and making this trophy a breeze.)
  • Witness Protection – Shoot a Terrified enemy with an arrow while they are fleeing. (If you’re a no-good thief / assassin like me, you probably stumbled upon this trophy by accident. If not, the “Terrified” opponents are easy to spot: They scream in terror and run away. The further you get into the Ghost identity, the easier this should be to trigger, but the Charm of Ikazuchi-no-Kami in Act III / the North / Kamiagata’s Crane Mountain Shrine will boost your “Terrify” abilities by 25%. After that, just make sure you’ve got your bow and arrows ready to go!)
  • All in the Wrist – Defeat the maximum amount of enemies within a single Stand-off. (This one sounds easy since your skill set increases this number to three, but you’ll need to go get your clan gear — the Sakai Armor — and fully upgrade it, bringing that Stand-off total to 5. It’s worth it for more than just the trophy!)
  • Open for Business – Successfully Stagger enemies 50 times. (Should be a breeze as long as you’re using the right stance against your opponents and bashing them with Heavy attacks to get that stunning Stagger animation. If you’re struggling, keep an eye on your enemies white bar above their heads and chip away at it to Stagger them. Additionally, Ghost weapons and Charms can boost your Staggering chances, but you really shouldn’t need to go that far.)
  • There Can Be Only One – Successfully complete every duel. (If you’re doing this on Lethal, you’re already a champ in my book, but the trophy is the same no matter what difficulty you’re on. You can’t really miss duels as long as you’re completing the main story and the Mythic Tales, so the hardest part here is either winning the one-on-one battles themselves or simply having the patience to do so since some arrive later in the game.)
  • Have a Nice Fall – Kill an enemy with fall damage by knocking them off a ledge. (Curiously, this is a Silver trophy. Maybe it’s because Ghost of Tsushima‘s grasp of physics when it comes to enemies and ledges / cliffs is a little finicky. Basically, you’ll want to use the Shoulder Charge or Typhoon Kick to launch an enemy off the ground and into the air, preferably off a high, high place. Me? I managed to gently kick a nearly dead Brute down a slight slope and the trophy triggered. May you be so lucky!)
  • Haunting Precision – Kill 20 enemies with Ghost Stance strikes. (Once you’ve got the ability to go Ghost Stance, go nuts!)
  • The Ghost of Legend – Build your Legend to earn the title Ghost of Tsushima. (Through story progression, stand-offs, and successful completion of side quests, you should max out that Legend meter in no time!)
  • Quick Study – Learn the Stone, Water, Wind, and Moon combat stances. (Same here. Play the game, put those Technique Points to good use. You can double your upgrade pace by not only killing but observing Mongol leaders in war camps; you’ll get 2 Technique Points for the price of one!)
  • Every Trick in the Book – Acquire all the throwable Ghost Weapon techniques. (You should get this through natural story progression, it’s just going to take a little while.)

Miscellanea:

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Image via Sucker Punch Productions

These (5) Bronze trophies don’t really fit in any other category, but they’re also hard to miss if you’re playing the game at all. Still, here they are for clarity’s sake:

  • The Perfect Storm – Fully upgrade your sword. (Gold may be the only thing keeping you from this trophy. Hit those Mongol war camps and be sure to check the Rewards on your quest marker before you do.)
  • A Charming Man – Equip a charm in all 6 slots.
  • Gifted – Collect 10 gifts.
  • Dirge of the Fallen Forge – Play the “Lament of the Storm” at a friend’s grave. (First, you’ll need enough Singing Crickets to unlock this flute song, and no, that’s not the first time I’ve said that sentence out loud. Second, you’ll need the story to progress to the point that spoiler Taka dies at the hands of Khotun Khan. Once you and Yuna pay your respects at his grave, whip out that flute and cue the music.)
  • A Moment in Time – Personalize a scene in Photo Mode. (You should be using Photo Mode anyway; it’s incredible.)

Explore and Score:

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Image via Sucker Punch Productions, Sony Interactive Entertainment

These (9) Bronze trophies and (1) Silver trophy reward the intrepid explorer, but they’re not intuitive. So here’s what you need to do to get them all:

  • Slay – Acquire 30 pieces of Vanity Gear. (This should happen during your journey anyway, especially if you’re keeping an eye out for golden birds, but if you want to pursue vanity gear with intention, you can unlock the Guiding Wind skill and set it thusly.)
  • Light the Way – Rekindle all the lighthouses of Tsushima. (Relatively easy as there are only 8 and about half of them pop up during story missions. Just don’t forget to actually light the beacons! Fast travel works wonders for getting back to the ones you missed, as long as you discovered them or cleared enough fog to pop the coastal question marks up on your map.)
  • Den of Thieves – Discover Umugi Cove. (You’ll do this in story progression.)
  • Favor of the Kami – Find and honor all of the Shinto Shrines on Tsushima. (This one takes some time, but whatever ones you have left after you complete the story can be sought out using the Guiding Wind. Enjoy playing these Uncharted-like mini games!)
  • Honor the Unseen – Bow to 10 hidden altars across Tsushima. (You’ll want to look for the wooden signs with the Bowing symbol on them. There are more than 10 scattered throughout the island, so kudos to Sucker Punch for not forcing players to find them all, especially since Guiding Wind doesn’t work here. I point you to your nearest YouTuber / Google Guide for these!)
  • Lost and Found – Discover a Pillar of Honor and collect its Sword Kit. (If you make it through the entire game and don’t stumble across at least one of these, I’ll be impressed.)
  • Monochrome Masters – Purchase an item from the Black and White Dye Merchants. (Two specialized Merchants are out in Tsushima — the White Dye Merchant is in the starting area, southeast of Komoda town; the Black Dye Merchant is in Act II, in a cave among bamboo stands north of Yarikawa Stronghold — and they’ve got some great gear shaders for you! You’ll just need 20 Flowers at minimum to buy one kit from each for this trophy.)
  • Avid Reader – Collect 20 Records. (Easy enough as you progress, but you can set your Guiding Wind and don your Traveler’s Attire to assist.)
  • Know Your Enemy – Collect 20 Mongol artifacts. (Easy enough as you progress, but you can set your Guiding Wind and don your Traveler’s Attire to assist. Learn about different culture as you slaughter its people!)
  • Body, Mind, and Spirit – Complete all Hot Springs, Haiku, Inari Shrines, and Bamboo Strikes. (I don’t know why Sucker Punch lumped these all together in one trophy, but at least 3 of them reward you throughout the game with boosts to health, charm abilities, and Resolve; Haikus are just for fun and headband swag. You can set your Guiding Wind to each of these in turn to knock out any that you missed.)

Easter Egg:

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Image via Sony, Sucker Punch Productions, PS4 Pro

This one’s for fans of the Sly Cooper franchise, Sucker Punch’s original title:

  • Cooper Clan Cosplayer – Dress up as a legendary thief. (This is a fun nod to the title character and master thief / raccoon. You won’t be able to complete this one until Act III but it’s worth the wait. You’ll need the Gosaku Armor with the Ocean’s Guardian dye / shader, the Sly Tanuki sword kit — which can be found at a snowy, rocky top Pillar of Honor east of Trapper’s House and north of Iwai Village in Kamiagata — and the Crooked Kama headband, which can be found by scaling a Jogaku Temple pagoda all the way to the top with your iron hook. The Thief’s Mask here is optional, but it does make for a slick addition.)

The Great Liberator:

These (6) Bronze trophies and (1) Silver trophy, which triggers automatically after achieving the Bronze ones, come about as Jin saves the people of Tsushima from the invading Mongolians, the treacherous Ronin, and the opportunistic bandits. They’re also self-explanatory:

  • Hero to the People – Liberate 12 occupied areas in Izuhara.
  • A Fight For The Isle… – Liberate all occupied areas in Izuhara.
  • Good Riddance – Liberate 8 occupied areas in Toyotama.
  • Securing Sanctuary… – Liberate all occupied areas in Toyotama.
  • Mass Eviction – Liberate 7 occupied areas in Kamiagata.
  • A New Safe Haven – Liberate all occupied areas in Kamiagata.
  • Master Liberator – Liberate the entirety of Tsushima Island.

Did you do all of the above? If so, you should have achieved…

Living Legend:

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Image via Sony, Sucker Punch Productions, PS4 Pro

When it’s all said and done, you don’t just get a shiny Platinum trophy, you also get a “Thank you!” message of sorts from the Sucker Punch Productions team acknowledging all your hard work to save Tsushima. Plus, you get a nice new “Ghost Transcendent” shader for your Ghost Armor, Ghost Mask, and Ghost Headband. It’s very shiny, colorful, and badass. Nice to get a “physical” reward along with the Platinum trophy. But even more rewarding is just how much fun this game has been from beginning to end and top to bottom.

Ghost of Tsushima has one of the best Trophy progression systems I’ve ever played. Sure, Sucker Punch probably could have and should have (and may yet) put a “Complete the Game on X Difficulty” trophy in the mix, but maybe some other rewards are on the way for, say, surviving and beating the game on Lethal. Additionally, there’s still content to enjoy even after you’ve achieved Platinum; you’ll find me riding my (second…) horse all across the island in search of the remaining Artifacts, Records, and Sashimono Banners. Oh, and I’ll be going on a Flower run to purchase everything the Merchants have available for me to enjoy.

So many Flowers …

Dave Trumbore is Collider’s Senior Editor overseeing Games, Animation, and all those weird Saturday-morning cartoons no one else remembers. Test his trivia IQ on Twitter @DrClawMD

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