Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 9 - Higgs
Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 9 - Higgs
You finally conquered Death Stranding's insanely treacherous mountains, and guess what? You don't need to go back there (unless, you really want to for side missions and stuff, but that's totally up to you). The events in Death Stranding are about to become a lot more bombastic, and how you need to apply all the skills you've learned in the game so far might not be immediately obvious to you. But hey, that's why you're here! We'll help you out.
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Prologue
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 1 - Bridget
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 2 - Amelie
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 3 - Fragile
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 4 - Unger
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 5 - Mama
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 6 - Deadman
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 7 - Clifford
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 8 - Heartman
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 9 - Higgs
- Death Stranding Walkthrough: Episode 10 - Die-Hardman
Afraid of spoilers? Don't worry! We're going to do our best to make these walkthroughs as spoiler-free as possible when it comes to the main story beats. However, if you've dived this far into the walkthrough without actually being at this part of the game, you're still going to get spoiled! TURN BACK IF YOU'RE NOT AT CHAPTER 9!
Death Stranding Guides
Before you start, definitely check out the broader tips in our Death Stranding guide hub to get your head around some must-have tips to always keep in mind, as well as get your head around what you can expect a little later down the line. Things will definitely get a little less tough over time with the right preparation!
Have a question or a great alternative route we didn't think of? Leave a comment and we'll do our best to address it!
Episode 9 - What A Trip!
Wow, folks! Can you believe all that wild stuff that just happened in that transitional cutscene? Insane.
Anyway, welcome back! You made it across the tar belt to the general vicinity of Edge Knot City. When you come to, a Distribution Centre will be very clearly in front of you, but don't forget to turn around!
That silly Norman Reedus dropped all his cargo as a result of whatever happened to him in that tar belt, so pick everything up and head to the terminal.
Episode 9 - The Last Leg
It's time to finally get Edge Knot City back on this dang chrial network everyone's been talking about. It's time to finish Norman Reedus' main mission so he can go back to riding motorbikes for fun.
Pick up the critical order from the terminal, and head on out. Hmm, it looks like a pretty short walk, doesn't it?
Well, better to be safe than sorry--bring some ladders, climbing ropes, a Non-Lethal Assault Rifle, and whatever you need to feel comfortable with taking on BTs.
Episode 9 - It's Raining, It's Pouring
Aw, what? Not even 100 meters out of the distribution centre and it's already raining.
Don't worry just yet--you won't hit any danger until you get past the big, exploded wall in the distance there.
You'll hit a brief cutscene where you'll get introduced to a new enemy type.
Episode 9 - We All Float…
Well, the sky seems to be filled with sentient balloons of tar. Good day so far.
Now, what's going to happen for the next little section is you're going to have some difficulty trying to walk over incredibly uneven ground while these puffy tar things are slowly going to float toward you.
When they do get to you, they'll burst, cover you in tar, and deal blood damage. What I recommend you do is move slowly, and every few meters, stop and pop.
Use your non-lethal assault rifle (with hematic rounds) to take out any BT balloons you see floating towards you--easy on the trigger though, one bullet is all you need to burst one.
The path ahead is pretty obvious, so just worry about being diligent about poppin'.
Episode 9 - Down We Go!
There'll be a point where you're walking up an inclined building. Past that, you'll hit a point where you'll have to find your way down a sheer drop. The easiest way is to head to the edge on the right of the building, plant a climbing anchor, and rappel down. Just make sure you pop any balloons coming your way before grabbing the rope!
Episode 9 - "A Short Walk", He Said
Haha, this is way harder than you thought, huh? The terrain gets a little trickier here, even though the path forward is obvious, with far more variable ledges, sloped surfaces, and water to wade through as well.
Don't be afraid to use up your ladders and climbing ropes here to make things easier for you, whether that be going up and down things in your way, or creating bridges between raise platforms. You're going to have to return to this area again on your way back, so you might as well do your future self a favour.
Episode 9 - More BTs for Me!
Once you start climbing past the set ofstairs pictured, you'll hit real BT territory, meaning you should start putting into place your favourite anti-BT strategy, whether that be just sneaking past, cutting the umbilical cord of any BT that crosses you way, or using your hematic weapons to forge a path.
Episode 9 - The End Is Near
Once you hit this open street, know that you're very close to your objective!
However, the street is filled with BTs, so don't let your guard down just yet.
Episode 9 - Scratch That, The End Is Here!
Once you see that glowing Bridges logo in the distance, pick up the pace! Make that victory run! You made it all the way across the country!
RUN TO THE TERMINAL AND HAND THIS DAMN QUEST IN! WE'RE DONE!
You'll be sent to your private room and have a cutscene to enjoy afterward. Probably one with the President giving you a medal and telling you what a great job you did.
Episode 9 - Red Alert!
Once you're done with the cutscene, you'll find yourself back in the private room--only this time, something seems off.
Maybe it's the red flashing lights and the horrible alarm that's going off? There's probably something going on, but maybe you should just take a shower first?
Head out when you're ready. Don't worry, take your time.
Episode 9 - Gear Up!
Now, your next step is to head outside and see what all the commotion is about, but don't do that before you gear up!
Now, you may have noticed you got a blueprint to fabricate Quadruple Rocket Launchers. I bet you thought you would never have a reason to use those, but hey, maybe this is a good time?
I recommend ditching any climbing gear, and stocking up on Blood Packs and a bunch of Quadruple Rocket Launchers (but not too many, you don't want to be weighed down too much, and you'll have some extra help soon). Grab an assault rifle as well--you never know when more balloons are going to show up (spoilers: soon).
Head outside and you'll run into another cutscene (there sure are a lot of these, huh?)
Episode 9 - Uhhhhhhh
Oh, hi. Um, this really big man looks really mean, so I'm going to go ahead and suggest that you just equip one of your rocket launchers and start firing at the guy (there'll be a spot on his body that is obviously the spot you want to shoot--it'll even highlight itself in red outline)
Episode 9 - Watch Out!
Here are a few strategies for shooting the big monster dude.
He's slow, but watch your footing! You can easily run circles around this thing, but if you trip, you're gonna get hurt by stomping or tentacles.
Drop any empty weapons. You're going to be unloading a ton of firepower on this thing, but you don't want to be weighed down and throw off balance by a bunch of empty guns you're carrying. You can drop these guns by hitting the Circle button in the quick menu.
Always keep an eye out for new weapons: There'll be plenty of extra Blood Packs, Quadruple Rocket Launchers, Hematic Grenades, and Assault Rifles lying around the area. Definitely pick them up if they're close to you (especially the Rocket Launchers), so you don't have to go searching for stuff later.
Episode 9 - Hey Kid, Want A Balloon?
Once you take away a third of the things' health, the weak spot will move and the big man will start sending a bunch of balloons at you. Hopefully, you have an assault rifle handy to start popping them, because that's the most efficient way to get rid of them.
Episode 9 - Cut The Cord!
Once you take down another third of the boss' health, you might notice that his health bar might disappear.
When this happens, you can't do any damage to it the regular way. Instead, get some distance from him and keep an eye on his long umbilical cord. Hopefully, you'll see a gross, pulsing, orange ball travelling up it.
That's your target, shoot that icky thing, and you'll be able to resume dealing damage as normal. Continue to keep an eye on the balloon and stomping situation; keep collecting new weapons and blood packs.
You'll be done after this last third of health has been taken care of! Time to watch another cutscene.
Episode 9 - Whoops, You're Dead!
Wow, something bad must've happened in that cutscene. Well, it's a good thing that Norman Reedus can revive himself! Go ahead and do that, and go back to your private room to clean yourself up and recycle all your weapons--you won't need them for a little while.
Episode 9 - Okay, What Now?
Well, reader. It looks like your journey with Norman Reedus isn't quite over yet. But what's the next step? How do we get where we need to go now? Can you work it out?
If you can't, the game will eventually just tell you outright--all you need to do is spend some time in the world to let Reedus think. Head back to the previous distribution centre, and by the time you arrive, you'll be poised to take the next step.
Episode 9 - Welcome To The Beach
You worked it out! Well done to you. Got time for another boss fight?
This one's slightly less bombastic than the last one--you'll be facing off against a human opponent, but you won't have much gear to work with. The boss on the other hand, has an assault rifle to keep you at bay.
Thankfully, you're in a location where there is plenty of natural cover, and it's very easy to break line of sight. Also, this location happens to have a lot of broken cargo around--namely board games, old media, and even the occasional PlayStation system (I'm serious). If you're a fan of fighting MULEs like I am, you probably already know what to do, but if not, here's how to get the upper hand:
Keep moving, and stay in cover. This shouldn't be too hard because there is plenty of it.
Grab a piece of cargo with one of your hands (Press and hold L2 or R2)
Try to get as close as you can to the boss, moving from cover to cover.
When you get to the closest point of cover to the boss, *throw your cargo at him*. If you're unfamiliar, this can be achieved by hitting Square to punch, and letting go of the cargo (release L2 or R2) once Norman Reedus swings.
If your thrown cargo connects, you'll bonk the boss on the head and stun him for a good long while, allowing you to run in and take him down with a punch combo, OR if you're holding another piece of cargo, you can bonk him with that one at close range to take him out immediately.
You'll have to repeat this a few times!
Episode 9 - Should've Kept The Gun, Idiot
A third of the way through the fight, the boss will toss aside his gun and brag about not needing it to beat you. Hah! What a fool!
The fight will transition to a melee one, with the boss brandishing a knife.
Unfortunately for him, you have your trusty strand rope, which you can use to parry him. If you haven't done this many times before, here's a quick breakdown:
Equip the strand from the weapons menu (right on the d-pad)
Hold L2 to ready it
When the boss telegraphs his attack, hit R2 to parry him (you'll get a prompt on screen)
This will make him stumble and turn his back to you. At this point, keep holding L2 and hit R2 to tie him down.
Once the boss is immobilized on the ground, you'll have to walk up to him and hit Square repeatedly to kick the crap out of him. Repeat this a few times, and you'll move onto the next phase.
Note: You can also keep using the cargo-throwing method to take him down if that's something you prefer, though it is a little harder since the boss will be rushing you down quite a bit.
Episode 9 - Super Punch Out!
Hey, have you ever finished Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots? If so, this next bit should be pretty familiar.
The fight will transition to a completely different style of game and control scheme, complete with a fighting game-style UI. Here's a quick rundown of the controls
- Left Analog Stick: Dodge
- L2 (Press): Left-hand Punch
- R2 (Press): Right-hand Punch
- L2 (Hold): Block With Left Arm
- R2 (Hold): Block With Right Arm
- L2 + R2 (Hold): Block With Both Arms
As you might assume, your goal is to whittle down the health bar of the boss (who is Higgs, by the way, in case you hadn't already guessed).
Watch Higgs' movements. If he looks open, punch him. If he's visibly blocking, stop punching him. If you see him winding up a bunch, either block, or dodge the attack (backwards is usually a sure bet).
It's important to keep your movements measured during this section (ie. don't just spam the punches) because you still have a stamina meter to worry about (it's the blue thing underneath your health bar). Every time you perform an action, you'll use a bit of stamina.
The stamina bar will only recharge when you're in a neutral position and doing nothing--when you're blocking, the stamina bar will not recharge at all.
Episode 9 - But Wait, There's More!
Halfway through the fight, a few more mechanics will be introduced.
This includes holding Square to grab and eat a cryptobiote to restore your health (when available), mashing Square to get out of choke-holds, and using L2+R2 to grab Higgs.
Look, it's all pretty self explanatory, and you're bound to win because you're SAM PORTER BRIDGES. So, settle in for a long fight, keep it measured, and I'll see you on the other side of the long cutscene that follows!
Episode 9 - Rise From Your Grave!
Uh oh, Sam died again! Why does this keep happening?!
Get yourself back up, Norman Reedus. There's another cutscene to watch.
But that's it for Episode 9. You did it. You beat the crap out of not one, but TWO bosses, and somehow there's still more game to play. Aren't we blessed?
Hopefully, you found some of the tips in this walkthrough helpful because guess what? I've got MORE great tips for you in the walkthrough for Episode 10, coming soon.