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https://sekiroshadowsdietwice.wiki.fextralife.com/Resurrection

According to this article and from personal experience (thanks Lady Butterfly), if you keep dying too much you are locked and prevented from being able to use your second life orb even if it is full.

Is there any way in game to tell how close or far you are from being allowed to use it? Preferably without having to spend a pink life orb and then going on a killing spree until the locking ink smear goes away.

2 Answers 2

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Against common enemies I don't know since I usually just go back to the last idol after my first or second death.

Against bosses, the smear is removed after you perform a deathblow against them.

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To add to Cloudzzz answer deathblows are the easiest and most common way to restore your resurrective ability.

However there is something I recently learned: Like the Jizo Statue, Dragon's Blood Droplets can be used to remove the "smear" (i.e. unlock your available resurrections).

Use from inventory to slightly restore Resurrective Power (also unlocks Resurrect ability if it's locked).

This is similar to the Bundled Jizo Statues (emphasis mine):

  • Restores a node of Resurrective Power and also unlocks the resurrect ability if it happens to be locked.
  • Does NOT restore resurrection use if all resurrection nodes are filled (i.e. if you die and your remaining one or two resurrection nodes were already full, then your resurrection will be limited as usual and you cannot remove this restriction with a Jizo Statue).

This means that you can stretch your resurrections to far more than orginally thought.

(With the Sakura Droplet)

  • First death/resurrect: Locks resurrection (use Dragon Blood Droplet to Unlock)
  • Second death/resurrect: Locks resurrection (use Jizo Statue to unlock and refill lost node
  • Third death/resurrect: Locks resurrection (use Jiza's Jizo Statue to unlock and refill lost node)

By this point, you still have 2 resurrective nodes to use, before even carrying out a deathblow!

If I had known this when I was actually playing the game, Owl(Father), Genichiro and that STOOPID MONKEY would have been so much easier to deal with)

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