Returnal boss guide: How to beat Nemesis

Returnal Nemesis
Returnal Nemesis (Image credit: Android Central)

After defeating Phrike and Ixion, Selene will finally make it to the third biome, called the Derelict Citadel. A Temple long abandoned, it creeks to life with a myriad of different types of machinery, all hellbent on stopping Selene's progress towards the White Shadow. Finally, after fighting through the Derelict Citadel, Selene encounters the next threat — Nemesis. And while Nemesis is massive and intimidating, it's also a straightforward fight. Here's how to defeat Nemesis in Returnal.

How to prepare

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

If you've gotten this far without dying, pat yourself on the back. That probably means you're more than prepared for this fight. As far as what weapon to use, look for long range weapons, like the Hollowseeker, the Tachyomatic Carbine, or the Thermogenic Launcher, and avoid using your pistol or the Spitmaw Blaster. You're going to want range for this upcoming fight. Like always, grab a Child's Watch or an Astronaut Figure, and set a respawn for yourself at the Reconstructor, if you can afford it. And don't forget to take a look at our Returnal tips and tricks guide for a quick refresher.

Fighting Nemesis

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Fighting Nemesis is a little different than the previous two fights you've had thus far.

Phase 1

At the start of this fight, the world around Selene falls apart, and she's left standing on a small platform in front of this massive figure. Right away, you should notice its weak point, right in the center of its chest. Nemesis will fire a burst of bullets at you, as well as purple rockets that you can avoid by moving left or right. Nemesis will fill the screen with bullets, but they're slow-moving and can be sidestepped fairly easily.

There are also four puppets that float around Nemesis that swoop in, taking turns shooting at you. Shoot them to knock them back, but keep in mind that you won't be able to kill them for good. They shoot lasers that sweep across the platform. They're not particularly hard to dodge, but it's easy to slip up and run into one as you dodge the flurry of bullets.

Once all four of Nemesis's puppets have swept the area, Nemesis will shoot burst blue bullets, while the puppets shoot lasers start at the arena, which explodes into waves of red energy. None of these are hard to dodge, but when combined, are a problem. Keep to one side of the platform and keep blasting until Nemesis enters its next phase.

Phase 2

In this phase, Nemesis will shatter the area and force you to jump around floating pieces of rock. This when things get interesting. You have to grapple to get around the map now, but it's actually pretty easy to do so. The grapple works like the dash, and your invincible while jumping between platforms. Nemesis will teleport around the map, but you can spot where it is headed next by where its puppets start to gather.

The puppets continue to be a threat, sweeping the area with lasers while Nemesis continues to fill the screen with projectiles. In concert with the lasers, the bullets, and the teleporting, Nemesis is a bit hard to pin down. Knockback its puppets, and keep firing on him and push towards the final phase.

Phase 3

Nemesis will explode and fly to the other side of the arena and you must jump between each floating block to get near Nemesis to do damage, all the while the puppets continue to shoot at you. If you have a long range weapon, you can start picking away at Nemesis health while you make your way towards it. Make sure you don't dash off of the platform. You won't die, but you won't be able to dash again, which leaves you a sitting duck.

Use your grappling hook and dash to stay ahead of the bullets. It may seem like a lot, but they're pretty easy to avoid, and at this point, it's pretty easy to do damage to Nemesis. Its most painful move is the blasts of purple rockets that come at you in giant plumes. If you see one coming, your best bet might be to grapple away for a moment. Keep hammering it with bullets, and sure enough, you'll defeat it.

Peace is short lived

Once Nemesis has been defeated, Selene is finally able to reach the White Shadow, and issue a distress beacon that signals her group to rescue her. Back on the mothership, she escapes Atropos and returns to home to earth, to live out the rest of her life. Life goes on and years pass until she's finally laid to rest for the last time. Or so it seems. Returnal is brutal, but its breakneck gameplay and mysterious story make it one of the best PS5 games available.

Zackery Cuevas
Zackery Cuevas is a writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. I like playing video games, talking about video games, writing about video games, and most importantly, complaining about video games. If you're cool, you can follow me on Twitter @Zackzackzackery.