Just when Selene thought she had broken the cycle and returned to her normal life, she gets dragged back to Atropos only to discover that the cycle is not broken. Not yet. Wandering through the Echoing Ruins, she follows a song playing deep in the center of the ruins and plans to silence it. Hyperion is the fourth boss in Returnal, and is one of the hardest. If you’re struggling to defeat Hyperion, we’re here to help. Here’s how to defeat Hyperion in Returnal.
How to prepare
Returning to the planet of Atropos again will leave Selene without any of the upgrades she collected her first time around. None of the items or artifacts carry over, but weapon skills and permanent upgrades remain. Also, you’ll notice that Weapon Proficiency, which was once capped at 15, can now raise up to 30. The key to preparing for this fight is to look for Silphium Resin to upgrade your health and try to find a weapon that has a good combination of skills. For Hyperion, I used the Spitmaw Blaster, but pretty much any weapon will work well against it. Make sure you bring some additional health items, and an Astronaut Figure or Child’s Watch, as you normally would.
Don’t think you’re done with phases! Hyperion has three of them.
The first phase is the easiest, so try not to take too much damage during this part of the fight, because his later phases start to get tricky. Hyperion stands in one place, with his back turned to you. Hyperion loves to layer attacks over one another, so keep your distance so that you’ll have enough space to dash around his attacks. Strafe left and right to avoid attacks, but make sure you watch where you jump. Hyperion uses many bullets that track low across the ground, so watch your step.
Near the end of the phase, Hyperion leans into the organ and shoots tons of bullets from its pipes. The bullets here come in all different types — slow-moving, fast-moving, and tracking bullets will litter the screen, but you can shake them loose if you move back and forth, dashing appropriately. The light show is intimidating, but don’t let it trip you up.
In Phase 2, Hyperion leaves the organ and comes center stage, where it will root, launching volley after volley of bullets at you. It’ll also start flooding the arena with random bullets, but these are meant to crowd your vision and shouldn’t really pose much of a threat.
When Hyperion’s arms turn blue, that’s your signal to start running sideways. Hyperion will start sending rockets after you while also sending vines at you to hold you down. Hyperion also sends out two big blasts of bullets that come at you in a cross. Again, intimidating, but just pick a side and dash. So long as you commit to one area of the arena, you should be able to survive the onslaught.
Near the end of the phase, it’ll return to the organ again, repeating sending waves of bullets from its organ like last time. Expect more variants this time around, but just keep cool and keep blasting.
I wish I could tell you that Phase 3 gets easier, but it doesn’t. Hyperion takes center stage again, this time with more intense variations of the bullet-hell you saw in the previous phase. Bullets will rain from the sky in diagonal patterns, send bullets down to track you, and Hyperion will also try to keep you still by sending vines your way. During this phase, Hyperion will try to anticipate the direction you’re heading and sends out X-shaped blast, so quickly change the direction you’re heading and strafe the other way, if you can.
One of Hyperion’s nastiest tricks during this phase is that it’ll send two walls of roots your way, walling you into a narrow hallway. Luckily, Hyperion telegraphs this move, so if you see it bending over, that’s your signal to get out of the way. It’ll continue sending cross-shaped volleys of rockets at you, but this time in rapid-fire volleys. Keep dashing between shots while picking away at its health bar.
Once you’ve done enough damage, Hyperion will approach the organ one last time. It will do everything in its power to overwhelm you, so this is your final opportunity to put as much pressure on the boss as you can before things get too crazy. Stay close to it to avoid the vines and keep up the damage. Eventually, you’ll silence Hyperion and the music.
Silence, but at what cost?
With Hyperion silenced, Selene can now venture deeper into Atropos, towards the Fractured Wastes, taking the next steps towards uncovering why she’s trapped on the cursed planet. Returnal’s difficulty has proven to be a barrier for some, but the challenge is only part of the package. For more general help, take a look at our tips and tricks for Returnal. Returnal’s razor sharp gameplay, mysterious narrative, and gorgeous visuals make it one of the best games on the PS5.