Kuro's Charm is a Key Item in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This item is used in New Game Plus (as well as New Game, providing the player has finished the game and entered New Game Plus at least once) as a protection against chip damage from blocking.
Returning the charm to Kuro at the start of the game unlocks "the path of further hardships", increasing the difficulty. Most noticeably, blocking attacks now causes Sekiro to take chip damage unless he perfectly deflects, and there is a general increase in difficulty, but Exp and Sen rewards from enemies is increased by 20%.
Kuro's Charm Usage
- When you speak to Kuro in the tower at the start of the game, you have the option of giving it to him, resulting in an indefinite "hard mode" difficulty debuff, similar to ringing the Demon Bell:
- You now receive chip damage (tested to be roughly 30%) when blocking attacks, effectively changing your play style, requiring you to deflect perfectly.
- Enemy vitality and posture is increased. Regular enemies that would normally be posture broken and vulnerable to a deathblow after a single mikiri counter will instead recover. (Needs further testing: seems like you do half as much damage, but so do things like the burning bull to the enemies in the arena).
- You take 25% more vitality and posture damage, as well as receiving significantly more posture damage if you block an attack instead of deflecting.
- Status effects, such as poison, build up roughly 40% faster. (Tested at poison pool for both charm and no charm. With Charm takes around 13.3 seconds to get poisoned, without charm takes around 7.8 seconds to get poisoned).
- This debuff stacks with the negative effects from the Demon Bell. (Source)
- The debuff does carry a benefit, increasing experience and sen gain by 20% (rounded up)
How to Find Kuro's Charm
- Finish the game (any ending) and start New Game Plus. You will receive Kuro's Charm automatically at the start of the game.
- Kuro's Charm will also be present for all subsequent New Game playthroughs providing you have beaten the game and entered New Game Plus at least once on another save file.
- If given to Kuro at the start of the game, can be reacquired from The Sculptor (who mentions that it was entrusted to him by Emma) by selecting the "avoid additional hardships" dialogue option and then confirming your decision.
- Note that if you ever choose to take the charm back and return the difficulty to normal, you cannot give it away again and are stuck with it until your next playthrough.
- This option to regain the charm remains even after the Sculptor leaves in the final part of the game.
Kuro's Charm Notes & Tips
- When selecting "load game" from the main menu any save files where Kuro's Charm has been given away will have an icon to indicate this (note that the other optional difficulty increase, the Bell Demon, does not add a similar icon to the save file).