The Runic Gate is a gameplay mechanic in Mortal Shell. The Runic Gate is an exclusive feature of the Roguelike Virtuous Cycle Game Mode, providing the player with persistent bonuses that improve the chances of finding better Instincts and other quality of life features that can contribute to successful runs. This page covers information on the Runic Gate and its various bonuses, their costs and other information.


Runic Gate Overview

When playing through The Virtuous Cycle, you do not retain any upgrades or abilities you've collected from the Main Game. Instead, you begin each Cycle with a blank template consisting of your chosen Shell, Weapon and Riposte type. In order to build up your character during a given run, you will need to collect Instincts, which are buffs that improve or modify the various capabilities of your chosen Shell, Weapon and Riposte. When a Cycle ends either through completion or failure, all Instincts are lost and new Instincts will need to be acquired for the next Cycle. 

The Runic Gate plays an important role in improving your chances of finding higher quality, more potent Instincts. It can be found in the Reverie hub to the right of the Twin-Sister. The Runic Gate can also be found in the middle of a Cycle after defeating one of the major Bosses in the three temples.

runic gate mortal shell wiki guide

Interacting with the Gate presents you with a menu with various Runic upgrades. Each upgrade can be improved a number of times using Tar or Glimpses, with each upgrade purchased increasing the bonus level by 1. These upgrades are permanent and will be retained between runs, giving you a better chance of succeeding the more you invest into the Runic Gate.


Tar & Glimpses in The Virtuous Cycle

When you first begin The Virtuous Cycle, only Glimpses are retained in between Cycles. However, investing in the Retain Tar runic upgrade allows you to retain a percentage of your collected Tar. Investing further in this upgrade will allow retention of up to 100% of your collected Tar per Cycle. It is highly recommended that you prioritize this upgrade as one of the first you max in order to make unlocking the other upgrades easier.

Throughout each Cycle, there are certain consumable items you will find which will grant Tar or Glimpses when used. These consumables are retained between each Cycle and can be used in the Reverie to gain enough Tar and Glimpses to unlock Runic Gate upgrades.


Runic Gate Upgrades

Upgrade Tar Glimpse Max Upgrade

chance of uncommon icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideChance of Uncommon 
Add +x% chance of a starting Instinct to be Uncommon.

500 - +30%
chance of rare icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideChance of Rare
Add +x% chance of a starting Instinct to be Rare.
750 - +25%
chance of epic icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideChance of Epic
Add +x% chance of a starting Instinct to be Epic.
1,250 - +20%
tier increase icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideTier Increase
Add +x% chance of immediately upgrading an Instinct to its next tier, max up to the Epic tier.
- 10 +25%
legendary tier icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideLegendary Tier
Add +x% chance of upgrading an Instinct from the Epic to the Legendary tier.
- 10 +20%
tar offering reduction icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideTar Offering Reduction
Reduces the Pillars' Tar Offering cost by x%.
- 10 +20%
improved last chance icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideImproved Last Chance
Add +x% chance of finding the Endless Unborn Instinct that restores your ability to reclaim your Shell upon death.
150 - +30%
abundance icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideAbundance
Add +x% chance of finding Mortal Instincts from world items.
500 - +30%
enemies instinct icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideEnemies Instinct
Add +x% chance Instincts are also dropped by basic enemies.
1,000 - +10%
retain tar icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideRetain Tar
Save x% of your Tar upon death.
- 2 +100%
white pillars icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideWhite Pillars
All areas will have +x Pillars that are Free of Use.
- 25 +3
resolve power icon runic gate mortal shell wiki guideResolve Power
Gain x Resolve bars at the start of a run.
- 5 3

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