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Phrike is the first boss in Returnal, found at the end of the Overgrown Ruins area. Players receive the trophy A Shadow in the Fog when Selene defeats Phrike.

Phrike has three phases. It dashes and teleports around a circular arena while attacking Selene.


Phrike was formerly a part of the sentient Hivemind, before becoming Severed and being cast out. He was further changed by visions of something all-powerful lurking in the Abyss below. Upon return, Phrike and his fellow "Ascended" Severed were feared by the rest of the Hivemind and imprisoned throughout Atropos, in his case what would later become the Overgrown Ruins. However, these Ascended continued to transmit nightmarish thoughts into the minds of the sentients and other Severed from the power given to them by the Creator/Destroyer.

This ultimately led to violence, with the Severed storming the Citadel and being attacked in turn by the only recently fitted weaponry installed on the Automatons. Mass suicide further whittled down the population, leaving only the Ascended, the Severed, and Nemesis alive. Phrike remains sealed in his crypt before Selene awakens and fights him across countless attempts.


Phrike's base attacks during all phases are:

  • Shooting a barrage of fast-moving red projectiles from its hands
  • Releasing a wave of slow-falling orange energy balls in an area around itself
  • Shooting three blasts of purple energy balls out of its hands
  • Charging and then shooting a strong energy beam in a rising line towards Selene

In its second phase, Phrike's attacks get more intense, and new attacks are added:

  • Blasting the ground below it, sending a circular red energy wave outwards from its location
  • Firing a rapidly sweeping energy beam in an arc in front of itself
  • Dashing towards Selene and slashing with an energy melee attack

In its third phase, Phrike's previous attacks become more intense and quicker. In addition, it gains a new attack:

  • Shooting a sustained wave of slow-moving orange energy balls along the ground in a circle around itself


After defeating Phrike, the player is rewarded with 5 Ether and the Crimson Key, which clears the way for the second biome of Atropos.

Databank entry[]

Research Level 1[]

Phrike - Research Level 1.jpg [UNDEFINED TERROR] sent an encrypted signal.

obtained once defeated.


Research Level 2[]

Signal partially decrypted.

"Smothered fire. Suffocating memories. Promised places. Terminal escape. Gehenna. Helheim. Tartarus."

Research Level 3[]

Signal fully decrypted.

-=|#\;the last thing." Gazing around the innermost chamber, now cold and silent; yet in her feverish imagination she could close her eyes and witness it as a beating heart. A heart that beat others out of existence. Philosophical and yet very real abomination. He was about to make a theological remark to her, but the air of disgrace/;^=