If you have been active online within the last few weeks, even for mere minutes, you will be all too aware that there is a game that allows you to play as a cat that has pierced the gaming zeitgeist and has been capturing all the headlines. This would be a touch irritating if the game was a huge gimmick, but it turns out that this game is quite the opposite. Sure, there are lots of cat-related gags included, but the game has a compelling narrative, satisfying puzzles and platforming, and one of the coolest dystopian settings in recent memory where games are concerned.
I showered this game with praise in my recent review, and I stand by that weeks on. This game is a super experience and a very accessible one for all levels of gamers. However, that doesn’t mean that you may come unstuck when trying to progress the story of this game, and when trying to find the collectibles and memories scattered throughout this forgotten city. Well, that’s where I come in.
Seeing as I took the time to dive deep into this game and review whether this title is worth your time and money, I happen to know a good bit about how to get things done and not be distracted by balls of yarn while doing so. The Slums is one of the larger areas that the player will encounter within the game, and thanks to the narrow streets and sea of neon, it can be a bit of a labyrinth at times.
Not to mention the fact that there is quite a lot to get done here if you want to complete the area before moving on to Midtown. So I thought I would take it upon myself to make this Stray The Slums Guide to take you through this area, reveal all of its secrets, and then send you on your merry way to Midtown, which I have also put together a handy guide for too! Okay, enough preamble, here is our guide!
Read also: Stray PS5 Review.
The Slums: Part One
Pound The Alarm
Let’s get started then, so when you arrive in The Slums, you’ll see a robot cleaning at the other end of an alley. Proceed, then he will spot you and run away, spooked by your intimidating little whiskers, triggering an alarm and a state of emergency in the city. You need to follow them to the center of town, where you will find a bunker guarded by a robot guardian.
This will trigger a cutscene and explain where you have to go to progress the story. You will be directed to Momo, but we won’t be heading to see them just yet. You need to trigger this cutscene to explore the Slums, but once they deem you ‘not a threat,’ you can start exploring this neon-drenched area.
The Art of Journalling
As mentioned, the game wants you to go see Momo, and if you do, they will send you on a fetch quest to find his colleague’s notebooks scattered around The Slums. However, there is nothing to stop you from going and grabbing those first and saving yourself a trip.
You’ll need to grab three journals in total belonging to Zbaltazar, Doc, and Clementine. Each can be found in areas that are marked by the Outsider’s logo, which is a logo that somewhat resembles a sad face. Here is how to get each Notebook:
- Doc: Found on the side of town to the right of Momo’s apartment, you can enter Doc’s house, which is set up like a huge library. When inside, you must explore the room blocked off by stacks of books. Here you will find a note that will provide a safe code. Then to find Doc’s safe, head to the middle of the library and start climbing on and consequently knocking over books. Then when the safe is revealed, enter the code and grab the Notebook.
- Zbaltazar: Remove the energy cell from the machine on the roof. This will stop the fan and grant you entry to the apartment. Then when inside, start knocking over cardboard boxes, and a notebook will fall on the ground for you to grab.
- Clementine: In Clementine’s apartment, found directly north of Momo’s place, you’ll find an area through an opening in a sliding glass door that contains the Notebook. It is leaning against a computer on a desk.
Catch Up On Your Reading
Now that you have all the Notebooks, you can head up to Momo’s apartment, where a cutscene will play out, and Momo will then hand you his Notebook to complete the set. This would usually push you to go collect the rest of them, but since we are overprepared, show Momo all his companion’s Notebooks, and this will complete this segment.
Through the notebooks, Momo discovers that Doc managed to uncover the fault in his Transceiver design, and with this info, he fixes the device. However, to make use of it, he will need someone to head to the radio tower outside of town and risk being eaten by the Zurks to get it online and operational. Guess, where you are heading next? You guessed it, The Rooftops.
The Slums: Part Two
What’s Up, Doc?
Thankfully, The Rooftops, while very dangerous, is a pretty straightforward linear action sequence, and after you sort out the Transceiver issue, you’ll be right back in The Slums for chapter six. When you return, you start in Momo’s apartment, but your robot companion is already up and out of the place, but he was courteous enough to leave a note.
He shares the news that he is in the bar downstairs, tinkering with the transceiver connection, so heads over to the window and has B12 unlock the window to get out. Then when you reach the bar, sit politely through the cutscenes which hint at Doc being outside the city, and that he left a secret lab behind with a weapon capable of taking on the Turks. Now, that could come in handy.
This then leads to an escort section where you must follow Momo to Doc’s son Shamus’ house. From here, Momo will move some debris, allowing you to enter Shamus’s home and search for the secret lab within. After some exploring and knocking stuff off the walls, you will find a keypad. However, there is no secret note to be found with a code.
Instead, you will find scribbles on the wall that read ‘Time Will Tell.’ This is a not-so-subtle nod to the clocks on the wall, which are set at two, five, one, and one O’clock, respectively. Or at least we think so, as there are sixteen notches on clocks in this universe; how peculiar. Regardless, the code 2511 will unlock the secret lab.
Once inside, you’ll need to search for where Doc has stashed his Zurk-killing weapon. Look around, and to the right, as you enter the room, up on tall shelves, you will find a cardboard box you can knock down.
So do as any cat would do and bat that box with your paws, and instead of revealing a weapon, you’ll find a broken tracker. Shamus then shares that he thinks that if you can fix it, you may be able to locate the missing scientist. Okay, off to find a repair man, we go!
You Look a Little Chilly, Elliot
So, rather conveniently, The Slums has a resident programmer that can fix up your Tracker. We will catch up with him in a while, though, as much like Momo’s fetch quest; it’s quicker to grab the things we need and visit the quest giver later. So the first thing you will want to do is head to the rooftops near Momo’s apartment, where robots are tossing cans of paint cans. You’ll want to sit down and watch these robots, and when they are about to throw a paint can let out a meow.
This will cause them to drop a can on the street below, much to the displeasure of the Laundromat employee that bursts out to give them a piece of his CPU. This allows you to access the Laundromat, and inside you will find Super Spirit Detergent. Grab it, and then we need to head to the robot merchant near the bunker in the town center.
This trader will give you items in return for others, and he is willing to swap an Electric Cable for your bottle of Detergent. Seems like a fair deal, so take it. The cable may seem useless, but if you read back to Elliot Programming and head around the corner, you will meet a robot named Grandma. She offers to knit you something warm if you bring them Electrical Cable, and hey, look at that, we have some. Give her the cable, and she will hand you back a Poncho. Sadly, there is no way to equip this to your cat; believe me, I tried.
Now comes the time to enter Elliot’s Programming and ask for Elliot’s help. To enter, scratch at the door until someone lets you in, then head upstairs. Elliot will offer to help you, but he will do it under the condition that he can stop shivering and focus on his work. So, give this chilly robot your freshly knitted Poncho, and he will then agree to fix your Broken Tracker.
All that’s left to do now is head to Shamus’s house again and hand over the Tracker. He will then reveal that Doc is alive and just outside The Slums. So once again, the robots selflessly agree to send you out into the dangerous outskirts to recover them, and this begins chapter seven, Dead End.
After you recover Doc, you will return to The Slums briefly, and this will be the final time that you see the area. So this tends to be the best time to close off all side quests and content on offer. You can do this at any time throughout Chater Four, or Chapter Six, but once you hop on the boat with Momo and head to The Sewers, The Slums will be gone forever. You have been warned.
The Slums: All the Memories
On the subject of wrapping up the side content in The Slums, there are two main commodities you will want to collect while here. These are the hidden Music Sheets, and the memories in this area. Memories are little tidbits of lore that help the player piece together the lore and the mystery of the humans that left this city behind. These can only be revealed when you encounter B-12, so The Slums is your first real opportunity to collect some of these. So to help you sniff these out, here is a quick guide detailing the location of all seven memories in The Slums:
- #1 – There is a memory that can be found in Elliot’s Programming by examining the plant on the second floor
- #2 – If you climb up the signs in the alley near Morusque, you will be able to examine the wall with Robotic graffiti to unlock another memory
- #3 – On the second floor of the Dufer Bar, you will find a bowl of RAMen. Examine this for a new memory
- #4 – In Momo’s apartment, you will find a video game poster in his room. Examine this to unlock the associated memory
- #5 – In the alley near Shamus’s home, you will find graffiti that reads ‘RIP Humans.’ Discover this for a new memory
- #6 -Near the bunker in the city center, you will find a broken robot on the rooftops. Discover this and add another memory to the collection
- #7 – Then, lastly, you must trade Azooz three cans of Energy Drink to uncover the last memory
Note: #7 is a trickier one than the rest, and to gain access to this memory, you will need to interact with at least three of the four Vending Machines containing an Energy Drink. So to help make this smooth sailing, here is where to find each of these vending machines:
- #1 – Opposite Morusque
- #2 – Beside the RIP Humans memory
- #3 – Below the entrance to Doc’s Apartment
- #4 – Head down the alley near the Laundromat, then when you head up the stairs, turn back on yourself and climb up the series of wooden beams
The Slums: All the Music Sheets
Then as I mentioned, the other commodity here is the Music Sheets. These are collectibles that can be given to Morusque. Then he will play you an assortment of fun, robotic tunes. The process of giving him these sheets can take a while, as some of these songs are long. So while you are doing this, you might want to sleep in the bed beside him and clock some minutes towards the Catnap trophy. However, before you do that, you’re going to have to find them. So here is a quick location guide to nudge you in the right direction:
#1 – In Momo’s Apartment, in an unused room, atop stacked boxes
#2 – On a desk found on the balcony below Clementine’s apartment
#3 – In Elliot’s Programming, taped to a huge hanging portrait
#4 – Trade one Energy drink with Azooz
#5 – On the table of a booth in Dufer’s Bar
#6 – On a bookshelf in Clementine’s Apartment
#7 – On the piano in Doc’s Apartment
#8 – In a safe near Morusque, you can naturally find the code in the Dufer bar, but to safe time, the code is 1283
Once you collect all of these Music Sheets, you need to give each of these to Morusque, and once he has serenaded you eight times, he will award you with a new badge for your B12 Harness, the Music Badge. If you collect all the sheets but don’t give them to Morusque, the associated trophy won’t pop.
The Slums: The Extra Achievements
Then lastly, for all you completionists out there, The Slums has a couple of extra achievements that only the most curious of cats will find for themselves. Fear not, though, as that’s what this guide is for. We won’t see you set down that controller without clearing The Slums 100%. So here are all the extra achievements that can be unlocked in The Slums:
- Tele a La Chat: On the rooftops near where the two workers are tossing paint cans you will find a sofa with a remote on it and a TV. So take a load off and do come channel surfing. Once you have seen all the channels on offer, the trophy will pop.
- Boom Chat Kalaka: This is a trophy that is awarded for sinking a three-pointer by pushing a basketball down a slope and into the bucket below. You can find this slope on the stairs that lead down to Azooz the trader. Sounds tricky, but all you have to do here is push the ball down the little slope in the roof, and gravity will do the rest.
- Cat’s Best Friend: The player doesn’t have to earn this trophy in The Slums as there are other opportunities, but you will need to get at least one of these in the slums to meet the required number. The player will need to nuzzle up against four robots to earn this trophy, and four can be found in The Slums. These are Grandma, Zakk, Riko, and the Guardian. However, if you miss one, there are three other robots you can nuzzle against later in the game.
- Curiosity Killed The Cat: The most adorable of the achievement’s listed here by a mile. To earn this one, you must discover a paper bag leaning against some boxes near Morusque. Simply press triangle to investigate and watch as your cat protagonist gets trapped in this bag. This reverses the movement controls, and above all, it’s pretty damn funny. Triggering this action will immediately earn this trophy.
Question: Is The Slums A Long Chapter?
Answer: There aren’t really any long chapters in Stray if you don’t want to hang around. The game can be completed in around 1.5/2 hours if you get a shift on, and the two chapters based in the Slums can be completed in about ten minutes each if you know where to go.
Question: Does the Cat in Stray Die?
Answer: A very important question indeed! No, the cat does not die within the context of the storyline. The player can die within the game by getting zapped by Sentinels or being eaten by Zurks, triggering very unsettling eating audio through the haptic feedback on the Dualsense controller. However, this simply triggers a game-over screen, and you can hop right back into the action.
Question: How Many Chapters Are There in Stray?
Answer: Stray has a total of twelve chapters, each varying in terms of length. For the average player, the longest of these chapters will probably be The Slums, Jail, Midtown, and The Sewers.
Stray The Slums Guide: One With the Robots
As you can see from the information above, despite being able to rattle through the content within The Slums in less than half an hour if you know what you are doing, for a player on their first playthrough, there is quite a lot to get your furry little head around. However, if you use this guide to progress the story, gather those collectibles, and nab those hidden trophies, you’ll be in a great position to move on and head to Midtown via Antvillage.
We hope that this guide helps you be the best feline explorer you possibly can be, and as always, thank you for reading Indie Culture Insider.