85 ratings
Inventory Management
By AigisABC
Are you having troubles with your inventory?
Signalis has been an amazing experience, one I'll definitely play through again and again. Some folks might not be used to the challenging restrictions these games have, so I've made an incredibly pretentious guide for them about survival-horror games.
Is frustration a bad thing?
One of the best parts about a survival-horror is just that ... the aspects of surviving in a horrific setting or situation. Things such as finite saves, blind corners, limited inventory, and scattered resources are a feature of the experience, and offer the player an opportunity to struggle and upturn what is easy and comfortable for the sake of a tense experience that's all the richer.

Before you read the rest of this guide, or demand changes to the game, consider playing through on your own, hitting those obstacles and surmounting those challenges without tips, etc. These games are all about surviving the impossible, and I can guarantee with almost 100% certainty that trying and learning will make the game a more memorable experience for you, especially as you start to improve your play and attempt new runs after you've beaten it.

I want to say this again ... frustration, challenge, and struggle aren't necessarily negative, and in fact can create positive experiences. Like any game, each player's journey is different, and one player's journey is not wrong or right, we're here to experience the game and create our own memories. Try and fail, rethink whether something is actually a weakness or an opportunity for change, and get immersed in the survival experience!

With that being said, if you're frustrated or need advice, consider the tips I've left below ...
When playing survival horror, each venture out from the save room can be seen as a scouting mission. Bringing resources, exploring, then returning to make decisions and gear up can eliminate frustrations and prepare you for measured victories as you try and survive/escape/etc a floor or obstacle.

As a scout, you won't want to bring everything and the kitchen sink with you! Take only what you need, and then go. You can always return, stock up, and complete an encounter when you have fully prepped yourself.

Furthermore, you don't want to try and rush! Besides souring the experience, you may find yourself in unsafe territory with reduced option due to a lack of planning. There's no harm in retreating and prepping to take on a room or a puzzle.
Enemies as Puzzles
In survival-horror games the enemy should be thought of as a puzzle, and not as an enemy in the traditional sense. Killing the enemy is one way to solve the puzzle, but it will end in a loss of resources, which can mean a loss for you in the long run.

In this games these are the basic resources, with save slots being a semi-important sixth that I won't mention for the rest of the guide:

  • Time
  • Ammo
  • Health
  • Health Pick-ups
  • Inventory

When you choose to kill an enemy, you are taking a loss on three of the five categories listed above in the hopes of maintaining at least one category, health. Time and ammo are wasted when killing an enemy, and as a weapon is required for this action, then your inventory is clogged up by a weapon (or weapons) and potentially ammo!

Conversely, if we find other ways to solve the enemy puzzles, killing only when necessary, we suffer as little loss as possible, allowing us to save our resources for when they are truly needed. If our goal is to survive, then wasting resources is an active attempt on the player side to thwart the end goal which can lead to frustration and failure.
Weapons and Ammo
You do NOT need your weapon at all times.

I see a lot of new player bringing up to two weapons with them, which can take up precious space in your inventory. Bringing two weapons is a bad idea for the following reasons ...

A) You have filled two slots that cannot be emptied until the next box
B) You've chosen violence

As I've said before, in survival-horror games the enemy should be thought of as a puzzle and not as an enemy in the traditional sense. Killing the enemy is one way to solve the puzzle, but it will end in a loss.

A common enemy blocks the way. You wait for your cursor to shrink, then shoot it with your handgun, dropping it in four shots before you kick it dead.

In the above example you defeated the puzzle, but at the cost of A) Time and B) Ammo and C) Inventory, all of which are finite resources. By evading the enemy you waste less time, waste no ammo, and the weapons in your inventory become unnecessary, freeing up space for pick-ups.

Some might wonder, then, if weapons should be used at all. Bringing one weapon is fine, but in an optimal setting a weapon can be left behind and should be thought of as a removal piece (AFTER you've scouted the situation) for situations where ...

A) A vital item/path needs to be reached
B) Evading would result in a loss (time, health, etc)

With this in mind, I might use a weapon if I am in the following situation:

Two enemies are in a tight hall that I will need to frequently go through. If I attempt to evade I'm likely to take damage or retreat, wait, and try again. The risk of health, time, and wasted ammo if I get into a bad spot for messing up the evade is too great. With this in mind, I'll choose the enemy one one side of the path to kill, freeing up that side for evasion.

In the above example, I only needed a weapon in the situation where A) The enemy was unavoidable, B) The risk was significantly higher for attempting an evade (or failing an evade), C) The area where the enemies were present was a high-traffic area that could not be circumvented. If those three requirements are not met, then why a weapon is not vital.

I recommend to carry ONE if you'd like or to keep it in the box and grab it once you've scouted a situation and are ready to proceed.

For ammo, don't carry it with you. There's no reason, as you can get pick-ups from the map and you have plenty in your weapon to deal with up to two enemies at a time before reloading. If you are killing more than that many enemies between returning to the save room you are wasting tremendous resources.
There is no need to bring health pick-ups with you. This is because ...

A) You are committing yourself to making a mistake.
B) Playing well reduces the need of health pick-ups.
C) It enables a lazy, reckless play style.
D) You can heal at the box.
E) You can heal, if you MUST, from pick-ups around the map.
F) It wastes inventory space.
G) It wastes your health pick-up.
H) It raises the likelihood or getting frustrated due to inventory space and destroying an item.
I) Being injured is not a game-over.

For our first three reasons, health is a bad choice because of what you are committing to when you add health to your inventory. You are setting yourself up to fail, which opens you up even greater to, you guessed it, failing. Having health on-hand means you can always take a stupid risk, which is not a good choice with limited resources that you may need later.

For the next two reasons consider planning and map knowledge. While the latter is on a LAST RESORT basis, keeping your healing at the box or around the map keeps your inventory free and gets you in the habit of scouting, planning, and then equipping what is needed for a certain encounter, etc.

For the penultimate reasons, remember that health pick-ups and your health pool are resources. Bringing pick-ups reduces your inventory space and if you get frustrated you may DESTROY an item, removing it from the game permanently. Also, if a health item is used at an inopportune time, means it cannot be used later when you might need it.

Lastly, being injured does not mean you need to heal and waste an item. Remember that you only fail if you have no health, not close to no health.
Key Items
Box these items, removing them only once you've found the puzzle they go to. No sense in carrying it around when you don't have all the pieces or the puzzle itself.

Doors are different. Grab that key card and go, as ELSTER eats them once she unlocks a door. Denying her this important source of nutrient would be both criminal and rude.
The Unmentionable Strategy
With resources being crucial in this game, sometimes you have to make the tough choices. If you have 20+ blood packs in your box, then do you really need two more? How's that stack of 74+ handgun ammo doing, and did you really need to grab more if you're just going to use a different weapon for the remainder of the map?

One thing that took me a moment to click for me was that I don't need every item. Despite picking up ever spray available, I could only bring in a select few to the final fight. When to take or leave an item and when to risk ammo to get something that's guarded by a foe is a recurring choice each player has to make.
Final Thoughts
Idk, man. I just love this game.
Death is Coming Oct 26, 2023 @ 10:42pm 
I've never been frustrated playing Resident Evil 1 or Silent Hill 1-3 (maybe a little of 4) and I don't think frustration is every a good thing in a video game. Obviously if you're doing a challenge run for bragging rights, like Evil Within Akumu, that's different, because you're expecting to die multiple times. But if to say a game is frustrating on a blind playthrough on standard difficulties is bad game design and the only thing frustrating about Signalis is contact damage from entering a room with an enemy already on top of you. (And this is a room I didn't enter and return to.)
AigisABC  [author] Oct 26, 2023 @ 8:34pm 
@Vipus, You've misunderstood the point and audience for this guide.
Vipus Oct 26, 2023 @ 4:58pm 
Unfurtunetely, this does not take in account that the way play influences the ending. In some ways, the game actually rewards you for being aggressive and trying to kill most enemies. For that you need to carry more ammo and weapons. One of the worst possible endings is if you play as scaredy cat avoiding all enemies.
ZbuffeR Sep 14, 2023 @ 12:41pm 
@Kazul: I think it meant "finite save slots". You can save as many times as you like, but cannot keep more than 4 at the same time.
Personnaly I did not felt that as a limit in the game, contrary to inventory space that you definitely have to manage and plan for.
Sandra🩷 Aug 14, 2023 @ 2:37am 
Wait, what do you mean by "finite saves"? Is there a finite number of times i can save at a save-point? :scared:
Klaustrix Jul 31, 2023 @ 4:40pm 
I agree with this guide completely, I had come to close to several of these conclusions by the 2nd floor of the school and by the end of the game a few more - though I appreciate the rest that will assist in future playthroughs.

It's amazing how much you can do without alerting the enemies (as long as your flashlight is off you can walk through dark rooms ignored) and how rarely you actually need to engage in combat - I only realised by the last level though.

Once you take a minimalist approach leaving the safe rooms for different reasons each time, gathering information and preparing for each trip, taking a slower methodical approach, you actually have too much space! This game definitely benefits from this play style.
Jack Jan 12, 2023 @ 8:22am 
@AigisABC And I didn't feel attacked, I just don't get your way of thinking. Enough about that though, I ranted more than I should have.

Also, I was specifically talking about the inventory part of the gameplay. The rest of game was great, though I like my plots to be a bit more... solid? Like, what was even real in this game?
Pretty sure I read all the notes, and am still lacking a concrete picture of things. Heck, I can even understand most of the German and it's still confusing.
AigisABC  [author] Jan 10, 2023 @ 8:40pm 
@ Jack, my internet guide about how much a lesbian space robot can fit into her pocket was not a personal attack.

You're just as welcome to dislike parts of the game as you are to not accept the experience and suggestions of others. I'm offering solutions and strategies for those looking to overcome a challenge. I'm sorry you didn't like the game, and I hope you enjoy the next one.
Jack Jan 9, 2023 @ 12:26pm 
I shouldn't be required to go two, three times back to the damn storage chest to get all the tarot cards out. And I sure as heck am not gonna empty my inventory to carry all of them at once.

What do you mean I don't have to track back three times to the same room to pick up all the ammo and health I'm never gonna use? Why would I ever leave them, this is a SURVIVAL game where your resources are supposed to be limited, and you tell me to not pick them all up? The heck?

I don't know what's coming next. I don't know how long the game is. I don't know how much ammo it will take me for the next boss. It felt really dumb when I got stuck at the last boss' last stage without ammo and had to dodge out the Touhou attacks until fight ended by itself, basically.

It took me 10 hours to beat this game. I bet that with just a larger inventory it would have taken me 6 hours to beat. The only reason I can see for this is that they wanted to pad the game out, and I don't like that.
AigisABC  [author] Nov 19, 2022 @ 10:12pm 
@ Mitt Rommnel, Thanks for the compliment! These games are really fun learning experiences, playing through again and again is is always rewarding for that sense of mastery, etc