Like any massive open-world game, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has its fair share of bugs. Most of them are slight (graphical hiccups, audio tweaks, things of that nature) or laughably irreverent (super-sized children), stuff you’d expect from a game of this size and scale. One, however, is worth raising the alarm about: a world event in Cent that causes Eivor’s vision to go pitch black, and stay that way.
The good news? There’s an easy way to fix it. You need only talk to any other NPC. The bad news? With apologies to completionists, you might have trouble finishing the mission.
Very mild spoilers ahead for a world event in Cent, one of Valhalla’s mid-game regions.
Due south of Saint Hadrian’s Priory, in northern Cent, you’ll come across a man babbling about a stone circle—specifically how, every time he counts the stones, he ends up with a different number. Talking to him kickstarts the “Madness in the Stones” world event. The task is simple: Count the stones yourself. When you report back, he’ll ask you to count again. Sure enough, it’s a different number. Weird, right?
Once you go through three counting cycles, Eivor will start to hallucinate. “Does Skrymir toy with me? Casting his magics in England?” she’ll ask. For some people, including yours truly, the screen may then go pitch black. You’ll still be able to see your HUD, your compass, and other visual cues, but your vision will be gone. Some people—definitely not yours truly, nope, not at all, not for a second—might think this sudden blanket of night is part of the quest, a touch made by the developers to really drive home the point that you’ve ascended to a higher plane. It’s not.
More alarmingly, in some cases, there’s no apparent way to fix it. Hallucinating in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is generally triggered by consuming fly agaric (read: psilocybin mushrooms), which then throws you headfirst into a brief environmental puzzle. Solving the puzzle causes your hallucinations to dissipate. If you’re struggling with a solution, you can just walk away from the puzzle, and your sight will snap back to baseline (because that’s how tripping works, obviously). But not in this case. Walk as far as you want away from this man and his stones, and you still won’t get your vision back.
At the moment, this quandary is not listed on Ubisoft’s roundup of known issues for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, or on the game’s reported issue megathread, which was updated just yesterday. (Kotaku has reached out to Ubisoft for word about a fix.)
The easiest way to temporarily remedy this issue is to fast travel back to Ravensthorpe and talk to Gunnar. His post is but 10 meters in front of the fast travel location, and there are no obstacles between you and him, so you needn’t fumble in the dark looking for someone to talk you out of it. Just hold forward and you’ll get there without issue. (Technically, talking to anyone who will talk to you does the trick; it’s just that Gunnar is the easiest to reach. If you can’t stand the guy, the shop in Northwic is also fairly easy to make your way to from the docks.)
In my experience, fast-traveling alone doesn’t restore my sight, nor does rebooting the game or my Xbox Series X. Even worse, this bug seems to persist in my save file. Visiting Gunnar isn’t a panacea; it’ll restore vision for a single play session, but no further. Now, whenever I boot up the game, I have to sit through the hallucination sequence again, only to lose my vision three seconds later. Given that Quick Resume support stopped working for Valhalla, that means I’ve had to cure this headache every single time I start playing. Do you know how many times I’ve heard Eivor complain about Skrymir’s magics? I get it! He’s like Loki, but more of a jerk.
Completionists will be dismayed to hear that “Madness in the Stones” might be incompletable. The internet, as ever, has suggestions on how to restore your sight and complete “Madness in the Stones,” but even those are fickle.
One user on Reddit (spoilers within) suggested using Odin’s Sight—Valhalla’s retitled version of Eagle Vision—to briefly see the rambling man’s outline. From there, you can allegedly use your horse to nudge him toward the objective. I tried this out, and Odin’s Sight indeed brought up a literal second of vision; you can repeatedly activate that for some modicum of sight. My horse, though, was useless. Other commenters must have trustier steeds, as they were apparently able to get this trick to work. Maybe you’ll have more luck than I did. For now, I’ll stick with repeated trips to Gunnar’s forge, as if role-playing visits to a medieval ophthalmologist. Good thing these next-gen load times are blistering!