The Marked Trees is the first main quest, or Journey, in God of War (2018, PS4). This walkthrough will guide you through all objectives of The Marked Trees Main Quest.
Follow the river downstream
Right at the beginning of the game, you will receive this objective automatically as soon as you enter your canoe. Row downstream to the dock, and press circle when prompted. Kratos will pick up the log, and you will walk down the path following Atreus. Once Kratos arrives at his cabin, a lengthy cinematic will play leading directly into your next objective.
Hunt with Atreus
Following Atreus as he hunts the deer will take you to each objective in turn, but feel free to roam around and explore the area before moving on. There are no time limits since Atreus will wait for you, and there are lots of hidden chests and Hacksilver in the area. Atreus will eventually lead you to a bridge that is blocked by a wooden barricade. Throw your axe to destroy the barricade and jump across the hole to proceed. Follow Atreus, and after a couple of cinematics, you will have to fight some Draugr to proceed. Once they have been defeated, follow Atreus as he continues to track the deer, eventually leading into a temple with more Draugr to fight. After the fight, there will be a wooden structure in the middle of the room connected to a chain that you will use to open the door. After you pull down the chain, hold L2, target the gear above the door and throw your axe to freeze the mechanism in place, allowing you to walk through. Once through the inner gate, use triangle to recall your axe which will close the inner gate behind you, and open the outer gate.
Follow Atreus until he spots the deer again, and follow the button prompts to shoot it. Watch the cinematic as Atreus gets his first kill, but be ready. Your awkward father/son moment is interrupted by a troll!
Defeat Dauði Kaupmaðr
Dauði Kaupmaðr may look big, but to defeat him is relatively simple as long as you are cautious. All trolls have more or less the same attack pattern throughout the game, and typically fighting one up close is risky. Instead stay well back, having Atreus spam arrows whenever they are available. Throw and recall your axe constantly, aiming for his head if possible to stun him momentarily. It won’t cause an opening but it will interrupt an attack, and get him to step back for a fraction of a second. The troll will use two attacks. The first is swinging the massive stone column he wields as a weapon. He will either swing it in a horizontal arc, sweeping the area near his feet, or bring it down vertically to hit at a medium distance. Both attacks are fast, and difficult to dodge, particularly if you’re right at his feet and can’t see what direction the column is swinging off the top of the screen. The other attack is a ground stomp which causes a line of earth damage directly towards you, which can hit you from across the field. Roll out of the way to the left or right when he stomps, and you can avoid it easily. Keep throwing and recalling your axe until Dauði drops to one knee, allowing you to hit R3 and perform a Stun Grab to finish him off. Watch a short cinematic with Atreus, and then move on to your next objective.
Return to the house
Follow Atreus, boosting him up walls and killing Draugr. When your path is blocked by a bundle of logs hanging from a pulley, throw your axe to smash the circular wooden target in the middle, causing the logs to drop. You will soon return to your cabin, and then watch a lengthy cinematic. This is where things really go off the rails.
Defeat the Stranger
After the cinematic, Kratos will find himself in a fight with an unusual man who also appears to have supernatural strength and abilities. At first the fight is simple. Just keep beating on the Stranger, and if you don’t let up you can keep him staggered for extended periods of time. Eventually, he will zip away with the tattooed runes on his skin glowing blue, and he will zig zag towards you in a charge. Use your shield to block his attack, then continue to beat him senseless. Ideally, you’ll want to time your block for the instant of the attack to trigger a parry animation, which will briefly leave the Stranger open for a counter attack. When his life drops low enough, it will trigger a cinematic that will transition you into the second stage of the fight.
Eventually you will be prompted to press L3 and R3 together to activate your Spartan Rage. Make the most of this ability while its active to continue beating on the Stranger. This time, after a couple of hits, the Stranger will zip backwards to safety either to counterattack or use a ranged frost ability which you will have to evade. While your Spartan Rage is still active, your best strategy is to use L3 to sprint after him and keep the pressure on. Use both your light attacks, and your heavy attack which will trigger a ground smash which will send the Stranger flying. Once your Spartan Rage expires, you’ll have to be more cautious as your sprint will not be fast enough to close the distance to him before he attacks you. Be prepared to evade to the side if he uses his frost attack, then continue to attack him. Defeating the Stranger will again trigger a cinematic, after which you will regain control for a moment. Walking towards your home will trigger a follow up cinematic and put you in part three of the fight.
The Stranger adds a frosty leap to his bag of tricks this round. He will boost straight up off-screen on a column of frost, and come down on a position near you. The location he will land is marked with a similar cloud of frost, so if you see it near you roll out of the way, otherwise just keep running and you shouldn’t have any trouble. He takes a moment to recover after landing, giving you a perfect opportunity to either rush in and hit him with your axe or throw it at him from a distance. Otherwise, this part of the fight is the same except that the Stranger moves faster and hits harder. The fight will end with a cinematic, and again a slow shamble as you…
Return to the house
This finishes The Marked Trees main journey quest in God of War. Now the next quest Path to the Mountain starts.
Next Up: Path to the Mountain
For more Walkthroughs, check out the complete God of War 2018 Story Walkthrough.