Neural Simulation Spotlight: Njall

Tips and tricks to help you deal with everybody's least favourite cube.

An intimidating machine developed by the Military. Hard carbide plating covers its exterior, which houses electromagnetic cannon technology within.

Njall, commonly referred to as just “the cube,” is a Titan boss introduced in chapter 12, part 1 of the main story. It’s a relatively uninteractive boss that mostly boils down to a DPS check, but there still are a few quirks worth keeping in mind.

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Behaviour and Attacks

There are two important things to keep in mind with Njall. One is that it spawns with a large shield that makes up the vast majority of its effective health pool. It doesn’t have a lot of substance once you deplete its shield, and you’ll find its actual health bar depletes much faster.

The other thing, and Njall’s main gimmick, is that it has a white shell covering it. While this shell is up, Njall has no accessible weakspots. Additionally it gains a 50% damage reduction in this state. However, Njall will blow off its shell after its first one or two attacks, then again roughly every minute after, though applying Control effects may cause this timing to desync.

While in this state, Njall reveals its black inner core, the entirety of which is a weak spot. It will also launch bullets up in an arc, as well as deploying bullets in a cross that rotates around it. At higher difficulty levels, you will also be sucked in towards Njall. Despite the danger, this is your best window of opportunity to deal effective damage to Njall, and it should be taken advantage of.

When you break Njall’s shield, it will also shed its shell, interrupting any attack it is casting at the time.

Njall can also teleport, gaining invulnerability while it is doing so. It’s not exactly known what triggers this, but not being too far from Njall seems to prevent it from teleporting pretty consistently.

Laser Cannon

Njall charges up and fires a laser beam at you, dealing damage and staggering if hit. Njall fortunately has a pretty clear indicator of when to dodge.

When the inner diamond lights up blue, that’s your cue to dodge.

Delayed Barrage

Njall deploys several missiles that fly towards you after a delay (hence the name). While this is happening, Njall will also perform a Laser Cannon attack. At higher difficulty levels, more missiles will be deployed. The missiles can be relatively trivially sidestepped or dodged, and the Laser Cannon attack can be dodged in the same way as the normal attack.

Quakeburst Wave

Dodging the attack, not dodging it, and... Katya-ing it

Njall rises up into the air and does a ground pound, doing a small amount of damage and staggering you if hit. At higher difficulty levels, Njall will do this three times in a row every time it does this attack. 

Casual players: When you dodge this, time it for when Njall is going to finish the ground pound animation; the visual wave that expands out is kind of a lie.
Speedrunners: If you have support skills to use, you can time them to dodge the stagger… or you could just use Katya and ignore the stagger while you’re in your skill. Yeah, this boss kinda favours her.

Kaleidoscope Barrage

Njall lowers itself and continuously spawns waves of bullets that expand outward. At higher difficulty levels, being hit by this attack will spawn an additional wave.

Casual players: If you keep your distance from Njall, the bullets will spread out more by the time they reach you, making them easier to dodge.
Speedrunners: You and I both know that the damage from this attack is more than worth the DPS window that you get from not bothering to dodge. Just tank it if you can’t sidestep.

Roaring Blast Shot

Njall fires multiple waves of bullets into the air before calling back a wave to return to it. Njall can perform other attacks once it launches the bullets into the air.

Casual players: Be careful not to let your guard down once the bullets land, there’s still a second part to this attack that’ll be coming up behind you!
Speedrunners: This attack usually doesn’t do that much damage, but sometimes it’ll nuke your health bar for no reason. Njall doesn’t do this attack all that much anyways, so you can just reset if it somehow screws your run over.

Mortar Strike

Njall targets your current location on the ground and fires a ground-targeted attack that deals damage and staggers if hit. These attacks take a bit of time to actually hit, so you can casually walk out of the area of effect, even while hip firing. This attack has a similar windup animation to Roaring Blast Shot, but you can tell the difference because of the different behaviour of the floating antennae above Njall.


Njall is straightforward to the point of being boring. A lot of bosses can be boiled down to “shoot them while dodging their attacks,” but Njall takes this to another level by either not having any weak points, or being all weak points, largely removing the requirement to aim. You can try to save your burst for when it sheds its shell, but there’s not a lot of innate strategy otherwise.

Team Building

For most DPS operatives, Njall’s attacks are pretty trivial to manage, and your biggest issue becomes dealing enough damage to kill it quickly. To that end, the overwhelming bias towards shield HP makes ballistic damage operatives the ideal pick here. Of course, it would be irresponsible not to address the favoured operative here, Katya. While she might not be the fastest overall (In a vacuum, a properly built Yao - Winter Solstice team could probably outburst her), She comes with many distinct advantages that other operatives don’t get here. However, this also means that using her as a DPS will have some additional considerations.

Being able to immune all of Njall’s staggers and knockbacks (by having your standard skill active) means that Katya always has a DPS window, but just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Some attacks do still need to be dodged (Laser Cannon, Delayed Missiles, and Mortar Strike), while others can mostly be shrugged off. And you need to dodge every now and then to maintain the damage buff you get from it, anyways. Additionally, while you might not be able to move with your standard skill active, Njall can still suck you in with its attacks. Keep that in mind and be ready to dodge backwards when needed to maintain your personal space. Katya can also apply Freeze on her own, which can be useful for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, this can also interfere with the timing of support skill rotations if they include a Control effect applier, as you’ll have to either wait for the CC lockout to end or cast your support skill while Njall is still immune, wasting the Control effect portion of the support skill.

As far as supports go, one in particular stands out, that being Mauxir - Shadow Ka. Her support ability summons a dummy linked to the target enemy that can be attacked to transfer any damage dealt to it to the linked enemy. Importantly, this damage transfer ignores any damage reduction effects that the enemy might have. Thus, you can use Mauxir to bypass Njall’s damage reduction, which makes her a mandatory inclusion in any well-scoring team. There really isn’t anyone that remotely comes close to the value that Mauxir brings here; the difference is night and day. If you don’t have her, this is just another reason to pick her up the next time she’s on rerun.

Slowing Njall can also make your life easier, though the two main sources of Slow both have their own quirks. Acacia - Redacted cannot apply Slow to Njall unless it has its outer shell blown off, though this does at least still let you extend the time that its weak spot is exposed. On the other hand, Cherno can technically slow Njall at any time, but has to wait for Njall to be relatively low to the ground as it often hovers too high out of reach.

And of course, it wouldn’t be any fun if there weren’t any bugs. For those looking to take advantage of Wild Hunt in a supportive role due to her ability to apply Freeze and utilise the damage-over-time aspect to apply the second part of Amarna Squad’s buffs or refresh the duration of Twilight Squad, make sure that her middle-right neuronic is not active. With that neuronic active, the DoT will not work for those purposes.

Without the neuronic activated. Note the refreshing buff from Amarna Squad's second buff.
With the neuronic activated. Note that the buff no longer refreshes.

Why? I sure as hell don’t know. Just make sure to leave the middle-right neuronic unspecced (reset your neuronics if you have to) to avoid missing out on half of the value that Wild Hunt support can provide.