Tchia is chock-full of different tasks to complete and minigames to take part in, though it can be easy to miss how vital completing them all can be. For proof, look no further than the Totem Carving activity. Though it may seem like a simple distraction meant to bolster one's creativity at first glance, it's actually vital to clearing the Totem Shrine tasks and obtaining rare resources. You may be unclear on exactly what you're supposed to be doing with them though, which is why we're here to help with a comprehensive Tchia Totem Carving and Totem Doors guide.
Tip: We've got guides for all of the collectibles in Tchia, as well as Maano Camps, and how to get all of the cosmetics for 100% completion. If you're curious if the game is something you'll enjoy, check out our Tchia Review!
How to Carve Totems in Tchia & What They Do
To cut right to the chase, you'll want to carve Totems according to specific designs in Tchia.
Doing so will provide you with the keys needed to open the Totem Doors scattered throughout the world, which block off Totem shrines containing Soul Fruits. These Fruits are the only way to increase your Soul Meter and allow you to possess different items and animals for longer periods of time.
This makes it imperative that you gain access to them as soon as possible, which means you'll want to take part in the Totem Carving minigames as soon as possible. Luckily, they're not hard to find, as there's at least one in every city and a few scattered around the different islands. You can find them by looking for the white Totem icons labeled Sculpting Stand, with a carving tool sticking out of them on the map. We've included a screenshot down below for your reference.
Once there, you can interact with them to start the carving minigame. Once you do so, an image will appear to the side showing you which design you need to create. You can make a given design by moving the carving tool over a specific section of the Totem and pressing the X button to carve out the highlighted section. Interacting with it once will create a basic carving with dark wood left over. Interacting with it again will leave a light wood carving, or remove the detailed carvings altogether.
There's no penalty for screwing up other than needing to start over, so you can attempt to make a specific carving as many times as you'd like. Once you have a usable carving, you can Validate the carving and exit the Sculpting Stand by pressing the Circle Button. You'll then be holding the Totem, and can store it in your backpack by pressing R1. If your backpack is full, you'll need to hold R1 and push the right analogue stick toward an item you wish to replace with the carving.
How to Open Totem Doors
Once this is done, you'll then be able to take the Carved item to one of the Totem Doors scattered throughout the world of Tchia.
These are denoted by green trapezoids before they're cleared and white trapezoids with a green check mark after they've been cleared, and are typically found in the more secluded or wooded areas of the game. You can also hover over them with the Map cursor to see exactly which Carved Totem they require to be opened. We've included a screenshot down below as an example.
Once you find the Door you can open, make your way toward it. Once you reach it, look for a circular relief in front of the entrance. Then, take the Carved Totem out of your inventory and drop it into the relief. So long as it's carved correctly, the relief and door will glow green and an opening to a Totem Shrine will be revealed. You can then head inside, and will be faced with a challenge that must be cleared in order to obtain the Soul Fruit hidden within.
How to Get All Totem Carvings
You'll need to go through this process a total of eight times in Tchia, but it's not actually as bad as it sounds.
This is because you don't need to carve a specific Totem design at a particular Sculpting Stand. Any Stand will do, and they'll all pull up the next design which you can carve to open up a Door and Temple. The only thing that may halt your progress is whether or not a you're far enough into the main story. A few Totem Doors can only be accessed after reaching specific chapters that unlock new areas in the game. If you haven't reached these points, you'll be unable to access the Doors and won't be able to make the Carvings needed to open Shrines within your reach. Keep this in mind, and make sure to keep pushing through the main plot when possible.
Hopefully this Tchia Totem Carving and Totem Door guide provided you with some worthwhile information, For more on the game, we've got a slew of relevant articles for you to peruse down below.