Hey guys, just decided to write up some boss strategies that I've used/attempted/failed thus far into my Dark Souls journey because I can't play while my dad's home owning the televison so, here goes.
NOTE: These are all like I said, strats that I've used, or tried using. I didn't see a similar thread anywhere yet so I decided to create one; this thread is meant for everyone to post their own strat that they've used to defeat the bosses, they might and probably will be better than what I've attempted so go ahead. And this thread is also probably gonna be infested with spoilers so if you're the dude who's gonna burst out in agony knowing there is a locked door you were supposed to unlock, then you might wanna steer clear!
All boss souls can be crafted into their respective unique weapons by visiting the giant blacksmith in Anor Londo with a +10 weapon of a certain category, i.e. Quelaag's Furysword requires a blunt sword such as falchion or scimitar, and a certain amount of souls.
Happy hunting guys.
Taurus Demon: Difficulty Rating: 3/10
You'll encounter this mean-looking gangsta in the Undead Burg zone. He'll most likely be your first official boss in Dark Souls and boy does he set the standard; if you don't use plunging attacks or attempt to get him to fall to his own death, that is. First things first though, climb up the ladder just beside the entrance and take down the two archers at the top. Then run to the middle of the walkway and it'll jump down to initiate the fight.
The proper (and easiest) way:
Run all the way back to the ladder, climb it and then drop down, doing a plunging attack with the R1 button just like you did on the Asylum Demon back in the tutorial stage. That'll take a good chunk of his health bar out. From here on you can rinse and repeat the plunging attacks till he goes down. Do note that while you're climbing up the ladder it may take a swipe at you but its definitely not fatal, maybe a third of your health, so don't worry too much if he's closing down on you.
The falling to his own death method:
Once you've battled it long enough, you'll realize that every so often it'll leap backwards to charge up for a powerful 2-handed attack. And you'll also notice that there are a couple of ledges along the side of the walkway where the bricks have been chipped off. So here's the thang: If you can get the clumsy dude's back to face one of those ledges and hope that he does the backward leap, he'll basically fall to his death. Simple, right? In fact, I'm not even sure if you even need to bother positioning him, because from what I've been hearing, tons of other people have had the boss fall to his own death without even attempting anything more than just fighting him in melee.
The ballsy method:
Well if you're looking for a challenge to the Taurus Demon, then you could try fighting him tooth and nail in melee instead of using the two listed methods above. Its pretty difficult because dude's always on the move and the walkway is pretty narrow but that said, its definitely very much doable. Stick close to him in melee and keep turning around him so you don't get facesmashed by his huge weapon. On the bright side, attempting this may often result in the boss falling to his own death at some stage of the fight (as it did for me and my neighbour) so if that happens then hey, can't complain, right?
Belfry Gargoyles: Difficulty Rating: 7/10
The Belfry Gargoyles would be next up on the list if you continued down the path of doing the Undead Burg, which will eventually lead you to the Undead Parish where the belltower that you're supposed to ring is located. But guess what? Two badass gargoyles stand guard. Bet you didn't expect that huh? I'm gonna stick a foot out and say that this boss is probably the hardest I would have had to face (up until the 6th boss I've fought thus far in), if not for the Drake Sword (I know, this is the part where I'm gonna get flamed for being a n00b for using that cheap weapon go on guys have at it). If you've played Demon's Souls, you'll probably remember the Maneater boss fight in World 3 (I think) and the Gargoyles are basically Maneater v2.0. You'll fight the first Gargoyle and he'll call his mate down at half health. I'm not sure if there is a timer till the second Gargoyle comes down, but I doubt so. Anyway, keep close to him in melee, keep circling around and you can block his 1 handed swings so no worries there.
You should attempt to cut off his tail because it is one of the ways you can get damaged and furthermore, slashing off the tail gets you a pretty sick looking greataxe. To effectively cut off his tail, you might want to turn off lock-on once you're behind him and switch to a 2H attack. If you get the blow in neat and nice, the tail should be decapitated. Now just before you get the first gargoyle down to half health, you probably want to try get him to the middle where the second gargoyle will land. The reason behind this is because if you're out of range of the gargoyles' melee attacks,then they're gonna start breathing fire from far in a HUGEEEEE conal AoE and that really stings. It also screws up the fight because it makes things extremely chaotic and its very difficult to land any blows in melee.
Once you have both gargoyles in a good close range to you, keep moving and circling around the first gargoyle and try to kill him as fast as possible, even if it means taking some damage to do it. The easiest way out of this fight is probably to burst down one of the two as quickly as you can to avoid things getting out of hand. The Drake Sword is marvellous here because it will destroy the first gargoyle really quick, allowing you all the time in the world to deal with the second.
Another way that I tried was to position the first gargoyle as far away as possible (somewhere near the entrance is good) from the landing spot of the second gargoyle so that I'm out of the fire breath range and hopefully able to zerg the first gargoyle down before the second starts closing me down. It actually worked out pretty fine on one attempt but then I accidentally rolled off the roof in an attempt to dodge the fire breath and fell to my death after taking out the first gargoyle. This method is probably more risky because if you can't kill the first gargoyle within like, five seconds of the second landing, you're pretty much cornered and dead but if you pull it off, you just saved yourself a whole lot of hassle dealing with two mean beasts in melee.
I know this sounds easier than done and I probably am not qualified to write up a strat for this boss because I didn't exactly do him legit but someday I will. Someday...
Goat Demon: Difficulty Rating: 5/10
I can't remember if this boss' name is actually Goat Demon, but whatever. You'll find him in lower Undead Burg, which you can gain access to by unlocking the locked door just after you defeat the Taurus Demon and just before you cross the bridge where the Red Dragon breathes fire if you attempt to run across. The moment you zone through the white light, you're gonna want to sprint toward the short stairs you see on the left. At this point you should see one, if not two, dog adds. You're gonna want to kill at least one of them before you take on the boss because if you don't, then you're probably gonna get stun-locked by their annoying attacks which will lead to the boss pummelling your face in.
There's a pretty neat trick I discovered, in which if you manage to get the boss to chase you up the stairs and then you drop off, he'll actually take quite a bit of time to get himself back down on ground level. This is great because it allows you time to lock-on to the dogs and kill 'em. You could also just simply target the dogs right from the moment you zone in and try to kill them quick, though I'd say its harder this way.
Once the dogs are dead, the boss is pretty much your bitch. You could fight him in melee like a true warrior (which I did), again keep circling around him with your shield up. You can block his 1 handed swings and your best shot at damaging him probably comes after he does the typical big and slow 2H attack. He's a pushover. Another easy way to defeat him is to use the plunging attacks (yes, once again) by running up the stairs all the way to the end of it and then falling off with R1. Rinse and repeat.
Gaping Dragon: Difficulty Rating: 3/10
This uh, more-worm-than-dragon-looking brostah is the boss of the Depths (a.k.a sewers) zone. He is however, A COMPLETE, COMPLETE TOOL. Yeah he looks huge and scary but I 1-shotted the dude so, there you go. This guy is slow, he takes ages to charge up an attack though if you do get hit by it, it hurts a ton. I would recommend not using lock-on for a good part of this battle, especially while you're trying to circle around to his rear, because lock-on actually makes this a lot slower and you stand a chance to get hit by one of his legs if you get too close while circling around. Basically just get as far behind him as you can slash and hack away.
Try to chop off his tail too because like the Belfry Gargoyles, you can get hurt by it and it also drops a beastly axe. Don't ever go to his front where his huge mouth is, because if you do he'll grab you and chomp you up for a good half of your health. He also seems to release some sort of noxious yellow-looking gas, it only occured once in my battle with him so I'm not too sure if its fatal or not.
And thats about it. Really. He's a bag of nothing once you get behind him and start ripping away. Oh and 2H works great on this boss. No shields needed brah.
Chaos Witch Quelaag: Difficulty Rating: 6/10
You'll find this boss in Blighttown, all the way at the bottom where the poison swamp lake is, to the right of the bonfire, on that white sandy looking island. Before you take her on though, I would recommend having a decent weapon - possibly upgraded, or the Drake Sword! She does have quite a fair bit of health and you don't want this particular fight to drag on for too long.
The moment you zone into her lair, you're gonna want to sprint right up to her and stick real tight to her. She'll occasionally spew out a huge load of lava and that is your best chance to unload a good four or even five hits at her. You're gonna want to back off as quickly as you can after that because she's gonna do this 360 puffing attack that is probably the main way you get hurt in this fight. The range of it isn't too large but don't hurry to get too close back in because the attack has an extra second or two of delay.
I went 2H all the way for this fight because blocking still causes me to take damage and you don't really have to block any attacks of hers. She'll also do this three consecutive whiplash attack that can be easily avoided as long as you're sticking close. You can try landing an extra hit in between each of her whiplash attack, but don't overextend. She'll also do this "fake" version of the actual lava breath and the cast time is a lot shorter. Do not get fooled by it because she'll then possibly follow up with the puffing attack or a ground smash with her legs. In order to avoid this I'd usually wait a second or so to determine if its the real lava breath or not, before zerging through/backing away.
Every now and then she'll leap away from you and reposition herself, its no issue though, just sprint back up to her and stick close. You also want to ensure that you aren't being cornered by her lava, if you think you are about to get cornered then just move far away from her and allow her to give chase. This boss may take quite awhile to beat if you don't have a decent weapon, but slow and steady wins the race.
Darkmoon Butterfly: Difficulty Rating: 3/10
You'll find this gigantic, yet cute looking butterfly somewhere in Darkroot Garden. She mainly has two ranged attacks. She'll shoot out spikes very often and to cleanly avoid taking any damage you'll just have to roll at the right time. I didn't bother and instead just blocked all of them. Blocking causes you to take very minute damage, so minute that you probably can block the entire fight's worth of these spikes and only need to drink an estus flask to recover all your health back.
The other attack she'll do is to cast two powdery looking missiles at you. They move much slower than the spike but cause much more damage. Again, just time your rolls and you'll be fine. After about a minute's worth of casting these spells, she'll over-exhaust and drop down to ground level for a rest. This is where you pound away. She doesn't have much health, and about two or three of such poundings will wear her down. Easy, really.
Pinwheel: Difficulty Rating: 3/10
This guy rules the Catacombs, you'll find him at the end of the zone just before you enter Tomb of the Giants. He's basically a dumbed down version of <insert boss name> in Demon's Souls, the one which you fight in the church in World 2 I think, where she creates clones of herself throughout the fight.
Pummel away at every clone you see, they only have 1 ranged magic missile sort of attack, doesn't hurt too much, simply just roll or run through. I don't really know what else to say but, that is about it. This guy sucks.
Iron Golem: Difficulty Rating: 7/10
Remember Tower Knight boss back in Demon's Souls World 1-2? Welcome to not-as-awesome-looking-but-much-more-intense-and-challenging Tower Knight v2.0. You'll find this avatar of iron at the top of Sen's Fortress, right before you gain access to Anor Londo. And guys, Anor Londo looks AMAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZING!!!!! The only reason why Iron Golem gets an 8 for difficulty is because of his relatively buggy grapple attack, in which the animation's range is MUCH MUCH LESSER than the actual range. But besides that, guy's relatively easy as long as you follow four rules I've set for myself throughout the fight:
- Always keep him positioned as central as possible
- Do not overextend, three hits max at every opening
- Always stay behind him. Run through his legs everytime he's about to land an attack
- Do not use lock-on (not a must, but I found the fight much easier when I turned off lock-on)
When the fight begins, sprint towards the middle and move a 'lil to the side. He'll throw out this shockwave-like attack but it won't reach you as long as you aren't exactly in the middle of the platform. Now just stand really still and allow him to slowly approach you. I'm not gonna go into all the different attacks and stuff he does because it don't matter as long as you follow rule number 3. None of his attacks, NONE, will hit you if you run through his legs at the correct timing. I managed to almost perfect him on the attempt I downed him, lest for 1 grapple attack.
The only attack you need to worry about is his grapple and it does a crapload of damage. This is the reason why you stick with rule number 2, because you'll find yourself most likely hit by the grapple when you overextend after dodging one of his lunges. The grapple will hit you even if you are just a little to his flanks. You have to be almost completely behind him, by running through his legs. Rule number 4 also helps a lot here, because locking-on and slashing away at his heels may cause you to end up somewhere else and not behind him. Lock-on also makes running through his legs difficult at times. He also does the occasional feet stomping, 2 or 3 times in a row. I think they are blockable but you might get hit by one or two if you didn't react fast enough. It is no biggie though.
Now the trick to making the fight a hell lot easier to win is to keep chipping away at his heels. Eventually he'll stagger, somewhere at about 3/4 into his health. Now at this point you wanna make sure you have your stamina bar full and ready to unload further damage on his heel. If you're successfully in dealing enough damage while the golem is staggered, he'll topple over, giving you ANOTHER additional 10 seconds or so to hack away at him. You can do this twice throughout the fight (I think), and if you manage it then yeah, great!
Every now and then he'll leap around. Don't follow him if he's too near to an edge because he'll easily sweep you off with his huge attack radius, so just back off in the opposite direction and lure him back to the center again.
Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough: Difficulty Rating: 9/10
9/10?! HOLY CRAP! Okay, the reason these guys get a 9 is because they are by far the hardest boss I've met. If I do meet something that gets even more absurd than them, which god forbid, then I'll re-tune their rating. Anyhow, you meet them broskis in Anor Londo.
Before I write up anything 'bout them, I'm gonna say this: There is no proper, and by proper I mean standardized I-can-perfect-this-boss way of beating them. Of course, this could be just me. If anyone finds out a proper way to beat them besides just zerging one down and drinking 8 flasks in the process, PRAY TELL. You best get 10 Estus Flasks and a very very good weapon. I was still using the Drake Sword, and I was doing 88/35 to Smough/Ornstein per swing. I have done it, so its definitely doable, but it takes a long time and a lot, a lot of concentration.
So how this fight works goes like this: If you kill Ornstein first, Smough will get really really mad, and you'll have to fight his enrage form. Vice versa. ALSO, YOU WILL ONLY GET THE BOSS SOUL OF THE ONE WHO YOU KILLED LAST. Ornstein's soul nets you Dragon Spear, while Smough's soul gives Sumo Hammer So the golden question here is, who would be better to deal with first? Here's the matrix:
Ornstein: Quick, purely single target attacks with his lightning spear. He takes much lesser damage than Smough, at least from my Drake Sword, and killing him first could take quite awhile. Yet, locking-on and focusing on him makes the fight a lot less chaotic and risky, because Smough is slow and his attacks are very very predictable (you can see them coming from a mile)
Smough: Slow, huge, f**khuge hammer smashin' attack radius. He takes twice as much damage as Ornstein does from my Drake Sword, so zerging him down is one way, but the fight becomes riskier because Ornstein is A COMPLETE PAIN IN THE MUTHAFOCKIN ASS. To even damage Smough without taking a crapload of damage yourself, you have to time both Smough and Ornstein's attack, making sure they land at the same time so you have an opening of a few seconds to pummel the fat dude. Else, Ornstein will spear you from out of nowhere (as so very often). To help with this, tune up your audio and try to listen for any lightning/spear sound effects to know if Ornstein has attacked. This is because locking onto Smough blocks Ornstein's model most of the time, so you can't see worth shit.
Use the pillars to your advantage. Anytime you need to heal, move behind one before healing. The pillars are great for blocking out Ornstein's attacks, though if you stand too close to one his spear can (somehow) go through it. Use the pillars to spread Ornstein a little further from Smough so you can land hits on Smough in melee without getting hit by Ornstein. I don't really know what else to say because this fight is as abstract as any fight can get and like I said, there's no proper way to beat these dudes so trial and error and some luck goes a long way.
Enraged Ornstein: If you killed Smough, like me, you'll have to face the mad dragon slayer. To defeat him, apply Tower Knight battle tactics here. Circle/run through his legs whenever he is about to attack, hold your shield up high, all of his attacks are blockable albeit takes a huge chunk of your stamina. The attacks to watch out are firstly, a slow but almost fatal lightning thrust. His spear will light up with lightning and he'll thrust forward. The range isn't huge, but I think you can get caught even while blocking if you're exactly in front of him when he casts it.
Another attack he'll do occasionally is leaping into the air and then landing on his buttocks, causing electricity shockwaves around him (dat butt...) simply move out a bit and block it. The rest of his moves are easily avoidable by circling around his legs, as usual.
Enraged Smough: No idea because I didn't fight him, so anyone who has do provide information on him.
Good luck and congratulations, you've (most likely) beaten the hardest boss in Dark Souls (according to feedback).
Great Grey Wolf Sif: Difficulty Rating: 5/10
This huge, beautiful wolf can be found somewhere in Darkroot Garden/Basin, not too far off where the Forest Covenant people are.
Another relatively easy boss, keep sticking close to it as per normal and you can avoid most of its attacks. Having a fair bit of stamina here really helps, because he'll occasionally do a double spinning attack which you would most likely end up blocking due to its far range.
Once you're in melee of it hack and slash away, careful of its leap attack which can hit you but it doesn't really hurt too much. Easy boss.
P.S.: If you joined the Forest Hunter Covenant, then you have a choice of allowing Sif to escape somewhere during the battle. Doing so gives you the Moonlight Sword, a 132 magic attack sword that has an "A" modifier with uh, faith I think. So if it suits you go ahead, else you can just kill it for a ring that allows you to traverse to the Abyss and the soul of Sif, which can craft two greatswords or a shield.
Gravelord Nito: Difficulty Rating: Only as hard as you want him to be
Nito, the First of the Dead! DUN DUN DUN DUN! You'll find this ugly motherfocka in Tomb of the Giants, which you gain access to right after you defeat Pinwheel in Catacombs. TotG is a relatively difficult zone, so you wanna make sure you're up to it. The reason why Nito's difficulty rating is "only as hard as you want him to be" is because doing him the proper way makes this gravelord cake.
Proper cake way:
1. Get a Divine weapon. Divine weapons can be upgraded from any +5 weapon and it costs x1 Green Titanite Shard. Divine weapons will permanently prevent the three Skeletal Soldiers from rezzing once you kill them once.
2. Lure Nito to the entrance, where you drop down from. Doing so will prevent aggro from the Giant Skeletons. You'll still have to fight the three Skeletal Soldiers, but like mentioned above here's where your Divine weapon comes into play.
So once you get Nito in a good position, stick close to his mouth and just hammer away. When he does the what I'll call as Black Wave attack, cancel your lock on and run in the opposite direction. Careful not to over-run and aggro the Giant Skeletons. Rinse and Repeat. Credits to Timing for this really helpful tip!
And so if you don't do either of the listed above, then you'll make this arguably the most horrid and pain in the ass fight in the game. I did this in the beginning, got him to 25%, before I decided there's no focking way Nito is this difficult and decided to do a little googling.
That's bout it. grab your Lord Soul and laugh it off.
Four Kings: Difficulty Rating: 6/10
You'll engage Four Kings almost immediately upon entering or rather, dropping into The Abyss. This fight is purely a retarded DPS race to prevent oneself from getting swarmed by too many of the kings. The weapon used in this fight will be very crucial, as the wrong weapon will most likely mean you'll have a much harder time. I've heard people saying that lightning weapons do the most damage and therefore I tried with a Lightning Zweihander. I can't confirm if it indeed does the most damage, but it certainly worked a lot better than my physical damaging weapons. I was doing close to 370 damage per 2H swing (I think), and about 250 per 1H swing. My armor was almost full Havel, and my ring slots were Abyss Ring (durrr) and Ring of Steel Protection. That gave me a total of about 330 physical defense, which I guess did good.
For the first two kings, you're gonna want to just tank their hits all the way and 2H swing them down. Do not bother attempting to run out of their purple void-like attack as time is of the essence here. Simply take them in the face and continue to pummel away. Hopefully they don't use their grapple attacks too often because dodging those can be quite a hassle and time consuming.
On the third and fourth kings, I decided to go 1H because it seems that their attacks hurt a lot more and blocking was essential. The fight is still very much manageable with two kings on you at once, just keep your head up and don't get over-hasty. Slowly chip away at the third king and when he goes down, the fight is pretty much won.
It would be nice if anyone could provide information on which weapon and what type did the most or at least, insane amount of damage for you.
Stray Demon: Difficulty Rating: 7/10
I decided to head back to the Undead Asylum to pick up my Peculiar Doll, when O SNAP I fell down into the pit where the Stray Demon was. I had completely forgot about mate here, and although I sorta cheesed him with my lightning Zweihander, I decided he was worth a 7/10 if one fought him earlier on in the game than I did, which most have done and without an overpowered weapon. I defeated him in three attempts, so I don't know if I may be missing something out here but I'm sure many others would know more than me about this fight.
From what I've observed he'll mainly do two things (there are other stuff he does, but these two moves seem to be the key of this fight). The first is his trademark 360 explosion attack. Ideally, you would wanna run out of range of the attack, but considering that I was using a heavy armor melee character, running in and out was just way too ineffective. Instead, if you're like me, you may want to just stand your ground and block the attack, you'll take some damage, and then counterattack him.
The other thing he does is to fly up into the air and land on his butt. This is your cue to 2H swing his face in. As long as you aren't standing too close to him when he lands, you're good. Hopefully he does this repeatedly instead of the 360 explosion, like in the attempt I downed him in. 10 Estus Flasks and some luck should get this guy down pretty quick. And oh, a good weapon too!
Dark Sun Gwyndolin: Difficulty Rating: 5/10
Another one of the optional bosses in the game, I decided to head back and defeat her before exploring Painted World. She can be found at the second bonfire of Anor Londo, which is located below the middle building with the lever that allows you to link up the two sides of Anor Londo. To fight her, you need to have the Darkmoon Sence Ring equipped when you're at the bonfire and a statue will disappear, revealing a secret passageway. DO NOTE IF YOU ENTER THE FOG WALL, YOU PROBABLY CANNOT JOIN THE DARKMOON BLADE COVENANT ANYMORE.
Okay first off, I believe she does magic damage. So you prolly wanna equip magic resist gear, and something light. 50% or below equipment load would be great here, because the faster you can move from pillar to pillar, the shorter the fight and chances of you getting hit decreases. Gwyndolin has three main spells:
1. Gonna call this "Pushback Darts". This is the least threatening spell as long as you hold your shield up while running from pillar to pillar. It mostly pushes you back, but make sure that you aren't being pushed back by the darts if you're close to her and by close to her I mean two pillars away or less. Her teleport activates within that range, so if you get pushed back at that point, sucks to be you. You can just simply move a little to the left or the right to avoid these darts completely.
2. Gonna call this "Blue Bolts". She'll use this spell pretty often, just hide behind a pillar throughout and you'll be fine. You shouldn't get hit by this at all, in truth.
3. Gonna call this "Big Blue Bolt That Hurts A Fucking Lot." The third and final spell of hers will be what kills you most of the time. Yet, it is also relatively easy to dodge as long as you react fast and just move your character away slightly. If you don't have much health this will probably 1 shot you.
Once you get close to her, pummel away. I'm not exactly sure how many hits you can get in, since I used a big 2H swing and after about 5 or 6 teleports, she went down. The key idea of this fight is to time your run when you're closing down on her. You don't wanna get delayed or pushed back because then she'll get away and the fight gets longer.
My Progression Route: