Ornstein in Dark Souls uses an agile fighting style focusing on ranged lightning attacks and rushing to the player for his spear attacks.
Even though there are no dragons left in the world he got his title for killing drakes. There is a room in Anor Londo where the player can see many drake trophies, supposedly all killed by Ornstein.
If the player kills Ornstein last, then his armor will be available for purchase from Domnhall of Zena and the Dragonslayer Spear can be crafted from his soul.
He appears once more in Dark Souls II by himself in the Cathedral of Blue. He uses dark magic instead of lightning for his ranged attacks.
Spear Swing Combo - Ornstein attacks with his spear up to four times. The whole combo goes as follows: thrust, swing, swing, slam. Once in the middle of this combo, players can start attacking him in between swings provided they are dodging and blocking efficiently. His preoccupation with finishing the combo can be utilized to sneak away and start attacking Smough if desired.
Spear Stab Combo - Ornstein stabs at the player and then swings his spear upward. Getting hit with the first attack can easily lead to getting hit with the second. The hitbox for this combo is rather small though, so it can be used as a chance to get to the side or the rear of him and start dealing damage. This attack can also be used to focus on Smough momentarily, although the combo ends much sooner and as such doesn't provide as good a window of opportunity as the longer combos.
Two-Handed Spear Combo - Same as the regular Spear Swing Combo only Ornstein wields his spear with two hands and does more damage. As with the other combos, it may be utilized by the player to get in position and counter-attack, or to begin rushing at Smough.
Glide Attack - Ornstein leans down, twirls his spear, and then quickly glides towards the player until he's close enough to swing his spear at him or her. While gliding, he will home in on the player. He will continue gliding at the player until he's close enough to attack even if he gets blocked by a pillar or Smough. Players should be careful not to lose track of Ornstein during the fight because there is no way to anticipate this move without seeing him begin it. It is not especially hard to dodge, but given the variability of the distance he initiates the attack at, rolling too early can be a concern. At short distances, players can throw off the attack's homing by rolling as soon he leans down. At longer distances, players will need to wait until he's covered slightly more ground to evade it successfully. Alternatively, this attack can be blocked, but at the risk of draining valuable stamina. In some rare occurrences, Ornstein will perform this move with a lightning imbued spear.
Short Range Glide Attack - Similar to the Glide Attack except he doesn't home in on the player until he can land a hit. He leans down without twirling his spear and then dashes forward, thrusting his spear instead of swinging it. This move has less of a start up animation but it covers a finite amount of distance, unlike the standard glide attack.
Jumping Spear Attack - Ornstein leaps into the air and either slams or stabs with his spear. This move has a very narrow hitbox, so rolling to the side is very effective at avoiding it. There is a slight delay between when Ornstein jumps and when he actually attacks, so rolls must be timed accordingly. Sometimes he will do this attack in unison with Smough's jumping attack, as long as the player is at a similar distance to both. This attack goes through pillars.
Backstep Spear Swing - Ornstein swings his spear in a sweeping motion along the ground and then quickly backsteps. This move is used more frequently when the player is close to him in his giant second form. In his first form, the move is best avoided by backing up. In his second form, it's preferable to roll through the attack as it puts the player in position for a damage dealing opportunity.
Homing Lightning Bolt - Ornstein slowly charges a thick lightning bolt which he shoots from his spear. The bolt has very strong homing abilities, so players will want to either roll away from it or use one of the pillars to block it. Like the Glide Attack, misjudging the distance it has to cover before connecting and rolling early can result in still getting hit. Alternatively, one may use a shield with good lightning defense, such as the Eagle Shield, to simply block it.
Quick Lightning Bolt - Ornstein quickly shoots a thin lightning bolt from his spear at waist level. This lightning bolt can be avoided by just walking to the side. It's very rarely used however.
Lightning Buttslam - Only in his second form. Ornstein leaps into the air and slams down onto the ground, creating a large lightning AoE. Very similar to Smough's buttslam. Once the animation begins, the attack can be easily avoided by backpedaling and then rolling backwards. Players may want to rush in while he's recovering to deal damage afterwards.
Lightning Impale - Only in his second form. Ornstein stabs the player with a lightning imbued spear and then lifts the player's impaled body into the air before electrifying him or her. It is easily avoided by staying close to Ornstein and rolling into him.
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- Ornstein's name and ring (the Leo Ring) are a reference to the composer Leo Ornstein.
- Ornstein is referred to as Griffith in the game data. This is a nod to one of Ornstein's design inspirations, Griffith from the Berserk manga series.
- The red plume on Ornstein's helm is absent from the version of the helm the player equips.