This page details noteworthy enemies and bosses fought in Dark Souls II. Head back through here for other character pages. Contains unmarked spoilers, (as well some Late Arrival Spoilers from Dark Souls).
The siren song of Drangleic reaches undead at every corner of the globe. Many of the undead journey for so long they arrive hollow, becoming the first of many threats the sane ones must deal with.
These skittish, dog-like creatures inhabit the small meadow near the Fire Keeper's hut. Are these the Fire Keeper's pets, or simply a form of life native to the limbo that exists between Drangleic and the outside world?
- Impossible Item Drop: The fact that these things can drop ancient equipment will remain a mystery for the ages.
- Money Spider: The Kobolds in Aldia's Keep can drop pretty good equipment, like the hex Affinity or the Black Knight Weapons.
- Taken for Granite: Their attacks inflict petrification, so don't get too cocky.
- Zerg Rush: Attacking one will cause the rest to become hostile and attack you ceasselesly.
It is possible that the rift between Drangleic and the outside world is a native habitat for the monstrous Ogres, but are beasts like this simply born... or are they created?
- Acrofatic: For a heavy ogre, they move surprisingly fast.
- Ass Kicks You: If you hang out too much on their backs they will just sit on you.
- Big Eater: After grabbing you they will try to eat you by munching at your head for a bit before finally tossing you to the ground.
- Boss in Mook's Clothing: They have over a thousand HP, their attacks deal big amounts of damage and to top it off they have huge range and can stunlock you easily. For a newcomer, the two that can be found in Things Betwixt will be a pretty tough challenge.
- Cyclops: They only have a single eye.
- Fat Bastard: Ogres are quite in the heavy side and they are definitely mean.
- Grapple Move: Their grab attack can come out of nowhere pretty fast and it deals LOADS of damage.
- Lightning Bruiser: Don't let their appearance suggest otherwise- they can move fast enough to take a good amount of your health.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Despite their humanoid appearance they have traits that resemble those of an hippopotamus.
- Punched Across the Room: They mainly attack by punching or trying to slap you around, and their uppercut attack will sent you flying.
The Forest of The Fallen Giants
Drangleic's army could not rely entirely on its gallant knights nor its strange monsters. The true backbone of the Drangleic army was the courageous and loyal infantry. Unfortunately, the years of waiting for their king's return has driven them quite mad.
While enfeebled, they still defend their beloved homeland from any intruders. Unfortunately, that includes you.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: Even after Aldia's crimes were revealed and he was locked away, even after (if the Shield of Want description is to be believed) Vendrick had become a Broken Pedestal and seemingly fled the war, they kept fighting to defend Drangleic.
- The Goomba: Like the hollows in every game, they are the most basic and the most numerous of the threats you face.
- The Remnant: They've been keeping their posts for untold years, long after Drangleic has collapsed.
The better-equipped, better-trained officers of the Drangleic army, whose heavy armor has rusted during their pointless vigil. Said armor did not do much against the sheer might of the giants, but it is more than enough to protect them from humans and hollows.
- BFS: Some of them wield bastard swords, striking as if they were throwing the last of their strength behind each swing.
- Blade on a Stick: Other soldiers use spears and shields, typically in pairs to make maneuvering for a backstab a trickier proposition.
- Royal Rapier: Rarest of the Royal Soldiers, these enemies use estocs, and can even parry an unsuspecting player.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: A particular few have dedicated themselves to hurling firebombs at the player, making killing them a high priority to clear up space in a melee. Of course, climbing up a ladder to deal with one particular bomber can lead to the player dealing with a far deadlier foe.
- Boss in Mook's Clothing: They are by far the sturdiest creature in the entire Forest, with 3300 HP, and can easily kill you with their fireball barrages. To put some sense in how strong they are, the Pursuer only has 3110 HP.
- Playing with Fire: The live in lava and spit huge gobs of lava at you.
- Prehistoric Monster: The salamanders boomerang-shaped head is very reminiscent of the prehistoric amphibian Diplocaulus
- Reality Warper: Their mere presence slowly turns the surrounding area into something more fitting for creatures born of fire. Killing them stops the more anomalous effects (like the source-less jets of fire) but still leaves the area a strange twisted cave of lava rock.
- Animated Armor: As one of the Old Iron King's creations, they are souls bound to armor. You even meet the more recent models in the ruins of his capital.
- Drop the Hammer: Wield a massive hammer/mace.
- Implacable Man: Their poise and defense are astronomical.
- The Quiet One: They never spoke to the other soldiers, just fought the giants without a single word.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Averted. They are commoners who rose through the ranks, not nobility, and so they could care less about decoration. Their armor descriptions specifically mention how functional, and spartan, their gear is.
- Glass Cannon: They go down in a few hits, but when up against their swordsmanship, so do you.
- Zerg Rush: Bizarrely for elites, they often appear in far greater numbers than the Hollow Soldiers or Hollow Infantry.
The Last Giant
It seems that the trees of the Forest of Giants really are the remains of the Giants from long ago. The Last Giant is the only living Giant remaining within the ruined woods, chained and forgotten in the basement of the old fort.
- An Arm and a Leg: Deal enough damage to its upper body and its left arm will fall off, preventing the Last Giant from using it as a weapon.
- Golem: Appears to be made out of wood. Also, it's mentioned that the King made literal Golems using the souls of the Giants he slew.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Rips its own arm off to use as a club as soon as half of its health is depleted.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Once the Giant Lord, King of the Giants, whose war with Vendrick brought both their kingdoms to ruin, all that remains is a shadow of his former self, impaled upon a stone pillar and left for dead.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Has a massive stone pillar impaled through its chest.
- It's Personal: Becomes enraged upon recognizing you, the warrior who will defeat him in the distant past later, enough that he can summon the strength to free himself from the rubble he is trapped underneath and engage you in a rematch (at least, it's a rematch for him).
- Leitmotif: "The Last Giant". It's reprised in the Memory of Jeigh, when you fight the Giant Lord, because they are the same boss.
- Mighty Glacier: Is slow, but very strong.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: The Last Giant is part of a race of golem-like beings foreign to Drangleic, unlike the deities of Anor Londo found in Dark Souls (characters like Ornstein and Artorias were larger than the Player Character, but still retained human body proportions). Their skin is akin to stone, and they have a hole where their face should be.
- Sole Survivor: As its name implies, it's the only giant to survive their invasion of Drangleic, though you can later go back in time, and be a significant part of that exterminating of the Giants. This is partly because it was impaled through the stomach in a cave beneath the castle, where it was presumably left for dead. You can, however, find two Elite Giants deep within the Black Gulch (up to four when playing with two phantom summons). It's strongly implied, then later confirmed note , that the Last Giant is, in fact, the Giant Lord you fight much later in the game, in a journey to the past, due to the area you find him in the present being the same and how angrily he reacts to seeing you, the nameless hero who bested him.
- Skippable Boss: Double-subverted: you can get to the Lost Bastille through Heide's Tower of Flame and No-Man's Wharf, but seemingly have to fight him anyway because the Soldier Key is necessary to get to the giant behind the King's Door, and thus the Giant Lord. In fact, this can also be bypassed by jumping straight to the giant from a ledge in front of the Cardinal Tower.
- When Trees Attack: It's basically a mobile, humanoid tree.
A mysterious warrior who travels by crow. Crows were once a symbol of the Goddess of Sin, long ago. The Pursuer hunts the Undead, perhaps to atone for his own sins. Hopefully, this will be your final showdown with this vagrant warrior...
- The Atoner: The descriptions of his sword and shield both state that he's hunting the bearers of the curse not for kicks, but as if to atone his own sins.
- BFS: His sword is enormous!
- Black Knight: He's a recurring, treacherous enemy throughout your adventures, and is one of the most ominous figures running around Drangleic.
- Creepy Crows: He's carried into battle by a giant crow, and the lore in the official guide heavily implies that he's tied to Velka in some form.
- Cyber Cyclops: A nod to his predecessor, and makes aesthetic reference to the trope, even if he's an armoured knight rather than a robot. His entry cinematic gives him a glowing, Zaku-style monoeye in his helmet's visor-slit before it fades away to show his entirely human nose and eyes.
- Early-Bird Boss: In Scholar of the First Sin, it's possible to encounter a Pursuer in Things Betwixt, if you kill the twin ogres guarding the coffin and return to the area afterward.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He can be encountered on a platform near the second bonfire, well before his mandatory boss fight. Winning this fight lets you skip said encounter, but dying or leaving means you can never it fight there again.
- Establishing Character Moment: If you encounter him during his Early-Bird Cameo, he hang glides on a giant bird, then proceeds to slash Sword Beams at you that do a ton of damage. It's then you learn you're up against a complete badass.
- Expy: Of Nine-Ball from Armored Core. Both are fought multiple times throughout the story, one time even two-on-one. Both have cyclops-like designs, and Pursuer's colors is an inversion of Nine-Ball's. Finally, there's his movement and the heavy association with black birds (Armored Core uses many themes revolved around ravens, while crows are important for this character's backstory).
- Forgot About His Powers: The constantly hovering Pursuer can and will fall to his death if you bait him into charging at a bottomless pit. This no longer works as of Scholar of the First Sin, however.
- Hero Killer: He's got a huge satchel of weapons strapped to his back that he never uses, most likely salvaged from other adventurers like you that he's destroyed.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He comes with an attack that skewers you on the aforementioned BFS and inflicts you with Curse. Additionally, this allows him to unleash magic projectiles that aren't seen if you weren't impaled.
- Leitmotif: "The Pursuer" for his proper boss fight. No music plays for any of his other encounters.
- Lightning Bruiser: Is huge, fast, and can dish out and take a ton of damage.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Has an enormous round shield. It actually makes a return in Dark Souls III as the Curse-ward Greatshield, a greatshield particularly good at blocking Curse damage, a reference to the Pursuer's struggle against the Undead Curse.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: He's not called the Pursuer for nothing.
- No Name Given: His real name, or even if he has one, is not revealed.
- One-Handed Zweihänder: Wields his enormous sword with one hand.
- Power Floats: Unlike most bosses, the Pursuer levitates through the fight, an indication that he's far more than just a wandering Undead killer.
- Power Glows: His BFS glows blue before his thrust attack.
- Puzzle Boss: Unless you do a lot of damage, or you're really good at dodging, you're going to fight him using the giant crossbows near him. If you fight him anywhere else, you better be skilled enough.
- Recurring Boss: He shows up as a Skippable Boss in Iron Keep, and you can later fight two at once in Drangleic Castle. He becomes a proper recurring boss in Scholar of the First Sin, where Pursuers harass you throughout the gamenote , and not only are they as strong as the original, but can also perform their conditional magic attack right from the moment they spawn.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Has a single glowing red eye in his introductory cutscene.
- Shield Bash: Which breaks your guard.
- Siege Engines: The boss area where his mandatory fight takes place has a pair of ballista that can be used on him. However, he can break them easily.
- Skippable Boss: You can get to the Lost Bastille by beating him, or go through Heide's Tower of Flame and No-Man's Wharf. In Scholar of the First Sin, whenever he appears outside of his boss room, simply leaving the room will make him vanish until you die or rest at a bonfire.
- Stealth Pun: His homing dark orbs are essentially a reskinned version of the spell "Affinity". Affinity had a different name in Dark Souls: "Pursuers".
- Sword Beam: He can fire pointed blasts of energy from his sword as a ranged attack if you're very far away.
- Took a Level in Badass: in Scholar of the First Sin, he takes a page from another notable Pursuer and stalks the player repeatedly throughout Drangleic, attacking when they least expect him.
- Tiny-Headed Behemoth: His head is about the size of a human's, but the rest is much larger.
- Violation of Common Sense: One way to make the optional fight against two Pursuers in New Game+ easier is to let one of the Pursuers stab you with his Curse attack (assuming you have enough health to survive it). The attack animation is long enough that the other Pursuer's AI will assume you left the room and teleport away. This leaves only one Pursuer, a much more manageable fight. You can then return to the room later after visiting a bonfire to finish off the other Pursuer.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Unless the player cheeses him with ballista arrows, the Pursuer is most likely the first boss to tell you that dodging attacks is an option, and that unless you have a greatshield, blocking is less sufficient than dodging (and even the greatshield can be rendered worthless via a certain attack that impales you right at the Pursuer's BFS).
- Walking Armory: Wears a quiver full of weapons, but only uses his Ultra Greatsword.
Heide's Tower of Flame
- BFS: The sword knights wield a chipped one that looks suspiciously like Cloud's Buster Sword in shape.
- Drop the Hammer: The mace some wield is bigger than the player.
- Expy: Of the Anor Londo Sentinels, although with a wider variety of weapons.
- The Remnant: They are what is left of Heide's guards, still standing watch over it despite its crumbled state.
- Time Abyss: So unfathomably old their armor is more like rust being held in shape by some magic or blessing. They apparently were already old when Heide was founded, an era which dates back farther than any records.
- Confusion Fu: Their attacks consist mainly on trashing around their weapons trying to hit anything on the vicinity, making them unpredictable. It works.
- Distaff Counterpart: They're essentially DSII's equivalent to the Black Knights from the other games, being devastatingly strong enemies that are strewn about the entire game in small out of the way areas that can be provoked if no careful, and can even be discovered in the earliest areas. They have 2 differences though; First off being that the large area they mostly congregate in can actually be reached fairly early, and that unlike their black-armored counterparts, barring the Tower of Flame after beating the boss, they're actually completely non-hostile to you at all, content to let you run strait past in front of them unless you provoke them, meaning that they're far more manageable, and for good reason.
- Expy: Of Solaire, being miracle-wielding sun worshipers with very similar swords and helmets.
- Lightning Bruiser: Move fast and hit like trucks. They have extremely high defense and poise, and are VERY good at hitting you in unexpected ways even after you've gotten used to fighting them. It's to the point that it's probably a good thing the majority of them HAVE to be aggroed before they make you drop all your souls.
- Only a Flesh Wound: They are visibly covered in arrows and injured, but not only they don't seem to mind, they can still put up a fight.
- Shock and Awe: Their weapons deal lightning damage. You can actually gain them for yourself as a rare drop if you're lucky.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Not counting the patrols in Heide proper (Who will turn on you when the area boss is killed), regular Heide knights are always non-hostile until attacked. You will very quickly wish you hadn't disturbed their rest, as even the earliest ones encountered can force players in endgame gear to chug Estus.
The Dragonriders are renowned as faithful servants of King Vendrick. Dragonriders rode onto the field of battle mounted on wyrms, but this was a hard-earned privilege. The training of the Dragonriders was arduous and fraught with peril. Only the best of the best could complete the training and join this elite unit of Vendrick's troops. Those who failed in this training were torn apart by the very wyrms they sought to command.
- Badass Decay: In-Universe. The Dragonriders were the best of the best within the Drangleic army. That said, however, the order had waned and every Dragonrider faced is well beyond their prime.
- Blade on a Stick: Wields an enormous halberd. You can trade a Dragonrider's soul to Straid for this weapon, a twinblade, a bow or a greatshield.
- Easy Level Trick: It's possible to make the first Dragonrider you face charge off the platform into the bottomless pit.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Dragonrider archer in Drangleic Castle has way less health than his melee counterpart, despite switching to the same set of weapon if aggro'ed.
- Degraded Boss: Non-respawning Dragonrider's show up in a few places as regular enemies in Scholar of the First Sin, including one each standing guard in front of Vendrick's crypt and the room holding his soul.
- Dual Boss: Two of them show up in Drangleic Castle, with one initially shooting from afar with a greatbow until aggro'ed.
- Informed Ability: We never actually seem them riding dragons/wyrms, we're just told such in relevant item descriptions. They were supposed to be riding their mounts at one point in development, but this was cut because the Dragonriders were considered intimidating enough even on foot.
- Leitmotif: "The Dragonrider".
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: They all carry a greatshield that blocks most physical attacks. Trading their boss soul with Straid can earn one for yourself.
- Mighty Glacier: The Dragonriders slowly move around the battlefield and take some time to swing their halberds, but they deal high damage if their hits connect. Their armour also ensures that they will last for a while.
- Nonindicative Name: Contrary to their title, Dragonriders do not ride actual dragons, instead riding wyrms; wingless draconic beasts used in a similar fashion to horses.
- Praetorian Guard: The Dragonrider order serves as Vendrick's personal bodyguard.
- The Remnant: Very few of the Dragonrider order remain, yet they still carry on their duties.
- Skippable Boss: The lone Dragonrider in Heide's Tower of Flame can be avoided altogether by simply proceeding through the Pursuer's boss fight, which leads you to the Lost Bastille anyway. The two Dragonriders in Drangleic Castle, however, are required to pass through the King's Passage.
- Training from Hell: The Dragonriders were said to undergo intense and dangerous training, with only those who passed being allowed to join the order while the rest who failed would be ripped apart by the very mounts they tried to ride.
It appears that we still haven't seen the last of Lord Gwyn's mighty knights - Dragonslayer Ornstein. But this time, he's alone, and something seems... odd. Instead of the lightning powers he once possessed, he attacks with the power of Darkness. Is this truly the same proud knight faced in Lordran? If so, the flow of time is distorted, indeed. If not, then where else could this Old Dragonslayer have come from?
- Animated Armor: Like the Iron Dragonslayer Armor in Dark Souls III, its implied that this is just Ornstein's empty armor, animated by the Abyss.
- Achilles' Heel: Is vulnerable to magic and lightning attacks. If he is Ornstein, this also counts as Hoist by His Own Petard, as he was rather infamous for using lightning attacks himself in the first game.
- Area of Effect: Jumps into the air and stabs his spear down to unleash a shockwave of Abyssal energy.
- Ass Kicks You: The above shockwave attack is the same butt-slam Ornstein uses after absorbing Smough.
- Blade on a Stick: His weapon of choice, which leaves him open on his left side. Trading his soul to Weaponsmith Ornifex will yield his trademark Dragonslayer Spear.
- Bling of War: Wears the same ornate armour as Dragon Slayer Ornstein, although it looks a little worn out and is of a grittier colour.
- Cutting Off the Branches: The fact that he fights like Phase Two Ornstein from DS1 seems to suggest that the canonical way that fight goes is with Smough dying first, regardless of the order you beat them in in the last game. That said, everything in Anor Londo in DS1 is an illusion, so it's not impossible to theorise that the DS 1 Ornstein was also an illusion and that this Old Dragonslayer may be a corrupted version of the real thing. DS3 muddies this as well, stating that Ornstein had left Anor Londo long before Smough was killed battling Aldrich's followers.
- This is further clarified in Dark Souls III and it's expansion, the Ringed City DLC. Where the player fights another Dragonslayer's armor. Despite fighting with (presumedly) the actual warrior's combat style, the armor is always noted as being empty. First reanimated by some nearby Chaos beings, then later reanimated by a mix of "Memories of the hunt" and the powers of the Abyss. Considering this Old Dragonslayer is literally dripping with the Abyss, it is in all probability just Ornstein's armor, sans the dragonslayer himself, reanimated by the Abyss.
- Fallen Hero: It is implied through his weapon of choice, his moveset, the design of his armor, the description of his soul, and his possession of the Leo Ring that he is the same Ornstein from Dark Souls, having suffered the same fate as his old comrade Artorias.
- Dark Souls III muddies this by showing another set of dragonslayer armor that had been reanimated by the Abyss, similar to the Old Dragonslayer. Implying that is isn't actually Ornstein, but his now empty armor.
- Flash Step: His spear lunges are punctuated with near-instant movement, although it's less extreme than the previous game's Ornstein.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Once you damaged him enough, he will start using an unblockable spear charge that will impale you for a few seconds before throwing you away.
- Kung-Shui: Much like the previous game, he can accidentally destroy the pillars and chairs inside the cathedral.
- Legacy Boss Battle: The most obvious one returning from Dark Souls. Aside from a few new toys to play with in the form of Abyss sorceries, he's essentially a smaller second phase Dragonslayer Ornstein.
- Leitmotif: "The Old Dragonslayer". Depending on how you start your adventure, it might be your first taste of the game's Orchestral Bombing in a boss fight.
- Lightning Bruiser: Can attack by lunging across the room and stabbing the player with his spear. While he's not as strong as second phase Ornstein and lacks a companion, he's significantly more aggressive in his attacks.
- Meaningful Name: Given Dark Souls II takes place long after nearly everything in the first game was lost to memory, the "Old" in his name might refer to his status as a relic abandoned by time.
- Power of the Void: Can use the Dark Bead spell and unleash blasts of Abyssal energy, replacing the lightning based attacks used in Dark Souls I
- Scary Impractical Armor: Just like the first game's Ornstein, there's little explanation as to how he can perfectly see through his lion helmet's "mouth".
- Skippable Boss: The Blue Cathedral area you fight him is entirely optional and thus not needed to complete a normal playthrough.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Since the player can find Ornstien's discarded armor in Dark Souls III (which takes place later than Dark Souls II, and its still in a near pristine state (as opposed to its corrupted and corroded form here), it's implied that the armor was cast BACK through time where it faces the Bearer of the Curse.
- Villain Forgot to Level Grind: If it is the original Ornstein, he's certainly let go of himself in the time between Dark Souls 1 and 2, being fought at a much earlier point in this game than the original and with noticeably lower stats too. Most tellingly, a number of his attacks can be parried this time around, in contrast the original game.
- The implication that this is just Ornstein's armor reanimated by the Abyss and the memories of the hunt explain this easily by this not actually being Ornstein, thus not as powerful.
Discarded by society and trapped in the hellish and inescapable oubliette that is the gutter, the despair felt by these hollows awoke them to the dark that is their birthright.
A mutated canine born from the experiments conducted by Lord Aldia. Hunting Dogs are not a naturally-occurring species and are therefore only found in areas to which they were introduced by the Dragon Acolytes. A number of them were dumped into The Gutter over the course of Lord Aldia's research and continue to prowl its depths in search of anything that might serve as a meal
- Hitbox Dissonance: These enemies have a massive attack hitbox and can damage you before their attacks have launched, making them a hassle for melee players.
The curse afflicts not only man, but all forms of life. These vicious war hounds still aid and defend their masters in undeath, but now hunger for souls like all hollows do.
- Bat Out of Hell: With their aversion to light, leathery skin, and fanged maws, they certainly resemble giant, flightless bats.
- Rage Breaking Point: Taunt them enough with a torch and you'll find out how quickly they can overcome their fear of the light...
- Weaksauce Weakness: Light. Which is quite convenient, given the Pharros contraption that activates the numerous lanterns hanging above the stage.
The Flexile Sentry was assigned the task of emptying the dungeons of poor, cursed souls, and ensuring they were packed into prison ships. This lizard-like creature oversees the ferrying of undead into the Lost Bastille.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: In the most literal way possible. Interestingly, they only have one pair of legs that belongs to the Scimitar wielding one, making this one appear to be the main body.
- Conjoined Twins: Back-to-back, no less.
- Degraded Boss: A weaker Sentry appears in the Shaded Woods, just outside the entrance to the Shrine of Winter. Two more can be fought in the Frozen Eleum Loyce, in a cavern containing the key to the Frigid Outskirts and the Bone Fist. Scholar of the First Sin removes the one in the Shrine of Winter, but puts a respawning one in the bottom of Sinner's Rise in place of the Undead Aberrations. Until New Game+, where you have to deal with them and the aberrations.
- Drop the Hammer / Sinister Scimitar: The two halves of the body wield two scimitars and two maces, respectively.
- Dual Wielding: It's really more like Quadruple Wielding, accounting for the number of arms.
- The Ferryman: According to its flavour text, it keeps watch over the undead that are being shipped to the Lost Bastille.
- Force and Finesse: One body is heavily armored and wields two maces that can power through most blocks, the other is more lightly armored and prefers scimitars that inflict bleed.
- Forgot I Could Fly: Despite y'know, having having two bodies facing different directions, only one of them will ever actually attack at any time. The other one just waits its turn politely.
- Flunky Boss: In New Game+ (or through the use of a Bonfire Ascetic), the one in No-Man's Wharf will be accompanied by two Suspicious Shadows that will hound you repeatedly, using their claws and throwing knives to build up your bleed and toxic meters.
- Ghost Ship: Their fight takes place within the hold of one, which you get to ride after winning.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of the Sentry's most dangerous moves has it try to pierce you with one of its weapon, and if it does, it will hold you up above itself, followed with multiple stabs from the rest of its arsenal.
- Leitmotif: "Flexile Sentry".
- Lizard Folk: It has scaled, blue skin and its heads are very reptilian in appearance. It even lets out an audible hiss when dying, similar to the Man-Serpents from the first Dark Souls.
- Skippable Boss: The Ghost Ship you can sail on to reach Lost Bastille isn't the only way to get there, so killing Flexile Sentry is optional. The degraded Sentry in the Shaded Woods can be skipped by simply running past it.
The Lost Bastille
- Bandaged Face: Something was done to their faces that the audience can only speculate about. DarkSoulsIII retcons this to be a trait of serious pyromancers like Cornyx and Cuculus.
- Playing with Fire: They are pyromancers with an oddly refined, precise technique, designed to kill single prisoners on the run. It more resembles a soul arrow than a pyromancy.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Whoever owns the Bastille owns their loyalty, regardless of whether they are a noble king or a plain old tyrant. The jailers only concern is keeping people in their cells, and don't care who actually gets put in said cells.
- Action Bomb: One variant, instead of belly flopping, simply screams and explodes when you get too close. Not that it makes it any less dangerous.
- Was Once a Man: It is not clear exactly what they are anymore, seeing as they are at least half metal. Aldia is, according to the official guide, responsible for their current state.
The Ruin Sentinel has no physical form; it's merely a Soul haunting a large suit of armor. The Sentinels are the creations of the mysterious "jailer". There are three Sentinels in the Bastille, with three names: Yahim, Alessia, and Ricce. Were those the names granted to the Sentinels by the jailer, or did they belong to the previous owners of these lost Souls?
- Animated Armor: They aren't actually alive, instead being souls bound to a set of tall, thin armor.
- Dark Souls III reveals in its "The Ringed City" DLC The the Ruin Sentinels were based off of the armor of an order of knights who went in search of the Ringed City and the Dark Soul and wound up enslaved by the Judicator Giants.
- Degraded Boss: You fight a number of them later on in Drangleic Castle.
- Drop the Hammer: Their primary weapon is a long polearm-like hammer.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite the lore saying they don't have physical bodies anymore, they can easily be poisoned.
- Lean and Mean: They're about thrice the player's height, and are comparatively thin.
- Legacy Character: It is revealed later in the series that they are named in honor of the soldiers of the Ruin Unit, who were dispatched to the Ringed City in search of the Dark Soul and were never heard from again
- Leitmotif: "Ruin Sentinels", a brass bombardment followed by a rising Ethereal Choir around the one minute mark.
- Lightning Bruiser: They hit hard with their polearms, and they can move around the battlefield deceptively quickly. On top of wielding a shield, their individual health is high, often requiring the strongest strike type weapons to even dent them.
- Skippable Boss: If you've entered the Lost Bastille from both the Forest of Fallen Giants and No-Man's Wharf, a Pharros Lockstone can give you access to an elevator to the other side of their Boss Room.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: One of the earliest boss fights where you realize that you have to move around constantly to avoid getting swarmed by multiple enemies, or alternatively bring summons with you to even the odds. Their health and damage output increase slowly in subsequent playthroughs, and by then you likely have enough experience and equipment to tackle them singlehandedly.
- Wolfpack Boss: There are three of them in the Lost Bastille. You can fight up to five at once in Drangleic Castle if you aren't careful about which doors you are opening.
- Artificial Human: Other than their tiny stature, Bellkeepers look exactly like human beings, but are described as "dolls" animated to defend the bell towers.
- Axe-Crazy: The Bellkeepers have grown into suicidal sadists as the years went by. Originally, they were supposed to ward off people from ever stepping foot within the bell-tower. But by the time you find them, they are positively giddy at the thought of someone trespassing into the tower, entirely since then they would be able to butcher and slice up said trespasser. They don't even lock the door.
Gargoyles have been used as guardians throughout the ages, stretching back into the early Age of Fire. What brings these mysterious sentinels to life? Perhaps the sound of the bells they guard awakens them? Or do the gentle chimes comfort them in their long stone sleep?
- Artificial Brilliance: Once one is wounded enough, it will fall back and breathe fire while the remainder push forward to protect it.
- Blade on a Stick: Wield spears that can be charged with lightning, aptly named Gargoyle Bidents.
- Bonus Boss: Defeating them isn't necessary to the main storyline, but it gives you a means of making the Lost Sinner's fight easier.
- Breath Weapon: They can breath fire if wounded enough.
- Continuity Nod: Their boss fight proceeds almost exactly the same as the original Bell Gargoyles, as you fight them in a similar boss area with a remastered Leitmotif, and additional Gargoyles spawn while you're busy fighting the first one.
- Degraded Boss: Scholar of the First Sin throws a few gargoyles around separate from the boss encounter.
- Flight: They can take to the air and sneak behind the player with a plunging attack.
- Legacy Boss Battle: A straighter example than the Old Dragonslayer. They're way out of the standard gameplay, as is the Belfry Luna area, and they're considerably tougher than in the original game.
- Leitmotif: A remastered version of "Bell Gargoyle" from the original Dark Souls, this time called "Belfry Gargoyle".
- Our Gargoyles Rock: They're similar to the Bell Gargoyles from the first game, albeit without shields, a different weapon, and much more obviously made from stone. You can end up fighting all six at once if you're not careful and wear down individual gargoyles, as the activation for the next one is triggered by how low their total health has dropped.
- Shock and Awe: When one Gargoyle starts charging its bident, it will soon release a large discharge of lightning damage on you.
- Wolfpack Boss: This time there are six of them, and you have to fight them all! If you accidentally attack a gargoyle statue before it has animated, it will immediately come to life. A careless player could end up fighting all six at the same time!
The original prisoner of the Lost Bastille, around whose cell the structure was built. The Lost Sinner eternally punishes herself for the sins of her past. Indeed, she committed what some would believe to be the ultimate sin - she attempted to duplicate the First Flame.
- The Atoner: A particularly extreme example - her previous incarnation's sins were so great that she's sentenced herself to a life of incarceration and torment to atone.
- Ax-Crazy: Due to (apparently self-imposed) isolation in the cell for so long.
- Badass Normal: By the standards of her race. All of the other gods and demigods (giant humanoids like Vendrick, the Witch of Izalith, the Four Knights, and Gwyn's family) you face in this and the previous game have some sort of magical trick or gimmick to give them an edge. She's just really, really good with a sword.
- BFS: Wields a massive claymore.
- Dark Action Girl: A crazy woman who happens to be really good with a sword.
- Easy Level Trick: Subverted. The actual trick of lighting up her boss room is straightforward, but it requires a key that you can't get without 1) opening the path to Belfry Luna with a Pharros Lockstone, 2) beating a bunch of enemies including a Red Phantom to ring the bell, 3) fighting the Belfry Gargoyles, and 4) defeating a bunch of undead dogs and another Red Phantom to actually get to the key, so making the level easier is actually pretty hard! Scholar of the First Sin made it easier by having the key available only after the Ruin Sentinels, making it less of a hassle to obtain it.
- Eye Scream: In her opening cutscene, a scorpion-like parasite wriggles into the left eye socket of her mask, and she's clearly in pain from it.
- Flunky Boss: Two black phantoms spawn in NG+ and onward once her HP reaches 60% and below.
- My Greatest Failure: The Witch of Izalith's botched attempt to duplicate the First Flame, which instead turned her into the mother of all demons was bad enough that she's still atoning for it a whole incarnation later.
- Interface Screw: Her boss arena is quite dark by default, meaning that if you don't turn on the lights with your torch before you go in (not as easy as it sounds), your lock-on range will be severely reduced. Since she likes to jump around, she will often break your lock and then sneak in a hit while you're disoriented.
- Leitmotif: "The Lost Sinner".
- Master Swordsman: She's an old, tortured woman who's been rotting in a cell for centuries... who just so happens to be good enough with a sword to carve out a place for herself (literally and metaphorically) alongside demons, monsters, and abominations as one of the mightiest beings in Drangleic. She doesn't even need her hands free to dice your ass with that greatsword of hers.
- Nerf: In a rare display of mercy, From eventually patched her NG+ fight to weaken the phantoms.
- Room Full of Crazy: The entire cell containing the Sinner is covered in random text and screenings.
- Samus Is a Girl: The Flavor Text for the weapons and armor that can be acquired after beating the Lost Sinner use female pronouns. The Sinner itself looks androgynous and inhuman, and the mask has a beard on it. NG+ heavily implies the Lost Sinner is somehow tied to the Witch of Izalith (you receive her soul after defeating the boss), a popular theory being that the insect is the same one found at the heart of the Bed of Chaos and is what's left of the Witch. She herself may be Quelana, who left for parts unknown at the end of Dark Souls.
- Soul Fragment: In New Game+ and onward, she drops the Old Witch's Soul, which is implied to be what's left of the Witch of Izalith's Lord Soul and reinforces the theory that she's a reincarnation of sorts for her desire to relight the First Flame.
- Sword Plant: One of her attacks, in which she jumps high into the air in an attempt to plunge her sword into you.
- With My Hands Tied: Both her hands are trapped in wrist shackles. Doesn't stop her from wielding her sword well, though.
- Cowardly Mooks: Two of the Captive Undead tend to run away from the player the instant they see them.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: They're the victims of this, in no doubt due to the Old Iron King.
- Kill It with Fire: Some of them wield torches, and they will whack you with them should you get close to them.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Victims of this, in no doubt due to the Old Iron King.
- Unique Enemy: There is a non-hostile Undead Laborer wielding a torch located in the Undead Crypt. Should it spot the player, it will follow them, lighting up the path for them (though this isn't recommended unless you want to piss off Agdayne). Another non-hostile torch-wielding Undead Laborer is found in No-man's Wharf in the Scholar of the First Sin edition, acting the same way as the one in the Undead Crypt.
- Counter-Attack: The skeletons will rarely parry your attacks and riposte you. Better keep your guard up.
- Magic Missile Storm: They can cast Soul Spear Barrage, which is a large number of Soul Spears fired all at once.
- Mook Medic: They're this to the skeletons, reviving them every time they're killed.
- Projectile Spell: They can cast Homing Soul Arrow, which locks on to the player.
- Fragile Speedster: They're fast, but they don't have a lot of health. Good luck trying to catch up to them should they roll past you.
- Unique Enemy: They only appear in the Skeleton Lords fight, and only after the Lords themselves are defeated. Even then, only fournote of them spawn after they're killed.
- Axe-Crazy: They only care about causing pain. Killing you is just a greatly enjoyed side effect.
The Old Iron King's best soldiers, in their dark resurgence, have forgotten their original allegiance entirely. They seek to create a new kingdom - one of bone.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: They were once minions of the Iron King who were dedicated to hunting Undead, but they themselves eventually went Hollow.
- Big Bad Wannabe: For self-styled rulers of Drangleic, they're pretty pathetic - each of them isn't significantly more dangerous than the tougher non-boss enemies you've faced by that point, let alone the monsters who come after.
- Blade on a Stick: One of them wields the Roaring Halberd, which you can obtain yourself by trading their boss soul to Straid.
- Dem Bones: They're skeletons. And lords.
- Flunky Boss: When you kill one, a bunch of skeleton mooks will spawn and attack you. One of them spawns a massive number of regular skeletons. One of them spawns a smaller number of tougher armoured skeletons, and one of them spawns four Bonewheels (the only Bonewheels in the entire game, and in Scholar of the First Sin, only two spawn).
- Leitmotif: "Skeleton Lords".
- The Necrocracy: They wish to create a kingdom of Hollows, but aren't very successful.
- Playing with Fire: One of them is a pyromancer.
- Sinister Scythe: One of them wields a scythe as a melee weapon.
- Sword and Sorcerer: Two Skeleton Lords are melee fighters, the third is a pyromancer.
- Wolfpack Boss: Each of them don't have that much health compared to other bosses, but there are three of them, and large mobs of skeleton warriors and bonewheels will spawn when they die.
- Artificial Stupidity: One of the few enemies who won't follow you all the way across the map when aggroed; he'll make it halfway across the bridge and turn back. There are several ways to abuse this.
- Beef Gate: A tough fight to warn you that the Executioner's Chariot will not be easy. For bonus points, this is right after you run a gauntlet of four Torturers, who aren't necessarily tough fights individually but can do a lot of damage if you screw up or they decide to swarm you.
- BFS: Wields a ridiculously large greatsword. In New Game+ he drops a +3 Greatsword when killed.
- Easy Level Trick: There are two different ways to shoot him to death: either lure him onto the bridge and pelt him with arrows while he's heading back, or jump off the bridge into one of the side sections and shoot him while he can't reach you with his greatsword.
The Executioner has slain countless Undead, and continues to slay them again and again, eternally. Little does he know is that it is not by his own will that he slays the Undead, but that of his horse.
- Breath Weapon: The horse can breathe dark magic at you once you free it from the chariot.
- Corridor Cubbyhole Run: The first phase of the fight requires you to hide in alcoves to avoid getting run over by the chariot. Unfortunately, the alcoves make you vulnerable to being cornered by the skeletons.
- Death Cry Echo: The Rider will let out one upon the destruction of the Chariot.
- Degraded Boss: Scholar of the First Sin has another horse show up in Drangleic Castle, guarding the shortcut to the central bonfire.
- Flunky Boss: Has 3 necromancers summoning skeletons to attack you. The annoyance is slightly lessened as the chariot runs the skeletons over as well.
- Hellish Horse: The chariot is pulled by a demonic two-headed horse. It's the real brains of the operation, and the primary threat - the rider is just a mindless Hollow being dragged along for the ride.
- Jousting Lance: Trading the Executioner's Soul to Straid of Olaphis will net you a heavy lance that's actually used on the chariot as wheel blades.
- Leitmotif: "Executioner's Chariot".
- Multiple Head Case: The horse pulling the chariot has two heads.
- Puzzle Boss: You need to lower a gate via a lever so that the chariot crashes into it and destroys the rider and carriage, leaving only the horse, though it's worth noting that unlike most puzzle bosses, this still means you're in for a tough fight after solving its gimmick. Alternately, if you wound it enough while it is riding around, the horse won't be able to make the jump across the gap, and will be left hanging on for dear life. One shot can finish it, kind of like Ceaseless Discharge in the previous game.
- Screaming Warrior: The Rider, it's hard to hear at first, but he does utter several audible, "Hiya, hiya," shouts as the Chariot races through the corridor.
- Skippable Boss: The Undead Purgatory area you fight him is entirely optional and thus not needed to complete a normal playthrough.
- Spiked Wheels: The chariot rather unsurprisingly has them; with good timing you can roll under them during the fight. Afterwards you can trade the boss' soul to Straid for one of the spikes you can use as a lance.
Harvest Valley & Earthen Peak
- Drop the Hammer: They wield gigantic hammers to crush you into paste with.
- Dumb Muscle: Not that it prevents them from crushing you.
- Mighty Glacier: High health, high defense, high poise, and incredible damage output. Only their slow speed keeps them from being one of the strongest enemies in the game.
- Too Dumb to Live: They're in the advanced stages of hollowing, and often bumble into poison pools or shatter urns as they try to kill you. Both are fatal for them.
- Brains and Brawn: Without their overseer, the mounts are little more than mindless brutes. Without their mounts, the commanding hollows are no different from any other Hollow wandering the stage. But together, they form a formidable threat.
- The Dividual: Never seen apart, both master and steed function as one hulking enemy.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In their death animation, the overseer falls from their mount, before being swiftly crushed by its falling bulk.
- Shoulder Teammate: The overseer for its mount.
- Glass Cannon: Go down really quickly if you can get hits on them or, with the right gear, the poison jugs that most of them stand next to, because what little clothing they are wearing has no protective value, but their explosions can obliterate you if you get cocky.
- Honey Trap: Kill the men they seduce.
- Kill It with Fire: They rely on their powerful pyromancies to take the the player out.
- Kiss of Death: Their most dangerous move is one only used up close, where they lean in and blow a kiss... and the air in-front of them combusts into a massive explosion. It can kill players in a single hit, even through shields.
- Lady of Black Magic: Seductive Jugo Sorceresses dressed in revealing clothing to show their great beauty, and deadly pyromancers.
- Ms. Fanservice: Wear the most overtly sexual outfit in the entire series.
- Open Secret: The fate of the men they seduce is well known, even though they feign innocence.
- Stripperiffic: They look like they walked out of a Frank Frazetta painting.
- Squishy Wizard: Despite their powerful fire attacks, if you can get within range they typically go down in only one or two hits. Justified, considering that they're literally not wearing armor.
- Worth It: Despite knowing it will more often than not end with them fried to a crisp, men still sleep with them.
A fickle queen gave them life, and tore off their faces. How else could she forgive those who dared gaze upon her?The peculiar art of puppetry is a vestige of the two lost lands. A queen breathed life into these dolls withthe very miasma that afflicted her poison-drenched bosom, so that she would have slaves to serve her temperamental will.
- Artificial Human: Man-sized puppets who serve their queen.
- The Faceless: Quite literally, in that their heads have been torn from their shoulders by their queen and maker.
- Murderous Mannequin: Though they aren't for display purposes, these tricky creatures are no less dangerous.
- Poisonous Person: As with most everything else in Earthen Peak, every weapon they use is coated in poison.
The monster known as the Covetous Demon was once a man; a man whose love was unrequited. He expressed his desire by eating, and eventually transformed into the Covetous Demon. Is it some sick sense of love that it remains by the Queen's side? And why does the Queen permit and indulge this fiend's gluttony? Perhaps she wishes only to be desired.
- All Love Is Unrequited: It's stated that the Covetous Demon was once a man who loved Queen Mytha even after the Iron King banished her to the Earthen Peak, following her anyway. However, since Mytha had no affection for anyone other than the king...
- Fat Bastard: He's a massive, sluggish abomination that draws parallels to Jabba the Hutt. He can even flail around and crush you under his weight!
- I Am A Humanitarian: Above him are urns containing prisoners. Break them with a strong enough ranged attack like an iron arrow or heavy bolt, and he'll stop to eat them whole, leaving him wide open. He furthermore has an attack that not only chomps on you, but also unequips all of of your gear.
- Leitmotif: "Covetous Demon", which oddly resembles "Scorpioness Najka" in composition.
- Mighty Glacier: He hits pretty hard, but is perhaps the slowest boss in the game, with heavily telegraphed attacks.
- Mooks Ate My Equipment: He's far from a mook, but one of his attacks involves gobbling up the player, chewing them up a little, and then spitting them back out with all of their gear unequipped.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Has a wide mouth full of pointy teeth.
- Playing with Fire: Spits fireballs at the player.
- Recurring Element: A fairly subtle one to the Gaping Dragon, as both beings were once normal before being consumed by their abnormal hunger and transformed into grotesque monsters driven by nothing but gluttony. Furthermore, they both have an attack that involves eating you.
- Rolling Attack: A two-stage one. First, he'll flop onto the side. After a brief pause, he'll either finish the roll or start flailing around like a fish out of water, depending on where the player is.
- Was Once a Man: His gluttony twisted him so much that he became the disgusting creature you fight.
Mytha, the Baneful Queen
Once, long ago, Mytha was the fairest queen in all the land. Throughout the two kingdoms, none was more beautiful. Ever seeking the attentions of the King, she willingly poisoned herself in her eternal search for true beauty; she ultimately transformed into a monstrous snake-like creature. What passion fueled this change? Or is it a natural effect of the poison dredged up from the depths of the earth?
- Acquired Poison Immunity: To the point that poison heals her.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: If her title is of any indication, that is. Gilligan even says that her folly will get all the remaining residents of Harvest Valley killed.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Her beloved, hinted to be the Old Iron King, had eyes for another (implied to be the princess of Venn). Nothing ever came of it on his end, but nor did he ever give Mytha any love in return. This drove her mad to the point of poisoning herself into becoming a monster, all for the sake of attaining further beauty.
- Kill It with Fire: The poison that she bathes in allegedly burns very well. So does she (just ask Jester Thomas).
- Leitmotif: "Mytha, the Baneful Queen".
- Losing Your Head: Mytha carries her severed head in one hand, which she uses as a Sorcery catalyst.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Whenever she casts a spell or uses her "head bomb", her head lets out a shrill shriek.
- Regenerating Health: As mentioned above, Mytha recovers health from poison. Her boss arena is filled with a pool of poison, which the Earthen Peak windmill draws from below Harvest Valley. Unless you find a way to drain the poison, Mytha's health will regenerate during the fight.
- Snake People: Mytha turned into one of these due to her use of poison in order to obtain eternal beauty.
- Your Head Asplode: Mytha will occasionally throw her own head, using it as a Sorcery-powered grenade.
The blades they wield were forged by one of the true artisans entertained by the Iron King during his kingdom's heyday.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Some of them are equipped with the Alonne Greatbow, and they'll use it to snipe intruders with lethal precision. Get close enough to them and they will switch to their Blacksteel Katana for melee combat.
- Elite Mooks: The Alonne Knight Captains have a fancier looking armor, are bigger than normal Alonne Knights, and use an unobtainable katana that lights up with lightning when drawn to attack.
- Glass Cannon : They're surprisingly not durable despite towering over the player and being armored, but their katana and greatbow can easily shave off your health in seconds if they connect.
- Great Bow: The Alonne Greatbow towers over them, and it can fire much larger projectiles than ordinary bows.
- Iaijutsu Practitioner: They attack you by quickly drawing their swords and slashing you in one strike before pausing. The Alonne Knight Captains are even more impressive, unleashing a lighting quick attack before sheathing the katana in style.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Their Blacksteel Katana is one of the best dexterity weapons in the game, reaching S scaling just after upgrading twice.
- Samurai: Despite being armored knights, everything about these warriors screams Samurai, from their code of honor to their swift katana strikes. Unsurprising, given the man who gave their inspiration and namesake is a samurai.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of the Silver Knights from Dark Souls I, being knights that remain loyal to their deceased lord and continue to protect his domain as well as the usage of greatbows for long range attacks. They even share the same death cries.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: The Alonne Knight Captains wield unique lighting katanas, while you can only obtain the regular knights' Blacksteel Katana.
- Zerg Rush: They have a tremendous aggro range, and it's very easy to get chased around by multiple Alonne Knights and getting sniped by far away ones if you are careless.
A mass of iron that came to life, the Smelter Demon was responsible for the fall of the Old Iron King and his castle. From the depths of the earth it sprang, and incinerated the short-sighted king in a single blow.
While it initially appears to be the only one, there is another deep within the Brume Tower's Iron Passage. An older one, powered by magic rather than fire.
- Animated Armor: It's a mass of iron that's been given a soul.
- Belly Mouth: While it's almost impossible to see during the fight, the two halves of the Smelter Demon's torso create a fanged mouth where its belly should be, with a pair of eyes holes in the breastplate above it that create a snarling face, an effect reinforced by the blank, gaping hole in its head where it's actual face should be.
- BFS Wields an enormous iron sword. If you damage the boss enough, it'll stick the blade in its molten core, setting it aflame for extra damage. The blue Smelter Demon in the DLC takes it a step further by elongating the burning blade's reach, making for wonky hitbox shenanigans.
- Bonus Boss: Another Smelter Demon appears at the end of the Iron Passage in the Crown of the Old Iron King, and is cut off from the rest of the DLC area. Not only is it much tougher than the base game counterpart, but the reward for beating it is a piece of equipment that makes your life easier against the fire present throughout the level.
- Eyeless Face: Its face is a caved-in pit, similar to a Giant's.
- Flaming Sword : While not flaming initially, the boss will eventually set its BFS on fire.
- Horned Humanoid: Its helmet sports two large protrusions on the sides that resemble the horns of some kinds of bull. The Smelter Demon found in the DLC has a more ornate helm, also decorated with bull-like horns.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: The first thing it did after coming to life is incinerating the Iron King, but let's face it; the latter indulged in such decadences that it's hard to feel sorry for his death.
- Leitmotif: "Ruin Sentinels", shared with the bosses of the same name.
- Mage Killer: While the first smelter demon falls to spells pretty quickly, the blue smelter demon has ludicrously high magic resistance; any magic attack, be it a spell or a Magic weapon, will barely scratch him. Most mage characters either skip him or temporarily respec for the fight.
- Magic Knight: The blue Smelter Demon found in the Iron Passage deals magic damage instead of fire, and can launch a magic explosion with an overhead swing once its BFS is set aflame.
- Mighty Glacier: A very slow opponent, but one that can easily take off chunks of health per swing. Not only that, but its long reach and the small size of its boss arena makes it hard to avoid its attacks.
- Multiple-Choice Past: It's left unclear whether or not the Old Iron King created the Smelter Demon, or discovered it as his castle sank into the earth. The Smelter Sword suggests that the Smelter Demon was born independent of the Old Iron King's actions, but the Aged Smelter Sword mentions that the King created soul-infused automatons, including perhaps the Smelter Demon itself. It's possible that the Blue Smelter Demon was crafted and the Red Smelter Demon was not, or some other combination that makes both backstories equally true, but either way the Red Smelter Demon certainly killed him.
- Our Demons Are Different: It has the "Demon" in its name, but other than that it's a large Animated Armor burning with the fury of an inferno.
- Playing with Fire: It will cover its body, and later its sword, in flames to deal extra damage.
- Replacement Goldfish: May have been created as one for Sir Alonne, sharing some of the same attacks with him, most notably the huge leaping Sword Plant. And then there's Smelter's rather... interesting... method of buffing its weapon.
- Shout Out: It backstory and intimidating behaviour draw parallels to the Balrog. It's a demonic entity awoken by a greedy king who Dug Too Deep in search of valuable metals, and who proceeded to kill said king and bring ruin on his kingdom.
- Skippable Boss: Its defeat isn't required to progress in Iron Keep, but it does get you a bonfire.
- Sword Plant: The Smelter Demon usually finishes its sword combos with one, though it's rather predictable and it stays still for its duration. But if you linger too close afterwards, it will unleash a very damaging burst of energy. After it creates its Flaming Sword, the area of effect doubles in size.
- Technicolor Fire: The Smelter Demon appearing in the DLC has blue flames, and similarly ignites its sword in pale blue fire. It's also a lot more powerful, and deals magic damage instead of fire.
- Torso with a View: Its upper body and pelvis are separated by a glowing core of fire lined with fangs, strongly resembling Nightmare's design in Soulcalibur IV.
- Turns Red: Twice, and both events happen fairly early on. First, the Smelter Demon will wreathe itself in the flames from its core; darkening the arena and giving it an aura that burns the player when they get close. After a little longer, the Demon will drive its own sword into its core to ignite it, giving its normal attacks additional fire damage.
- Turned Against Their Masters: The lore descriptions on its items suggest that the Old Iron King might have created the Smelter Demon, rather than simply finding it.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: Both of its enhanced states are designed to counter two of the most common boss-fighting tactics employed by players; namely getting close and strafing around (damaging aura), and hiding behind a strong shield (bypass with elemental damage).
Old Iron King
A powerful but short-sighted king who exalted the virtue of might, the Old Iron King has been transformed into a demon. As his flesh burned away, his soul was possessed by the wicked things that lurk below, becoming Ichorous Earth.
Crown of the Old Iron King expands a bit on his history: he was once a minor lord who enfeebled himself after having spent all his resources on the barren kingdom of Venn. He would have been condemned to mediocrity had he not stumbled upon the service of Sir Alonne and the Scorching Iron Sceptre, which allowed him to mold iron freely.
- Animal Motif: The symbol of his kingdom was the bull/minotaur. Both Iron Keep and Brume Tower are littered with cast iron mounted bull's head displays/busts and the occasional minotaur statue. He even commissioned a minotaur's head helmet, and if you look to where you came from at his boss arena, there's a gigantic bull's head that spouts flame from its nostrils (and contains a bonfire and switch to deactivate all the fire traps). His new form also has bull-like horns. Appropriate, considering how damn bull-headed he was to make something of his kingdom.
- Asshole Victim: The king greedily mined his own kingdom to ruin and snubbed his own queen in favor of another. It's also heavily implied that he hunted the Undead for sport and tortured them for kicks, given the close proximity of the Huntsman's Copse and the Undead Purgatory. Make no mistake, he deserved to be incinerated by the Smelter Demon.
- Big Red Devil: He was transformed into "Ichorous Earth", a humanoid demon with horns, bat-wings, and skin made out of volcanic rock. And you fight him in an area that couldn't be more at home in Hell.
- Breath Weapon: He can cover the whole field in fire with this, but uses it rarely.
- Came Back Strong: Regardless of how great the Old Iron King was before his death at the hands of the Smelter Demon, something possessed his corpse in the lava and turned him into the hideously powerful being known as Ichorous Earth.
- Collector of the Strange: The descriptions of several unusual weapons sold by Chancellor Wellager reveal that they come straight from the collection of the Old Iron King.
- Drunk with Power: His obsession with power and might is his defining trait. He entertained himself with Undead hunting, molded huge iron structures and statues (some of them animated) just because he could, consequences be damned, and it's implied he tried to conquer life forces themselves, which resulted in Animated Armor Army of Ironclads and Iron Warriors. This culminated with him building a solid iron citadel so massive it sunk into the ground under its sheer weight (building it on heavily mined-out volcanic lands didn't help either) and possibly a creation of Smelter Demon(s), these events costing him his life and humanity and toppling his kingdom. The description of the Brume Tower key even mentions a legend where he tried to create a dragon made of iron.
- Dug Too Deep: He mined enormous amounts of iron to build his castle. This awoke the Smelter Demon, and directly resulted in the king's demise, after which his corpse was revived as the monstrosity you fight.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's only called the "Old Iron King" because its the only thing he's referred to as. His real name is unknown, and the "Ichorous Earth" title is only mentioned in the description of the Iron King Hammer and an offhand comment from Shalquoir. Although early builds of the game did have Ichorous Earth as the name above his health bar.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Started out as a minor noble stuck with nearly worthless land. Then he received two strokes of great luck: he became friends with the mighty Sir Alonne, and discovered an Iron Sceptre that allowed him to mine his land's rich mineral deposits. Eventually he became Drunk with Power, becoming a cruel tyrant who would reduce his own kingdom to a lifeless wasteland. Then he sank into the lava, came into contact with... something, and became the being nicknamed "Ichorous Earth".
- Leitmotif: "Old Iron King".
- Mighty Glacier: You only really fight his upper half, and his moves are telegraphed, but he is enormous and powerful. The biggest threat is simply being hit by him, because he can smash through your guard; or worse, you may just be thrown off the field and into the lava.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Isn't really a dragon, but definitely looks like one spliced with a demon. Uses similar attacks, too, and boasts a similar weakness to lightning.
- Pet the Dog: His relationship with Sir Alonne. While they didn't part on the best of terms, The Old Iron King still valued their friendship enough to keep his armor and weapon safe and undisturbed in his old tower.
- Recurring Element: Two of them:
- In the essence of lore, he's one of Gwyn (who also burned away when reaching into the flames), as he drops the Old King Soul in New Game+.
- In terms of appearance and arena, he's essentially the Dragon God from Demon's Souls with less mouths, eyes, and arms, and size. He also has more than a bit in common with the Ceaseless Discharge- an enormous, twisted creature that Was Once a Man, dripping with lava, which attacks by slamming its limbs down on the platform in an attempt to squash you, giving you a chance to hit them.
- Reincarnation: When talking to Shalquoir after you defeated the Old Iron King, she mentions how you've just met the new demonic form of the foolish king whose castle sank into the lava and was killed by the Smelter Demon. On top of that, he carries a fragment of what's hinted to be Gwyn's Lord Soul.
- Spikes of Villainy: Has multiple spikes on his back.
- Soul Fragment: In New Game+ and onwards, he drops the Old King's Soul, which carries a reference to Lord Gwyn from the first Dark Souls. For all intent and purposes, both met a similar fate of burning away.
- Was Once a Man: And is now a giant flaming demon.
- An Axe to Grind: An axe that does Curse, no less!
- Beast Man: They are anthropomorphic lions.
- The Grotesque: Subverted. While they do not look particularly horrible compared to other creatures encountered, they despise their own looks. They take this to the point that they hate being seen so much that they'll kill anyone who does see them on sight.
- It Can Think: As stated by the axes they drop, the Lion Clan are much more intelligent than they appear. They even have their own gods, according to the description of the shields they carry.
- Metal Slime: They only spawn once, and with a rare chance to drop loot such as a unique chest and headpiece. Beyond this, they aren't any different than their more common kin.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: Swing around some kind of curled up, mummified corpse as a club.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Technically counts, since they are former humans seen chowing down on corpses.
- Our Goblins Are Different: For starters, they are much larger than the average goblin.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: They act similar to the Infested Ghouls, even sharing the same sounds.
- Beware the Silly Ones: The giant eyes on their heads are actually sacs, and their waddling gait makes them seem silly and harmless, but don't laugh, 'cause their petrifying breath can instakill you.
- Breath Weapon: Just like their last appearance, Basilisks can breathe noxious gases on the player. However, their breath inflicts petrification instead of Curse.
- Recurring Element: They behave exactly as they did in the previous game, and they're just as frustrating to fight as ever.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: They resemble lizards with giant eyes.
- Taken for Granite: Their breath attacks inflict Petrification, which works like Curse in the previous game in that it instantly kills the player by turning them into stone.
- Underground Monkey: There's a variant of Basilisk found only in Brightstone Cove Tseldora that lack the giant fake eyes the rest of their brethren have. They tend to ambush the player by burrowing out of the dirt. Another variant that appears very rarely in the game is the Giant Basilisk, which is much more resilient and hits harder than their smaller brethren.
- Early-Bird Cameo: On New Game+ some will appear in Things Betwixt.
- Off-Model: Some kind of very, very obvious bug affects their walk cycle, making their legs twist and cross over at bizarre angles, as if the left leg is doing the right legs job and vice versa.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Unlike the timid and emotional people of Volgen, the Falconers are brutally efficient and are hinted to get up to extremely unsavory activities when not on payroll.
- Unusable Enemy Equipment: Despite being able to buy their outfit right away upon reaching Majula (or even start the game wearing 3/4 of it if you picked the Knight class), and find their shield in the Shaded Woods near where they hang out, you'll never get your hands on one of those sweet-looking curved swords they use.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: The eye of the priestess in the third expansion pack, which was said to let you see all hidden things, let's you see these guys as well. This also sheds some light on their mysterious origin: Other than the rare ones in assassin clothing, all are dressed in Drangleician army uniforms. They are most likely war dead who cannot move on.
- Interface Screw: Pretend to be non interactive player phantoms (the translucent kind that occasionally show up when another player is in the same area or sitting at a bonfire) but it quickly becomes apparent that they know where you are... and that they are hunting you when you aren't looking. In addition, they cannot be locked on to, which is a major issue for anyone not using a great-sword (Who must aim their swings anyway).
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It is never made clear whether they are actual ghosts or just are using some kind of illusion magic. Though considering the rest of the Shaded Woods, with its curse jars and screaming trees, it wouldn't be too far fetched if they were actual ghosts.
- Brown Note: The creepy laughter and Curse buildup that happens when you get too close to them.
- Dissonant Laughter: They emit really creepy laughter whenever you're near them.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Who made these? Why? Curse in Dark Souls 2 is associated with beings/artifacts of pure evil and malevolance. What the hell could be put in a jar to cause it? Why does it laugh? We never find out.
The wife of Manscorpion Tark, a fragile soul created long ago by an ancient being in the throes of madness. Najka herself has succumbed to the very affliction which felled her master and has devolved into a ferocious beast, a threat to all living things.
- Body Horror: In the same vein as two known daughters of Chaos, she has the upper body of a woman, but the lower half is that of a massive scorpion. Unlike the Sisters, though, her scorpion half is actually her own lower body (with her in place of its head), rather than a separate being that she's symbiotically fused to like Quelaag and The Fair Lady are to their demon spiders.
- Beware My Stinger Tails: She has two poison-coated tails that she can use to either sweep you around or impale you with them, inflicting serious damage and instant toxic status in the process.
- Cane Fu: Some of her melee attacks involve her swinging her Catalyst at you like a spear.
- Fast Tunnelling/Sand Is Water: She'll dive underground and chase you through her arena, later surfacing from right beneath you.
- Godiva Hair: Her human torso is stark naked, in contrast to her husband, who at least wears an armour chestplate.
- Leitmotif: "Scorpioness Najka".
- Magic Missile: Uses the Soul Spear and Homing Soulmass sorceries. Gets taken Up to Eleven with Soul Shower, which basically combines the previous two sorceries for a devastating barrage.
- Recurring Element: Being artificially fused to a a giant arachnid from the lower part of the body and being closely related to someone who met the same fate, Najka is this game's equivalent of Dark Souls's Chaos Witch Quelaag. Unlike the latter, her lower body is that of a two-tailed scorpion, and her relationship with her husband Manscorpion Tark is antagonistic.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: A close-up shot of her shows that she has red eyes just like her husband, but unlike him she means business against you.
- Sanity Slippage: Was originally capable of living in peace with her husband, but as time went on her condition drove her mad.
- Scorpion People: Is a woman fused to a massive two-tailed scorpion with a shell hard enough to resist most physical attacks.
- Was Once a Man: Manscorpion Tark indicates that she was human just like him. Going by his dialogue and her soul description, they both may have been created by Seath the Scaleless.
Doors of Pharros
- Badass Beard: Oh yeah. They got some nice beards & they're very strong.
- Horny Vikings: Not exactly Vikings, but they wear horned helmets.
- Improbable Weapon User: Some of them wield anvils connected to chains, acting as impromptu flails.
- Mighty Glacier: Slow as molasses, but they hit hard and they have decent range with their chained anvil flails.
- Our Dwarves Are Different: The Gyrm are Dark Souls' equivalent to dwarves: short, stocky & very strong beings who enjoy drinking out of tankards, are bearded, live underground, and wield axes & hammers... but, despite being stockily built, they're about as tall as a human (in fact, they're much larger than an average human), their living underground wasn't by choice (they were forced underground by humans motivated by Fantastic Racism), they're not interested in mining, and they weren't proficient at engineering (their equipment is described as being very crude, albeit very tough). Because of their aforementioned getting forced underground, they despise humans; only one Gyrm will even speak to you (and he's not lingustically proficient), while the rest will attack you on sight.
- An Axe to Grind: Some of them dual wield greataxes. They have a habit of throwing them at you one at a time.
- Badass Beard of Barbarism: Bigger than their worker counterparts, and bushy enough to grow past their helmets.
- Cool Helmet: A heavy bell-shaped helm that offers great poise and defense.
- Drop the Hammer: Some of them wield greathammers crudely constructed from chaining anvils to poles.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Their greatshields, which resemble two stone slabs crudely connected via a wooden base. Offers the best fire & physical damage protection.
- Mighty Glacier: Slower than their worker counterparts, but they hit even harder than them.
- Our Dwarves Are Different: See the folder above.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Or rather, a greataxe. The dual greataxe-wielding Gyrm Warriors will do this, though the thrown greataxe flies very slowly and is easily dodged. If it does hit, however, it takes off a large chunk of health.
- Animalistic Abomination: They're strange, feral dog-rat hybrids that resemble the Royal Rat Authority, except smaller & they're covered in a gas cloud.
- Hybrid Monster / Mix-and-Match Critters: A cross between dogs and rats.
- Poisonous Animal: They inflict Toxic on you.
- Swarm of Rats: How they're usually encountered.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Rat King.
- Zerg Rush: How they attack you, since they're usually encountered in small packs.
- Artificial Human: Or rather, Artificial Mastodon-Men brought about by ancient forbidden rituals.
- Beast Man: They resemble mastodons, an extinct species of prehistoric animals distantly related to elephants, complete with tusks.
- BFS: You don't get to fight any Primal Knights using one, but you can get the Mastodon Greatsword from a chest in Dragleic Castle.
- Blade on a Stick: All of the Primal Knights wield the Mastodon Halberd, which they use to either thrust you or slash you with an overhead swing.
- Expy: Giant humanoids wielding halberds and enormous greatshields, they're even more obvious expies of the Sentinels of Anor Londo than the Old Knights of Heide's Tower of Flame. The two guarding the stairs up to Drangleic Castle truly hammer the point home.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: They wield the Mastodon Greatshield, but they don't block with it much. They will happily smash your face in with it, though.
- Mighty Glacier: They're slow, but they hit hard. This can be a little problematic if you're engaging them in the Doors of Pharros, since much of the level is covered in knee-deep water that impedes your movement.
- Underground Monkey: 2 non-rusted knights are found in Drangleic Castle, guarding the staircase leading to the entrance of the castle.
Royal Rat Authority
A loyal servant of the Rat King and the enforcer of his authority, this gargantuan Dog Rat is also responsible for testing the strength and virtue of visitors to his lord's domain.
- Angry Guard Dog: He's been given the duty of guarding Pharros' Labyrinth, and he'll come bearing down on you as soon as you step in his territory.
- Animalistic Abomination: An enormous, decaying, poisonous wolf-rat monster.
- The Champion: The Royal Rat Authority is actually the bodyguard for the Rat King, as well as a test for those wishing to join his covenant.
- Leitmotif: "Royal Rat Authority".
- Lightning Bruiser: Hits like a steam train and can move very fast across his boss area.
- Skippable Boss: Just walk to the leftmost staircase from the entrance to Doors of Pharros and you never have to fight him, or even go through most of the level.
- Swarm of Rats: If you don't deal with them in the first few seconds of the fight, his flunkies will make your life hell.
Brightstone Cove Tseldora
- Lethal Joke Character: As silly as they look with their gardening/digging tools and little hats, many have a dark enchantment on their weapon, letting them deal massive damage.
Prowling Magus and the Congregation
An Aldia warlock who occupied the abandoned Brightstone Cave Chapel and began using the site to conduct dark rituals with his Congregation of enslaved Undead. His minions do not take kindly to interruptions of their services and readily offer up intruders to their master as sacrifices.
- Degraded Boss: Another Prowling Magus can be found at the Rise of the Dead in the Shrine of Amana, just before the altar where you can un-curse yourself for free if you have no souls on hand. Scholar of the First Sin moves him to the laboratory of Aldia's Keep, replacing him with a few pyromancers.
- Flunky Boss: The Magus fights with his congregation, which is made up of several garden-variety hollows and two priests.
- Leitmotif: "Covetous Demon", shared with the boss of the same name.
- Religion of Evil: You're practically stumbling upon a sinister sect and its decrepit Undead followers.
- Shock and Awe: The two priest are able to cast lightning-based miracles, often stopping you in your tracks.
- Squishy Wizard: Despite being backed up by several flunkies and capable of firing myriads of spells, his health is among the lowest for a boss fight.
- All Webbed Up: They can spit webbing on the player character, slowing them down significantly.
- Giant Spider: About as big as a dog.
- Money Spider: Literally. Like the Kobolds, the Ducal Spiders can drop some very interesting pieces of equipment.
- Puppeteer Parasite: They latch on to their victims' backs and control them from there.
- Skeleton Motif: Their cephalothroaxes are emblazoned with a skull motif, making them look even more unsettling.
- Underground Monkey: A variant of the Ducal Spider that inflicts Poison on the player exists alongside their nonpoisonous brethren.
- Weak to Fire: Not only do they have low fire resistance, but they back away from the player's lit torch.
- And I Must Scream: Not even death or the curse granted them peace, as they are now being puppeteered by the parasitic spiders.
- Attack the Mouth: One of the spider legs pierces the undead in the back of the neck and exits through their mouth. Yikes.
- Body Horror: Aside from the giant spider latched onto the back, the host is Nightmare Fuel on its very own. While your everyday hollow isn't the pinnacle of health the hosts have a sickly grey hue to their skin, their mouths are open way too wide, probably due to the spider leg dislocating their jaws, their ribcages are torn open and their waists lack any kind of skin, with flesh and muscle exposed.
- Desperation Attack: Of a sort. They can still hit the player after they were killed with melee attacks.
- Fate Worse than Death: Becoming a host to a parasitic Giant Spider isn't the best way to go.
- Parasite Zombie
The Duke's Dear Freja
A monstrous two-headed spider which serves as the Keeper of the Writhing Ruin. Apparently Duke Tseldora's pet and more than likely the progenitor of the swarms of parasite spiders which overran and destroyed Brightstone Cove. But what could the Duke have wanted with such an abomination, and what madness could have possessed him to allow the destruction of his own domain?
- A Head at Each End: Is a conjoined spider.
- Animalistic Abomination: She is an arthropodic entity that has existed since long before Drangleic went to hell, claiming the corpse of an ancient dragon as her nest. The "Writhing Ruin" she is the Keeper of is "an ancient thing whose shadow remains cast over the land", and is hinted to be Seath the Scaleless from the first Dark Souls.
- Arch-Enemy: Seath the Scaleless's festering grudge against the dragons extends even past his death - you first meet Freja chowing down on a particularly large one's corpse.
- Attack Its Weak Point: Is completely invulnerable everywhere except the head. Fortunately, she's got two.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: Inverted. Freja doesn't drop a Great Soul - you find it sitting on the ground directly beneath the webbed-up dragon husk in her lair, after defeating her.
- Body Horror: Is two absolutely humongous giant spiders, fused at their backs, for a total twelve-legged, two-headed monstrosity.
- Breath Weapon: She can spit beams of energy from her mouth.
- Flunky Boss: She's joined by a pack of her smaller brood. Ironically, they'll flee when one of her heads falls off.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: The addition in its soul description from Scholar of the First Sin states that it started out as a "solitary insect", which was possessed by the shadow of the Writhing Ruin (strongly hinted to be the remnant of Seath the Scaleless himself) and grew in power, eventually becoming the abomination in current time.
- Giant Spider: A two-headed humongous beast, which leads a horde of man-sized ones to boot.
- Leitmotif: "The Duke's Dear Freja".
- Miracle-Gro Monster: Hanging next to the Hollowed Duke Tseldora in the room after Freja's boss room is a small cage. The bars are broken in such a way that suggests whatever was inside had busted out. Evidently Freja used to be a lot smaller. Being possessed by Seath might have been what caused her to grow in size.
- Off with His Head!: It's possible to cut off one of her two heads if you quickly deal enough damage on one, stunning her for few seconds.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: "Freja" is actually a name given by Duke Tseldora to this giant spider, which was previously known only as the Writhing Ruin's Keeper.
- Proactive Boss: In New Game+, Freja will appear at the cliff just outside the cave leading to the church containing the Prowling Magus. Unlike the Pursuer, she'll abandon the fight and flee after a short time.
- Reincarnation: Because Manscorpion Tark refers to her as his master, and she drops the Old Paledrake Soul in New Game+, it's implied she's the latest incarnation of Seath the Scaleless. Tark also muses that this is not the last you will see of "her".Tark: What skill! You've defeated my master. But our master never dies. And he changes form so that he may seethe for all eternity.
- Spiders Are Scary: Far and away the most nightmarish depiction of a demonic spider in a Souls game.
- Soul Fragment: In New Game+ and onwards, she drops the Old Paledrake Soul, which is implied to be what's left of Seath's Lord Soul, given it can be traded for the Moonlight Greatsword or the Crystal Soul Spear, both of which were created by him. The Duke's Dear Freja reinforces the similarities with Seath the Scaleless by nesting on a dragon's corpse, a dead ringer for the paledrake's hatred of his brethren.
- Wave-Motion Gun: She sometimes fire a massive magic beam in a circular motion, and anyone caught in it often dies in one hit.
The founder and proprietor of Brightstone Cove Tseldora. He was known for his love of spiders.
Grave of Saints
While at first glance they appear to be no more than putrid vermin, these sentient rodents are in fact loyal to subjects of the noble Rat King and will bravely defend their subterranean kingdom against intruders.
It is whispered that those who demonstrate their integrity may be granted an audience with the King and, if deemed worthy, initiated into the ranks of righteous rats.
- Underground Monkey: They're basically a variant of the Undead Laborers found in the Huntsman's Copse, but they have more health.
Royal Rat Vanguard
A servant of the Rat King tasked with overseeing the Grave of Saints burrow and testing the worthiness of those who seek an audience with his lord. This loyal rodent can be identified among his subordinates by the dark ridge of fur on his back, perhaps a symbol of his status in the underground kingdom.
- Flunky Boss: Leads a swarm of lesser rats, which makes it extremely easy to blend in and get the drop on you.
- Leitmotif: "Royal Rat Vanguard".
- Puzzle Boss: There's no special indication of what exactly you're trying to fight, as the Vanguard only appears after you've killed a number of normal rats and even then looks nearly identical to all the rest.
- Skippable Boss: With some skillful jumping or by paying Laddersmith Gilligan 12,000 souls, you can drop down to the cove below the entrance of the Grave of Saints and proceed straight to the Gutter, removing the need to even fight this boss.
- Swarm of Rats: Leads a swarm of them. The only thing distinguishing it from one of its pack is the crest of hair on its back.
- Taken for Granite: Its attacks are imbued with petrification buildup, which can potentially kill you in one hit if you're not careful.
- Zerg Rush: How its swarm of rats attack.
Giant milipede-like beings who inhabit the walls of the Black Gulch. If disturbed they will trash their enormous bodies in an attempt to crush enemies.
A patchwork entity born from an amalgamation of lost souls and the withered bodies they inhabited, over time The Rotten absorbed so many life forces that he came to possess a Wondrous Soul of his own. He dwells deep below the surface world, embracing all that arrive at his sanctuary for things unwanted or thrown away and granting them new life as part of himself...
- All There in the Manual: The unused soul description of The Rotten reveals a lot about it; Namely, that he was once Gryth, the Sunken King, who was killed by Sir Yorgh and the Drakeblood knights who sought the blood of dragons, but was transformed via the poison of Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon, and now watches over the Gutter and Black Gulch. This would explain why the Crown of the Sunken King DLC can be accessed right after the Rotten's boss arena.
- And I Must Scream: Even as you stand just outside of his boss room, you can hear several voices moaning and squirming. They belong to the bodies that make up the Rotten, still conscious and struggling to free themselves from this entity.
- An Arm and a Leg/Subsystem Damage: You can cut off either or both of his arms to prevent some of his attacks from working, and the left arm also drops a Pharros Lockstone. Humorously, the thing will try these attacks anyway (i.e. trying to chop you up with the blade held by his non-existing limb).
- Body Horror: Ugh. The Rotten is arguably the most disgusting abomination in Dark Souls II and one of the most repulsive examples of a Body of Bodies ever created.
- Body of Bodies: An immense semi-humanoid figure (it lacks legs, squirming around on a mat of arms) made up entire of writhing human bodies, held together by chains wrapped around its body and a cage encasing its head.
- The Butcher: He wields a massive meat cleaver and adds his victims to himself.
- Eldritch Abomination: Of all the terrifying monsters in Dark Souls II, this is the one that comes closest to the term, seeing he's a heart-rendingly grotesque amalgamation of bodies that defies the world's logic and came to possess a Wondrous Soul on par with very powerful individuals like the Lost Sinner and the Old Iron King.
- Hidden Depths: Interesting, he does seem to have a hobby - repairing all those statues that annoy the the hell out of you in both the Gutter and the Gulch. When you enter his boss room, he botches his latest work, leaving him clearly frustrated. Plus, when you're right up against the boss door, if you position the camera right to hear it, you can hear him singing. One can only wonder if those statues are a reminder of someone he was once fond of...
- The unused soul description of the Rotten reveals that he was once the Sunken King. Apparently he cares a lot about his subjects even after his transformation into the Rotten.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: The unused soul description of the Rotten reveals that he was once Gryth, the Sunken King. Given the state you see him in, along with Shulva, Sanctum City, he must have fallen real hard.
- Grievous Harm with a Body: The Rotten is made up of hundreds of Undead piled on top of each other, being crushed under the cumulative weight. As a result, when he punches you, swings his sword, or attacks in any other way, he's doing this.
- Leitmotif: "The Rotten", which features a similar build-up and tone as "Gravelord Nito".
- Mighty Glacier: His attacks are fairly slow and he can't turn around quickly, but he's incredibly resilient, and those butcher strikes will cleave away your health if they connect. Lord help you if he ends up grabbing you.
- Monster Suit: There's a body jutting out of The Rotten's left shoulder, mimicking (or possibly controlling) his attacks.
- No Name Given: The Rotten is only known as that, although it did have the name Gryth the Rotten early in development.
- Obliviously Evil: Possibly. He may not consider adding people to his mass as a Fate Worse than Death, but as a way to provide sanctuary for them when no one would.
- Pet the Dog: Despite being a horrifying abomination that dwells in the deepest reaches of the earth, he is said to grant sanctuary to all who have been tossed away from the surface, although by "granting sanctuary" he actually means to absorb them all...
- Recurring Element: Of Nito from the first game, being a mass of congealed corpses wielding a massive sword and residing in the deepest reaches of the earth. He even drops what is implied to be Nito's soul in New Game+ onwards.
- Soul Fragment: In New Game+ and onwards, he drops the Old Dead One's Soul, which is implied to be a remnant of Nito's power.
- Undead Abomination: It is a conglomeration of undead held together in a Body of Bodies by the reincarnated soul of the God of Death from the first game.
- Was Once a Man: The unused soul description of the Rotten reveals that he was once Gyrth, the Sunken King, and it's surprising to see how one can go from a simple King to a Body of Bodies through Sinh's poison.
King's Passage & Drangleic Castle
- Achilles' Heel: Their fighting style tends to leave them really exposed to backstabs.
- BFS: Some wield the Black Knight Greatsword, but strangely enough, you can only get that weapon from a chest in an optional area of the Iron Keep; the Knights themselves have a chance to drop the Greatsword instead, an Ultra Greatsword that's even bigger than the Black Knight Greatsword.
- Blade on a Stick: Some wield the Syan's Halberd, using it to great effect by poking you from behind their shield.
- Elite Mooks: The strongest of all the Drangleic foot soldiers. In Scholar of The First Sin, not only can they be found in Drangleic Castle, but some also replace the Heide Knights, being optional but powerful enemies scattered throughout the world.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: They wield the massive Tower Shield that lets them block most frontal attacks. Syan himself was to be commissioned a Greatshield called the Greatshield of Glory, but he met his demise before the shield was completed.
- Animal Motifs: Horses. Their helmets are shaped like them.
- Lightning Bruiser: For knights who just woke up from a century long nap, they move extremely quickly. The only way to outpace them is to sprint, and sometimes even then they can catch you with a jump.
- Taken for Granite: Like the rest of the knights at the castle.
- Undying Loyalty: Much like their liege.
- Unique Enemy: There are a whopping four of them in the entire game, and all are encountered in the same room.
Looking Glass Knight
One of King Vendrick's four main knights, and his lieutenant. The Looking Glass Knight is charged with testing the prowess of those who seek to serve in Drangleic's order of royal knights. Ever dedicated to his duty, he continues to await challengers at the end of the King's Passage long after Vendrick's disappearance and the kingdom's subsequent collapse. Wielding powerful miracles and a mysterious shield that connects to other worlds, those who fail the test are remorselessly slaughtered by this enigmatic knight whose face lies hidden behind a cold metal mask.
- Battle in the Rain: Fights you during a thunderstorm. Especially nasty, as being wet does indeed amplify lightning damage.
- BFS: Wields a massive sword that doubles as a lightning rod.
- Confusion Fu: Once he summons a player, there's no telling what weapons or tactics they'll use.
- Cool Helmet: Three faces, wearing a crown of thorns, all with a sigil over one of their eyes.
- Flunky Boss: Rarely, he stands his shield upright on the ground and channels a spell through it. Something humanoid only dimly visible in its depths will slowly begin to pound its way out. Sometimes or if you're offline, it's just a swordsman NPC that breaks out. If anybody used a Red Soapstone Sign just in front of his arena door, he'll summon a player instead.
- Leitmotif: "Looking Glass Knight", a climatic mix of chorus and orchestra which conveys the dread of having to fight this enigmatic knight in the middle of a storm. A few "Psycho" Strings can also be heard in the background.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Has a mirror shield that protects against attacks and can summon allies to help it. Not only does it completely block any attack that hits it, it'll bounce most spells back at you.
- Mighty Glacier: He takes his sweet time walking up to you, and his sword swings are predictable. Then you realize that he hits for massive damage with it, has tons of hit points, and wields a shield that blocks all forms of attack if struck even once.
- Mirror Boss: He himself isn't, but what comes out of his mirror could well be.
- Mirror Monster: Mirror Squires that are summoned out from his signature greatshield, the King's Mirror.
- Mirror Universe: Not so much a mirror as it is a portal from other worlds.
- Musical Spoiler: Those who listen carefully to his theme will notice a plucking instrument tapping out almost the same tune as the harpsichord from the Old Monk's boss theme in Demon's Souls.
- Rage Helm: A chilling inversion; his helm has three faces, the foremost one being set in an expression of utter calm with tears flowing from black, empty eye-sockets.
- Shock and Awe: Conducts bolts of lightning into his sword.
- Swapped Roles: With persistent use of a red soapstone or cracked red eye orb in the same area as him, the player will be the one who comes through his mirror.
- Undying Loyalty: Centuries or even millennia after Vendrick left to the Undead Crypt the Looking Glass Knight remains at his post, keeping anyone from chasing after the king.
Shrine of Amana
- Drop the Hammer: Their Archdrake Maces, which they wield and use to deadly effect.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Their Slumbering Dragon Shields, which grant stamina regeneration akin to the Grass Crest Shield.
- No-Sell: In a way. Their attacks cannot be parried, which, considering that a majority of them are faced off in small groups, makes fighting them a little more difficult than usual.
- Glass Cannon: Downplayed a bit; while they cast Homing Soul Arrow, which is kind of damaging & hard to evade in the level you're in (a majority of which takes place in knee-/waist-deep water), they have a somewhat significant amount of health.
- Healing Hands: One of the Priestesses in the area after the Rhoy's Resting Place bonfire has the ability to heal her comrades should she or any of them get hurt by the player. More come out on NG+ and beyond.
- Squishy Wizard: Downplayed; they're pretty tough to take down.
- Berserk Button: Equipping a lit torch aggros the aberrations and causes them to attack you. Strangely enough, this doesn't happen if the player casts the Cast Light sorcery. Perhaps the light emanating from the spell isn't as bright enough as the torch's light?
- Body Horror: These animalistic hollows have a cluster of boils on their back, are hunched over in a primal stance, and grew a a second pair of eyes and an Overly Long Tongue.
- Extra Eyes: Possibly to adapt in the dark environment that is the Shrine of Amana.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: They're pacified by the Milfanito's song. Rousing them by getting close to them will cause them to attack you.
- Overly Long Tongue: Akin to an anteater's tongue.
Demon of Song
A hideous froglike Demon originally sealed within the Shrine of Amana. When the priestesses attending the Shrine and maintaining the seal eventually either died or went Hollow, the Demon was set free, luring unsuspecting humans into its lair by mimicking the song of the Milfanito.
- Enthralling Siren: The Demon of Song lures prey using the song of the Milfanito, who you sporadically encounter throughout the level. Then, when you reach it, you discover the reason it sings is because it's an enormous lake monster, and that's how it lures in its prey to devour them. The prey being you..
- I Am A Humanitarian: The only thing even referencing a penchant of eating human flesh is its soul description.
- Leitmotif: "Demon of Song", although when you enter its boss arena, it'll still sing "Milfanito" until attacked.
- Mighty Glacier: It's a large target and attacks rather slowly, but it deals massive amounts of damage if it hits the player.
- Nested Mouths: Has a skull-like face and two long skeletal arms inside its mouth.
- Nigh Invulnerable: Its outer shell is impervious to damage, forcing you to wait until its face comes out of the frog's mouth to inflict any kind of damage.
- Singing Voice Dissonance: It is capable of perfectly mimicking the song of the Milfanito, despite looking like a skull-faced frog monster.
- Anti-Villain: Compared to the Imperious Knights, they are this. They had a clear, if totally misguided, moral cause they were following when they attacked the crypt. It's likely because of this that the Fenito took mercy on them, and they will eventually know rest.
- Barred from the Afterlife: Though temporarily.
- Bullying a Dragon: They went up against the Fenito, the successors of Gravelord Nito who are essentially the Grim Reapers of the Dark Souls world. It ended predictably.
- Knight Templar: The Crypt, from what we can tell, wasn't all that dangerous to the outside world. The Insolent Knight's still thought it had to be destroyed. For bonus points they even look the part.
They bore no weapons, only a shield split into left and right halves, which they used to playfully crush their foes until their corpses were kneaded beyond recognition.
- Asshole Victim: Unlike the crusading Insolent Knights, the Imperious Knights seemingly attacked simply for pleasure and loot. They are described as taking immense, sadistic joy in gorily mashing their victims into mush with their giant shields and treated it like a game. Because of this attitude, the Fenito threw the book at them. Unlike the imperious knights, they will never rest in peace.
- Barred from the Afterlife: They will never truly die, stuck in a cycle that should be familiar to any hollow. Whatever happens in the Dark Souls world to the dead, it will never happen to them.
- Fate Worse than Death: They will live forever and "never rest". It's very likely that during the events of the Ringed City, they are still out there, buried beneath the ash and ruins.
- Grave Robbing: Their great sin, for which they are cursed to forever guard the Undead Crypt.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: To an insane degree. The Imperious Knights wield a massive greatshield in each hand and use them to smash and crush their enemies into paste.
- Shield Bash: Oh yeah.
- Shield-Bearing Mook: Though uncommon, they fit the type, being completely immune to frontal attacks when they aren't attacking.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Attempted and ultimately failed, resulting in their damned spirits being forced to serve the Grave Wardens they betrayed in their duties as sentinels of the dead.
- Black Magic: They wield Hexes, Sorceries, and Miracles with equal skill, owing to their unique staves.
- Hot Witch: Though largely featureless, they are still quite shapely.
- Glass Cannon: They health is low, but they have a shockingly high damage output with their quick sword strikes and powerful magic.
- Zerg Rush: They can be summoned from statues should someone ring a nearby bell (a Hollow prisoner will usually do it). Given how close the statues are to each other, you can easily find yourself surrounded by them once the bell has rung.
- Ghostly Glide: They are in such a pose that their other half, if they have one, must be several feet off the ground at least.
Velstadt, the Royal Aegis
A trusted knight who faithfully served King Vendrick in life, Velstadt went for the Undead Crypt on Vendrick's orders and remained there with the Fenito and a contingent of royal guards, standing watch over the crypt to this very day and inexplicably slaughtering any who enter.
- Badass Cape: A twin-tailed one which is tailored in a scale fashion.
- Climax Boss: What comes after Velstadt's defeat is one of the biggest revelations in the game, as you find King Vendrick in the most pitiful state possible and are urged by the Emerald Herald to claim the one thing that grants you the right to take the Throne of Want for yourself and Link the Fire.
- The Corruption: Staying for so long in the Undead Crypt with nothing but Hollows (including his fellow knights and Vendrick himself) has tainted him.
- Casting a Shadow: He's able to conjure wide-angle hexes such as Dark Hail or a massive Dark Orb in your direction should you stay far away from him, and he powers himself up with dark magic midway through the fight, strengthening his defences and damage dealt.
- Degraded Boss: In the Crown of the Sunken King DLC, Elana the Squalid Queen will summon a weaker replica of Velstadt if she's not calling forth several skeletons.
- Drop the Hammer: He's got a gigantic, bell-shaped hammer which doubles as a sacred chime.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: His weapon makes a distinctive bell sound whenever he swings it.
- Kung-Shui: He can destroy the pillars in the boss room with a single attack.
- Leitmotif: "Velstadt, the Royal Aegis", a sinister symphonic piece, complete with tragic violin bouts, oppressive brass and a frightful Ethereal Choir; all of these elements lead the player to think Velstadt is protecting something incredibly dark, which sets up the big reveal of Vendrick having gone Hollow.
- Magic Knight: He can buff himself with dark power and cast hexes.
- Mighty Glacier: His hammer swings are fairly telegraphed, but they can take away a lot of health if they connect.
- Protective Charm: It's subtle, but where Velstadt sits there is a very clear circle of light, as if his very presence was acting as a shield against the dark.
- Recurring Element: Garl Vinland's surrogate. He wears similar armour (complete with near-identical helmet), wields a massive hammer to beat you around with, and serves tirelessly to protect his master, no matter what.
- Undying Loyalty: Swore to protect Vendrick even in death and has been watching over his king's grave for a very long time, only standing up to face trespassers.
- Weapon Across the Shoulder: His neutral stance.
- Weapon Twirling: In his intro cutscene, he'll twirl his bell-decorated giant mace in one hand, as if to warn you that yes, he's that strong.
The former ruler of Drangleic, Vendrick is found fully Hollow after Velstadt's defeat as an optional boss. For more information on him, see the main characters page.
- Drop the Hammer: Their Aldia Hammers, which they like to use to bash in the heads of trespassers (read: you).
- Heal Thyself: If low on health, they can consume a Lifegem, which restores a small part of their health.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Their Bone Shields, which resemble the top half of dragon skulls. They have high Dark resistance.
- Mad Scientist: Abducting creatures and people, conducting experiments on them, turning them into horrifying abominations - all for the sake of finding a cure to the Undead Curse.
- Shield Bash: They can hit the player with their shields. Not a good idea to block them since it takes a lot of stamina to block the attack, which may leave the player vulnerable to enemy attacks.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: They can throw Witching Urns at players, dealing Magic damage.
A dragon kept in an enormous cage behind Aldia's Keep. It presently acts as the de facto guardian of the path to the Dragon Aerie, but more than likely began as an unwilling participant in the experiments conducted at the Manor.
- Breath Weapon: Standard fare for a fire-breathing dragon. Sometimes it spits a massive fireball instead.
- Degraded Boss: You can fight several more in the area following Aldia's Keep; the Dragon Aerie. However, they'll stay grounded once you're in melee range. Scholar of the First Sin inverts this, letting you fight a surprisingly weak Guardian Dragon as a regular mook in Heide's Tower of Flame long before you fight the boss.
- Flight: One of the defining traits of this boss fight; it'll often take flight at a high altitude, raining down fire on you, and can perch itself onto the cage's wall similar to the Hellkite Dragon from the first Dark Souls.
- Glass Cannon: It has pitiful defenses compared to bosses before and after it. That said, its fire breath can roast your undead hide in a second.
- Lean and Mean: The Guardian Dragon's limbs are very sleek, in contrast to its humongous wingspan.
- Leitmotif: "Guardian Dragon".
- Our Dragons Are Different: They're not actual Ancient Dragons, but rather wyverns, who are their lesser spawns (the one atop the Dragon Shrine is the only true dragon in that regard). They only have one pair of legs as opposed to the Ancient Dragon's two, and closely resemble the Hellkite Dragon.
- Tail Slap: One of its primary attacks when fought up close and from behind. This is more prominent in the Dragon Aerie, where you fight several Guardian Dragons on the ground.
- Blood Knight: As expected of Dragon Remnant members.
- Duel Boss: Well, Duel Mini Boss, at least in Scholar Of the First Sin. They expect honor. If you act dishonorably (Trying to kite them with bows outside the duel area, trying to bring phantom pals along for the fight instead of facing them one on one, trying to run past them and skip the fight) the entire temple dogpiles you for your cowardice.
- Face Death with Dignity: Running away when near death, as detailed above, is not something they approve of.
- Shock and Awe: The sword-and-shield Drakekeepers are able to hurl lightning bolts from their swords, at least in Scholar of the First Sin.
- Underground Monkey: They're basically reskinned Old Knights with faster attacks.
- Worthy Opponent: They are testing to see if you are one. If you prove you indeed are, and defeat them in a clean fight, the rest of the shrine lets you pass without a fight.
- Blood Knight: As expected of Dragon Remnant members.
- Lightning Bruiser: Hit hard and hit fast.
- Savage Setpiece: Scholar of the First Sin revamps the enemy placement in the Dragon Shrine, putting a battalion of Dragon Knights to guard the long stairway to the Ancient Dragon instead of the Drakekeepers. They will simply stand guard while you ascend, but if you make the mistake of either attacking one of them or turning your back on the Ancient Dragon, they will swarm you in short order.
- "The murk shifts and stirs. Yet another stands before us..."
A dragon so old it was alive before the dawn of time. Its power has grown to godlike proportions and it resides in the Dragon Shrine as a deity; the few Undead who survive their journeys long enough to meet it seek its counsel in their quest for a cure. The Ancient Dragon willingly obliges its supplicants and harbors no ill intent toward visitors who show proper respect, but provoking its wrath will result in swift and unimaginably fierce retribution.
- Black Speech: While it communicates telepathically with you, the gibberish whisper used is certainly reminiscent of it.
- Bonus Boss: The Ancient Dragon first appears as an ally, giving you an item required to progress the game. But if you attack it, you can fight one of the toughest bosses in the game. It also drops a Giant's Soul, one of five required to weaken King Vendrick.
- Breath Weapon: While it has many physical attacks when it feels you're too close to it, the Ancient Dragon mostly relies on its extremely powerful fire breath, which usually kills you in one hit if you're not conscious about stacking fire resistance.
- Cryptic Conversation: It's entire speech comes off as this, but it can basically be translated as it remarking on yet another Undead wandering in search of answers leading towards the Throne of Want. It's easily inferred by it's words that so many have tried, it doesn't believe at all that you'll succeed, but at the same time pities you because you pretty much have no choice in the matter.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Barring Vendrick without Giant Souls in your inventory, this dragon sports a whopping 19,840 HP in standard gameplay, making it one of the longest boss fights. Plus, nearly all of its moves are One Hit Kills.
- The Dragons Come Back: Maybe not true dragons, but if the Aerie is any indication, the Ancient Dragon intends to restore its numbers.
- Flight: Like the Guardian Dragon, it'll fly up in the air to rain down fire over a large area if the player is standing too close to it, although it'll sometime take flight just for the sake of repositioning itself.
- High-Altitude Battle: The Dragon Aerie is already so far up in the air compared to the rest of Drangleic, but the Ancient Dragon resides at the very top of the Dragon Shrine, which is a massive castle overlooking the Dragon Aerie.
- Large and in Charge: It's the largest dragon you'll ever find, and it presides over the entirety of the Dragon Aerie, as well as the rest of the Guardian Dragons found there.
- Leitmotif: "The Ancient Dragon", a chaotic track that perfectly describes the grave mistake you just made in earning it's ire, and the unimaginable horror that awaits you as it turns into a Bonus Boss.
- Marathon Boss: Due to its massive health bar and the scale of its attacks, almost always forcing you to reposition yourself every time it strikes, this boss is one of the longest fights in a Souls game, taking anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. God bless you if you brought in additional phantoms, in which case its health is multiplied.
- Mighty Glacier: Its moves are fairly telegraphed, but they're all mostly One Hit Kills, and some (like the rain of fire) have a massive area of effect that makes its mobility irrelevant.
- Mighty Roar: Should you provoke it into a fight, it'll start standing up and respond with a deafening roar, signifying the beginning of a tremendously difficult boss battle.
- One-Hit Kill: Its fire breath becomes one at normal fire resistance (you need over 900 to negate it); in contrast, all of its physical attacks are oneshots by default, and nothing can change them.
- Our Dragons Are Different: A classic Western Dragon, and the only real dragon in Dark Souls II. The rest, like the Guardian Dragon, are wyverns that are the lesser spawn of the Ancient Dragons. Dialogue with Nashandra and Shalquoir imply that this Ancient Dragon is actually a fake, seemingly reinforced by the fact that you get the Ancient Dragon Soul from the memory of the dragon corpse in the Duke's Dear Freja boss room while this dragon instead drops a Soul of a Giant.
- Parental Substitute: It's revealed in the Aerie that the Emerald Herald was raised by the Ancient Dragon, and the wyverns of the Dragon Aerie. Possibly part of why she's been helping you kill King Vendrick, and every other member of the human kingdom that remains...
- Physical God: What it has been elevated to according to the lore, and it's by far the most powerful being you will ever encounter in Dark Souls II. It even has an unnecessarily massive shrine erected in its honour!
- Reclining Reigner: As far as dragons can recline, at least. It sits comfortably on all fours when you first meet it, and only gets up once you've attacked it too many times.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Normally you wouldn't see them since you're so far away from its face. But when you provoke it into fighting you...
- Savage Setpiece: After it gives you the means to access the memories of the Giants, it'll keep loafing around and you can't talk to it again. You can, however, provoke it with a few strikes, triggering one of the game's secret boss fights. It shares this distinction with Vendrick, as both are initially non-hostile bosses that are impossibly resilient even by Dark Souls standards.
- Stronger with Age: It's stated that it has attained godlike power due to living for so long. The other dragons you meet in the game are nothing but whelps, and consequently pale in comparison to the Ancient Dragon.
- Tail Slap: Trying to hit its tail during the fight will prompt it to slowly whip it downwards, along with its hind feet alternatively stomping the ground.
Memory of Giants
The strange, tree like humanoids who came across the sea to conquer Drangleic. Their sheer might was matched only by their incredible numbers, and Drangleic soon found itself in a vicious fight for survival.
- Anti-Villain: While their genocidal actions are deplorable, their war against Drangleic was, at least in motive, entirely just. King Vendrick was, at the behest of Nashaandra, enslaving and experimenting on Giants. They only invaded Drangleic to free their brethren and put a stop the slave trade.
- Fantastic Racism: It wasn't enough to kill the leaders of Drangleic. Judging by the state of the kingdom, they killed every human being they came across, and likely wouldn't have stopped until none were left.
- Green Thumb: Wherever a giant dies, trees and vegetation begin to grow. The worst battlefield of the war has become a massive, verdant forest (fittingly called the Forest of Fallen Giants ) in the years following.
- Guilt-Free Extermination War: This is how the Drangleic nobility framed up the war with the giants. In true series fashion, however, it is more complex than that.
- In the Hood: The pyromancer and poison variants wear hooded robes.
- Playing with Fire: The pyromancer variant will hurl large fireballs that not only do a lot of damage, but also have a pretty large area of effect.
- Poisonous Person: The poison giants have their left arms clad in a green, poisonous substance.
The champions of the giant army, the Elite Giants are much stronger and formidable than the soldiers they command.
- Anti-Villain: Like the rest of its kind, the war against Drangleic was a retaliation against all the horrible deeds Vendrick and his army did to them.
- Improvised Weapon: They carry two large obelisks that are used as clubs. While not suitable for war, the brutal strength of the giants make of them deadly weapons.
- Large and in Charge: Noticeably bigger and tougher than the footsoldiers, but not as much as their Lord.
- Last of Its Kind: The two remaining Giants in the present (aside from the Last Giant)are two Elites hidden in Black Gulch
The King of Giants who led the Giant's invasion of Drangleic, and tried to slay King Vendrick. His army laid waste to all of Drangleic, and left the Kingdom in ruins. The Giants were slain (near) to the last, their mighty Lord included. It is said that Vendrick hurt him in the past, and either the crime was abominable or the Giants are spiteful, for even after centuries had passed he could never forgive the King of Drangleic.
- Achilles' Heel: For an endgame boss with boss-tier resistances, he's extremely weak to dark magic and dark-infused weapons.
- Arch-Enemy: As shown by his boss fight as the Last Giant, the Bearer of the Curse has become his most hated nemesis after the war.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He led his species on an apocalyptic war against Drangleic, and Captain Drummond mutters that he's the toughest cookie he's ever seen.Drummond: Did you see him? That towering monster among them. That is most certainly their King. He will be a thing to topple, hah hah hah hah, even if I should die trying!
- BFS: The sword he wields is nearly as long as he is tall, and considering he's about the same size as the Last Giant...
- Climax Boss: Twofold. His demise ultimately paved the way for Drangleic's victory over the Giants soon after, and it's highly implied you were the one who killed him. Then, defeating him in the game proper also yields you the one thing that can command the Throne of Want and acknowledge you as the ruler of the kingdom.
- Cool Crown: Wears one on his head along with a pimped out gold collar, although it's barely noticeable due to his size and the fact that he has a hole for a face.
- Dynamic Entry: Thanks to a statue head falling onto the level, a ton of dust gets kicked up which obscures your vision. Good luck seeing the Giant Lord's first, incredibly damaging attack through it.
- Dream Walker: The Giant Lord is encountered inside the dreams (or memories) of the dead Giants once you have the Ashen Heart. Somehow though, you're able to interact and even keep the things you find there, and people's knowledge of you carries over from one memory to another; suggesting that you really DID go back in time in the dream to slay the Giant Lord.
- Evil Overlord: One interpretation of the Giant Lord. According to information in the game, the Queen came from a land across the sea conquered by the giants, and warned Vendrick of their desire to cross the sea and invade. Instead, Vendrick attacked the Giants, and caused some level of damage in order to free the human lands they'd taken. It's mentioned the humans tried to reconcile with the Giants, but that Giants didn't understand forgiveness; as a result, the Giant Lord invaded Drangleic and began their apocalyptic war. The other interpretation was, of course, that Nashandra lied, Vendrick's attack was entirely unprovoked, and the Giants are merely taking their just revenge. Especially since, due to changed item lore bought about by the Scholar of the Last Sin patch, it's revealed that Vendirck actually enslaved some of these giants after he attacked them initially.
- Large and in Charge: He's taller than the rest of his species, a feat that is only rivaled by the Last Giant. That's because, as revealed by Scholar of the First Sin, he IS the Last Giant.
- Lean and Mean: He's also noticeably more lanky than the lesser giants.
- Leitmotif: "The Last Giant", which he shares with the boss of the same name. Because they are the same boss.
- Mighty Glacier: He's extremely slow and doesn't turn around easily, but all of his attacks are appropriately devastating, whether they be sword swings or stomps.
- Razor Wind: His very first attack has him send out a shockwave with his sword.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Another interpretation of him. It's stated that Vendrick, thanks to being manipulated by Nashandra, was the one who attacked the Giants, stealing a "great power" which, according to changed lore, involved giants enslaved by Vendrick, from them and that the Giant Lord simply attacked Drangleic to take back what was once belonging to his people.
- Walking Spoiler: The lore surrounding him reveals that the war with the giants, which the player had been told was a Guilt-Free Extermination War with humanity and the Gods as the good guys, was actually much more morally nuanced.
Dark Chasm of Old
One of many travelers of the Dark Chasm of Old, identity unknown. This Dark Spirit takes the form of an Ironclad with twin Great Hammers which it uses with a rare and frighteningly powerful Dual Wield stance.
- Drop the Hammer: Wields two of them.
- Dual Wield: He's able to powerstance two Great Hammers, which is overkill against the player to say the least.
- Heavily Armored Mook: Wears the Ironclad Armor, which negates any chance of ever being backstabbed.
"Pretender to the Xanthous Throne"
A traveler of the Dark Chasm of Old, this Dark Spirit casts an unmistakable shadow and attacks with an array of deadly pyromancy. Still, they are, as their nickname would imply, a faker.
- Playing with Fire: Hurls a plethora of pyromancies at the player, usually along the lines of Forbidden Sun, Flame Swathe and Great Chaos Fireball.
- Retcon: Dark Souls 3 reveals "Xanthous" to be the term for scholars of the lost magic of Oolacile. It actually references the Pretender, saying "[Oolacile Scholars] were called xanthous scholars, but some foolishly imitate them by simply dressing in yellow."
One of many pilgrims wandering the Dark Chasm of Old, this unidentified Dark Spirit wields a Bandit's Knife and Mytha's Bent Blade; a tattered hood conceals its malevolent face. Who are these nameless explorers of the Dark, and what do they hope to gain when their pilgrimages reach an end?
An explorer of the Dark whose visage lies concealed by the monocle of Durgo's Hat. Whether this is in fact the legendary archer himself is uncertain - after all, what could so noble a hero hope to gain from lurking in the dark depths?
- Nice Hat: Wears an unique headpiece which enhances the range at which arrows deal effective damage.
Yet another of the pilgrims traversing the Dark Chasm, its face is obscured beneath a shadowy hood. Its wicked and murderous armaments raise many questions about the intentions, and the sanity, of those who walk the Dark.
"The Ghost of Princes Past"
Though at first glance the netherworld traveler might appear nondescript and mundane, its lightning-fast sword technique tells a different story. Who is this nimble warrior of shadow and from whom did learn this deadly art? The mysteries of the Dark Chasm are as numerous as the murderous eyes glinting from its shadowy corners...
- Royal Rapier: Wields Ricard's Rapier and will usually land several hits with it in quick succession. It's unknown if it's really Undead Prince Ricard himself, or an apparition forged from the memories encrusted within the Dark Chasm of Old.
"A Chip Off the Ol' Rock"
A pilgrim of the Dark Chasm whose striking resemblance to an old "friend" couldn't be a coincidence... could it?
- Carry a Big Stick: Wields a Dragon Tooth.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: He has infinite stamina and almost infinite poise, allowing him to bounce his Dragon's Tooth off your shield over and over again without suffering any recoil whatsoever until he breaks your guard (and there's not a lot of room to dodge roll where you fight him), while being almost impossible to counter attack. And he's the first opponent you have to face in the Chasm (assuming you start from the Drangleic Castle portal)...
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: His Havel Greatshield, which is once again the heaviest shield in the entire game with corresponding fortress-like resistances.
- Mighty Glacier: Moves slowly, but like Havel before him, will wreck unwary players with little effort thanks to his powerful weapon.
- Tin Tyrant: Unlike Havel from Dark Souls, whose armour was carved out from stone, his version of the armour is more metallic in appearance.
An enigmatic being that lurks in the heart of the Dark Chasm of Old. With the form of an angel of light and wielding mastery over pyromancy, magic, and dark powers, this strange creature defies explanation. What are the origins of this angel of the dark and of its lair? Perhaps some things are better left unilluminated...
- Achilles' Heel: Three of them. First, it's exceedingly weak to fire, meaning that the fight is generally considered trivial if you brought along a properly upgraded pyromancy flame. Second, a dark-infused Rebel's Greatshield can completely nullify dark damage, rendering a good number of its attacks harmless, provided you have decent stamina. Third, it's a spellcaster, which means that if you tag it with the Profound Still hex (which prevents enemies from using sorcery), the poor thing only has a single not-tremendously-effective attack to fall back on.
- Badass Armfold: One pair of arms is constantly folded, while the other two arms unleash terrifyingly powerful magic. It's all it needs to blast you into oblivion.
- Bonus Boss: One of most easily missed bosses, due to requiring access to an obscure covenant and having to fight some of the hardest phantom NPCs in the game before even deserving the right to challenge it. Defeating it completes your progression in the Pilgrims of Dark covenant.
- Casting a Shadow: No surprise, given its domain. Of note is that it shares the same beam attack Nashandra utilizes, though its beam lacks curse abilities.
- Confusion Fu: It has the largest moveset of any boss in the game, being able to cast powerful sorceries, pyromancies and hexes.
- Dark Is Evil: Despite what the name indicates, this is surprisingly averted. See Light Is Not Good below.
- Dual Boss: Will create a clone of itself that shares the same lifebar when you get it to around 50% health.
- Elemental RockPaperScissors: It's cripplingly weak to fire.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Can shoot a Soul Bolt inflicts heavy damage on you.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The game provides little to no lore explaining its existence—or even what it is. In fact, its soul description simply says "Perhaps it's better that some mysteries remain unilluminated". It's a different story for the game guide, which expands a bit on the location's lore: the Dark Chasm of Old is implied to have been made from the remains of Manus, Father of the Abyss.
- Dark Souls III might give us a clue as to what this thing is, or at least what its purpose is in the lore. The Winged Knights of Lothric worship Holy Mother Gertrude, who was said to have been contacted by an angel and founded the angelic faith of Lothric based on its teachings. The one miracle divined by the angelic faith, Divine Pillars of Light, manifests itself as several beams of pure light not unlike the ones that Darklurker occasionally throws at you. Thus, it can be reasonably assumed that Darklurker or a being like it was what contacted Gertrude and started the angelic faith.
- The Ringed City DLC for Dark Souls III offers yet another possible clue to the Darklurker's origins. Creatures resembling angels like the Darklurker are revealed to be born of the Pilgrims of Londor who have finally perished, leaving wriggling larva-like creatures erupting from their backs while an Angel floats around nearby. The Darklurker may then be an angel born from the dark but 'perfected' by the concentrated dark of the abyss.
- Dark Souls III might give us a clue as to what this thing is, or at least what its purpose is in the lore. The Winged Knights of Lothric worship Holy Mother Gertrude, who was said to have been contacted by an angel and founded the angelic faith of Lothric based on its teachings. The one miracle divined by the angelic faith, Divine Pillars of Light, manifests itself as several beams of pure light not unlike the ones that Darklurker occasionally throws at you. Thus, it can be reasonably assumed that Darklurker or a being like it was what contacted Gertrude and started the angelic faith.
- Homing Projectile: Most of its attacks, drawn from a dark portal, have a tracking ability to them, forcing you to take a less static approach to the fight.
- Humanoid Abomination: Has a human shaped body, but just from its massive firepower, name and location, it's evidently something vastly different. Its power set and item drops also don't make sense given the lore of the series thus far; it is a creature that resides in what is clearly the Abyss and it channels the power of the Abyss into powerful Sorceries and Pyromanices (none of which are hexes, mind you), yet the soul it drops is a light soul completely untainted by the Dark. Whatever this thing is, it is clear that it should not exist within the lore, making it even more incomprehensible.
- Invisibility: It can temporarily cloak itself and drift away from one place to another, although you can still lock onto it.
- In the Hood: Its face, if it even has a face, is covered by a white hood, obscuring whatever's beneath it.
- Leitmotif: "Darklurker".
- Laser Blade: If you're too close to it, it'll start swinging a purple Soul Greatsword.
- Light Is Not Good: Resembles a four armed angel with radiant wings and sometimes casts a beam of light, along with with using a beam sword if gotten too close to. It's also an enigmatic being that's born in an Eldritch Location implied to be the scattered remains of Manus, Father of the Abyss, the Souls series' epitome of Dark Is Evil. It also has a Light Soul, which implies that whatever the Darklurker is, it is not a creature born of the Dark.
- Man of Kryptonite: Considering that the Pilgrims of Dark Covenant awards you with a hex-empowering ring when you join, the covenant leader sells more hexes than anything else, and you gain progressively more powerful hexes as you rank up, this is clearly a covenant meant for those intending to specialize in dark magic. To that end, quite a few players have taken Darklurker's massive dark resistance as a metaphorical slap to the face, though there is some comfort to be found in the fact that hexes' stat requirements also make you excellent at using miracles and pyromancy - the Darklurker is exceedingly weak to both fire and lightning.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: It has four arms, with a pair constantly folded around its chest while the other pair does all the spellcasting.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: It's falsely angelic, casts hellishly powerful magic against anyone who encounters it, lives in an Eldritch Location, and is called the Darklurker.
- Playing with Fire: Just one of many of its attacks involves launching three Forbidden Suns at you in quick succession.
- Squishy Wizard: Your battle against it essentially boils down to depleting its middling health (by Bonus Boss standards) before it nukes you with endless barrages of spells.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Considering how frighteningly powerful it is, there's a reason the Pilgrims of Dark don't make themselves so easily accessible to prospective covenant members. Its soul description outright states that some things would better be left unilluminated.
- Thinking Up Portals: It conjures most of its projectile attacks from a dark portal.
- Villain Teleportation: Will utilize teleportation abilities often during the battle, either by going through a dark portal or simply cloaking itself for a scant seconds.
Throne of Want
Throne Watcher & Throne Defender
Given the job of guarding the throne and ensuring no one else sat on it, respectively, these two did so even when Vendrick turned Hollow and left for the Undead Crypt. They eventually turned Hollow themselves, but have still fulfilled their duty to the last.
- Badass Cape: The Defender's armour sports a billowing cape that even covers some parts of the front armour. As such, he's an imposing figure, and his garb matches his royal duty.
- Badass Long Coat: The Watcher wears a white longrobe that extends down to her feet.
- Cool Helmet: The Throne Defender's helmet covers most of his head, resembling a bishop-like hat. While the wearable version of the helmet has a bearded mask made out of stone to replicate his face, the Defender's beard is indeed real◊.
- Dual Boss: You fight both of them at the same time. When one is defeated, the other will attempt to revive him back to full health, meaning that you must beat both at around the same time.
- Force and Finesse: The Defender and Watcher, respectively. The Defender doesn't have any flashy moves except raw strength and resilience, whereas the Watcher will often do backflips during the fight.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Both bosses can buff their weapons with lightning when injured, but the Throne Defender will also cast aside his shield and start performing two-handed attacks as well.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: They can sometime perform an unblockable piercing attack that impales and holds up the player for a few seconds before throwing them to the ground.
- Improbable Weapon User: The Throne Watcher's shield is actually made from a bell. If you create one for yourself, it even rings when struck.
- Leitmotif: "Throne Defender, Throne Watcher".
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Both have an unique shield that can be purchased from Ornifex by exchanging their souls to her.
- Recurring Element: Seems to be this games' Ornstein and Smough, being a duo boss with great synergy, in addition to having many a connection to their respective monarch.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Defender is the Red Oni, and the Watcher is the Blue Oni, respectively. One is fast and tactful, while the other is strong and attacks brazenly.
- Sequential Boss: Zig-zags depending on whether or not you've defeated the Giant Lord already. If you have, they'll be the first boss fight in the sequence.
- She's a Man in Japan: Inverted. In the untranslated, Japanese version of the game, the Throne Watcher and Throne Defender are referred to with genderless pronouns. It's fairly obvious that the Watcher is intended to be a womannote , but a translator used "he" in her armor and soul descriptions in the U.S version.
- The Southpaw: The Watcher, who is notably the only left-handed humanoid boss in the vanilla game.
- Standard Evil Empire Hierarchy: They are, appropriately, the Guard and the Security Officer who removed all threats to King Vendrick.
- The Undead: A long time has passed since King Vendrick left the castle, leaving the Watcher and Defender to keep an eye on the Throne of Want. Unfortunately for them, both fell victim to the Undead Curse, and are Hollow by the time you fight them.
- Undying Loyalty: Even as Hollows they defend the Throne of Want as per their king's orders.
- "Brave Undead, you have proven yourself to me. Now, be one, with the Dark..."Voiced by: Harriet Kemsley
The wife of King Vendrick, Nashandra persuaded him to declare war on the Giants and has remained isolated from the outside world as Drangleic fell into desolation and ruin. However, there is something sinister about her, something reminiscent of an ancient avatar of darkness once thought vanquished long ago in an ancient kingdom in a distant land.
- Ambiguous Situation: She claimed to come from a land where the Giants had destroyed and enslaved the inhabitants, there's no way to prove whether or not this was a lie. Everything we know about the Giants points to them being very warlike and spiteful, even before Vendrick assaulted them but Nashandra is also...Nashandra and is not to be trusted.
- Ambition Is Evil: She sought the power of the Throne of Want specifically because she was the smallest piece of Manus' soul and yearned to undo her fragile state at any cost.
- Big Bad: Nashandra is responsible for the fall of Drangleic, her husband's insanity, and she is a "Child of Dark" - a shard of the soul of Manus, the Greater-Scope Villain of the Dark Souls universe.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The player first meets her when she's in her human disguise, and she's very courteous. It also seems that she had most of Drangleic fooled, seeing as very few people are aware that she was the true architect behind Vendrick's war on the Giants.
- Black Widow: It's pretty clear that Nashandra came to Drangleic intending to woo the King, and then set Vendrick up to die fighting against the Giants. The first time you meet her, she even tells YOU that there's no room on the throne for more than one ruler, and tries to convince you to kill Vendrick and take the throne. When you finally meet the guy though (or what's left of him), it becomes pretty clear who's really in control...
- Casting a Shadow: She creates a number of floating black fireballs around her that will curse the player if they get too close, and can fire a beam of dark energy. Once her health is down to half, she'll start charging up an explosion of darkness should the player stay too close to her, and it has a large area of effect.
- The Chess Master: Manipulated Vendrick and seeks to do the same to the Undead Hero.
- Composite Character: She's a dead ringer for many characters of the previous two games.
- Her true form looks a lot like Gravelord Nito in Dark Souls , being mostly made up of skulls and coming close to a depiction of The Grim Reaper.
- It's hard to see her human form, but Official Art depicts her as a white-clad, melancholic woman quite similar to Demon's Souls's Maiden Astraea and Dark Souls's Rhea of Thorolund (of course, her role in the story is nothing like theirs were). More notably, her form bears more than a little resemblance to Dusk of Oolacile who was in the hands of Manus in Artorias of the Abyss.
- There's also a bit of Gwynevere in there too, being a tall, beautiful (and illusionary) woman who urges you to take the kingdom's throne for yourself under false pretenses.
- The Corrupter: Manipulated Vendrick into fighting the Giants so that she could take the throne for herself.
- Dark Action Girl: The true Big Bad and Final Boss, taking on a monstrous form for her boss fight. Additonally, according to item descriptions, she was leading the invasion of the Giant Homeland alongside King Vendrick.
- Dem Bones: Her true form appears to be part skeleton, or at least very, very dead. The writhing mass of skeletons making up her "dress" also adds to the feeling.
- Ethereal White Dress: Nashandra's human form is clad in a regal white dress. She's also a Black Widow of epic proportions, and her true form seems to be undead.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Nashandra's voice is significantly deeper in her true form, though disturbingly it's just as calm as the one she has in her human guise.
- Faux Affably Evil: She is very polite to the Bearer of the Curse in order to manipulate them into opening the path to the Throne of Want. She keeps this up right before she tries to kill you.
- Fighting a Shadow: The description of her soul and the items made from it reveal she is only the smallest piece of Manus' soul, and seeks to become whole again.
- Final Boss: Defeating her allows you to start a new gameplay cycle, which is accessible as an option in Majula's bonfire. If you obtained the Giant's Kinship prior to fighting the Throne Defender and Throne Watcher, her boss fight will start immediately after their defeat. Should the player answer "yes" to the Scholar on all three encounters and kill Vendrick on top of fulfilling all conditions to access the Throne of Want, Nashandra's defeat is soon followed by Aldia's True Final Boss fight.
- Foreshadowing: While exploring Drangleic castle, the player will come across a large portrait of Nashandra. If the player gets too close to it, it starts building up the Curse meter at an alarming rate. It says a lot about the Queen when just a picture of her is evil enough to actively harm the viewer. Cursing the player is also Nashandra's primary method of attack during her boss battle.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: She's the real Big Bad of the game, being a shard of Manus's soul. She also married the king and convinced him to turn the land to darkness.
- The Grim Reaper: She gives off this vibe in her true form, with a pile of bones making up most of her body and a massive scythe that she caresses in her pre-fight cutscene. True to her nature as a fragment of a world-destroying Eldritch Abomination, she's an anathema to all life in Drangleic.
- Hoist by Her Own Petard: Nashandra encouraged the bearer of the curse to keep carrying on with their adventure in order to get rid of them once the gate to the Throne of Want was opened. Unfortunately for her, she never considered that this journey would make the bearer way too powerful and that they would end up killing her.
- Humanoid Abomination: Her true form, while distinctively human in shape, is almost made up of bones and very emaciated, adding to her Grim Reaper-like appearance. She's also a shard of the Soul of Manus, Father of the Abyss, the connotation of which gives her vast power over the corruption that's been gnawing away at humanity ever since the beginning of the franchise.
- Lady of Black Magic: An elegant queen in white who maintains her polite manner even when revealing her true self. She's also a master of dark magic, firing powerful beams of dark energy during her boss fight.
- Lady Macbeth: It's doubtful the war would have happened without Nashandra whispering in Vendrick's ear.
- Leitmotif: "Queen of Drangleic", a melancholic, if somewhat sinister, piano piece. note The final battle theme, "Nashandra", is a Boss Remix, taking only the first 25 or so seconds from the piano piece before plunging into an epicly sinister Ethereal Choir.
- Light Is Not Good: Her human form is clad in white clothes and seems to take cues from Princess Gwynevere in terms of serenity, but when you talk to her, she makes it increasingly clear that she's pulling strings on you for a sinister purpose. That, and she's a being born from the shattered soul of Manus, the Souls series' purest example of Dark Is Evil.
- Manipulative Bitch: Manipulated Vendrick into causing his kingdom's downfall, and deliberately waits for your breakthrough in the Throne of Want in order to claim it for herself.
- One-Winged Angel: While you see her in human form at Drangleic Castle, encountering her in the Throne of Want has her pass through the same fog gate as the player as a Grim Reaper-like entity.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Disturbingly, it seems to be made out of writhing skeletons.
- Sequential Boss: Zig-zags depending on whether or not you've defeated the Giant Lord already. If you have, she'll appear immediately after you defeat the Throne Defender and Throne Watcher. She also becomes a stepping stone to Aldia should you unlock the True Final Boss fight.
- Simple, yet Opulent: Her dress as queen is a long white dress with just a few gold trimmings.
- Sinister Scythe: Wields a nightmarish-looking scythe.
- Soul Fragment: The most defining example in a game ripe with these, as she is stated to be the tiniest shard of Manus' shattered soul, and similarly wishes to plunge Drangleic into the Dark.
- Statuesque Stunner: While you're unable to get a close-up of her, she, in her human form, sits comfortably on a large throne that's comparable to the two empty ones in the throne room behind Chancellor Wellager, and is at least three times as tall as the Undead hero.
- Take a Third Option: A rare case that a villain tries to make good of this trope. Realistically, if the Throne were never claimed, the First Flame would not be re-linked in Drangleic and it would help usher in the Age of Dark. But rather than create more barriers between Undead and the Throne, Nashandra offers advice and encourages the player to succeed where Vendrick failed, giving you advice to investigate the doors requiring the King's Ring and then return to the Forest of Fallen Giants once you have the Ashen Mist Heart. And when you finally reach the Throne, Nashandra takes action to fight you, with her signature ability to inflict Curse and accelerate your Hollowing; a similar, if hostile approach to Yuria and the Hollows of Londor in Dark Souls 3.
- Walking Spoiler: As an endgame boss and the true mastermind behind King Vendrick's actions, this is a given. She also ends up being nothing more than an extension of the Manus, the Father of the Abyss, and the DLC adds a few characters that share her modus operandi.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: She seems to pull this on the hero in the final battle, though it's a little vague: considering her respectful tone, she may consider making the player "one with the Dark" a reward. Especially considering the alternative fate that awaits them should they blindly plunge ahead on Shanolette's orders.
Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin
- "Many monarchs have come and gone. One drowned in poison, another succumbed to flame. Still another slumbers in a realm of ice. Not one of them stood here, as you do now. You conqueror of adversities. Give us your answer." noteVoiced by: David Gant
King Vendrick's elder brother. Like the king, he sought to find the secret of breaking the Undead curse, but he had a much different vision on how it could possibly be attained.
Makes his formal appearance in Scholar of the First Sin as the titular character. Having failed (or perhaps succeeded) in his quest to attain immortality, Aldia watches over the events of the game and appears before the Bearer of the Curse throughout the latter's journey, questioning the meaning of their struggle.
- Berserk Button: The titular First Sin — though the exact nature of the Sin is unclear, his anger towards it is very evident.
Aldia: Once, the Lord of Light banished Dark, and all that stemmed from humanity. And men assumed a fleeting form. These are the roots of our world. Men are props on the stage of life, and no matter how tender, how exquisite, A lie will remain a lie.
- The Ringed City seems to offer an explanation of the Sin, namely that humanity's natural affinity to the dark was suppressed by the seal of fire Gwyn placed upon them because he was afraid of the darkness, leading to the birth of the Darksign, the Undead Curse, and the Abyss becoming the unholy pit it's known as today. No wonder Aldia would be furious upon learning that mankind's birthright was stolen from them since the very beginning.
- Character Title: He's the titular "Scholar of the First Sin" in the update patch.
- Complete Immortality: Given that he drops no souls nor his own Soul upon his "death", keeps on speaking to the player despite being gone and his research was dedicated to understanding the Giants' immortality, it could be that he succeeded in that regard despite his current form.
- Dynamic Entry: He likes to say hello by literally exploding out of the floor, hurling back anyone caught in the blast. It doesn't do any damage for most of the game, but it's definitely something to watch out for in his boss battle.
- Eldritch Abomination: He appears in the update patch as a grotesquely deformed mismatch of roots, flesh and fire that's somehow interconnected to the bonfires, has tremendous power over fire and drops neither souls nor his own soul upon death. The last bout implies that he's completely removed from the cycle of Life and Death, as well as Light and Dark. The events of The Ringed City indicate that Aldia may actually be what humanity was supposed to look like without the Darksign to force them into a mortal form.
- Green Thumb: Aside from his fire, his main method of attack is to create massive tree roots to attack the player.
- Gone Horribly Right: Aldia sought freedom from the curse, but as the Emerald Herald says, "the soul and the curse are one and the same." He found freedom, but now he is reduced to something inhuman, unknowable. As if to prove this, you gain no item or souls when you defeat Aldia, and he continues to speak to you as if perfectly fine.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Some of his attacks temporarily remove his fiery aura. Not only is it safer to melee him then, his massive defense is slightly lowered when not on fire.
- Homing Projectile: His Fire Orb attack will track a player once cast.
- Immortality Seeker: Just like Vendrick, he sought to put an end to the Undead curse, but his researches led him to study the immortality of the Giants that invaded Drangleic, in hopes of unveiling the secrets of life.
- Leitmotif: "Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin".
- Mad Scientist: His keep is littered with the equipment and results of his many experiments. As well as a few still-living specimens. Many of the items that make a reference to him also tie him with the terrible deeds that were performed in his mansion, and Vendrick also ended up confining him there for good measure.
- The Mentor/Evil Mentor: Possibly for Prince Lothric. All the evidence for this is circumstantial; the Soul Stream sorcery only mentions that Lothric's private mentor was "The first of the Scholars" who "Doubted the Linking of the Fire", though Lothric's actions in Dark Souls 3 are very much in line with Aldia's goal of ending the Linking of the Fire.
- Mr. Exposition: Aldia fills in a lot of gaps in the lore in his brief appearances. He also lives up to his title in understanding the origin of the cycle.
- Playing with Fire: He seems to be somehow connected to the bonfires throughout the game, and during the final fight itself uses fire as both a defensive and offensive measure.
- Recurring Element: Like the first game's Arstor, Earl of Carim, Aldia is a highly immoral genius who sought a cure to the curse and is important lorewise for several items that came out of this search. He's also similar to Darkstalker Kaathe, fulfilling the role of the otherworldly entity that suggests a different solution than linking the fire to the Bearer of the Curse, and his presence in the game unlocks a new alternate ending in which you follow the path of Vendrick and decide to find another way, despite the failures of those who went before you, and with nothing guaranteed.
- He also draws similarities with Seath the Scaleless, being a researcher who obtained immortality, but ended up twisted in the process. Where Seath went insane trying to figure out why he was born without immortality granting scales, Aldia ended up becoming twisted into something eldritch. There are also the creatures encountered throughout the world which are implied to be creations of Aldia and Seath respectively.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: The Ringed City reveals that Aldia was indeed correct in that the 'First Sin' was responsible for starting the Undead Curse, and that it was Gwyn that perpetrated it upon Humanity. However, the First Sin was not Gwyn's linking of the first flame, but rather his placing the 'Seal of Fire' on ancient humans, which would in turn become the Darksign, stripping humans of their natural affinity for Darkness and dooming them to be kindling for the Age of Fire.
- The Soulless: He actually succeeded in freeing himself from the curse and the cycle of Light and Dark. But the curse and the soul are one and the same. Aldia is now an immortal and soulless twisted thing. To highlight this, Aldia drops no souls upon defeat.
- Stone Wall: He doesn't move around much save for teleporting once in a while, and his attacks are fairly predictable and usually don't one-shot you. However, his elemental resistances are completely through the roof, and you can't engage him in melee safely due to the raging fire that immolates him.
- Take That!: When first encountering him, he commends you for making this far and encourages you to continue your quest, before dropping this Bait-and-Switch Comparison that's totally not taking a dig at Saulden:Young Hollow, do you wish to shed this curse? Then accept the fate of your ilk, and face the trials that wait you. Unless, you have already joined the crestfallen.
- Transhumanism: Judging by the remains of his experiments, such as the pile of Giant corpses and the Dragon skeleton, Aldia may have believed that the best way to avert the Undead Curse was to leave humanity behind. He reveals in Scholar of the First Sin that he did exactly that, but it failed and turned him into a grotesque mass that's completely removed from the cycles that rule the Dark Souls universe.
- True Final Boss: Once you lit all the Primal Bonfires, kill Vendrick, then finish off Nashandra, Aldia will emerge before the Throne of Want and grant you one final fight before the ending cutscene, which has been updated to incorporate an alternate path (either go to the throne, or leave it).
- The Unseen: Before Scholar of the First Sin, Aldia made no overt appearances in the game, but due to his experiments on the Giants and his attempt to create a dragon (after which he was not heard from again) he was an important character lorewise. This changes in Scholar of the First Sin, where he is the titular character and the True Final Boss.
- Two Roads Before You:Young Hollow, there are but two paths. Inherit the order of this world, or destroy it.
- Voice of the Legion: His voice not only has a reverb, but the sound of an underlying woman's voice is also evident in his speech.
- Walking Spoiler: He makes his final appearance as the True Final Boss of Dark Souls II right after Nashandra, a Walking Spoiler herself, and connects several plot points together everytime you meet him.
- Wreathed in Flames: Those flames that surround his body will damage anything that gets too close, meaning that you can only attack him in melee for the brief intervals before he lights them.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Aldia mentioned having sought to "shed the yoke of fate", but failed, and would spend the rest of his existence waiting for the day someone would come to the same dilemma he had once. If you take his and his brother's route and abandon the First Flame to seek a better option, the game ends with him musing about humanity's admirable but foolish inability to accept the inevitable, albeit with a faint trace of hope."There is no path. Beyond the scope of Light, beyond the reach of Dark... what could possibly await us? And yet we seek it, insatiably... such is our fate."
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Some of the creatures he experimented on were simply cast away after he was done with them, like the Ant Queen you find in the Gutter.
Red Phantom Invaders
In a prison filled with sinners and innocents alike, Vorgel certainly has a special place. He stands watch over the Bastille Key. He wears the armor and dons the shield of a hollowed Royal Soldier; perhaps he is one of the wardens of this lost prison? What sins rest in this warrior's den?
Roenna wears a helm associated with the warlocks of Aldia. Could the unnatural condition of the Huntsman's Copse be related to the experiments of the Aldian mages, or is it mere coincidence?
- Artificial Stupidity: You can easily bait Roenna into falling off the area she will invade in, but this will prevent you from getting a rare chance of obtaining a piece of her equipment.
- Cthulhumanoid: Her mask gives her head the appearance of a tentacled beast of sorts.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Her Cursed Bone Shield, which she will use to block your attacks.
- Sinister Scythe: She attacks you with a Bone Scythe.
A legendary explorer from ages past. While he has a resting place within the Shrine of Amana, he appears within the Grave of Saints as a naked weakling.
- Artificial Stupidity: It's exceedingly easy to bait Rhoy into falling off one of the bridge thresholds, which allows for a rather easy way to farm Awestones if you're in the Company of Champions.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He doesn't seem to pose any threat at first glance, seeing that he wields no weapons and invades you half-naked. Then you realize that he's wearing the transparent Aurous set, and his Heavy Crossbow and Shotel are both invisible through the subtle use of rings that are acquired by running through the game without either dying or resting at a bonfire.
- Full-Frontal Assault: He wears the Aurous set, which is by default transparent.
Wherever the lost and wretched gather, those who prey upon them are never far away. So it always has been, and so it is in The Gutter, a settlement of filth and pestilence where the endless struggle to survive has driven its darker souls to seek sustenance through the consumption of human flesh. Beware, lest this cannibalistic legacy claim yet another victim...
- An Axe to Grind: She wields a Greataxe, making her a tough fight if challenged up close.
- Artificial Stupidity: It's possible for Melinda to fall to her death in the Gutter without ever finding you.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Once you defeat her, she becomes available for the fight against the Ancient Dragon.
- Recurring Element: Her moniker and implied cannibalistic tendencies are eerily similar to Maneater Mildred, so is the treacherous area she invades you in, as well as being available for a boss fight after you defeated her.
A Dark Spirit with a most unusual choice of armaments, Guthry will invade in the Doors of Pharros after entering into the Rat King's territory. Clad in the armor of a Royal Swordsman, could she be a remnant of the Drangleic Army unit dispatched to Brightstone Cove Tseldora...?
- Dual Wielding/Guns Akimbo: Guthry wields two Avelyn crossbows that she can shoot in succession. This becomes problematic in the flooded lower area of the Doors of Pharros, allowing her to shoot at you with impunity while your mobility is reduced.
- The Remnant: Her armour implies that she's part of the Drangleic Army unit stationed in the area following the Doors of Pharros. Considering the state you find the army camp in...
- Samus Is a Girl: A hacker removed her helmet and found, to the community's surprise, that Bowman Guthry was actually a woman.
A strange man of unknown origins who appears a short distance past Rhoy's Resting Place in the Shrine of Amana. While his name and appearance suggest an eclectic character, his talent with magic is unquestionable and he will attack with a diverse arsenal of dangerous spells.
- Casting a Shadow: His arsenal of spells includes, among other things, Dark Hail, which shoots several dark orbs in a scatter pattern.
- Squishy Wizard: Has a massive selection of spells to bombard you with, but at the same time he's vulnerable up close, despite being able to roll quickly even in the water.
Elder brother of Lucatiel of Mirrah. He was known as one of Mirrah's greatest swordsmen, but became afflicted by the Undead Curse and set out for Drangleic in search of a cure. He was never heard from again and his fate and whereabouts were unknown - until now...
- The Ace: Lucatiel admired him for his swordsmanship, which was reputed for being one of the best in all of Mirrah.
- BFS: The Old Mirrah Greatsword he wields, where inscribed on the blade is a promise he made to Lucatiel.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: If you hurt him enough times and back away from him, he'll let you take some distance... to chug some Estus for himself, despite being an invader!
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: He has a Mirrah Shield to keep him safe from harm.
- Tragic Villain: He fell to the curse while searching for a cure or Lucatiel. Then he invades you in Aldia's Keep, still thinking he can accomplish his quest.
A Dragon Knight charged with protecting the Petrified Egg stored in the Dragon Shrine. He is the strongest of the apostles residing in the shrine and appears after entering the spiral staircase behind the first Warpick-wielding Drakekeeper.
- Artificial Brilliance: Villard will try to guard break you every now and then, so watch out!
- BFS: His Black Dragon Greatsword, which is said to be one of many weapons forged from Black Dragon Kalameet's tail.
- Draconic Humanoid: Like all Dragon Knights, his armour is grafted onto his skin, giving him the appearance of an anthropomorphic dragon.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: His Black Dragon Shield, this time said to be forged from a talon of Black Dragon Kalameet.
- Macguffin Guardian: Villard automatically invades you once you go up the spiral staircase leading to the Petrified Egg, which you can trade to Magerold in exchange for access to the Dragon Remnants covenant.
A new and very deadly invader, introduced in the Scholar of the First Sin edition. He invades you near the Soldiers Rest bonfire in the Forest of Fallen Giants and once again in the Iron Keep, this time a little ahead of the Threshold Bridge bonfire.
- Beef Gate: Dennis acts like this to players wanting early access to the Soldiers' Rest bonfire in the Forest of Fallen Giants, the area in which it is located incidentally containing useful items such as the respawnable Seed of a Tree of Giants.
- Black Mage: His overall appearance, thanks to the Northwarder Hood, Black Robe and Boots that he wears.
- Cool Sword: His Blue Flame, which is not just a sword, but also a sorcery catalyst!
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: As soon as he spots you, he'll greet you with the "Point" gesture.
- In the Hood: His Northwarder Hood as mentioned above.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: His Grand Spirit Tree Shield, for in case when he decides to get up close and personal. It also gives him average damage reduction to everything while hes holding it up.
- Magic Knight: What he actually is, thanks to his sword allowing him to cast sorceries on top of his decent swordsmanship.
- Odd Name Out: He's a spellcaster first and swordsman second, so his title of 'Armorer' doesn't make any sense.
- Squishy Wizard: Though Dennis can cast powerful sorceries such as Soul Greatsword, Soul Spear and Soul Vortex, the armor he wears means he won't be able to take a lot of hits.
- Zigzagged when you realize he's meant to be encountered later due to him having a massive HP pool, with him also having infinite spellcasts as an NPC invader, and gets very aggressive with his sword strikes if he's close to you.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: He'll perform the "Warmup" gesture should you get killed by him, or when he kills a human invader.
Another new and deadly invader, introduced in the Scholar of the First Sin edition. She invades you in the Iron Keep - after you open the door ahead of the Threshold Bridge bonfire - and again in the Dragon Aerie, just a few bridges away from the first bonfire there.
- All Webbed Up: Her Spider Fang's strong attack allows her to throw out a ball of webbing towards a target, where it will then drastically reduce their movement speed upon contact.
- Anti-Magic: Thanks to her Sanctum Priestess' Tiara, Sharron is immune to the effects of the Profound Still hex... not that it actually does her any good, since she's purely a melee fighter.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Her main strategy against you. It's unsurprisingly effective, especially if you get caught by one of her balls of webbing.
- Combat Pragmatist: Sharron is not above slowing you down with her Spider Fang's strong attack, nor is she above using the environments she invades in to her advantage.
- Cthulhumanoid: Her gear, consisting of the Sanctum Priestess' Tiara, the Fume Sorcerer set's Robes and Gloves and the Desert Sorceress set's Skirt, makes her look like an alluring humanoid monstrosity of sorts, similar to how Merciless Roenna's Warlock Mask makes her seem like a terrifying abomination.
- Dual Wield: Sharron loves using her Spider Fang and Puzzling Stone Sword in tandem, and will occasionally powerstance or wield them individually to make it harder for you to anticipate her attacks.
- Non-Indicative Name: Sharron is just a fencer in name only.
- Sinister Scimitar: Her Spider Fang functions as one.
- Stun Lock: Sharron is infamous amongst the NPC invaders for being fond of inflicting this upon players, due to her alternating her weapons' strikes, on top of frequently attempting to slow you down whenever she can.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Like Dennis, she will gesture to your corpse should you get killed by her.
- Whip Sword: Her Puzzling Stone Sword, which allows her to attack you from ranges you'd normally think you're safe from.
An eclectic invader whose defining traits are the Minotaur Helm that he wears and the variety of weapons that he carries on his person, introduced in the Scholar of the First Sin edition. He invades you in the Iron Keep, just a little ahead of where the metal chest Mimic used to be.
- A Load of Bull: His Minotaur Helm gives off this impression of him as an enraged humanoid bull coming to get you. Considering the environment that he invades in, it seems fitting.
- Artificial Brilliance: Oliver will keep changing his weapons to keep you on your toes as well as make it hard for you to predict what moves he will do next, seeing that his repertoire of weapons on hand is something that shouldn't be scoffed at.
- Artificial Stupidity: On the other hand, if you trick him into climbing the ladder near his invasion point, you can repeatedly shoot him down with a ranged weapon only to see him try to climb up again. Additionally, it is also easy to bait or Stun Lock him into falling to his molten doom.
- BFS: His Majestic Greatsword, that he - of course - wields with his left hand.
- Black Knight: Oliver's overall appearance counts him as one, thanks to him also wearing the Steel set's chestplate and the Drakekeeper set's Gauntlets and Boots.
- Blade on a Stick: He has a copy of the breakable version of Santiers Spear.
- Carry a Big Stick/Drop the Hammer: The Smelter Hammer that he lugs around isn't just for show, you know. It can and will end you if you get hit with it.
- Confusion Fu: He's good at using many different kinds of weapons during combat.
- Cool Helmet: That Minotaur Helm of his, which you can actually get from him as a rare drop.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: He has a Bone Fist to help him bring out the pain. Watch out for its strong attacks!
- Hidden Depths: From a lore perspective, the fact that he can easily wield the Majestic Greatsword and the Smelter Hammer in his left hand makes him one of the strongest beings in the setting.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The combined weight of his armor and weapons limits Oliver to moving and rolling slowly, which means that despite all of the heavy firepower he's packing, he is very open to quick strikes.
- Mighty Glacier: It's true that he's slow, but the high amounts damage that Oliver deals is even truer.
- Royal Rapier: Hes got Ricards Rapier, allowing him quick strikes against you if youre being careless or if youre being too frisky for his tastes.
- Walking Armory: He wields a Bone Fist, a Majestic Greatsword, Santier's Spear, a Smelter Hammer, Ricard's Rapier and a Puzzling Stone Sword. While his equipment makes him very heavy, it also means he has a wider range of attack options.
- Whip Sword: Like Fencer Sharron, he's also got a Puzzling Stone Sword, the blade of which can separate itself into small pieces in a whip-like manoeuvre to attack you from a distance.
An invader wearing the Black Witch set with the Veil and wielding the Black Witch's Staff prowling the depths of the Gutter, introduced in Scholar of the First Sin edition. He invades you only after you've lit all the sconces in the area.
- Achilles' Heel: He only attacks with his sorceries as well as the occasional bash from his staff, which means should you afflict him with the effects of the Profound Still hex, he'll become easy pickings. Additionally, wielding a Magic-infused Rebel's Greatshield or a Magic Shield against him can render most if not all of his attacks relatively harmless.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": This invader is only known by his title due to self-explanatory reasons.
- Squishy Wizard: The Gutter Denizen is armed with a variety of powerful sorceries, which include the likes of Soul Greatsword, Crystal Soul Spear, Great Soul Arrow, Heavy Soul Arrow, Soul Spear Barrage, and Focus Souls, but he's quite easy to kill once he's in melee range. That, and he can easily be baited or stunlocked into falling into his doom.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: He's wearing an armor set that - despite its high defence against magic attacks and the Veil's high curse resistance - is meant for female characters.
Invaders residing in the Black Gulch, introduced in Scholar of the First Sin edition. They invade you in the passage leading to the Rotten. Gully will spawn in first, then Victor - but he will do so only when you have rested at a bonfire after killing his brother. At stronger bonfire intensities, they will invade you together.
- Axes To Grind: Both wield the Giant Stone Axe, forged from the soul of the Last Giant.
- Luckily Our Shields Will Protect Us: Gully wields Reeves Greatshield while Victor wields Ormas Greatshield, both of which boasts excellent physical defence and stability.
- Sibling Team: A very dangerous one at that too, considering that youre going to fight them in an area that just loves to poison you. Though you can lessen the difficulty by destroying the poison-spitting statues around the area first before fighting the two of them.
- Wild Children: What their attire and their title suggests. As theyre both wearing the Lion Warrior Helm with the Prisoner set, this could mean that Gully and Victor were raised by Lion Warriors in the Shaded Woods. What are they doing so far from home though is anyones guess.
But without self, one has neither beginning nor end, and so the Forlorn have only to wander.
They are introduced in Scholar of the First Sin.
- Ambiguous Gender: They have no pronounced gender, and their clothing is gender-neutral.
- Artificial Brilliance: The main reason why they are incredibly tough to defeat is because of how smart their A.I. is, and can also Guard Break you.
- BFS: Wields the Greatsword of the Forlorn.
- The Blank: They have no face, to further obscure their gender.
- Recurring Boss: Will invade you several times in random locations, depending on how unlucky you are.
- Sinister Scythe: The ones wielding the Scythe of the Forlorn are the most dangerous, given that they can penetrate through your shield's defenses and inflict Bleed.
- Situational Sword: Both the Greatsword and Scythe of the Forlorn scale with hollowing.
- Tragic Monster: Born of Aldia's obession with the First Sin, they are left without an beginning or end, wandering around aimlessly by invading other players.
- You Can't Go Home Again: The main reason why they can be found wandering aimlessly is because of how they are unable to return back home.