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Demonic Spiders / Dark Souls

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Almost every single basic mook in Dark Souls would qualify as a Demonic Spider in any other game (and you are very likely to die a few times during the tutorial) than this one, but there are some that stand out to the point of making you want to punch the screen in frustration. Without further ado, here are some of those Demonic Spiders:

Series Wide

  • The Basilisks who were immediately notorious after the release of the game. They have a breath attack that inflicts Curse, the most debilitating status effect in the game. The way status effects work, you have a meter that fills up as you are exposed to something that has a status effect. Players in their first playthrough will likely have zero resistance against curse, meaning the meter will fill up in about a second, almost instantly if you get caught in the cloud created by two of them. Curse kills the player instantly. When players revive, their health is permanently halved, even if they die again. Getting the curse removed is a quest in and of itself. Thankfully in the later entries in the series, getting cursed/petrified only kills you.
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  • Mimics are powerful monsters disguised as treasure chests, trying to open one could result in a One-Hit Kill. During combat, these enemies are highly agile, hit like a truck, and have a deadly grab attack. In Dark Souls II, their grab attack has a ridiculously large hitbox that can reach you even if you are directly behind them. In the third game, their damage output went up meaning they could take out three-quarters of your health from a single kick attack.
  • Bonewheel Skeletons. They're one of the few enemies in the game that are always faster than the player, and considering their main method of attack is rolling at you, this is a big problem. Blocking doesn't work well either; without either godlike stamina or a ridiculously good shield, you'll find yourself out of stamina alarmingly quickly, and then out of health. They're also surprisingly good at correcting their course, so dodging them is difficult without light equipment and very good timing. Weaving while running is about the best way to dodge them...until you enter the basement of the Painted Realm of Ariamis, and find them in tight, narrow corridors. Thankfully they have been nerfed in the next two games but they can still pose a major threat towards the player.

Dark Souls

  • The Hollow Assassins in the lower Undead Burg. While they may not have much health, they attack in groups of three or four, can fill up around a third of a player's bleed bar which instantly knocks a huge chunk off the player's HP when filled, can stunlock players with low poise, and have an infinite amount of throwing knives that will stagger most players attempting to use sorcery or pyromancy against them. On top of that, once you get past them, you encounter the notorious Capra Demon.
  • The Undead Balder Knights, who are very swift with their sword strikes, reliable shield, and above all, the ability to parry you. For beginners, they're almost akin to a Miniboss, due to the low damage players will be dealing initially. The sole fact that they can parry attacks is frightening, as your mistakes are often punishable by instant death in this scenario.
  • The cat beasts in Darkroot Forest definitely count. There are three of them, each has hundreds of health, and they attack and move rapidly. Fortunately, however, their AI is easily exploited, with multiple locations that they can't pathfind through, and an easily discovered glitch that will get them stuck on a incline. Even more fortunately, they don't drop anything, aren't guarding anything, and aren't in your way, so you have precisely no reason to fight them. Thank God.
    • There's a small copse of trees in one corner of the area that you fight them in that they can't move into. Standing in it with a spear, occasionally popping out to lure them back over makes the fight with them more tedious than challenging.
  • The large Mushroom People, to the point of exaggeration. After fighting the small ones, who are a joke (they even fall flat on their faces when they try to attack you!), their funny appearance and their laughably slow speed, most people will probably underestimate them and charge right in. The same people will then find out that these things not only have a metric ton of HP, but that their punches hit hard enough to easily kill most characters in one or two hits.
  • Necromancers provide a rare support-oriented version of this trope. They aren't particularly difficult to fight: they only have one attack, which is highly telegraphed. What makes them a problem is that, while they're still alive, the skeletons in the area have Resurrective Immortality, effectively becoming Invincible Minor Minion monsters unless killed by divine weapons. Worse, necromancers themselves don't like to come out into the open; instead, they'll hide in the Crypt's many chambers, forcing the player to go on a Snipe Hunt while being harassed by a throng of immortal skeletons. This tends to result in a lot of suicide runs, since even if the necromancer is found and killed, the player is still being pursued and killed by a dozen skeletons exploiting the game's Stun Lock mechanics. Thankfully, necromancers don't respawn, so at least you only have to deal with them once each.
  • The Crow Demons of the Painted Realm. Tend to show up in groups of two or three, hit surprisingly hard, and they can jump on you and peck you to death. Worse, if you're trying to obtain Souvenirs of Reprisal without going online, they are the only enemies that drop them, meaning you will have to fight these things repeatedly.
  • To finish off the trio of awful things in the Painted Realm, we have the Bloated Undead, hollows with a massive tumor replacing their head. They come in two versions, ones with torches that attack the same way as the regular Hollows with torches (which, as mentioned below, are Demonic Spiders on their own), and unarmed ones that chuck huge fireballs at you. However, the real danger comes after you kill them, because the tumor explodes into a huge poisonous cloud that pretty much instantly causes Toxic, unless you kill them with fire damage. So if you don't have any way to deal fire damage, you don't have a bow/magic to deal damage from a distance, and you don't have a weapon with a long enough reach to avoid the cloud, then you're in for a rough time, because there is no way to leave the Painted World without going though plenty of these guys.
  • The Serpent People residing in Sen's Fortress. Ridiculous strength, ridiculous damage reduction, and Sen's Fortress has at least one (more commonly a horde) literally around every corner.
    • Serpent Mages are worse. They throw lightning bolts at you, at a point in the game where your lightning resistance is probably nonexistent. Even worse, the game likes to put them in rooms where you have to cross narrow passageways and dodge swinging pendulums.
  • Channelers. They like to hide on platforms out of your reach and bombard you with Soul Arrows, which take off major chunks of health and tend to be very hard to dodge. Even worse, when you finally close in on them, they do their buffing dance and boost the attack power of anyone near them, including themselves (and they know how to use that trident). Even worse, they tend to teleport before you can finish them off, retreating about thirty feet away to rain Soul Arrows upon you once more. Even worse than that, while the ones in early-game areas only need to be killed once to be gone for good, the ones in the Duke's Archives respawn.
    • If you take the shortcut through the Depths and go straight for the boss, bypassing the Channeler you would have encountered on the normal route, guess what? The Channeler can buff the boss. Although many players consider that particular boss a bit too easy, so maybe you would prefer fighting it this way.
  • In the same vicinity as the Channelers, the Crystal Hollows in Duke's Archives. They're fast, hit quite hard (and hit even harder after being buffed by a Channeler), usually attack in packs, and have a tendency to ambush you at the worst possible moment. It's likely you will die more often to them than the Serpent-Men of Sen's Fortress.
  • Torch Hollows. Take the weakest enemy in the game, confiscate the broken and rusty sword it normally carries and give it a torch. Torch Hollows have earned as much respect and fear as the Wheel Skeletons to some players, and can do significant damage if it lands a full frenzy attack combo. The Depths bonfire typically hosts the numerous bloodstains of those that tend to forget how much of a threat the single Torch Hollow guarding the corridor out can be.
  • The wyverns in the Valley of Drakes. Massive health pool, powerful lightning breath, and an all-around unpredictable A.I. pattern where they tend to take flight as you're about to strike them. They're even more aggravating due to the fact that they're the only respawning source of Dragon Scales (Hydras and Zombie Dragons don't reappear until the next playthrough after killing them in the current one), and even then they drop it at an absurdly low rate.
  • The Black Knights. As befitting of their intimidating stature, they all wield weapons that can break your guard easily and deal huge damage, and they have one of the highest aggro-ranges of any enemy in the game, meaning you'll have to defeat them or they might follow you around even as you retreat to a safe bonfire, and due to a bug they can still attack you even while you're resting at a bonfire. If the AI is feeling particularly merciless then it's very easy for them to stun-lock you unless you're wearing incredibly heavy armour.
    • The Silver Knights of Anor Londo, while not as powerful as their black brethren, are no slouches, either. High defenses, impenetrable shields (much more pronounced with spear-wielding knights, as they will spend most of their time poking at you from behind their shield), and the ability to wield the massive Dragonslayer Bows, which can catapult you off your feet and are the main reason why one section of Anor Londo is widely hated by players.
  • The Sentinels guarding most open areas of Anor Londo. They have a considerable amount of health coupled with massive damage resistance, and their halberd strikes are guaranteed to stagger you no matter how much poise you stack. Even worse, their massive shield is impenetrable, meaning they'll be impervious to any kind of damage unless you hit their blind sides. Royal Sentinels crank this up by having even better defenses and two miracles: Wrath of the Gods and Great Heal. You'll have to strike them down hard and fast if you don't want them to regenerate and beat you to a pulp.
    • Even worse, the two Royal Sentinels are outside Ornstein and Smogh's boss room and respawn. This, in and of itself, isn't too much of a problem since you can easily sprint past them. However, given the difficulty of the upcoming boss fight, you may want to make use of the nearby summon sign to bring Solaire with you... meaning you'll probably need to kill the sentinels (and silver knight near the summon sign) if you don't want your ally to pull a "Paladin Leeroy".
  • Titanite Demons. While they often qualify as minibosses since none of them (bar one in Lost Izalith) respawn, not so much in Sen's Fortress, where getting hit by a pendulum throws you into a pit filled with them, giving you a taste of horror as you deal puny damage to their rock-solid skin and titanic health while they're about to crush you in one hit.
    • What makes the Titanite Demon pit in Sen's Fortress even more aggravating is that the pit itself is filled with tar that hinders your movement, making it difficult to dodge their attacks.
  • Blighttown's boulder-wielding Infested Barbarians. The regular ones are bad enough, wielding Large Clubs with added poison effect that can push you off ledges (which means instant death), but boulder-wielding ones have access to surprisingly long-ranged attacks (by throwing said boulders), rolling their boulders, and just plain swinging them. Not only they do a lot of damage, they have a very large aggro radius and can easily knock you down even if you sport a high Poise stat. They're such a problem that even experienced players opt to use a longer detour to avoid aggroing them at all.
  • Maneater Shells, in all honesty, are quite slow, very unbalanced, which means any hit from nearly any weapon staggers them (if not outright flipping them upside down), and do drop valuable items (Twinkling Titanite for unique weapon upgrades, and Purging Stones to remedy Curse). What people often forget is that their attack power is, for all intents and purposes, through the roof. Their body—er, shell slam attack can also throw YOU off balance, and they tend to spam them in rapid succession. Like other examples, their most popular farming place, just before Seath's second boss fight, have six of them spawn in very close quarters. Getting swarmed by them is basically instant death for unwary players.
  • The Stone Knights in Darkroot Garden. While slow and cumbersome, most of your attacks at this point will bounce off their armor, and they will cast the Tranquil Walk Of Peace miracle, which slows the player's movement to a crawl. While this annoying spell is in effect, it's very common for the nearby Ent-like Demonic Foliage to swarm you and start hugging you to death.
    • On this particular example, if you happen to be infected with a Gravelord curse while in New Game Plus, stronger Red Phantom versions spawn en masse in the same area alongside their original counterparts, making crowd control nearly impossible and thus making one of the hardest areas to fight your way through. Case in point.
  • Giant Skeleton Beasts in Tomb of the Giants. They lurk in the dark, are particularly ferocious, bite off enormous amounts of your health, and players will be in for a nasty surprise if they count on these monsters to stay stunned after an initial attack. Oh, and they're usually paired with a Giant Skeleton archer/sword-wielder (which are already quite deadly by their own rights) or stay in group. Their presence makes the tomb a nightmare for low-level players.
    • The so called Dragon Butts in Lost Izalith. They are big, they do a lot of damage, and they all stand in a giant lake of lava, meaning you take constant damage while trying to fight them. As of the current patch, they are relatively easy enough to simply avoid, but in the initial release, their agro radius was huge meaning it was almost impossible to get through the area without all of them wanting to kill you.
    • Just like the Stone Knight example above, getting infected by a Gravelord curse will spawn Red Phantom versions of these abominations, and they can potentially make the dungeon unbeatable until you kill a Gravelord servant.
  • After a heated fight against the Sanctuary Guardian and a nice little rest near Elizabeth, you'd think there wouldn't be too much to worry while traveling through the next area, which is a near-exact replica of the future hunting grounds for the Forest Hunter Covenant. Nope. Be prepared to be swarmed by aggressive tree-like scarecrows wielding pitchforks and even shears, although they come off as little more than Goddamn Bats by the time you access the DLC. What's truly dangerous is the Guardians that are nearby. See the Stone Knight example above? Replace their weapon with a massive axe that can throw you off your feet and make the ground explode, and you have yet another unnerving Mighty Glacier to watch out for, made even worse as they often come around by the time you're still busy fighting the scarecrows.
  • The Bloated Sorcerers in Oolacile Township. While they don't teleport away like the Channelers, they still pose a massive threat to you given their wide array of Abyss sorceries, near-instant poisoning if they reach out for you with their hand, and are usually backed up by several ferocious Bloatheads who don't show remorse in overwhelming you with sheer numbers.
  • The Humanity Sprites in the Chasm of the Abyss. Sure, they're relatively harmless if you don't approach them, and they don't actually have a lot of health. What most players forget is that they are very resistant to elemental weapons, and cause Collision Damage at an alarmingly high rate; if you're not careful when attempting to heal after the initial surprise, you'll end up swarmed by several of them.
  • Every single red phantom enemy spawned by a Gravelord infection becomes this. Increased health, attack power and, most importantly, aggro-range, causing them to chase you even more aggressively than you would initially assume, and sometimes before you even notice them. Woe betide a player who attempts New Game+7 and gets gravelorded along the way, as those same red phantoms will usually One-Hit Kill even players with maximum health.
    • May Gwyn bless your remains if you somehow desire to download the mods 'Perma-Gravelord' and 'Hyper-Aggressive Enemies' for added difficulty.

Dark Souls II

  • Most of the NPC invaders are both this and Boss in Mook Clothing, particularly the NPC invaders in the Lost Crowns DLC thanks to Artificial Brilliance. Jester Thomas from Crown of the Sunken King is probably the most infamous example thanks to his sky-high resistances, insane speed, and Pyromancy spam.
    • Another invader from two of the Downloadable Content packs deserves to be noted, and that is Maldron the Assassin. Unlike most NPC invaders who attempt to fight the player in straight up combat, Maldron acts like the biggest troll you can imagine, mimicking behaviors of invading players who don't try to play fair. In the Brume Tower, he'll run away from you after spawning, forcing you to chase him down a tower filled with durable enemies and traps to the bottom where an Ashen Idol lies that will heal him. And even sneakier, in Eleum Loyce, he wears a ring that makes him look like he's an NPC rather than a phantom, and doesn't even attack you when you first see him. He acts like a friendly NPC until the moment you turn your back on him, at which point he will cheerfully stab you in the back. And similar to his other appearance, he LOVES to run away, forcing you to chase him down in order to kill him. And if you try to ignore him, he'll continue to harass you as long as you are in the area.
  • Pretty much all the boss enemies once they become Degraded Bosses become this trope instead. Especially once the Ruin Sentinels start showing up, often in tandem with groups of Stone Soldiers to ruin your day.
  • Darkdwellers in Old Man's Wharf are fast, have very high attack range thanks to their long arms, can cause Bleed, and love to ambush you from dark corners. Even stunning them with bright light isn't always safe — trying to stun them for too long will enrage them and allow them to attack anyway.
  • Undead Huntsmen in the Huntman's Copse are slow, but powerful and can easily kill an unprepared player. They also do bleed damage and their attacks go around your shield.
  • The Undead Citizens. Aside from being fast and hitting ridiculously hard, they're nearly impossible to kill before they blow up in your face, and the detonation takes away a ludicrous amount of health, with enough power to hurl the player off ledges with ease. Oh, and the ones encountered at the Dragon Aerie don't do much physical damage... they just break all your equipment.
  • Alonne Knights in Iron Keep have high poise, very erratic and fast attacks which are difficult to read and parry, and they have the tendency to all gang up on you. Oh, and some of them have Greatbows. welcome to Anor Londo 2.0.
    • There's also the Alonne Knight Captains. In addition to being just as durable and resilient as the standard knights, they're Iaijutsu practitioners whose katanas are infused with lightning, which, coupled with their fast and erratic attacks and combos, makes fighting them even more of a nightmare than the knights. And if you try to run away from them, not only can they catch up to you, but they can hit you with a palm strike once they manage to close in on you, stunning you for a moment. And like the Alonne Knights, they have a tendency to gang up on you. Lastly, should a player be on Bonfire Intensity 2 (whether if they used a Bonfire Ascetic or started NG+), the Iron Keep will be populated with red phantom versions of the Alonne Knight Captains, including one in the room after the bridge. Have fun.
    • And Scholar of the First Sin makes them even worse by more than doubling the amount of knights that you have to face in the same area. It becomes extremely easy to get swarmed by them. You can't even talk to the merchant near the first bonfire of the area without killing at least 4 knights, while you had to kill maybe 1 in the base version.
  • The Drakekeepers at the Dragon Shrine. Most enemies make two or three swings during their attacks. Drakekeepers, especially the ones with the big two-handed maces, start swinging and don't stop.
  • Anyone who sees a Cyclops (being new to the series or not) will instinctively believe that these brutes are very tough but slow, with attacks that should be very easy to avoid. Said players will then have the pleasure of seeing these massive monsters outrunning them, with attacks that are not only fast, but have longer reach than they appear. Also, they just love to grab players and chew their heads off.
  • The Mist-Shrouded Soldiers in Shaded Woods. You arrive at a patch of the woods covered in fog. Inside that fog are Hollow soldiers who can both fight at melee range or shoot at you with crossbows. But hey, sounds like the typical mook, nothing much to worry about except the fog makes them a little less visible, right? WRONG. The bastards are transparent, Predator-style. They can only barely be seen by their silhouette if you squint hard enough, and practically invisible when standing still. By the time you see one, there's probably another one right behind you ready to stab you in the back and One-Hit Kill you. Oh, and to make matters even worse, they're practically indistinguishable from the shades of other players. The first time you see one you'll almost certainly assume that's what it is, only to be taken completely off-guard when it suddenly starts attacking you. The second time you see one you're ready for it, so you attack it and... it's actually a player shade this time and you just attacked nothing. Then the actual Mist-Shrouded Soldier you didn't see backstabs you. Interface Screw much?
    • This is leaving out arguably the worst part about fighting them: you cannot lock on to them. While this may be a mere inconvenience to melee builds, ranged builds (namely sorcerers) will find themselves facing the unimaginable horror of being completely unable to fight back. Good luck facing mid-game enemies with that paltry starting dagger.
  • For low-level players, we have the Hollow Spearman. Remember the old hollow spearman from Dark Souls? The ones that never lowered their shields and loved to poke you from a distance? Well, now they are back with an even longer range. Never fight two at the same time, because they will use freaking phalanx formation on you (when one of them is protecting himself with his shield, the other one will attack you from behind the first one).
  • The demonic spiders in Tseldora. While a bit of a pushover in the first playthrough, in New Game Plus they will swarm you relentlessly while you are attempting to defeat the Duke's Dear Freja and while you face one, or even two red phantoms. The spiders are weak to your attacks by this stage, but their movements are unpredictable and they hit for massive damage. Fortunately, they are afraid of fire, so if you are holding a lit torch they will leave you alone, but then you're left fighting one-handed, and how many players ever do that?
  • The Lediya Pyromancers in Undead Crypt can be this to some, especially if one of the bells is rung. Not only do they have a lot of powerful spells (some of which track you) at their disposal, they can also pull off insane amounts of damage with their three-hit combo, sometimes enough to outright kill you at full HP. To make matters worse, they spawn infinitely until you destroy their statues that are pretty sturdy, and can come at you four at a time when the above mentioned bell situation happens. The only comfort is that they stop spawning once you destroy their statues...besides the ones that can spawn in the room preceding the area's boss chamber - their spawnpoints are unbreakable.
  • The Giant Pyromancers in the Giant Memories, but none more so than the two in Memory of Vamar. They camp on a rooftop near 4 or 5 other Giants, and just spam Great Fireball with perfect accuracy.
  • The Flame Salamanders in the Forest of Fallen Giants. While fighting them is completely optional, they are ridiculously difficult to kill. All but immune to fire, completely unblockable physical attacks, near perfectly accurate, infinite range fire balls, high health pools, and surprisingly fast.
  • New Game Plus introduces several red NPC phantoms around the game. Some of them have large amounts of poise, infinite stamina, and hit like a freight train. Their attacks can be difficult to dodge due to their tracking and they could provide little openings for you to attack them. The ones within Iron Keep and Drangleic castle can be harder than most of the bosses in the game.
  • The dual-wielding Sanctum Knights in Crown of the Sunken King's Dragon Sanctum. Insane combo potential, coupled with the fact you'll have trouble finding a way to properly damage them (all physical attacks pass through them, for starters) in your first trip to the DLC. You need find and destroy their corpses to make them visible.
    • The Drakeblood Knights in the same DLC. Infinite poise, infinite stamina, massive damage for a small enemy, able to cancel any action into a roll (including another roll), and they are smart enough to backstab and guard-break you.
    • The Poison Statue Clusters in Crown of the Sunken King are basically the stationary poison-spitting statues from the Gutter and Black Gulch... except they can move around. And are nearly invincible to damage. If you attempt the Brutal Bonus Level of the DLC, you'll run into variations that spit petrification instead of poison. Good luck with that.
  • Crown of the Old Iron King has gifted us with a new addition: The Iron Warriors. Giant metal-clad monsters who wield the biggest weapon in the game effortlessly (that you can actually use), have shoulder pads that periodically bleed lava which can stun you, and there's another version that causes bleeding (you can't get that weapon).
    • The Possessed Armor enemies from the same DLC will be your doom. Their melee attacks deal heavy damage to health and stamina, and can be difficult to interrupt due to their high poise and long range. Their ranged attacks are far more threatening, however, as they are deadly accurate with their powerful greatbows, tracking the player's movement perfectly before firing. Even worse, if these things are anywhere near an Ashen Idol of Nadalia, they can't be permanently killed until the idol is destroyed!
    • Also from the same DLC are the Astrologists. Hexers populating the Iron Passage who work in tandem with the Fume Sorcerers, they spam the Profound Still and Promised Walk of Peace hexes, making it hellish not just for melee players but also players utilizing spells, and if any player attempts to get close and attack them, they can retaliate with Sunlight Spear and Blinding Bolt. And, depsite their choice of armor, they have a lot of health, and should they get hurt, they can cast Great Heal, which not only affects them, but also their allies should they get hurt. One way to defeat them is to cast Profound Still before they do, then snipe them from afar; if that doesn't work, the only other option is to run and avoid them (which is easier said than done).
  • Crown of the Ivory King has several nasties:
    • The Imitation Golems. While they are slow and can be avoided if they're not awakened by nearby mob deaths, they boast immense elemental resistances as well as colossal health, and can trample you for a huge amount of damage. What's worse, they're placed in areas infested with hordes of enemies that just beg to have their souls sucked into the golems for a swift awakening.
    • Ice Rats, rodents covered in icicles that attack by rolling at you like Sonic the Hedgehog. On one hand, they have rather low health and will get one-shot by most melee weapons. On the other, they're nimble and tiny, meaning that getting said hit in will turn into a chore if your weapon doesn't have the right moveset (especially heavier weapons), love to hide in corners to gank you, hit just as hard as their spin2win seniors Bonewheels from the first game, and are also one of the very few enemies to deal Collision Damage without even having to attack so trying to get rid of them as fast as possible might just end up killing you.
    • None are more aggravating than the Frozen Reindeers fought in the Frigid Outskirts. Large, fast, and capable of charging you like a steam train, they also discharge electric attacks that stagger you regardless of poise. Due to the near-perpetual snowstorm of the area, it can be quite difficult to direct your attacks on the enemy, and if you're unlucky enough, you can get swarmed by several of them. They also guard a long path to the boss with no shortcut. Oh, and they're the only enemy in the franchise who respawn on their own, not just when you rest at a bonfire.
  • Scholar of the First Sin puts a shitton of Heide Knights (which in the original version were basically non-respawning minibosses similar to the Black Knights of the first game) all over the entirety of Heide's Tower of Flame (a very early game area, usually the first or second area the player will visit) as respawning regular enemies. While this makes sense lore-wise, they are a huge pain to deal with. They have the ability to attack instantly with no windup and the ability to do an instant 180, which means parrying and backstabbing are both pretty much off the table. Fortunately, they aren't hostile by default, preferring to sit around on their asses until you attack them first... until you beat the boss, at which point they will all get up and begin patrolling the area. Oh, and they have huge aggro ranges too.

Dark Souls III

  • For a general example, almost every kind of enemy in the game has a variant with glowing red eyes that is much deadlier than its common brethren. Enjoy getting your ass kicked if you go after one of these guys expecting him to be just like the 20 others you just easily cut down.
  • The jailers of the Irithyll Dungeons, out of all the deadly things trying to kill you in Lothric, stand out due to their single worst trait; they literally cause your health bar to shrink by looking at you. This will take the bar to 10% of its total within six to eight seconds of them looking at you. This means you can't heal the damage until your health bar recovers, and it lasts for twenty seconds at least. This gets exaggerated near the end of the Dungeons, as there's at least 12 patrolling the ground floor of the place.
  • The Pontiff Knights are Lightning Bruisers through-and-through — they can catch up with you and perform different types of multi-hit combos that can kill you if you fail to block or dodge any, and one of them includes extending their range (and slowing the delay) and damage of their next attack by imbuing it with magic. On top of that, they can fire homing projectiles from afar and are content to do just that as long as you're far away, making even dragging them out a chore as they can very suddenly change their mind and rush you. And just to make it worse, they always come in pairs or threes, sometimes accompanied by the Fire Witches. The only way to reliably beat them is stunlock them and pray that they'll be dead before your stamina runs out.
  • The Lothric Knights. If any enemy shows off the new and improved AI, it's them. For starters, they'll shield bash you if you get behind them and keep track of you very well. If you try to rush them, they can stunlock you to death before you get the first hit. There's also a second version that carries a greatshield and a spear, and those get all the qualities mentioned, plus the ability to hide behind their shields as they poke you to death. Did we mention this is one of the first enemies introduced in the game? When you run into them again at Lothric Castle, they gain the ability to apply Blessed Weapon for even greater attack power (in the Grand Archives this gets upgraded to Crystal Magic Weapon), and introduce a third variant wielding an enormous greatsword which does lightning damage in addition to physical, meaning you can't block 100% of the incoming damage.
    • Lothric Castle also introduces the Lothric Priests who play support to the Lothric Knights' DPS. They will stay as far away from you as possible and constantly cast Sacred Oath and Great Heal to make dealing with the Lothric Knights that much worse. And because the Lothric Knights are so damn aggressive, it's nearly impossible to Shoot the Medic First without his knight buddy clocking you on the back of the head.
  • Thralls are imp-like enemies that carry either an axe, a Warpick, or a Flamberge, and are really great at appearing out of nowhere. They're annoying but manageable in the Undead Settlement, but hit Demonic Spider status in the Cathedral of the Deep, often showing high up on ledges where falling to your death is a constant danger. They also love to ambush and dogpile you!
    • They return once more in the Grand Archives. There are very few ledges where you can fall to your death here, so instead all of their weapons are now glowing red hot and hurt like a bitch. And yes, they still ambush and dogpile you.
  • The Cathedral Knights are like Lothric Knights on crack. The greatsword ones are bad enough with their huge damage output and a delay between attacks that makes dodging a bit tricky plus a kick to break down your guard. The mace and greatshield ones are even worse however as they have not one but THREE different types of buff: one that reduces the damage they take, one that increases the damage they deal (and leaves glowing spots on the floor that explode after a while) and a heal spell. Nothing stops them from using all three at once and they'll almost always use at least one type of buff when they see you. On top of that they hit hard and have a incredibly fast shield-bash that will break your guard and open you up for their hard-hitting combos (again with a delay). They are also one of the first enemy whose guard you can't break by kicking just once. The only saving grace is that they are open to backstabs during their buffing animation.
  • The Black Knights are back, albeit much more rare than they were in the first game, and are just as tough as ever. To put it in perspective, one fan hacked a single Black Knight as hostile to other enemies and pitted it against such Demonic Spiders as the Darkwraiths, Mimics, and Chaos Demons, as well as actual bosses like Iudex Gundyr, Vordt, the Old Demon King, and even the Abyss Watchers. The Black Knight destroyed all of them... except the Abyss Watchers (which is a Flunky Boss with two phases), and even then the fight was down to the last sliver of health. If you kick that up to two Black Knights? They're completely capable of stomping Champion Gundyr, a late-game fight widely considered to be That One Boss.
  • Silver Knights make a return and learned a few new moves along the way - they can now dodge too (in a Bloodborne-sidestep way), can charge up their weapons with lightning, got quite a lot of HP, and don't stagger easily unless you're packing a heavy weapon. Ironically enough, these changes can make them harder to some players than the Black Knights.
  • Going down to the swamp of Farron Keep for this one, we have the Elder Ghrus that hang out there. These giant shaman have a nasty habit of hiding in the parts of the swamp where the muck is too thick to run away. Every single attack with the trees they carry creates a burst of flaming skulls, making it so there is no safe time to try stabbing them. And since being poisoned, getting hit by a magic tree and then getting hit by 15 magic skulls really hurts, they make it even easier to die in this hellhole. The cherry on the pain sundae is that they also have a powerful area of effect attack that can cost you about half or more of your health.
  • Leave it to Road of Sacrifices to make the basic enemies there this. The basic Hollows wielding long tree branches will ruin your day. They have amazing range with their branches, do enough damage to easily kill those who don't block, and will eat up the stamina of those that do. Not to mention that, if fought in pairs, which they usually come in, they can easily stunlock you between each other with little chance of survival or escape.
  • In the same area (and later in The Demon Ruins) there's the Leaping Ghru. While their HP isn't too high, they can escape out of your stunlock and do one of two things — a highly damaging and fast jumping attack that they'll usually follow up with another one — either killing you or leaving you at low HP. The other one is even worse, as it's a running grab with huge range — they'll leap onto you and claw at your face, which apparently buffs them up. Oh, and once you're lying on the ground they'll probably start another grab as soon as you start getting up. Fortunately, they don't show up a lot, but when they do, be ready for a bad time.
    • The spear-wielding Ghru, though nowhere near as bad, still deserve a spot here for one reason: They can do the same frenzy attack that earned the Torch Hollows from the first game a spot on this page, only it has a much longer range since they have a spear. A spear that can and will poison you before the frenzy is even finished.
  • Another swamp-only enemy is the Giant Crab — boatloads of HP, chained damaging attacks that knock you down, a ranged attack and a grab that'll literally squeeze the life out of you. They're also incredibly fast and have large aggro range. The icing on the cake is that once they loose a lot of HP they can burrow themselves into ground and come up at their spawn point with full HP. If you want to get that pyromancy-boosting ring, get ready for some frustration. You can face several more of them in the Smoldering lake, all of which have beefed up HP pools and damage, though they do lose the ability to burrow underground.
  • In Archdragon Peak, you can meet the giant Greataxe wielding Snakemen. It's bad enough that their HP, damage and defense is high - they also are hard to stun and cannot be backstabbed. In fact they have a specific grab for those who are trying to backstab them. A rarer variant has a chain attached to the Greataxe and uses it to attack you from a distance, and the animation when they drag the axe back to them can also hit you. Oh and if you though you could hide from them to heal, forget it - the chain-axe clips through walls meaning they can hit you through them or even when you're standing above on a platform. To complete the package they are rarely met alone, usually accompanied by smaller faster snakemen - who are minor Demonic Spiders on their own - that can pelt you with homing fireballs while you're getting your ass handed to you by the big one. They do have a dazed state that allows you to riposte them but it requires either whittling their HP or just attacking them non-stop which is hard with their high poise and constant damaging attacks.
  • Likewise in Archdragon Peak, the rock lizards. They look deceptively slow and weak, but can actually take reasonable amount of punishment, are more than capable of shoving you off ledges, and can roll over you worse than a wheel skeleton. Oh, and they breathe fire. Even one can be an incredible pain in a narrow space, but two or more can become pure insanity.
  • The Skeleton Swordsmen in the Catacombs of Carthus are absolute bastards to deal with. They're Lightning Bruisers to the core that can dash, sidestep, and teleport-roll as fast as Hunters in Bloodborne and hit like freight trains, all their weapons do some form of bleed damage, they often are equipped with Carthus Curved Swords that can get around your shield for Scratch Damage, they throw Kukris at range that do bleed damage and can stun-lock (as well as occasionally throwing out 3 at a time), and they have deceptively high health. Even worse is the fact that they are almost always encountered in pairs so that you have to worry about where one is while trying to kill the other. They're so bad that most people would prefer to deal with the Bonewheel Skeletons, the other skeletal Demonic Spider of the series, rather than try and take these walking Cuisinarts on. The one saving grace is that blunt weapons will temporarily break them to pieces, allowing you to focus them down while they try to reform or give you some breathing room when dealing with multiple.
  • The Pus of Man, aka those giant black gooey snake things that erupt out of certain rare Hollows. They have impressive health, as well as powerful and fast attacks with wide coverage that makes them near-impossible to dodge, and seemingly infinite stamina. The easiest way to deal with them is to kill their host before they manifest, but failing that, their only real weakness is to fire, which grants a roughly 1.5 second opening for you to do damage unimpeded before they start fighting back again. And in the Consumed King's Garden, there are three of them wandering around the same small area, which also includes a swamp that Toxifies you populated by poison-spitting slugs.
  • The Corvians first encountered in the Road of Sacrifices don't look like much of a threat at first, but approaching one causes them to sprout wings and go berserk, savaging the player with relentless, confusing attacks that drain your stamina in seconds and leave almost no time to react. What makes these feathered fiends truly nightmarish is that they are always accompanied by Corvian Storytellers. These shamans will emit a piercing screech the moment they spot you, causing all the Corvians nearby to sprout wings, charge straight for you and mob you to death. What's worse than a screeching savage beast that never lets up its attack? A whole horde of them!
  • Gargoyles return, this time as a normal enemy in late-game areas. They have a habit of hiding on dark cliffs or high rooftops, then swooping down and ganging up on you. They hit very hard, can attack at range with fireballs, have great defense to most melee attacks, can shield themselves (or stun you) with their wings, and they frequently abuse their flight capabilities to stay out of your range. Oh, and they come in groups...and respawn.
  • The Fire Witches of Irithyll of the Boreal Valley. If you get their attention, they will punish you with long-range pyromancy death, with the worst one being a spell that makes the ground under you explode; what makes this one truly annoying is that this isn't stopped by walls and does not require line of sight, meaning you can be killed by it anywhere. To make matters worse, you rarely encounter one Fire Witch by itself; they're usually accompanied by the various other enemies that haunt Irithyll.
  • Ashes of Ariandel, the first piece of DLC, despite being rather short, has a couple of notoriously difficult types of enemies.
    • The Corvian Knights that come in two varieties, wielding either the Crow Talons or the Crow Quills. They have a lot of health, are difficult to stagger and deal a lot of damage with their fast and unpredictable combos. On top of it all their weapons cause bleeding, augmenting their high damage even more. The Crow Quills variety are also highly mobile as well, being able to dash around rapidly while tossing throwing daggers at you (which, due to the size of the Corvian Knights, are about the size of greatswords) while the Crow Talons ones have a very telegraphed but extremely dangerous multi-hit attack that more often than not guarantees death should you be hit with the full force of it. One optional encounter has you fight a group of two, one of each.
    • The Millwood Knights are massive Lightning Bruiser vikings with a lot of different movesets depending on their weapon of choice, with some using one-handed axes that are really good at catching up to you if you attempt to roll away while others use large two-handed maces with massive aoe attacks that deal a lot of damage. On top of it all they tend to back each other up, with some Knights sitting in the distance firing earthquake-causing greatarrows at you while you fight their comrades. Special mention goes to their ambush in the Snowy Mountain Pass, where an uncareful player will find themselves fighting two Millwood Knights at once while a third hounds the player with earthquake attacks.
    • Players with small attack radiuses will likely learn to hate the Great Wolves, which are extremely good at delivering swift attacks and disappearing out of reach before you can respond. They're usually accompanied by the regular-size wolves, which will swarm you to death.
  • The second DLC, The Ringed City, manages to top this, in that you can count the types of enemies that aren't hellishly difficult on one hand.
    • The first enemies you're gonna run into is the Murkmen, which come in 2 varieties: the first, which crawls around to whack you with a sickle, and the second, which carries a staff and casts dark sorceries at you. One on one, they aren't an issue. However, from the get go, you'll almost never be surrounded by less than 5 of them. Add to that the absurd amount of damage they do, their tendency to turn into homing humanity suicide bombs if you get too close too quick, and that their aggro range rivals the aforementioned Gravelord curse enemies, and you're in for multiple deaths. The kicker? Often they'll spawn in when you enter an area where either you'll only see one, or no enemies at all, meaning any encounter with them starts with you either surrounded or cornered in by them.
    • The angels. They constantly rain down holy light on you, forcing you to take cover constantly. And if they SEE you take cover? They start casting a localized spell in your area that causes curse build up. And they're always so far away from you that seemingly your only option of dealing with them is arrows and spells, and any kind of damage you can hit them with does scratch damage, even your strongest attacks. And if you manage to kill one right away, it instantly respawns. The only way to deal with them is to kill the shriveled up immobile hollows hiding near their spawn areas, two of which are hidden out of your way and force you to be bombarded by lasers constantly to get to.
    • The Harald Knights. Bulbous armored soldiers carrying large cleavers and with a mass of Humanity for a head. They barely take any damage to begin with and can only be staggered by being hit in the face (which is rare unless using arrows or certain pyromancies). Their combos are relentless, they have devastating range, and they do so much damage with a single swing that even if you have heavy armor and 40 points in Vigor, you're guaranteed to lose 70% of your health. Did we mention​ that, like the Murkmen they often come in packs and like to spawn out of the ground, meaning you almost never encounter less than 3 of them at a time? The only reliable way of killing them is plunging attacks, which do absurd amounts of damage to them and often can kill them outright. However, if you miss, you're usually placed right next to one of these terrors with enough fall damage incurred to make a single swipe fatal.
    • The Hollow Clerics, mad Miracle-users that crawl on all fours. Their main attack is a spell with a deceptively long range that drains your health quickly and can even target you when you aren't even able to be seen by them. And their defenses are absurd due to that lump of stone. And if you do manage to get them to low health, they cast a self-healing miracle that can also drain your health faster than the Irithyll Jailers ever could. And sometimes they'll hit you with a swipe that can take out more than a quarter of your health. Killing these guys often takes constant movement and trying to out damage them before they can heal, which is made difficult already due to their defenses and even worse because they're often surrounded by difficult enemies and in places you can't easily reach, meaning killing them can either take forever or be borderline impossible depending on your loadout. Later versions of these enemies also have a deceptively fast spinning attack, which are fast and deadly enough to make the older bonewheel skeletons jealous.
    • The Ringed Knights can give the Lothric Knights a run for their money with their strong armor, speed, powerful attacks, and ability to buff their attacks with fire. Said knights also seldom come alone, and carry dragon shields that can both blow you away and torch you with flames. It doesn't help that a lot of their attacks can literally catch you off of a roll, meaning you actively have to time all your rolling; just to avoid them getting a guaranteed hit on you.
    • The large Locusts deal high magic damage with their grab attacks and have high defenses against most forms of damage. And following a pattern from other enemies in this DLC, they are also capable of emerging from the ground when you pass by and/or get close to them, although thankfully it's reduced to just the swamp.
    • The worst offender tends to be the Judicator Giants. From far away they spawn phantoms of Ruin Sentinel platoons to bombard you with arrows and turn you into a pincushion, Halflight with his blue flame trail that follows you, Ledo with his stone hammer fully buffed and ready to smash you with (who often spawns right next to you), and very rarely, "an archdragon spewing forth flames from above". Getting close enough to kill them is an effort in itself, and even sniping them out of aggro range will cause them to spawn phantoms in your immediate vicinity to kill you. Fortunately some of the time when you get close enough they resort to easily avoided melee atttacks, but more often than not, they'll summon the Sentinels and Ledo in tandem. Worst part? Contrary to what their restricting passage manner would suggest, they respawn, meaning you that you have to go out of your way to kill them repeatedly if you want to explore certain areas safely.