Dark Souls 2 Guide and Complete Walkthrough.

XPG Darkside Mar 27, 2014

  1. XPG Darkside

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    From Dranglae’s tough environments to its brutal boss fights, everything in Dark Souls 2 seems to be designed to kick your ass. But never fear! If you need help, here’s where you can find it. Here's our work-in-progress walkthrough of each area of the game.

    It contains the location of all weapons, armor and augments, and also explains which enemies you need to fight - and how - as well as which ones you can avoid. And of course we have full details on those all-important boss strategies.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Things Betwixt and Majula Walkthrough

    Take a good, deep breath. Exhale slowly. Now remember: Dark Souls 2 loves nothing more than to kick your ass - and it'll kick it pretty damn hard. So just be prepared. But you knew this already, and that's why you're here. To prove that you really are tougher than one of the today's most ruthless, take-no-prisoner games.

    When you've finished watching the intro, work your way through the bush, walk up the staircase and cross the bridge. Enter the hut you find there and you'll be treated to another cutscene, and then you can have fun creating your avatar. Once your hero is to your liking, head outside. Walk over to the cart, where you can find a Soul of the Lost Undead and a torch. Spark it up, and walk into the entrance.

    Walk into the mist on the left and keep on going until you find a dagger. Which is handy, because there are also two enemies here. Return from whence you came, and you'll find more mist. Practice your moves and then continue onwards to find two Amber Herbs.

    Look for the next misty area, which should be on the left and keep on going until you hit a tree. Knock it down and use it to traverse the gap. Fight the two enemies you encounter, and then climb out of the area where the second enemy was using the ladder. Take out the final enemy and head into the mist.
    One more enemy and another tree knockdown later, and you're back on the main path and ready to hit Majula, the main hub for Dark Souls II.

    Majula: The Adventure Begins
    Walk down the path towards the dead knight. On the left there's a Divine Blessing, and beyond that there's the entrance to the winding tunnels. Go inside and grab the Life Gems and Homeward Bones. Use the stairs, open the door on the left and kill the enemy there. Grab Lloyd's Talismans.
    Backtrack, and go down the path until you reach the next bonfire, which you can should ablaze.

    Talk to the woman in black - she's over by a tree near the cliff, and then comes down to the bonfire when you speak. Now you're able to use bonfires to level up, plus you also receive the Estus Flask, which gives you the ability to heal.

    Which you just know you'll need. Walk over to the hut and talk to the man outside. Then continue around the right hand side of the building to find the Soul of the Nameless Soldier and a Life Gem. There's another one near the tent on the left. Once you've got it, enter the doorway on the right of the tent and descend into the hallway below.

    Go to the hut on the left - and speak to the person who's locked themselves out. On the right of the hut is Soul of a Nameless Soldier and Life Gem. There's another one on the far left, under a tent. Go into the door on the right of the tent, then walk downstairs to the hallway on the right. Halfway down the winding stairway is a coffer containing a Crimson Parma.

    Head downstairs and look for a level. Pull it, and enter the door to find a Soul of a Lost Undead plus a Broken Thief Sword. Go back upstairs and look for another level, and give it a pull.

    Return to the camp and head up the hill. Kneel at the stone to join the Company of Champions covenant. Check out the left-hand side of the stone to find Homeward Bones. Return to the bonfire and head right towards the next hallway.

    There's coffer containing a Rusted Coin on the right.

    Continue along the hallway and enter the left passage by pulling the lever at the end to activate a gate. Cross the bridge and then walk over the plank. On the other side there's a Human Effigy in a chest. Now jump over to the area behind the chest and look for the Homeward Bone and a Soul of the Lost Undead. Go down to the river and you can move on to the Forest of the Fallen Giants.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Forest of Fallen Giants, Kill the Last Giant.

    The Forest and the Last Giant
    Continue downstream and keep an eye our for a Life Gem, small alcove and a bonfire on the right. At the river's end, look for a Soul of the Lost Undead. Follow the path and climb the ladder. Fight the enemies there, and when you've beaten them, grab the Life Gem and Broken Straight Sword. It goes without saying you need to dodge the arrows, so carefully work your way over to the opening. Inside, there's a ladder. If you're strong enough, you can climb down and fight the white knight to be awarded the Heide Knight Sword. However, it's not easy, so unless you really fancy your chances, it's probably better to ignore him for now, and climb the ladder. Take down the two enemies at the top. It's a tight area, so keep moving backwards to give yourself space to work in. When the enemies are dealt with, take the stairs and go right where the path forks. Take the Soul of the Nameless Soldier and smack down the archer whose arrows you had to dodge earlier. He's on the left, if you can't find him.

    Continue down the path, making sure you don't miss the Shortsword and Soul of a Lost Undead. Work your way downwards and walk into the mist. Follow the left-hand path, but be careful. Around the next corner you'll be ambushed by three enemies. In the room on the right you can find a Wood Bolt.
    Walk down the hallway and up the stairs, avoiding the bombs and arrows, to get to the ladder on other side. Take the Buckler, but be prepared to fight the enemy that emerges the moment you take it.
    Climb the ladder and and run to the other side, making sure you look for the Witching Urn. After another enemy encounter, go to the middle of the area and drop down to the broken wall. Eliminate the two enemies below, and then jump the gap (or drop down and use the ramp) so you can take the the Human Effigy on the other side of the arena.

    Use the tree to access the Soul of a Lost Undead and Torch items below. Once you're back on the ground, go across and take the three Life Gems. Enter the cave to find the Soul of a Proud Knight. Two enemies will appear when you grab it, so be prepared.

    Wait for the fire to calm down, and then go into the door on the left to find a coffer containing a Fire Longsword. Return to the tree and use the hole in the wall to reach a staircase that takes you back to the top of the area. Scale the ladder and enter the doorway midway along the right-hand side of the balcony.

    Set the bonfire alight, and use the store there to fill up. Take the ladder on the far side of the fire and deal with the enemy that attacks you. Walk away from the door, kill the enemy you encounter and climb the stairs to cross over to the other side.

    Eliminate the next enemy, and then take the Soul of a Lost Undead that's in the corner of the room. Don't worry about that door - it's locked. Instead, head over to the stairs and through the door on the right hand side. Fight the enemy and go into through the mist.

    Cross the tree and go over the the wall. Drop down onto the wooden platform. Enter the building and fight the enemies, making sure you grab the torch when you're done. Drop down near where you entered, and then scale the ladder to the platform. Fight your way up the ramp and over the roof.

    Leap over to the platform and take care of the enemy, and then drop down to the platform on the right. Move to the entrance at the end - but watch out for the rolling boulder. Once inside, take the Human Effigy. Cale is at the end of the corridor on the right, and has the House Key for use at Majula. An Amber Herb can be found right at the end of tje corridor.

    Retrace your path until you reach a ladder on the left. Go down the path and and fight the enemy, then drop down a level to the left and use the ramp to climb up to the roof of the house. Keep left and edge around the side of the building and then drop to the wooden platform.

    Look for a ramp down, and then take the Titanite Shard next to the gate. Use the ramp to reach the ladder, and then climb that, and the tree that's there. Fight the enemies and climb yet another ladder and fight yet another enemy.

    Drop down and head left until you reach a pair of enemies. Dodge the enemies' attacks and use the barrels to kill them. Once you're done you a path will appear that takes you to a bonfire.

    Continue onwards and fight the enemies until you reach a ladder. Climb down, and then go downstairs and look for the a Green Blossom. Watch for the crossbow trap in the wall. To avoid it, walk forward to trigger it and then immediately back up so the bolts miss you. Kill the enemies that appear and then go inside and take the Great Soul Arrow, a Large Soul of a Lost Undead and a Blue Wooden Shield.

    Climb down the ladder behind the crossbows and you'll find a coffer with a poison cloud trap that contains a Titanite Shard. So obviously, don't just open it. Instead, go to the corner of the room where there's a mechanism with a face and use the Pharros Lockstone. Take a second to remember how you got here, because you'll need to return.

    Go back up the stairs, leave the room and walk straight ahead. Watch for fire bombs being flung by the enemy above, and go through the doorway on the right. Now you can take care of the enemy. Go through the doorway and pick up the Large Soul of a Lost Undead found next to the tree. Climb the left ladder and continue along the path until you reach the Light Crossbow on the right. Take that, and continue to the end of the path, then use the corridor to access the area on the right.

    There are three enemies to fight, and beyond them a coffer with a Mail Breaker and Infantry Helm. Dropping down puts you back in the courtyard, and you can then climb the ladder to reach the broken path on the left. Climb the ramp and smash the cart. At the end of the path, climb through the window and fight the three enemies lurking in the hallway.

    Three more enemies wait at the bottom of the stairs, but besting them will get you a trio of Aromatic Oozes. Continue along the hall and enter the doorway to the right. Beat three more enemies in the courtyard and then return to the arena.

    Walk past the spot where you fought the enemy with turtle armor, and into the corridor beyond. Climb the stairs on the right and fight two enemies, and then continue a little further and tackle the next one. Grab the Amber Herbs. At the top of the stairs there's a Life Gem and Homeward Bone. Once you've grabbed those, walk to the stone sword and fight the enemies. Close by is a Halberd and a Soul of a Nameless Soldier, so grab those and then go back to the stone sword and walk into the mist.

    Enter the room without a torch and kill the bug and an enemy acquire a Titanite Shard, a Large Leather Shield and a Life Gem. Exit and go down to the far right and locate the 10 Fire Arrows. Enter the door in front of you, where you'll find a ladder and bonfire.

    Go into the elevator and ride down. Fight the enemy at the end of the corridor and then walk into the mist and prepare for a boss fight.


    Boss Battle: The Last Giant
    The Last Giant follows a basic attack pattern and the trick to beat him is simply moving around to avoid his hits, and make your move when it's safe to duck in a take a chunk out of his health. Going straight at him will likely result in your death. Being patient will result in his.
    The boss starts with five different attacks:
    • Fall forward for big damage
    • Hand sweep if you get too close in front of him
    • Jumping back stomp if you get too close to him from behind
    • Fist crush if you're close and within his reach
    • Triple stomp to the left or right if you're close to either side of him
    Stay mobile and avoid getting cornered, or stuck too close to a wall. Find the middle ground between the edge of the room while being out of his range and essentially keep moving into the space created as he moves towards you. At this point an effective move is to move in carefully and tempt him into a sweep move. Quickly duck back, and then run in under him and drop a couple of hits on him and before quickly moving out. A fast weapon will let you get in three hits, while a slower weapon lets you get a single, bigger hit. Ultimately, the weapon you find that gives you the most breathing space is the one to use.

    When his health is halved, he rips his arm off and uses that, increasing his range. Use the same technique, but obviously stay further back, and make sure your run in is well timed. If for any reason you've hesitated, don't risk it. You can do this all day if needed: doing it right is more important than doing it quickly.

    Once you've beaten him, go back to the bonfire and take the stairs near the entrance. Use your newly-acquired Soldier Key to open the locked door at the end of the hall. Break the cart in the room to reveal a Hand Axe and Radiant Life Gem. Check out the coffer, and you'll find a Small Leather Shield and Repair Powder. Past the next door is yet another coffer with an Estus Flask Shard and a Small White Sign Soapstone.

    Drop down to the tree branch, take the Divine Blessing and then drop again into the room below. Enter the hole, turn left and climb down the ladder. Continue along the path until you meet a person and talk to him. He'll give you a White Soap Stone.

    Return to the merchant near the bonfire and buy Lenigras's Key and Pharros Lockstone. The first unlocks the hut in Majula and gives you access to the Blacksmith, and the second can be used in the face-shaped mechanism near the room with the crossbows to turn the damn things off.

    Drop back down the ladder, take the staircase and go right. Unlock the door using the Soldier Key and turn left, where you'll find a door that you'll need to show the Symbol of the King. You'll have to come back here, so remember where it is. No continue all the way down the corridor and take the Ring of Restoration and three more torches from the coffer there.

    Return to the bonfire and enter the opening in the wall. Go left, down a ladder and you'll find yourself in the room with the crossbows. Use the ladder behind the crossbows, and use the Pharros Lockstone to make an image of a face. Hit it to reveal a room, and then go inside. A Titanite Slab and a Chloranthy Ring can be found in the coffer.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Heide's Tower of Flame, Beat the Dragonrider

    Heide's Tower of Flame
    Return to Majula and activate the Blacksmith by unlocking the hit door. Take the Short Bow. and then speak to the Blacksmith.
    Walk over to the ruined house and unlock the door. Look for a pile of books, and grab the Pharros Lockstone. Continue down the left hallway, take a left turn and then climb the stairs. On the left is a room containing three Titanite Shards and three torches.Go back downstairs, and then down the next stairs until you reach a skeleton, who you need to fight.

    Just beyond is a Estus Flask Shard, and through the doorway on the left you'll find a coffer with a Soul Vessel. Exit the house and walk over to the church. Go downstairs, through the hallway on the right and then take the winding stairs down to where there's a level. Pull it, and then go back upstairs and into the room on the right to enter the Tower of Flame.

    This is where things start getting tougher. Go down the walkway and fight the first enemy. Watch for his vertical attacks, as they can be deadly. When he pulls off his second horizontal attack, move to the right and behind him. Then he'll swing a third horizontal attack the other way to which he just attacked, so get ready to move left and behind him. Now you've got his pattern down, you can start moving in to get in some hits of your own to take him down. Again, slowly and carefully does it.

    Reckless does not.
    Once he's dispatched, head left to the next bonfire and set it ablaze. Ascend the stairs and take on the second enemy. He has a similar pattern to the first guy, but this time around he mixes them up, so you have to basically watch and react. If you stay fairly close in front of him, he'll use more vertical attacks, which give you more room to dodge left or right. As before, watch his moves, and jump in to take a hit the moment his attack is over. If the plan falls apart, roll away, and then reposition yourself until he starts hacking at you with verticals again. Then you can start working on him again.

    When you've beaten him, head to the far side of the walkway and take the Soul of a Nameless Soldier and Human Effigy. Go back upstairs and grab the Lloyds Talisman. Don't attack the third enemy up there, and he won't attack you. 1

    Head over to the circular area, where you'll find three enemies. There's a doorway on the left that you can go into, but there are two more enemies behind it. However, there's also a Divine Blessing inside. You'll inevitably have to fight the enemy that guards the right-hand doorway, which you can enter to find a path that leads to the an area below. There's a chest to the right containing Rubbish. Goad the enemy into following you, and when you can, slip past and into the mist.


    Boss Battle: Dragonrider
    Important note: whenever the Dragonrider attacks you with a spear lunge, you'll be knocked a considerable distance back. So that means if you're anywhere other than pretty much the center of the platform, you'll die. When he does knock you back, return to the center of the platform as quickly as is safe.

    Dragonrider's forward lunge incorporates a two-part horizontal sweep attack that is fairly damaging, but not fatal. However, a forward lunge is pretty useless if your enemy is behind you, so that's where you should be. Stay behind him, and you'll be gold. As before, wait for his attack, then run in and drop however many attacks your weapon lets you and then back out. Use a magic weapon for additional damage, and as always, play it safe. Don't wreck a perfectly executed fight by risking an extra tiny hit. Waiting a little longer to attack again is much better than starting over.

    Whe the boss has been bested, enter the doorway on the opposite side of the mist and go upstairs. Light the bonfire and speak with Licia to learn healing spells called Miracles.

    Cross the room and go downstairs and through the doorway. Take the winding stairs look for the Monastery Charm at the bottom. Enter the next doorway and you'll find two avoidable enemies. Continue straight on, and you'll find a Human Effigy, Dark Torches, the Soul of a Proud Knight, and an Old Knight Halberd.

    Return to the room you just passed near the stairs, go inside and take the stairs inside. Watch out for enemies, but they can all be avoided if you go straight through the doorway, take a right and then go straight down the hall. Take the elevator to the floor below, enter the doorway, splash through the water and go into the hole in the wall.

    Navigate the rocks, light the bonfire and speak to Lucatiel. Now you can enter the cave and on into No-Man's Wharf.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: No-Man's Wharf, Beat the Flexile Sentry

    No-Man's Wharf
    Most important thing to know initially is that Pharros Lockstone can be used to weaken the enemies in this area. This is useful, because they're tough.

    Things start with some avoidance as you dodge the hail of arrows. Negotiate that safely, and then head downstairs to the left and kill the enemy. Go over to the small wooden ship, enter the left-hand room and take out the enemies. Go upstairs and look for the chest containing a Titanite Shard.

    Enter the doorway and take out the enemy on the other side. Note that this enemy type will use a Estus Flask to regain health if he gets the chance, so make sure you keep up a constant attack. At the end of the platform is the Soul of a Proud Knight. Head back down the stairs, through the doorway and bear left. You'll have two more enemies to deal with and then you can continue onwards to the left. Drop down to the water and take the Large Soul of a Lost Undead and Life Gem.

    Take the wooden pathway, stopping to kill the enemy there before moving onto the house on the left. Inside is an enemy, along with three Dark Pine Resins. Exit the house and go over to the very run-down building. The crates there contain 10 Iron Arrows.

    Go back outside, and take a right to where there's a group of enemies at the top of a set of stairs. Walk halfway up and turn head towards the two soldiers. Fight them, and then go inside the garrison.
    There are three enemies to take care of with on the ground floor. Don't forget to also look for a coffer that contains a Bandit Axe, Brigand Hood, Brigand Armor, Brigand Gauntlets, and Brigand Trousers. Go up to the second floor and fight two more enemies. Once you're done, check the chest for Repair Powder and a Titanite Shard.

    Go back to the ground floor, and head out the door. By the edge of the cliff there's face, so insert a Pharros Lockstone into it. That will help weaken the enemies in the area. Move down a small wooden ramp to the left there's a Large Soul of a Proud Knight and three Small Smooth and Silky Stones.

    Drop down to the ledge below and climb the stairs to the far right. Avoid the enemies and head into the building on the left and go upstairs. Take out the single enemy, then enter the doorway that leads to the building opposite you. Defeat the next enemy, then go to the edge of the doorway and wait until the other enemy sees you. Kite him into the building and then give him the beatdown.

    If you have a ranged weapon, you can now shoot the soldier and dog from the safety of the building. Go left upstairs, turn the corner and take out the three beasts. If you forgot to light the area, this will be hard, and require some kiting around. But hopefully you were reading this carefully, and made it easy for yourself.

    On the edge of the cliff is a Large Soul of a Lost Undead and an Emit Force. Go into the building in front of you, and arm your ranged weapon. Open the door, and to the left you'll see two beasts. They'll start smashing down the wall to get to you, so let them have it with your ranged weapon before they break through.

    Continue to the next room, and on to the third room upstairs. Take out the two beasts and enter the door. You'll find Gavlan in the corner, who sells poison weapons and other gear. Take your time selling stuff you no longer need, and gear up with what you do. Also check the chests. The right one is poisoned, but you can cure that with medicine. And yes, it's still worth doing, because if you open both chests you'll get two Silver Talismans and a Greatsword.

    Go outside and turn left into the next building. Take out the enemies on the first and second floors. Use the balcony, then head upstairs and look for the lever on the left, Pull it to summon the ship. Before you go back inside the house, take the two Life Gems and the Homeward Bone just below.

    Go down the stairs, and look for the 10 Fire Arrows halfway down. There are two demonic beasts below, so use ranged attacks to dispatch them. If they get close, finish them with a melee weapon.
    Use the door in the corner and go down to the right until you reach the rocky ramp. Go over to the house on the right and kill the guard upstairs. Continue up to the third floor and through the short hallway. Pull the rope, and you'll connect this area with the previous one.

    Go back to the rocky ramp and head downstairs. Two more demonic beasts are lurking in the building to the left. Go down the path and look for a row boat containing a Human Effigy and two Life Gems. Follow the pier, but watch out for the two guards below it.


    Summon the Ship
    Continue left along the pier, and then up the stairs and speak with Carhillion - who's really useful for magic users, but not much good for those who aren't. Return to the pier and head towards the ship.
    When you board the ship, immediately take out the archer on the left . Two guards will then attack from the other side of the ship. Deal with them and then eliminate the final archer near the wheelhouse. From the deck, go downstairs and into mist for another boss battle.
    Boss Battle: Flexile Sentry
    There are trio of tactics that need to be used here. A longer-ranged attack that can be used at a distance, such as a lance or spells is key. Using the mast in the middle of the battle area strategically can lessen the effectiveness of the Flexile Sentry's jumping ranged attacks. Lastly, keep up a good pace of attack. The rising water essentially gives this fight a timer, and the longer you take, the harder it becomes to move around and avoid the boss.

    The Sentry employs two different attacks: a pair of spiked clubs and dual swords. Both are long range attacks, with the sword side being more frequent than the club side. Therefore, stick more to the club side, and you'll give yourself more time and space to work in.

    Using the mast as a barrier to stop the sentry from using long range attacks is key. Watch out for either one horizontal attack or two vertical attacks followed by an extra double club attack. That's when you have your biggest opportunity to run in and let rip. Speed is essential here.

    The Sentry rarely deploys a single attack, so always be prepared for two - and if you're close to the sentry, very likely a third.

    Once the Sentry is dispatched, enter the doorway and climb the ladder to find a Pyromancy Flame and a Fireball. Examine the circular object in the corner, and then return to the pier. Head left through the corridor and into the room there.

    Take the elevator to the next floor up, and enter the middle cell to find the Soul of a Proud Knight and a Radiant Lifegem. Go through the doorway and up the stairs and you'll enter Lost Bastille.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: The Lost Bastille, The Three Ruin Sentinels - Alessia, Yahim, Ricce

    The Lost Bastille
    Climb the stairs and enter the open cell to the right, where you’ll discover two Common Fruits. Carry on up the stairs to the bonfire in the open cell on the left. Continue up the stairs once again, and then follow the path down. Take no notice of the white knight sitting on the ground ahead, and instead search for an opening in the wall to the left. Below that is an enemy, who you can surprise by dropping down and attacking him. Two dogs will appear, and you’ll need to deal with those too.
    However, if this sounds a bit risky to you, there’s an easier method. Use the ladder in the alcove ahead and to the left. That way you can fight the dogs first, while the enemy slowly moves towards you. He uses a lance and therefore it’s safe to fight him from behind. His attacks have considerable range and cover a wide arc in front of him. Even when you’re behind him, you need to take care to stay out of the trajectory of his attacks.
    Once defeated, the enemy drops a Twilight Herb. Take it, then smash the wooden structure in the corner to find an Alluring Skull. There’s another one behind you, so smash that too, and then climb through the small opening behind it. There’s a coffer further in containing a Large Titanite Shard and an Estus Flask Shard.
    Return to the corridor and take down the remaining threats. Continue down the corridor until you reach a lever and pull it. That releases two dogs, so take care of them. Work your way down the hall and into the opening on the left. Set the bonfire ablaze then head through the doorway to find several chests in the next room. Open them to obtain five Titanite Shards, two Large Titanite Shards, ten Iron Arrows, and ten Heavy Bolts. Collect all of the items, and then talk to the man at the end. If you return after you’ve died a couple of times, you’ll be able to open the chest he's sitting on and obtain a Craftsman's Hammer and a Twinkling Titanite.
    Leave the room and head up the stairs to the right to engage another lance enemy. Dodge to the right or left as you approach to avoid the barrel that he knocks down the stairs. Continue down the hall and take out the dog that attacks. Head down the path to the right, before you reach the barrel ahead. At the end of the path is a Gold Pine Resin. Continue down the hall, take down the dog and the lance enemy at the end, and continue up the stairs and into the room ahead.
    Speak with Lucatiel on the far side of the room to receive a Human Effigy, then head back the way you came. Just before you reach the stairs, use the broken wall to the left to reach the balcony. Head down the passage to the right and through the door ahead. Do not go through the doorway yet.
    In the room on the left, there are five enemies that'll engage you the moment you're spotted. Two more enemies patrol the stairs, so watch out for them. If you're careful, not all of them will spot you, but either way don't fight in the small room. Run back out to the balcony and engage the enemy there to make the battle a little easier, since they all can't get at you at the same time.
    When you open the door, step inside, then immediately back out. Do this right, and only three of the enemies will see you. Take out the trio, then go back through the doorway. If you see the two patrolling enemies on the stairs, head back out and take them on. If not, wait until they appear, then take them down. When the first five enemies are down, enter the room to the left, then immediately back out so you have room to take on the last two enemies.
    When you've killed all of them, go downstairs in the middle room. When you reach the bottom head through the hallway to the left and watch out the enemy that may be climbing down the ladder. Pick up the item at the end of the hall to find a Soul of a Proud Knight and another Human Effigy.
    Climb up the ladder here (or use the stairs), but whichever way you go, don't open the door in the room with the stairs. There's nothing behind the door, and if you go through the doorway you fall to your death. Yay Dark Souls 2! Don't you just love it?
    If you took the stairs, use the lever to open the gate in the room the guards were in. Defeat the one or two additional guards that attack (one may have climbed down the ladder earlier), then head down the hall. Search the next open cell on the right to find two Radiant Life Gems, then head through the mist at the end to take on the three Ruin Sentinels in a battle royale.
    The Three Ruin Sentinels: Alessia, Ricce, and Yahim
    The fight starts as soon as you're clear of the mist. You're dropped down onto an elevated platform and ambushed immediately by Yahim. If you have a proper shield, you can block the first attack with no damage inflicted. Otherwise, you need to dodge when you land on the platform to insure you avoid Yahim's initial attack.

    Remain on the platform while you battle against Yahim, because if you do fall, you'll have the other two to contend with. Stay close to Yahim, and you'll only have to deal with two types of attacks: a linear attack with a moderately lengthy animation that lets you see it coming a mile off, followed by a circular attack that sweeps a large area in front of Yahim, or two consecutive circular attacks.
    All of Yahims moves can be blocked with a decent shield. The linear attack is relatively easy to avoid with a well-timed dodge, but the circular attacks are better to block with a shield unless you can get behind Yahim. Even if you're behind Yahim, the circular attack covers almost a 240 degree radius, so back up a bit to ensure you avoid the attack.

    If Yahim falls down to the lower floor, wait. He'll jump back up. Make sure you avoid Yahim's attack as it jumps back to the upper platform. Wherever Yahim falls off, he usually jumps back up to that area. However, watch what he's doing closely, since he occasionally moves around below and jumps up somewhere else.

    When you've defeated Yahim, remain on the upper platform. If you have a ranged attack, run over to the short end of the platform and attack Alessia as it makes its way over to your position. When it gets close, back up to avoid an attack as it jumps up to the platform. Use the pillar on the wall to judge your distance. If you're behind the pillar, you're far enough away to stay clear of the attack.

    When it's on the platform, Alessia uses the same attacks as Yahim. However, it will use its shield to block your attacks, so wait until it's lowered before attacking. Immediately attack Alessia after it misses its initial jumping attack. You can usually pull off one or two attacks depending on your weapon speed. Circle around Alessia to avoid the linear attack, followed by a circular attack. Attack Alessia two or three times after evading, then move to the corner of the platform.

    At this point, Ricce jumps up to the platform in the same spot where Alessia jumped up. You have two choices in how you wish to continue the battle. If you stay on the platform, it's very close proximity battle in which the two Sentinels will use the same attacks as Yahim, only they'll use shields to block attacks occasionally. Staying on the platform limits your movement, but also limits what attacks the Sentinels can use.

    If you drop down to the floor below, you take fall damage as you land. Shortly after, both Sentinels drop down to continue their attack. If you keep away from the bosses, they use a shield throw that is quick and extremely damaging. However, once their shields have been thrown they lose the ability to block your attacks. It's easy to determine when a shield is about to be thrown because of the lengthy wind up animation.

    With enough room, the Sentinels will jump high into the air, launching a linear attack as they come crashing down on top of you. This attack can be evaded with proper timing, and even blocked with a decent shield. It's best to evade it so you can counter attack without having to worry about losing stamina due to blocking.

    If the Sentinels begin to spin around, back away or guard against the attack. This attack can hit multiple times depending on the distance between you and the Sentinels. However, with a solid shield and enough stamina, all of the attacks can be blocked.

    Fighting the Sentinels on the bottom floor requires you to stay moderately close and keep both Sentinels within view at all times. After each blocked or evaded attack, counter with your own attack. You can generally hit the Sentinels once or two after every attack. Do not get greedy and try to attack more than that or else you risk being hit by their next attack.

    Whether you decide to fight on the upper platform, or on the floor below, focus on one Sentinel at a time. If the other is wide open to attack, hit it a few times, but maintain a focus on one Sentinel. You want to take out one so that they can no longer team up to attack you simultaneously or in rapid succession. Once only one Sentinel remains, it becomes a much easier battle.

    With the Sentinel bosses down, head through the small doorway on the side of the room. Go up the stairs to reach the top of the room you were just in, then head around to the right. Go through the doorway on the right and grab the Soul of a Nameless Soldier on the right as you enter the corridor. Walk slowly toward the end of the corridor, and dodge back as soon as you hear a monster. This avoids an otherwise random explosion.

    Continue into the next room, and light the bonfire to the left. There's a ladder to the right of the bonfire, but before you climb down, head back to Majula to level up with the souls earned from killing the Sentinels. While in Majula, head over to the well near the large house and attack it to knock the stone into the well and obtain an Estus Flask Shard.

    Head back to the bonfire you just left, then down the ladder. Kill the dog in the corner, then pick up the item it's guarding to obtain a Large Club. Open the coffer in the room to find a Priest's Chime. Head back up to the room above and make your way up the stairs on the far end. Continue through the doorway at the top and open the door at the end.

    Watch out for the lance enemy that comes from the left as you head through the doorway. Head down to the far left side of the walkway and roll into the barrels and crates on the right. Be careful not to roll off the ledge. Pick up the item before the barrels and crates to obtain a Human Effigy, then head through the doorway on the opposite side of the walkway.

    Kill the enemy through the doorway to the left, then head down to the end of the walkway and through the opening in the wall to the right. Move down to the rooftop below and all the way to the far right side to find three Flame Butterflies.

    Head back into the room you just left and climb up the stairs and through the doorway at the top. Be careful of the explosive barrels and head to the far left side of the room to find an enemy waiting for you. These enemies dive toward you if you approach them. When they hit the floor some will explode with a yellow powder that inflicts significant damage. Use ranged weaponry if you have it, otherwise be very cautious when fighting. Be prepared to dodge back as soon as they get close.

    Take care of the enemy, then ignore the door and head up the stairs. Pull the lever to open the gate ahead. Three more enemies await in the corridor ahead. Run back into the previous room and take down the two that follow. The third enemy waits in the corridor. Take him out, then head into the next room and break the pottery on the right to reveal two more enemies.

    Finish off the enemies, then head up the stairs and use a ranged weapon to take out the enemy by the explosive barrel. Continue up the stairs to find two more enemies, then open the door and pick up the Skeptic's Spice at the end of the room. Climb into the cage to the right to head down to a floor below. Open the coffer in the room to obtain a Wilted Dusk Herb.

    Head back into the cage, then leave the room and either open the gate using the lever, or head up the next flight of stairs. At the moment, you can't do much upstairs. There are six enemies on the floor above as well as a bonfire, but the bonfire cannot be reached at present. Clear the enemies if you wish, then pull the lever to open the gate.

    Move around the path to the immediate right and take out the guard in the corner. Pick up the item to obtain eight Life Gems, then quickly head down the path and into the mist. There are archers above the mist that rain arrows down on you, so do not delay. Go through the mist to reach Sinner's Rise.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Sinner's Rise, How to Beat The Lost Sinner

    Sinner's Rise
    Eliminate the guards that drop down to greet you when you enter Sinner's Rise, then walk over to the corner and through the doorway. On the right is a ladder that you can take to reach a bonfire. The staircase on the left takes you down to a room with several archers. The safest thing to do is take out the archers first, but if you're confident in your abilities, head to the bonfire via the ladder and light it, and then deal with the archers.

    Just before you reach the bonfire, there's a doorway on the right where you can find a Large Soul of a Lost Undead. Inch your way into the door and along the ledge because it's narrow, and you don't want to fall off. After setting the bonfire ablaze, go back down the ladder and continue along the path, past the room with the archers, to find a Human Effigy item at the end.

    Go back to the archer room, and take the elevator in the middle all the way to the bottom. There are five Lacerating Knives on the second to last floor that you can jump to before you reach the lowest floor. You can get them on the way down, or the way up. If you get them on the way up, once you've grabbed them, drop down to the lowest floor again (making sure you don't fall into the water), and then call the elevator.

    Head down the ramp and into the water. There's a large enemy to the left, which you can kite back to the elevator room, and then take the elevator at the last moment up to the next floor. It'll come at you, but fall into the water below. If you can't get the timing right on this, a range weapon is your best bet. And if you're not good at that, goad the enemy into attacking, and then run in and whack it while it's recovering. Rinse and repeat.

    To the far right, just beyond where the enemy was, is Sublime Bone Dust. Move over to the opposite side of the area to the next enemy, and use the same tactics are behind. In the corner behind where the enemy was is a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier.

    Another large beast lurks on the other side of the area. Take it out first, and then move to the right, where you'll find a zombie-like enemy that falls near you to inflict damage. Kill it before it does, and then go upstairs and to the right. Go past the first the two cells, and take out the sleeping enemy at the end of the path. Go to the opposite side and eliminate the other sleeping enemy.

    Go back downstairs to the water and continue along the path. The cell on the right in this lower section has a one enemy, and the left one has two. Inch towards the right-hand cell and get the enemies attention, then kite it back up before taking it on. Once you've killed it, return to the left and inch forward until you alert the first enemy, and then back out and kill it as fast as possible. You should have enough time to eliminate it before the second one emerges from the cell.

    Now that area is clear, head to the last cell on the right and kill the final enemy. Take the Soul of a Proud Knight and Pharros Lockstone from the last cell on the left, then pull the lever at the end to open the gate. Head to the left of the mist and take the Radiant Life Gem that's in the corner, and then head into the mist.
    Boss Battle: How to beat The Lost Sinner
    If you have a shield that absorbs 100 percent damage, you're ready for this fight. If not, it's going to be tough. The Drangleic Shield is one such item, and you can get that by defeating the Pursuer. Walk past where you engage him, and drop down through the large hole in the ground. At the bottom is a body that holds the entire Drangleic set of items, including the Drangleic Shield.

    You need this defensive weapon to help The Lost Sinner's fast and frequent attacks. There's usually only time to get one or two hits in after an attack before you need to block, so a good shield is key.
    The fight is in a dark area, and some players might need to turn their brightness up if they have a dark picture. That'll help you keep track of the boss. If you already have the Bastille Key, you likely won't need to do this.

    When the fight starts, The Lost Sinner charges. Block or evade his initial attack, stay as close to him as possible. He uses two consecutive attacks that cover a circular area in front of him, and occasionally follows up with a straight attack that you can easily avoid by dodging left or right. He sometimes uses a single forward stab that can be avoided in a similar fashion – and very occasionally jumps over you and then does the attack. Again, dodge left and right.

    Keep close to The Lost Sinner at all times, and make sure you always have at least a little bit of stamina so you can block his attacks without taking damage. Don't run yourself out of stamina, and don't let the boss move too far away from you. Just keep circling until he uses his two circular attacks, jumps or stabs and then run in for no more than two hits. In the case of the stab, unless you time it perfectly, you'll get no more than one hit in before leaving yourself vulnerable.

    Keep doing this, and eventually you'll prevail. Open the double doors at the far end of the area and go downstairs into the next room, and open the coffer to find a Fragment Branch of Yore and an Elizabeth Mushroom. The Fragment Branch of Yore restores petrified living things and works in many areas, including the Lost Bastille above you.

    Set ablaze the primal bonfire in the following room, and you'll get a ride back to Majula. Next up, there's the Belfry Luna, or if you're a mage class, you can unpetrify the wizard Straid and get a few nice spells, or you can use the Fragment Branch of Yore to clear the path near Majula.

    Mages can opt out of the alternate Majula path for now, and instead travel back to the Sinner's Rise and take the ladder down. Cross the bridge to the Lost Bastille, taking out the guard on the far side of the bridge, and the two enemies in the room at the end of the bridge. Go upstairs and lure the enemies downstairs one at a time until you've cleared the area. Use the Fragment Branch of Yore to return the petrified Straid to life. Speak with him and he teaches you the mock gesture, and allows you to purchase some handy spells.

    Head to the Lost Bastille (Servants' Quarters) bonfire, and tidy up your items before moving into Belfry Luna. Go upstairs and through the door. Head over the makeshift bridge and to the right. When you reach the next room, enter the doorway then go to the left and all the way to the end of the path where the wall is broken. Drop down onto the roof, then jump from the wooden structure to the opposite rooftop.

    To the left of the latter is a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier. Maneuver down to the area below and deal with the four dogs. Make sure you don't to hit the well or you'll have to deal with even more enemies. Enter the room at the end and take out the guard there. Go into the cell in the corner, then immediately head back out and wait for the two enemies to come out into the open room and eliminate them.

    Return to the cell and you'll find two Flame Butterflies. Head back into the main room and smash the wooden barricade that blocks the opening in corner, and you'll access the courtyard near the entrance to the Lost Bastille. You can choose to fight the White Knight on ladder in the courtyard, and your efforts will yield a low level Heide Spear, but a decent selection of souls.

    Return outside where you fought the dogs, and enter the door directly in front of you. Fight the three guards inside, and then climb up the ladder to the left and look for a Green Blossom and a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier.

    Once again go back outside, and follow the alley to the side of the building to its end, where there's a ladder. Climb up and through the window into the building. Roll to destroy the boxes in front of you, and you'll reveal a small passageway. Kill the two guards in the next room and open the chest on the left to obtain a Bone Staff.

    Note – don't use the Pharros Lockstone at the entrance, because you'll end up in an area that you've already explored. You've already done everything you can here (for now), so head back to the Servants' Quarters bonfire and go down the ladder near the corner of the room.

    Kill the dog below, and use the Pharros Lockstone in the center of the wall. Attack the ghostly image that appears on the adjacent wall to reveal a corridor behind it. That grants you access to Belfry Luna.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Enter Belfry Luna, Defeat the Bell Keepers and the Belfry Gargoyles

    Belfry Luna
    Enter the doorway and talk to the man on the right. If you decide to join the Bell Keeper covenant, you’ll be awarded a Bell Keeper's Seal ring. Head up the stairs, watch out for the holes in the floor, and defeat the Dark Spirit Bell Keeper. The Dark Spirit Invaders may look small and relatively harmless, but they pack quite a punch if you get hit. They also inflict dark magic damage, so even if you have a shield that absorbs 100 per cent damage, unless it has 100 per cent dark magic resistance as well, you will still take damage.
    Nab the item in the corner to obtain a Skeptic's Spice. Drop down through the hole in the center -- you'll take a bit of fall damage -- and open the coffer against the wall to find a Blue Tearstone Ring. Go to the alcove in the corner of the room to find another Skeptic's Spice, then head back up the stairs to the third floor.
    Two more Dark Spirit Bell Keepers are waiting for you. Watch out for the explosive barrels in the room, and move around to separate the two enemies so you can fight them more easily. If you get too far away from either, they use firebombs, so be mindful of that as well. You can't enter the mist in the corner yet, so climb the ladder on the other side of the room.
    On the next floor are three Dark Spirit Bell Keepers and their leader, dressed in red. Depending on your luck, not all of the Bell Keepers will be in the middle of the area, but there will be some around the top of the ladder, so be wary when you reach the top. You can trick them into falling to the room below, but as long as you stay in the middle area, you can avoid fighting too many at once.
    Move around until they start to separate, then take them out one or two at a time. If you don't get the attention of all of the Bell Keepers at the outset of the fight, there will be one or two around the outskirts of the room. Explore the outer edge of the area to find the remaining Bell Keepers, as well as another Skeptic's Spice. Open the chest in the corner to obtain two Radiant Life Gems and Twilight Herbs, then pull the lever on the side of the area to ring the bell and remove the gate blocking the mist on the floor below.
    Boss Battle: How to Beat the Belfry Gargoyles
    The longer you fight the Gargoyles, the more difficult the battle becomes. It begins with only two Gargoyles attacking. However, as the fight progresses, a total of six Gargoyles join the fray. While the Gargoyles all share a single health bar, if you do not kill any them individually, you will end up fighting all six at once by the end.

    There are four main attacks that the Gargoyles use. They breathe fire on the ground or in the air. In the air the fire breath is always a frontal circular attack, while the ground-based flame can be a linear attack or a circular attack. Avoid these attacks by staying a moderate distance away from the Gargoyles when they prepare to breathe fire -- watch for the key tell that they're about to use it: their head will pivot.

    When the Gargoyles jump in the air, in addition to the fire breath, they may dive toward you. This attack doesn't have a great deal of range, but it has a lot of recovery, meaning you can attack the Gargoyle as soon as it lands. If the Gargoyle jumps over you or to the side of you, face that Gargoyle immediately to block the attack that follows, or dodge to either side.

    At close range, the Gargoyles use two different attacks. They use a frontal circular melee attack that can be followed by an overhead linear melee attack. Neither attack has much range, and the linear attack is easily dodged to the left or right. They also pause for a moment to channel lightning, then use a lightning attack that covers a moderately wide radius around themselves.

    While you will inevitably be fighting multiple Gargoyles at once, they do not attack as often as other enemies, especially compared to the battle against multiple Sentinels earlier in the game. Use a weapon that inflicts as much damage as possible, even if it attacks slower than some other weapons. Weapons that can hit multiple targets with ease -- those that have a wide, cleaving swing -- are especially effective. However, if you have ranged attacks such as magic, arrows or crossbow bolts, they are extremely helpful in this battle. With ranged attacks, you can stay at a distance and inflict damage for most of the encounter.

    After the bosses are down, search the far side of the rooftop to find a Soul of a Proud Knight near the far corner, to the left of the doorway. Head through the doorway and down the stairs. Open the coffer at the bottom to find a Southern Ritual Band, then continue through the next doorway and light the bonfire at the end of the path.

    Head down the ladder to the right to engage seven dogs and Vorgel the Sinner. Take out the dogs as quickly as possible so you can focus on Vorgel by himself. Vorgel attacks multiple times in rapid succession, will parry your attacks, and will use a guard crush attack to knock your shield away temporarily. Wait until you see a pause in his attack pattern, then get in as much damage as you can before he begins attacking again. Have a few health items ready, especially if you're going in without a proper shield.

    Defeat the enemies, then pick up the Bastille Key at the end of the hall. Climb the stairs to find an Enchanted Falchion on the balcony above. With the Bastille Key, you can open the doors at the end of the two staircases just before the entrance to the Lost Sinner boss battle. The door on the right provides a Smooth & Silky Stone, while both doors allow you to light fires in the boss battle room to make the fight a little easier.

    You can also go to the top of the Lost Bastille and open the cell in the room with all of the zombie-like enemies that explode on the floor. Inside the cell is a Petrified Dragon Bone and three Firebombs.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Huntsman's Copse, and the Journey to the Undead Purgatory

    Head back to Majula and into the church-like structure that leads to Heide's Tower of Flame. If you've already spoken to Licia in the Tower, she will be waiting just inside the building. Speak to her and ask her to move the path; she'll charge you 2,000 souls for her services. Continue down the nearly revealed path to find a Rouge Water just ahead.

    Follow the narrow path until you see a man sitting in a chair off to the right. Speak with him, though you won't get much out of him just yet. Continue forward into Huntsman's Copse. Light the bonfire, then continue up the hill. Take out the enemy that attacks and head into the cave. Be careful of the green poison that dribbles down as you cross through the canyon-like area. Kill the baddies in the next tunnel and continue down the path and up the stairs to the right.

    Head through the doorway, take out the nearby enemy and move along the path to the left. Be careful of the ranged attackers across the way. Look down to see where the enemies below are located, then drop down near the left side of the area and take out the remaining attackers. Pick up the Bandit's Knife in the corner, then take down the two enemies up the stairs.

    Head to the staircase on the far side and go down to the lower floor to find a Lifegem and a Soul of a Nameless Soldier near the big hole. Climb back up and take the ladder on the far right. Take down the two Bandits that attack, then drop down to the lower area ahead and to the left to find Poison Moss and another Lifegem.

    Drop down to the area below -- you'll take some fall damage -- then head up the hill to get back into the structure you just left. Head to the left again, but this time go through the door at the end of the path and take down the enemy just beyond, then make your way to the left. Ignore the doorway to the right for a moment and continue towards the end of the path. Take out the enemy that attacks as you hit the corner, then pick up the Cracked Red Eye Orb near the end.

    Go back to the doorway you ignored previously and climb down the ladder at the end. Head around the corner to the left, opposite the tree, to find a bonfire inside an alcove in the wall. Head back outside and knock down the tree to the left. This connects the current area to the beginning of the area.
    Turn around and head back around the corner. Follow the path, taking out the two enemies that attack, and make your way to the left of the bridge. Watch out for the Bandit that attacks as you approach the item on the ground. Pick up the item to obtain a Small Orange Burr and a Large Soul of a Lost Undead.

    Head across the bridge, take out the larger enemy that attacks and drop down into the area on the left. Be careful of the red object at the top of the trees that drips poison down upon you. Pick up the item under the first tree to obtain a Lifegem. Sneak up on the enemy ahead, finish him off and pick up the Aromatic Ooze he's standing in front of.

    Move around to the right to find a dome-like structure. Enter the dome along the right side to find a Morning Star and Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier inside. Head back outside and continue up the hill to the left. Three more Bandits will jump you, with a fourth ranged attacker waiting off to the right. Continue to the right, staying close to the edge. When you see a dome below, drop down into it to find two Poison Moss and a Green Blossom on one end, and a Soul Speak on the other. Head through the opening and drop down when you reach the end.

    You're now to the side of the dome. Head to the right and back up the hill. This time go straight to find another dome near the wall ahead. Kill the Bandit waiting for you within, then pull the lever to lower the bridge outside. Head out and move across the newly lowered bridge dead ahead.
    Once you cross the bridge, head to the left and over the small bridge. Kill the Bandit then head around the corner to the right. Yet another Bandit attacks, as well as a ranged attacker from across the way. Kill the Bandit, then head down the path. Take out two more Bandits as you continue to pick your way along the path to the right.

    Ignore the opening to the left and wooden bridge to the right for now, and continue down the path to finish off the remaining Bandits. Head into the dome on the left to find more Bandits, as well as an Undead Lockaway Key. Move out of the dome and continue to the left to find another Bandit and an invader, Roenna Merciless.

    Take out both enemies then turn around and head across the wooden bridge you passed previously. Finish off the two Skeletons that attack and head to the right as soon as you see the opening. Be careful because the Skeletons have a tendency to not stay dead for very long. Inside the area to the left are a Magic Mace and Titanite Shard next to another Skeleton. Be careful of the vase next to the item as it will poison you with darkness. Continue down the corridor to find yourself back outside by the small bridge.

    Use the key you just obtained to open the dome-like structure to the left. Light the bonfire, then speak with Creighton inside the dome to learn the Fist Pump gesture. Head back across the larger bridge, down the hill and to the left. Walk past the dome you entered previously and the poison tree to see another small bridge to the left.

    Cross the bridge and take out the three enemies that attack. Be careful of the larger enemy as its weapon can cause bleeding even if you block its attacks. Head up the hill to the left, ignore the path on the left near the top of the hill for now, and take down the enemy ahead. Pick up the Notched Whip near the end of the path, then head down the path you previously ignored.

    Be very careful as you move forward. Four burly Bandits will jump you in the upcoming area if you simply rush ahead. When you see the first enemy, inch forward until it engages you. Move back to avoid getting the attention of the other enemies, then take the first enemy down. Continue to inch forward until the second enemy jumps down and repeat this process until all four Bandits have been defeated.

    There's a wooden bridge ahead that leads toward the Undead Purgatory and the Executioner's Chariot boss battle. However, just below the bridge you can find several items. There's no way to get back up to the bridge after you drop down to the lower area, so make sure you have a way to get back to a bonfire -- a Homeward Bone or similar item -- or else you'll have to die to get back up.
    Move across the bridge until you reach the first hole. Drop down the hole to the platform below, but make sure you drop accurately so you don't plummet to your doom. Jump across to the adjacent platform to find a Pharros' Lockstone and a Token of Fidelity.

    Drop down to the area between the two dirt platforms, then jump across the gorge to the cave just beyond. This is the bottom section of the cave you originally entered through. At the end of the path is a Monastery Charm and a Soul of a Proud Knight. Drop down to the very bottom, defeat the enemy and open the coffer to find Richard's Rapier. Use an item to return to a previous bonfire, make your way back to the bridge, and this time watch out for holes as you continue forward across the wooden bridge and into the Undead Purgatory.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: How to Beat the Executioner's Chariot in the Undead Purgatory

    Undead Purgatory
    Be careful as you approach the Invader ahead. It has all of the same abilities you have, and chances are it has a longer reach than you as well. Wait for an opening to attack, then get around behind it for a critical hit. This is the easiest way to inflict massive damage and finish it off as quickly as possible.
    With the Invader down, head back to the out to the bridge and jump over to the item to find a Sublime Bone Dust and a Fire Seed. Jump back over and head into the mist ahead to begin battle against the Executioner's Chariot.
    Boss Battle: Executioner's Chariot
    The battle against the Executioner's Chariot is unique in that you don't immediately fight the chariot. Instead, you are presented with a longer, curved corridor. Various Skeleton enemies inhabit the corridor, but they are not the primary concern. The chariot takes up the entire corridor and races through the area in a circular path. It passes your location about every 10-15 seconds. The only way to avoid the chariot is by ducking into one of the small alcoves along either wall.

    As the fight begins, ignore the enemies and run ahead, keeping a close eye on the alcoves so you always know where to find the closest one. As soon as you see the fire from the chariot, duck into the closest alcove. Continue this process as you make your way down the corridor. If the Skeletons are in the way or become too much of a problem, you can knock them down, but always be mindful of the chariot's location.

    When you get close to the end of the corridor, where there's a large hole in the ground, you will see a door blocked by mist on the left. Just before you reach the door, there's also a lever on the left. Pull it to lower the gate ahead. When the chariot hits the gate, it crashes, killing the Executioner. That was easy, right? Wrong. There's still the horse that pulled the chariot to deal with.

    Always stay to either side of the horse. Never stand in front of or behind the horse, otherwise you'll get hit by its main frontal and rear attacks. When the horse stands on its hind legs, dodge to either side to avoid the stomp attack that follows. You also need to dodge to avoid the headbutt attack that comes after the horse pauses for a moment. Both of these attacks inflict significant damage even if you're attempting to block, so stay out of the way.

    Occasionally the horse sprays a dark mist from its mouth. This is the best time to attack it from the side as the horse moves slowly to the left or right in an effort to hit you with the mist. Stay at its side and attack relentlessly to inflict as much damage as possible.

    Once the Executioner's Chariot is down, finish off any Skeletons that are still alive and pick up any remaining Fading Souls. Walk to the end of the corridor to find a Soul of a Brave Warrior, then head through the doorway that was previously blocked by the Mist. Go down the corridor and up the stairs, light the bonfire on the left, then speak with the man just ahead.

    This concludes your adventures in the Undead Purgatory for the time being.


    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Enter the Gutter and Find a Fragrant Branch of Yore


    The Gutter
    When you're ready to head into the Gutter, go back to Majula and stand near the rock by the large well. Position your camera so you can see down into the well and drop onto the highest wooden platform. Pick up the Radiant Lifegem on the platform, heal up, then move to the center of the platform and drop down to the platform of equal size just below. Do not drop onto any of the thin platforms as they won't take your weight.

    Pick up the Pharros' Lockstone on the second wooden platform, then drop down to the platform at the opposite end to find three Poison Moss. Jump down to the next platform below, to the right to find a Ring of the Evil Eye +1. The cave just below leads to a bonfire and the Grave of the Saints. It's a good idea to head in there and light the bonfire so you can easily get back at a later time.
    Use the bonfire to head back to Majula and drop back down to the platform just above the cave entrance. Move to the opposite side of the platform, away from the cave entrance, and drop down to the platform below. You don't have a lot of landing space, so move cautiously to the edge before dropping off.

    There's a ladder on this platform, but you need a specific key to open the door it leads to. Move to the opposite end of the platform, then jump off to the small platform below. Drop down to the next platform, then over to the entrance. Head down the corridor, then kill the bug-like creature on the bridge to find a Titanite Shard, three Large Titanite Shards, and a Darknight Stone. Jump over the gap near the end of the bridge and open the coffer to obtain an Ash Knuckle Ring.

    Drop down to the area below and prepare to be ambushed by exploding zombies from both sides. Equip a weapon with a wide cleave and attempt to take them all out in a single swing before they can explode. Head down the corridor to the right to find a Great Heal miracle at the end, then go down the other hall to find a ladder leading down.

    Take the ladder and drop down to the platform below. Climb down the two ladders on the left (instead of the ramp on the other side) to find a Human Effigy below. Climb back up the ladders and head across the wooden platform to the ladder on the far side. Go down three ladders to find a Radiant Lifegem behind the third one, with another ladder to the left of the item.

    Continue down the next two ladders, then drop down to the ground to find a coffer that holds a Token of Spite. Head through the doorway at the far end of the area to enter the Gutter. Drop down to the wooden platform below, then head to the right to drop down to the next platform. The middle of the platform collapses and drops you down to the lower platform, where you'll find a bonfire. Light it, then light a torch on the bonfire and continue straight ahead to find a vase and a pedestal you can also light. Do so, then break the vase to obtain two Dung Pies.

    The Gutter is a very dark area, so you'll probably want to use a torch to make it easier to find your way. Head back to the bonfire and continue to the left, down the path. Take down the enemy ahead, then move to the left as the floor breaks. Defeat the enemies that attack in the lower area, then jump down to the next platform below. Kill the two enemies there, then climb the ladder and light the pedestal to illuminate the area. Do not go into the entrance because it leads to a door you can't open yet.
    Climb back down the ladder and head to the left. Watch out for the white stone statues because they spit poison at you. Destroy any that you come across to avoid this.

    Drop down through the hole in the middle of the platform, then head across to the next room and defeat the three enemies that await. Climb up the next ladder, head to the far side of the room and continue up another ladder.
    Defeat the next enemy, break the vases ahead to discover the Soul of a Nameless Soldier, then jump down to the adjacent platform -- do not drop through the hole in the floor. A normal zombie-like enemy and an exploding zombie attacks from across the bridge. Take them down, then head across the bridge. Defeat the dog-like enemy and the remaining zombie enemy, then climb the ladder to find a chest that holds three Black Firebombs.

    Head back down the ladder, across the makeshift wooden bridge, and up the next ladder. Be careful of the poison statues around the ladder. Climb up and head to the right, across the next bridge. Take down the dog enemy, then drop through the hole in the floor and break the vases below to find two more Black Firebombs.
    Jump across to the platform with the statues, watch out for their poison spit, and head to the right to find another bonfire. Light it, then turn around and bash the wall to the right, just before you reach the pedestal in the corner that you can light. Head through the new opening and break the vases ahead to find three more Dung Pies.

    There are several ladders in this area. Most of them lead down to the ground below and on to the Black Gulch area. Before you head onwards, head into the Mist straight ahead, kill the dog and break the vase to the right to obtain 20 Poison Arrows. Continue across to the far side, light the pedestal and kill the toadstool-like enemies ahead. Move into the cave cautiously. If you have a ranged attack, use it to kill the large creature positioned inside. If you do not have a ranged attack, watch out for the gas and take it down at close range, attacking from the side, near its head.

    The creature will leave you a Poison Moss, then destroy the vases behind it to find another one. At this point you can head down the ladder and into the Black Gulch to fight The Rotten. Head back through the opening where the mist was, and climb down the ladder to the right, move out onto the wooden plank and drop down to the platform that holds to vases.

    Break the vases to discover three Rotten Pine Resin. Jump down to the platform ahead, kill the enemy, take the next ladder down.

    Several enemies are waiting for you down below. Some may attempt to climb the ladder as you're heading down. Break the vases behind the ladder to find 20 Lifegems, then climb up the ladder in the corner (far right corner if you're facing the ladder you just climbed down from, as if to climb back up) to find a chest that holds a Great Club. Break the vases on the opposite side of the room to obtain a Dark Fog and a Torch. Destroy the organic-looking vases to the right and drop down behind them to find a Fragrant Branch of Yore. Move into the mist ahead to enter the Black Gulch.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Explore the Black Gulch and Defeat the Rotten

    The Black Gulch
    Head into the Black Gulch and enter the cave to the left. Light the bonfire and prepare yourself: there are many poisonous enemies ahead.

    Leave the bonfire cave and head to the left. There are plenty of poison statues and black holes ahead. Destroy the statues as you come across them to prevent their poison spit from affecting you. Be careful, though, as some of them will still attempt to poison you as you destroy them. You can use Common Fruit to slow the effect of poison, and Poison Moss to heal it.

    When you reach the first set of black holes, carefully approach them. If you have Firebombs, toss them into the middle and right holes. This ignites the holes and damages the enemies hiding within. Both enemies will come after you, so be ready to fight if the Firebombs don't kill them.

    Head to the left of the first three black holes to find a cave. Take out the poison statue near the entrance, then open the coffer at the end to obtain a Shotel and a Great Magic Weapon. Coming out of the cave, only the first black hole to the left has an enemy hiding inside, so deal with it accordingly. Be careful moving forward because there are several poison statues along the upper ridge to the left that are difficult to destroy without proper ranged weaponry, however.

    The cave to the left, just beyond the overhead statues, contains a worm-like monster different from what's normally found in the black holes. If you approach it, it lunges out of the cave. Back away slightly, just out of its attack range. It will attempt to attack and miss. As soon as it misses, move in to quickly strike, then dart back outside of its attack range. Repeat this process until you get the best of it.
    Destroy the pottery next to the cave to find the Soul of a Nameless Solider, Scraps of Life, and a Torch. Another worm creature attacks from the hole ahead on the left wall, so deal with it the same way as before. After that, the next black hole on the ground is empty, but there are three holes behind it. The two holes on the right house creatures. Firebomb both, or get close, then back away to lure it out if you don't have any Firebombs. Another creature awaits in the middle hole in the next row.

    The pottery here contains a Radiant Lifegem. Pick up the item, defeat the creatures, then head into the cave to the left. Destroy the statues, including the statue behind the chest at the end, then open the chest to find a Divine Blessing. Head back out of the cave to find another creature in the black hole across the room. This is the last creature in the room. Ahead is the mist entrance to the boss battle against the Rotten.
    Boss Battle: The Rotten
    The battle against the Rotten is more about the environment than the enemy. Beware the fire pits scattered throughout the battleground: if you touch any of them, you'll take considerable damage. If you continue to linger in the pits, you will certainly die a horrible, fiery death.

    Most of the battle is spent locked on to the Rotten, which means you may have difficulty determining when a fire pit is behind you. To avoid backing into a fire pit, circle strafe around the fire pit in the center of the battleground. If you stay close to the center pit, you'll have plenty of room to avoid the others.

    The Rotten only uses a handful of attacks. If you have a shield that absorbs 100 per cent damage, this is a much easier fight. However, even if this is the case, many of the Rotten's attacks drain your stamina bar completely, or at least very close to it. Your best course of action is to dodge the attacks with specific timing so you don't take any damage, then strike once or twice depending on the speed of your weapon. If you wish to take a more careful approach, only dodge the linear attacks and block the horizontal sweeping attacks. It's much easier to dodge the linear attacks, but you'll have fewer opportunities to counter attack, which will draw out the fight.

    When the Rotten is close to you, it uses a single, horizontal sweeping attack that drains your stamina bar almost completely if it's blocked, so dodge it if at all possible. It also uses a single, linear chop, and three chops in rapid succession. The single chop is easily dodged to the left or right, while it's best to block the first two chops, then dodge the third one. You can actually dodge all three, but the timing is pretty strict.

    If you back away from the Rotten, it uses a variation of the single, linear chop, but it has deceptive range. Also be ready to block or dodge when you see the Rotten pull its weapon back over its head. It's very difficult to get far enough away to avoid this attack completely. In almost all cases you must either block the attack or dodge it. If you block, it drains your stamina bar almost entirely. If you see the Rotten begin to regurgitate, back away to avoid two dark spits that happen back to back. As soon as the spits conclude, rush back in to counter attack.

    Once the Rotten reaches approximately 50 per cent health, it adds two attacks to its arsenal. The first is a variation of the long-range chop. This time a dark fog emits from its weapon and extends outward rapidly. This is a linear attack, but it's difficult to dodge without precise timing. You must dodge to the left or right. If you dodge back, it will still hit. However, if you hug the Rotten, the attack misses completely. This can be risky if your timing is off though.

    The other new attack the Rotten uses is a burst of dark mist that emits from its body. This happens when the Rotten makes a motion similar to the regurgitation animation. Simply back away from the Rotten to avoid this attack, since it doesn't have much range.

    With the Rotten down, quickly move through the fire on the side of the arena where an item can be seen. Pick up the item to find a Fire Seed. This concludes your time in the Black Gulch.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: The Grave of Saints, the Rodents of Unusual Size and the Royal Rat Vanguard

    The Grave of Saints
    Head into the mouth-like entrance, take out the two zombies on the way in, then the four rodents of unusual size in the room ahead. The rodents come at you from both directions, so be careful when fighting them and try not to get surrounded. If your level is high enough, they will likely go down in a single hit, but you should still be wary.
    Head around to the far side near the open doorway to find a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier, then head through the doorway and up the stairs.
    Four more rodents attack from the right, but take note of the face on the floor near the top of the stairs as you'll need to access it later. Take down the rats, then head to the left and kill the zombie at the end. Pick up the item to obtain three Small Smooth & Silky Stones. Use a Pharros' Lockstone in the previously mentioned face if you have one available. This is the only face that you should interact with; the others will not benefit you, so ignore them.
    If you used a Pharros Lockstone, head across the bridge and into the room just beyond. Go to the right side of the room and kill the rats that spawn, then pick up the item to obtain two Poison Moss. Continue up the stairs to find a Whisper of Despair and a Torch. You can't go any further because the way is blocked, so head back across the bridge and to the far left end of the hall. Climb up the ladder on the right to reach the next floor.
    Rhoy the Explorer invades when you reach the top of the stairs, in addition to two more rodents, one from either side. Take down the rodents while avoiding Rhoy, then focus on the invader. Continue through the broken wall to the left to find three Homeward Bones, then head down to the other end of the hall to find two more rodents and a bonfire.
    Light the bonfire, then prepare to head into the mist down the corridor to the right. Inside the mist you will face a plethora of rodents, followed by the Royal Rat Vanguard.
    Boss Battle: Royal Rat Vanguard
    In this battle, you must face off against a horde of rats as well as the Royal Rat Vanguard. If the rodents attack too many times, they will petrify you, even if you're guarding. To avoid this, equip gear that increases petrification resistance, such as the Ash Knuckle Ring found in the Gutter. In addition, the Royal Rat Vanguard poisons you with each attack, so poison prevention gear and items should also be used if available.

    Luckily, this is one of the easiest boss battles in the game. While normal rats continue to pile into the area, you only need to defend against them for a short time. Kill any rats within your immediate area, as you move around the room to avoid getting ganged up on. After about a minute has passed, the health bar for the Royal Rat Vanguard appears and the fight proper begins.

    Once the health bar is visible, look out for your target: it's the same size as all the other rodents, but it has an unusual amount of black fur on its back. As soon as you spot it, lock on and don't change targets.

    While this rat has more health than the others, it's not by much. You should be able to take it down by continuously attacking until your stamina bar is depleted. In the worst case scenario, it should only take two stamina bars worth of attacks; back away if you deplete one and you haven't taken it down. If you move to the opposite side of the room, you'll have time to use a health item while the rats catch up. Heal up, then go back in for the kill. Once the Vanguard is down, the remaining rats retreat. Kill them as they flee for additional souls.

    With the Vanguard down, head through the doorway at the end of the room that was previously blocked by mist. Speak with the rat sitting on top of the pile of bones just ahead. He offers you the ability to join his covenant. If you join, you obtain the Crest of the Rat. Decide if you wish to join or not, then head through the corridor to the left.

    Drop down into the room below -- the same room you started in -- and make sure you don't fall through the second hole into the basement. Pick up the item to obtain a Pharros' Lockstone, then drop down through the next hole onto the coffins. Make your way down to the bottom, using the coffins as a staircase.

    Drop down to the stone bridge -- but not all the way down to the broken wooden bridge -- and you'll take fall damage, so make sure you're ready for it. Pick up the item at the far end of the bridge to obtain a Bleed Stone, then head to the opposite end of the bridge and look to the right to see an item below. Jump down to the tiny platform to the left of the item. Pick it up to obtain a Disc Chime.

    Before you drop down to the ground floor, be careful. This is the room at the bottom of the well in Majula that leads into the Gutter. If you have not already been down there since the last time you rested at a bonfire, several enemies mount an ambush when you reach the ground floor.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Through the Shaded Woods to the Scorpioness Najka

    The Shaded Woods
    Take the path to the right of the path that leads to the Forest of Fallen Giants. Head through the ruins and speak with Benhart, the man at the end of the path, to learn of the statue in the structure ahead. Enter the structure and use one of the Fragrant Branches of Yore you found earlier to bring the statue back to life.

    Speak to Rosabeth to obtain a Prism Stone. If you continue to speak to her, she eventually opens a pyromancy store for you. If you have any spare armor you can trade it to her to make the store a permanent fixture in Majula, then pull the lever that she once blocked. Several enemies will ambush you from behind as soon as you pull the lever, though, so be ready to fend them off.
    Defeat the enemies, then head through the newly opened door. You can then speak to Benhart again to learn the Joy gesture.

    Head into the next room and open the door on the far right to find a coffer that holds an Estus Flask Shard. Open the door on the other side of the room to find a bonfire. Light the fire, then head up the stairs. Jump over to the left side to find a single enemy in the first door, and an enemy alongside a Soul of a Proud Knight and Human Effigy in the second door.

    Jump over to the other side to find another enemy in the first door and an enemy alongside a Broadsword through the second door. Pull the lever near the entrance at the bottom of the stairs to open both doors, then head up the stairs and through the doorway. Follow the path into the Shaded Woods.
    Kill the two enemies ahead and pick up the Falchion. Continue onwards down the path and quickly take out the two enemies ahead. Two more enemies will bombard you from above. Continue forward, then up the hill to the left to engage the other two enemies and find a Pharros' Lockstone.

    Keep moving down the path and take out the next three enemies in the clearing ahead, then continue down the path to the left. Take out the next enemy, then light the bonfire. This room has staircases on either side and three exits; straight ahead, to the right, and to the left. Head up the stairs to the right. Talk to the man at the top, then head through the doorway into the fog.

    It's extremely difficult to see in the fog and, unlike in darkness, torches will not help you. Keep your shield up as you progress through the area, hugging the left wall to follow the easiest route. When you reach a small clearing, circle out the outside to find a Fire Seed, then head back into the fog and continue to hug the left wall to reach a set of stairs leading out of the fog.

    If you try to make your way through the fog, enemies that are very hard to see will attack. They tend to circle around you and land a critical strike from behind or shoot arrows from a distance. It is nearly impossible to combat these enemies on even ground, but they can be defeated. Watch for the faint white silhouettes, and when a figure attacks, damage it to see the enemy's health bar -- adjust your settings if you have this feature turned off. Follow the health bar to determine the location of the enemy.
    Throughout the fog there are several items ranging from souls to Lifegems. It's not possible to provide an exact location as the fog makes this journey blind. However, you can make your way through the fog, combating the nearly invisible enemies to obtain the little items hidden within; do so at your own risk, however, and be careful of the cliff edge, as it can be difficult to see in the fog.

    When you're done rummaging through the fog, head up the stairs on the far left side, into the room and up the ramp. Continue up the next ramp to reach the top platform, then walk to the end to find a Radiant Lifegem. Head back down the last ramp and light the bonfire just behind it.

    Continue toward the end of the platform, and jump down to the path below when you see an opening to the right. Time your jump so that you roll through the window and into the dark room beyond. Head up the path to the left, then enter the room at the end on the right. Kill the enemies inside, including the one that comes at you from behind, then pick up the item to obtain a Twinkling Twilight.

    Head through the door at the end of the small room to find a Soul of a Brave Warrior and three Firebombs, then head back outside and across the wooden bridge. Head down to the end of the platform, hugging the left wall after you pass under the chest. Go through the opening to the left and immediately turn to the left. Watch out for the jars throughout this area as they will curse you if you stay in close proximity to them for too long. Quickly break them to prevent this.

    Take out the three enemies, but be careful to avoid engaging the frog. Even when battling the lesser enemies, it's very difficult to stun these enemies, which means you need to block or evade their attack, then counter with only a single attack. Any more than that and you risk getting hit by their next attack, which inflicts considerable damage.

    Head into the small structure on the right, then down the ramp inside. Break open the barrels to find the Soul of a Brave Warrior and a Pharros' Lockstone. Continue through the opening and around to the left to find a coffer that holds a Dark Scythe. Jump over the small ledge and make your way around to position yourself nearby, but above the large scorpion if you wish to take him down -- you'll receive a Second Dragon Ring for your trouble. Alternatively, if you have the Whispering Ring, you can speak with him to make him an ally.

    Go through the opening in the corner, head through the corridor and kill the enemy in the room at the end. In the corner is a Torch. Pick up the item, then head back to the main area where the large frog can be found.

    Kill the large frog ahead. To do so, if you're a melee fighter, move in front of it until it prepares to spit gas toward you. At this point move to the side and attack two or three times depending on the speed of your weapon. After attacking, ready your shield. Do not attack more than this because its attacks inflict a huge amount of health damage, but drain very little stamina if you block them. Block the attack, then counter with two or three more attacks. Repeat the process until it's dead.

    Defeat the frog to find a Petrified Dragon Bone. Continue past where the enemy once stood to find another enemy. Make your way to the far left corner, and head up the stairs to find a Pharros' Lockstone and the Soul of a Brave Warrior. Turn around and head back to the open area, then to the left.
    Take down the enemy, then pick up the item in the corner. Be careful not to step on the wood or you'll fall into the room below and be ambushed by enemies. The item in the corner is a Lifegem. Grab it then continue down the path to take on the next enemy.

    Head into the ruins on the left and up the winding staircase. When you reach the top, head to the end to find a Soul of a Brave Warrior and a Skeptic's Spice. Go back down the stairs, out the doorway and into the next door on the right. Continue down the path to find the mist door that leads to the boss battle against Scorpioness Najka.
    Boss Battle: Scorpioness Najka
    Rush toward the boss and immediately attack her while she's stuck in the sand. If you linger at a distance, she uses powerful ranged magic attacks which can be difficult to avoid. Attack her a couple of times, then back away as she bursts out of the sand. If you're too close when she emerges, you will take damage.

    Najka uses a few attacks that are relatively easy to evade or block. If you're good at evading magic attacks, stay at maximum range and dodge her magic projectiles. If she gets close, continue to back away. If you're a melee character, stay just outside of her melee attack range. She uses a three-hit combo that starts with two attacks from her mandibles, followed by an attack with her spear. Block the two mandible attacks, then evade her spear and counter with several attacks of your own.

    When her tails start to wiggle, back away to avoid being caught by them. If you're hit, they drain a significant amount of health. While both tails are stuck in the ground, she is vulnerable to multiple attacks, so take full advantage of this.

    If she goes underground, stand on any of the stone pieces sticking out of the sand. There is a large piece near the corner, but any of the stone slabs will work. If you remain on the sand, she bursts out of the ground beneath you, inflicting significant damage.

    This pattern repeats throughout the battle, though you can adjust it to your advantage by choosing which part of Najka to attack. If you're skilled at dodging magic attacks, you may wish to cut off both of her tails; if not, be sure to aim your attacks at her body instead.

    After defeating the boss, head through the doorway in the corner and up the stairs to the Door of Pharros.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: The Doors of Pharros and How to Defeat the Royal Rat Authority

    The Doors of Pharros
    The enemies in this area are tough to stun, so attack once, then block or evade their next attack, and repeat this strategy until they go down. Defeat the enemy dead ahead and continue toward the stairs to engage the next enemy. Take him down, then grab the ten Prism Stones in the corner, but don't be tempted by the chest; if you access it, it comes alive and kills you!

    Head through the small opening in the water to find a bonfire to the right. Light the bonfire, then head through the monster-mouth doorway. Quickly kill the dog, and the enemy just beyond before the invader engages you. The larger enemy swings slowly, but will swing multiple times before taking a pause. Do not counterattack until you know it has stopped attacking. When both enemies are down, engage Bowman Guthry, the invader.

    Guthry uses two crossbows, which means you don't have to worry about him too much at close range. He raises the crossbow he's about to fire, telegraphing that an attack is about to happen. He evades well, though, so keep this in mind as you attack. In addition, he uses a Estus Flask to replenish his life if you let him get too far away from you, so press the attack and keep on him.

    Take down Guthry to find a Royal Swordsman Armor. In the far right corner of the room (from the perspective of the entrance), pick up the item to obtain two Amber Herbs. Go through the doorway near the far left corner to reach the item on the balcony above. Pick up the item to obtain a Gyrm Axe and a Torch.
    Head back down, then across the water and through the doorway in the other corner. Take out the two rats that attack, then head up the ladder on the far side of the room. Pick up the item to the left to obtain a Twisted Barricade and the Soul of a Proud Knight.

    Take out the enemy ahead and continue along the path to engage the second enemy. Just beyond the second enemy there are spikes along the right wall. The enemy in the alcove ahead activates the trap, but it only remains active a short time. Wait until the spikes retreat, then quickly run past the trap and take down the enemy in the alcove to the right.

    The chest in the alcove is rigged with a poison trap that goes off when you open it, so be prepared to nullify the poison if necessary, then pick up the Titanite Chunk and Petrified Dragon Bone that are found within.
    Continue down the path and around to the far side of the stairs just ahead. Pick up the item on the ground to obtain a Pharros' Lockstone and the Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier. Head up the stairs to reach the room you started in -- only this time you're on the second level -- then proceed to the left. Enter the first doorway on the left to find a bonfire and a mist door.

    If you enter the mist door you battle against the Royal Rat Authority. However, if you head back out first, and continue down the path, engaging the enemies and crossing over two stone bridges, you'll find an item to the left after the second bridge. Pick up the item to obtain a Large Soul of a Brave Warrior.
    Boss Battle: Royal Rat Authority
    When you enter the mist, the boss battle does not begin immediately. Instead, four rats await you on the far left side of the room, with the Royal Rat Authority on the platform just above them. The rats inflict toxic, so be ready to combat that if need be.

    The best strategy against the rats is to use a weapon with a wide attack range that can hit them all if they're grouped together. It's very important to kill the four rats as quickly as possible so you can focus on the Royal Rat Authority, but you only have a short time to do this before the Authority begins attacking.

    Head toward the rats, or use a ranged attack to engage the enemies. Back up until at least three of them are grouped together close enough to hit them all with a single attack. If you're decently geared and levelled, a single attack should take the rats down. Even if you need two attacks, as long as you're hitting more than one rat at a time, you shouldn't have trouble taking the rats down before the Authority enters the fray.

    Once the rats are down you can properly deal with the Royal Rat Authority. The best course of action is to run between its legs, stand directly under its body, and attack the hind legs aggressively. If you linger in front of the Authority, it uses two horizontal swiping attacks with its front paws. If blocked, the attacks consume a large amount of stamina when combined. However, there's enough time after the second attack to recover your stamina before the Authority attacks again.

    If you get too far away, the Authority charges at you, diving head first in your direction. If you block this attack it consumes all of your stamina but, like the paw attacks, you have time to recover before the next attack.

    All of the Authority's attacks are difficult to evade, which means your best bet is to block the dive attack and immediately move into place directly under the boss. Stay there as long as possible, attacking the hind legs, then move with the boss if it jumps away. Keep in mind, if it jumps too far away, it may attempt the diving attack again, so be prepared to block.

    When the boss is close to death, it vomits an acidic liquid that must be avoided. It spreads quickly, which means you need to move away, essentially resetting the fight and allowing the boss an opportunity to use the dive attack again. It's best to finish off the boss as soon as you see the yellow vomit appear. If you can't finish it off, you'll need to move away, wait for it to come to you again, then reposition yourself under its legs for another attack.

    After defeating the boss, you can either take the bonfire back to the first bonfire you visited in the area (Gyrm's Respite in Doors of Pharros), or if you wish to join the rat covenant, head through the small opening opposite where the boss started the battle. Head into the room on the left and speak with the Rat King.

    When you arrive at the first bonfire of the area, head left and out into the open, then up the stairs. Kill the enemy in front of the chest to the left, then open the chest to find a Dragon Charm. Head past the fire and into the next room to find a Lifegem in the corner. Continue up the ramp, through the doorway at the top, and down the hall to engage the next enemy. He throws both of his axes as you approach, so be ready to guard before you reach him.

    Continue down the hallway, take out the bug on the ground before it disappears, then head down the hall to the right. Kill the enemy inside, then head back and continue down the corridor and engage the enemy ahead. Be careful not to fall off while you battle.

    Head into the doorway and up the stairs. Break the pottery on the left, just beyond the fountain to find a Radiant Lifegem, then go through the doorway to enter Brightstone Cove Tseldora.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Brightstone Cove Tseldora Part 1: Prowling Magus and the Congregation

    Brightstone Cove Tseldora
    Head forward and to the left to take out the three enemies inside the tent. Continue to the left and defeat the enemy next to a group of items. Surrounding the enemy are three Souls of a Nameless Soldier, the Large Soul of a Proud Knight, and Peasant Attire. Pick up the items, then destroy the wooden tower just ahead to find 15 Lacerating Arrows. Use the arrows to take out the soldier in the guard tower just ahead.

    Turn to the right and head into the center of the camp site where there are three tents. If the pigs engage you, take them down, then move into the tent furthest away from you of the three in the center. Light the bonfire inside, then break the pottery near the guard tower to find a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier, and pick up the item near the well to obtain a Titanite Shard.

    Head up the mountain path at the end of the camp. When you reach the end, drop into the well below. Pick up the three Holy Water Urns and continue through the tunnel. Climb up the ladder and open the chest to find five Human Effigies. Use the rocks to climb out of the small enclosure, then head across to the far side of the camp and make your way toward the ladder on the left.

    Be wary as you approach the ladder; an enemy drops a giant boulder from above just before you reach the item on the ground in front of the ladder. Avoid the boulder, then pick up the item to obtain the Soul of a Nameless Soldier.

    Climb up the ladder, kill the enemy to the left, then destroy the wood holding the other boulder in place. Look behind the boulder to find the Soul of a Brave Warrior, then climb back down the ladder and take out the four enemies at the end of the path.

    Continue through the mountain and pick up the Large Titanite Shard to the left when you get to the next clearing. Defeat the three enemies on the other side, then open the door they're guarding and head into the tunnels below.

    Move into the tunnel on the left to find a chest in the next room. When you open the chest, a red orb appears, which spawns a horde of spider enemies. Quickly move away from the chest and back into the tunnel you just came from. Keep well away from the spiders until you're ready to deal with them; if they jump on you, it's instant death. Instead, back away and take them out one at a time, or use an area attack such as a Firebomb.

    Defeat the spiders, then go back to the chest to find 20 Heavy Bolts. Head through the opening to the left and into the door. Continue through the mist to begin the boss battle against the Prowling Magus and his Congregation.
    Boss Battle: Prowling Magus and his Congregation
    This is more of a mini-boss battle than anything else. You face off against Magus, two members of his Congregation, and a slew of followers. Both Magus and the Congregation use ranged magic spells. Unless you have a shield that absorbs 100 per cent magic attacks, you'll need to evade at least some of the incoming spells.

    Head to the benches on the far side of the room, taking out any of the followers that get in your way. The followers should all go down in one or two attacks, but the ones crawling on the floor may be a little more difficult to give given their low stature. The benches will temporarily provide protection from any spells that are cast in your direction, but you'll more than likely destroy all of them in the process of defeating the followers, particularly if you're a melee class.

    If the benches do go down, make sure all of the followers are killed soon after. You don't want to have to deal with followers while taking on the three mages with minimal shielding. Once the followers are taken care of, focus on the two Congregation members first. They don't have much health and should go down in a few hits depending on your stats. Once the Congregation is down, focus on Magus.

    All three mages can be stunned with relative ease, so even if they're in the middle of casting, continue attacking. Watch out for Magus to begin charging an aura around him. When you see this, back away to avoid the close-range burst attack that covers a small radius around him. Aside from the ranged magic attacks all three mages use, this is the only attack you need to watch out for.

    Once the mini-boss battle is complete, head through the doorway at the end of the room, then through the opening to the right and around the narrow corner to find a bonfire. Light the bonfire and head down the stairs. When you reach the bottom, look under the stairs to find the Soul of a Proud Knight, then continue through the next doorway.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Brightstone Cove Tseldora Part 2: The Duke's Dear Freja

    Break the pottery in the next room from where you beat Magus and the Congregation to find two Wilted Dusk Herbs. Continue up the stairs and equip a ranged weapon if you have one available. Use it to take down the spider just ahead, on the path below. Stand under the wooden archway and slide down the rope. Take down the spider if you didn't already, then head to the left and into the room at the end of the path.

    If you open the door to the closet-like room, a spider attacks from the right, so be ready for it. Move around to the other side of the room and break the pottery to find three Charcoal Pine Resin. Clear away the objects blocking the opening on the other side of the room, then head into the room just beyond.

    Open the door to the left to find a Torch, then continue through the next door. Kill the enemy, then pick up the Titanite Chunk to the left. Head back in the other direction and use a ranged weapon to take out the next enemy, or drop down and take it out with close-range melee attacks. It's best if you have a ranged weapon here so you can take the enemy down, then head back in the direction you came. You will come across this room later.

    Head back to the room with the ropes and down to the end of the path. Slide down the next rope here and take out the mage and spider, then quickly make your way to the right and down the hallway. In the room ahead two more mages await. Take them both down, then used a ranged weapon to hit the spider on the ceiling. Pick up the four Lightning Urns in the corner, then head through the doorway and down the ladder.

    Kill the spider that fell from the ceiling, then the second spider that appears to the left when you enter the room. Light the bonfire ahead, then continue through the door. Two mages and several spiders await in the next room. Lure the spiders back into the room with the bonfire so you don't have to engage them while dodging spells from the mages.

    Once the spiders are down, take out the mage on the ground level, then pick up the Petrified Dragon Bone to the far right. Head in the other direction and enter the door to the right of the door that leads to the bonfire room. Break the pottery to the left to find a Pharros' Lockstone, then destroy the shelves near the entrance to find a Flame Butterfly.

    Head back outside, take down the enemy to the left (if it didn't enter the room beforehand), then shoot a ranged weapon at the red bug ahead to get its attention. When it approaches, kill it quickly or else it will explode, killing you.

    Before you engage the mage ahead, look for a door on the left. Open it, kill the mage and spider inside, then clear the barrels next to the shelves by rolling into them to reveal a small room with a spider and a coffer. Kill the spider, then open the coffer to obtain a Crescent Axe and Soul Vortex.
    Head back into the main room and through the opening to the left. Pick up the item on the left to obtain a Titanite Chunk, then head through the door. Kill the two spider zombies in the next area. There's a room straight ahead, but before you enter, move to the left to spawn another creature and a spider zombie. Take them both out, then defeat the two spiders that spawn. Once all of these enemies are down then head through the doorway.

    Continue up the stairs and open the door at the top. A Large Titanite Shard sits out on the ledge. Pick it up, then head back down to the area below and continue toward the archway. Another enemy appears in the corner. Watch out for the deadly mist, then take it down.

    As you proceed through the archway, an invader attacks from the left. Take them out and continue down the wooden path and through the doors at the end. Two zombie spiders drop down behind you as soon as you open the door. Take them down, then proceed through the door.

    There are six spiders hanging from the ceiling in this room, so don't go too far into the room otherwise you'll engage all of them at once. From the doorway, use a ranged attack to hit the spider on the far right so you can fight it alone. Once that spider is down, move slightly farther into the room and the remaining spiders drop down to the floor.

    Kill all of the spiders, then break the furniture on the right (near the middle of the room) to find the Soul of a Hero and four Gold Pine Resin. The door here requires the Brightstone Key, which is acquired after the boss battle for this area. However, once you have the key, open the door to enter the room beyond, then open the next door to spawn seven spiders in the current room. Take down the spiders and head through the door to find a coffer that contains a Black Knight Ultra Greatsword, Great Fireball, and Fire Seed.

    Head back to the main room and use the lever to open the door on the right, at the end of the room. Pick up the three Homeward Bones inside, then open the other door on the left to find another spider zombie. Kill it, then head up the ladder.

    Drop down to the area below, then head to the far side to cross the web-bridge. Be careful of the spider that attacks as you make your way across the bridge. There's an item on the ground ahead, but before you rush over to it, watch out for the spider waiting just above on the ceiling. Take it, then pick up the item to obtain a Torch.

    Head down to the far side and break the pots to find a Pharros' Lockstone, then continue across the next web-bridge to the left. About halfway across, drop down to the webbing on the right, then continue in the opposite direction to reach the platform ahead. There's another item on the platform to the right, but be careful when you drop down to get to the webbing that leads to it. There's a spider lurking below the webbing that will attack as soon as you land.

    Kill the spider, then head up to the platform to find a Twilight Herb. Head back down the webbing, but as soon as you reach the bottom, retreat back to the platform you were just on. Five spiders ambush you from all sides of the room, but if you retreat back to the platform, they won't be able to get behind you.

    Finish off the spiders, then collect the Simpleton's Spice in the middle of the room, the five Corrosive Urns in the corner below the platform you were just on, and the Radiant Lifegem on the platform on the far side. Even if you think you have all of the spiders killed, there may be one or two that didn't attack when you reached the bottom, so be on your guard.

    With all of the items collected, head into the mist door to engage the boss, the Duke's Dear Freja.
    Boss Battle: The Duke's Dear Freja
    At the beginning of the battle, several spiders attack. Unlike most other boss battles that feature ancillary enemies, do not attempt to take out all of the spiders before engaging the boss. Freja doesn't give you much time to focus on the other spiders before she engages you with attacks that can drain a significant amount of your health bar, if not kill you in one shot. Take out one or two spiders (more if you're fast enough), then focus on Freja to ensure you're not about to get hit with an attack.

    Freja attacks from the heads on either side of her body. Only one head is active at a time, so the best strategy is to move close to one head, then as soon as it flinches, make a beeline to the other side to attack the dormant head. By repeating this process, you'll avoid almost all of Freja's attacks. The only attacks you need to concern yourself with while using this strategy are the beam of light and jumping attacks.

    The beam of light covers nearly 180 degrees in front of the head that initiates the attack, so you have to move quickly to the other side to make sure you avoid the attack. It cannot be blocked, and it's difficult to evade, so your best bet is to be behind Freja when it executes. The jumping attack doesn't happen as often, but it's also difficult to avoid. Your best bet is to run under Freja and dodge when she's about to land.

    If you see any spiders as you move back and forth between the heads, take them down quickly and continue on to the target head. When Freja is down for good, finish off any remaining spiders and head through the opening at the far end of the area. When you reach the room ahead, sneak up behind the Duke and take him out with a single critical hit from the back.

    He'll drop a Brightstone Key, Fragrant Branch of Yore, and a Dark Quartz Ring +1. Continue through the next doorway and into the large room ahead. The enemy that attacks is very slow, making it easy for you to get around behind it for critical attacks. Defeat the enemy, then light the primal bonfire and head back to Majula.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Return to Huntsman's Copse and the Battle Against the Skeleton Lords

    Travel to the Undead Lockaway bonfire in Huntsman's Copse. Head out of the room and across the stone bridge to the right. You've already been down this path before, but this time you're heading to Harvest Valley instead. Follow the path, taking down the bad guys as you come across them. Take the first fork to the left, slaughter the enemies and pick up the item on the ground in the middle of the open area to obtain 10 Poison Throwing Knives.

    Either drop down to the path below or head back the way you came and turn left at the fork to get to the lower path. Proceed towards the waterfall and head down the path to the right of the blocked doorway. Circle all the way around until you see a cave on the left. Enter it.

    Knock down the skeletons inside. Pick up the three Flame Butterflies and pull the lever at the end to connect both halves of the cave, then return to the waterfall. Head up the stairs directly under the waterfall and enter the mist to begin your next boss fight: the Skeleton Lords.
    Boss Battle: Skeleton Lords
    The Skeleton Lords battle consists of three main skeletons that go down fairly quickly, then a much bigger horde of lesser skeletons that are even quicker, but have the advantage of numbers. As soon as you enter the boss arena, head straight for the first Skeleton Lord and defeat it quickly. You should be able to kill it before the other Skeleton Lords get too close. Do the same for the next two Skeleton Lords: as you attack one, keep the other in sight so you can evade any ranged attacks.

    Once all three Skeleton Lords are down, target the lesser skeletons with wheels first, since these are the most dangerous enemies at this point. They race toward you on their wheels and inflict considerable damage if they hit. Take them down as quickly as possible, but stay on the move and keep as many of them as possible within view. If they race toward you, quickly dodge out of the way to avoid taking damage.

    Defeat the wheeled skeletons, then focus on the remaining enemies. Don't try to fight them all at once; instead, move around and lure the enemies into small groups and dispatch them a few at a time. This makes the last portion of this fight much easier to deal with.

    With the enemies down, head through the doorway to the right of the entrance. Continue down the corridor to the right and pull the lever at the end to lower the bridge. Head across the bridge and through the corridor, then down the ladder at the end. Continue down the path into Harvest Valley.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Head Through Harvest Valley to Earthen Peak and the Iron Keep

    Head into the cave to the right and light the bonfire, but be careful of the poison pool just in front of the entrance. This whole area is filled with poison so have items ready to combat the effects, otherwise you'll find yourself in a world of trouble.

    Speak with Chloanne, the woman just ahead, then continue down the path to the left.

    When you reach the poison mist, head left to find a skeleton and a Lifegem; kill the former and take the latter. Drop down to the dirt mound on right, then quickly proceed through the poison mist to collect the Fading Soul and Titanite Shard on the other side. Head on up the stone ramp. If the enemy follows you, don't engage them until you're safely out of the poison.

    Pick up the Torch at the top, then head down the path ahead. Move up the first ramp and climb the ladder to find 10 Hexing Urns at the top. Climb back down to the bottom and defeat the enemies at the end of the path. Strafe around the larger enemies, then attack them after they attempt their "ball of darkness" projectile attack.

    Head back up the ramp to the middle section and climb up the second ladder. Dispatch the two enemies and pull the lever at the left end of the path to raise the gate below. Head through the gate, then into the side tunnel to the right to find another bonfire. Light it, then continue down the main tunnel into the next area.

    There's a chest down the path to the left, but you'll need to clear the poison mist before you can safely claim it without choking to death. Take the path on the right, then head over the bridge or head all the way to the right if you wish to avoid the larger enemies. Engage the smaller enemy as you make your way up the wooden path and toward the windmill.

    At the top of the wooden path, watch out for the enemy in the room at the top of the ramp. It attacks if you get too close. Instead of going into the room, head down the path to the left and into the cave at the end on the right.

    Defeat the enemy in the room ahead, but be careful as they're a bit more formidable than the enemies you've been fighting in this area. Block its attacks, then follow with one or two attacks of your own before blocking again. After taking it down, head up the stairs and kneel before the armor to learn the Praise the Sun gesture, and join the covenant if you so desire.

    Head back into the room you passed up before, but wait at the entrance for the enemy to come out and meet you if you haven't already defeated it.

    The pots in the room are poison so be careful not to break them while in combat. If the pots are in your way, you can head back outside and to the left, then continue into the tunnel where two more enemies await. Be careful of the pots here as well, and climb up the ladder to the left to reach the same room you just left. Now you're on the other side of the pots. Continue through the doorway and into the next room to reach Earthen Peak, and the next stage of your journey.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Earthen Peak - Defeat the Covetous Demon and Head for the Iron Keep

    Quickly make your way up the stairs to avoid the poisonous enemy in the alcove to the left. Defeat the poisonous enemy at the top, then return to attack the one in the alcove in the middle of the stairs. Head back up to the top, take down the three enemies above, then drop down into the alcove, and collect the Skeptic's Spice at the end.

    Head back up the stairs and jump down to the platform below. Kill the poisonous enemy, then head through the doorway on the left, but watch out for the square panel in the ground. If you step on it, arrows shoot out from behind you. Two enemies await in the next area so be careful as you enter.
    Near the end of the hallway, there's another enemy in the alcove to the left and the Soul of a Nameless Soldier and three Titanite Shards on the right. Open the coffer at the end to find a Heavy Crossbow +3 and 15 Heavy Bolts.

    Head back out to the ledge and jump across to the stairs on the left. Enter the room and climb the ladder on the right, then make your way back around and up to the stairs to the platform you originally jumped from. Go up the stairs on the right before you reach the mist door, then continue into the room on the left and dispatch the four enemies inside. The coffer in the roof is rigged with poison and only holds a Torch, so you may wish to ignore it if you're already well-stocked. Make your way through the mist door to fight the Covetous Demon.
    Boss Battle: Covetous Demon
    This boss battle is one of the easiest in the game so long as you stay to either side of your opponent, standing just past its arm. Standing in this position means that you'll automatically move when the Demon moves toward you. It won't be able to face you because its arm will always be in the way, pushing you back as it continues to move.

    Eventually the Demon shifts its weight to the opposite side. When you see this, put up your shield or back away as quickly as possible to avoid the coming attack. The shift in weight signifies that the Demon is about to roll in your direction. If the roll is blocked it consumes all of your stamina. If it's not blocked, you take heavy damage.

    Continue attacking the enemy, but always leave yourself some stamina so you can block the roll attack if it comes. Follow this strategy and the boss goes down with very little fight.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Proceed Through Earthen Peak Towards Mytha, the Baneful Queen

    Once the Covetous Demon is down, head through the doorway on the side, and up the stairs to find another bonfire and Lucatiel. Speak with her to obtain the Ring of Steel Protection +1, then head into the next room and up the stairs on the left. Take out the three enemies and pick up the Radiant Lifegem in the far left corner.

    Continue through the doorway and over the bridge, stopping when you reach the huge gear. Fight the mage knight ahead while hiding behind the gear to block the attacks from the archers across the way. Head into the room ahead, and you'll find a hallway on the right and a ladder on the left.

    Go around to the right and into the hallway. Pull the lever, then continue down the stairs and kill off the enemy to the right. When you reach the room ahead, go left to find a chest at the end which holds a Pike. Collect the item, then head back to the room you just left and approach the ladder at the end. Two enemies drop down just before you reach the ladder. Take them out, then climb the ladder.
    Kill the enemy at the top, then through the mist door to find a bonfire. Light it, then light a torch and head back out and up the makeshift ramp to the right that leads to the windmill. Watch your step to make sure you don't fall off, and light the windmill on fire with the torch. This drains the poison out of the area and makes the upcoming boss battle much easier.

    Head up the next set of stairs to find three Black Firebombs. Watch out for the lever on the ground right next to the item. This is another trap that shoots darts if you step on it. There's a ladder in the middle and a balcony outside, but before you head in either of these directions, move to the other side of the area to find another enemy and a Manikin Mask, then head outside to the balcony.

    Defeat the enemy on the balcony, then break the wooden railing near the entrance and walk along the ledge to the left. Laddersmith Gillian is waiting at the end of the ledge. Speak with him and purchase a ladder for 2,000 souls to gain access to the area below and obtain a Pharros' Lockstone and Twinkling Titanite. He then moves to Majula and can be used to build a ladder down the large well if you haven't been down there yet.

    Go back to the balcony and head all the way to the end to find an item just beyond the wooden railing. Cut down the railing and pick up the item to obtain a Simpleton's Spice. There's a lever at the end of the balcony which raises the platform to the right. Under the platform is the Soul of a Proud Knight and a Divine Blessing, but the platform doesn't stay up very long, so be quick to grab the items before the platform returns to its original state. Then pull the lever again; this time hop onto the platform before it moves. Open the coffer at the top to obtain a Mirrah Shield.

    Drop back down and climb up the ladder next to the platform, then head down the hallway to the right just before you reach the mage knight at the end. Speak to the man in the room below, then head back up to the hallway and take down the mage knight, remaining cautious of the poison pots. Continue up the stairs to the left, and kill the mage knight and two pyromancers at the top. Open the coffer, which is trapped with poison, to find a Pharros' Lockstone.

    Head back down the stairs and continue straight to find another pyromancer. Kill the pyromancer with ranged attacks, then prepare to make a tricky jump to the other side of the platform. Jump at the last moment, and aim for the left side of the platform ahead to give yourself the best chance of making it across.

    Pick up the item at the edge of the platform to obtain a Radiant Lifegem, then open the coffer at the end to find the Soul of a Brave Warrior and Crimson Water. Before you jump back across, note that there's an item on the bridge below. If you wish to obtain the Poison Broadsword and Human Effigy, stand where at the position where the item on the platform was located, then fall straight down. Jump across to the platform against the wall, then make your way to the left, then up the stairs to find yourself on the same floor you originally entered.

    Make your way back up to the area with the ladder in the middle that leads out to the balcony. Climb up the ladder, head into the hallway on the left (the one with the pot in it), then continue up the stairs to the left. At the top there are two pyromancers and a mage knight. The pyromancers are standing next to poison pots, so be careful when you attack them so as not to smash the pots. Defeat the enemies then head around the corner and up the stairs to the right to take down another pyromancer.
    Two mage knights guard a doorway on the other side of the room. The doorway eventually leads to the boss, but before you engage them, go up the stairs on the wall near the middle of the room. To the right are several poison pots. Carefully destroy the pots, staying at maximum range to avoid getting poisoned.

    Behind the pots there are several poison bugs. Take them down before they can gang up on you in order to avoid the brunt of their poison gas attacks. Once done, do not open the chest. Instead, pick up the Smooth & Silky Stone in the corner, then attack the chest in the middle. Kill the chest to find a pair of Dark Gauntlets and a Work Hook.

    Ignore the Pharros' Lockstone on the face up the stairs and leave the room. Continue up the next set of stairs to fight the invader. Defeat him to find Brigand Gauntlets +5. At the end of the hallway ahead, go right and interact with the wall on the right. You won't see an on-screen indicator, just press the button as if there were an item to pick up.

    Behind the hidden wall is a bonfire. Light it, then head to the other side of the platform and do the same to the wall there. Behind this hidden wall is a chest that holds a Petrified Something. Head back down the stairs to the room below and take down the two mage knights guarding the entrance to the boss. Pick up the Poison Stone in the corner, then head up the stairs and through the mist door to engage Mytha, the Baneful Queen.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: How to Beat Mytha, the Baneful Queen

    Watch out for the poison that encircles the battlefield. If there's poison all over, it means you didn't burn the windmill earlier in the area. If you die, make sure you go back and burn the windmill to remove the poison from everywhere except the outer edge of the battlefield, as this will make your life a lot easier.
    Stay close to Mytha unless she backs up to the edge of the battlefield where the poison is found. She'll attack with three-hit combos using her spear as well as a full-body spin at close range. Both of these attacks can be blocked with only moderate stamina loss. However, there isn't much delay between her attack cycles, so you won't be able to hit her more than once or twice depending on your weapon of choice.

    If she backs away, prepare for one of two attacks. Expect either a dashing spear attack that can be blocked or evaded to the left or right, or a magic attack from her head. If you see her head glow, prepare to move quickly to the left or right, then dodge as the attack approaches. The magic projectiles move quickly, so you won't have much time to react.

    If you stick close to Mytha, you'll avoid many of these attacks. However, she will back away regularly, and you'll also need to be mindful of the poison surrounding the battlefield since it's easy to stumble into if you're not paying attention. Just be prepared to handle her ranged attacks and stick close to her as much as you can, and this battle isn't all that difficult.

    Once Mytha is defeated, head across the poison, through the doorway and up the stairs. Step inside the lift, then through the doorway to the right when it reaches the top to finally enter the Iron Keep.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: How to Defeat the Dragonriders and Enter King's Passage

    Fighting the Dragonrider boss is very similar to the first time you fought him in Heide's Tower. The main difference here is that there are now two of them. One uses a bow and remains in the corner of the room for the most part, while the other is almost identical to the one you fought originally.

    The best strategy is to take down the ranged Dragonrider first. However, to do this you need to lure the other one to the far side of the room. When he misses an attack, quickly run over to the ranged fighter and inflict as much damage as possible. If you stay as close to the ranged fighter as possible, its arrows will not hit you.

    Keep a close eye on the other Dragonrider, and move away when it approaches. Repeat this process until the ranged Dragonrider is down, at which point you can turn your attention exclusively to the melee Dragonrider. Simply strafe around him or dodge to avoid the attacks, then counter with two or three strikes depending on the speed of your weapon. It won't take long to finish him off.

    Head through the doorway and light the bonfire, then continue down the hallway and to the right when you reach the small circular room. Climb the ladder, then head around and open the gate. The statues inside the next room come to life and attack. Move slowly through the room so you don't engage too many statues at once.

    Take out all of the enemies, then head through the door and open the coffers in the next room to find an Old Knight Hammer in the first one, and a Caitha's Chime and Soul Greatsword in the second. Continue through the doorway at the end, then proceed up the large set of stairs. Head to the right at the top of the stairs and down the hallway to engage the two archers at the end. Be careful of the archers on the other side who attack while you do battle.

    Open the coffer at the end of the hall to obtain a Firestorm, then head to the other side, take down the two archers there and open the chest at the end. Be careful of the chest as it's rigged with bolts that shoot multiple times upon opening the chest. Block or evade the bolts, then look inside to find 10 Fire Greatarrows.

    Head back down the stairs and take out the three enemies at the end of the room, then head through the door at the end. Take down the enemy that attacks in the area beyond, then head down the stairs and through the door. Inside the next room pick up five Repair Powders and ten Flame Butterflies, then open the coffer at the end to find an Estus Flask Shard. Pull the lever to open the gate in the corner, then open the door. The stairs ahead lead back to the bonfire.

    From the bonfire, head through the doorway to reach the circular room and step on the plate in the middle to reach the upper floor. Go through the doors ahead to find a chained prisoner who requires the Key to the Embedded. You do not have the key yet, but remember this location when you obtain the key from the Demon of Song. Once you have the key, you can unlock the cell to obtain a Ring of the Dead.

    Open the coffers in the room to find a Strong Magic Shield in one, a Soul Vessel and Fire Seed in the second, and the Key to King's Passage in the third. Go back to the lift and pull the lever, then head down to the floor below. Use the key to open the door ahead, then proceed down the hallway into King's Passage.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Enter Iron Keep and Defeat the Smelter Demon

    Head down the stairs to the left to find a bonfire. Light it, then head back up the stairs and across the bridge. Kill the two enemies at the end, then head through the large doors and dispatch the two enemies up the stairs.

    Continue up the next flight of stairs to engage three more enemies. The third enemy is off to the left pelting you with arrows, so it's best to lure your opponents back down the stairs and fight them one or two at a time. Take down all three enemies, then head up the stairs where the archer was positioned. Interact with the wall to unlock a hidden door. Head inside to find 20 Fire Arrows behind the catapult.

    Go through the doorway in the hidden room then interact with the wall on the right to find another hidden door. Take down the enemy on the other side, then pick up the Pharros' Lockstone in the corner. The pots in this area offer marginal fire resistance if you roll into them. Use this in combination with any other fire resistant item or armor piece, then drop down and pick up the Iron Key that sits in front of the fire spout below. The fire still does a fair amount of damage even with resistances, so grab the key as quickly as you can and get out.

    Head back down the stairs to the hallway on the left. At the end of the hallway is the merchant Magerold. Speak with him and check out his wares. You can purchase a Fragrant Branch of Yore here if you're in need of one.

    Make your way back down the hallway, up the small stairs at the end and then up the next set of stairs to return to your last point of progression. Head through the doorway and follow the path around to the left. Take down the enemy, but watch out for the elevated archers to the front and back. Continue down the stairs to the right, then take down the enemy and pull the lever in the corner to lower the bridge. Don't worry about the door here as it just leads to a room filled with flames at the moment.

    Move back up the stairs and then to the left to cross the newly lowered bridge. Drop down to the path at the end, then head to the right to find a coffer that holds a Zweihander sword. Head to the opposite end of the path, take down the enemy and enter the mist to fight the Smelter Demon.
    Boss Battle: Smelter Demon
    The best way to take down the Smelter Demon is to equip a shield that absorbs 100 per cent damage, and light armor so you can strafe around the Demon quickly. The Demon doesn't have a wide range of attacks, but you need to be able to either quickly strafe to avoid them, or dodge effectively more often than not. If you can do this, the fight should be relatively straightforward.

    When the battle begins, the Smelter Demon's body is on fire, but the flames are fairly small. If you stand right next to its body, you may take minor fire damage, but it's nothing to be too worried about. Once you've inflicted enough damage, however, it pauses to turn up the heat. At this point, you don't have to be standing quite as close to take damage, and you take a little more damage compared to the start of the fight. Inflict a bit more damage to get the Demon down to around 50 per cent health, and it sticks its sword in its body to engulf the sword in flames.

    Throughout the entire fight, the Demon uses a small set of attacks. It has a three hit combo that consists of two horizontal attacks followed by a vertical attack that can be grounded or follow a jump. The jumping variant is more difficult to avoid, and the Demon may sometimes create a burst of flame following the jumping attack.

    The jumping attack can also be used by itself, and the flame burst doesn't always follow the jumping attack in either situation, but you have to always assume it will occur in order to avoid the damage. If you're close to the Demon during the flame burst, you'll take considerable damage. As the size of the flames on the Demon's body increase, so too does the range of the flame burst. By the end of the fight you'll need to be roughly halfway across the battlefield to avoid it.

    If you stand a moderate distance away from the Demon, it uses a linear attack that breaks your guard. However, the Demon doesn't follow it with anything, so you have time to regain stamina and avoid taking damage. Once the sword is on fire, this attack shoots flames in a linear manner. It can still be avoided by sticking close to the Demon or dodging to the left or right with proper timing.

    Your main attack pattern should be to stick close to the Demon, circling it as quickly as possible. If you're light enough, you move fast enough to block the first horizontal attack of the three hit combo, then the second attack will completely miss, and sometimes the third attack won't happen at all. As soon as you see the Demon pause, hit it with two or three attacks depending on the speed of your weapon.

    More than like you will not inflict significant damage with each attack, and you'll constantly take damage from its flaming body. This is a battle of attrition. If your health gets low due to the Demon's flaming body, take the next opening to use a healing item or ability. As long as you're evading the Demon's attacks and staying on top of your own situation, it will go down before you do.


    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Continue Through the Iron Keep and Defeat the Old Iron King

    After besting the Smelter Demon, head through the opening and up the stairs to the bonfire. Light the bonfire, then head down the hall to take out the next enemy. Head back towards the bonfire and through the doorway to the left, then go across the bridge. Engage the enemy at the halfway point, then continue across. Jump over the gap, then take out the enemy just beyond. Be careful fighting in the narrow hallway as some of your attacks may be deflected by the walls, particularly if you're using a large weapon.

    Take down the archer in the next room, then pull the lever and head up the stairs. Get on the platform and make your way down the path to the next archer on the platform ahead. Take them down, then do the same to the next archer on the remaining platform. Drop down to the path below and defeat yet another archer, then head to the left to find the Large Soul of a Proud Knight and a Radiant Lifegem.

    Continue up the stairs and across the next set of platforms to the left. Wait for the flame trap to die down, then move on to the platform ahead with the ladder. Climb up the ladder and attack the coffer on the right to find a Lightning Winged Spear and Dark Armor. Head up the stairs and down the path to the right to find a chest at the end. Open it to obtain 10 Destructive Greatarrows.

    Go up the ladder to the right of the chest, ignore the Pharros' Lockstone face, then through the doorway and up the stairs. Take down the three archers in the next area, then pick up the item in the corner to obtain a Simpleton's Spice. Open the coffer in the adjacent corner to find a Black Knight Greataxe.

    Drop down to the platform below, then continue down to the bottom of the area, using the platforms like steps. On the third platform down, pick up the item to obtain a Cracked Red Eye Orb and a Torch. When you reach the fifth platform down, there's an item next to the cauldron below. Carefully drop down onto the edge of the cauldron, then pick up the item to obtain a Covetous Gold Serpent Ring. Be careful not to fall into the cauldron!

    Defeat the enemy at the right end of the platform, then drop down near the doorway below. Do not enter the mist door yet. Instead, head down the stairs to the left, and into the next doorway. Continue down the hall, take out the enemy ahead, again being careful of fighting in the narrow hallway, then pull the lever at the end to remove the object blocking your path.

    Take out the next enemy in the corner, then watch out for the flame trap ahead as you enter the next room. Make your way to the stairs on the far side of the room and take out the next enemy. Head down to the bottom, then take the stairs and follow the path across the lava to the mist door to battle against the Old Iron King.
    Boss Battle: Old Iron King
    As with most of the recent boss battles, this fight is fairly easy compared to some of the previous engagements. The Old Iron King uses a very limited set of attacks. It almost always attacks twice, so be prepared to dodge two attacks before you attempt to counter.

    Its combo attacks consist of a vertical fist slam and a horizontal swiping attack. It uses these two attacks in random order, so you might see two vertical attacks, two horizontal attacks, or one of each. Dodge to the left or right to avoid both types of attacks. When the second attack is a vertical fist slam, move in to attack the fist as quickly as possible. It remains on the ground long enough to hit it three or more times depending on the speed of your weapon.

    If the King lights its fist on fire before using a vertical attack, this usually means there will only be one attack instead of two. However, in addition to dodging the attack, you must wait until the flames go out before you move in for a counter. In addition, if the boss leans back, this indicates a horizontal fire attack is coming. Wait near the middle and move to the right as soon as the attack begins to ensure you avoid all of it.

    As long as you time your dodges well, you won't take much damage during this battle. With a decent weapon the Old Iron King takes a good amount of damage with each attack, meaning this fight won't last very long.

    Once the boss is down, head through the doorway and into the structure to find a coffer that holds Sublime Bone Dust. Continue down the stairs to find a primal bonfire. Light it and you should now have four Great Souls, and activated four primal bonfires, allowing you to reach Drangleic Castle in the Shaded Woods.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Entering Drangleic Castle and Heading for the Dragonriders

    Return to the Shaded Woods and head to the Ruined Fork Road bonfire. Head up the stairs to the left and through the doorway on the left side. Kill the four enemies ahead, then head down the path. Veer off to the left after you pass under the stone archway. Kill the two enemies and continue to the left to find a Ring of Life Protection and the Soul of a Proud Knight.

    Head back down the main path again, and engage the enemy ahead. It looks very similar to the boss from No-Man's Wharf, Flexile Sentry. Don't worry, though, it's much easier than the boss -- but there is also another lesser enemy around. Back away to separate the lesser enemy, take it down, then engage the Flexile Sentry clone. Block its attacks, then counter attack, or continuously back away while using ranged attacks to take it down with ease.

    Pick up the Dragonslayer's Crescent Axe and the Golden Falcon Shield behind where the enemy was standing, then head down the path to the left to reach the Shrine of Winter. Head up the stairs and open the door ahead. Go through the room and down the path just beyond, then head to the right. At the end of the path is a Repair item and a Large Soul of a Lost Undead. Head back in the opposite direction to find a Divine Blessing on the left side of the path. Continue down the path and engage the white knight on the left if you're feeling confident. Defeat him to find a Heide Lance.

    Keep moving down the path to find the Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier and a Human Effigy on the right, then continue into the tunnel ahead. Make your way up the stairs at the end and take down the three enemies near the halfway point. Continue up the stairs and move around the large boulder to find two Holy Water Urns. Reach the top of the stairs to enter Drangleic Castle.

    Head down the path and quickly take down the crystal bug to obtain three Titanite Chunks and a Titanite Slab. Speak with the woman at the base of the stairs, then make your way to the top. The two statues come to life as you get near them, and there are four enemies on the stairs beyond. To avoid fighting them all at once, take down the statues first, then proceed up the stairs to engage the other enemies.

    Go inside the castle and head up the stairs to speak with the ghostly Chancellor Wellager to learn the "This one's me" gesture and browse the store for items. Head back down the stairs and around to the left. Defeat the enemy ahead, and continue into the next hallway. There are several enemies here. Lure them out one at a time to avoid taking them all on at once.

    Head through the door on the right and take out the two enemies inside the next room, then climb down the ladder. Open the door at the end of the room below and continue through the next door ahead to find a bonfire. Light the bonfire, then head back out and to the right. The first statues guarding the doors in the next room come to life. Take them down two at a time to open the passages beyond.

    Inside each door is a single Sentinel, similar to the bosses you fought in the Lost Bastille. In the middle room on the left there's a Pharros' Lockstone in the corner. Be careful in the last room on the left as the floor caves in if you go too far. The pit leads down to a bonfire and a set of Faraam armor, but you'll have to use the bonfire to return to the upper floor again. Unless you're keen to fight many of the enemies again, the armor set isn't worth the effort as it's almost certainly not as good as what you're currently wearing.

    To avoid this, lure the Sentinel out and battle it in the main room. Defeat all three Sentinels, then move to the right side of the room to repeat the process. In the middle room on the right side is a coffer that holds a Mastodon Greatsword. The last room on the right hides a chest that contains a Royal Soldier's Ring +1.

    Head through the first doorway on the right side of the room, and around the corner into the next room. Open the chest here to find 15 Dark Arrows, then head up the stairs to find the Soul of a Hero, a Monastery Charm, and three Old Radiant Lifegems in the corner, under the next flight of stairs. Collect the items, then head up the stairs.

    Continue up the stairs in the next room to find a pool of acid-like liquid ahead. In the corner of the pool, near the stairs is an Elizabeth Mushroom. Around the corner in the alcove is a chest that holds three Corrosive Urns. If you want these items, remove all of your weapons, armor and rings before entering the pool. If you go in with any gear equipped, it will degrade rapidly.

    Choose to collect the items or not, then head up the stairs, and through the doorway in the next room. Take out the enemy, then make your way around the corner and up the next flight of stairs, then through the door at the end. In the room ahead there are faces on the wall that fire blow darts. The item in the room contains a Large Soul of a Brave Warrior and a Twinkling Titanite. Collect the items, then make your way to the door in the corner, moving slowly with your shield raised to avoid taking damage from the darts.

    Head up the stairs and take down the three guards in the room at the top. Head through the door and to the right, then up the stairs to engage another enemy at the top. Head down the next hallway to find another enemy, then go back to the entrance of the room to find a ladder. Climb down the ladder, defeat the enemy below, then go around the corner to find the Soul of a Brave Warrior on the ledge.
    Climb down the next ladder and open the coffer below to find a Hunter's Blackbow and 20 Iron Arrows.

    Head back up both ladders, then go up the stairs to the left. Go right when you reach the top, then head into the room on the left and speak with Nashandra, Queen of Drangleic. Head out of the room through the passage to the right and down the path to the mist door to face two Dragonrider bosses.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: How to Defeat the Looking Glass Knight in the King's Passage

    Slowly head down the hallway, but attack each statue as you progress. Some will attack while others will die instantly. There's a Lifegem on the left as you progress, and the Soul of a Proud Knight and Twinkling Titanite on the right near the end. Take down the guard at the very end of the hallway, then go through the mist door to battle against the Looking Glass Knight.
    Boss Battle: Looking Glass Knight
    The battle with the Looking Glass Knight is fairly similar to most other boss battles. Start off the battle strafing in circles around it. Most of its melee combos consist of two or three waits. However, occasionally there's a pause before the third attack, so be careful if you attempt to counter after blocking or evading two attacks.

    When the Knight holds its sword high into the air to charge it with lightning, back away from it quickly. The following attack is lightning charged and has a very wide, circular area of effect, and can be difficult to avoid if you're standing too close to the boss. Luckily there's enough recovery time after the attack to move back into close range and even hit the boss once or twice.

    Once the Knight reaches approximately 50 per cent health, the charged lightning attack adds a lightning-based projectile that shoots out straight from the sword. It's a very linear attack and easily avoided if you're off to the side or behind the Knight.

    When the Knight places its shield on the ground, a guard will come out of the shield and attack. It doesn't take many hits to bring down, but the Knight doesn't stop attacking while you're engaging the minion. To avoid having to deal with multiple enemies, take down the minion as quickly as possible while keeping an eye on the Knight so you can avoid its attacks if need be.

    After defeating the boss, head to the far side of the area to find a coffer that holds a Soul Bolt, Spell Quartz Ring +2, and three Bonfire Ascetics. Step on the middle of the stone circular platform to take the lift down to the lower floor, then continue through the grassy tunnel. When you reach the small clearing, cut down the foliage to the right to find a Green Blossom behind it. Continue down the next tunnel to find a bonfire at the end and enter the Shrine of Amana.


    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Explore the Shrine of Amana and Defeat the Demon of Song

    Head down the stairs and through the door at the end. Continue down the path and break the boxes at the end to find another poisonous enemy. Kill it, then open the chest to find two Wilted Dusk Herbs and a Skeptic's Spice. Go back in the opposite direction and through the doorway, then down the stairs beyond.

    Take down the lizard enemy at the bottom, then pick up the Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier in the corner. Continue into the next large room, take down the knight inside, then open the chest on the left (it's difficult to see in the water) to find an Elizabeth Mushroom. Watch out for the lizard enemies that hide in the water as you make your way to the far right side of the room where a Flame Butterfly and Twinkling Titanite await in the water.

    Move to the end of the room, but before you open the door, move around to the far side of the structure to find a chest. Open the chest to discover three Crimson Waters. Open the door and speak to the Milfanito inside to obtain a Smooth & Silky Stone, then go out the other door and continue down the path.

    Once again be mindful of the lizardmen hiding in the water. Take them down before you proceed to avoid being ambushed. As you near the end of the path, another knight attacks. Kill it, clear away the lizardmen, then pick up the two Souls of a Lost Undead, Skeptic's Spice, three Torches, and the Large Soul of a Proud Knight around the middle platform.

    Press onward and dispatch the other two knights, then head to the far left corner to find a chest that holds a Dragon Charm. Continue into the tunnel at the end, then veer off to the left and take out the lizardmen in the next room to the left. Open the coffer inside to find a Twinkling Twilight and three Smooth & Silky Stones. Keep moving through the tunnel and kill the poison enemy ahead, then enter the mist door.

    Take down the lizardman and sorcerer ahead, then enter the structure in the middle of the room to find a bonfire. Light it, then continue toward the end of the room to find another sorcerer and more lizardmen. Continue through the area to face off against three more sorcerers and several more lizard men, as well as a larger enemy hiding in the waters off to the right.

    Veer off to the right path and near the end there's a Crimson Water to the right of the main path, and an Estus Flask Shard to the left of the main path. Just beyond the shard is a chest that holds a Sunlight Blade. Collect the items, then return to the main path and head through the door in the structure ahead. Pick up the Large Soul of a Proud Knight and an Old Radiant Lifegem, then head through the next door.

    Kill the knight and sorcerer to the far left, as well as the sorcerers and lizardmen guarding the mist door ahead. Head up the ramp on the far left to find three Alluring Skulls at the top. Hug the wall and creep around to the right side of the mist door structure to find the Soul of a Hero and a Divine Blessing. Continue into the mist door and through the next tunnel.

    There are four poisonous enemies ahead. Be careful of their stinking clouds while taking them down. Light the bonfire ahead to the left, then finish off the remaining poison creatures ahead. At the end of the passage another sorcerer awaits in the open area. Kill it, then proceed into the area to find one more in the middle, toward the end, plus a lizardman and another sorcerer off to the left. Head through the structure at the end to find a mist door that leads into a boss battle against the Demon of Song.
    Boss Battle: Demon of Song
    The Demon of Song is essentially a frog with a demon in its mouth. When its mouth is closed, which is about half of the fight, the Demon cannot be damaged. The Demon's main attacks consist of two-hit combos using its arms, and a jumping attack that looks more like a falling attack.

    Unlike most other boss battles, stay back far enough to avoid the Demon's arm-based attacks. After its various two-hit combos, move in and attack it as much as possible until the mouth closes. Stay close until the Demon appears again, then move back out of range. You need to remain close while its mouth is closed to ensure you have time to run under it if the falling attack begins.

    As soon as the Demon stands up on its hind legs, run under it to avoid the falling attack. At the completion of the attack, head back around to its head and continue with the original strategy. It shouldn't take much to bring the Demon of Song down so long as you're patient.

    After killing the Demon, head into the cave and down the next path. Continue through the structure ahead, then proceed to the far left corner, near the stairs to find a chest that holds 20 Magic Arrows. Head up the stairs and into the next room to find a bonfire. Light the bonfire, then head back outside and through the door on the far right. Take the lift inside down to the lower floor, then head down the hallway into the Undead Crypt.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Enter Aldia's Keep and Defeat the Guardian Dragon

    Head back to the Shaded Woods Ruined Fork Road bonfire. This time head through the doorway in the middle. Follow the path to find a Red Tearstone Ring in the pond ahead. Continue down the path and enter the large door at the end that requires the King's Ring. Make sure you have the King's Ring equipped to open the door to enter Aldia's Keep.

    Pick up the Soul of a Nameless Soldier and Petrified Dragon Bone next to the tree on the left, as well as the Poison Throwing Knife and Alluring Skull just ahead. Defeat the enemies that attack, then head into the structure ahead and light the bonfire inside. Head back out of the structure and around to the left side of the larger building ahead. Attack and defeat the coffer to find a Sunset Staff and a Dark Mask.

    Head all the way around to the stairs on the far side, and pick up the Fire Seed to the right of the stairs. Go up the first two stairways, then grab the Radiant Lifegem in the small pond in the middle. Continue up the next set of stairs and around to the far left side to find a Twilight Herb, then head through the main passageway.

    Defeat the invader, Aslatiel of Mirrah, then head through the door at the end of the hall. In the next room, pick up the Fading Soul in the middle, then quickly move forward to avoid the bone dragon's attack. Head back to the entrance to find a Darknight Stone, go into the hallway under the stairs and around the corner to the left. Pull the lever, then head to the opposite side and speak to the Royal Sorcerer Navlaan to browse his store.

    Head back out to the main room and up the staircase on the right. Head around the corner to the right to find a coffer at the very end that contains a Great Magic Barrier. Go back in the direction you came and take down the enemies in the mirrors ahead. Only three of the mirrors have enemies in them; walk up to them carefully to engage the enemies, then back away as they break out.

    Pick up the Northern Ritual Band +2 and Petrified Dragon Bone items at the end of the hall, then head back to the main stairs and over to the far left side to find a staircase. Go up the stairs and into the hallway ahead. Head all the way to the far right side and down the hallway to find a coffer at the end that contains two Bonfire Ascetics.

    Go back to the main room, pick up the Crimson Water item next to the cage, then attack the giant frog held inside. Head through the door at the end and pull the lever on the statue to open the door ahead. Use a Pharros' Lockstone on the face in the corner, then continue down the hall. Attack the painting on the left to reveal an enemy. Defeat it, then use a ranged attack to engage the enemy in the cage above and knock it down to the hallway.

    Pick up the Radiant Lifegem and continue down the hallway and through the next door. Head down the stairs in the room ahead, then used ranged attacks to take out the enemies inside the cage. If you don't have ranged attacks available, remove all of your armor, open the gate and draw the enemies outside. Fighting in the acidic pool will only destroy your armor.

    Once the enemies are down, remove your armor if you haven't already and wade into the pool to collect a Soul Geyser, a Petrified Dragon Bone, an Aldia Key, the Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier, and four Corrosive Urns. Head back out and up the stairs, then through the doorway to the left. Strike the painting to engage the enemy hiding behind it, then continue down the hall and into the next door on the right.

    Take down the two enemies in the room beyond, then pick up the Soul of a Proud Knight. Head down to the cage near the end of the room and take out the enemy, then pick up the Large Soul of a Brave Knight on the far wall. Turn around and head through the door on the right. Strike the enemy in the next room to bash a hole in the wall, then take down the enemy. Kill the beast in the cage just ahead, then head into the room on the right.

    Turn around and head back through the broken wall and through the doors ahead. Pick up the Simpleton's Spice and Twilight Herb items on the left, then immediately dodge back to avoid the enemy that attacks through the wall. Take down the beast, then head through the newly formed hole in the wall to engage the invader, Royal Sorcerer Navlaan. Watch out for the invaders powerful magic, which has deceptive range. Take down the invader, then head across the bridge and through the mist door ahead to fight the Guardian Dragon boss.
    Boss Battle: Guardian Dragon
    There's one simple strategy that works extremely well against the Guardian Dragon: stay by its hind legs. This avoids the Dragon's fire breath attacks and the swiping attack from its mouth. If it lifts one leg up, move away slightly to avoid the stomp, then move back in and continue attacking.

    If the Dragon takes flight but hovers over you, move away to avoid the ground stomp that follows. If the Dragon flies to the side of the area, move as far away from it as possible to avoid the long-range fire breath that will follow shortly afterwards. While you can remain directly under the Guardian Dragon to avoid the fire, you will still get hit when it lands and stomps the ground. If you stay on the far side of the area, you avoid both the fire breath and the ground stomp that follows.

    When you move back into close proximity, be careful of the Dragon's various close-range attacks. If you approach from a distance, the Dragon may attempt to bite with its mouth or breathe fire straight ahead. If you're not quick, either attack may occur before you can get under the Dragon to attack its legs. Dodge to the side to avoid the fire breath, and dodge forward or back to avoid the swiping attack, depending on your distance from the Dragon. If you're close enough to dodge under its legs, dodge forward. If not, dodge to the back.

    After defeating the Guardian Dragon, head through the doorway and across the bridge. Go down the hallway and pick up the Dragon Scale to the right of the doorway. Move into the lift to reach the floor above, then head through the doorway to the right and down the hall to reach Dragon Aerie.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Defeat Velstadt, the Royal Aegis and Claim the King's Ring

    Head to the far right corner to find a Radiant Lifegem on the left, then head back around to the other side to light the next bonfire. Go up the stairs outside the bonfire room, then down the hall and through the doorway on the left. Continue down the next hallway, taking down the zombie in the way and make your way through the left doorway.

    Target the sorcerers in the next room, then focus on the lesser enemies. The magic projectiles from the sorcerers can make fighting the other enemies more difficult than it has to be, so dispatch them first. Head into the next room and up the stairs. Speak to the Fenito at the end of the path and browse his shop should you need anything.

    Continue down the next hallway and up the stairs at the end. Take out the guard that attacks, then head down the path to the left to engage another guard. Make your way to the end of the path and through the mist door at the top of the stairs ahead. Take down the enemies inside, destroying the stones to ensure you find all of the enemies. Pick up the Simpleton's Spice and two Black Firebombs in the corner, then light the bonfire in the adjacent room.

    Head into the next room to take down more stones and enemies, with a Bracing Knuckle Ring +2 in the corner, and the Soul of a Lost Undead beneath the stairs. Collect the items and go up the stairs and through the doorway to find a Divine Blessing and the Soul of a Hero in the next room.
    A Nameless Usurper will invade and attack from the next hallway. Continue down the hallway and through the crypt. Take down the ghosts inside the various tombs, then attack the "wall" ahead, which is actually two enemies holding two shields each. Be careful as you engage them, as there isn't much room to fight in the narrow hallway. Back up into the previous room if you need more space to fight using larger weapons.

    Move into the next room and drop down the hole into the room below to find more stones, sorcerers and zombie-like enemies. Take them down carefully or else they will gang up and make it extremely difficult to defeat them while avoiding attacks from multiple sorcerers. Near the middle of the room is a Radiant Lifegem and Homeward Bone. Pick up the items, then head down the hallway on the far right to find another sorcerer and the Large Soul of a Proud Knight and Dragon Charm at the end.

    Head back into the main room and continue down the hallway at the end of the room, then up the stairs to the left. Pull the lever at the top of the stairs, then go back down the stairs and into the doorway directly ahead. Continue down the next small set of stairs, then down the hallway to engage the seven enemies at the end. Advance cautiously to engage them in small groups instead of all together. Take out all of the enemies, then head through the mist door to engage Velstadt, the Royal Aegis.
    Boss Battle: Velstadt, the Royal Aegis
    Velstadt, the Royal Aegis is one of the slower bosses in Dark Souls II. If you have a shield that absorbs 100 per cent damage and a decent amount of stamina, there isn't much to this battle. If not, be prepared for a lot of dodging!

    The biggest weakness Velstadt, the Royal Aegis has is that all of his attacks have a great deal of recovery. Most of them are even slow to execute as well. Make sure you're as agile as possible during this fight, even stripping down to lighter armor if you have to. If you stay close to Velstadt, he generally uses a single attack or a two-hit combo attack. All of these attacks are relatively slow, only drain about 40 per cent of your stamina if you block (and have decent stamina), and, once blocked or evaded, you can hit Velstadt at least three times before he recovers.

    If you stand a little bit away from Velstadt, he uses a moderately quick, but linear lunging attack. This is a single hit attack and can be blocked or evaded. If it's blocked it drains a bit more stamina than his other attacks, but you'll still have enough stamina to counter with at least one or two attacks.

    When Velstadt kneels and summons a dark power, go to town on him. The summoning circle does not inflict damage, and the dark aura doesn't impact the fight if you follow the previous tactics. While he's down on one knee, you can drain a good 20 per cent of his health with a full stamina bar.

    Just be careful when you attack as his attacks have some delay and he may not be done with his current combo. As previously mentioned, most of his attack combos consist of one or two swings, so be ready.

    After defeating Velstadt, head down the stairs and into the next room. Ignore the giant while you pick up the King's Ring near the edge of the battlefield. Head back up the stairs, and speak with the woman at the top. Now that you have the King's Ring, you can enter the doors that asked for proof of the king. Your next destination is the Forest of Fallen Giants.


    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Pass Through the Dragon Aerie to Reach the Dragon Shrine

    Head down the path and speak with the woman at the end to obtain an Aged Feather, then head across the bridge to the left and light the bonfire. Continue down the path and up the side of the mountain, then across the bridge. Take down the enemy ahead, then continue into the cave. Destroy the egg-like objects on the far right to reach the Radiant Lifegem item hidden behind them.

    Continue towards the end of the cave and up to the open area to engage the dragon ahead. Fight it just like you fought the Guardian Dragon boss by focusing primarily on the hind legs, then pick up the Dragon Tooth, Soul of a Brave Warrior, Petrified Something, Twinkling Titanite, Boltstone and Darknight Stone items once it's defeated.

    Head up the hill on the far side to find a crystal bug that drops two Large Titanite Shards, a Petrified Dragon Bone, and a Raw Stone. Go back down the hill and across the bridge on the far side. Pick up the Old Radiant Lifegem ahead, then take down the enemy and continue down the path and across the next two bridges.

    Go up the mountain then around to the far right side before you head into the open area. Break the second set of eggs to find a Petrified Dragon Bone, then head into the open area to engage another dragon. Take down the dragon, then pick up the Large Soul of a Brave Warrior on one side of the area, and the Soul of a Great Hero on the other side.

    Make your way down the side of the mountain on the far side, roll through the dragon eggs and engage the next dragon. Take down the dragon quickly to avoid having to fight it and the invader that appears shortly after the fight begins. This is the same invader you fought before, so watch out for its powerful magic attacks. Once both enemies are down, pick up the Firedrake Stone, Dragon Charm, Petrified Dragon Bone, Ring of the Evil Eye +1, and the Soul of a Great Hero.

    Head over the next bridge, then proceed to the left and slide down the rope. Go up to the top of the area to find a ladder that leads down to the bonfire if you need to rest. Otherwise, take the next rope slide and head across the bridge once you land. At the end of the bridge you enter the Dragon Shrine. Continue forward to light the bonfire ahead.

    Go up the stairs and take down the guard at the top, then head to the far right corner, destroy the crates and barrels, and use a Pharros' Lockstone on the face in the ground. Behind the hidden wall is a coffer that holds a Staff of Wisdom, Mark of Judgment, Robe of Judgment, Manchettes of Judgment, and Tights of Judgment.

    Head up the stairs, dispatch the guard, then continue up the next set of stairs. Run across the path and take down the sorcerer ahead. Pick up the Faintstone on the railing, then jump across to the platform ahead. Continue to the left to find a coffer that holds a Drakekeeper's Greataxe and a Drakekeeper's Greatshield.

    Turn around and head up the next flight of stairs, then around to the far left. Drop down again to find two chests. Attack the chest on the right and kill the beast to find a Washing Pole and a Petrified Dragon Bone. Open the chest on the left to obtain a Titanite Slab. Head through the doorway and down the hall into the next room. Take down the guard inside, then pick up the Skeptic's Spice and Twilight Herb on the far side, near the corner.

    Pass through the door, and open the coffer in the next room to find the Third Dragon Ring. Head up the stairs and through the doorway to the right to fight the invader, Dragonfang Villard. Take him down, then pick up the Petrified Egg at the end of the room. Open the coffer in the far right corner to find a Watchdragon Parma, then turn around and drop down to the path below on the left to find a coffer that holds a Crystal Magic Weapon.

    Drop down to the area below, take out the guard, then head through the door and up the stairs. Continue through the next door and up the next flight of stairs to battle against the two guards waiting for you in the middle of the stairs. There's another two near the top, and yet another two when you reach the top. The guards near the top are agile and will break your guard, so dodge accordingly.

    Approach the doorway at the top to find another agile guard. Take it down, head down the hallway and into the next open area to speak with the large dragon ahead to obtain an Ashen Mist Heart. This completes your task in the Dragon Shrine. Your next destination is the King's Door in the Forest of Fallen Giants.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: Obtain the Souls of Giants from Memory of Jeigh, Memory of Orro and Memory of Vammar

    Memory of Jeigh
    Head to the Cardinal Tower bonfire near the Last Giant in the Forest of Fallen Giants. Climb down the ladder, then head across the small bridge to the left. Continue through the doorway to the right, then immediately to the left. Equip the King's Ring and head through the door here. Light the bonfire in the small room, then interact with the giant statue ahead to enter the Memory of Jeigh.

    Go through the mist door and wait for the first fire explosion. You do not have to fight any of the enemies in the immediate area, just keep away from the explosions. At the end of the path is the boss battle against the Giant Lord.
    The fight against the Giant Lord is almost identical to the battle against the Last Giant. Stay by its feet, dodge when it attempts to stomp and continue to hack away at its feet until it falls. This strategy avoids all of the Giant Lord's attacks aside from the foot stomp.

    After defeating the Giant Lord, then pick up the Old Radiant Lifegem in the corner, and head up the stairs. Pick up the Fire Seed to the right, then drop down and head through the doorway and down the stairs. Interact with the stone giant to the left to obtain the Soul of a Giant, which transports you back to the Forest of Fallen Giants.

    Defeat the Royal Sorcerer Navlaan invader again, then head back to the Cardinal Tower bonfire. Head down the ladder and make your way through the next room, then to the right and into the doorway. Go up the stairs and head toward the Pursuer boss. Continue beyond where the boss battle took place and interact with the giant statue to enter the Memory of Orro.
    Memory of Orro
    Head through the room and up the two flights of stairs. Quickly take down the enemies at the top, then use a Pharros' Lockstone on the face on the wall. Go into the hidden room and open the poison-rigged chest to find three Souls of a Hero. Ignore the face on the wall here, and go back through the doorway and up the next two flights of stairs, then to the left to engage the three enemies in the next area. Be careful as one is manning a crossbow.

    Drop down to the bridge on the right to find the Soul of a Brave Warrior, then drop down to the rooftop and head left. Interact with the fallen giant to obtain the Soul of a Giant and be transported back to the Forest of the Fallen Giants. Head back to the Cardinal Tower bonfire, down the ladder, and through the broken wall. Continue to the left, down the next ladder, then head through the doorway to the left and immediately to the right. Interact with the giant statue ahead to enter the Memory of Vammar.
    Memory of Vammar
    Head down the corridor and approach the door. As soon as you get close, dodge back to avoid the giant's attack. You have a limited amount of time in the memories, so if you can take down the enemies quickly, do so. Otherwise, run past the enemies, through the doorway, and into the next area.
    Go to the ladder ahead and to the right to reach the roof, then run across and drop down behind the enemies. Head down the stairs, and to the right to find another ladder. Climb the ladder and go through the doorway to the right, then across the rooftop to find the Soul of a Great Hero and a Bonfire Ascetic.

    Turn around and head back through the doorway and down the ladder. Go through the doorway behind you and to the left until you see the stairs. To the left of the stairs is a Rouge Water. Pick up the item, then continue up the stairs to find an Old Radiant Lifegem at the top. Head to the far right corner to find the Soul of a Great Hero and a Torch. Interact with the fallen giant to receive the Soul of a Giant and be transported back to the Forest of Fallen Giants.
    Prepare for the Final Battle
    Go back to the Cardinal Tower bonfire once again, and travel to the Hidden Chamber bonfire in the Black Gulch. Head down the corridor, then head left in the next open area, taking out the enemies as they spawn, unless you've already cleared all the respawns in the area.

    When you reach the area where the first worm-like enemies appear. Drop down to the left to reach the ledge below, then head around the corner and drop down again. Drop down once more, then head into the cave. Take out the two giant enemies in the open area at the end of the cave to receive a Forgotten Key and the Soul of a Giant.

    Head into the small room on the far side to find a coffer that holds a Ring of Giants +1, and a Petrified Dragon Bone. Move across the area to find another room. Watch out for the hole in the middle, and break the pots to find four Silver Talisman. Move into the cage in the last room to head to the floor above, then drop down to the area below and head back to the area where you first dropped down.

    Use the Forgotten Key to open the door, then speak with Darkdiver Grandahl, the man in the corner, if you wish to join the Pilgrims of Dark covenant, obtain an Abyss Seal, gain access to his shop and the lift. You've now completed your task here. The next and final stop is Drangleic Castle.

    Dark Souls 2 Guide: The Throne of Want, and How to Defeat the Final Bosses

    Travel to the first bonfire in the Drangleic Castle. Head left and open the door at the very end. Go down the stairs to enter the Throne of Want. Continue down the path all the way to the mist door at the end to battle against the Throne Watcher and Throne Defender bosses.
    Boss Battle: Throne Watcher and Throne Defender
    Going up against both the Watcher and the Defender is challenging due to their complementary abilities. The Watcher is fairly agile, while the Defender is slower and slightly more powerful. Keep both bosses in view at all times and focus on whichever one is closest to you. If possible, take down the Watcher first, but it's important to take them down nearly at the same time. You have a short time before one downed boss stands back up if the other isn't defeated. Focus on the Watcher, but deplete both health bars as evenly as possible.

    Both enemies attack with standard two or three hit combos at close range, and lunging attacks from a distance. The key is to get them far enough apart that you have time to attack one without having to worry about avoiding an attack from the other. Fast ranged attacks work very well here. If that's not an option, make use of a spear or similar weapon that allows you to block with your shield while still attacking.

    Continue to strafe in circles around both enemies, keeping them within view at all times. When a brief opening presents itself, attack once or twice depending on the speed of your weapon. You need to be patient during this battle to ensure you do not take unnecessary damage -- chip away at their health bars a little at a time rather than trying to overreach yourself.

    After defeating both enemies, speak with Shanalotte at the entrance to the Throne of Want. Head back down the long path and enter the mist door to begin the final boss battle against Nashandra.
    Final Boss: Nashandra
    At the beginning of the final battle, stay near the entrance and let Nashandra come to you. She'll summon three objects that create Dark and will curse you if you're too close to them. If you remain by the entrance, you'll be far enough away from the first batch of these objects to avoid any ill-effects.
    Nashandra attacks with either two horizontal swipes or a single vertical attack that's fairly linear. Block or evade these attacks, then counter with one or two attacks of your own depending on the speed of your weapon. If you back away from Nashandra, she uses a linear projectile-like attack that's essentially a line of Darkness.

    About halfway through the battle, Nashandra's hand becomes engulfed in Darkness. Back away immediately to avoid the following attack. Shortly after this, she'll once again summon the objects that emit Darkness, and you'll need to move to the far side of the room. Wait for Nashandra to approach again and repeat the above strategy to finish her off and complete the game.

    Congratulations! Now you can start a New Game+. :troll: :trolldance:
     

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