Dark Souls III Boss Guide - Lore, Loot & Strategies
To many, Dark Souls III [official site] can be summarised as a boss stamping on a human face forever. We're here to help. This is a guide to killing all of the bosses in Dark Souls 3 but it's not simply a how-to-murder manual. It also takes a look at some of the sumptuous design and the patchwork lore surrounding many of the bosses, explaining who they are, what they leave behind when they perish, and why it's necessary to steal all of their souls. As such it's absolutely riddled with spoilers, as well as strategies and a sprinkling of silliness.
Nothing bad will happen if I pull the Coiled Sword out of the chest of this ominous looking fellow right?
Why not find out.
Oh no, he has suddenly risen to life and is hitting me with a large glaive, battering the terrible shield I started the game with!
This is your first lesson in Dark Souls 3 – dodging is your best and most reliable tool. Shields are still good, but many enemies have guard-breaking attacks and you quickly run out of stamina trying to block everything.
OK, he's actually kind of slow and this is pretty easy, almost got him to half health I think maybe I'm awes... A giant slug just emerged from his head and instantly killed me.
This is your second lesson in Dark Souls 3 – nearly all of the bosses change or learn new tricks once you get them to half health, Iudex Gundyr's trick is that a giant mass of abyssal matter emerges from his body and starts pummeling you. Also your third lesson – you will probably die quite a lot.
How do I kill it?
Fire works an absolute treat, so if you picked up some firebombs on your travels try chucking them at him in his second form and following up with a few melee attacks. For ranged or magic users this fight is incredibly simple, stay at a distance, wait until he commits to a combo, then dodge away and hit him with everything you've got. Pyromancy completely destroys his second form.
Killed him - that wasn't so bad. What is a Iudex anyway?
It's Latin for judge; Gundyr's role is to challenge the newly unkindled (that's you) and deem whether they are worthy of entering Firelink Shrine. I guess you are!
What do I get for killing him?
4000 souls and the coiled sword, which you'll need to ignite the bonfire in the shrine ahead.
Boreal Valley Vordt
I appear to be under assault from a giant... dog... knight?
That's because you are! Vordt is an Outrider Knight for a chap called Pontiff Sulyvahn and wears a ring that has twisted him into a beast-like form. He also has a rather large mace that can inflict Frostbite status.
And what does 'Frostbite status' do?
Primarily it reduces the absorption of your armour and slows down stamina recovery as well as causing a small amount of damage.
As a dog lover I find this fight difficult to stomach, but I suppose normal dogs don't usually assault me with maces, or wear armour, and they're not usually 20 feet tall... OK, you've convinced me, how do I put this guy down?
The best way to hurt Vordt as a melee character is get in real close to him and dodge or block his mace combos, then hammer away at him with all you've got. When you're basically underneath him some of his attacks will miss too. He might look intimidating, but get up close and he'll struggle to swat at you.
He seems to be angry now...
The second phase is nothing to worry about. Fido sacrifices his mace for a few new tricks, such as a charge attack that is easy to dodge and usually comes in threes. Sometimes he starts to channel his icy breath – this is super easy to avoid if you can get to his side or behind him and gives you an excellent opportunity to deal some real damage to Vordt.
If you're a magic user, any dark sorceries will do extra damage to Vordt, but otherwise it's a simple case of keeping your distance and hitting him with everything you've got.
Doggy down, what do I get for killing him?
3000 Souls and his boss soul, which can either be consumed for another 2000 souls, or you can transpose it into a ring called Pontiff's Left Eye or Vordt's Great Hammer.
Why does the text on his soul say Vordt is 'Never far from the fleeting dancer.'
I couldn't possibly know what you mean *whistles*. (read on)
Is... Do I have to fight this friendly Ent? Majestic protector of the woodland realm?
Actually you don't have to, this boss is totally optional, however if you plan to transpose boss souls into powerful weapons, items and spells you definitely want to. I'm afraid this spirit tree is long past the point of being friendly however, infected as it is with the darkness that has afflicted all inhabitants of the Undead Settlement.
Ok, so I want those lovely weapons, but my attacks don't seem to actually do anything and he keeps punching me with his long tree arms. Meanwhile a load of undead villagers are attacking me – this is deeply unfair.
You have to attack the egg-sacs found on key locations on the tree. There are two ways to go about this. Firstly you can attack the eggs under his right leg, left arm and on his back, but you will have to contend with the roaming villagers at the same time.
Your other option is to great straight for his belly, destroying that sac will cause the tree to break the ground and you'll fall into a large underground chamber, the villagers will stop appearing, but there are other consequ..
An arm just appeared out of its groin, snatched me up and smooshed me into a fine jam-like paste!
As I was saying, consequences. The groin-arm is a wild flailing thing and makes going for those frontal egg-sacs a pain. The plus side is that hitting the arm is another way to do significant damage to Treebeard if you're finding it difficult to hit the sweet spots. The key to this fight is dodging heavy swings then quickly scrambling those eggs with a couple of quick attacks. Be careful when the tree starts to leak life-sapping err.. sap onto the floor. You might want to take a step or two backwards and wait for it to reside.
Tree felled, I missed my calling as a lumberjack, give me rewards.
You get 7000 souls, the Transposing Kiln (give this to Ludleth in Firelink Shrine) and the Curse-Rotted Greatwood Soul, which can be transposed into The Hollow-Slayer's Greatsword or Arstor's Spear.
It's a Wizard wearing a stupid wizard hat, I bet this will be easy!
That's no ordinary stupid wizard hat, it once belonged to Big Hat Logan, a powerful Sorcerer and ally from the first Dark Souls. Unfortunately his disciple seems to be rather less benevolent.
Well, he's not that tough: homing missiles, energy blasts, crystal lines on the ground and slow moving purple homing missiles. Plus the power of disappearing into the ground, I've got this. I just need to keep an eye on his projectiles and use a little bit of patience.
Be careful when he...
Now there are five of him and they're all shooting me!
The second phase of the fight sees the Sage creating illusions of himself; they die in a single stroke, but you need to attack the one sage that is wielding purple spells to actually damage the health bar.
Unless the actual sage spawns right next to you, it's prudent to try and quickly take out a couple of illusions before heading for him, as it means you'll have less to dodge. You can also start staggering the boss more easily at this phase of the fight, allowing you to get some valuable attacks in before he disappears into the ground.
What if I'm a wizard myself, can I still hurt him?
Unfortunately he has good magic resists, though lightning works a treat and Pyromancy will hurt him. He's vulnerable to poison as well.
This game is easy and I am awesome, gimme souls.
8000 souls are yours and the Soul of the Crystal Sage can be used to transpose the Crystal Sage's Rapier and the spell Crystal Hail.
Deacons of the Deep
There are men here, many mens. They seem pretty weak but the boss's health bar isn't going down and they keep coming back to life. Halp.
You need to look for one of the deacons who has a reddish Aura and then kill him, the aura will then move onto the next target and you can repeat the process.
Aha, easy enough. I can either hack through them to reach the priest with an aura or make them come towards me and dash around the back. Their candle attacks and Fireballs seem easy enough to dodge unless I allow myself to get swarmed. So who are these guys anyway?
They are priests dedicated to their master Aldrich who has apparently abandoned the cathedral, leaving his men to watch over his coffin.
So I've slaughtered the many mens and now a sort of pope has shown up.
That's Archdeacon Royce, all you need to do is attack him to finish off the boss. Again you can either hack your way through the pack of priests, or try and trick them into following you, then run around the side to reach the Archdeacon.
I wonder if I can run all the way around the statue here, then run and take him on alone.
Don't do that! They someti-
THEY ALL STARTED CHANTING THEN THE AIR TURNED BLACK AND I GOT CURSED TO DEATH.
If you leave them alone for too long they do that, also watch out for the priests dressed in blue garb, as they're faster and do more damage than the standard deacons.
I have slaughtered all of the mens. Can I have a reward?
Of course! Have an oddly specific 4099 souls, a small doll, the Souls of the Deacon and if you come back you can nab the Archdeacon set and can pretend you're the pope.
The Deacon Soul can be consumed for a tasty 20000 Souls or be transposed to create the Cleric's Candlestick or the Deep Soul sorcery.
These guys look sort of familiar, like I fought them, or someone like them before?
These are the Abyss Watchers, heirs to the legacy of Knight Artorias who you may remember from Dark Souls 1. They are enemies of Abyssal forces (presumably why two Darkwraiths are fighting their way to the boss area). But now they appear to be cursed to fight one another in eternal battle, which is a little sad. I suppose when you stare into the Abyss long enough, sometimes it stares ba-
This is a Boss Guide not a collection of trite observations. Man with sword. Kill him. How do I?
So this fight is a little complicated. The first Abyss watcher is basically a rubbish version of Artorias from Dark Souls 1's Prepare to Die edition. You can parry him, back stab him, dodge and block his attacks.
What do you mean 'the first'... oh there's two of them now, this got a whole lot more difficult.
When the second Watcher comes, it's best to back off entirely and play defensive until...
The third watcher arrives! He's attacking the others, I have a lovely new friend!
That you do - you need to use his distraction, to either attempt to gang up on the boss, or if your friend is duelling the 'non-boss' Abyss Watcher, return to your original duel.
Got him. I heard this boss fight was supposed to be hard... oh he's standing up again now and appears to be a wee bit firey.
Welcome to phase two.
This is hard, even if I block him I take fire damage.
Dodging is your best bet here unless you have a shield with strong fire defence. You need to wait for gaps in his combos and punish them; don't try and be cocky and dodge into him when he's mid-combo. Another option is to bait out his long ranged dash and roll through it. Time it right and you'll avoid all damage and be positioned to rain down some hurt.
For casters the key is that ranged dash: run away from the boss, wait until he commits to the dash - then dodge and hit him with your magic. He often finishes his combos in a vulnerable state too, just stay out of range and wait for those precious moments.
Phew, that was pretty tough. Presumably I'll get some good soulage for that?
13,500 Souls isn't a bad little haul, the boss soul can be used for another 20,000 souls or transposed into Farron's Greatsword or the Wolf Knight's Greatsword. You also get your first Cinders of a Lord, which you can place on the correct throne at Firelink Shrine.
High Lord Wolnir
I'm wise to your tricks Dark Souls, obviously touching this Skull Faced goblet will do bad things... hrm, it's transported me to a very dark place. I can see some shiny loot, which I must hav- GIANT SKULL FACE MAN.
Say hello to High Lord Wolnir. The lore suggests he was a rather naughty chap who sentenced a lot of people to die to prolong his own life, before falling into the abyss himself.
That was rather careless of him. How do I hurt him?
Wolnir wears three magical bracelets on his arms which you'll need to destroy. Targeting them can be a little finicky, especially with smaller weapons or magics, and the lock on is frustratingly far away from the actual area you need to hit as well.
His breath stinks, to the point where standing in it outright kills me, and now he has a giant sword.
Each time you destroy a bracelet he gets a small buff including spawning skeletons of increasingly annoying variety (which he usually kills himself) as well as handily finding a magic sword after two bracelets are destroyed.
It's a good idea to attack the lone bracelet on his right arm first, because you can damage the two on his left simultaneously, minimising the chances of him sticking his big sword in your face.
He keeps charging forward and now my back is against the wall. Oh god, he's going to breathe on me.
He does indeed try and trap you against a wall, you need to quickly destroy a bracelet to send him scurrying backwards.
I got him, King of the Bracelets is re-dead, Souls plz!
22,000 are yours along with the Grave Warden Pyromancy Tome which you greedily nabbed at the start of the fight. The boss soul which can be transposed into Wolnir's Holy Sword or the Black Serpent Pyromancy, or consumed for 10,000 souls.
Old Demon King
This Demon is rather pathetic looking and he appears to have a beard made out of twigs, where did all the proper demons go?
They're essentially dead or dying alongside the 'chaos flame', a misguided attempt to recreate the First Flame by the Witch of Izalith. After the death of the Bed of Chaos the twisted demons started to die out, this fellow seems to be on his last legs too.
Well you say that, but he is rather good at setting me on fire and smacking my head around with a giant hammer.
He's no pushover certainly, but the main thing here is to make sure you have good flame resistant armour and a similarly fire-proof shield. He likes to go between using slow, powerful melee attacks followed by flame attacks that include a slow moving burst of flame that pulses out of him – which can be rolled through or blocked - as well as a meteor shower. Your best bet is to try and get behind him, especially when he's winding up for one of those slow melee hits. He is also very vulnerable to ranged attacks by kiting him around the room. For Pyromancers, use your Dark spells as unsurprisingly he's Fire resistant.
Now he's sort of feebly lying on the floor, I kind of feel guilty about this.
It's a classic Dark Souls ploy, the boss who looks finished, with the laboured animations. Except this time he has a surprise in store in the form of an incredibly powerful flame blast just when you think he's done, put him down before he uses it.
Done. What have I earned?
18,750 Souls and the boss soul can be transposed into the Pyromancy spell Chaos Bed Vestiges or the Demon King's Great Hammer
So, I've fought an Archdeacon, now I'm fighting a Pontiff, when do I get to kill God?
What you get to kill is far worse than just a silly normal God. Sulyvahn is another minion of Aldrich and along with the unpleasant fanatics of the Cathedral he has been feeding the devourer powerful souls. He may be a mere minion but this is a tough encounter.
I noticed - he's fast and aggressive and has two damage types in fire and magic. I'm using up all of my stamina rolling.
Then you're doing it right mostly. Try roll-strafing round him in a circle and get a little dig in now and again as you avoid his attacks. It's rare you'll get a safe opportunity to get more than one or two hits in at a time. Alternatively you can actually parry the Pontiff - try using a light shield and timing it with one of his wind up attacks with the overhead animations. If you mess up instantly roll away, parry successfully and you should be doing incredibly high damage to the pontiff.
He's spawned a sort of purple clone of himself now. Should I try to kill it quickly?
You can, but leaving the clone alive can actually be useful as it telegraphs the attacks of the real Pontiff. If you can stay out of range of the clone, you can predict how the Pontiff will move and pre-emptively dodge into a position where you can cause him some real harm. If you find this too difficult then you are probably better off just taking out the clone. Watch out for his new attacks in the second phase of the fight, such as sending a giant magic spear out from his sword, or his jump attack that finishes with a fiery explosion.
Dead and dissipated, time to collect my winnings.
21,000 souls are headed your way, his soul can be consumed for a further 12,000 or transposed into one of two greatswords – the Greatsword of Judgement or the Profaned Greatsword.
Yhorm the Giant
Oh this guy, this guy was in the trailer. He is massive and also doesn't seem to take any damage from my attacks. What's the gimmick?
This is the king of gimmick fights. See that item lying on the ground next to his throne? Either pick it up and equip it, or pick it up and homeward bone yourself out of there.
Done. It's a sword. Do I sword him with it?
Not quite, you need to charge up a special attack by holding down your L2 button or equivalent (Left Ctrl is the default for the two of you out there playing on keyboard & mouse). Once fully charged, you unleash a devastating wave with strong attack.
Oh wow, that absolutely destroys this guy.
Yes it does. This is probably the easiest battle in the game. Simply roll to dodge Yhorm's attacks, charge that baby up and let her rip.
That was disappointingly easy, considering how awesome this fellow looked in the trailer. Does he at least have a compellingly tragic back-story about being consumed by madness or falling into ruin?
Yhorm is an ancient conqueror who became the ruler of those he conquered. There's an element of self-sacrifice in his tale, suggesting he willingly took on the role of lord despite knowing how it would end. He also has an understated relationship with Siegward of Caterina if you followed his side-quest.
Presumably a fellow of this size is holding a fair wedge of souls?
36,000 of the blighters, a further 20,000 if you eat his heart (that's how this works right?). You can also transpose his soul for Yhorm's Great Machete or Yhorm's Greatshield, if you want to hold some equipment that is far too big for you.
Aldrich: Devourer of Gods
Who is this lady and why is she half-slug half-person?
This is Aldrich and she's the worst. Her body is an amorphous blob that devours gods (the name kind of gives it away), and she is a composite of at least three recognizable Dark Souls bosses. They include Dark Sun Gwyndolin, Nito - whose cloak she wears - and Priscilla, a part-dragon lady with a tail who formerly ruled the Painted World.
Aldrich is to blame for a lot of the awfulness in Dark Souls 3, with both the Cathedral of the Deep and the Pontiff Sulyvahn in her thrall, feeding her the souls of powerful beings and pursuing her foes with violent fanaticism.
How do I kill this slugstrosity?
Killing Aldrich isn't the hard part; she's weak to fire and lightning, has a gigantic hitbox thanks to her long gristly tail and can be staggered fairly easily. That's the good news. The bad news is that she has a box of magic tricks that deal significant damage. If you run out of stamina while she has attacks mid-cast, she's capable of killing you almost instantly, especially in the second half of the fight when she turns from dangerous to deadly.
Her signature move is arrow rain, which starts out as a fairly easy to dodge barrage of arrows and develops into a downpour of doom, gaining accuracy, range, mobility and longevity. Avoiding this by running (or rolling if you get caught) is vital to victory. She also fires deadly magical bolts with a long wind up time, small homing barrages and wields a dangerous but slow scythe.
As a melee character, rushing into her and attacking that tail is key as staggering her prevents casting, but you need to be careful not to completely drain your stamina. After she's taken enough punishment, Aldrich will disappear into the floor and reappear elsewhere in the chamber.
For Magic users, it's bad news I'm afraid as most of your spells will be close to ineffectual, though Twisted Wall of Light can be a lifesaver. Unless you're a Pyromancer, you're better off buffing a weapon and resorting to melee tactics. Pyromancers can buff their resistances with Flash sweat and if you can time your casting safely, Great Chaos Fire Orb will make short work of her.
What do I get for killing Aldrich?
50,000 Souls and the Soul of Aldritch, which can be consumed for a further 15,000 souls or transposed into the Darkmoon Longbow or a Lifehunt Scythe - weapons associated with Gwyndolin and Priscilla respectively.
Dancer of the Boreal Valley
Hey it's the dancer, foreshadowed ages ago by the dog guy!
So it is! A distant daughter of the old royal family, she was subjugated by Pontiff Sulyvahn into serving as a dancer and outrider knight. She's basically Princess Michael of Kent.
Uhm, okay... she is also Princess Oww of That Bloody Hurt.
The dancer does a crazy amount of damage if you get caught up in her deadly pirouettes, but she also has quite a bit of idle time, especially in the first part of the fight during which she stalks around the room. Her grab here is devastating – I actually recommend staying near to her blade at this point so you have more time to dodge it. As with the Pontiff, this fight is about getting little nicks in when and where you can between and after her combinations.
It feels like there's a sort of rhythm to the fight.
This is a thematically perfect boss battle, where you have to dance around your enemy, mastering the timing and rhythm of attacks, and the Dancer is sumptuously animated. My best advice here is to try and fall into line with the dancer. She does a huge amount of damage, but is quite easy to kill once you've mastered the timing. Seriously, just learn and enjoy this fight - it's very easy once you can recognise the swooshing noises that precede her every movement.
If the above is proving to be a struggle, you can use pillars to cheese her, by trapping her in a corner near one. She'll end up spinning around on the spot a lot and you can get your strikes in after she's finished.
Alternatively hit her with lots of Dark magic or Pyromancy.
Souls. 60,000 of them. You can transpose the Dancer's Soul for the Dancer's Enchanted Swords or the Soothing Sunlight miracle.
Dragon Slayer Armour
This guy is smashing my face in and also knocking me off the side of the bridge. He's terrifying and keeps two-shotting me.
Calm down. This is a sentient suit of armour (weirdly the game suddenly decided to start spelling armour correctly here), not a person, and once you get over the intimidating design it's seriously easy.
The Armour hits like a truck but is incredibly slow. I have seen dozens of hosts die because they panic or don't see his shield attacks coming. Stand back, wait for him to commit to something slow and then punish him. Yes he can knock you off the side of the bridge and yes those strange winged creatures toss a few meteors your way, but he isn't in control of this fight – you are.
So you're saying I need to relax?
Just bait him into using his slow combinations over and over, you'll probably end up staggering him a few times for good measure, which is good for a couple of free swings. If you have a weapon that applies frost, it works a treat here too thanks to its armour breaking qualities.
He's also weak to fire, which is useful for pyromancers who should have an easy time of it here.
Is he a compelling source of lore, tied into themes and characters throughout the Souls games?
No, he's a sentient suit of armour animated by magical butterflies.
48,000 souls. He can be transposed into the Dragonslayer Greataxe (which is amazing for high strength characters) or the Dragonslayer Greatshield, or you can consume him for a further 15,000 souls.
Oceiros, The Consumed King
This chap likes to talk gibberish. I say chap, he appears to be a blind, insane dragon clutching an invisible baby.
Yes, this boss is a little disturbing. Item texts suggest that King Oceiros and his subject Big Hat Logan delved too deep into the sorceries and teachings of Seath the Scaleless and the former was driven mad by what he learned. The Ocelotte he constantly refers to is presumably his deceased child, but there is little hard evidence on this.
He seems to transition from fighting like a Sorcerer in the early parts of the fight, to brawling like a rabid beast later.
Indeed, that's From Software telling a story with mad mutterings allied with their mechanics. He's following the trajectory of his descent into madness in the microcosm of the fight. They are so good at this.
Enough Pontifficating (I should have used that joke ages ago), how do I put this dismal creature out of his misery?
He's quite tough if you try and fight him 'properly', in terms of dodging attacks and spells. But he has a weakness – get underneath him and block. He'll often miss you entirely if you get close enough to him, leaving you with loads of stamina to punish him once he's finished comboing. Try and dodge his dash and aerial attacks as well.
If you're finding this too risky, you can actually trap him in the roots in the far right-hand side of the area in the second part of the fight (this is especially useful for ranged or magic users). Just bait his charge attack, run away and then hammer him with spells/arrows/fire. He's also weak to Lightning damage, so all Dragon Slayer weapons will work a treat.
What's my reward for ending this doomed dynasty?
A generous 58,000 souls and his soul can be consumed for a further 12,000. You can transpose for the Moonlight Greatsword or the White Dragon Breath sorcery.
This guy, I already killed this guy didn't I?
So, somehow it seems like you've accidentally travelled into the past. Perhaps you're even the person who left him in the battered state you found him in at the start of the game!
And is he still incredibly easy?
In short - no. After all, this is Gundyr pre-battering. He's faster, more aggressive and likes to punch and kick you instead of just waving his spear around ineffectually. He can be defeated by straight up rolling and punishing combos, but he really likes to end a combo by changing directions and kicking you.
He has this one combo where he flicks me up and then kicks me backwards, that is really annoying, but also incredibly cool.
That's my favourite too. So, to beat Gundyr, there is one real weakness he has – parrying. Several of his attacks have long wind-up times that are perfect to parry. The first is a slow jab of his glaive, the second is his aerial attack. The timing is really easy on both of them especially if you're using a small shield, or even the Katana stance, and you can inflict serious damage on the riposte attack.
If you can't manage to parry (and by this point you should have had lots of practice; go back and beat up the crap version of Gundyr if you need more training, maybe?), just run away and bait out his jump; it's easy to dodge and he's slow to recover from it. Magic users might struggle to get spells off here and may have to resort to buffing and melee, but he is vulnerable to Lightning damage for any faith users out there.
What's my reward for kicking this guy's head in for a second (first?) time?
45,000 Souls, a further 20,000 from consuming, or you can transpose for Gundyr's Halberd or the Prisoner's Chain.
Lothric, Younger Prince
These guys don't look very well.
Lothric and his Brother Lorian are cursed Princes who rejected their roles as lords of Cinder to watch the flame die out from their grand palace. Their souls are intertwined and both are apparently feeble because of it. This is why we don't do magical eugenics people.
Despite being crippled, both of them are rather good at murdering my face.
Lorian, the Elder prince combines powerful melee, straight line magic attacks and nifty teleportation - basically the first part of this fight is about stamina management. Because he often appears out of nowhere to attack, you need to be ready to roll twice instead of the usual once to avoid his otherwise telegraphed melee attacks.
I took him down, then his brother laboriously resurrected him while I just stood there doing nothing.
Videogames! The second part of the fight is the same again, except the younger prince likes to fire off homing magic and powerful blasts from his perch atop his brother's back.
The key here is getting behind Lorian to attack. Positioned correctly you can damage both brothers at once. If Lorian falls again, Lothric will resurrect him, but this time you are unafflicted by cut-sceneitus. Use the opportunity to dash in and get a couple of quick attacks on Lothric, then roll away – he emits a powerful force spell at the moment of rebirth. After being brought back to life, Lorian still takes a few seconds to stand up and you can either heal or deal a whole lot of damage before he gets his bearings.
Last Lord down, I've slaughtered all of the lords... Did I finally 'Git Gud?'
Only if you did them all solo. Your reward for this fight is 85,000 Souls
It's a Dragon!
No it's a Wyvern, professional Souls bores will tear you asunder for confusing the two.
It's a Wyvern! How does one kill a Wyvern?
By running far far away. Your job here is to sprint to the top of this ancient structure avoiding all of the nasty snake men and definitely not being set on fire. It's a little daunting, but actually quite easy once you've learned the route.
As the wyvern appears, dash through its legs and roll to avoid the tail whip. Turn left and spring into the structure and up the stairs, rolling to avoid all the enemies who live here. At the top you'll be on a long flat strait, with a fireball spewing snake-man and a giant snake man ahead. You need to dash past them up and up the ladder. Watch out for the giant snake with the Axe-chain, it's painful and has two stages top the attack.
From the ladder, go left and drop down to the platform below, you're looking now for a stone platform with orange messages scrawled on it. Wait until the Wyvern lowers its head to spout flame and do a plunging attack directly into its bonce. Job done.
That was pretty awesome and I definitely didn't fall and miss the plunging attack several times in a row.
Good job, definitely didn't happen here either. Ahem. Rewards? 70,000 souls and a stone that lets you turn your head into that of a Dragon.
The Nameless King
It's a lightning spewing bastard riding atop a dragon. And. It. Is. Hard.
Popular theory suggests that it is indeed a bastard – Gywn's bastard to be precise, as the heir of Lightning and a former dragon hunter. Now he seems to have taken one for his steed.
This is hard.
Let's take it step by step. Part one needs you to take down King of the Storm – the dragon. As with all dragons it's weak to lightning damage and Dragonslayer weapons will tear it apart. The actual real enemy here is the camera, which struggles with tracking and makes the fight harder than it should be.
The key here is that you need to run away when it flies up and breathes fire, dodge Not-Gwyn's aerial blasts and try and attack the dragon's head at all other times when grounded. Try and lock onto the Not-Gwyn rather than the dragon for a better view of what you need to dodge. If the dragon tries to use its flame breath while grounded, run to whichever side of its head is nearest and strike away. You can stagger the dragon and execute a power riposte attack that will almost certainty spell its doom.
Killed the dragon. Still hard.
Not-Gwyn is a tough cookie. I highly recommend using a shield for this fight, specifically one with high lightning resists, such as the Lothric Knight's Shield, Spirit Tree Crest Shield or one of the Greatshields. You may also want to pop a Yellow Bug Pellet.
Not-Gwyn has numerous dangerous combinations and attacks, but you can stagger him and he has a move-set that becomes relatively predictable. He usually attacks in two's or three's, so learn these combos and figure out when you have an opportunity to strike. If you're ranged, just keep him at a distance at all times and keep moving.
There's only so much advice that can be given here, but the core of it is - learn when to dodge, when to block, and when to strike or heal. It's Dark Souls in microcosm.
That. Was. Hard. Souls?
60,000, then you can consume for 16,000 more or transpose into the Storm Curved Sword, The Dragonslayer Swordspear or the Lightning Storm miracle.
Soul of Cinder
So, the final boss! Who or what is this guy?
This is a combination of lords who have linked the first flame since Gwyn's defeat, all bound up into one. Essentially it's a little wink at the players and the different fighting styles you can choose in the Souls games. This is you and everyone else from Dark Souls – we are the end boss.
What are those styles then?
In phase one there are four styles: a standard melee user with sword, a spear wielding faith-user, a pyromancer with a curved blade and fancy flips, and a Sorceror. The coward who hides behind a shield at all times is sadly not represented
The boss usually starts as the melee fighter and this is the easiest move-set. You need to put all of your lessons into practice here, dodging and striking when the time is right. Strike him down and...
Now he's Gwyn.
Now he's Gwyn - same old grab, same old horribly punishing combination where he knocks you into the air. The main difference is that you can't parry this chap. Still though, he's slow and cumbersome and if you beat everything else up to this point, you can certainly emerge victorious here. If you can reliably get past the first stage, the second is a piece of cake once you're familiar with this most familiar of all Souls move-sets.
The boss Soul can be consumed for 20,000 Souls or transposed into the Firelink Greatsword or the Sunlight Spear miracle. Take your 100,000 Souls and buy yourself something nice – you've earned it.
In summary, show no fear, don't be intimidated by the size or grotesque nature of your foes, and learn how to parry and roll effectively as soon as possible. Simple.
To save you clicking through all of those pages if you want to find a specific boss, and because it's impossible to do a strictly chronological list given the nonlinear nature of the game, there's a full index below.
And if you're looking for a guide to style to go with this strategy guide, you should take a look at our Dark Souls 3 Armour & Fashion Guide. It's a catalogue of the latest catwalk trends across Lothric, and as well as making you look the part, it might just save your life.
We've also written about why Dark Souls III would make a fitting end to the series and if you've fought your way through all of those bosses, you should be in a position to agree or disagree with that series. If you needed assistance from the guide, you may think we're completely wrong to claim that there's no room in the game for an easy mode.
There's also our review, which is the definitive judgement on the game. Gundyr agrees.