Lets talk Dark Souls bosses

Dirty Hipsters

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Bobular said:
As I was reading through I was thinking, 'he says he didn't die to Abyss Watchers, no way that took me ages, wait he says he died a bunch to Pontiff Sulyvahn, but that was so easy', and that's a good thing about Dark Souls, obviously depending on your play style different bosses are challenging and different ones are easy.

I'm playing through again now and I'm about which bosses I like and which I don't spending time helping others with the fights I enjoy (Abyss Watchers, Pontiff Sulyvahn, Aldrich) whilst clearing the ones I don't and quickly moving on (Yhorm, Dragonslayer Armour).
There are some bosses that are utterly trivialized by a shield, and others where a shield seems like a detriment.

I always do my first play through of a souls game sword and board, and Abyss Watchers is one of the bosses where the ability to block makes the fight incredibly easy (but only if you can separate them and fight them one on one). On the other hand Pontiff Sulyvahn blows through shields like they're nothing because he has really long attack strings that will easily drain your stamina.

My biggest problem in souls games is switching tactics back and forth, so either I fully commit to a shield, or I fully commit to dodging in any given play through.

That's why I had such a hard time with Pontiff and Champ Gundyr, but an easy time with Dancer and Nameless King, they just happened to work with the equipment I was using at the time and my gameplay of hold LB and walk forward.
 

GrumbleGrump

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I'll just give a short rundown of my favourites and the ones I hated.

<spoiler=Abyss Watchers>Holy. Fuck. This boss is my absolute favourite. The lore, the music, the fight itself... It's just so good. First off, lets just say that it's one of the most noble Lords of Cinder. They knew what was the abyss and the danger it posed, so they banded together in undeath and fought it, every sign of it, even razing a country to stop it, fighting like and army of brothers. As such, they linked the fire and consequently, linked themselves together, sharing a soul. Awesomest boss in the game.

<spoiler=Dancer of the Boreal Valley>Awesome design in almost every aspect. Music, movement and visuals. Her unnatural movements are very disconcerting to the point of being hypnotizing, something like a snake slythering across the castle foyer, with nothing but her eerie music punctuated by her footsteps. Also, has the best ass of all the bosses.

<spoiler=Lorian, Elder Prince>Okay, this boss is kinda unfair playing solo, but me, a dedicated sunbro, fought him in jolly cooperation both in my world and others, so eventually I ended up liking him. His brother, Lothric, I liked because of his attitude towards the Linking of the Fire. If you played Dark Souls 2, then you know that the Linking is useless and does nothing to alleviate the entropy consuming the world, neglecting his duty as a Lord of Cinder. Hopelessness is one of the elements that permeate the franchise, so having a boss that recognises this is a positive mark for me.

<spoiler=The Final Boss>I loved the fight with the Soul of Cinder, not because of its difficulty, but more because of its lore. You're essentally fighting everyone who has linked the fire in history, including Gwyn, the Chosen Undead and the Bearer of the Curse. A love letter to end the franchise, it was both melancholy and very very cool.

<spoiler=High Lord Wolnir>One of the easiest bosses, I beat him very easly in both NG and NG+, to the point that he didn't kill me once, but barely managed to hit me in both. His lore is kind of cool, I guess, but still just way too easy for a giant boss anyway.

<spoiler=Deacons of the abyss>THE easiest boss by and large. Again, I never died, not on NG or NG+. Since I was very determined to not spoil the game, I only knew their name, so I entered with a fellow sunbro and proceded to absolutely wipe the floor with their collective fat asses. With my second go, I just herded them with the Coiled Sword weapon art. Boring.

<spoiler=Crystal Sage> Managed to kill me a few times, mostly because of his stupid doubles spamming me with their fucking Crystal Soul Spears. Killed him without much joy, as he can be absolutely be destroyed by pretty much anything if it weren't for his irritating teleport spam.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Caramel Frappe said:
Dirty Hipsters said:
Praise the sun
Someone's just as passionate about Dark Souls as I am. Very well written list OP ... makes me want to do the same.
Who am I kidding? I am going to make a list because this is a fun topic and I appreciate your inspiration sir.
Yay, senpai noticed me!

Ok, how did you have so much trouble with the dragonslayer armor? It seems like the most straight-forward boss in the game to me. He wouldn't feel out of place in Dark Souls 1 or 2.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Caramel Frappe said:
Dirty Hipsters said:
Caramel Frappe said:
Dirty Hipsters said:
Praise the sun
Someone's just as passionate about Dark Souls as I am. Very well written list OP ... makes me want to do the same.
Who am I kidding? I am going to make a list because this is a fun topic and I appreciate your inspiration sir.
Yay, senpai noticed me!

Ok, how did you have so much trouble with the dragonslayer armor? It seems like the most straight-forward boss in the game to me. He wouldn't feel out of place in Dark Souls 1 or 2.
My first character was squishy and only had 20 vigor ... but not only that, I relied heavily on spells because the weapon I invested in (the long sword infused with magic) sucked against this guy. Using spells against this guy was my only chance at success but that also meant I was a sitting duck while casting a spell against a dude with infinite poise. After several deaths, I tried summoning help but the phantoms were unable to enter the fog gate (only happens on the PC, never faced this problem on the Xbox One).

So I had to solo the boss and because I never fulfilled / did the side quests right for particular NPCs who would of helped you otherwise, I was in a tight spot. It was my first playthrough so of course I was going to miss out on Sirris's / Eyegon's quests.

Now while you might ask "But you could easily dodge all his combos right? He's not hard" ... yea but those skeletal dragons were mainly the reason why I kept dying because I would get stunned by the sickly colored rain and the Dragonslayer Armour would finish me off. He also tends to do his usual swings, and slam dunk but out of the blue do an instant leap towards you with an attack so fast it catches me during my mid roll. That's probably why after nearly 20 deaths, I decided to never make a squishy character or sorcerer ever again lmao.
Lol, I also fought him with a 20 vigor character, and I was wearing the Wolf Knight Set which has pretty abysmal lightning defense (the worst for its weight class I think), but I was using a strength character with a long sword and never felt pressured in the slightest. The armor just seemed so slow compared to some of the other bosses (and even the Lothric knights) that I felt almost untouchable fighting it. I feel like if you had just fought it straight melee even with low damage you would have been better off than trying to cast, because standing still is really punished in this game. It doesn't matter how much damage you're doing to a boss, if you're not taking damage while fighting you'll win eventually.

Yeah, that fog wall bug sucks. Had it happen to me a few times when I was a phantom helping people. Feels really bad when someone summons 3 people for a boss, and then all the phantoms get trapped behind the wall and the host has to fight a boss with 4x the health by himself while everyone else just stands outside the wall spamming "I'm sorry."

I think the most problems people have with this boss is getting knocked off the edge of the stage, since the Dragonslayer Armor can break the railings. Can't tell you how many times I've been sunbroing and the host will get knocked off the stage. Funny thing is that I didn't even notice that was a thing when I fought him by myself. I had one host summon 3 people (including me), then when the boss did his shockwave attack that sends him into phase 2 it blew everyone but me off the bridge, and I'm just standing there blinking in disbelief going "really guys?"
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Digi7 said:
Demon's Souls has the only good 'mob boss' in the series. Phalanx is a pretty cool fight, dipping in and out from behind the pillars, having to keep an eye on all of the Hoplites' telegraphs before choosing the right time to two-hand and wade in. Very unique. Although a lot of DeS' boss designs were quite unique and broke the mould, probably because the mould wasn't very well defined at that point.

Nice writeup on DkS3's bosses. DkS3 has left me with a very 'meh' feeling unfortunately, but they certainly refined their formula and the bosses for the most part reflected that.
I really liked Phalanx too. I remember feeling pretty exhilarated beating him the first try, even though it took a few to get to him. Been hooked on the series ever since.

One thing about Demon's, it never lacked for boss variety.
 

Hieronymusgoa

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A friend was constantly perplexed at me beating lots of bosses faster than him. It might all come down to playstyle like some mentioned and as a mage I do seem to have an easier time with some bosses. I still beat half of them with melee and not spells.

All in all they do feel easier than past bosses (CURSE YOUy SMELTER DEMON! andthepursuer) but since they all seem much better designed than the past bosses in total I like the DS3 ones best.
 

sXeth

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Fox12 said:
Gundyr really bothered me. I beat him on my first try, because I've played every Miyazaki game multiple times, but I remember thinking that there's no way a new player is prepared for this. A tutorial boss shouldn't be trying to teach you every mechanic in the game. It should be trying to teach you the basics. That's why the DS1 tutorial boss was the best. The game gave the player a free critical hit, and then taught them how to dodge roll. Hell, the first several DS bosses were about learning how to dodge roll. The Asylum Demon from DS was tough, but manageable. Gundyr, on the other hand, felt like he was designed for people who had already played the games before. If the other bosses were easy, it's probably because you'd actually had time to figure out the mechanics by then.

OT: the bosses were okay this time around. Some of them felt a little bit gimmicky, but I didn't mind. The dancer was probably my favorite. Watching the building slowly catch fire during the fight was an organic way to make the battle more dramatic. Also, awesome music.
I've beaten DS1/2/BB/3 and starting a new character, Gundyr still annoyed the shit out of me. I would probably consider him the hardest in the game simply because of your very limited toolkit to handle him. You've got a dude who changes up his moveset drastically, along with a an annoying visual (and grating audio) effect that obscures half the tells for the moves he keeps between forms. Topping it off, you have no real resources to adapt your strategy or try and work around him. You've got whatever your class started with, maybe even less if you ran a failed run (Doing it with a thief after a camera spontaneous unlock got me killed on the first go, and without arrows or firebombs was horrendous). Can't level up, can't summon phantoms, can't try out resins, etc.
 

Chairman Miaow

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Yhorm is redeemed for me simply because of the Siegward storyline. Anybody who hasn't done it already, go back and do Siegward's bits.

Makes Yhorm much more interesting, but he is more of a storyline setpiece rather than a boss as far as I'm concerned.
 

Chairman Miaow

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Seth Carter said:
Fox12 said:
Gundyr really bothered me. I beat him on my first try, because I've played every Miyazaki game multiple times, but I remember thinking that there's no way a new player is prepared for this. A tutorial boss shouldn't be trying to teach you every mechanic in the game. It should be trying to teach you the basics. That's why the DS1 tutorial boss was the best. The game gave the player a free critical hit, and then taught them how to dodge roll. Hell, the first several DS bosses were about learning how to dodge roll. The Asylum Demon from DS was tough, but manageable. Gundyr, on the other hand, felt like he was designed for people who had already played the games before. If the other bosses were easy, it's probably because you'd actually had time to figure out the mechanics by then.

OT: the bosses were okay this time around. Some of them felt a little bit gimmicky, but I didn't mind. The dancer was probably my favorite. Watching the building slowly catch fire during the fight was an organic way to make the battle more dramatic. Also, awesome music.
I've beaten DS1/2/BB/3 and starting a new character, Gundyr still annoyed the shit out of me. I would probably consider him the hardest in the game simply because of your very limited toolkit to handle him. You've got a dude who changes up his moveset drastically, along with a an annoying visual (and grating audio) effect that obscures half the tells for the moves he keeps between forms. Topping it off, you have no real resources to adapt your strategy or try and work around him. You've got whatever your class started with, maybe even less if you ran a failed run (Doing it with a thief after a camera spontaneous unlock got me killed on the first go, and without arrows or firebombs was horrendous). Can't level up, can't summon phantoms, can't try out resins, etc.
I would definitely agree. I haven't played any souls games since 2 released and so was a bit out of practice, and Iudex was such a chore. His second form was so visually overdone that I had no idea what his attacks were about to do, where they were going, what their hitboxes were.

I absolutely love the rest of the game though.
 

loa

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I hate aldritch.
He's only "hard" because of that arrow attack which is homing, you can't outrun it, it lasts forever and he merrily keeps attacking you while it's going on.
He's my #1 progress-blocker in playthroughs simply because I just don't want to deal with that.
The entire rest of his moveset is just an annoying test of patience or easily dodged.

The dancers difficulty is pretty deceptive.
It'll seem easy to you until you get grabbed out of your i-frames and instakilled or until 1 attack of that combo hits you twice and instakills you. All it takes is 1 slip-up.

Champion gundyr and nameless king are "harder" but they are at least optional and don't gatekeep an entire area.

Also iudex gundyr is probably the worst "tutorial" boss yet because there's no "trick" to cheese your way past him and he doesn't really teach you anything like the asylum demon did.
The only way to do it is doing it and that's unprecedented for a souls tutorial boss.
 

sageoftruth

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While I loved the Yorm boss fight, I think I could be improved if he was a bit better at keeping you from throwing out those Stormbreaker attacks, possibly by making it so you couldn't hold onto the charge from it before executing it.

What would really be neat would be if you had to stun him in order to get enough breathing room to hit him with the Stormbreaker. Imagine how satisfying it would be to get him in a stunned state through repeated hits to (insert weak spot) and then when he was down, you could charge up Stormbreaker and kamehameha the crap out of him.

Instead, I was pretty much able to nail him almost every time just by charging the sword, baiting him into an attack and then unleashing my attack.
 

Binkan

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I'd say DS3 is a lot harder if you'd go caster, although casters suck until they get about 40-50 in whatever stat they need they also need to split estus with ash, which is good.

I could throw out a lot of dmg to most bosses that didn't have to much fire res(went pyro) and whoever tried to invade me had to go up against my chaos fireball which could kill most invaders in 1-3 attacks, if they had shields I used the spell that exploded behind them as well.

Aldrich, Nameless and Oceiros in particular due either one or two-shotting me.
 

Soul of Cinder

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I was lucky enough to get to the Europe release date without knowing more than the first three bosses (counting Greatwood), and after having basically only been playing the other soulsborne games for the last two years or so, I came to realise again how good just the first blind playthrough is.

Abyss Watchers amazed me, its take on the multiple enemies bossfight was absolutely great, especially when they turned on each other... damn.
Eventhough he was a gimmick boss I really like Wolnir, its just a fun fight with neat visuals.
And then thers Sully and Aldritch - I have to admit I did not have any trouble with them, although Aldritch?s arrows are a joke I don?t quite appreciate for on some attempte he just kept spamming.

Then it was Yhorm - sure, a nice throwback but on consecutive playthroughs he just becomes "oh right him, brb", and getting through the dungeons is a pain. It doesn?t really feel worth it.

The Dancer was fun, but did not realy leave a big impression - cool visuals tho and I love the way she moves, its beautiful!

And here I noticed I forgot The Sage and Deacons. This reflects quite well what I think about them, but from all gank bosses Deacons was the most impressive for me - they look intimidating and their theme is pretty fitting. The curse attack felt like the last desperate attempt to make this difficult.

Oceiros fight could have used a transformation phase, it was over way too fast.

DragonslayerArmour was refreshingly straightforward and made me feel right at home before.........

..........Lothric and Lorian. I was not prepared for this, and while the fight belongs to the more difficult for me, I gotta say that I had a really hard time to adapt to them. I love the take on 2v1, its stunning to look at, fitting for the last epic lord of cinder you have to take down, and all around really a highlight.

But particulary outstanding for me where Iudex Gundyr and Nameless King (agreeing that the camera is just...bad in the first phase).
Iudex was surprisingly difficult, and I loved to see his former strenght, not just a shadow of it.

And lastly, theres the Soul of Cinder. I think I died more to this boss than to any other, and not to the second phase, but the first. I got really salty after being poisoned, burned, magic missil?d, stabbed and blasted. I love this boss nevertheless, for how well he incorporates his lore and design, how versatile he is (seems like the only boss in the series that has this many different patterns). So I disagree with the common opinion of this fight being lame, since especielly his Gwyn phase is just epic!

In summary my experience was overwhelmingly positive since I think that all the bosses are atmospheric and well incorporated in level design and lore. My favourite thing was that healthbars would simply "refill" for second phase- going in blind this was just a great mechanic (?Specially on Soul).
However the actual difficulty came from four bosses alone, which annoyed me a bit - endgame is normal to hard while early game is pretty easy- on NG+ even trivial. I would have expected more from NG+ in general, but hey, they are not known for reinventing the game in NG+ in any of the games.

Cheers!
 

Danbo Jambo

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I still can't beat Sif

Mind you, being arsed to walk all the way to him time & time again to try is half the battle.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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GrumbleGrump said:
I'll just give a short rundown of my favourites and the ones I hated.

<spoiler=Abyss Watchers>Holy. Fuck. This boss is my absolute favourite. The lore, the music, the fight itself... It's just so good. First off, lets just say that it's one of the most noble Lords of Cinder. They knew what was the abyss and the danger it posed, so they banded together in undeath and fought it, every sign of it, even razing a country to stop it, fighting like and army of brothers. As such, they linked the fire and consequently, linked themselves together, sharing a soul. Awesomest boss in the game.

<spoiler=Dancer of the Boreal Valley>Awesome design in almost every aspect. Music, movement and visuals. Her unnatural movements are very disconcerting to the point of being hypnotizing, something like a snake slythering across the castle foyer, with nothing but her eerie music punctuated by her footsteps. Also, has the best ass of all the bosses.

<spoiler=Lorian, Elder Prince>Okay, this boss is kinda unfair playing solo, but me, a dedicated sunbro, fought him in jolly cooperation both in my world and others, so eventually I ended up liking him. His brother, Lothric, I liked because of his attitude towards the Linking of the Fire. If you played Dark Souls 2, then you know that the Linking is useless and does nothing to alleviate the entropy consuming the world, neglecting his duty as a Lord of Cinder. Hopelessness is one of the elements that permeate the franchise, so having a boss that recognises this is a positive mark for me.

<spoiler=The Final Boss>I loved the fight with the Soul of Cinder, not because of its difficulty, but more because of its lore. You're essentally fighting everyone who has linked the fire in history, including Gwyn, the Chosen Undead and the Bearer of the Curse. A love letter to end the franchise, it was both melancholy and very very cool.

<spoiler=High Lord Wolnir>One of the easiest bosses, I beat him very easly in both NG and NG+, to the point that he didn't kill me once, but barely managed to hit me in both. His lore is kind of cool, I guess, but still just way too easy for a giant boss anyway.

<spoiler=Deacons of the abyss>THE easiest boss by and large. Again, I never died, not on NG or NG+. Since I was very determined to not spoil the game, I only knew their name, so I entered with a fellow sunbro and proceded to absolutely wipe the floor with their collective fat asses. With my second go, I just herded them with the Coiled Sword weapon art. Boring.

<spoiler=Crystal Sage> Managed to kill me a few times, mostly because of his stupid doubles spamming me with their fucking Crystal Soul Spears. Killed him without much joy, as he can be absolutely be destroyed by pretty much anything if it weren't for his irritating teleport spam.
Thinking about it I probably would have liked Abyss Watchers and Dancer more than I did if I hadn't just blown through them. I didn't die to either one so I feel like I didn't get to spend enough time with them to really appreciate their movesets, their music, or anything else about the boss fights.

I think that the fights are cool, but when I was thinking about my favorite boss in the game they weren't anywhere in my mind because I honestly kind of forgot what fighting them felt like. Maybe that's why Pontiff stands out to me so much, because I had enough tries on him to actually appreciate the way he fought.

Perhaps I'll have more trouble with them on my next character, since I'll be forgoing a shield.
 

GrumbleGrump

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Dirty Hipsters said:
Thinking about it I probably would have liked Abyss Watchers and Dancer more than I did if I hadn't just blown through them. I didn't die to either one so I feel like I didn't get to spend enough time with them to really appreciate their movesets, their music, or anything else about the boss fights.

I think that the fights are cool, but when I was thinking about my favorite boss in the game they weren't anywhere in my mind because I honestly kind of forgot what fighting them felt like. Maybe that's why Pontiff stands out to me so much, because I had enough tries on him to actually appreciate the way he fought.

Perhaps I'll have more trouble with them on my next character, since I'll be forgoing a shield.
Yeah, the first time I fought them I was twohanding the Hollowslayer Greatsword, mostly because it was my weapon of choice in Dark Souls II in NG+, so yeah they could kick my ass a bit. But in contrast to the Dancer, I was never pissed when the Abyss Watchers killed me, mostly due to the music, which is my absolute favourite in the entire OST.