With the launch of Elden Ring, it's high time we revisit the eternal classic that is Dark Souls. From enigmatic bosses like Great Grey Wolf Sif, Knight Artorias, and Gwyn, Dark Souls sets the tone for its two subsequent installations and shows you just why it is the reigning emperor of boss fights.
From traipsing about a bed of lava, to gallivanting down an endless stretch of hallways while dodging arcane attacks, Dark Souls is masterful at creating the perfect boss arenas for its memorable repertoire of bosses. It's a trip down memory lane as we explore the coolest boss arenas in the game.
9 Capra Demon – Lower Undead Burg
The Capra Demon makes it to this list not only due to it being one of the most infuriating early-game bosses, but the boss arena is what makes it and its pets so hard to defeat.
Consisting of a small patch of land and a single stairway, the Capra Demon's boss arena is most likely the smallest boss arena you've ever found yourself in. This makes it so easy to get cornered, and as you desperately flee up the steps only to leap off them not long after, you can probably hear FromSoftware developers having a bit of a laugh at your expense.
8 Gaping Dragon – The Depths
Nestled deep in The Depths, in a vast hall with parts of its ceiling long gone, lies a monstrosity of the highest order. A dragon so physically warped that its mouth runs the entire length of its body, The Gaping Dragon tumbles about, tearing down large pillars as it tries to gobble you up.
Once as glorious as its brethren, The Gaping Dragon transformed into a corrupted version of itself, no longer a proud majestic being as all dragons are. Now it belongs to the dark depths that have become its dwelling, granted meagre slivers of sunlight from the sky it once called home. It seems that it is up to The Chosen Undead to put it out of its misery.
7 Great Grey Wolf Sif – Darkroot Garden
One of the most fantastically fearsome wolves in gaming, Great Grey Wolf Sif's boss arena proves to be both as beautiful and memorable as the boss that resides in it. Wielding an incandescent blade that leaves an icy blue glow, this loyal wolf is committed to guarding Artorias' grave if it's the last thing she does.
Sif twirls about the arena, emphasising her deadly grace as she deftly dances about the gravestones. In this ballroom seeped with melancholy and desperation, Sif truly gave it her all, this fight a fitting tribute as a final duty to her beloved Artorias.
6 Dark Sun Gwyndolin – Anor Londo
As you gaze upon the bounteous beauty of Gwynevere, a thought flits through your mind: "What would happen if I attack her?" The room immediately darkens, revealing the true decrepit state of Anor Londo, and somewhere its only remaining god seethes with rage.
You step through the fog wall and the corridor before you begin to stretch to an abnormal length. The Chosen Undead clashes with the youngest child of Gwyn, Lord of Sunlight, a lonely deity protecting the last scraps of his family legacy. When it ends, Dark Sun Gwyndolin dissipates and the illusion stops – there are no more gods in Anor Londo.
5 Seath The Scaleless – Crystal Cave
A mad dragon and traitor to his own kin, Seath the Scaleless lives on in this dying Age of Fire, his wits long gone in his quest for immortality. Undoubtedly beautiful, Seath kills you during your first encounter, but what do you expect when faced with an immortal dragon?
But the moment you return for an encore at the Crystal Cave, Seath appears, but the key to ending him lies in sight. Stripped of his defenses, the ethereal Seath wreathes the cave floor in a carpet of crystals. His intergalactic wings flutter as he slams his claws onto the ground in an attempt to squash you, desperate to stay alive just for one moment longer.
4 Four Kings – The Abyss
Cradled in The Abyss's embrace lies the Four Kings, whose realm of darkness and nothing constitutes the entire boss arena. This boss forces you to confront your deepest fears by plunging into the depths, and facing what lurks in the dark.
One after another, the Four Kings make their appearance, the twisted children borne from the corruption of The Abyss. Like distorted fairies, the Four Kings attempt to defeat you, wanting you to become one with the darkness that is this boss arena.
3 Centipede Demon – The Demon Ruins
The childhood game 'The floor is lava!' is perfectly encapsulated in this boss arena. Similar to Elden Ring's Dragonkin Soldier boss in the Lake of Rot, you must really be wary of where you step, so luring this massive creepy critter to the sidelines is the way to go.
With its hundreds of wriggling appendages, the Centipede Demon stomps about its gigantic lava-filled bathtub, snapping its horror-inducing claws at anyone who dares to interrupt its bathtime. Maybe all the other demons will have their chance at splashing about at their local swimming pool once you've dealt with the Centipede Demon.
2 Black Dragon Kalameet – Royal Woods
Found deep in a picturesque ravine, Black Dragon Kalameet is not particularly amenable to guests after being shot down by a giant arrow. Kalameet is the precursor of other dragon bosses to come in the Soulsborne franchise, breathing its lethal black-gold flames as it rears back its horned head.
With the serene melody of the rushing waterfalls behind you, this boss arena looks more fitting for a picnic rather than a boss fight. But putting an end to a dragon even the gods of Anor Londo feared is well worth it, and who knows, maybe you can stop for a bit of rest after the battle.
1 Bed Of Chaos – Lost Izalith
The Bed of Chaos's boss arena is certainly one for the history books. As if jumping straight out of a Lovecraftian novel, what was once the Witch of Izalith and two of her daughters have turned into the birthplace of demons. In other words, the boss arena is an incubator.
As the agent of terror is birthed from this fountain of misery, the Chosen Undead has no choice but to kill it. Everything seems swell after killing the first orb, but dismay sets in once the ground of the boss arena starts falling into the abyss. The Bed of Chaos is doing all it can to protect itself, but the Chosen Undead won't let a deadly game of hopscotch get in their way of victory.
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