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Ah, Dark Souls 2 …
Truly one of the most recognizable names in the franchise. With the addition of its DLC, you can now prolong your adventure by exploring vast, unique areas and environments.
Each one has a different, intriguing tale to tell:
Dark Souls 2: The Crown of the Sunken King (Released on the 22nd of July, 2014)
Beneath the ruined remains of a long-forgotten kingdom, a dark, putrid queen sings a gentle song to soothe a great slumbering dragon.
The rotting remains of fallen soldiers wander through the trap-laden areas of the city, hell-bent on dispatching any would-be invaders or grave-robbers. Steel yourself and prepare for an arduous journey
The Crown of the Iron King (Released on the 26th of August, 2014)
Brume Tower sits far into the sky, hoisted up by giant iron chains. The ruler of this kingdom fell in love with iron, and as a result, everything is made of it, even down to the nameless soldiers.
At the depths of one of the towers, a monstrous knight stands guard over his kingdom’s most significant treasure. His heavy iron armour was charred black by the furious flames of the forge. Do you have the will to reclaim the crown of the Iron King?
The Crown of the Ivory King (Released on the 30th of September, 2014)
Your final adventure will take you into the frigid, frozen kingdom of Eleum Loyce. A land that is frozen in time to contain the Old Chaos.
A loving and brave king gave up his humanity and sanity to prevent this evil from spreading, and now his loyal subjects await his triumphant return. It’s up to you to gather up his remaining loyal knights and discover what became of the King of Eleum Loyce.
Read on if you’re ready to embark on this new journey.
The Crown of the Sunken King
On this journey, you’re tasked with finding an ancient crown Vendrick once owned; but this crown is hidden deep underground in the ruins of an old, abandoned kingdom filled with enemies and traps that have not seen the light of day for aeons.
To reach this new DLC, you’ll have to get your hands on the Dragon Talon, a unique item that is essentially the key to this new area. It can be found behind a door in the depths of The Pit; try slowly manoeuvring your way down to avoid slipping and falling to your doom.
But there’s a catch.
You need another key to unlock this door! The Forgotten Key, to be exact.
You can find it in the depths of the poison-infested Black GuIch. (Be aware that the Forlorn may invade you, so keep your guard up!)
- From the first bonfire in the area, head down the path, past the poison-spitting statues.
- Keep heading forwards until you reach an area with puddles; defeat the Darksuckers that rise out of them.
- Continue heading forwards until two giant worms pop out of the wall; take them out.
- From here, there is a small ledge that you can drop down onto; be sure to line yourself up with it correctly!
- Drop down once again and head through the tunnel until you spot two giants; prepare yourself; this is where it can get complex.
- Defeat the giants by luring them one by one; these guys hit very hard and have a lot of HP, but they blatantly telegraph their attacks, so defeating them isn’t impossible.
- Once you’re victorious, you’ll obtain the Forgotten Key and the Soul of a Giant, nicely done!
Now it’s time to head back to Majula and get ready to enter the pit. But, before that, you may as well go ahead and defeat the boss of the area, The Rotten. You’ll have to beat him because behind his boss room is a Primal Bonfire and obelisk that transports you to the new DLC area.
To safely descend into The Pit, I recommend buying the Silvercat Ring from Sweet Shalquoir for 13,400 Souls. Suppose you want to hold onto your souls. In that case, I recommend ensuring you have a decent amount of HP, unequipping everything, carefully lining your character up with the wooden platforms and then slowly dropping down, healing every time you take fall damage.
Once you have the Dragon’s Talon in your possession, head back to the Black Gulch and examine the obelisk to begin your new adventure.
There are lots of new weapons, armour and rings to find in this new DLC:
- Puzzling Stone Sword:- An eccentric, ancient sword that can transform into a whip to increase its range. (Obtained in multiple ways, but can be dropped from a worm before the second boss fight of the DLC)
- Yorgh’s Spear:- A spear left behind by a high-ranking knight who attempted to slay Sinh. (Obtained by trading the Soul of Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon and an additional 14,000 souls with Weaponsmith Ornifex)
- Drakeblood Greatsword:- A heavy greatsword used by the Black Drakeblood Knights, who valiantly followed Sir Yorgh into battle against Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon. (Obtained by looting a body that is placed near the Eternal Sanctum Key item)
- Sanctum Mace: A seemingly regular mace wielded by the Sanctum Soldiers tends to poison its user. (Obtained as a drop by defeating Sanctum Soldiers)
- Sanctum Crossbow: A crossbow commonly wielded by Sanctum Soldiers tends to poison its user. (Obtained by defeating Sanctum Soldiers)
- Sanctum Repeating Crossbow:- A crossbow that can fire dark crossbow bolts and regular ones. (Obtained as a drop by defeating Sanctum Knights)
- Sanctum Shield:- A shield with the miraculous ability to cast spells and hexes. (Obtained from a chest that sits on a pyramid opposite the Priestess’s Chamber bonfire)
- Sanctum Knight Set:- A set of armour commonly worn by the Sanctum Knights. (Obtained as a drop from Sanctum Knights)
- Sanctum Soldier Gauntlets:-Gauntlets worn by Sanctum Soldiers improve poison-based weapons’ power. (Obtained as a drop by defeating Sanctum Soldiers)
- Sanctum Priestess Tiara:- A strange-looking tiara that prevents enemies from blocking spells. (Obtained as a drop by defeating Sanctum Priestesses)
- Drakeblood Set:- A complete set of detailed yet heavily worn armour with a red cloth accent. (Obtained by looting a corpse that is in the room just below the Sanctum Interior bonfire)
- Flower Skirt:- The highly durable skirt of a nameless troubadour. (Obtained by looting a chest in the Cave of the Dead)
- Crown of the Sunken King:- A unique crown that once belonged to a long-forgotten king. When it is worn after receiving Vendrick’s Blessing, you will not start hollowing after death. (Obtained from interacting with a pillar of light in Sinh’s boss room after you’ve defeated him)
- Focus Souls (Sorcery):- Allows the caster to fire a concentrated beam of souls at the target. (Found among some vases just before the big bridge where Sinh first makes his appearance)
- Promised Walk of Peace (Hex):- A hex that slows the walking speed of the caster and every enemy around them. (Obtained near the Tower of Prayer bonfire)
- Dark Greatsword (Hex):- Allows the caster to turn darkness into a greatsword and temporarily swing it. (Obtained from looting an iron chest near the Priestess Chamber bonfire)
- Denial (Miracle):- Allows the user to survive with one additional HP point after they die. (Obtained in the Dragon’s Sanctum, near a large circular door and a spike field)
- Thunder Quartz Ring +3:- This Ring boosts the wearer’s lightning resistance. (Obtained near the Tower of Prayer bonfire)
- Dark Quartz Ring +3:- This Ring boosts the wearer’s dark resistance. (Obtained from looting a body in the first area of the DLC)
- Lightning Clutch Ring: A ring that increases the wearer’s lighting damage but simultaneously lowers their physical defence. (Obtained after directly entering the Dragon’s Sanctum. Use the Eternal Sanctum Key on a door and loot the chests inside)
- Poisonbite Ring +1:- A ring that increases the wearer’s poison resistance. (Can be obtained just after the first bonfire of the DLC)
- Bloodbite Ring +1:- A ring that increases the wearer’s bleed resistance. (Obtained by looting a chest in the Dragon’s Sanctum, just before the three Sanctum Knights)
- Yorgh’s Ring:- A ring that can deflect all types of offensive spells. (Obtained near the final area of the DLC, close to where you get the Sunken King’s Crown)
- Flynn’s Ring:- A ring that increases the wearer’s attack power the lighter their equipment load is. (Obtained by looting an iron chest in the Dragon’s Sanctum)
There are a few unique places that you’ll visit in this DLC:
Shulva- Sanctum City
A sprawling abandoned city filled with puzzles and traps to confuse any invaders or grave-robbers. You won’t be able to ignore everything and just run through this area to the next bonfire, as you will almost definitely die. The early regions of this zone require quick thinking and strategy to navigate through it safely.
But on top of that, even seemingly regular enemy encounters can quickly turn south if you don’t pay attention to the terrain or watch your back.
In addition, the Sanctum Knights and the Sanctum Soldiers will relentlessly chase you down until either you defeat them or they defeat you, so the last thing you want is to have eight of them chasing you all at once.
If you thought this area would be less hectic than the last one, you’re in for a rude awakening! The area primarily consists of bridges built across deadly drops, so be careful where you roll. If you find that too easy, spike traps that spring up from the ground and will continually sap your health if you stand in them.
The Sanctum Soldiers in this area will also project ghost-like versions of themselves that are just as strong and will indefinitely respawn unless you find and defeat their main bodies.
Time for your first boss battle in this DLC, but before that, you will find yourself trying to wrap your head around puzzles whilst being chased down by two formidable Black Drakeblood Knights.
I recommend dispatching them first; puzzles are easier to solve when you haven’t got death constantly breathing down your back.
Your first battle will be with Elana, the Squalid Queen. She looks and fights very similar to Nashandra, another boss optional boss you can fight in Dark Souls 2.
However, her main gimmick is summoning additional enemies for you to fight during the boss battle; these can range from a simple group of skeletons to the tiny yet deadly pigs that live in Majula or even a weaker version of Velstadt, a boss that resides in the the the Undead Crypt.
You’ll have to take on Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon, directly after Elana. He can be particularly troublesome because of his raw power and area-sweeping attacks and because he can poison you with relative ease.
Having some Poison Moss clumps on hand would be a sound strategy for defeating this boss. Sinh is also weak to dark and magic, so shooting him from a distance with sorceries or hexes would also be a good idea.
Cave of the Dead
So you finally got past Sinh? Feel like fighting another boss?
Funnily enough, this one is arguably harder than Sinh since you’re going up against three bosses at once: The Graverobber, Ancient Soldier Varg and Cerah, the Old Explorer, who are three hostile NPCs that will gang up on you at once. In addition, each NPC has their own fighting style that you’ll have to adapt to quickly:
- The Afflicted Graverobber:- Wields a Berseker Blade, will chase you down and try hitting you with jumping attacks. He will also dodge your attacks by rolling.
- Cerah, The Old Explorer:- Wields a Greatbow and an Estoc, will switch between fast melee attacks and shooting you from afar with Greatarrows.
- Ancient Soldier Varg:- Wields a Dragon’s Tooth, will chase you down and try hitting you with regular and jumping attacks. He will also dodge your attacks by rolling.
Luckily, you have a big arena with places to hide behind, so it is possible to lead the trio around and chip away at their health little by little. There are also some pools of water in the boss room that can slow down the trio, giving you time to heal yourself or cast a spell. You can even separate them for a few seconds to focus on one at a time.
Each member of the ‘Gank Squad’ can be poisoned or bled, so just poising them and running away for the entire fight is a viable strategy.
The Crown of the Iron King
Your next adventure will take you far into the sky to a place called Brume Tower.
Reaching this DLC area is much easier than the previous one; as soon as you purchase the DLC, you’ll automatically receive an item called the Heavy Iron Key, which is the only way to access the DLC. Travel to the Primal Bonfire in the Iron Keep and examine the black obelisk to be transported to your DLC.
Just like The Crown of the Sunken King DLC, there are tons of new weapons, spells and other equipment that you can get your hands on this time:
- Blue Dagger:- An unassuming blue dagger that contains some traces of ancient magic. It strengthens the user’s spells but also increases the damage they take from them (Obtained as a drop from Fume Sorcerers)
- Umbral Dagger:- A deadly dagger that excels at dealing severe damage from backstabs. (Obtained as a drop from Fume Sorcerers)
- Bewitched Alonne Sword:- An ordained katana crafted from the Soul of Sir Alonne. Able to apply a powerful weapon buff by sacrificing the user’s HP and the weapon’s durability. (Obtained by giving the Soul of Sir Alonne to Weaponsmith Ornifex along with 18,000 souls)
- Majestic Greatsword:- A greatsword that curiously has the same movest as the Greatsword of Artorias from Dark Souls 1. Obtained in a chest just before you cross the chain bridge to get to the Foyer bonfire)
- Fume Ultra Greatsword:- An extremely heavy but mighty greatsword once wielded by the Fume Knight. (Obtained by giving the Soul of the Fume Knight to Weaponsmith Ornifex along with 25,000 souls)
- Fume Sword:- A very long straight sword that takes a lot of stamina to swing repeatedly. (Obtained by giving the Soul of the Fume Knight to Weaponsmith Ornifex along with 8,000 souls)
- Ashen Warrior Sword:- A straight sword that is very flexible regarding infusions. (Obtained as a drop from Ashen Warriors)
- Possessed Armor Greatbow:- A heavy greatbow crafted with many layers of iron, it also deals dark damage. (Obtained as a scarce drop from Possessed Armor)
- Smelter Hammer:- A large lump of old, rusted metal that was an axe at one point in its life. (Obtained as a drop from Iron Warriors)
- The chime of Screams: A dark chime forged using the Soul of Nadalia also raises the user’s faith. (Obtained by giving the Soul of Nadila, the Bride of Ash, to Weaponsmith Ornifex along with 20,000 souls)
- Pilgrim’s Spontoon: An old spear that doubles as a catalyst for sorceries. (Obtained by looting an iron chest near the Upper Floor bonfire, in a room full of elevators)
- Hollow Skin:- A mask that imitates the head of the average hollow. It negates curses entirely and allows the wearer to discover more messages from other players.
- Pharros Mask:- A headpiece that constantly has tears running from its eyes. Constantly drenches the wearer in water, boosting their fire resistance.
- Raime’s Set:- A set of black iron armour that can only be accessed after the Fume Knight is defeated. (Sold by Magerold of Lanafir in Iron Keep for 37,200 souls)
- Alonne’s Set: An armour set identical to what Sir Alonne wore. A random piece may drop after defeating him, but only if you are a phantom. (Sold by Magerold of Lanafir for 74,400 souls after Sir Alonne is defeated)
- Fume Sorcerer Set:- Robes that Fume Sorcerers commonly wear. (Obtained as a drop from Fume Sorcerers)
- Minotaur Helm:- A heavy iron mask that depicts a minotaur. Blocks headshots from arrows and crossbow bolts. (Obtained as a drop from Iron Warriors)
- Crown of the Iron King:- A crown of a forgotten king. When it is worn after receiving Vendrick’s Blessing, you will not start hollowing after death. On top of this, 20% of maximum spell uses will be restored every two minutes. (Obtained on top of the remains of Nadalia, the Bride of Ash, just past the Fume Knight’s boss room)
- Fire Snake (Pyromancy):- Allows the caster to create multiple pillars of flame in front of them. (Obtained from exploring a cursed area near the Foyer bonfire)
- Outcry (Pyromancy):- Allows the caster to make pillars of flame spout out of the ground. (Obtained by trading the Soul of Nadalia, Bride of Ash to Straid along with 45,000 souls)
- Dance of Fire (Pyromancy):- Allows the caster to sweep the area with flame. (Can be found in Brume Tower)
- Recollection (Hex):- Fires multiple orbs of darkness that track their target down. (Can be found in Brume Tower)
- Flame Quartz Ring +3:- This Ring boosts the wearer’s fire resistance. (Can be found behind the iron gate behind the second bonfire)
- Spell Quartz Ring +3:- A ring that boosts the wearer’s magic resistance. (Can be found in Brume Tower)
- Life Ring +3:- A ring that boosts the wearer’s maximum HP. (Can be found in Brume Tower)
- Dispelling Ring +1:- A ring that boosts the wearer’s resistance to magic, fire, lightning and dark damage. (Can be found near the Smelter Throne bonfire)
- Dexterity Ring:- A ring that boosts the wearer’s dexterity stat. (Can be found not too far from the Throne Floor bonfire)
- Strength Ring:- A ring that boosts the wearer’s strength stat. (Can be found in Brume Tower)
- Simpleton’s Ring:- A ring that makes the wearer invisible when rolling. (Can be found in Brume Tower, not too far from the Upper Floor bonfire)
- Baneful Bird Ring:- Reduces the wearer’s stamina loss when blocking with a shield. (Can be found next to the Throne Floor bonfire)
- Sorcery Clutch Ring:- Increases the wearer’s magical attack but lowers their physical defence. (Can be found in a chest near the Lowermost Floor bonfire)
There are not as many locations in this DLC as in the Crown of the Sunken King, but they still offer you a real challenge with iron, stalwart enemies and fire-filled rooms.
The bosses you’ll come across might seem familiar at first, with the Smelter Demon making his reappearance but soon, you’ll come face to face with seemingly impossible opponents like Sir Alonne and Fume Knight.
Bring some fire-resistance armour and your most potent weapons.
You’re in for one hell of a ride.
Crown of the Ivory King
You’ve come far, haven’t you? Of course, but this is where the Dark Souls 2’s DLC reaches its grand finale and what a finale it is!
You’ll be travelling to the frigid, frozen kingdom of Eleum Loyce. Better wrap up warm!
To access the final act, you’ll need to visit the Shrine of Winter with Frozen Flower in your possession. To get your hands on this crucial item, follow these steps:-
- Reach the King’s Gate bonfire in Drangleic Castle.
- Head into the room filled with statues of Sentinels.
- Head to the rightmost door and defeat the two enemies sitting outside it.
- After they’ve been defeated, the door will open
- Head inside and upstairs; you’ll find the Frozen Flower sitting against the wall
The Shrine of Winter can be reached by heading to the Ruined Forked Road bonfire, heading up the stairs behind the bonfire, and following the left-most path.
Here are all the new weapons and equipment you can obtain this time around:
- Azal’s Staff:- A well-used staff that significantly increases the potency of sorceries but also drastically lowers spell uses. (Can be found not too far away from the Lower Garrison bonfire)
- Ice Rapier:- A sword that is infused with powerful magic. (Obtained as a drop from Rampart Soldiers)
- Ivory Straight Sword:- A unique straight sword that once belonged to a proud knight can extend its reach using a light beam. (Obtained by giving the Soul of Aava, the King’s Pet, to Weaponsmith Ornifex along with 8000 souls)
- Ivory King Ultra Greatsword:- A mighty ultra greatsword once wielded by the Ivory King, wielding it with both hands will help you realise its true power. (Obtained by giving the Soul of the Ivory King to Weaponsmith Ornifex along with 5000 souls)
- Eleum Loyce:- A curiously curved sword that can restore allies’ HP and steal HP from enemies. (Obtained by giving the Soul of Alsanna to Weaponsmith Ornifex along with 12000 souls)
- Charred Loyce Greatsword:- A charred black greatsword commonly wielded by Loyce Knights. (Obtained as a drop by the Loyce Knights in The Chaos)
- Bone Fist:- A pair of fists that almost possess the wearer, allowing them to fight with unfathomable strength. (Found near the Abandoned Dwelling bonfire)
- Loyce Greatsword:- A mighty greatsword commonly used by the Loyce Knights. (Obtained by giving the Soul of Lud, the King’s Pet, to Weaponsmith Ornifex along with 3000 souls)
- Retainer’s Shortsword:- A sword commonly used by the retainers found in the Garrison Ward. (Obtained as a drop from the Retainer Rouge)
- Rampart Golem Lance:- Long lances used by the Rampart Golems. (Obtained as a drop from lance-wielding Rampart Golems)
- Sorcerer’s Twinblade:- A twinblade capable of casting sorceries, perfect for battlemages. (Obtained from looting a chest on a roof near the first bonfire of the area)
- Twin-headed Greatbow:- A greatbow crafted from bones. (Obtained behind an illusionary wall after the third bonfire)
- Curved Nii Greatsword:- A curiously curved greatsword that receives an attack boost based on how many New Game + cycles the player has been through. (Obtained from looting a chest that’s being guarded by three golems, just after the third bonfire)
- Retainer Staff:- A staff commonly used by the retainers that reside in the Garrison Ward. (Obtained as a drop from the Retainer Sorcerer)
- Old Bell Helm:- A helmet forged from a bell; looks a bit silly, but it offers surprisingly good defence. (Obtained just before the Abandoned Dwelling bonfire)
- Charred Loyce Set:- A set of charred black amour. (Obtained as a drop from the Charred Loyce Knights)
- Loyce Set:- A set of solid, silver amour worn by the Loyce Knights. (Obtained from collecting the Loyce Souls from the Loyce Knights in The Old Chaos)
- Mirrah Hat:- A hat worn by elite knights of the land of Mirrah. (Obtained by looting a corpse in the Frigid Outskirts)
- Retainer’s Robes:- Robes worn by the Retainers that populate Eleum Loyce. (Obtained as a drop from the Retainers)
- Northwader Set:- A set of armour whose wearer was once revered as a god of war. (Can be found in Frozen Eleum Loyce)
- Ivory King Armour:- Armour, once worn by the Ivory King. (Sold by Maughlin the Armorer for 74,400 souls after collecting 50 Loyce Souls)
- Symbol of Avarice:- The head of a mimic that invades treasure chests. (Dropped by a mimic in Frozen Eleum Loyce)
- Crown of the Ivory King:- The crown of the Ivory King. When it is worn after receiving Vendrick’s Blessing, you will not start hollowing after death. Has an additional slow HP regeneration effect. (Obtained from a pillar of light after you’ve defeated the Ivory King)
- Soul Flash (Sorcery):- Fires of a barrage of small souls; it is more of a defensive spell than an offensive one. (Obtained near the first bonfire)
- Dark Dance (Hex):- Releases a vast amount of darkness at the target. (Can be found in Frozen Eleum Loyce)
- Splintering Lightning Spear (Miracle):- Rains multiple lighting bolts on the target. (Can be found just after the second bonfire)
- Dark Clutch Ring:- A ring that increases the wearer’s dark attack damage but lowers physical damage. (Can be found in Frozen Eleum Loyce)
- Fire Clutch Ring:- A ring that increases the wearer’s fire attack damage but lowers physical damage. (Can be found near the Inner Wall bonfire)
- Ring of the Living:- Allows the wearer to appear human, even if they’re a phantom or spirit. (Can be found in the Frigid Outskirts)
- Ring of the Embedded:- A ring that increases specific stats but increases the damage the wearer will take. (Can be found in Frozen Eleum Loyce)
- Ivory Warrior Ring:- Reduces enemy stamina if they’re blocking. (Can be found in Frozen Eleum Loyce)
- Ring of Resistance +1:-This is a ring that increases the wearer’s resistance to poison, bleeding, curse, and petrification. (Can be found in Frozen Eleum Loyce)
Considering this is the final area of the DLC, you’re in a challenge. The frozen landscape of Eleum Loyce will not only confuse and disorient you but the enemies residing there are probably the strongest ones you’ve ever faced so far.
The fight against the Burnt Ivory King will be a long and arduous battle since he has lingering hitboxes and surprisingly far-reach with his weapon.
The King is somewhat weak to dark and lighting while he is practically immune to poison and fire damage. Try using lighting miracles and hexes to gain the upper hand in battle; if you can’t cast spells, Lightning and Hex Urns/Resins are also an excellent way to do some decent damage.
Question: Is there a Specific Order I have to Play Each DLC in?
Answer: Not at all. You can even jump between DLCs whenever you feel like it. I started with the Crown of the Iron King, then the Crown of the Ivory King and finally the Crown of the Sunken King.
Question: What Level Should I be at to Start Playing the DLC?
Answer: There’s not a recommended level for the DLCs. You can jump in whenever you feel the urge, but be advised that it will be an absolute nightmare to beat them all as a Level 1 character.
Question: Are the New Boss Weapons Even Worth the Trouble?
Answer: It depends on your build and playstyle, but you’ll already have a potent weapon you’re comfortable with by the time you defeat any bosses. Of course, the boss-soul weapons are only a small reason to play the DLC anyway.
Overall, I love how diverse the different environments are in each DLC. They immerse you in their lore and world-building, almost to the point where I feel like I’m playing another game.
The sheer amount of new weapons and armour sets allows players to create unique and exciting builds that can be used in either PvE or PvP content, which helps the game survive longer.
Naturally, the level of difficulty is something that I enjoy immensely; there really isn’t anything like getting killed by the exact boss serval times and then somehow miraculously beating them after a seemingly endless amount of attempts. (I’m looking at you, Fume Knight)
In my opinion, the three pieces of DLC are the perfect way to wrap up one of the most distinctive games in the franchise.
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