Even as one of the first-ever Soulsborne games, Demon’s Souls has fantastic boss designs and fights. In fact, I think that some of the very best characters ever designed by FromSoftware are in Demon’s Souls, and one of my favorites is Old King Doran.
So, if you need some help with killing him for his unique items, want a refresher on his lore, or want to see what he can all do, below is everything you need to take on Old King Doran.
Key Info Up Front
- Location: Boletarian Palace
- Character Type: NPC
- Drops: Ancient King’s Set, Eternal Warrior’s Ring
- Souls: 27,200
Old King Doran Lore
Old King Doran is a demigod that resides within the royal mausoleum below Boletarian Palace. He is sometimes referred to as the Everlasting One or the Last Hero because of his incredible age and impact on the history of Demon’s Souls.
He also is well known for wielding the spirit version of a powerful blade known as Northern Regalia, a deadly sword created through forging together the blades Demonbrandt and Soulbrandt.
Doran also has a unique set of armor that he has worn through countless years called the Ancient King’s Armor. He is a very devoted servant of the royal family and values discipline and honor.
Players can receive the Demonbrandt weapon from him, but only if they impress him by defeating him in one on one combat. Old King Doran is also responsible for founding Boletaria, but little is known about him beyond that.
Old King Doran Location
Old King Doran can only be found in the mausoleum of the royal family beneath the Boletarian Palace. To get there, you have to first get the Mausoleum Key from Ostrava of Boletaria. I had a hard time finding Ostrava during my playthrough, and that’s because he can be found in multiple locations.
He can be found in the Boletarian Palace, Phalanx Archstone, Tower Knight Archstone, Penetrator Archstone, or the Nexus. No matter where you find him, you can get the key from him.
Once you have the key, you can enter the mausoleum. Enter the Gates of Boletaria and head straight up the stairs to get there. You’ll need to take a left then and follow that path down until you can go up into the second part of the area.
The area can be entered in two areas, but the section is a pretty long hallway that you shouldn’t have any trouble navigating. Follow the hallway down until you can take a left down a long hallway. That hallway will lead you to the door to the Mausoleum with Old King Doran and the king’s sword behind it.
Old King Doran Fight
When you first meet Old King Doran, he will tell you that you need to prove yourself to him in combat if you want to take the king’s sword. Closing the dialogue will start the fight immediately after, so make sure you’re ready to face him.
To get the sword, you only have to deal around 25% of his total health to him in damage for him to give you the sword. However, if you continue attacking him, you can make him fight you so that you can get his unique armor and ring once you kill him.
However, if you decide to go that route, you’ll have to be prepared for a difficult fight because, trust me, fighting Old King Doran is no joke.
If you do want to complete the fight against Old King Doran, here are his stats so that you can prepare yourself accordingly:
|Health||Normal Defense||Blunt Defense||Slash Defense||Pierce Defense||Magic Defense||Fire Defense||Bleed||Poison||Plague|
Since Old King Doran isn’t a boss, he doesn’t have a unique move set and instead fights very similarly to the player. However, he deals a ton of damage, moves quickly, and has plenty of health to soak up damage from the player.
For me, fighting Old King Doran was one of the most memorable fights in Demon’s Souls, primarily because of how normal he seems before you start fighting him.
However, he can be beaten, and the game’s community has developed multiple viable strategies to cater to every playstyle. Some of my favorites are below.
This strategy takes a lot of time and patience, but I have found it helpful when using a build that doesn’t work well with any of the other strategies below. To do this, you’ll be focusing primarily on scoring backstabs on Old King Doran to keep him from hitting you and to deal massive amounts of damage.
You first need the Thief’s Ring equipped and will likely want to take off all of your armor since the odds are that he will be able to kill you in a single hit regardless. This will help you move faster and get behind him easier. You’ll also need a ranged weapon or spell ready to go, and I would recommend the Clever Rat’s Ring if you have it.
Then, when the fight starts, you need to turn around and run back to the bridge you crossed to get there. Make sure that he follows you the entire way, however. Once you make it to the bridge, go into the nearby room to break his sightline and start walking away.
Then, you can walk up behind him and stab him in the back. If he moves away from you after getting up, you may have to hit him with a ranged option to prevent him from healing. All that is left to do then is repeat the process until he is dead.
This strategy is one of the longest ones to kill Old King Doran, but it is very effective for dealing with him when you don’t have many other tools or options.
However, you need to be patient the entire time and pay close attention to his animations. One mistake can let him kill you with a single hit, making you do the entire process over again from the beginning.
This strategy also works best if you have the Thief’s Ring equipped to get closer to him without noticing you. However, if you have the Cloak spell, that is an even stronger option.
However, for this approach, you have to get close to him in the room and then cast either Death Cloud or Poison Cloud on him. Once it is casted, stay alive until it dissipates, and you can cast it again. When I did this on just a regular new game save file, it took around three casts to kill him.
Blessed Mirdan Hammer
This method to kill Old King Doran is for players with a high Faith build and the Blessed Mirdan Hammer. You’ll need at least 30 Faith to wield it effectively, and I found it easiest to wield it with both hands. This will allow you to stagger him with a chain of quick attacks, which is an incredible feat.
You’ll also want to take off all of your armor for this method or equip a set that doesn’t deplete your stamina regeneration. Then, if your are off-hand, equip an item that gives you some benefit even if you aren’t using it. I kept a Morion Blade in that slot during the fight.
Once you’re fighting Doran, you’ll want to stay just outside of his attack range to bait his attack. Then, walk forward and hit him with quick attacks until you’re almost completely out of stamina.
This should get him to stagger, allowing you to back up to avoid any retaliation slowly. Even when he gets more aggressive at 50% health, this method should continue to work.
Killing Doran with a ranged weapon is incredibly difficult because of how high his Pierce Defense is, but it is possible. If it’s your only option with your build, or you want to see if you can do it, you’ll need a well-upgraded bow with at least 200 arrows. However, I would recommend taking around 250 to be on the safe side.
For this strategy, you’ll then want to get him to follow you and lead him to the room where just before where you met the Red Eye Knight nearby.
In that room, Doran will get stuck behind the table and wall to the left of the doorway, allowing you to hit him with arrows without fearing his sword. This method can also take an incredibly long time and can get quite dull, but stick with it, and he will die eventually.
This strategy is a fun gimmick to pull off on a repeat playthrough, but it is one of my favorites, and I couldn’t help but include it. You’ll need to get your hands on the Stormruler weapon from Old Hero Archstone for this one.
Once you have it and are ready to face Doran, you need to first kill all of the enemies from his location out to the catapults on the wall. This will include the red eye knight and the blue eye knight.
Once that is done, hit Doran and make him follow you out to the catapults. Once you’re out there, run around him to get back over by the door you came out of and hit him with a normal attack with Stormruler.
This will push him backwards, and you should be able to continuously hit him with the attacks until you push him off the top of the nearby stairs, killing him when he hits the ground.
Then, walk down the stairs and pick up his items. This method is straightforward to pull off and is particularly fun to do on a second or third playthrough when you have some anger built up toward him to make the victory all the sweeter.
- Don’t try to block any of his attacks unless you have the Dark Silver Shield, otherwise, they will still kill you.
- Don’t use any magic or fire weapons other than Death Cloud and Poison Cloud, as his high resistances against those methods of attack are generally extremely high.
- Keep pressure on him at all times, otherwise, he will heal and set you back further in the fight.
- It is also better if you can defeat him on your first try, as he’ll stop attacking you at 75% health and won’t start again until he’s at 50% health. However, if you die and return, he will be healed back up and will attack you immediately.
- Killing him also drops your World Tendency by 2, so if you are trying to reach full positive World Tendency, wait until afterward to kill him.
Old King Doran Drops
Ancient King’s Armor Set
The Ancient King’s Armor Set is one of my favorites in all of Demon’s Souls because of its cool, unique appearance and its extremely high stats. While some players may not like its green coloring, I do, and the armor is one of the strongest sets for male characters in the entire game.
Even better, it is only medium armor, so even characters that aren’t built to handle a high carry weight can take advantage of this set. Its impressive stats with all four pieces equipped are:
|Normal Defense||Pierce Defense||Blunt Defence||Slash Defense||Magic Defense||Fire Defense||Bleed||Poison||Plague||Durability||Weight|
Eternal Warrior’s Ring
Old King Doran’s unique ring is also very strong and is a must get for any players using Stamina-heavy builds. The Eternal Warrior’s Ring boosts the player’s stamina regeneration by approximately 8 points a second, helping them recover Stamina much faster.
This makes the ring especially strong for beginner players that may not be as efficient when managing their stamina, and I know it was a big help for me when first getting used to Demon’s Souls‘ PvP.
Question: Does Old King Doran Heal?
Answer: Old King Doran will heal in between your attempts to fight him like all enemies do, and he will heal during your fight if you don’t pressure him for a while.
Question: What is Old King Doran Weak to?
Answer: Old King Doran is weakest to slash damage, but he is highly resistant to every other type of damage.
Question: Is Demon’s Souls Harder than Dark Souls?
Answer: Demon’s Souls areas are harder to navigate and deal with than in Dark Souls, but the latter does generally have more difficult boss fights than the former.
Killing Old King Doran ultimately is a completely optional choice in Demon’s Souls, but no matter what, players will have to face him for at least a portion of his total health. He can be an extremely difficult fight, but that also makes him not only memorable but extremely rewarding when players do defeat him.
If you want his unique items but are having a hard time killing him, numerous glitch strategies allow the player to kill him will little trouble, and there is no shame in using one.
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