The Four Kings

Description

Lord Gwyn recognized the foresight of these four great leaders of New Londo, and granted them their ranks and fragments of his Lord Soul. Sadly, they fell into the Dark after a primordial serpent offered them the Art of Lifedrain.

Location

The Abyss
At the center of the (previously) submerged New Londo Ruins. To get to this boss you must first drain the water in the New Londo Ruins, using the Key to the Seal which Ingward will give to you after you acquire the Lordvessel or he will drop it when killed. You then must equip the Covenant of Artorias ring, or you will die when you enter The Abyss.

Playthrough HP Souls
New Game 2,354 each King (9,416 total) 60,000
NG+ 3,976 each King (15,904 total) 180,000
NG+6 4,970 each King (19,880 total) 225,000

Drops

Summoning

Witch Beatrice
You must have summoned her for the Moonlight Butterfly fight if you want to summon her here. If you are looking at the bridge to the fog before The Four Kings, turn right. Her Soul Sign is on the left by the wall, near a ledge that would put you back at the beginning of the ruins. Be wary of a Darkwraith attacking from your right.

Notes

  • Even though you are fighting "The Four Kings," more than four bosses will spawn if you take too long.
    • Only four can spawn at a time, but additional kings will continue to spawn regardless of how many you've already killed.
    • It is possible to complete the fight with less than four kings spawning if you have a high enough damage output.
  • It's not possible to fight this boss before you have the Covenant of Artorias, because you will die when you jump to The Abyss without it. You must also wear the ring throughout the entire fight, because removing it will kill you immediately. You can safely remove it after you have killed them, though.
  • If you die during the boss fight, getting back to The Abyss can be hard since there are no bonfires in New Londo Ruins. Once the water has been drained out, the quickest way to get to The Abyss from the Firelink Shrine bonfire is as follows:
    • Head down the elevator and into New Londo Ruins using the suspended wooden bridges.
    • Upon reaching the small square where the first two Ghosts appear, run past the ghosts just to their right and then head straight over the ledge leading to the shallow pool below. Be ready when you land as there will be a Darkwraith enemy waiting just beyond the shadows.
    • From there, you can try to run past the enemies blocking your way to The Abyss, although you'll need to be quick about entering the fog gate and then running down the stairs before getting attacked in the back.
    • Note: If you have the Ring of Fog, it helps greatly by reducing the detection range of the Darkwraiths and the Mass of Souls (if you haven't killed it yet). The Hidden Body spell is even better. It provides an effect stronger than that of the Ring of Fog, allowing you to run right past most enemies without them doing anything. Both the ring and the spell do not seem to affect the ghosts, however.
  • Attacking a king during its death animation will still deal damage to the total health bar of the boss, reducing the amount of damage that needs to be done to the last king. Also, during co-op (or if you summoned Witch Beatrice), if another player is held in the grab animation, damage cannot be done to the king doing the grab. However, attacks will again deal damage to the total health bar of the boss, so it is worth continuing the assault.
  • The kings have a grab attack that if you can spot can easily be dodged by moving quickly strait away from them.
  • WARNING: All damage done by the kings is magic, physical defense will do you no good.

Resistance

Weaknesses

  • Fire does a lot of damage, compared to the other damage types
  • Lightning
  • Magic weapons
  • Divine weapons gain a damage bonus against them. The higher the holy modifier, the higher the bonus.

Attack Patterns

  • Horizontal swing attack: the first swing stuns while the second usually kills.
  • Forward thrust attack. Poor tracking.
  • Vertical swing attack. Poor tracking, easily sidestepped. May have follow-up swing.
  • The King rotates completely with his sword extended pointing to the ground, signaling his upcoming attack, then homes in and grabs the player, dealing moderate to high damage, which also takes away one Humanity. It's very difficult to dodge this attack unless you start evading it from the beginning. He has another attack that starts with a very similar animation, so it's advised to start rolling away from him everytime you see him rotating.
  • The King rotates completely, this time covering himself with his wing, after a short delay creates an explosion for heavy damage. This attack has a similar starting animation than the attack mentioned above. You may even want to block this attack with your shield (the Crest Shield absorbs a good amount of its magical damage) as long as you're sure it's not the grab attack and also that you can withstand it.
  • He tries to gain some distance from you and then creates a homing projectile that moves very slow to the player, but it's difficult to dodge. If the projectile hits, the king may follow-up with a sword swing before you get up. The projectile disperses after 15 seconds, although only the animation stops and the projectile continues for a few seconds more. The projectile can also be blocked by a shield (again, the Crest Shield block almost all its magical damage) if hit head on but will still do a lot of damage through the shield.
  • Also at a distance may fire a circle of purple projectiles. These are easily avoided, but should you let them hit you, the added damage from all projectiles can deal serious damage.

Strategy

  • This battle differs from the others as you deal with (at least) four enemies in total, with each of them making up for about a quarter of the HP for this boss battle.
  • The key to this fight is speed, at the start there will only be one King; however, as the fight progresses the other three will spawn and join the fight. They all look the same with an identical move set. Killed kings will respawn as the fight goes on longer, but they won't extend the health bar at all. Killing them quickly is very important as you will eventually have four of them on you. Sometimes killing four kings is sufficient, but it sometimes requires an extra hit or two after the fourth goes down.
  • Due to their great magic damage reduction, the Dark Hand and Crest Shield are able to almost completely block their attacks. Be wary of their low stability, though. Going Two-Handed with your weapon would remove this defence, and in turn, it is recommended to wear the Painting Guardian Set for the very high magic resistance.
  • If you are losing the damage race and several kings have spawned, staying very close to one can keep the others from attacking you.  This generally only works while soloing.
  • You can let Witch Beatrice tank for you while you land attacks on the distracted king. She does huge damage, but takes her time casting. Don't rely on her to kill the kings herself. When you walk through the fog door you will need to kill a ghost floating near the ceiling of the room or Beatrice will stay at the top of the stairs and wont come to the fight. On NG+, Beatrice will be almost completely useless, except for tanking, because her spells do little damage.

Pyromancer Strategy

  • Attune Iron Flesh, Combustion, Great Combustion and Fire Whip
  • Equip a strong shield with 100% physical block and high defense armor
  • Stay as close as you can to the king you are attacking. Close the distance to the first king, activate Iron Flesh, then use your spells to burn him down. Rinse and repeat. When Iron Flesh ends, circle right with your shield up and re-cast. Iron Flesh may run out before the last king is dead, but if you keep casting you should be able to take it down.

Easy Pyromancer Strategy (also good for SL1 run)

If you dump all your souls into upgrading your pyromancy adjustment (+15 or ascended), it is extremely easy to take out this boss very quickly

Simply rely on the Crest Shield to block the slashes as you rush to get in point-blank range. Then, circle behind, and spam Combustion/Great Combustion. Make sure to be ready to heal and/or block if needed. Each King will fall in 3-4 castings of Great Combustion, and 5-6 castings of combustion, assuming high magic adjust on your pyro glove.

Caster Strategy

  • Right hand: pyromancy flame and catalyst
  • Left hand: a high magic resistance shield to keep you safe between spell castings and a strong weapon to two-hand in case you run out of spells;
  • If you stay out of range of their swiping attacks, then rush back in and counter with soul spears and fireballs, you can usually take each king down quickly and avoid fighting multiple kings. The key is to step right outside of their swings and cast your spells as you are rushing so you have time to avoid their follow up attacks. If you don't rush in after dodging their sword, your spells probably won't hit the boss;
  • You can also use homing spells, but make sure you get close enough when rushing so the spells hit them.
  • Alternative: Use a high intelligence build (INT 40+). Use homing crystal soulmass (use 1 cast per King so you hit it as your approach it), and use Crystal Magic weapon on a fully upgraded quick weapon (Uchigatana is good) and use it two handed for max damage, and the fight becomes very easy, even on NG+. *Uchigatana gains no damage bonus from being two-handed, but will gain a poise-breaking bonus (not substantial for Kings). You're better off saving your stamina for one-handed attacks.
  • Alternative High intelligence builds (INT 40+) using Logan's Catalyst can abuse Crown of Dusk and Power Within pyromancy to burn the kings very fast using Soul Spear, Crystal Soul Spear and Homing Crystal Soulmass. As soon as you land on the Abyss, Equip the Lingering Dragoncrest Ring and cast Power Within. Once the first king spawns, rush to him. Do not cast until you are close enough their sword attacks bareley hit or miss you. Then proceed to burn with Soul Spear/Crystal Soul Spear first until you run out of ammo, then switch to Homing Crystal Soulmass. You can buy two scrolls of Soul Spear and one of Crystal Soul Spear per game. Very quick, very effective, enough downtime between Kings to drink Estus.

Melee Pyromancer Strategy

  • Equip a high magic block shield and high magic defense shield such as Stone Greatshield or Giant's Shield or Havels shield. If you don't have enough Strength, the crest shield will do
  • High defense armor is recommended, but not required.
  • After the first king spawns, rush him with your shield up.
  • Two-hand your weapon and kill the first one as fast as possible. You need to kill him before or as the second spawns.
  • Use Iron Flesh. It will probably run out before you reach the third king, so have your shield up and be ready to re-cast it. The fourth spawns fairly close so you should be able to finish the fourth off before Iron Flesh fades again. Try to cast it as close as possible if you have a good shield to protect you as you bum rush between Kings.

Video: Melee Pyromancer Strategy

Chaos weapon Strategy

  • Blitz the kings by equipping the most damaging Chaos weapon you can find (Quelaag's Furysword is ideal), and raise your Humanity level to 10 if possible (any more will not grant a further Chaos weapon damage boost).
  • Equip the Grass Crest Shield. Regardless of its stats, it is needed for stamina recovery.
  • After entering The Abyss, cast Power Within quickly and rush the first king with your weapon two-handed.
  • Watch your health bar as Power Within drains health.
  • Avoid the kings' Humanity stealing move, as losing Humanity lowers your weapon's effectiveness.
  • Even on NG+ and higher, this strategy will dispatch each king quickly.

Tank Strategy

  • Equip the following before jumping into The Abyss:
  • When you're done, jump into The Abyss.
  • Once the first king appears, run for him with your shield up, when you're close to him two-hand your weapon and attack him until he is dead (the Lightning Zweihander can kill him with 5 hits, quickly enough before the second king appears) ignore the hits you're taking, you shouldn't be staggered if you're using Havel's Set.
  • Use an Estus Flask if you need it.
  • Run for the second king (with your shield up) and repeat the strategy, he should be dead before the third king appears.
  • Use another Estus if you need and repeat the strategy as soon as the third king appears.

Simple Rolling Strategy

  • Assuming you are fighting one King in melee range, you can dodge all of his sword attacks either by rolling or by side-stepping, while staying close to him so you can hit him once or twice after each dodge. If it is either the vertical slash or the forward thrust, you can just sidestep it instead of rolling to save some time. Even half a second is important, since it might result in one additional free hit. It is important, however, not to spam your attack button. The reason for this is the Four Kings have two magic attacks which start with the same motion of them rotating around with sword extended, as mentioned above. Whichever the attack is, it can only be dodged if you start backing away almost instantly when the attack starts (some initial distance from the King might even be needed to completely escape from it). Therefore, what you would want to avoid is having the King starts one of these two attacks while you are in mid-swing. This is critical if you are using a weapon that has a low swing speed. Even when using a fast weapon, this situation would still be dangerous. If you are in melee range and notice he is not swinging his sword, WAIT for his next move, while maintaining a distance of a few steps between you and him, and circling him. It is inadvisable to be greedy and try to hit him any time you see him not trying to hit you with his sword.
  • As mentioned above, while you are staying close to one King and attracting his aggro, most of the time the other Kings, if present, will just circling around you and the King you are fighting. They will not attack unless you get too close to them. Therefore, you would want to keep an eye on the distance between you and any other King you are not fighting. Draw aggro of one, then draw him a bit away from the rest before engaging.
  • This method might require quite a few tries, since you need to be able to figure out all of the Kings' attacks and dodge them all. If done right, and with a bit of luck, you can dispatch one King while the other watching, then move on to the next King. Sometimes the King just keeps attacking with his sword without using any magic attack. But other times, after one magic attack, he pulls off another magic attack just when you get back in range with him. This is where the "luck" factor comes in. Just don't be rash, and keep control. You get one hit in without getting one hit in return, then you're fine.
  • An encumbrance of no more than 25% is critical if you play this way, especially if you don't invest in health. Stamina recovery is another key to this fight. Since one ring slot must be dedicated to the Covenant of Artorias, it would be beneficial if the other ring slot is for the Cloranthy Ring or Havel's Ring, depending on what you already have. An example for consideration: although I two-hand the Obsidian Greatsword +5, I still have the Crest Shield equipped so I can block the occasional slow-moving magic projectile; my second ring slot is for the Cloranthy Ring; I then would have to remove all of my armor, except for my pants, which are the Wanderer Boots (well I could have removed them, too, but I want my character to look cool but decently-dressed at the same time) in order to keep my encumbrance down. If, however, my second ring slot is for Havel's Ring, then I could equip some additional armor, but I would need Mask of the Child to boost my stamina recovery speed (or using Green Blossom as an alternative).
  • You only need to dodge ALL of Four Kings' attacks if their attacks take away a large portion of your health (if you're in NG+ and above and you don't invest in health, for example). If that's not the case, then it is fine to get hit a few times, even by his magic attacks, as long as you can back away to heal up. However, this method implies that you are not heavily armored and don't have Iron Flesh, therefore you will be staggered if you get hit, which makes you vulnerable. And if you have to heal too many times, it would mean the fight is dragged on and becomes more difficult as more Kings spawn.
  • Personally, I find that this method is viable on NG, and decent on NG+. On these two cycles, your damage output is still considerable when compared with each King's health, although not much so on NG+. From NG++ onward it's best to switch to some other strategies. It's not like it becomes undoable or something like that (or it actually does, in some cases), it's just much more painful and requires much more efforts/time/patience. Sorceries, combined with items that boost sorceries and the Red Tearstone Ring, allow for bursts with extremely high amounts of damage, which is ideal for this particular fight on higher game cycles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8cJveV69F8

Power Within tank

  • Equip Pyromancy Flame and a Grass Crest Shield (for stamina recovery) in your left hand and your blade of choice. Also equip a high defense armor set such as Havel's set or Stone set.
  • As soon as the first king will appear, cast Power Within and run up to him, stay really close and hack away. Heal when needed or at least when your stamina meter is empty. With a decent blade dealing decent damage, Power Within should last enough to kill the third king on NG++.
  • Note that if you character is still under the effect of Transient Curse, you won't be able to cast either Power Within nor Iron Flesh. Wait on the steps before descending to the Abyss until Transient Curse wears off.

NG+ Strategies (High Poise)

  • It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you attempt this fight solo, i.e. don't look for help by summoning Beatrice or other players who have left soul signs. Bringing in help also means the Kings will spawn faster, making it very likely that you'll be surrounded before you know it.
  • Equip any armor with high poise (such as the Black Knight Armour set) and Mask of the Child and Grass Crest Shield for faster stamina recovery. The Stone set works very well (with Havel's Ring) due to it's high physical and magic protection…
  • Equip your best great sword, not UltraGreatSword…if the sword doesn't already have elemental buffs built in, be sure to use something which can be buffed with items or magic.
  • Using a +5 Black Knight Halberd works very well…make sure to two-hand the entire time! The only time you should switch back to single-hand weapon usage would be to recast your Magic Barrier miracle.
  • Chaos weapons also work well, but you may not want to risk losing the humanity you'll need to spend in order to get the stat bonus.
  • Use Great Magic Barrier as soon as you land on Abyss. If you are quick about it, you can potentially kill two Kings within a single cast, but be careful not to recast too soon as you may be standing around while waiting for the next King to spawn, wasting precious seconds of protection.
  • Get close to the 1st king as soon as possible, lock on and start hitting him equipping the sword two-handed.
  • When your health bar is down to about 60%, use an Estus Flask. If your poise is high, he can't stop you…try to stay close and work your way behind the current King while staying locked on before taking a swig.
  • Never block or doss; with the right armor set, most physical attacks should be negligible. A well-timed roll can go a long way to tipping this fight into your favor…
  • Rinse and repeat. Speed and stamina are the keys to winning this way…
  • Remember that the HP of each King that appears is not what matters; only the bar at the bottom is important. It's definitely best to focus on killing one King at a time, but if you have to back off and can't get back in close, it might be best to lock on to whichever King is nearest.

NG+ Strategy - Pyromancy

Buff-Stack Strategy

  • Equip your best enchantable weapon with good AR and damage output
  • Equip high-poise armor like Havel's or Giant's set so you can attack without being staggered by the Kings' attacks
  • The Spell Stoneplate Ring and Crest Shield work great in this fight because they drastically reduce the magic damage done by the Kings' spells, AoE blasts and magic-enhanced strikes that become prevalent later on by the third King
  • Equip Power Within and any build-specific buffs you have (Darkmoon Blade and Sunlight Blade come to mind for Faith builds; Crystal Magic Weapon and Great Magic Weapon is great for INT builds and much easier to obtain
  • If you only have two buffs for your character, you can substitute Charcoal Pine Resins to add a bit of extra damage (80 damage will add up and every swing and dmg point counts); or use a defensive measure like Great Magic Barrier
  • Make sure your talisman and/or catalyst has a good magic-adjust (Darkmoon Talisman and Logan's Catalyst are highly recommended - especially if your INT or FTH stats approach 40)

The key to this is timing the individual or combined uses of your buffs so that they can overlap and have their duration used as efficiently as possible. Because of how easy the first two Kings are, it is recommended you save one-use weapon buffs like Darkmoon Blade or Sunlight Blade for the last two. INT builds can switch between Great Magic Weapon and Crystal Magic Weapon as they please since they would get a combined six uses:

  • INT builds: start off with Great Magic Weapon for the first two kings. When the third appears, cast Power Within and Crystal Magic Weapon so that the last two Kings - which are the most damaging due to the magic damage on their attacks - will fall significantly fast. This is important because the Kings will overwhelm quickly if the last third of their combined health is not dealt with quickly.
  • FTH builds with both Sunlight and Darkmoon Blade: Do not buff for the first King. Get close and hack him away quickly. When the second King is approaching, use Sunlight Blade to deal with him quickly as well. When the third King arrives, combine Power Within with your Darkmoon Blade. You should be able to take him out very fast and still have enough time to do significant damage to the last king before your buffs deplete - if not complete the fight.
  • FTH builds with Power Within but only one cast-able buff: Follow the above strategy. But instead, cast Power Within on the second King. When the third is coming, overlap with whichever buff you have. After the third king, or if you get an opening once Power Within expires, cast Magic Barriers or great Magic barriers when appropriate and coast the rest of the fight.

Red Tearstone Ring Strategy

Video: Red Tearstone Ring Strategy

This is not so much a "strategy" as an alternative buff you can consider having on you. Using the Red Tearstone Ring means you dedicate the second ring slot to help maximize your damage output, so that you can burst down the Kings as quickly as possible. The ring can be integrated into many of the strategies listed above. There are, however, a few important things to consider when utilizing Red Tearstone Ring's damage boost:

  • Power Within could be used as a means to help wear down your own health to trigger the ring's boost. This might require extra management depending on your health pool.
  • For this ring to work, your health must be low (<20% of your available health). This means either you have to take hits from the Kings, which is not recommended to do intentionally, or you have to damage yourself. Aside from utilizing Power Within as mentioned above, this can be done when you are on the staircase that leads from the fog gate down to the abyss. You will notice the small flat squares that protrude from the staircase. Each time you jump or drop from one square to another, you should take a small or moderate amount of damage. Repeat until the boost kicks in. However, you certainly don't want to fall a distance so high that your character is killed by it (that IS possible!). You also don't want to miss your landing and just fall all the way down to the Abyss.
  • Taking advantage of this ring means you will have to dodge their attacks, at least for as long as you can. Certainly you don't want to get hit, since you have to fight at less than 20% of your maximum available health, which could be very little. You would also want to avoid blocking the Kings' sword (or anything they throw at you, for that matter), since their sword deals magic damage, which means your health will still be damaged even when you block. This method is, therefore, most beneficial when it does help you burst the Kings down so fast that they almost have no chance to attack you, or in other words, you are confident that the chance of you taking damage is very low. Either go full ranged, or if you want to save on your ranged attacks, get close when they are near death and finish them off with a hit or two. If you can dodge their sword just by rolling/sidestepping, the Simple Rolling Strategy works fine.
  • Another thing worth keeping in mind: the Kings have a magic attack which fires off a projectile that homes on you but moves very slowly. There's no dodging this one - you can keep running away from it for about 16 seconds for it to disappear, or block it (Note: the projectile disappears after about 16 seconds, but it is actually still there, and it will still hit you even though you cannot see it anymore, so it's best to keep running for another 4-5 seconds after you see it disappear, which makes it about 20 seconds in total). If you decide to block the projectile, make sure you have enough health to survive it. Otherwise, just heal yourself up before blocking it. The Crystal Ring Shield, the Crest Shield, and the Cleansing Greatshield all have good magic damage reduction, which will greatly help with mitigating the damage done by the Kings' magic attacks (although the Cleansing Greatshield is very heavy).

Tested on NG++ (50 INT, with the Red Tearstone Ring, the Crown of Dusk, and the Tin Crystallization Catalyst): each King can be killed very quickly and there is even a good amount of time after one King is down and before the next King appears. After one Homing Crystal Soulmass (all missiles hit) and one Crystal Soul Spear, I needed only a few more strikes using a +15 Uchigatana to kill one King. I had 15 VITALITY and my total health was 682. I started the fight at about 130 hp and stayed that way for a large portion of the fight. My health then went down to about 30 or 40 after I blocked one magic projectile. Near the end of the fight, one King threw one more projectile at me and I had to flask before blocking it so I could survive. It didn't take much longer to end the fight, however, since their health was already very low. It should be much less stressful on NG or even NG+ if all these equipment are acquired and you have a high INT before facing the Four Kings. The thing with Four Kings is, you can fight them either very early, when you have pretty much nothing, or very late, when you are super strong. Once you have the right setup, trying to get to the Kings' place might even be harder than actually fighting them (going all the way from Firelink Shrine to the Abyss could be a real pain; I beat the Kings on second try using this method, and died more times than I could count on my way there).

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License