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.
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 and have the Covenant of Artorias ring equipped before dropping from the stairs past the Fog Gate.
|New Game||2,376 each King (9,504 total)||60,000|
|NG+||4,015 each King (16,061 total)||180,000|
|NG+6||5,019 each King (20,077 total)||225,000|
You must have summoned her for the Moonlight Butterfly fight if you want to summon her here. Her Soul Sign is on the other side of a large pillar (to your right while facing the bridge to the Fog Gate).
- Even though you are fighting "The Four Kings," more than four total can 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.
- Be wary that if using the Lifehunt Scythe, the self bleed effect is multiplied during this boss fight, so that just two hits can take half your HP.
- They have a striking resemblance to nerve cells, but do not be fooled: they feel nothing for you.
- 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, removing it will kill you immediately, but once the boss is defeated it is no longer necessary.
- 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 (it is advisable to send it back up) and into New Londo Ruins using the suspended wooden bridges.
- Upon reaching the small square where the first two Ghosts appear, run past the stairs and drop into the shallow pool just behind them. Beware of the Darkwraith that will engage you shortly.
- From there, you can run past the enemies blocking your way to The Abyss, light encumbrance is recommended.
- Note: If you have the Ring of Fog, it reduces the detection range of the Darkwraiths and the Mass of Souls (if you haven't killed it yet). The Hidden Body spell can prevent some from aggressing altogether. Ghosts are unaffected by either.
- Another fast route is to use the bonfire in the tunnel that connects Darkroot Basin and the lift to the gates of New Londo.
- Take the lift, run across the bridge dodging drakes, and hang a hard left once inside.
- Take the lift up, then run up the steps to the first doorway.
- Walk out on the ledge and drop down to the floor below. You should be right in front of the fog gate to the abyss.
- Fire does a lot of damage, compared to the other damage types
- Magic weapons
- Divine weapons gain a damage bonus against them. The higher the holy modifier, the higher the bonus.
- Horizontal Swing - May be followed up with another swing.
- Thrust attack - Long range thrust attack with poor tracking.
- Vertical swing - Poor tracking, easily sidestepped. May have follow-up swing.
- Lifedrain Grab - The King rotates completely with his sword extended pointing to the ground, then homes in and grabs the player dealing moderate to high damage over time and taking one Soft Humanity. Very difficult to dodge or get out of range, run directly away as soon as you see it. Note in Co-op this attack makes the King invulnerable but hitting it will still reduce the total boss health.
- Shockwave - The King rotates completely while covering himself with his wing, then after a short delay creates an explosion for heavy damage. Starts similar to the above and running is again the best strategy, but can be blocked.
- Slow Homing Projectile - Creates a very slow homing projectile, will often then move ahead of it to attack you. Very difficult to dodge, recommend blocking but will disperse after about 15 seconds.
- Homing Projectiles - Fires a circle of purple projectiles that are easily avoided and individually deal little damage, but add up to a lot if allowed to land.
The first thing to be aware of is the additional Kings. Keep an eye on your surroundings to ensure there is not another King sneaking up behind you. All four Kings are identical so if you are fighting more than one at once, target the one with the least health.
You should aim to kill each King as quickly as you can so you are not fighting more than two Kings at once. Up to four Kings can be in the fight if you allow it.
Each King makes up about a quarter of the total boss HP and most of the time killing the fourth or taking him very low will end the battle, but sometimes a fifth King may need to be engaged.
Attack a King during its death animation (assuming there are no other Kings currently in the fight) as even with no health you can still deal damage to the overall boss health.
Dodging and Blocking
Staying close to the King you are fighting will usually keep additional Kings from engaging you, but where you can keep your target between you and other Kings.
- To block, Use a shield with a high magic resist such as the Crest Shield or Dark Hand (beware of their low stability), or a large shield such as Havel's Greatshield, Cleansing Greatshield or Stone Greatshield. Note you will still take a small amount of damage from each attack so be prepared to occasionally heal back up. Iron Flesh is useful to stop yourself being staggered but greatly restricts your movements, and the Spell Stoneplate Ring will greatly reduce all damage taken.
- All sword attacks can be dodged, however if you see him spinning around you need to quickly back up. He will either attempt to grab you or will use a powerful shockwave attack. For the vertical slash and the forward thrust you can simply sidestep for a slightly larger window to attack. A light armour with high magic resist is ideal. This strategy is required if you wish to utilise the Red Tearstone Ring. Note the homing magic attack cannot be dodged, but it will disappear after a while if it does not hit you. You can watch a video here.
- Having high poise and magic defense (Havel's Set and Spell Stoneplate Ring is ideal) you can just tank each King while you hit them with your best attack (two-handed if melee). This is a recommended strategy for NG+ if your build allows for it. Staying right up against the King will further reduce damage taken as his attacks are less effective at extremely close range.
Attack while the King recovers from his attacks and be back on the defensive before he launches his next attack. Note to watch for him spinning around as it can be difficult to get out of range of either possible attack that will ensue.
- A Chaos weapon such as Quelaag's Furysword and ten humanity will deal good damage. Equip the Grass Crest Shield for stamina recovery and two-hand your weapon, but watch out for the grab attack as it will lower your humanity and thus your damage.
- Sorcerers can use a melee weapon buffed with Great Magic Weapon or Crystal Magic Weapon, and Clerics can use a melee weapon buffed with Sunlight Blade or Darkmoon Blade for additional damage. With only one cast (assuming you can't use both) you may need to bring a backup.
- The kings' attacks have specific zoning, similarly to halberds and scythes in Dark Souls 2, in that if you are close enough to one of the kings, instead of actually getting hit by the sword itself, their arm will hit you first for far less damage than taking the full sword hit.
The Kings can close distance very quickly so staying at range is not entirely viable. Your best approach is to dodge back as the King attacks and get an attack in while he recovers. The abyss has invisible walls at its perimeter, be careful about getting pinned against them and unable to dodge the sweeping attack. Note you want to finish each King as quickly as possible so if using ammunition, use the best you have available. Most spells are effective however if using homing attacks it is best to be reasonably close before casting.
- An easy Pyromancer strategy if you have a +15 or ascended Pyromancy Flame (Crown of Dusk recommended) is to block his attack while running behind him then cast Combustion or Great Combustion. Each King can be killed very quickly in this manner.
Status Effects and Items
- Power Within can be considered for most strategies as there are many opportunities to consume Estus and a quick fight is to your advantage. Note it cannot be cast while Transient Curse is active.
- Charcoal Pine Resin can give a significant damage boost to many weapons, and can be purchased cheaply from the Undead Merchant Female in the aqueduct above Firelink Shrine. The duration is rather short, so you will need to bring three or more.
Stealth and Diversion
You can let Witch Beatrice tank for you while you land ranged attacks on the distracted King. She does decent damage but do not rely on her to win the fight for you. Note you may have to kill a ghost floating near the ceiling of the room just before the Fog Gate or Beatrice will not follow you. Also note that summoning her will cause the Kings to spawn faster so do not do so lightly.