Old Demon King

old demon king dks3 small
General Info
hp souls Location
5301 25,000 Smouldering Lake
Drops Soul of the Old Demon King
Defenses
Weak Resistant Immune
icon darkbonus Dark
Black Knight Weapons 
icon firebonus Fire
icon poisonres.png Poison/Toxic
icon wp bleed Bleed
icon wp frost Frostbite

Old Demon King is a Boss in Dark Souls 3. This Dark Souls 3 Old Demon King Guide features locations, strategies and videos on how to defeat the Old Demon King easily, as well as tips, weaknesses, trivia and lore notes for the Old Demon King boss.

The Old Demon King is a large demon covered in flames and wields a giant hammer in combat. Burning in the pits of the smouldering lake, the corpses of demons surround him. After being brought down to a certain health threshold, he will be empowered with a stronger flaming aura, giving him access to harder-hitting attacks.

This boss is optional and not required to complete the game. Players with long-ranged builds will have an easier time dealing with this boss, however with patience, melee builds will be able to best the boss as well. Two NPCs can be summoned to help you in the fight against The Old Demon King:

  • Knight Slayer Tsorig - His summon sign becomes available by killing him after he invades. He will invade in the hallway before the collapsing rope bridge. Summon can be found next to the bonfire to the right of the fog gate.
  • A White Phantom Great Swamp Cuculus - The sign can be found at the bottom of the stairs directly in front of the fog gate. If you summon her and defeat the boss with her surviving, the Spotted Whip and Cornyx's set will appear where you first rescued Cornyx of the Great Swamp.

Bosses are unique and challenging Enemies that drop Boss Souls capable of being transformed into powerful Weapons, Spells, and Items for the player.

 

Dark Souls 3 Old Demon King Location

Where to find the Old Demon King in Dark Souls 3?

  • The Old Demon King can be found in Smouldering Lake, which can be accessed via collapsing the wooden bridge in the Catacombs of Carthus. The boss room is located to the left of the entrance, behind the Carthus Sandworm.

 

Old Demon King Drops

What do you get from defeating the Old Demon King in Dark Souls 3?

  • Souls: NG (25,000) | NG+ (56,250) | NG++ (61,876) | NG+3 (84,375) | NG+4 (90,000) | NG+7 (95,625)
  • Souls for Cooperator: NG (6250)
  • Soul of the Old Demon King

 

Old Demon King Notes & Tips

What should you know about fighting the Old Demon King in Dark Souls 3?

  • Attacks deals Fire Damage and Strike Damage.
  • Weak to black knight weapons (Greatsword, Sword, Greataxe, Glaive) and Dark Damage.
  • Resistant to Fire Damage and Poison/Toxic.
  • Immune to Frostbite and Bleed.
  • Parryable: No
  • Can be poise-broken, what breaks most of his attacks. However, if the player manages to stagger him by hitting his head, he can perform a critical strike.
  • The Old King will release his flame around 10-30% HP, dealing massive damage around him and extinguishing himself, leaving him hunched over on the ground, unable to properly fight. This will not happen if the player manages to defeat him with ONLY either Poison/Toxic Mist or Pestilent Mist.
    • He will try to swipe at you with his left hand if you come close.
    • He will also try to raise his mace to attack but is unable to do so completely as it slams back down to the ground.
  • Warning: If you wear a piece of the armor of thorns set and a weapon where you fail the one-handed stat requirements; you will play the weapon bounce animation every time your roll causes damage to the boss. This happens even if you meet the two-handed stat requirements.

 

Old Demon King Stats

Playthrough NG NG + NG ++ NG +3 NG +4 NG +5 NG +6 NG +7
Health 5,301 7,745 8,520 8,907 9,294 10,069 10,456 10,843
Defense 112
Damage Type Standard Strike Slash Thrust Magic Fire Lightning Dark
Absorptions 0% -2% 2% 0% 5% 78% 4% 0%

 

Dark Souls 3 Old Demon King Boss Guide & Strategies

DS3 Old Demon King Video Strategies

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Below are video strategies from our Youtube Partners.

Dark Souls 3 Old Demon King Attacks

First Phase
Swing The demon will swing his hammer, causing fire and melee damage, beware AOE, move under the attack, toward the weapon, or get behind or below him.

Fire Ring

 

The demon will conjure a circle of fire that will move inwards or outwards from him, can be blocked or dodged through.

Fireball-

shower

The demon bashes his hammer in the ground and then starts to turn it in circles above his head.

Fire Glyph

The demon bashes his hammer in the ground, linear trails of fire covering different directions will emit from the center.  Take Evasive Action.

Meteor Rain

A phase two move, multiple slow flaming rocks will fall towards the player. Slight tracking. If you are quick, hit and run works. Evasive action and use of pillars to absorb shots is effective.

Lava Breath

The demon will spew lava at those in front of him. He will move his head to extend his AOE. His range is short and those flanking him or under him can smack him.

How to fight and beat the Old Demon King 

Strategy 1 (Melee)

The first phase: The best opening is when he slowly vomits lava from your left to right. Just run next to his left leg (your right) and attack a few times before he is done. The next best opening is when he lowers his club to his left side and slowly swings it to his right side. Again move towards his left leg without target lock and dodge the swing behind him. Do not attack yet because he is about to continue with an AoE blast. Keep moving towards the tip of his tail and when you catch it you are far enough to avoid the AoE and take a few swings at the tail. A weapon with a lot of range and wide swipes is recommended.

Staying too long near him and especially in front of him triggers the fast AoE mouth blast. Attacking only a couple of times and then retreating to medium range to wait for openings is easier.

In the second phase: Now Old Demon King has a certain attack pattern: 1-2 melee attacks/combos and then a ranged attack. Usually no two ranged attacks in a row. Same openings as in the first phase work here too but triggering them is different. You can outrange every long range attack of this boss. As you return to medium range to catch his melee attack openings do not stop approaching. Keep moving towards him until he does a melee attack. If he lowers his club for the slow swipe do the same thing as in phase one. If it is any other melee attack you can dodge or even walk under him to get behind him.

 

Strategy 2 (Sorcerer)

One of the easiest bosses for Sorcerers. Just stay out of range and spam Great Heavy Soul Arrow until the boss is dead. Circle around the pile in the middle of the arena to take cover from his AoE attacks and keep moving.

 

Strategy 3 (Toxic)

Dodge his attacks until you get into range and cast Toxic Mist. Once the boss is poisoned, stay as far away as you can so he can't hit you with his spells. When the toxic wears off, get close and reapply it. Four rounds of toxic should do it.

The Storyteller's Staff's  weapon art is also very effective and a single cast will nearly defeat the boss by itself. One or two attacks will be enough for the poison to finish him off without having to reapply it.

 

Strategy 4 (Bow)

The Old Demon King can be easily defeated using a bow if you have a shield with good fire damage mitigation like the Dragon Crest Shield. Other than his fire spray attack, which you should block, there is nothing he can do to you if you keep your distance.

He moves slowly enough that it's possible to simply shoot him whenever he stops to perform an attack and continue to run away without him ever getting a chance to hit you; at some point in the fight, he'll start moving a bit faster, but it's still not fast enough to run you down.

It also helps to take advantage of one of the two mounds of corpses in the arena. Circle around one walking backwards, keeping your distance, and dodging the lava spew, lava AoE, and meteor attacks. Combined with the Cloranthy Ring, the Grass Crest Shield, and lots of careful rolling, this boss becomes almost trivial.

 

Strategy 5 (Pyromancy)

This fight will either be near impossible or very easy depending on how far you've advanced your pyromancies. The boss is extremely resistant to fire spells, so your best bet instead is to attack him with non-fire pyromancies. Boulder Heave will work, but your very best bet is getting access to Karla's Dark Pyromancies

Using Black Fire Orb will make this an easy fight. Stay at range and evade his melee attacks, which have relatively limited range. During Phase II, the only attack you have to worry about is his expanding fire circle. You can either move out of range, or roll through it at the right time to dodge the damage. Whenever he casts a spell, he leaves himself open to several Black Fire Orbs. When he summons the meteor shower, simply run until the meteors explode. At around 20% hp the boss will collapse and explode. As long as you outrange this explosion, the fight is essentially over, since the Old Demon King will simply lay there and not attack anymore. 

If you do not have access to Karla yet, another method would be using Black Serpent, although the hit rates are not that reliable, as it travels on the ground and the only hitbox it has to do with are the legs of the Old Demon King.

 

Strategy 6 (Pestilent Mist)

For pyromancers which do not have access to Karla, pestilent mercury might be a good spell to use (30 int requirement). This works for sorcerers as well but would most likely not need it as they have their normal spells. You can cast pestilent mercury around a large pillar in the boss arena and run around it, letting the old demon king chase you, evading his attacks and damaging him at the same time.

 

Old Demon King Lore Theories

  • The Old Demon King is the oldest and the last remaining witness of the chaos of Izalith. "The shriveled Old Demon King is now like a clump of burnt ash, but he is the last living witness of the Chaos of Izalith." - Soul of the Old Demon King.
  • "This weapon has survived since old Izalith, and is imbued with remnants of the Chaos Flame." - Old King's Great Hammer.
  • The Old Demon King is part of an overarching theme that links chaos to vegetation, and which involves The Bed of Chaos from DS1 (read theory).

Old Demon King Trivia

  • If, when you've entered the arena, you go straight forward and then, look carefully up on the left side on top of the pile of dead demons that are surrounding the whole area, f.e. Centipede Demon body, a boss from Dark Souls.
  • During the second phase of the fight, if the player listens carefully to the song playing, they can hear a small slightly remixed excerpt of the Bed Of Chaos's theme.

 

 

 




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    • Anonymous

      This wiki is outdated. It says the old demon king is week to dark but my deep battle axe +6 did only 95 damage. Instead, my claymore infused with fire gem did 350 damage.....be careful guys

      • Anonymous

        beat him after 4 tries at SL42 with Black Blade +5, decently simple fight just stay right infront of him and most of his attacks will miss. But the last weird fire explosion left me with like 2 hp.

        • Anonymous

          This guy (and greatwood, to an extent) are a change of pace from the usual animu-fast aggressive bosses of ds3. It's back to ds1 with the aoes, slower but more dangerous attacks, and gimmicky attacks like that meteor or ring of fire he does.

          Fits the place pretty nicely too, considering that demon ruins has dead ds1 demons scattered all over the place

          • Anonymous

            Boy, you know **** is bad when the bad guys are dropping like flies. I really do enjoy how DS3 told a story not through written text, but using the environment. To show and not tell, or so to speak.

            • Anonymous

              I being dead serious when i say ths guy gave me more trouble than twin prince, nameless king, abyss watchers, champion gundyr and gael

              • Anonymous

                Somehow beat this trash boss the first time, despite the absurd AOE spam in every single attack (not hyperbole; even its weakest attacks spawn an AOE wave of crap to punish you for being a melee character). What a terribly designed boss.

                • Anonymous

                  Level 53 Dex melee build, finally got him. The fight took about ten minutes doing 170 dmg per strike with a rapier. All of his attacks are pretty easily avoided with ample openings for close attacks. It's only hard because you have to do it million times with very few mistakes allowed. Tedious or punishing I should say, more than hard.

                  The only useful observation I have is that he doesn't seem super weak to dark (per this page), or maybe he's just weaker to thrust than he is to dark. The phy+dark damage of my infused halberd is higher than the phy damage of my rapier, but I got way less damage using the halberd. Could be a one-off.

                  • Anonymous

                    On my 3rd playthrough right after I killed Old Demon King a fire ring killed me and Cuculus. I still got his boss soul on my inventory but not the 25000 souls and neither the spotted whip nor the cornyx set were at Cornyx cage.

                    • Anonymous

                      Just beat him 2nd try I just used the dead demon body pileups as a shield when he does the aoe or the rain down fire balls jutsu

                      • Anonymous

                        Finished the game 2 times, currently on a SL1 run. I love the game, but this boss is the opposite of fun. Cheap AoE fire attacks that knock you down, one after the other, you constantly get stuck between him and his hammer at close range... I dont think im bad at the game, and probably you can beat him legit without getting hit, but this battle is just not fun.

                        • Anonymous

                          this man exploded taken almost like 65% of my hp with 23 vigor and an ember what the hell and also nearly full hp

                          • Anonymous

                            I hate this boss. He just uses the same 3 moves all the time and if you cant dodge his stupid attack like 10 times he staggers you and when my character stand up he just bonks me with his stupid hammer.

                            • Anonymous

                              Just beat this boss with a garbage build and a +4 hunters bow. Bring 99 standard arrows. Just run to a safe distance and shoot. Only took a few min. This boss is a joke.

                              • Anonymous

                                only noticed how **** his hitbox when trying to hit him with lightning bolt ... seeing the bolt dissapear and do no dmg on about 2/3 of his body

                                • Anonymous

                                  Poor grandpa is king of nothing, all the demons are dying and turning into stone. Everything in the Souls universe is either decaying or in the process of being corrupted by something. Can't have sh!t in Lothric.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    Stand directly against his crotch and watch for his close-range combustion attack and the one where he creates the ring of fire, and you'll be able to avoid most of his attacks.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      I always do worse on this boss when I try to have fun with summons. Even when his aggro is on someone else I managed to get slapped around when I move in close to attack. Fairly easy for a caster though even without the poison/toxic/mist stuff.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        First tried. He does not catch up to zoners well? first attempt was a sorcerer with great heavy soul arrow...

                                        • Anonymous

                                          This is a boss fight I seem to never get tired of.
                                          No cheap attacks, his moveset is varied enough to not get stale quickly (unlike e.g. Nameless King) and some attacks require players to be on their toes.

                                          Well done on this boss' design, FromSoftware!

                                          • Anonymous

                                            Usually one of the easier bosses for me, but in my current playthrough he absolutely kicked me in the nuts several times. His timing for that close-up fire orb was too perfect and he got me every time I even tried getting close. Had to patiently fully upgrade the black knight sword to finally beat him.

                                            • Anonymous

                                              Thank you Brutus and Dante for helping me kill this boss. Third time challenging it and finally killed it. Praise the Sun!

                                              • Anonymous

                                                Posting this again since it didn't work the first time, but fighting this guy SL1 on the base game has to be the hardest boss so far, i worry about pontiff

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  this MF plays dirty as all hell, waits for you to dodge then headbutts you in the face just to breath hell fire in your face at the same time, and thats not even on NG+

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    Knight Slayer Tsorig's summon sign is available even if you don't kill him first. I was able to summon him before encountering him anywhere.

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      Generally believe he’s a underrated boss and I think there’s a reason for it.

                                                      With what little lore there is on Demons, I believe they don’t get enough respect simply due to just not knowing enough. I believe that the fire demons, Stray Demon, Old Demon King and Demon Prince could be really tragic boss fights but there’s just no lore on them to really connect to there struggles.

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        Has an annoying quirk where staying under him can cause him to "push" your character around when he winds up attacks like a moving invisible wall. The cathedral giants have a similar effect when you're between their legs but they're so slow it doesn't matter. At least when the stray demon throws me around it's because he has a grab.

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          trying to keep Cuculus alive is almost impossible
                                                          Feels like she tries to suicide
                                                          but in the end, after 6 embers and 5 Homeward bones lost i did it and got rewarded with the spotted whip

                                                          • Anonymous

                                                            im gunna do a stupid lore theory. so in ds1 the demons are all made of actual flesh and stuff but in this game there all wood what else is wood bed of chaos so like what if when the flame was dying it essentially tore apart the bed of chaos for more material to make demons

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              I killed him quickly and threw a boss soul on his death spot I didn't need at all as thanks for killing the Taurus demons the ds1 and the boss was easy but super irritating constantly hitting me off the ledge.

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                I had a lot of fun fighting this boy! Not super challenging but he has some crazy AOE that caught me off guard and killed me a couple times. Demon fights are usually boring but this adds just enough variety to be a good time.

                                                                • Certainly not the most honorable strategy, but the Storyteller's Staff strategy definitely does make for an effective way to kill this boss. 2 applications is enough to kill him, provided you have no summons to boost his health. Though you could get away with just 1 application as a Pyromancer if you did the smart thing with Wolnir's soul and picked up Black Serpent, which gets you a a damage source Old Demon King is weak to.

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    I accidentally found a way to cheese this guy, if you just cling to his crotch at the front and whack him a lot, he never hits you with his attacks.

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      I started playing this series at DS3 so I'm not too sure about the finer details of the demons' lore. Were Demons inherently evil? The lore states they were created by the Witch of Izalith as a byproduct of trying to recreate the First Flame. Sure, their appearance is grotesque and Biblically sinister- but does anyone know if it's confirmed they were indeed born malicious beings?

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        Found a bug at his fog gate. Was summoned as a sunbro, host and cuculus both clipped through the fog gate without interacting with it and i wasnt able to follow. Can anyone replicate/confirm this?

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          Oddly enough, the near-unusable Crystal Hail rekt this boss so hard for me it wasn't even funny. Maybe try that if you are a sorcerer for lols.

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            killed him in 20 seconds with +7 weapon and human pine, is this a real fight? he can't even hit you if you walk towards him when you're right under him in front waiting for your stamina to refill

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              I honestly really enjoyed this boss fight. Its attacks are distinct and varied enough to not cause any confusion, and you can easily fall back and heal everytime you're low (unlike that mf Sullivan), plus those two dodgy fiery attacks are just fun and cool. This and the Twin Princes probably are my favorite main game bosses.

                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                I consider this guy the 2nd best demon boss in souls next to prince that really shows how god awful the other demons are

                                                                                • Lore Theories • Because of the differences in body type between the Old Demon King and the Demon Prince, it is unlikely that this boss shares any relation to the Old Demon King. Because the genetic lineage of the young lord of Demons can be ascertained visually from its ancient parentage of a race of creatures that can live for millennia. Might want to give that another look.

                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                    I got only 20000 souls well a littl more since I am wearing silver serpent ring, but I definitely didnt get 25k as this states. Does anybody have some idea.

                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                      After killing him first time I was sad, not to say somehow 'guilty'. Then I saw piles of capra/stray/centi demons and this fockin taurus - remorse instantly vanished - would load and kill him again.

                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                        Weird bug. Old demon king charged at Cuculus as soon as she enter the fog wall.
                                                                                        Then he himself stuck in the fog wall and drop out of the map after a few minutes.
                                                                                        It still considered as a win and I got his soul.

                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                          Demon King: I'm gonna kill you with fire for no reason!
                                                                                          Ashen One: Joke's on you, I'm sweaty!
                                                                                          Demon King: NOOOOOOO

                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                            Just beat this guy for the first time, pretty trown off by the mix of ultra slow attacks and split second mace drop or gift fireballs My fight was a frantic R1-O-R1-O-R1-O-R1-O-R1-O-R1-O-R1-O-R1-O-R1-O-R1-O-R1 avoiding by miliseconds the endless barrage of fireballs My only break was when he charged the flame and when he released it, though cookie, but kinda glad they mixed up the demons fights

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              i'm surprised at how many people i find having trouble with this boss, he is just so slow that i killed him on the first try by just spamming heavy soul arrows and dodging his attacks

                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                Fun little bug. When he releases his fire around 20% hp if you are too close to his club it is possible to become trapped inside unable to evade the blast

                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                  Just wrecked this guy on NG+ with Skilled Caestus +10. I was getting ~250 damage per hit and his slower moves give you lots of time to spam L1 for great ora ora ora ora. You can really pummel his groin for most of the fight, but be careful when his HP gets low - he staggers right before his flame goes out, and it's very easy to get trapped by his limbs and then one-shot by the big AoE blast.

                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                    I feel like this old man and Yhorm got buffed. They are way more agro than before. Old King pulls up 9 or 10 piece combos. I kinda feel good for them. Felt great to be***** on by yhorm, i got that fresh new dark souls player feeling. The casul feeling

                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                      Stat wise, cuculus is using a bad combination for the boss, but in practice, cuculus is a good phantom for the fight. Or at least it feels like it. And since Tsorig doesn’t have any estus he can die quickly.

                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                        Just had an odd experience. Used storyteller's staff and kept him proc'd with poison. 33 dam/sec throughout. Took no damage as a result. The odd thing is that I received 30,000 souls after the fight. I even have video. The only thing I can imagine is that the game rewarded the flawless fight. That's odd though... because I know there have been plenty of speedruns wherein people never get hit by anything. So I feel like that reward would be one everyone would know about by now. Either way, it was on NG. Not like that matters... because 30,000 is never a reward for beating him.

                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                          It says the Old Demon King is the only survivor who witnessed the Chaos of Izalith, but what about the Demon in Pain, Demon from Below, and the Demon Prince? Wouldn't they also be survivors and witnesses?

                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                            The suggestion to hit him during his big fire stream ability as melee is bunk. It only triggers if you are fairly far away. If you're far enough away to trigger it, you're too far away to get a chance to melee him.

                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                              Pestilent Mist worked well for me as a pyro/sorcerer, while the two NPC's held aggro I got behind him and cast it a few times, then pelted him with Great heavy soul arrow, but it was still a close one. Knight Slayer Tsorig died just as the boss did. and Cuckulus had a sliver of health, lucky me... Pestilent mist seemed to work well here because with his range he tends to stand still, so you get the full effect of the spell.

                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                use poison (he is not so resistant at all as wiki says lol).....best to use storytellers staff (wont need to go so near, run around big skulptures)

                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                  Hi, totally weak to lightning damages. I did it with the dragonslayer greataxe : 2 special attacks which weaken him, and 1 hit to finish him. 3 hits are enough. Level 91 with a shield and i have 40 in strength

                                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                                    I just summoned Cuculus and Tsorig... Well they, especially Tsorig, tanked most hits Cuculus simply healed up everytime and kept distance while firing her pyromancies, in the meanwhile I bashed this old dude from behind with that huge ass "Sword of a Black Knight" I got dropped a few deaths back. I checked in here to see if there is something I might have missed anyway, keep bashing away and he'll die eventually but man those staggers, uff, this king or whatever must have felt pretty horrible after I was done... Ye no, forget that, pretty sure he didn't feel anything anymore after I was done. (Yep gonna be that asshole xD) FIRST TRY BTW! Like ever... :D Oh and don't forget to look fashionable like I did, we are talking here about "Fashion Souls 3" after all.

                                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                                      he can be glitched into the right wall of the arena near the fog gate. he will be stuck in place, the character model moving and still attacking, but you can stand back and pepper him with arrows as i did

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