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.
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|
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
|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.|
|The demon will conjure a circle of fire that will move inwards or outwards from him, can be blocked or dodged through.|
|The demon bashes his hammer in the ground and then starts to turn it in circles above his head.|
|The demon bashes his hammer in the ground, linear trails of fire covering different directions will emit from the center. Take Evasive Action.|
|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.|
|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.