Dark Souls Asylum Demon Guide for PC

Defeating the first boss of Dark Souls.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

If you’re just now picking up Dark Souls in anticipation of Dark Souls II, the first enemy you’re going to come across is the Asylum Demon in the Undead Asylum.

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This guide isn’t going to focus on any story elements or why the demon is there–this is simply a strategy for defeating the demon.

Beginning the game

You’ll start out in a cell. Take the key from the corpse dropped by the stranger from the cutscene and make your way through the beginning of the Asylum. Enemies here aren’t too difficult. There’s a bonfire not too far from your starting point–you’ll climb up a ladder and enter a large, open room to reach it. Make sure to light it and rest.

Going through the door immediately behind you begins your long (and admittedly difficult) journey through the game, and also aggros the demon; unless you want to attempt to fight him with your starting broken hilt, you’ll run right past him. Run towards the back left corner, and you’ll see a door. If you don’t stop, he’ll drop down from his spawn point just as you reach the door–the gate will shut behind you, trapping the demon inside.

Pots are smashable, so don’t worry about trying to weave around them; you can roll through them or break them with your attacks.

After going down the stairs, you’ll light another bonfire on your right. Continue on through the door on the left.

There’s a corpse and an archer in this passway. Loot the corpse to grab your first shield, then, hide behind the wall and get out of the archer’s line of sight. Equip your shield, then proceed down the passway while blocking. The archer will run away from you, so loot your first weapon, equip it, and then follow him to the fog gate. Once he’s dead, pass on through.

There are no enemies on the other side of the fog gate. You’ll enter the upper area of the demon’s room, and move to your right. There will be two staircases–go down first and open the door on your left to unlock your shortcut back to the starting bonfire. Rest if you want, and then go back up those stairs, and up the second flight. An enemy will roll a boulder at you, so prepare to drop off the steps to avoid it. You only have to run up so far before the rock begins to roll.

There’s now a hole in the wall from the boulder. Talk to the NPC inside and get both your Estus flask and your key. This key unlocks the door at the top of the stairs, where the boulder came from. Kill the enemy and open it.

After unlocking the door, you’ll find yourself on a balcony. Be careful here–there are two enemies around the corner on the left, and an archer behind them. Draw the two enemies back towards the door, kill them, and then kill the archer alone.

Behind the archer, there’s a room with a tougher enemy (shield- and sword-wielding). Kill him before moving on. Remember that enemies respawn every time you rest at a bonfire, so if the demon kills you, you must fight these enemies again before you do the boss encounter. The enemy behind the archer is optional.

The Asylum Demon

He’s not the most difficult boss in the game to be sure,  but he can be tricky for those just starting out. You may need all five estus flasks, so feel free to run back down to rest at the bonfire before engaging him (remember your enemies respawn if you do this).

Walking through the fog gate on this balcony immediately begins the encounter (trust me, the music lets you know). He’ll be standing directly below you, looking up.

The easiest way to inflict some serious damage is your plunging attack. Locking on to the demon, drop down and do a light attack while falling. Once the animation is done and you drop to the floor, run or roll away to gain some distance.

The demon does three main attacks:

  • He’ll drop the end of his weapon on the floor to crush you.
  • He’ll swing his weapon horizontally.
  • He’ll fly in the air and drop his butt on you.

All of these attacks have fairly visible animations and are easily dodged, so be sure to pay attention. Once you dodge, you can put a little distance between you and use a flask if necessary. It may take you a couple of tries to kill him, so just be patient. Remember that if he hits you, there’s a brief moment of recovery before you’re back on your feet.

Staying behind him makes the fight pretty simple, but you can also run around infront of him to prompt an attack, dodge, and then sprint in and land a blow or two.

Once you’ve killed him, use the key he drops to open the door behind him and follow the path out to the ledge. You’ll be taken to Firelink Shrine.

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Katy Hollingsworth
whale biologist.