Dark Souls Bosses Ranked

I love Dark Souls and am spending an inordinate amount of time playing the games again at the moment which got me thinking. Doesn’t the world need ANOTHER pointless list on the internet? I am going to base this list on my opinion, which is obviously subjective but I am basing it on my experiences from playing the game this includes my first impressions of the bosses, but also how my opinion has changed over time.

For the purposes of this list I am NOT including any DLC bosses. I also won’t be counting creatures such as the Hydra, while they could be considered a boss they don’t have a fog gate, a massive on screen health bar, and a bitching soundtrack.

Please note this list is obviously subjective and based on my experiences with the game, so don’t get too salty if your favourite boss isn’t my favourite.

22. Moonlight Butterfly: This is either a fucking snoozefest or over in 10 seconds. If you have ranged attacks this joke of a boss will die before it gets a shot off, if you don’t you have to dodge around waiting for the fucking moth to land so you can hit it 4-5 times, before it flies off and you have to repeat dodging process for a couple of minutes. Dying to this moth should embarrass you, but on a first playthrough you’ll be forgiven a few deaths as the platform is narrow and you might not know how to dodge roll properly this early in the game.

Shit bloody moth…

21. Bed of Chaos: Fuck this guy. If you have strength 50 and a Havel shield just tank through the whole thing rendering him a joke. Otherwise prepare for piss poor platforming cheesefest as you die 30 times navigating the terrible level design. All of this is compounded by the fact the actual boss is a fucking worthless shit that dies to a back-handed slap. Oh, and the tediously long corpse run to get back to the fight makes this a thoroughly unenjoyable experience.

fuck you!

20. Taurus Demon: Bit of a joke to be honest. Nicely teaches you the ropes, you’ll die on him 10 times the first time you play the game. But all you do his hug his ankles and straife round him smashing his bollocks with whatever weapon you have. He embarrasses himself so much he is prone to leaping off the bridge himself to commit suicide out of pity for you. On subsequent playthroughs he ia a waste of oxygen.

Check this big lad out!

19. Bell Gargoyles: Technically the 3rd boss you can fight, but is probably the most tutorial-LY of the lot. This is you learning to avoid magic attacks and some more complex movesets than a big swinging dick. It is also a reskin of a Demon Souls game, but we don’t count that. Be quick with your damage because a second weaker one will turn up midway through the battle to teach you how to do quick damage hit and run attacks as well as crowd control. 2 NPC summons can render this battle moot on a first playthrough. Cutting the tail off will yield a Tail Weapon that is ok at best, but this boss is reduced to trash fights with a couple popping up in Anor Londo. You will probably die a fair few times as you’re learning the game mechanics since the gargoyle hits pretty hard for an early boss and has a relatively devastating fire attack. You’ll kill the first Gargoyle before the 2nd has finished his warm up animation in New Game +.

This fight teaches most of the mechanics you’ll need for later.

18. Demon Firesage: The third pallette swap of the tutorial boss. He is exactly the same as previous, except he is on fire. By this point in the game you should have his attacks memorised and he offers nothing of note over the Asylum variant, he is also weaker than the Asylum.

he gets blurry apparently

17. Pinwheel: This boss is so easy a lot of people kill it 2nd. And you’re supposed to do him towards the end. A mini puzzle as he creates clones, that all fire high damaging spells, but running back and forth smacking fuck out of them will cause them to disappear and as long as you keep the numbers down or focus on the real Pinwheel even at low level he is dead in less than 10 swipes. I think in 15+ playthroughs I have died less than 3 times to this joker.

Check this joker.

16. Asylum Demon: One of three pallette swap bosses that gets a little bit of credit for being optional. Big, slow and dumb. As long as you stay behind him he does nothing as he’ll send a powerful explosion in front of himself that you can easily avoid. Learning him can be frustrating as he is a boss that can one shot you and you take heavy fall damage just entering the arena. But if you remember to run behind him after the fall damage on entering arena you prevent instadeath caused by trying to heal at the wrong moment.  You’ll certainly die a few times just learning to get into combat.

Prepare for butt pokes

15. Capra Demon: He is just a fucking gank. You forget how much of a bastard he is when not on a first playthrough as you’re able to one shot him without an issue on New Game +. But when you have low stats and not doing much damage, or have shit armour, the dogs and his one hit leap are annoying as fuck meaning you will die a lot here. This fight teaches you some of the core components of the game, but early being instakilled as you enter the arena is deeply frustrating.

14. Stray Demon: This boss serves as a tutorial, and you can knock off well over 50% health by following the tutorial. So shouldn’t ever be an issue, on a first play through you will probably die once or twice. But he is slow, and has weak attacks. This boss is repeated two other times in Dark Souls, and this is the most interesting one especially on New Game when you run up to him and punch him in the nuts a couple of times until he dies.

13. Four Kings: Did you learn to DPS quickly in the Bell Gargoyle fight? Because if you didn’t this fight could get nasty. You start with one King, and then another one, and then another. If you are slow here you will be overwhelmed. So get in close, attack and dodge. It is honestly a cunt of a fight unless you have an amount of damage output.

If you can’t DPS quickly enough then just stay close, the other Kings tend to not get involved if you stay balls deep in the King you’re fighting.

Mostly done as the second to last boss due to his outright cuntishness (also where Dave got stuck and has never finished the game)

Bit of a knob.

12. Iron Golem: Big hard lad in armour, on my latest playthrough I had no strength and chipped 20 damage off a hit, and even with that turning this game into a war of attrition I am not sure I took a single hit. His super telegraphed attacks and ability to run between his legs means he is easier than the hell of climbing Sen’s Fortress that proceeded him. He also does less damage than the Giants you could have optionally fought in Sen’s Fortress too. The exception being the grab attack which will probably result in instadeath as he lobs you off of the Fortress. You will probably die less than 10 times the first time you fight him, and then maybe once or twice on subsequent playthroughs but he is fun. Also, if you hurt his legs enough he might fall off the walkways to an early death.

Don’t fight him this way, he’ll through you off the bridge…

11. Ceaseless Discharge: I honestly don’t think I have ever killed this boss without cheesing it. He has several one shot kill attacks if you get it wrong, so all I have ever done is stand in the narrow passage and attack his arm tentacle when it misses you. He is a cool boss design, but in 15+ kills on him I have cheesed it every time. Other people waste time pulling him to the fog gate for a different way to cheese.

He is a big fire thingy.

10. Dark Sun Gwyndolin: Another optional boss that is easily missable as she hides underneath the moving platform in Anor Londo. This is the only “gauntlet” boss in Dark Souls 1 as you run along a very narrow corridor avoiding the super powerful magic and rapid fire arrows. But do what that useless Stark kid should have done in the Battle of the Bastards and serpentine, and you’ll avoid her attacks, and then smack fuck out of her 2-3 times before she teleports further away and you repeat the process. The battle isn’t hard once you know the mechanics (avoiding things) but one misstep, badly timed roll, or poor stamina management will almost certainly result in instadeath from the “mega magic ball of fuck you”.

Bitch is about to teleport.

9. Crossbreed Priscilla: An Optional Boss you probably won’t find unless you read a guide, because obviously EVERYONE thought to go back to the prison cell you start the game in pick up a creepy doll and then go rub it on the painting in Anor Londo. Priscilla is an interesting fight as she turns invisible, and you need to follow her footsteps in the snow to hit her, while also avoiding her massive fucking scythe. Fighting her can he difficult and potentially break your game if you can’t beat her, but thankfully she is next to the best grinding spot in the game if you need to power level to face tank her.

If you cut her tail off you get a worthless dagger that contributes to an achievement.

She is a fairly polite lady until you attack her.

8. Gravelord Nito: I honestly think this is a tedious fight, but other people seem to like him. If you have a divine weapon (which you probably should to have made it this far into the game) allows you to pick off his skeleton helpers and stop them coming back for deserts. After they are dealt with you have a slow boss whose only real means of damage is a devastating AOE attack you shouldn’t EVER get hit by. If the skeletons are dealt with it is easy, if they are not, you’ll die a lot in a boring gankfest.

He looks better in concept art.

7. Centipede Demon: This fight is 90% against the camera the other 10% knowing where to engage with the boss. First time I played through it was a slog, as the floor is lava and lava almost instakills. However, if you run to the right of the entrance door as you come in, across the small stretch of lava to a large open section you can happily run around this boss avoiding all his telegraphed moves, avoiding the lava, and avoiding the camera freaking out due to the walls. Elsewhere you’ll struggle to dodge the powerful moves as the camera jitters making anticipatingattacks impossible, or accidentally rolling into a wall pinning yourself, or into the lava that’ll probably kill you. Manage the camera, and you’ll win.

Fight him around here

6. Seath the Scaleless: Ignoring the fight you are supposed to die in, Seath is a mini-puzzle. If you don’t Destroy the crystal he will regenerate his health. If you do, then just avoid the breath attack as you smack Seath in the nuts once or twice before running away to safety. He is a fun fight, but mistiming anything will result in death from the breath attack. You can cut off his tail for a bitching Intelligence Sword.

I can never cut this dragon’s tail

5. Gwyn, Lord of Cinder: It took me 15 playthroughs to bother saving Solaire which renders this fight a joke. But without him it is a bit of a let down. Gwyn is fast, with decent attacks. But all you do is dodge and hit him after a leap and repeat. It’ll take you a lot of deaths to nail a technique but the boss is a little bit of a let down for me. The fire-sword means you can’t quite tank all damage with a good shield, but good players will parry the attacks reducing Gwyn to dust quickly

Grumpy bastard is our Gwyn.

4. Chaos Witch Queelag: In my latest playthroughs the boss I died most times on my New Game Plus was Quelaag. She has hard hitting moves, and you have a propensity to under estimate her leading to instadeath from her explosion aura. Cool boss design in that she is a sexy naked chick on the back of a Spider. Not sure what that does for your sexual fantasies, but cool design, if a little impractical.


3. Great Grey Wolf Sif: He’s a good doggo, cut his leg and he’ll limp which makes me sad. He is a fast, fun boss with powerful attacks, but stay as close (ideally under him) and you’ll never take damage.

He’s a good doggy!

2. Ornstein and Smough: I give the lightning wizard and fatty fat fat a lot of shit because they are a hard fight, but to be honest, they are a fair fight. All the proceeding bosses have prepared you for this. Crowd management, using terrain to block attacks, hit and run attacks. What you are less prepared for is killing Smough first and having a fat fuck Ornstein to kill.  You can summon Solaire to help you get one dead, but even as you get better at the game this fight is always punishing if you get cocky. All your deaths are your fault, as all attacks are telegraphed, so while it feels unfair at first, if you learn the patterns and have stamina and terrain management down you should win by attrition.

Fuck these two!

1. Gaping Dragon: My personal favourite boss due to design and boss arena, can be very difficult on a first play through. But once you learn the game mechanics you’ll see that all the attacks are so ludicrously telegraphed you can beat it without taking damage. Plus, if you are struggling you can summon TWO NPCs to do the work for you.


I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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