Some of the hardest mother fudgers to scrap with in DS3.
If you are aware of Dark Souls then you will more than likely know of its infamous difficulty. Around every corner, in every dark nook and abandoned dungeon is some ghoul or beasty ready to end you and offer up the ‘you died’ screen as penance for your fumbling. Whilst the game is balanced enough that players should be of a decent enough level for every new area they face, and the monsters in it, there are a few sneaky one off bad guys planted to test your heroes resolve and ability. For the most part these trickier enemies can be avoided all together but for the player looking to prove their grit they may be too tempting to resist. Here are my top 8 worst enemies (that aren’t bosses) to stumble across whilst traversing Dark souls 3’s beautiful world. Of course this means SPOILERS abound so read at your own risk.
- Spider Wolf (Cathedral of the Deep)
As a caveat before we start I feel I must mention that I have made up some of the names for these enemies so don’t take it as lore. The first on our list is a disgusting apparition that you happen upon first in the Cathedral of the Deep. Once inside the cathedral proper you will descend to the lower levels into the waters where a giant stands guard. This is where you can have your first encounter with a spider wolf. These freaky bastards have attacks ranging from jumping ground slams to toxic breath that can curse you. This first encounter is particularly tricky as the room you are in is small and if you loose the exit you will have no way of getting away from his fast attacks. Worse still, if you didn’t defeat the knight in the previous room he may join the party and quickly cave your face in.
- Silver Knights (portrait room, Irithyll of the Boreal valley)
Knights crop up all over Dark Souls 3 and more often that not they can be absolute gits to fight especially if they team you. The worst of these to happen across are those residing in the portrait room near the Distant Manor bonfire. As you enter the room a lone knight faces away from you at the far end of the room, admiring a painting of a familiar character in the Dark Souls world. A one on one fight with his back turned? A piece of cake you may think. Of course you are wrong. As you approach another knight above you will pelt you with Dragonslayer arrows that deal crazy damage and knock you off your feet and he doesn’t miss much. This fight requires some serious strategy to avoid facing all 3 knights at once (that’s right, there’s another one lurking in wait above you as well). It’s well worth doing though as there is some serious loot in the gallery.
- Prison Guards (Irithyll Dungeon)
Now for the most part these guys aren’t much bother. As long as you are quick on your feet and kill them before they can raise their lanterns you’ll be fine. The real test is down on the lower level of the dungeon towards the Profaned Capital. Here, in a large cellblock, lie in wait 8 of these prison screws. Your go to tactic of rushing them won’t work here, as alerting all of them to your presence is suicide. The reason for this being that if you allow them to raise their lanterns they will rapidly eat away at your health bar. I don’t mean just taking your health away I mean your actual health bar will disappear! This makes it impossible to heal and your health bar won’t return until you have broken their line of sight for a few seconds. If they manage to surround you they will force you to the floor with one of their branding irons and burn you out of existence. The key here is patience, being able to lure one at a time as they circle the block and silently taking them down without alerting the attention of the others.
- Outrider Beasts (between Irithyll of the Boreal Valley and Anor Londo)
After defeating the arsehole that is Pontiff Sulyvahn (seriously screw that guy) you may be forgiven for thinking that you deserve a little breather. Unfortunately this is not on the cards, this is Dark Souls after all. Just beyond Sulyvhan’s bonfire is a massive courtyard with giants, flame throwing deacons and two Drang knights. Fair enough. After trawling your way through the area you will find a room in at the back leading up to another area. In the corner of this room is a ladder leading down to a large water logged area with not one but two giant dog beasts! Whilst you will have encountered an Outrider Beast on the bridge as you entered Irithyll of the Boreal Valley (and later on in the lake below if you pussied out the first time) it’s difficulty doesn’t compare to two of these bad pups. Be ready to get lucky as the speed and power of these beasts can quickly turn a winning run into another crushing defeat, even for the most nimble of players.
- Giant Crystal Lizard (Cemetery of Ash)
The first giant crystal lizard in the game can be found within the first couple of minutes of play. This big blue reptile is the first enemy designed to test your metal as it is considerably harder than anything else in the area (arguably even more so than the boss of the area) and is completely optional to fight. With an imposing amount of health and devastating attacks the crystal lizard forces players to embrace the games skill and tactics based fighting mechanic. If this is your first time with a Souls game take the message on the floors advice, “turn back”.
- Master swordsman (Firelink Shrine)
Here again is an enemy designed to introduce you to another of Dark Souls punishing mechanics, enemy NPC’s. These human bad guys crop up often through the game and can invade or not depending on what paths you’ve taken in the game. The first however will always be waiting for you on the left side of Firelink Shrine. Whilst he may not look like much, his Katana can deal crazy damage and cause bleeding, meaning a few wrong steps will have you down in no time. When you finally drop him he’ll leave you his sword, which is handy at this early stage in the game as it’s quick and powerful, so it’s well worth taking him on.
- Sandworm (Smoldering Lake)
After destroying the bridge in the Catacombs of Carthus you can make your way down the dangling bridge to an optional area, the Smoldering Lake. When you first arrive in the area you emerge into a giant shallow lake with large burning trees dotted about. If you charge straight in you’ll be met with a large bolt fired from a triple ballista on an (currently) unreachable cliff face. The ballista fires three bolts in quick succession and can kill you quickly, so get rolling and find cover fast. At first glance it appears you have two options; run towards the cliff below the ballista where 3 giant crabs are waiting or run for the open door at the other end. Easy choice right? As you make your dash for the door a giant Sandworm will spring from the ground and block your path. This fight is extremely difficult as the worm can fire lightening at you whilst you’re still continuously pummelled by the ballista. The only way forward is to defeat this guy and there are a few tricks to safely deal with the situation but I’ll let you find those on your own.
- Handy Ogres (Profaned Capital)
The Profaned Capital is a relatively short area if you just want to power through and get to the boss, yet there is much to explore if you like an adventure. After a bit of exploration you will come across a large poisonous lake infested with hairy skeleton abominations. Once you have dispatched these you’ll find a door at the far left. Opening it will reveal a dark room with three slumbering ogres who have hands for faces. Super gross. What makes these bad boys particularly frustrating is their ability to attack you on all fronts. Going at them from the front gives them the chance to eat you whole in the palm of their face and attacking from the sides or back allows them to roll all of their lumbering mass on top of you. A quick stab and retreat tactic works best but when three of them are lumping around things get confusing and super hard real quick.
These are the enemies I found to be the biggest pains in the arse as they were often unexpected and in location that made getting to them a slog of its own. What enemies did you find to be the trickiest in this game? Did the hordes of The undead settlement have you climbing the walls? Were the Pontiff knights of Irithyll too punishing for words? Let me know what you think of the list and what had you crying in Dark Souls 3’s punishing and glorious world.