This is not a very nice place.
Dark Souls 3: Irithyll Dungeon to Profaned Capital
There’s a lot to see and do in Irithyll Dungeon, but it’s also a very dangerous and nerve-wracking area with only one bonfire and no really pleasing two-way shortcuts. Because it’s so unpleasant, many players may wish to forego treasure hunting and skip through via a pair of one-way shortcuts leading directly to the next area; we’ll highlight these as we come to them.
As you advance from the Irithyll Dungeon bonfire, there’s a cell on the left with an item glow and a cell on the right with a passive undead prisoner. Collect the Rusted Gold Coin and something happens – not to spoil it for you – and the passive becomes hostile if you haven’t already given it a smack. Most of the undead here will transform into mutant undead if you get close to them, so it’s best to take them out as soon as possible.
The next cell on the left holds a Large Titanite Shard, by which time you have probably spotted the new enemy type ahead. The third set of cells doesn’t hold any interest for us yet so push on to face the Jailer.
Jailers are very odd. The poke at you with their soldering irons, and for some reason this freezes you in place to continue taking damage. They also spit a cloud that doesn’t seem to do anything. Most importantly, if they look at you – just look! – your health bar shrinks. No, not your health – your health bar. It comes back after a while, but empty. Also, they giggle. Disconcerting.
Luckily, this one is so easy to sneak up on that the biggest risk is falling off the ledge. Don’t do that. Although you can cheese your way through a lot of this dungeon, whether you can’t take this Jailer down before it wheels to face you is a good judge of how you’re progressing against the game’s difficulty. If it’s impossible, you probably want to go away and get a bit stronger with weapon upgrades and infusions before proceeding.
After killing the first Jailer, take a moment to orient yourself. This area is composed of two wings joined by a central bridge. Each wing has an upper and lower corridor of cells joined by a set of stairs about two thirds along, diagonally opposite each other. We’re going to explore the upper ledge on this side, the lower ledge on this side, the upper ledge on the far side, and then the lower edge on the far side.
Move along the ledge, scanning the right wall closely. An undead is waiting to ambush you from the right. The item nearby is only a Fading Soul. The next cell on the right is the source of the distressing banging sound; you can swipe at the undead inside to kill it. If you open the door, it will be wandering loose next time you come through.
Past the next column a Jailer is waiting on the left, and three undead are in a cell on the right. They’ll usually aggro if you attack the Jailer with melee, so think about in what order you want to tackle this encounter if you can’t take the Jailer down fast enough; you can also snipe her with arrows from behind the column if you’re careful not to let her see you and allow her to calm down between shots.
You can sprint right past this group on a later visit, but for now, do take them down. There’s another Jailer who patrols onto the bridge on the left; it’s a good idea to take her down now, even though we’re going further along this top ledge first.
Ignore the opening on your right and proceed to the end of the ledge, where you’ll find a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier or some such – on another screaming corpse. It calls the second Jailer down on you from behind if you haven’t smacked her already. Remember this spot for when we grab the Jailbreaker’s Key.
Double back and take the left opening (facing back towards the bonfire). There’s a Jailer tucked into the curve of the stairs you’ll come to – and five living cages. Been a while, fellas. Remember these take little damage from slash, so use a thrust weapon.
The cell accessible form this room is locked, so advance into the lower corridor. To your right is a tempting item glow; an undead is waiting to ambush you on the left as you move towards it. It’s a Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier.
You can just go straight back upstairs now, but if you want to explore to the end of this corridor: don’t worry, the cages aren’t alive. You’ll come to a cell with an open door on the left; there are four undead in here, at least one of whom will immediately transform and attack. The cell beyond this holds a maggot beast. You can slap at it through the door, but it slaps back. There’s nothing else in there, and opening the door just lets the beast out so it can murder you when you inevitably fall off the ledge above. Don’t do that.
When you’re ready, head back upstairs and return to where the corpse screamed at you; you can snipe a Jailer on the opposite side of the area. Otherwise, be ready to fight it after we cross the bridge.
Cross the bridge and turn right to face where the Jailer was (or is). There are four undead either in the cells or in the corridor here. Enter the second cell along and collect the Large Titanite Shard. Enter the other cell and grab the Pale Pine Resin as you pass through the gap in the wall.
Through the next gap in the wall you’ll encounter a … thing on the right wall. It looks like some sort of hideous mix of dragon and human, and given the sort of thing that goes on in this place, we’ll call it dragon spawn for now. This one doesn’t attack so feel free just keep going. It is not the source of the screams.
Open the door and exit, then turn left and left again to open the gate. Ignore the stairs and continue along this ledge and you’ll find a cell on the right. Open it to collect the Jailbreaker’s Key. It doesn’t open either of the locked cells you’ve passed, sorry.
What the Jailbreaker’s Key does do is open the window on the upper ledge on the bonfire side of this area, back by the second screaming corpse. This allows you to drop down to a path below, bypassing some of the crawl. You probably don’t want to do this until you’ve finished exploring here, but if this whole area makes you feel physically ill (reasonable) it’s certainly an option. If you decide to take the shortcut, scroll down till you see “shortcut ends” to join back up.
Assuming you’re going to keep going via the main route, head for the stairs leading down to the lower row of cells. As well as the Jailer standing in the middle of the floor on the lower level, there’s another Jailer tucked into the curve of the stairs themselves, and one more Jailer hidden with its back to the room in a corner. This is a good bit of camouflage.
In a cell just off this room is another dragon spawn. This one is not chained up and will attack you, so feel free to murder it. In its cell you will find a Simple Gem.
Two living cages flank the doorway out to the lower corridor. The right path is a dead end right now, so look left. See the crystal lizard? It drops a Titanite Scale, but unfortunately it leads you right past a … thing, waiting to ambush you from the left.
When the excitement is passed, you’ll see there’s another dragon spawn in a closed cell. If you open it and kill it you won’t have to listen to its screams any more, but also, it will be loose next time you pass through. Decisions, decisions.
Go out the doorway into blessed silence and grab the Homeward Bone (tempting).
This next area is where you drop down if you use the Jailbreaker’s Key mentioned above. You might want to go do it now, while the enemies behind you are all dead, in order to grab the Bellowing Dragoncrest Ring. If not, keep it in mind for next time you die.
Peer down the path (or down to the path, if you’re coming from the shortcut window) and you’ll spot an Irithyll guard and an Irithyll crossbowman; they’re just big grunts though. Another Irithyll guard will stand up when you pass the pillar on your right.
There’s actually a second shortcut here if you drop down even further to the next path below; you will need Spook or the Silvercat Ring. If you struggle with the next section and don’t mind missing the treasure and failing to unlock a two-way shortcut, feel free. Scroll down to “shortcut ends” to join us again.
Continuing on along the path where you fought the grunts, you’ll enter a doorway. The chest to your right through this door is a Mimic, and a much tougher one than you’ve met to date. Don’t be fooled by its reluctance to enter the dungeon if you run back to the door; it can and will come through if you make it mad enough to attack through the door. It drops an Estus Shard, which may or may not be worth its kicking bullshit.
Take a few steps into the room ahead and pause; this will bring our four Irithyll guards and two Irithyll crossbowmen. Later on you can just run past these guys and fall down a hole at the side of the room, but for now, lure them out and murder them.
Move to the end of the corridor near the ladder; two Irithyll guards await you around the corner. Continue down the corridor to grab a Soul of a Weary Warrior.
Double back to the ladder and open the door at the bottom. There’s a Crystal Lizard hidden by the sleeping giant, but don’t approach it yet. We want to kill this giant so we can get to the lizard, but there’s a better place to do it if you’re not keen on duelling it on the ledge (and losing your lizard).
Climb back up and go to where you collected the soul behind the two guards, and drop down the hole a the end to land on a rocky ledge. Follow this path around, dropping down ledges as necessary, to collect the pickaxe. Kill the three rats here and advance into the sewer very slowly; four rats arrive in a moment. When they’re dead, you can cheese (or duel) the giant from this perch. When it’s down. cross the narrow bridge and use the ladder to return to the previous ledge, where you can kill the lizard for a Titanite Chunk, and collect a Soul of a Crestfallen Knight.
Optional treasure hunt
Here’s an optional diversion, which opens an extra shortcut: if you have Spook or the Silvercat ring, drop down into the giant’s pit, where there are loads of rats. Kill them you can collect two Titanite Shards and the Profaned Flame spell. The rats respawn, so be careful, but you can have a chat with Siegward of Catarina at the window.
There are two exits out of here and you should check out both. The large tunnel leads to a lift, allowing you to open a shortcut gate to the bonfire. Come back down once you’ve done this and search along the abyss edge for some stairs. Up here you’ll find a Mimic; it’s got ten Dragonslayer Lightning Arrows.
Climb the long, long ladder in this room (it’s next to a torch near the door) and then jump across the rooftops to collect ten Lightning Bolts. You can now either drop down to the giant’s ledge directly, or go inside via the far window and take the ladder down.
Optional treasure hunt ends
Whether you take this optional route or not, our next destination is the sewer tunnel where you fought all those rats and sniped the giant. Move forward, ignoring the path to the right, to grab a Soul of a Weary Warrior. You’ll hear a basilisk from above you: yes, horror is coming.
At the end of the corridor you’ll see two chests. The one on the left is a Mimic, but it’s actually the less dangerous of the two. The one on the right holds the Old Cell Key (no, it doesn’t open either of the locked cells we’ve passed), but when you open it, four basilisks come pouring out of that hole in the ceiling behind you. If you leg it, rolling through them, you can usually get back to the tunnel entrance with only one on your heels, and then lure them one by one. The Mimic is best left for after you’ve survived this nonsense, and cheesed with the good old hit-and-run tactic. It’s got the Dark Clutch Ring.
Backtrack along the tunnel and take the side path, where two giant rats are waiting. Collect the Dung Pie from this room, and advance cautiously towards the next area.
There are a million Jailers patrolling here. Ignore the shit out of them and sneak left, collecting a Large Titanite Shard. Continue along the path and out into the open (gorgeous view), collecting the Dragon Torso Stone as you move towards a lift. Remember this location for later in the game! We can open an optional area from here.
Halfway up this lift you can step off onto a platform and collect the Lightning Blade spell. There’s a lever outside the lift shaft you can use to bring it down again. After that, take the lift all the way up, then take the Large Soul of a Nameless Soldier, and open a shortcut gate reasonably close to the bonfire. At. Last.
Return to the room where you saw the Jailers patrolling. There aren’t really a million: there are seven Jailers. If you are a ranged character you can cheese them (it takes a while and a lot of arrows, and is most easily achieved from the room where the two giant rats were), but melee players will have a really tough time. If you can’t defeat the Jailers, we suggest just taking the second shortcut mentioned above; exploring this area while they’re alive is deadly.
When you do take the Jailers down, the item they’re guarding is an Ember. Along the right side of the room you’ll find Alva’s set tucked away in a corner (but only if you defeated him earlier), and there’s another Ember a little further along this side.
Facing into this room from the path to the lift we just unlocked, there’s an open door on the left. In here you’ll find five dragon spawn. Only two are hostile to begin with but the rest soon aggro. Clear them out and you can grab the Profaned Coal; take this to Andre the Blacksmith to unlock more infusions.
At the other end of this room is a door you can open. Wait until there are no Jailers looking at you (if they’re alive), then slip out into the tunnel next door. You’re safe here, but the chest on the right is a Mimic. Lure it back into the previous room and you can use the central pillar to confuse it. It drops two Titanite Scales.
Your next goal is the next cell, but it’s really not easy to get there if the Jailers are alive. They’re are spaced in such a manner that you will almost certainly be spotted by at least one as you open the door or make a break for it even if you’ve already opened it. It gets worse: one of the corpses inside will scream, bringing everyone and their dog down on you. What a pain. It’s really worth doing once, to grab the Xanthous Ashes (on the screaming corpse far from door) and less excitingly the Dusk Crown Ring.
There’s nothing else in this room but a hidden Jailer on the right and, behind a closed door, a very nasty crucifixion victim. There’s also an NPC in a locked cell, but we don’t yet have the key. Head out the doorway opposite the path to the lift. This is where you end up if you drop a second time after taking the Jailbreaker’s Key shortcut above.
Second shortcut ends
Head on down the stairs and bear left to collect the Soul of a Weary Warrior. No wonder they were tired at this point; we ourselves are gagging for a nice brew up around a cheery bonfire. One last little push.
Survey the landscape before crossing the bridge, and you may well notice some sort of figure on the wall of the ravine across the way. It’s a gargoyle warrior, and if you just trip across it leaps on you and you have to fight it on the bridge. Rubbish. Hit it with an arrow and retreat to safer ground.
These things are tough, but slow. Keep your shield up and circle, circle, circle. They’re hard to interrupt, so try to roll behind it when it winds up to attack, then give it a paddling from behind. It will attempt to protect itself with its wings; you’ll notice it taking much less damage if it has been successful. If you’re patient and always keep stamina for your shield, you’ll be fine. Its most dangerous attack is when it flies a little and stabs its spear at the ground multiple times; roll away several times and reorient yourself.
Cross the bridge and you’ll be in the Profaned Capital. Take the ladder down to the floor, then look for another one on the other side. Raid the item glow for the Stretch Out emote and an Undead Bone Shard, then sit your arse down to activate the Profaned Capital bonfire. Phew! Well done!