Just. One. More.
Dark Souls 3 boss: Soul of Cinder
So here we are. The final boss of Dark Souls 3. Potentially something of a let down, to be honest.
This guy hits hard, it’s true – but if you’re even a little bit agile, and capable of keeping calm, you can do it.
First things first: be aware that the boss has two full health bars, one for each phase. Ration your Estus and don't get too excited when the first one empties out. Keep your health good and full through this fight; why do you think we’ve been collecting all those Estus Shards, eh?
If you’re a very low vigour character, you’ll want to bring a very good shield and use it all the time, because some of the boss’s attacks will absolutely one hit kill you. This means you need to be very, very careful of when you attack, because every time you lower your guard, you are potentially moments from death. If you can take a hit every now and then, this is a reasonably comfortable battle once you get into the swing of it.
Most of the Soul of Cinder’s attacks are slashes or thrusts, easily rolled away from. With a conservative strategy of one hit per evasion during the boss's recovery phases, plus good roll placement and stamina conservation, you’ll whittle him down with no dramas. Spell casters should wait for the boss to go into a melee combo, and fire away when the boss is flailing his sword in the other direction.
Soul of Cinder is the ultimate NPC character, which means it has a ton of abilities. During the first phase, it will begin with melee attacks only, then switch to a mix of lightning spears and homing soul masses, then switch to fireballs and other pyromancy spells, and finally begin using miracles. This last phase is very annoying, as the boss can heal itself – but ideally, you’ll have beaten the first phase before it gets this far. If the battle drags on it begins to cycle through this series again.
The second phase is significantly more dangerous, but comparatively simple, as there's only one set of moves and abilities to worry about. The boss becomes more aggressive and faster, and begins to unleash multiple lightning spears, which home in for an area of effect attack. It also has a very nasty grab attack, and a five hit combo you can’t roll out of, as it flicks you into the air.
Luckily, as long as you are circling and rolling, the only attack that will really worry you is the lightning one. It can be hard to predict where it will hit and also keep out of the boss’s way; try unlocking the camera and rolling as far away as you can in a diagonal line.
When the battle is over, you’ll receive Soul of the Lords. Read this item description carefully to understand just what you’ve been fighting.
To trigger the ending of the game, approach the bonfire in the centre of the boss arena. There are multiple options here, so you may want to double check the endings guide before you do anything.
After the cutscenes, you can choose to begin New Game+ immediately by saying “yes” when asked about your second journey, or choose “no” to return to Firelink Shrine; New Game+ is always available from the Firelink Shrine bonfire from here on.
Back at Firelink, you’ll find some things have changed. For one, the Shrine Handmaid now sells the rad Firelink armour set. You can now set off to explore optional areas like Archdragon Peak, go treasure hunting, level up for NG+, help other players or explore PvP. Head for NG+ if you're ready for even greater challenges.
Well done you! That was fun, hey. Thanks for playing along with us.