Dark Souls walkthrough

A survival guide to one of gaming's most hostile environments

OPTIONAL: RETURNING TO THE UNDEAD ASYLUM

Before you enter Blighttown via The Depths, you may want the Rusted Iron Ring, which allows you to move quickly in swamp-like environments. This ring can only be obtained by returning to the Undead Asylum from which you originally came. Be warned, though, that the boss there is very difficult if you fight him at a low level, and the Rusted Iron Ring is not absolutely necessary.


Above: How to get the key and return to the Undead Asylum

First, head to the elevator shaft near Firelink Shrine that leads up to the Undead Parish. Ride the elevator up just a bit until you can jump off onto a ruined ledge. From here, turn right onto the grassy cliff. Roll from this cliff out onto the tower buttress (see the video for details). Scale the tower until the steps take a 180 degree turn. At this point, leap off onto the nearby roof and loot the corpse to find the Undead Asylum F2 West Key. Now repeat this process, only continue up the stairs and find The Giant Crow’s nest. Step into it and press A to curl into a ball. The crow will then grab you and take you back to the asylum.

Head down the slope and into the building. Move around the perimeter of the room and return to the first bonfire you lit when you started the game. Now reenter the building and step into the center of the room. You’ll fall down into a new room, where the Stray Demon is waiting for you.

OPTIONAL BOSS: STRAY DEMON

This enemy is a bit like the Asylum Demon you fought earlier in the game. Stay directly behind the demon at all times, attacking his tail as often as you can. If he raises his hammer to slam it down in front of himself, roll a few feet beyond the tip of his tail to avoid a magic splash attack. If he flies up, roll back to avoid his butt stomp, but keep your shield raised just in case. If you’re attempting this fight this early, it’s important to press Y before attacking in order to hold your Drake Sword in both hands. Your target should be his tail, as striking it allows you to maintain a safe distance. It can take a while to whittle him down depending on how strong you are, but just watch the video and mimic what we do – you should be fine.

After the battle, look for a ladder next to a torch in the corner of the room. Once you climb it and pass through the broken bars, you’ll find yourself in a familiar hallway. To your left is a Black Knight. He’s dangerous, but he’s also guarding something important, so take him out. Proceed into the cell he was guarding and grab the Peculiar Doll from the corpse. You’ll need this to gain access to an optional area later in the game.

Head back through the hallway and continue on until you’re back at the first bonfire. From here, head through the door to your right. You’ll soon run into the knight who gave you your first Estus Flasks, only this time, he’s hostile. His attacks are slow and his evasive roll virtually worthless, so just take your time and go for backstabs – as usual.

Head up the steps nearby (watch out for that boulder - again), past where the fog door used to be, and into the room with the door that was inaccessible during your first visit. Now you can open it using the Undead Asylum F2 West Key. Beyond this door, on the broken stairs, is the Rusted Iron Ring. You’re done here! Return to the cliff and curl up in the Giant Crow’s nest to return to Lodran.