Demon's Souls boss guide to defeat them all

Demon's Souls boss guide
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Knowing how to beat Demon's Souls bosses won't guarantee a win but it will save you hours trying to master move sets and patterns. Especially when some are weak to specific damage or have a cheese you can use. In fact it's safe to say that almost all of them have a weakness of some kind to exploit in Demon's Souls to give you an edge. And, as well as various boss strategies in Demon's Souls, weapon choice can make a big difference to how a fight goes - no one wants to spend hours chipping away damage with the wrong sword. 

This Demon's Souls boss guide covers all 17 bosses, with tips and strategies to take them on. We’ve also got some easy tactics to get through these boss encounters as safely as possible. Remember, in these sorts of games staying alive is as important as doing damage. 

We've also got a Demon's Souls walkthrough if you want a more guided trip through the game. And, for the specifics we've got a range of guides across several topics: 

Demon's Souls tips | Demon's Souls walkthrough | How to level up in Demon's Souls | Demon's Souls monumental | Demon's Souls starting gift | Demon's Souls World Tendency | Best Demon's Souls weapons | Demon’s Souls weapon stats | Best Demon's Souls Class | What are demon souls worth?


How to beat the Demon's Souls Phalanx boss

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This boss can throw you off guard if you aren’t prepared. The most important factor with the Phalanx is to take out the smaller Hoplites that guard it. You won’t be able to deal any damage to Phalanx while its minions shield it from your attacks. 

During the level before the boss, you should have come across firebombs. You can find them close to the start of the level or by purchasing them from the Dregling Merchant. As soon as the fight starts, chuck your firebombs at the Hoplites, clearing a path to reach the boss’ slimy skin. Your goal here isn’t necessarily to take out the boss with your firebombs - but rather to clear a path (though you probably will damage it in the process). 

If you bring around eight or more firebombs with you, you’ll be in good shape. Once you’ve cleared a path, run up to the Phalanx and slash at the slime until it's dead. Without the Hoplites to guard it, it’ll go down with ease.

Tower Knight

How to beat the Demon's Souls Tower Knight boss

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Comparatively, Tower Knight is much more difficult than Phalanx. The main thing you need to do before even striking the boss is to run around the upper level of the arena to take out the archers that will otherwise make the battle harder for you. Once they’re all dead, you have two options to take down the boss.

If you opt for a melee approach, you need to stick behind the boss while attacking its ankles. Make sure you don’t lock-on, as the camera can get wonky. Two-hand your melee weapon and strike its ankles until it falls down backwards. Avoid being crushed and then attack the boss’ head while he’s down. Repeat this process a few times until it’s dead.

The other strategy is to stay on the upper level and shoot it from afar with magic or arrows. This will take a little longer but is a much safer approach, especially if you just want to get through it. Or, you can combine the strategies to make it go by more quickly.

Armor Spider

How to beat the Demon's Souls Armor Spider boss

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The Armor Spider is incredibly tough. What you want to do is block or dodge its flame attacks while making your way up the tunnel to get right next to it. Make sure you avoid the web blasts, as they’ll slow you down if they hit you.

Once you’re up close, use your shield to block the spider’s strikes, and take a few swings right after the animation of the boss’ attacks. Two-hand your weapon, get as many hits in as you can, and repeat the process. The hardest part is actually reaching the boss, so once you’re up close, you’ll be in better shape.

You are able to cheese the boss by hiding behind a body that’s webbed to the wall of the tunnel on the left side, right after the fog. Use this as cover and fire magic, or around 100 arrows into the boss and you’ll get through without even taking damage. Just make sure you’ve got a decent bow with plenty of ammo on you to ensure victory.


How to beat the Demon's Souls Flamelurker boss

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Taking down Flamelurker with melee is very challenging, especially during the early stages of the game. If you do opt to use melee, wear the Ring of Flame Resistance and get a few hits in, then back away to avoid its AoE blast. You can also use the pillars and other geometry to put between you and the boss.

A safer alternative is to stick back and strike it with ranged attacks like magic or bows. This will likely take a bit longer, but is much more manageable than trying to take it out up close. You can also take refuge at the top of the stairs on the opposite side of the arena if you need to heal.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to cheese through the boss -- unlike the PS3 version. If you keep your distance and use magic attacks, you’ll have a much easier time than trying to go toe-to-toe with melee attacks. In fact, it might be best to save this fight for a little later on during your playthrough to ensure you’re well equipped to take it down. Certain spells like the Soul Ray and Homing Soul Arrow work wonders against this boss. 

Dragon God

How to beat the Demon's Souls Dragon God boss

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The Dragon God encounter is more of a puzzle than an actual boss fight like you might be used to. In order to defeat the boss, you need to safely reach each of the two ballistas on either side of the arena to damage it - then run up to its face and finish it off.

As soon as the fight starts, run to the right side and destroy the rubble in your way. Then wait for the boss to stop attacking. You can tell if it’s about to attack by looking at its eyes - yellow means it’s neutral while red means it’s mad. Use this to gauge when to move on. While hiding, you should also pay attention to the boss’ head. Make sure it isn’t looking in your direction when you choose to move.

Reach the ballista, fire away, and then run downstairs to repeat the process. After the second ballista, you’ll be able to approach the Dragon God. Attack it with ranged options or walk up to its face, strike it and then back away when to avoid its hot breath. To play it safe, get a few attacks in, back away, watch its breath, and then run back up to repeat the process. 

Fool’s Idol

How to beat the Demon's Souls Fool’s Idol boss

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The most important thing about the Fool’s Idol boss is to eliminate the NPC located on the upper floor before the fight even starts. Climb to the top of the rightmost tower and take out the Prisoner to ensure the boss doesn’t heal herself.

After that, run up to the boss, get some two-handed melee attacks in, and then back away, using the pillars as cover. At this point, the boss will clone herself and you have to figure out which one is the real Fool’s Idol. You can tell by looking at the attacks - the one that shoots the larger Soul Ray is the real one. At this point, run up and get some more swings in while avoiding the attacks from the other enemies. It’s best to take out the Dreglings to make sure you don’t get stuck on them although any you leave will alway turn to worship the real Idol over the clones.

Ranged attacks work well on Fool’s Idol, too, and it’s usually safer to attack from afar. However, the boss doesn't have much health, so up close melee attacks will take her down faster. 


 How to beat the Demon's Souls Maneater boss

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Maneater is one of the toughest bosses in the game - despite not looking the part. It deals devastating amounts of damage, evades you like you wouldn’t expect, and calls in a second Maneater to help when you lower its health to around 20% (or after 100 seconds). 

The trick to this boss is to take down the first Maneater before the second one spawns in. This is possible by sticking to the boss and either shooting it with powerful magic like Soul Ray, or by using two-handed melee attacks (or both). Be careful of its long range magic blast and its pounce attack. If you stick behind it, you can easily get a few hits in - just make sure you roll through its attacks. You should watch out for its lunge attack -- which will leave it open for a few hits after the animation is over. Run behind it, strike it a few times, and then see what its next move is.

When it flies away, take this opportunity to heal, but be cautious of its long ranged magic attacks. Fire, magic, and miracles do wonders against Maneater but if you haven’t spec’d your character this way, you won’t be well equipped. Also, make sure you don’t roll around too much while fighting on the narrow bridge. It’s very easy to fall off, especially if the Maneater hits you with its heavy attacks.

Once the first Maneater is down, use the flame bowl in the center of the arena as cover. Stick behind it and wait for the boss to make a move, then strike. You’ll have a safer experience if you use cover -- as opposed to fighting it aggressively like the first Maneater. 

Old Monk

How to beat the Demon's Souls Old Monk boss

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If you start the Old Monk fight while online, an enemy player will take control of the boss to face off against you. This can be very unpredictable and challenging, so we recommend to head to the main menu to start the game in offline mode. If you do, the Old Monk boss will be AI controlled and it’s much easier than taking down a real player.

Wait for the boss to finish an attack, then run up while two-handing your melee weapon to continuously slash away at it. If you keep swinging, the boss will be stunned and won’t move. After your stamina runs out, back away and wait for it to recharge. 

Once it's full, repeat the process. With that in mind, the only other thing you need to watch out for are the boss’ long ranged magic attacks. Depending on your shield, you’ll still take damage from them even if you block, so try to roll out of the way to avoid them. 

While pummelling the boss, try and get behind it to execute a backstab. This will deal high amounts of damage and will free you up to deal more attacks as the boss gets up from the backstab. While up close, it’s harder to dodge the boss’ Homing Soul Arrows, so when you see them appear, back away to give yourself time to react. 


How to beat the Demon's Souls Adjudicator boss

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Thankfully, Adjudicator is a bit of a pushover and can be taken out from afar. As soon as the fight starts, go down to one of the lower floors and lock onto the boss’ head. As long as you aren’t on the ground floor, you can easily avoid its melee attacks, while having a clear view of its head. Get one long range attack in and then immediately back away to avoid its melee strike. Keep repeating this process for a safe fight. 

If you go down to where the boss is, you can strike its wounded gut to get it to fall on its face. From here, you can deal high amounts of damage to its head. It helps if you use Pine Resin or something else to enhance your weapon. At this point, wait for it to get up and do it again. Make sure you don’t lock-on, as the confined space can really mess up the camera. 

Keep rotating along the right side of the boss (the side where the wound is located) and make sure you walk instead of running. This will preserve your stamina and allow you to get as many hits in as possible. 

Old Hero

How to beat the Demon's Souls Old Hero boss

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Make sure you pick up the Thief’s Ring from Boletarian Palace 1-1 to make the fight against the Old Hero super easy. This boss is blind, meaning he’ll only attack if he can hear you. With the Thief’s Ring equipped, you’re free to sneak up behind the boss to get some easy melee attacks. Make sure you attack until the boss lets out a scream, then run away to the opposite end of the area to wait for the boss to calm down.

If for some reason, you don’t have the Thief’s Ring, you might want to stick to long ranged attacks to avoid getting hit. The boss can be quite deadly if it knows where you are. If you are going to use melee, we advise to stay behind the boss to get in a couple attacks. Don’t get greedy, as this can lead to death. As long as you’re quiet, you’ll be safe, so play conservatively and patiently to easily take him down.

Storm King

How to beat the Demon's Souls Storm King boss

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The Storm King can be made a lot easier if you take out all the Storm Beasts in the area before focusing on the boss. This can be done with arrows, so stick to the fog entrance and make sure you unequip the Thief’s Ring so the enemies will come to you. Try and take down every one of them, as it’ll make the boss more manageable.

Once they’re all down, you have two options for the Storm King. You can stick beneath the boss and fire arrows or magic at it, while using the geometry to take cover from its deadly spikes. This is a more effective method and it’ll give you more control of the fight, especially if you have an upgraded long range weapon like the Compound Long Bow.

The other option is to grab the Stormruler located at the far end of the area, next to one of the giant monoliths. This is seemingly a close range melee weapon, but it can actually be used from afar. When you swing it, a blast will emit, causing high amounts of damage.

This method works, but it’s tough to actually aim the Stormruler. More often than not, you’ll find that it’s easy to miss with the weapon. Unless you’re at the right angle, it can be tough to land a shot. For best results, get right beneath it and position yourself at its head so the blast goes along the length of its body. If you don’t have an upgraded bow, using the Stormruler might be your only option.


How to beat the Demon's Souls Leechmonger boss

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If you’re going to use melee against Leechmonger, we highly suggest to use turpentine on your weapon, as it’s very weak to fire. Make sure you don’t just drop off the top to reach the boss, either. Carefully drop down onto the platforms below and when you reach the bottom, heal up before striking.

Try to get right behind the boss and two-hand your melee weapon to deal high amounts of damage. Using this method, the boss will have limited attacks it can use against you. If you see it start to swing at you, roll through the attack (or block it) to be safe.

Alternatively, you can cheese the boss by dropping down to the planks below the start. Just drop down once and then position yourself so the boss starts hurling leech balls at you. The goal with this method is to ensure the leeches don’t hit you, so adjust your position accordingly. You should make sure the boss continuously throws ranged attacks at you, as this will prevent him from healing. If you’re out of range, the boss will continuously heal itself, making it near impossible to kill it.

Once you’re in a safe spot, fire arrows until it’s dead. It should only take 30 arrows or so - depending on the bow. Also, if you do get hit with leeches, make sure you use healing items right away.

Dirty Colossus

How to beat the Demon's Souls Dirty Colossus boss

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Much like the Leechmonger, Dirty Colossus is weak to fire, so throw some turpentine on your weapon to deal massive damage. Run behind the boss and attack with two hands. When it starts charging up, make sure you back away, as this signals it’s about to use its AoE attack. After the attack, run back up to the backside of the boss to repeat the process, while making sure to roll through any close range melee strikes.

The alternative is to cheese the boss, of course. You can position yourself behind one of the torches at the start of the area to avoid its long range attacks. If angled correctly, you’ll be able to fire arrows at the boss without getting hit.

As you fire arrows, the boss’ position will slightly change, and you might get hit with its long range attack. If this happens, don’t worry - just touch the fire to burn the flies off and quickly heal and readjust your position.

Maiden Astraea

How to beat the Demon's Souls Maiden Astraea boss

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The Maiden Astrea boss fight is sort of a trick, since you can defeat her by killing her bodyguard, Garl Vinland. He’s located to the left, just after the start of the area. You’ll find that Vinland is a formidable foe, but he tends to stand in one spot, freeing him up for an attack. It’s best to try and take him out with a melee weapon, as he usually blocks long range attacks.

Run up to him, try to get behind him, and if you do, give him a nice backstab, preferably with two hands. Then, as he’s getting up, swing away and try to stun him so he can’t move. If you get close enough, he’ll take a swing at you with his massive mallet, so use this time to get behind him. When your stamina is depleted, back away and wait for it to recharge.

Also, be careful of locking-on since the camera can give you some issues when fighting the enemy in the confined space. After Vinland is down, follow the path behind him to reach Maiden Astrea. Talk with her and she’ll die. Don’t forget to touch the Archstone right next to her to proceed.


How to beat the Demon's Souls Penetrator boss

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It’s best to save the Penetrator boss fight for the later stages of the game, if possible. Your best bet is to attack with magic since the boss is super deadly up close. That isn’t to say you can’t handle him with melee attacks, but it’s certainly much more difficult.

If you opt for the melee route, we advise to roll through both of its attacks, then get a few two-handed strikes in before backing away to recharge stamina. If you back away enough, the boss will zip towards you with an attack, so roll through it and repeat the process. If you’re iffy with rolling though attacks, you can try blocking them with your shield, but be aware that this isn’t as effective since you won’t be able to two-hand your weapon.

That’s why sticking to ranged attacks is the safer option - especially if you’re using a sorcerer build. Magic like Homing Soul Arrow or Soul Ray is highly effective.

Old King Allant

 How to beat the Demon's Souls Old King Allant boss

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Arguably the toughest boss in the game, Old King Allant has an arsenal of up close and ranged attacks you should be aware of. The most deadly is his AoE attack and if you see him charging it up, you should run away as far as you can because it has ridiculous range. 

Ideally, you should roll through his melee attacks, get some two-handed strikes in, wait for stamina to replenish, and repeat the process. But this is much easier said than done. You can actually take him down in two hits by using the Firestorm attack, but if you don’t have the ability to use that pyromancy, you’ll have to use a different method.

The best time to attack is when he’s charging his AoE blast. If you run up while he’s charging, you can continuously strike him until your stamina runs out - which also negates the AoE attack. To play it safe, only strike when he’s using this attack and you’ll have him down in a couple minutes. 

If you equip the Thief’s Ring, you can actually cheese the boss by using Poison Cloud. From the start, wait for him to turn around at the top of the steps, and then walk up slowly, just past the blue rug on the ground. Use the Poison Cloud spell and just wait for his health to deplete. It’ll take a few uses, but this method is a surefire way to defeat him with ease. 

King Allant

How to beat the Demon's Souls King Allant boss

Demon's Souls King Allant boss

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

You’d expect the final boss of the game to be an incredibly difficult foe, but it’s anything but. In essence, all you need to do is strike the boss a couple times, back away to replenish stamina, and repeat the process. No need to use a shield or roll out of the way.

If you use magic or other ranged attacks, you’ll be much safer, but this boss is such a pushover that you don’t even need to do that.

Joseph Yaden

Joseph loves Nintendo and horror games. With the Nintendo Switch, he's ready to get spooky anytime, anywhere. He specializes in covering Call of Duty: Warzone and action RPGs like Dark Souls, so you can bet he's looking forward to Elden Ring, the brainchild of George RR Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki. You can find Joseph's work at GamesRadar, Digital Trends, Inverse, and PLAY Magazine. When he's not writing about video games he can usually be found petting his cats and listening to some Progressive Metal. He thinks Meshuggah is tight.