What’s that? You want me to review the Dark Souls Artorias of the Abyss DLC without blowing my own and possible your mind? Psh, as if. This fifteen dollar installment comes from a game developer who never thought he’d make DLC for his beloved Soul Series. Now that he has, he wants to make sure he doesn’t waste your time or money. I’m here to tell you that this content is high-quality, relevant, and packed to the brim with horrific enemies that carry snazzy new weapons.

If you’ve purchased or are considering purchasing the AotA DLC, you’ve probably already played Dark Souls a fair bit, so I’m going to be rather brief in explaining how to access the DLC area. In the entrance to the Duke’s Archives, just before entering the first grand hall with the six-eyed channeler, there is an out-of place crystal golem that remains indifferent to player proximity. Killing him will yield the Broken Pendant. That’s all you need to do in this area.

I’m assuming you need to save Dusk of Oolacile from the gold crystal golem before the pendant golem will appear, as the DLC has much to do with her. When you enter the Darkroot Basin, you’ll find Dusk’s summon sign to be missing. If you explore the Hydra lake further, you’ll find a black portal in the cave past the waterfall. That’s the entrance to the DLC. Now we can get down to business.

Once the massive black hand has finished having its way with you, your character will be tossed back in time into the long lost land of Oolacile. In this large area, you’ll find several new enemies, some historically prominent NPCs, and a crap-ton of new goodies to be had. Unfortunately, if you’re a hoarder and completionist, you have to kill absolutely EVERYONE. You will feel like an asshole, but you will also feel like the most accomplished asshole in the universe. The armor and weapons you get from this area are nothing short of beautiful. Beautiful in this context meaning prepare to use up all your Twinkling Titanite. Do it. I did.

Dark Souls - Artorias of the Abyss

I’m going to be explaining how to kill each of the AotA bosses, and as such this will undoubtedly be split into several reviews. The first boss I’m going to help you with is also the first boss of the DLC, and is likely one of the more obnoxious bosses of the area. I’ll break it down.

The Sanctuary Guardian is a chimera; white lion’s upper body, horse’s lower body, scorpion’s tail, four feathered wings. It can fly, and my god you’ll hate it when it does. Preparation includes stacking as much lightning resistance as possible, because this chuckle bucket loves to spam zippity zap attacks. You’ll want to have your weight reduced to medium at the very least, because dodging is pretty damned important here.

I highly recommend the upgraded Silver Knight set and a mixup between the Effigy Shield and Havel’s. If you don’t have Havel’s, or lack 50 points in Strength, go for the shield with the next best stability, like an upgraded Round Iron.

Weapon-wise, it’s really your call. This battle is about speed, so try to avoid larger weapons, even if that means sacrificing damage output. This holds true especially if you plan on getting the Guardian Tail Whip. As the one and only high damage poison-afflicting whip in the game, you’ll probably want to. Now, onto the Sanctuary Guardian’s attacks.

Dark Souls - Artorias of the Abyss

Sanctuary Guardian will spend most of its time up in your face, doing a three- or two-hit combo that can wreck your stamina if you’re not prepared. Walking backwards can effectively nullify several of its bites and lunges, and backflipping can drop you out of its melee range entirely, though you risk being clipped for some HP. Another obnoxious move it likes to use is the Dark Souls equivalent of Gust, although in this case, all damage is purely stamina-oriented, and your recoil is much longer. If you are hit by the gust with your shield up, you will be rammed for most or all of your HP. Unfortunately enough, the only time you can attack the Sanctuary Guardian’s tail is after it charges you. It doesn’t stay still for long, hence the lack of heavy equipment this time around.

Range also becomes an issue, as the bastard loves pretending to be one of Santa’s reindeer, but with a car battery hooked up to its where-the-sun-don’t-shine. If it has an electrical aura when it flies, it’s going to shoot a greater shock orb at you. Sidestepping won’t do, as the orb has a fast-acting area of effect if it touches down in water. The entire area is water for the most part, save for the logs floating around here and there. These logs are your best friends. A log between Sanctuary Guardian and you means no greater shock orb will connect, and any aerial shock orbs won’t conduct through wood. I neglected to mention the lesser spam orbs, but those can be sidestepped, so who cares, right?

Dark Souls - Artorias of the Abyss

The primary difficulty in this battle comes from trying to get the Guardian Tail Whip, the boss’s ludicrous mobility, and possibly the fact that attacking its ass will result in its ass attacking you. Be grateful it applies poison and not toxin. Once you’ve got its attack patterns down, you shouldn’t have any problems dealing with it. Killing it nets you the Sanctuary Guardian Soul, which has no use as of yet. I’d hold onto it if I were you, just to be safe. Boss weapons kick ass, man. Oh, final note. Once you kill it, two more will constantly spawn in that area. Despite what other guides might say, they are not weaker versions. They are exact copies of the Sanctuary Guardian, only without the boss health bars. They drop the tail whip too, so you can farm them if you want.

That’s all for now. Check out my other Dark Souls reviews if you want more intel.

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