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Darkroot Basin is the sub-level of Darkroot Garden, but it is not essential to explore it for the main quest. It's accessed by going down a steep path near the entrance of the Garden, just past the first Ent. There is no official boss in the area, but there are still a couple of tough enemies to defeat in the Hydra and Golden Crystal Golem.
 

Darkroot Basin Walkthrough

 

Full Darkroot Basin Walkthrough

 

Down the Garden Path


You can access Darkroot Basin by taking a right turn after defeating the first Ent in Darkroot Garden once you leave the blacksmith. After you take that right turn, you will be at the top of a cliff and you have to go down a fairly narrow pathway. On the way down, you will find a Crystal Lizard, but in order to kill it you will need to either run straight for it and attack or use a ranged weapon because it will disappear after a few seconds if it notices you. On your way down, there is a small platform that you can fall to that has the hunter set.

In the Basin

Once you make it down further you have two paths: you can go straight ahead into the misty wooded area or turn around to take the path to the left of the last ramp you descended - we'll leave the misty area for now. Down the other path there are more ledges to travel down, eventually leading to a Halberd-wielding Black Knight. Continue down past where the knight was to find the Grass Crest Shield on a dead body located at the area's lowest point. Right beside where you met the knight you can access a small tunnel that leads to a bonfire, and if you continue down the tunnel further it will lead you to an elevator that will take you down to the Valley of Drakes.

Now go back up and continue on the original path toward the misty wooded area that leads to a small lake with a H ydra. As you approach you'll see a hill on the right that leads up to tower with a locked door that can only be opened with the Watchtower Basement Key. If you have not already killed Havel the Rock in Undead Burg be prepared to battle him once you open the door. If you climb to the top of this tower you will open up a shortcut between Undead Burg and Darkroot Basin. Now, go back to the misty area.

The Misty Woods

There are four Crystal Golems in here. Try luring them out one at a time with arrows to avoid going too far into the woods. If you go too far in, the Hydra at the end will start firing water projectiles that will do a lot of physical damage if they hit. The projectiles can be blocked by a great shield but this is not always 100% as the resulting splash that comes from the projectiles can still hit you occasionally for decent damage. So dodging these and fighting the Crystal Golems simultaneously is not ideal, hence why luring them to you is a better idea. Alternatively, if your weapons do little damage to the Crystal Golems but you have enough movement speed, you can get them to chase you and be hit by the water projectiles as you continually run out of the way or duck behind parts of the environment; they seem to die in 1-2 hits from the projectiles on the first playthrough. Once you have disposed of them, make your way to the Hydra as quickly as possible. See the Hydra page for strategies on defeating it.

Hydra Lake

There is a path through the left side of the lake you can walk through after defeating the Hydra. This path starts at the waterfall and crosses over to a small piece of dry land with a long ladder going up the cliff face on the left - we'll come back to this ladder in a moment. Keep following the wall on the left through the water and you will find a cave where you should be able to see the Golden Crystal Golem strolling towards you. Equipping the Rusted Iron Ring is very helpful in the incurring fight to improve mobility in the water. The Golden Golem is essentially a larger, more power version of the Crystal Golems that you fought earlier - so if you had trouble facing off with them, beware that this golden variation is even more dangerous.

Once you defeat it, Dusk of Oolacile will appear in it's place. She will thank you for saving her, give you some backstory and offer her assistance - say 'Yes' to whatever questions she asks. Once done, her summoning sign should now appear next to a rock in front of the lake where you fought the Hydra. Using it you will be able to summon Dusk here where she'll serve as a sorcery trainer, but be careful when there are enemies present, as they can kill her while attacking you. If you go back to the spot where you fought the Golden Crystal Golem now you will find the Antiquated Set (you may need to do a quick quit-and-reload for the armour to appear). Saving her is also the initial trigger event for accessing the Prepare to Die/DLC Oolacile content.

Now go back to the long ladder beside the waterfall on the left side of the lake. Climb up this ladder and you will now have access to a Darkroot Garden - you'll be at the stone bridge leading to the Giant Cats.

Once all the above is complete and if you have no further business in Darkroot Garden, the next stop is New Londo Ruins via Firelink Shrine

 


Speed Run Walkthrough

A fast walkthrough of how to get to the end of the level the fastest, picking up only essential items goes here.

Notes & Trivia:

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