Help
Help

Four Kings

Location Abyss
Health * NG: 9,604
NG+: 16,200
Souls * NG: 60,000
NG+: 180,000
* Recorded in PATCH 1.05

Four Kings is a Boss in Dark Souls and Dark Souls Remastered.

 

Four Kings Information

The wraith-like remnants of the four leaders of New Londo Ruins who fell to dark after being tempted with the art of lifedrain. Defeating the Four Kings is necessary to the plot, and is also necessary for those players wishing to join the Darkwraith covenant; those wishing to join the covenant must defeat the Four Kings before obtaining the Lordvessel from Anor Londo, and talking to Kingseeker Frampt
You can also obtain the Lordvessel then go to kill the Four Kings instead of talking to Frampt.

In order to safely survive the Abyss, all players (host and any summons) must wear the Covenant of Artorias Ring prior to entering, and keep it on during the entire fight. Removing it at any point will result in death. It is not necessary to wear the ring after the Four Kings are defeated.

 

Location and Overview

This boss is located at the end of the New Londo Ruins in the Abyss. Despite the name, this boss actually consists of five individual, seemingly identical wraiths, who appear one at a time out of the darkness of the Abyss to fight you.

The appearance of each new wraith is timed, so it is important to defeat the current one before the next one appears. If you do, you will have a few moments before the next fight starts, in which to heal yourself, reapply buffs, or change equipment. Failure to do so can result in having to fight more than one wraith at a time, which rarely ends well.

As the Four Kings share an overall boss health bar, with sufficient summons assistance or overall damage output, it is possible to deal enough damage to the first three that the fourth King does not actually appear.

The Four Kings are generally considered the most dangerous boss in NG+ and beyond, and as discussed below many strategies have been developed to try to assist players on subsequent playthroughs.

 

 

Drops

 

Attacks

The King's Sword

The King's melee attacks with its sword inflict primarily magic damage. The farther away you are from the melee attack, the more damage you will take, so be sure to stay as close to the boss as possible when using melee weapons. Spells or buffs that reduce magic damage, such as Great Magic Barrier or Great Magic Shield are very helpful. His melee attacks generally consist of:

  • A pair of Horizontal Slashes, which must be rolled through, tanked, or blocked.
  • Vertical slice which can be evaded by dodging to the side.
  • Stab Attack which can also be dodged by moving to the side.

 

Magic Attacks

The Four Kings also have an array of ranged magic attacks and spells:

  • The King may fire off a Large Homing Purple Mass that slowly but surely glides to you from the side. This attack can be difficult to avoid once launched, so it is often better to stay at close range to lower the odds it is used in the first place. However if you are willing to run away for about 15 seconds, it will disappear after that duration.
  • The King may also employ a rare spell attack in which it launches an array of missiles at you in an arc, which also home in on you. They usually do this when you are extremely far away from them. Dodging or blocking with a high magic resist shield, is the most effective countermeasure.
  • An AoE charge up explosion that can cause significant magic damage in front of it. Rolling away is extremely effective.

 

Grab Attack

They also have an attack in which they grab you, while doing massive magic damage and also stealing one Humanity from you. A telltale sign that they're about to hit you with this is the 360 degree spin, prior to performing this attack, giving you the opportunity to back-up sufficiently. Don't confuse it for the Area of Effect spell, as it has a similar starting animation. Sometimes it is easier to roll behind them. When summoning, note that only the individual king is invincible while performing this; another playing attacking the king will still reduce the overall health of the boss.

 

Given the nature of the attacks as discussed below, it is generally better for melee characters to get as close to the King as possible and continue strafing to one side, as this will cause the King to rely mostly on melee attacks in response, many of which will miss or do relatively little damage. Mage characters with low stamina or armor will want to either stay close and rely on dodging, or stay well away in order to employ spells better. The worst thing to do in any case is remain at a middle distance, as this will subject the player to the full array and impact of the King's formidable arsenal of attacks.

Co-op

Although friendly summons can be helpful in many boss fights, they are even more so against the Four Kings particularly if the summons and host are a mix of melee and caster characters. With such an arrangement, the King will typically focus on sword attacks on the melee character, who should be attacking at close range. This will then free up caster characters to stand off safely and rain spells down on the boss. If you are helping someone fight the Four Kings, an easy way is to equip Havel's Set, Havels Ring, the Grass Crest Shield, and your strongest weapon (two handed).

As soon as the fight starts, charge each King and engage in an all-out melee assault. If your health gets low, instead of relying on the host heals or using the Heal Miracle, just pop a Humanity. With this, you will be able to focus on the King without getting interrupted; you shouldn't be getting that much damage, and if you do just heal and repeat. Unless the host isn't attacking at all, the boss should go down even before the next one spawns.

The most common places for summoning signs for runs on the Four Kings are on the platforms near the Hollows at the base of the elevator leading down from Firelink Shrine into the New Londo Ruins, and near the Abyss fog gate. Summons should always remember to wear their Covenant of Artorias Ring before entering the Abyss.

 

Phantom Witch Beatrice:

NPC Witch Beatrice can also be summoned before the fight, if the host is in human form. Her sign is located behind a wall just before entering the Abyss, but only if you consoled in her help, against the Moonlight Butterfly in the Darkroot Garden.

There are often complaints or reports of a "glitch" with this NPC not entering the Abyss or otherwise not targeting the Four Kings. This is not actually a glitch. When she is summoned, a ghost spawns ABOVE the tower to the Abyss. When you walk through the fog, the ghost will hover and Beatrice, who is NOT cursed and therefore unable to harm the ghost, will senselessly shoot at the ghost to no avail instead of following you. Just kill the ghost then jump down, and Beatrice can be a major help in the battle. Her magic is quite strong, and if nothing else, can give you a breather as she can take a few hits for you.

Also, if you use her in the battle, her Catalyst and Witch Set will spawn in The Valley of Drakes, between the entrance to Blighttown and the entrance to New Londo Ruins.

In later playthroughs, she practically becomes useless, because the damage she inflicts will be extremely ineffective against them. That, and she dies a lot quicker from their melee attacks than in your first or second playthrough.

Set Up Beyond NG+

New Game+ (and beyond). Of all the powered up bosses in NG+, it is generally held that the Four Kings are the deadliest. Even with high poise and high defense armor, their attacks whittle away at your vitality quickly and they have significantly increased health, which can throw off timing and make it difficult to kill one before another appears. Additional tactics in NG+ include:

Upon arrival, cast Great Magic Barrier either when the first King spawns or when you've dispatched him. When it runs out, be sure to recast, no matter if you're taking damage from their weapon, as the magic that the Four Kings cast is much deadlier than their blades. Heavy Combustion is also recommended for dealing damage along with your weapon of choice. This strategy, along with proper Estus - at least 10 - application, makes a viable solution for melee builds and limited faith requirements.

 

Notes

  • Despite being called the 'Four Kings', more than four bosses may spawn if you take too long. You do not have to kill all of them, however; as soon as the boss' main health bar reaches zero, the fight will end regardless of how many kings you've defeated or how many have spawned.
  • If using the Chaos Blade, attacking a king counts as 2 hits (one to the king and one to the boss health bar) and therefore drains 40 health rather than 20.
  • Black Iron armor increases your poise by 79 points without sacrificing mobility allowing you to withstand most strikes except for his heavy swing.
  • Do not remove the Covenant of Artorias Ring during the fight. Doing so will cause you to fall through the floor and die. This gives the message "The Abyss has taken you."
    • However, once you have defeated the Four Kings, you no longer need to wear the ring in order to walk around the Abyss.
    • It is possible to remove the Covenant of Artorias Ring and put the Serpent Ring (extra souls) between the short animation of the King dying and souls being accounted for, without dying. Doing so on NG+ yields about 244,000 souls.
  • You must wear the Artorias Ring if you have defeated the Four Kings and are summoned to help someone against them. Since they have not beaten the them in their world, their Abyss will still take you, whether you have done so, or not.

 

Strategy 5 - NG+

The Kings have an extended amount of health, and it can often be difficult for most players to defeat the first before the appearance of the second, third and fourth Kings. Staying within direct melee distance will usually prevent any of the other Kings from attacking you until the King you are focused on is dead, wether this is due to the fact that they can damage each other or if its just a bug we dont know. It is recommended that you wear a heavy armor (e.g Havel's, Golem, Giant +5 Etc.) and use a two handed weapon, spamming RB / R1 and healing when necessary.

At close range, the Kings only use one attack (excluding the grab attack which is easily dodged) and fortunately the attack they do use is deals the lowest damage of all of their attacks. Lower level characters may be unable to do this as the Kings do deal a lot of damage overtime and their grab attack proves to be deadly. However, a soul level of 170+ guarantees a victory. 100+ is also quite easy.

 

General Strategy

The Abyss can be a confusing place to those entering it for the first time. By its nature, there are few visual cues as to the direction the player is moving, and it is easy to get disoriented. The first King will not appear instantly, so it is important to continue rotating the camera, as the King may appear from any direction in this shapeless void. It will first appear at a distance, so try to spot it as quickly as you can. If you're not a mage, it's recommended to have good poise and just charge the first King to reduce the likelihood it starts using ranged spells.

Strafing to one side as close to the King as much as possible possible, will allow you to repeatedly land your stronger melee attacks. It is generally better to attack rather than to try block, so two handed weapons often work better. Leave yourself just enough stamina to block or roll if you get into trouble, and make sure to top off your life bar whenever it drops below 50 percent. Having 15-20 Estus +5 or higher, can make a big difference. You may also have time to use Humanity items during the fight or if you kill each King before the next appears.

Quickly try to defeat each King as soon as it spawns, because the constant spawning is on a timer and you can give yourself breathing room between each spawn, if you kill them quickly.

 

Strategy 1 - Mage:

As a caster, it is important to get your build right, so:

For casters this boss is relatively easy, usually you can do enough damage to kill off the bosses before you have to worry about fighting multiple Kings at once. Learn to dodge all of the Kings slashing physical attacks, his two horizontal slash combo is the most dangerous since failing to dodge the first one, will result in the second one almost absolutely hitting you. For most casters that is enough to damage to kill you. The other physical attacks are a Vertical Slice and a Stab Attack, dodging side-to-side easily evades these.

The King's magical attacks are extremely difficult or impossible to dodge, so should instead be blocked with your shield; even the 10%-15% damage that gets through might require you to use an Estus as soon as possible. When you see the King charge up for an AOE attack, get ready to block it.

Blocking the physical attacks are a waste of stamina, especially if your a caster who hasn't invested many points in Endurance. After dodging BOTH the horizontal slashes or any of the other ones, cast a spell or use a Estus Flask. Don't hold back your spells, and remember: an overkill on one King will affect the total Boss HP remaining so using your most powerful spells first, is recommended. You shouldn't have much trouble killing the Kings before multiple ones spawn as they are not particularly resistant to magic.

 

Strategy 2 - Melee

Once again, the right build is key, and the key for a melee character is this:

  • Equip high mobility armor, lighter and quicker animation weapons (swords, hand axes, etc) Do not be afraid to charge one of the Four Kings. Get as close to him as you can, and start hacking away with whatever your best weapon. Even if they hit you with their melee attack, there is a good chance that they will bash you with their hilt, which causes substantially less damage. By quickly attacking one at a time, you will limit the amount you will fight, as more are summoned throughout the fight. They appear to have some weakness to fire, like many undead, so a fire weapon may be a good choice.
  • Using the Grass Crest Shield, Mask of the Child, and/or Cloranthy Ring will help with the fight. The extra stamina recovery ensures you can focus on attacking without worrying that you will be unable to preform a roll to escape. If you're confident about not getting hit by any physical damage, you can try using simple magic resistant cloth gear. 


Timing is the critical factor in determining whether you will survive. The sword slashes are easily dodged due to the slow attack animation, and the height difference. The blasts encountered by the Four Kings is by far the more difficult attack to evade. Due to the darkness of the Abyss, it is difficult to roll through because your depth perception is thrown off. One way to help with this is to stop locking on, and focus on dodging the blast. As you see it coming, quickly run to the side of it and then roll very quickly. With some practice, you can evade the explosion of the attack just before it hits, and the attack will still explode.

His grab attack is more damaging than his regular melee strikes, but shouldn't kill a well armored target. His grab isn't difficult to dodge, but during your first few fights, it may be difficult to tell what attack he may try using.

The real key to this strategy is focusing on one King at a time. Individual wraiths can be brought down once they take enough damage, which obviously limits the difficulty and what other wraiths may be doing. For the most part, dealing enough damage quickly limits the amount of ghosts from two or three, and by the time you get the Four Kings of New Londo down to low health, you should be able to do a final combo of hits to bring him down.

Limit your time not locked on, as its easy to lose the ghost you were fighting if you keep trying to evade everything. Focus on beating down one by one. Also don't panic about your back being turned to some of the Four Kings, just pivot your character and try to face the majority of them, then you can see what they are planning.

 

Strategy 3 - Power Within Rush

This aggressive strategy revolves around using the Pyromancy Power Within. You can check out where to get it here. This Pyromancy will allow you to get a substantial buff to your damage (around 40%), at the cost of having your health constantly drained. If you have high Vitality this is an ideal strategy for your character.

Take your Pyro Flame and cast Power Within as soon as you reach The Abyss. For the next 100 seconds you'll be under its effect so it is of crucial importance to make the most out of it, that's why it's recommended to take some Green Blossoms with you to help with Stamina recovery. The faster you recover your stamina, the more swiftly you can deal damage. Also equip the Grass Crest Shield as it helps serving this purpose too, then two-hand your weapon for extra damage while getting the Stamina recovery boost just by having the shield on your back. It's also advisable to stay under 50% equip burden.

Do NOT worry about defending, blocking or rolling, just stay as close as you can to those Kings and whack away no matter what they do. While under the effects of Power Within, and your High Vitality, stay close to them you won't have to worry about the damage; just heal when your HP is getting below 25%. Use your strongest weapon and make sure you're two-handing it. When you're not healing you're attacking. Stay aggressive at all times. The only move that's worth trying to dodge is the Humanity Grab Attack, and only because of it's long animation time. Usually the King will do a 360 degree spin before going for the grab.

 

Strategy 4 - Early Darkwraith Build

To become a Darkwraith, you need to kill the Four Kings before you get the Lordvessel in Anor Londo and talk to Kingseeker Frampt in Firelink Shrine. At higher levels, the Four Kings may be defeated normally as discussed above. Some players, however, may wish to defeat them as soon as possible in order to join the covenant. For a low level melee character with a reasonably damaging weapon, an effective approach is to increase your attunement to 10, obtain the Iron Flesh pyromancy, and equip the heaviest armor you have. The strategy is simple:

  1. Apply Iron Flesh, approach the Kings and strafe as close as you can, and just aggressively attack with a two-handed weapon. The ZweihanderClaymore, and the Gravelord Sword, are all obtainable early on, and upgrade just as well. When you are very close to the Kings almost all of their attacks do very little damage (except for the huge purple explosion, so watch out for his charge up).
  2. Make sure you have Estus Flask +2 or +3 so you can fully heal in one go, and stay as close to them as possible. 
  3. Mages, particularly those with little vitality or stamina, should expect to need the assistance of player summons and/or Witch Beatrice. Obtaining the Magic Shield  spell from Griggs can help, and a mage may be able to do some damage with the various soul arrow spells at range. However it is generally easier to rely on summons, while playing defensively and acting as a healing station via Estus Flasks. You may wish to first return to the Asylum to obtain the Crest Shield for its high magic resistance, and possibly upgrade it with Twinkling Titanite. obtained by trading with Snuggly during the same trip. You can also simply switch over to melee combat for the purposes of the fight, by two-handing the Claymore (strength requirement of 16, which should be useable in two hands by even most mage characters), and possibly using more powerful pyromancy attacks or buffs - all of which lack any stat requirements. Iron Flesh combined with Great Combustion can be effective. 
  4. Killing Knight Lautrec very early on can help by allowing for use of the Ring of Favor and Protection with its attendant hit-point and stamina bonuses, and also ensure that Firelink Shrine stays lit so you can bring 10 Estus flasks with you.
  5. Doing a quick run into the Catacombs to kill Pinwheel and get the Rite of Kindling can push that up to 20 Estus Flasks, which should be more than sufficient even at low levels. 
  6. Note: if you are trying to upgrade your Estus, picking up the Firekeeper Souls in the Parish, Blighttown, and New Londo Ruins will cause Lautrec to kill the Firelink Shrine Firekeeper even if you haven't rescued him, talked to him, or even beaten the Gargoyles. So if you want to keep Firelink lit for the purposes of New Londo Ruins trips, kill Lautrec before picking up all three of those Firekeeper souls.

Gallery

Four King by alo81-d6eu0t6 Four Kings - Explosion Four Kings - Lifedrain

Four Kings - Spiral Staircase Four Kings - Concept Art Four Kings - Homing Soulmass Four Kings - Skewer Attack 

Area Bosses
Asylum Demon  ♦  Bell Gargoyle  ♦  Capra Demon  ♦  Centipede Demon  ♦  Crossbreed Priscilla  ♦  Dark Sun Gwyndolin  ♦  Demon Firesage  ♦  Gaping Dragon  ♦  Great Grey Wolf Sif  ♦  Gwyn Lord of Cinder  ♦  Iron Golem  ♦  Moonlight Butterfly  ♦  Nito  ♦  Ornstein and Smough  ♦  Pinwheel  ♦  Seath the Scaleless  ♦  Stray Demon  ♦  Taurus Demon  ♦  The Bed of Chaos



    • Anonymous

      23 Aug 2018 21:52  

      The best and easiest way as shown above is to have a high poise => 70 and go rambo your way under the boss with your strongest weapon and you can even heal while tanking and continue until they're squished :)

      • Anonymous

        11 Aug 2018 22:47  

        Anyone else keep falling to their death before even getting to land in the fight? Maybe it’s because of the ring, about to try now with it to see if I land but I’ve died three times now just trying to drop down.

        • Anonymous

          26 Jul 2018 09:04  

          Okay, I've gotten to these guys twice, and my attacks don't seem to do any damage to either the individual king's health bar or the overall health bar. I've tried with my Gravelord Sword +5 and the Cursed Greatsword of Artorias, gotten so close that I'm literally running into them, and my swords just seem to pass through them. Playing on PC.

          Does this sound like a glitch, or am I missing something about these bosses, some sort of immunity to the damage of those weapons?

          • Anonymous

            08 Jul 2018 13:13  

            In NG+ these a-holes love ganking. I had to fight 3 kings at once despite using a great club with a lightning resin (~790 AR).

            • Anonymous

              23 Jun 2018 20:08  

              Elizabeth's Mushroom works wonders in this fight. It totally negates the damage dealt while strafing, and can even save you from long-range slashes or even the grab attack. Plus it only takes a second to pop one in your mouth, as opposed to taking a knee for Soothing Sunlight. Cleansing Greatshield is good for blocking the projectiles as well as the AoE, thanks to its 80% magic reduction and high stability, and it's a fair amount lighter than Havel's.

              • Anonymous

                19 Jun 2018 17:49  

                Tbh I think this is my favorite boss in terms of anxiety-inducing time constraints. Manus and Artorias are just long block-fests, while O&S become pathetically easy with sorceries or just ranged weapons. One of the Four Kings is weak on its own, but if your ass gets grabbed by that SUCC, you know you won't be able to kill said King before the next one shows up, making situations drastically more dire. Sacrificing one of your ring slots for the Covenant of Artorias doesn't help, either. (They also look cool as shit.)

                • Anonymous

                  10 Jun 2018 14:37  

                  Odd thing happened. I died in the fight the first time. When I dropped back down in, SIX of the kings appeared. I thought I was totally screwed. But they only became "active" one at a time, so no big deal. Anyone else have something weird like that happen?

                  • Anonymous

                    06 Jun 2018 09:40  

                    This fight in NG+ was made absolutely trivial by casting “Great Magic Barrier”. I didn’t even need to dodge because their hits were taking off so little of my heath. I definitely recommend using it to everyone who has the faith to cast the miracle. Only thing is that two castings of the Great Magic Barrier only lasted long enough for 2/3rds of the fight. So if you have the ring slot available I’d suggest the Lingering Dragoncrest ring, or attuning two copies of the miracle to get 4 casts

                    • Anonymous

                      29 May 2018 01:21  

                      Not sure if this is happening to others as well (PS4).

                      As a phantom, when the boss HP is low (about 10%) and the last one spawns, sometimes he will remain invisible to me.

                      I stand there watching the host and the other phantoms attack something I can not see, while they take damage/get killed. But on the other hand, it seems I become invunerable while the boss is invisible, as I can safely stay near other players that are taking damage.

                      • Anonymous

                        23 Apr 2018 17:32  

                        hi, I'm the four kings, he means we're the four kings, we hang around just about all day, Hey kings where's the coffee maker we bought, I put in the cabinet next to the big black area, we don't have a cabinet, wow it's really easy to lose things in here. (indestinct arguing), chosen undead goes dirpy and is killed by numerous arcs of magical force. 222222222222222222222 points if you know where that's from.

                        • 15 Jan 2018 09:53  

                          The problem most have with this boss ist the dps output against them to avoid getting gangbanged by them. Therefor i suggest either use a really strong slow wapeon which 3-4 shots them (Dragontooth or even Dragon King Greataxe do work extremely well) or the easier method, use a small but fast wapeon and buff it with some resin. Magic seems most effective against them. Also if you know you only miss like one hit to kill one begore another appears summon the witch phantom, she doesnt really survive a lot but if she hits she hits good.

                          • Anonymous

                            14 Jun 2017 05:07  

                            I can not find an explanation why my first king is 100% immune to damage? Is this a glitch... ? Every strategy I find says to kill them as they come, but I can't even hurt hem until there are like 3 out at once. It's made the fight almost impossible! -.-

                            I'm using a +5 Lightning Zweihander. It does a lot of physical and lightning damage when I can start hurting them...

                            • Anonymous

                              24 Feb 2017 01:09  

                              I can confirm what bukharajones said: full Havel's, upgraded Zwei (doesn't HAVE to be +15 but the higher the better), Grass Crest Shield on your back, and Power Within, they die so fast it's hilarious and I only had to kill 3 of them! Only used four +4 estus. I was on NG with 30 VIT/STR, 24 END, 20 DEX.

                              • Anonymous

                                06 Feb 2017 00:30  

                                I swear there are not four, not even five, but SIX kings. I killed the first one with melee, killed the second with my Soul Spears, and then I panicked on the third and got ganked. As I died, I saw FOUR KINGS! Even tho I had already killed two. Unless my math is off, that equals six in total.

                              Load more

                              Chat