This area is only reachable from Anor Londo after placing the Lordvessel. It's named after its boss, Seath the Scaleless, who was awarded a Duke-dom by Lord Gwyn for the role he played in the war against the Dragons. The area comprises a giant library, a prison tower and a small garden area that leads to the Crystal Cave.

The Duke's Archives Walkthrough


Full The Duke's Archives Walkthrough

Advice Before you Begin

If you are playing as a mage or are heavily reliant on attacks that inflict magic damage (and not any other type of damage), be aware that beyond this point the area is mostly populated by crystal enemies who are highly resistant to magic damage. It's advised that such players learn to use pyromancy or get a fire or lightning weapon before proceeding, otherwise you will have a very difficult time disposing of the enemies in this area (unless you have very high intelligence). Also, obtain a Ring of Sacrifice as it will prove quite useful.

The Entrance

This location is only accessible after obtaining the Lordvessel and placing it on the Firelink Alter. Once you do this, the Golden Fog Gate blocking the entrance will dissipate. To reach where this golden fog gate was, warp to the ' Anor Londo' bonfire, turn left out the door and head toward the building ahead. Go past the Sentinels in here and up the stairs on the right of the building toward the tunnel - this is where the golden fog gate used to be.

In this tunnel you'll be greeted by an old friend; the Fang Boar. It's a lot stronger this time around, so be careful. Also be warned that if you continue through the tunnel you will meet a second one - so try not to incite the aggro of both of them simultaneously, if you can. One way to tackle both is to aggro them and return to where the golden fog gate was - the boars can't cross this thresh hold, so by using a long reach weapon you are able to take them out with ease. Another way to deal with them is to try staying close to their side with your shield up and only attack once it has finished it's attack. Alternatively, they can also be killed fairly safely with poison arrows. If you didn't get a Fang Boar Helm from the Boar in Undead Parish, then this is your last chance to find one, because once they're dead they don't respawn and there's no more of them in the game - you'll have to wait til New Game + before you get the opportunity to get one again. Past them, at the end of the tunnel, is a large room with a bonfire and the elevator allowing you to enter the Archives proper. Pull the lever in the middle of the elevator to activate it.

The Archives (The First Attempt)

Once it reaches the top you'll run into your first few Crystal Undead, both ranged and melee. The ranged ones are Archers and they generally stay put, waiting to fire on you when you come out of cover. The melee-based Soldiers on the other-hand will chase you down and if they're attacks connect you'll find that they can deal decent damage - but they are quite slow and susceptable to backstabs. Try to draw them one at a time where possible and fight the Soldiers behind cover so you don't have to worry about the Archers, and then take them out once all the Soldiers are dealt with.
Artorias of the Abyss (Expansion) There will be a Crystal Golem standing to the right of the doorway here. If rescued Dusk of Oolacile, it will drop the Broken Pendant to access DLC areas through Darkroot Basin.

The next room is just one of the two rooms in the Archive's giant library and gives a glimpse of just how large the Archives are. It's very tall room that goes up three floors with landings on either side. The room has two tall bookcases on either side of you as you walk in that are useful for cover, and it holds more Crystal Soldiers, Crystal Archers and a Channeler as well. Try lure the Crystal Soldiers back into the first room to dispatch them, but watch out, as some might be buffed by the Channeler - at which point they're capable of dealing huge damage. Also avoid standing in the doorway too long to avoid the Channeler's Soul Arrows. Once you can't lure any more Crystal Soldiers in to you, head in and charge the Channeler. He is weak to melee attacks but can teleport if you get close and don't kill him quickly and is invincible while going through his teleport animation, so try take him out as quickly as possible once you get close. Head upstairs, killing the Crystal Archers along the way - again watch out for the buffed ones. Look under the stairs for a soul item then proceed up to the landing on either side and go back in the direction of this room's entrance. At the end of either balcony you'll find a chest; the one on the left side has Crystal Soldiers guarding it and is a Mimic (which gives a Crystal Knight Shield once killed). The right one holds an item ( Twinkling Titanite). You won't be back here soon (you'll see why in a moment), so you may want to grab them now.

Now go to the other end of the balcony to find another lift. Take this lift up and you'll run into a Crystal Knight in the crystal-encrusted tunnel you'll find up here. He's wearing the Crystalline Set and wields a Crystal Greatsword, but he's not too hard to deal with. If you're quick, you should also notice a Crystal Lizard in the tunnel - kill it quick to obtain two Twinkling Titanite and a Blue Titanite Chunk. (Tip: Get the attention of the Hollowed NPC and run back down to the lift with him in pursuit. Pull the lever to initiate the elevator as he leaves the tunnel and then get off. If he jumps on it just as it's going down you'll be able to avoid fighting him at all. You can always go back and kill him later on if you wish.) Once they're dealt with, head up to the stairs toward the fog gate and prepare to die. Tip: Equipping a Ring of Sacrifice before entering through the fog gate is highly advised.

The fog gate leads to a boss - Seath the Scaleless - but this is no ordinary boss fight. You can't get up close to him and if you do manage to hit him you'll find that his health regenerates at an alarming rate. You might initially think that it's just one of the game's harder boss fights, but be aware that you cannot win this fight. If you didn't equip a Ring of Sacrifice, as suggested, you'll lose your souls and humanity - you'll be lucky to make it back here with-out dying to retrieve it all again - and you may also find yourself cursed when you respawn depending on the attack Seath used to finish you off. Just to be clear here, Seath must kill you in this fight if you want to continue the main quest - there is no way around it.

NOTE: You can actually leave the fog to postpone your inevitable death.

BOSS FIGHT: Seath the Scaleless

NOTE: You will get the opportunity to defeat Seath the Scaleless later on in the Crystal Cave, and once you do you can head back to the room where you confronted him for the first time. Doing so will allow you to find the Large Magic Ember in a chest and some stairs leading to a Soul of a Great Hero. This is also the room where you will face-off against Big Hat Logan once he goes hollow, allowing you to collect some of his gear (See here or keep reading for more details on the final parts of Logan's quest-line) - so it's worth remembering to come back here, but only do so once Seath is dead. If you come back here before you kill him then you'll face the same fate as above again.

The Archive Prison Tower

After your rather unfair death you'll respawn at a bonfire, but you'll notice that it's not the bonfire that you last rested at. Not only that, but you also cannot warp from this bonfire - so you're stuck here for the moment. It turns out that you've been locked in a prison cell along with some Crystal Soldiers, around the corner at other end of the cell. There's a locked door next to the bonfire and also another one next to the Crystal Soldiers that leads to a drop, but we'll come back to that one once we find the keyto open it. There's a sleeping Serpent Soldier just outside the door by the bonfire and if you kill him you'll pick up the Archive Tower Cell Key, allowing you to open the cell door by the bonfire and escape.

As soon as you exit the cell a cutscene will trigger, showing a Serpent Soldier pulling a lever to start the playing of a shrill alarm that sends the monsters in the cell at the base of the tower after you. The monsters in question are Pisacas - snake-like enemies with octopus heads that can prove a challenge in numbers - and they're now coming for you. Outside the cell you'll be near the top of a spiral staricase that lines the inside of the tower. You'll see two Serpent Soldiers on your left who will run past you straight to the ladder at the top of the stairs, as if they're also trying to escape from the Pisacas.

At this point it's adviseable to simply die, as you're right beside a bonfire anyway and upon respawning the alarm will have stopped and the Pisacas will be herded into their cell again, where they'll stay. This allows you to get on with your business without having to worry about them. So, get the Crystal Soldiers in your cell to do you a favour (equip a Ring of Sacrifice if you are Human and want to stay that way) and after dying and respawning, take a left out the cell door. Run up the stairs and climb the ladder (the big door up here is locked until you find the key) and walk to your left. Drop down on to a ledge and into another cell to find the Maiden Armor set and the White Seance Ring inside. You can drop down in here again to land next to your bonfire. Now work your way down the stairs and try open some of the cells - some of them hold Crystal Soldiers inside, so beware. One of them will have the Archive Prison Extra Key in it. Go back up the stairs and use that key on the one locked cell door you passed on the way down to find a Large Soul of the Brave Warrior and a Crystal Soldier.

Once you get the Archive Prison Extra Key, head back up to your cell. Once back in your cell go to the other end of it and open the other locked door with the Archive Prison Extra Key. Drop down from the right side of the ledge and you'll find a Soul of the Brave Warrior on a ledge below and if you then drop down again you will be above a balcony with some Serpent Soldiers and the switch to activate/deactivate the alarm (but there's no reason you should touch this if the alarm is already off) Once you land, try to get seen by one or, at most, two of the Serpents and then quickly go down the ladder with them following you and fight them down at the bottom. When all three Serpents are dead, climb up the ladder again and open the chest at the far end of the room, which contains the Archive Tower Giant Door Key to open the big door at the top of the tower.

Go down the ladder again and you'll find Pisaca's cell. Kill them all - pyromancy is very effective and you can also lure them from their cell one at a time for an easy battle - the two right at the back won't attack you at all and drop Miracle: Soothing Sunlight and Miracle: Bountiful Sunlight. Behind the bars at the back of the Pisacas cell, you will see Big Hat Logan as well as an item - but you won't get in until you have obtained the correct key. So, once you're ready, make your way back up the tower again, ensuring you explore any cells you may have missed on the way back up, and climb the ladder at the top. You can now open the big doors at the top with your new key to go back to the Archives.

Navigating The Library

Through the door at the top of the tower, there is a Crystal Soldier to your immediate right and a Crystal Archer to your far left. Lure the Soldier and get rid of him - do not chase him into the room where the Archer is, as there's another Crystal Soldier hiding on the left. ( TIP: A decent magic resistant shield is quite helpful in the next section.) Head up the stairs until you reach the balcony. There are some more stairs to your right leading back inside to the Library. When you reach about halfway, a Channeler on the landing above you on the other side of the room will start spamming Soul Arrows at you. If you have a decent bow, you should be able to take him out before entering, employing clever use of cover. Otherwise, you will just have to live with the inconvenience for a while longer and use the columns as cover while you deal with the other problems ahead. Upon entering the room, on your immediate left there will be another Channeler, this one's on your level and within reach. The right leads to a dead end. You should be able to lure the Channeler outside to take care of him. Head left, past where the Channeler was, and you will see an Archer in the distance. Once through the passage, there is another Soldier hiding on the right. Best strategy here is to charge the Archer and then deal with the Soldier that will come running after you.

If you look down now you will see familiar territory - you're back in the first room of the library from earlier, although you're up a few floors now. From this vantage point you should notice a chest on top of one the tall bookcases (the one on the left when you first entered this room). It contains the Avelyn crossbow and requires a risky fall to access it. ( NOTE: You will most likely die a few times trying to land on top of the bookcase. See here for more details.) There are some stairs that go up a floor and leave you over on the landing on the other side of the room. About halfway up the stairs an Archer, behind you, will start firing at you from the landing above. If you are a mage or have a good bow, you can deal with him now. Head all the way up. On your immediate left there will be a Soldier and to your far right, an Archer - take care of them now while you're here. Head back to the stairs and you will see a lever half way down it that will make the stairs turn 180 degrees. Turn this lever and rotate the stairway. Head down the stairs and take a right to find a chest containing Twinkling Titanite. Head back up the stairs and you'll be able to dispose of the Archer from earlier, if you have not already done so. To your left will be yet another Archer. Go through to the next room and you will see another Archer in the distance. Keep you shield up on your approach to him as he seems to have homing arrows - so simply sidestepping them does not always work.

You may notice that the stairs have now rotated in this room as well. You can now drop down onto the stairs and kill the Channeler that was spamming you from earlier - if you didn't already take care of him, that is. Once up the stairs, head to your right to find a chest with Sorcery: Strong Magic Shield. Go back to the stairs again, pull the lever to rotate it and head down and toward the doorway that's close-by. To your right there will be a balcony leading out with an Archer waiting for you - a few ranged attacks should take him out. There is a ladder on the right side of this balcony and once you go down, you will see two doors that lead to the secret library and lever on the floor which opens up a passageway next to it. We'll come back to the secret library doors in a moment, but for now go through the passage opened by the lever and you'll be back on the ground floor of the Archives again, but this time you'll be in the second room of the library. In this room there are two Crystal Soldiers hiding behind the bookcase and an Archer on top of it. Take a left once you enter the room and proceed to the balcony outside to find a bonfire. This room contains a shortcut on the 1st floor back to the initial room that you entered after the fateful elevator ride into the Archives. There is also a shortcut back to the Prison Tower from this room - go up the main stairs to the 2nd floor (not the rotating stairway) and you will find a quick return route to free Big Hat Logan after you find the key in the Secret Library .

The Secret Library

Go back to area leading to the secret library and enter the door on the laft. In here you will find a chest with a Blue Titanite Chunk. In the other room, there will be some more chests - two on your left, one on the right (beware, this one is a mimic) and another one hidden on the right between some bookcases. The Mimic drops an Enchanted Falchion and in the other chests you'll find the Archive Tower Giant Cell Key, the Crystal Ember and the Channelers Set. There is also a lever in the back left corner of this room that will reveal some stairs when you pull it.
Note: Once you obtain the Archive Tower Giant Cell Key in the above section, you can go back down to the base of the Prison Tower to unlock the door at the back of the Pisacas cell. Doing so will free Big Hat Logan again and let you obtain another Fire Keeper Soul. Once he's freed you will then find him back in the secret library. While here he will sell a variety of new, and greatly powerful, crystal spells. Buy them all off of him and the next time you talk to him he will not recognise you and will tell you to go away (you may need to quit-and-reload for this to happen). The next time you see him will be in Seath's original arena in The Duke's Archives, where he'll be hollow and ready for a fight. Just remember to kill Seath in the Crystal Cave before attempting to find Logan for this fight.

The Inner Garden

Down the stairs in the secret library you'll find a Crystal Soldier and a chest containing 20x Prism Stones - which will be very useful in the Crystal Cave - and out the fog gate that's also present here you'll find yourself outside on a wooden platform that overlooks the Archive's Inner Garden - an open area with grass, trees and a large crystal structure dominating one side of the landscape. The area is filled with Crystal Golems that are much tougher than the ones you faced in Darkroot Basin, but there is a few items in here that are worth the fight. Go towards middle of the area to find a corpse holding the Crystalline Set and then go back to the wooden platform. From here, turn so the wall is on your right side and then follow the wall around to sweep the area, take on the Crystal Golems and pick up the various Blue Titanite Chunks that are dotted around.

Note: If you have been correctly following Siegmeyer of Catarina's quest-line so far then you'll no doubt have encountered a Golden Crystal Golemin the center of the garden. If you faced off against the one in Darkroot Basin then you'll already be aware that they are quite dangerous - but if you didn't, then this is your warning. Upon defeating it you'll find Sieglinde of Catarina appears in the spot where it died. Talk to her to continue Siegmeyer of Catarina's quest-line - for more details in this regard, click here.

Once your done in here, head toward the crystal structure mentioned earlier to enter the Crystal Cave.


The Archive Tower is a very good place to farm for souls and Humanity. The strategy I found that works best is to start by turning off the alarm, then rest at the bonfire. Take out the lizard knights and the crystal soldiers on the way down the staircase. Once down you should take care of the lizard knights on the balcony (if you don't, they're likely to interfere when you kill the pisacas). Once all you have left are pisacas in the room is when the real fun begins. If you have them, I would advise equipping the Symbol of Avarice (Slightly raises soul absorption and item discovery. Random drop from mimics, so cross your fingers that you've found it. Be careful, your health will drain as you wear it) and the Covetous Gold Serpent Ring (Raises item discovery by a staggering 200). Now typically, the pisacas won't leave their room, so my strategy was to take a running leap at a few of them, then run back out of the room (with 25 STR and gravelord sword +5 it was a 1-hit kill for any pisacas in my way). Rinse and repeat as needed, Just be sure to be careful as you kill them, because they will be massing and if you get greedy you'll likely die. Using this strategy with 2 humanity, the Covetous Gold serpent ring, and the Symbol of Avarice I got about 8k souls per run (which only took a few minutes) and typically between 1-3 humanity from the pisacas, sometimes as many as 4 or 5 though. NOTE: If you're a ranger I don't really have a strategy for you, sorry, but the principle is the same, and I'd imagine that for the pisacas you could just hit them from outside of the room with no trouble as they rarely chased me out of the room.

Magic strategy: When the pisacas are standing in their room they tend to line up in rows, which is convenient because Soul Spear passes through several targets without stopping. There's even a small splash-effect, or at least a cone of effect. With a decent Intelligence stat it's possible to kill 3-4 of them with a single, well-aimed shot -- my personal record is clearing the whole area with three shots, but the precision isn't really necessary -- by now you should have eight charges, and if not, mopping up the leftovers with lesser magic is very quick and easy.

Pyromancy Strategy: Fireballs with an ascended pyromancy flame are more than enough for a one-shot kill, with the added benefit of drawing 0 aggro and often hitting two per shot. Giant fireballs and chaos fireballs may take out even more per strike, and are likely one hits with even un-ascended pyromancy.

(Tip) If you want to farm without the danger of dying you can buy Dung pile's from the undead merchant (female) and just throw them at them, they will not agro and come out of the room, they will simply die where they are at. After 2-3 throws you should be able to toxify atleast 2-3 of them if they are a tad clumped up. Just remember to not give yourself the toxic status.

(Tip) I found a great way to avoid battle if you want to JUST farm the Pisacas, you can close all the prison gates back up, except for the bonfire, and the Crystal Soldiers can't open them, on my play through I only had to kill the two Serpent Knights on the stairway, the ones on the balcony don't bother you if you just run down to the room with the Pisacas in it.

The Duke's Archives Map

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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    • Anonymous

      Man-Serpent pulling the lever13 Jul 2016 06:54  

      I didn't get the cutscene that the man-serpent should pull the lever..i wen down, kill all enemies and pull the lever by myself but the sad part is that the pisaca's big door won't budge and they're all aggro inside that door (i'm assuming the lever is also the unlock mechanism of that door)

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