Dark Souls II Walkthrough, Part Five: Forest of Fallen Giants - The Last Giant and the Pursuer
You've managed to scour every available section of the Forest of Fallen Giants, no doubt dying often in the process, and your journey has taken you far into the ground... and into the lair of the Last Giant, an enormous, ill-tempered beast with no great love of your presence. Will you bring it down and collect its soul? Or will you simply serve as a squishy undercoating for the soles of its feet...?
The Last Giant
Your first boss! The Last Giant is strong enough that you won't survive a single hit, under most circumstances, but it's also somewhat easy to manipulate. Nevertheless, you need to be very careful in this fight or you'll find yourself dying constantly against the Giant.
The Giant has a few basic attacks:
- When you come at it head-first, the Giant's primary attack will be a sweeping claw strike along the ground. Wait for it to rear up and roar, then dive backward out of the way. This has a fair range, and the Giant will also use it if you're at its side. Halfway through the fight the Giant will rip off one of its arms and use it to extend the range of this attack.
- If you're right in front of the Giant, it will occasionally opt for a fist smash rather than its sweeping move. You want this, as its range is much smaller, but you shouldn't be dallying about in front of the Giant anyway.
- If you're behind or below the Giant, it will instead opt for a stomping move. It will either raise one foot and bring it down or stomp with the same foot three times in succession. Though deadly, this stomp is much easier to dodge - though be warned, you don't have to be directly beneath the Giant's foot to register damage.
- Every now and then when you go beneath the Giant it will leap away and come at you again. No real attack, but worth noting from the surprise factor.
Once you get the hang of it, this can be a very simple battle - though tense. Your best bet is to run straight through the Giant's legs as soon as the battle begins. This will allow you to avoid its sweeping attack. Target its left leg and stay behind that leg, hitting it once. Back off a few paces to avoid its stomp, and reorient yourself so you're always at the Giant's back. Once its leg comes down again and the area is safe(ish), fly in and hit it. Back off, wait for the stomp, dart in. Repeat until the Giant is dead. So long as you're behind the thing it won't use its sweeping attack, and you'll get a chance for multiple hits when it pauses to rip its arm off. Make sure you go back and to the right after your strike - the Giant's hand will sweep back a little when it's done the stomp, and if it taps you it will register as a hit. Cheap.
A note of caution: do not try for more than one hit! Not unless you have a very, very fast weapon! The Giant's stomp looks slow, but it's only slow enough to allow for a single attack. Get too greedy and it will almost always flatten you as you try to recover.
When you beat the Last Giant you'll receive the Soul of the Last Giant, as well as a Soldier Key. Both are awesome, and the Soldier Key will allow you to pop open some doors that were previously locked. Return to Majula to spend those sweet, sweet souls you ust received (10,000, to be precise), then turn back to Forest of Fallen Giants. We have some doors to open.
All of the doors you're going to find that can be opened with the Soldier Key are near Cardinal Tower. You may as well use that Bonfire to start your journey.
- There's a storeroom upstairs from the Bonfire. In it is a cart, and behind the cart is a corpse. Bash up the cart to reach the corpse, which holds a Hand Axe and a Radiant Lifegem. Also up here is a chest that contains a Small Leather Shield and a Repair Powder.
- In this room is another door. It leads to an adjacent room over the Bonfire. Swing around and confront the Hollow that charges in behind you upon entering, then check the chest in here for an Estus Flask Shard and a Small White Sign Soapstone. The Estus Flask Shard will increase the number of Estus Flask charges by one, and is utterly indispensable to the latter parts of your journey. Head to Majula and get it upgraded posthaste.
- The tree that stretches down around the Bonfire is in this room. If you're careful, you can drop down onto it, beside a corpse. The corpse carries a Divine Blessing.
- Slide down the ladder by the Bonfire and cross the bridge in the fire room. There's a door to your right that can be opened. Beyond is a split. Go straight ahead to find a chest containing a Ring of Restoration and three Torches. To the left is a door that's distinctly ominous, and, for the moment, useless to you.
- Go back across the bridge and through the next door you see. To your right is another locked door. Go down into it to find a storeroom. Check the niche to your left to find a Hollow soldier to kill, then face forward. An armoured soldier with a mace is in here. Lure him up the stairs for a slightly easier duel, going back and forth with blows and rolls to stay away from its hits. Continue through the room to fight another soldier, another armoured soldier, and, by a rear door, one more normal soldier. After all's said and done, there are two corpses in this place: one holds a Black Firebomb and a Homeward Bone, the other a Torch.
- The door connecting to this leads outside. I don't recommend going any further just yet - you can handle the enemies beyond, but it'll be very difficult. Turn back for now, and return once you're stronger.
- Return to the sunlit corridor with the enormous stone sword, found just before encountering the Last Giant. There's a door here that leads up a series of stairs. Engage the first soldier you see on the initial flight of stairs, as a second will appear to harass you during the fight. Go up the stairs and you'll find a misty portal at the top; check to the right of this doorway, up some crumbling steps, to find a corpse carrying a Soul of a Nameless Soldier and three Lifegems.
- Beware! If you go through this mist, you'll meet a mighty foe named the Pursuer. You probably saw him earlier in the game, but now you can't avoid him. If you're not ready to face a boss, don't go through here. Beating him is not necessary to completing the game anyway.
Brutal. The Pursuer is a swift and deadly warrior, capable of crossing long distances in a relatively short period of time and gutting you with his lengthy sword. The Pursuer will use the following attacks to whittle you down:
- If you're at a distance, such as the beginning of the fight, he'll dash at you with his shield up and swipe horizontally with his sword. Roll to the right to avoid this.
- When you're close, the Pursuer will perform a sweeping strike from left to right. Roll right to avoid. He'll usually follow up on this with a shield bash, but you should dodge right under that with the roll. If you're really unlucky, he'll follow up with one more slash; wait for his arm to go back and the sword to start coming forward before you dodge. Otherwise he'll just track your movements.
- He'll also use thrusts under the same circumstances. Go either way you want, so long as you're out of his range. The Pursuer's sword is not so long that you can't roll straight backwards. This is a great opportunity to hit back or heal.
The key to this fight is extreme patience. You need to wait until the Pursuer is in mid-attack before you slice back, and for that to work you'll have to dodge, parry, or block whatever he's sent your way. I prefer dodging, as it allows you to preserve more stamina and get behind him, forcing the Pursuer to turn and face you before he renews his attack. This will give you more precious seconds to go on the attack. It will be a long fight, and brutal, but it's winnable.
One note: there's a ballista up here which, properly situated, you can use to hit the Pursuer. This will do a lot of damage to the knight. It may also just get you in deep doo-doo, and most of the time you won't have a chance to use it. I suggest ignoring it completely.
- Successfully defeating the Pursuer will grant you the Soul of the Pursuer and a Ring of Blades. Continue through the mist he was protecting and you'll find the remains of a Giant on the other side, as well as a bird's nest. Investigate the bird's nest and the pursuer's enormous hawk will sweep down and carry you off to the Lost Bastille, allowing you to skip two entire sections - and a big chunk of the Bastille itself. Woo!
That's all for this place. You can carry on here if you wish, but there are other spots that are easier to handle which will make fighting your way through the remainder of this area less difficult. Back to Majule with you.