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Dark Souls II Walkthrough, Part Forty-Seven: Nashandra and New Game +
This is it. You've learned something of the lore of the giants, and the history of the land of Drangleic is laid bare. Something has been stolen, and the souls of the giants cry out for justice against the one who wronged them. Not Vendrick, the poor, twisted Hollow monarch, but the one who was pulling his strings all along...
Throne of Want
- If you haven't been here before, pop over to the first Bonfire in Drangleic Castle. There's a large, black door in one of the passageways directly ahead of the Bonfire. Pop on your King's Ring to open it up.
- Follow the path. At the far end you'll find a mist door. If you've never been here before, you'll have to fight the Throne Defender and the Throne Watcher before taking on the final boss. This article covers the battle. Hopefully they're already dead, as fighting Nashandra after expending yourself on these two may prove a little too much.
- All done? Then watch the final cut scene in this same chamber, and get ready...
The queen rears her ugly head, and boy is it ugly. Taking a page from the book of The Rotten, Nashandra skitters about her lair in a dress of writhing limbs. She looks pretty imposing - but, ah, as far as bosses in Dark Souls II go, she's actually rather easy to defeat. Oh well.
Nashandra is fairly limited in her attack options. They are as follows:
- When she gets close, Nashandra will slice out at you with her scythe. It has a decent range, but if you keep close to Nashandra it's quite easy to roll beneath this great weapon. She may swipe once, twice, or three times; don't attack her until she lowers the scythe.
- At a distance, Nashandra will raise her arm and fire a beam at you. The beam with either travel from side to side or down and up. Getting caught by the beam is bad, but it's slow and fairly easy to avoid.
- Regardless of the distance, Nashandra litters the room with pale purple flames. These flames inflict cursed status if you stick by one too long, and lingering by three or four will drain your health in a real hurry. Draw Nashandra to bare spots in the room and fight there instead, away from the lingering effects. She seldom spreads these torches near the door, sooo...
The process for beating the old girl is no different than many other melee bosses. Stick close to Nashandra, roll beneath or block her scythe swipes, and attack once or twice when her guard's down. Repeat until she's toast. Simple, effective. If you think you're running out of room, roll towards Nashandra's dress - you can go right through the thing without taking damage.
Having trouble with Nashandra? You can summon both Benhart and Vengarl just outside the door to her lair. They just give her more health, though, and are not needed for this fight unless you're desperately hopeless at close range. Take her down solo for a more satisfying ending.
Beating Nashandra will earn you the Soul of Nashandra. It will also prompt one singularly-divine thing: the final cut scene, and the ending credits. Woo! You've beaten Dark Souls II!
... now, can you do it again?
New Game +
Upon completing Dark Souls II, you're shuffled back to Majula and allowed to roam freely for as long as you wish. There are probably more bosses to kill, more items to collect, more lands to explore, which you haven't killed, collected, or explored. Do so for as long as you wish.
Eventually, though, you'll run out of stuff to do. What's left? Why, no less than a New Game +, of course.
Approach Majula's Bonfire. It now boasts a new option at the bottom of the list, allowing you to begin a second journey into Drangleic. This will, in essence, reset the entirety of Dark Souls II and send you back to the beginning. Every boss and minion you've killed will return, new areas will have to be unlocked as before, and any NPCs you may have killed will come back to life and return to their old locations.
So why bother? Because a New Game + is not an entirely blank slate. Enemies become more powerful, and more plentiful in some places, and several bosses gain new minions to make the next fight harder. On the plus side, though, you will retain every item and level you've ever collected or gained, minus any keys to new areas. You can thereby carry on the Dark Souls II experience for as long as you want, growing stronger as your foes increase in might and number.
Be warned! You can't go back once you've committed to a New Game +, and if you ran through the first portion of Dark Souls II without much leveling you may become quickly overwhelmed. Explore the world you've vanquished thoroughly to take on all there is to take on, and choose your moment of transition carefully.