Dark Souls II Walkthrough, Part Thirty-Five: Black Gulch - The Rotten
The Gutter is a terribly unpleasant place. Even under normal circumstances it doesn't seem like it would have been the nicest place to live, and now that it's falling apart... ugh. Yet it's not the worst place beneath Majule, and in this section we'll enter one of the worst gauntlets of poison and punctures to be found in Dark Souls II...
- Turn back from the Bonfire and look for an entrance into the building to your right. There are a lot of ghouls inside; move through the rickety hallways, killing as you go. Don't descend the ladders until you've cleared them all out. Keep an eye open for urns you can smash to find three Dung Piles.
- In the rear of this building is a mist door. Pass through it and you'll find more platforms, as well as another doggish lizard thing. Kill it off, then smash through an urn to your right to find 20 Poison Arrows.
- Ahead and to the left is a cave. Inside you'll be attacked by a few poisonous insects... and just beyond them is an enormous, fog-emitting beast. It will do nothing as you kill it. Behind are two urns; smash through them to find two Poison Mosses.
- There are numerous ladders in this building. They lead to different things, though several of them ultimately take you down to the bottom of a pit that's also filled with ghouls. Kill them off and look around the urns and corpses down here for Dark Fog, a Torch, and 20 Lifegems. Ooo. You can also find a ladder leading up to a chest that contains a Great Club.
- Watch out for some irregular-looking urns down here, crammed against a wall. The liquid inside will break your items. Nevertheless, you have to smash through these urns and drop out the hole behind them. At the bottom you'll find a corpse carrying a Fragrant Branch of Yore, a line of statues... and a second mist door. Don't fret, as it doesn't lead to a boss... or, uh, not directly, anyway.
- Allow me to start by saying that this is not a fun area. There are many poison-spitting statues inside, and the enemies are ridiculous and numerous. Enter the rock wall to your left at the entrance to find the area's only Bonfire, Black Gulch Mouth, before proceeding onward.
- Dash past the lines of statues ahead. You'll see four pools, out of which will erupt strange hand-like fiends. These things will grab and murder you if they get too close, and it's best you just avoid 'em. There's a small path to the left of the pools; down it is a chest that contains a Shotel and a Magic Stone. Be prepared to be poisoned to death if you try for this chest.
- Continue dashing through here. There are urns ahead; they contain some rather insignificant items that aren't really worth grabbing. Giant worms will emerge out of the walls to the left, and I suggest just rolling past them.
- Past the worms you'll find another open area with more pools. There's a cavern to the left of them, and inside it another chest. This one contains a Divine Blessing. Again, not a great idea to grab it. There's a jar in the middle of this area you can mash to find a Radiant Lifegem, but remain wary of nearby grasping hands.
- If you're not too freaked out, look along the right edge of the pools. There's a thin, almost unseen path here that leads to the Hidden Chamber Bonfire. Jars back here hide a Pharros' Lockstone, and you can find a slightly easier path through the previous room. (Thanks to Zach for pointing out this hidden Bonfire.)
- Run past the pools. Ahead you'll see a mist door. Pass through it after healing away the effects of poison. Boss time - and probably not the kind of boss you might have expected.
What a lovely creature. The Rotten is a massive, lumbering heap with great strength of arm and the speed of a snail. It is not the hardest boss you've ever fought, but it is rather nerve-wracking nevertheless. The Rotten has the following attacks:
- A sweeping slam with its free hand. It usually does this if you're facing its left side (your right). Tough to avoid if it goes off, but you won't see it if you stick to the left.
- A sweeping slash with its huge cleaver. You'll see this one coming, and despite the speed of the blow it's not that difficult to dodge under. This is a good chance to get in a few hits.
- An overhead chop. Decent range, but easy enough to avoid. Roll to the side, not away. Sometimes this will turn into a mini tantrum as The Rotten slams the ground over and over.
- A grasping snag. The Rotten will pick you up and wring you out. Not automatically fatal, but very painful. Avoid its left hand.
- Vomit. The Rotten spits up foul liquid. This is quite easy to avoid, has a short range, and is one of the best opportunities you'll have to beat on the thing.
- A shockwave. The Rotten unleashes a faint purple light, and moments later anything nearby will be knocked off its feet. As soon as you hear wind getting sucked in, run. The Rotten can also apply this effect to its cleaver.
The shockwave attack aside, you'll want to spend this battle practically glued to The Rotten's back. It can't hit you back here unless it uses the shockwave, and you'll have lots of time to sneak in a smack or two while it's turning around. Keep doing this and The Rotten will, eventually, cave and die. Tend more to the creature's left side - the cleaver looks fierce, but it's easier to avoid than The Rotten's hand. The only other thing to note in this battle is the burning pitch that lines the sides of the cave, and this is easy enough to avoid if you stay near the middle. Use flaming attacks on this creep to maximize your damage, as he's weak to fire. (Thanks to Morgan for pointing this out.)
- Defeating The Rotten will earn you the Soul of the Rotten. Have a look at the sides of the cave and you'll see a corpse; leap over the pitch to get to it and you'll find a Fire Seed. Look, too, for a rear passage - it leads to a chest containing Sublime Bone Dust to the right and, straight ahead, the last Primal Bonfire. Light it up and zip back to Majula, victory in hand.