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Dark Souls 2 DLC: What You Need to Know Before You Dive In

Dark Souls 2 DLC: What You Need to Know Before You Dive In

Dark Souls 2 Summary

Dark Souls 2 key art

From Software’s follow-up to the landmark Dark Souls is an interesting outlier in the developer’s library of Soulsborne titles. Often criticized for the experimentation and deviation it took from the established template of its predecessor, Dark Souls II is a mixed bag. The game was universally acclaimed at the time of its release but user reception has shifted somewhat in the years since. While many Souls fans consider it to be a noteworthy attempt at something new for the series, many decry it as the one Souls game not spearheaded by Hidetaka Miyazaki. Notably, Miyazaki was hard at work on Bloodborne and couldn’t split his time between projects, so directorial duties were passed to Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura. One year after its original release, a remastered version of the game titled Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin arrived for PC and consoles.

Dark Souls 2 DLC – The Lost Crowns Trilogy

Similar to both its predecessor and successor, Dark Souls II features DLC expansions that significantly add to the base game experience. Unlike the other Souls games, however, the DLC for Dark Souls II are all interconnected as part of a larger trilogy. The first DLC is the Crown of the Sunken King expansion, releasing in July 2014. Roughly one month later the Crown of the Old Iron King DLC arrived, introducing some of the best bosses in the game with its new additions. The third and final DLC is the Crown of the Ivory King, released in September 2014. Together, all three DLC episodes make up the Lost Crowns Trilogy, a series of loosely-connected tales of Drangleic’s past rulers.

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Each individual DLC retails for $9.99 USD or can be purchased as a bundle via the Season Pass for $24.99. Notably, the Scholar of the First Sin edition of Dark Souls II includes all three DLC episodes as part of its core content. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin currently retails for $39.99 USD and frequently goes on sale. Considering that the DLC alone costs $24.99 as a bundle and that the vanilla version of Dark Souls II is harder to come by, it makes sense to simply purchase the remastered version of Dark Souls II in Scholar of the First Sin and also get the DLC as a bonus.

Dark Souls 2 DLC Checklist

Dark Souls II features the most DLC of any game in the series. As a result, there’s a massive amount of new content to discover within the confines of the expansions. Additionally, the Scholar of the First Sin edition of the base game remixes enemy placement and the order of progression through the critical path, folding the DLC content organically into the main story. In addition to providing new locations for players to explore, each DLC expansion delivers plenty of new weapons, armor sets, items, enemy types, and NPCs.

Crown of the Sunken King

Locations

  • Shulva – Sanctum City
  • Dragon’s Sanctum
  • Dragon’s Rest
  • Cave of the Dead
  • Memory of the King 

Enemies

  • Poison Statue Cluster
  • Corrosive Egg Crawlers
  • Sanctum Knight
  • Sanctum Soldier
  • Sanctum Priestess
  • The Imperfect
  • Black Drakeblood Knights

Bosses

  • Elana, Squalid Queen
  • Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon
  • Afflicted Graverobber, Ancient Soldier Varg, and Cerah the Old Explorer

Items

  • Eternal Sanctum Key
  • Dragon Stone
  • Goldenfruit Balm
  • Old Growth Balm
  • Vine Balm
  • Dried Root
  • Blackweed Balm
  • Brightbug
  • Soul of Elana, Squalid Queen
  • Soul of Sinh, the Slumbering Dragon

Weapons

  • Drakeblood Greatsword
  • Sanctum Mace
  • Puzzling Stone Sword
  • Yorgh’s Spear
  • Wrathful Axe
  • Sanctum Crossbow
  • Sanctum Repeating Crossbow

Shields

  • Sanctum Shield

Armor

  • Drakeblood Set
  • Sanctum Knight Set
  • Sanctum Soldier Gauntlets
  • Crown of the Sunken King
  • Sanctum Priestess Tiara
  • Flower Skirt

Spells

  • Sorcery: Focus Souls
  • Miracle: Denial
  • Hex: Promised Walk of Peace
  • Hex: Dark Greatsword

Rings

  • Dark Quartz Ring+3
  • Thunder Quartz Ring+3
  • Bloodbite Ring+1
  • Poisonbite Ring+1
  • Flynn’s Ring
  • Yorgh’s Ring
  • Lightning Clutch Ring

Crown of the Old Iron King

Locations

  • Brume Tower
  • Iron Passage
  • Memory of the Old Iron King 

Enemies

  • Barrel Carrier
  • Ashen Idol
  • Ashen Warrior
  • Ashen Crawler
  • Astrologist
  • Iron Warrior
  • Fume Sorcerer
  • Possessed Armor

Bosses

  • Smelter Demon
  • Fume Knight
  • Sir Alonne

Items

  • Soul of the Fume Knight
  • Soul of Nadalia, Bride of Ash
  • Soul of Nadalia, Bride of Ash (fragment)
  • Soul of Sir Alonne
  • Smelter Wedge
  • Heavy Iron Key
  • Tower Key
  • Scorching Iron Scepter

Weapons

  • Umbral Dagger
  • Blue Dagger
  • Possessed Armor Sword
  • Fume Sword
  • Ashen Warrior Sword
  • Bewitched Alonne Sword
  • Majestic Greatsword
  • Fume Ultra Greatsword
  • Pilgrim’s Spontoon
  • Possessed Armor Greatbow
  • Chime of Screams
  • Smelter Hammer

Armor

  • Crown of the Old Iron King
  • Fume Sorcerer Set
  • Raime’s Set
  • Alonne’s Set
  • Minotaur Helm
  • Pharros Mask
  • Hollow Skin

Spells

  • Hex: Recollection
  • Pyromancy: Outcry
  • Pyromancy: Dance of Fire
  • Pyromancy: Fire Snake

Rings

  • Baneful Bird Ring
  • Dexterity Ring
  • Strength Ring
  • Life Ring+3
  • Sorcery Clutch Ring
  • Simpleton’s Ring
  • Spell Quartz Ring +3
  • Flame Quartz Ring +3
  • Dispelling Ring +1 

Crown of the Ivory King

Locations

  • Frozen Eleum Loyce
  • The Cathedral
  • Old Chaos
  • Frigid Outskirts

Enemies

  • Rampart Stray Dog
  • Rampart Soldier
  • Rampart Spearman
  • Rampart Golem
  • Eleum Loyce Giant
  • Entity of Avarice
  • Retainer Rogue
  • Retainer Sorcerer
  • Maldron The Assassin
  • Witchtree
  • Rampart Hedgehog
  • Charred Loyce Knight
  • Covetous Demon
  • Flexile Sentry
  • Elite Knight 
  • Knight
  • Frozen Reindeer 
  • Mastodon Halberd Archdrake
  • Dual Avelyn Faraam
  • Hollow Prisoner

Bosses

  • Aava, the King’s Pet
  • Burnt Ivory King
  • Lud and Zallen, the King’s Pets

Weapons

  • Azal’s Staff
  • Bone Fist
  • Charred Loyce Greatsword
  • Curved Nil Greatsword
  • Eleum Loyce
  • Ice Rapier
  • Ivory Straight Sword
  • Loyce Greatsword
  • Ivory King Ultra Greatsword
  • Rampart Golem Lance
  • Retainer’s Short Sword
  • Retainer Staff
  • Sorcerer’s Twinblade
  • Twin-Headed Greatbow

Shields

  • Charred Loyce Shield
  • Loyce Shield
  • Rampart Golem Shield
  • Vessel Shield

Armor

  • Crown of the Ivory King
  • Charred Loyce Set
  • Loyce Set
  • Old Bell Helm
  • Rampart Golem Set
  • Symbol of Avarice
  • Retainer’s Robe
  • Mirrah Hat
  • Nothwarder Set
  • Ivory King Armor

Spells

  • Hex: Dark Dance
  • Miracle: Splintering Lightning Spear
  • Sorcery: Soul Flash

Rings

  • Dark Clutch Ring
  • Fire Clutch Ring
  • Ivory Warrior Ring
  • Ring of the Embedded
  • Ring of the Living
  • Ring of Resistance +1

Is Dark Souls 2 DLC Worth the Money?

The question of whether Dark Souls II‘s DLC is worth your time boils down to two criteria – quality and pricing. In terms of quality, the DLC expansions are a mixed bag. Taken as a whole package they offer plenty of new content, but the degree to which that content is enjoyable varies from expansion to expansion. While Sunken King has some of the best new locations and maps, the bosses from that expansion leave something to be desired. Conversely, the Old Iron King DLC has some of the best bosses but the environmental design isn’t as strong. Each expansion has its own highlights that add something to the Dark Souls II experience but are better taken as a whole trilogy instead of individual experiences.

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That said, all three DLC expansions are now included in the remixed definitive version of Dark Souls II, Scholar of the First Sin. With Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin retailing for $39.99 and the DLC Season Pass retailing for $24.99, buying the definitive edition of the game is almost a no brainer in terms of value. Additionally, the DLC expansions are organically embedded into the critical path of the game in the Scholar of the First Sin edition, enriching the whole experience and turning it into the complete Dark Souls II package. Considering that Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin normally goes on sale for $19.99, there’s no reason for a Souls fan not to pick it up if they don’t already own the game.

Dark Souls 2 DLC Tips and Tricks

Unlike the DLC for Dark Souls and Dark Souls 3, the DLC for Dark Souls II doesn’t explicitly require players to be highly leveled and near the endgame or in the post-game. In fact, it’s almost preferable to not be locked into a specific build when tackling the DLC since many of the enemies and bosses require strategies that are different from what players might have used with certain builds. If players are accessing the DLC in the vanilla version of Dark Souls II, there are certain conditions to meet first. If playing Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, the DLC are all accessed using specific methods to obtain the in-game items necessary to unlock each expansion.

Accessing the Sunken King DLC

After buying and installing the DLC, players will have the Dragon Talon item in their inventory. Travel to the primal bonfire chamber in the Black Gulch and examine the obelisk. Players will then be transported to a room with a door that the Dragon Talon unlocks.

In Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, players will need to progress through the Black Gulch and defeat The Rotten boss. Defeating The Rotten awards the Forgotten Key, which can be used at the pit in Majula to gain the Dragon Talon.

Accessing the Old Iron King DLC

Downloading and installing the Old Iron King DLC places the Heavy Iron Key into the player’s inventory. After traveling to the bonfire chamber in the Iron Keep, examine the obelisk to be transported to the first Old Iron King DLC area. Interestingly, the tablet in Majula that is normally too worn to read will now display instructions on how to access the Old Iron King DLC.

Accessing the Ivory King DLC

Players will need the Frozen Flower item to enter the Ivory King DLC. Once the Ivory King DLC is installed, travel to the Shrine of Winter and approach the altar. After approaching the altar, players will transport to a door that leads to Frozen Eleum Loyce – the first area of the Old Ivory King DLC.

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