The Let's Play Archive

Dark Souls II

by IGgy IGsen

Part 32: Crown of the Old Iron King

Forbidden is the path
to the ancient king's domain

Trespassers will face
adversity befitting a monarch

With water dry, and path amiss,
woeful temptation is dismissed

In the tower of the Old Iron King
resides a Child of Dark

Crown of the Sunken King is the second of three DLCs and is the only one tied directly to a characters we already knew. The Old Iron King. It's supposedly located some place close-ish to Iron Keep but it's not like they put it on the map that came with the game. And it's also not like that map is worth anything considering it shows Iron Keep being south of Earthe Peak even though it's clearly above it.

This DLC, in my opinion, is a step up in terms of difficulty compared to the Sunken King DLC. Basic enemies aren't really tougher but much faster and there's some more variety concerning the major enemy types. This DLC also has the hardest boss of all the DLCs and according to most the hardest boss of the game. It's also the only DLC with two co-op areas. One of which actually kind of has a co-op gimmick. Due to being set in a tower the Level design in the DLC is more vertical than other places in the game.

Overall I'd say this DLC is the weakest of the three, but still hella good and better than large portions of the main game.

The Old Iron King:
As far as I can tell the Iron King wasn't a particularly influential or even successful ruler at first. He did some things sure, but he did some things but he apparently tended to overspend which left his entire kingdom in a weak state, though it may have grown because of some conquest he was left with very little afterward. At some point a knight from the east appeared. That Knight was Sir Alonne. We don't know why Alonne decided to side with the Iron King or how the two met exactly but over time Alonne became the Iron King's right hand man. But let's be clear here: By that point the Old Iron King was not the Old Iron King yet. He had no Iron. And along came the Scorching Iron Scepter

Scorching Iron Scepter
A scorching-hot iron scepter.
Used to activate contraptions by
transferring heat to Brume Tower.

When the Old Iron King wrested this
dilapidated region from kingdom
of Venn, the act required all the resources
the enfeebled lord could muster. But with the
discovery of this iron-producing miracle,
he was reborn as a powerful leader.

To say that this item description tells the rest of the story would be a happy ending and this is a Souls game, there never is a true happy ending. With the power to produce iron, seemingly without limit, he was invigorated and grew more and more powerful. I created a castle made of iron we know as the Iron Keep. It was probably then that Drangleic was being attack by giants and the Old Iron King allied himself with Vendrick and sent his Ironclad warriors to help fend off the Giants. But then again, the Old Ironclad set's description tells us that they came from Drangleic Castle and quietly assumed their positions. So perhaps Vendrick and the Iron weren't allies after all, but Vendrick came across the Iron King's lands long after he was gone and took his Ironclad, which were nothing more than animated sets of armor.

At the high-point of the Old Iron King's rule Sir Alonne left. We don't know why exactly, but the descriptions of the Alonne Knight set pieces imply that he just wanted to head out and see other lands. We will be able to uncover a little more about that later into the DLC but right now we'll leave it at that. After Alonne's departure, though, the Iron King named his Knights Alonne Knights in honor of Sir Alonne. We can see them everywhere in Iron Keep.

The Old Iron King went mad with his iron creating power and there's even talk about an iron dragon being created. Alas, there's no dragon made of iron too be found anywhere. Unless we are talking about a less literal dragon. As we know the Old Iron King met his demise when he created or awoke the Smelter Demon, a mass of Iron that we can assume was in some way possessed by the Chaos Flame the Witch of Izalith kindled originally. If only due to the fact that it's called a demon. It may very well be possible that the Smelter Demon was always there, at least the description of the Smelter Demon's Soul suggests that "The Old Iron King's life was taken by a mass of iron that had been given a soul. Was this metal goliath here from the beginning, or as it a product of the king's conceit?".

So yes, the Old Iron King was killed on the spot as soon as the Smelter Demon showed up, and the Smelter Demon kept haunting what remained of the Iron Keep until we came along to kill it.

The Iron King then must have sunken into what presumably is molten Iron where his dead scorched body made acquaintance with Gwyn's Soul to become the big Diablo thing that hid away at the end of Iron Keep. And then, once more, we came along to put an end to it.

And now we're here in this huge tower the Old Iron King built at some point. And I think we're killing some more things here too, so that's nice. I guess.

Fume Knight

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is what I believe to be the hardest boss in the game. The Fume Knight will materialize seemingly out of thing air to grab his sword shortly after entering the arena. Good luck!

The Fume Knight is actually Raime, the left hand of King Vendrick. Velstadt being the right hand. Eventually the two of them had some disagreement we know nothing of. In the end Raime picked the short straw and left Drangleic to end up in Brume tower where he chose to aid Nadalia.

Fighting Raime is no easy task because he can easily switch from fast straightsowrd swings with his right and to slow and devastating greatsword swings with his left hand and the other way around. Both arms have a backhand attack that comes out really quick, so strafing him in either direction can be dangerous and at the very least you should always block unless you are trying to regenerate stamina. He has a variety of swings with both hands which you'll have to learn to anticipate and dodge. The fact that he can use either hand and any point is what makes things difficult here.

Once down to roughly half health, sometimes sooner or later, he'll switch to his second phace. Some believe the switch to the second phase is tied to how often he uses his greatsword because it tends to heat up which is actually a visible effect. But this is most likely not true at all. I've had him his greatsword almost exclusively and he never switched to the second phase. I also saw him use mostly his right hand and he switched over early. If the second phase is easier to you, as it is to most people, you can just wear any part of Velstadt's set. This will piss Raime off enough to just power up immediately after entering the arena, giving you a little more time than usual to get in hits at the start.

The second phase is a little more varied in terms of attacks. While he's only using his Greatsword now he has a couple more tricks to look out for. There are the typical swings and thrust combos. If you feel confident you can get in a hit after he finishes but be aware that he'll sometimes follow up with a delayed attack. Either that or he hops away when you're too slow. His big overhead swing as well as the single thrust are pretty good spots to attack, but again, if you're not fast enough he may follow up with something fierce. When he rams his sword into the ground run away before the AoE blast happens and then stay away. You'll see a couple orbs come from him in every direction. You can try and run through an opening but it's probably better to dodge through there.

The best opportunity to get in hits, though, is his big-ass flame swing. It's a very powerful but also very slow attack and a really long range. If you are close enough at the start-up of the animation just strafe and dodge to his left side and go behind him. If he's already mid-swing it's safest to dodge twice to the right to end up behind him. If you dodge only once he'll most likely still hit you. You can also try to dodge through the attack mid-swing but since the attack is very slow your time has to be more precise than when dodging through other attacks. The time your hitbox overlaps with that of the swing will be longer and even with higher adaptability you may get hit if your invincibility frames don't line up correctly. I might make that sound harder than it is, but I also found that method to be not reliable enough, so I use the other two methods, which are safer in my experience.

Soul of the Fume Knight
Soul of the fume knight that guards the dungeon of Brume Tower.
Raime was a distinguished knight who became infatuated with the Bride of Ash, and settled in this land of smoke and fog.

Fume Sword

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Straight Sword
Physical Damage (+0/+5): 107 / 140
Dark Damage (+0/+5): 47 / 70
Scales with: DEX (C-S), DARK (C)
Requirements: 15 STR, 22 DEX
Damage Type: Slash, Thrust
Note: This weapon has superb range and is probably the longest straight sword in the game.

In-Game Description:
Straight sword forged from the soul of the fume knight, and imbued with the Dark of Nadalia.
The exile swordsman Raime had the ability to expunge the black fog, but chose instead to live alongside it, in the company of the child of Dark that haunts this sword.

Fume Ultra Greatsword

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Ultra Greatsword
Physical Damage (+0/+5): 307 / 430
Scales with: STR (S), DEX (D)
Requirements: 40 STR, 30 DEX
Damage Type: Slash, Thrust
Note: This sword is decent for blocking too, it has 80% physical damage reduction.

In-Game Description:
Ultra Greatsword forged from the soul of the Fume Knight.
The Exile swordsman Raime had the ability to expunge the black fog, but chose to live alongside it, in company of the child of dark that haunts his sword

Smelter Demon

Yeah. This time he's blue.

Other than that he has pretty much the same moves. Only some of them have a little more of a delay to it. He's essentially designed to screw with you for thinking it'll be the same as the original Smelter Demon. This one also appears to do magic damage instead of fire. There really isn't much else to say about him, really.

Smelter Demon Soul
Soul of the Smelter Demon, that haunts the castle that sunk into a pool of iron.
The Old Iron King's life was taken by a mass of iron that had been given a soul. Was this metal goliath there from the beginning, or was it a product of the king's conceit?
Note: This is the exact same description as the other Smelter Demon's Soul. In fact it is another copy of the same soul. You can use either the original Smelter Demon's Soul or this one's to make the following weapon, but you'll have to defeat the Blue Smelter Demon first before unlocking the ability to do so.

Aged Smelter Sword

Trade Soul with: Ornifex after defeating Smelter V2
Moveset/Weapon Class: Ultra Greatsword
Physical Damage (+0/+5): 140 / 350
Magic Damage (+0/+5): 100 / 170
Scales with: STR (D-C), DEX (D), MAG (C)
Requirements: 40 STR, 10 DEX
Damage Type: Slash, Thrust

In-Game Description:
Ultra greatsword crafted from the soul of the smelter demon.
It's blade is imbued with a great flame. Use the strong attack to unleash its latent power. When the old king acquired the power to grant life to heaps of iron he molded a great array of metallic automatons. The iron monstrosity itself was perhaps one of the king's puppets.

Sir Alonne

Alonne, the Old Iron King's former right hand. The lore we know tells us that he set out to explore different lands. The Memory of the Old Iron King tells a different story. But why do the two fight? We don't know. Check out this video by VattiVidya for better told version of the entire tale of the Old Iron King as well as Alonne.

But now to the clash of the two: After standing up Alonne will attack immediately. Most of the time he'll charge, other times he'll fire a projectile at you. It's best to just run up to him to get in a quick hit before he starts his thing.

Alonne is a pretty straightforward boss as far as bosses go. Some of his attacks are tricky to dodge if you're not used to them. The charges in particlar, because they have a variable timing depending on the distance. While it's not easy you'll eventually get a feel for it and you'll bait his charges to get in hits because they have a long recovery time.

Other than that he has some swings and thrusts at closer range but two attacks stand out: If he does a thrust with a darkish glow to it just get away. If he hits you with it you'll be impaled on his sword lifted up and smashed down. This is rarely lethal at this stage in the game but not something you want to happen either, because he'll get an attack boost for a minute or so after stabbing you. Alonne has another attack with the same glow. It is a slash that actually shoots a very damaging projectile.

Soul of Sir Alonne
Soul of Sir Alonne, who once served the Old Iron King.
Sir Alonne came from an eastern land, and became the King's most trusted knight.

Bewitched Alonne Sword

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Katana
Physical Damage (+0/+5):
Scales with: DEX (B-S)
Requirements: 22 STR, 30 DEX
Damage Type: Slash, Thrust
Ability: Pressing L2/LT will drive the sword through your own stomach at the cost of health and durability to greatly increase the swords power.

In-Game Description:
Katana forged from the soul of Sir Alonne.
The captivating, undulating design serves to enhance this weapon's mystical allure. Alonne came from the east, and soon became the Iron King's most trusted knight. When he departed, the Old Iron King bequeathed Sir Alonne's name to his iron warriors.

Soul of Nadalia
Soul of Nadalia, Bride of Ash, who renounced her flesh and wandered Brume Tower. In the act of dancing, the Bride of Ash was transfigured as smoke, enticing people to her residence.
And so her seat of power came to be known as the Brume Tower.
Note: So, Nadalia actually has dialogue as I pointed out in two of the videos, but it's incredibly hard to make out and people have come to very different conclusions on what she actually says. Here's a reddit thread with one way to interpret things and here's a video with some more. Some of the are wildly different. The latter should give you a chance to make up your own mind, though, becaus it actually features the sound clips.


Trade Soul with: Straid
Magic Type: Pyromancy
Requirements: -
Description: Another version of Firestorm only the flames are darker. Also possibly deal Dark damage at least in part.

In-Game Description:
A pyromancy of Nadalia, Bride of Ash. Spouts multiple Dark flames.
This chlid of Dark, bearing inconceivable strength, found herself in a kingless land devoid of souls. And in journeying there, has all but condemned herself to a fate most wretched.

Chime of Screams

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Sacred Chime
Physical Damage (+0/+5):
Scales with: LIT (B), DARK (B)
Requirements: 26 FTH
Damage Type: Lighting, Dark

In-Game Description:
Sacred chime forged from the soul of Nadalia, Bride of Ash. Nothing appears sacred about the frightful design of this chime, but it does have the benefit of raising one's faith.
The oozing, frozen iron forming the bell seems to anticipate a scream.

Item Descriptions

Smelter Wedge
An iron wedge forged in this land. Destroys the ashen idol.
The ashen idol is of great consequence to Nadalia, who, having renounced her flesh, entrusts her very being to it.

Fragment of Nadalia's Soul
Soul of Nadalia, Bride of Ash, who renounced her flesh and wandered Brume Tower.
When Nadalia came to this land, the king she sought was no longer there. Dispirited, she forsook her own soul and clung to the heirlooms of the old king.
This is only a fragment of a soul, and cannot be used in this state.

Dance of Fire
Pyromancy created by the magus Eygil, loyal follower of the Old Iron King. Cast flame in a sweeping motion across a targeted area.
The fire seems to dance, and makes its victims dance with it.

Fire Snake
Pyromancy created by the magus Eygil, loyal follower of the Old Iron King. Creates several pillars of flame in front of the caster.
Eygil sought to grant fire a will of its own. This pyromancy was conjured up to behave like a snake, writhing toward its prey, with a mind to strike.

Hex created by the children of the Dark. Fire multiple Dark orbs that seek their target
Hexes that grant a fleeting volition to Dark have existed from ancient times, and it appears that the children of Dark have some recollection of the creator of these spells.

Tower Key
Key that opens the door to Brume Tower.
Long ago, the tower used to produce a seemingly endless supply of iron. The King used it to create iron soldiers and an iron castle. Legend has it he even tried his hand at forging a dragon out of iron.

Crown of the Old Iron King
Crown of the Old Iron King who once ruled this land.
The King sunk below the scorching iron, met the one whose name must never be repeated, and became Ichorous Earth.
But these were events of long ago, and today, no one even remembers the King's name.

Hollow Skin
A hood imitating the head of a Hollow.
Provides curse resistance, and makes it easier to detect messages from other worlds.
Finely crafted to perfectly imitate the head of a Hollow, only without the abhorrent stench.
Whoever created this was surely deeply respectful of those lost to Hollowing.

Baneful Bird Ring
Ring of Raime the traitor.
Reduces stamina loss when blocking with a shield.
Raime was an agile swordsman who served King Vendrick, but after resigning from his post, he reconsidered his way of life and was born again as a stalwart warrior.

Pharros Mask
A mask depicting Pharros' contraption.
Tears flow from the eyes of this mask, drenching its wearer.
The majority of Pharros' creations are perplexing to reasoned men, and this mask is no exception.