The Let's Play Archive

Dark Souls II

by IGgy IGsen

Part 33: Crown of the Ivory 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

Eleum Loyce, land of the Ivory King, lies cold as death,
nary a hint of warmth remaining

Crown of the Ivory King is the third and final DLC. It's probably the biggest. Although, you could technically finish it only exploring a little more than half of it if you're really good. Visually, in my book it's the most compelling out of all three DLCs. Depending on who you ask it may also be the hardest. It does have one humanoid enemy type you cannot backstab which complicates things more than you'd think. It also continues the tradition of cool NPC invasions.

Overall, this is probably my second most favorite of the DLCs and it does something that might seem like bullshit when just viewing but is actually executed good enough in the second half. And there's a lot to discover. Again, this is probably the biggest of the three DLCs.

Aava, The King's Pet

Oh look! A kitty!
This boss is not very hard... according to me. Some guy I know really has trouble with Aava but finds Fume Knight easy.

Aava has some attacks with her paws. One of which is a pounce. There's also a little spin attack she sometimes does.. For most of those it's recommended to dodge towards her or to her sides if you don't want to end up under her. However, being under her gives you plenty of opportunity to attack, but don't get too comfy because Aava has two attacks to counter that. One of them is kind of like firestorm, only with icicles that come from the ground. The other one is just a plain AoE blast she sometimes does. So just get away from her after a couple hits and you should be fine. She can also use a homing soulmass type spell that, while relatively easy to dodge, deals a ton of damage if you let it.

Aava is actually only one of seven of the King's pets. Sadly, we're not going to see all of them. But according to the description, which you can see below, of course, Aava's task was to protect the Queen. And so far, the Queens we've seen were all children of Dark. The Description even calls her that. But this is the one that may make you rethink the nature of the children of dark.

Soul of Aava, the King's Pet
Soul of Aava, who served the Ivory King.
Each of the Ivory King's seven beasts was conferred a specific duty. Aava's was the guardianship of the King's beloved child of Dark.

Ivory Straight Sword

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Straight Sword
Physical Damage (+0/+5): 212 / 252
Scales with: -
Requirements: 6 STR, 40 DEX
Damage Type: Strike
Note: Loses some durability with each swing.

In-Game Description:
Sword of Fabian, knight of Eleum Loyce.
This blade, crafted with ivory ore native to the land, harnesses souls to slash at foes. Sir Fabian led the loyal knights of Eleum Loyce straight into the depths of chaos to exterminate the terrible things that dwelled there, but not once of the selfless knights returned.

The Snowball

This unassuming ball of snow is an optional boss of this DLC. It does not attack the player in any way it just sits there at a slope, tempting you. It wants you to get close and fall to your death. The main trick in fighting the snowball is to not be dumb and fall. It's easiest to defeat if you bait it's just sit there and do nothing attack and then follow it immediately with a swift hit using the instrument of your choice. It only takes one hit and in defeat it will roll and grow larger and larger. Admitting defeat and acknowledging you as it's master. It flattens the enemies on the bridge below and stops in the gap you could previously not cross so it can serve as a bridge to you. Truly, my favorite boss fight of the entire game. So much with so little.

The Ivory King
We don't know that much about him but what we do know is that he was originally from Farossa. The same place Vengarl was from. Farossa is, or was, a region known for it's warriors. The Lion Warriors belong to those for instance.

It's very likely that the Ivory King has fought some battles in his life the descriptions of all gear related to him actually make him seem like a decent dude. We haven't seen all of them yet so some of the descriptions are still going to come up.

Anyway, at some point he must have found the Old Chaos and built his house on top of it to contain it. And he made it his mission to do so. He was so dedicated to doing that that the entrance to the Old Chaos was right inside his own throne room.

Eventually a Child of Dark appeared at his doorstep: Alsanna.
She embodies Manus' fears and as such her motivation to be with the Ivory King was fear. Given the history of Children of Dark becoming queens for Kings you might now think that Alsanna had something to do with the Ivory King's eventual downfall. She did not. There was no downfall. At least not in the sense Vendrick, the Old Iron King and possibly the Sunken King fell.

It's just that at some point the Chaos became too strong, too difficult for him to contain. So he sacrificed himself to the Chaos to weaken it leaving behind his love, Alsanna. We're going to learn a little more about their parting at the end of the DLC, but those are just details. There's no grimdark cynical twist to it. Were it not for the Old Chaos this could have been the feelgood movie of some summer.

Alsanna is a very interesting character because she shows us that the Dark, more specifically Children of Dark aren't inherently bad. She was governed by fear but her devotion to the Ivory King seems to have helped her overcome it, at least in part, as she's now the one watching over the Old Chaos to honor her King's will.

Next time we'll go do some co-op, but after that we'll go to the Old Chaos ourselves and maybe see what has happened to the Ivory King and his Knights.

Lud and Zallen, the King's other pets (but only two of them)

It's like fighting Aava all over again. Only this time there's two of them. Which, needless to say, complicates things just a tad little bit. The fight starts out innocent enough with just one of the two kitties on the battlefield. Take this chance to deal as much damage as you can and ideally kill it. Hell, this is probably a better use for a brightbug than most others. But yes, get that thing as dead as possible before the second one shows up. You don't have much time. Once both are down on the battlefield you... well... you'll have to deal with both of them. And this is where this fight goes from okay, I've done this already to pretty damn difficult.

If you go solo your best bet really is to kill the first one before the second one comes out or at least damage it enough to make it more likely to kill it later. Of course, this is the co-op area so you can also bring a fried, like I did. But oh, this doesn't mean it's gonna be as easy as other multi-enemy fights in co-op. Oh no. The AI of the cats seems to be programmed to gang up on the same guy. On one hand, this gives the person(s) not currently engaged the opportunity to get in a couple relatively easy hits on the other hand it makes it more likely that someone will die. Just watch my video to see both cats trained on Wayne with me desperately trying to make one focus on me instead. Didn't work.

But hey, eventually you'll manage to kill either Lud or Zallen. At that point whichever of the two survived will power up and get just a little bit more deadly. If you can deal with Aava you should also be able to deal with that, though. The toughest part really is the time during which you'll be hunted by both freaking tigers.

Soul of Lud/Zallen
Soul of Lud, who served the Ivory King.
Each of the Ivory King's Seven beasts was conferred a specific duty. Lud's/Zallen's was the mercy killing of exiles.
Note: They do each drop their own Soul, yes, but the descriptions are identical save for the names.

Loyce Greatsword (Lud's Soul)

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Greatsword
Physical Damage (+0/+5): 176 / 230)
Scales with: STR (E), DEX (C-S)
Requirements: 25 STR, 28 DEX
Damage Type: Slash, Thrust

In-game description:
Greatsword of the Knights of Loyce.
The Knights of Loyce were commanded to strike down each malformed terror that arose from chaos, and they would not hesitate even it if were their own king.

Loyce Shield (Zallen's Soul)

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Shield
Noteworthy Defenses (+0/+5): Magic (80)
Scales with: DEX (C), MAG (D)
Requirements: 12 STR, 15 DEX
Special Abilty Adds some life regeneration that apparently stacks with other regenerating items

In-game description:
Shield of the Knights of Loyce.
The Knights of Loyce were commanded to strike down each malformed terror that arose from Chaos, and they would not hesitate even if it were their own king.

The Burnt Ivory King

And now we see what has become of the Ivory King after he sacrificed himself to appease the Old Chaos.

He hasn't turned into a Chaos Demon, at least not in the Dark Souls One sense of Chaos Demon. Though, this might be exactly what the power of the Chaos does to humans. What we saw in Dark Souls was essentially the Chaos malforming gods and their children.

Before we get to fight the King, though, we have to first defeat his army of Charred Loyce Knights. Thankfully we are aided by all the Loyce Knights we found. If you haven't found any and are stuck with the one you get by default then... well. Good luck!

The fight is really brutal with only one Knight as the Knight's role is not just to assist you in combat but to shut the portals the charred knights are spawning from. If you manage to get through the onslaught of Charred Knights and your one guy shuts one of three portals you'll still have two portals spawning Knights as you have to fight the boss. No, I've never done that.

Once the Burnt Ivory King enters the arena the fight proper will begin. He's essentially not much more than your big dude with armor and a big weapon but I do like this fight. He's still distinct enough visually and the music owns. The fight itself isn't too hard. It's a dude with a big sword swinging said sword. But eventually he'll buff it and it'll gain some range. At this point it's probably better to stay close to him because you can't reasonably get far enough away to gain any benefit from the distance. He's got one mean thrust move too. If it connects you'll be impaled, dragged up and smashed down. Looks more deadly than it is but still definitely to be avoided.

Once you got him down you'll get his crown, which in our case is the final one.

If we go back to Vendrick with all of the crowns we can unlock their true power. If we equip any of the crowns now we will never go hollow again. Well, when this came out plenty of people seemed to think this means that the curse is broken but no... actually you are just relieved of its symptoms while you wear one of four special hats. It's also just you and not every other undead. But at least it allows us to remain human for whatever that means.

Soul of the Ivory King
Soul of the Ivory King of Eleum Loyce.
The proud Ivory King was ever-merciful and devoted himself to the protection of his great land until he was devoured by the flames of chaos.

Ivory King Ultra Greatsword

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Ultra Greatsword
Physical Damage (+0/+5): 230 / 300
Magic Damage (+0/+5): I dunno man, but if you two hand it you get some.
Scales with: STR (D-B), DEX (B)
Requirements: 30 STR, 30 DEX
Damage Type: Slash, Thrust

In-Game description:
Ultra Greatsword of the Ivory King of Eleum Loyce. Wield with both hands to realize its full strength.
It is said that the Ivory King was once the highest ranking knight in his home of Forossa, famed for its god of war. After taking his crown, they say he was the first to swing his sword in times of need, be it for his homeland or his people.

Alsanna, Silent Oracle
She's the true final boss of the DLC! No she's not, really. But there's something extra. A little bit of an annoying grindquest. See, the charred Loyce Knights drop Loyce Souls. There's rewards for giving her a certain number of souls...

5 Loyce Souls: You get the Loyce Gauntlets and Leggings
15 Loyce Souls: You get the Loyce Armor
35 Loyce Souls: You get the Loyce Helm.
50 Loyce Souls: You get her Soul as well as the Ivory King Armor set (which you actually have to buy from Maughlin after doing this)

As you get her more and more Souls the barriers leading to her will removed. Eventually you'll be able to speak to her directly. I didn't do it because I'm not gonna freaking grind by either doing co-op or going back down to the Old Chaos where I have to fight three charred Knights at a time hoping they might drop a Loyce Soul. But anyway: This is how she looks.

If you don't care for the armor you unlock for giving her Souls and just want her Soul you can just kill her with a bow from downstairs. Guess how I got her Soul.

Soul of Alsanna, Silent Oracle
Soul of Alsanna, oracle of Eleum Loyce who prays in silent vigilance.
This child of Dark, in reverence of the apocalypse devotes herself to a ritual in hopes of appeasing the raging flame.

Eleum Loyce

Trade Soul with: Ornifex
Moveset/Weapon Class: Curved Sword
Physical Damage (+0/+5): 137 / 165
Scales with: STR (E), DEX (S)
Requirements: 18 STR, 27 DEX
Damage Type: Slash, Thrust
Special Ability: The heavy attack makes it so you heal allies if you hit them with it. If you hit an enemy you will steal some of its health.

In-Game description:
Curved sword forged from the Soul of Alsanna.
Formed by two curious blades, this sword can restore an ally's HP with a hit from its strong attack.
The enigmatic Alsanna quietly found a place at the Ivory King's side, and when his strength was fully drained, he conferred this sword inscribed with the name of the land, to her.

Item Descriptions

Old Bell Helm
Helm forged from an ancient bell.
Appears to be a mere curiosity, but it is in fact quite practical. The top of the helm provides significant defense.
Note: Grants immunity to headshot damage and will ring the bell when hit in the head.

Ring of the Embedded
Ring crafted from the chains of the Embedded.
Receive various benefits, but at the cost of increased damage taken.
The chains of the Embedded have the power to transform people into slaves of pleasure, setting them on a path of ruin.
This ring augments that peculiar quality.
Note: It will increase some stats. The lower they are the greater the effect will be.

Hex: Dark Dance
Hex that unleashes a large mass of Dark. This momentous mass of Dark dances to signal the joy of its own release, or perhaps merely to taunt foes as it veers towards them.
Hexes are an expression of human depravity, of which this dance is a perfect example.

Eye of the Priestess
The eye of the First Priestess who watched over Eleum Loyce.
Allows one to see the unseen. All the great priestesses replaced one of their birth eyes with this, returning it after their term was complete

Ivory Warrior Ring
Ring of the guardians of Eleum Loyce. Attacks greatly reduce enemy stamina.
Eleum Loyce existed to subdue the raging flame, but when the ivory gates were flung open, the land grew cold and lifeless.

Sorcery: Soul Flash
One of the ancient sorceries that were lost when Eleum Loyce froze over. Rapidly fire a barrage of small souls.
Intended to protect its caster more than damage enemies.

Miracle: Splintering Lightning Spear
Developed from a primal miracle. Launch splintering spears of lightning.
Ever since miracles came to be, learned men have endeavored to rework and remold them to their satisfaction. This is one such effort

Ring of the Living
A ring bearing a sharp stud. Appear human when a phantom.
This ring jabs into the skin, creating a throbbing pain that serves as a constant reminder of one's humanity."
Note: I didn't pick this up on screen, but it's on a corpse near the entrance to the boss arena before the bridge.

Mirrah Hat
A hat from the land of Mirrah. An elite order of knights in a far land used this hat in a ceremonial capacity. Masterfully crafted, but of little practical use on the battlefield.