Top 5 Worst Moments in Dark Souls

Top 5 Worst Moments in Dark Souls

I surprised myself by how easy it was to make this list.  I love Dark Souls but it does have some atrocious moments that made me rage quit, punch my chair, groan, clench my controller and completely despise the game.  I’m actually quite astounded by how much critical praise Dark Souls is receiving, since it doesn’t take much for someone to hate this game more than any other.  I know from experience.

If you want something a bit more positive than I recommend reading my Top 5 Best Moments In Dark Souls list.

Anyway, let’s begin trudging through this mess.  Speaking of trudging, here’s number five…

5.  Poisonous Waters Are A Blight

This place is a bloody nightmare.  Also, that title was a bit tortured.

Getting to Blighttown is infamously frustrating, requiring you to navigate through the labyrinthine Depths and kill the monstrous Gaping Dragon (By the way, the Gaping Dragon would be number six on the Top 5 Best list if it went up that far).

This extremely dark, deadly, dilapidated, dreary, decrepit and dangerous place includes swaying bridges, collapsing walkways and eventually…the swamp.  That’s not really what it’s called.  It’s just a fan nickname, it seems.

The journey from Blighttown’s Bonfire to the murky water below is a long and treacherous one, made even more terrifying when you take your first hasty step into the muck, only to be poisoned within seconds and unable to run.

The giant spiky ant-hill that is Quelaag’s Domain is an intimidating yet inviting beacon, but luckily you have a Bonfire tucked into a large sewer pipe on your right.  Without it, you would need to not only climb all the way down to the swamp, but once there; endure the poison status for possibly minutes, fight several fire-spurting Cragspiders, swat INFINITELY SPAWNING Giant Mosquitos and, if you were bold enough, run straight for the Infested Barbarians carrying huge boulders.

This area is feared by many players due to its high risk of falling to ones death, as well as just getting hurt a lot by a myriad of monsters.  However, it does fit with the challenging gimmick that Dark Souls boasts, which is why it’s only number five, but Blighttown’s swamp is still a soul crushing chore, even for this game.


This is just pathetic.

If you know how to get back to the Undead Asylum (By the way, again, getting to the bird in Firelink Shrine and waiting in its nest would be fifth in the Top 5 Best Moments list, if it went that high…anyway) you probably fell into the pit of the Stray Demon; an identical yet more powerful version of the Asylum Demon, the first boss you have to face.  Having those two creatures in the same location is fairly excusable and even understandable, BUT, what the hell is this Demon Firesage nonsense!?

Excluding it being engulfed in meaningless flames, the Demon Firesage is exactly the same as the Asylum Demon and Stray Demon, especially the latter since it uses many of its special attacks.  They, like a few other unfortunate bosses, share the same musical theme which makes it even more of a lazy copy-paste attempt.

Why is this boss even here?!  What does it add?  What point does it serve?!  You just walk through a random fog gate, fight it, kill it and that’s it!  The very next boss, the Centipede Demon, may have had a lame design and shared music with the Capra Demon, but at least it was unique and gave you an essential item.

The Demon Firesage is a useless and jarring addition to Dark Souls, but that’s pretty much it.  The fight itself is pretty easy and it doesn’t completely destroy the experience.  The last three moments are much worse than this.  So don’t worry, it gets so much more horrible.

3.  I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed!

Where o’ where do I start?

Lost Izalith itself is difficult enough with all its jumping tyrannosaurus legs (don’t ask), but then they have to throw in a boss that is not only the most excruciatingly infuriating THING in this game but THE MOST ANNOYING THING IN ANY GAME I HAVE EVER PLAYED.

Actually, The Bed Of Chaos has a unexpectedly interesting history that connects to several characters, arguably making it the most relevant boss in the whole game, excluding the last boss ofcourse.  One character actually asks you to destroy it for her.  So it’s pretty depressing when we get given a rage quitting monster, where fighting it is like me killing you by making you read this sentenceHA! GOT YOU!  You’re dead!

After traversing the lava and fending off the numerous tricky enemies, you enter a fog gate and slide down a sloped hallway to be met with this monstrosity:

Thankfully, its initial attacks aren’t that annoying, but what’s confusing is how exactly you damage it.  There are two glowing red orb things on each side of the ‘bed’.  You must sprint over to one of them and start hacking away.  Simple enough.  But then everything just collapses…literally.

On your way to the other side, the floor starts to break away.  And if you don’t fall and die instantly (which you most certainly will) The Bed Of Chaos then grows a sparkly scythe-like tendril that it can slam onto you if you haven’t been pushed into a hole by its freaky spindly ‘fingers’.

So, if you’ve survived all of that, you can rush over to the second orb on the opposite side.  After destroying that, more of the floor breaks away.  The Bed Of Chaos then grows another tendril, creating a nearly impenetrable wall of attacks.

Your last tactic is to jump onto a slope that leads into the ‘core’ of the ‘bed’.  You have to dodge the tendrils and the ‘bed’s’ ‘hands’ that stab and swipe across the field, which can sometimes feel like an impossible task.  And if you somehow manage to land on the slope, you still get impolitely shoved into the darkness below.

I just want to reiterate that if you die from any of these moments; collapsing floor, tendrils or hands, you have to restart waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back at the last bonfire you rested at.  If you wisely looked online, this would be the hidden one in the middle of deadly lava surrounded by those jumping tyrannosaurus legs I mentioned earlier.  If you didn’t look it up, you get sent back even further than that.

This happens every. single. time.

The Bed Of Chaos would be a close contender for the number one spot if it wasn’t for three delightful things.

  1. It has a pretty cool design.
  2. The red orbs don’t spawn back when you destroy them but then die yourself.  THANK GOD!
  3. Attacking the orbs doesn’t actually damage The Bed Of Chaos.  Upon entering the ‘core’ we are shown a small red bug on the ground.  That is actually The Bed Of Chaos itself, making this boss both incredibly interesting and the only enemy in the game that automatically dies in one hit.

But those stellar things barely scratch away the frustration this boss provides.  I’m actually nostalgically enraged while typing this, so let’s quickly move along.

2.  The Dragon’s Butt

Got you interested with that heading didn’t I?

Anor Londo is home to a deceptive amount of secrets.  Gwyndolin’s covenant entrance, Havel’s hidden armour and especially transforming the bright city into a dark and desolate ghost town, all give the luminous location a sense of age and illusionary wonder.  Even something as simple as having big levers that seem to take a lot of effort to pull, make Anor Londo feel so much bigger than tiny little undead you.

But none compare to The Painted World Of Ariamis.

Entering the world via a massive painting is one of the most oddly rewarding moments in the game, if only because it requires an item that is impossible to obtain without knowing literally unknowable things.

Entering the world via a massive painting is one of the most oddly rewarding moments in the game, if only because it requires an item that is impossible to obtain without knowing literally unknowable things.

The Painted World Of Ariamis isn’t actually painted, which is disappointing, but is still a consistently well designed level.  Covered in snow and supporting several broken towers, this spooky stage has area specific enemies, like freaky giant crow creatures, and one Undead Dragon guarding a bridge to the exit.  And here comes to horrendousness (wow, that’s a word?!).

The Undead Dragon crawls towards to you and begins vomiting up poisonous purple sludge.  The fight is simple enough, requiring you to tease the dragon into attacking a certain spot while running to strike at another section of its rotten body.

Eventually it goes down, but as you run across the bridge you are stopped in your tracks by the lower half of the Undead Dragon that apparently broke off when it shambled to attack you.

Now, you, the person reading this, logically, how do you think you get past this obstruction?

  • Deplete its health until it ‘dies’ and disappears?  No.
  • Use a special item that is only found in this area to move it somehow?  Nope.
  • Use fire spells to burn or melt it away?  Negative.

Okay, here’s the answer:  To get the Undead Dragon’s lower half to get out of your way, you need to equip a sword, club or similar weapon and then proceed to hit it with a lunging attack (tap the left joystick forward and push the right trigger).  It then stands up, allowing you to safely walk underneath.


That is such a random way of dealing with that.  On my second play through I used a Titanite Catch Pole, and its power attack is the exact same kind of move that’s required to get the legs to stand, so what’s the point?  Is it supposed to teach us vital game play techniques for later?  Because I didn’t know I could even pull that maneuver off until I looked it up on a walkthrough.

This flat out halts the game, cuts the flow, confuses the player and is a totally unnecessary moment.  If it wasn’t for the internet; I would have been stuck in that frozen land forever.

1.  Unbalanced Scales

Wow, that heading is pretty freaking vague isn’t it?

Many fans of Dark Souls continuously defend the difficulty of the game by stating “It’s never unfair”.  I beg to differ.  Just keep reading.

Killing several bosses to obtain the Lord Souls is a rather tedious section of the adventure, but none as much as the albino lizard Seath The Scaleless.

To reach him you first must navigate your way through The Dukes Archives; a boring and oddly designed collection of rotating stairs and numerous enemies.

When you finally enter the area’s Fog Gate you begin your fight with Seath, who begins blasting crystallized breath all over the arena floor from atop his invincible fortress of two feet high crystals.  Clever dragon.

It may seem impossible to even hit Seath while he’s pulverizing you with his breath attack.  It is.  But don’t worry, because no matter what, you will die and revive inside a prison cell.  Wait, what?!  A boss fight that requires me to die?  What sense does that make?  When I die I get sent back to the last bonfire I rested at.  But here I just wind up in prison?  How?!  What does dying even mean in this stupid thing?!

This goes against the core of the entire game.  No matter how weak you were or how strong the enemy was, there was always a chance, usually a slim chance, where you could win by understanding their attack patterns well enough to react appropriately to them.  But that idea just gets thrown into the mouth of a Mimic just so we can have a situation where we die for…thematic impact…or something.

There’s no expecting this.  It’s literally a trap.  You lose all the Souls you were carrying so you basically have to just stand there and get killed, whatever ‘killed’ means here.

The prison level is quite frustrating as well, filled with sword-wielding lizards and blue octopus snake things.  After fighting your way out, you now have to brave the heart sinking hell hole that is the Crystal Cave.

To traverse this shiny death trap; you must carefully walk across paths that are completely invisible for unexplained reasons.  Small drops of crystal will hit the solid surface, showing you where you can safely step.  This would have been fine if the crystals didn’t fall so infrequently, turning the whole trek into a boring waiting game.  The last invisible walkway is so winding and narrow it’d just be easier to randomly run forward, see where you fall off and crudely memorize the shape for yourself instead of watching for the crystals to sometimes show you where to go.

Finally, you get across and face Seath for a second time, only for the game to pull another dirty trick.  In this area, Seath is literally impossible to damage.  The only way to begin hurting him is to sprint all the way to the end of the arena and smash a crystal.

I’m going to copy and paste a line I used a little while ago:


Granted, it does glow, but so does everything else in this bloody cave!  Where’s the connection between Seath The Scaless’s health and a random glowing crystal?  Sure, the cinematic beforehand puts some focus on it, but it doesn’t tell us anything.  You’d only smash it out of curious obligation, not because you think it’ll actually do anything.  If it’s your first time playing you’ll most definitely get killed and possibly Cursed by Seath, halving your health and forcing you to tip toe your way through the Crystal Cave again.

Some may say this is technically four moments, and therefore shouldn’t be placed into the same section on this list.  I guess that’s correct, but just for my sake, I’m going to make the whole ‘Trying to get the Lord Soul from Seath quest’ the number one worst moment in Dark Souls.  It’s horrible.  I hate it.

Again, if you want my reasons why I adore this game then please click here.


  1. Daniel Robinson

    I agree except with number 2 and 1. For number two, you are able to progress through The Painted World without hitting the dragon blocking the path by pulling a lever. I suspect that the dragon standing up is a bug or some code left over from the dragon “butts” it Lost Izalitth. For number one, the crystal is really well explained in the lore, especially if you follow Big Hat Logans questline. Seath is immortal because of the crystal, which he developed to emulate the scales that made the eternal dragons “immortal”

    1. Jeremy

      I’ve played through Dark Souls numerous times, including the Painted World area, and I never even knew there was a way to make the Dragon Legs stand up. How he managed to discover that solution and yet somehow completely miss the lever boggles my mind.

  2. Disappointed Reader

    I don’t think you know how rpg lore works, especially in Dark Souls. Nothing is ever slapped in, and just because you decided to ignore the lore doesn’t make the game bad, it makes you ignorant.

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