This is it. Now it’s time to get to the Kiln of the First Flame. To do so, you have to defeat all the Lords of Cinder and place their cinders on their respective thrones in the Firelink Shrine. After you’ve done so, talk to the Fire Keeper and kneel at the bonfire. This transfers the flame to you, allowing you to access the Kiln of the First Flame.
You will find yourself in a darker and abandoned Firelink Shrine. If this looks like the Shrine in the Untended Graves, it’s not. This is where the first linking of the flames happens. Light the bonfire, which will allow you to travel back to the Firelink Shrine should you have any remaining tasks left. Ludleth isn’t here anymore, and in his stead is a Skull Ring.
Exit the shrine to find yourself in a very interesting and surreal world. Use the coiled sword on your left to teleport into the Kiln. There’s nothing else to do here but proceed up the path into a huge arena where the Soul of Cinder awaits, guarding the First Flame.
FINAL BOSS FIGHT – SOUL OF CINDER
The last boss is the game is no pushover. He is strong and fierce and will come at you with many different kinds of attacks as he changes his weapon throughout the fight. Most of his attacks are fire based, so wearing fire resistant armor will help. But some of his attacks also do lightning and magic damage as well.
The fight starts with the boss charging at you coiled sword in hand, using lunges and stabs at you that leaves a flaming trail. Always keep an eye on his weapon to predict whether he will be following up his first attack with another. If you pauses after the first attack, get a hit in and get to safety. His follow up attack is usually an overhead strike or an uppercut that is difficult to dodge if you are in the middle of attacking him.
Treat him like a glorified knight and lock on to him to roll past his attacks. Sometimes he’ll backstep and immediately retaliate with an attack. He even uses weapon arts to break your guard or lunge long distances. Keep circling him to avoid his strikes and get a hit in every chance you get while watching for his retaliations.
After you’ve worn his hp down to about 75%, he will change his weapon into another, and he will continue to do so throughout the rest of the fight, and depending on which weapon he is using, his moveset will change, forcing you to change your strategy as well.
Coiled Lance – This one is probably the easiest to dodge and leaves the most openings. He’ll perform thrusts at very long ranges that you need to dodge on time. When you see him charge his spear above his head, he’ll perform the spinning weapon art which is the harder one to dodge. When he does this, you want to dodge into him rather than away from him. If you’re too close to him, he’ll perform a shockwave attack to push you back, so beware of that.
Coiled Staff – This one is annoying as he will constantly cast spells at you which you need to be dodging. His most frequent one will be the homing soulmass which actually stays with him even after he changes his weapon to another. When he holds his staff close to him, he’s about to send out numerous shards in an arc in front of him. Either block it or sprint to the side and roll near the end. If you’re close to him he’ll also use his staff to swipe at you very fast, making it difficult to hit him as a melee when he has his staff out. Most importantly watch when he charges his staff longer than usual as he is about to shoot you with a Soul Stream Attack that seems to last a long while and follows you around. You need to start strafing or rolling and continue moving until he stops casting it.
Coiled Curved Sword – This makes him extremely fast as he will attack you with rapid slashes while being very aggressive. The quick slash combos leave little openings, but his flaming slash attacks have a longer delay which will allow you to get a hit in during his wind up. With the curved sword, he’ll dodge your attacks more often, including backflipping away. When you see him backflip, dash towards him as it will allow you to land a few hits on him. He will also use pyromancy when he has the curved sword out, including shooting fireballs at you or trying to blast you with fireburst when you are close. He will also buff himself with Power Within, which makes his attacks hit even harder, so you want to be extra careful when he does that. With the curved sword he’ll also spew a toxic mist in front of him which you need to get away from immediately.
Learn his attack patterns during each phase and patiently wear his health down. After you’ve gotten his HP to 0, he’ll completely replenish his HP and Phase 2 will start. Make sure you are away and don’t get caught in the blast as he does so. His sword will now become a Greatsword and he will use the same moves as that of Gwyn from the first Dark Souls.
He will be even more aggressive than before and hit harder, including having a few new moves. He’ll have a leaping attack that ends in a slash which you should dodge by rolling forward. This will put you behind him and allow you to strike him a few times. The deadliest attack you want to watch out for is his 5 hit combo that consist of massive slashing attacks with flaming trails. He’ll hold his blade behind him and lean back a bit before he does this. So either roll back to safety or get ready to roll multiple times. If you get caught in any of the hits, you’ll take the subsequent ones too. But this combo also leaves him open to an attack after he is done. He will end the combo by planting his sword on the ground for an aoe damage. Charge at him as he is recovering his sword and hit him a few times.
If you’re close to him, he’ll kick you in the face to try to stagger you. And when you see him raise his hand, get out of the way immediately to avoid the unlockable grab.
During phase 2 you also have to contend with his lightning magic. He’ll shoot lightning bolts at you that you can avoid rather easily. If he’s summoning the lightning bolt in his hand slowly, he will hurl the energy in the sky and s shower of bolts will drop on your location in a bit at an angle. You need to sprint out of the way or dodge constantly to avoid this. Up close, he’ll also strike straight ahead for a lightning blast.
The Soul of Cinder has many different attacks, but if you read his weapon movements, he is manageable. Don’t get greedy with your attacks and strike him when you see openings. He is weak to frost damage, so you could try using the Irithyll Straight Sword of Rapier to great effect. You cannot parry this boss, but you can stagger him after a flurry of strong attacks.
After you’ve defeated the Soul of Cinder, you will obtain the Soul of the Lords and have access to the bonfire of the First Flame. If you light this bonfire, it ends the game. So if you are seeking a different ending, there are options.
Also, before you end the game, you should return to Firelink Shrine to transpose his soul and buy any items you may need for New Game Plus. The Handmaid will also have the Firelink Armor Set for purchase!
NEW GAME +
After the credits have finished rolling, you now have the options to replay the game while maintaining your gear and stats from your previous play through. In NG+, the enemies have more HP and deal more damage to you, so it may offer an increased challenge. Although the earlier levels should be a breeze. You will also have access to +1 Rings in your NG+ play through and +2 or +3 Rings in subsequent play throughs.
Other things that carry over in NG+ are:
- Covenant allegiance, rank and given items.
- Estus and Bonfire updates.
- Hollowing level.
- Your friendship with the Giant of the Undead Settlement.