Dark Souls 2 - The Gutter, boss, Great Heal, Ash Knuckle Ring

We'll walk you all the way through the darkness of the Gutter section of Dark Souls 2, and show you how to find the Fragrant Branch of Yore.

Before you get to the Gutter, you'll have to negotiate the well in Majula very carefully if you're to avoid plummeting to a rather unfortunate death. We'll show you how to take a clear and careful path to your objective, and make sure you pick up some very handy items along the way.

How to find The Gutter

When you're ready to head into the next section of the game, make your way to Majula and then stand by the rock next to the large well. Make sure you point your camera right down into the well, and then drop down onto the platform that's nearest the top. Grab the Radiant Lifegem from this platform, then make your way to the centre of it and drop down onto the next platform below. Whatever you do, don't jump onto the thinner platforms here, as you'll break them when you land.

Take the Pharros' Lockstone from this second platform, and then fall down onto the platform on the other side to get a Poison Moss. Jump down again to get a Ring of the Evil Eye +1. Now's a good time to sneak into the cave just beneath you, as there's a bonfire in here, as well as the Grave of the Saints. Go ahead and light the bonfire so you have access to it later on.

For now, use that bonfire to get back to Majula, then make your way back down to the platform just above the entrance to the cave. Go to the other side of this ledge, and then drop down onto the next section beneath you. Be very careful when you land here, as there's very little margin for error.

Where to find the Darknight Stone

"Make sure you've equipped a weapon with a large swing, so you can kill [the zombies] before they detonate."

You should be able to see a ladder very close by, but you don't yet have the key to open the door at the bottom of it. Instead, go to the other side of the platform and jump down onto the smaller one below.

Drop down once more, then go to the entrance ahead of you and walk down the hallway. Kill the creature on the bridge to get a Darknight Stone, three Large Titanite Shards, and a regular Titanite Shard. Make sure you jump over the gap at the bridge's end, and then open up the coffer nearby to pick up an Ash Knuckle Ring.

Make your way into the next area beneath you, but be ready for an ambush from a pack of exploding zombies. They'll come at you from both sides, so make sure you've equipped a weapon with a large swing, so you can kill them all before they detonate. Now walk down the corridor that's on your right (as you face the entrance), and take the Great Heal miracle you come to as you near the end of the passage. Now make your way down the other hall and climb down the ladder.

When you reach the very bottom of this ladder, you'll find yourself on a new platform. There are two ladders to your left which you need to climb down now (rather than the ramp you can see over on the opposite side), in order to get your hands on a precious Human Effigy.

Now climb your way back up the ladders and walk over the wooden platform to get to the other ladder that's opposite you. Keep climbing down all of these ladders until you've looted the Radiant Lifegem, then keep making your way down the rest of the ladders one by one.

Eventually you'll get right down onto the ground floor, and you'll be able to open up a coffer that contains a Token of Spite. Go through the gap on the other side of this area to access the Gutter.

The Gutter guide

As soon as you enter the Gutter, make your way onto the wooden platform beneath you, and then head right so that you can drop down onto the next level below that. When you reach the middle of this new platform, it'll collapse beneath you, and send you plummeting down towards a new bonfire below you. Light it up, then light a torch on the bonfire and carry on walking forwards. Light the pedestal before you break the vase, and you'll be able to safely loot two Dung Pies.

It is extremely dark throughout this region, and so we recommend keeping a lit torch about you at all times. Make your way back towards the bonfire, then take a left and walk down the path you're on. Kill the enemy that's lurking around up ahead, then head to the left as the floor collapses from out beneath your feet.

Kill the creatures in this lower section, then make your way onto the next platform down. There are two enemies you'll need to finish off down here, before you climb up the ladder just ahead and light the pedestal at the top - well worth doing if you want to add some illumination to this dank and gloomy area. Don't head over to the entrance nearby just yet though, as you won't be able to open the door that it leads to.

"Keep an eye out for the white statues that populate this area, as they spit deadly poison at you whenever you get close to them."

Make your way back down the ladder you just climbed up, and then head towards your left. Keep an eye out for the white statues that populate this area, as they spit deadly poison at you whenever you get close to them. Smash any that you come across to stop this happening.

Now fall down through the hole in the centre of the platform ahead, and make your way across to the next room along. Kill the trio of enemies hanging around here, then climb all the way up the next ladder you come to. Make your way over to the opposite side of the room and take the next ladder up.

Kill the enemy you find when you reach the top, then smash up all of the vases in this area to get your hands on a Soul of a Nameless Soldier. Now jump down until you're on the next platform along (do not fall through the hole), and get ready for an attack from a pack of exploding and non-exploding zombies.

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Torches are the only friends you've got down here - use 'em.

Once they're all dead, head across the bridge, kill the canine creature mooching around here, finish off the next zombie, and then get up the ladder. When you reach the top, you'll be able to open up a chest that contains a handful of Black Firebombs.

Go back down the ladder you just climbed up, head over the wooden bridge again, and then go up the next ladder you come to. There are more of those poison-spitting statues around here, so make sure you take them all down before they can dole out their own damage.

Climb up and then over to the right, go over the next bridge along, then kill the dog-like creature. Next, fall through the gap in the ground and smash up the pile of vases down here to get your hands on even more Black Firebombs.

Make your way over to the platform with the statues on it - again, watching out for that projectile poison - then take a right to find another bonfire. Light it, then turn all the way around and smash the wall on your right. Sneak through that new opening and then destroy the vases on the other side for even more Dung Pies.

How to find the Black Gulch

You'll notice a few ladders around here, and most of them lead you into the next area of the game: the Black Gulch. Before you make your way there though, go through the mist that's right in front of you, kill the dog you come across, and then smash up the vase on your right to loot 20 Poison Arrows.

Now carry on over to the opposite side, light the pedestal to brighten things up a bit, and then kill the mushroom-like monsters in front of you. Enter the cave very, very cautiously, and use a ranged attack to kill the beast inside. If you're not able to use a suitably powerful projectile, get up close and smack it with your melee weapon. Just keep a close eye out for the gas when it comes, and attack the beast from the side.

"Enter the cave very, very cautiously, and use a ranged attack to kill the beast inside."

Once you've killed this creature, you'll be able to loot a Poison Moss. Now smash up all of the vases behind the corpse to get another Poison Moss. Now it's time to make your way into the Black Gulch so you can have a good-old fight with The Rotten.

Go back through the misty entrance, take the ladder to your right all the way down, then get onto the wooden plank. Jump down onto the nearby platform and smash up the vases to get hold of some Rotten Pine Resins. Jump over to the next platform along, kill the enemy hanging around here, and then climb down the next ladder you come to.

When you reach the bottom, you'll have to kill a tricky pack of enemies, some of whom will even try to crawl up the ladder as you try to creep down it. Once they're all dead, smash the vases just behind the ladder to get a very tidy stash of Lifegems. Face this ladder as though you were about to climb back up it, and instead climb up the ladder that's now to your far right, over in the corner.

Where to find the Fragrant Branch of Yore

Once you get to the top, open the chest in front of you to get hold of a Great Club. Before you leave, make sure you destroy all the vases over on the opposite side of the room to loot a Torch and a Dark Fog. If you smash up the other vases on your right, you'll be able to get behind them to loot another handy Fragrant Branch of Yore.

If you're ready to head into the Black Gulch, simply walk through the mist that's just ahead of you.

Need a Ruin Sentinels strategy guide? Look no further than our complete guide to this tricky boss battle. Alternatively, head back to the first page of our Dark Souls 2 walkthrough for more guides.

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