As with the first DLC episode, Crown of the Old Iron King boasts a side area with its own boss enemy that seems to be designed for co-op adventurers. You can also summon AI companions to assist in your battle. Be prepared by using our guide.

Iron Passage

Fire up the bonfire here and drop into the room below. There are two markings on the floor where you can summon helpers to fight through to the Smelter Demon and this is recommended. Like the equivalent side section in the first DLC, this area is kind of intended for co-operative play. Make sure you're in human form to call on assistance, then go through the passageway into the next room. The corridor ahead has cells on both sides holding enemies and a gateway at the end. A lever in the middle of the area opens the gate, which only stays open briefly, but also all the cells. It's possible to make it to the gate by sprinting straight away after operating the lever, although you could also clean everything out. Head to section 4A of this guide if you do this.

Otherwise, pull the lever in the middle of the room and stand firm. A fireball trap unlocks cells containing four Axe Demons. You want to get to one side to avoid the fireball and wait for a couple of the Axe Demons to come after you. Take them out, then deal with the other Demons. The third cell on the right contains seven Large Titanite Shards.

Grab the loot, then go back to the lever room and through the side passage. Fall down into the room below and you'll find several more Axe Demons and a pair of Hollow Mages to contend with. The Mages are high up in a place you can't get to, so handle them with ranged attacks.

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The Iron Passage, where you may want to summon some assistance.

When everyone's dead, fall down into the alcove at the end, but not the whole way down to the next passageway. An Axe Demon is down there, so kill him with ranged attacks before falling down. In the next room along are three more Axe Demons (they obviously got a good job lot deal on these guys), two more Possessed Armors, one Fume Sorcerer and one Hollow Mage. The ranged guys are on elevated platforms.

One of the Axe Demons is visible from the entrance and the second is just to the right of the doorway, while the third is over on the far side of the room. The ranged guys are to the right. Rushing through, you can get by with just handling the Axe Demon, but the Hollow Mage can tag you as you do. It's not too difficult to avoid attacks, but you could do with taking the Hollow Mage out even if you're trying to be economical.

The next room has two Giant Club Demons that emit flames from the bodies (one is invader red), a few Axe Demons, two Hollow Mages and a Possessed Armor. Bet you're glad you summoned those guys earlier, hmm?

4A

Fall into the room at the end before the gate closes, then kill the Hollow Mage as quickly as possible before he can get off multiple attacks. Now look down the corridor to the left of the fireball trap, where there are two more Mages and a few Axe Demons lurking in a room ahead. They can't get to you, so use ranged attacks with impunity.

Once they're dead, go into the room but don't fall down into the lower area. Nab the two Crimson Water items on the far left side, then head back to the fireball trap room and through the passage on the other side.

The next room is host to a Fume Sorcerer in a corner. Kill it, then again you must decide between a couple of paths. After pulling the lever here, the cells and gate down the next hallway open, but you need to sprint if you want to make it through the gate. If you're going to do that, go to 4B.

If you go for the side passage, you find yourself on the bottom floor of the next room but on a raised ledge. There are two Possessed Armors ahead of you, a Hollow Mage on the upper ledge and two Axe Demons on the ground. There's a third Axe Demon blocking one of the exits into the final room in the far left corner.

Kill the Possessed Armors first, then go to the other exit straight ahead and to the right. There are two Wilted Dusk Herbs lying around. This exit can only be reached by the raised ledge - otherwise it's blocked by the last Axe Demon - but either way you end up in the same place.

The last room has a Possessed Armor on a raised ledge, two Giant Club Demons and a pair of Hollow Mages on the ground. The Giant Club Demons are in the way of the fog door to the boss. If your summons buddies have made it this far, let them distract the enemies, then just go straight for the door, but wait for the Hollow Mages to use their gravity spell first - you won't want to get stuck in place between a pair of Giant Club Demons. If you're happy to dawdle, there's a Dried Root by the nearest Hollow Mage.

4B

Nearly done! Yank the lever, then hotfoot it through the gate at the end of the hall. Tumble into the room below and deal with the Hollow Mage you encounter in the passageway to the left. You don't need to go into his room. A pair of Possessed Armors and two Axe Demons are below, but there's nowt in the upper area that you can reach, so go down the right path.

Go to the corner, but linger. There's a Possessed Armor ahead at the same level you are, so take it down from the hallway and use the wall to block its attacks. Then below there are two Giant Club Demons (one invader red, both emitting fire) and two Hollow Mages. Ranged attacks should be fine from here, although obviously the Mages can respond in kind.

At the end of this path are three Cracked Red Eye Orbs and three Old Growth Balms. Grab them, then fall down into the area below to find a Dried Root opposite the fog door. Got everything? OK, time to take on the Smelter Demon.

Stuck on the main quest in Crown of the Iron King? Hit page one of our guide for Fume Knight strategies and much more.

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