Dark Souls isn't a series that gives its secrets up easily, and that extends to its myriad NPC side quests. It's entirely possible - and surprisingly easy - to get through the game without meeting a single non-story-critical NPC, with many characters only making their presence felt once you've liberated them from some distant, rarely-visited corner of the map.
NPCs tend to come in two forms: those that become merchants at Firelink Shrine once encountered, and those that begin journeying across Lothric. Almost all NPCs, however, feature their own (often obtuse) quest lines that, once completed, can elicit a whole range of rewards, from exotic weapons and armour, to special lore moments and even secret endings.
Unfortunately, in most cases, completing an NPCs side quest can be a real challenge. It's incredibly easy to miss the trigger points that move each NPCs side quest forward as you explore the world, and even easier to do something that completely breaks the progression of these quest lines without even realising it. Often, you'll need to visit specific locations and accomplish certain tasks in a very precise order to further a character's story arc.
Progressing a single NPC's quest line through to its conclusion can be a daunting task, but attempting to juggle the interlocking quest lines for each of the the dozen or so NPCs in the game can be utterly nightmarish. The idea, of course, is that you'll learn from the mistakes you make on your first Dark Souls III play-through and try something different on your subsequent runs.
If you want to get as much out of a single-play through as possible, though, we're here to help. This guide walks you through the steps you'll need to complete in order to conclude every NPCs quest line in a single run and claim the related rewards. Simply keep this checklist to hand, and ensure that you've completed all the listed tasks before moving onto the next boss battle.
A few important notes on this guide
• Due to the interlocking nature of most NPC side quests, it's tough to discuss them without mentioning future events. You will find spoilers in this guide.
• A handful of quests - namely those of Anri of Astora, Yuria of Londor, Irina of Carim and the Fire Keeper - feature 'good' and 'dark' variants, with dramatically different conclusions. In these instances, you'll only be able to complete one path per play-through, but we've highlighted the points that quests diverge so that you can make a choice on how to proceed.
• In some cases, side quest progression is dependent on a huge number of barely-understood variables. We've included alternative routes for those quests known to be a little finicky.
• Although Dark Souls III offers a certain degree of freedom in terms of how you tackle its challenges, we've chosen a very specific route through the game to ensure that NPC side quests aren't inadvertently broken. Other routes are possible, but it's unwise to deviant from our plan unless you know exactly what you're doing. As such, the following NPC mini-guide assumes that you're tackling the game's bosses in this order:
• Vordt of the Boreal Valley (Lothric Castle)
• Curse-Rotted Greatwood (Undead Settlement)
• Crystal Sage (Road of Sacrifices)
• Deacons of the Deep (Cathedral of the Deep)
• Abyss Watchers (Farron Woods)
• Yhorm the Giant (Profane Capital)
• Pontiff Sulyvahn (Irithyll of the Boreal Valley)
• Aldrich, the Devourer of Gods (Anor Londo)
• Dancer of Boreal Valley (Lothric Castle)
• Dragonslayer Armour (Lothric Castle)
• Lothric, Younger Prince (Lothric Castle)
• Soul of Cinder (Firelink Shrine)
• Finally, if you're following this guide and can't find the NPC you need in its listed location, try forcing progression by warping in an out of the area a few times. If that doesn't work, try visiting their last known haunt to ensure that you've completed the steps required for them to move on.
On the next page we'll take you through everything you need to do before you fight Vordt of the Boreal Valley.
- Alternatively, head back to the beginning of the Dark Souls 3 guide.
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