By the time the Chosen Undead encounters him he is shown to have already been corrupted by the Abyss: the reason for his armor's putrefied appearance and the aura of darkness that it oozes. His crippled arm is likely the result of Artorias halting the spread from devouring his wolf companion by means of a now missing shield. He possesses a greatsword that has also been consumed, yet is still far from ineffective. Having lost his sanity, the knight moves about in an untamed manner as he howls beneath the blue shroud of his helm.
Knight Artorias wore distinctive armor, as well as the Wolf Ring, and brandished his Greatsword and Greatshield. He is known to have been a friend to Alvina of the Forest Hunter covenant, and Sif, the Great Grey Wolf, was his companion, who now guards his grave and keeps the Covenant of Artorias ring in his possession.
Artorias hunted the Darkwraiths and was able to traverse the Abyss with the power of his ring, which he obtained after making a covenant with the beasts there, preventing him from being swallowed by the void, but cursing his sword in the process. In recognition of his actions, he was awarded one of Anor Londo's treasures - a Silver Pendant that allowed him to repel Dark sorceries.
When Oolacile became threatened by the Abyss created by Manus, Artorias and his wolf companion, Sif, arrived there in an attempt to save Oolacile and rescue the abducted Princess Dusk. However, the two were overwhelmed, and Artorias sacrificed himself to protect Sif using his Cleansing Greatshield, erecting a barrier around the young wolf. Swallowed by the Dark, he became corrupted along with his already-cursed sword. He was then laid to rest by the Chosen Undead after their encounter in the coliseum of Oolacile.
His legacy as a hero lasted for centuries. By the time of Lothric, there was the Undead Legion of Farron, who were commonly called the Abyss Watchers. They partook of wolf blood, and it is said that their souls are bound together and are one with the soul of the "wolf blood master", most likely Artorias. Wielding greatswords modeled after his, and fighting in wild ferocious styles, the Legion fought a veritable war with the dark of the Abyss that their master had fought ages past.
While this boss is very difficult to predict he does have a few signs for his attacks, and well-timed rolls are very important. Place yourself away from him by about twice his reach at all times (even for melee). Being able to fast-roll is highly advised but not necessary.
(See below for attack name references)
When he uses his Somersault slam attack you will want to roll to the right as the camera tilts upward while locked onto him. You want to do this three times and then get in 1 or 2 attacks (based on your weapon) after the third attack lands. Avoid attacking after his Steadfast Leap. Instead use that opportunity to heal or get some distance from him.
When he uses his Overhand Smash, roll to the right. While he leaves himself open for a frames, he will usually follow up with his Spinning Slash attack. Therefore, it is best to get some distance from him instead as the Spinning Slash attack is difficult to get away from when it begins.
With his Charging Slash move you will always want to roll backwards from where he intends to land the attack. After successfully dodging this attack, you will be able to get 1 or 2 hits on him.
His Heavy Thrust attack will need to be side dodged. Depending on which way he turns during the charge, you will need to dodge the opposite way. After you dodge he has a long recovery time and you should be able to get 2 or 3 hits in.
When you are behind Artorias he may use his Abyss Sludge attack. This move does little damage but can stun you. If timed right, you can roll forward through the attack and get a hit on him then immediately retreat.
After Artorias has lost 1/3 of his health he will start to use his Wrath of the Abyss power up. If left alone, he will do much more damage after he completes the power up for a limited time, potentially one-shotting you. If you can get close fast enough, you can stun him out of his power up before it's completed by hitting him repeatedly. If you don't do enough damage fast enough then he will hit you with an area-of-effect blast attack that will knock you on your back. Your best bet is to use a heavy, high damage, weapon and stop him from gaining his attack buff. Another, safer way is to equip a bow in the off-hand and shoot him repeatedly while he is charging up. Yet another way is to equip Throwing Knives and use those to stagger him in quick succession.
Artorias crouches, then leaps high into the air towards the player, causing damage in a small area-of-effect around him. Rolling or moving towards him instead of away can increase one's chance of successfully dodging before he lands.
Artorias somersaults into the air after which he slams his sword down vertically. He can repeat this up to three times. Roll to the side to avoid it. The player can be stun-locked in this combo.
Slams his sword overhead and towards the ground; high staggering power that leaves his guard open for a short time after it lands.
Artorias moves toward the player while swinging his sword 360 degrees. He presents an opportunity to be attacked after the player dodges his swing.
Pauses before performing a heavy, medium range thrust towards the player. If it connects, it can hit twice, dealing heavy damage and knocking the player to the ground.
Artorias quickly spins, completing a full revolution. It has the potential to connect twice.
Artorias throws a staggering sludge in a wide arc, a few feet in front of him. Usually performed if positioned behind him.
Wrath of the Abyss
Activates in intervals after approximately 20% of his total health is reduced. After rolling away he will slowly build up dark magic energy, presenting ample time for retaliation, potentially staggering him, or to apply augmentations to one's weapon or self. A single Sunlight Spear can stagger him and prevent this build up from finalizing. If the player does not stagger him he will release an explosion that does Magic Damage in a mid-ranged area of effect all around him. Artorias' attack speed, area-of-effect and damage are enhanced for a limited time afterwards. These effects can stack.
In addition to the health thresholds, this attack has a time interval between uses, in that if Artorias is left undamaged for a period of time, he will re-activate Wrath of the Abyss.
|Physical Defenses||Elemental Defenses||Resistances|
These stats are sourced from FuturePress's Official Dark Souls Strategy Guide.
Soul of Artorias
- Artorias, like many characters, had unused content that was hidden between the game files. Here is the dialogue that was kept out of the final version. Artorias was supposed to have the same voice actor of Griggs of Vinheim.
- It is speculated that Artorias had a romantic relationship with Lord's Blade Ciaran before being corrupted by the Abyss.
- Artorias saved Sif from the spread of the Abyss using his greatshield to construct a magical safeguard. However, Artorias' arm and shield were made vulnerable to the Dark as a result.
- Great Grey Wolf Sif wields the Greatsword of Artorias in the fight against the Chosen Undead.
- All of Artorias' overhead attacks hit the player while on the ground or during roll animation, ignoring invincibility frames—except for rolls with the Dark Wood Grain Ring.
- If the player dies to Artorias during the first fight, one can then hear him breathing while standing just outside the fog door.
- ↑ Wolf Ring description.
- ↑ Greatsword of Artorias description.
- ↑ Covenant of Artorias description.
- ↑ Greatsword of Artorias (Cursed) description.
- ↑ Silver Pendant description.
- ↑ Elizabeth dialogue.
- ↑ Cleansing Greatshield description.
- ↑ Abyss Greatsword description.
- ↑ Hawkeye Gough dialogue.
- ↑ Undead Legion Set
- ↑ Soul of the Blood of the Wolf
- ↑ Wolf Knight's Greatsword