Dark Souls 2 Crown of the Ivory King Guide, Hints & Tips

Welcome to the third and final Dark Souls 2 Lost Crowns DLC guide, dealing with all matters pertaining to the Crown of the Ivory King, Eleum Loyce and invisible tigers. If you’ve read my previous pair of guides to the other entries in the Lost Crowns trilogy, you’ll be familiar with the format.

Crown of the Ivory King has a rather interesting and non-linear structure to it, but I’ve done my best to keep things in the order people are most likely to be doing them.

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Your ticket to winter wonderland.

Wrap Up Warm

Crown of the Ivory King is a snowy affair, so it’s perhaps fitting that you access it via the Shrine of Winter in the Shaded Woods area of the game. Assuming you own either the individual DLC or the Season Pass, you’ll have in your character’s possession a ‘key’ called a Frozen Flower. Warp to the crossroads Shaded Woods bonfire, head off down the left-hand path and examine the Shrine to be transported to a magical land of ice and snow and death.

As with the prior DLC releases, I’d recommend doing this as an end game or near end game area. The enemies are tough and plentiful, so you’ll be wanting some +10 weaponry (or +5 if it’s a boss one) and a decent stock of consumable items to help you out.

Ice To See You

There will be a lot of snow pun headings. Sorry. Ish.

As you approach the gates of Eleum Loyce, ice tentacles will pop out and a lady will tell you to bugger off. Don’t be discouraged. Since when has the player meddling in things ever caused any problems in Souls world?

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It’ll be fine, I’m sure.

Once inside, you have two problems to deal with. One: There’s a snow storm blowing and it’s blocking off certain passageways and keeping all the lovely treasure chests iced over. Two: If you go left through the fog door you get mauled by an invisible tiger.

We’ll ultimately solve both of those issues, and the way to do it is by heading in the only other possible direction aside from the first fog door.

No, Seriously, Eye-ce To See You

To calm the snowy winds, we’ll need to get past that tiger. And to do that, it’s necessary to have an item called the Eye of the Priestess. I imagine some Dark Souls 2 masochists have managed to kill Aava the Tiger while he’s invisible, but it’s not really advisable to try.

Getting to the Eye is a somewhat lengthy trek, but it’s also pretty much just a case of following the only path currently open to you. If you’re curious about the seated, white-robed figures, they become dangerous later on but (as far as I can tell) are harmless when the storm’s raging. You can still kill them if you like. They drop stuff, and it’s not a bad idea to get a vague sense of where they lurk.

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Kill them. Kill them all.

From the first bonfire, make your way through the frozen fountain area, up into a building with various ice-crystal soldiers (and a dog) lurking behind boxes, then head through the furthest door beyond them. Watch out for the Hoplite-styled guys who have ice clusters on their backs; they can’t be back-stabbed. The other (closer) door in the box room leads up to some treasure chests, but they’ll be frozen at present. Once through the far door, follow the outside path until you have some branching options at the top of a short incline.

Go through the right hand door. Drop through the broken rafters down to the bonfire. The other directions come into play post-storm. Besides, you’re probably just happy to see another Crown of the Ivory King bonfire.

Battlements and Ballistas

Between the second (Abandoned Dwelling) and third (Inner Wall) bonfires, you’ll be introduced to some warriors covered in even more ice crystals (these ones are vulnerable to backstabs, however) and the largest variety of frozen soldier (again, backstab.) Make your way to the battlements. There’ll be some ballistas up there, but avoid those for now because invisible soldiers will make your life miserable.

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Oh, he’s showing me his back, how kind.

Go the other way instead and keep a mental note of where you see frozen treasure chests. You’ll be coming back for them later. Take the lower path on the outside of the battlements and (when you’re ready and feel you’ve explored enough) drop down off the ledge at the bottom of the stairs and continue on to the Priestess’ Altar. This is where you can pick up the Eye.

Progressing down the path a little bit further will lead you to the Inner Wall bonfire. At this point you can either warp out and tackle Aava, or explore onward. Exploring onwards will eventually lead you out to just above Aava’s fog gate.

On the way there you’ll have to navigate through some tricky rooms with more backstab-proof ice soldiers and a Holy Knight NPC invader with a neat line in disguising himself as a barrel. It can be helpful to deal with him now, rather than later.

Aava Gotta Lotta Claws For You

With the Priestess’ Eye in your possession you can now tackle Aava the not-so-invisible tiger. In fact you need to, in order to progress.

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Who’s the cutest kitty? Aava is! Wait, I meant angriest.

If you’re doing this with any sort of magic or ranged character, summoning help might not be a bad idea. You can unleash your arsenal while the other player (or NPC summon) distracts the cat. Both Masterless Glencour (summon sign on the first bonfire bridge) and Steelheart Ellie (by the fog door) can be brought in for this one. The latter now uses pyromancy (a bit,) which is actually semi helpful.

If you’re doing melee, my suggestion is to ditch the shield, double-hand your weapon and learn to time the dodges. It may be just about possible to tank Aava’s crazy paw swipes with a 100% physical resistance shield, but it’s going to leave you seriously drained of stamina.

Any time he does his leaping attack (either the paw punch or the mouth munch varieties,) that’s your cue to dodge through the assault. I found success with dodging diagonally to my left (his right,) because if it turns out to be the leaping paw punch, that keeps you out of the hitbox. Dodging through the leap should leave you at Aava’s side near his hind legs, with a perfect opening for either a heavy attack or a couple of lights (if you have a swift enough weapon.)

Any time you’re around his hind legs, he’ll probably try to sweep-punch behind him. Yes, it’s another four-legged From boss who knows you just want to stab him in the back legs all day long and will actually try to stop you. This rear-sweep punch has a pretty long wind up, so get to know it and convince yourself to wait long enough for the dodge.

When Aava does a frontal punch, he sometimes follows it up with a second swipe. Learn the timing on these so you can dodge through both. Once you’re able and confident about dodging through all of his close-up sweeping punches, the battle is practically won.

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The Steelheart Ellie distraction method has some merit.

He has two close-up area attacks to beware of. One is a charged-up energy burst thing, and the other is a ground-punch which spawns ice crystal pop-ups from the Earth. To avoid either of those, just roll out of range and relax for a bit. This can be a pretty good time to drink some Estus if required.

For his homing crystal missile attack, there’s a handy trick. If you’re close enough to Aava when he summons them, just sprint past him to his hind legs and get in a free hit or two. The homing missiles will all harmlessly miss (this is only dicey if he’s backed right up against the side of the bridge you’re fighting on.) If he’s too far away and you don’t think you can get beyond him in time, prepare to dodge left a couple of times as the crystal missiles approach. It’s pretty much the same as the attack Scorpioness Najka does.

Aava doesn’t enjoy fire, so if you have some charcoal to infuse your weapon with, that will help. Pyromancy is an option as well, although you probably won’t be able to rely on that alone.

On PC, have a spare weapon on hand or use the Bracing Knuckle Ring. Hitting Aava seems to degrade weapons somewhat rapidly, and since the PC version of Dark Souls 2 still has the weapon degradation bug it’ll happen twice as fast.

Kitty Killer

Congratulations, you’ll now killed a beautiful tiger. You monster. On the other hand, this is the first step to ending the storm in Crown of the Ivory King.

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That sounds like a good plan.

The second is just to head inside the rather fancy Cathedral and chat on the raised platform with Priestess Alsanna who’s been warning you off the place this whole time. She’s impressed you beat Aava and thinks that maybe you can help out the Ivory King who’s got himself in a spot of soul-bother with something dubbed The Chaos. Agree to this, and she’ll end the storm. Hurrah.

Give Me That Old Time Chaos

You can try taking the chute ride to hell and tackle the Ivory King immediately, but you’ll notice you only have one Loyce Knight helping you out and that makes things rather difficult (again, no doubt somebody has done it solo with just one knight.) This bit is important: Get more knights.

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Don’t end up on your own down here.

It’s time to revisit some of those places which were previously iced over and inaccessible. You now need to watch out for the white robed Retainer characters, because if you don’t kill them first they like to sneak up behind you with daggers. Jerks.

Snow Way Across That Bridge (Loyce Knight One)

Do you recall the broken bridge beyond the frozen fountain area, close(ish) to the very first bonfire in the DLC? Good. Go back there. You’ll now see that there’s a clear entrance to a lift that’ll take you to the bottom of the bridge.

It’s fun down here. Somebody has bred Bonewheels with Sonic the Hedgehog to create horrific spinning mammals of death. Treat them like Bonewheels and hide behind a strong shield or dodge when necessary. Down here, you’ll also be invaded by a dick of an NPC Red Phantom called Hexer Nicholai. Try to lure him back to an area you’ve already cleared out. I hit him a lot with a mace to try to keep him staggered.

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I’ve always hated you, Sonic.

Once you’ve use the ladder to climb out of this pit-like area, and (probably) dealt with the other sorcery guys, head over to the far corner of this walkway section to find a fourth bonfire (Lower Garrison.)

Your next task is to go in the only other entrance here and head upwards to pull a lever which opens up the main doors. Watch out for the “friendly” Grey Phantom. He’ll stab you in the back given half a chance.

Going through the newly opened doors will lead you to an area featuring a mini-boss encounter with the Covetous Demon’s albino brother. He’s still the Covetous Demon, so I doubt you need too much help with this. Just don’t let him belly flop you to death. There’s a crossroads just after this part, where one route will lead to a shortcut door into the prior bridge-pit area.

The other way takes you to a clearing full of Ice Golems and Sonicwheels. Any golems lacking the central blue light on their chest are inactive, and will stay that way unless you kill something near them. So try to avoid doing that. Take the lift upwards at the end of this area and prepare for more fighting.

Ignore the group of three ice-crystal guys stood on the bridge for now and instead fight your way up to the building atop the snow hill. You’ll have to fend off some individual ice-crystal folks and more Sonicwheels, but your reward is a trapped Loyce Knight who’ll teleport to the Cathedral.

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What’s the matter, I thought you guys loved snow and ice?

Your other reward is the opportunity to create a gigantic snowball, kill all three of the guys on the bridge on one go and form a path across the broken bridge. This is a fine reward.

Back to the Ballistas (Loyce Knight Two)

So, now think back to the ghost-operated ballista section. This is your next point of call for Crown of the Ivory King’s Operation Rescue Loyce Knights. Now that you can see the soldiers up here (thanks to the Priestess Eye,) you can kill them off and operate the Pharros lock to uncover Durgo’s hat.

You can also revisit the previously frozen chests in the surrounding battlements area (remember one of them was a mimic) for some treasure.

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This path downwards next to the ballistas will now be clear.

After you’re done with all that, head downwards through the now uncovered path and follow the trail, slaying a multitude of frozen warriors as you go. You’ll reach a point on some rafters where you have a ladder option to go either up or down. Heading upwards opens up a slight shortcut to the battlements, so do that.

Continue down until you reach the bottom floor which is full of dogs. Heading back up the ladder and just shooting them with a bow works wonders here.

Beyond the realm of dogs is a lift that’ll take you back up beneath the Priestess’ Altar. Before you take that, though, you’ll need to deal with a final Red Phantom (this one’s a witch) in the other direction and another large ice knight. The second Loyce Knight is trapped in the building they protect.

Galavanting with Golems (Loyce Knight Three)

Warp or head to the Inner Wall bonfire (the third one) and progress through that area. If you’ve already been here once, you’ll notice it’s now a lot harder because several inactive Golems have thawed out. This means you need to try to kill the inhabitants of the room away from their starting positions. Once you’ve cleared out the first large room, kill the chest mimic for the mighty reward of the returning Symbol of Avarice. It’s a Fashion Souls classic.

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I’m gorgeous once again.

In the other large room (with the three Golems surrounding a chest,) lure out and kill everybody. If you manage to clear a path to the chest, you’ll get a greatsword.

Take the passageway with the inert Golems that’s now opened up thanks to the cessation of the storm, and you’ll find the third and final Loyce Knight at the end of it. If you head up the stairs behind him, it’ll open up a shortcut to the Cathedral. You can either head on to the Ivory King boss battle, or go back down the stairs and follow the passage to where there’s a corpse with 3 flame butterflies on it. When facing the corpse, this passage has an illusionary wall on the right hand side about half-way down.

If you drop down here, you’ll find a few enemies and a couple of chests with some useful treasure (including the Fire Clutch Ring+1.)

Ivory Got a Bone To Pick With You

If you’ve gathered up the three lost Loyce Knights and can enter the Old Chaos with four knights at your back (and, potentially, a pair of summons,) then you’ve done most of the hard work.

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If your room looks like this, then well done.

You and whatever team of chums are with you will have to fight off Charred Loyce Knights for a bit. These guys can’t be backstabbed, which is quite annoying. Some of them like to dabble in pyromancy as well, so flame resistant stuff can be handy. Concentrate on staying alive, but help out with defeating Charred Knights where you can.

Your friendly Loyce Knights will periodically sacrifice themselves to close up the portals the Charred Knights are entering from. They may or may not finish doing this before Burnt Ivory King makes his heavy metal as hell entrance.

You see, he’ll show up when you’ve killed enough Charred Knights – even if you have fewer than four Loyce friends. But if you don’t have enough to seal all of the portals, then enemies will keep spawning indefinitely throughout the boss fight. This, obviously, is less than ideal.

This battle, in all respects, is made for co-op. People will also want to be summoned for this fight, because they may be attempting to collect enough Loyce Souls (50 in total) for fabulous prizes from Alsanna, and this is the best way to get them. I highly recommend summoning help, especially if you have all four Loyce Knights. It’s a fun co-op battle and Phantoms will appreciate your knight-rescuing diligence.

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My mace is falling apart, but so is he.

In all honesty, I finished this boss fight in co-op before becoming intimately familiar with all of Ivory King’s moves. Here’s what I did see: He’s aggressive and likes to charge with a sweeping blade attack, or a neat looking jump attack. Close-up, he’ll offer some quick but fairly standard combo swishes of his sword. If you figured out how to dodge Fume Knight and Alonne in Crown of the Old Ivory King, then only nerves will defeat you here.

He’ll power up his sword part-way through the battle, which gives it some extra reach and (I think) some additional magic damage. There’s no need to change strategy for this, just keep dodging the way you were before. It’s possible to tank some of his blows with a good shield, too.

If he stops to pose with his sword in the ground, then he’s going to do a spiked area attack, so roll back.

Any kind of frustration you have with this fight is easily mitigated by summoning some helpful SunBros or White Phantoms, so if you get stuck keep calling for aid until you end up with a trio who can get the business done.

Upon death, Ivory King will drop the eponymous Crown of the Ivory King. Take it to the Vendrick memory in the Undead Crypt for more dialogue and (if you’ve also killed the Hollow Vendrick and have his crown too) an added prize.

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It’s neat looking armour if you can stand the grind.

If you fancy Ivory King’s armour set, Maughlin in Majula will sell it. But only when you have 50 Loyce Souls and have cleared the path to Alsanna. Yep. Fifty. Enjoy grinding for those. The Charred Knights keep spawning even after you’ve defeated the boss, so you can do it that way. Or you can do lots of co-op.

Coffin Up a Key

But wait, there’s more! Remember the section just before dropping down to the Abandoned Dwelling bonfire? Or the locked door on the external ramparts? Well, you can combine those two places to get to Crown of the Ivory King’s optional boss area. Warning: It’s not very fun.

First, you need the key. Head to the area just before you drop down for that second (Abandoned Dwelling) bonfire. Through the opposite doorway, in the room with the zombie prisoner guy, is not the correct direction to the key – but if you follow that route you’ll find a fetching bell helmet.

Instead, go forwards through the sort of snow valley until you reach the door with four sconces. Light ‘em up (only possible because the wind has died down; if you don’t have a Flame Butterfly the nearest place to light the torch is probably back through the alternative exit in the room that was full of boxes and ice soldiers) and the rock will slide open.

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Another rare opportunity to use the word ‘sconce.’

It’s a bit dangerous in here because it’s full of those white robed Retainers and two super-charged Flexile Sentries. Take the rather obvious second hidden door just inside the entrance on the left-hand side and climb up to where you’ll find the amazing Bone Fist weapon on a corpse. You’ll now be above a Flexile Sentry and another corpse with an item. This is the Garrison Ward key.

Distract the Sentry with something from up high, then quickly swoop in to grab the key. Then either flee, or warp out with the Feather (if your character has it yet.)

That key will open the locked door on the external ramparts section beyond the ballistas (where there are three prisoner zombies and a large ice warrior guy in a group.) Inside, you’ll find the final bonfire of the DLC and a coffin ride to the magical sparkily land of blizzards and bullshit.

Dances With Ponies

Okay. So. This bit.

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Wuu, coffin rides.

The general idea is to run between the three main buildings during the periods when the blizzard has lessened. You’ll never be fast enough to make it to the latter buildings before the snow returns though, and when it does it brings evil electric pony-reindeer with it. These are not fun, especially when there’s more than one. As this is the optional co-op area, co-opping does indeed help.

You can summon Abbess Feeva and Vengarl for some NPC help if you wish, their signs are around the co-op monolith things at the beginning of the area.

If you get turned around or lose your sense of direction while fighting, keeping the sun on your right side should steer you towards the first and second buildings. It should be right-ish and sort of behind you for the run between the second and third. The second one also has a Pharros device that’ll fill the pool in front of it with healing water. This can be helpful, and you’ll probably have a Pharros stone or twelve to spare.

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Get used to being murdered by these things.

Make it to the third building, and you should leave via the right hand door (the right-most one assuming you made it in roughly a straight line between the second and third buildings.) The fog gate to the boss is down a sloping path. Yes, the evil ponydeers can follow you down here. Yes, that is incredibly annoying.

The Cat Returns

Well, cats.

Did you enjoy the Aava fight? Would you like to fight two Aava-like tigers at once? What do you mean no? Tough. That’s what’s going to happen.

Lud and Zallen are two more of the king’s adorable furry beast friends, who apparently live outside in the snow now. Lud will attack you first while Zallen has a nap, but Zallen will join in once Lud falls to around half health.

I probably don’t need to explain how difficult this makes matters. Basically, there’s no real trick here aside from using the maximum possible damage-per-second weapon in your possession and getting lucky with a window of opportunity that’ll give you the chance to finish off Lud and leave you one-on-one with Zallen.

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Here’s another blizzard shot because I was too busy dying in the boss fight to take screencaps.

If you can make it that far, you’ll be delighted when Zallen super-charges up to give himself large additional damage and resistance. Aside from that quirk, it’s pretty much the Aava fight again.

Defeat these kitties and their souls can be traded for a Loyce Sword and Loyce Shield. Unless you really, really want these items, the boss fight (and the run to it) are probably more trouble than they’re worth. Depends how completionist you’re feeling, really.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the conclusion of Crown of the Ivory King and the final action of the Dark Souls 2 Lost Crowns DLC trilogy. I hope this set of guides has been of some use on your travels through these demanding, yet rewarding, expansions.

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