Royal Rat Vanguard
HP: 1410
Skills: Bite, Lunge
Souls: 11000

Difficulty: 1.5/5
Deaths: 1

To get to "The Rotten", you'll have to jump down the huge hole back in Majula and access the catacombs. Go through the massive amount of rats and fake Pharos gates and you'll eventually run into your next boss. Will you deem it as a boss or not, I won't judge, but I can say this much, the Royal Rat Vanguard is a unique battle. Unique it may be, but its still just a f**king rat, head into this battle knowing that and you'll easily breeze through.

Look at all these rats!

When you head into the fog gate, you'll find out that there's no boss health bar. A music is playing, but there's no health bar, and there's no boss. All that we see, are f**king rats! The whole boss area is flooded with tons and tons of rats. While they individually pose no problem to you, when they gang up on you with such disgusting numbers, its actually quite possible for you to be taken down. There's no choice, take out the rats! Thin out your numbers and hold out, wait for your opportunity to strike, and when it presents itself, go crazy.

Bite - A simple bite attack, similar to the bite from normal rat enemies.

Lunge - A forward lunge, similar to the attack from normal rat enemies.

If you can't tell already, you're going to be battling rats and only rats for this boss fight. Rats will keep spawning into the map from everywhere, the ground, the coffins, the ceiling...EVERYWHERE. Your job is to survive, and as the rats keep pouring in, the boss rat will eventually appear...the Royal Rat Vanguard. This guy looks similarly to all the other rats, except that he sports a funky hairstyle. There is no indication to where this son of a bitch spawns from, so you'll have to keep a look out for him.

How do you know if he's showed himself? After all, all the rats look so same-ish. Simple, when the Royal Rat Vanguard makes his appearance, his life bar shows up. Yes, keep killing the normal rats, when the boss shows up, you can stop, and scan the area, look for the rat with a funky hairdo. Killing him immediately ends the boss fight, so he should be the top priority. Another way to figure it out is to just go crazy and lock on to every enemy. Normal rats have health bars on their heads, the boss does not. Either way, when you find him, his attacks are similar to all the other rat idiots that you've killed beforehand, so just treat him as a tankier rat, nothing else. He doesn't have a lot of health, so he goes down quickly.

So many rats!

Killing this guy isn't hard, its basically just a matter of annoyance. Kill him and all the rats retreat, giving you passageway into Blight town...wait no, "The Gutter". Go through that, and you'll make your way into the "Black Gulch", where you'll find your next challenge...


The Rotten
HP: 7080
Skills: Cleaver Swing, Cleaver Smash, Cleaver Combo, Hand Smash, Cleaver Backswing, Grab, Hex Slash*, Hex Explosion*
Souls: 47000

Difficulty: 2/5
Deaths: 1

The Rotten is one of the 4 soul lords in "Dark Souls 2", and I cannot fathom why. Out of all the soul lords, I feel that The Rotten is the easiest one of them all, posing little to no threat to you as long as you understand the concept of "rolling". If you can roll, The Rotten is one of the easiest bosses in the game, despite his ugly and massive exterior appearance, he's pretty easy to take down. Hell, the road to get to him was 10 times harder than the boss himself.

Come at me, you ugly son of gun!

The Rotten certainly looks intimidating. Don't let his look scare you though, he's one hell of a slow bugger. His attacks are easy to dodged, and even if you aren't the fastest on your fingers, most of them can be blocked easily as well. He's huge, so locking on, strafing around and hitting him is going to be easy. His attacks have massive recovery time as well, allowing you to land plenty of free hits on him. Either way, he may seem like he has a lot of moves, but most of them are ridiculously easy to deal with anyway.

Cleaver Swing - A horizontal cleaver swing. Dodge or block, easy.

Cleaver Smash - A vertical cleaver smash. Can be dodged or blocked, but this one is more easily dodged.

Cleaver Combo - A combination of smashes and swings. May be difficult to block if you're planning to take all 3 hits, unless you have a gargantuan amount of stamina. Dodge one and the rest should be smooth sailing.

Hand Smash - He smashes his empty hand down on the ground, trying to pound you into meat pie. Easy to dodge, its slow as heck.

Cleaver Backswing - He attempts to swing his cleaver back at you when you're behind him. Easily blocked and dodged, no problem.

Grab - He attempts to grab you with his empty hand for a heavy smack attack. Does a lot of damage and cannot be blocked, but is very easy to see coming. Just move away.

Hex Slash* - He smashes his cleaver downward while channeling dark energy, unleashing a wave of dark. Does a lot of damage and covers a massive area, but because of its massive startup, its easy to just move behind him while he's trying to use this attack. Can be dangerous if he catches you healing with this.

Hex Explosion* - He channels dark energy, before unleashing it all in a massive AOE explosion around him. Simply run away, it has a massive start up. Does massive damage.

The Rotten has a lot of attacks, but most of it can be dealt with by just strafing around his axe arm. Cleaver Swing and Cleaver Smash are easily dealt with if you're hugging with axe arm, and gives you a lot of free hits in. Cleaver Combo as well, though you might have to deal with the first attack before you can go in for hits. Because of this, you'll almost always be behind him, and he won't have a lot to deal with you when you're at his backside. His only potential dangerous move is Cleaver Backswing, which is easily dodged as its easy to see coming. If you're slow (you shouldn't be THAT slow), you can block most of these attacks. It might be hard to block ALL the hits in his combo, but you can just block one or two, the dodge the rest.

If you happen to be on his non-axe arm, you'll have to deal with 2 hand attacks. One, his Hand Smash, which is just a simplistic downward smash that is easy to dodge. You can also block it if you wish, the start-up is ridiculous. The other attack, which is the more dangerous one, is his grab. This one does major damage and sets you up for another one of his attacks. When you see him lift his non-axe arm, just roll away. He can also grab you from the side or slightly from the back, so take note. Once again, if you dodge these attacks well enough, which should not be too hard (once again, he's SO SLOW), you can punish him many times, because of his long recovery times.

Yeah, just give me more free hits.

When The Rotten starts to go lower in terms of health (roughly below 50-40% HP), he gets 2 more, albeit more dangerous attacks. In fact, these are the only 2 attacks that actually pose semi-huge threats to you. One is his Hex Slash, which has him slashing downwards and projecting forth a wave of dark energy. From a distance, its going to be very dangerous. But up close, (he most probably won't use this, but if he does) it gives you free hits, as its nothing more than a slower version of Cleaver Smash. Otherwise, he'll use Hex Explosion, which explodes in an AOE around him. The start-up is huge, but sometimes, its hard to get out if you're expended too much stamina hitting him beforehand. Still, it should not one-shot you, use the time to heal up and go back in on him, easy as pie.

The Rotten goes down after some hits, he does have quite a lot of health. Anyway, the ugly bastard gives up 47000 souls after going down. Next time, we'll tackle the final path and try to take down the many bosses in our way to the final soul lord.