Praise the sun. Our Dark Souls Walkthrough provides tips for surviving the adventure, a guide to the entire world, and hints for slaying bosses.
Return to Northern Undead Asylum
After you clear the Undead Parish and activate the shortcut to Firelink Shrine, you're able to revisit the Northern Undead Asylum (the general vicinity where the game began). There are a few reasons to do so.
To find the entrance, head up from the bonfire in Firelink Shrine and make your way to the elevator that you activated. Step inside and start to ride up, but face out in the direction of the shrine. Watch for an opening to appear ahead of you and quickly step or roll out onto a ledge. Then walk along the ledge a short distance and you'll see a grassy hill to your right.
Step onto the grassy hill and walk along it until you can see a steeply rising narrow ledge that leads up to an opening in the side of a circular tower. You can step onto that ledge, then run up along it and through the opening. There, you can climb toward higher ground. Note that it's possible here to drop down onto a roof to the right and find an item (the Undead Asylum F2 West Key, which can be used in the area where you're headed) on a corpse, but you'll have to head back to the elevator to try again if you stop to snag the item.
Keep climbing the circular tower and you'll arrive at the top, where there's a nest with two eggs in it. You can step next to the eggs and a prompt will appear to allow you to curl up into the shape of an egg, which you should do. Then you need to wait a number of seconds, around 10 or 15. A huge bird will come flying down, snatch you up and then fly you to the asylum.
When you appear in the asylum, you're near the top of a hill. You can start down it and there will be debris to the left and right. Ahead of you, several skeletons will be walking slowly toward you. Take care of them and then you can explore the areas to the sides.
Along the right side of the trail, you can descend to find a corpse propped near the edge of a ledge, against a wall. Check that corpse to find a Soul of a Lost Undead. Along the left side of the trail, you'll instead find another nest. If you get near, the nest's owner will ask for materials for the nest. It wants warm and soft items. You can give a number of items here in trade. You have to drop the item within the nest so that it sits next to the eggs. Then when you quit your game and return later, you'll find something else left in exchange.
Here is a partial list of items that you can trade with the crow.
- Bloodred Moss Clump (Twinkling Titanite)
- Blooming Purple Moss Clumb (Twinkling Titanite x2)
- Cracked Red Eye Orb (Purging Stone x2)
- Dung Pie (Demon Titanite)
- Purple Moss Clump (Twinkling Titanite)
- Twin Humanities (Rare Ring of Sacrifice)
The above is not a complete list. Remember that he's looking for items that are soft or warm. You can only trade any one specific item once before the bird will start rejecting items of that type, and dropping several of an item won't allow you to receive more than one in trade so there's no getting around that limitation.
Now continue down the main trail through the area and you'll arrive in a huge rectangular chamber. Keep along the edges for now and battle any skeletons that attack. Head to the back side of the chamber and through the open doors to find a familiar room with a bonfire. Use the bonfire, then consider your options.
One option is to explore the rest of the asylum. Along the familiar corridors, you'll now find a black knight who you can defeat to obtain the Black Knight Sword and the Red Titanite Chunk. The former is a powerful, worthy weapon even in its default form (though you'll need 20 Strength and 18 Dexterity to wield it properly). Elsewhere in the asylum corridors, you'll find another soldier who you can defeat for the Crest Shield. It's also terrific gear.
Finally, you can find a locked door near the very top of the asylum, not far past where a skeleton tries to crush you by rolling a boulder down the stairs. Beyond that skeleton, you'll kill several soldiers and an archer, then head forward and left along the passage to find the door guarded by two more soldiers with shields. Kill them and open the door, then head through it. Inside, you'll find a stairway that you can descend to grab the Rusted Iron Ring from a corpse. It's an item that improves your balance on poor footing.
When all of that is properly tended to, or if you decide to forgo the extra exploration, you should head back the way you came through the large rectangular room. This time, go ahead and make your way toward the center of the room. As you do, the floor will give out from under you and you'll fall into the room below to do battle with a hidden boss.
The Stray Demon is an extremely powerful boss, capable of hitting you for extreme damage regardless of your likely level and armor situation when you encounter him. For this reason, your best bet is to settle on a strategy that dependably allows you to avoid his attacks. They're not something you can simply shrug off as you can with most bosses.
When you first land in the arena, you're likely going to lose some of your health straight off the bat because of the fall. Recover quickly before the monster starts forward, then immediately it's time to plan your approach. The demon attacks primarily with powerful swings of a tower-sized ax. It has a vertical strike that you definitely want to avoid, as well as a wide horizontal swing that may well go over your head if you roll out of its way.
Besides the ax attacks, the demon will sometimes launch itself off the ground and then fly around at low altitude. When you see it doing that, make sure that you're rolling out of the way. You don't want it to land on you, no matter how good your armor rating might be. Another attack the beast has is a noxious cloud of red gas. If you're hit with that, you'll take a lot of damage.
Because of the combination of attacks that you face, you might find it helpful to strip away any armor that slows your movement (since armor isn't much use, anyway) and hit the demon with a two-handed weapon of your choice. You can avoid his attacks, move in close and hit him once or maybe twice if you're lucky, then retreat to avoid his gas and flying attacks. Repeat the process as needed and be careful to guzzle estus drinks only when it's entirely safe to do so (there's no point in trying to down one and taking more damage as a result than the flask will even refill). This is a challenging fight, but also an optional one.
If you defeat the Stray Demon, he'll give up 20,000 souls. You're free to leave by the red ladder in the corner of the room. From the upper area where you fell through the floor, head back up the hill to the nest and curl up like a ball again to catch a ride back to Firelink Shrine.