PREPARE TO DIE LESS
Your journey through Lothric doesn't end here. Be sure to check out the rest of Polygon's Dark Souls 3 guide , which offers everything from tips for beginners and returning masochists to detailed walkthroughs of every area — including all of the secret, bonus content.
You will have to get creative navigating in and around this vast cathedral to reach its boss. The only way through many of its gargantuan doors is to take indirect routes along the balconies and buttresses. At its center is a overwhelmingly spacious and otherworldly interior, cavernous enough to fit two giants. With a keen eye you'll be able to find a couple useful items around the beams near the ceiling.
Update October 2016
Dark Souls 3 expanded, thanks to Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel, the game's first downloadable content. Our walkthrough continues in our guide.
Table of contents
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How to get there
From the Crystal Sage bonfire, head through the stone arch and proceed up the path. There is an Evangelist and two Hollow Manservants along this route. In order, you'll come across a campfire, cobblestone bridge and the next bonfire. Grab the Herald Armor set near the Evangelist.
Cathedral of the Deep bonfire
Before heading up the stairs, make a left along a narrow path to a dead end. Grab the Paladin’s Ashes. There’s also a small nook nearby with a Soul. At the right of the bonfire is a winding path that lead to a Crest Shield. When you’re ready to go up the main path, head up the stairs. Two very agile Unkindled will come after you. Given the narrowness of the steps, it’s easy to lure them close to each other, allowing you to hit both of them with a single strike. Do this by backpedalling in the direction of the bonfire. Go through the arch. The path with veer left. This path is swarming with Staved Hounds and Devout of the Deep.
It can be unmanageable if you rush into the center of the area so it‘s best to lure the hounds one at a time while shield-blocking the arrows from the Devout of the Deep. Before passing the next arch on your path, deal with the remaining archers on the upper ledge they’re firing from. You can pick up a Red Bug Pellet and a Large Soul of an Unknown Traveler there. After you pass another arch, you'll reach the Cleansing Chapel.
Cleansing Chapel bonfire
After lighting the bonfire, grab the Notched Whip in the room and exit from the doorway from where you came. Head up path on the right and note the four worshipers (there's also a fifth worshiper hiding in the bushes). They are surrounding another Estus Shard. Go up the path and into the graveyard. This area is heavily populated with Reanimated Corpses, who are very easy to kill provided that you don’t allow them to crowd you. Kill only the ones in your way since they don't yield much experience and they respawn infinitely. Taking a detour to the left will take you to an Astora Greatsword.
Go further along the left side of the graveyard into a small opening that has an Executioner’s Greatsword and a Soul. Be wary of the Infested Corpses, who are much more powerful than the Reanimated Corpses. Their reach and their ability to make you bleed are their biggest advantages, so they should be prioritized over the Reanimated Corpses. Just keep your distance and bait them to use their heavy attacks before you charge in with a combo. Don’t try to fit in more than one combo at a time before you repeat the process.
Take the tiled bridge to the cathedral proper. Note the series of ascending stairs. Halfway up is a dual-wielding, Cathedral Grave Warden. The warden is aggressive but its combos are blockable. Either sidestep him to create an opening or strike after blocking his attacks. Don’t go up the top steps just yet as there are lots of worthwhile items in the immediate area. That includes two Large Souls of an Unknown Traveler, some Repair Powder, two Young White Branches and an Undead Bone Shard.
You should also go into the small building to the right of where the Grave Warden first appeared. You’ll find another Soul and a Curse Ward Greatshield. Equally important is a ladder that will take you down to a creek and a circular path at the area far below the Cathedral steps.
Making a loop will pit you against a mature Crystal Lizard and two smaller Crystal lizards. Look for a Titanite Shard near the steps leading to the creek. There are also three Corpse-grubs along the creek. They can behave like the Infested Corpses and can be dealt with as such. Grab the Saint-tree Bellvine while you’re at the creek as well as two Souls near the mature Crystal Lizard. Look for a narrow passage to the right of the rightmost lizard. There's a Corpse-grub guarding a Poisonbite Ring.
Look for a short elevated path to the right of the mature Crystal Lizard. There you’ll find a one-way path that will drop you into the entrance of the Cleansing Chapel. This creates a shortcut back to the stairs with the Grave Warden. To get back to the ladder (via the creek) return to the worshipers outside the Cleansing Chapel and make a right through the crevasse.
When you return to the steps leading to the cathedral, head up to the gigantic locked doors. It's currently locked right now, so make a right, grabbing the Red Pug Pellets along the way. There are also two Rusted Coins to the left of the door. Navigate your way up and down the various buttresses and balconies.
The path is evenly littered with various Hollows including Hollow Slaves and archers. Unless you're confident about combat on very narrow areas, you will want to avoid combat on the buttresses. This route two Souls, three Red Bug Pellets and an Arbalest. You'll eventually come across a pair of Cathedral Grave Wardens. After defeating them, head up the stairs on the left. There’s another Soul at the end of this path, surrounded by worshipping Hollows. After grabbing the soul, open the large double doors nearby.
Be sure to also look out for Writhing Rotten Flesh, blobs that drop on you from the ceiling. Their physical resistance is high but they’re slow to react, so be prepared to attack with multiple combos.
Follow the singular path into the cathedral depths. Grab the Duel Charm and go past the dining room with the three Deacons and into a four-way intersection. Making a left will take you on the path back to the Cleansing Chapel bonfire, creating a shortcut. Making a 90-degree right will keep you on the critical path while making a U-turn to the right will take you down a dead end path toward an Evangelist and a Deep Gem.
While managing your stamina, run along the U-shaped ledge to avoid the Giant Slave's attacks. Pick up two Souls and Lloyd's Sword Ring along the ledge as well. Head to the bottom of the stairs, make a left and down another flight of stairs which leads into a small worship room.
To your right is a Mimic chest. This is one of those enemies that absolutely needs to be flanked or attacked from the rear given their quick frontal attacks. Pick up the Deep Braille Divine Tome while you’re in the room. Head through the doorway to the descending stairs to continue along the critical path.
When you enter the small chapel, grab the Seek Guidance on your right. At the opposite end of the room is a Knight of the Deep. Its right side is more vulnerable than its shielded left. You can also bait him to cast buffs; use that time to charge and interrupt him with a combo. Go through the doorway behind the knight, grab the Ember and Aldrich's Sapphire after defeating the Dark Accursed. Exit using the doorway to the left of the knight.
As you emerge into the open area of the cathedral, make a right. You'll transition from walking on top of a watery floor to a muddy floor. You can either confront the Giant Slave and the Rotten Flesh or roll right past them. Grab the Drang Gear, Pale Tongue and a Large Soul of an Unknown Traveller under the Giant. If you kill the Giant, it will drop Dung Pies and a Large Titanite Shard. Go up the stairs behind the giant on the left. When you reach the altar at the top of the stairs, grab the Ember on the left, then go behind the altar on the right. Head down the passage to confront the Deacons of the Deep, the next bosses.
Deacons of the Deep
Target the guy in red.
Tactics (phase one)
Head straight for the deacon in the middle who is glowing red and start attacking him. After he falls, watch for the red orb floating above him. The orb will land on another deacon. Continue to kill each deacon that glows red. Even though the deacons make up a dense crowd, you can herd them in one direction in order to create an opening to the glowing deacon. The crowds make focused magic attacks tough. Prioritize with melee attacks or magic attacks with wide areas of effect. Use the structure in the center of the room to separate yourself from the deacons if you want to regroup, heal or enhance any attributes.
Tactics (phase two)
Focus on the red glowing deacon at the center of the map. He should be your primary target for the rest of the battle. You can get several hits in before the other deacons can effectively aim and attack you. Look out of shockwaves and ranged magic attacks from the other deacons. Run to opposite sides of the map if you need to recover.
Deacons of the Deep bonfire
Grab the Small Doll and the Archdeacon Armor. This bonfire is a dead end, so fast travel from the bonfire. Your next destination should be Farron Keep and all points beyond it.
There are more secrets in the Cathedral. After leaving the Deacons of the Deep bonfire, make a right at the altar. Take the elevator up. This will lead you to the first set of double doors you couldn't previously open. Going left of the double doors will lead you to a balcony overlooking the main cathedral interior. Grab the three Duel Charms nearby.
To explore another route, leave the Deacons of the Deep bonfire and as you reach the altar, continue to head straight toward the Giant in the distance, dropping to the muddy and watery floors below. If you kill the Giant, it will drop some Dung Pie and a Large Titanite Shard. There is also a complete set of Maiden Gear along the wall close to the Giant as well as a Soul of a Nameless Soldier near the double doors.
Open the double doors, head down, then open another set of double doors. Grab the two Homeward Bones on the balcony and Saint Bident to the right.
Return to the Cathedral interior and make a left, dealing with the Knight of the Deep and a couple Hollow Slaves. Look for the doorway along the wall and go through it. Here you'll find a broken balcony that will lead you the previous area with the mature Crystal Lizard and the Corpse-grub. If you don't drop from the balcony, the path will lead you to two doors, one that will create the last shortcut to the Cleansing Chapel bonfire and an elevator leading to a new section.
Take the elevator up. Exit the tower and make two lefts around the tower. Go up the ladder. Cross the buttress and take on the various Hollow Slaves and Devout of the Deep guarding the upper edges of the cathedral. Grab the Pale Tongue at the end of the exterior path. This path also give you access to the cathedral interior beams close to the ceiling. It's a precarious area that will pit you against more Hollow Slaves and a couple Knights of the Deep. There's a Blessed Gem at one end of the beams.
When you reach the opposite side of the cathedral beams, look for a platform that you can safely drop down to. Drop again to the closest platform. Expect a ton of Man-grubs ambushing you from the ceiling. Activate the switch nearby. This will create a shortcut to the main double doors. Killing the last Man-grub at the end of the path will grant you a Red Sign Soapstone. Make a right to meet with Rosaria, leader of the Rosaria's Fingers covenant. Light the Rosaria's Bed Chamber bonfire. She has the special ability to let you respec your attributes and change your appearance.
You can learn more about Rosaria's Fingers and all of Dark Souls 3's covenants in our covenants guide.
Rosaria's Bed Chamber bonfire
There, you can also light Rosaria's Bed Chamber bonfire and return here to trade in your covenant items.