"'Tis only fitting that this island would host its own Reaper. It haunts Arisen as though enraged at the half-immortality granted by the wyrm, relentless and intractable as its namesake. Even now, I swear I can hear the whispers..."
- -Barroch's Notes
Death in the Dragon's Dogma universe shares many of the same features as the Grim Reaper in popular mythological depictions. Larger than many creatures in the realm, Death is a shadowy figure shrouded in black hovering ominously above the ground. Death's hood hides no facial features-- instead, only a gaping black hole looks back at the Arisen. Larger than Death's own body, his deadly Scythe will instantly kill even the mightiest adventurers. The Bone Lantern held on his left side allows him to cast Sleep.
Death was once an Arisen. The notice board quests, The Wages of Death I, II, III, and IV, were written by Death. In The Wages of Death IV, he states, "I have cast away the shackles of the Arisen. In form and function, I have embraced my calling... as death."
Speculation suggests that Death is the twisted form of Arthacos, an Arisen driven insane by loneliness and the unending labyrinth of Bitterblack Isle. In his insanity, Arthacos came to believe that it was his duty to offer one thousand human sacrifices to appease the Dragon's destructive nature and to save his country from calamity. He continues his vigil to this day.
Arthacos' accounts can be found in the form of ten epitaphs scattered through the isle, which when collected are displayed at the Monument of Remembrance. The tone and style of these epithets is similar to The Wages of Death I, II, III, and IV which suggests that Arthacos and Death (who authored the Wages quests) are one and the same.
When Death searches in the darkness, the Arisen will sometimes hear the whispering voice that drove Arthacos to madness.
Information and Stats
|Type||Necrophage / Boss|
Base Exp of 420,000
Can be more or less depending on a few factors such as:
Usually appears on the first or second visit to the Garden of Ignominy.
Appears randomly, and as a necrophage is attracted by the presence of corpses or Rancid Bait Meat.
Appears with regularity in the The Bloodless Stockade (pre-Daimon) If Death does not spawn, an Elder Ogre will spawn instead. Once defeating the Elder Ogre(s), exiting and reentering will usually result in Death appearing.
|Health||Attack||Defense||Magick Attack||Magick Defense||Weight|
|Teleport||Teleports from one point to another, generally to get closer to Arisen/Pawns.|
|Death by Sleep (lantern purple glow)||Death waves his lantern as it glows purple which casts Sleep on nearby foes.|
|Lantern (Yellow Glow)||Used to seek out Arisen/Pawns, also an indicator for determining when Death will attack with the Scythe.|
|Death's Scythe||Death readies his scythe and after a fairly long buildup, makes a giant swipe with it. Anything hit, Arisen, pawn or monster will be slain. Pawns struck cannot be saved and will be sent back to The Rift.|
Death has only three abilities:
- Teleportation, allowing Death to engage the party at close range.
- Its Lantern, which can either Inflict Sleep (purple glow) or cast a yellow glow functioning as a searchlight, seeking prey.
- Death's Scythe, which will instantly slay any party member (the Arisen and Pawns) caught within its swinging arc in a single strike.
Death will flee when enough damage has been inflicted, or after a certain length of time.
Any damage inflicted on Death will carry over to every subsequent encounter until Death is slain. As the physical manifestation of the cessation of life, Death cannot be permanently slain and will eventually re-appear to resume his hunt for living prey.
In some areas, Death will disappear if the party simply exits and re-enters the dungeon. Death will also sometimes leave after slaying pawns or after a Wakestone is used.
- Lower level players, or the unprepared will have little chance of harming Death on their first encounters - an effective strategy here is to run !.
- Prepare for Death's sleep spell. Either with resistant armor, clothing and rings, or with spells and curatives.
- See Sleep for curatives and sleep resistant items. Restless Earrings and the Leather Circlet are readily available items with powerful resistance. Additionally any spell or item granting the state of Impervious will completely protect against sleep - particularly useful is Sobering Wine which protects the entire party immunity.
- Certain skills which give a brief window of invincibility, such as a correctly timed Full Moon Slash will protect the player from Death's Sleep attack.
- Death's scythe attack cannot be blocked with any shield or countered by any parry, including Masterful Kill or Clairvoyance. The Scythe can only be avoided by evading it completely.
- Autonomy augment can be useful as pawns are often slain by Death's Scythe.
- Wakestones can resurrect the Arisen, but Death's attack will kill pawns instantly with no option for revival. Pawns will be immediately sent to the Rift and must be rehired.
- Death floats above the ground and its incorporeal form cannot be grappled.
- Beware of Death's ability to teleport - if death disappears it may well now be behind you.
- Death will be strongly attracted to the light of any lantern. To avoid Death's attention make sure no lanterns are lit.
- There is a small blindspot just behind Death when he swings his scythe.
- For lower level players looking to avoid Death, whilst he's at large, a low, ominous bell tolling will be heard as well as whispers the closer one gets to Death. Prepare to make a break for it when these sounds are heard.
- Pawns often comment: "Death cannot be slain in one go." Death has a great deal of health, and is intended to be fought over a number of separate encounters.
- Immune to all debilitations.
- Weak to high knockdown or stagger attacks, even in Hard Mode.
- Consider equipping items that boost stagger or knockdown.
- Both physical and magickal weapons work against death - however its defenses and magick defences have been shown to vary from one appearance to the next - be prepare to change tactics if Death appears resistant to a given form of attack.
- All vocations : To maximize the party's damage output, consume up to four Tagilus's Miracle and four Salomet's Secret potions to double the party's physical and magickal damage during the battle. (more than four potions give no further benefits).
- Death's 'weak spot' is its lantern - strike this to attempt to stagger the foe.
Death has high defense and high health, and appears only for a limited period of time - to dispatch Death each vocation should preferably use their strongest attacks, coupled with enchantments and potions.
- Striders: The Skull Splitter/Brain Splitter skills coupled with a prior jump and the Eminence augment is probably the best dagger based attack. Ranged attacks could include Downpour Volley/Hailstorm Volley, or Splinter Dart (effectively used by pawns)
- Rangers: Tenfold Flurry shots to the Lantern (the Lantern's hitbox is anywhere between Death's collarbone and waist) will cause massive damage - with Blast Arrows and high enough knockdown/stagger stats, Death can be stun-locked.
- Warriors: For most weapons use jumping Light Attacks with as many strength boosting augments and potions as possible.
- Magick Archers: Try Ricochet Hunter in close quarters, otherwise the detonation of Explosive Bolt or Explosive Volley have higher stagger and knockdown. (Note that when Death teleports, he will free himself of any attached explosive rivets.) Magickal Gleam can also stun an unaware Death, allowing time to strike or run past him.
- Mystic Knights: An Arisen can easily use the Reaper's teleport skill against it, providing they have the ability Stone Jungle. With this skill, an Arisen may cast from afar and hold the spell, awaiting Death as he teleports close. Once it does, using this magick will have a high chance to knock the Reaper down, allowing a party to deal massive amounts of damage. Otherwise a combination of Holy enchanted multiple Great Cannon and Ruinous Sigils can be used both as an offense, and as a trap should Death teleport of move to their location.
Stunning Death to his death
Knocking down Death over an abyss will slay it outright.
- Death can be instantly slain in the Fortress of Remembrance by being knocked off the bridge into the abyss below. When the dungeon is first visited (or in New Game Plus), Death will make a scripted appearance at the first bridge - walking down to the second landing of the crumbled stairway will trigger Death's appearance where it can be killed outright if it is caught with a staggering attack while he hovers over the water.
- One may wish to do a "hard save" (use the repaired riftstone, or else visit the surface) prior to attempting this. It does not always work on the first attempt, and entering or exiting the area autosaves.
There are two techniques which can slay Death here very quickly:
- Firing Blast Arrows into the lantern can easily stun Death and make it fall down to the abyss below, killing it in a single encounter. Equipping two Barbed Nails will increase the player's Stagger and Knockdown capabilities.
- A single Magick Archer's Magickal Radiance shot can stagger Death in to falling into the abyss below as well, instantly slaying it. Before firing the shot, be sure to wait for Death's appearance animation to end or else the shot will pass right through Death's body.
- Witness the scythe attack (no victim needed)
- Witness Death inflicting Sleep
- Witness Death bow and flee (may need to be seen a few times)
- Teleportation :
- Witness Death teleport in front of a character with a lantern equipped
- Witness Death teleport in front of a character with no lantern equipped
- Both may be needed to be witnessed several times
- It may be neccessary to equip/unequip lanterns during the fight for the associated flags to be triggered.
- Kill Death at least once with all five previous flags triggered
In addition to witnessing these techniques, it is necessary for Pawns to participate in killing Death 3, 6 or more times either with their own Arisen or while travelling with others.
More information can be found on the Pawn Bestiary Knowledge page.
Death will stalk all of Bitterblack Island indiscriminately once Daimon is defeated for the first time.
However, there is still an easy way to spawn Death post-Daimon. Much like the first encounter, Death can appear in the courtyard of the first area, The Garden of Ignominy, provided the stench of death there is high. This can be achieved either by killing enemies, or, more easily, using Rancid Bait Meat. Note that Death will spawn only if Saurians are present in the courtyard. If Goblins are present, Garm will appear instead of Death.
The spawned enemies in the Garden of Ignominy can be changed by simply entering and exiting a Rift Stone, or by exiting the main entrance and re-entering. After Death is routed from sustaining too much damage, re-zoning after dropping another bait can cause him to re-spawn immediately.
To "Farm Death" the following steps can be taken:
- When in the Garden of Ignominy defeat all enemies (Note: Saurian corpses attract Death, while Goblin corpses attract Garm.)
- Save the game.
- Die via Godsbane or return to the main menu.
- Reload the save.
- Upon reloading drop a piece of Rancid Bait Meat. Death will Spawn.
- Damage Death as much as possible until he retreats.
- Zone the area by leaving and then re-enter - eventually, enemy corpses will decompose. Enemies must be refreshed and killed again.
- Repeat the steps 2-7 above to re-spawn Death again. (This procedure can also be used to farm Garm.)
Magick Archers with Magick Rebalancer and Ricochet Shot can fight and respawn Death by leaving and re-entering the Bloodless Stockade. Hard mode and weal quadruples experience.
- The Wages of Death IV - slay Death on Bitterblack Isle
- The Brine cannot slay Death, making it the only enemy in the game which cannot be dealt with in that fashion.
- Death Scythe will instantly kill most Bitterblack Isle enemies - Cursed Dragons, Condemned Gorecyclops, etc. However any such enemy slain by Death will not drop loot nor award experience
- In Hard Mode, Death has considerably more stagger and knockdown resistance.
- Firing a Maker's Finger will not slay Death, but it will wipe out one full bar of health.
- "Come my child" or "Waver no more" when winding up to scythe swing.
- "Sleep..." while preparing its lantern sleep spell.
- ps3xbox360 When Death spawns in the Garden of Ignominy (from the Entrance of Bitterblack Isle), if the player walks onto the balcony, Death will try to attack the player but will get stuck on the way (where Snakes (Pre-Daimon) or Leapworms (Post-Daimon) spawn). If players stay away from the Lantern Light and have no light source of their own (such as a Lantern), Death will stay there and do nothing.