"'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 the same features as the Grim Reaper in popular mythological depictions. Larger than many creatures in the realm, Death is a shadowy, black-robed figure 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, its deadly Scythe will instantly kill even well-prepared adventurers. The Bone Lantern held on its left side allows it to cast Sleep.
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. Many of the noticeboard quests, specifically The Wages of Death I through IV seem to be written by Arthacos, which would imply that even after becoming Death, he retained his memories and some of his sanity.
When Death searches in the darkness, the Arisen will sometimes hear the whispering voice that drove Arthacos to madness.
Information and StatsEdit
|Teleport||Teleports from one point to another, generally to get closer to Arisen/Pawns.|
|Lantern (Purple Glow)||Inflicts 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||Attacks with a wide sweep of the Scythe causing instant death to Arisen/Pawns caught in the swing. All pawns killed are immediately returned to the Rift.|
Further Explanation of AbilitiesEdit
Death has only three abilities:
- Teleportation, allowing Death to engage the party at close range.
- Death's Lantern, which will inflict Sleep (purple glow) on nearby characters vulnerable to the debilitation. A yellow glow functions 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. It will also do substantial damage to Bitterblack Isle enemies - Cursed Dragons, Condemned Gorecyclops, etc. Any such enemy slain by Death will not drop loot nor award experience unless the player had engaged it prior Death's intervention.
While the Arisen may use a Wakestone to revive, Pawns slain by Death will be instantly forfeit, with no chance of revival and will have to be re-hired within a Rift Stone. Mage Pawns wielding Legion's Might are not immune to Death's Scythe.
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.
Death will flee when enough damage has been inflicted. 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 its 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.
Upon entering the lower level of the Garden of Ignominy on Bitterblack Isle for the first time, even in New Game Plus since the dungeon resets to a Pre-Daimon state, Death will always appear. For newer players, the most effective defensive strategy against Death is to run.
Death will randomly appear throughout the various dungeons of Bitterblack Isle, appearing in areas rife with fresh corpses (with increased frequency in the Post-Daimon phase). When Death appears, it is advisable for lower-level players to flee the area as quickly as possible.
Death's spawn rate is 100% in The Bloodless Stockade until Daimon is defeated for the first time.
Farming Death Edit
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. 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.
Intuitively the following steps can be taken:
- (1) When in the Garden of Ignominy defeat all enemies [Note 1] .
- (2) Save the game.
- (3) Stab the Arisen by using the Godsbane.
- (4) Reload the save.
- (5) Upon reloading drop a piece of Rancid Bait Meat. Death will Spawn.
- (6) Damage Death as much as possible until he retreats.
- (7) Zone the area by leaving and then re-enter.[Note 2]
- (8) Repeat the steps 2-7 above to re-spawn Death again.[Note 3]
- ↑ Saurian corpses attract Death, while Goblin corpses attract Garm.
- ↑ Eventually, enemy corpses will decompose. Enemies must be refreshed and killed again.
- ↑ This procedure can also be used to farm Garm.
- Upon entering the lower level of the Garden of Ignominy on Bitterblack Isle for the first time (even in New Game Plus, as the dungeon resets to a Pre-Daimon state), Death will appear. For newer players, the most effective defensive strategy against Death is ... RUN ! Avoid confronting Death (and the Hobgoblins within) and run directly down the stairs leading to the Duskmoon Tower. Upon re-entering the Garden of Ignominy, Death will be gone, and the party may continue exploring the dungeon unabated by Death's re-appearance (for now).
- Listen for Death's ominous ambiance music (whispers, creepy gongs) whenever entering a new area - any of these signs mean Death is present somewhere within the level. When exploring such an area, listen for Death's unique battle theme. A sudden shift in background music will indicate that Death has located the party.
- Death only has two attacks: Sleep (indicated by his lantern turning purple) and the Scythe attack (after searching with the yellow lantern). Come prepared with the highest sleep resistance possible when facing Death, ideally at 100%. Pawns especially will benefit from this. Spells or items that protect against debilitations can also help. This can be easily achieved by the use of one Sobering Wine, or wearing two Restless Earrings (sold by Madeleine and Delec), or with Mercenary Slogs, a Harpy Cloak, Patterned Gambeson, etc. The application of one Sobering Wine will give the entire party immunity to all debilitations for ninety seconds, which is very useful against Death's Sleep attack.
- Death's scythe attack CANNOT be blocked with any shield or countered with Masterful Kill or Clairvoyance. One can only avoid the Scythe by backing away from the Scythe's large swing radius.
- Wakestones can resurrect the Arisen, but NOTHING can revive pawns from this attack. You must re-hire your pawns from a Rift stone if they fall to the Scythe. Since pawns are vulnerable to Death, the best way to save them is to quickly inflict a lot of damage to Death to chase it away or kill it outright.
- Death tends to float off the ground and cannot be grappled. This, combined with the range of the Scythe, makes melee a risky strategy. Spellcasters and bow users can safely attack from long range, but should be wary of Death's ability to suddenly teleport behind them.
- In areas such as the The Bloodless Stockade, the abundance of water can leave you drenched and extinguish your lantern. This can work for or against you, depending on your strategy. If you wish to fight with a reliable light source, the Ring of Desiccation, Sobering Wine, and Monk's Periapt are extremely useful here. The Ring won't prevent the player from being drenched, but will immediately re-light the lantern and remove the ailment.
- Consider that Death will be strongly attracted to the light of any lantern. If stealth is the objective, it is prudent not to use lanterns as light sources.
- Immune to all debilitations.
- Weak to high knockdown or stagger, even in Hard Mode.
- Highly resilient against Holy and Dark enchanted weapons and spells.
- Striders: The fastest way for a Strider to inflict a lot of damage to Death is with the Brain Splitter skill and the Eminence augment (be sure to jump first BEFORE initiating the Brain Splitter to get the 30% Eminence damage bonus). Three to six Brain Splitters interrupted by Instant Reset (for faster recovery time between jumps) can scare away Death fairly quickly. From afar, use Hailstorm Volley.
- Rangers: Longbow shots to the head cause massive damage. If equipped with Blast Arrows and high enough knockdown/stagger stats, you can stun-lock Death infinitely, allowing you to kill Death with ease as long as you have enough arrows. Using four Conqueror's Periapts or four Tagilus' Miracles will increase your damage significantly. Using a Gold Dragonforged Revenant Wail, a 4x strength buff, and Blast Arrows, even a low-strength Ranger Arisen can kill Death in 25 seconds.
- Magick Archers: Ricochet Hunter in close quarters (like the Bloodless Stockade) is extremely effective, potentially stun-locking Death in a barrage of increasingly damaging ricochets. Explosive Bolt is also very damaging, but hard to activate when Death is above ground. Magickal Gleam can stun an unaware Death, allowing you to strike or giving you time to run past it. Use Ricochet Hunter without getting spotted to deal massive damage. Start firing bolts immediately upon entering the area, and as long Death doesn't find you, it's possible to take out several bars of health, and more when Death falls down. Because Death is not officially engaged in battle, it won't ever teleport away. How much damage you do depends a lot on the condition of your weapon, however. Four Demon's Periapts or fourSalomet's Secrets could be required to attain a higher damage output since Death is highly resistant to magick in general.
- 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 it 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.
- Mages and Sorcerors: In spite of its strength against attacks imbued with the Holy element, a Holy buffed Focused Bolt can do tremendous damage to Death, especially when multiplied with four Demon's Periapts or Salomet's Secrets, and even more if it hits its Bone Lantern (which is Death's weak spot). With a powerful enough Staff/Archistaff, Death can be knocked down by this attack. Equip one or two Barbed Nails to increase Stagger/Knockdown effectiveness.
- There is a blindspot just behind Death when it swings its scythe, albeit very small.
- In places like the The Bloodless Stockade, you can use the light of a Beacon to cause moderate damage to Death. Get him close to one, wait until he begins to cast and light it up. Mystic Knights can use the Beacons to fire Great Cannons, for more firepower.
- Death can be defeated by having it fall into deep enough water or off a cliff, achieved by surprising it with Blast Arrows, Magickal Gleam, or Sixfold Bolt. This is possible when Death appears above the bridge at the entrance Fortress of Remembrance upon entering the area for the first time. You will gain the experience but none of the item drops.
- Autonomy augment can be useful here as pawns are very likely to die.
- If Death does not 'see' you with its lantern and you attack it while it is stuck, it will never go into the cutscene where it disappears. This can be exploited either to kill it, or if you want to save and reload to affect item drops.
- If Death appears in the Vault of Defiled Truth, there's a rare chance it will get hit by the Cockatrice's petrification breath and succumb to it.[Needs Verification]
- Base exp - 420,000 on normal/easy mode, 840,000 on hard (can change depending on various factors).
- Bone Lantern - Forging Material
- Scythe Shard - Forging Material
- Jewel of Summoning
- Bitterblack Armor Lv.2
- Bitterblack Armor Lv.3 - (Rare)
- Bitterblack Novelty Lv.3
- Bitterblack Gear Lv.3
- Bitterblack Weapon Lv.3 - (Rare)
Related Quest Edit
The Wages of Death IV is a Dark Arisen Request Board quest, the Dark Arisen version of a Dragon's Dogma Notice Board Quest. It is available from the Arisen's Refuge request board. It requires the player to "Slay Death at Bitterblack Isle." The quest is completed upon killing Death following acceptance of the quest. Note that you can only have three request board quests active at a time, so, it may be necessary to complete one or more active quests for The Wages of Death IV to appear.
Even the Brine cannot kill Death, making it the only enemy in the game which cannot be dealt with in that fashion. The reason for this is due to Death's method of movement, which is levitation. It can hover lower or higher depending upon the level of the floor, for example, if it's a slope then it will hover higher than the Arisen's plane. This means Death can hover back up to a certain distance even if it's knocked down. Gaining a knockdown over these waters will result in Death falling into them, then simply emerging out from the water and levitating back up to the Arisen's plane of field.
Death can be killed by falling only when the fall is so deep that Death cannot levitate back up whenever he hits the floor. It can be killed in the Fortress of Remembrance by knocking it off the bridge, but only if it falls over the waterfall area that flows into the abyss. Note that the Brine is not present in very deep waters.
On Hard difficulty, Death has considerably more stagger and knockdown resistance.
- ps3xbox360When 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.
* * *