"'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, his deadly Scythe will instantly kill even well-prepared 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 through 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. The tone and style of these epithets is similar to The Wages of Death I through IV which suggests that Arthacos and Death who authored those 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 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 to 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 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.
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. Refer to that page for information on farming Death pre-Daimon.
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 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.
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/return to main menu.
- (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 low level players, the most effective defensive strategy against Death is to 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.
- 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 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. A gold rarefied Leather Circlet provides 100% immunity against sleep.
- Death's scythe attack cannot be blocked with any shield or countered with Masterful Kill or Clairvoyance. The Scythe can only be avoided by evading it completely.
- Wakestones can resurrect the Arisen, but Death's attack will kill pawns instantly with no option for revival. Pawns will be sent to the rift immediately and must be rehired.
- Death tends to float off the ground and cannot be grappled. This, combined with the range of the Scythe, makes melee attacks more prone to counterattacks from Death. 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 extinguish the Arisen's lantern. To avoid fighting in total darkness, equip a Ring of Desiccation or use a Sobering Wine or Monk's Periapt .
- Death will be strongly attracted to the light of any lantern. To avoid Death's attention make sure no lanterns are lit.
- Immune to all debilitations.
- Weak to high knockdown or stagger, even in Hard Mode.
- Highly resilient against Holy and Dark enchanted weapons and spells.
- Non-magical vocations should use physical (non-elemental enchanted) weapons against Death.
- All vocations : To maximize the party's damage output, consume up to four Tagilus's Miracle potions at a time to approximately double the entire party's physical damage when fighting Death. Also consume up to four Salomet's Secret potions at a time as well to approximately double the magic attack of the entire party if there any any Mages or Sorcerers within the party. Consuming more than four of each type of stat boosting potion at a time is needlessly redundant (stats can only be stacked up to four uses).
- 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, Death can be stun-locked infinitely, slaying Death easily (with enough Blast Arrows). Using four Conqueror's Periapts or four Tagilus' Miracles will increase damage output significantly. Using a Gold Dragonforged Revenant Wail (or Dragon's Glaze if one does not have the bow), a 4x strength buff, and Blast Arrows, even a low-strength Ranger Arisen can kill Death quickly combined with Tenfold Flurry.
- Warriors: Use jumping Light Attacks with Vehemence, Clout, Ferocity and Eminence augments. Stack four Conqueror's Periapts or Tagilus's Miracles to maximize the damage.
- 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 or Explosive Volley is also very damaging and provides melee attacks that detonate the rivets with additional stagger and knockdown. Note that when Death teleports, he will free himself of any attached explosive rivets. Magickal Gleam can stun an unaware Death, allowing time to strike or run past him. 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 the party, it's possible to take out several bars of health, and more when Death falls down. Because Death is not officially engaged in battle, he won't teleport away. Death has a high damage threshold and a powerful bow is required. Four Demon's Periapts or four Salomet's Secrets could be required to attain the damage threshold 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 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.
- Mages and Sorcerers: In spite of its strength against attacks imbued with the Holy element, a Holy buffed Focused Bolt can deal high damage to Death, especially when multiplied with four Demon's Periapts or Salomet's Secrets, and even more if it hits Death's Bone Lantern (which is a 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 small blindspot just behind Death when he swings his scythe.
- In places like the The Bloodless Stockade, lighting a Beacon can cause moderate damage to Death. Lure him close to a Beacon and light it. Mystic Knights can use the Beacons to fire Great Cannons, for more firepower.
- Death can be defeated by knocking him into a deep enough abyss, achieved by surprising him with Blast Arrows, Magickal Gleam/Magickal Radiance, or Sixfold Bolt/Ninefold Bolt. This is possible when Death appears above the bridge at the entrance Fortress of Remembrance upon entering the area for the first time. This will earn the experience point rewards but none of the item drops. Refer to the notes section for more information regarding Death's initial appearance in the Fortress of Remembrance.
- Autonomy augment can be useful here as pawns are very likely to die.
- Base XP awarded : 420,000 on normal/easy mode, 840,000 on Hard Mode
- Bone Lantern
- Scythe Shard
- 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 quests Edit
- The Wages of Death IV (slay Death on Bitterblack Isle, acquired from the Arisen's Refuge notice board). Be aware that only three notice board quests may be active at any given time, so it may be necessary to complete one or more active quests in order for The Wages of Death IV quest to appear.
Even the Brine cannot kill Death, making him 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. Death 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. He can be killed in the Fortress of Remembrance by being knocked off the bridge, but only if he falls over the waterfall area that flows into the abyss. Note that the Brine is not present in very deep waters.
In the Fortress of Remembrance, Death will always appear when the party enters initially from the Corridor of Emptiness door. His appearance is triggered when Arisen moves to the first landing down the stairs. After the brief entrance scene, Death will hover momentarily over the abyss on the far side of the Bridge. If he is stunned while over the abyss, he will fall and the fall will kill him.
He can be stunned with a variety of ranged attacks. Short bow and long bow attacks are most effective against Death's head or lantern. The use of Blast Arrows will substantially improve the probability of stunning Death. Magickal Radiance is particularly effective because it inherently has the property to disorient enemies. Even a Magickal Radiance attack that is slightly off target has a high probability of disorienting Death such that he falls to his Death.
The following video shows Death falling to his Death after being stunned by one Magickal Radiance shot. It includes a visual road map to the Fortress of Remembrance assuming that the door between the Bitterblack Isle Pier and the Corridor of Emptiness has been unlocked. Note that boosters are not used. The tactics rely on the property of Magickal Gleam to disorient opponents. As an offensive tool, Magickal Gleam is otherwise unremarkable. Note also, that it takes a delay of a second for the 840,000 experience for killing Death to appear. This is due to the great distance Death falls. He is not killed until he hits bottom and that is when the experience is awarded.
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.
* * *