The Chosen Undead has a new foe to face in the Scholar of the First Sin update to From Software’s Dark Souls sequel. One of the new surprises is closely related to the cursed kingdom’s lost ruler, and reveals more hidden secrets related to the game’s mysterious lore.
To unlock the extra ending, the player must find a new NPC in three locations while also defeating a seemingly invincible opponent. Check out the full list of instructions and locations in our guide.
Secret Final Boss Guide
WARNING: Massive ending spoilers ahead!
Among many other changes, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin includes an optional final boss with an additional ending. To face off against the boss and unlock the ending, follow the steps below.
How to Fight Aldia, Scholar of the First Sin
To fight Aldia, you’ll have to find and speak with him three times. Exhaust all of his dialogue and answer questions as prescribed in the instructions.
- 1. Aldia first appears in the final lit Primal Bonfire chamber. If you have already lit all the Primal Bonfires, he’ll appear in the Black Gulch area.
- 2. Next, Aldia is found at the Undead Crypt (Undead Crypt: Entrance) bonfire.
- 3. He is found in the Dragon Shrine (Dragon Shrine: Shrine Entrance) bonfire last. Select ‘yes’ to the text option to get the new alternate ending.
Next, you must defeat King Vendrick’s hollow corpse trapped deep within the Undead Crypt. Vendrick’s defense is extremely high unless the player is carrying Giant Souls. Each Giant Soul carried into the battle will cut Vendrick’s defense by half, with a maximum of five  souls.
- 1. One Soul of a Giant is dropped by the Ancient Dragon at the Dragon Shrine. On your first encounter, speak with the Ancient Dragon to unlock the Ashen Mist Heart, allowing the Chosen Undead to explore giant memories in the Forest of Fallen Giants fortress. To initiate the boss battle, attack the Ancient Dragon until a health bar appears.
- 2. Travel to the Memory of Vammar, the soul is near the end of the area on a dead giant.
- 3. In the Memory of Orro, pass by the ballista knights and search the dead giant body behind two living giants.
- 4. Past the Giant Lord boss battle, you’ll find a giant soul in the Memory of Jeigh.
- 5. In the Black Gulch, travel along the ledge of the area down from the secret bonfire near the boss mist door. There are platforms just visible along the edge you can drop down, leading to a dark chamber guarded by two giants. Clear the area to find a secret giant soul.
Defeat Vendrick with Giant Souls in your inventory, then defeat Nashandra in the Throne of Want. If you have talked to Aldia three times and defeated Vendrick, he will appear and fight.
Aldia will not appear to players that have already defeated Nashandra once, unless a Bonfire Ascetic is used.
Defeat Aldia, then leave the throne to experience a darker ending to Dark Souls 2.
Kevin Thielenhaus is a freelance writer for The Escapist. Find him on Twitter here.