Dark Souls is one of my favourite games of all-time, but I’ll be the first to admit it has its fair share of bullshit. Lordran is a bitterly evil place, one that will kill you time and time again before your eventual triumph. Even when this victory has been achieved, it remains unclear if you’ve really won, or just perpetuated a cycle of darkness that will dominate the land for centuries to come. It’s all a tad grim, but goodness me do I love it.
That is, until I stumble upon the Bed of Chaos. The later areas in Dark Souls are certainly its weakest, losing the grandiose sense of discovery that defined Anor Londo and Undead Burg for wider spaces filled with all manner of awful enemies. It’s still a joy to play, but the challenge eventually evolves into unfair convolution that will happily cheat the player out of their hard-earned accomplishment. Located within the inner sanctum of Lost Izalith, this boss encounter is the antithesis of why I adore FromSoftware’s classic, so fuck him.
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The Bed of Chaos isn’t a traditional Souls’ boss. The challenge doesn’t come from predicting its attacks and doing battle in a life-or-death duel. Instead, it comes from pure luck, ensuring you aren’t swiped into the pits of oblivion by their absurdly large arms. The lanky wooden prick isn’t dispatched in the traditional manner either. To defeat him, the chosen undead must navigate to each side of the stage, destroying a duo of fluorescent red orbs that the Bed of Chaos needs to survive.
After one is defeated, the floor beneath you will begin caving in, making the sheer act of walking a stressful endeavour. So, now you must clumsily reach the other side of the stage without being pelted by swinging attacks and slams which I swear are impossible to avoid. Once killed, you’ll have to sprint back to the boss arena and try again, and again, and again until blind luck turns into a miraculous success. Wipe out the second orb and the floor becomes more precarious, with an even wider space opening up beneath you.
However, now the final objective is in sight. To finally put the Bed of Chaos to, well, bed, you will need to make a blind leap of faith into nothingness, hoping you land safely on a branch below. When you do – run. You must reach the beating heart and slash it to pieces before the boss unleashes an attack that can instantly kill most players in seconds. It’s similar to the Dragon God in Demon’s Souls, but even more nonsensical and frustrating.
The thing is, you can’t really cheese the Bed of Chaos like most bosses in the game. Light armour will result in you taking huge amounts of damage, while heavy armour doesn’t make you immune to being yeeted off the stage by the relentless swipes. If anything, waltzing in wearing Havel’s armour only makes the whole ordeal even more of a nuisance. It’s just an encounter which serves to highlight many of Dark Souls’ weaker points, which likely explains why bosses like this haven’t cropped up much since.
I say that now, but I bet Elden Ring will have a deviously hard puzzle boss called The Mattress of Malignance or something that instakills you the second you dare step foot into its layer. That’s just how the FromSoftware cookie crumbles, I suppose, and I’ll take those hits so I can experience the good stuff. I hate this boss so damn much.
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Jade King is one of the Features Editors for TheGamer. Previously Gaming Editor over at Trusted Reviews, she can be found talking about games, anime and retweeting Catradora fanart @KonaYMA6.
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