Elden Ring’s Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy is From Software’s Best Shot at a Spectacle Boss

  • Last Updated : Jul - 05 - 2022

With the secrets in FromSoftware’s Elden Ring now picked clean by the community, some of the more hidden encounters have become critical parts of many playthroughs. This has especially become the case for the hidden Volcano Manor legacy dungeon, and the epic boss encounter at the end against the manor’s lord Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy.

The atmosphere first builds with the introduction to the dark and mysterious Volcano Manor, with hints for how to win the fight being given to the player while progressing through the questline. However, where Rykard really shines is the way that Elden Ring alludes to previous fights against giant bosses while evolving the format of an iconic weapon from all the way back in Demon’s Souls.

Two Ways to Reach Rykard


There are two ways for players to initially find Rykard, either by joining the Volcano Manor and completing each of its hunts for Tarnished NPCs or by finding the secret entrance to the legacy dungeon. Following the hints as the game intentionally lays them out requires players to at least hunt one of these NPCs before being given the clue that there is more to explore beyond the Volcano Manor’s peaceful areas. Either way, it’s more than likely that players will also find a former knight of Rykard who asks the player to slay the God-Devouring Serpent to avenge his lord.

At the moment when this ghost knight is found, the conversation at first sounds like a classic bit of FromSoftware dialogue, where NPCs talk in circles around the hidden lore behind the minimalist narratives. However, whether players continue hunting the NPCs for Volcano Manor’s Lady Tanith or make their way through the hidden legacy dungeon, the hints from the ghost knight become clear. This all culminates with the player finding the Serpent-Hunter spear and coming across the massive boss arena for the God-Devouring Serpent.

The Evolution of the Storm Ruler


Older FromSoftware titles have attempted to take on the spectacle fight before, sometimes in disappointing ways like Dark Souls 3’s Ancient Dragon, and other times becoming fan-favorite encounters. One of the best of these spectacle encounters comes from the original Demon’s Souls, which used a special weapon called the Storm Ruler in order to attack a giant, flying manta ray known as the Storm King. This fight proved to be so popular that FromSoftware eventually brought the concept back in Dark Souls 3 in the fight against Yhorm the Giant, although some fans found that this made the fight too easy.

Now in Elden Ring, FromSoftware has taken one more crack at this type of encounter, with the new Serpent-Hunter spear now taking the place of the Storm Ruler sword. This leads to an impressive fight against the God-Devouring Serpent, where the range of the Serpent-Hunter spear allows the camera to keep the entire boss in frame from start to finish. Altogether, it makes for one of the most visually splendid fights in FromSoftware’s catalog, capped off perfectly by the reveal of the true boss Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy.

The Reveal of Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy


After killing the God-Devouring Serpent, a short cutscene plays to reveal that the real boss is Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, who had intentionally been eaten by the giant snake and was using it to become immortal. However, it’s much of what happens after the cutscene that makes this fight even more impressive than it was in the first phase. This starts with the new ways that Rykard can attack, and culminates with one of the most visually impressive hazards the series has had to date.

The framing of the fight is still pulled back, thanks in part to the player being able to stand far away from Rykard, and somewhat being forced to by the pool of lava that builds up below the boss. Additionally, Rykard gains the ability to swipe and stab with his giant sword while also casting magic that follows the player and creates explosive lines of fire through the air. At around the mid-point of the fight, Rykard will also summon a giant cloud that causes flaming, explosive skulls to rain down on the player in an impressive show that is both interesting to see and adds a level of challenge to the encounter. While this isn’t the pinnacle of Elden Ring’s combat, it is easily the most visually impressive fight in a game that already boasts some of the best graphics and art design in FromSoftware’s history.

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