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How to beat the Fringefolk Hero's Grave dungeon in Elden Ring

Fringefolk Hero's Grave dungeon room with Grafted Scions
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

The Elden Ring Fringefolk Hero's Grave dungeon is the first you can access in the game if you chose to take the Stonesword key as a keepsake, and it's well worth venturing into. You can get a Golden Seed, a great early game talisman, an NPC spirit ash summon in the form of Oleg, as well as a Sacred Seal for casting incantations. If you have a bow with you, there's even an opportunity to get the powerful Erdtree Greatbow by killing the dungeon's chariot.

There are plenty of other Hero's Grave dungeons in Elden Ring, and they are some of the most difficult. This one is great for introducing you to some of the dungeon mechanics you'll be wrangling with, but also how you can sneakily kill the chariots that try to run you over in order to get secret items, and make the rest of the dungeon easier to navigate.

You might want to come back later, but this dungeon is very much doable at the start of the game, especially if you chose a class other than the Wretch. Here's how to get past the initial chariot puzzle, kill the chariot for the Erdtree Greatbow, and defeat the Ulcerated Tree Spirit boss.

Elden Ring Fringefolk Hero's Grave walkthrough: How to get past the chariot

(Image credit: FromSoftware)
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Once you've unlocked the dungeon with a Stonesword Key, jump off the ledge into the poison pool below and run through it fast and to the right to avoid getting poisoned. Once you've done that, prepare for the trickiest part of this dungeon.

Around the corner you'll see a giant stone chariot running up and down a slope. Wait for it to move away, then dash between the alcoves on the right side. In the second alcove a ghostly crossbowmen appears, but it's easy to stunlock and shrug aside. In the third alcove a swordsman shows up, and in the fourth another swordsman challenges you from the left and a crossbowmen behind you on the right. You should have time to quickly kill the swordsman before moving onto his crossbow-wielding chum. Either than or just run past them and let the chariot crush them.

Once you run around the corner, the chariot changes course to pursue you, so get as far away from it as possible before this. If you get as far as the thin causeway, don't cross it. Instead, wait for the chariot to pass. Drop down the left side to the ledge beneath and sneak up on the imp against the wall nearby. You can now either drop again and run down the slope towards the boss, or head down the corridor for the Erdtree's Favor talisman, and to kill the chariot, though you'll need a bow for that.

Elden Ring Fringefolk Hero's Grave dungeon: How to kill the chariot

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Want to kill that annoying chariot? You'll need a bow for this. After you've dropped down from the chariot track to the Imps, kill them, and head down the corridor. Cautiously make your way down the stairs and use a bow to shoot the flame pillar to make it drop down. Watch out for the Imp on the right side as you move through. 

Keep heading past the pillar until you make it into the room with the bridge. Across this bridge is the Erdtree's Favor talisman, but you'll want to come back later, since you'll probably get killed by the two Grafted Scions that drop from the roof even if you do run through to grab it.

For now, drop down next to the bridge onto the platform, then into the water, then head into the side passage and take the lift up. You'll come out on a platform above the chariot track with a Banished Knight spirit. Defeat him, then head to the far left of the platform where he was. You'll see three giant pots hanging above the chariot track. Now this is tricky, but you have to time shooting the chain on a pot so it drops onto the chariot. When it's right below you and about to head down that track is a good time to do it.

The pot will explode, destroying the chariot, and giving you the Erdtree Greatbow. It also makes the dungeon a lot easier to navigate. Now you can follow the track to find the room with the Banished Knight and Dragon Communion seal for casting incantations, and make your way to the boss at the bottom of the dungeon.

Elden Ring Fringefolk Hero's Grave boss: How to beat the Ulcerated Tree Spirit

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

If you accessed this dungeon immediately, the Ulcerated Tree Spirit might be a little too much for you, given the relatively low damage you'll be dealing. Either way, this Elden Ring boss (opens in new tab) is a sort of giant wooden snake with writhing fleshy legs. Watch out for its tail attacks—they have long windups, but make sure you dodge into them and are far enough away that you don't get carried off by its horrible appendage.

Make sure you dodge when it roars and launches into the air: this is a grab attack that'll most likely finish you off in one hit. Often it'll breath fire after this, which is a good damage-dealing window. Stick to its left side where possible and take some shrewd swipes from there, while avoiding its occasional paw swipes. 

If you're dealing damage on its right side, watch out for downward paw stomps. Jumping attacks and skills are a great way to stagger it and unleash a counter to its glowing eye or just some charged attacks. When its health reaches around two thirds HP, it'll glow white and release an explosive AoE that shoots pillars of fire from the floor. Run as fast you as you can to avoid it, but keep an eye on the floor for the glowing lights that show where the pillars will appear.

Once the wooden-snake-thing has been vanquished you'll get a Golden seed and the Banished Knight Oleg summon, a knight with two swords you can call for help once you get the Spirit Calling Bell.

UK — After collecting and devouring piles of print gaming guides in his younger days, Harry has been creating 21st century versions for the past five years as Guides Writer at PCGamesN and Guides Editor at PC Gamer. He has also produced features, reviews, and even more guides for Trusted Reviews, TechRadar and Top Ten Reviews. He's been playing and picking apart PC games for over two decades, from hazy memories of what was probably a Snake knock-off on his first rig when he was seven to producing informative guides on football simulators, open-world role-playing games, and shooters today. So many by now he steadfastly refuses to convey information unless it’s in clickable online form.