How to access Dark Souls 2's new DLC in-game

If we've learned anything from our time in Dark Souls 2 , it's that the game doesn't hold your hand for anything. Its first DLC, Crown of the Sunken King, is no exception. Unlike Borderlands 2 or Fallout: New Vegas , where installing new addons immediately give you a new quest and a map marker, Crown of the Sunken King simply puts a mysterious item in your inventory and leaves you with a cryptic clue. If you're stumped on what the new item means, or how to get into your newest challenge, we can help.

As soon as you start up your game, you'll notice a new item has been added to the “Keys” section of your inventory. The Dragon Talon, in the form of its vague description, tells you about a locked door in Black Gulch, and that's exactly where you should head.

Travel to the “Hidden Chamber” bonfire in Black Gulch (assuming you unlocked it, otherwise you'll have to navigate through Black Gulch's poisonous towers). When you arrive, break the pots in front of you and leave the chamber, then take a right. If you just want to run through, make sure to bring some Poison Moss or poison-resist gear along.

Head down the path towards the burning area, which you should recognize as the Boss arena of The Rotten. If you haven't defeated The Rotten yet, now's a good time. You can't access the gate to the DLC content without defeating the boss.

Go towards the patch of fire on the back wall that is directly across from where you entered. There is a small, dark opening behind it, accessible to the right of the flames. Light a torch and go on through.

You will soon be at the post-Rotten Primal Bonfire, but behind it is now an elaborate altar surrounded by pillars and four, large tablets. You can read the tablets, but when you examine the center altar, you will be transported to the start of the DLC area.

Summoning signs can be dropped by anyone in this room, allowing people who don't own the DLC to join those who do. But If you aren't interested in help, head for the large door on the far side of the room and, thanks to the Dragon Talon, unlock it. Now all you need to do is go through the statue-lined cave and you will find yourself in Shulva, the Sanctum City.

Crown of the Sunken King is the first of three DLC packs for Dark Souls 2 , and costs $10 alone, or $25 for the Season Pass. Sunken King features three completely new areas with two new boss fights.

Tom Marks
Tom is PC Gamer’s Associate Editor. He enjoys platformers, puzzles and puzzle-platformers. He also enjoys talking about PC games, which he now no longer does alone. Tune in every Wednesday at 1pm Pacific on to see Tom host The PC Gamer Show.