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Guide to the Stormfoot Catacombs in "Elden Ring"

Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.

Everybody's got to start somewhere, and as far as Elden Ring is concerned, your first dungeon-delving experience might as well be Stormfoot Catacombs. Located early in the game and filled with reasonable challenges, Stormfoot Catacombs is a great place to learn the ins and outs of Elden Ring's various mechanics, as well as the kinds of traps its designers like to use against players. If you can get through this place, you'll be well-equipped to take on the rest of the game.

This guide will lead you through the Stormfoot Catacombs in Elden Ring. First, though, we need to find them.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

All images copyright FromSoftware.

Finding Stormfoot Catacombs

As one of the earliest dungeons you're likely to attempt in Elden Ring - perhaps the earliest - Stormfoot Catacombs is, predictably, near the beginning of the game. Head north from Stranded Graveyard and the Church of Elleh until you come to a forest patrolled by soldiers. Turn west from here and follow the cliffs, past the pond and the giant chunk of broken stonework, until you see a slope on your right. The front door of Stormfoot Catacombs is at the bottom of the slope.

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Stormfoot Catacombs

Step inside the catacombs and activate the Site of Grace, then head down the stairs. Immediately ahead you'll see a small room with a chair in the middle of it. If you inch forward you can pan the camera to the left a bit and see that there's an Imp waiting to ambush you on the left side of the doorway, just out of view. Imps are the sole enemy of this area, aside from its boss, and they can inflict Bleed damage with their weapons. Either pull out your shield, block the attack, and kill it in the corner, or roll into the room and engage it normally. A second Imp will drop down behind the chair; take it out too. There are two Root Resins behind the chair as well.

Head back to the hallway and go left, down the stairs. Straight ahead is a thick-set door flanked by skeletal statues. This leads to the boss of Stormfoot Catacombs, and you'll need to find a lever to open it. Activate the summoning pool next to the door if you want to contribute to multiplayer fights against the boss, and grab the Grave Glovewort [1] from beside the coffin on your right. The Glovewort will come in handy if you decide to use Spirit Ashes.

Take a left. There are stairs ahead, leading into a multi-level room, and from here you can see an Imp on the upper level. Walk down the stairs a little and look left to see a second Imp, also on the upper level. If you have ranged weapons this is a good time to kill both of them. If not, run inside and get under the arches on your left. This will draw one of the Imps down while preventing the other Imp from hitting you with throwing knives. The second Imp will come down if you remain under cover long enough, so take out the first Imp as fast as you can. Look to the right of the door at the far end of the room for a Grave Gloveworth [1].

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Walk down the narrow tunnel ahead. There's a passage to your right in the next room, though it quickly becomes filled with gouts of flame from a projector at the far end of the hallway. If you have a ranged weapon you can manually hit the projector and make it recede into the ground, halting the fire. Otherwise, stand right in front of the end of the flame, wait for it to die down, and dash down the corridor. There's a safe spot on your right - though don't walk too far in, as a second flame is being projected down this hallway. Wait for the first flame to finish, then run down the rest of the hallway and get behind the projector. You'll find the Prattling Pete "Hello" item, good for greetings. Smack the projector to make your return trip a bit easier.

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The safe niche in the next hallway is just a smidge further away than the first one, so you may need to roll to avoid the flame this time. Regardless, it's still on your right, and you'll find a ladder here to boot. Avoid the ladder if you want some extra items and continue to the projector. There are two items at the rear of the room, and no less than five Imps guarding them, two on either side of the room, two on the walls, and one on the side of the room, up on the wall. Pick them off one-by-one from a range or quickly sweep in, hit one, and retreat. The rest usually won't follow unless you get too close. You can also use the flame projector to kill them if you're fast enough. The Imps are protecting three Smoldering Butterflies and a Ghost Glovewort [1].

Return to the hallway and go up the ladder. You'll see an Imp standing still at the other end of the room, and if you check to your left as you leave the entry archway there's another one waiting to ambush you. Take them both out and grab the Grave Glovewort [1] on your left.

Almost done. Straight ahead is a dead-end room, and when you enter the hallway leading to the room an Imp will start hurling daggers at you. Put up a shield if you have one and approach slowly. A second Imp on the right side of the room will appear when you get close enough and run at you. Back up into the previous room, kill the charging Imp, then rush in and kill the knife thrower. There are Wandering Noble Ashes and a Ghost Glovewort [1] in this room.

Backtrack to the previous room. If you look to your left through the arches you'll see that you're on the highest level of an earlier area. You can drop to the second level through the arches to find a lever, as well as a Grave Glovewort [1]. Watch out for the Imp sitting against the wall near the Glovewort. Pull the lever, then hightail it back to the boss room. The door to the boss is now open. Use the Site of Grace to refresh yourself and take the plunge.

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Erdtree Burial Watchdog

By far the most difficult thing you'll encounter in the Stormfoot Catacombs, the Erdtree Burial Watchdog is a tough first boss. Using a sword and flame breath, the Watchdog will stalk you around its room relentlessly, trying to slice you to death with its abrupt, jerky movements and floating sword plunges. You'll need some good timing to take it down. Here are some tips for defeating the Erdtree Burial Watchdog:

  • Don't get greedy with your hits. The Watchdog is on the slow side compared to a lot of enemies, but it can swing its sword extremely fast. One or two strikes should be your limit, depending on the attack speed of your weapon.
  • If you have a shield then by all means use it. The Watchdog barely uses combos in this fight, and unless your Stamina is pitiful it shouldn't drain you and leave you staggered with any one hit. This makes the Watchdog a great candidate for using Guard Counters (block the hit, wait for the sound of the weapon colliding with the shield, then perform a heavy attack).
  • Run around the Watchdog as soon as it begins to use its fire breath. Don't roll, just run as you're locked onto the Watchdog. Not only should you avoid the fire breath, you can probably get in a hit while it's facing away from you. The Watchdog will pivot to keep up, but you can run quite a bit faster than it can spin.
  • Get away from the Watchdog when it begins to rise into the air. This marks the beginning of a plunging attack that can really ruin your day. The Watchdog will slam into the ground as soon as it reaches a specific height, so this is easy to avoid so long as you move out of the way. If you're fast enough you can also jump in and attack it quick before it starts to rise into the air again.
  • Use the pillars to your advantage. The Watchdog won't exactly get stuck on the pillars, but it will often bump into them when attacking, stunting its attack range. This is especially handy if you're a ranged fighter and need extra space. The pillars can be broken by the Watchdog's attacks, however, so don't count on them lasting the entire fight.
  • Use a summon. The Wandering Noble Ashes found earlier in the dungeon work great as a distraction, and if you spoke to Renna the Witch at the Church of Elleh (come there at night after receiving Torrent, your horse, from Melina) she'll have given you Spirit Wolf Ashes, as well as the Spirit Calling Bell you need to summon in the first place.

You'll earn 1,300 Runes and the Noble Sorcerer Ashes for defeating the Erdtree Burial Watchdog. You'll also bring your time in the Stormfoot Catacombs to a close. Congratulations! You (probably) just completed your first Elden Ring dungeon!

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