Iron Keep Walkthrough

Dealing with the Fire

WARNING: To reach items along the lava paths you will need either max health or stack fire defense such as Flash Sweat and a Flame Quartz Ring +2. Rolling in one of the water pools produced from the area's Pharros' Contraption mechanisms will also increase fire defense by 400 at which time you will have to make your way quickly to your chosen lava path. These pools also recover your health while you stand in them. Additionally, urns scattered about the level carry water. Rolling into these will also increase your fire defense by 400. In other words, water is your friend. The small orange burr is also not a bad idea (however, burr doesn't stack with Flash Sweat).
  • You can view your Fire Defense by pressing Triangle (PS3) or Y (360) twice from the Equipment screen.
  • It appears a minimum fire defense of around 600 is needed to be able to reach any items.
  • Flash sweat provides +300 fire defense.
  • Stack all your fire defense and stroll across the lava with not a worry in the world. Un-upgraded Flame quartz ring works fine and a +2 isn't totally necessary. Enough fire defense will allow you to cross without maximum health/vigor. If you don't have flash sweat try flame quartz ring, orange burr, high fire resist gear, dragon tooth, roll through water pots, and consume 3-6 radiant lifegems to maintain HP.
  • Killing the Smelter Demon Boss will make his armor available from the armorer in Majula. This armor has (I believe) the highest fire defense in the game, proving useful in getting these items. The armor itself is kind of expensive, but overall pretty effective, and may be worth your time buying before attempting to get the items across the fire paths.
  • With 1000+ fire defense, You'll still take damage but it should be minimal.
  • Consuming a couple of lifegems before entering the lava will help to offset the ongoing fire damage
  • A ring of soul protection or ring of life protection will allow you to grab the items without penalty at lower defenses. 797 fire defense allowed the hardest one to be reached (below the mimic chest) for instance but did not provide enough time to exit. You will die after looting the chest but won't lose any souls or humanity if you were inclined to be human

As you enter the area, go down the stairs on your left for the Threshold Bridge bonfire. Behind the stairs on the lava is a Human Effigy. You need high fire resistance to survive this. There are other treasures in Iron Keep which require traversing the lava as well so bring along small orange burrs, Flame Quartz Ring, and armor with high Fire DEF. Also use Flash Sweat Pyromancy and chug an estus or two. As for the 2 treasure chests in the magma later on, you do the same as above however in addition to that you drench yourself in water. You can either do this by destroying pots which have water in them or by rolling in the water pool activated via a Pharros' Lockstone. Then you have to be fast to get to the treasure chest, because the water will eventually evaporate. Even this way you will lose HP fast. 

Ignore the stairs to the right and head over the bridge. Halfway across you can see a broken part of the floor to your right, leading down to several lava platforms. A corpse holding a Bonfire Ascetic x1 glows in the distance, but you can come back later doused with water and with strong Fire DEF. On the other side of the bridge are two Katana Knights. They're fast, but have only two attacks (Lunge stab and downward slash). The bridge is also a well known arena for Dragon Remnants covenant. Through the door up the small set of stairs will be two more knights and a Flaming Bull Head emitting a continuous fire jet, blocking a corpse holding an Iron Key (You can get this key by approaching the corpse from the left side of the statue. Go very slowly and eventually you'll see the prompt to "pick up item." Also, at just around 8-10 second intervals there's a short - very short - break in the fire, in which you can take a step or two forward to get the key. Also it is possible to cut the fire by pulling a lever near Eygil's Idol bonfire.) Clear the enemies, ignore the stairs and move through the hall to your right. The merchant Magerold of Lanafir will be ahead who can reduce your spells INT / FAITH requirement and also sells a Fragrant Branch Of Yore. Spend 10,000 souls with him to get a free Covetous Gold Serpent Ring +1. Start heading back out but take the stairway to your right in the hallway. There is a Katana Knight ahead. At the top of the stairs turn left to find a corpse hanging over the edge with a Pharros' Lockstone. Also in this room are Water Jars that when smashed next to you will douse you with water which can help with traversing the lava outside and grabbing the Iron Key downstairs near the Flaming Bull Head. To the right of the stairs is a small alcove which has an Illusory Wall. Press A (xbox) X (ps3) to activate it. Inside is a ballista and a corpse holding Fire Arrow x20. Another Illusory Wall lies on the wall the ballista is aimed at. Behind it is a Greatbow Knight which you can cleverly shoot using the ballista. The room ahead is the upstairs from the Flaming Head Bull room. The stairs through the door to your left take you back there. To the right is the Furnace Room, but for now head left downstairs to grab the Iron Key (on the corpse in the flames of the Flaming Head Bull) after dousing yourself with water and fire buffs; then, head back upstairs to continue on through the door to the Furnace Room.

You are now in the Furnace Room. Ahead of you on a walkway above is a Katana Knight. You can shoot him with an arrow to trick him into falling off and killing himself (it doesn't work 100% of the time). A Greatbow Knight also lies to the right slightly out of sight. Move along the left and keep looking right until you see him. Take him out using ranged attacks, as he will just make things worse ahead. Another Greatbow Knight lies far in the distance next to the fog door. If you can take him out from here as well, it would be beneficial. Continue on to fight the Katana Knight ahead. Past the Katana Knight on the far wall are a Knight Captain (top ledge) and a Greatbow Knight (bottom ledge), Shoot them from here and the Captain will come towards you when agro'ed. After taking care of them. Move towards the small metal stairs leading down to the right, but first, Use more ranged attacks to take out the Knight Captain on the far right walkway. Or don't and face him head to head later. Your choice. Move down the metal stairs and prepare for a Katana Knight immediately to your right. Don't open the door here as you will be toasted. Instead, pull the lever located ahead. This lowers the walkway above. Go back up the stairs and to your left to travel on this newly accessible path. Head straight and jump off to reach the other side of the Furnace Room.

To your left is a Boss Fog door, but lets wait on this for a minute. Turn right and make the small jump over to a chest containing Zweihander. Start heading back but before the jump turn left to see a platform with a broken set of metal stairs. Jump over to it and at the edge is a corpse holding the Dull Ember, grab it then head inside and up the stairs. Climb up the ladder to reach the roof and a Pharros Contraption. Activating it spills out infinite water to douse yourself with, which heals the player over time. Note: This is very helpful for a chest on lava in this area. From the roof, jump down to the chest platform from earlier and head back over the jump towards the boss fog. Once again lets take a detour. A corpse can be seen on the small ledge surrounding the pillar to your left. Angle your jump so you will roll towards the pillar wall and collect Large Soul Of Nameless Soldier x1 and Red Leech Troches x1. Drop down to the platform with the lever below. Pull the lever, Ignoring the door here as well. The catwalk above is now fully level. Drop down in front of the lever onto the metal stairs. At the bottom is a chest on lava containing Phoenix Parma Shield, but only attempt this after you have doused yourself in water and have all necessary Fire DEF equipment ( Armor, flash sweat pryromancy, Small Orange Spurr etc...). Head up the stairs and rotate the wheel located on the Main Furnace. This turns off the furnace making the two previously unsafe furnace doors safe. Move along the right ledge to drop down to the furnace door. Inside ( NG+ beware: two red phantom Alonne Captains with Katanas will be in here!) is a ladder and a corpse holding Large Titanite Shard x2 and Petrified Dragon Bone x1. Head up the ladder to reach a walkway with another ladder and a corpse holding Old Radiant Lifegem x1 and Green Blossom x1 on the far end. A Knight Captain is also guarding here if you didn't snipe him earlier. Head up the ladder and ignore the doorways in front of you. Go left and drop down to the platform with a chest containing Life Ring +1 and Twinkling Titanite x1. Slide all the way down the ladder to reach a corpse with Soul Of A Proud Knight x1 and Repair Powder x1. Climb all the way back up the ladder and move off the edge to the right and follow the pathway back to the boss fog door.

Boss: Smelter Demon

After defeating Smelter move up the stairs. At the top, turn around to find a chest containing the Porcine Shield and Flame Butterfly x5. Head forward to the Ironhearth Hall bonfire. You can go back downstairs to face the Mini Boss: Pursuer, who will spawn in Smelter's arena. (You may have to fast travel away and come back to get him to spawn). Defeating him drops Ring Of Blades +1. Back at the bonfire open the door and defeat the Knight Captain ahead before heading through the archway to the right. Up ahead are two Turtle Knights and not a lot of fighting space. Try to take them one at a time. (NOTE: It appears one may retreat into the building and trigger a trap on the walkway. If so the walkway ahead is broken towards the end so watch your step and jump across. One way to prevent the second (further away) Turtle from retreating is to pull it first with a ranged attack - this will pull both Turtles.) Watch out if the Turtle Knight from before retreated as he is waiting for you right through the door and can prove difficult as once again you have limited fighting space. Inside this large room are 3 Turtle Knights, a bunch of Flaming Bull Heads lining the walls and a few Archers. An Archer is to your right above. Take him out with ranged attacks and pull the lever in front of you to watch the two Turtle Knights ahead meet a glorious firey death. Although it may seem tempting DO NOT pull it again as when the regular platform is present you cannot reach a ladder and some chests on the far side. (Note: with the use of long ranged attacks and some crafty timing to lure the enemies into the many traps in this room, including the lever-controlled platform, it is entirely possible to kill most if not all the enemies in the room standing on the platform with the lever, making navigation around the room that much easier) . To your left is a door . Inside is a Pharros Contraption that opens up a path to a ladder. Climb up to reach the Belfry Sol Approach bonfire and a chest containing Thunder Quartz Ring +1. Up the the ladder near the bonfire is the way to Belfry Sol. If you access this bonfire your forced to climb the ladder as there is no other way out except for warping. If you do not want to traverse Belfry Sol It's possible at the top of the ladder to fall back down while pushing forward, this places you on the ledge above the bonfire. If you go through the belfry you will eventually come back out into Iron Keep via a small ledge above. On this ledge on the right wall is an Illusory Wall which opens up to a room holding two chests containing Black Knight Greatsword x1 and Protective Chime x1 Grand Spirit Tree Shield x1. After looting, d rop down and go back down the ladder into the lava-filled room with the flaming bull head's in the middle, where you first triggered the Pharros' Contraption to the Belfry Sol bonfire.

Whether or not you went through Belfry Sol, from here, go up the stairs to the left and take out the archers ahead as well as the archer in the bottom left from afar to make your traveling easier. A Crystal Lizard holding Large Titanite Shard x1 Titanite Chunk x1 and Firedrake Stone x1 is down the stairs to your left, kill him quickly or he will fall into the lava. Farther down the stairs are pressure plates that will activate a lava bucket trap so be cautious while approaching the corpse ahead. Loot him to receive Large Soul Of Proud Knight x1 and Radiant Lifegem x1. Ahead is another lava path. Down and to the right is a Fire Seed x1 and to the left a chest at the end which contains Chaos Storm  Pyromancy Spell. This path is the hardest by far so only attempt this when you have at least Flash Sweat, +100 Total Fire DEF Armor, Small Orange Spurr, and Doused in water. Back at the top, continue along the platforms, timing your movements between the Flaming Bull Head bursts and work your way to the left, to the platform with a corpse containing Large Soul Of Nameless Soldier x1. From here, turn around and head straight and shortly left is a ladder leading up. We will come back to this but for now head forwards to the opposite side of the room and take out the Turtle Knight by the fog door. Behind him is a corpse holding Large Soul Of Nameless Soldier x1 and Monastery Charm x1. Turn around and head back to the ladder we passed before. Alternatively you can continue straight through the fog door but you will miss quite a few items. Both paths eventually end in the same area so lets take the scenic route . Once up the ladder there are multiple Water Jars ( helpful for lava path below ) and a Mimic chest to the right that drops Dark Armor and a Lightning Winged Spear. Use caution when fighting the Mimic as it can use a jumping attack that can cause it to jump off the platform into the lava below, preventing you from obtaining the drops. Up the stairs and at the far end of the path is a chest containing Destructive Greatarrow x10. Up the ladder is another Pharros Water Contraption, which like the other one offers healing as well as fire protection. Head up the stairway in this room to be on a rooftop with 3 Knights. Be careful of the hole in the middle. On the left side is a corpse holding Simpleton's Spice x1 and on the right a chest containing Black Knight Greataxe. Now its time for the tedious trip down. The hole in the middle of the roof has several walkways which you can fall down on. Be very careful, one wrong step and its a nice lava bath at the bottom. On the third walkway down is a corpse holding Cracked Red Eye Orb x1 and Torch x1. Soon you will drop down onto a beam in a room with a large lava pot below you. From the beam, carefully angle your fall so you land on the outer rim of the pot and circle around to the corpse inside which holds Covetous Gold Serpent Ring. From here drop down to the beam by your side. On this beam is also a Katana Knight so take him out carefully. Head forward and drop down onto the stairway platform to your left.

The fog doorway directly ahead leads back to the original Flaming Bull Head room, bringing us full circle. At the bottom of the stairs is a hallway with 2 Turtle Knights and a blade trap. This hallway eventually leads to a large caged area with Flaming Bull Heads. Time your movements and circle around the statues. You can see a corpse in between the flames. Careful as collecting this most likely results in death. Note: The trick to looting this is to enter the flames right before they turn off, damaging you only slightly but giving you a bigger buffer of time. Then roll out. I recommend collecting it on your return trip here. You'll find out why. To the left of the doorway ahead is a ladder leading up to a large caged room with another ladder directly in front on the far wall. Climb up to reach the Eygil's Idol bonfire and a lever located up the small set of stairs which turns off all Flaming Bull Heads! Woohoo! Climb all the way back down into the first Flaming Head Room, loot the now accessible corpse to receive a Lightning Short Bow +1 and go through the doorway to the right of the ladder to find stairs leading down to another Turtle Knight. The easiest way to kill this enemy is to lure it into the flame traps. Continue on to reach a very open lava area. You can see the Boss Fog Door in the distance. Move down the ramp way towards the stone stairs and get ready for battle.

Boss: Old Iron King

After defeating him move through the doorway located around the right corner and loot the chest for Sublime Bone Dust.  Move down the stairs and light the Primal Bonfire.

In the room after the bonfire you will find an obelisk that will teleport you to the entrance of the Crown of the Old Iron King DLC.

Video Walkthroughs

Iron Keep Video Walk-through Pt. 1
Iron Keep Video Walk-through Pt. 2
100% Iron Keep Walkthrough


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