You’ll encounter Impaler’s Catacombs if you head south from The First Step when you begin a playthrough in Elden Ring. It’s an optional dungeon, but one that contains a treasure that could help you with the rest of your journey. This walkthrough explains how to complete Impaler’s Catacombs and offers a few tips for killing the boss it hosts.
Step 1: Follow the path forward
The main path through this dungeon is obvious. As you enter the first room, watch out for the small gargoyle that will jump up from the edge of the path to stab you in the back. There’s another one poised to drop down onto you further down the path as you enter the archway. Take it out early with magic, or bait it down for a fair fight. First, take the path ahead of you to clear the gargoyles out of the room. There’s nothing of interest here, but it’s better to kill the enemies than leave them at your back.
Step 2: Head below
The only other path available to you leads to a platform with spikes above it. This is a platform that will raise up and crush you against those spikes if you stand on it for too long. There’s a flower to pick up if you want to try your luck. Otherwise, step onto and then off the platform to tease it up. Then, drop below it. The path forward is down here.
The area underneath the platform leads to a sewer. There are endlessly respawning enemies that will crawl up from the ground and attack you to contend with. You can spend a long time farming Runes here if you want, but the best course of action is to run through to the right and go up the ladder. Enemies will keep spawning, and if they get you in a grab attack, it can be lethal. Get up the ladder, and you’ll be safe. You can then pull the switch to open the boss door at the start of the dungeon. This path drops into the main one you came along at the dungeon’s opening, so hop out to find the boss door and prepare for a tough fight.
Step 3: Kill the Erdtree Burial Watchdog
The boss for this dungeon is the Erdtree Burial Watchdog, a boss you can fight in many other dungeons. However, it’s accompanied by four gargoyles that are arguably more challenging. The best thing to do is keep your distance from the boss and kill the gargoyles first. They can slice you up and kill you fast, so getting them out of the way will help you deal with the boss when it comes to that. The boss itself is easy to defeat with ranged attacks. It’s also highly immobile, so you can easily dodge its attacks and get a few of your own in before it has time to react. Once you’ve killed the boss, you’ll be rewarded with the Demi-Human Ashes, a powerful aid to use in future battles.