Dark Souls: 12 Best Boss Music Themes

The Dark Souls saga plays out over a trilogy of adventurous yet tragic explorations into the abyss. Undead heroes battle against a ruined world, teeming with monstrous hordes and corrupted kings. Every soul is indeed dark, but every soul also carries a story.

The boss music in Dark Souls helps tell those stories. Grand orchestras deliver oceans of sound, with piano-heavy pieces, dooming percussion, and the epic chanting of human souls. The most intriguing characters in the Souls saga are often the most powerful – bosses. Each is given a majestic score to background your death-defying fights against them, to see the truth of their power and the mysteries therein. The best boss music themes pit the player’s sword and soul directly into the fray. Go again!

12/12 Great Grey Wolf Sif

The Great Grey Wolf Sif is a good wolf. The giant companion of the Knight Artorias guards over his absentee grave in Darkroot Garden marked by the divine knightsword – and she’s prepared to swing it.

Sif’s boss music is a flowing, melancholy ode to a wolf and her beloved friend. Sif bids Artorias an emotional farewell through one last battle. It dances between chilling arias to lighthearted winds and strings. The music reveals that for this great wolf, your battle may just become play.

11/12 Ludex Gundyr / Champion Gundyr

Gundyr is the guardian spirit for Firelink Shrine. Heavily armored and wielding a halberd with mastery, this champion fighter arises after you remove the Coiled Sword from his chest. Gundyr’s everlasting duty is to challenge and judge if any warriors approaching Firelink are fit to be there.

Gundyr’s music awakens alongside him, ratcheting up as the mortal combat draws to a climax. Truly fit for a duel between masters, the theme builds on itself over the course of your match. He uses vicious halberd sweeps paired with punches and kicks, like a true martial artist. Listen to the empowering orchestration and prove to Gundyr you can link the fire.

10/12 The Last Giant

The Last Giant is an undying hulk with a sword rammed through the back and a hole for a face. Chained up under the earth in Drangleic, he was the vanguard warrior that ruined the kingdom ages ago. He breaks his chains upon your arrival, another “unnamed” warrior. The Last Giant’s fight is a desperate revolt against extinction.

Dark Souls’ giants are menacing not just for their size, but their hollowification. Many lost their souls in the hunt for vengeance against King Vendrick and mankind. The Last Giant’s theme portrays that menace perfectly – “something terrible is coming for us.” The giants were wiped out, but not before fulfilling the mythic nightmare of the giant in their trampling of Drangleic.

9/12 Yhorm The Giant

Yhorm the Giant is the perfect encapsulation of an epic enemy in gaming, larger-than-dreams. Yhorm was a descendant of conquerors, and yet tried to be a benevolent king. A legendary fighter with a massive soul, he cannot rest, blaming himself for his kingdom's dark fate.

As you arrive there in his blasted throne room alongside Siegward, ready to end his guilt, Yhorm’s theme is instantly a mammoth jam. Orchestration and chanting soar throughout the fight, loudly escalating. Gaming doesn’t get much more epic than Yhorm.

8/12 Oceiros, The Consumed King

A wavering set of strings and an aria by a ghostly voice set a vision upon Oceiros, The Consumed King. A complex character, his fight and theme become more so over time. Oceiros was a disturbed king, obsessed with dragon blood and Seath the Scaleless, the betrayer dragon. His story is one of desperation, hence the name.

Oceiros’ boss theme is haunting, intense, and beautiful. The ages and experiments have turned the less-than-lucid figure into a mutation. The Consumed King goes from old man wizard-lizard to horrifyingly fast ice crocodile, and the music swells alongside his threat level.

7/12 Dark Sun Gwyndolin

You know those nightmares where you are just running down an endless passage? Or, just doing anything endlessly. Dark Sun Gwyndolin’s boss fight delivers such a mind-bending experience. You must run this serpentine spell-slinging cleric down an ever-expanding castle hallway.

Dark Sun Gwyndolin’s music is the theme to such a nightmare. High-pitched singing plays out alongside only strings, quiet and still, and yet always lurching forward with atmosphere. Like a siren call, this moon mage’s music mesmerizes and dooms. The Dark Sun was the king’s executioner, doing the dirty work underneath the castle where you now face him.

6/12 Demon Prince

As much as any boss, the Demon Prince fulfils the mission statement of Dark Souls: fight a Balrog, with absolutely everything that entails. Fiery explosions, vicious attacks, constant leaping and flying. If you are fighting the prince of demons, you better feel the burn.

The murmuring chants turn forceful as the orchestra summons the Demon Prince’s hellfire slam dunks. This is a challenging dual fight that becomes a bullet-hell mega-boss. Everything about this boss and theme is a celebration of the Dark Souls experience.

5/12 Sir Alonne

Ah, Sir Alonne. Fond memories of the journey to you are held by many Dark Souls players. A highly-trained warrior from an Eastern land, Alonne was the Old Iron King’s lead knight who spawned a legion of loyal copycat soldiers. Sir Alonne’s sword duel takes place on marble floors with dusk peeking in. Against fast katana lunges and multi-attacks, this fight becomes a duel of the fates.

Sir Alonne’s rousing theme builds out a world where noble warriors bow before fights. His music inspires an honorable showdown. Defeat him without being touched and see Alonne stay true to his code of discipline.

4/12 Pontiff Sulyvahn

Greatsword dual-wielding Pontiff Sulyvahn is an all-out attack. The power-hungry and self-proclaimed pontiff is a commanding figure in Dark Souls. He doesn’t play around, and can kill you quicker than the orchestra fully arrives.

His theme runs the full gamut, from touching to bombastic. Like the music, Pontiff Sulyvahn used everything at his disposal, including will-corrupting rings for his knights, to keep power. He’ll also betray anyone to gain it. You think he isn’t going to cut you in half for even approaching him?

3/12 Sister Friede And Father Ariandel

Be careful, or the mildly quiet Sister Friede may lure you to sleep. Do you understand what the threat is when you walk into the heart of Ariandel? A chapel with a large hairy man in the back? Wrong. The invisible nun is behind you with a scythe.

Sister Friede and Father Ariandel must be considered among the best fights in the Soulsborne mythos. And the chanting music matches it, a chilly beginning accumulates into fiery combinations of the biggest kind. A mystic lady with twin scythes of ice and fire, her style and music abide duality.

2/12 Abyss Watchers

Abyss Watchers resemble the player character in Dark Souls. They were your proverbial heroes at the gates, protecting mankind from the darkness. But note their name and remember the costs of the “hero.”

Abyss Watchers’ desperate theme is powerfully sad given the context of your bout against them. You fight in a catacomb surrounded by the corpses of their comrades. They’ve all killed each other, and will continue to do so. The Abyss Watchers are a haunting reflection of what fighting monsters and doing violence can do to the human mind. Some say the Abyss Watchers represent the souls of lost players, or just those who play PvP.

1/12 Artorias the Abysswalker

Artorias doesn’t just watch the abyss, he walks it. In his battle against Manus, Father of the Abyss, he sacrificed himself to save his best friend Sif. With his sword arm ruined and mind crumbling from the encounter, your Chosen Undead faces him in an arena with a fresh kill of some monstrosity.

Artorias the Abysswalker’s forlorn theme builds and meanders, but then always comes back to a light expectant pause, as if to ask: is the Knight still in there? Artorias is losing his battle and you must make sure he never fights another one. Monstrous dignity, the ceasing of suffering, magnificent beings doomed to ruin, and a love for dogs — Artorias could be the strongest soul in all of Dark Souls for encapsulating every theme.

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