Villains in Elden Ring, and the rest of FromSoftware's Soulsbourne series, aren’t always as evil as they appear. While some are mindless rat swarms or men who graft the limbs of their victims to their back, some are good creatures with noble intentions. Their goals may just be at cross purposes with yours.
While you still have to defeat the majority of them to progress, these bosses may make you question your moral place in the game world, all while offering you a challenging experience that will have you wanting more. Below is our list of the Soulsborne villains that actually weren't all that bad.
8 Crossbreed Priscilla: Dark Souls
In a game where almost everything wants to kill you, it’s difficult not to view Crossbreed Priscilla with suspicion. After all, she’s a giant cat/dragon lady at the end of a magic painting you’ve been trapped in which is filled, with harpies and pus-filled zombies. She’s also carrying a gigantic weapon, the Lifehunt Scythe.
Still, if you talk to her, you find out that Priscilla doesn’t want to fight you. She even offers you a way out, though if you attack her, she won't stop fighting until you kill her. If you look into the lore a bit, you’ll even find that she entered the painted world of Aramis because she wanted to flee from the Gods, who considered her an abomination. If you end up defeating her, you’ll not only gain her fantastic weapon, but also a tremendous amount of guilt for choosing to kill the one innocent in the entire game.
7 Aldia, Scholar Of The First Sin: Dark Souls 2
Aldia is not a great guy. Despite aiding you in your quest to link the flame, his obsession with curing the curse of undeath lead him to perform some pretty terrifying experiments, the results of which are some of your main foes. But, despite necromantic delving and the fact that he jumps you right before you can finish your quest, Aldia understands the terrible cycle the Dark Souls universe finds itself in.
He encourages you to find a third way, beyond death and undeath, where a new age might come into being. Like him or hate him, he’s arguably the most honest character you’ll meet In Dark Souls and gives you a chance to make a real decision about the fate of the world.
6 Maiden Astraea: Demon’s Souls
To become the savior of Boletaria, you’ll need a few things: grit, determination, and the souls of five archdemons who are currently wreaking havoc throughout the kingdom. Most of those demons are ill-intentioned, intent on destruction and the enslavement of mankind.
Maiden Astraea, on the other hand, is using her newly-acquired demonic powers to create a place of healing, a sanctuary in this corrupted world. True, it’s a Band-Aid on a gaping wound, and she has to die for you to put the great old one back to sleep and save the kingdom, but that doesn’t make slaying this pure-souled demon any easier. After all, you're killing someone who genuinely wants good for the world. It's just a different kind of good than yours.
5 Morgott, The Omen King: Elden Ring
Morgott is an omen of principle. While he stands in the way of your quest to gain the Elden Throne many times, he’s not doing so out of any foolish ambition. Far from it, he tries to stop you because he thinks what you’re doing is wrong. Good and evil are relative in every Soulsborne game, but it’s difficult to fault someone whose convictions are so strong. When he fights you, it isn’t because he hates you. It’s because he’s trying to preserve some kind of order in a world steeped in corruption.
From the moment after you leave the Roundtable Hold, Elden Ring constantly makes you doubt whether or not your quest to become Elden Lord is just, but nothing does it quite like having the one person in the world not tainted by something on his knees, with your sword at his throat.
4 Great Grey Wolf Sif: Dark Souls
A gigantic doggo wielding an enormous sword in her mouth, Sif doesn’t bear you any ill will. Sure, she'll knock you seven ways to Sunday unless you learn how to roll, but she’s just trying to protect the grave of her master, Artorias, who sacrificed himself to save her when they traversed the abyss together. A grave that, don't forget, you are attempting to rob. She will fight you tooth and claw, but it’s clear from the start that the only reason she’s fighting you is because of loyalty that extends for generations.
While most characters in these games are morally ambiguous, Sif’s straightforward character makes your duel all the more tragic, especially in the last moments, when she starts limping, and the game forces you to plunge the blade in anyway.
3 Gehrman, The First Hunter: Bloodborne
While it’s not apparent from the first, the gothic creepfest Bloodborne may take place in the dream of a Lovecraftian deity. Gehrman, your guide and mentor, can be the last boss of the game if you want him to be. When you approach the seemingly frail man, he offers you a choice: continue the hunt, or allow him to kill you, releasing you from the nightmare.
If you choose to continue living, Gehrman will stand up and fight you, proving remarkably agile for someone of his age. When you defeat him, it will be he who is released from the nightmare, leaving you — who he was really just looking out for — to continue the hunt.
2 Isshin Ashina: Sekiro
Grandfather of your foil, Genichiro Ashina, Isshin rejects his grandson’s desperate attempt at immortality and even teaches you some of his legendary sword arts when you go after him. Like Owl, he becomes a father figure who, if you offer him drinks, will talk to you about the good old days.
Because of all this, it’s especially tragic when he dies, but even more tragic when Genichiro uses the black mortal blade, killing himself and resurrecting his grandfather, who is compelled to fight you. What follows is an epic, but pointless, battle between two master Shinobi, who both just want things to turn out for the best. You prevail in the end, but not before being forced to execute this truly good man. The only thing that tarnishes the emotional power of this final fight is that the game is associated with Activision Blizzard, where allegations of abuse from current and former employees have been widespread.
1 Slave Knight Gael: Dark Souls 3
The final boss of Dark Souls’ Ringed City DLC, Gael is both pitiful and ridiculously difficult. It’s no wonder why: He’s spent centuries killing everything in sight, honing his skills, and absorbing the power of the dark soul from the blood of countless Pygmies. Living in a waste of his own creation at the end of existence, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking that Gael is the last being in the world, and so its greatest monster.
But Gael is just trying to help his niece who, in turn, wants to do something truly noble: paint a new world free from the cycle of flame, and so the curse of undeath. Unfortunately, to do that, she needs a special pigment, and the only way for Gael to get it is by gestating small pieces of the dark soul inside of his body. The painter doesn’t know it, but she needs her uncle’s blood to create her masterpiece. Sure, he attacks you, but Gael needs you to kill him to complete his mission. He throws himself at you knowing full well that he is a sacrifice to create a better world.
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