While Limgrave offers players a variety of small-scale dungeon and boss experiences, Stormveil Castle looms over the entire zone and features two major bosses. Many have already seen Margit de Fell Omen, who punished players in the closed network test. During my hands-on time with the game, I got the chance to take on Godrick the Grafted himself, the current lord of Stormveil, and a serious challenge, especially for an early game boss. Granted, you don’t have to fight Godrick at all to reach other adjacent zones to continue exploring and charging, so my path to the tyrant with many appendages was fast. I didn’t really do a whole lot of leveling or acceleration optimization because the clock was ticking during my 10-hour play session, and I wanted to see and do as much as possible. It’s safe to say I was pretty below par compared to when From Software expected players to take on Godrick, but it’s important to reiterate that because of the game’s open-world structure, everyone’s experience is likely very will be different. If you stray to Godrick early on, it might be best to take a detour and check out the surrounding biomes before attempting to take him in.
Anyway, the first thing I noticed about this fight was the sheer breadth and depth of Godrick’s moveset. It’s more like Orphan of Kos in Bloodborne, where even after throwing myself back into battle many times, I still saw new animations and abilities. Now Godrick certainly isn’t as tough as Bloodborne’s top monster, but he’s also quite early in the game, and his wide range of skills will likely keep players on their toes for a good number of tries. Now he still has some core abilities to seek out and exploit, and like many other From Software bosses, these abilities can change or be changed as he enters “phase two”, which occurs at about 50% health or so. As many have already seen in preview images, at this stage Godrick grafts a dragon head onto one of his many arms, unlocking a new and deadly set of abilities, some of which augment his already dangerous abilities.
So, here’s a question that’s on everyone’s mind: Does the ghost-call downplay or minimize the impact of major battles like Godrick? Based on my experience with him, absolutely not. Admittedly, I hadn’t yet found the opportunity to upgrade my spiritual companions, which I assume is related to a character named Roderika. So mine were “tier 1 ghosts”, but Godrick was able to completely obliterate most of the ghosts I experimented with in one or two attacks. At first, I tried using a ghost-jellyfish call that would splash Godrick with poison, dividing his attention between us and making sure I would be “aggressive” with him before he killed my little friend. But once he had it in his head to crush the beast, it was over quickly, so while tapping poison seemed helpful, I tried other options. My ghost wolves and townspeople were beyond useless, as Godrick’s repertoire has multiple and frequent area-of-effect attacks, rendering these packs of companions useless. Of my magical menagerie of ghosts, the Skeletal Militiamen proved to be the most useful, though, frankly, they were still really a speed bump for him. Their value? These skeletons can come back to life after falling, so they probably took me more time and hit windows than any other ghost summon.
That said, the ghosts generally did almost nothing to dull Godrick’s acuity. A wide variety of extremely fast melee attacks, point-blank cascade area-of-effect attacks and dragon head fire attacks make Godrick a real problem. In phase two, I had the best luck trying to follow Godrick when he would use some sort of flaming flamethrower attack where he points his head to the ground and slowly moves forward. This is a great chance to get some shots in his back, but you still have to be careful because some of that fire seeps back behind him and can hit you if you get too close or go to the side.
When Godrick is defeated, he drops a “Remembrance of Godrick”, which I could use to get a lot of runes. Like a Lord of Boss soul in other From games, I assume this can also be used to transform into a serious piece of armor, a weapon, or a spell. I also obtained one of the main Great Runes which I assume is related to progress to the final canonical area or boss of the game, similar to how the Lords of Cinder are structured in Dark Souls 3. Godrick cost me quite a bit some tries, and if he’s the “first” boss of the demigods to take it on, that leads me to believe others in the hierarchy will be quite challenging indeed.