The Demon bosses in Demon's Souls are the hardest and most stressful part of the whole affair. Filling up on souls in the stage prior only to have to prove yourself against a giant enemy with a massive health bar to match is almost always a daunting task.
But don't worry, in this Demon's Souls guide we'll have you covered by breaking down each of the game's bosses and the best way to approach them. Take a deep breath, have a look at the tips below, and try your best to enjoy yourself and the challenge that the bosses pose.
How to Beat Maiden Astraea in Demon's Souls
Maiden Astraea is actually extremely unique among the Demon's Souls bosses in that defeating her doesn't require killing her. Instead, she's being guarded by a heavily armed dude named Garl Vinland who's the real threat. Taking down Vinland first will cause Astraea to admit defeat by taking her own life.
That being the case, Garl Vinland is the actual boss fight here. His attacks are pretty slow, but he's heavily armored and his club hits like a dumpster truck. It's still possible to bypass Garl and only defeat the Maiden herself – which is how you go about getting the May you be unharmed trophy – but it'll require a strong bow and a good amount of arrows. We'll detail both ways of approaching this boss below.
Going after Garl Vinland
If you're going to go after Astraea's bodyguard Garl Vinland, you actually shouldn't have too tough of a time provided you exercise sufficient caution. The best way to approach him will be along the left-hand side of the arena which is a downward slope straight to him and the Maiden. Be prepared to backpedal as soon as you get within his sights because he'll start advancing as soon as he sees you.
Stay up on this left-hand-side ledge and don't you dare go into the red water below. Doing so is basically a death sentence since it not only slows you down significantly, but there are also infinitely respawning baby-like enemies that will constantly block your path and they'll more than likely slap you to death. Stay away from that water.
You'll have your best chance at victory by staying on the ledge you approached Garl Vinland from. Not only are you able to maintain your full movement speed here, but the narrow hallway-like nature of it will cause a lot of Garl Vinland's swings to hit a wall and leave him briefly open to attack. These brief openings are precisely what you'll have to exploit to defeat him.
Vinland's club swings are clearly telegraphed and take him a couple seconds to recover from, but don't let yourself get hit by one. One swing of his mighty Bramd is all it can take to put you in a bad position that'll leave you at his mercy. The best course of action is to coax out one of his attacks, get out of its reach, and sneak in for a stab or two of your own.
His heavy armor will prevent you from doing massive damage numbers, but that's just how this fight goes. Exercise patience and caution by baiting out attacks, dodging them, and getting a couple hits in to slowly but gradually chip away his health bar and ultimately emerge victorious.
Going Straight for Maiden Astraea
This method may or may not be feasible given your current equipment and stats, but it's by far the easiest way to take care of Maiden Astraea without putting yourself within Garl Vinland's lethal reach. You'll need a good bow and a bountiful bushel of arrows because picking her off from a distance is the quickest and safest way forward.
Start by dispatching the initially-harmless worshipping enemies since they'll become hostile once you start dealing damage to Astraea. After they're taken care of, slowly and carefully cross along the right side of the chasm. You should eventually make it to a larger ledge with more worshippers that you should take out in kind.
Get right up to the edge of this larger ledge and take aim with your bow. From here, you should be able to do enough damage to counteract her healing, and you'll be safely out of reach of her attack spell and Garl Vinland's advances. Provided you have enough arrows and a strong enough bow, you should be able to take her out from here and the May you be unharmed trophy shall be yours.
Maiden Astraea rewards
Martyring Maiden Astraea rewards you with:
- 23,400 souls
- Pureblood Demon Soul
Did you manage to get to Astraea without angering Garl Vinland? Tell us how you did it in the comments below. Don't forget to check out the rest of our Demon's Souls guide for plenty more guides and walkthroughs to help you through Demon's Souls.