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How to defeat Holy Bulwark Otto in Lords of the Fallen

Leave the Holy Bulwark full of holes.

The first boss is a crucial moment for any Soulslike. It’s a chance for the game to show what it’s really made of, and teach the player what they should expect going forward. In Lords of the Fallen, this sacred duty falls to Holy Bulwark Otto, a knight of no small renown who bars the player’s path right after the tutorial area. While tame compared to the challenges you’ll face later on in your quest, Otto can still pose a challenge for new players, particularly those new to the Soulslike genre in general. If you want to know how to defeat Holy Bulwark Otto in Lords of the Fallen, read on to find out.

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How to bring down Holy Bulwark Otto boss in Lords of the Fallen

You’ll encounter Holy Bulwark Otto right after resting at your first Vestige (Bonfire), at the end of the game’s tutorial section. He serves as a bit of a ‘final exam’ for the game’s mechanics, as well as an introduction to the block/parry system that you’ll be using throughout. His moveset is simple, and his attacks are very well-telegraphed, but he can still prove difficult for the unprepared.

How To Defeat Holy Bulwark Otto In Lords Of The Fallen Body 1
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For the most part, Otto will come at you with swings of his heavy mace, telegraphed far in advance by their lengthy wind-up animations. While the game encourages you to practice your parry technique on these easy targets, and you certainly can if you wish, I found that this fight went a lot smoother when I dodged his attacks rather than attempting to parry them. The long wind-ups make the dodge timing easy to nail down, and you’ll be able to get a good few hits in each time, provided you dodge behind Otto to maximize your openings.

How To Defeat Holy Bulwark Otto In Lords Of The Fallen Body 2
Screenshot: PC Invasion

This burly Bulwark does have one special move up his steel-plated sleeve: a grab that can be executed fairly quickly from a standing position. This locks you into taking a good chunk of damage, so it’s particularly important to avoid. This attack is also another great argument for the use of dodging during the fight, since grab attacks can’t be parried. Otto doesn’t have a huge amount of health, so you won’t need to dodge and punish for long before he falls. However, things aren’t quite over yet.

A surprise attack

After your fight with Otto, a cutscene shows the arrival of The Lightreaper, the fearsome-looking three-headed dragon rider from the game’s introductory cinematics. He’ll begin attacking you immediately, and, while Otto was surprisingly fair as far as first bosses in Soulslikes go, this guy is definitely a supposed-to-lose fight. His moveset consists of a series of swoops and fire breath attacks followed by teleports, making it very difficult to land any hits. Even if you do, which I managed once before being burned to a crisp, the damage you deal will be negligible, and possibly even zero (It was hard to tell in the literal heat of the moment). In any case, once you die here, you’ll be able to run back and collect your lost Vigor from the Otto fight, and you won’t need to face The Lightreaper again. For now, at least.

And there you have it: a full guide on how to defeat Holy Bulwark Otto in Lords of the Fallen. He’s a great introduction to Soulslike boss fights, getting you used to the rhythms of dodging and attacking powerful foes while not proving too much of a roadblock for those just starting out.

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Author
Nathan Ball
Nathan Ball is a freelance games writer with a deep love for the medium. Having studied Game Design at the University of Abertay, Dundee, he's always on the lookout for games that push the envelope and try out fresh and exciting design techniques. You can usually find him covering the latest indie gems, but he does dabble in the world of AAA from time to time as well. Nathan has written professionally for various outlets, including TheGamer and the Scottish Games Network. When not writing, he enjoys good books, good TV, and analysing both within an inch of their life.