How To Defeat The Imp Chieftain And Unlock Ember Grounds In Halls Of Torment Featured Image

How to defeat the Imp Chieftain and unlock Ember Grounds in Halls of Torment

An impudent, imperious foe.

Halls of Torment brings a number of welcome innovations to the ‘Survivor-like’ genre, notably more skill-intensive attack aiming and diverse enemy types. It also adds complex boss battles: four per stage in fact, each with their own patterns, movesets, and behaviors. The first of these fearsome foes you’ll face is the Imp Chieftain, just a few minutes into the Haunted Caverns. For first-time players, knowing how to defeat the Imp Chieftain in Halls of Torment is crucial, as doing so unlocks the game’s second stage, Ember Grounds, giving you more depths to plumb and challenges to complete. Read on for our complete guide to putting this jumped-up demon in his place.

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How to dethrone the Imp Chieftain in Halls of Torment

The Imp Chieftain will appear in the game’s first stage, Haunted Caverns, at the 24-minute mark. This gives you six minutes of prep time, which is more than enough to head over to the Golden Scroll in the level (indicated by a directional arrow on the screen) and collect it, giving you a useful ability you can bring to bear against him. Once you have the scroll, we’d suggest staying in roughly the same place and slaying as many monsters as you can, in order to gain a few levels before the Chieftain arrives.

Once he does, be ready for a fight. Early on in the game, the Imp Chieftain is a big step up in difficulty, packing not only a huge health bar, but also a varied selection of attacks too. These are as follows:


  • Flaming Arc – The Imp Chieftain summons an arc of purple flame in front of him. The spots where flame will appear are shown in advance by purple circles on the ground.
  • Flaming Star – The Imp Chieftain summons purple flames in a star shape, moving out from him at the center. The spots where flame will appear are shown in advance by purple circles on the ground.
  • Flaming Swirl – The Imp Chieftain summons purple flames in a swirl around him. The spots where flame will appear are shown in advance by purple circles on the ground.
  • Summon Imps – The Imp Chieftain summons a small group of imps to aid him in the fight. These will typically appear behind you.


In addition to these moves, the Imp Chieftain will also pursue you relentlessly, dealing contact damage if he catches up to you. Thankfully, he’s fairly slow, meaning this is unlikely even if you’re playing as the bulky Swordsman. In terms of strategy, your plan of attack will vary depending on whether you’ve lasted this long as the Swordsman, or if you’ve switched over to the Archer instead.

If you’re playing as the Swordsman, your short attack range will demand that you stay close to deal consistent damage to the Imp Chieftain. It’s not too difficult to avoid his purple flame attacks at close range, provided you stay alert and are ready to move as soon as the warning circles appear, but you’ll need to be aware of other enemies in the stage around you as well, as they can easily sneak hits in while you’re focused on the big guy. Try and take the Strength and Quick Hands traits for your early levels to maximize your damage output, and cut down the time you’ll need to endure the Chieftain’s onslaught.

For the Archer, this battle is a much simpler affair. His superior range and movement speed allow him to stay a comfortable distance away and keep up damage on the Chieftain, easily evading the purple flame attacks and blasting any enemies that get too close. You’ll still want to grab Strength and Quick Hands for your early traits, but another option is to lean harder into the Archers natural propensity for critical hits with Cunning Technique and Ruthlessness. Either way, you shouldn’t have much trouble defeating this boss with the Archer.


Once the Imp Chieftain falls, he’ll drop a treasure chest containing the first item you’ll get in the game. More importantly, you’ll also unlock the second stage, Ember Grounds, where your Torment can continue. Once you’ve finished your run, be it in victory or defeat, a new object called the Register of Halls will appear back at Camp. Interact with it, and you can choose Ember Grounds as the location of your next run. You likely won’t be able to get very far in the stage without making more progress in Haunted Caverns first, but it’s a nice challenge you can take on if you’re feeling up to it.

And with that, the first boss of the game is down. You know how to defeat the Imp Chieftain in Halls of Torment, and you can proceed to unlock the Ember Grounds and continue your adventure. You can even rescue the Wellkeeper and unlock the ability to keep your items permanently, if you so wish. As first bosses go, the Chieftain is a big difficulty spike, but he’s nothing compared to the horrors that await you as you venture deeper into the Halls.

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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.