The boss will not be visible before or while entering the boss room, only after the initial cutscene will the boss be present, back turned to the player. Orphan will never aggro when entering the boss room, and will only aggro once the player is about 1/3 of the way towards him.
This boss has two noticeable phases:
- Phase 1:
- Once engaged, the orphan will turn to the player and attack immediately.
- Has a significant amount of moves with varying ranges and speeds.
- Phase 2:
- The Orphan will bite into the placenta-like weapon and transform.
- Becomes slightly larger and gains a new set of moves, as well as keeping and enhancing some previous ones.
- Is far more mobile making it harder to keep track of and stay in control.
- Fishing Hamlet Coast
- The Orphan is unlike any other boss in that he knows which of his attacks will be overpowered and which will be less useful, and will use the overpowered attacks basically every time. He also takes advantage of flaws in the game design (for example he will try to get you to clip through his stomach). So while with other bosses it's a one-on-one against the game itself, with the Orphan it feels like a one-on-one against FromSoftware's most sadistic developer.
- Stick to his left side (right for you).
- Mid range will be dangerous and hard to avoid attacks. Hugging his left is the place where you want to be. Circle him while attacking and quickly close any distance when he backs away. The second phase will make it easier as avoiding the jump attack lets you get some free hits in.
- Parryable in both phases.
- Augur of Ebrietas works well when he uses his jump attack in the first phase.
- When he summons electricity by screeching, quickly move to the entrance of the boss arena. Alternatively, look toward the large corpse of Kos, where the bolt of lightning strikes the ground. "Waves" of electricity will move outward radially from this point. These "waves" have sharp demarcations and can be rolled through and/or walked/ran around.
- Once he enters the second phase by performing a shockwave, he will stay in the ground for a couple of seconds. This is your chance to backstab him.
- The Orphan is immune to backstabs during this animation, as well as the lightning attack screech, but timing your charged attack to hit at the very end of said animations can score a backstab.
- The boss area for this fight is large, circular and made up of two parts; the beach and the water.
- Don't be afraid to go out over the water, as you can't actually fall in and it doesn't slow you down.
- The beach is sloped and uneven with a few wooden branches sticking out of the ground that you can get stuck on.
- The water area is flat and even and provides a great amount of space.
- Eventually, however, you run into an invisible wall that prevents you from going further, so be aware.
- In phase one, you can easily run under his forward leaping attack and then turn around for a charge attack followed by an easy backstab, plus a quick follow-up jab before he dodges away. Quickstepping or sprinting will carry you too far to attack him before he recovers. You can also bait his forward leaping attack consistently to quickly get through phase one. Get far away from the Orphan so he is out of range, be careful though, he might throw his projectile towards you, but this can easily be avoided by rolling or keeping the Kos corpse between you and the Orphan to block it. Eventutally, the Orphan will start running towards you, from here, he will either do one of two moves: his forward leaping attack or an uppercut swing from his placenta blade.
- In phase one, he can be easily staggered by most heavier weapons, or several consecutive hits of a lighter weapons.
- Be mindful of the stagger since it will reset his animation and he can easily punish you with one of his quicker attacks.
- In phase one the Orphan has a very tricky attack which starts off with him reeling back his weapon with one hand a bit and doing a slam while taking a step or two towards the player. This attack can easily be dodged, however, it kicks up some dust from the beach, covering the follow up which is a quick dash towards the player with an uppercut.
- His aerial dive attack in the first phase can be dodged by timing a dodge straight at him. This will result in you ending up behind him for a free attack with a quick weapon.
- Dodging this boss in the first phase can be very easy as long as you pay close attention to which attack he is using. A number of his attacks sweep from one side to the other, and dodging properly into the attack can completely avoid any damage. Dodging in the direction the attack is being swung can result in you taking minor damage or the entire damage from the attack depending on whether you'te hit by the weapon or just by the strand attached to it..
- Below is a full playbook for NG, with a melee character, mobility strat (sprinting, rolling and quick-stepping) only (unfortunately):
- General guidelines before the phases are covered:
- Orphan doesn't really have phases as much as he has moods that he transitions into. He is highly volatile. And he has like 13-ish moods. Those moods are separated into two phases, with about 6-7 possible subphases each, depending on the kind of Orphan you get due to RNG. If you manage to successfully pass a mood without getting hit, Orphan knows which mood to use to maximize his chance of hitting you.
- Orphan cannot hit you mid-attack, or when he is in recovery. He is safer, but not as safe when he is in transit or at peace.
- Orphan can transition into any other of his attacks after his attacks (we will subvert this later on, don't worry)
- He can also spam any of his attacks. He seems to be, like Midir, very good at reading what attacks you are most vulnerable to, and focusing on those to hit you as much as possible.
- Orphan is a frequent and fast attacker. That means you want the fastest weapon with the fastest R1 possible (Blades of Mercy, Rakuyo, etc.), solid range, and you want to leave yourself as available as possible to quickstep or dodge. You will be R1-ing, and doing rolling R1's, so make sure your weapon can do that as instantaneously as possible. You want NOTHING slower than an untransformed Saw Cleaver's R1.
- Orphan can animation cancel, and probably on any attack.
- Orphan tries to fake his attacks by charging them up, so don't just dodge him mindlessly, dodge for when the weapon is actually coming at you during the attack.
- Dropped and corrupted inputs are a bigger problem in this fight. Don't be hitting too many buttons in a short amount of time. In fact, do that as little as possible.
- Orphan is VERY good at positioning himself to literally push you around the map, or to clip you inside him. You can in fact clip into his chest and get comboed to death that way so don't touch his chest, and BE READY when he flanks you and goes for the swing
- He has a lot of persisting hitboxes, so MAKE SURE when you dodge his attacks, you clear his hitbox in dodging him.
- Of course, NEVER let him put you up against the wall. This limits so much of your movement that you will be forced to dodge in the wrong directions, and get hit.
- Don't let the Orphan get to your head. He automatically assumes, without reason, that you are a threat and he attacks you as an overpowered build compared to all of his challengers. He also makes a lot of noise and takes advantage of deficiencies in input performance of the game. That means that while he is tactically brilliant, he is evil and draw motivation from this. (Lol why did I put this here...?)
- So like was said earlier, Orphan doesn't really have phases per-se because those phases have sub-phases that break up those phases. Kos has about 20 moves and combos total, not accounting for how he chains them together. So to subvert all of the chaos about him in NG, I will tell you what windows exist in these phases. Outside of those windows, you should just evade or avoid his attacks, and there are special attacks which require special dodging or other forms of avoiding damage from the attacks.
- General guidelines before the phases are covered:
- Phase One:
- Your windows are the most generous in this phase. The Orphan is slower to counter people behind his back, but his back-jump attack where he extends his placenta curved sword thingy has a persisting hitbox, and he changes up his timing to catch you off guard. He may also vary this attack by dodging more to the side, and throwing his weapon, so make sure to dodge CLEAR of the hitbox, which includes the cord attatched to the placenta.
- You do NOT want to be in range of his flurry. Use his heavier attacks like his jumping attack, charged overhead slash/slam, etc. to attack instead. HOWEVER, his attack combo where he spins his placenta once or twice is a FALSE window, where he will try to counter you, so that is NOT a window.
- His transition into phase 2 has an AOE explosion that doesn't do any damage, but will knock you on your feet, so don't worry about it. Never tried what happens if you're in the hitbox of his placenta curved sword thingy, though.
- When he throws his placenta ball at you, it has a VERY low tracking arc that is more likely to defeat your attempts at dodging at range. So stay maybe 12 feet from Orphan when he throws these orbs, making sure to be strafing PURELY HORIZONTALLY before you quickstep out (never tested dodge roll), so you have enough distance. You may also need to double-quickstep, as well but expect Orphan to try to counter you because again....this is Orphan of Kos, the king of change-ups.
- Orphan is fairly safe to hit when he assumes normal body language, just walking or standing there, but be ready for a counter.
- When he is winding up his charged upward slash, dodge AGAINST his attack vector, not with it. Low damage if you end up where the weapon finally lands, over his left shoulder, but chip damage still stacks over time and he has a lot of health.
- When he sticks a placenta ball in the ground, you want to clear the distance of a triple-quickstep to avoid the AOE
- Try to not use any blood vials at all for this phase, 'cause he be comin for that booty in the pound-a-thon that is phase 2 onward.
- *phase 1 protocols are to be continued*
- Phase Two:
- Your windows here are his jumping attack, jumping attack combo, and slamming combo finishes. You can move in close to hug his back, BUT you MUST dodge against the vector of his weapon to give you the best chance of i-framing, which alternates a lot. So make sure to keep your eye on him so you know where to dodge.
- Keeping Orphan at range will keep you safe until he starts spamming his placenta ball attacks, and his jumping attack, which becomes a false window. In such a case, you're really waiting for when he throws a jumping attack with a recovery delay, or when he goes back to light attack combos that aren't heavy attack flurries (like he does earlier in the boss fight. Waiting for this can take whatever amount of time, really). In which case, expect a counter and make sure to clear that hitbox on your quick-step or dodge (never tried dodge, though).
- He does an attack where he jumps up high and back, throws multiple placenta balls in a line, forming a horizontal line of explosions. You want to dodge OUT of this attack, and be ready for him to do this 180 degrees from where he lands. Trying to dodge inward has a persisting hitbox and that will get you hit.
- His circular placenta ball AOE attack gets bigger in this phase, along with his shrimp. So yeah, you need tighter quick-steps here.
- He varies up his placenta ball attack by jumping in the air, and throwing multiple balls in a circular arc. When he does this, you want to position yourself between but back from where the balls land, so the vertical waves that come at you don't hit you.
- AVOID being near Kos' corpse near this fight. Being near the corpse makes it more likely that Orphan will scream, summoningly immensely damaging lightning. Try to keep yourself away from the corpse during the fight so when the lightning waves come, you can break your lock-on, sprint between the lightning waves, and put your eye back on Orphan because he is VERY good at seeking on you, and catching you off guard. This attack can be spammed and thrown very frequently too.
- When Orphan does his jumping light attack combo, he covers a lot of ground and VERY fast. To circumvent this, dodge/quick-step out HORIZONTALLY and TOWARD your LEFT to avoid his hitbox. You may need to double-dodge/quickstep as well.
- *To be continued*
- He becomes extremely tough in NG+
- Fishing for backstabs with a heavy weapon works best for the first phase (even if you miss the charged R2 will stun him, at least for LHB, making the fishing relatively safe)
- On both phases, but especially the second, try to keep close to him at all times, using the tactics mentioned in item 5
- For the second phase, try to fight him on the water (less things to get caught on)
- For the second phase you may try to fight unlocked, basically circling him with rolls when he's in melee range and attacking on any openings, and just evading his ranged stuff
- For the second phase, when he flies up to do a slam attack, roll to one side and then the opposite side, it'll usually make him miss
- For the second phase, when he does the lightning attack it's easier to just get some distance then walk in the gaps between the waves
- For the second phase, HEAL CONSTANTLY, it's very easy for him to dish out a ton of damage, so try to stay at full health at all times
- Due to the above, favour healing over getting a hit in on the second phase (aka play cautiously)
- Use Communion Runes, hell eat up your blood vials and you'll need many in the 2nd phase (starting with 27 vials, in the end of the fight I had 3, NG+)
- Use a Clawmark Rune, it'll help get you through the first phase quicker and therefore save blood vials
- For the oath use the Hunter of Hunters if you can, you'll need the stamina
Most, if not all, of the melee attacks this boss does can be parried for visceral attacks, even those that involve him jumping. Some attacks are easier to parry, some are almost impossible. Here is a list of the easier ones:
- In the first phase the easiest to parry is the slow overhead smash. Fire your weapon when he has lifted his leg to ready the heavy attack.
- When he does a 180 degree clockwise swipe and continues swiping the opposite direction with 180 degree counter clockwise swipe, the second swipe is easy to parry if you stayed just far enough to avoid the first swipe without dodging, then fire your weapon when the second swipe is about to start.
- One of the safest parry opportunities is when he screams, shakes his upper body like he is really mad and slams the ground in front of him, pauses for a second and continues with 2 fast swings. The range of those two last swings aren't far and it is pretty safe to shoot immediately after dodging straight back to avoid the first swing. It's tricky to hit but you are safe from any counter attacks.
- In the second phase there aren't any really safe parry opportunities. The least dangerous one however is fairly easy to spot. Once Orphan calms down and starts to simply walk towards the player staring him/her down, boss is actually preparing one of his short ranged attacks. It really doesn't matter which attack it is going to be, since he always has to move his weapon to his side before an attack. That is the time to fire your gun, once you see his weapon at his side and not in front of him. It is a small window and requires good reflexes but can be done consistently.
- In the first phase the Auger of Ebrietas is a very easy way to get back stab viscerals on him. Particularly during his AoE red burst attack and his quick dash to upper cut. On the dash upper cut dodge into him and you'll be able to fairly consistently get the backstab with the Augur. If you couple this with the Odeon Writh rune you don't even have to expend bullets. This rune also seems to give more bullets in the first half of this fight. (Using Oedon Writhe +2 in the first half of the fight, I have gotten a COMPLETE refill from 1-20 bullets on a single visceral. Needs confirming).
|Attack Name||Attack Description & Counter|
|Charged spinning attack (1st phase)||He will start a fairly slow windup, bringing his weapon to the left of his body before swinging the weapon around twice in a circular overhead swing. If you decide to get close after the first swing he will switch up his attack with the ground vertical attack or the low weapon swing. This attack can be parried.|
|Ground vertical swing (1st phase)||He will slam his weapon to the ground before swinging it upward and having it land near the back left side of his body. For this attack, dodge to the left of him as dodging right may inflict the partial damage of the weapon coming back on the landing.|
|Charged overhead slam (1st phase)||He will raise his weapon with both hands over his head and wait near 3 seconds before slamming it down and inflicting a small AoE physical attack. This attack can be parried.|
|Bomb (1st and 2nd phase)||He will pull out slime from his weapon and will plant it in the ground, forming a bomb that explodes with a medium AoE.|
|Projectile (1st phase)||From a range, he will reach into his weapon and throw a ball at the player. This projectile incredible range, decent tracking, explodes on impact or upon reaching wherever your character was. It is recommended to dodge to the side about a second before impact, as the ball turns in flight, but slowly. If it connects, there is a knockdown effect, and Orphan will follow it up with a leaping attack or a vertical swing.|
|Leaping vertical attack (1st phase)||This is his version of a dash. He will jump backwards and slam his weapon hard to the ground to gain some distance away from you. Most of the times he will either follow this up with a charged spinning attack, blood projectile, or may use the time to change into his second form.|
|Shockwave||Once he is around 50% of his health, he will stick his left hand into his weapon and will slam it on the ground, causing a huge shockwave, which will knock you off your feet, but not damage you.|
|Lightning Waves (2nd phase)||He will sound a long screech, which will summon waves of lightning, originating at the corpse of Kos, that will travel at a great distance across the boss arena.|
|Aerial Projectiles (2nd phase)||He will fly up in the air, and shoot out a multitude of projectiles, which will have shorter range compared to the single projectile he shoots in the first phase.|
- Once slain, attack the black spirit on top of Kos to get "Nightmare Slain", and complete the DLC.
- If one is having trouble dodging his ranged attack (reaches into placenta and throws part of it at you), the loch shield can be used to great effect to mitigate it's damage. It will still damage you, but you won't be stunned when it connects, unlike if you got hit without the shield, and it'll only deal 20-15% the damage it normally does.
- Blood Rapture (visceral attacks restore health) and Oedon Writhe (visceral attacks grant Quicksilver Bullets) runes are enhanced during the first phase. It will restore a far greater amount of health than it should (about four times the amount). Might be a bug.
- The Plain Doll will have special dialogue after slaying the black spirit of the Orphan of Kos.
- The first and second forms are NOT kin, so kin related gems do nothing.
- After defeating the Orphan and slaying the black spirit—the "Sweet Child of Kosm"—floating atop the corpse of Kosm, the rain will stop and the moon will disappear.
- His body does not disappear if he is slain via visceral attack in his first form.
- This is caused by the fact that the first form does not seem to have a death animation or dead state as a whole. You can kill him before going into phase 2 without a visceral attack.
- There are many snail women facing the boss gate in a prayer position.
- Killing them does not grant any Blood Echoes or Items.
- They have no health. If you touch them while rolling, you will kill them.
- The placenta he wields looks a lot like a giant cursed blood gem. This suggest that "Kosm" may have been cursed.
- The Orphan has a connection to Gehrman. After you defeat The Orphan, The Doll will say: "Oh, good hunter. I can hear Gehrman sleeping. On any other night, he'd be restless. But on this night, he sounds so very calm. ...perhaps something has eased his suffering"
- Lore theories exist under Orphan of Kos Lore.