Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

Returning to the Catacombs

Nathan Garvin

Keys to Salvation

You should know the way to the Catacombs by now. There are numerous ways to get where you’re going, but the fastest route is by simply heading up through the Deos Hills to reach the formal entrance to the Catacombs… you know, the way you went earlier? Once inside, head to the elevator that leads from the ‘Catacombs: First Floor’ to the ‘Catacombs: Second Level Underground’. Since it’s your second trip here, the bar blocking the door should have been smashed, meaning you only need to go a short ways south from the entrance and turn east to find your elevator. Once at the elevator, your route varies depending upon how you dealt with the Salvation cultist – Tagert - in Gran Soren. If you paid him for his key you’ll have obtained the ‘First Key to Salvation’ . If you took it by force, you should have the ‘Second Key to Salvation’ . There are two doors that lead to where you want to go, and two keys. Since there’s no treasure or monsters unique to either route, whichever you chose is immaterial, it’s just a bit of randomness thrown in by Capcom to make the game seem less linear. The walkthrough will be favoring the ‘Second Key to Salvation’ approach, since it’s cheaper and more sensible, but if you got the ‘First Key to Salvation’ instead… well, the area isn’t terribly complex, and this route will be summarized, too.. First, however, how to get to the doors each of these keys unlocks:

First Key to Salvation

From the elevator, find a door to the south, which leads down some stairs. Your key unlocks this door. Simplicity itself.

Second Key to Salvation

Take the elevator down to the ‘Catacombs: Second Level Underground’. Once down, head west into a south/south-west running hallway and follow it until you reach a gate. This is where your key goes.

You’ll hear Tagert pleading with forces unknown beyond the gate. Open it and dispatch a horde of Stout Undead immediately beyond. Once all the undead are re-dead, continue south until you reach some stairs running west. Tagert shows up and tells you the job’s not finished yet, you need to kill the one that’s ‘controlling them’. Sure. Head up the stairs to the west, then find some more stairs heading up north.

Bribe or strong-arm Tagert to get a different key, depending on what action you take (left). Whichever route you go, you’ll have to deal with plenty of Skeleton Mages (right).

Gems of Salvation

The stairs will open up into chamber, which is occupied by about a dozen Skeleton Mages. Nothing new, nothing terribly dangerous, just in greater numbers than you’ve yet encountered. Put them down before searching the room. There’s an open-wall supported by columns to the east, which over-looks a lower level (where you were in the last step), and a few sarcophagi to loot. Head north opposite the stairs to find a doorway which, if searched, will yield this text; “’Tis shut tight. The door bears five small hollows…” Yep. Another scavenger hunt.

South of the stairs is a tunnel that starts out west, bends south, wraps around back east, and finally turns north and runs parallel to the Skeleton Mage-filled room from the previous Step. As you go through these tunnels, loot sarcophagi. In the southern-most east/west running tunnel you’ll find a sarcophagus in the south-western corner that contains the ‘First Gem of Salvation’ . Numbered gems… five small hollows in the door back north… yeah, you see where this is going, right?

Now explore the north/south running tunnel on the eastern side of the map. Along the eastern wall you’ll find two standing sarcophagi. Inside the northern-most one you’ll find the ‘Second Gem of Salvation’ . Continue north until you find a wooden ramp running to the west, which leads to an elevated chamber overlooking the Skeleton-Mage occupied room. It also houses a sarcophagi which contains the ‘Third Gem of Salvation’ .

Return back down the ramp to the east and, once back in the hallway, continue east down a sarcophagus-lined hallway running east/west. Loot as you please and continue east until the hallway turns north. Watch out for Phantoms and Skeletons as you explore and eventually the hallway will open into a small chamber with a few short tunnels leading off it. The path to the north leads to some stairs, which in turn terminate at the door that requires the ‘First Key to Salvation’ to open. That leaves you with two options: a path to the south-west and one to the south-east.

From the chamber here, head into a tunnel to the west, which quickly turns south, then west again before terminating. Here you’ll find a rounded chest and two standing sarcophagi. Search the southern-most one for the ‘Fourth Gem of Salvation’ .

Return to the chamber and explore down a tunnel to the south-east. Follow it until it terminates. Dispatch two Skeletons and loot a sarcophagus to the north to score the ‘Fifth Gem of Salvation’ . Before running back to the door north of the Skeleton Mage room, search behind some rocks to the south to find a Giant Coin Pouch (10,000 G).

Now, to recap the locations of the Gems of Salvation for everybody, mostly as a favor to those ‘First Key of Salvation’ kids out there.

First Gem of Salvation

In a sarcophagus in the hallway south of the Skeleton Mage-occupied room. This particular sarcophagus is in the south-western corner of the hall.

Second Gem of Salvation

In a standing sarcophagus in the north/south running hallway east of (and parallel to) the Skeleton Mage-occupied room.

Third Gem of Salvation

Along the northern end of the north/south running hallway east of (and parallel to) the Skeleton Mage-occupied room you’ll find a wooden ramp running up to the west. It’ll terminate at a small chamber which houses a sarcophagus, in which lies this gem.

Fourth Gem of Salvation

South of the stairs opened by the ‘First Key to Salvation’ you’ll find a chamber with several branching tunnels leading off it. At the end of the western tunnel you’ll find two sarcophagi. This gem is in the southern-most one.

Fifth Gem of Salvation

South of the stairs opened by the ‘First Key to Salvation’ you’ll find a chamber with several branching tunnels leading off it. At the end of the south-eastern tunnel you’ll find a sarcophagi, wherein lies this gem.

Search sarcophagi for “Gems of Salvation” (left), then deposit all five of them in a sealed door to open it (right).

Battle with Balsac

With your five gems, return to the sealed door north of the stairs in the Skeleton Mage-occupied room. Activate it to use up your gems and open the door, then head into the chamber beyond-the ‘Confessional Chamber’. The door will seal behind you and a Salvation-member named Balsac (heh, ball-sack) will do the typically evil villain thing and spill the beans. Blah, blah, blah, he attacks.

This fight is pretty simple; Balsac is a magic-user, and will continually cast spells. He’s not terribly strong (Magick-wise), nor does he cast uncommonly fast. His Miasma can suck, but he’s really not very dangerous. He does, however, have a bit of health, and, as you should expect, his Magick Defense is pretty good. The annoying part of this fight is that he’ll summon Skeletons and Skeleton Mages continuously. Don’t waste your time on them, as they’re endless as long as Balsac is alive. If you focus on Balsac, he should go down pretty quickly, so do that. Once he’s dead he’ll explode dramatically, his undead will similarly falter, the door back south will open, and a chest lurks to the north. When you’re done in the Catacombs, all you have to do is report back to Ser Maximilian to claim your reward.

Objective Reward
For smiting Salvation’s skeletal scourge 15,000 XP, 25 Rift Currency, 20,000 Gold
Ornate Chest
Crimson Teeth

Balsac talks a big game (left) but his body can’t back up his boasting (right).

Once you’re done with this quest, it’s time to go searching for Fedel’s letter. Again, you’re using this trip as an excuse to explore several areas along the way to Soulflayer Canyon… in essence, you’ll be exploring all of north-western Gransys now. The areas you’ll hit, in order, are the Wilted Forest, Cursewood, Heavenspeak Fort, the Barta Crags, and finally, you’ll go through Soulflayer Canyon on the return trip.

Guide Information

  • Publisher
  • Platforms
    PC, PS3, PS4, 360, XB1
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    18 January 2016
  • Last Updated
    12 March 2021
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin

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You live the tranquil life of a fisherman in the small, quiet village of Cassardis, at the edge of the sleepy duchy of Gran Soren. This peaceful life of mundane obscurity is shattered one morning with the Dragon, Grigori, a beast of legend, attacks your town and you fall in its defense. Now reborn as an Arisen, you must lead the Pawn Legion into battle as you deal with court politics, combat apocalyptic cultists, and chase down the enigmatic Dragon. But beware, there could be more to the Dragon's challenge than it originally seems...

  • Full sequential walkthrough of all main quests, side quests and notice board quests.
  • Each area painstakingly described, including enemy encounters and notable loot drops.
  • How to get the best gear out of the Everfall and Bitterblack Isle.
  • Descriptions and tactics of every beast, large and small, that you'll face in the game.
  • Character creation information, so you can build the mightiest Arisen and Pawn possible.
  • New Game +, Hard Mode and Speed Run Mode fully explained.
  • Portcrystal and fast-travel system fully explained.
  • Romance information and affection-boosting guide: never accidentally romance the wrong NPC again!

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