The player entering the Painted World of Ariamis in Dark Souls.

Dark Souls: How to Enter the Painted World of Ariamis

"This land is peaceful, its inhabitants kind." (It's not, and they aren't).

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Rhett Roxl is a professional writer who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. He merged both passions together to become a writer in the game industry in 2020.

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Key Takeaway

To enter the Painted World of Ariamis, you’ll need the Peculiar Doll—which you can obtain from your former cell in the Northern Undead Asylum.

Then, head to Anor Londo. Walk up to the massive painting on the bottom floor of the huge building with the ceiling rafters you can cross. It’s the one full of human-like enemies dressed in white who wield short curved swords (Painting Guardians).

Once there, (and if you have the Peculiar Doll), you’ll get a prompt that lets you enter the Painted World of Ariamis.

The Painted World of Ariamis is one of the optional areas you can visit in Dark Souls. Although coming here doesn’t progress the game, it’s worth visiting because of its sweet loot and deep lore. On top of that, it’s very unique compared to other areas. Unique and brutal.

Table Of Contents

    Using the Peculiar Doll to Enter the Painted World in Dark Souls

    To enter the Painted World of Ariamis in Dark Souls, you must first pick up a key item called the Peculiar Doll. The Peculiar Doll is found in the Northern Undead Asylum. You get the chance to return to this area after you’ve unlocked the elevator in the Firelink Shrine that leads to the Undead Parish.

    Where to Find the Peculiar Doll in the Northern Undead Asylum

    Simply ride the elevator, get off after rising a few feet, roll forward onto a crumbling ledge, and advance to the tower ahead. Keep heading up until you find a crow’s nest.

    The Chosen Undead standing next to a giant crow's nest.

    Once here, interact with the nest to “curl up like a ball.”

    After a few seconds, the giant crow that snatched you up from the Undead Asylum will grab you again to take you back. Once you’re in the Northern Undead Asylum, make your way to the cell where you started the game—you’ll find the Peculiar Doll here. Why is the doll here? No idea. Maybe you had it before and simply dropped it…

    The Chosen Undead picking up the Peculiar Doll.
    Be warned: the cell is guarded by a Black Knight. It may be tough to deal with this enemy, especially if you’re still in the early parts of the game. However, you don’t need to defeat the Black Knight to retrieve the Peculiar Doll.

    Finding the Entrance to the Painted World of Ariamis

    Progress through the game until you make it to Anor Londo. Keep working your way through the city of the gods until you enter a building through a broken window. You have to navigate forward by crossing the building’s narrow ceiling rafters. Don’t look down!

    The Chosen Undead walking on a ceiling rafter in Anor Londo.

    Continue onward until you come across a fog gate. Cross it to leave the building.

    Once out, keep heading forward and pull the lever at the top of the staircase. This will cause the entire platform you’re on to spin and descend. From here, take the spiral staircase downwards.

    When you make it to the bottom, continue walking forward and enter the building you were previously in. This time, you’ll be on the ground floor instead of among the rafters.

    There are a lot of Painting Guardians here. Deal with them as you go deeper into the room. They are nimble but they have low HP. After taking them out, make your way to the massive painting at the other end of the building.

    The Chosen Undead standing before the painting that leads to the Painted World of Ariamis.

    Approach the painting and examine it by pressing the action button. This will take you to the Painted World of Ariamis.

    You can only enter the painting if you have the Peculiar Doll.

    Notable Things to Find in the Painted World of Ariamis

    As mentioned previously, the Painted World of Ariamis is a completely optional area in Dark Souls. However, you may want to take the time to explore it. On top of the Souls you acquire from defeating the unique enemies in this area, you can also find a handful of valuable items.

    Annex Key

    You should locate the Annex Key first, as many of the other items that are worth looting in the Painted World of Ariamis are barred behind the building that’s unlocked with this key.

    Proceed to the main courtyard and walk to the graveyard section. There is a well here you can descend. Once down, proceed forward, then make a left. Keep heading forward until you spot a wall that has a different texture than the others

    The Chosen Undead standing before an illusory wall that looks like a rough stone slab in a cave.

    This is an illusory wall and you can dispel it by hitting it. Head forward and make a left at the end. You’ll spot a body with loot on it where this path stops. Pillage the corpse to get the Annex Key.

    The Chosen Undead picking up the Annex Key.

    Black Armor Set

    The Black Armor set is notable for its stylish black appearance and high magic protection. To get it, head to the main courtyard and go to the area on the left where there are multiple benches. You’ll find a locked door here.

    The Chosen Undead walking towards a door in the Painted World of Ariamis.

    You can open this door with the Annex Key. Ascend this building until you reach the exit at the top. Once you’re out, immediately make a left.

    The Chosen Undead walking through a narrow corridor with snow on the ground in the Painted World of Ariamis.

    Keep going up from here. Once you’re at the apex, head to the descending staircase on the left. Head down, then make a left and you’ll find a body hanging on the ledge. Loot it to get the Black Armour Set.

    The Chosen Undead running towards a body with a loot.

    Velka’s Rapier

    From where you found the Black Armor set, head back down. Return to the area where you emerged from the building that you accessed with the Annex Key. There’s a wooden door here you can destroy by hitting it.

    The Chosen Undead attacking a breakable door.

    Proceed forward and you’ll find Velka’s Rapier: a thrusting sword good for Intelligence builds.

    Dark Ember

    Turn around and exit this pathway. When you do, make a right. Continue forward and defeat any enemy that blocks your path until you’re in an open courtyard. There’s a dead blacksmith here that’s sitting in a fetal position.

    The Chosen Undead standing before a dead blacksmith.

    Loot the blacksmith to get the Dark Ember. Try not to think about how similar this dead blacksmith looks to Andre of Astora. Or do and ponder upon the insane lore implications. The choice is yours.


    The Bloodshield from Dark Souls.

    The Bloodshield is found on the bridge where the Undead Dragon is located. This shield has a high bleed, poison, and curse resistance. As such, it’s a great bit of gear to equip if you need to prevent the aforementioned status conditions.

    Red Sign Soapstone

    The Red Sign Soapstone is found at the top of the tower with the long, spiral staircase. Be wary are you make your way up, as falling from such a height will likely kill you.

    The Chosen Undead picking up the Red Sign Soapstone.

    The Red Sign Soapstone is a multiplayer item that allows you to be summoned as a dark spirit in another world.

    Fire Surge

    Fire Surge is a Pyromancy spell that is dropped by a Bloated Dredge. You find this particular enemy by falling through the well in the cemetery area of the main courtyard. Once you drop down the well, keep navigating forward until you find an ascending staircase. Head up and you’ll eventually come across the Bloated Dredge.

    The Chosen Undead picking up the Fire Surge spell.

    The Undead Dragon

    The Undead Dragon is found on the bridge past the tall tower. You can defeat this dragon if you linger to the left of its right foot. Its attacks can’t reach you here except for its Poison Breath. For an easier time, make sure your Vitality stat is high and that you’re carrying many Estus Flasks. If you can defeat this dragon, you receive a Dragon Scale.

    The Chosen Undead facing the Undead Dragon in the Painted World of Ariamis.

    Crossbreed Priscilla

    The Chosen Undead standing before Crossbreed Priscilla.

    Crossbreed Priscilla is the boss at the end of the Painted World of Ariamis. What’s unique about this boss is that you don’t necessarily have to fight her. When you meet Crossbreed Priscilla, she’ll instead urge you to leave her world by hopping off the plank at the back of the arena.

    This allows you to leave the Painted World of Ariamis; the only way to do so even when you have the Lordvessel and can warp between bonfires.

    If you do decide to fight her, the only trouble you’ll deal with during the boss fight is the fact that she goes invisible.

    One way to deal with her is to keep your shield up and look at the ground. You’ll know Priscilla is approaching when you see her footprints getting closer. After she attacks you, land an attack or two of your own. Repeat until she’s down.

    Crossbreed Priscilla's footprints in the snow.

    This fight is a great opportunity to use the Bloodshield you obtained earlier since Priscilla’s attacks cause bleed build-up.

    Another way to deal with Priscilla is to hit her with Throwing Knives or arrows when you figure out her position. These projectiles will stick to her body, giving you a clear indication of her presence.

    The Chosen Undead throwing a knife at an invisible Crossbreed Priscilla.

    Once you defeat Priscilla, you’ll receive the Soul of Priscilla30,000 Souls, and 1 Twin Humanities. You can also receive Priscilla’s Dagger if you cut her tail off.

    The Painted World of Ariamis is an extremely interesting place. It’s definitely worth your time merely for the atmosphere and the fascinating character you meet at the end of the area. Besides, you’ll want the Souls you gain here to tackle some of the more challenging regions later on. A difficult FromSoftware game requires nothing less. Good luck!

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