The Great Grey Wolf Sif: Prepare to Cry Edition

The Mournful Great Grey Wolf Sif

Posted on June 4th, 2019 by Terry Kim

What happens if you save Oolacile before meeting The Great Grey Wolf Sif?

"Dark souls: Prepare to Cry Edition"

You may (or most likely will, if you've played the game) recall the Great Grey Wolf Sif. As the chosen undead approaches the grave of Sir Artorias for his ring (which will allow the chosen undead to traverse the abyss like its previous owner), Sif emerges, grabs the knight's greatsword, and proceeds to fend the Chosen Undead off from desecrating his owner's grave.

As majestic and adorable as the wolf is, Sif is a mandatory boss that must be killed in order to complete the game - which forces our hand. However, there is actually an alternative cutscene non-hardcore fans may have missed; The DLC Artorias of the Abyss deals with the story of Knight Artorias, and, allows the Chosen Undead to visit Oolacile of the past. Interactions that the chosen undead makes throughout his/her journey throughout the DLC helps us understand the story behind Sif and the owner of the grave, Knight Artorias.

To watch this alternate cutscene, the player must first go through the Artorias of the Abyss DLC without having met Sif; This means that the Chosen Undead must ring the two Bells of Awakening, go through Sen's Fortress and reach Anor Londo, slay the infamous Ornstein & Smough duo, place the Lordvessel, and take a short visit to the Duke's Archives - all before venturing too far into Darkroot Garden. This may or may not be a challenge, depending on the player's skills, but it is undoubtedly a chore. One would have to complete a round of gameplay again just for the cutscene, and also go out of one's way to actively accomplish all of those feats before reaching Darkroot Garden - when the map is placed as a part of a natural course one can take through the game.

In any case, for those players that seek the experience themselves, a somewhat natural route I'd suggest is:

  1. Choose the Master key at start and escape from Undead Asylum
  2. Ring the first Bell of Awakening in Undead Parish
  3. Come back to Firelink Shrine, revisit Undead Asylum
  4. Grab the Rusted Iron Ring (and maybe the Crest Shield from Oscar, and the Peculiar Doll needed to visit the Painted World of Ariamis - You can grab all of these without having to face the Demon again)
  5. Come back to Firelink Shrine, and take the shortcut from New Londo to Blighttown
  6. Reach the bottom, kill Quelaag, and ring the second Bell of Awakening
  7. Come back to Firelink Shrine (Or go ahead and walk back up, and go directly to Darkroot Basin through Valley of the Drakes)
  8. Go to Darkroot Basin via the tower in upper Undead Burg (Where Havel is)
  9. Go to the very corner of the map, beyond the Hydra, and kill the golden Crystal Golem
  10. Talk to Dusk, accept her offer. (The latter key item will not drop if you have not talked to her)
  11. Go back to the Undead Parish, and march through Sen's Fortress to Anor Londo.
  12. Quickly rush and eliminate the new player-unfriendly duo called Ornstein & Smough
  13. Get the Lordvessel from Gwynevere, and place it with Frampt's aid (or jump in for yourself, if you do not wish to keep Frampt entertained).
  14. Warp back to Anor Londo, run past the Iron Boars, get on the elevator, and kill the first Crystal Golem you see. Take its loot.
  15. Get back to where Dusk was in Darkroot Basin, and go through the DLC.

And here are some optional steps you can take along the way to make this easier for a brand new save:

Grab the Rite of Kindling from Pinwheel to increase your flask limit to 20- You don't need to kill very many skeletons, as you can carefully sprint past most of them. This trip also nets you a skull lantern, which can be traded in to Snuggly the Crow for a Ring of Fog - which makes a lot of non-boss encounters trivial. Be careful though, it is very easy to get trapped in the catacombs as an unprepared character; The remastered version even makes it worse, by placing a bonfire by the undead blacksmith.

Visit the Depths, at least until the part where you meet the Butcher in the beginning. The large ember, which you will be using, unless you're either a caster or plan on using unique / boss weapons exclusively, is placed in the chest right by the mini-boss. Lightning weapons will undoubtedly suffice in clearing the first NG, so other embers are not nearly as necessary.

Grab some Fire Keeper Souls and reinforce your flask. The closest one is in the Undead Parish. One is in the ground level - past the narrow, ghost-infested corridor near the beginning of New Londo. You can get another if you kill the Fire Keeper in Anor Londo (which you will be forced to later anyway, should you want to fight Gwyndolin).

These Fire Keeper souls can be grabbed with ease, unlike the other three that you have access to by this point- Using Anastacia of Astora's soul to reinforce your flask will gimp Firelink Shrine; Killing Quelaag's sister for her soul will gimp future gameplay by taking away the Daughters of Chaos bonfire (although it can still be warped to, and you can use the Demon Ruins bonfire to warp out); And the Fire Keeper soul that is located in Blighttown is well... guarded by what makes Blighttown such a pain in the ass in the first place - toxic dart shooters. Note though, you cannot grab all three of the following: Anastacia, Darkmoon Knightess(Anor Londo) and Quelaag's sister. This is because you will not have access to a Fire Keeper to reinforce your flask for you, making the whole effort useless.

Now, I am certain that there will also be those of you that have gotten TOO GUD at the game, but just missed the story. Those of you will want the shortest route possible, as the game provides little to no challenge. The shortest route is as follows:

  1. Choose the Master key at start and escape from Undead Asylum
  2. Arrive in Firelink Shrine, and go through to Blighttown through the back exit in New Londo.
  3. Kill Quelaag, and walk back up or homeward bone to Firelink Shrine.
  4. Go through Valley of the Drakes to Darkroot Basin
  5. Kill the Golem, and talk to Dusk.
  6. Take the upper path and go up to Undead Parish, through Darkroot Garden.
  7. Kill the Gargoyles, and rush to Sen's Fortress.
  8. March through Anor Londo, and grab & place the Lordvessel.
  9. Warp back to Anor Londo, and kill the Crystal Golem at the beginning of Duke's Archives.
  10. Come back to Darkroot Basin, and access the DLC.

Once you are through with Artorias of the Abyss, simply head to the grave of Knight Artorias, and approach his sword as you normally would. The alternate cutscene should play.

Now, for those of you that do not feel like running through the game just to learn the backstory of a mentioned-only knight of Gwyn and his canine partner, or to just watch a cutscene, here is a general recap and the cutscene itself.

Knight Artorias was one of the Four Knights of Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. Having been described as the strongest of the four and able to traverse the abyss, Artorias traveled to Oolacile when it was attacked by the abyss, to rescue Princess Dusk. Unfortunately, he was unable to overcome the it, and succumbed - but not before giving his shield to the young wolf Sif, to shield him from the corruption.

The DLC 'Artorias of the Abyss' takes place here.

The Chosen Undead travels to the past, and must save Oolacile. In doing this, they must kill Artorias, to proceed further, and release him from the mindless hollow he has become.

Should the Chosen Undead succeed in driving away the abyss, he/she will likely have met, and saved Sif from the trap he was held captive by. (Unless the Chosen Undead is a monster with no love for the doggo)

Having saved Oolacile from destruction, Princess Dusk from abduction, and Artorias from the chains of abyss, the Chosen Undead will come back to present-day Lordran. They will have to go through Darkroot Garden and take the Covenant of Artorias from his grave, in order to complete their journey.

As the Chosen Undead approaches the grave, a cutscene will play, albeit with a huge difference.Sif shows up as usual, but from whom the Chosen Undead slowly backs away from. Sif walks closer, and upon inspection, realizes who it is that has come to seek his owner's grave- not an intruder, but an old friend and savior. The Chosen Undead reaches out with their hands, but Sif, whimpering, backs away.

He knows what he must do; Letting out a mournful howl, Sif prepares himself for battle, but without the ferocity he showed to other intruders. Sif faces the Chosen Undead in combat, so that he may stop them.

While there are many speculations as to what goes on in Sif's mind, a popular one (and one that I personally agree with, too) is that Sif wishes that the Chosen Undead not suffer the same fate his owner did: being overcome by the abyss, and being eternally cursed to walk mindless as a hollow, a mere slave to the abyss. He cannot allow that to happen to his friend and savior, and must stop them, even if it means having to kill the Chosen Undead himself.

More Articles for Dark Souls

A history of twinking in the Dark Souls series

Jolly cooperation? Pass. Honorable duels? Meh. Noob-hunting? Grab my orb!