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This article or section may contain spoilers about the final boss. You might want to avoid reading further if you don't want to spoil the surprise for yourself!

Raid failure banner.png
Ancestor (First Form)
Ancestor Small.png
Enemy Class Eldritch/Human
Size Small
Actions per round Turnticker.png
HP 5
HP (Stygian/Bloodmoon) 6
Dodge 23.75%
Protection 100% (shows 80% in game)
Speed 12
Tray stealth.png Stealth No
Poptext stun.png Stun 122.5%
Poptext poison.png Blight 247.5%
Poptext bleed.png Bleed 247.5%
Poptext debuff.png Debuff 72.5%
Poptext move.png Move 73%

You still foolishly consider yourself an entity separate from the whole, but I know better. And I. Will. Show you.
~ The Ancestor

The Ancestor is both the Narrator of the Game and part of the final boss of the Darkest Dungeon. Whether he is an illusion brought on by the madness of the dungeon or he has truly betrayed his humanity for other-worldly powers, he has come to put an end to your party.

History/Biography[edit | edit source]

As paradoxical as it may sound, we know very much and very little about the enigmatic Man who is our Ancestor. This biography will mostly be speculation based on a reconstruction of the timeline of events that led him down the path of Forbidden Knowledge, his opening of the gates to Oblivion, and his ultimate failure of being a human being.

A Noble Bloodline & Pressures of Nobility[edit | edit source]

Little is known about the Ancestor’s past or his family, only that he is descended from a long line of powerful nobles. They had armies of loyal soldiers to defend their lands, and they were unbelievably wealthy.

It is believed that the Ancestor was born in the Manor like his ancestors before him. While his childhood is a mystery, the Ancestor was liked, even beloved, in his youth by the people of the Hamlet. Whenever he could abandon the Nobility of the Courtyard to their lavish, unbridled hedonism, he would walk among the common folk, raise his glass in the tavern, and drink with those he considered to be better than those who came from Noble Blood.

While his kindness and generosity made him somewhat of a town hero to some, the Ancestor considered his popularity to be but a temporary escape from his duties, to his family name and societal stature. Even the flirtations of a young, homeless village lass who followed him everywhere he went did little to lift his spirits. While he originally found it charming, he could not accept her affections, for he knew that she would never be accepted by the upper echelons of society due to her low birth, less his own nobility come into question.

Every time he returned to the vile denizens of the Courtyard, to partake in their degenerate activities and entertainment disguised by a thin veneer of sophistication and powdered wigs, the Ancestor felt his own sanity and patience dwindle.

First Bloody Encounter with the Supernatural[edit | edit source]

As he hosted yet another lavish party at his Manor, the Ancestor met a woman of almost unearthly beauty. While all the other guests were bewitched by her beauty, the Ancestor could sense something inside the Countess made her a lurking threat. Driven half-mad by cloying vulgarity and dwindling patience for his fellow aristocrats, the Ancestor plotted to rid himself of the Countess in a grand display of sadistic sport.

Dancing on his terrace, the Ancestor prepared to murder the Countess, when a ray of light from the the gibbous moon revealed her inhuman desires in all their stultifying hideousness. The morbid encounter resolved itself in the Ancestor’s favour, with the Countess dead on the cold stone floor of the terrace overlooking the Manor’s gardens, and the Ancestor, adrenaline in his veins, staring in silent awe and horror as a morbid scheme crept into his mind.

For years had the Ancestor been forced to partake in the degenerated activities and entertainment of the vile Courtyard denizens, all in a bid to uphold his family name. The Aristocrats and Nobles of the Courtyard were the worst kind of humans in his eyes; the Baron, a hunch-backed fiend who orchestrated grotesque entertainment at parties, his disturbing performances filled with such cruelty, depravity, the Viscount, a ravenous gourmand with unhealthy and vile appetites who continuously devoured everything he could even as the once-fine feasts turned into a putrid slurry.

He could have stopped them, but the weight of upholding his family name and societal stature forced the Ancestor to stoop and debase himself to their level until eventually he became slave to his own appetites. Any restraint would render him a hypocrite and an outcast. After years of these parasites leeching off his family fortune and good name, the Ancestor planned his revenge by pursuing degeneracy in its most decadent forms.

The Crimson Curse & the Vision from Beyond[edit | edit source]

Rather than quietly dispose of the vampiric Countess, the Ancestor dragged her corpse to the Manor’s wine cellars, where he drained her blood from her body as a butcher does a pig after slaughter. He mixed her blood with the vintage wine stored in the Manor's cellars, until all barrels and bottles of the house vintage were tainted.

The Ancestor's motive for such a heinous act of iniquity can only be guessed; Perhaps the encounter with the Countess broke his remaining sanity, or his years socializing with degenerate nobles and their enervating activities and entertainment twisted him into the very thing he hated most. Or maybe he realized he couldn't escape his family name or his societal stature, and decided to end everything and take his tormentors with him. After all these years, had the Ancestor’s dwindling patience for his peers finally expired, leading him to view the Nobility as too degenerate and corrupt an entity to properly function within society? Might he purge them for the good of the common folk and save the realm, regardless the consequences? Or did he perhaps hear whispers and rumors of nightmarish creatures not unlike the Countess, and saw in her the opportunity to exact revenge upon the Nobles of the Courtyard?

Whatever his motives, the Ancestor acted. Days later in the Courtyard, he invited the Nobles to enjoy his entire supply of exotic and decadent wines that his family had collected over years, among them his newest vintage. The nobles filled the Courtyard Gardens and blinded by greed and curiosity, ordered their servants to transport all the tainted wine barrels and crates from the Manor to their mansions and houses in the Courtyard.

As the guests gathered at the stone terrace overlooking the courtyard gardens, the air pulsed with anticipation as the Ancestor revealed the "new" house vintage. As they raised their glass for a toast in the Ancestor’s honor, the Ancestor felt a rising joy and happiness as his devious plan reached its final conclusion, but his exultation was cut short as the attending gentry turned upon themselves in an orgy of indescribable frenzy: Guests tore out their own eyes as they screamed madly to the heavens, while others ripped and tore the skin and flesh off their bodies in an act of auto-cannibalism. Those who survived the feast attacked each other, drinking their blood in a mad frenzy of bloodlust.

Realizing what was happening to his guests, he quickly removed the glass from his lips. However, he realized to far late that he consumed a single drop of the tainted tannin that laid the attending gentry low. Instead of turning him into a ravenous, bloodthirsty aberration, it granted him a vision, a mere glimpse, of what lies hidden deep within earth underneath his manor. And in that moment, he understood the terrible truth of the world or least had an inkling of understanding what the world really was. There he stood, a changed man in the middle of the Courtyard, surrounded by half living and mutilated corpses of his fellow nobles. As his head throbbing by newfound knowledge the air slowly began to fill with the growing whine of winged vermin from Moor that have come to drink the tainted blood that lay spilled on the terrace’s floors.

Either by a freak chance of fate, a series of unfortunate events or by the grand designs of some greater intelligence hidden in the shadows using unseen malicious guiding hand moving its chess pieces across the board. It does not matter that it was unintentionally or not, in one fell swoop, the Ancestor succeeded in getting rid of the upper class and leaving him the sole ruler of the realm.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

The Ancestor has only 5 health points, but is immune to all forms of damage during this phase. He will first summon 3 Perfect Reflections which you can deal damage to. After dealing a deathblow to any one of the Perfect Reflections, the Ancestor will summon more reflections to fill in the missing positions at the start of the next round.

Sometimes the Ancestor will summon Imperfect Reflections, and when these are killed the Ancestor will take 1 damage. Be sure to kill at least one reflection every round, because if all ranks are full on the Ancestor's turn he will use Time Heals All and heal every reflection. Once 5 Imperfect Reflections have been felled to wipe out the Ancestor's health, he will move on to his second form.

To explain in detail how this phase of the Ancestor acts, here are the exact probabilities/odds:

  • He will only use Perfect Replication ONCE; afterwards, it will be either of the other two options;
  • Imperfect Reproduction starts with a 2.0 chance of being used by the Ancestor, increasing by 6.0 each round that goes by. That means, the longer the fight goes on, the more likely he is to use this skill.
  • Sporadic Reproduction has a fixed 50.0 chance of being used by the Ancestor, disregarding how many rounds have already passed.
  • Time Heals All has a mere 5.0 chance; this skill will most probably only be used if all Reflections are alive, and he cannot use either one of his other skills.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • For the first form, killing an Imperfect Reflection will always deal 1 damage to the Ancestor. The Ancestor himself does not attack, only summons, so you'll be dealing with at most 3 attacks. If you're able to kill the Reflections quickly, your party won't suffer damage, following similar strategies when dealing with The Collector.
  • Note although the Ancestor's resistances to DoT skills is extremely high and under normal circumstances he can't be Blighted nor Bleeded, with the right Trinket and skill combination, you can pull it off. But regardless if it is achieved the Ancestor is entirely immune to DOT effects.
    • Namely, this is possible with two Grave Robber using Poison Darts and one of them having the Blighting Satchel+Blight Amulet combination. Although the initial chance won't suffice to cause Blight to the Ancestor, stacking the Blight Resistance Debuff will let you achieve it realistically after 2 rounds.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Darkest Level
Skill Name Range Rank Target Accuracy Crit
Damage Effect
Perfect Replication Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4 (allies). 0% 0% 0 New game plus save icon.png Summons 3 Perfect Reflections No Effect
Imperfect Reproduction Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4 (allies). 0% 0% 0 New game plus save icon.png Summons Imperfect Reflections or Perfect Reflections* No Effect
Sporadic Reproduction Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4 (allies). 0% 0% 0 New game plus save icon.png Summons Imperfect Reflections or Perfect Reflections** No Effect
Time Heals All Ranged 2, 3, 4. 1+2+3+4 (allies) 0% 0% 0 Skill attribute heal.png Heal 7-11 No Effect

* 50:50 chance to summon either.

** Twice as likely to summon the Perfect Reflections

Second Form[edit | edit source]

Ancestor (Second Form)
Ancestor Big.png
Enemy Class Eldritch/Human
Size Small
Actions per round Turnticker.png
HP 252
HP (Stygian/Bloodmoon) 303
Dodge 15.75%
Protection 0%
Speed 10
Tray stealth.png Stealth No
Poptext stun.png Stun 72.5%
Poptext poison.png Blight 67.5%
Poptext bleed.png Bleed 77.5%
Poptext debuff.png Debuff 67.5%
Poptext move.png Move 0%

The flesh is fluid, it can be changed, reshaped, remade!
~ The Ancestor

Behavior[edit | edit source]

The Ancestor's size grows bigger and he summons 3 Absolute Nothingness. These summons function much like the Shattered Pew of the Prophet fight in that they simply are there to set the Ancestor's position to the back. The Absolute Nothingness have extremely high resistances and dodge, which makes them impossible to hit.

When killed, he will cocoon himself within a Gestating Heart.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

  • Although you're unable to deal damage (or hit) Absolute Nothingness, they can still be attacked. This allows your party to self-buff or adjust position in order to prepare for the second round.
  • In this phase, the Ancestor's resistances plummet down as depicted in the Stats Table. Therefore, in this phase you can apply DoTs to him with very high reliability and even Stun him, which, considering the Resistance chance, can also be done pretty safely and thereby prevents him from acting.
  • All in all, this part of the fight is pretty straightforward and easy, giving you ample time to recover from the last part, should you have the necessity to do so. Stunning him while healing HP/Stress can be a good idea, since the next part is set on a timer and will advance to the Heart of Darkness after 3 turns.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Darkest Level
Skill Name Range Rank Target Accuracy Crit
Damage Effect
Refashion Them Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4, 100% +1 target. 113.75% 12% 5-14 Poptext bleed.png 140% Bleed 5 (6 in Stygian)
Tray afflicted.png Stress +7 (+9 in Stygian)
Poptext move.png Shuffle Self
Unmake Them All Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1+2+3+4. 113.75% 7% 2-7 Poptext bleed.png 135% Bleed 3
Tray afflicted.png Stress +7 (+9 in Stygian)
Poptext move.png Shuffle Self
Embrace Futility Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. 113.75% 0% 1-3 Poptext move.png 150% Shuffle
Poptext debuff.png 150% Debuff: -20% DMG, -5 SPD, -10% CRT
Tray afflicted.png Stress +18 (+20 in Stygian)
No Effect

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Even if the ancestor in his first form is immune to all attacks, in-game, he is shown to have 80% protection. This is because protection was programmed to cap at 80%. Ancestor in reality is protected by something else.
  • Many of his quotes such as: "Remind yourself that overconfidence is a slow and insidious killer" and "How quickly the tide turns" became internet memes.

See Also[edit | edit source]

Regional Necromancer MiniScrollpip.png Prophet MiniScrollpip.png Hag MiniScrollpip.png Brigand Pounder MiniScrollpip.png Swine Prince MiniScrollpip.png Flesh MiniScrollpip.png Siren MiniScrollpip.png Drowned Crew
Roaming / Event Shambler MiniScrollpip.png Collector MiniScrollpip.png FanaticExclusive to the Crimson Court DLC MiniScrollpip.png Thing from the StarsExclusive to the Color of Madness DLC MiniScrollpip.png Shrieker MiniScrollpip.png Brigand Vvulf
Boss Minions Cauldron MiniScrollpip.png Brigand Matchman MiniScrollpip.png Shambler MiniScrollpip.png Wilbur MiniScrollpip.png Drowned Anchorman MiniScrollpip.png Shrieker's Nest MiniScrollpip.png Barrel O' Bombs
CourtyardExclusive to the Crimson Court DLC Baron MiniScrollpip.png Viscount MiniScrollpip.png Countess MiniScrollpip.png Crocodilian MiniScrollpip.png Garden Guardian
FarmsteadExclusive to the Color of Madness DLC Miller MiniScrollpip.png Fracture MiniScrollpip.png Sleeper
Darkest DungeonContains spoilers for the Darkest Dungeon
Shuffling Horror MiniScrollpip.png Templar Impaler MiniScrollpip.png Templar Warlord MiniScrollpip.png Mammoth Cyst MiniScrollpip.png Ancestor MiniScrollpip.png Heart of Darkness