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Heart of Darkness
Enemy Class Cosmic
Size Unimaginable (4)
Actions per round Turnticker"Come Unto Your Maker" is used when Heart has 67% or less health and there are 4 heroes in the part alive."Come Unto Your Maker" is used when Heart has 34% or less health and there are 3 heroes in the party alive.
HP 252
HP (Stygian/Bloodmoon) 303
Dodge 23.75%
Protection 0%
Speed 10
Tray stealth Stealth No
Poptext stun Stun 87.5%
Poptext poison Blight 47.5%
Poptext bleed Bleed 47.5%
Poptext debuff Debuff 67.5%
Poptext move Move 88%

Behold the heart of the world! Progenitor of life, father and mother, alpha and omega! Our creator... and our destroyer.

~ The Ancestor.

The Heart of Darkness is the final form of the final boss of the Darkest Dungeon. Classified as COSMIC, it has a terrible ability called Come Unto Your Maker, which instantly kills a hero - regardless of HP or stress. The player must select which one of your heroes dies, meaning you have to be strategic as to who should stay and who should die.

History[ | ]

The Heart of Darkness is the final phase of the Ancestor fight, symbolizing the pinnacle of his ambitions, and represents the embodiment of the mystical forces that were responsible for the corruption of the Hamlet and its surroundings. In true Lovecraftian style, it is a slumbering, ethereal, and omnipresent deity manifested through your Ancestor's misdeeds, whose form became a vessel for the creature to cross over. It is the being that is revered by the cultists and priests of the Darkest Dungeon who have, under the influence of its cosmic power, become distorted entities of multiple mouths, eyes, and tentacled appendages. So terrible is its influence that the inhabitants of the Hamlet will appear momentarily disfigured in similar fashion to the Darkest Dungeon fiends after the first mission is completed.

Behavior[ | ]

Come Unto Your Maker[ | ]

Although it may seem that the final boss wantonly decides to make one of your party members instantly die, the skill "Come Unto Your Maker" will always trigger on two instances if the conditions are met:

  • First Time: After the boss has been downed to 2/3 of his total health (168 or 202), and your total number of party members is exactly 4.
  • Second Time: After you reduce his health bar to 1/3 of its total HP (84 or 101) and your total number of party members is exactly 3.
  • If you are able to cross both thresholds with one set of blows without killing the boss, it will cause him to trigger Come Unto Your Maker two consecutive times if you have a full party.

That means that after your characters inflict a blow that reduces the boss' HP under said thresholds, it will immediately deal a deathblow to one or more of your party members on his next turn[1]. It should also be noted that stunning is also not an effective prevention method.

There is only one way to stop the Heart of Darkness from using the ability, which is detailed in "Surviving Come Unto Your Maker".

Dissolution, Puncture, Know This[ | ]

Each one of these skills inflicts a different status ailment. "Know This", being a stress attack, will prioritize already stressed-out heroes, while the other two are based on your Heroes' resistances:

  • Dissolution: Prioritizes heroes with either low Stun or low Blight resistance.
  • Puncture: Prioritizes heroes with low Bleed resistance.
  • Cooldown Feature: Every skill may not be used twice in a row. That means that after the first turn, the number of skills (not including insta-death) are reduced to two.

Strategy[ | ]

As mentioned above, this fight will get progressively harder as you reduce the enemy's HP and therefore lose more party members. The exact amount of HP for every one hit KO are 170 and 83 HP. Although it is impossible to exactly predict the exact amount of damage your heroes deal, it should be in your best interests to make the member who is about to be sacrificed deal the last blow to optimize damage output. Beware that if the HoD reaches the HP threshold on its turn due to DoT, it will still cast "Come Unto Your Maker".

Another thing worth noting is if you kill the previous phase instead of letting it shift to the final form, the excess of damage dealt to that form will carry over and be dealt to the Heart of Darkness, thereby starting the fight effectively with less extra HP.

If you are using healers or other support characters like a buffing/stress reducing Jester, it would be advisable to let them die first, while letting your main damage dealers focus on the Heart of Darkness for the second and third parts of the fight.

In essence, this is pretty much a rush-down boss-fight. You will want to deal as much damage as fast as possible, especially during the last third of the fight where you will only have 2 heroes available. Skills that benefit from marking are therefore invaluable for dealing high amounts of burst damage.

During the early portion of the third part of the fight, you may want to consider healing up/reducing the stress on afflicted heroes, as his attacks, while powerful, will not usually put your characters immediately on death's door. Due to the Heart of Darkness's relatively low Stun resistance, this would be an ideal time for stalling time and recovering.

Considering this boss's mechanics, you may make your last heroes have lower bleed than blight resistance, as his blight attack can also trigger the stun effect.

The Heart appears to restore one action by killing anyone by other skills than "Come Unto Your Maker". This may be a glitch.

As the battle progresses, you should become more aggressive, since this is the last mission and no retreat is possible. Moreover, the fewer characters you have, the less you will be able to keep up with the Heart of Darkness's onslaught.

If you manage to defeat the Heart of Darkness, congratulations! You will be greeted with a cinematic epilogue and have beaten the game.

Good luck and keep your guard up!

Abilities[ | ]

Darkest Level
Skill Name Range Rank Target Accuracy Crit
Damage Effect
Come Unto Your Maker Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4.* 223.75% but impossible to dodge% 12% 11-23 Deathsdoor Instant Deathblow** No Effect
Know This Melee 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. 113.75% 0% 0 Tray afflicted Stress +22 (24 on Stygian) No Effect
Puncture Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. 113.75% 12% 13-16 Poptext bleed 150% Bleed 5 (6 on Stygian)
Tray afflicted Stress +10 (12 on Stygian)
No Effect
Dissolution Ranged 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4. 113.75% 12% 13-16 Poptext stun 160% Stun
Poptext poison 150% Blight 5 (6 on Stygian)
Tray afflicted Stress +10 (12 on Stygian)
No Effect

* The player chooses the target for Come Unto Your Maker.
** Come Unto Your Maker kills a target instantly, bypassing HP and Deathblow Resist.

Surviving Come Unto Your Maker[ | ]

As it is used at 2/3 and 1/3 health, with careful manipulation of the boss's mechanics, it is possible to circumvent Come Unto Your Maker if you can destroy the Heart in one fell swoop before it reaches one of those HP thresholds. The best way to do this is to equip powerful +DMG and/or +CRT on someone that can hit extremely hard (Leper is ideal), whittle the Heart down to 2/3 or 1/3 health, while stacking buffs on a hard hitting character, or stack defence-reducing debuffs on the Heart, and then hit them for one massive, shattering blow.

While saving one character by surpassing the second Maker is relatively trivial, saving everyone is far, far harder. It requires absolute precision calculation, best in slot gear, and a lucky crit to have all four of your characters walk out alive, and if you fail, you will likely endure back-to-back instant deaths from pushing the Heart to low HP. The first documented instance of an "Everybody Lives" was achieved by three Plague Doctors stacking Emboldening Vapours on a Leper, while the Leper stacked Revenge on himself, resulting in a 268% damage buff and obliterating the Heart with a fatal critical hit of 173.

The second way of achieving this incredible goal is documented in this video, done by buffing the Jester with two Plague Doctors, one Man-at-Arms and four uses of Shard Dust, resulting in a destructive 199 damage critical hit. Note that a second Man-at-Arms can add more damage than a second plague doctor while making it easier to use solo to further increase finale damage without losing any jester turns to positioning (using solo then having the Men-at-Arms move forward in front of the jester more than 3 turns before the finale).

It is also possible to embark on this quest with just two characters, circumventing Come Unto Your Maker completely. However, this makes the Ancestor fight much harder, as both heroes would need to be able to heal each other and still do enough damage to prevail. One possible combination is a Hellion for damage, supported by a Flagellant for healing health and stress. Such a feat was demonstrated by youtuber Fourtwoflow, who also defeated the HoD with a Leper and a Crusader, two heroes who can heal themselves and inflict high damage; the task was heavily aided by the presence of virtues, which was induced by Hero's Rings and the Valiant Spirit town event (65% virtue chance, though the Crusader can reset stress to 0, should an affliction be drawn instead of a virtue). This method is, oddly enough, less luck dependant than bringing the entire 4-man party. It is also possible to beat the Heart with the Houndmaster and the Flagellant, having the former constantly guarding the latter and dodging almost all hits, while the second stage AoE attacks will still hit the Flagellant and make him use his low HP skills. Another possible 2-man party capable of defeating the Heart consists of the Crusader and the Highwayman, with the Crusader as the main healer and de-stresser and Highwayman as the main damage dealer, especially thanks to his riposte.

The two-hero strategy becomes trivial with Shard Dust from the The Color of Madness DLC. A Bolster-stacking Man-at-Arms, along with some relatively common dodge trinkets, can reduce enemies' hit chance to the minimum of 5%. This effectively neutralizes any danger, allowing you to deal with the boss at your leisure. The Crusader is an ideal partner in this case—the repeated use of Shard Dust incurs large penalties to stress, and the Crusader is the only hero who can stress heal (and heal) from the front ranks.

Related Enemies[ | ]

Creatures from the Darkest Dungeon[ | ]

Bosses[ | ]

Gallery[ | ]

Trivia[ | ]

  • While the name "Heart of Darkness" is a reference to Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, the creature itself is a reference to Nssu-Ghahnb/The Heart of Ages from the Call of Cthulhu Role-Playing Game. This is supported by Nssu-Ghahnb being trapped within an alternate dimension and being responsible for spawning all the monsters in the known universe, just like the Heart of Darkness.
  • Heart of Darkness seems to be restoring one action per every killed person with a skill other than "Come Unto Your Maker". If it does so it will use two different skills in one round and the third in the second forcing it to pass its turn, because all of its regular skills are cooling down. It is possible that this feature is a glitch, because the sound effect of passing its turn is anticlimactic and reveals that the boss has its fear reversing limits.
  • It is believed by some that the monologue in the gloomy and baleful ending, which includes similar imagery to the opening cinematic and concluded by the lines "Ruin has come to our family" implies that you, the in-game direct blood relative, will be directly responsible for the rebirth of this great and terrible evil at some point in the future. However, the earliest verses of the monologue establishes the understanding of the thing as the originator of all Earthly life; furthermore, it continues with the line "The great family of man." As such, any subsequent lines- including that signature quote- referring to family and lineage actually refers to Earthly life as a whole, not just your bloodline.

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