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The Asylum Demon is the opening antagonist and the first boss of Dark Souls.
Like the other demons that roam Lordran, the Asylum Demon was created from the Bed of Chaos after the Witch of Izalith's failed attempt to duplicate the First Flame. At some point in the past, the Asylum Demon invaded the North Undead Asylum, where the Undead bound to the Darksign were imprisoned from Lordran. It is unknown if the demon intentionally arrived at the asylum, or if it was sent there by Lord Gwyn as a test to find the most powerful undead to take his position as the linker to the First Flame. Under the Asylum Demon's supervision, no undead were able to escape the asylum, nor could any enter as well.
That all changed when Oscar of Astora reached the asylum, freeing the Chosen Undead from their cell. As the Chosen Undead broke out of their cell, the Asylum Demon ambushed Oscar and fatally wounded him, smashing him through the roof of the asylum with its hammer. As the Chosen Undead reached the main hall of the asylum with the main exit locked, the Asylum Demon jumped down from the broken room to confront the escapee. Despite their nimbler speed, the Chosen Undead's weak Straight Sword Hilt barely damaged the Asylum Demon, who could easily get the best of them with its mighty hammer. Having the disadvantage, the Chosen Undead was forced to escape the Asylum Demon through a small door.
Acquiring stronger weapons by looting hollow corpses, the Chosen Undead encounters the wounded Oscar, who gives them a key to the asylum's second floor and kills himself to prevent his body from going hollow. From the asylum's second floor, the Chosen Undead enters a fog wall leading to the Asylum Demon, allowing them to initiate a plunging attack to deal serious damage to the demon. With their stronger weapons, the Chosen Undead defeated the Asylum Demon and obtained the Big Pilgrim's Key to escape the asylum. From the edge of the cliff, a giant raven carries the Chosen Undead to the Firelink Shrine, allowing them to begin their quest.
- If the Asylum Demon is defeated before the Chosen Undead escapes the first time, it will drop the Demon's Great Hammer. Oscar will give the Big Pilgrim's Key instead if the demon was killed before talking to him.
- Two more bosses sharing the Asylum Demon's textures appear later in the game known as the Demon Firesage and Stray Demon. They attack similarly to the Asylum Demon, but are capable of producing magical blasts by slamming their hammers.
- The Asylum Demon shares its battle theme with the Demon Firesage and Taurus Demon.