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Black Iron Tarkus, (黒鉄のタルカス Kurogane no Tarukasu) also referred to as Iron Tarkus, is a character and summon-able white phantom in Dark Souls. He can be summoned by the player in the fight against the Iron Golem boss in Sen's Fortress.


In a tower structure at the end of the walkway to the right from where the fog door to the Iron Golem is located. Like other summon signs, Tarkus's summon sign is only visible if the player has not put down a summon sign and is in human form. He aids the player in taking on the Iron Golem as a white phantom. He is notoriously tough and can serve as a distraction during the battle. In fact, Tarkus can defeat the boss all by himself in the first playthrough and stands a break-even chance of doing so on future play throughs with minimal support from the player. A Black Iron Set is found on his corpse in Anor Londo, next to the entrance to the Painted World of Ariamis. A Painting Guardian stands next to his corpse, possibly removing it from the room since the body is so far away from the entrance.


Black Iron Set DaSIII

The heavy black iron armor of Tarkus.

Black Iron Tarkus is the strongest Berenike Knight[1][2]. Berenike Knights were known for their heavy armor of steel and used ultra heavy Tower Shields forged with thick plates of iron, favoring hard defense and stability[3], and gigantic swords capable of causing monstrous damage[1]. and for their immense strength they were extolled as the mightiest of mighty[4]. Tarkus was renowned even among his fellow knights for his great strength and he wore an ultra heavy armor made of special black iron so heavy that only he was able to wear it but that provided him with a strong defense against fire[5] and his greatshield, made of the same material, was even heavier than that of his fellow knights[6].

However as the First Flame started to fade[7] countless among the ranks of the Berenike Knights became Undead and ventured to Lordran[4]. Here they tried to make their way toward Anor Londo, through the only possible access: Sen's Fortress[8]. The knights of Berenike and Tarkus thus entered the dangerous proving ground but for naught as through decades of failure they were not able to advance and ended up as Hollows, becoming a threat to all the other Undead in the location[4]. After a grueling and long battle, Tarkus eventually managed to reach the end of the path of Sen's Fortress and challenge the last trial in the form of the Iron Golem[9]. The mighty knight in black iron armor managed to defeat even the guardian of Anor Londo, thus gaining access to the city of the gods[2]. Despite his immense strength, once he reached Anor Londo, Tarkus perished at the hands of the Painting Guardians before he could reach "Gwynevere, Princess of Sunlight" and obtain the Lordvessel[10] and the few Berenite Knights that followed him ended up trapped inside the Painted World of Ariamis[8][11].

After an unknown and immense amount of time, Knight Slayer Tsorig found the black iron armor and shield of the deceased Tarkus and made them his own, becoming infamously known for their appearance, as the super heavy armor and shield were a signal of his mighty strenght[12].

Character information[]

Health and souls[]

Health Souls
1,467 2,684 ??? ???


Physical Defenses Elemental Defenses Resistances
Regular Defense Strike Defense Slash Defense Thrust Defense Magic Defense Fire Defense Lightning Defense Poison Toxic Bleed
??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

These stats are sourced from FuturePress's Official Dark Souls Strategy Guide.



  • Many players favor Black Iron Tarkus due to his immense strength, his reliability in PvP and his ability to fight the Iron Golem with minimal support.
  • Tarkus is also the Estonian word for "wisdom".
  • Even though it says that Tarkus's armor was unwieldy to all but Tarkus himself, when summoned for the fight against the Iron Golem, he "fat rolls" due to not having enough Endurance
  • Tarkus was seen sitting in Firelink Shrine in the debut trailer as a non-playable character, but in the game he is simply a white phantom
  • Black Iron Tarkus is likely a reference to the antagonist knight Tarkus from the 1987 manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure who himself is named after the 1971 progressive rock album by Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. Both characters are massive knights with enormous, seemingly unwieldy weapons and thick armor. The way Black Iron Tarkus dies is also similar to how Tarkus from the manga falls off a cliff and into a barrack, though the latter survives the fall.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Greatsword description.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Black Iron Set#Availability confirms how he was the only Berenike Knight that managed to suprass Sen's fortress and reach Anor Londo, while all the other knights are still inside the fortress.
  3. Tower Shield description.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Steel Set description.
  5. Black Iron Set descriptions.
  6. Black Iron Greatshield description.
  7. Opening (Dark Souls) description.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Berenike Knight#Location
  9. Iron Golem#Summoning
  10. Black Iron Set#Availability
  11. Painted World of Ariamis#Enemies
  12. Black Iron Set (Dark Souls III) and Black Iron Greatshield (Dark Souls III) description and appearance.