The Old Monk fight in the original Demon’s Souls was ahead of its time. In it, an enemy player could invade your world and assume the role of the boss, making for a unique experience. The same holds true in the PS5 version, but as cool as the fight is, we recommend to try this fight offline to avoid dealing with a real player who will probably demolish you. As long as you’re facing the offline version of the Old Monk, this boss guide will come in handy for you.
Before you attempt this fight, head to the main menu and go to Network Settings to change the Launch State to offline. Then, begin the fight and make sure you come equipped with a powerful melee weapon like the Dragon Longsword+1 (found in the deadly cave of 2-2). Also, bring a shield with you that offers 100% physical reduction like the Steel Shield or Tower Shield.
With your shield up, circle around the boss and look for an opening to backstab him. Don’t strike unless he’s got his back to you and you’ll backstab him every time. The timing and positioning will vary depending on your weapon. You should also try not to two-hand your weapon unless you’re sure you won’t get hit. This boss is very fast and can take you out with ease. If you need to heal, walk behind one of the chairs and use them as cover. The boss will easily break through, but the animation will give you enough time to heal up.
Eventually, the Old Monk will gradually begin using Homing Soul Arrows on you. The more damage you deal, the more Soul Arrows he’ll use. Once this starts happening, you’ve got a few options for avoiding them.
If you want to stick close by, you can roll left or right as soon as the Soul Arrows start coming toward you. This is riskier since you’ll have less time to react, but it’ll ensure you don’t put any distance between you and the boss.
The other way you can avoid them is to back away to the point of having plenty of time and space to dodge the Soul Arrows. This is the safer option, but it requires you be fast when coming back to the boss. If you’re too far back, it’ll shoot an additional Soul Ray at you, which deals high amounts of damage.
Speaking of ranged attacks, they don’t seem to be particularly useful against this boss. If they connect, they do well, but the Old Monk is fast and can dodge them easily. There are some spells he can’t dodge like Poison Cloud, but for the most part, we recommend to stick near him while slashing with a melee weapon.
Ideally, you should backstab him, wait for him to fall over, walk up behind him, and backstab him again after he gets up. If you’re lucky, you can catch him in this loop and utilize the invulnerability frames during the backstab animation to avoid the Homing Soul Arrows.