Beyond the Forbidden Lands in Elden Ring, all the way in the north, is the Mountaintops of the Giants. Despite the name, there are very few giants remaining in the Lands Between, with this area more often populated by corpses and monsters. There are plenty of places to check out here, some related to your main quest and some not. Here are all the places you should check out in the Mountaintops of the Giants.
- Explore the Zamor Ruins, carefully
- Race across the massive stone bridge
- Fight an Ice Dragon, if you want
- Enter Heretical Rise using the invisible bridge
- Explore Castle Sol and suffer at the hands of Commander Niall
- The graveyard of giants
Explore the Zamor Ruins, carefully
After using the Grand Lift of Rold and entering the Mountaintops of the Giants, the Zamor Ruins will be the first landmark you discover. There are some great items scattered around here, including the Smithing-Stone Miner’s Bell 3. Of course, this area is also meant to introduce you to the enemies here, which is full of some tall enemies that are pretty tough. They attack quickly and there are a ton scattered around the area, so you will want to either move quickly or try sneaking.
Race across the massive stone bridge
After getting past the Zamor Ruins, you will find a massive stone walkway that is very skinny and almost looks like a bridge between you and the rest of the area. On the other side of the bridge is a golem with a bow and arrow. There is limited cover across this gap and there is a possibility that the arrows will knock you off this ledge. While it’s a mild pain, the best plan here is to hop on Torrent and go across that gap at max speed. There are a few items on the bridge towards the middle section, including some smithing stones, but gather these items carefully.
Fight an Ice Dragon, if you want
After crossing the bridge you will find yourself in the lower part of a canyon, with a river running through it. If you head to the northeast, there is a massive ice lake. From this area you can head up to the top side of the two cliffs that hang over the canyon. In the center of the lake the snow gets really dense, lowering visibility. In this area is Borealis the Freezing Fog dragon boss fight. You can get 100,000 Runes and a dragon heart for defeating it, but this boss is totally optional and can be a bit tough if you just arrived in the Mountaintops of the Giants. On the south edge of the lake is also the First Church of Marika, which contains a Sacred Tear to upgrade your flasks.
Enter Heretical Rise using the invisible bridge
The Heretical Rise tower is another magical tower that requires you complete a puzzle in order to get inside. The Heretical Rise Tower is located on the southern cliff, but you will need to navigate to the northern cliff to access the tower. Directly across from the tower on the other cliffside is the remnants of a bridge that would have crossed the canyon. From here you can use an invisible bridge to walk across to reach the Heretical Rise tower. The path is straight for about 90% of the distance, before you need to take a rising, circular path on the left side. This leads to a balcony which gets you inside the building. There are a couple enemies waiting in the immediate room, so be wary of them. At the top of the tower is the Founding Rain of Stars, a powerful spell.
Explore Castle Sol and suffer at the hands of Commander Niall
If you head up to the northern cliff from the frozen lake, you will eventually find your war to Castle Sol, on the northern edge of the Mountaintops of the Giants. Outside of the castle you will find a walking mausoleum in an area where lightning regularly strikes. Inside the castle you will find some real tough customers, including a couple of beasts right at the front entrance. These two enemies don’t respawn luckily, so once they are defeated you can reenter the castle without worry. Inside a church about halfway through Castle Sol is the Eclipse Shotel, one of the legendary armaments in Elden Ring. This weapon inflicts the death status effect and is quite powerful.
At the top of Castle Sol is the Commander Niall fight, who summons in two knight spirits to fight alongside him. This fight can be overwhelming, since Commander Niall has multiple area of effect attacks, so you will need to avoid getting near him while taking his spirits out of the fight. In the area behind him, you can find one half of the secret medallion, which grants access to the Path to the Haligtree area, which is to the east of the Mountaintops of the Giants.
The graveyard of giants