The Red Dragon in 1-2 will make 'bombing runs' along the length of the bridge, breathing fire which typically spells instant death for any player caught in it. Simply wait till it passes and then sprint to safety.
1-1, Boletarian Palace Strategies
The first time you encounter the Red Dragon is in the dragon's roost in 1-1, here it merely serves as an environmental hazard and it can not be killed. It will on the other hand leave its post, and fly towards the Lord's Path to do bombing runs there instead, when its health gets down to about 10%.
1-2, Phalanx Archstone Strategies
First guard tower
Sprint past the first section that the Red Dragon patrols, but do not go past to the next wall section. Go up to the first guard tower and kill the guards. From the guard tower, you will see the Red Dragon clearly flying his big loop right toward you. Use a Bow, Crossbow or Magic to attack it. Locking on will just make this harder, unless you quickly lock/fire/unlock each pass. Instead, just anticipate the timing and fire where he will be. Bring lots of Arrows. Figure out how much damage you do per arrow and bring the appropriate amount of arrows. At least 150 is recommended.
If you are using a Crossbow or a Spell that you can't manually aim, then click the lock on button (left analog stick) and release it quick to preset your free fire spot. Doing this works with both Crossbow Arrows and Soul Arrow spells, if you have a good standing position.
Note: With a Bow, Crossbow, or Magic you can attack first and then lock on and your shot will still home in on your target lock. A useful strategy with the Red Dragon is to fire first (before the Dragon enters lock on range) and then lock on since locking on first will often cost you enough time that the Dragon can fly out of range before your attack connects. An additional benefit of using the lock on is that your view will follow the Dragon long enough for you to see the damage impact of your attack and confirm your timing is correct.
This would also be a good time to use up any Throwing Knives you may have. The damage will be minimal and will make make killing the Dragon take a little longer, but will have save resources such as arrows and spices.
In addition to the top of the first guard tower, there are two other positions that people have used to snipe the dragon.
- First, if you're using Soul Arrow to attack. Some find it easier to hit the dragon from the bottom of the first tower. Try to shoot right when the dragon first dips his head. As it begins to breathe fire across the bridge. ( Hint: Just stand at the entrance of the first tower, looking out onto the bridge. When the dragon reaches its lowest point and starts breathing fire, first hit R1 to start casting the Soul Arrow then hit R3 to lock onto the dragon. Once you got the hang of it you will hit every time the dragon passes by. )
- Snipe the dragon just behind and to the right of the first pile of burned bodies right at the beginning of 1-2, near the wall. Once you have activated him, you can stand just behind his flight path, so you will never get hurt.
Second guard tower
Clear the bridge up to and including the second guard tower. Now turn back around and you will see a wagon with 2 boards sticking out from it (to control the horse). Position yourself at the foot of the left board, then equip a Bow and 2. Aim with L1 and look towards the mountain. The Dragon should already be flying his route by now.
Position your reticule so that it is centered above the piece of brick sticking out of the wall of the bridge. Then aim the cross-hair slightly higher than the wood trimming sticking out of the wagon about halfway up its side. You should notice that when the Dragon flies by, his body fully enters your reticule. All you have to do is wait and listen. Once the Dragon passes, you will hear a brief moment of silence followed by a wing beat, and then a roar that lets you know he will be spewing fire. The exact moment you hear this roar, you will want to press R1 to fire. If done correctly (the timing doesn't have to be exact because the dragon is such a large target from this spot), the dragon will pass overhead and you will see some blood spewing out. When he comes back around you should also notice he has an arrow sticking out.
The beauty of this technique is you can't miss if you've aligned your aim properly, and it's so easy, you could do it by sound alone. The wing beat gets you ready for the roar, so you should know when you need to be ready to fire. Tested using a Compound Short Bow +2 and 100 Light Arrows. Additionally, use buffs to increase your attack damage. With your health reduced to 30%, you can equip the Clever Rat's ring and, in your off hand, the Morion blade.
Royalty Ranged Magic
If you begin as Royalty, you are already equipped with a Silver Catalyst and the Soul Arrow spell. Climb up the first guard tower, position yourself straight towards the entering gate through the middle opening of the defensive wall, and you will have a clear sight at the dragon loop.
This method does not give you the advantage of aiming, so you need to "aim" by carefully walking your character towards the entering gate. Soul Arrow has a short range, so you need to time your R1 attack carefully. Remember, your character takes a small step back each time he/she fires the magic, time it accordingly. You should fire about half a second after the dragon breath attack, if you are standing right next to the wall.
You will know you have hit, if blue puffs of smoke follow after the dragon (or if you manage to see a glimpse of her health bar). The advantage of this strategy is, it takes less time than Arrows for low level characters, and you never lose souls buying extra arrows.
Run up to the first guard tower and kill all the soldiers there. Stand at the top of the tower, closest to the first part of the "Lord's Path" where the Dragon will swoop close after scorching that path. You'll see him get close to a certain part of the tower (usually the middle). Stand as much to the edge as possible with God's Wrath ready and the Ring of Sincere Prayer equipped. Right after the dragon roars to come down and breath fire, start casting. There is a very small window where you can actually hit him. Some testing may be needed as he needs to be right in front of you to be able to hit him. Turn around and lock onto for a brief moment. If you can see his health bar, you hit him. Rinse and repeat.
Another place you can cast God's Wrath is back near the start of the causeway by the charred bodies. The dragon will dive down and buzz the right side of the causeway before breathing fire on the stretch of road in front of you. Cast God's Wrath as the dragon prepares to dive and the timing should work out to hit the dragon as it buzzes the causeway.
On the first causeway section, the dragon will fly low enough to get poisoned by your Poison Cloud. Just wait for the Red Dragon to make a run through and cast Poison Cloud so when it makes his second run he gets poisoned. Then just wait, it should take four poison clouds, in about 10 minutes he will be dead without using any arrows! Death Cloud does not work. As for placement, you should stand just behind the pile of burning corpses and aim up the causeway.
Use any long weapon (Sword, Halberd) such as Dragon Bone Smasher. At the very start of the bridge, where the dragon first appears you'll notice some charred bodies on the right. Facing the second tower, take position on the first corpse having the bridge's wall on your right and wait. The Red Dragon will start circling above you. When he start his roar, swing at his tail when he flies by (face away and don't auto target). It may take some practice to hit him but it is possible and you are safe at this position. Be cautious as a little farther, and you can be hit with his feet.
Also keep in mind that after each swing you may move a bit, so re position yourself between swings.
Meat Cleaver "Chicken"
Use the Meat Cleaver, Enchanted Weapon magic, and the Heal Miracle. Be ready to take damage, but this will make pretty short work of the dragon. Wear the Brushwood Armor to reduce as much damage as you can. Stand in front of the charred bodies on the bridge. Be sure you're in the dragon's path, where he would hit you when he comes down. (Play chicken with it). Enchant the Meat Cleaver and use the 2 handed heavy attack to hit the dragon as he swoops down and hits you. You will take damage but you won't be knocked down because of the Meat Cleaver's special attack (make sure you are swinging when you get hit or else the special effect won't work).
Super Easy Firestorm/second chance.
Simple, stand in front of the charred bodies, make sure Second Chance is up, or you are dead. As soon as he flies behind the tower to come in and start breathing fire, cast Firestorm. You will be hit, but won't die. The dragon will take massive damage.