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- Dirty Colossus is significantly weak to fire, even more significantly when his armor-like covering is broken.
- Dirty Colossus is also weak to magic.
- Melee also seems to be much more effective given his defensive fly swarms.
Killing the flies
If you do get covered in flies, they will eat away at you for a long time and do a fairly large amount of damage. There are several torches in the boss area which, when touched, will burn all the flies off of you. If you do it quickly enough, the fire damage from the torch can be avoided. Regardless, the damage from the fire is much less than that of the fly swarms.
This guy is really easy to kill with melee attacks. Just run behind him and start hacking away. Turpentine, Black Turpentine or a Dragon weapon are highly recommended since the boss is weak to Fire damage. Light Weapon and Cursed Weapon are also very useful (just watch your HP with Cursed Weapon). Make sure to rotate when he swings, but his punches should never hit you as long as you stay behind him. Every now and then he will stop and charge up to do an area effect attack. He will pull his arms in and almost curl up into a ball, and massive amounts of flies will buzz around him. He then shoots this sphere of bugs outward, kind of like God's Wrath, and it will knock you back and do a good chunk of HP if you're close to him. As soon as you see him start charging, run or roll backwards a few times, wait for the attack to end, then run up behind him and start attacking again.
Bow from the entrance
Video Tutorial: Ranged Strategy
As soon as you enter the fog gate you should be able to see Dirty Colossus in the distance. If you stand right on the fog gate, the wall to the left sticks out a little, enough so that you can hide behind it and it completely protects you from the fly swarms he shoots at you. Once you engage the colossus and get him to shoot his first fly swarm you should be able to walk to the right and get 2 arrows off before he shoots again. Sometimes three shots will work, sometimes you get hit with flies and then you have to run down to the torch, so it's safer to stick with two. Just stay behind the wall when he shoots the swarm, move out to fire then roll back to the wall. With the Lava Bow it can take approximately 50 Heavy Arrows to put him down. Make sure you dress light, or are able to roll in whatever you have equipped, the two shots per isn't exact and sometimes you need to move fast. Alternatively, when you enter move to the left behind the wooden pole, If positioned correctly, you can shoot arrows without getting hit at all.
- You can stand behind one of the torches while you pelt him with arrows. If positioned properly, the torch will protect you from the flies. If you do get hit with one of the blasts, touch the torch to burn it away.
Bow from opposite the entrance
When first entering hide behind the first torch, draw him close. Then run to the other side of the area. Stand practically on the fog gate to the third boss. Position yourself in the middle of the dirt below the wooden planks. Move right up against the wooden planks and fire away with any bow. His fly swarms will completely miss you and smash in the planks in front of you. It's possible down him with less than 60 arrows on NG+ with a Lava Bow.
Like most enemies and bosses of large size, Dirty Colossus is also very weak to Firestorm. Dodge his projectile attack by locking on and rolling or sprinting, then let loose on him with Firestorm. Take a few Fresh Spice or Old Spice with you and you'll have him taken care of in no time.
For melee types, it's best to go in hyper mode. This means that you will have to go below 30% of your HP, and then equip Clever Rat's Ring and Morion Blade in your left-hand slot. Since you are close to a poisonous swamp, let yourself infect by poison, then eat Royal Lotus when below 30% HP. The Makoto also helps in the process. Also, it's heavily advised to have Second Chance when going in Hyper mode, since most bosses will be able to take you down in 1 or 2 hits since you have low HP.
In Hyper Mode, just run towards him and dodge his (by running to either left or right, or rolling) "Flies-Swarm-Spray". Normally, he'll spend to much time waiting between his "Flies-Swarm-Spray" and his melee attack, so just cast Firestorm immediately when he's close enough. If you feel unsure or you think he'll interrupt you, then run around him in circles and cast Firestorm after his melee attack. There's no way he's able to survive Firestorm, not even with low Magic lvl and in NG+ (and beyond)
Constantly cast the spell Fire Spray. Lock on to Dirty Colossus and move so that you are going in a circle around him. You will constantly do damage to him and he will never hurt you - unless you need to stop to replenish health or MP, at which point you may get hit with a barrage of fly swarms. The fly swarms can occasionally change direction enough to hit you while strafing using this method.
Soul Ray Shortcut
Soul Ray makes this fight a breeze due to its range. Not only does it ignores the Colossus's armor, but because you can lock on to the Colossus immediately after entering the fog gate, you can hit him with Soul Ray and stay in the entrance way - out of range of his fly swarms or other attacks. Just have a fragrant ring on, or have some spices if you want the fight to go faster. Alternatively (if you want more of a challenge), with a low equip burden and relatively high intelligence, you can roll two or three times to dodge his fly swarms, cast Soul Ray once or twice, and repeat until dead. Equip the fragrant ring or a crescent weapon to regenerate your mp while dodging.