Ascent to Madness

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Ascent to Madness

1Waypoint (map icon).png

Ascent to Madness map.jpg
Map of Ascent to Madness

Mad King's Realm
Connects to
Lion's Arch

Ascent to Madness loading screen.jpg
Loading screen

Oh my! The Mad King is attempting to escape from his Mad Realm! If he isn't stopped, he could force his way into Tyria forever!

— In-game description

Ascent to Madness is a dungeon only available during Halloween. Players must travel into the Mad King's realm and stop him before he threatens the world of Tyria.

This dungeon was introduced during Halloween 2012 and only accessible during Act III. It was first made available again during Halloween 2015.


Area Area objectives
Ascent to Madness
Waypoint (map icon).png Ascent to Madness Waypoint —
Waypoint (map icon).png Checkpoint

Dungeon information[edit]


  • Confront the Mad King
  • Defeat the Mad King


First completion (once per account)
Subsequent completion

Note: Like any dungeon, rewards are affected by Diminishing returns; the number of bags and bonus items will decrease to 3/2/1



The Mad King will use various attacks:

  • Scarecrow: Plants a scarecrow. All allies within the scarecrow's area are periodically attacked by crows. When destroyed, all nearby players are feared.
  • Pumpkin Bombs: Pumpkins spawn on the ground then explode seconds later, damaging players within range and randomly applying confusion, knockback or Elixir S to them.
  • Mad Moon Toss: Tosses his Mad Moon shield, bouncing off players to deal damage and apply random conditions to them.
  • Night Slash: Basic melee attacks which are used in a 3-hit combo. Each slash also sends out Rending Night, candy corn colored waves that fly towards nearby players and deal damage. The last attack of the combo sends out 3 waves.

Stun breaks and condition removal are valuable to get rid of Fear and avoid accidental deaths from running off cliffs. The boss also has a defiance bar that will stun him for a short time once it's depleted, so crowd control can greatly speed up the fight. In between fighting, there are two sections where jumping to platforms below is required. Although daunting, there are non-fatal routes down. In case you die, a checkpoint waypoint is available.

Initially, Mad King Thorn will be invulnerable, standing on an isolated piece of land. From here, he will begin Mad King Says. Party members will need to fight the Halloween enemies entering through Haunted Doors, but all players' skills will periodically be changed to emotes similar to during Lunatic Inquisition. Once the correct skill is used, you will get your regular skills back and be able to fight. If you do not use the correct skill for the emote he says, you'll take damage and be knocked down. Note that the chat command emotes do nothing, and the corresponding skill must be used. Mad King Says will always ask for the following emotes, in a random order:


These skills will be present in a randomised order.

# Skill Activation time Recharge time Description
Mad King Says Dance.png Dance 7 Show off your sweet dance moves.
Mad King Says Cower.png Cower 30.5½ Crouch in fear.
Royal Decree.png Salute 30.25¼ Raise your hand in a salute.
Mad King Says Ponder.png Ponder 50.25¼ Stare into space thoughtfully.
Mild Readings.png Shrug 20.5½ Shrug your shoulders.

After Thorn goes though his three emotes (whether you joined in or not), he will tire of Mad King Says, teleport to where the players are and start attacking. At this point, bring him down to 75% health. At 75% health, Thorn will become invulnerable again and disappear to a lower level - look to the southeast to see the chunks of land you can jump down, and reach the next large piece of land where Thorn waits. A lot of Plastic Spiders will spawn there. When on that piece of land, Thorn will begin attacking again. This time, you must bring him down to 25% health, at which point he will again become invulnerable and disappear.

Like before, he'll appear a level lower. This time, look to the northeast for the way down. There will be two parts where you have to make long jumps - though it may not look it, you can make these jumps without speed boosts. He will teleport back to the middle level if a player dies and respawns and starts walking back down to the middle level. At his defeat, a chest will spawn on the lowest level.





Mad King Thorn: Greetings, mortals! Good to have you see me again! You may adore me now!
Mad King Thorn: Gather 'round, my subjects!
If players don't immediately approach the Mad King
Mad King Thorn: Did your courage die with your ancestors? Come on!
Mad King Thorn: Hurry! I grow impatient!
Mad King Thorn: Now, we shall play a game loved and feared by all of Tyria for countless centuries. Surely, you've heard of it. Prepare yourselves for...
Mad King Thorn: ...Mad King Says!
Mad King Thorn: For all of you sad sops who don't know the rules, hear me now! You must do only what your Mad King says, and nothing else! Consider it a lesson in obedience.
Mad King Thorn: Ready? If not, that's unfortunate for you, because the game begins now!
Mad King Thorn: Your Mad King says...
Mad King Thorn: COWER!
Mad King Thorn: Am I not frightening? COWER!
Mad King Thorn: Display a little respect before you lose your head. Your mad King Says...
Mad King Thorn: SALUTE!
Mad King Thorn: Uh-ten-hut! Stomach in! Chest out! Wipe that smirk off your face, soldier! SALUTE!
Mad King Thorn: Are you enjoying yourselves? Your Mad King says...
Mad King Thorn: DANCE! Dance for me!
Mad King Thorn: Listen to the music in your head! DANCE!
Mad King Thorn: That was interesting, for a time. You did as well as could be expected. But I tire of this. Time for something else!
When reaching the floor Thorn's on
Mad King Thorn: (Laugh)


Players received the following mail during Act III of Halloween 2012 as part of the event:


Captain Tokk

Halloween Guide, Phase 3

Ding-a-ling! The Mad King was seen busting out of the lion statue in Lion's Arch! The statue lies in ruin, and there's a mad portal in its place. Enter at your own risk.

There's no longer any doubt that the Mad King really does exist, and the Durmand Priory believes he's trying to break out into Tyria. Their projections for what will happen if he succeeds are apocalyptic. Word is spreading quickly that, in his current state of power and rage, the Mad King must not be allowed to leave his realm!

—Captain Tokk

Related achievements[edit]


  • All characters are scaled up to level 80.
  • The activity was first introduced with the October 22, 2012 update, as part of the Shadow of the Mad King 2012 release, and has returned for every following Halloween except in 2013 and 2014.
  • Players will have the effect Out of Bounds applied to them until they leave the starting building or are moved out as a result of the effect.


  • The Mad King's Clock Tower can be seen revolving in the distance.
  • This was the first special event dungeon, and thus the first dungeon without a separate story and explorable mode.


  1. ^ Post by /u/lonezolf,