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The Duke of Flies

Dukeofflies full

Boss The Duke of Flies


Official artwork by Edmund McMillen
Information
Floor(s) Basement

Cellar

Related
Boss(es)
The Husk
Effective
Item(s)
Bombs

The Sad Onion
Number One
Cupid's Arrow

Item Drop(s) Common Drops

WotL Common Drops

Rebirth Stats
Base HP 110
Encountered In The Catacombs (Double Trouble)
The Duke of Flies (also known as The Duke for short from the artboook) is a boss that can be encountered in the Basement and Cellar.

Behavior

The Duke coughs out regular Flies and Attack Flies around him and floats around the screen in random directions, while bouncing off of walls. He takes a large amount of knockback from Isaac's tears.

The Duke coughs out regular flies for defense and will keep doing so if you continue destroying them. These flies will circle around him. If he has too many flies around him, he can blow them away at high speeds, which will cause them to follow Isaac.

Once he has sufficient defensive flies, he will proceed to spawn attack flies instead, which are stronger and poised to attack the player from the start.

Strategies

Actually getting your shots through to him is the most challenging part of this encounter, and that can be accomplished in a few main ways:

  • Firing through the gaps in his shield will make it easier to kill him.
  • A single Bomb will clear out most of the flies, and deal a very large amount of damage to him.
  • The boss gets significantly harder if you can't land your shots right away. The green champion variation is particularly dangerous as shooting down Moters will make it very easy to get hit.
  • When the Duke starts spitting up Large Attack Flies, focus on them when they appear to keep things under control.
  • If you get swarmed by his Flies, it is always a good idea to leave the Duke alone and concentrate on his spawns. While this will not damage the Duke in any way, ignoring the flies for too long can lead to so many of them that they become too much to handle.
  • Having Skatole will grant immunity against all flies that are not orbiting the Duke. Attack flies that have been spawned by the Duke but not yet released from his orbit will harm Isaac if he runs into them.

Notes

  • The Duke of Flies has three distinct sounds that he uses before an attack. Learning what these are will help when fighting him.
    • One sound for spawning Black Flies.
    • One sound for spawning Attack Flies.
    • One sound for releasing some defensive flies to attack Isaac.

Champion Varieties

Orange

Duke of Flies Orange

Larger than the original Duke of Flies. Instead of spawning Large Attack Flies, he spawns Suckers.

Green

Duke of Flies Green

Shoots blood in all directions when he coughs, and spawns Moters instead of Attack Flies.

Eternal

Is surrounded by three Eternal Flies. Upon death, he spawns far more Attack Flies and some Fat Flies.

Trivia

  • The name "the Duke of Flies" is not a reference to Beelzebub, Edmund was unaware of this connection and simply chose the name because it 'sounded neat'[1].
  • The protective ring of insects the Duke spits out to surround himself with is referred to as the Halo Of Flies, just like the item Isaac can pick up to protect himself with orbiting flies.
  • The Duke was confirmed to be Edmund McMillen's portrayal of the Pokémon Koffing[2].
  • The stitching below the Duke's mouth appears very similar to an autopsy stitch - a Y-shaped incision that allows access to the cadaver's organs that is then stitched back up when the autopsy is complete.
  • From one of The Duke of Flies' sketches in the artbook, his back view (which shows his visible butt-cheeks) can be seen. It was never displayed in the game, however.

Gallery

WARNING: Spoiler ahead!

Videos

References

Bosses
Basement Larry Jr.MonstroThe Duke of FliesGeminiStevenFamine
Cellar WidowPinThe Duke of FliesFamineGurdy Jr.The Blighted Ovum
The Caves FistulaPeepGurdyChubC.H.A.D.Pestilence
Catacombs The HuskThe HollowThe Blighted OvumThe Carrion QueenPeepPestilenceThe WretchedGurdy Jr.
The Depths LokiMonstro IIGishWarMom
Necropolis Mask of InfamyDaddy Long LegsThe Carrion QueenThe BloatLokiWarThe WretchedMom
The Womb ScolexBlastocystThe BloatDeathConquestDaddy Long LegsTriachnidTeratomaMom's HeartIt Lives
Utero TeratomaThe BloatDeathConquestDaddy Long LegsTriachnidLokiiMom's HeartIt Lives
Sheol The FallenSatan
Cathedral Isaac
The Chest ???
First to fifth and seventh level The FallenHeadless Horseman
Devil Room Krampus

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