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Lunatic Cultist

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Desktop versionConsole versionMobile version Desktop/Console/Mobile-Only Content: This information applies only to the Desktop, Console, and Mobile versions of Terraria.
Lunatic Cultist
Lunatic Cultist.png
Map Icon Lunatic Cultist.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
Statistics
Type
Environment
AI TypeLunatic Cultist AI
Damage50/75/112 (melee)
3672 (shadow fireball)
70100 (ice mist)
6080 (fireball)
90120 (lightning orb)
120160 (Ancient Light)
3045 (Ancient Doom)
Max Life32000/40000/51000
Defense42 / 27 (≤50% health)
KB Resist100%
Immune toAll debuffs
Inflicts debuff
DebuffOn Fire!On Fire!
Debuff tooltipSlowly losing life
Chance(Fireball) 100%
Duration0.5-2.51-5 seconds
Ancient Cultist / Lunatic CultistDecoy
Ancient Cultist.png
Map Icon Lunatic Cultist.png
Map Icon
Classic mode icon.png Classic
Expert mode icon.png Expert
Master mode icon.png Master
Statistics
Type
Environment
AI TypeLunatic Cultist AI
Damage0
Max Life10000
Defense35 / 22 (≤50% health)
KB Resist100%
Immune toAll debuffs

Ancient Cultist Trophy.png"The fanatical leader of the Dungeon coven..."Ancient Cultist Trophy.png

The Lunatic Cultist is a Hardmode, post-Golem boss summoned by killing the Cultists that spawn at the Dungeon's entrance after Golem is defeated. Defeating the Lunatic Cultist initiates the Lunar Events.

After all four Celestial Pillars have been destroyed, the Cultists respawn at the Dungeon entrance, allowing the player to fight the Lunatic Cultist and initiate the Lunar Events again.

Unlike most bosses, the Lunatic Cultist does not drop any weapons; however, it does drop the Ancient Manipulator, a placeable item that is used to craft many endgame items.

While the Lunatic Cultist is alive, the music Golem will play.

Desktop Version When Otherworldly music is enabled, the track Boss 2 (Otherworldly) will play.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

The Lunatic Cultist makes its first brief appearance at the Mysterious Tablet as soon as the Cultists are defeated. It is not vulnerable to attack at this time. It then warps to just above where the player was when the teleport started, and cycles between three attacks:

  • A burst of three homing Fireballfireballs (four in Expert Mode) that explode on impact
  • An ice ball that fires Ice Mistice shards in six directions four times over as it flies in one direction before slowly fading away
  • An Lightning Orborb that fires five bolts of lightning at the character

When the Lunatic Cultist reaches half health, it will occassionally replace an attack with two spreads of five destructible Ancient LightAncient Light projectiles.

In Expert Mode after reaching half health, it may also replace an attack with numerous Ancient DoomAncient Dooms that fire four purple projectiles in a cross pattern.

The Lunatic Cultist cycles through five attacks (six when below half health) before proceeding to spawn phantom duplicates of itself called Ancient Cultists, along with a larger version of the Mysterious Tablet via a "ritual". Unless the one true Lunatic Cultist is interrupted by an attack from a player during this ritual, the duplicates fly in formation and add their homing Shadow Fireballshadowflame attacks.

Attacking a duplicate or taking too long hitting the real cultist results in the summoning of the Wyvern-like Phantasm DragonPhantasm Dragon. If there is already a Phantasm Dragon inbound, attacking a duplicate triggers an Ancient VisionAncient Vision, which will charge the player diagonally. Duplicates can be eliminated by hitting the true Lunatic Cultist during the ritual, but if not, large quantities of duplicates can amass.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • The Lunatic Cultist locks on to every player, so if one player uses a Magic Mirror, it will despawn.
  • If the player loses against the Lunatic Cultist, the Lunatic Devotes and Cultist Archers at the Dungeon will respawn after one in-game day passes.
  • The Cultists will not spawn if Skeletron has not yet been defeated in the current world, since the Old Man takes spawn priority over the Cultists, except on the mobile version, where the cultists take spawn priority.
  • The Lunatic Cultist will only take 75% of the damage from homing projectiles (e.g., Chlorophyte Bullets and summoned minions).
  • It can only have 6 decoys active at the same time.
  • By using a Magic Mirror, Recall Potion, etc., the player can teleport away from the Lunatic Cultist and it will despawn.
    • If the player teleports away before the Lunatic Cultist's spawning animation finishes, the tablet will finish its animation while the Lunatic Cultist despawns.

Achievement[edit | edit source]

Achievement Obsessive Devotion.png
Obsessive Devotion • "Defeat the Ancient Cultist, fanatical leader of the dungeon coven."
Defeat the Lunatic Cultist for the first time. Desktop, Console, and Mobile Versions

Tips[edit | edit source]

Lunatic Cultist.png   Ancient Cultist.png
Real Lunatic Cultist (left) and decoy (right)

For more elaborate strategies on defeating the Lunatic Cultist, including weapon and arena recommendations, see Guide:Lunatic Cultist strategies.

  • Avoid defeating the Lunatic Cultist if you are not yet ready for the Lunar Events. Beating the Lunatic Cultist causes the Lunar Events to begin immediately, and there is no way to de-summon them thereafter (aside from defeating them).
  • The real Lunatic Cultist can be distinguished from its fakes in a number of ways:
    • The real Cultist is the only one with a health meter.
    • The real Cultist has narrow slit-like eyes, while the clones' eyes are holes.
    • The real Lunatic Cultist has a line on its hood while the fakes do not.
    • Console VersionMobile Version Most minions and homing weapons will only attack the real Cultist.
      • Desktop Version This is not true as of version 1.4.0.1. Homing bullets act like regular bullets and minions will not target the cultist or its decoys, although minions that deal contact damage may accidentally damage them. Interestingly, Flaming Jack projectiles from The Horseman's Blade and the Spectre Mask's damaging orbs will still target the real Cultist.
    • The real Cultist does not emit light, while the decoys do; however, this may only be apparent if fought at night.
    • Using a Hunter Potion will only highlight the real Cultist.
    • Console VersionMobile Version In normal mode, the decoy Cultists are named "Ancient Cultist" instead of "Lunatic Cultist". In Expert mode, however, the decoys will also be named "Lunatic Cultist".
  • Using Autopause grants as much time as needed for identifying the real Cultist.
  • Attacking a decoy Cultist is not a bad idea if the player uses the Vampire Knives. The resulting Phantasm Dragon is very long and may be easily targeted to restore some life.
  • Many of the Lunatic Cultist's attacks can be blocked by hiding behind solid blocks. A weapon that attacks through blocks or a yoyo can be used to continue dealing damage.
  • There is little reason to farm the Lunatic Cultist itself, as its only non-vanity drops are healing potions and the Ancient Manipulator, which you only need one of and does not sell for any money. However, defeating it is the only way to access the Lunar Events and the various fragments.
  • The mobile targeting system resets every time the Lunatic Cultist switches to another attack.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The Lunatic Cultist's attacks appear to be based on the four pillars from the Lunar Events.
  • It is a common belief that the Cultists' design was inspired by Crowno's set. However, according to Crowno[1], the Lunatic Cultist was designed first.
  • The boss appearance resembles a plague doctor costume, which was an outfit worn by plague doctors in the 17th century intended to protect them from airborne diseases.
  • It is the smallest boss, the only human one, and the only one without an awakening message.
  • The Lunatic Cultist's mask, trophy, and achievement refer to him as "Ancient Cultist" rather than "Lunatic Cultist", as they are still using an early development name. Several other enemy drops from 1.3 also retained their early development names until later patches.
  • The Lunatic Cultist has an Expert Mode Treasure Bag in Terraria's game files, but it is currently unobtainable as it does not actually drop it.
  • This is the only boss to use music specifically titled after another boss, Golem, and the only boss whose music starts before the boss itself spawns.
  • The term "lunatic" is nowadays usually used as an informal synonym for "insane", "mentally ill", etc. The word itself, however, originated from the fact that diseases were historically thought to have been caused by the moon, tying in with the moon-themed events following this boss.
  • The Lunatic Cultist, Brain of Cthulhu, Moon Lord, King Slime, Queen Slime, Empress of Light, and, in Expert mode, Duke Fishron are the only bosses that can teleport.
  • The head icon displayed on the map is also shown for the Ancient Cultists.
  • When the Lunatic Cultist first spawns, glowing particles start flowing to it from the Mysterious Tablet and it makes a noise that sounds like a heavily edited voice clip. It is randomly chosen from the following:
After this, it makes a laugh-like sound (also altered) and tilts up its mask and shakes, to appear as if it is laughing at the player.
  • All of the voice clips vaguely sound like a distorted "I am the moon, you know.", hinting at the Lunar Events initiated after defeat. Some are definitely more obvious than others, but all of them have that sound if you listen closely.
  • Oddly, when the Lunatic Cultist is killed, the status message "Celestial creatures are invading!" appears before "Lunatic Cultist has been defeated!", hinting that the summoning ritual might have finished before the Lunatic Cultist died.
    • However, this is not the case on the Mobile version.
  • When the Lunatic Cultist despawns after a player has teleported away from it, it plays its dying animation.
  • Wearing the Lunatic Cultist Mask and the Lunar Cultist Robe causes the player to look very similar to the Lunatic Cultist.
  • The Lunatic Cultist is one of the few bosses in which all of its attacks, other than melee, do not increase linearly in Master Mode.
  • The BestiaryBestiary entry for the Lunatic Cultist: "A fanatical leader hell-bent on bringing about the apocalypse by reviving the great Cthulhu through behind-the-scenes scheming."

History[edit | edit source]

  • Desktop 1.3.0.4:
    • No longer respawns while the Moon Lord is spawning.
    • Can no longer spawn during important events like boss fights, invasions etc.
    • Fixed rare occurrence of cultists sinking into the floor in multiplayer.

References[edit | edit source]