If it's crap ... We'll tell you
After hearing so much about Dark Souls (mainly due to Professor Jeff & The Loading Bar) I finally decided to try this supremely challenging game. I thought I might make a little journal that would detail my thoughts, impressions and actions in the game as I play it. Lets hope it doesn't show off how poorly I may end up playing.
So here's the rules - This is my first time ever playing Dark Souls. I'm playing the game in offline mode on the Xbox 360. I won't use any guides to help me along unless I get to a point where I truely have no idea what to do next. I'll also be using a guide AFTER I have done something so I can get correct names for bosses, locations etc. for each blog posting. I will not be giving any spoiler warnings with exception of the header of each posting.
I played these first hours without having updated the game and without the intention of doing these posts. From this point on I'll be making notes of my gameplay so I can be more accurate in my descriptions and the game is fully patched from this point on. Lastly, if anyone wants to tell me where I can find what each stat for weapons and armor means I'd really appreciate it. I have no idea what some of these stats are.
SPOILERS BELOW, You have been warned!
Chapter 1: Prepared to die.
After looking over some options and fiddling with some of my settings, I try to create a character that fits my typical RPG playstyle. This usually turns into a 45 minute endeavour to make a pixel version of myself. Luckily I found a look I was happy with (silver eyes ftw) and finally decide on a very slim, male theif who has the Tiny Being's Ring and Master Key.
The game intro starts up and I sit back to take it all in. I really enjoy the cutscene and some of the characters introduced here look pretty badass. From what I gather it's basically the whole Light vs Dark conflict but Dark seems to be kicking Light's ass (which I dont really have a big problem with). After the pretty cutscene I get my character and "WTF happend to my guy!" is the first thought I had when I saw how jacked up he looks.
After accepting my new undead self, I move along the corridors reading messages and fighting as needed. After finding the bonfire I decide to take a little time to learn the controls more thoroughly. The controls feel fairly simple and feel similar to The Witcher 2.
I'll be honest and tell you I knew about the boss battle coming up (hey I said I heard about the game from TLB). So after the Asylum Demon makes his appearance, I promptly got the hell out of there. I continue on through the level making my way higher in the structure so I can do my diving attack (I'd like to note, that I was hit by every damn trap they had). I land the blow successfully and start my fight with him on the ground.
I'm running around, dodging huge smashing attacks in the process. I manage to do a few combat rolls to get behind him and do some damage but I get knocked away after forgetting about the stamina bar. Both of us are low on health, who will be the victor? Even though I knew about this boss, I have to admit that I still felt a bit of pressure during the fight.
The fight comes down to one more hit from him and I'm dead, while one more combo from me and it's back to hell with this demon. I run around the room a bit to get my stamina back and wait for the big guy to do another attack and I roll to dodge. I unleash everything I had and down goes the Asylum Demon.
With that I take a quick gander around to see if there is any loot to be grabbed and debate if I should save at the bonfire. Deciding against it for fear of the boss returning, I then head onward to Firelnk Shrine. I start off by talking to the human at the shrine. "He seems off to me but hey, he hasn't tried to kill me so hes okay in my book." After getting information about the world and what to do next, I decide to wander around a bit and get a feel for the place.
I make my way up near some ruins and see the giant raven. I cautiously approach but turn back before I got too close.(Hey, if you saw a raven that big in real life you'd turn tail too!) So in fear of the raven, I head down into a graveyard. Two skeletons suddenly manifest and swiftly beat my very slim, male theif's ass. ( I'm fairly sure this was my first death in the game.)
With my first death at hand, I make a quick attempt at getting my souls back. Thankfully they killed me while I was fleeing for my life, so I didn't have to go far. I recover and decide to explore in the other direction. I find the weird vendor lady who is inside the wall and look over some of her wares before going back near the raven to explore a bit more.
I find a few souls and humanity. Naturally I go back to the bonfire to use the humanity and continue upwards twards the large bridge. This is where I have my first encounter with a firebomber. So after dying again, I head back up with a vengeance. After massacring all who stand before me, I recover and press on to Undead Burg.
It doesn't take long for me to be attacked after entering Undead Burg and so my merry slaying of the undead begins. I explore while killing, trying to take note of anything worth while and "HOLY CRAP, was that a dragon?!" At this point, I'm starting to agree with the other bartenders about this game "Actively hating you". I'm really trying to move cautiously through the town.
I finally find another bonfire and rest. I head back out killing and searching as I go, then suddenly my guy jumps. I fiddle around with the controls and yes, this is the first time I learn how to jump in the game. Luckily when I learned it, I happen to be near a slightly hidden area that required me to jump to get to it. I collect my newfound loot and proudly grin as I jump down.
I double back a bit, mostly because I'm kinda lost but also so I can grind out souls and level up a bit. In doing so I discovered two things. The first being an undead vendor tucked away near the bonfire. The second was a revelation of hatred for fighting multiple enemies when there are ranged opponents near, specifically fire bombers. So after a few deaths and inching my way through the level, I begin to think that I'm finally grasping some of the Dark Souls concepts.
I press on and unlock a house with a Residence key I recently purchased from the undead vendor I found. I celebrate my small victory and move on twards a fairly large group of undead that need to be dispatched. I take care of them after a few times of dying... OK, a lot of dying. This part and the bit just before here are incredibly frustrating at times. Anyways I make my way through them eventually and then I have my first encounter with a Dark Knight.
So after dying again, I unsuccessfully try to get my souls back and decide to give up on knights untill I've gained a few more levels and maybe some better gear. After some grinding, I end up finding what I thought was just a secret area and jump down to see what I'll get. I grab the Blue Tearstone Ring and have to make a mad dash away because our friend the Dark Knight was apparently guarding this.
Dark Knight pissed and several other mobs in tow, I try to run back to what I thought would be the saftey of the bonfire. I was wrong. After loading back in, I collect my souls and vow vengeance apon that specific Dark Knight. I work my way back to where I was (this time avoiding any knights) and find my self with another up or down dilemma.
I try the door in front of me and use my Master Key. I head down the tower and encounter God-knows-what because I basically got one shotted the moment my feet hit that last step. I didn't lose many souls when I died there so I decide against trying to recover. So I now head up the tower and fight the Taurus Demon. The first few attempts were progressively less and less shittier. On my second attempt I found the ladder to the top of the tower and on my fourth attempt I finally beat the Taurus Demon. (I think it'd be pretty funny to note how I got thrown off the wall at one point after I accidently thought the other tower had a ladder too.)
I continue on only a short ways before my jaw hit the floor. Welp, I guess I found the dragon. "C'mon Dark Souls, I just beat a boss and your giving me another one!?" I thought as I frantically searched for something to aid me. I gain another shot of fear up my spine as I look down the opposite corridor of the dragon and see what I thought at the time was a buffed up version of a Dark Knight.
Stuck between a dragon and a knight, I chose the knight. Thankfully this one was a friendly bugger and as glad as I was not to have to fight him, that means the only choice left was the dragon. Having not found any alternate pathways around the dragon, I just make a mad dash twards him. It's at this very moment I remembered back to the Happy Hour I watched and turned right to go down the stairs as soon as I made it to the halfway point of the wall.
In desperate need of more flasks, I set out to find a bonfire. Thankfully there was one nearby, the bad news is I jumped down instead of kicking the ladder down. So I spent the next little while working my way back up to that point so I could kick down the ladder. (Remember kiddies, always kick your ladders.) After that ordeal, I got past the dragon and tried not to get posioned by the rats a second time.
My first time in the Undead Parish was short lived. I ascended the small tower I found myself in, only to be dead a few mere seconds later. It seems I ran into my old buddy the Dark Knight and it was at this point in game I added him to my 'To Kill Later' list. I was successful at recovering my souls but the victory was short lived as I fled from my Dark Knight pursuer.
He of course killed me and I was forced to recover again. I went in the other direction at my disposal and found a whole mess load of guys waiting for me. With them, a giant armored boar that didn't look friendly. I cautiously pull and kill whoever I can, the entire time trying to keep an eye on the boar. I found a little side route and took it. After killing all the immediate threats, I stopped on the little arched walkway above the beast to assess my options.
I just picked up the Alluring Skull and thankfully read it's description. I used one of the skulls on the ground near the giant wooden gate. I thought the boar might charge the gate and destroy it for me. That didn't happen but fortunately the boar did go kinda crazy and ended up setting himself on fire from the nearby burning corpse. It didn't kill him so I tried to do a diving attack down at the boar, which missed. I got in a few attacks but seeing how futile my efforts were and after almost being killed in one hit, I aimed close to the fire and threw another Alluring Skull. The boar took the bait and down he went.
I pressed on a little further, working my way through a multi-leveled bunk house with little trouble. I find daylight again and am above the area that had the boar. I look around and decisively avoided the knight I saw by one hallway only to run into another one in a different hallway. I got a few good hits in but I was just plum out of flasks and he was too tough for me.
So it was here that I decided to just put all Dark Knights on my "To Kill Later" list and call it a night. To be continued...
Time Played - 4:56:27
Items of Note - Residence key, Blue Tearstone Ring, Master Key, Alluring Skull
Level - 15
Souls - 2155
Vitality - 10
Attunement - 11
Endurance - 12
Strength - 10
Dexterity - 19
Resistance - 11
Intelligence - 12
Faith - 11
Humanity - 1