<- Previous update: Oh, the Humanity...
- Spotted a mysterious floating creature out in Darkroot Garden.
- Looted the Undead Parish monastery; left behind a white veil.
- Consumed a Fire Keeper Soul, against my better judgment.
- Found shortcut to Firelink Shrine in the monastery.
- Rescued Lautrec of Carim.
- Collected ~7000 souls.
- Buy the Crest of Artorias (20,000 souls).
- Revisit and explore the Undead Burg.
- Cross that foggy gate at the monastery.
The Undead Burg
Originally, the only reason I came back here was so that I could purchase some more consumables from the merchant, like Firebombs. I was running out, and I always like to have a good stock of useless shit. However, as soon as I climbed up that big ladder near the merchant's house, I kept noticing a bunch of corpses holding items I haven't picked up yet, down in areas I haven't reached. So, I decided to explore a bit more thoroughly.
The narrow alleyways between the houses in the deadened residential area gave way to a few small locations I haven't accessed yet. These places were swarming with hollows--though unfortunately, in terms of loot, there wasn't a great deal of stuff, except for a few piddly itemized souls and rubbish I found hidden in the dingy complexes.
--I picked up an item called "Rubbish." Ostensibly, it has no value whatsoever, and its description even questions your sanity for wanting to carry it around. In spite of that, it doesn't actually hurt to have it in my inventory, so I'll just keep it on the offchance that it actually has some kind of utility. (Yeah, it probably doesn't.)
~9000 souls; almost halfway there. Instead of taking the shortcut back to the parish, I decided to take the scenic route--that is, the Taurus Demon's bridge--where there were more enemies for me to kill. For some reason, though, it didn't occur to me that I'd have to abscond from that fucking dragon on the other side of that bridge again, and I didn't want to, so I felt stuck. I'm thinking to myself that I'm probably gonna have to head backwards. Annoying.
I turned around to see Solaire again, standing on the edge of that cliff, admiring the sun, as always. To be honest, when I first met him, my first instinct was to just kill him--because it would be funny, and because I fucking hate that stupid sun meme. I decided against it, though--it's not his fault he's a meme.
Directly in front of me was a door. The last time I tried opening it, it was locked, but I've picked up a lot of strange keys so far--like this Basement Key--so maybe I can open it now.
Lower Undead Burg
Needless to say, the key worked--and it lead me to the rotting underbelly of the Undead Burg. Many-a-dilapidated house, the only major light source in the area was this big burning pile of bodies to my left. The sky itself was darkened and barely visible. Not three steps in, I was immediately attacked by these big-ass zombie dogs. They were very fast, and their erratic movement tripped me up a little bit. Since they were so short, it was slightly difficult for my strikes to connect. I got lucky, though: One of them ran straight into the flaming pile and died.
Heading to my right across this stone corridor, I spotted a mob of hollows wielding torches. They were guarding a Twin Humanities--basically just an itemized Humanity, but you get two. I'll definitely be saving that.
From behind a locked door on my way back, I heard someone cry for help. Warily, I unlocked the door with the Residence Key, and rescued a sorcerer called Griggs of Vinheim, whose prison was filled with smashable barrels. After saving him, I think he mentioned something about returning to Firelink Shrine. I'm guessing that means I can harvest his power, or something.
One of the barrels in his room had a corpse stuck inside it. I destroyed it, and it gave me some sorcerer's clothes--as well as a sorcerer's "catalyst" (I guess "wand" sounds too Harry Potter, or something). Using magic isn't really my style, but I suppose this is pretty nice to have, regardless.
Moving on to the other side of town, I was ambushed by a group of these scrawny, hooded assassins, who turned out to be thieves. They weren't hard, but they grouped up on me, and they were pretty good at parrying my attacks. Some of them even threw stars at me, and shit. After taking care of them, I raided their little hideouts, and found a bunch of neat things--some thief's garb, and a new sword called a Mail Breaker. I haven't tried it yet, but from what I can tell, it has very low damage output, but it works well against armored foes. Interesting.
As I looted, I kept in mine what Big Boss said--he was hoping that I would find a specific item. I'm not sure if I found it. Maybe he was talking about the catalyst? Nothing I found seems extraordinarily useful.
Proceeding along the path, fighting more thieves and dogs, I noticed the forward path was covered in this green, mossy substance. Not sure what that's all about, but further up was another fog gate. So that makes two--one in the monastery, and one here. Once again, I decided against entering it for now. Too many souls on the line, and I didn't feel at all prepared to experience whatever was behind it.
To the right of this gate, though, was a detour that I almost missed--a staircase leading down to a couple more assassins. One of them was hiding behind a wall where I couldn't see him. Flanked, he jumped on my back and stabbed me--which didn't do all that much, but it was then that I learned--enemies can backstab you, too. Shit.
Finally, I found where this path was leading me up to--a dead end. A metal gate, like the ones I saw before, prevented me from moving forward. To my right was another locked door, and to my left was a staircase leading up to a tower. After getting sniped at by a hollow with a crossbow (might have been a regular bow, actually), I entered what must have been an aqueduct shaft. I almost fell into the guttery watercourse before I caught myself, and spotted someone on the other side--who turned out to be a merchant. She sells moss and shit.
wads of shit. You're meant to throw them at your enemies to poison them, but the stench makes you more susceptible to poison yourself. That's just a little bit overboard for me.
Not everything in her inventory stunk, though. She had fire arrows, pine resins, prism stones, and--just what I was looking for--Homeward Bones. They were a little pricey--800 souls a pop--but definitely worth it. I went ahead and bought a set of arrows and a fuckton of prism stones, too. They were very cheap, so I could make all these souls back relatively easily.
I think that's all I did here.
Oh, and yes--I opened up that shortcut to here, too. Don't worry.
(This is all new stuff, from this point forward. All this stuff just happened.)
While grinding back the souls I spent on the merchant, I learned a new technique: after rolling, you can hit the attack button to strike immediately as you're getting back up. This allows you to attack without having to wait to recover, but it only works with your weaker strike. It's pretty situational, but it's a nice option to have.
Looking at the number of souls I had--10,000--I was beginning to realize just how long it was going to take me to collect 10,000 more. Would they really have you on this crazy grind this early in the game? Maybe not. Whatever's behind that door in the forest is probably too strong for me right now anyway. On the other hand, I made it this far, so why quit now? I had to think.
Where else could I go to spice up the grind? All I could think of that was left was the monastery. I bought myself a second Homeward Bone, and now I know where I can purchase more of them--so I could cross that white veil, and if I don't like what I see, I can just teleport out with all my souls intact. And who knows? Maybe there's actually something really cool behind it. It can't always
be a boss, right?
Back in the Monastery
Thankfully, the sorcerer that I killed stayed dead. All I had to worry about was the redcapes, and I've gotten pretty good at fighting them anyway. The ones with the rapiers are annoying, but I know all their tricks. Most of their strikes involve taking a quick stab, and immediately jumping back to avoid a counterstrike--but thanks to my Winged Spear, I know how to punish that.
Once I block their strike, and I think I have a good read on their movement, I tap forward on the stick and hit R2 (or RT, for you xboners)--this gives me a powerful jumping strike, which basically allows me to leap up and punish his backdash--just like in a fighting game. It's the strongest move in my arsenal, and it severely maims anyone I hit with it. You can't just do it with every move he has, though, of course. You have to be careful. There's a very specific flourish of the sword that you have to look out for, and when he does it, you know he's going to backdash.
When I got back up to the second floor, though, something bad happened.
In the last part, I talked about that sorcerer--and he was surrounded by a horde of hollows. I honestly thought the sorcerer was summoning
them, or some shit, because of how they all swarmed all around him--and that, since the sorcerer is gone for good, I thought the hollows would be gone for good, too.
Nope. They're still chilling up on the second floor, by the dozens. So, when I got up there, they completely caught me off-guard and ganged up on me. I blocked all their hits and tried to scrape my way out of there, but my stamina gave way, and I was soon overwhelmed. 10,000 souls and 3-4 Humanity are now on the line.
After respawning, I instantly dashed back up to the monastery, unreasonably flustered by what had just occurred. I climbed up the stairs and engaged once again with the same balder knight I slayed just earlier. He was playing very defensively, for some reason, and I was growing impatient.
He assumed his parrying stance. Normally, this is nothing to worry about. Essentially, it just means that he's giving you a free hit. All you have to do is kick him, and you've scored yourself 1 or 2 free strikes while he's vulnerable. But I was impatient, and my execution was sloppy.
What I had intended to be a kick registered as a strike.
I was parried. The damage of the resulting riposte was enough to kill me before I could recover my souls.
By and large, I had never lost this many souls before. 10,000 souls + 3 or 4 Humanity lost, and there's nothing that I could do to bring it back. I wasn't even mad--I was salty, but above all, I was just... done
After collecting myself and regrouping, I decided it would be best not
to try and regain all those souls again. Why waste even more of my time? I should've crossed that white veil literally ages ago. I've taken so long, and now that I've finally decided to cross it, I end up twice dead because of a couple of janky fuck-ups on my part.
It didn't take me long to figure out what I wanted to do next--I was gonna cross that fog gate. I have no reason not to, now. I got nothing to lose. I wanted to be somewhat prepared, though. My Winged Spear and Morning Star are both +2. My Grass Crest Shield hasn't been upgraded at all, and I also have a Longbow equipped in my left hand. I don't use it much unless I want to snipe enemies from afar, but the damage output is low. I could probably stand to upgrade all my weapons before I do anything rash.
Grass Crest Shield+1
Titanite Shards are 800 souls apiece, but I was sick of grinding. I just wanted to go already. I upgraded my Longsword in case I needed it--I don't have it equipped right now. As for the Longbow, I just had this feeling that I could probably use it for whatever was behind that gate. I wasn't sure, though. I bought a shitload of arrows just in case, though.
I tried to think of ways that I could deal with the hollows easier, and I noticed my Alluring Skulls. Maybe I could distract them with one of these?... It ended up doing fuck all. I just dealt with them the old-fashioned way.
I crossed the gate, and I ended up on the roof of the monastery--and there, flanked by two gargoyles, was the bell I was searching for. As I ran up to it, I thought to myself, "Gee, what are the chances that these gargoyles are going to magically come to life and fuck my shit up?"
They were the Bell Gargoyles--my second boss. Only one woke up, though.
Instead of trying to fight him, I spent the first two minutes dodging. I figured it would be smarter to learn his attacks and analyze his movements first, before I risked putting myself in a vulnerable position by attacking. His weapon had quite long reach, but his movements were very
slow. Dodging all his strikes was a cinch. Occasionally, he would start flying up high, and do either of three things--whip you with his tail, send you flying with his weapon, or simply reposition himself. All of these movements were equally slow and easy to avoid.
I was elated--this is precisely
what I brought my Longbow for. At first, I tried my Fire Arrows--which didn't do shit, so I switched to regular. The roof was spacious enough to where I could camp in a safe spot and snipe him once or twice before he caught up with me. His attacks were also slow enough to where I could easily load and shoot arrows with impunity (because it does take an uncomfortably long time to actually prime an arrow). If he ever gets too close, roll away or back the fuck up. I got him to about a third of his healthbar. Easy-peasy.
Suddenly, I'm hit by a wide blast of fire coming out from somewhere behind me. Frantically, I turn the camera around to see what's going on. The second Gargoyle awoke. He must have come back to life when he realized his brother was losing. Strangely, he only had about half his healthbar left. Regardless, I burned to death--leaving my efforts to waste.
For a few moments after that death, I was kind of at a loss for what to do. I'm thinking to myself, How in the fuck am I supposed to fight two of these things at once?...
What made matters worse were all these people telling me that they beat this boss on their first try. I'm just like, fucking how?
...Then I realized.