Dark Souls Impressions - The FINAL Update

 
Naru
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The Rage....
you should feel bad for killing quelaag


 
Verbatim
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you should feel bad for killing quelaag
SHHHHHHHHH I haven't talked about that yet.
Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 02:11:59 PM by Verbatim


 
 
Flee
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Two things Verb:

Remember to check for illusory walls and hidden passageways around Blighttown. Might find something cool somewhere.

You wondered out loud what or where Blighttown was. If you look down the ravine near Firelink or Valley of the Drakes, you can actually make it out all the way at the bottom. It's basically the place where all the sewage from the city above (Undead Burg) ends up. Conversly, if you're down in Blighttown and look up in certain places, you can kind of make out Firelink all the way at the top. You might not notice it if you're down there, but the sky is actually visible from the swamp.

No real spoiler below, but this is something I missed on my own playthrough and that's pretty obscure to see. It's two pictures showing that you can see Firelink from Blighttown and vice versa. Definitely cool to have a look at.

Spoiler




 
Verbatim
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Final Blighttown update, if anyone missed it (bottom of the page).

Important stuff:
- Met Quelaag
- Heading back to Firelink to learn pyromancy, & meet with the Fire Keeper
Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 02:21:26 PM by Verbatim


 
Verbatim
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<- Previous update: Blighttown Blunders


Recap:
- Explored Blighttown & the Great Swamp
- Fought Chaos Witch Quelaag; lost

Current missions:
- Return to Firelink
- Learn the ways of pyromancy
- See the Fire Keeper
- Defeat Chaos Witch Quelaag



the plot has thickened, boys

Returning to Firelink was faster than I thought it would be. From the swamp bonfire, I have to tread back to the fort area, which is the only real hitch-up. From there, I take a quick route through the Depths, make my way across Undead Burg, revisit the Undead Parish monastery, and take the elevator shortcut down to Firelink.

During my trek, one of the redcapes I killed dropped his sword--and it wasn't a rapier; it was a Balder Side Sword. I've killed so many balder knights--I'd say at least fifty--and never have any of them dropped their Side Sword before. Must be a pretty rare drop.

Anyway, on to more pressing matters. This is what I was excited to talk about.

When I made it to Firelink, the first thing I noticed was that the bonfire wasn't lit anymore. Uh-oh. That means someone or something must have put it out. Earlier, I heard whispers from Griggs and the crestfallen warrior that something had happened at the shrine. Around the bend, Petrus was now accompanied by two other knights and a maiden--apparently, they were about to enter the Catacombs. Just what exactly was going on?

I tried to relight the bonfire, but to no avail--the game tells me that something happened to the Fire Keeper. Hurrying down the staircase leading to her cell, the absence of a particular character gave me all I need to know: Lautrec, the prisoner who I rescued from the undead monastery, had just killed the Fire Keeper. I found her dingy robes against the iron bars of her prison. Lautrec himself was gone.

This kinda fucked me up. The last thing Lautrec said to me was actually a vague threat towards the Fire Keeper--something along the lines of appreciating her service, but she's outlived her usefulness, or something like that. And in that moment, I had this fleeting thought--"...Should I kill this guy? Because that sounded a little too threatening."

I didn't. Now the Fire Keeper's dead.

Holy shit. I didn't know what I expected to happen--Lautrec had this glaringly obvious air of evil surrounding him, and I allowed him a place in perhaps the safest haven in the game. I didn't do anything about his threats, because I didn't expect him to do anything noteworthy. I just assumed he was bluffing, or that the game wouldn't actually kill an important NPC. I dunno, but for awhile, I had this weirdly genuine sense of regret for awhile--I haven't felt this way since I failed to kill Mr. Burke in Fallout 3, before he kills the sheriff. I felt baaad.

But at the same time, it's actually really cool that the game does that. NPCs do shit. They're not just statically there for your personal interactivity--they have their own lives and their agendas, and if you let them loose, they'll do whatever they want. You can't just assume that they won't start killing important people. You have to keep an eye on them. That's fucking brilliant.

But SHIT dude, the Fire Keeper's dead--and it was sorta kinda because of me. I didn't act when I had an opportunity--I should've known better not to trust the guy, or trust anyone in this game, at all, period. The only question I have to ask right now is "why"--why would he kill the Fire Keeper? What great purpose does that serve him? I don't know if I'll ever find out.

There is a chance for retribution, though. Piled along with the Fire Keeper's robes was an item called a Black Eye Orb. It basically allows me to invade the world of whoever killed the Fire Keeper. Now, normally, I would be completely against this--but given the circumstances, I think it's justifiable: I'm gonna invade Lautrec and kill the fucker.

Yeah, really, I am. You think I'm just gonna let him get away with that? There is a problem, though, in that I can't seem to activate the orb at all, wherever I go. I tried activating it while hollowed, human, and even while online--nothing worked. The "use item" option is always crossed out. Looking closer at its item description, however, gives me a hint of where I may be able to activate it: Anor Londo. I'm not sure exactly where that is, but if I head to New Londo Ruins--which I now hold the key to--it might be close. I'll give it some time.

This is why this moment was so resonant for me: Because, for the first time ever, I finally feel like I have a drive. I'm no longer just an aimless warrior trying to ring a bell for some undisclosed reason. I feel like I have a semblance of purpose now--one that isn't vague or nebulous, but something that feels personal and direct. Previously, I killed big monsters because they were in my way. Now, I'm prepared to avenge the death of an innocent. I have someone to point out and say, "That's my enemy."

It took awhile, but for me, the game has really started to pick up the pace in terms of how it emotionally treats the player. This is awesome. I only wish I could find Lautrec right away. At this time, I still have to progress a little more, it seems. I'll be ready for him.



I met with Laurentius of the Great Swamp. As I expected, he's the one who teaches you pyromancy. He gave me his catalyst--a pyromancy flame, and I began upgrading it immediately. I think I brought it up to +4 almost right away. I then bought from him the Fireball, Fire Orb, and Combustion spells.

I decided to train in the forest. My favorite spell is the one I picked up in Blighttown--Power Within. The way it works, it kinda reminds me of Kaio-ken from Dragon Ball Z. What you get is a large boost of attack power, as a dim red aura envelops your body. All your attacks do crazy damage in this state, but the drawback is that you slowly lose HP over time, like poison. You also seem to take more damage overall from your enemy's attacks, but I may just be imagining that. It's a very brutal power, and it allows me to experiment with one of my favorite playstyles: Hyper offense.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really synergize well with my spear, which is more of a defensive weapon. Still--I have other strong weapons in my arsenal, so I could easily experiment with a bunch and see what works best. As for my other spells, Fireball and Fire Orb are essentially stronger Firebombs. Combustion is my other favorite, though, just because it looks sick: You stick your arm out threateningly, like Darth Vader, and a blast of flame is shot from the palm of your hand. It has short range, but ugh, it just looks so cool to use it. I regained a lot of the moss clumps I lost in Blighttown that night.

Then I thought to myself, why don't I head back to Darkroot Basin? With all these fire-based attacks I have, taking out those ice golems shouldn't be a problem anymore.

And it wasn't, really. Even when they grouped up, tossing a Fire Orb at the one in the center caused them all to take damage, thanks to the nice blast radius. I ended up running out pretty fast, though, and was forced to take out the rest with my spear. With them gone, I decided to proceed forward, because I never had a chance to explore here yet. Couldn't hurt, could it?

...Oh, yes it could.

Off in the distance, I saw four or five large, serpentine bodies, undulating in the dark blue horizon--A hydra. Once they caught sight of me, I high-tailed it out of there. I almost didn't make it, too. Each one of them propelled from their mouths a glistening blast of water at a high-velocity. I hid behind a large boulder, but it wasn't enough to protect me. I just ran. I'll come back some day and take them on, but right now, they seem to be rather high maintenance.

I made my way back to the Great Swamp. Sadly, I wasn't able to boost the healing powers of my Estus Flask--but I knew that my newfound powers would be well-enough to defeat that spider bitch anyway.


 
Pippen
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You either die a hero or live long enough to become Mythic..
Just a suggestion that I know is spoilery but will save you some trouble.

DON'T
GO
TO
NEW
LONDO
RUINS
TILL
AFTER
ANOR
LONDO.

You'll see what I mean once you beat a certain pain in the ass area after Blighttown.


 
Verbatim
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Something on the side: I re-entered that door in the forest, and took on a bunch of those hostile human characters. With my new developments, I can now hold my own in that area, which is pretty cool. It's a veritable goldmine for souls, so I'll be coming back here often. I'll talk more about it later, though--I have a few questions.

This is that popular PvP area, correct? This is where people have their formal, honorable, consensual duels?

If any of you have the game on PS3, I'd be willing to duel you. I wanna try it out. You'll have to show me how it all works, in terms of finding each other in the game, but yeah, I think I'm comfortable with jumping online for something like that.
Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 11:42:48 PM by Verbatim


 
 
Flee
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This is that popular PvP area, correct? This is where people have their formal, honorable, consensual duels?
Popular PvP area? Definitely. Honorable, consensual, formal duels? Lol nope. The forest is the universal "anything and everything goes" area. There's a lot of PvP going on there, but it's never nice and formal. It's the area for scumbag fights, 3 vs 1 ganks and a lot of things that break the conventional PvP "standards".

Formal duels usually take place in the Undead Burg, Township or the bonfire outside the Forest.


 
Verbatim
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This is that popular PvP area, correct? This is where people have their formal, honorable, consensual duels?
Popular PvP area? Definitely. Honorable, consensual, formal duels? Lol nope. The forest is the universal "anything and everything goes" area. There's a lot of PvP going on there, but it's never nice and formal. It's the area for scumbag fights, 3 vs 1 ganks and a lot of things that break the conventional PvP "standards".

Formal duels usually take place in the Undead Burg, Township or the bonfire outside the Forest.
I wonder if there are any discrepancies in player behavior, dueling standards, etc. between the consoles.

I bet Xbox players are more scummy.


Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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Jacob Potila was actually a Jacob Flotilla of lies.- WarTurkey
Well this is a brief explanation of how the Forest covenant works but I'll spoiler it in case you don't want to know.

Spoiler
You get summoned as a phantom to the world of a player who has entered the forest, so you can kill them. Sometimes multiple phantoms can spawn to hunt down the same version. I once got hatemail saying I ganked them.


Dietrich Six | Mythic Inconceivable!
 
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Excuse me, I'm full of dog poison
Just a suggestion that I know is spoilery but will save you some trouble.

DON'T
GO
TO
NEW
LONDO
RUINS
TILL
AFTER
ANOR
LONDO.

You'll see what I mean once you beat a certain pain in the ass area after Blighttown.

Disregard this, pip doesn't know what he's talking about.

I jet to new londo asap every playthrough.


 
Verbatim
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Just a suggestion that I know is spoilery but will save you some trouble.

DON'T
GO
TO
NEW
LONDO
RUINS
TILL
AFTER
ANOR
LONDO.

You'll see what I mean once you beat a certain pain in the ass area after Blighttown.
Disregard this, pip doesn't know what he's talking about.

I jet to new londo asap every playthrough.
I dunno who to trust here. I was planning on heading to New Londo anyway, so that's probably what I'm gonna end up doing. We'll see, though. I couldn't possibly conceive what the big deal is.



Currently recording commentary for the Quelaag fight.


Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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Jacob Potila was actually a Jacob Flotilla of lies.- WarTurkey
Verb, if you're going to New Londo I'd suggest reading the item descriptions of any items you pick up in there.


 
Verbatim
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Verb, if you're going to New Londo I'd suggest reading the item descriptions of any items you pick up in there.
Yeah, naturally. After eating my first FKS, I've been going right out of my way to read shit carefully now. Always on my toes.


 
Pippen
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You either die a hero or live long enough to become Mythic..
Just a suggestion that I know is spoilery but will save you some trouble.

DON'T
GO
TO
NEW
LONDO
RUINS
TILL
AFTER
ANOR
LONDO.

You'll see what I mean once you beat a certain pain in the ass area after Blighttown.

Disregard this, pip doesn't know what he's talking about.

I jet to new londo asap every playthrough.

Yeah, I would go through there after my 2nd playthrough to grab some shit real quick but after that NO.

Not for Verb.


 
 
Flee
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Just a suggestion that I know is spoilery but will save you some trouble.

DON'T
GO
TO
NEW
LONDO
RUINS
TILL
AFTER
ANOR
LONDO.

You'll see what I mean once you beat a certain pain in the ass area after Blighttown.

Disregard this, pip doesn't know what he's talking about.

I jet to new londo asap every playthrough.

Yeah, I would go through there after my 2nd playthrough to grab some shit real quick but after that NO.

Not for Verb.
Just go Verb. If you feel it's the right choice, you should go. There's no wrong way to go.


Dietrich Six | Mythic Inconceivable!
 
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Excuse me, I'm full of dog poison
Just a suggestion that I know is spoilery but will save you some trouble.

DON'T
GO
TO
NEW
LONDO
RUINS
TILL
AFTER
ANOR
LONDO.

You'll see what I mean once you beat a certain pain in the ass area after Blighttown.

Disregard this, pip doesn't know what he's talking about.

I jet to new londo asap every playthrough.

Yeah, I would go through there after my 2nd playthrough to grab some shit real quick but after that NO.

Not for Verb.
Just go Verb. If you feel it's the right choice, you should go. There's no wrong way to go.

The only wrong way is not following your heart.


Follow your heart verb.


 
Verbatim
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<- Previous update: Fire-Forged Revengeance


Recap:
- Fire Keeper at Firelink Shrine is dead
- Learned pyromancy
- Spotted hydra in Darkroot Basin

Current missions:
- Kill Chaos Witch Quelaag
- Kill Lautrec of Carim



YouTube

After relieving the Great Swamp of Quelaag's presence, I collected 20K souls, bringing me up to just under 30K.

I immediately consumed her soul, collecting 8000 more--JUST KIDDING, just kidding, just kidding...

I have no clue where to take this soul, though. I know I'm supposed to get a cool weapon out of it, but I highly doubt the blacksmith is gonna know what to do with it, either. Guess I'll find out later.

In the back of Quelaag's arena was a staircase leading to the chamber of the second Bell of Awakening. I rung it without hesitation, eager to find out exactly what's going to happen next. The following cutscene revealed that the gated fortress outside the old church--the one with the onion dude going, "Still closed, still closed..." at the entrance--finally opened up. That onion guy must have been ecstatic.

Before I went there, though, there were a number of other things I wanted to get done first. I wanted to check out New Londo Ruins and restock on some items--maybe upgrade my pyromancy flame some more, too. That's what I decided to do first.



Speaking to the crestfallen warrior once again, he was surprised to discover that I had rung the second bell--but then he started complaining about a noise, and a smell. In Update #11, I noted hearing a strange growling noise in the shrine--but this guy described it as snoring. That's certainly a lot less threatening, but I still didn't know what the fuck it was. The last thing he said, in a low, grumbly voice, was that he should "do something about it."

I left him alone, and headed towards the shrine where I first heard the noise. Then I saw this.
Spoiler

that is the scariest fucking thing i have ever seen in my entire life

(damn i'm good at looping gifs)

LOOK AT ITS FUCKING EYES, though. I don't know what the fuck something that scary looking is doing in this game, but I wasn't having it. I didn't even get anywhere near it--I just stared for awhile, wondering for a moment how I should take this thing on. It's not doing anything but menacingly staring at me.

I backed up to a safe distance, primed up an arrow, and tried locking on to him.

That didn't work, though. Locking on did nothing. I guess that means it's friendly, because I know I can't lock on to other friendly NPCs, either. Still, I didn't trust it. Slowly, I walked up to him, and to my utter relief, a "talk" option appeared. It's friendly after all.

He's called Kingseeker Frampt. He knows that I've rung the two Bells of Awakening, spoke some "chosen one" yaddayadda, and pointed me in the direction of Sen's Fortress--the fortress I just opened up. That's where I'm supposed to head next, apparently. All right, then--I kind of already knew that, but thanks for the tip, I guess.

What's more exciting is that Frampt can be fed items for souls, meaning I never have to drop duplicates again. Even better--feeding him special Titanite Shards will allow you to break them down into smaller pieces (e.g. A Green Titanite Shard will be broken down into five regular Titanite Shards), making upgrading weapons and armor a much less tedious process. The fact that you have to upgrade all four pieces of your armor always seemed like bullshit to me, but this will definitely speed things up. Everything in my arsenal at the moment is now at least +5.

So yeah, that was pretty awesome. I like Frampt. I'm glad I didn't just attack him. I guarantee that most players attack him on sight when they first meet him.



I tried entering Sen's Fortress, but I got destroyed by one of those silly-looking snake knights. They're definitely beatable, but I just didn't feel like exerting the effort at the time. I decided to stick with my original plan and head to New Londo Ruins--but not before revisiting Darkroot Garden, as well.


 
challengerX
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I DONT GIVE A SINGLE -blam!- MOTHER -blam!-ER ITS A MOTHER -blam!-ING FORUM, OH WOW, YOU HAVE THE WORD NINJA BELOW YOUR NAME, HOW MOTHER -blam!-ING COOL, NOT, YOUR ARE NOTHING TO ME BUT A BRAINWASHED PIECE OF SHIT BLOGGER, PEOPLE ONLY LIKE YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE NINJA BELOW YOUR NAME, SO PLEASE PUNCH YOURAELF IN THE FACE AND STAB YOUR EYE BECAUSE YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A PIECE OF SHIT OF SOCIETY
KILL THEM BERBY

KILL THEM ALL


Batch | Mythic Inconceivable!
 
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Verb dont click

Or click, its spoilerish but I wont make it obvious

Spoiler
Hes going to do what the gods want, the fool!

I guess he doesnt know what hes actually doing but he'll be interested to know that eventually he did have options.


Turkey | Mythic Inconceivable!
 
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Props for killing Quelaag. Even after multiple playthroughs she still gives me trouble.


 
 
Flee
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I've never been that big of a fan of the game's music either. Some boss tracks are pretty good and match the fight very well, but there's nothing that I'd just listen to on its own.

The weapon you get out of unique souls are always in one way or another related to the boss. Quelaag's soul can later be used to forge the flame weapon she was using through the fight, among others. And yeah, you'll know when you encounter the right smith.

Upgrading all pieces of your armor individually is pretty good game design imo. It's a bit tedious, sure but it allows for great customization and combining different sets to get the best fashion / defense / poise / weight-damage reduction ratio. You're in a very good spot, though. I've never really farmed enough souls to upgrade my armor as well, and you have everything (including shield) at +5.

Congrats on beating Quelaag and two-handing more. You should be strong enough at this point that several paths are valid choices. Back to the graveyard near Firelink, Valley of the Drakes, New Londo, PvP Forest, the Hydra, Sen's Fortress... All of them should be possible for you at this point.
Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 03:22:57 AM by Flee


Big Boss | Mythic Card Master
 
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Jacob Potila was actually a Jacob Flotilla of lies.- WarTurkey
I've never been that big of a fan of the game's music either. Some boss tracks are pretty good and match the fight very well, but there's nothing that I'd just listen to on its own.

The weapon you get out of unique souls are always in one way or another related to the boss. Quelaag's soul can later be used to forge the flame weapon she was using through the fight, among others. And yeah, you'll know when you encounter the right smith.

Upgrading all pieces of your armor individually is pretty good game design imo. It's a bit tedious, sure but it allows for great customization and combining different sets to get the best fashion / defense / poise / weight-damage reduction ratio. You're in a very good spot, though. I've never really farmed enough souls to upgrade my armor as well, and you have everything (including shield) at +5.

Congrats on beating Quelaag and two-handing more. You should be strong enough at this point that several paths are valid choices. Back to the graveyard near Firelink, Valley of the Drakes, New Londo, PvP Forest, the Hydra, Sen's Fortress... All of them should be possible for you at this point.

I can listen to the Ornstein and Smough track on its own. I love listening to covers of it.


 
Verbatim
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<- Previous update: Quelaag's of Battle Creek


Recap:
- Killed Chaos Witch Quelaag
- Rung the second Bell of Awakening
- Opened Sen's Fortress
- Met Kingseeker Frampt

Current missions:
- Traverse Sen's Fortress (whenever I get around to it)
- Still gunning for Lautrec of Carim



Having rung the second bell has opened up a lot of doors for me. Sen's Fortress is open, but I have this feeling that it's going to be pretty tough, so I decided to focus on other locations first. There's a lot of them I still need to explore. Here's a basic rundown of what I still need to do in each area:

Spoiler
Firelink Shrine

Nothing to really do here, but interesting to note: The crestfallen warrior is now gone.

Undead Burg

I think I'm pretty much done here, except Big Boss keeps insisting that I'm missing something. The only things I haven't done are, 1.) unlock the door in that watchtower, and 2.) kill the bridge wyvern, somehow. I could probably cheese it to death. As for the locked door, I still haven't found the key to it. That's all I have left to do here, as far as I'm able to tell.

Undead Parish

Gotta be all done here by now. It's more like a transitional area anyway.

The Depths

Pretty sure I'm mostly done here, too. Maybe there's an illusory wall I've yet to hit, or something. I dunno. That merchant who sold me weird stuff is now gone, though. No clue where he ran off to, but I'll probably see him again with some more random items.

Blighttown

I'm sick to death of this place--I've begrudgingly trudged through every corner of the Great Swamp in search of every item, but when Flee told me about the illusory walls that I missed, I just had to groan on the inside. I actually have an idea of where one of those illusory walls might be, however, so maybe I could check it out real quick. I have a shortcut to this place now, so it shouldn't take that long.

Quelaag's Domain

Obviously finished. I think it's strange that they gave Quelaag her own separate area, instead of just making it part of Blighttown. Not sure what the point of that was--none of the other bosses have had their own area, but whatever.

Darkroot Garden

Still lots to do here. The forest beyond Artorias's door is a point of interest, and I already brought up how I was finally strong enough to fend off the warriors in there now. I'll go back and see how much more damage I can do, and see if there's actually a point to that area.

Also, find out what this creature is:
Spoiler
Spotted in Update #8, this thing has mystified me every time I passed by Darkroot Garden. It's about time that I find out how I can access it, whatever it is. It looks so pretty and graceful, so it couldn't be an enemy... could it?

Darkroot Basin

In the previous update, I mentioned being able to fight off those ice golems--but now I have an even bigger fish to fry. There's a powerful hydra-like creature off in the distance, with multiple heads firing blasts of water at me. One shot was enough to knock me off my posture, even with my shield up. I can't have this thing around, but I haven't the faintest idea how I'm supposed to fight it right now.

Valley of Drakes

I have no business here, at the moment, but I have plans to kill that sleeping dragon that attacked me earlier.
Maybe I'll get something good out of it.

New Londo Ruins

It should be noted that I've always had access to this place. The first time I visited the place was actually in Update #2, back in January. Back then, I got fucked up by the ghosts, because there's nothing I could do at that level to fend them off--but since then, I've bought Transient Curses from the moss lady, as well as a few Purging Stones (which I bought from the pardoner, who sells them much cheaper), so I think I have all the tools I need to progress here. Let's hope I'm not horribly wrong.

The Catacombs

I don't think I'm ready to go here just yet. All I know is that Petrus of Thorolund went down there with a couple knights and a maiden, and that only he returned. He seems pretty distressed about that. I guess I'll have to go down there at some point. Not now, though.

Demon's Ruins

This is a brand new location I ended up in after heading down deeper into Quelaag's Domain. The hellish, redshifted visuals, and the fact that the place is swarming with those gross egg-bearers, communicate to me that I'm not exactly ready for this place yet. It's in the back of my mind, though.

Sen's Fortress

Finally, I'll head here once I feel "ready."

After spending all the souls I earned, my current SL is 40. I also upgraded my flame some more, and gave myself a third attunement slot. I don't plan on getting any more than that, though--I think three is plenty.

The first thing I wanted to do was locate the illusory walls in Blighttown, just to get it over with. I had a couple of avatar ideas in that spot, too, so I thought it might be worth it.

There was only one spot I had a feeling there might be an illusory wall. Deep in the Great Swamp, there's a location infested with tubeworms. Up a wooden ramp, there is a small room with a corpse in it. The way the room is situated in the swamp, you'd expect it to hold much greater importance--but all it gives you is a Plank Shield. The reason I thought there might be an illusory wall here is because I refused to believe that's all they would put there.

And I was right, kind of. I struck a wall in that room, but all it had was a Twin Humanities. So, I guess I found the shittier of the two illusory walls. Annoyed, I left Blighttown without even bothering to look for the second one. I'll worry about it later.



The next spot on the agenda was Darkroot Garden. As I noted, I had a couple of things I wanted to do here. First thing was to check out that area beyond the door and see if I can't find anything important.

Though I wasn't entirely sure why the humans were so hostile, I was too distracted by the number of souls I was racking up to care. This is a fantastic grinding spot. Unfortunately, not all of the humans seem to respawn when you kill them, however--like the knights.

When I first tried fighting the knights, they were transparent, like a ghost. They could hit me, but I couldn't hit them. Now that I'm stronger, though, I could actually hit them. I figured I'd need a Transient Curse, but I guess not.

There was one woman, an archer, who actually dropped her items upon her defeat. A cap belonging to some dude called Pharis, as well as his Black Bow. The description reads that it has longer range than the standard bow, but it's more "difficult" to use. Difficult in what way, I'm not sure, but longer range sounds worth it to me.

None of the other guys dropped their items, unfortunately. One of the NPCs was carrying a red shield with a spider emblazoning. Was this the Spider Shield that Turkey was teasing me over? I wanted it, but he didn't drop it. Huh.

I honestly felt bad about killing the entire clan. I don't like killing human characters--they're supposed to be on my side, right? But they drew first blood, not me. I can't feel too bad about it when they were hostile first.

For whatever reason, the bush monsters in this area are a lot tougher than the ones I've gotten used to fighting. I guess it makes sense, considering this is a higher-level area than the beginning.

This particular neck of the woods was divided by a wide crevice. The gap was bridged together with a small building, though, with a funny-looking cat sitting at the window. It started bitching at me for not wanting to turn back. After telling it to fuck off, I made my way to the other side of the forest--which was inhabited by a group of these timid little mushroom midgets that waddled away from me when I approached them.

Next thing I know, I get bowled over by a giant rolling cat. Probably the biggest "oh shit" moment in the playthrough for me. It knocked at least 60% of my health down, so, as for what I did next, I have just two words: Homeward Bone.



The next thing on the agenda was to find out exactly what that fairy thing I keep seeing is--I just wasn't sure where to check. I dropped a prism stone down the crevice, just to make sure I didn't have to jump down there. It shrieked.

Then it hit me: Why don't I try that area with the stone knights? I couldn't handle them four or five bosses ago, but I'm so much stronger now. Even then, they're so slow, so I may be able to outrun them.

No need--turns out, my newfound strength was too much for the stone knights. Sometimes, they'll cast a spell that slows down my movement speed, making it easier for them to land hits on me, but in general, I was able to dispatch them before they could even do any real damage.

They were guarding two paths--one with a fog gate. Naturally, I decided to visit the other one first.

This path had some weird stuff in it. Amphibian creatures that looked like a cross between a frog and a manta ray were the most common enemy, and they jumped out of the water to attack you. All they really do is try to poke you with their tongue, though, so they were pretty easy to beat. I got a couple of Green Blossoms from them--they're basically just a temporary Grass Crest Shield, which I already use. There were also these odd moving trees that did nothing but obstruct your path, but they took damage like a normal enemy, and could be destroyed.

Eventually, as I continued on, I found a Wolf Ring. Along with a faint purple aura, it permanently boosts your poise to 40, which is pretty awesome. I've had 0 poise for the majority of this playthrough, because of my Wanderer clothes, so this is pretty dope. When I first saw this item, it was completely inaccessible to me--and it taunted my eyes whenever I passed it. Now I finally have it.

It's a shame I can only wear two rings--I'm finally starting to pick up some non-useless ones.

Anyway, it was time for me to cross that fog gate I saw earlier. I put on my new Wolf Ring, as well as a Ring of Sacrifice, and prepared for battle. I wasn't totally sure I'd be facing a boss, but you gotta prepare for everything.

Needless to say, upon crossing the threshold, I finally discovered just what that creature in the distance was.

YouTube

Come to think of it, it would've been even faster to use my Fire Orbs on it. Ah, well. Doesn't matter.



Well, that's another one down, folks.

Major Boss Hitlist
Asylum Demon
Bed of Chaos
Bell Gargoyles
Black Dragon Kalameet
Capra Demon
Ceaseless Discharge
Centipede Demon
Chaos Witch Quelaag
Crossbreed Priscilla
Dark Sun Gwyndolin
Demon Firesage
Dragon Slayer Ornstein & Executioner Smough
Four Kings
Gaping Dragon
Gravelord Nito
Gwyn, Lord of Cinder
Iron Golem
Knight Artorias
Manus, Father of the Abyss
Moonlight Butterfly
Pinwheel
Sanctuary Guardian
Seath the Scaleless
Sif, the Great Grey Wolf
Stray Demon
Taurus Demon

Still got a ways to go.

So, if you watched until the end of that clip, you saw me snatch a key from the hands of a petrified blacksmith--along with a Divine Ember. The other blacksmith told me that divine weapons are useful in the Catacombs--presumably because they can banish those damn skeletons.

I immediately brought the ember to him, prepared to cook myself up a Divine Winged Spear+8--except you can't. Divining your weapons takes away all of their upgrades, forcing you to start from the bottom again. Lame as fuck. I'm gonna need some more time to commit to a decision on that.

With this key, however, I can finally unlock that watchtower door in the Undead Burg. You know, the one Big Boss apparently wants me to open? I'm pretty sure, anyway--there's not much else to do in that area. Before traveling over there, I practiced parrying with a few balder knights. I'm getting pretty damn good at it. One of them dropped his leggings, which I've never seen before. Now that I have the entire balder knight set, I can be a redcape. Ha.

I marched over to the tower and unlocked the door. After being led down three long flights of spiral staircase, I encountered a unique-looking knight with a big-ass club. As I later discovered, his name was Havel.

Though we went at it for about two full minutes, I ended up crushing him without taking a single hit. He dropped his ring, simply called Havel's Ring.

This ring is awesome. It raises your equipment load, or your carrying capacity, so that you can equip almost any heavy set of armor without tumbling or fatrolling. Finally, I can carry my spear properly without being burdened by its weight, and my rolls are faster than lightning. This is huge.

Additionally, a final room in Havel's basement led to a shortcut to Darkroot Basin--the spot where the hydra is. I decided I'd say "hello" to him again, and took the liberty to show him my new toys. Thanks to the Wolf Ring, I could hold up my shield and power through the hydra's blasts--but I still didn't have any weapons I could use to fight it with. At least, I don't think so. I scurried out of there once again.

I felt like I went through enough detours. It was time to visit New Londo Ruins (like I planned), and finally, Sen's Fortress. Boy, am I happy with all the shit I found in this update, though.
Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 03:08:43 AM by Verbatim


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His eyebrows sparkling, his white beard hangs down to his chest. The thatched mats, spread outside his chise, spread softly, his splendid attos. He polishes, cross-legged, his makiri, with his eyes completely absorbed.

He is Ainu.

The god of Ainu Mosir, Ae-Oine Kamuy, descendant of Okiku-Rumi, He perishes, a living corpse. The summers day, the white sunlight, unabrushed, ends simply through his breath alone.
Since Quelaag had her very own area, it doesn't sound like a terrible idea to explore it a little. You never know what you might find.


 
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Since Quelaag had her very own area, it doesn't sound like a terrible idea to explore it a little. You never know what you might find.
You mean other than the Demon's Ruins? Hmm, yeah, I guess I could inspect it closer.

I have to head back to Blighttown anyway. One of my friends just up and told me the location of the second illusory wall. ::)

He knows my policy on hints, but he just HAD to tell me. He couldn't resist. I can kinda understand why, though--it is kind of a jackass place to put an illusory wall, and I honestly can't be sure if I ever would've found it on my own--but that's the frustrating part of being told things in the first place. I'll never know.

Oh well. He promised to never spoil anything else, at least.
Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 02:46:58 AM by Verbatim


 
 
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Aside from maybe the Undead Parish, there's stuff you missed in every area you listed. And not the super well hidden illusory wall kinda deal, but stuff you can actually find on your own. It pays off to look at everything attentively and scope out environments you've already been to with your binoculars. Break anything you can find and, most importantly, never forget about the level design. Think of where the something might lead, see if you can get a different angle on it and stuff like that. Never not ask yourself "could I maybe jump there" or "what if I roll off there and see if I can do...". The game is full of hidden things and has no real invisible walls, so there's a lot to explore.

The Hydra can be fought at any stage with any weapon. Watch your footing, though.

Making your weapon Divine does not remove previous upgrades. You can't go down the Divine path before your weapon is already +5, and at that point you don't lose your previous levels. Be sure to look at the menus and all the effects upgrading / reinforcing your weapon might have before you do it, though. Divine might be good against some enemies, but it might ruin your scaling or damage output against normal enemies (depending on your build and stats). So even though it'll just be a "Divine Winged Spear", it'll actually be comparable to a "Winged Spear +6". Think of it as a branching schematic, where your weapon is normal at the start but after hitting +5 you can branch out into a number of different infusions, all of which building upon the base power of a +5 weapon.



 
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Aside from maybe the Undead Parish, there's stuff you missed in every area you listed. And not the super well hidden illusory wall kinda deal, but stuff you can actually find on your own. It pays off to look at everything attentively and scope out environments you've already been to with your binoculars. Break anything you can find and, most importantly, never forget about the level design. Think of where the something might lead, see if you can get a different angle on it and stuff like that. Never not ask yourself "could I maybe jump there" or "what if I roll off there and see if I can do...". The game is full of hidden things and has no real invisible walls, so there's a lot to explore.

The Hydra can be fought at any stage with any weapon. Watch your footing, though.

Making your weapon Divine does not remove previous upgrades. You can't go down the Divine path before your weapon is already +5, and at that point you don't lose your previous levels. Be sure to look at the menus and all the effects upgrading / reinforcing your weapon might have before you do it, though. Divine might be good against some enemies, but it might ruin your scaling or damage output against normal enemies (depending on your build and stats). So even though it'll just be a "Divine Winged Spear", it'll actually be comparable to a "Winged Spear +6". Think of it as a branching schematic, where your weapon is normal at the start but after hitting +5 you can branch out into a number of different infusions, all of which building upon the base power of a +5 weapon.
Undead Parish was one of the only areas I felt sure about completing anyway. If the stuff I've missed in other areas are just more itemized souls/humanity--or some other uninteresting, not-essential-to-beating-the-game thing--I think I'll pass on scouring them even further. I'm not going for 100% completion here, and I feel like I've dawdled enough in those areas anyway. I'm pretty satisfied with what I've found so far.

That's not to say that I won't explore--that's all I've been doing lately, to be honest. I'd just rather explore some brand new areas right now. Progression should be the #1 priority.

As for the hydra, I'm currently set on using Pharis's bow against it, once I get it all upgraded. If I stay at a moderate distance, their water blasts are always concentrated where I'm standing, so all I have to do is roll to the side to dodge them all at once. Then, hopefully, I'll have enough time to retaliate with an arrow or two. If that doesn't work out, I'll figure out something else--but getting up close and personal with it is gonna be a last resort. Those things bite.

And yeah, I'm mulling over my options carefully regarding the divine weapon stuff. It's so fucked that you have to buy an engagement ring for everything you do in this game.

Then again, it's possible to revert your weapons back to their vanilla state when you ascend them...
Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 03:35:43 AM by Verbatim


 
 
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Sure thing. It's true that most of what you missed isn't that important (souls, humanity, equipment, weapons...) to the game itself, but there's two areas you missed with secret bosses and great stuff, and one more that you'll have to discover eventually to beat the game. But you can always come back later after progressing more, so you should just go ahead and do what you feel like now.

And yeah, you can revert your weapons after ascending. All you'll lose are some souls and upgrade materials, which become increasingly available during the later stages of the game. It's good to mull things over, but (boss weapons aside) you can't really make any big irreversible mistakes with your weapons.


 
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Here's one of those things that happened at some point during the update, but was too off-track to bring up:

Every now and then, I visit the pardoner in the bell tower to shamelessly purchase some Rings of Sacrifice. One of the other options in his menu, though, is to "request absolution." Basically, he pardons you of any sins you have committed, because that's what he does.

Anyway, I would select that option every time I was there, just to humor myself, and it would always say, "You have not sinned." And I'd be like, "You're goddamn right I haven't sinned."

I assumed that sinning = invading, or some other unscrupulous activity, and that asking for forgiveness would remove your name from the Book of the Guilty, or something. Certainly something I would never have to worry about.

Except now I do, apparently. The last time I requested absolution, I was told that I have sinned, and that I must pay 20K souls to be forgiven. I know it probably doesn't matter, but I'm just trying to figure out what the fuck I did that's considered sinful.

Was it the humans I killed in the forest? Are you not supposed to kill humans, ever? I was only defending myself.

Then again, I was kinda traipsing on their territory, huh...
Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 04:05:19 AM by Verbatim