I don’t know at exactly what point I realized that investing all my level ups on Intelligence was a bad idea in the game of Dark Souls
. Maybe it was in the middle of the incredibly long animation required for using a Soul Arrow, or maybe it was the moment after I had to drill three spell casts into an armor-less grunt character to kill it, but at some point I realized how ironically un-intelligent my strategy was. However
, I’m a man of steely resolve and my convictions left me unwilling to admit I am wrong, so I stuck with my plan to the end and it was glorious.
Since I recently beat Dark Souls
after two months of moving at a snail’s pace through the game, I thought I might write about my play through in a blog so that nobody will read it and I can get off on all of the self-inflicted pain I’ll cause myself. Riveting, right?
This may be the least creative blog I’ve ever written, but I’m sure my legions of fans will still lap it up…
When I was making my character, I had an important decision to make: I either go with a heavy melee character or a cowardly magic wielder. There was no middle ground between the two because everybody knows a balanced character in Dark Souls
is the most boring path to take. The mage build had treated me well in Demon’s Souls
, so I decided to go the route of the physically challenged sorcerer once again.
The first thirty minutes seemed forgiving enough. The asylum never threw too many enemies at me, and the plunging attack made the Asylum Demon laughably easy. It was when I got to the part after the first bonfire in Undead Burg that I realized I was going to need more than a dagger and a slow-as-molasses soul arrow spell. I spent most of my early game running away from mobs of enemies instead of fighting anything.
I bought a long sword, and I was only able to beat the Taurus Demon and the Gargoyles by summoning somebody to help me online. I had to use the magic shield spell to beat the Capra Demon, but it took me the better part of two days to do so.
I don’t want to chronicle every insignificant step I took in the last two months in Lordran, but I will say that I spent way too much time grinding up souls to buy enough titanite shards to upgrade a useless long sword. Then I found out about the Drake sword and it completely invalidated around three hours of work!
Get it? Drake Sword? Apparently, I'm the only person who was once a fan of his terrible music... :(
The Gaping Dragon was the first boss that was slow enough for me to use magic as my primary means of damage, but it wasn’t so easy the first time because I didn’t kill the Channeler that was launches magic from a platform above. A week of my life was then spent conquering Blighttown afterwards because I kept getting eaten by the monsters and toxic-poisoned by the a-holes with blow darts. I actually had to buy a bow to “pull” enemies – something I never had to do in Demon’s Souls
. By the time I reached Queen Kellog, I had died in and replayed Blighttown enough times to drive a sane man crazy.
I believe it was my blind fury and hatred that killed Kellog because I doubt it was my swordsmanship. However, now that I had gotten to the Blighttown swamp, there was no longer a need to be using the flimsy Drake sword and blaming my failures on my lack of Strength because I began farming the (literally) magical green
titanite from the slugs. I then killed the merchant in Undead Burg for his Uchigatana because it went along well with the Eastern Armor set I found in Darkroot Garden, and I raised it to a +5 magic weapon. My ascension to glory as a spell casting samurai soon followed and I never slowed down.
The only boss I had a problem with afterwards was Seath the Scaleless since (being the “father of sorcery”) he had a pretty large defense against magic. I actually got cursed twice, but it was all worth it afterwards because I got the crystal powered sorceries from Logan afterwards. Who knew that crystals made magic ridiculously stronger?
Ummmmm… Well, I suppose I should share some thoughts instead of just talking about stuff I did. I don’t have any thoughts that will carry more than a paragraph, so get ready for a couple of random things I’d like to say about Dark Souls
There’s a ton of different armor to choose from in this game, and I can now understand how women can stand around in stores looking at clothes for hours because that’s exactly what I did with the armor in the game (I don’t even care how sexist that last sentence may seem). I was constantly mixing and matching the armor I’d find, and it took me until the very last boss to decide on an armor to stick with and upgrade. My favorite thing to do was to make sure my character was not wearing two things that were from the same set of armor, but still looked good. Even though the world was ending, it didn’t mean my character had to look bad!
I never actually did any co-op in Demon’s Souls
, but I thought I might lend a helping hand to others with Ornstein and Smough since I felt it was my civil duty as a strong magic user. I got addicted to doing co-op and ended helping about 6 people in their fight against Bert and Ernie. This soon led to a foray into competitive play as well. I won the first three invasions, but then I never won again. Maybe I had gone soft, but I couldn’t land a hit on anybody anymore and everybody had elemental weapons that ate through my shield. I still look forward to getting invaded every once in a while, though. It gets the blood pumping. I also like looking at what armor other people have their character wearing because – as I mentioned earlier – I love looking at armor.
Nobody ever seemed to want to help me at the end of the game, though. I remember I got invaded about three times before I started fighting the Demon Firesage, but there wasn’t a single summon sign for somebody to come in and help me! One thing I really wanted to do was to get a friend, find a means to speak with one another over the internet, and play the majority of the game co-operatively. I was quite excited to do this, but then I remembered I have no friends… Oh well! Maybe I’ll just get two copies of the game, and play co-op with myself and Solaire
Comparisons and Conclusions
I noticed that maybe Dark Souls
is actually a bit cheaper than Demon’s Souls
. For one, there seems to be a lot more mobs of enemies. I just thought it was lame every time there was a group of enemies chilling together in a room, waiting to jump me. Aren’t the enemies supposed to be mindless, soul-thirsty zombies? When did they develop the ability to strategize and formulate ambushes together? I don’t remember that happening much in Demon’s Souls
, but it seemed to be in every area in Dark Souls
An even worse offender of this case was the boss battles. Remember when the bosses were tough enough to fight their battles themselves? There were more than a couple of bosses in Dark Souls
that needed to bring in people to distract you while they kill in one shot. There was the Gargoyle(s), Gaping Dragon (if you don’t kill the Channeler earlier), Capra Demon, Four Kings, Pinwheel, and Nito. Two of these (Capra Demon and Pinwheel) are so weak all alone that they come back as regular enemies later on! I mean, what’s up with that? I will say that kicking the crud out of the Capra Demons in the Demon Ruins was very
satisfying now that they didn’t have their dawgs backing them up.
The last two paragraphs makes it seem like I may hate the game, but I don’t. I loved
it. Those are just my least favorite things about the game. My favorite boss was actually Four Kings despite the cheap ambush that you may have to suffer through. Since it was late in the game, my character was a monster with 50 Intelligence, but the fight was still incredibly exhilarating. From the fall into the abyss to the moment you kill the last “king,” the fight has the best blend of action and atmosphere of the entire game. I remember landing and thinking I needed light, so I was about to pull out my sunlight maggot when the music started blasting and I immediately freaked out. I saw the king far from me and it zoomed in on me in a matter of seconds! I remember I managed to kill one with a few seconds to spare before the next one came out, and I could hear myself breathing hard while I waited. When the match was over, I knew that it was the best part of the game up until then, and it remained the best part. It has a lot going on and I could probably write a whole blog solely about it, but I don't want to bore anybody, so this medium sized paragraphed should be enough for now.
When it comes to the overall experience, I'd say Dark Souls
is the better between itself and Demon's Souls
. I heard a lot of people complaining about the Metroidvania-esque open world design when the game first came out (including myself), but I believe it ended up being the best way to play in the kind of worlds that Demon's Souls
and Dark Souls
set up. The interconnectivity and less linear structure definitely lent a more immersive feel for the world. The subtle change to the physiology/physics also took a while to get used to as well, but it definitely made the gameplay deeper by adding something as simple as making three rolling speeds instead of just two. I think all the changes were the best directions to go instead of just making another hub world with 5 new archstones and the exact same progression, and they may actually be the way From Software always wanted things to be.
I think that about sums up everything I wanted to say about Dark Souls
! I really wanted to write something while I was in the middle of playing the game, but I kept getting swamped with school work. I will say it was a blast talking about the game with knutaf
on twitter, and I'd love to talk to other Dtoiders about the game right here! Thanks for reading this blog. All two of you! I'd love to hear you people's thoughts! What did you think of the mobs? What was your favorite fight? Please leave a comment and help validate my existence! D: