Page 1 of 1  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, '15, 6:26 pm 
I have a lot more to say about Dark Souls than I could fit in one of my normal reviews, so have a playjournal instead. There are spoilers ahead, naturally.

This guy turned out to be the least of my problems.

So, I finished Dark Souls.

Now, let's begin with a bit of a preface. Somewhat recently, I finished watching an anime series called Clannad and its follow-up season, the far more notorious Clannad: After Story. I laughed, I cried, I had a grand old time with the thing from start to finish, and after having finished things up certain perceptions concerning the conversations surrounding the show began to change, as things might when you watch a series back-to-back-to-back looking for all the details you missed. For example, a certain large and vocal segment of the Clannad fandom started to make my head throb, because whenever someone asked about the series, the response from this part of the fandom was "Oh it's the saddest of sad shows that ever made a sad." Now, it was these kinds of responses that made me take so long to actually try out the series, and the fact of the matter is that if the show was all tragic drama all the time, it would be a far inferior series- however, the fandom takes this one aspect of a varied and interesting series and just sits on that one aspect as the single thing it has to offer to the viewer.

What does this have to do with Dark Souls? Same problem, different way.

Because one of the big things that people will push about Dark Souls- even the marketing for the PC version is not exempt from this- is that the game is hard. Super hard beyond belief, with a great big chorus of "Not for casuals L2p git gud scrub". And it's the only thing that people will push, which is a big shame, because Dark Souls would be a far inferior game if difficulty is all it had, because difficulty alone can never make a game good. There has to be something worthwhile to deal with the difficulty for, and the best hard games usually provide that something, which is basically how I ended up powering my way through Godhand, La-Mulana, and Einhander. What Dark Souls offered me was basically everything I wanted from Western RPGs, but that Western RPGs had never really seemed to offer- understatement.

I am a big fan of JRPGs and how JRPGs go about things, not despite their sometimes pants-on-head insanity, but more often than not because of it. I wanted characters to emote like these were still the days of silent film and wear their feelings like an overcoat and call down celestial objects as artillery when the need or desire arises. What Dark Souls provides is pretty much the exact opposite of that. This isn't to say that there aren't grandiose things to be seen, of course, but the writing basically moves completely out of the way to let the player decide what to think of, say, the fact that the builders of Sen's Fortress didn't see the need for a mechanical boulder trap when you could just enslave a giant to drop boulders into the keep whenever some schlub decided to try to make a climb to the top. A lot of what's expected from writing in games just doesn't exist in the notably sparse dialogue in Dark Souls- the number of NPCs that offer any sort of useful exposition could be counted on one hand that has been in a farming accident, the remainder who are somewhat helpful are generally of various levels of dubious, and those who are actually shady are very overtly so. It's one thing for a game to have your character say that "I must be crazy for going on this adventure", but it's another for the character to run into a bunch of folks on the same adventure who are crazy or at least heading there, and leave the player to figure things out.

And I love it.

Keep trying to stare down that gate, buddy.

So, I did try Dark Souls way back, but GFWL plus I was playing it on someone else's Steam account, so wrangling a game was troublesome. However, thanks to Steam's new refund function, and the existence of a game I thought was going to be grand but actually wasn't, I ended up snagging my own copy of the PC version. The fact that I have a controller now is also a big help, along with the fact that I had a helpful advisor I could call on, and I decided not to mess around with DSfix- As someone who still regularly plays PC-88 games, framerate doesn't really matter to me so long as the controls are up to snuff. So, warrior it was, and I decided to make him a redhead named Adol for reasons that ought to be obvious at this point. Of course, this meant that I would be sending him on the very worst adventure of his entire career. I convinced myself that this was okay, because he's just had it too good for too long and could stand to go to a place where not everyone was fawning over him.

The early game pretty much went the same as the early game does for most folks. The Undead Asylum wasn't too bad, especially since I was starting with a melee character who could actually mid-roll without too much equipment wrangling, and the game played perfectly with the controller, and hammering my way through the Upper Undead Burg was no problem, though I did panic and just firebombed the Taurus Demon to death instead of fighting him properly- but I guess in Dark Souls, if you win, then it was the proper way. I also met Havel, got smashed by him, and decided to come back some other time. I didn't come in with the delusion that because the game decided to fork over the Black Knight Sword this time meant that it was being merciful- besides, I didn't have the stats for it right away, but that would be fixable. I was a bit surprised that it counted as a Greatsword, but when the weapon in question was built for people who are eight feet tall, everything's relative. Solaire remains a pretty cool bro.

The Black Knight Sword did, however, make the boss of Undead Parish pretty hilarious, considering it only took six hits for both- in fact, the bigger problem there was that Channeler and his stupid dance moves- I switched back to my longsword because it was faster and could actually deal with his horde. I also learned to appreciate the way the game hands out shortcuts, and I learned to really like the Balder Knights, even though they're pretty low-level mooks in the grand scheme of things. Also there was Andre, which did make me wonder about all of the merchants that had set up shop hereabouts. Were they other adventurers who gave up? Just folks that were left behind when Lordran was first vacated? And even though Oswald provides a service I found unfortunately useful, how does someone creepy as him keep customers? I have to admit, though, there are a couple of merchants I can see the monsters having a really hard time evicting. This was also the first encounter with Seigmeyer, and I decided to actually pursue his story- he just seems so jolly.

I don't see this guy getting evicted any time soon.

My first real whoa moment was after I went downstairs from the Parish, dusted the Prowling Demon, and decided to see just what was underneath, and while there were many things I would imagine would be underground from there, a forest was not one of them. The Darkroot Garden really did switch things up, and I'm glad it exists, ambivalent as I am to the stone nights and other related shenanigans wandering around- it's not often in a game where "I grabbed the item, but I died" could be considered coming out ahead, but it's an important philosophy. I had also thought to clear out the Lower Undead Burg, but found that the Capra Demon was not a jolly time thanks to his pets, so Darkroot Garden it was, at least for the time being. This is also where I found out that user messages could actually wind up being helpful, as one of them pointed to the wall that was hiding a bonfire behind it.

To be fair, it didn't feel like a choice I had to settle for because I wasn't a bad enough dude to tackle the Capra Demon. There's a whole ton of neat stuff to see around there, and the game is very good at setting atmosphere. One of the ways in which the difficulty in Dark Souls is rewarded is by providing these extra areas, often with extremely good world design- pretty much as soon as you see something new, it becomes a goal. And speaking of new things, this is when I decided that bows were for losers and decided to take on the Moonlight Butterfly, conveniently forgetting that it was an EspGaluda boss. So that ended up taking a couple of tries before I was able to get my head in the game and finish things off.

Now, I was feeling a bit cocky at this point, and decided that while I was in the area, I'd pick up the Crest of Artorias and take on one of the big mandatory bosses: Great Grey Wolf Sif. And anyone familiar with the game knows how that sort of attitude is "rewarded" in Dark Souls.

So, as it turned out, Sif ended up being my first real wall in the game, and the walk from the bonfire to Sif's room is no real picnic either. However, while Sif is undeniably cool stuff, he is 1.) Compeltely undeserving of what you're there to do to him, as he's only guarding his master's grave (and it gets even worse if you've played the extra content), and 2.) Completely mandatory- and the game doesn't bother to point out this intersection, or moralize about how terrible/tragic it is. It's played out like any other boss fight in the game is, there isn't a "sad" cutscene at the end if you win, it's just up to the player to draw that kind of connection. However, this wasn't the time for me to win, which leads to Dark Souls' other big strength. There are only two progression bottlenecks in the whole game, and in general, there are are a bunch of other things you can do if you're banging your head against a Wolf-shaped wall.

There's also the embarrassment of losing a contest of swordsmanship to something without opposable thumbs, but Sif did learn from watching the best.


I didn't sign up to fight Okami plz send help

What this meant in practice was a trip back to the Undead Asylum, and I found it amusing that the giant crow was eager to be your ferry. It's also where I learned that torch hollows were jerks. Still, I liked that there were some rewards for those who take the time to figure out how to make it back there, and the Stray Demon did turn out to be less of a problem than Sif, since one of the best tools for dealing with him is right in the Asylum itself. That doesn't mean it was easy mind you, but I'm glad the option to go back to the tutorial area was there, and the fact that it was refilled with all kinds of stuff was equally grand. Exploration is as dangerous is it is rewarding, even if the temptation to throw a controller sometimes can be strong.

So I went back stronger than before and beat Sif, which does bring me back to something that I probably should have talked about earlier. I was building a melee character for this game, and one of the problems I have with games where you're allowed to build your character freely is that things that look like they make sense can often be trap choices that cripple your character. In this case, what I fed into the game ended up giving me the results that I actually wanted and even expected to get, so it didn't end up feeling like I was throwing good points after bad in a vain attempt to try to suss out what the system wanted. It kinda helped that as this is a pure action game, there is no stat that's tied to accuracy.

With all that sorted out, I followed advice to go to New Londo and pick up the Cursebite ring, as well as some pointers on how to deal with what's down there. While ghosts are spooky, here's something that best illustrates what I really like about Dark Souls.

New Londo Waterpark, open 24/7.

Everything you can see in the distance is a place you can go. How much you feel up to wanting to go there will always be the question, of course, especially considering the unique mechanics of ghosts, but hey, you can look around any of what you see once you can get there alive. Anyway, the ring wasn't the only thing I picked up there, but it's mainly what I came for.

Which brings us to the Depths, after making sure to skewer the Capra Demon with plunge cheese. I have to give Dark Souls credit for introducing the fact that you can destroy barrels by rolling, and then make it actually essential to rescuing Laurentius. None of saves the game from the fact that The Depths is basically a sewer level with all the unfortunate environmental shortcomings that implies. Domnhall is great, especially since they gave him armor that doesn't look like it should be historical, but actually is. However, it doesn't really change the fact The Depths is by far the most bland area in the game. There's only one sewer level I approve of in RPGs, and that's only because it has Subterranean Canal is its area music. While the level didn't feel all that inspiring the boss is something else. The Gaping Dragon, though not difficult is precisely the kind of wonderfully freakish thing I want to see roaming around, especially since it has turned things that shouldn't be teeth into teeth. It's the only thing about that area that's inspired.


Last edited by R-90-2 on Sat Aug 29, '15, 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, '15, 6:27 pm 
So, on to Sen's Fortress- here's a conversation I had with my advisor about it the first time I gave it a go.

Me: Help- Where's a Starmetal sword
Me: I need to send these Serpent men back to another dimension
D: Hahahaha.

I kinda wished that show had come at a time where it was okay for Conan to just kill a guy once in a while.

Now, if Blighttown was a lesson in Dark Souls, Sen's Fortress turned out to be an <i>education</i>. The difference between everything before Sen's Fortress and Sen's Fortress, is basically more or less the same thing that happens when robots start to show up in Phantasy Star 2. The old solutions just aren't really going to work as well as they used to, especially when the dangers in the indoor portions are largely of a more Castlevania variety- the only thing missing were medusa heads, and those probably weren't in there only because they would have been killed by the fact that whoever Sen was managed to get swinging blades on bulk discount. pretty much any treasure I found was by accident, and killing two of the Prowling Demons was more of an act of desperation, and then there was that problematic snake mage by that walkway- you know the one. I had to ask for help for that, and the answer was:

"Have you tried poison arrows?"

Of course I hadn't- it's not like poison was ever useful in these games, and my longbow was mainly for attention-getting purposes. But it turns out that poison is the patient man's weapon, and was good at sorting out all manner of problems I didn't want to deal with both in Sen's Fortress and later on- the snake men, the firebomb giant, the Anor Londo archers, and all other sorts of difficulties that would've been a pain if I didn't use arrows and time. The firebomb giant is the only one I killed there- it just felt wrong to shoot the others, they were only doing a job. It'd be like shooting the doorman and the porter. Even though I could've summoned Tarkus to flip the Iron Golem off of the roof I decided to take it out myself- and even though the Iron Golem is one of the game's easier bosses, it was still the only golem boss fight I've ever had that I've felt was worthy of the name.

And I kinda wish there was an item that told us who Sen was. The place is the gateway to Anor Londo, seriously.

The approach to Anor Londo is pretty much item one of what I talk about when it comes to difficulty in Dark Souls being rewarded with something, which is more interesting places and things to see and do. Getting to Anor Londo seems to have been carefully constructed to make the player feel that they're actually getting somewhere in the game, which is quite an important thing, especially in a game where a player is liable to have to try certain segments five, ten times or even more.

Anor Londo: Where the Sun is always shining.

Anor Londo is also filled with detail of its own- The main staircases there actually have two differently-sized sets of steps, one for regular humans and one for Gwyn and his mighty servants, like the Silver Knights, Artorias, and the other Greater Men. However, going back to the above, it's also the place where the player is likely to have to redo segments a fair number of times (or unfair, as the perception may be). I've played enough 3D platformers so that the rafters section wasn't too big of a deal for me, but the rest of the Anor Londo defense seems to have been designed by someone enamored with Fire Emblem 4, as there was heavily-armored everything running about. Sword knights, spear knights, and perhaps most notorious, the famed Anor Londo archers. I might've been able to charge them if I was willing to give up my knight's pride and drop armor, but I wasn't- so in time, the poison came out.

Inner Anor londo was not without its own dangers, like this game's absolutely wonderful version of mimics, but I was also a danger to myself. I found Seigmeyer again, and I found out that I would really like to disconnect Mouse and keyboard controls when playing the game sometime. Because, sometimes, when you re-select the game by clicking inside the window, your dude will do an attack. Thankfully, Seigmeyer is tough enough to take anything you can hit him with.

One visit to Oswald later, the journey continues. One thing I like is that Siegmeyer's equipment is actually not all that good for dealing with Silver Knights.

Or, the journey would continue if it weren't for the fact that this is Anor Londo, and the most notorious section in the came is also occupied by probably one of the most notorious pairs of bosses in action gaming right now- Dragonslayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough. Perhaps I did go a bit overboard in wanting to show them all by beating those two solo, (and I also wanted to kill Ornstein second for his armor) but it just wasn't working out- and I figured that this was a good time to take a break as any. Not just because of my boss troubles, but because playing Dark Souls could be a little nervewracking at time.

It turns out that a break is what I needed- I came back, swallowed my pride, grabbed Brolaire, and sank Jonah and the Whale on the second try out. It's amazing what a little refresher can do.


A fair interpretation.

Not much to be said about what came next. Yes, there were the usual scattered messages of "Amazing Chest Ahead" before Gwynevere, but I didn't mind that so much- there were at least as many of those before Andre of Astora in the Undead Parish. But I'm always a fan of fast travel- It's probably the thing that I considered the best feature addition to the XSeeD re-release of Ys: The Ark of Napishtim, and the fact that it meant I would never have to set foot in Sen's Fortress ever again was just gravy. This was followed by a flurry of cleaning up some things that I probably ought to have done much earlier, like killing Pinwheel and saving Dusk of Oolacile, but back when I could do those things right away, I did not feel that I was yet a bad enough dude. I also went into the Demon Ruins, but it turns out that there was a bit of blockage in the way. Besides Ceaseless Discharge, of course.

So I set the Lordvessel and did what needed to be done to save Solaire. I know this kept me from talking to Darkstalker Kaathe, but there's only so much a guy can do on a first playthrough.

I decided to give the Duke's Archives a shot. This would be my first time dealing with Seath, as I had never played King's Field, but I figured that Seath couldn't be that tough. After all, he ain't even got legs. His buddies on the other hand were something else, what with the channelers and their silly dance, and I think I picked up enough crystal swords in that playthrough to last Cecil Harvey all the way to retirement. I also managed to completely miss encountering Big Hat Logan throughout the whole game because I didn't find him in Sen's Fortress, but From could offer me free games for life and I would not deal with that area again in that playthrough. I do like the whole tower of books look whenever it shows up in a game, though.

Now, Sieglinde- A couple of things. First, why so cute voice game. Second, she is probably the toughest adventurer you come across, because, first, you meet her in the Duke's Archives, which is one of the big endgame areas. Second, Sieglinde is not undead like the player and the other pilgrims, like Lautrec, Siegmeyer, and Solaire, she's still just a normal human- which means that she can't resurrect at bonfires like you can. It's at this point I decided to sidetrack and finish out that quest line.

I gave Siegmeyer his moss, and went further down to explore beyond where I had the first time around- Now, Ash Lake is pretty much why I wouldn't mind it if From Software decided to do a Final Fantasy game someday. It's the only area that has ambient music 100% of the time, which already makes it alien from the rest of the game- and the second part is that they decided to leave in a piece of what the world was like before the coming of the Age of Fire, with the towering archtrees and the lake and, of course, one of the everlasting dragons. It's shame there's not all that much to do there unless you're doing a covenant or keeping up with the Siegs.


All I want is a little piece of Ancient.

Seath wasn't too much of a problem, and I only found out why I had such an simple time of it later. My default ring layout is the Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring and Havel's Ring, and apparently the first one makes things rather difficult for the poor beast. I neglected to get the Moonlight Sword because I wasn't a mage, and I didn't want to have to risk crawling through the Crystal Cave again, and I'm sure I'll be able to pick it up in some other game. It has appeared in every other From Software game, and that does include Metal Wolf Chaos.

Lost Izalith was the next target, but I only found out after I had killed the Centipede Demon that apparently opening up the shortcut by giving Humanity to The Fair Lady closes off the main door to Lost Izalith. Speaking of which, the Centipede Demon is one of those wonderful Fromsoft creatures that I have to take some time to construct a good picture of what it actually looks like, even though it's right there. Anyone who has played Bloodborne probably knows what I mean. Lost Izalith itself wasn't too bad, all told- I managed to backstab Kirk, for one, and took the time to properly finish Siegmeyer's quest. But the real trouble was with the Bed of Chaos. Because I am, apparently, a moron.

Destroying the root to the left was no problem, but the one to the right, I just couldn't reach. After a few deaths I was like- "Man, I sure way there was some way to deal with its attacks other than rolling, because that just keeps on failing." And then it clicked, and the little nag at the back of my head went-


It's true, though. Pretty much since I finished Blighttown the first time, I had been two-handing my weapon almost exclusively, so my shield slot was basically my Stamina Regen slot, as the Grass Crest Shield had occupied the spot on Adol's back for so long that it had enough time to go from a mere resident alien to a naturalized citizen of his rearguard. It was probably overkill to go through the process of building Artorias's Greatshield, but I had the STR for it, and minus a couple of platforming mishaps later, the Bed of Chaos was done.

Getting to the Four Kings was a bit trickier, not just because ghosts are spooky. there was a particularly unpleasant surprise when I first went to the lower areas of New Londo that was not enemy-related, when I decided to have myself a good look at the "ground" I was walking on. Sometimes it doesn't pay to have an eye for detail. Still it is an effective piece of visual storytelling concerning the New Londo flood. I actually had some trouble with the Darkwraiths because they were quick, they were aggressive, and not especially loud either, and a lot of what I used to fight Black Knights didn't work. So I was like- "Man, if only there was some way to take the heat off their attacks and gain some space to strike back. And then that little nagging voice came back.


I knew I built that thing for a reason. I tried to do the Four Kings fight itself all proper and fancy-like, but that just didn't work out, so I threw on my heaviest armor, took the sword in both hands, and was like "Bring it!" And the Four Kings were like "Oh no, we can't bring anything."

So, tip: If you're interested in facerolling the Four Kings, bring Havel's armor. At least on regular New Game.

I had saved Gravelord Nito for last because of two reasons. First, it has been established by an important man of letters that skeletons are both spooky and scary, and Nito is a skeleton made out of skeletons with a sword made out of more skeletons. The second is that I don't like the idea of areas where I can't see anything further than ten feet in front of my face, even with the Sunlight Maggot's help. The Rastin Mines have got nothing on the Tomb of the Giants, and that's not even considering the Skeletal Beasts. Paladin Leeroy (real subtle there, Fromsoft) wasn't too bad, and I'm still wondering how Patches ever manages to trick anybody.

Which brings me to a last Tangent- I like how you find the sets of other classes in places that they probably would die if they were the player. You find the sorcerer set in a place full of undead dogs and assassins which could easily rush one, down, you find the Knight Set near the Hydra which he certainly wouldn't have the sped or agility to defeat, you find Cleric Set near where Patches is in the Catacombs, and so on and so forth.

Nito was not difficult- I'm sure that he hits like a truck, but he is just slow beyond slow- I had plenty of time to heal when I got hit by his other attacks, so I wasn't all that worried from the get go. Finishing him off wasn't hard.

So, with the big four knocked off it was time to...

Oh yeah, this is the Prepare to Die Edition.

Time to head off to the DLC. Can't be that bad, right?


PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, '15, 6:29 pm 
It can.

Welcome to Artorias of the Abyss, or "Kaathe might be an even bigger liar than Frampt."

Now, the Sanctuary Guardian was scary, but I still passed him first go- not that it's entirely clear to me how I managed to actually pull it off. Your guess is as good as mine. However, that's not what I was looking ahead to. Knight Artorias has something of a reputation among Dark Souls players, I had found, and many bits of advice ran contrary to how I like to play the game. I was actually both nervous and eager to actually go up and fight the guy, but I decided to completely regard almost all of the advice the community had to give. I kept my armor, kept my sword, and like an undead Frank Sinatra, I'd do it my way.

Third time was the charm.

Granted, I did get utterly wrecked the first two times, but as long as I could keep him from going Super Artorias, he was quite manageable, even with a mid-roll.

I also gave his soul to Ciaran, because it was the Adol thing to do.

Which actually gets into one of the things that's different about the DLC content from the main game, as the NPCs are quite a bit less parsimonious with the details of what has actually been going on up in Oolacile. Even Marvelous Chester is willing to divulge a fair bit of stuff, such as who was responsible for digging up the primeval human and dooming the place to the corruption of the Abyss. Granted, that snake was involved, but just how did the people think that Kaathe's idea was a good one? "Hey, let's dig up Manus, Father of the Abyss, it'll be a fun time for all." Guess what it wasn't.

Kalameet was next on the hitlist, which meant dealing with Hawkeye Gough. I really like Hawkeye, not just because they do the thing with him where you can hear craftsmen at work well before you can actually see him. First, is that they made the giant guy of the four Knights into the archer rather than the beatstick. The second is that Hawkeye is just so pleasant and helpful that I can't help but wonder if he took a wrong turn when he was heading to the Legend of Zelda casting call. The third is that he's not the dumb smash-things brute, but his story is about that's what people thought he was. And even beyond that is the scene where you actually get him to do something about Kalameet for you, and he stands up, and all the dirt and dust falls off of him when he gets up because he had been sitting there making archtree carvings for so long.

Trust me, it's pretty cool.

So Cool

Kalameet himself quickly occupied the same space as Sif, which is "I hate you, but you're SO AWESOME". Probably the best dragon boss fight worthy of the name I've encountered in action games in a very long time. Of course, there were problems in fighting him. I was like- "Man, I just can't get away from a lot of his attacks. I wish there was some way to deal with those and still retain my black iron armor." And then a little nagging voice piped up, and said-


80% Fire block and high stability can cover a lot of mistakes. Which is I guess is the main thing I have to praise about a strength/tank build in Dark Souls- if you build for strength, your dude ends up feeling really strong. It wasn't a cure-all, of course, because Kalameet is stronk. But he was beatable.

Manus himself was pretty trivial to get to, and I welcomed the fact that the route there was pretty trivial, however spooky the humanity phantoms are. Pretty much everything surrounding Manus and the idea of Humanity as an actual object is probably one of my favorite parts of the game, is it is the title- Humanity is the Dark Soul. I did take the time to rescue Sif, even though I didn't really plan to summon him in the boss fight- it just seemed the right thing to do at the time. the one exception to the lack of difficulty in the Chasm of the Abyss was that corner with the million billion bloatheads. I'm not even a mage, why am I doing this?

Manus himself was a bit of a revelation, especially considering he's more of a Bloodborne boss than others in Dark Souls. In fact, he might even be more of a fighting game boss, because he has superior combo and juggle tech. I was pretty sure that as losses piled up I'd be like Apollo Creed at the end of Rocky II where my corner brain would be like- "You're at the end, just back off, beat Gwyn, and you can say you've finished the game!" And I'd be like- "No, I gotta beat him... I gotta knock him out!" Of course, I was having troubles- he's a great boxer, and a better wizard, so I was like- "Man, how can I preserve my health from his wombo combo so I can focus on using the Silver pendant." And then the little nagging voice was like:


And that was the end of Manus.

So, with all that stuff cleared up, all that was left was finishing the game. But I felt like I was probably forgetting something. Well, it probably wasn't that import-


Oh, right.

In all of the excitement, I forgot to explore the Painted World, and the difference between when I went there and the first time I could have gone there was several armor upgrades, a now maxed-out Black Knight Sword, and about thirty soul levels. It was not a problem, but I'm glad I went there anyhows because it is a really nice area, especially when you consider the fact that the Painted World was the very first area created for the game. Priscilla was pretty much originally intended to fulfill the same role as the Maiden in Black from Demon's Souls, and her data even has a ton of unused sitting poses. I also like the fact that there are a couple of Demon's Souls enemies glooping around there, too. Finishing this was pretty much a formality, as I really didn't intend to use anything I found there, so I said "Hello, I must be going now." to Priscilla and moved on.

So fluffy

Which finally brought me back to the final area of the game, the Kiln of the First Flame. I have to hand it to Fromsoft- after dealing with all of the other endgame areas, I thought it was an interesting direction to take that the very final area of the game was a deliberate anticlimax. It's really easy to navigate, and the only enemies there are a handful of Black Knights, which are no trouble at all to deal with if you've managed to make it this far into the game. It's just a quiet, lonely approach to a ruin, and I always love it when the final area of the game is like, the basement of the very first area of the game or close to it, like how the final boss of Ys II is actually at the bottom of one of the areas in Ys I.

Also, some helpful person left a little message near the final boss door. "Try parrying."

And that was the end of Gwyn, and the end of Dark Souls. As for the ending, I decided to throw Adol on the fire, because I was bent on making this Adol's worst adventure ever, because he's so terrible in Ys IV, Dawn of Ys, and because I can't find any videos of the Link the Fire ending on youtube. It's no wonder Frampt never talked about what "Succeeding Gwyn" actually means. I wasn't going to take Adol into NG+, as I hadn't done all of the NG+ prep- that's for the playthrough I'm currently doing. The only bosses I didn't kill were Gwyndolin, because I forgot how to get to him, and Priscilla, because she's too fluffy to kill.

A few more random thoughts before I wrap this up:

If this really was a proper Adolventure, Dusk (and maybe Ciaran) would be getting all gooey-eyed over Adol. Also, Dogi would spend much of the game moping, because illusionary walls are pretty much the same thing as blueballs to him.

I hope Fromsoft makes a different kind of fantasy game one of these days, because I think they may have hit peak bleak with Dark souls 3.

So fluffy

I'm pretty sure the area where you fight Sif is the site of the Oolacile Arena. I have no means of substantiating this.

I like that even though Ciaran is by far the smallest member of the Four Knights, she's <i>still</i> distinctly taller than your guy.

Really, does either Kaathe or Frampt have a face you can trust?

Praise the Sun.

After 45 hours and 90 soul levels, Dark Souls was done, and it took that long because I was basically Curiosity Core this time through. The greatest shame about this is that, like Clannad, I almost missed out on this great thing because of how irresponsible a lot of its fans were in advertising the game, and it's really because of the guy who was my advisor for this trip that I went out on a limb and gave this game a good, solid try in the first place. And it was great, and I kinda wish that many more people really pushed all of the other cool things about this game that were not the difficulty, like the big variety of eminently viable playstyles, or the cool environments, or the subtle, understated visual worldbuilding, or really anything at all like that. It is a tough game, but it is also so much more than a tough game, that leaning on it being tough does the game a huge disservice.

And that's it.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, '15, 2:57 am 
Love it! I felt like I was watching you play the game while reading this. Dark Souls is easily one of my favorite games.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, '15, 3:17 am 
Dark Souls is one of those games I go back and forth on (disclosure: haven't played it). Sometimes I feel myself wanting to try and dive in as I hear it is extremely good once you get into it, but I am fully aware of the EXTREME difficulty and when I look at how many games I want to play, I'm not sure I want to make the time investment it would take to get to that point without feeling like I'm running headlong into a brick wall reinforced with steel girders. I don't mind a challenge, but hard for the sake of hard is not something I've ever managed to get into. Everything else I've heard about the game appeals to me on some level, but that one thing is what's keeping it in my "not sure I want to play this..." category.

However, these extensive posts gave me plenty to read (and possibly re-read) to inform my indecision. Also, win on the Okami reference!

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, '15, 8:00 am 
I have never played the game but I did enjoy reading your post about it very much. You made the game sound very interesting and one that I might enjoy playing. I would have never imagined that I would think that before reading this. Thanks! It is always nice to try new things, or atleast want to give them a try. And, I loved the bit about Rocky/Apollo Creed.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, '15, 3:55 pm 
Okay, so here's the thing about Dark Souls and its difficult. It's not so much extremely difficult in the way that, say, the Devil May Cry games are difficult, but differently difficult, because:

1.) The game is built on an entirely different set of assumptions than other Action RPGs and even 3D action games in general, perhaps one of the most notable being how "killing things" and "not being killed by things" is drawn from the same resource, and managing your stamina so you have room to do both is just something you don't really have to deal with in almost any game outside of the Souls series.

2.) The game doesn't care too much for explaining these assumptions to the player, which is why no one will blame people for using the Dark Souls wikidot wiki if they want to learn about the underpinnings.

I would say the twitch requirements for succeeding at Dark Souls are actually lower than the requirements in other action games, as the keys to victory are patience and consistency, because throwing caution to the wind will get you flattened no matter how little life a boss or tough enemy has left, because the punishment for hubris is high (which is how I lost my 4th time fighting Manus). Once you've got the assumptions down, there are still parts that will be difficult, like Sen's Fortress and the Capra Demon, but it becomes much more manageable- on my current New file, It only took me two tries each to beat Grey Wolf Sif and Dragonslayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough. However, even when I was doing the playthrough that I wrote about, I was never really walled by certain bosses to the same degree in Dark Souls as I was by a few of the bosses in, say, Ys: The Oath in Felghana on Normal.

 Page 1 of 1  [ 7 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

Display posts from previous:
Sort by  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to: