Sunday December 22, 2019
Down, Down to Goblin Town!
“Blighttown is a place of great pestilence. Even the polluted inhabitants of the Depths are aware of its dangers, and built this mighty door in hopes that they could remain safely separated.”
We took a quick rest at Firelink before heading back to the Depths; since we picked up the Sewer Chamber Key last time, we can head past the section with the butchers (down a hall with a couple of torch hollows and some slimes that drop from the ceiling) and unlock a door that leads to the only bonfire in this area.
I rest at this bonfire and reverse my hollowing – there is an NPC invader in this area that I’d like to defeat. From here, we can head into the beginning of the maze – it’s pretty straight forward at this point, following a single path, with the only enemies so far being a couple groups of rats. The first real enemy we’ll find is another one of Seath’s Channelers (we found the first one in the Undead Parish) and we definitely need to take him out. There are a few giant rats around him, and he’ll buff them with magic, so watch their attacks. I lure them over one by one to take care of them, then attack the Channeler. If you don’t kill this Channeler, he’ll buff the boss, and shoot Soul Arrows at you while you’re in the fight. Abracadaniel ain’t got time for that.
From this point on, we’re in the labyrinth proper. It’s not too difficult to navigate, but there are several holes in the floor of these narrow halls that we carefully avoid. You can hear a distinct clicking sound if you listen – this is the sound of the Basilisks. They’re nasty enemies – they inflict Curse on you with their breath, and if you’re Cursed, your HP will be permanently cut in half. It is curable, but not easily. We want to avoid these things as much as possible.
After sliding down a small ramp, we’re in the lowest section – and it’s here we get invaded by Knight Kirk. Kirk, the Knight of Thorns, is a member of the Darkwraith covenant – invading the worlds of others in order to pillage their humanity. We beat him pretty easily. He ain’t shit. He has a cool set of armor though.
We’re pretty much at the end of the Depths here – just a bit further ahead is a door we can unlock for an easy shortcut back to the bonfire. There’s another NPC (Domhnall of Zena, a merchant) that I stop to chat to. He sells boss armor later in the game, and gives you extremely useful advice, as long as you buy stuff from him. Here for instance, he tells us that in order to tackle the respawning skeletons in the Catacombs, we’ll need a divine weapon.
From here, it’s down to the boss fight. This is an easy boss, but looks pretty intimidating. There are two summons available, our pal Solaire, and Lautrec (if I hadn’t messed up his quest earlier) however, I don’t recommend summoning either. The boss gets a significant health boost, and neither of these knights are particularly effective in this battle. It’s actually much easier to solo. So in we go!
I still remember the first time I saw this boss – I remember thinking something along the lines of “Oh that’s cute – alligator in the sewers? Hahaha… Oh god.”
This is the Gaping Dragon. It’s one of Seath’s creations. You can wait for it to do its “rampage” and then wail on it while it sits still to recover. Otherwise, the only really devastating attack is the one where it flies up and drops on you – I got caught by this mid-Soul Arrow cast unfortunately…
At least we unlocked the shortcut? I have better luck on my second try. The dragon is defeated, and I get its tail cut as well!
I go back to the bonfire to level up before heading into Blighttown. Deep sigh.
We can technically skip the entirety of this area because of the Master Key (we can go in the back exit, the way we did earlier) but that doesn’t feel quite right. Instead, I commit Abracadaniel to immense suffering and start the harrowing descent.
There a couple of giants bois to kill right at the bottom of the ladder – they can be backstabbed and parried – just make sure you don’t fall off the narrow walkways. They drop Dung Pie’s which seems, er, useless and gross, but we can actually use these later, so we collect them anyway. I also swap Abracadaniel’s shield out to the Spider Shield that we picked up in the Depths. There is one (of the many) small enemies that shoot toxic blowdarts at you just ahead. This shield will block them and allow us to take them out without getting inflicted with Toxic. Toxic is the worse version of Poison, and will kill us too quickly to do anything about it.
Blighttown is such a confusing mess, even after all these years, I still don’t really know the route down. At least the framerate is fine in the Remaster. I make it to the first bonfire, and from there, it’s just a confusing downward trudge past fire dogs, gross humanoids, and more of the Toxic blowdart guys. I actually make it down to the swamp without dying at all, which is a small miracle.
I rest at the bonfire and reverse my hollowing again – there’s another NPC invader down here. This time, it’s the naked butcher lady, Maneater Mildred. She’s easy to fight – we just stay in the bonfire tunnel and out of the swamp.
Because we went to the Asylum and got the Rusted Iron Ring earlier, we can move about freely in the swamp, thank god. There’s another merchant down here we can speak to – we met him way back in Darkroot Garden. We don’t need anything from him now, but this seems like a secluded place to, I don’t know, murder him in future?
Beyond this is the boss of Blighttown, and she guards the second Bell of Awakening that we’ve been looking for. Avoid the boulder throwing giants and head down into her lair. Based on the webs, you can probably guess what kind of creature she is….
This is Chaos Witch Quelaag – half witch, half spider demon. She’s a daughter of the Witch of Izalith, and was deformed by the failed attempt to recreate the First Flame, and ensuing fallout. This fight was disgusting. I had her down to almost nothing, before I backed into a pool of lava (which she floods the room with periodically) and died. Foiled by my own stupidity. My bad, Abracadaniel.
Again, I got her on my second try. The Heavy Soul Arrows were doing so much damage – as long as I stay out of the lava and avoid her AOE attacks, this fight really isn’t a problem. With Quelaag defeated, we’re free to ring the second bell.
With the second bell rung, the doors to the proving grounds – Sen’s Fortress – are open. We can now traverse the trap-filled fortress in an attempt to reach Anor Londo, the city of the gods. No problem, right?
Just below where we ring the bell is Quelaag’s sister, the “Fair Lady” and another bonfire. The Fair Lady is a fire keeper, and cannot speak to us – we don’t seem to understand her language. She actually has a very interesting backstory, which we can get into later.
There’s only one thing left to do before we can leave the hellhole that is Blighttown – there is a Fire Keeper Soul down here which we can use to increase the power of our Estus Flask. Unfortunately, it’s guarded by about 5 of those Toxic blowdart shitheads. Pro tip though: using those Dung Pies we picked up earlier, we can actually inflict Toxic on ourselves (just by chucking them on the ground at our feet). This Toxic ticks away at our health a lot more slowly than the other kind though. So now, we’re free to simply sashay around and stab all these enemies without worrying about the Toxic at all. Easy! The Soul is just below here, guarded by a bunch of fire dogs – we take care of them one at a time, and the Soul is ours.
Now let’s get the hell out of Blighttown, via the back exit. When we get back to Firelink Shrine, Abracadaniel finds that quite a bit has happened in his absence…
Unfortunately, the Firelink bonfire is no longer usable at this point. Someone has murdered the Fire Keeper, and so, the bonfire is out. Coincidentally, our friend Lautrec the Knight has also disappeared. Huh. We collect the Fire Keeper’s clothes, and the Black Eye Orb, an item that will allow us to find the murderer later on.
Our cleric friend, Petrus, has returned from the Catacombs, sans the lady and her two knights. He tells us that they became separated, and he fled back to Firelink. He asks us if we’ve seen her (we haven’t) and laments his cowardice. Hmm. We’ll see if his story holds up later. As a last errand, I head down into New Londo to give Rickert the ember I picked up in Darkroot.
Rickert also gives us a little information on Big Hat Logan – that he was a legend in Vinheim, only, that was over a hundred years ago. Turns out our mentor is pretty old! Good to know. Griggs did tell us earlier that Logan had come here, and was attempting to get through Sen’s Fortress – maybe he’s stuck there somewhere, waiting to be assisted? Let’s go find out.
Sen’s Fortress is just past the Undead Parish bonfire – and we’ll (try) to get through this funhouse unscathed next time!