Thursday January 23, 2020
Through the Fire and Flames (and Lava)
“The Witch of Izalith attempted to duplicate the First Flame from a soul, but instead created a distorted being of chaos and fire. Its power formed a bed of life which would become the source of all demons.”
Lord Soul, Bed of Chaos
The plan for today is to finish up Lost Izalith – now that Solaire is safe, we can enter the area and continue on our merry way to the final Lord Soul. We know that the Witch of Izalith failed to replicate her version of the First Flame, and in doing so, doomed Lost Izalith, but its time to see what exactly has become of the once great city.
Making sure that we still have the Orange Charred Ring equipped, we can now enter Lost Izalith proper. Also important to note before we start: None of the bonfires in Lost Izalith (or the Demon Ruins, for that matter) can be warped to. Once I commit to starting this area, I like to make sure I can finish it, so I don’t have to worry about leaving and running all the way back. It’s not that annoying, but it’s something to be aware of. I stock up on Homeward Bones and Purple Moss before I head back to the Daughters of Chaos bonfire, and down the elevator to the Centipede Demon boss arena.
Our first glimpse of Lost Izalith is a sea of lava (somewhat painful to look at because of the bloom effect, but slightly more tolerable in the remaster) with a few notable buildings still standing. We’ll check those out first.
The only enemies in this lava-filled area are these weird T-Rex butt/leg things. Do these enemies even have a name? Apparently they’re called Bounding Demons. I think they’re supposed to be the bottom half of the Undead Dragon enemies (which I haven’t fought at this point). They also don’t respawn (allegedly) but I’m not sure, because I never bother with them. They have a very small aggro range, so as long as you don’t run right up to them, they won’t attack you. They’re strewn about the area haphazardly, but as I said, we’ll just avoid them.
I can run along some of the tree roots to get into the middle of the area, and search around these buildings for a couple of soul items. There are also Stone Demons around, so watch for them. One of these temples has a bonfire hidden behind an illusory wall, so I make sure to find that, light it, and rest before moving on. We’ll be coming back to this bonfire about a million times, so it’s an important one.
From the bonfire, we can head straight forward, and up another tree root to reach the area that leads to the boss. There’s an arched corridor that we’re going to need to go through, but there’s quite a few Stone Demons in our way. They’re not difficult to defeat, as long as you don’t get surrounded.
Past this, we can head up the stairway and deal with our first Chaos Eater of the area. These creatures are nasty-looking: they’re all eyes and teeth. I deal with it using my Soulmass from range, because they have a couple of attacks I want to avoid: a grab, and an acid spit. The spit will do heavy damage to the durability of your armor, and I definitely don’t want to deal with that.
Just through the tower ahead, and to the right, we’ll encounter another of the Witch of Izalith’s daughters. They’re wearing the Gold-Hemmed set, and will cast powerful Pyromanices. Unfortunately for her, my sorceries are so OP by this point, she doesn’t get to do anything before she’s already dead. RIP.
We also get invaded for a third (and final) time by our friend Kirk, Knight of Thorns. Again, I’m able to dispatch him quite quickly. Nice try, Darkwraith, but my humanity remains unpillaged. We’ll follow up with Kirk in a bit.
The boss fog is right here, just down the stairs, but there’s something else I want to take care of first. There are a couple items to pick up in this area, and down another tree root is a lower section, also filled with Stone Demons. Once we clear this out, we can see that this is where the Izalith Shortcut would put us. The door that we opened earlier, as a Chaos Servant (in order to save Solaire) would allow us to cross a bridge and get to this area immediately. There’s a Titanite Demon on the bridge that respawns (the only one in the game) so if you need to farm Demon Titanite for boss weapons, this is where you’ll have to do it.
I give the bridge a pass though, and move over to a suspiciously open-looking section of floor. There’s a faint item glow on the left side, and as I move over, the entire floor collapses, leaving me on a tree root.
I head downward, and take stock of the area. We’re just above a giant pit filled with Chaos Eaters – it’s not looking good. We’re in a bit of a pickle, you might say. And wouldn’t you know it – our friend the Onion Knight is here as well!
This is essentially the finale of Siegmeyer’s questline, and it can end in one of four ways. Once you speak to Siegmeyer, he’ll jump down into the pit in an attempt to defeat the Chaos Eaters. He can either a) die, b) live, with less than 50% of his health remaining, or c) live, with more than 50% of his health remaining. All of these endings will result in a different item, but I’m going to do option 4: Kill all of the Chaos Eaters before Onion Bro has a chance to jump down. Your reward for helping Siegmeyer defeat them is a Titanite Slab, which is useless to Abracadaniel. Ergo, we’ll go for the less risky approach to the second reward.
I hang around Siegmeyer, lock onto the Chaos Eaters, and hammer them with my Soul Arrows/Spears from range. This works on most of them – until I get too close to the edge and fall into the pit with two of them remaining. Despite nearly having a heart attack, my Homing Soulmass makes this actually-not-that-big-of-a-deal. The floor down here is poison, however, and we’ll need to equip our Rusted Iron Ring in order to move normally. Once they’re all dead, I head back upstairs, pop a Purple Moss to cure my poison, and to talk to Siegmeyer.
He thanks me for my assistance again, and gives me the Speckled Stoneplate Ring. This increases our resistance to all incoming damage (Magic, Lighting, Fire, etc.) by 25, which is not insignificant. The only other way to get this ring is to have Siegmeyer survive the fight at less than 50% of his health, which is risky, and can be hard to pull off. This is the much safer route to this reward. Unfortunately, because I inadvertently screwed up Siegmeyer’s questline (I’ll explain later), this is the last we’ll see of the Onion Knight. Farewell sir, you’re a gentleman and a scholar, and there aren’t many of us left!
From here, I use a Homeward Bone to return to the Lost Izalith bonfire, then head back across the lava, and up to the boss fog. It’s finally time – no more stalling.
The Bed of Chaos is widely acknowledged to be the worst fight in the entirety of Dark Souls. It’s technically a puzzle boss, but its mechanics are a) poorly implemented, and b) extremely annoying. Once we surf down the stone ramp into the arena, the fight begins. We’re facing a gigantic tree lady thing? Cool. This is fine.
For the first phase, we’ll run to the right side of the Bed. You can start with either side (both are equally shite) so I just choose to run right. You’ll want to run with your 100% physical block, high stability shield up. The only attack the Bed has at this point that we’re worried about is a sweep with her tree-hands, and our shield will help us deal with that more effectively. There is a glowing orb-like section up ahead, and once we start sword-swinging our way through it, we get a cutscene. For a treat.
We’ve actually just murdered what’s become of one of the Daughters of Chaos. We’ve also cut the first “tether” that you can see – its a glowing orange thread that connects the Bed of Chaos to the ceiling – and there’s one more on the other side. This is where the real fun begins. We have to run to the left side of the Bed now, but the arena has changed – large sections of the floor are collapsing, and we have to avoid falling in. This is really difficult, as now, the Bed’s sweeping attacks are designed to knock us into these pits. This is exactly what happens to Abracadaniel! It costs me 300,000 souls (since I’m not going back for them), but I’m honestly not mad about it – we’re at the point where souls don’t matter too much anymore.
There’s a “cheese” method you can use on this boss, and I’ll show it off shortly, but for now, it’s a long run back from the bonfire to the fog gate. We slide down the ramp again – wheeee – and are back in the arena. This is the only boss in Dark Souls where your progress is ‘checkpointed’ throughout the fight. I’ve already dealt with the right side, and it stays dealt with. So, I attempt to run over to the left side, avoiding the caving sections of floor, and navigating over safely. I make it (to my surprise) and kill the second Daughter, severing the second cord.
After the next cutscene plays, I use the “cheese method” i.e. quitting out of the game. Quitting during a boss fight places you outside the fog gate when you reload. Because you get ‘checkpoints’ during the Bed of Chaos fight, you can do this after dealing with the left/right sides. This means you don’t have to make the run across the arena, or back from the bonfire when you die. We only have one more thing to do, and this boss is over. What are we thinking – first try?
No. That would be too easy. We now have to make the drop into the pit directly in front of the Bed – we need to land on a root that will lead us up, and into, the roots of the Bed itself. This is a pain in the ass. It’s hard to see exactly where you need to fall down, and all the while you’re trying to do this, the Bed (now able to perform Pyromancy-like attacks) is trying its darnedest to kill you. I nearly make it on my first try – I land on the root, but as I start sprinting, there’s suddenly a wall of fire in front of me. I’ve never actually seen this attack before. Regardless, I run straight into the wall and die immediately.
It took me THREE MORE ATTEMPTS to make it onto the root, and into the Bed of Chaos. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Bed of Chaos is the Witch of Izalith. She’s in the center of the Bed, a weird-looking bug creature. A single hit will kill her, but do it quickly – her Pyromancies can still hit you in here, if you linger too long. Once the former Witch is dead, the fight is over, and a bonfire appears. We now have our final Lord Soul. Thank god.
After that ordeal, I just do some boring housekeeping things – I farm for some Dragon Scales to finish upgrading my Moonlight Greatsword to max (I only need two), and head back to the Daughters of Chaos bonfire to pick up Kirk’s armor. Seems he was a Darkwraith collecting humanity to serve Queelag’s sister, the Fair Lady. Maybe he wasn’t so bad after all?
I also realize I’ve forgotten to check in on some NPC’s – let’s follow up with Siegmeyer first. If you remember, we freed his daughter, Sieglinde, from the Duke’s Archives. Unfortunately, when she returned to Firelink Shrine, she asked me if I had seen her father – I responded “No”. I didn’t remember that this ends her quest – you must always answer “Yes”. Normally, after we saved Siegmeyer in Izalith, we’d find him and Sieglinde together in Ash Lake (random, I know) and Siegmeyer will be dead. I check anyway, but they aren’t there.
I had also forgotten to check on Rhea, after I said I would. Unfortunately I screwed this up too – its too late now. Normally, she would be praying in the Undead Parish – but when I go there, she’s already dead. I find 7 Humanity, and the Pendant. How did she die though? She obviously made it back to the church in one piece – what could have happened? Maybe our bowl-haired friend Petrus knows.
Petrus seems pretty shook when we tell him that Lady Rhea is dead. He claims to be grief-stricken, but I’m suspicious. A few characters have told us that Petrus is shady – so lets find out. I kill him.
Upon death, he drops the Ivory Talisman, with the description below.
This is Rhea’s talisman. This is our confirmation that Petrus has killed her – why else would he have this in his possession? I missed out on a bunch of his more sinister dialogue, which sucks, but here we are. We could have saved Rhea from Petrus by killing him earlier, but I put it off for too long. My fault again. Petrus is basically jealous of Rhea, and her status, and so has plotted to kill her for some time now. It’s probably no accident that he “lost” her and her companions in the Tomb of the Giants.
I also want to speak to Quelana in Blighttown – she did ask us to “take care” of her mom and sisters, after all. She thanks us, gives us a cool Pyromancy, and says she can’t call us a fool any longer. Rad.
Anyway, I’m ending this entry here – we have all our Lord souls to feed the Lordvessel now – we could go and fight Gwyn, if we wanted. But next time, I’m going to head back into the DLC to finish that off. We still have a couple bosses, and the town of Oolacile to get through. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do the DLC, but I’m having fun playing, and this series has already gone on for longer than I intended, so might as well keep going. Until next time!