Dark Souls Diaries: Entry XV

Hello Darkness, my old Friend

“What is bravery, without a dash of recklessness?”

Hawkeye Gough

Gonna be honest, I didn’t expect to have to go this high in Roman numerals, but here we are. Today, we’re actually going to wrap up the DLC. We’ll start by seeking out the black dragon, Kalameet, in the hopes of defeating the ancient beast. Seems like Gwyn didn’t do as great of a job with these flying reptiles as we’ve all been lead to believe, huh? You missed a few, man. Before we actually get started though, I make a quick detour back to Darkroot Garden. Now that we’ve met all of Gwyn’s four knights, I’d like to have all of their rings. The only one I’m missing is Artorias’ Wolf Ring, and it’s in this area.

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In the Moonlight Butterfly section, there is a tree that you can kill, and pass to find a lower area of the wood. There are a couple of red frog things (they drop Green Blossoms, if you need that stamina grass) and some Stone Knights. Past these enemies, and up a set of stairs in a cave, is the ring. We can then jump across this ledge, and we’re basically right at the bonfire.

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All four of the knight’s rings.

Now, back to the past! Kalameet’s boss arena is just outside of, and down the cliffside from the Coliseum. We’re in a narrow canyon, with a couple items, and some dogs to watch out for. There’s a wooden gate that leads to an overlook – below, we can see some waterfall pools, and a couple of items. We can slide down a nearby ladder to reach this valley area.

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There’s a developer message on the ground here: “A dragon high above the sky, out of sight of the naked eye” and another one, further up that says “If only Hawkeye Gough were here…” These are two giant hints that you don’t want to do this on your own. After standing here for a couple seconds, Kalameet will swoop down and breathe fire all across the arena, killing us (you don’t have to let him kill you, but I do anyway because its faster).

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While it is technically possible to kill Kalameet at this stage, it’s extremely difficult and kind of pointless to attempt. Instead, we’re going back to talk to Gough. He’s the only one who seems to know anything about this terror, and he is, according to the Hawk Ring, one who has taken down high-flying dragons.

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After answering “Yes” to both of his questions (essentially asking if Kalameet is troubling us, and then if we mean to challenge him again) Gough will volunteer to help. We get to see one of the coolest cutscenes in the game – Gough picks up his Greatbow, and nails Kalameet with an arrow, crippling and grounding him. Not bad for a retired blind man, eh? Now, we should be able to face him – and it should be a more equal fight.

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Gough wishes us luck, and we’re free to face Kalameet again – but this time, he’ll be on the ground, and we can have a genuine fight. My first try doesn’t go so well – he lunges at me, and takes off about 80% of my health, which is good to know. I can’t take more than one hit from the dragon before I need to heal. I panic, and try to do so, and he kills me mid-sip.

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Now that my panic has subsided, my second attempt goes pretty smoothly. My Homing Crystal Soulmass is doing about 200 points her hit, so I exhaust those before switching to my others, most importantly my precious 4 Crystal Soul Spears. It never ceases to amaze me how much damage these things do; I didn’t notice the numbers (I was trying not to die, see) but they were taking off a significant chunk of his health with each hit. And the casting time is fairly fast.

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I get pretty greedy, and almost eat it, which is to say, I go for the final hit at a very inopportune moment. But thankfully, I’m bailed out by my full health. I had forgotten the cast time on Great Heavy Soul Arrow is about 3 hours, so Abracadaniel is standing in front of Kalameet, right as the black dragon launches himself at us. The Soul Arrow fires at precisely the moment Kalameet connects – it knocks Abracadaniel on his ass, but Kalameet dies. Whew. That was close.

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AHHHHH – oh we’re alive…

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Kalameet has a tail cut weapon – the Obsidian Greatsword – but it’s very difficult to get, and I can’t wield it with this character, so I didn’t bother. The Calamity Ring essentially doubles the damage you take (if you’d like a challenge, or you’re a masochist) so we won’t be using it. You can pick up a Titanite Slab in a chest near the waterfalls as well. Now, we can let Gough know we were victorious – he’ll congratulate us, and gift us his Greatbow, saying he has no use for it anymore.

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We can kill Gough for his armor, and some interesting lore, but I can’t bear to kill this NPC – he’s one of my favourites, a true homie, so I leave him be. We can return to the Township bonfire, and warp back down the the Oolacile Dungeon one. From here, we can enter the Chasm of the Abyss.

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This area can be really hard to navigate – it’s pretty dark, there are enemies hidden in nooks and crannies, and it’s hard to tell where you can drop off and not die. I’m also not super familiar with it. I just take it slow and do my best. There is a group of Bloatheads surrounding a sorcerer just as we start in – I want the spell they’re guarding, but I die several times trying to get it. The enemies swarm you while the sorcerer fires at you, and there isn’t a whole lot of cover. Eventually I manage to kill them all and grab Dark Bead – everyone’s favourite PVP spell.

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From here, it’s a treacherous descent down into the Chasm. We can see all the Humanity enemies below – they resemble the Humanity sprites we’ve been collecting to reverse our hollowing throughout the playthrough. Super interesting…

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They have a reasonable chance of dropping Humanity upon death, so this is a good place to farm if you need to. Again, as with most enemies, they can be dangerous if you get overwhelmed, but they aren’t too bad. My Moonlight Greatsword also staggers them back, so that’s a plus. I clear most of them out, in order to pick up the items scattered about, before I trigger an illusory platform, which allows us to fall down into a “secret” section of the Chasm.

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There’s a familiar face here – a feline, to be precise. It’s an illusory version of Alvina, the leader of the covenant that protects Artorias’ grave in our time. When you approach, she disappears, re-appearing further ahead. It seems she’s trying to lead us somewhere.

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Important shortcut.

She leads us by another shortcut elevator (it takes us up to an area just outside the Coliseum) and then to an illusory wall. Through a narrow crevice, there is a group of Humanity enemies, clustered around a glowing, golden ring. We can’t quite see what it is yet. I take out most of the enemies with my last remaining Soul Arrows, then approach the circle.

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It’s Sif! Artorias’ friend is in the center of this cleansing circle. The enemies can’t enter it, so Sif is safe inside. Once we’ve cleared the room, Sif acknowledges us with a howl, and disappears, leaving us with the Cleansing Greatshield.

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This solves (more or less) the mystery of Artorias’ broken arm and missing shield. Possibly overwhelmed in the Chasm, he gave up his shield to create a barrier for his doggy companion, who he was forced to leave behind. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

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😥

Fun fact: if you find Sif here, before you fight it in Darkroot in the vanilla game, the cutscene for the boss’ introduction is different. Sif appears to recognize you – and picks up its masters sword to fight you much more hesitantly. But anyway – we’re pretty much through the Chasm at this point, so the only thing left to do is reach the bottom, where the infamous fog gate – and our final boss – awaits. It’s time to face Manus.

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Gough warned us about him earlier – “But, seduced by a Dark serpent or no, they awoke that thing themselves and drove it mad… One’s demise is always one’s own making… thou must face Manus, Father of the Abyss. The Dark emanates from Manus himself.” We’re about to see exactly what the primeval human, the Father of the Abyss, source of the darkness, is like.

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This is a very difficult fight. Manus has it all – power, range, Magic, and tons of health. Because we saved Sif earlier, we can summon it for this fight – but the summon sign is actually inside the arena. It can be quite dangerous to try this while Manus is pummeling you, but it is a very cool summon. Sif doesn’t do a whole lot of damage, but it has a decent amount of health, and is a great distraction.

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One of the reasons this fight is so challenging is the amount of things you have to stay aware of – nailing your dodges, healing safely, and in the second phase, flipping between your Estus and the Silver Pendant to block Manus’ Dark sorceries. Doing this on the handheld Switch was a bit of added challenge as well. I was also drinking coffee, which probably wasn’t a good idea. Four heart beats for the price of one!

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I summon Sif my first two tries, but it doesn’t go well at all, so on my third attempt, I start going solo. Sorry doggo – you’re still a good boy. But, I’m not gonna lie, I was struggling with this fight. Manus’ attacks are varied, and all require slightly different dodge timing. My spells also aren’t doing as much damage as I hoped, and during one attempt, I actually run out of Magic – all my Homing spells, and my Crystal Soul Spears. My regular Soul Arrows don’t do enough damage. I decide to try a melee approach for the first half of the fight, then switch to Magic in the second – when Manus starts to use his Dark attacks.

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This doesn’t work at all. I try two more times, once with each of my fully upgraded weapons; my Moonlight Greatsword does about 90 damage per hit, while my Enchanted Longsword does around 60. Yikes. The melee strategy isn’t doing enough to be viable. I decide to try out some different spells – I take Soul Spear, Crystal Soul Spear, both Homing spells, and Dark Bead. This turns out to be The Run™.

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Dark Bead ends up being the MVP – I assumed because Manus uses these spells himself, he wouldn’t take much damage from them. I was very wrong. I open with Dark Bead, and it’s doing incredible damage – I manage to land a counter hit (when Manus is jumping backward) and it does over 500 damage. I take off almost half his health with this alone. I then switch to the Homing spells, and we’re into the second phase. Now I have to be on top of his Magic attacks, using the Silver Pendant. You can technically dodge these, but I find the Pendant to be the most reliable way of avoiding damage from these moves. If you get caught in the “hail” style ones, you’ll be staggered, and die without being able to do anything.

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I’m finally able to finish Manus off with my Crystal and regular Soul Spears, which both do significant damage. Thank god. In total, it probably only took me about 8-10 attempts, but I was getting nervous. Truthfully, I’d forgotten how difficult he was.

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Once Manus vanishes, Dusk appears. She’s laying on the floor, and we can talk to her, but she doesn’t say anything coherent, nor can she move. It seems shitty to just leave her, but we can’t do anything else. I put on her dress to show some solidarity – stay strong girl! – then warp back to Oolacile Sanctuary. Elizabeth is waiting to speak to us. Probably. I don’t think she can move, so technically she’s always waiting.

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She thanks us, and rewards us with some Elizabeth Mushrooms – great? She also tells us that she’ll keep our story of heroism to herself – which explains why Artorias is still known as the Abyss conqueror in our time. Which is fine. Abracadaniel needs no fame – doing the right thing is its own reward. Right?

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I think we’ll leave off here – for the final time it seems. The next entry should be the final one, as all that’s left to do is defeat Gwyn. I’ll do some last minute clean up – like saying goodbye to NPC’s, and fighting the optional boss that I skipped much earlier. Other than that, we’ll officially be done! This series has been so much fun to play and write, I’ll be sad when it’s over. But enough of that – we can reminisce next time, once we defeat the Lord of Sunlight. Keep on praising!

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Until next time, Oolacile!

 

Published by

meghanplaysgames

24-year-old hailing from Toronto, Canada. Persistent gamer, avid reader, and fledgling D&D player. I’ve played video games for as long as I can remember, and they’ve always been a big part of my love for the art of storytelling. Just trying to make it in a world where my copy of Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure no longer works.

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