Tuesday December 17, 2019
A New Journey Begins!
“Thou who art Undead, art chosen. In thine exodus from the Undead Asylum, maketh pilgrimmage to the land of Ancient Lords. When thou ringeth the Bell of Awakening, the fate of the Undead thou shalt know…”
Oscar, Knight of Astora
We’re approaching the end of 2019, and a lot of people have been posting about their games of the year, and more importantly, their games of the decade. I have a post like this waiting, but since there is still time left in the year, I wanted to close it out with a blogging series of sorts. My game of the decade (spoiler alert) is Dark Souls, and I wanted to celebrate that by doing a playthrough of the remaster, and documenting that here. I’ve never played through the game as a magic user (I’ve always been more of a sword-wielding, skull-crushing fan) so this will be my first time as a ~wizard~. I hope to be posting these entries a couple times a week (TBD) and will hopefully be finished by the end of the year. I’m not sure if I’ll play through the DLC due to time constraints, but we’ll see. I’m also playing on Nintendo Switch, for anyone interested. I hope you guys enjoy the series, because I’m having a lot of fun writing it. Anyway, enough preamble – let’s get started!
This is the character I decided to go with – Abracadaniel (aka the shite wizard from Adventure Time) with the Sorcerer starting class, and Master Key starting gift. Always, ALWAYS start with the Master Key. It is objectively the best gift, and gives you a lot of options right from the start of the game.
So Abracadaniel wakes up in a cell in the Northern Undead Asylum, and we’re off once our buddy, Oscar the Knight, drops our cell key down for us. It’s a quick run down the hall and up a ladder to our first bonfire of the game. Yay! Through the big imposing doors ahead is the first boss of the game, the guardian of the asylum (aptly named the Asylum Demon) but we’re not fighting it just yet. Instead, we’re hauling ass right past it and through a door to the left – and another bonfire awaits us! Through the next section, I pick up my dagger and shield, and get to meet the knight that helped us escape our prison.
He gives us our Estus Flask (our source of healing) and then perishes. RIP. Now it’s up the stairs (we’ve already triggered the trap waiting for us at the top) and through the few hollows lying in wait to the top of the asylum. The sorcerer’s catalyst is waiting for Abracadaniel up here. We can cast Soul Arrow now, and it’s a good thing – it’s time to face the first boss. Head through the white fog and do a plunging attack (do it fast – if you linger on the balcony, the demon will jump up to crush you).
I hit the demon a few times with my dagger for approximately zero damage, so I switched to my Soul Arrows. Pew pew! The demon goes down in no time, and I’m freeee! It’s out the door and up the cliff for Abracadaniel. There’s a lovely crow that will take us to Lordran, and our main hub area, Firelink Shrine.
Here, we can spend our souls and level up. Next, we get to talk to the Crestfallen Knight, who gives us some great advice about ringing the two Bells of Awakening, and heading up the stairs to the Undead Burg. I also talk to the scum – I mean, knight, Petrus of Thorolund (we have the same haircut, but mine looks much better) but I don’t need any of his miracles. After looting some items around Firelink, I head for the Burg. Having strong, reliable range with the Soul Arrows makes clearing my way through a lot easier. This magic thing is pretty alright, I guess.
We clear this area and find our first Burg bonfire. From there, we carefully (by ‘carefully’ I mean ‘running as fast as possible’) make our way across the next bridge (watch out for fire bombs) and clear out the next section. Using our Master Key, we can access one of the houses and grab ourselves some Gold Pine Resin to buff our weapons. There’s a Black Knight up ahead. I should probably avoid him for now. Should I? Nah, let’s go for it. I spam Soul Arrows at him, consistently backing up until he’s dead. We get a Titanite Chunk for our efforts.
Up the tower ahead is our first real boss, the Taurus Demon. I tried the ‘safe’ method (which I’m not actually a fan of) of climbing the ladder and plunge-attacking him to death, but uhh, it didn’t go so well. I got stuck in the corner and bludgeoned to death. First death of the run! Well done Abracadaniel!
I decide to just hoon it through the Burg back to the boss fight, instead of fighting everything along the way. The second fight went much better – I just faced it on the bridge, and used my Soul Arrows to take it out. Revenge!
Now we have access to the rest of the Undead Burg, and our path to the Undead Parish up ahead is (sort of) clear. There is also a pretty important NPC waiting for us here…
It’s Solaire of Astora! He gives us the White Sign Soapstone and tells us to summon him if we’re ever in need. A true homie. Now, we can haul ass down the bridge behind us (there is a suspicious amount of burned bodies, and black tar all over the stones – wonder what that’s about?) to avoid being torched by the Hellkite Dragon, who makes his triumphant return. From here, we can access a shortcut, via kicking down a ladder, to the original Burg bonfire that we found. We can spend our lovely souls and level up again – I’ve dumped pretty much everything into Intelligence at this point. Abracadaniel is almost at the point where he is seeing floating geometry and math. We also look a bit like beef jerky right now because we’re hollow, but we’ll fix that soon.
Anyway, we’ve made some pretty good progress, so I’ll call it a day there. Abracadaniel will be back soon, taking on the Undead Parish, and the Gargoyles. We’ll also make a quick stop in the shithole that is Blighttown… stay tuned!
Let me know what you guys think about the series in the comments!