Becoming Lord of the Sewers in Dark Souls

Last time, on Doom, Despair, and Dark Souls, I am finally forced to retreat from a challenge. And in doing so, my life has been ruined. I have brought shame upon my family, who have rightfully disowned me in response. My friends now refuse to make eye contact as they pass me in the street. Even strangers are afraid of catching my dishonour, and stay away from my poor broken shell. I have become a husk of a man. A beautiful husk, but a husk nonetheless. Can I redeem myself? Read on to find out!

The first step in my redemption takes me to the Depths. It’s a good long walk from Darkroot Garden and through the Undead Burg before I finally reach the entrance, but I find I do really need the time to think. Specifically, I have to decide whether to actually go through with this. Yes, conquering the Depths would be the first step in putting the pieces of a life shattered by my cowardice back together. Yes, until I get through it my life will be forever marred by shame. Yes, if I don’t redeem myself by facing down the challenges herein, the only human interaction I’ll see for the rest of my life will be people spitting on my fly-infested corpse. On the other hand, sewer level. I really really really really hate sewer levels!

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My hate does not overpower my need for redemption, however, and I descend through the door in the Lower Undead Burg. Before I can get my bearings, I’m greeted by their welcoming committee.

 dark souls 10 depths welcoming committee dead

I return the sentiment.

With these simple zombies being the first challenge I face, it’s obvious that Darkroot Garden is on a whole other level from where I was actually supposed to be going. I’ve been fighting these guys since the beginning of the game! Throwing them at me now? Please.

 dark souls 10 depths butcher shoot

That’s not to say the area’s lacking in new enemies, though. Through a window in this stairway, I spy a large being, seems to be a butcher of some sort, waiting on a small outcropping. Probably for some unsuspecting sap to pass beneath him unawares. Well, I’m sure you’ll agree that I am the most suspecting sap, so I decide to turn his game around on him, and shoot him in the head using my patented ‘fire an arrow without ever pulling back on the drawstring’ technique I apparently picked up somewhere without knowing. He tries to charge me in response, apparently forgetting that there’s not actually ground in front of him. I wait for him to make his way back up to me, but he seems to have gotten a bit lost. What a loser.

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Heading down from that stairwell leads to a dining area. You know, this place is looking delightfully non-sewery. I don’t know what I was so worried about. More zombies here. I smash them. Then I smash all the barrels and crates in the room, because you never know when they’re going to strike. I also smash all the furniture, because honestly, by this point it just seemed like the right thing to do.

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Inspiration for the Legend of Zelda Currency?

Anyone with even a passing interest in the art of videogames has probably crossed paths with a Legend of Zelda title at some point in her life, and through it, become familiar with the multicolored gems that pass for money in the game’s world, the rupees.  Where did they come from, though?  That question has haunted many a child with way too much time on their hands since the days of the NES.  Was it just a mistranslation of ruby?  If so, why weren’t they usually red?  Obviously, rupees are the real world currency of India and a handful of other nations.  Yet Legend of Zelda is very much a western-style fantasy, produced by a Japanese team, and has little, if any, Indian elements.

Recently, I stumbled on something that may shed some light on the subject.  Or, more likely, it just muddies the water a bit more.  Apparently, in my family, it’s a tradition to give infants money that they’ll never be able to use.  Sometime between my second and third birthday, judging by the dates on this stuff, my grandparents on both sides of the family independently decided that I was really bad at saving money, so they thought they’d teach me a lesson by giving me money I could never possibly turn into Batman toys.  Silver dollars commemorating big national events, exotic foreign currencies, that sort of thing.  I wasn’t very interested, on account of I was freakin’ two, so my parents just stored it all away until I grew up a bit.  Some time ago, I started wearing shirts with collars on them even on my off hours, which apparently means I’m now adult enough that I can finally have the presents I was given two decades ago.  I confess, I’m a bit more interested in them now than I was then.  One piece in particular caught my eye.

Japanese Rupee

Turns out the Japanese government, hosts of the Legend of Zelda Development Squad, officially banked rupees themselves for a time.

It’s fairly well known that Japan was involved in World War II largely with the aims of increasing their territory and control.  They had taken over a number of countries, and one of their first moves was always to confiscate all the national currency they could get their hands on and replace it with cash backed by their own banks.  This note was part of the invasion money for their occupation of Burma, in use from 1942 to 1945.  So, there you have it.  The Japanese Rupee.

Could this have inspired Nintendo in the creation of the Legend of Zelda’s world?  Probably not.  But maybe it did!  You can’t prove otherwise!  At least, it’s an interesting thought to hold, right?  Right?

Dark Souls Has Finally Gotten Me

Last time, on A Life of Pain in Dark Souls, we slew the dragon and rescued the damsel, thus proving ourselves every bit the hero we always knew ourselves to be. Seriously, though, three minibosses slain? Only twenty minutes max of shameful weeping? I think I’m actually starting to get good at this game. Can we follow up that rousing success in this next segment? Read on and see.

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Our next destination is right up this waterfall. That’s right, we’re going to gird our wills, brave the elements, and climb… the nice convenient ladder that’s hidden from this view. But we’re going to do it with great determination! It will be almost as badass as climbing up the waterfall itself!

With the help of a few ladders and bridges, man-made structures sticking out in this otherwise desolate location, we arrive in another portion of the Darkroot Gardens. We’ve got a few choices of directions to go from here; I opt to head deeper into the forest.

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Nearly immediately, I’m beset by ents. I assume I’ve got this covered, after all, I slaughtered them by the bunch on the way up here. That state of mind persists, up until the first one gives me a bit of a surprise. I hit him, and he doesn’t die! Now, you have to understand, up until now, these guys have been folding like paper. I’ve been killing these guys just by breathing on them. I’m pretty sure I killed one with a stern look once. Yet now I’ve gotten a clean hit on one and he’s still standing? I’m not sure how to process this. These guys have leveled up.

And it’s not just their defense that’s gotten a boost. Their attack power’s a lot more significant as well. In fact, they’re strong enough that their grab move can kill a man outright. Err… not that I’d know that. That happened to a friend of mine.

The ents are all over this forest too, and seem to have a significantly increased zone of awareness, too. I… my friend… has to be very careful about how much attention she’s drawing. She can handle about two at a time reliably, but any more than that, and they can easily overwhelm me. I mean him.

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