A Dark Souls Intermission

Last time, on Pain, Suffering, and Sewer Levels, we slew an absolutely grody dragon and waded in human excrement for a few hours. This time… well, this time’s going to be a little different. Occasionally, I spend a bit of time just dicking around in Lordran in between entries, leveling up, upgrading my gear, and generally doing things that don’t really advance me in the game so much. Normally, nothing worth writing about happens in those times, so I don’t make posts about them. This is one of those times, ‘cept some things happened that are probably going to come into play in the future, so I can’t get by keeping it behind the black. I’d just append it to a bigger update, but frankly, Blighttown sucks and I hate it, and that’s probably going to be a pretty sizable post already. So here. Here’s a little orphan post, shoved into the world all on its lonesome.

If you’ll recall from last update, Domhnall of Zena was kind enough to let us know that we had some resurrecting undead ahead of us, and we’d need divine weapons to properly end them. Now, if you were going to describe me in one word, you’d probably use “gorgeous”. But if you asked a blind person to describe me in one word, they’d call me “prepared”. There’s no way that I’m going to dive into Blighttown without getting myself ready. At least, not while I’m publishing all my misadventures to the world, most of whom are probably already mocking me for my failure. And as it so happens, the freakin’ sewer level holds the slimes, who I can grind for the material I need to make my weapons divine.

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That’s right. You want to hold the power of Geezer Zeus in your sword? You’ve got to wade around in foul and dig through some living muck. My guess is that they’re trying to instill some humility, before granting their favor.

Green Titanite collected, I make my way back to Andre, the blacksmith. Now, I just have to pick which weapon to make divine. None of the unique weapons work, meaning I can’t use my beloved Black Knight Sword, my Drake Sword, or any of my most powerful gear. In fact, it seems my best choice may be that scimitar I started the game with.

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Apparently that blade is just raging with godly might now.

Of course, any new weapon needs a good test before being put to action. And I think I’ve got the perfect patsy in mind. You may remember way back in our first entry, there’s a small coven of skeletons just outside of Firelink Shrine. I took them on when I first entered the area, but had no way of countering the regenerative abilities. Well, I may not be able to get vengeance on the stupid bridge wyvern, but these guys should be well within my grasp.

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On the way back I bump into Laurentius of the Great Swamp, who we had previously saved from a dire fate as barrel chow. He made it back to the shrine safely, thus furthering my mission to populate the area with people who aren’t total dicks.

Laurentius is a pyromancer, practitioner of one of this world’s three types of mystic power. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? You remember Griggs? A magic user we rescued from the clutches of the vile barrel, who relocated back to Firelink and taught me how to use his art? Can you predict what happens next?

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Oh yes. In fact, this is much more significant gain than when I was taught the past two schools of magic. I am My character is not very intelligent, meaning his sorcery is weak. Nor is he faithful, limiting the miracles he can use. The spells of the Great Swamp are considered “unsavory” by most proper magic users, largely because absolutely anyone can be an effective pyromancer. These spells don’t scale with intelligence, like sorcery. They don’t scale with faith, like miracles. Instead, they scale with the amount of souls I give Laurentius to upgrade my flame.

And Exodus here may be neither smart nor pious, but he’s pretty damn good at killing monsters.

I’ve finally got some magic my physically-focused character can effectively use. On the flip-side, I don’t get as many uses out of pyromancy as I would the other schools, but that’s what Geezer Zeus invented giant honking swords for.

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So we’ve got two new tools for dealing death. What say we test them out?

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My fireball works well. Really well. Deals really solid damage to the skeleton, and has the added effect of preventing them from regenerating. This could be exactly what I’ve been needing.

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My new sword doesn’t work nearly so well. Lets talk a bit about weapon scaling. Most weapons have one or two stats that boost the amount of damage they deal. For example, with my beloved Black Knight blade, my attack power is boosted significantly by my strength, and less so by my dexterity. Divine weapons, as it turns out, are primarily boosted by faith. And as had been previously mentioned, my faith leaves something to be desired. As a result, while I could slay these guys in a single blow with my Black Knight Sword, albeit leaving them open to revival, it takes several swings even double-handed with this stubby little divine blade.

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And unfortunately, they have more skeletons than I have fireballs.

With the drastically reduced damage I deal, I go through quit a few failures in this graveyard, most of which are absolutely unremarkable and we won’t be talking about them. Nope. We will not. I’m able to retrieve my power each time, so I don’t take any permanent losses at least.

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Through perseverance, I eventually make it to the end, where this giant skeleton awaits. Through some clever dodging, I’m able to take care of his smaller attendants before turning my attention solely to Goliath here.

Drawing him out towards the entrance to the graveyard gives me a lot more room to work with. Convenient since I’m out of fireballs and this sword isn’t going to be taking him down in any sort of hurry. Defense becomes my most important asset here, and I play this slow, dodging his attacks and slowly whittling away his shins.

This is actually a picture of him dying, not spiking a sword through my head.

This is actually a picture of him dying, not spiking a sword through my head.

Eventually, Goliath has had enough, and gives up the ghost. I get a bit of treasure out of my conquest, most of which is unremarkable save for a pair of binoculars. More important than that, though, is the message I’ve sent. It’s taken me eleven updates worth of play, but I’ve finally taken my revenge for their brutal treatment of me back when I was bright-eyed a bushy-tailed. These skeletons will now send the message to the bridge wyvern and everyone else, that nobody’s gonna be able to kill me and live. Except they’re dead now. So they’ll just have to give the bridge wyvern the message in hell. After I kill her.

In any case, pyromancy’s great. It gets my whole-hearted recommendation, if you’re looking to slay some enemies but don’t get good grades and never went to Sunday school. The sword, not so much. Either I’m going to have to read up on my Geezer Zeus bible or I’ll have to upgrade it some more before it’s even worth considering using in all but the strictest circumstances. I’ll figure something out. Or will I? Tune in next time to find out!

Next: We get to the place.  That place.  You know the one.

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9 responses to “A Dark Souls Intermission

  1. +1 for grody.

    really love these posts. I feel like I can experience the grime, the pain and teeth-gnashing frustration and yes, the shame, all without getting my precious self dirty.

    although….

    these do make me kind of want to dig this game out of the pile and have another crack.

    • Yesss….. join meeee…. in suffering….

      Seriously though good game. It’s fun, if you can withstand the fact that it hates you and everything you hold dear.

    • And yet, I see you’ve got some fairly challenging titles, such as Catherine and the Persona games, on review yourself. You’re not that much of a wuss 🙂

      • Thanks, although I cannot take much credit for Persona as it comes with a difficulty setting adjuster.

        I think many people give up on Catherine because they don’t like block pushing games. If you get stuck, stop playing and come back to it later I found a fresh perspective would help suss out how to get further. Well it worked for me and I suck at puzzle games.

      • Ah, maybe that was it. I just marathoned through the game, last time I played it. I was able to get through, but I had to set it to easy, and I still couldn’t handle any of the post-game content.

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