Laying Siege In Dark Souls

Wow, it’s been a while since I had myself some Dark Souls adventures. Well, last time on Oh My God How Long Can I Keep This Going, we had a bunch of trouble with some imaginary people in a fake world, then met a beautiful woman who didn’t want anything to do with us.  Because of this, we jumped off a cliff.  Somehow that led us back to the real world. So now, rather than barely being able to handle the Painted World of Ariamis, we’re up against the rest of the famed Anor Londo, city of the gods. Will we be barely able to handle this one, or are we doomed to a life of failure and hollowness? Read on to find out!

dark souls anor londo

Leaving from the entrance to the Painted World of Ariamis puts us pretty much exactly where we left off; at the foot of this chapel. I don’t get a really good screencap of it, but all this is built really high off of the ground. Good thing I’m not afraid of heights. I would be, but after the first couple hundred times you come back from the dead, the more pedestrian ways of dying kind of start losing their sting. Of particular note, you can see some bat-wing demons, those spindly little pale creatures, perched gargoyle-like to each side of the staircase. They’re the same creatures that brought me here from Sen’s Fortress, except these ones seem armed. I’m wary of them, but they don’t make a move as I head by. Either they’re as docile as the ones that served as my transport earlier, or I’m just not within their sphere of aggression.

dark souls anor londo stairs

Interesting thing to note about these stairs, they come in two sizes. Suggests there’s two sizes of people that visited this place. One relatively human-sized, much like me, the other some sort of giant.

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Like these guys. Two sentinels guarding the entrance to this place. I got my practice in against them near the entrance to Anor Londo, so I don’t expect these guys to pose much challenge. Well, as long as I can keep the fight one-on-one. I’m still not crazy enough to be facing these guys en masse yet.

Fun thing I quickly discover, if you lure a sentinel far enough down the staircase, they’ll hit a point where they just start backing up to their original position, ignoring everything else up to and including the Best Chosen One slipping behind them and taking them on from their unguarded rears. If you don’t think I abuse this… well, you clearly haven’t read the earliest posts in this series.

dark souls bat wing demon

I spy one of the bat wing demons lurking behind this door, seemingly trying to get at me. I guess it was too much to hope that they wouldn’t hate me just because they took the time to bring me here. Don’t know why I’m surprised. This is Lordran, everything and everyone hates me. Comes part and parcel with the undead curse. The more you die, the more likely you are to go hollow, and those already hollow, well, they’d love to have more of their own. Given how much I’ve fallen in this pursuit of becoming the Best Chosen One, it’s a wonder I’ve stayed as sane as I have. Anyways, lending further credence to my ‘humans and giants coexist here’ theory, this gate is built to accommodate to size. As a whole, it opens large enough to fit beings of a grand stature through, but it also has a little doggie door for those of my height built in. Hmm… ‘doggie door’ seems exceptionally fitting, the way this is built. Makes one wonder how relation between the two races was shaped.

dark souls anor londo sized doors

In any case, this gate is locked from the other side, and my big beefy arms are just too large to reach to the lock through the bars.  The main doorway into the chapel is solidly locked as well. The gate to the right of the doorway is wide open, however, and it’s through that I venture forth.

dark souls anor londo bat wing demon fight

It’s through that path that I finally come face to face with those demons. They… well, they’re very different opponents. They’ve got some tricks in them. They’re quick and jumpy and somewhat hard to hit and they have a habit of sneaking around corners when they go aggro unbeknownst to me so I end up fighting groups when I was trying to take them on one by one. They have electric spears, too, meaning I can’t entirely block their damage. They also slide backwards when they’re hit, so I can’t get more than one blow in at a time unless I’ve got them cornered. All these tricks makes them incredibly difficult to fight. I swing my Black Knight Sword low, so they often fly right over my attacks before punishing me for them. They’re too fast to be using pyromancy efficiently. And with how much they move, it’s hard to find an opening. Once I learn they’re moves, though, they end up pretty much being cake. Spears don’t actually have a whole lot of flexibility to them; like an inexperienced jock on prom night, all they can do is thrust. When you know what to expect, it’s not too much trouble to slip past their attack and strike out with your own. My favorite thing to do is to fight them up against a ledge. Since they slide back when hit, it doesn’t take much to fill the abyss below with their corpses.

In any case, the demons usually hang out in groups. At this stage, we end up taking on two at once, at first, with another one joining the fray after the first two fall. They do a bit of damage, but it only takes two hits to kill them, so they don’t last long.

dark souls anor londo buttress

Following the pathway from there, it leads me to… this. Urgh, I don’t like going over these things. Pretty sure these fancy little building design things were never intended as bridges. But still, at least this one has railings. I take it downward, to the landing beyond. I stop short, however. By the walls, I can see something poking out. Something long, white, and pokey, almost like….

dark souls bat wing demon ambush

NOPEnopenopenopenopenope!

Turns out that running like a wuss making a strategic withdrawal from their initial ambush was actually the best strategic move. I totally knew this at the time because I have a genius tactical mind. They can’t make it up past the railing. With a laugh, I turn back. They are completely unable to reach me here. I am in complete and utter safety, whereas they are at my mercy. Staying out of their range, I prep a fireball to launch at them. My attack is interrupted by a spear of lightning running through my body. Turns out I’m not the only one with ranged magic. I was significantly less safe than I assumed.

So instead I charge them, and swing my sword as I reach the opening of this bridge-thing. This knocks the first one back. The second one flies into the air for an aerial attack, but ends up dropping off the building to the ground far far below. I am a tactical genius. Alone, and already cut once, the remaining demon poses little challenge.

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My celebration is cut short as an arrow the size of a freakin’ lance just narrowly misses me. Venturing out and employing some clever dodging, I soon find the source. Two archers hanging out far above me. What kind of bows do you even use to fire an arrow of this size?! Obviously, I can’t let this stand.

dark souls anor londo silver knight archer rush

Unfortunately, the only path up to them, the only path that doesn’t take me backwards, in fact, is incredibly vulnerable. I make a mad sprint up one of these makeshift ramps, avoiding arrows the whole way. With the size of these things, a single hit would be enough to send me plummeting to the earth below. Luckily, in spite of all my armor and size, I’ve still got a decent amount of speed in me, and I’m able to simply outrun their shots. Still, just one lucky blow would be all it takes to end me right here. Once at the top, it’s around a tower, providing the sole bit of cover to be found in this stretch. It’s there that I finally get a glimpse of my adversaries. They look like those Black Knights I’ve been slaying the whole game, although I’ve never known them to use bows. In any case, once around the tower, it’s up another one of those buttresses, which takes me to an incredibly narrow ledge on the side of this building. There, I have a choice of which direction to go. The archer on the right is closer, so that’s the way I head, rolling under shots from both before and behind me as I go. Once I’m within a few paces of the archer, I drop all my maneuvers and rush him, blade slicing through the air. The hit connects, and my momentum carries the both of us over the edge and smashed us against the ground several stories below. You know, I’d say that may have been a dumb move, but I think that was one of the most badass ways I’ve died.

See, that’s obviously my problem here. I’m just too badassed! Like, I start a fight with these, or any, guys, and my badassery just overtakes me in a way no mortal form can control. I’ve got to keep myself more tempered. Second time around, I make the same rush up those ramps, the same turn at the top, the same advancement to the nearest knight, but this time, I take it a bit more deliberately. I’m not rushing him, now. Instead, I slowly, calmly, walk towards my enemy, rolling under all the arrows he fires. He keeps his bow working as I approach, launching arrow after massive arrow straight towards my head, but I’m just too fast for him. I reach melee range, and three hits later, he’s toast.

With him down, I double back and take down the other knight much the same way, rolling under his arrows as I slowly make my way to sword range. Once again, he falls in three hits. You know, I thought they were both members of my nemesis clan, the Black Knights, but now I’m given cause to doubt that. I don’t know of any black knight who’d put up so little fight against me. Moreover, while the armor’s the same, the Black Knights don’t wear capes, and are a fair bit darker than that.

In any case, behind the second Whatever Knight, I collect some souls off a corpse. Behind the first, I find a drop off to a balcony. I leap off of it, manly-style, and collect myself on the ground below. This is going to trap me here until I find my way through the building, but I have no fear. Lordran has yet to provide me with a challenge I can’t overcome. Except for the Darkroot Garden but shut up we’re ignoring that right now okay?

dark souls anor londo interior

This is the scene that greets me as I pass through the door in the balcony. In fact, most of my immediate area is like this, just hallways with a few singular rooms jutting off of them. Some of the areas are as yet locked. The door to my left is wide open, however. I enter, and find a bonfire. I start to rush towards it, ready for at least a little bit of rest, but stop short soon after. Someone’s here. And you can rarely trust random people now that the undead curse has taken hold. I raise my shield and prepare to strike, my blood pounding through my veins. The moment this guy moves, I… wait a second. This isn’t some random somebody. I know this guy!

dark souls anor londo solaire

Look at that! It’s Solaire! Solaire of Astora! You remember, the guy who gave me the white sign soapstone to offer my skills to other Not-Quite-So-Good Chosen Ones? The guy who offered to come and assist me when I called him? From way back in the second episode we did in this series? No? Well, you need to pay more attention. Eh, I guess part of it’s my fault. There have been a couple times where we could have called him out to help us deal with bosses, I’ve just been way to strong to ever need him. But here he is! He’s taking on Anor Londo just like me! Come to think of it, how exactly did you get here, Solaire? I mean, I needed to prove I was the Best Chosen One, take on Sen’s fortress, and hitch a ride with a bunch of demons just to reach this place. Don’t tell me you just walked the whole way here!

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Well, at least the undead curse hasn’t taken away his good cheer. He hits on me a little bit, before backing off. I can’t say I blame him. I am incredibly charming. Still, I don’t think we could have a relationship given that neither of us ever take our helmets off, so sloppy makeout sessions are going to be a bit limited. And what’s a relationship without sloppy makeouts? Nothing I want to be a part of, that’s what.

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Across the hall, I find a room with yet another Not-Black Knight, this time wielding a spear rather than a huge honking bow. But if unwieldy oversized weapons couldn’t stop me, what makes you think normal-sized weapons can? He tries, but he just can’t overcome my shield. I’m able to take him down simply through counterhits. I find a chest in the room with a couple of Sunlight Medals after I slay him. These are useless to me now, but they’ll boost my advancement through the Warriors of Sunlight should I ever join that order.

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I move towards the stairwell. Another knight comes to meet me there, this time wielding a sword. He’s significantly more dangerous than his spear wielding counterpart. Mostly because he seems more able to use his weapon and shield in conjunction. The spear wielder was not so coordinated, attacking with his spear left his shield useless until he recovered, while using the shield render him unable to attack. A little odd, given the ease with which the combination appealed to me back in the Painted World. The sword-wielder can switch between sword and shield swiftly, even going so far as to use them both in combination attacks. Moreover, he’s much better able to overwhelm my defenses. His attacks and combos wear down my stamina quickly, leaving me unable to counter and almost forcing me to drop my guard. He seems to be using the same swordsmanship style as the Black Knights did, though, and I’m already well-versed in their moves. Using this knowledge, I’m able to judge which attacks to block and which to dodge to make the most of my defenses, and after a few times he leaves himself vulnerable, he goes down.

Beyond the knight, I find two more rooms. The first, to my left, seems to be dedicated to maintaining records. It holds a lot of tables, scrolls, and chests. None of them are in any sort of form I can read. There’s no treasure, no doors to anything else, and nobody else in here. This place is entirely useless to me.

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So I smash it. What?! There’s not a whole lot of opportunity for entertainment under the undead curse. You have to take it where you can find it. And I just happen to find senseless destruction fun.

Towards the end of the room, I begin hearing something. Breathing. Really loud breathing. It sets my nerves on end, and my eyes dart around the room wildly. The sound of it, either someone is really out of breath or is really massive, and either way, they’re close by. But I don’t see anything. There’s nothing else here but shattered furniture and shredded parchment. But I could have sworn I heard it. Is this the first step of turning hollow? I’ve been worried about that. If I start to lose my mind, how will I know? Auditory hallucinations might be the first step. I find myself a bit unsettled, as I leave the room. I don’t hear the noise anymore, but the memory is still strong.

There’s another door in the rear of this hallway, across from the records room I was just in. It’s locked, though. With nowhere else to go, I head up the spiral staircase to the next floor. Floor number two has pretty much the same layout as the first. It’s laid out in a cross pattern, with numerous rooms set off to the side of the top and bottom hallways. I check out the landing first, though.

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There are two chests here. Without anyone guarding them. I find that suspicious, and stare at this one for a while, trying to decide if it’s safe to approach. For a good long moment, nothing happens. Then I see the chest breathe.

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After killing the mimic, I find five silver coins inside. The chest across the way is likewise a mimic, and likewise holds a single gold coin. Currency of the old Lordran, before the undead blight devastated the land. We undead trade in souls, so it’s pretty much useless to me. I know many undead hold onto these in hopes of someday returning to the outside world, where such precious metals would be valuable, but myself… I don’t know if it’s just the undead curse affecting my mind, but I don’t think I’ll be in much condition to go anywhere once this is all done. Either I’ll be hollow or this Best Chosen One business will leave me broken in some way. I don’t think I have much hope for a normal, happy life anymore. The Darksign has taken that from me.

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Well, I could sit here and mope, or I could go explore some more, and only one of those options will make for a thrilling story! I start in the upper segment of the cross, and take the door to my left. Inside, I find another of those knights waiting on an indoor balcony. I’ve been wondering if these guys are hollow or not. I’m pretty sure they’re undead, almost nobody in Lordran isn’t, but while the Black Knights seemed to have lost their minds and are mindlessly attacking anything that crosses their view, namely, me, these guys seem to have some purpose here. They specifically don’t want me around, don’t want me progressing through this build, for whatever reason. This knight carries a sword, just as the last one, but I’m facing him in much closer quarters. I don’t have as much room for dodging, and his aggressive attacks leave me overwhelmed. Not only that, but the breathing is back, distracting me. I still take him down, don’t get me wrong. I am the Best Chosen One, after all. I take a few more hits than I’d like, in doing so. This area cleared, and the breathing noise louder than ever, I take a look over the balcony.

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Good news! I’m not going hollow just yet! There’s a chapel here, which I believe is just on the other side of the wall from that records room. Inside, there’s this Titanite Demon, the source of the breathing noise I’ve been hearing. I’m not losing my mind and hearing things! I’ve never been so happy to see a giant merciless hell-being that wants to kill me! Unfortunately, I can’t just drop down and stab him in his nonexistent head, and I don’t have any other ways to get to him yet, but he’s surely going to be staring down the end of my blade in the future.

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Across from that balcony is another balcony looking over what seems to be a trophy room. Are these all dragon heads? The shadows obscure most of the creatures’ heads from view, but I believe so. Is that what these knights did? Like, what their order was formed for? Well, I’ve got a lot more respect for them now. It’s not going to stop me from killing all of them over and over again, but at least I’m more likely to feel bad about it.

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I head down the lower, longer section of the cross, and quickly find myself dodging the massive arrows that have ceased to be so surprising. Yet another knight with that huge bow they seem to use in abundance. The arrows may be big and powerful, but their slow, so I dodge them and make my way to striking distance with ease. It’s there that he switches to sword and shield. I… honestly wasn’t expecting that. The change in weaponry and tactics takes me by surprise, and I take a few hits for it. These knights have a particularly vicious combo, where they’ll slam their shield against my own, dealing a huge amount of stamina damage, before following it up with a stab. I know what that technique is for, the shield slam takes off enough stamina to force the average warrior to drop their guard and leaves them helpless for the thrust to follow, essentially giving them a free and deadly hit. I’m just lucky I’m so strong; I’ve got enough stamina to take the shield blast without dropping my guard to it, with the thrust instead leaving me open and immobile. I don’t take much damage to it, but it still empties out my stamina and leaves me unable to use sword or shield effectively for a good long while. Thing is, if they start the combo, they always see it through. Even if you see the shield slam coming and get out of the way, they’ll try a thrust every single time. Knowing it’s coming, it’s an easy matter to just slide out of the way and return the attack.

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The knight was guarding nothing, save for this view, but what a view it is. It’s almost worth the pain to get it.

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There are two doors in this lower section, one of which is locked. I burst through the other, shield and sword at the ready, prepared for any attack to come. I find myself in… a really posh bedroom? This is about the last thing I expected. Still, it seems that there’s no enemies, for the moment.

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There’s some really nice paintings, here, and I take a moment to enjoy them. Art is so rare in Lordran, after all. This one catches my eye most strongly. Such a beautiful… work. I was admiring the skill of this artist. This is a great painting. The fact that I haven’t known a woman’s warmth since I was afflicted with the Darksign has absolutely no bearing on the nature of my enjoyment of this artwork. Still… remembering the last time I came across a painting, I press my hand against it, hoping wondering if it’s another of Ariamis’s magical works. Because of treasure! There could be treasure in there! My intentions will not be questioned! Alas, I stay on this side of reality. Nothing ever goes my way!

Pressing on into the next room, I spy a blade, at about waist level, extending from beyond the nearest corner. You know, if you’re going to try and ambush somebody, do try and make sure they can’t see your weapon. I enter the room and immediately roll back out of the doorway.

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Sure enough, there was a knight there waiting for me. He and I wade into each other, swinging. The furniture in the room doesn’t survive. Neither does he. He leaves behind his weapon, which finally tells me the identity of who I’ve been fighting. The Silver Knights. Once the same order as the Black Knights, they remained behind to defend the city of Anor Londo and serve their goddess whereas the Black Knights left to go piss me off and die painfully, in that exact order.

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There’s a stairway in the room the Ambush Knight was in. I take it up to the roof. Here, there’s entrances to two more stairways, each guarded by a Silver Knight. I take the one to my left. The knight there provides a speedbump, but little more.

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Upon reaching the bottom of the staircase, I find another knight, this one quite a bit different than the rest. It’s Siegmeyer of Catarina! You remember, the rotund onion-armored knight that doesn’t really pay attention? All sorts of old friends here! Again, how did you get here ahead of me? I know for a fact you were taking the same path I did, yet you couldn’t have been carried here by demons before I. He seems to have progressed this far through Anor Londo on his own, but has hit a wall and is able to proceed no further. He says something about figuring out some sort of plan now that I’m here, but then mutters that we’re going to need five more people to handle what’s ahead. I… think I’ll give a shot at breaking through on my own, thanks. We’ve got Solaire, but I don’t know how long it will take to find four more people who can survive their way to Anor Londo.

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Entering the next room, I find what’s got Siegmeyer so stuck. There are a total of three Silver Knights in here. The first one ambushes me as soon as I enter. I make him hurt, but it takes away the rest of my estus to recover. And I’m still up against two more. I’ve done fairly well against them so far, but am I prepared to take on two at once with no ability to heal?

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No. The answer’s no. I’m powerful, but I’m not dumb. I head back to the bonfire, chat with Solaire a bit, then fight my way back here with a new stock of healing estus. There, I just lure them out one by one. The fights take a lot out of me, but at this point, I know their moves, and I’m able to come out on top easily enough. There, Siegmeyer, three on one and they still go down! By your calculations, I’m now worth at least seven warriors. No wonder I’m the Best Chosen One!

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I find some demon titanite in the room, and some new artwork, all of which are paintings I hadn’t seen before. Whereas the bedroom was filled with paintings of people, here we have what seems to be paintings of Anor Londo. Here’s one, of an average-sized person against what looks like a better dressed sentinel. Wonder if I’m going to be facing those in the future.

I unlock the door at the end of the room and head through, finding myself near the bonfire. So I just opened up a shortcut there. I rest up, then head up to the roof again and take the second stairway down.

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It leads me here. One room to each side, and a staircase leading up and hopefully out.

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I take the room to the right first. It leads directly into the trophy room from earlier. A spear-wielding Silver Knight comes up to meet me on the walkway. The narrow path makes it a little harder to get through his thrusts, so I can’t counterhit nearly as well, but I am able to overpower him with persistence. Again he lowers his guard when he attacks, and that gives me enough opening to press my own attack.

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At the bottom of the trophy room is this knight, guarding two chests. His sphere of aggression is a lot lower than most of the others, and he lets me by without even looking at me crossly. It looks like he’s just worried about keeping me away from those chests. I open the door, creating another shortcut near the bonfire, then double back to engage him. Sure, he may be peaceful, at least relatively so, but it’s treasure! I love treasure!

I’ve got more room to play with here, so I cut him down without too much trouble. Between the two chests, I find a complete set of Silver Knight Armor.

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Looking pretty nice! The set’s pretty comparable to the Elite Knight set I’ve been wearing. Most pieces are higher in some stats and weaker in others, but by relatively minor amounts. I’ll stick with the Gargoyle helm and Elite Knight Armor for now, but I’m open to switching over in the right circumstances.

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The knights can still tell who I am even when I’m wearing the armor. This frustrates me. I take it out on this guy’s spleen. After this, the only place I have left to go before heading up those stairs is that room across from the trophy hall. I head there directly.

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As I approach the door, I hear a now-familiar breathing sound. The reason why becomes apparent as I enter. We’re in the chapel again, up against an enemy who’s powerful, who’s deadly, but whom I’ve beaten once before. I rush forward and the battle is joined.

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Last time, I killed the Titanite Demon by staying back and using arrows. This time, I keep the fight close to him. This is something that seems common with large enemies. If you get too close to them, they can’t swing well enough to effectively hit you. So many blows will either go around or over you. You can see that in action above. Most enemies have some way of mitigating this, usually some sort of area-of-effect attack that strikes in a wide arc immediately around them. This guy just jumps up and lands somewhere else in the room. No danger to me, no incentive not to keep so close I can actually tell where the headless being is breathing from. Trust me, you don’t want to know. I still need to be wary, he’s still got a few attacks that can hit me, but his bread and butter combos are now completely useless.

The demon dies, I get something burned into my eyes for the next couple hours, then I score two pieces of demon titanite. I’m getting a pretty good collection of the stuff, considering I’ve not yet needed to use it.

With this section of Anor Londo completely and utterly conquered as only I am able to do, I make my way up the stairs. Will I find bigger and better adventures? Will I end up crying like a little bitty baby? Will I finally get myself a boy or girlfriend? Stay tuned to find out!

Next time: No to all of them.

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4 responses to “Laying Siege In Dark Souls

  1. It’s been a while since we’ve gone to Dark Souls 😀 Another great post, very funny! Almost makes me want to play it, but then I look back at some of your old posts on it and think, maybe I’ll just enjoy it through you!

    • I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it! You know, I’d recommend you give it a try, but knowing that you haven’t had much time for video games lately, maybe you might want to ease yourself back in with something a bit easier. Like Dragon Age. Going straight for Dark Souls would be the equivalent of jumping right in the deep end of the pool. Wearing cement shoes. While blindfolded. It’s not easy, is what I’m saying.

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