Too Much for Dark Souls

Last time, on Dead Dudes and Dark Souls, we’re not saying who, but somebody messed with the wrong chosen one.  Luckily, I’m pretty quick to forgive and forget.  So what do you say we just forget about him right where he is, and take this show onwards.

So, to the left of the pit I dropped what’s-his-name down, I spy a fog gate in the distance.  I head a little bit towards it, at least until I spy some eyes gleaming in the darkness.  I come a bit closer, and the figure behind the eyes comes into view.


Looks like a man.  Moves like a beast.  Was this the form he took in life, or did whatever necromancy that brought him back to live force him into this?  Whatever the case, he’s faster than the garden variety giant skeletons.  He hammers his skull against my shield, then darts off to the side.  I follow after him, and cut him one.  First blood is mine.  Well, it would be, but, you know…


The skeleton rains a few blows against my shield in rapid succession.  This seems to tire it out, and when it stops, I’m ready with my answer.  The battle is mine.

But I don’t progress.  Rather, I remember where I was when I came out of the pit below me.  There was a path leading the other way from there.  And there was someone shooting arrows at me from that path.  Maybe it’s something worth checking out.  I head back that way.  Progress be damned.

Two people were shooting at me, in fact.  Giant arrows come out of the darkness, right towards my skull, as I round that corner.  I move out of the way of them.  They’re flying oddly slowly, here.


I follow the path along, and up, and scale a ladder.  I catch the first archer at a landing at the top of it.  His ally tries to divert me.  Too bad.


Climbing up the ladder leaves me pretty helpless, though.  I take an arrow to the back in the process.


There’s a giant skeleton waiting in the hallway at the top.  Yeah, whatever.


Another one waits on my way down the hallway.  I didn’t bother remembering how I beat these guys.  I just did.


At the end of that hallway, I take the ladder down and pick up a few eyes of death off a corpse there.  Again, that’s multiplayer stuff, not very useful to me.  Further on, I find a dead end with a few souls for the taking.  Get a nice view of the arena I fought the Pinwheel in, for what it’s worth.  On the way back, I find a place to drop off the cliff and get some more souls. 

Near the exit of the cave out of the pit, there’s a pyramid.  The blasted skeleton is shooting at me out of the darkness from around here, but I don’t know exactly where.  I poke around a bit, and spot him at the top of the pyramid.  I’ve got no way to get up there.  Well, this is frustrating.  There is a ladder leading down at the bottom of it, though.  I take that.


Should have looked before I went down.  As soon as I hit the bottom, I’m surrounded.

Nothing a good bit of steel won’t cure.

There’s another group of skeletons there, waiting to the rear of the room.  They don’t bother me as I cut down their kin.  They don’t bother me as I cut them down, either.


There’s a ruined smithery here, with a petrified blacksmith at the end of it.  Hell of a place to set up shop.  He’s holding a Large Divine Ember.  I take it.  Maybe one of my crew could use it.

After that, I backtrack.  Make my way past the skeleton archer I can’t reach, by Patches’ Pit of Lame, and to the fog gate we spotted in the distance before.

I pass through it, and already an arrow thunders by me.  I catch it on my shield, then close the distance.  I can see the archer right before me.


Bows get a little less effective when the opponent’s right in your face.  I cut him down in short order.  I move on, but then hear something running up behind me.  Something that sounds a bit different than these boney fools.


A Black Knight.  Dude almost snuck up on me.  Luckily, I turn back in time to catch him coming, then quickly roll out of the way of his thrust.  That is a pretty sweet halberd.  I wants it.  I’ll have to take care of its wielder first, though.


Every single time I fight one of these guys, I’m reminded as to how far I’ve come.  Two hours, it took before I beat the first one of these I fought.  Now, they’re not even a challenge.  I block his strike, then hit him as he’s recoiling.  Rinse and repeat.  Combat with them has become so, so simple.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t leave his weapon behind.  It’s never my birthday, is it?


I find some souls, then spy an opening in this cave to the distance.  Thank Geezer Zeus.  Hopefully, I’ll be out of this thing soon.  Have I mentioned that I hate being underground?  Because I do.


Unfortunately, before I get there, I have a bit more to cut through.  This skeleton leaps through the darkness at me as I’m traversing a narrow path.  I catch his first strike on my shield, but mistime my counterblow, and he nails me as I swing for an opening that’s not there.  I only allow him that one, however, and I separate his head from his neck the next time he backs off from an attack.


There’s another one a bit further in.  He rains blows down on me, beating against my shield, before jumping out of the way as I swing inwards.  I follow up my strike as he rears back for his own, and we both impact each other.  I swing once more, paying no head to my injuries, and unlife heeds my opponent.

Unfortunately, by this point, I’m stationed well below the opening, and it’s clear there’s no way for me to get up there.  I do, however, find an opening in the floor, and a path leading further downwards.  I take it.

The path splits into two, within.  I take the one that seems like it’s not leading to progress first.


I’m rewarded for my decision with a new shield.  So what exactly does it mean to be the first of the dead, anyways?  And it’s obvious I’m not the first person to come down here.  So was this shield once Nito’s, stolen by this occult?  Or was it a tool of theirs, to protect them as they embarked on their theft?


The shield doesn’t answer me.  I get bored with waiting for it to, so I take the other path.  It leads me to a pair of enemies here.  I’m not interested in fighting the two of them at once.


So I burn down the skeletal beast.  The warrior falls to my blade soon afterwards.

The path takes a few twists and turns, heading further down.  I take one turn extra, at a split, and find a new bonfire.  I rest here a bit, then move on.


Heading onwards, I take care of the two guys from before, by means of melee this time, then continue downwards on a path I found.  There’s another skeleton beast further onwards.  I shield myself against his flailing strikes, then cut him down in short order.


Of course, that’s only a prelude to the real challenge.  Three of the beasties, all up in a row here.  If I get into melee range of one, they’d all pounce on me.  Taking on enemies in groups just tends to be asking for trouble.


So I don’t.

I take out the first two skeletons with fire.  They just sit there and wait for it to come.  With my path cleared, I take out the third easily enough.


Well, after this I do.  He pounces on me while I have my shield down for an attack, and catches me cleanly.  He doesn’t seem to recover as fast as I do, so I get up and cut him down easily enough.


Behind the skeletons is a path that leads outside.  Finally!  A bunch of massive trees in the distance, anchored in the midst.  I wonder if the Great Hollow, that path I took down to ground level, is one of them.  It still shocks me that these things are holding up Lordran.  These are the pillars upon which everything we know lies.  The world’s a much bigger place than I thought.


Unfortunately, the miracle of not being in a dumb stupid underground land doesn’t last for long.  The path leads to a cave.  There’s a Titanite Lizard in the cave, which I cut down and get a few pieces out of.


EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGH underground again.  Path leads on a little ways.  I come across a bone pillar.  It reaches out with so many arms, and tries to slap me.  I hang back a bit, than cut it twice.  It collapses.

An arrow thunders out from the darkness at me.  I get my shield up in time, then rush forward.  I hear some of the bone pillars pop up from underground behind me.  I ignore them for now, and charge the skeletons that emerge out of the gloom before me.


One archer, one warrior.  I engage the bladesman first.  It slams its sword against my shield, while I hear the archer nock an arrow behind me.  I roll to the side, evading the arrow, and find myself with both the enemies lined up before me.  Two sword strikes, both of them cutting through the two skeletons, and that battle’s over.  I turn around, and take care of the bone pillar that’s still a ways behind me.  Great ambush, guys.


The path opens up into a large cavern here.  There’s a lot of skeletons here.  A lot of them.  All facing in reverence towards one central point.  Bowing, sitting, praying.  They’re not living.  Well, of course they’re not, but… you know what I mean.  They’re not active.  They crumble as I walk through them.  No life, even undead life, rests in these bones.


Also, those lights in the distance.


Pinwheel.  Two magic bolts thunder towards me.  I block them both, then charge.


The original was no great warrior.  These copies are shallow, and go down in about two strikes each.


There are many of them in here.  Their capabilities pose no challenge, but their numbers do.  I haven’t gotten hit solidly yet, but I’m constantly having to stick and move.


A bolt thunders towards me from below.  I drop down to engage.  As soon as I step in the water, a few skeletal babies rise from it.  That is profoundly disturbing.

They could be a challenge for most weapons, but my blade swings low and wide.  I put the babies to rest, then charge the next pinwheel.  Then the next one behind him.  Then the one behind that guy.  There are so many Pinwheels here.  I go into a furious melee, cutting through them as quickly as I can.  Anything else could see me overwhelmed by their pure numbers.


Walking through the water gives rise to some more of these babies.  They’re poisonous.  Also, I don’t really feel much guilt over killing them again, because, you know, not exactly alive in the first place, but seriously what the hell?  Who is doing this?  Pinwheel?  Nito?  I’m gonna say Nito.  I didn’t have much reason for killing him when I first came here to do so, but necromancing babies?  That is super not cool.


Also they never stop coming up graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

I get up from the lower level.  My frenzied assault had cleared out the entire cavern, but for the freaking creepy babies.  All that’s left is this fog gate before me.  The way the skeletons are treating this with reverence, I just know Nito’s behind it.

Buuuuuuuuuuut, I’m down one swig of estus.  Before I walk through, I head back to the bonfire to refill.


I was kind of hoping all the Pinwheels wouldn’t respawn.  Oh, what fool am I.  And I do a lot worse against them the second time around.  I don’t know what it was, I think I just got overwhelmed by their numbers, but a few of their bolts did connect.  I did pick up the Mask of the Child, which boosts stamina recovery a little bit, but I’m not sure even that was worth it.  I had backtracked in order not to go into the fight with Nito with only four doses of estus.  Now, because I did so poorly against the pinwheels, I’m going into it with three.  I am a master strategist!


Whatever, it’s not like I’ve only got one life to live.  I head through the fog gate, and reach this hole at the end.  What is it with all these bosses requiring me to take fall damage before I can fight them?


I drop in.  Nothing but silence at first.  Well, silence, and some of those massive coffins.  There’s something in one of them.


That’s a lot of dicks to stab.


The big mass of skeleton parts emerges from the coffin.


Brandishes a giant bone sword, gets his ghostly cloak together.  I’m guessing it’s on.


I’m guessing I’m right.  First blood is mine.  Well, no blood, but you know what I mean.  Freakin’ skeletons.  Nito slashes into me, which I catch on my shield, then return two of my own.


He swings low, but telegraphs like hell.  It hits the skeleton that was sneaking up behind me, which I hadn’t noticed until now, but I roll underneath it, coming up right in his face with a few more blows.  After I healed up from the fall damage, I ended up with only two doses of estus left.  Really not enough, but with performance like this, I’m starting to close the gap.


I duck in between a bunch more skeletons, but don’t take the time to cut them down.  Too much of a delay, and Nito will catch me in something.  And as it turns out, I don’t really need to bother.  Nito does a great job of taking care of them for me.


Case in point, all those damage numbers up there?  They’re not my doing.  Nito slams his blade into the ground and begins charging up something.  I get my shield up in time before it starts shoving me back.  The skeletons aren’t so lucky.


I take a bit of scratch damage, leaking through my shield.  I charge in to pay it back.


When I’m three fourths of the way through his life bar, he scores a solid hit on me for the first time.  I back off to heal up.  I’ve heard about a lot of people having trouble with Nito, but I’m feeling pretty comfortable right now.

Of course, right after I say that is when I start doing a lot worse.  I nail him with my blade.  He takes the opportunity to nail me with his.  I end up a lot worse for the exchange, and blow my last bit of estus recovering.


Nito pushes me back to the edge of the area.  Two giant skeletons join the fray.  He just cuts through them without thinking.


In doing so, he leaves himself open.  I don’t even take the time to think, and just rush into it.  Two slashes, roll to the side of Nito’s next strike, then two more.


I sense I’m near to being surrounded, so I get out again.  Turns out, I didn’t need to worry.  The skeletons that remain all collapse.


As does their master.

6 responses to “Too Much for Dark Souls

  1. Looks like you ran into reanimated skeletons of the centaurs from the Fallout series at the beginning there.

    Well, that’s it. You now have the final Lord Soul. Did you notice how a bonfire has appeared every time you’ve obtained one? One last one will appear once you have defeated the final boss. Lighting it will preserve the status quo. Then again, considering all the tragedy you’ve witnessed, I wonder if it’s really something worth preserving? You could just leave the room upon vanquishing the final boss…

    • Huh, I hadn’t thought about it before, but there is a resemblance there. I find myself a bit less full of revulsion here, though.

      Oh my, are we getting into spoiler territory here? How scandalous.

      • The lack of flesh really makes them less repulsive, doesn’t it?

        Sorry about that. How about one last hint to make up for it? You can skip if it you want to.

        Come to think of it, you never thought to parry and riposte against any of these bosses, did you? Most of the time, it’s out of the question for obvious reasons. It would be awfully strange if it turned out to be a somewhat viable strategy against the final boss.

      • Oh naw, I was just being a little cute there. I had the ending choice spoiled for me a long, long time ago. I was lucky enough to avoid spoilers on most of what leads up to it, but that fight, I know who it’s against, and how that ends up.

        I didn’t know parries were a viable strategy against the final boss, though. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I have trouble against him. I am really not good at parries, though. I haven’t even attempted in a long while, and don’t even use a shield that can do that anymore. Might take me a while to get up to fighting ready, if I do need to pull that out.

  2. A bad level for anyone suffering from Cartilogenophobia.

    I used to be an adventurer like you until I took an arrow in the back.

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