The Count of Dark Souls

Little known cultural fact.  Ever since the darksign started blighting people in Lordran, and death stopped being a thing, we’ve developed a fun little game.  Basically what you do is you get a partner, and you see who can be more dead.  I lose.  All the time.  For example, I played it with Nito last time on Dooty Doot Dark Souls, and I lost hardcore.  Nito ended up so much deader than me.

But now we’ve got all the Lord Souls!  So we can do the Best Chosen One thing and save the world, right?  Man, I bet you can’t wait!  We’ve been running this series like two years now, and finally, we’re ready to go and bring it!  The end is in sight!

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut I’ve got some business to take care of first.  See, we had picked up the Darkmoon Séance Ring in the Catacombs.  You recall what I mentioned from the ring’s description?  That it claimed the Dark Sun Gwyndolin was the last remaining deity in Anor Londo?  And how we got set on this whole crazy kill everybody for their souls deal by the supposed Goddess Gwynevere, right there?

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Somebody’s lying to me.

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AND I DON’T LIKE THAT!

I speak with her.  She just repeats her tired spiel.  Urging me to go and be the Best Chosen One I already am, and just listen to Big Snake Dungmouth.  I’m not having it.  The ring says you’re not here, yet here you are.  I want to get to the bottom of this.  By force.

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I swing.  My blade doesn’t reach her.  No reaction.

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I hurl a fireball into her gut.  It explodes against her.  No reaction.

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I draw my bow, and send an arrow up her nose.  No…

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Well.

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Someone speaks to me, after she fades away.  That’s not her voice.  It’s delicate, but still masculine.

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So, what was she, then?  A masquerade?  An illusion?  I don’t think a true deity would be so easy to dispatch.  She’d probably have a little more to say on her own behalf after being attacked like that.

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So somebody lied to me.  I’m assuming it’s you.  You used this shade of your sister to try and make me dance along to whatever little scheme you and Frampt had worked out together without giving me the full picture of what’s going on, all the while you and he just sat your lazy butts down and laughed.  Yet I’m the one who has made the transgression?!

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No.

I will not abide that.

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The giants are gone.  Were they ever real, themselves?  Two human figures stand in their place.  I’m heading straight to Gwyndolin, I barely care to deal with them.  Nonetheless, I draw my bow and grab the attention of the guy on the left.

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He was poorly armored.  I swing towards him.  He’s faster, and scores a hit on me while I’m swinging, but it doesn’t interrupt me.  I follow through with a second strike, and he’s down.

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I charge towards the second one.  He’s a bit more hefty, and better with his shield.  I strike, my steel clanging against his, then dodge backwards from his return blow.

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He puts his shield back, and wields his sword with two hands.  I look to take advantage, and cut into him.  He doesn’t flinch, but rather returns the favor while I’m too committed to evade.  I nail him once more, then back off before he can get to me again.  He keeps after me, then rolls forward.  I swing low, and catch him while he’s moving.  That’s all he had in him.

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Darkness has set on Anor Londo.  Whether this is a further illusion fading, the great sun itself so blessed in Anor Londo being a fake, or just a sign of Gwyndolin’s wrath, I do not know.  It doesn’t matter.  Now, the sky feels just like most everywhere else in Lordran, rather than the unusually majestic canopy it was before, so I’m inclined to think it’s the former.

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At least my buddy here was no illusion.  I talk to the giant blacksmith, to see if he’s noticed a difference.  He does not.  Whether that means he was always seeing it like this, or he just doesn’t care about anything but his work, I don’t know.  In any case, all the horned demons are gone.  Illusions as well, I’m guessing.

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There’s someone else waiting for me at the bottom of this great staircase.

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Someone familiar.  A few things here.  1. It wasn’t just the blade.  I used the fire and bow as well.  If you’re going to accuse me of some sort of ghastly crime against your sensibilities, at least get it right.

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2.  That was no true deity. If you revere an illusion like that as a Goddess, to the point you hold that bloody mannequin so holy, that doesn’t speak very well of your adherence to the true Gwynevere. Or maybe she’d like her visage to be used to manipulate so many undead into this cursed quest they have no hope of completing, stringing them along until they go mad, and attempting to use and misguide those who are Best enough to complete it?  In which case, she was no figure deserving of your admiration.

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I’m not that mad over that last one.  I may not have harmed a deity yet, but I’m certainly going to.

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3.  What do you mean “how do I expect to get this far?” You think those two schmucks in the hall could have stopped me?  You think you could have stopped me?  The only reason you ever got to see me in the first place was because I was the baddest undead ever to walk the realms, and I’ve only gotten harder since then.

Should never have left your fire, girl.

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I take her soul for good measure.  A shame it had to end up like this.  I shame your god had wronged me so.  Had you chose your deities better, we could still be the… whatever we were.

Now, I start having a problem.  I know Gwyndolin is still hanging around this city somewhere.  The ring told me so.  I have no idea where, however, so I start scouring Anor Londo.

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Painting guardians are still around.  No illusion there.

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I find a message, floating a bit above the ground before the Darkmoon Knightess’s old haunt.  I don’t know that I’ve ever seen something with such an approval.

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We’ve seen this before.  Devoid of its keeper, this fire will never light again, and nothing I can do will awaken it.  No chance I’m going to be bringing her back to life.  This dying world just got a little colder.

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Huh.  So is that what the sun is, here?  The true sun, not that ball of glory that shone over Anor Londo before?  Man, the most beautiful place around, and it was all a lie.

The horned demon that brought me here, so long ago, is still here.  So too are the silver knights, although they’re a lot less friendly.  Looks to be mostly the giants and the rest of the demons that were all illusions.

From there I spend a good long while looking around for Gwyndolin.  Hunting down Gwyndolin, more like.  It takes a long, long time to find him.  I make a breakthrough by just following the trail of corpses I left myself, figuring that his servants wouldn’t bother lying in wait on any path that didn’t lead to him.  The last one I fought, the Darkmoon Knightess, was just before the rotating platform.  I poke around there a bit, and find that not only does it raise, but it lowers past the bridge level as well.  It leads to an area I hadn’t noticed before.

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With a bonfire.  Methinks I’ve stumbled onto something big.

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The corpse in the back holds this ring.  Huh.  Perhaps that’s why there’s an empty pedestal in the row of god statues here.  I did not know you could do that.  Just rescind a deific status.  You can fire a god.  I don’t believe it’s Gwyndolin this is referring to, as I don’t think he’s the first born.  Curious.

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Looks to be some sort of tomb I’ve found.  For who, I’m not exactly sure.  But we’ll find out.  I’ve spent plenty of time surrounded by the dead already, but at least these guys aren’t trying to kill me.

There’s a set of candles down a staircase in the back of the room.  Then a fog gate.  I pass through it.

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Ooh.  I think I found it.  Hide and seek is over.

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Geezer Zeus’s tomb?  Right.  Don’t care.  You are here, Gwyndolin.  You’ve been playing me for a patsy.  We’re going to see just how immortal you really are.

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And I am both the rock and the hard place.  Good luck to you.

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I could say the same.

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Gwyndolin starts by stretching out the hall we’re in.  Yet another illusion, no doubt, then, he teleports himself back, and begins charging up a magic blast.

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I roll out of the way, as the large bolt zooms by me.  I do the same for the second he sends down.  He teleports further back, and I begin rushing him down again.

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For Gwyndolin’s second trick, he summons up a bunch of homing bolts.

I dodge past the first few, then hunker behind a pedestal and catch the rest of them on my shield.  It does… more damage than I expected.

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Moreso when he summons up more before I’ve even gotten done with the last barrage.  No time for me to roll, so I attempt to guard.  They’re all coming my way, though, and enough damage bleeds through my shield to burn through me.

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Wait.  WaitwaitwaitwaitWAIT!  I rested at the bonfire outside of Geezer Zeus’s tomb.  Dying still sent me all the way back to the Darkmoon Knightess’s old haunt.  The turntable stays down where I left it, by Gwyndolin’s lair.  I’m going to have to trek through half of Anor Londo to bring it back up again.  So you’ve already got me good and pissed with your lies and manipulations.  Now you’re going to send me over the edge by making me waste my time?  I’m glad I’m not in Gwyndolin’s tentacled shoes right now.

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I’ve seen his attacks before.  I know how to get around them now.  I start moving in a serpentine pattern down the hall.  Lead his shots one way, then dodgeroll back the other.  I have to wait until the homing bolts get close, but by timing it right and making enough distance on my roll, I can evade or slip between the blasts while still closing the distance.

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I still take a few hits, but not enough to keep me down.  I get near, and I smack him before he ports away.  Last time, taking screenshots had slowed me down a bit.  Now, I don’t want to have to track down the moving platform again, so I’m a little lax on properly documenting this fight.  Sorry about that.

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But that’s pretty much all there is to the fight.  For all his bluster, he’s not a very skilled opponent.  He’s only got three attacks, that large magical blast, those homing bolts, and a flurry of darts he sends at me, all of which can be dodged by weaving along the hall and rolling at the right time.  All the while I’m continually closing the distance, then cutting into him as he desperately tries to teleport.

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He’s not very sturdy.  He folds after only a few rounds.  And hey, it’s the first time I saw him clearly.

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Yeah, screw you too, buddy.  I thought slaying a god would be more of an accomplishment.

I take his soul for good measure.  Maybe I’ll eat it later, out of spite.

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With Gwyndolin dead, the back of the hall comes into view.  So this is where Geezer Zeus rests, huh?  Judging by the coffin, he’s a lot bigger than I ever thought he’d be.  There’s a chest there, holding the miracle Sunlight Blade.  I don’t even bother reading it.  Miracles take faith.  I just killed a god.  I’m sure I’m pretty lacking in that right now.

So, with that vengeance taken care of, what do you say we get back to that saving the world business?  Just like Gwyndolin was trying to trick me into.

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2 responses to “The Count of Dark Souls

  1. Looks like this goddess was an illusion and was a trap devised by Gwyndolin. Don’t worry – you don’t have to complete the game a second time to get an ending (though going ahead dauntlessly is never a bad idea).

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