Dark Souls and Dragons

Last time, in Escape from Anor Londo, our sins finally caught up to us. What sins, I don’t know, because all those guys totally deserved it, and I’m sure there’s a statute of limitations on these things, but still, we had to do some hard time in the big house. Not a whole lot of hard time, though. We broke out within our first few minutes. And I totally shanked a guy! Did you see that?! In all my video game career, I’ve broken out of prison hundreds of times, but I never just straight up shanked anybody. I almost want to get thrown back in so I can do it again!

But we can do that later. Right now, there’s a dragon I’ve finally found a reason to be pissed off with, and I’m going to see if I can’t take it out on his hide.

So last time, we had opened up a staircase down into some sort of workshop, but never really explored beyond it. This time around, I do so, passing through the fog gate and ending up in…


a forest? Outside the archives? Can’t say I was expecting that. I take the ladder down, then press on for a few steps.


I quickly draw the attention of a crystal golem, who slowly lumbers towards me. No big deal, I’ve already handled dozens of his kind. I hold back, and wait for him to come to me. Maybe if I’m fast enough, I’ll be able to carve him up like an ice sculpture before his corpse fades away. This is going to be simple.

At least, that’s what I think. I dodge backwards as he leaps towards me, then find myself right before another golem that was sneaking up on me. I dodge away once more as the second one raises his arms, and narrowly avoid the field of crystal he creates.

That’s the thing about Dark Souls combat. Fighting two enemies is exponentially more difficult and complex than fighting one. They tend to be able to really cover for each other, staggering the timing of their attacks and making it really unsafe to strike. I’ve learned to avoid fighting multiple foes as much as I can, and most of my current fighting style is built around drawing enemies out one by one. Taking on two at once presents problems for me.


Well, most of the time it does. Here, though? They’re slow, I’m well versed in their moves, and I’m patient. I pick my moments, strike and dodge, and focus on wearing one down at a time. They never even touch me before they shatter.


Looking around, there are crystal golems all over the place. I spot a gold one near the center of the forest here. I’ve only faced a golden golem once before, when I freed Dusk of Oolacile from it in the Darkroot basin. Does this one hold another captured being? I’ll have to crush it and find out.


First, though, I’ve got to clear some space. If I remember right, the golden crystal golems are a fair bit stronger than the store brand, and I’m don’t want to be inviting any more of them to our dance.

With that one down, I take a quick survey over the area. There are a few more crystal golems in sight, but I don’t think I’m even close to reaching any of their spheres of aggression. Ok then.


C’mon, big boy. It’s go time.

The golden golem is larger, stronger, and tougher than the garden-variety crystal golems. He uses the same moveset as them, though. No surprises in store there. As long as I can keep reading his moves well enough, he may last longer but he’s no more challenge than the vanilla version.


And, of course, when I put those words out there, I’m going to eat them. I get him to within two hits of dying, then, in a moment of mistimed aggression, try to interrupt his attacks with one of my own. I strike him first, but not hard enough to stagger him, and he clocks me. Seriously, one punch did most of my life in damage and sent me flying back. Not enough to kill though, and he’s pretty slow, so I had enough time to swig some estus and rejoin the melee. This time, with him on his last sliver of life, I don’t need to play so cautious. I smack him one as he’s rearing up for an attack, and that’s all that’s needed.


Much as I expected, the golden crystal golem held someone trapped inside. I wasn’t expecting to see such a familiar figure, though. Siegmeyer, that’s what, the fourth time I’ve had to save you? Are you sure you’re really up…


Siegmeyer, you sound a lot… prettier than I remember.


Oh! Well! I guess that explains it. Siegmeyer’s daughter, actually. She’s been trying to track him down, but got caught up by that golem in some way that she doesn’t remember. I mention that I’ve been seeing him around, and that seems to pick her spirits up. She resolves to head off after him. In the meantime, I’ve got a dragon to punish so I break away as well.

There are quite a few crystal golems in the area. Most of them seem to be guarding corpses. I hope you don’t mind if I skip over these. There’s only so many ways I can say “I dashed another one harder than the fist of an angry god” before it starts to get a little dull. Rest assured, I am awesome, and none of them even came close to scratching my armor. I found a bit of treasure, mostly titanite, although I did also pick up a full set of crystallized armor, the same type that the warrior in the tower before I fought Seath was wearing.


Eventually, I started to run out of opponents. I moved closer to the edge of the forest, where the earth started to give way to a mass of solid crystal. I’m guessing that this is where all of these golems spawned from.

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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!

 dark souls 10 depths welcoming committee

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.


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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