Chilling Down in Dark Souls

We’ve faced a lot of challenges here, in Aether and his Dark Soul. We’ve broken through the death-trap filled fortress. We have lain siege on the city of the gods. We have conquered the broken home of the undead. And yet, all this is only the beginning, building up to a goal greater than any man dared dream. We saw the first fruits of that last time. We had reached heights that no one in Lordran ever thought possible. We completely broke through the limits of human possibility. We had finally seen our greatest accomplishment yet, as we dominated, completely and utterly… a tree. But not just any tree. It was an evil tree!

Yeah, I don’t know if any amount of editorializing is going to make last episode grandiose.

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Still, it got us to where we are today, so it shall not be discounted. And here, we find our brave hero, steadfastly refusing the call of destiny in the deepest pit Lordran has. Although, actually, are we even in Lordran anymore? I have no idea. That tree took us down a long, long way, and there’s very little clue as to the nature of Ash Lake, here. Is this somewhere below the world’s surface? Are those pillars in the distance structural supports holding up the very foundation of everything we’ve ever known? Or have my travels through the Great Hollow taken me to a different realm entirely?

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I don’t know. What I do know, is that there’s a bonfire to my right. Fire is life for those questing through Lordran, so of course I light it up here.

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And a good thing I did, too. Just across from this bonfire is another large hydra. You may remember one of its brethren giving me trouble back in Darkroot Basin. Something tells me I’ll be needing that checkpoint soon. However, I’ve grown since then, both in strength and in will. Let’s see if that’s enough to give me an easier time cutting down this beast.

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This hydra seems to have a far more limited zone of awareness than the basic one did. I manage to get a lot closer before he notices me and starts spewing his water balls my direction. I take a hit or two, but he can’t stop me from drawing into melee range.

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From there, it’s just a matter of patience. I hang out as close as I dare, being careful not to fall in the water, and try to bait him into striking. As he moves, I dodge back, then strike his heads as they attempt to bite me.

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All too easy, really. That’s the thing. Once you finally learn enough about your enemies to beat them the first time, they’re far less of a challenge revisiting them later. I’m wearing heavier equipment, so I’m a lot slower than the last time I fought one of these, and I still have an easier time breaking him down.

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