Saturday, September 07, 2013

Dark Souls Update 2

Oh hey, I promised you guys something not related to videogames, didn't I? Yeah, sorry.

Dark Souls: Get Ripped & Die Trying
Update #2

I'll try to organize this a bit better, so the workouts themselves will be easier to track. If you actually care about the blow-by-blow, there's still plenty of that.

August 30th:

I attempted once again to breach the Undead Parish, and was greeted by the welcoming committee: one Fang Boar (pictured above, greeting another weary traveler). After a generous trampling, achieving my first death of the session, I returned and took care to slip past him. Having picked off the various soldiers, I stood on the ledge above the boar, who had seemingly lost interest in me, and I considered my next move.

Noticing the gate behind me, I thought perhaps I could jump down and lure the boar into charging, thus crashing through the gate and opening the way for me. I jumped down, and he turned and charged as anticipated. Rather than dive sideways out of the path of his rampage, however, I made a snap decision to freeze up and cower behind my small shield like a dope. Barely surviving the impact, I scrambled back up the steps to the ledge.

At that point, I was still something of a beginner with my bow, but decided to take a shot or two from above. Obviously the heavy armor made arrows useless, at least at first. Having utterly lost interest in me again, the boar turned back toward the entrance, leaving me to look at his unsightly hind end. Just to test him, I let an arrow fly right up his backside. It hurt him, just a bit. He turned to glare at me, but otherwise did nothing, unable to reach me anyway. I backed out of sight, and to my delight, he again turned his back, either out of stupidity or to spite me, and I let another arrow fly.

This continued for quite a while, until to my amazement, he finally keeled over and died from the massive rectal trauma. I couldn't make that up if I tried. I've got the Fang Boar Helm as evidence of my conquest. Given the nature of the kill, I'm thankful his head was the only body part left for a trophy.

I proceeded through the next area, clearing out the zombies as I went, but stopped at the white threshold. Expecting some nasty abomination on the other side, I decided I should turn back for the moment to refill my Estus and prepare for the worst. My next pass through, I underestimated the same soldiers I'd just beaten, and they got the better of me not once, but twice. Well, if nothing else, it keeps me humble.

Deaths this session: 3

  • 30 pushups
  • 30 squats
  • 10 curls
  • 40 crunches
The increased workout was rough on my arms, so I thought I'd try trading the curls for crunches 2-to-1. I was then reminded what a mess my back is, and decided against ever doing that again. I never plan on having a six-pack. No man ever lived longer or won a fight because of his outstanding abdominals and core. Plus, I've heard some girls actually find small pot bellies endearing. Sure, let's go with that.

September 1st:

This session saw me through that white mist, and I met the undead knight for the first time. I was heading down a narrow corridor, and like an enthusiastic puppy spotting a fun new chew toy, he ran up to meet me. These corridors were not ideal. Wanting to fight on more favorable ground, I made a run for it across the nearby bridge. With the knight hot on my heels, I crossed the bridge and ran right into a group of three more soldiers. They made quick work of me.

My next try, I found the knight by himself and squared off one-on-one. He was quick and vicious, and got quite a few good hits on me, but I finally took him down. I figured I'd be all set from there back to the bridge to reclaim my lost power, but sadly, I miscounted the enemies in the area. As I rounded a corner and dealt with a soldier, another knight caught me from behind. Outnumber and outflanked, I was done for. That loss cost me a point of humanity and a bit over 4500 souls.

Deaths this session: 2
  • 20 pushups
  • 20 squats
  • 20 curls

September 6th:

I headed through again, back to where I'd fallen. Where the knights had my number last time, this time I had theirs. I back-stabbed the first and then we squared off. His tactics where much different this time; he was cautious, keeping his shield up and backstepping constantly. It was almost funny. I took my time and toyed with him before delivering a flurry of slashes to finish him. With the first threat dispatched, I took down the soldier in the next corridor with my bow, leaving the other knight to face me alone. He died even faster than the first.

By this point, I likely had a bit of a chip on my shoulder again, but we've seen how those work out for me, so I tried to reign in my ego as best I could. Across the bridge, I turned back to throw open the gate that halted my progress earlier, then circled around the church and went down the stairs to the nearby building, where I finally found a new bonfire, plus the blacksmith and that weird onion knight guy. The knowledge of weapon and armor reinforcement was most welcome.

I proceeded down the stairs past the blacksmith. I found an angry voice and a magical bolt flying straight toward me. I proceeded back up the stairs.

Returning to the church, I met the tower knight, pictured above. He looked like serious business, with his heavy mace and tower shield. I lured him out into the courtyard to fight on my terms. For such a huge nasty guy, he was a total pushover out in the open. His attacks were strong but still weak enough to block with my heater shield. He was slow enough that circling around behind him was easy, but it wasn't even necessary. That massive tower shield was apparently just for show, because he hardly even used it. I slayed him on my first try. It was kind of sad for the briefest moment. I felt like a bully picking on a kid with special needs. I've killed a lot of undead, but dammit this was just cruel.

There were more knights inside the church. I lured them to me with surprise arrow attacks and dispatched them in the courtyard one by one. I knew their attack patterns well enough at that point that they didn't give me much more trouble than regular soldiers. I'm sure my few weapon and armor upgrades helped as well.

The next challenge on my plate was the channeler. After having another magic bolt hurled at me from the ledge above in the church, I thought this was likely the same class of guy who I'd run from beneath the blacksmith's shop, but it was nothing quite so terrible. A large pillar made his ranged attacks simple to avoid, and a few arrows shut him up quickly enough.

What I wasn't ready for was the flood of zombies that came cascading over the ledge like a waterfall. I bolted back out of the church, hoping I could funnel them through the doorway to minimize their chance to gang up on me, but it didn't work so well. I slipped up and let them spill out into the courtyard. As they started surrounding me, I realized I was in trouble and tried to run for it. I was slashed near to death before I made it to the stairs and rushed back toward the bonfire. I took a swig of Estus once I was at a safe distance, then turned, armed my throwing knives and started cutting down the stream of undead rushing toward me. (In hindsight, I wish I wouldn't have wasted them in place of cheap arrows, but in the moment it seemed important to have my shield at the ready just in case, and you can't hold up a bow and shield at the same time). The stream of grim death slowed to a trickle, and I moved in to mop up the stragglers. Once the last of them were taken care of, I returned to the church, where I was happy to find an elevator to take me to my date with the Fire Keeper.

An hour-forty-five, and not one death. That was easily the best session for me thus far. Obviously that defeats the purpose of all this though, so I took a single set of 15 as penance; the cost of being awesome.

Deaths this session: 0!

  • 15 pushups
  • 15 curls
  • 15 squats
So, that's it. I'm making progress, however slowly. I plan on having another session tomorrow, since I clearly need more of a workout this week. I think a Saturday session might be long enough to justify its own post, so this update ends here.

I'm thoroughly amazed if you've actually read through all this. It's really just intended as a personal log and source of motivation for me, but if you actually extracted some enjoyment from it, that's great too. I swear, I'll write about something else of interest soon.

Peace and love, readers. Praise the sun.

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