Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dark Souls Nov 2013 Update

Better late than never? Sure, let's go with that. Anyway, I still enjoy doing these gaming/workout write-ups, so the madness continues:

First off, it should be noted that I stepped up the workouts a bit starting in November. Since I hadn't been dying as much, as if I'm actually sort of good at saving my neck at this point, I decided that every play session should start with a set of 15 (push-ups, curls, squats), and then tack on a set of 10 for every death. This had the advantage of getting me to have a small workout a few days even if I didn't wind up having time to actually play. I'd usually also try to throw in some crunches, stretching, and whatever the thing is where you raise free weights straight out at your sides shoulder-height and hold them like that for a few seconds at a time. These extra add-ons were random so I won't have a good log of them. I'm still a fat-ass, so I'm not sure any of it has helped yet in that regard, but I may be gaining a little muscle so at least it's something.

I started out the month by making new characters because I was curious how hard it might be to take down the first boss, the Asylum Demon, before you get your gear back, and your only weapon is a broken sword hilt. Turns out it's as hard as it sounds. I gave up on that after one death and switched back to my main character, who had just recovered some treasure from the forest and decided to turn his sights back on The Depths.


The early parts of the Depths are no big deal. The biggest nuisances are the Slimes. Naturally, my introduction to these sticky things came when I approached a dead body to loot it, and had a slime drop suddenly onto my head from the ceiling. I survived that, but felt pretty sheepish and vowed I'd never let one get the drop on me like that again. (Needless to say, it happened again much later.)

After finding a bonfire to kindle, I turned back briefly to return to the blacksmith and upgrade my weaponry further with some new-found titanite shards, then continued my descent. As I got further into the Depths, I kept my wits about me and managed to take every peril and pitfall in relative stride. Whether I fell right into a tunnel surrounded by Basilisks, or was ambushed by Knight Kirk while trying to fend off giant sewer rats, I came out unscathed. My decision to hone my pyromancy had finally paid off, as those blasts of fire helped make quick work of the rats and easily burned away Kirk's health. I even got his barbed sword out of it, which I figured might prove useful down the road. I had conquered most of the depths without dying, and felt all but unstoppable.

And then I met this thing:

The Gaping Dragon

Yes, that is the Gaping Dragon. No, that is not its mouth. That is its horribly broken and distended rib cage that protrudes from its bloated mutated body. Nonetheless, this hulking, six-legged cast-off from a D&D nerd's nightmares has a very positive, can-do attitude toward life, and makes lemons out of lemonade by using its gaping rib cage like a second maw with which to crush and chew you into little bits. In its spare time, Gaping Dragon is a motivational speaker for dragons with disabilities.

I included the video above just so you could see its entrance. The guy fighting it fares a lot better than I did, apparently having better gear and more health. Wanderer garb isn't exactly known for its physical protection. Even with my old pal Sunny there as dragon fodder (I don't care if his real name is Solaire, he's always going to be Sunny to me), I couldn't survive. After three crushing failures, I left to regroup.


Do you recall my mentioning a bristly fellow with a large club by the name of Havel the Rock?

Yes, that's him. Well, after growing a bit and sharpening my sword, I decided the time had come to challenge him once again. After he'd embarrassed me so many times before, I didn't just want to clear him out of the tower and acquire an unfettered shortcut to the Darkroot Basin. I wanted to prove I had become better than I was, than he was. I just hoped I wasn't still biting off more than I could chew.

As it turned out, I was right to challenge him again. I'd been fast enough to dance circles around him before, but my inability to seriously hurt him had made the battle futile. Now, with my improved Scimitar, the scales had tipped in my favor. I circled and back-stabbed him over and over, and still he kept coming, but as long as I stayed calm and kept moving, he couldn't touch me. At last, my old foe crumpled and died at my feet, having been stabbed in the back 12 times or so. Quite a tough guy. He must have learned how to never give up from one of Gaping Dragon's seminars.


After that victory, I still wasn't feeling confident enough to go back in after the Gaping Dragon. I was curious what lied down in the Catacombs, though, and finally had the materials to forge a divine weapon. I acquired a Divine Warpick from the blacksmith and started on my path. I was making progress, but it was slow and dicey. The skeletons got the better of me once. I got far enough to kill their necromancer (or Undead Mage if you prefer) and kindle a new bonfire, but decided it would be foolish to proceed any further without better armor. The skeletons could cut through my wanderer gear with no trouble, and the power of Havel's ring meant I had no excuse not to try something heavier.

So, with that, I turned back again to rest at Firelink Shrine and plot my next move.

That marks the end of my exploits for November. Here are some stats:
  • Total Deaths: 5
  • Total Workout: 140 pushups, squats and curls, misc. other stuff
  • Total Boss Victories: 0
  • Playtime: 4 hrs 32 mins
  • Total Cumulative Playtime: 37:14
I know how sad that looks. In high school or college, 4 hours and 32 minutes could've been a single play session. My only defense is that I was pretty sick right through the middle of the month, and not wanting to break my deal, I didn't play for about two weeks. The numbers get mildly more respectable in future months.

Okay, that's it for now. Until next time, remember to look up in case of slimes. Peace and love, readers, and praise the sun.

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