Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dark Souls Dec 2013 Update

In an attempt to make these more interesting, both for me and for you, I'm going to try to strip out more of the blow-by-blow of the journey and focus on the highlights (or low-lights) from each month.

A note before I get started: the month of February, I actually didn't play a single second of Dark Souls, though I did try to keep the workouts going. This rose from a combination of winter apathy and the living room being repainted. On the bright side, it means getting these updates caught up to the current month will be a bit easier.

So, last time, you may recall I bested an old foe, Havel the Rock. I found I still felt like settling old grudges, and so my mind settled on that old gatekeeper, the Bridge Wyvern.

Some people call him the Hellkite Wyvern, some call him the Bridge Dragon. Some people call him Maurice. The Bridge Wyvern is actually one of the drakes, an offshoot of the family of dragons. The drakes aren't true dragons, being much smaller and less powerful, and so are seen as kind of the black sheep of the dragon family. They don't get invited to birthdays or weddings anymore, but are still on the dragons' Christmas card mailing list.

The Wyvern has the distinction among my enemies of being relatively smart. As the guardian of the long stone bridge that leads toward the Undead Church, it perches atop the walls and waits patiently for trespassers. There are undead soldiers on the bridge below to slow down any potential gate-crashers, but they're just for show as the Wyvern will simply blast the entire area with flames, killing them and anything hoping to pass. Any traveler with an ounce of wits will find an alternate way across.

I decided I'd try to slay it again, thinking I could slowly kill it with arrows as I'd done for other difficult foes. This didn't work out as hoped. If it gets pricked with an arrow, the Wyvern jumps down from its perch to find the source of the threat. If you're hiding beneath the bridge as I was, it won't find you, but it also becomes impossible to hit from there, so I failed to land enough shots in a row for poison to set in. To confound things further, it can heal itself, so slow death by a thousand pin-pricks is impossible.

And of course, trying to face off on the bridge itself was suicide. If I lured it down from its perch and managed to get behind it out of the path of the fire blast, it'd either fly to the other end of the bridge to blast from there, or just fly back and forth directly overhead and unleash a deluge of scorching death on my head. I gave up at that point.

On the bright side, I did manage to sever its bladed tail while firing arrows from below, which provided me with a new weapon. I didn't have the strength to wield this weapon, but figured it could be useful down the road.

I took a dive back into the Depths after that, hoping to have more luck with the Gaping Dragon. You remember the Gaping Dragon, don't you?

Yes, that one.

I was a bit more confident this time, preferring a slow lumbering foe to a quick smart one. The big difference-maker though was my use of sorcery. The Magic Weapon spell I'd learned ages ago and forgotten about effectively doubled my damage output, giving the dragon less time to try and trample me. I also took the time to cut off its tail, picking up yet another menacing dragon weapon that I'm entirely too small and feeble to wield, but also denying it the means to attack me while I circled behind.

It was still a rough battle. My old friend Solaire Sunny could only distract it for so long before being crushed and leaving me to fend for myself, but I finally killed the twisted thing and obtained the key to Blighttown. Not that I was in any great hurry to visit a place called Blighttown.

Back at the Firelink Shrine, I'd often seen an item sitting atop a roof out of reach, and had wondered how to reach it. Eventually I found that if I jumped out of the elevator to the Undead Church, I could jump across the ledge to the ruined tower that overlooked the Shrine. Up there, I found a key that unlocks a door back in the Undead Asylum, where I had started my journey. At the top of the tower is a crude nest, no doubt made by the enormous crow that helped me escape the Asylum in the first place.

Unsure how else to summon the crow, I climbed into the nest and curled up in a ball. I had heard this was a suitable way to avoid being attacked by a bear, but apparently to giant crows this gesture means "Please take me back to the place from whence I came." The language of giant crows is complex and beautiful. I should really learn it one of these days.

With that, I was whisked back to the cliffs outside the Asylum. There I found yet another nest, inside of which were several eggs.

One of the eggs had apparently hatched, because a squawking voice from the nest urged, "Give me... warm. Give me... soft."

Now, having just slain a mutated dragon with an exploded ribcage, a talking baby crow barely registered on my strangeness meter. I was more bothered by the little bird's apparent difficulty with improper nouns. Still, it had to be commended for the effort of learning human language at all, and since the breadth of my knowledge of giant crow language began and ended with curling up into a ball, I was in no position to judge. We proceeded to trade items, and I received a few nice things for my trouble.

I didn't bother to question where the little one had obtained its items at the time, but that question does perplex me now looking back on it. I suppose its mother might have brought a few rings and titanite chunks to the nest because they're shiny and crows like shiny things. The Demon's Great Hammer made a bit less sense. I'm not even sure where it would've fit in that tiny nest. There must be some secret stash of items the little one flutters off to when I'm not looking, but even then, how would it possibly lift the great hammer? It's a simple question of weight ratios. A five-ounce bird could not hold a one pound coconut, let alone a massive hammer. It's a mystery for the ages.

I reentered the Asylum to loot whatever I could find. I had to face two imposing black knights, both of whom stood twice as tall as I did. I'm not sure why they had showed up to guard the old Asylum. One would think their calling in life was professional basketball and reaching things on high shelves. After a few failed tries, I managed to kill the two of them and retrieve the spoils they had been guarding.

Tragically, the elite knight who had helped me escape from my cell at the start had succumbed to hollowing just as he feared. He immediately attacked me and I was forced to put him out of his misery. I was saddened to have to put down an old friend, one of few I had in this dark cruel world, and I took a moment to mourn him. Then I looted his body and took his Crest Shield.

Look, don't judge me. We all grieve in our own ways. And besides, I'm sure he would've wanted me to move on, and to move on with his shiny rare magic-resistant Crest Shield in my possession. It's not like he was using it anymore. Why should a nice item like that go to waste, right?

I'm fairly sure there was more to the Asylum beyond that. I went out of my way to avoid one area where I vividly recalled hearing ominous thundering footsteps before. Maybe eventually I'll be brave enough, or stupid enough, to go back and find out what was down there making those crashing footsteps. For the time being, I thought it best to quit while I was ahead and catch a crow ride back to Firelink Shrine.

So ended my misadventures for December. Now enjoy some stats:
  • Total Deaths: 6
  • Total Monthly Workout: 240 pushups, squats and curls, misc. other stuff
  • Total Boss Victories: 1
  • Playtime: 5 hrs 2 mins
  • Total Cumulative Playtime: 42:12:35
If those numbers look odd, it's because I bought The Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 for myself for Christmas and spent a couple of weeks enjoying that, but I kept doing my set of 15 at the start of each gaming session. So, the workout was significantly more than last month, but actual Dark Souls playtime still wasn't much. And of course, December means a ton of Christmas cookies, so I probably undid any good I'd accomplished with the workouts.

As of the time I'm writing this, Dark Souls 2 has been out for several days and I still haven't bought it yet. I'll have to rectify that situation soon, so even if I ever actually manage to beat Dark Souls, I can keep this nonsense going into the foreseeable future with the sequel. Assuming you and I don't get completely sick of it.

That's all for now. I'll do the write-up for January soon enough. Peace and love, readerkin, and as always, praise the sun.

No comments:

Post a Comment