After listening to hours of yapping from Jeppe about how great this game is, I've decided to try it. Based on my short experience with its predecessor, Demon's Souls, I don't think I will. But let's see...
Holy shit, that's a big bird!
After having played my first session of Dark Souls, I am not utterly convinced if I like this game or not. It is challenging, but not unreasonable, the interface is in some ways inelegant, but not in a way that I couldn't get used to. And also, it is more intense than most modern games due to its difficulty, yet it has not engaged me like it has some of omy friends. If I keep playing it, we shall see.
I DEFEATED ... A demon. By jumping down on it from a tower 3 times.
I bought Dark Souls, I don't really know why. I managed to get a little further in the game, no thanks its obscure and punishing nature.
I don't know why, but I installed this on my new 360 S. I still don't know what's going on in this game. I discovered the New Londo Ruins, and there was someone who upgraded my Estus Flasks (which is great, I guess), and there was a guy there who could upgrade my weapons, if I had some more cash. I went a bit further, and was murdered by horrible ghosts. I didn't seem to be able to hurt them.
I opened a passage to a town area with burning fires and poison dogs. The place reminds me of Bloodborne. I opened a grate and now I can access it directly from the central Undead Burg bonfire.
My current loadout makes my character slow. Raising Endurance should help with that.
Bell Gargoyle. Doesn't seem too bad... Wait! There's two of them? Come on
I killed the Bell Gargoyles, and rang the bell. After that, I went through the forest, ran past some big armored dudes, and killed the Moonlight Butterfly on the first try without knowing what was going on. I found a Divine Ember and gave it to the Blacksmith.
Now I just need some Green Titanite Shards to upgrade my sword to Divine level.
I went exploring in the Darkroot Garden and Darkroot Basin, found an elevator and a new bonfire. I ventured into the Valley of Drakes, killed a Drake, woke up the Undead Dragon, and was murdered in a cave by some gross troll-looking dudes. This exploration has been the most fun I've ever had with this game.
Apparently, the cave I reached from the Valley of the Drakes is the entrance to Blighttown, which should probably be my next destination after the Darkroot Basin area.
I was at Darkroot Basin and encountered Havel the Rock a heavily armoured dude with a big shield and a giant tooth-looking club. I tried fighting him the normal way, using sword and shield and my light armour, but he oneshot murdered me several times in a row. My next approach was armouring up, I had an Elite Knight Armour Set, which made me slow but less fragile. Havel still killed me with one hit. One thing I noticed was that he seemed reluctant to leave his little tower, so I came up with a completely different strategy: I stripped my dude naked and dropped the shield, now I was just a fast guy in underpants with a big sword. I lured Havel out onto the stairs in front of the tower, got him to attack me and miss, and then hit him with a hard two-handed attack. He then retreated into the tower, and I could just repeat the process. Now he is dead, and I have his ring that adds 50% to my equipment load. :)
I opened the gate in the forest with the Crest of Artorias, and found an area with a lot humans attacking me. Humans with bad AI that have a tendency to run up a flight of stairs and fall down a cliffside, when I'm standing close to the cliff. I farmed a few levels there. I later found a cat and joined its Covenant, a relationship which may have been ruined by me immediately murdering one of what was apparently the cat's allies. I just thought he didn't attack me because his AI was broken. I also opened a huge gate and found a big wolf with a sword, reminding me of Amaterasu from Okami.
OK, I clearly postponed the Capra Demon for too long. At level 40, he and his dogs were completely trivial. 4 good hits and he was dead. Now I have a Key to The Depths.
Those Blobs in The Depths are gross. WHOA that's a big rat!
Killed the big rat.
I was initially terrified by the Gaping Dragon, and used cowardly tactics of running around him and hitting him in his ass a lot. It worked, got him on the first try.
I now I'm cursed by a frog. Great.
And I lost 25000 souls because I got cursed again. God damn those god damn stupid frog bastards!
Now that I'm cursed, I'm going to New Londo Ruins. And murder some ghosts.
This New Londo place is too difficult. I'll come back later, and try to find Oswald of Carim, who's at the Bell Tower where the Gargoyle boss fight was. He sells Purging Stones, which should cure curses, and also absolve sins, which supposedly can undo aggravated NPCs. Seems very useful.
Done. Oswald wants 21500 souls to absolve my sins, which I doesn't have. I'll live with them for now.
I was carried by the big bird to Northern Undead Asylum. Pretty cool looking place.
Used the Rusted Iron Ring and defeated the Hydra. Not difficult at all.
Old Undead Dragon is no more. It just took some poison resistance and patience.
Blighttown is horrible. I equipped all my most poison-resistant armor, but it's still tricky. It might help to buy the Poisonbite Ring from Oswald of Carim.
The Blighttown Mosquitos are the worst enemies, because they hit you where it really hurts: the frame rate!
Yes! Found the Blighttown bonfire.
I'm running around Blighttown, begin attacked by giant leeches and mosquitos and constantly being poisoned, but I'm actually enjoying myself. This place almost can't get any worse, and I'm stabbing my way through it with my Jagged Ghost Blade.
I guess I should note this point in time: I am currently enjoying Dark Souls a lot, and I'm no longer thinking about what previously annoyed me so much about it. I'm glad I was wrong.
Chaos Witch Quelaag killed me. With fire. Maybe I should equip some Fire Defense stuff.
The wicked Chaos Witch is dead, and I rang the second bell. Now, I'm off to Sen's Fortress.
After unlocking a shortcut back to the Firelink Shrine, things have gotten weird. Kingseeker Frampt. What is that thing?
Looking at the upgrade path for my Zweihander, and considering how much I put into my Strength stat, I should probably go with the standard upgrade path instead of changing it to Divine or some other stat-bonus removing path.
Also, looking at the Strength scaling on some of the later weapons in the game, I'll probably replace the Zweihander at some point.
Sen's Fortress seems similar to the Chalice Dungeons of Bloodborne.
I defeated the giants at Sen's Fortress, including my least favourite giant, the one that puts the boulders into the tower. Me murdering him didn't stick, though, he respawned. Now I unlocked a way to travel to Anor Londo.
The Painted World of Ariamis has a very interesting style. Very strange enemies - love the Phalanx.
I wailed on Priscilla the Crossbreed with my Zweihander, invisible or not invisible. The outcome was inevitable.
The last couple of days have been busy, only allowing me to think about Dark Souls. It was almost too late to start playing tonight, but I booted it up anyway, only setting a modest goal of defeating an annoying Prowling Demon in Anor Londo. He killed me a few times, but I got him after donning Havel's armor set and a Stone Shield, making me a veritable walking tank. After that, I wanted to try the Anor Londo end bosses I heard horrible stories about from my coworkers: Ornstein and Smough. I got them on my third try, after deciding on killing Ornstein first. Now I had the Lordvessel, opening up the end game. I remembered a message about the Black Eye Orb and used it to invade the world of the golden knight Lautrec of Carim, who I finally murdered after many retries. His henchmen were still alive and killed me immediately thereafter, but I still got my rewards, reclaiming the soul of the Firekeeper Anastacia, who Lautrec had apparently killed.
My current goal is Ash Lake. I have to go through the Great Hollow, which is super annoying to navigate and full of cursing Basilisks.
Listening to the 'Bonfireside Chat' podcast, I learned two new things: fall damage is affected by Equip Load (not that much, though), and lightning damage is effective against Demons.
Argh! Those damn Mushroom Parents are murdering me again and again, even with Havel's armor.
Hmm, they are weak to fire, I wonder if I can somehow do some fire damage.
FINALLY I got past the horrible Great Hollow and the stupid, annoying shrooms at the bottom. I never want to face those horrible creatures again. Now I'm in the Ash Lake, a neat looking but mostly empty place. I now stand before a giant friendly dragon, but I did hear a rumour about his tail, so he might not like me as much in a short while...
Dragon Greatsword! Apparently, I level it up using Dragon Scales.
The 'transforming D-pad' on my fancy 2011 silver 360 controller suddenly popped off, and the D-pad is now replaced by an unpleasant spike sticking out from where the pad used to be. Fortunately, I have a lot of extra controllers lying around.
I've been wanting to go down the Catacombs for a long time. I went to Andre of Astora and got him to make me a Divine Great Club +1 for bashing skeletons. Running past the awful Bonewheel Skeletons, I encountered and defeated Pinwheel, and now I have a Rite of Kindling, allowing me to kindle a bonfire 3 times.
I reached Gravelord Nito and he murdered me. That's enough Dark Souls for tonight.
Got the Defeat Gravelord Nito achievement.
- No problem, I just stood there, two-handing my Divine Great Club +2, and pummeling the big guy into submission. First try tonight.
I ventured down into Blighttown, and started my own leech farming business, which resulted in a lot of Large Titanite Shards and Green Titanite Shards, useful for my Divine Great Club.
I reached the second Demon Ruins Bonfire after killing Ceaseless Discharge, which is a real disgusting dude. I was attacked by a giant worm and there was a message saying 'Weapon Broken', but I'm not sure what it meant. My weapon seems fine. I'll save the Demon Firesage for later. He's basically a firy version of the fat Asylum Demon.
I just learned that the Giant Blacksmith is the guy that creates weapons from boss souls.
Travelling to Anor Londo, I went to the Duke's Archives and was trapped after being murdered by Seath, a big crystal dragon. I managed to escape, and have now found the last bonfire before the Crystal Cave.
Got the Defeat Seath the Scaleless achievement.
- After being cursed by Seath, and failing numerous times in both killing him and even reaching him yesterday night, I got up early, put on my most curse-resistant armor, used a Purging Stone to cure my curse, and got the old dragon in less than half an hour.
To survive a fatal fall in New Londo, I need a ring named Covenant of Artorias, carried by Sif, the Great Grey Wolf. So I guess my next destination is Darkroot Garden.
Got the Art of Abysswalking achievement.
- Defeated Sif using my usual brute force approach: Havels Armor and Zweihander, and with Iron Flesh for extra protection. You can't be too careful these days.
I managed to drain the water from the New Londo Ruins. Unlike two months ago, this area isn't that bad anymore.
Got the Defeat the Four Kings achievement.
That Centipede Demon boss was a real mess. It's done now.
I never realized this, but it's pretty fun to run around in lava naked with a greatsword.
Got the Defeat Bed of Chaos achievement.
OK, before I go to work on Gwyn, I want to finish up something. First, I would like to get the final upgrade to my Zweihander, which requires a Titanite Slab. The brute force way to it is killing the Stray Demon in the Undead Asylum.
Done. Stone Shield blocks magic good. Me have Slab now.
Got the Strongest Weapon achievement.
- My Zweihander +15 was my primary weapon.
Got the Divine Weapon achievement.
- I also used my Divine Great Club +10 for smiting the Undead.
Got the To Link the Fire achievement.
completed the game.
It took me 4 years get to a point where I enjoyed Dark Souls, and then two weeks to complete the rest of the game.
My character Jakobus is now level 84, he's returned to Firelink Shrine and embarked upon New Game+.
For reference, I played offline the whole time, and never summoned anyone.
At the office christmas gathering, I put Dark Souls on and started a new character, and played with Martin F, Andreas F, and finally Tobias, who hadn't tried the game before. We ended up in the Undead Parish.
I started a new Cleric character with my cousin Vincent and we played up until the Gargoyles.
The Gargoyles killed us many times, but after leveling our mace up to +3, I finally managed to kill them.