103 hours later, and I've won.

#1 Edited by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -

Reflecting on the whole experience, which I did truly love, I don't think Miyazaki was being entirely honest when he said anyone can beat Dark Souls with patience and dedication. I beat Demon's Souls twice, and like that game, I was only able to finish Dark Souls with the help of a wiki for information about weapon damage and such. The final boss was totally manageable because of my very very powerful equipment (+9 Elite Knight and a +5 Black Knight Shield), though I do believe that, quite frankly, I'm kind of better at this gameplay than those people who are really struggling, because of my prior experience with the Souls series. Brad and Patrick will never finish Dark Souls if they're tripped up by the Taurus Demon or Havel (who I thought was a mere trifle - just take your equipment off and stab him in the back: like some later enemies, he's balanced to be very slow and very hard-hitting.)

This is probably my new favorite game of all time, though I understand why anyone may hate it. In recent memory, there has not been one single game that the average person could not see through whatsoever, from title screen to credits, until Dark Souls rolled around, and even I was highly challenged by some later enemies and boss fights, with the advantage of a fantastic online community (/v/, who worships any game designed to be contrarian and obscure) to encourage me on and the incomplete wikis to help me along. Subtracting thirty or so hours for mucking around in PvP and Titanite/soul farming, I'd say that my path through the game was around seventy hours long.

Literally noone can put that time into a game, aside from privileged teenagers (me!) and obsessive reviewers (Gamespot's Kevin VanOrd!), but I think, as a kind of encouragement to all the maybe-enjoying-it Vinnys of the world, it'd be best to just show you my Dragon Man.  

#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Wait..how did you get to be a dragon? 

#3 Posted by Athadam (704 posts) -

Fun read! You are a pretty good writer.

#4 Edited by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -
@The_Laughing_Man

Hella grinding and lots of time.

His fire's not even very good, and the lack of armor renders him kinda useless, but hey, fucking Dragon Man.

#5 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@mdnthrvst said:
@The_Laughing_Man

Hella grinding and a lot of time.

His fire's not even very good, and the lack of armor renders him kinda useless, but hey, fucking Dragon Man.

I have next week off from vacation. I assume your gonna keep playing? I might need to finely pick this up for 360
#6 Posted by Aronman789 (2671 posts) -

God I need this game. I have to learn how to connect my Xbox to my PC monitor though, since I don't have a TV, and that sounds like a pain.

#7 Posted by SuperWristBands (2266 posts) -

Congratulations on your achievement. I gotta say though, I think patience and dedication are exactly what are needed to finish this game. Not sure how people see it from fresh eyes since I had the experience from Demon's Souls as well but there was only one point where the difficulty jumped a ridiculous amount and that was the boss of Anor Londo.

#8 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Aronman789 said:

God I need this game. I have to learn how to connect my Xbox to my PC monitor though, since I don't have a TV, and that sounds like a pain.

Its easy with a HDMI cable 
#9 Posted by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -
@SuperWristBands

They are needed, but the point I was getting at was they aren't capable of getting you through it on their own. You have to be very good at the game to beat it as well, which I don't think most people truly are.

I mean, I beat Fatboy Slim/Biggie Smalls on my first try, with a little help from my friends, of course.

#10 Posted by SuperWristBands (2266 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

@SuperWristBands:

They are needed, but the point I was getting at was they aren't capable of getting you through it on their own. You have to be very good at the game to beat it as well, which I don't think most people truly are.

Ah, I see now. I don't have the proper perspective to say much on this point. I want to say that that isn't the case and that with dedication the player will be able to beat it, but as I said, I had the experience from Demon's Souls. Only thing I can say to back my self up is that I was dedicated and eventually got my way through Demon's Souls, which I feel had harder bosses, but easier levels... so who knows.

#11 Posted by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -
@SuperWristBands

I'll say this:

Dark Souls is absolutely impossible without the Internet, whether in the form of a forum/imageboard community, a wiki guide, or even the game's helpful phantoms.

#12 Posted by bkbroiler (1641 posts) -

Congratulations man! I've been having a blast making my way through this game. About 35 hours into it and I just finished Anor Londo. I have to admit, I'm a little hesitant to chase after the next 4 bosses. I feel very accomplished just beating Ornstein and Smough. I'll press on soon enough. I think I'm scared of it becoming too hard again.

I still love the world, though. I just got summoned for the first time and helped someone beat down Fat and Skinny. That was a ton of fun.

#13 Edited by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -

@bkbroiler

Cryptic hints for the second half of the game:

Hell is Hell. Noone wants to go to Hell.

Let the Abysswalker be your guide.

The Archives are a place of patient study.

Skeletons great and small fear the blessing of the Gods.

#14 Posted by senorfuzzeh (385 posts) -

I'm only at 45 hours... That means 65 more hours of getting my ass whooped.

Dying never felt so good.

#15 Posted by MetalBaofu (1440 posts) -

@Aronman789 said:

God I need this game. I have to learn how to connect my Xbox to my PC monitor though, since I don't have a TV, and that sounds like a pain.

Hooking it up to a monitor is really easy. Personally, I've been using a VGA adapter, and a KVM switch since I first got my 360(at launch). Works great.

#16 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

"The final boss was totally manageable because of my very very powerful equipment (+9 Elite Knight and a +5 Black Knight Shield)"

Your equipment is decidedly not powerful. Just thought i'd let you know.

Im at the final boss at SL130, roughly 60 hours total. Why did it take you so long, when you seem to not have anything to show for the time?

Did you grind those drakes for dragon scales instead of invading people?

I have gone through completely blind, no wiki help whatsoever. I've found every covenant and the vast majority of the weapons. Everything in this game makes sense, if you come at it from the right perspective :p

#17 Edited by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -
@Canteu

Uhh, my armor is five points below Havel with the ability to fast roll. And the shield has a stability of 75 with parrying and 95% fire resistance. And no, I did not get a single dragon scale from a Drake. I didn't even realise they dropped from them. Also, I spent at least ten hours Darkmooning fools in the Painted World. 


#18 Edited by RandomInternetUser (6789 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man said:

@Aronman789 said:

God I need this game. I have to learn how to connect my Xbox to my PC monitor though, since I don't have a TV, and that sounds like a pain.

Its easy with a HDMI cable

How would I get sound with an HDMI cable? Would I have to use digital audio out (or whatever its called) on the back of my PS3? (My monitor doesn't have internal speakers.) I've been wanting to hook up my PS3 to my monitor for a while.

#19 Posted by Phoenix778m (263 posts) -
@Aronman789 they sell 360 VGA cords online. I have one and worked great till I got a plasma.
#20 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@mdnthrvst: consider how much work you had to put into it to get it to that state. There are better pieces using the same upgrades.

I'm wearing full Havels and Smoughs Hammer +15. I don't need to roll away from shit. Rolling is for bitches and Demons Souls players.

#21 Edited by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -
@Canteu

And it's also for people who stay at a soul level range where other players actually are. The "sweet spot" for Dark Souls isn't 120 anymore.

Also, I like Elite Knight and I hate leveling Endurance. Pumping my strength and Faith enables me to wreck fools at my own level who invested in more Endurance to wear marginally better armor. Plus, Chunks aren't rare at all on a full playthrough, if you use the same armor through the whole game.

#22 Posted by Karkarov (3274 posts) -

So you followed a wiki and still took 105 hours? .... ..... Patience and dedication are enough. But you have to be really freaking patient and dedicated. Which means crap tons of soul grinding, upgrading weapons, never attacking if there is even 1 iota of a chance you will take a hit, etc etc. To be honest Demon's Souls was hard but fair and well balanced around that. Dark Souls not so much. Certain parts of the game are literally punishing just for the sake of being punishing and every other enemy can two shot kill you. Anor Londo is one of those places, and I don't just mean the boss.

#23 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4701 posts) -

@Canteu: Whats wrong with rolling?

#24 Posted by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -
@Karkarov
That's why everybody goes through it with a pair of Sunbros.
#25 Posted by Karkarov (3274 posts) -

@mdnthrvst: I fought them alone. In fact I have only ever killed a boss with phantom help once. Actually summoned twice but the first time my phantoms fought like retarded monkeys and died without doing jack.

I agree with Canteu though, rolling in this game mostly has fail written all over it. You are almost always better off getting a huge stability shield and simply blocking the hit, unless it is one of the many cheap grabs or a spell damage you don't have a good cut for. I would ignore him though on his gear comments, a +5 Black Knight Shield is boss for fighting anything that uses fire. Though a +5 silver is better for pretty much everything else.

#26 Posted by GuyIncognito (445 posts) -

Elite knight set +10 (with darkwood ring for flipping)  is very good and doesn't slow down stamina regen.  That's what I'm flipping around with in NG+ and pvp.

#27 Posted by TobbRobb (4842 posts) -

@xobballox: HDMI provide sound itself. :P It's awesome like that.

@mdnthrvst: Just though I'd let you know that I've gooten up to Ornstein and Smough wihtout summoning anyone and with 0 experience from Demon's Souls.

#28 Posted by mdnthrvst (269 posts) -
@TobbRobb

Then you're good at Dark Souls, I guess.

Congratulations?

#29 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: All the time you spend flipping and rolling, I have either smashed whatever is trying to hit me and killed it in 1 or 2 hits, or i just blocked whatever it was doing, walked behind it, then hit it for over 1000. Rolling is for evasion, and even with my 99% equip i still have no issues using a roll to get away from a grab or whatever, while in the meantime i can take several hits from the final boss without blinking (not blocking). Rolling as a primary form of damage reduction seems wasteful, as you cant attack while you're doing it, making the fight take even longer, allowing the enemy more chances for you to fuck up the roll. I have tried a dex based character btw, up to SL80. Did not enjoy it, as everything took far too long and i was living in fear of being 1 shotted by normal enemies.

#30 Posted by PepitoneConQueso (40 posts) -

@The_Laughing_Man: Path of the Dragon Covenant, I think you have to be rank 2 (20 dragon scales?) to get the full dragon, to start you only get a dragon head.

#31 Posted by Humanity (10067 posts) -

@Canteu said:

"The final boss was totally manageable because of my very very powerful equipment (+9 Elite Knight and a +5 Black Knight Shield)"

Your equipment is decidedly not powerful. Just thought i'd let you know.

Im at the final boss at SL130, roughly 60 hours total. Why did it take you so long, when you seem to not have anything to show for the time?

Did you grind those drakes for dragon scales instead of invading people?

I have gone through completely blind, no wiki help whatsoever. I've found every covenant and the vast majority of the weapons. Everything in this game makes sense, if you come at it from the right perspective :p

No offense but thats a lot of haughty-taughty bs

Online
#32 Posted by thebatmobile (983 posts) -

INTERNET PENIS LENGTH COMPARISON GO

#33 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@Humanity: you are entitled to your wrong opinion :) This game is not as hard as people make it out to be. The only covenant i needed help with was the sunlight one, since you need 50 faith and i had no way of knowing that.

Also, saying "no offence" before a statement, usually intones intended offence. Good job i don't care what you people think about strangers you tried to gip over the internet!

#34 Posted by Wipeout (270 posts) -

Anyone that beats Dark Souls is doing it right. If you're making progress, you're winning and you have tiger blood, no matter how you do it.

#35 Posted by Humanity (10067 posts) -

@Canteu said:

@Humanity: you are entitled to your wrong opinion :) This game is not as hard as people make it out to be. The only covenant i needed help with was the sunlight one, since you need 50 faith and i had no way of knowing that.

Also, saying "no offence" before a statement, usually intones intended offence. Good job i don't care what you people think about strangers you tried to gip over the internet!

Theres literally no way of knowing some things in the game. Theres no logical links between some things. I think the hardest part about the game is not knowing whats up ahead and being patient.

At the same time people who show up talking how they beat the game in 1 day and it's super easy and everyone just sucks are pretty irritating.

But please educate me on how you beat the game without any guides or any external help and it barely took you any time at all and you got all the unique weapons in the game and hey, every boss battle was a breeze "lols"

Online
#36 Posted by Dyslexicon (14 posts) -

^^ Man this nerd sounds irate. Demons Souls was fun, but I never finished it because it broke my first rule of gaming. "Don't play shit over and over." I like my gaming experience to be fluid and progressive. That's not to say I play easy games. I play every game on the hardest difficulty available, and enjoy a challenge. Demons Souls was too sadistic. I can handle dying 15 or 20 times trying to clear my way through a challenging game, like Ninja Gaiden, on the hardest settings. I can't handle having to do this as a gameplay mechanic, and repeating a level over and over just to retain my right to upgrade my character. The other problem I have with this series is this guy above me. The 'elite nerd' who wants to prove his life value by how much he slaughtered the game. Well reality check, you beat a video game. Congratulations. Go beat a rubiks cube now. Or maybe take a jog around your block. You're still human. Maybe I'll try this game out after the holidays. ... though Demon's did piss me off... hmm.... end./transmi/9ssion

#37 Posted by jozzy (2035 posts) -

No offense Op, but I think you are overestimating your abilities or underestimating other people. I am pretty set on finishing this game in 70 or 80 hours and I am utterly crap at it. It took me 25 hours to ring the first bell...

Online
#38 Posted by MeierTheRed (4941 posts) -
@Canteu said:

@mdnthrvst: consider how much work you had to put into it to get it to that state. There are better pieces using the same upgrades.

I'm wearing full Havels and Smoughs Hammer +15. I don't need to roll away from shit. Rolling is for bitches and Demons Souls players.

You make me vomit.
#39 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Just a quick one all you crazy people. I still have not beaten the game. Once i reached the final boss i started reading wikis to see what i had missed. Not once did i say the game was a breeze, but when you 4 shot most bosses, it kinda actually is.

"But please educate me on how you beat the game without any guides or any external help and it barely took you any time at all"

1. I used video game logic, and walked in a straight line, this game tells you where to go if you pay attention.

2. 60 hours is hardly any time at all?

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