Yes, that's right, it took me four hours to beat the tutorial boss...with my bare hands.
For some insane reason I felt compelled to beat the Asylum Demon (the boss at the end of the tutorial) upon first encountering him, without just running away from him and coming back once the game gives you the rest of your class equipment and the estus flasks and all that.
It took me around four hours to get the fight down to a perfect strategy. I was playing as a Thief and started trying to use the broken sword you start the game with. Probably after about two and a half hours or so I finally opted to use my bare fists instead of the broken sword, discovering that punching the demon did just as much damage, but was a faster swing.
So, for the first couple of hours I probably spent most of the time trying to learn how to read his abilities, this was probably one of the hardest parts. It didn't take me too long to recognize that he has around seven different attacks. It took me quite a while though to be able to read when he was going to do one swing attack compared to another, that some swing attacks were the starting part of a combo and others weren't. For most of this I stuck to a strategy of running in, punching him, then trying to run away before he could hit me.
This worked for the most part, but since I was using the sword during the first few hours I could usually only get one hit in before having to run away, and some attacks were really difficult to dodge (such as the pound attack.) Doing this I found that I could get him down to around 50% health, but, usually would get caught in some bad moves and just burn out around there.
So, about two and a half hours in or so I realized that there had to be a better way, which was around the time I started experimenting more. I switched over to punching the demon with my bare hands as opposed to trying to stab him with the sword. This was already a great improvement since it let me get in a lot more attacks and the rolling attack did 2 damage instead of the swords rolling attack 1 damage. Unfortunately at this same time I thought it would be a good idea to completely change my attack pattern as well.
I started trying to attack the demon from the sides and from the back. The benefit of this was I was able to attack much more frequently since my dodging didn't take me AWAY from the demon, but left me in contact with him at his blind spot. There were two main downsides to this. The first was mechanical; trying to stay at his back and his sides left my dodging skills suspect to the game's whims at times. I would roll just to find myself getting stuck on his foot or on his back leg or on his tail, I would roll too early and he would still turn enough that the backswing on his mace would still catch me and send me flying, I would roll too late and the game wouldn't register the roll in time so I would take another mace to the face, I would roll just at the right time just to have his tail swing back just at that exact moment and push me back into the way of the mace. The second downside was that I was visual - I was stuck staring at the demons's fat ass and crotch constantly, and that's just demoralizing.
Now, it was at this time that I threw my hands up in the air, realized I was getting angry at the game, and knew that I needed to take a break. So, fastforward to today, I acknowledge that my strategy from last night wasn't working. I only ever got maybe 1/3rd of his health down trying to stay to his back and sides. I'm sure some people can do the fight that way, but, it wasn't working for me at all. So I went back to my old strategy.
I dodged, I dipped, I ducked, I dived, and I dodged, I also rolled. I did a lot of rolling. I also did a lot of punching. I walked back before he swung to his left and rolled in with a counter attack. I walked and rolled back to avoid the pound attack. I rolled to the right when he swung to his right and followed up with a forward swing. I waited patiently as he flew his fat ass up into the air and butt stomped on nothing. For a good twenty minutes I kept this up, punching him goro style in the crotch every chance I got, and finally, the big fat flying bastard went down!
And what did I get for my troubles? Why his weapon of course! I got a giant two mace that's bigger than I am! ...That I also can't use because it has a 46 strength requirement!
So I'm curious, has anyone else gone for the challenge of beating the Asylum Demon first go? Does this inspire anyone to try to kill him on the first encounter? If you have tried how long did it take you to do a perfect run of the boss? To those that haven't done it, does the knowledge of getting a (mostly) useless weapon encourage you or discourage you from doing it? Do you think you'll just wait to do it on your new game plus? Or heck, has anyone tried doing anything similarly crazy on any of the other enemies so far in the game?
Edit: Now with pictures of my reward! Sadly, since you can't pause during Dark Souls, I'm somewhat reluctant to try and take this crappy camera done screen shots of any part of the fight against the Asylum Demon, but, I could probably still manage it if I really tried.