Recently Played: Dark Souls

I beat Dark Souls. I realize that opinions on this game are cheap and easy to come by, I still feel compelled to write something- anything about an experience like this. Considering all the time and... learning... I put into it, I feel it would be a waste not to put down some of my thoughts even if I end up talking to myself. It's Dark Souls, yo. You probably already have an opinion on the matter even if you haven't played the game yet.

But some of the things this game does is absolutely fantastic. I don't mean to imply it doesn't have its fair share of problems, but even then, Dark Souls doesn't really give a shit about that.

Dark Souls (Everything Trying to Kill You: The Game)

What the fuck is that?

Before I get started it might be important to mention that I didn't play Demons' Souls. So what I might find good or bad could be older than I realize, but I just wanted to give you a frame of reference. One of the reasons I even bothered playing Dark Souls in the first place was the awesome enemy design like the Gaping Dragon, the mimic, and other creatures. The difficulty, the setting, and the "story" are really just secondary in the grand scheme of things. And if there is one thing I can give Dark Souls, it has made me say "what the fuck is that?" probably more than any video game I have ever played. It starts kind of slow with basic skeletons and zombie-ish enemies wielding swords...

But once you get past Undead Burg into the sewers and on to Blighttown, it gets awesome... err... gross. There is a lot of nasty stuff that wants you dead. And since death carries so much weight in this game, I found every new encounter a high tension, who-will-blink-first showdown. Considering how unforgiving this game is, dying is as natural as jumping or running. It might as well be considered a natural ability.

How Hard is Hard?

I won't try to sell this as the hardest game ever or undersell how difficult it is in an attempt to go against the grain. It reminds me of Ninja Gaiden on the X-Box in a lot of ways, and Valkyrie Profile 2 in others. Dark Souls, at the very least, is a high stress, damn unforgiving game that constantly makes war on your patience. I find it hard to play this game for long stretches as it eventually grinds my concentration to dust so I'm making stupid mistakes over and over again. The way bonfires work as checkpoints means you'll spawn miles away from bosses requiring you to play the same part over and over again just to try a fight over. Sometimes you get poisoned on the way. It's a game with some high-ass highs, low-ass lows, and literally nothing in between. Your results may vary.

Blighttown is so deadly it kills the frame rate. For real.

I can say with certainty that Dark Souls is the greatest horror game I have ever played. When you can lose so much in a single death, it's easy to fear for your life even when nothing is happening. That's the true nature of horror and fear to me. Jump scares are cheap and easily over come. It's much harder to overcome fear of the unknown when I've fallen deep into a sewer filled with man eating blobs, bug eyed things that spew poison gas, and rats the size of a fucking school bus. Fear is when you're standing perfectly still in a hallway, nothing is happening, and you're dead afraid to round the next corner. And that's not even mentioning Blighttown, Tomb of the Giants, and other wonderful places to get killed.

But if you play long enough to get into the Dark Souls mindset, you can see ambushes or cheap shots coming a mile away. If there's a dude (most likely an archer or magician) blasting you from the other end of a hallway, you can bet that there are other enemies lying in wait to stab you in the back when you charge forward. Or you can bet that the narrow doorway is probably obscuring a runaway boulder that can push you into a bottomless pit or crush you flat. Narrow walkways will always be covered by snipers or assholes in white robes. Sometimes suspicious video game generosity is really too good to be true. Eventually (if you stick with it long enough) you get wise to the game's tricks before long. Dark Souls can't help itself.

The Dark Souls Flow

Probably the most damning thing about Dark Souls is that the game has no pacing. My game clock says 45 hours, but it felt way longer than that. When you're dropped into a the world with hardly anything but a few suggestions to move forward, there are a lot of opportunities to spin your wheels. The game is so mysterious about how it operates and what does what that it's not going to bother to point you the right direction. Some item descriptions drop hints, some enemies are obviously too powerful sometimes, but there are moments where you can edge your way in the wrong direction despite the odds. I made the grave mistake of picking the Master Key item in the beginning thinking I could get my hands on sweet weapons and armor... only to bypass several areas and reach the bottom of Blighttown way before I was supposed to be there. Unlike games with similar exploration like Super Metroid where you're always getting stuff to go "oh shit, now I can go there", Dark Souls drops no such hints. I certainly didn't do myself any favors with the Master Key. But that was something I had to find out on my own.

I had my moments of weakness and looked up the map of Sen's Fortress and Blighttown. I'll admit it. Not that it really helped. Areas in this game are pretty complex. But there were a few moments when I found it hard to go on. Things didn't really click for me until I got to Sen's Fortress and had a clear objective to conquer that shit. Then it kinda hit again when I got lost inside a tree, got beat up by mushrooms, messed around with the Darkroot areas and got killed by a butterfly. You know, Dark Souls stuff.

The Hardest Boss in the Game: the Third Boss

This also applies to the boss fights, mostly because Dark Souls' engine can't handle group combat. Is it any surprise that the hardest bosses in the game involve two or three guys coming after you at the same time? Smough and Ornstein can be tough if you kill them in the wrong order, but as far as I'm concerned, no boss is harder than the Capra Demon. The last boss of the game ain't got shit on this guy, his two fucking dogs, and his tiny alley where he has you at arms reach at all times. And he's only the third boss of the game. I had an easier time with a crystal dragon the size of a three story building. If you can handle this guy, you can handle anything.

You could argue that an improved engine where you could manage more than one enemy is against the spirit of Dark Souls... but the game could still be tough even if you had the ability to go back and forth between enemies like Batman. It seems like poor form to exploit the weakness of your combat engine in order to make bosses harder. But that may be no small amount of bitterness talking. I just wanted to put that out there that it's odd you can slay monsters the size of cars. But as soon as three dudes are on you it's too much to handle.

The Best of Abominations

Yay! Treasur- WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

My favorite thing about Dark Souls is the enemy design. I love the monsters in this game. The best would have to be the Mimics that pretend to be treasure chests. Monster Chests are not a new concept in the year 2011/2012, but their design in Dark Souls is pretty terrifying/great. The first one I stumbled on damn near killed me. I had the tiniest tick of health after I tried to open it. Of course, when you attack it they sprout arms and legs and stand nine feet tall. They tower over you and make hideous noises that sound something like demonic giggling and a bird call rolled into one. And they still want to eat you. The only thing that breaks the tension is that Mimics can do a flying spin kick that would be right at home in Street Fighter. Like they were taking notes from Ken.

The Gaping Dragon is also pretty good, but an obvious choice as most people have seen it in the Dark Souls trailers as the wall of teeth that crashes down on the knight guy. Nito the Gravelord is pretty cool as a moving mound of corpses with a sick blade and plenty of skeleton homies. There are also these things found in the magma area that are like cylinders of flesh and teeth covered in eyes that spit acid and look absolutely disgusting. I kept those things at a bow and arrow distance at all times.

Building a Better Deathtrap

Seath, why you so crazy?

At some point Dark Souls is a little too mysterious for its own good. The game is too busy withholding every bit of information to bother with exposition or story. Yeah, you're ringing bells and grabbing souls and other stuff. But I never had a real connection between my supernatural massacre and where I was in the scheme of things. Bosses sometimes get underwhelming intro cutscenes (if they get anything at all). They could use some more personality in the game rather than blurbs on item descriptions. I would have loved if they had any dialogue at all so I could figure out why the half-lady, half-lava spider was trying to kill me. Or why I had to hack a tree fetus to death to defeat the Bed of Chaos (or whatever the hell that was). This game could probably get away with sparse cut scenes without going Metal Gear and give me the tiniest motivation to check out the world's grossest slum.

I do have to mention that the interactions with the random NPCs are pretty well done along with the voice acting. My favorite is the Onion guy who hangs out around Sen's Fortress. He doesn't do much, but his armor is pretty cool and his bumbling nature more so.

This might fall under personal taste, but it's funny how all the enemies in the game just stand around rooted to one spot until you show up and activate them. They don't have routines or patrol routes. They have their one spot in the world until you enter their radius. It certainly works for combat as you can queue up enemies in one big line so you can kill them one at a time. But they never actively seek you out or corner you unless you moved too far ahead and attract too much attention. It certainly comes off kind of silly how a zombie dragon will wait around in one spot while you pump it full of arrows without coming after you or retaliating in some way. Although some of them will chase you to the ends of the earth if you piss them off. Even still, the world is extremely static. If they make a sequel, I hope they would find someway to make things more active. Hopefully without breaking anything or finding new and exciting ways to screw you over.

You Defeated!

I certainly enjoyed my time with Dark Souls. The enemies and various areas you explore were everything I hoped for. Player invasions... not so much, as I never won a single one of those showdowns. So I spent most of my time as a corpse. I am a little sad I got this game after they patched some of the English text. It doesn't feel quite as good without the translation quirks. It's hard to say if I will play another Souls game. But for now, it can have its own merciless corner in the wide range of video games. It's certainly made me appreciate games like Okami and Dead Space for the different levels of challenge.

Also, fuck the Capra Demon. Fuck him.

29 Comments
30 Comments
Posted by Sarumarine

I beat Dark Souls. I realize that opinions on this game are cheap and easy to come by, I still feel compelled to write something- anything about an experience like this. Considering all the time and... learning... I put into it, I feel it would be a waste not to put down some of my thoughts even if I end up talking to myself. It's Dark Souls, yo. You probably already have an opinion on the matter even if you haven't played the game yet.

But some of the things this game does is absolutely fantastic. I don't mean to imply it doesn't have its fair share of problems, but even then, Dark Souls doesn't really give a shit about that.

Dark Souls (Everything Trying to Kill You: The Game)

What the fuck is that?

Before I get started it might be important to mention that I didn't play Demons' Souls. So what I might find good or bad could be older than I realize, but I just wanted to give you a frame of reference. One of the reasons I even bothered playing Dark Souls in the first place was the awesome enemy design like the Gaping Dragon, the mimic, and other creatures. The difficulty, the setting, and the "story" are really just secondary in the grand scheme of things. And if there is one thing I can give Dark Souls, it has made me say "what the fuck is that?" probably more than any video game I have ever played. It starts kind of slow with basic skeletons and zombie-ish enemies wielding swords...

But once you get past Undead Burg into the sewers and on to Blighttown, it gets awesome... err... gross. There is a lot of nasty stuff that wants you dead. And since death carries so much weight in this game, I found every new encounter a high tension, who-will-blink-first showdown. Considering how unforgiving this game is, dying is as natural as jumping or running. It might as well be considered a natural ability.

How Hard is Hard?

I won't try to sell this as the hardest game ever or undersell how difficult it is in an attempt to go against the grain. It reminds me of Ninja Gaiden on the X-Box in a lot of ways, and Valkyrie Profile 2 in others. Dark Souls, at the very least, is a high stress, damn unforgiving game that constantly makes war on your patience. I find it hard to play this game for long stretches as it eventually grinds my concentration to dust so I'm making stupid mistakes over and over again. The way bonfires work as checkpoints means you'll spawn miles away from bosses requiring you to play the same part over and over again just to try a fight over. Sometimes you get poisoned on the way. It's a game with some high-ass highs, low-ass lows, and literally nothing in between. Your results may vary.

Blighttown is so deadly it kills the frame rate. For real.

I can say with certainty that Dark Souls is the greatest horror game I have ever played. When you can lose so much in a single death, it's easy to fear for your life even when nothing is happening. That's the true nature of horror and fear to me. Jump scares are cheap and easily over come. It's much harder to overcome fear of the unknown when I've fallen deep into a sewer filled with man eating blobs, bug eyed things that spew poison gas, and rats the size of a fucking school bus. Fear is when you're standing perfectly still in a hallway, nothing is happening, and you're dead afraid to round the next corner. And that's not even mentioning Blighttown, Tomb of the Giants, and other wonderful places to get killed.

But if you play long enough to get into the Dark Souls mindset, you can see ambushes or cheap shots coming a mile away. If there's a dude (most likely an archer or magician) blasting you from the other end of a hallway, you can bet that there are other enemies lying in wait to stab you in the back when you charge forward. Or you can bet that the narrow doorway is probably obscuring a runaway boulder that can push you into a bottomless pit or crush you flat. Narrow walkways will always be covered by snipers or assholes in white robes. Sometimes suspicious video game generosity is really too good to be true. Eventually (if you stick with it long enough) you get wise to the game's tricks before long. Dark Souls can't help itself.

The Dark Souls Flow

Probably the most damning thing about Dark Souls is that the game has no pacing. My game clock says 45 hours, but it felt way longer than that. When you're dropped into a the world with hardly anything but a few suggestions to move forward, there are a lot of opportunities to spin your wheels. The game is so mysterious about how it operates and what does what that it's not going to bother to point you the right direction. Some item descriptions drop hints, some enemies are obviously too powerful sometimes, but there are moments where you can edge your way in the wrong direction despite the odds. I made the grave mistake of picking the Master Key item in the beginning thinking I could get my hands on sweet weapons and armor... only to bypass several areas and reach the bottom of Blighttown way before I was supposed to be there. Unlike games with similar exploration like Super Metroid where you're always getting stuff to go "oh shit, now I can go there", Dark Souls drops no such hints. I certainly didn't do myself any favors with the Master Key. But that was something I had to find out on my own.

I had my moments of weakness and looked up the map of Sen's Fortress and Blighttown. I'll admit it. Not that it really helped. Areas in this game are pretty complex. But there were a few moments when I found it hard to go on. Things didn't really click for me until I got to Sen's Fortress and had a clear objective to conquer that shit. Then it kinda hit again when I got lost inside a tree, got beat up by mushrooms, messed around with the Darkroot areas and got killed by a butterfly. You know, Dark Souls stuff.

The Hardest Boss in the Game: the Third Boss

This also applies to the boss fights, mostly because Dark Souls' engine can't handle group combat. Is it any surprise that the hardest bosses in the game involve two or three guys coming after you at the same time? Smough and Ornstein can be tough if you kill them in the wrong order, but as far as I'm concerned, no boss is harder than the Capra Demon. The last boss of the game ain't got shit on this guy, his two fucking dogs, and his tiny alley where he has you at arms reach at all times. And he's only the third boss of the game. I had an easier time with a crystal dragon the size of a three story building. If you can handle this guy, you can handle anything.

You could argue that an improved engine where you could manage more than one enemy is against the spirit of Dark Souls... but the game could still be tough even if you had the ability to go back and forth between enemies like Batman. It seems like poor form to exploit the weakness of your combat engine in order to make bosses harder. But that may be no small amount of bitterness talking. I just wanted to put that out there that it's odd you can slay monsters the size of cars. But as soon as three dudes are on you it's too much to handle.

The Best of Abominations

Yay! Treasur- WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

My favorite thing about Dark Souls is the enemy design. I love the monsters in this game. The best would have to be the Mimics that pretend to be treasure chests. Monster Chests are not a new concept in the year 2011/2012, but their design in Dark Souls is pretty terrifying/great. The first one I stumbled on damn near killed me. I had the tiniest tick of health after I tried to open it. Of course, when you attack it they sprout arms and legs and stand nine feet tall. They tower over you and make hideous noises that sound something like demonic giggling and a bird call rolled into one. And they still want to eat you. The only thing that breaks the tension is that Mimics can do a flying spin kick that would be right at home in Street Fighter. Like they were taking notes from Ken.

The Gaping Dragon is also pretty good, but an obvious choice as most people have seen it in the Dark Souls trailers as the wall of teeth that crashes down on the knight guy. Nito the Gravelord is pretty cool as a moving mound of corpses with a sick blade and plenty of skeleton homies. There are also these things found in the magma area that are like cylinders of flesh and teeth covered in eyes that spit acid and look absolutely disgusting. I kept those things at a bow and arrow distance at all times.

Building a Better Deathtrap

Seath, why you so crazy?

At some point Dark Souls is a little too mysterious for its own good. The game is too busy withholding every bit of information to bother with exposition or story. Yeah, you're ringing bells and grabbing souls and other stuff. But I never had a real connection between my supernatural massacre and where I was in the scheme of things. Bosses sometimes get underwhelming intro cutscenes (if they get anything at all). They could use some more personality in the game rather than blurbs on item descriptions. I would have loved if they had any dialogue at all so I could figure out why the half-lady, half-lava spider was trying to kill me. Or why I had to hack a tree fetus to death to defeat the Bed of Chaos (or whatever the hell that was). This game could probably get away with sparse cut scenes without going Metal Gear and give me the tiniest motivation to check out the world's grossest slum.

I do have to mention that the interactions with the random NPCs are pretty well done along with the voice acting. My favorite is the Onion guy who hangs out around Sen's Fortress. He doesn't do much, but his armor is pretty cool and his bumbling nature more so.

This might fall under personal taste, but it's funny how all the enemies in the game just stand around rooted to one spot until you show up and activate them. They don't have routines or patrol routes. They have their one spot in the world until you enter their radius. It certainly works for combat as you can queue up enemies in one big line so you can kill them one at a time. But they never actively seek you out or corner you unless you moved too far ahead and attract too much attention. It certainly comes off kind of silly how a zombie dragon will wait around in one spot while you pump it full of arrows without coming after you or retaliating in some way. Although some of them will chase you to the ends of the earth if you piss them off. Even still, the world is extremely static. If they make a sequel, I hope they would find someway to make things more active. Hopefully without breaking anything or finding new and exciting ways to screw you over.

You Defeated!

I certainly enjoyed my time with Dark Souls. The enemies and various areas you explore were everything I hoped for. Player invasions... not so much, as I never won a single one of those showdowns. So I spent most of my time as a corpse. I am a little sad I got this game after they patched some of the English text. It doesn't feel quite as good without the translation quirks. It's hard to say if I will play another Souls game. But for now, it can have its own merciless corner in the wide range of video games. It's certainly made me appreciate games like Okami and Dead Space for the different levels of challenge.

Also, fuck the Capra Demon. Fuck him.

Edited by CptBedlam

Nice read.

I didn't have much of a problem with the Capra Demon on any on my playthroughs, though. The first time I was probably over-levelled (didn't find the way to the Depths, killed Butterfly, Hydra and Havel before finding the way to the Capra Demon), in NG+ and NG++ you're too strong for basically anything in the game (except for the improved Four Kings) and on my most recent playthrough with a sorcerer, the Capra Demon was easy as hell.

Edited by eroticfishcake

There's a good article here that sums up the difficulty of Dark Souls really well. But yeah, I consider Dark Souls to be one of the most engrossing games I've experienced last year. There's just nothing quite like it. That alone divides the type of people who are going to like it but if you're lucky enough to be one those people then it's really enjoyable in a lot of respects. The monster designs, gameplay philosophy, atmosphere and unique multiplayer mechanics are alone worth writing a lot about. As for the story and the lore, you can learn a lot from talking to the characters. There's a guy on YouTube who's compiled all the dialogue on his channel. It's worth listening too, especially Quellag's sister's dialogue.

Also, I really, really like the voice acting in the game despite the fact that there isn't even that much in it in comparison to most RPGs.

Posted by benspyda

Yea I had no problem with the Capra Demon either. I beat it first attempt by just running up the stairs and when he jumped down he took a few seconds to recover and then I beat the shit out of him. The two man-eaters in Demon's Souls, that was a bitch.

Edited by JackSukeru

My favorite characters were Dusk of Oolacile, whose friendliness made her backstory a pleasure to listen to, and Laurentius of the Great Swamp, who was an all-around nice guy. Too bad that I accidentally screwed him over by telling him about my Pyromancy and had to put him down.

Capra Demon has brought me some greif, and it's not a boss I ever look forward to fighting, but he's usually managable.

Your point about every enemy standing still until triggered is a good one, and I'd like to see some patrolling enemies in the next one. Demon's Souls had patrolling Mind Flayers in one of its levels, but that's the only example I can think of.

Did you know Siegmeyer has a daughter named Sieglinde? I didn't until I looked it up. It was probably what allowed me to see his storyline to its conclusion as well, even if I ultimately failed to save him. It's a bit of a shame that some of the coolest things you can find are so obscure, like the Oolacile spells or the Painted World of Aramias (my personal favorite level). I didn't look up much in my playthrough, but I heard about a lot. For the next game I hope I have the courage to miss some things for the benefit of experiencing everything fresh and new.

Posted by Mrsignerman44

Very interesting read, well done!

I loved the part about the Depths/Blighttown. Those were my thoughts exactly, everything in there was disgusting and the trap hole that lead to those gross bug eyed creatures has to be one of the scariest moments in gaming. I fell down, and suddenly I was surrounded by what appeared to be prickly piles of sludge(little did I know that they were actually players who had just died from those grotesque frogs) and then i heard the muffled sounds of a frog's ribbit down the hall. As this happened, I had this overwhelming feeling of terror and I was actually sweating. Needless to say, it was definitely one of the better parts of the game.

Posted by kingzetta

but in the lava area you have to fight 5 capra's at once

Posted by eroticfishcake

@RockmanBionics: It's possible that the fact that enemies remain static is a deliberate choice. The reason being is that going from point A to point B is composed of a certain number/type of enemies placed at certain locations. Since you tend to follow a pattern when traversing areas it breaks the flow if enemies aren't found where they ought to be. For a game like Demons/Dark Souls you have to fall into a certain...rhythm in order to play well. I don't know if it'll make it a better game or not if enemies were static or not though. The article I mentioned earlier in this blog is a good summary of the "flow" more or less. That's just my thoughts on it anyway, if it makes any sense to you.

Posted by JackSukeru

@eroticfishcake said:

There's a good article here that sums up the difficulty of Dark Souls really well.

THERE'S A BONFIRE IN SEN'S FORTRESS!?

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

Posted by xyzygy
@RockmanBionics said:

@eroticfishcake said:

There's a good article here that sums up the difficulty of Dark Souls really well.

THERE'S A BONFIRE IN SEN'S FORTRESS!?

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

I felt the exact same way when I found out. I was livid at the game for making me go through all those traps and not having a save at the end.
Posted by eroticfishcake

@RockmanBionics: ...

I'm so sorry. But uh, yeah. It's at the top of the fortress when you go out the door and see the giant chucking boulders down the hole. It's just sitting at a balcony off the edge of the fortress. You have to tilt the camera at a sharp angle to see it.

Posted by CptBedlam

@RockmanBionics: lol... sorry ...

Posted by laserbolts

Nice write up. I actually read it all so I guess that says something. I really need to get this game by the sounds of it.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man

If you go though blight town backwards (Up from swamp) The Framerate strangely is not effected. 

Posted by benspyda

@xyzygy: I got through all the traps of Sen Fortress without dying once and the whole time thinking god I hope there is a bonfire soon. But I admit to cheating by looking up where the bonfire was while my dude hid in a safe spot.

Posted by JackSukeru

@eroticfishcake: Oh I'm sure it was delibarate, it's why I said "some" patrolling enemies. I think having static enemy placements works very well in the game because it allows you to, through memorization, learn and eventually master areas. In a way it is a very old school technique. In some sidescrollers, enemies will only spawn once you scroll the screen to the place they appear, this allows clever level designers to design a level's enemy appearences based on assuming the player was continually walking or running forward at normal speed.

To use an example, in Castlevania 3 you could take advantage of this by learning the enemy placement. You would say spawn a fleaman by walking forward, and then backing up to finish it off before walking forward again, spawning in more enemies that would have been difficult to face together with the small and agile foe. How often do we not do the equivalent in Dark Souls? Walk up to the edge of their vision, pull one guy out, move back and fight him, go back and repeat.

I like it this way because I think it works, but that said I wouldn't mind a few patrolling enemies as well. It would force you to memorize their relative positions and, if they were as dangerous as the octopus guards in Demon's Souls, wait for the right oppurtunity to run up and try to quickly finish them off.

Posted by SpunkyHePanda

The first couple of times I fought the Capra Demon, I came really close to beating him. The next 20-ish times, I got obliterated in about 10 seconds. Not sure what happened there.

Posted by Sarumarine

@kingzetta said:

but in the lava area you have to fight 5 capra's at once

Yeah, but those guys had to be weaker versions. At least that's my guess. If they are just carbon copies of the Capra Demon, the room to maneuver and lack of bastard dogs interrupting your attacks makes a real difference. Not to mention you could lure out those demons one at a time as per Dark Souls strategy and chop them up at your leisure. In the Capra Demon boss fight, you're stuck in a tiny area where he can just pound you with his two dogs and have a party. That guy must have killed me twenty plus times and cost me thousands of souls. I'll admit, I'm totally scarred.

@RockmanBionics said:

My favorite characters were Dusk of Oolacile, whose friendliness made her backstory a pleasure to listen to, and Laurentius of the Great Swamp, who was an all-around nice guy. Too bad that I accidentally screwed him over by telling him about my Pyromancy and had to put him down.

I don't think I ever met the Dusk of Oolacile. Laurentius sounds familiar. Was he the guy you rescued in the Depths? He was pretty cool, even if I didn't have much use for his pyromancy. I also never found the Painted World. I mean, I found a giant ass painting in Anor Londo, but I couldn't get inside.

@eroticfishcake:

Man, there is so much stuff in this game I didn't even find. Like Quelaag's Sister. But now that I've beaten the game, I might go through and watch all that. I am still curious about what fiction is hidden throughout the game.

@SpunkyHePanda:

The Capra Demon comes off kinda of genre savvy to me. His basic pattern when you enter his den is to bum rush you and kill you before the fight even gets started. I must have died dozens of times at that door without even getting a foot into his lair. The guy is damn savage.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man
@Sarumarine said:

@kingzetta said:

but in the lava area you have to fight 5 capra's at once

Yeah, but those guys had to be weaker versions. At least that's my guess. If they are just carbon copies of the Capra Demon, the room to maneuver and lack of bastard dogs interrupting your attacks makes a real difference. Not to mention you could lure out those demons one at a time as per Dark Souls strategy and chop them up at your leisure. In the Capra Demon boss fight, you're stuck in a tiny area where he can just pound you with his two dogs and have a party. That guy must have killed me twenty plus times and cost me thousands of souls. I'll admit, I'm totally scarred.


From what I fought they seem about the same. The Capera can easily be staggered with a strong shield. 
Posted by xyzygy
@Sarumarine: I think they're the same level, it's just that when you fight the capra demons later on you are in a much more forgiving area and you have better items than the starting stuff. He is a very early boss after all. When you go to fight him in NG+ he's a complete joke, same with the other capra demons.
Posted by Sarumarine

@xyzygy:

Heh, yeah that's Dark Souls I guess. Provided you know what you're doing, everything is doable. The Capra Demon just got under my skin and I couldn't handle him. He's still the boss I had the most trouble defeating, with Smough and Ornstein in second. Maybe if I went back knowing what I know now, he might not be a problem. Maybe...

Posted by JackSukeru

@Sarumarine: Yeah, Laurentius is the first pyromancer trainer you find. I liked him because even though he was ostracized from the rest of society, first for being a Pyromancer, and then for being an Undead he never let it get him down, or blamed other people. He even claims it doesn't bother him because he "doesn't get along that well with people anyhow". I also liked listening to him talk about Pyromancy, it gave me the impression that it was this worlds version of Nature Magic. Kind of shamanistic or druidic, which would explain why it was considered "unsavory" compared to miracles and sorcery. Their robes certainly look it.

Dusk is a character I heard about but never would have found without a guide, here's what you need to do to find her:

Step 1. Kill the hydra in Darkroot Basin, this is easiest accomplished by approaching it and blocking its physical attacks, then countering by cutting off its heads. Step 2. Leave the area and go to a bonfire or quit and reload the game, a big golden crystal golem will have spawned in the shallow water a bit away from where the hydra is found. It is tougher than the regular crystal golems. Kill it and a woman appears. Step 3. Speak to the woman and say Yes, then return to the other end of the basin where a white summon sign will allow you to summon, talk and buy from her. She has a couple of unique spells as well as a unique, very light, catalyst to sell.

You should really Youtube some of these characters (and maybe the Painted World) to hear what they have to say, most likely you didn't run into Darkstalker Kaathe either and he undoubtedly has the most interesting things to reveal about your character and the world.

Posted by drevilbones

Great post! I am not very far into this game, just beat the damned Capra Demon myself and I'm on my way to the second bell. Your post makes me both terrified and excited for what I'll find in the rest.

Posted by Deusx

Great read duder, can't wait to fight the Capra Demon. Although I feel kind of dumb for finishing the whole darkroot forest before even knowing where I was supposed to go in the first place...

Posted by xyzygy
@Deusx said:

Great read duder, can't wait to fight the Capra Demon. Although I feel kind of dumb for finishing the whole darkroot forest before even knowing where I was supposed to go in the first place...

You're not done in Darkroot. :P
Edited by benspyda

@xyzygy: Yea there is some messed up shit in the second area of Darkroot. A good ring though if you kill the invisible ninja there.

Posted by The_Laughing_Man
@benspyda said:

@xyzygy: Yea there is some messed up shit in the second area of Darkroot. A good ring though if you kill the invisible ninja there.

You mean the guys who walk around? You get that same ring from joining the covent. 
Edited by xyzygy
@benspyda said:

@xyzygy: Yea there is some messed up shit in the second area of Darkroot. A good ring though if you kill the invisible ninja there.

And Black Bow of Pharis! 
 
@The_Laughing_Man said:
@benspyda said:

@xyzygy: Yea there is some messed up shit in the second area of Darkroot. A good ring though if you kill the invisible ninja there.

You mean the guys who walk around? You get that same ring from joining the covent. 
He means the "flipping" ring or whatever it's called. The one that makes you flip.
Posted by benspyda

@xyzygy: That flip animation is so stupid but I love it.

Edited by The_Laughing_Man
@xyzygy said:

@benspyda said:

@xyzygy: Yea there is some messed up shit in the second area of Darkroot. A good ring though if you kill the invisible ninja there.

And Black Bow of Pharis! 
 
@The_Laughing_Man said:
@benspyda said:

@xyzygy: Yea there is some messed up shit in the second area of Darkroot. A good ring though if you kill the invisible ninja there.

You mean the guys who walk around? You get that same ring from joining the covent. 
He means the "flipping" ring or whatever it's called. The one that makes you flip.
o ya. The Wood  grain ring. Never got it. I run with havels ring and what ever else suits my need.