Sunday, 22 December 2013

Dark Souls cause great pain

So friends,

I awoke in a jail cell. I was hollow, no longer in possession of any humanity. How long had I been hollow? I don't know, perhaps for centuries, maybe just for hours, for all I know it could have only been a minute or two. A mysterious stranger helped me, kicking a key into the cell from the bars in the celling. Before I knew it I was free and wandering helplessly round my prison.
From my prison I rose, ready to work out what the hell was going on.

There were other hollows around, groaning in the halls, holding little pocket knives and gaunt faced stares of despair. Rather conveniently for me there was a small sword and a wooden shield not far for from my cell. Once I was strapped up with protection and weaponry I began smacking ten shades of crapocraties out of the other hollows, you know, coz I could.

After learning the basics of my move set I was ready to advance deeper into the world, to learn its secrets and face its challenges. Before I could do that though, I needed to finnish the tutorial (no point running until you can walk is there). A fellow adventurer gave me a flask, one that could hold estus. I'm not really sure what estus is, but it healed me up quickly when I was wounded. The fellow adventurer looked a bit worse for ware, lying in a pile of bricks as he was, moaning about not being able to carry on his adventure. I left him there, took his flask and continued ever on into the tutorial.

The next thing I faced was this massive demon beast that lived in the prison.
The first big creature that killed me dead a handful of times before I
worked out how to stab its butt to kill it.

Bloody scary I tell you, and bloody massive too! I didn't stand a chance the first few times I faced it, this was because the creature had a hammer that was several times the size of me, and every time it came crashing down on my head I was instantly deaded. Fair enough really, I shouldn't have expected to survive such a hammering. Thankfully, or unluckily, I re-spawned in my hollow state at the bonfire I had last rested at, ready to face the challenge again. I figured that there must be a way to vanquish this foe, it is only the guardian of the prison ffs! I hadn't even got out into the open yet.

After discovering that the big creatures weakness was his deep seated homophobia, I focused all of my stabbing attacks on its butt until it eventually gave in and went to join the National party of not gay giant creatures. I was free, finally. I said my farewells to the other prisoners, exchanged a few addresses and then headed out. I caught a giant bird taxi (it was quicker then waiting for the prison bus) and soon found myself at firelink shrine.
Firelink shrine, where all the hollows hang out.
This place became my new home, a bit shabby, no walls or doors, just a bonfire where I could refill my estus and contemplate my next move. I was treated to very few cut scenes, not much explanation of the world around me, I had to discover it all for myself.

It was this sense of discovery that kept me adventuring on. I would die countless times on my journey, but this never stopped me from pressing on, to find the end.

I regained my humanity, many times on the journey. Humanity wasn't always the most helpful thing though. When I achieved human form I left my world open to invasion, from other adventurers. The biggest set back to this was that I was less experienced and proved to be easy prey for the invaders. Several times I managed to throw myself off a cliff, or tall building while being hunted, ending the hunt abruptly and labelling myself as a hopeless noob. 
Santa the blacksmith, making weapons for all the kids

The end of the adventure was many hours away, much land needed to be covered and many beasts required slaying before taking on the final God of fire. Thankfully, Santa was there to help me upgrade some of the weapons I had found while wandering around. Christmas came early the day I met Santa and got my first shortsword upgraded. Happy days indeed. Santa didn't give me these things for free though, he did charge a hefty price for the upgrading. My guess is that his elves deserted him years ago and so he was forced to take up a different trade, good on you Santa for struggling onward during rough times.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to summon Santa to help me against any of the ridiculously oversized monsters I encountered. He wasn't going to leave his grotto of dreams for no adventurer. 
Oh Hairy Demon, where do you purchase your giant axes?

I took on the big hairy demon, with his massive blood covered axe of despair. He didn't have a big squishy butt to stab like the prison demon, so I had to try some other techniques. Jumping on his head with my sword pointed down was a handy way to dispense great damage and look cool doing it. 

Persistance was the name of the game, and patience was an essential tool for progression. On many occasions I considered throwing in the gauntlet and never adventuring again, but something kept pulling me back in.

Tell me why? I don't like Dragons!
Tell me why? I don't like Dragons!
Tell me why? I don't like Dragons, because they burn,
burrrrrrn, your whole skin off.

Beware of the Dragons. They don't mess around. They don't fall easily and they breath fire that burns, it burns hot. I felt that fire, it burned me up good a few times. 

Also beware of poison. Damn poison. Make sure you harvest some sweet sweet colourful moss from the tree monsters before you go into the depths with all the god damn poison and curses. There are these weird frogs in the sewers, and rats too, and they like to poison and curse you like gypsy witches at a funeral. 
Grandma, what big horns and wings you have!

Oh yeah, and Beware of mythical beasts that want to kill you dead. There are loads of them on the adventure, all staring at you and wanting to kill you and stuff. I think the only reason they have been put in this world is to kill me dead, they are so proficient at it. It's like I called their mums all whores or something, they just don't let up for a moment, always trying to bite or stab or impale or rip or smash or crush or devour me. I recon they would feel the same about you, they blame any human in their world for the atrocities of all humans before and after, we as a species will forever be the enemy of the mythical creatures.
Grandma, what an impressive triple layered set of teeth you have!

Also big creatures consisting of mainly teeth, they don't like humans much either. Mind you, if the whole front of your body was just a giant mouth with more teeth in it then there are stars in the night sky, you too would probably want to kill all humans. Imagine the toothpaste bills alone, without even mentioning dentistry costs, plus have you seen how much they charge for face braces these days? Forget about it!

It took me months, but eventually I completed the quest, twice! I wanted to see both endings and get the pixilated trophies for bragging rights. I also ventured into the expansion pack bit that came with the edition of the adventure that I had purchased.
Grandma, what a big sword you have!
It was an endurance test, and easily the hardest game I have played in a long time. There was no difficulty setting, it was just balls hard from start to finnish. This was what made Dark Souls a rewarding experience, the feeling of success when a boss was slain, the sense of relief when a bonfire was found, the fact that no one was holding my hand as I explored the world. I give it a 9 out of 10 for it was a memorable experience that I am proud I completed.

Peace and infinite love
Mr Jackson (Andy Jackson, [adj])

P.S - for anyone following along, this was day 22 of the blog-a-day-a-thon,
P.P.S - This was my review of Dark Souls (a game that came out last year), previously in this blog I have reviewed Dragon Age: Origins, Darksiders II and Saints Row III, all the games I have completed this year, there is one more to follow, the best game I have played this year, but I will save that for just before the new year.
P.P.P.S - Please watch the Otherwise video :)

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