A Dark Souls Journal #1: Blighttown

I suppose it’s time I start using this site again. I truly apologise to all three or less people who cared about the FFVIII vs RWBY articles I was writing, but those aren’t happening anymore – at least not in the format I originally intended. Maybe someday I’ll try writing about the topic again. But for now, Dark Souls. This one is mostly for you, Utsu, and the Prism chat.

So, if you were unaware, I started playing Dark Souls for the first time, and I felt that it would be an awkward game for me to record or stream comfortably because of how I like to keep blind runs a personal thing. Depending on the game, I like to spend time just fooling around more than I should to get my head around how it’s designed. I don’t think that would be very fun to watch at times without me constantly referring to a guide.

And yet, I don’t want to keep my friends out of the loop. The more I kept playing, the more I realised there was still a fun way to essentially ‘live blog’ the game, so I started spontaneously writing entries into a Notepad file as I went along. Ideally, I would have been doing this from the start, but better late than never, and now everyone can see my thoughts… for better or worse. From here on is a copy paste of today’s update.

25/06/20 5:03PM

I am sitting at a bonfire somewhere in the sewers. Just outside is a deranged zombie and a bunch of slimes. I can’t stand slimes. They creep me out and the idea of even touching one makes me shiver in disgust. There’s a whole bunch of them just hanging out on the ceiling. I could stay here all day just setting them on fire in revenge for the first time I got jump-scared by one. Sooner or later I will have to abandon this bonfire. I have heard many things about this ‘Blighttown’, and none of them good. Is this what they call ‘out of the frying pan, into the fire’?

Also, who the hell is Kirk? I never want to see a basilisk again.

5:18PM

Found a fellow selling Gold Pine Resin. Lightning has felt godly throughout this journey, so I’m buying two. I’ve been wanting someone to pop up with this in their inventory for a while now. Why is he out here, though? These shop-keeps find the strangest places to set up, but I suppose there aren’t many good places to pick.

I really don’t want to open this door. But I suppose I have to.

“Used Blighttown key.” All the colour in the world immediately turns foreboding, and a slime sneaks up on me from behind. I kill it before it can make me scream internally. This is surely a sign of good things to come.

5:37PM

Writing another entry in a safe spot right now. Found the Iaito. Wonderful katana that I will never use. Sure was a risky looking jump. Anyway, from the bottom of the heart, what’s wrong with this place? I don’t know where it starts and ends. I guess that’s the point. These rakghoul looking bastards are gross. Don’t feed on my head. Feed on your own goddamn weird ass heads.

Oh thank the lord, there’s a bonfire. I won’t use it yet, but it’s reassuring. I don’t want any of these freaks to come back just yet. I see some red thing floating around down below. That’s slightly unnerving. Wait. Dogs up ahead. Oh, I see now. Yes, I’ll just use that bonfire now, thank you.

5:45PM

WHY DO THEY BREATHE FIRE

5:53PM

OH MY GOD WHY IS THAT THING COMING OUT OF THE WALL KILL IT WITH FIRE I DIDN’T BECOME MELEE FOR THIS

6:00PM

I killed it from a distance with fireballs. Thank you, pyromancy.

6:12PM

WHY ARE THERE FIRE SPIDERS HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE

6:45PM

I took a short break but I am back on my journey. I am not so sure they are spiders anymore but in any case, if they use fire, they must be weak to lightning, and I assume that means I can expect a boss weak to lightning. I will hold onto my Pine Cone Resin with great care.

I have now reached the swamp. I have six Estus and no way to straight up stop poison. I see. Is this the bit people hate? I’m going to need a bonfire. Let me think this one through. I have enough moss to deal with healing poison, but the constant health drain is going to be worrisome eitherway. Resource management and clever thinking feels key right now.

I found a Falchion. Wonder if I should replace that upgraded Scimitar later… Hmm. Wait. Oh, good grief. What are those fat things doing in the swamp? OH GOD, WHY AM I SO SQUEAMISH?

6:53PM

I died because I had to leave the room. Really great timing. I’m confident I can get everything back in time, so it’s just a bit of a minor annoyance.

6:54PM

Never mind, there goes my 4 humanity and 10000 souls. The fire breathing dogs got me. That’s okay. I can still move, that’s all that really matters. I’ll make half of that back on the return trip, probably.

7:07PM

I took another break for a bit to do things, but I just had a thought. Blighttown really doesn’t feel that bad so far. I can see how it would get annoying, but it hasn’t grated on me so far, just left me feeling more cautious than usual.

That being said, the biggest problem is how gross everything feels. Blighttown is making things hard on me with its enemy visuals alone. These guys are gross, my dude. This is psychological warfare.

Whatever these fire breathing things are, I found I can at least kill the first two in this area by luring them into a fall. I don’t need to, but I get a kick out of it. I almost died again to the ones afterward, though. The fire is dangerous, but more dangerous is the lock-on failing me.

Hold on. I got poison resist gear a while ago. I should try that…

…never mind, it wasn’t helpful.

Also, I don’t want to mess with these rock dudes. One rock was enough to tell me, no, I don’t want to tango with them for now.

7:28PM

Why are there so many of these grotesque slimy creatures? My Estus Flask hurts.

Aha, wait… I can finally put my bow to good use. Bless my dexterity.

7:32PM

I was just attacked by a whole bunch of them, but I survived. I don’t even know what loot I just picked up because I was too busy staying alive.

I really do like how no item is really useless so far, though. Having items you can’t bring yourself to use is a common issue in RPGs. I’ve grown a bit out of that habit, and it’s helping a lot here, because I absolutely do need to take advantage of a lot of the stuff I pick up.

7:43PM

Found a hidden wall with Twin Humanities. Felt it was still pretty suspicious. Found the Great Hollow. Hmm.

Ah, I see it now… a bonfire. For a little while, I can indulge in some sweet, sweet safety. I also picked up the Poison Mist pyromancy not too long ago…

I have heard… things about this, and I intend to put it to good use. Praise the sun.

8:07PM

Got the Cloranthy ring. Does this stack with the Grass Crest Shield? I hope so.

Hmm, no, doesn’t feel that way. Oh well.

8:26PM

How the hell do you even reach some of the bodies in this place?

I’m still in a dream, Snake Eater…

8:42PM

WHY DO THE MUSHROOMS HIT SO HARD?

8:51PM

I’m at Ash Lake and I don’t like that thing I see in the water.

There’s a bonfire here, though. The hydra will either be very easy or very annoying.

I’m a little curious about the security bonfire sitting right there next to it, though. Is it really just throwing me a bone?

8:58PM

IT HURTS. IT HURTS A LOT.

9:10PM

The evil has been defeated. The fight was basically the same as the other one. It was just as trivial but much more painful. I suppose this is where I will stop for the day. That was a lot.

To hell with those mushrooms, though. They’re basically Final Fantasy tonberries, and tonberries are to be feared. I don’t think they’re terrifying exactly, but I’m definitely not gonna get cocky with them.

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