A Dark Souls Journal #10: Sif

Sif… ;-;

Ahem. Anyway.

I did a lot yesterday, and I wasn’t particularly in a writing mood. So I just played and played. There was a lot of progress, and quite frankly, I’m not sure where to begin. This is despite me knowing the order of events. Like, what’s worth reporting on? What’s worth ignoring? Ahh, the dilemma…

Well, first thing’s first. As promised, I’m going to talk a little about some of the more intriguing dialogue from the DLC. In particular, how the NPCs kept making reference to a dark, toothy serpent.

There’s the implication this creature has been manipulating people so that events turn out in its favour. It’s heavily implied the situation Oolacile found itself in with Manus causing hell is at least half the serpent’s fault – Gough says man is still partially to blame, fooled or not.

Well, eitherway, we’ve already met a dark toothy serpent, haven’t we?

Goddamnit, Frampt, I knew it…

This is probably one of those games without any actual 100% good ending, except you don’t mind because everything wass handled so wonderfully – including but not limited to the fandom memes. It’s how I felt about Umineko. Well. I’m not sure how I felt about the goats in Episode 8, actually. And as for Dark Souls… there’s the Demon Ruins and Lost Izalith to deal with… hahaha…

Immediately after leaving the past of Oolacile, I went over to speak to Dusk in the present. Colour me disappointed, though understanding, of the fact that she barely talks about my adventure.

Makes complete sense, but it was a bit sad considering the DLC’s ending felt very abrupt. Manus dies, Dusk appears on the ground, I bonfire out and… that’s it. Ah well. I mean, I enjoyed the DLC a lot. So I won’t complain too much. It was worth digging into early! Even if it hurt later… hahhh…

Following all that, I spent a bit of time just fooling around. It was another day where there was some talk happening on Discord, so I went into a mind space where I just grinded some stuff simply because I could, and it needed less concentration than tackling new things and thinking about writing this.

I met Quelana again, who didn’t seem to enjoy discussing her mother, the Witch of Izalith. I got my Pyromancy Flame up to +15, but didn’t get around to ascending it. I bought every pyromancy I could off of her. Later, she gave me a request – to free her family from the Flame of Chaos. Hoo boy… I’m so excited for Izalith… not.

I also found onionbro Siegmeyer nearby. He wanted some purple moss from me because he was having some issues dealing with the Blighttown swamp, I guess. It’s a miracle this dude is alive. There may come a time we just can’t help him…

He’s almost certainly going to die, and I’m sure if there is a way of saving him, it probably involves some weird shenanigans. Like all this stuff going on with Sunbro. Speaking of Solaire…

I did two things that guaranteed he would live. I used poison mist through that one shortcut door I couldn’t open to kill the maggot on the other side, as it would apparently make him turn hostile later. I also never spoke to him at Anor Londo, meaning he would never even get over to the damn maggot.

And now, the third. I rejoined the Chaos Covenant and gave the Fair Lady 30 humanities. The DLC gave me way more than I probably needed, so what the hell.

This meant the shortcut door could finally open. And sure enough, the Sunlight Maggot was dead on the other side. And I could wear the thing on my head! Gross, but sure! It also produces some light! Hmm. Hmm.

I explored a little bit past the shortcut area so that the Lost Izalith title came onto the screen, but I decided I didn’t want to go that way. I wanted to try going there using the main route. But first, I teleported over to Solaire and spoke to him. This will probably get him to leave…

I then remembered something. I have the Crest of Artorias. It opens a door in the Darkroot Garden. I still haven’t used it for some reason. Surely it’s more relevant to access now that I’ve done the DLC that actually had Artorias in it. So I used the crest, and got attacked by a bunch of random pathetic human NPCs that didn’t stand a chance against the power of my backstabs. Then I ran into Alvina… the feline I saw in the DLC.

She heads the Forest Hunter covenant, I guess. I joined, of course. I’m joining every covenant the moment I discover them, just to see what’s on the table. Although, I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of response she wanted from me initially. I understood all of her dialogue, but when prompted by the game to pick Yes or No, I was left confused. What part exactly was I answering yes or no to?

I was so baffled by this I googled Alvina and it seems I’m not the only one puzzled by this, because I found this post, which led to this hilarious picture.

Eitherway, I’ve gotten nothing out of joining so far, except for the forest NPCs not bothering to attack me anymore. I don’t know if I’m relieved or disappointed by that. I marched onward, and slaughtered more mushrooms (as is standard procedure for me now, I guess). I opened a giant door, and…

Oh, Sif. I saw this coming a mile away. There was no way Dark Souls wasn’t going to gut punch me after giving me a dog buddy. I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that I realised putting Sif down was actually easier than I expected, or the fact that Sif accepted this was how things would have to go down.

After some dodging and blocking, I eventually realised that using my shield wasn’t that important. Staying right under Sif seemed to keep me safe from harm, and it also gave me free rein to go two-handed and just cut the pupper apart.

This victory was so easy I felt bad. I think I must have stood there for a solid minute and then just alt-tabbed from the game to do something else for a bit.

I did eventually return to the game. I acquired a ring from Sif called the ‘Covenant of Artorias’. This ring allowed Artorias to ‘traverse the Abyss’. Oh, boy, I can hardly wait… I think we can all have a good guess where this is going to go later…

Let’s make things a little less depressing and move forward a bit.

Let’s talk about something truly pathetic.

Something I’ve already trash talked a little bit.

Let’s talk about the Demon Ruins.

This screenshot is actually from Lost Izalith but I feel like the dragon butts (WHY ARE THEY DRAGON BUTTS) perfectly encapsulate the emotions I went through upon returning to the Demon Ruins.

Following Sif’s death, I felt that the best way to wash out my sad feelings would be to overwhelm them with bewilderment and frustration.

Getting straight to the point. Since the ‘brilliant light’ barrier was no longer active at the Demon Ruins, I could finally face another boss there. And I’m not even sure if the thing qualified as a boss.

The ‘Demon Firesage’ was basically a reskin of the Asylum Demon, the first boss in the game. It might possibly instead be a reskin of the Stray Demon… who is also just the Asylum Demon but harder.

Point is, I hardly had the time to find out which. I realised what I was staring at immediately and cut it down the same way I cut the others down. It died in absolutely no time and I just stood there confused.

I knew the Demon Ruins was like that, but really? Between Ceaseless Discharge and this guy… the big fights in it sure weren’t much to write home about. As far as making you feel amazed, anyway.

But of course, I wasn’t finished yet. I proceeded onward, and discovered there was yet another boss fight. Remember that weird creature I saw when I first explored the Demon Ruins? That one that was clinging to the side of a wall? Turns out its called the Centipede Demon, and oh boy, do I have some words to say about this fight too.

What the hell was even happening in it!?

The entire boss area was 75% lava, and it felt like trying to jump across it was pointless – you were going to take that damage and suck it up anyway. Not only that, every time the centipede struck, I couldn’t seem to damage it at all. At that point, there were two possibilities:

a) I cannot reach the centipede fast enough after it strikes
b) Striking the centipede when it strikes doesn’t actually do anything

So I just gave up on that tactic. Power Within had drained a chunk of my health and I didn’t even get to benefit from its power increase. That sucked. I love Power Within!

If you watch the video, you can see the part where I find the big chunk of land and begin to slowly clue in on how to fight the damn thing with melee. Turns out you can bait it toward you, and when its close enough…

The fight is over because all I need to do is just hack at its legs until it dies, I guess.

And, as if to apologise for what a pathetic experience that was, the game gives me a ring that lets me walk across lava with a highly reduced rate of damage.

It’s… it’s almost like they’re saying… hey, we know the level and enemy design sucks around these parts. We’re really sorry, please take this ring as consolation… after we’ve made you deal with lava.

Except, well, I know this can’t be it!
Lost Izalith definitely exists!
It’s coming up real soon!
Isn’t it!?

Knowing Dark Souls, Lost Izalith is probably going to be built around wearing this damn ring… except at the same time, Lost Izalith probably isn’t designed well enough that the ring feels like anything close to some galaxy brain breakthrough in game design.

You know what I did, folks?

I got the hell out of there.
I went straight back to Anor Londo.

I was going to cut this off by writing “I’ll cover this another day”, but really, in retrospect, there isn’t much to say, even if it took up a good chunk of my play session.

So let’s start off by saying this. I found the Ring of the Sun’s Firstborn. I also think I found the Gwyn statue that Utsu was actually talking about.

I went to the Duke’s Archives, eager to see what Seath the Scaleless would have on offer for me. Surely, he’d be an epic fight. Something intellectual, maybe, something befitting of a creature with an entire library of books…

He completely decimates me. This was the game’s unwinnable battle, huh? I got locked up, but it didn’t matter. I broke out almost immediately. Weird security enemies got summoned to get me, and I made pretty short work of them. Never gave them the chance to touch me, though. The weaker they look, the scarier they probably actually are.

Turned out Logan got himself imprisoned again because he’s just really thirsty for some good knowledge. I spent an extremely long amount of time getting lost in the library, searching for a key, purely because I wanted to free Logan. Leaving the place on its own was pretty easy.

I managed to get outside the archives and kill a Gold Golem. This frees Siegmeyer’s daughter, Sieglinde, from it. She learns that I know of her father, and she’s apparently highly aware of the kind of man he is. Likely to get himself killed, that is. I leave her on her quest to find him.

Things get real Final Fantasy as I enter the Crystal Cave and navigate pathways with weird collisions that cause me to slide off, which are also sometimes invisible. I died a couple times, but I finally made it to Seath.

I didn’t record this fight. But let me just explain it to you. I tried whacking his tail, because Utsu told me it gave a unique drop. It barely hurt him. I kept trying to whack him, and kept failing to make any sort of progress. Was I going to die before I figured out the trick to Seath?

Nah. I remembered the little light source I saw in the cutscene before we fought. Surely that’s a relevant object. I rush for the crystal and destroy it. Suddenly, cutting off his tail becomes child’s play, and the entire fight becomes unbelievably pathetic. Seath didn’t stand a chance.

One lord down, Moonlight Greatsword acquired, and…

I went back to Oolacile Township to use the Sunlight Maggot on that one area I found that needed a light source! Oh boy, what’s inside the chest!?

Something I could have used against Manus if I found it before beating him.

Damnit.

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