A Dark Souls Journal #11: Thriller

A lot of dead things in this entry. Or things on their way to death.

08/07/20 6:47PM

I came across that shopkeep that was just outside Blighttown again! What’s he doing hiding at Firelink Shrine!?

Huh!?

I can wear Ornstein’s stuff? I can buy Artorias’ gear!?

Gonna go to the Painted World, get some souls, do some shopping!

7:26PM

Well, I ended up buying both sets of gear from him, and 444 Heavy Bolts. I’m not even sure if I’ll end up using those, but I have them now. He mentioned using divine weapons against skeletons, and I really don’t feel like dealing with Lost Izalith today.

I know that Nito is one of the lords, and considering all the associations with death… I suppose now is a good time to check out that graveyard again. If there’s nothing there, I suppose my next stop will be the New Londo Ruins.

Time to put that Divine Scimitar to the test…

7:35PM

On my first trip through the graveyard at the start of the game, I noticed a whole bunch of items scattered over it. I quickly realised that I didn’t stand a chance against the skeletons there. Trusting the game design, I fled the scene, figuring I wasn’t meant to be there yet. I returned sometime after anyway to loot the place and get the hell out of there.

I’m just risky like that sometimes.

Going over this place again with a weapon that seems to actually hurt these skeletons, I’ve found a staircase leading downward. Hmm, could this be the catacombs I kept hearing about?

8:16PM

In the catacombs, I have found many, many skeletons, and what I’m assuming are necromancers. My plan has been to attack everything with a couple of two-handed swings and proceed carefully. The traps in this place are peculiar. They’ve got faces on them. Hmm. Found a fog gate I think, but I can’t reach it just yet.

I’m at a hidden bonfire. I feel there may be more to this area than meets the eye. Lots of switches around here. It’s very dark, so I saw little reason not to equip the Sunlight Maggot soon after my arrival. Curiously, it does a better job of lighting the catacombs up than other places.

9:19PM

I went through the fog gate, and the path was blocked off by spikes. So I left and went off to find another fog gate. After much fooling around, falling through floors and carefully navigating traps, I found the boss of the area, named Pinwheel.

I regret to inform you that there is no recording or screenshot to prove this encounter ever took place because I was so stumped by how easy it was I forgot to actually save the instant replay. Here’s what happened. Before entering the boss area, I switched back to my +5 Gold Tracer. I started the fight. I turned on Power Within. I ran up to Pinwheel, slashed twice, and uh… victory.

What!? With the way Scottie kept talking about him, I expected a challenge… but really, everybody just wanted me to find out how pathetic he was, huh. Well… I’ll probably talk about this later when I actually finish this game. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I will mention that I did see a summon sign, but I wasn’t able to figure out how to reach its location safely until much after the fight.

I heard a blacksmith while I was wandering around earlier near the bone-wheel enemies, so I decided to explore the area a bit more. I found that one staircase suddenly ending with a drop really suspicious…

10:25PM

I risked falling down the hole. I died once, but the trip back wasn’t so bad, and I figured out the trick to going deeper in. I was finally face-to-face with the blacksmith. A walking, talking, non-hostile skeleton, dedicated to nothing but his craft.

The fellow is all about work and business. I can deal with that. But I have nothing I can do with him for now, save for giving him some embers.

I find it very clever the game entered a cutscene instead of letting me discover him in gameplay. Not saying I would have done this, but I can imagine many a player would see a giant skeleton marching toward them menacingly and opt for destroying it almost immediately. That would suck, so this design choice makes sense.

Anyway, I found the Giant tomb. I carefully navigate the darkness within… and get killed by a mob of giant skeletons. I see. So this is the standard for this place…

11:08PM

I defeated Gravelord Nito and got his Lordsoul. What happened was that I entered the fight, went to hunt down Nito, and realised I got a bunch of giant skeletons on my case. Not only that, Nito was presumably bringing them back up after I knocked them down.

Whoops. I see what’s going on here, and I’ve screwed up!

In my haste, only one option seemed clear, and that was a DPS race. Fighting them all at once while cornered seemed unrealistic, so I just focused on draining Nito’s health as quick as I could with my Gold Tracer.

Could I have used my Divine Scimitar to keep the skeletons down? Probably. But if that’s true, it’s also true that it doesn’t hit hard enough for the time that it takes to be worth it. Actually, the closer I got from the start of the Catacombs to the end of the Tomb, the more I realised I should have just stuck to the Gold Tracer.

Nito aside, there’s something I need to mention about the journey to him. I ran into a man somewhere in the tomb, and he seemed extra eager for me to check out a hole.

This is Trusty Patches, isn’t it. I don’t trust him at all… but I guess I have to get booted down by him to explore more content, huh? Oh man…

Also… this is Ash Lake, isn’t it? How curious. I almost expected a hidden connecting path to that area, but… the game actually let me down here. Like Pinwheel, this is another thing I’ll discuss after beating the game.

10/07/2020 6:02PM

Sorry for the silence, but I simply couldn’t do it! I’m surprised I managed to keep up near daily updates for such a long time, but I finally reached my limit after a point. Or my mood caught up to me. Regardless, I’m ready to make up for it! Let’s talk about everything that happened yesterday. Let’s expand and finish this entry!

I let Trusty Patches boot me down under! I contemplated just falling down there of my own free will, but I wasn’t sure I really wanted to deal with the potential of dying to some nonsensical kill plane that only doesn’t activate when Patches kicks me. I find Reah all by her lonesome, and task myself with eliminating her now hollowed companions…

Reah thanks me for letting her friends rest in peace. After looting the area, I climb back up to Patches. He sucks up to me, claiming to be apologetic, wondering if we are friends now. I answer no. He tries bribing me with Twin Humanities, then laughs about it. I’d kill him, but… as long as he doesn’t pull another stunt, I’ll let him slide… just this once.

I return to Firelink Shrine, and let Petrus know of Reah’s safety. He makes it clear that her rescue will mean nothing. He’s clearly hinting at the possibility of killing her himself. Well, that’s fine, honestly. He can say whatever he likes. Because nothing was going to change his fate, either. I fully intended on killing him quite a while ago…

Gee, what did you do wrong, Petrus? We can only guess…

And to be honest, I was getting kind of annoyed of seeing your useless stationary overcharging ass every goddamn time I warped here. Firelink Shrine is better without you.

Turns out Patches is here now, too. At least he sells me stuff now! He gave me a new emote! And he stays out of my view! Brilliant! You do that, man! He also gives some commentary on other NPCs in the game, which might be fascinating info for a player that isn’t already well acquainted with the characters in question.

As for Reah, looks like she’s selling Petrus’ inventory but with more, and cheaper. I think she may have even taken over as the covenant entry point for Way of White. Petrus truly is a useless piece of garbage. We are better without him. Oh, the sin I got for killing him? Don’t worry. All gone. Thanks, Oswald! Keh heh heh heh!

What’s left to address…

Oh yeah.

Gwyndolin.

So there were some real fascinating item descriptions that clearly point to the fact Gwynevere is a phony and Gwyndolin is pulling some garbage. The only reason I’m going to fight them is because Utsu pointed the boss fight out to me.

I think I still would have discovered this on my own, though. The bonfire warp for the room near the Painted World is called ‘Darkmoon Tomb’, for crying out loud. I probably wouldn’t have chosen to do the fight, though. I mean, I’m not even going to hurt Priscilla on this file… but an audience does make things a lot more fun, so I am willing to make exceptions!

I equipped the Darkmoon ring and the statue of Gwyn disappeared. Up ahead was a tomb that Gwyndolin did not want me to enter. I was offered the opportunity to enter the Darkmoon covenant, and I accepted… just so I could get the items. Juuuust in case, I ran back to Oswald in hopes of leaving the covenant without some sort of annoying penalty.

Haha, oh man… this is gonna be awkward. I’ll just not bonfire warp to you later, okay?

I went back to the Darkmoon bonfire and entered the tomb… Gwyndolin was upset, asking me why I would choose to enter the tomb despite being a covenant member. Jokes on you, buddy… I was only a covenant member for a few minutes, and then Oswald handled the rest.

By the time I entered the tomb, I was no longer in the covenant!

This fight took a moment to grasp, but it’s surprisingly simple. From what I recall, Gwyndolin basically had only three attacks, and only one was a threat. A giant beam, homing attacks, and… what’s that? Knife throwing? Are those knives? I can’t tell, but that last one is the most dangerous.

You can’t hide from the giant beam and blocking it is pointless, so the remaining option is to dodge it. You can hide from the homing attacks, and all they end up doing is help Gwyndolin stall for time, or give me an opportunity to heal up.

As for the… knives? Actually, huh. Looking back at the footage, they’re arrows. They’re still the only threat. You can afford to dodge them while approaching Gwyndolin, unlike the homing attacks, but unlike the big beam, they aren’t single hit. Those things are going to hit multiple times and stun you for a bit, leaving you open. Not good.

Even so, once I figured out how to approach the fight, it was basically over. Anor Londo’s remaining deity went down with little effort. The god’s soul acquired, I ventured further into the tomb. One of the chests had the fire keeper’s gear in it.

Oh man, the Anor Londo bonfire is going to be awkward as hell… should I pass on using it? Hah. Although, at this point I would only be using it to upset her. After all, I don’t have any reason to use that bonfire now.

Anyway, with Nito deader than dead, that leaves… ah, what? Where to? Izalith, and… well, I’m not expecting to see the Pygmy at all, so… what the hell? I suppose I still haven’t ventured deep enough into New Londo Ruins… and I’m definitely strong enough now to check out that gate at the Valley of the Drakes. Hmm…

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