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Julius

Demon's Souls (12th November 2020)

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Took a bit of a break after finishing 2-2 and defeating Flamelurker, but just hopped on to give 2-3 a try and completed that too! Been a great day for me making progress in this game, hopefully can make some more tomorrow :grin:

I actually really liked 2-2 - much more than I did 2-1, anyways - for the most part, what with the introduction of those proximity explosives in the carts, and the game giving you a chance to show yourself how far you've come (I guess unless you came straight here after 2-1?) by taking on the pickaxe-wielding miners and a Fat Official. Kind of brushed them aside. There was an NPC in the shaft who all the messages said was lying, but I'm not sure what about, because I accidentally hit him a couple of times when getting chased by those molten bees and the dude (rightly) wouldn't calm down, soooooo I kind of killed him. Self-preservation and all that :laughing: then I quite enjoyed figuring out my way through the tunnels, how to navigate it with those chunky flame bugs lying around, though it did take me a while to figure out where to go from there (the lava river wasn't too giving in terms of how to progress). I actually only went left in the tunnel and stuck with it because I died twice getting caught on a plank sticking out where I was trying to drop down from, which caused me to go off course and plummet to my death; no idea what's to the right! In no real rush to go back there, mind :p

And then it was the boss fight with Flamelurker, which I beat on my first attempt, which I'm both very proud of! Even saved the last 15 and 60 mins of footage once it was done because I couldn't believe it, I'd heard it was one of the tougher bosses for someone with a melee build, which I've been using. It far more stressful doing it first time in a way, because there was a lot of adrenaline pumping once I got it's health to tick down past the halfway mark. Overall, even though it was waaaaaaay too intense a fight, probably my favourite boss fight alongside Tower Knight so far! 

Spoiler

I went in not knowing what to expect other than the little tidbit I think we saw of him swinging in a trailer, but took me a while to adjust. Once I had some idea of its attack pattern (a swipe or two, followed not too long after by a slam down with its fists), the issue was keeping my distance to heal. There were a couple of times where I had to get lucky with some of my roll timings, and I ran around a pillar a few times trying to keep something between us while healing. It took me a good five minutes and maybe half of my resources to whittle it down by just a third of its health! 

Then I stopped locking on, frequently ran away in attempts to heal and get some distance between us, and things were much smoother from there. Threw a couple of spells it's way which got it down a bit, though the downside to this was that I got hit twice in a row straight after (I think the area of effect and/or strength of its attacks got greater?). Ran around a bit more, got hit, and then I got knocked down to just under half of my health, but instinctively knew I was in a great position to attack as I was diagonally to the right of its right leg while it was facing a pillar, probably had 15% - 20% of its health left? By this point I only had a single piece of Late Moon Grass left after going through my Half Moon Grass stock, and though I did have a couple of Crescent Moon Grasses left...a lot of stuff going through my head, but I didn't trust myself to get by on this alone, so made the decision to just go for it. Quickly swapped over to my Crescent Falchion+2 and just swung again and again with R1 knowing that this was my best (and perhaps final) chance at an opening, and then it went down. 

That's going to be a boss fight I cherish for a very long time, because unlike some of the others where I had to return after dying, I didn't get the chance to figure much out about it other than what I could on the fly. It felt so great to take it down! 

And then I took a break, before taking on 2-3, which was not what I had expected...at all. 

Spoiler

Dragon God looks awesome, and the music was great, but first off, didn't expect the main boss of an Archstone (the Archdemon right?) to have a whole level to itself, I was fully expecting there to be another level to work my way through! I'm guessing the same is going to be true for Archstones 3, 4, and 5, though I remember the fog being too thick to continue to 1-3, so I'm guessing that's either a super long gauntlet (maybe with multiple bosses?), or maybe there's a 1-4? Because I didn't see those messages anywhere else. 

Anyways, the boss fight was kind of lame compared to the rest :blank: like, take away the much grander scale, and I probably had more fun running around with Phalanx for half an hour! It reminded me a lot of the final boss of Breath of the Wild...in the worst possible way. Take cover behind pillars and occasionally get trampled by its fingers, hurl a ballista it's way, run screaming from a fire, hurl another ballista it's way, and just use magic on its chin horn from a safe distance (much better than getting a whiff of its breath, that's for sure!) and it was over. 

Okay, so it wasn't quite that straightforward, because there were some trial and error deaths involved. Once I figured out I could make faster work of the fallen pillars by two-handing my sword, and that I really didn't need half of the stuff on me for this fight and sent it back to storage so that I could run a bit faster, it was over pretty quickly, though. 

Bit of a shame, had expected more, but I do appreciate the variety to the bosses. Curious now to see if the other Archdemons are like this too? 

Anyways, yeah, I'm enjoying this quite a bit now, though I guess that's easy to say after a solid session with a decent amount of progress over a few hours spent on it today :laughing: also, I made it to Soul Level 50, which feels like a pretty big milestone on my journey! Hope that means things are looking up for the rest of the game :p onto 3-2, and whatever else I can manage, tomorrow! 

Edited by Julius
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1 hour ago, Julius said:

return after dying

Getting to him after dying once was annoying as hell...halfway through the long way I decided to go back and just make my way down the pit :laughing: Thankfully I was successful on my second try. :peace:

Regarding your experience with the 2-3 boss:
In my opinion most of Demon's Souls bosses are kind of a "cinematic end" to each level. They usually have some sort of "gimmick" and aren't that difficult, especially compared to the Dark Souls series.

Flamelurker, though...that's straight up a Dark Souls boss :D

Anyways, that's 1-1, 1-2, 2-1, 2-2 and 3-1 done. Soul Level 34. Still not sure what to make of the magic build...I've acquired Soul Ray which is a bit more powerful than Soul Arrow but I still usually just engage in close quarter combat. Maybe the magic's potential will unlock in NG+.

Edit: 2-3 done, as well. Very easy if you know what to do :p

Edited by drahkon
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3 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Getting to him after dying once was annoying as hell...halfway through the long way I decided to go back and just make my way down the pit :laughing: Thankfully I was successful on my second try. :peace:

Nice!

And wait a second...now you mention it and I'm stopping to think about it, that's the only way those areas could have connected! 

:blank:

I'm curious now I'm thinking about it whether I would have gone right had I died earlier or to Flamelurker... that could've been a few more deaths and a lot of wasted time! guess Oh well, I've gained some valuable experience from going the long way, I have no regrets :laughing:

Quote

Regarding your experience with the 2-3 boss:
In my opinion most of Demon's Souls bosses are kind of a "cinematic end" to each level. They usually have some sort of "gimmick" and aren't that difficult, especially compared to the Dark Souls series.

Flamelurker, though...that's straight up a Dark Souls boss

Ah okay, that makes sense I guess, I'll try to reel in my expectations for the final levels of each Archstone, thanks for the heads-up! It does take away some of the tension of making it through an entire level and then having to face a boss, but then again, it adds a nice bit of variety and definitely still feels empowering to take a massive boss down with a little less pressure on the whole thing. 

And yeah, I weirdly get what you mean about Flamelurker being a straight up Dark Souls boss, because there have been a few "gimmicks" to some of the others that, once you pick up on them, become much easier. And again, there's been a lot of variety (good and bad) to them which I wasn't expecting, and much less dodge rolling than my limited knowledge of other From Software games told me there was going to be, from streams and reviews, things like that. 

Quote

Still not sure what to make of the magic build...I've acquired Soul Ray which is a bit more powerful than Soul Arrow but I still usually just engage in close quarter combat. Maybe the magic's potential will unlock in NG+.

From the little magic I've used so far, having put zero Souls into levelling it up and rocking Soul Ray with limited MP...it's been OP from my experience, when used on the right enemies at least.

Generally after I encounter a new enemy type, where it's not super obvious what it's going to be weak to, I'll drawn it in to figure out its attack pattern, then give it a whack with my Long Sword, and then follow up with my Crescent Falchion; if it's weak to the latter, I'll blast it with a Soul Ray and see how it pans out. Generally though, magic seems to have done a decent amount of damage to a lot of enemies so far, and it's certainly made my Grass grinding much easier :laughing:

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18 minutes ago, Julius said:

there's been a lot of variety (good and bad) to them which I wasn't expecting, and much less dodge rolling than my limited knowledge of other From Software games told me there was going to be, from streams and reviews, things like that. 

After playing most of the Dark Souls games I'm actually very happy that Demon's Souls is taking a different approach to bosses (mostly).

Anyways, can't wait to give 1-3 a go tomorrow :peace: If I won't be able to pick up Yakuza 7 I'll spend most of my gaming time with Demon's Souls for sure.

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7 hours ago, Julius said:

There was an NPC in the shaft who all the messages said was lying, but I'm not sure what about, because I accidentally hit him a couple of times when getting chased by those molten bees and the dude (rightly) wouldn't calm down, soooooo I kind of killed him. Self-preservation and all that :laughing:

That's Patches the Hyena, who's actually a somewhat useful vendor early on if you don't want to grind for healing grasses.

That said, I hate him and I'm glad you killed him. :blank:

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21 hours ago, drahkon said:

Anyways, can't wait to give 1-3 a go tomorrow :peace: If I won't be able to pick up Yakuza 7 I'll spend most of my gaming time with Demon's Souls for sure.

Welp...Yakuza it was :D

But I did complete 1-3 just now. Love the boss' design.

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3-2. 3-3. 4-2. 4-3. 

All done. One heck of a day for me making progress with this game! I might actually get to finish this before 2020 is over :D

3-2

I actually quite liked the level itself, at least, up until it's latter stages and the boss fight. I got through pretty much all of the level just fine on my first try, I liked how cramped the walkways were, going up and down the towers, it all just made the gargoyle fights very intense.

Unfortunately...their AI seriously sucked, and they went down pretty easily. The AI for the scorpions with faces (obligatory: NOPE) was much better, but again, they didn't really give me much of a problem. First real issue I came across besides the boss fight was the Black Phantom Mind Flayer; whoever decided to stick them on tight stairways knew what they were doing, because boy did taking these guys out suck. I got past the first one by drawing him out and just sprinting past, but the later one on the spiral staircase up to the boss knocked me off, which is what caused my first death (thankfully, the level was quite forgiving because I'd already done everything I needed to by that point, so it didn't take long to get back to the boss fog gate). Came up with a strategy to go up to the eighth pillar up on the spiral staircase with a Thief Ring equipped, as it turns around on the 10th or so, then quickly run up behind it, backstab it, and kick it off the staircase into the depths below. For whatever reason I didn't get any souls for killing it, I think because it just phased out of existence before hitting the bottom, but whatever ::shrug: also noticed similar jank when I first completed the level and was trying to get to the spiral staircase, the wings and weapons of the gargoyles would turn up but their bodies wouldn't? On the upside though, I had good fun edging my way across some ledges in this one to get some nice loot, too! 

Also found a guy in a jail cell, seemed really suspect. Especially after he went nuts when I said I wasn't letting him go free. So, naturally, I let him out and knocked him off the platform, because his helmet looked cool and it had to be an actual item...right? I found it at the bottom, so I guess so :laughing:

As for the boss fight...

Spoiler

...ah, the Maneater. Or should I say, Maneaters

First death I rolled off a walkway, which is way too tight for the purpose of this boss fight. Also, seriously, no handrails? What is this, science fiction?! Second death came when a second Maneater turned up out of nowhere and I got charged by both one after another, flew off the ledge again. Rolled off the ledge another time I think as well, and then died once or twice to their attacks. 

I figured a spear might be better, so I went and upgraded my spear to be +5, but it was way too slow, even if it did do more damage than my Long Sword+4. No big deal, I just decided to go for it, and got them on my fifth or sixth attempt I think?

I ended up really enjoying it. Learning their attack patterns and knowing when to roll and when to heal, when to circle around the fire or hide behind it instead because of their ranged attacks, and when both were around, trying to draw one into a charge to fly off the side so that I could take the other on one-on-one. Keeping my health up was my main issue once I had the dodge roll timings down (Regenerator Ring helped out quite a bit here when circling the fire and keeping my distance), but once the first one was down for the first time - on my successful attempt, unlike my other attempts where one seemed super interested in me and the other just flew off, this time they both took it in turns and so both were whittled down at a gradual pace together - I just took to hurling Soul Rays at the second to take it out. Felt great to finally take it down! 

Then collected my souls and went on my merry way. 

3-3

Spoiler

Firstly: why more Black Phantom Mind Flayers on a narrow staircase?! Urgh. Took me longer to get up those stairs than the boss took me, once I got up there...

...and this boss sucked. It was obvious as soon as I faced it for the first time that it was PvP based on it's tactics to make me bleed and chase me around the room like a madman. I got backstabbed from a greater range than I was expecting on my first attempt, which was surprising, and kind of annoying, because they clearly had little health/defence based on how fast their health went down when I hit them. My mission then became focused on just getting to the top and getting the souls back I'd earned from getting up the staircase, and I did this a few times, getting ambushed by Firestorms.

Absolutely sucked, and I was at it getting ambushed immediately for nearly half an hour. PvP is a great concept, but basing it purely off of Soul Level (I looked it up after the fight) is a very narrow minded way to set things up for a PvP boss fight in a game like this. 

And so, I just disconnected from the internet, figuring that would mean I took on an NPC Black Phantom instead. Yeah, it was just a war of attrition and was boring as hell, just needed to keep my health up between my slashes and it was over before long. 

My new least favourite boss in the game, based on my experience of it. 

4-2 

Killed the boss and cleared this level on my first try, which got tense once or twice, that's for sure! For the level itself, I picked up a bunch of arrows I hadn't seen in the game yet (Fire and Light arrows) from the vendor early on, and used that to kill the Grim Reaper-looking dudes from range after killing any of their blue ghost guys who made it close by. I edged forwards through this level so slowly when I encountered them, knowing there was a Reaper dude somewhere nearby, and so kept an eye out; apart from the one hiding behind a corner (which gave me trouble because I got caught between two of the blue guys in the right passage just before him!) the others I could spot from a mile away if I slowly made my way through and constantly looked around, so I made light work of them. Fights with the skeletons got a little tense at times, but weren't too bad on the whole, it was just a case of getting them into an area which wasn't a cliff ledge where I was happy to take them on. 

Loads of loot on this level, and loved the change of scenery with the little slug guys before the final fog door. Annoying, but cute designs by this game's standards. Then onto the boss...

Spoiler

I thought this was a pretty cool boss fight actually, it was tense at times and I just made sure to take it slow once I figured out what was going on. I slowly walked around the room after I noticed the Old Hero had his eyes covered in the cutscene, so kept my distance and went ham on him (poor bloke took a sword to the nether regions a couple of times!) whenever he took a random slash, or when I lured him into hitting spots where I knocked pots over. 

Took about 10 minutes of slow and deliberate attacks (starting to get the feeling my weapons aren't all that strong...but I've got this far, so I'll see what happens!), but I don't think I got hit once by him? Felt good! 

And then, finally...

4-3

Spoiler

The Storm King.

What an epic fight! Yeah, it was more like Dragon God, but it felt much more involved this time around. I ran around like a headless chicken for the first few minutes trying to figure out what was going on and trying my luck at ranged attacks, but once I got Storm Ruler after spotting it's shine in the distance, I made my way back to the remains of a house I'd been taking cover in and trying to attack from. 

Locked on to a manta ray guy, tapped R1, and watched this giant wind slash slice through the air and take a few out, which felt awesome! Took the rest of them out, but not before the Storm King turned up and rained hell down on me (luckily the house held up, so I was pretty safe). Locked onto its eye and tapped R1, which did some damage, but once I got it down to 60%, it wouldn't take damage for whatever reason anymore. After a few minutes, figured I'd try two-handing it, which worked well enough! And not too long after, Storm King was down. 

These Archdemon fights really remind me of Shadow of the Colossus at the best of times, which is great! 

Anyways, back to my least favourite Archstone so far to take on 5-2. I really need some Widow's Lotuses, but have no idea where they might be, so I might look that up before giving it a try (EDIT: wait...the Cure miracle should do, right?). With any luck, though, I'll finish the game tomorrow! 

Edited by Julius
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8 minutes ago, Julius said:

Also found a guy in a jail cell, seemed really suspect. Especially after he went nuts when I said I wasn't letting him go free. So, naturally, I let him out and knocked him off the platform, because his helmet looked cool and it had to be an actual item...right? I found it at the bottom, so I guess so :laughing:

That was Yurt, the Silent Chief, you monster. The most useful NPC in the game. Will your bloodlust never be sated!? :blank:

Actually, he begins murdering NPCs if you allow him to return to the Nexus. I kind of love that flagrant disregard for the player. He'll just outright murder all of the spell and miracle vendors in the game if you help him (and Patches, which, I mean, fair). I can't think of any other game that would do something like that.

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2 minutes ago, Magnus said:

That was Yurt, the Silent Chief, you monster. The most useful NPC in the game. Will your bloodlust never be sated!? :blank:

 

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Actually, he begins murdering NPCs if you allow him to return to the Nexus. I kind of love that flagrant disregard for the player. He'll just outright murder all of the spell and miracle vendors in the game if you help him (and Patches, which, I mean, fair). I can't think of any other game that would do something like that.

 

I've never had trust issues in a game before like this :laughing: I even attacked a random guy in The Nexus early on, just because I wanted to see how he'd react. I should probably tone my killing spree down...

Spoiler

Seems like I dodged a bullet in this instance, though! That sounds really rough, I have zero regrets! 

It was really funny actually going through 4-2, because the vendor mentioned a guy who I guess was Patches being up ahead...but he was already dead, so I have no idea what he was talking about :D there was a hole in the ground I dropped into where I found Saint Urbain and it's the only place I imagine you could get attacked by him somehow? Because it was the only area off the beaten path which didn't really seem to have a natural way down, other than just hopping down myself :hmm:

 

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1 hour ago, Julius said:

I've never had trust issues in a game before like this :laughing: I even attacked a random guy in The Nexus early on, just because I wanted to see how he'd react. I should probably tone my killing spree down...

That could have ended badly, and you would have deserved it, too! My favorite let's play ever is DarksydePhil's blind playthrough of Dark Souls (with such classic lines as, "what are souls for?"), and he did the same thing with the first NPC in that game. He never realized that he was like one hit away from having a very angry NPC attack him every time he tried to use what's probably the most important bonfire in the game.

 

If you hadn't murdered him for no reason, he would have tricked you into stepping up to the edge of the pit and then pushed you in. And then after you make it back to him, he's all, "well, you can't blame a guy for trying!" ::shrug: But I can, Patches. I definitely can.

Edited by Magnus
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Managed to squeeze in a session before leaving the PS5 for two days :D

4-1 done. The boss was a joke with my mage build. ::shrug:

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Some 32 hours after starting my journey in Boletaria, I finished this earlier today to make it my last game of 2020!

Spoiler

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Absolutely loved it by the time it was over, overall one of my favourite gaming experiences too, by far being the most challenging and rewarding. I don't think I've ever gone from as dread-filled and lost as I was at the start of the game, to how powerful I felt by the end. In the hours since I've just been soaking it all in, and have started checking out VaatiVidya's lore videos. Such a rich and storied world! Many will point to the short load times and the appearance of the game being the highlights from a technical perspective (I now understand why people want to play action heavy games in 60fps), but for me, it's the sound design. It's actually insane just how crisp and atmospheric the sounds in this game are. 

My thoughts on the last parts of the game (made sure to keep boss fights/important bits in spoiler tags):

5-2

My least favourite Archstone going off the first round of levels, I really wasn't looking forward to this. It's dark, the swamp slows you waaaaaaay down and poisons you (as I went on to learn, having mostly prepared for being hit by plague!), and I hated facing the giant ogre guys without the ability to roll! On the other hand, there's so much loot trying to pull you out into the swamp, that it's hard to not be enticed by it. 

Took me three or four tries to get through to the end, learning a lot about how the level works. In the end, a Regenerator Ring mostly subdued the impacts of the reoccurring poison, and I have grass to last me for days, so that wasn't too much of an issue. I attuned Fire Spray after a few attempts at the level, to see how well it worked on the ogre guys and the flying mosquito things, and it worked much better for me than my Soul Ray!

Then it was onto the boss...

Spoiler

...the Dirty Colossus. The bosses in this Archstone were kind of easy? First one was a war of attrition, this one was just me locking on, strafing the room, and hurling Fire Spray at it as much as I could from range, before I hid behind a torch (?) to heal. Took me a couple of Fresh Spices, but wasn't too much of an issue; beat it on my first try. 

5-3

Spoiler

Then it was onto the Archstone demon: Maiden Astraea. Kicked a few of the guys who seemed to be worshipping from their ledge, then made my way other, only to be confronted by Garl Vinland. 

This one wasn't much fun of a fight, either, to be honest. It was mostly about luring Vinland into the ramp to make an attack, backing away, and then either attacking or healing, depending on which I needed at the time. Took a few minutes, but wasn't much trouble. 

Then walked on over to Astraea, but not before getting plagued. URGH. Used a Widow's Lotus and spoke to Astraea, who subsequently vanished after some sobering words. Interesting hearing her perspective on things. Cleared this boss first time too, but it wasn't over yet :D

Up until this point, I had been really careful about using Archstones and killing myself in The Nexus after spending all of my souls before I carry on, but there was loads of loot around in the pit with us...so I headed to the back, picked it all up, and died several times at the hands of these freaky babies coming up, when I was trying to get back to the Archstone with my 40K+ souls I had earned throughout 5-3, but hadn't spent. After a while, I was even heading back to The Nexus to stock back up on healing items, and I only had a few healing Lotuses left! But then, in the end, I checked in with Stockpile Thomas, and after searching through all of the items I had left with him, I found an Archstone Shard to teleport myself back with, but not before getting my bloodstain and souls back onto dry land! 

What a piece of work...

I knew at this point that I would be nearing the end, so did my last bit of Grass grinding (went into the last few levels with filled slots for Crescent Moon Grass, Half Moon Grass, Late Moon Grass, and nearly filled for Full Moon Grass!). Also went hunting at the start of 1-2 for some Large Hardstone Shards to help with upgrading my weapons, which I hadn't done for a super long time: ended up with my final weapons being a Long Sword+6, a Crescent Falchion+3, and I also got my Steel Shield to +3 too! Took me about 30 minutes to prep in total, and then it was onto 1-3...

1-3

...which I loved! Took it very cautiously, loved finding how strong I was now against red-eyed knights after my problems with one in 1-1! Came across a locked door early on which I couldn't figure out, and I knew there was a locked door at the end of 1-2 just before Tower Knight (I passed it several times on my hundreds of Grass runs, after all!), so I endeavoured to return to both as soon as I got my hands on some keys, which I did about halfway through the level from a Fat Official. Worked my way back around after helping Ostrava out again (by the way: that shortcut which opens up :bowdown:), but couldn't get the locked door in 1-3 to open still; the one at the end of 1-2, however, did! 

Spoiler

Went down and faced a Fat Official, who was dead in no time. Then I got to retrieving the items in the cells, when I noticed a guy in golden armour locked behind one. I opened his cell, he thanked me, and then told me to go on ahead. 

Little did I know I had just done myself a massive favour. 

Made my way cautiously through the rest of the level too, drawing out the three red-eyed knights one at a time with my bow and arrow, then drawing them into more open spaces to duel on my terms. No issue here. Continued chasing the Fat Official we'd been chasing for what seems like forever up the stairs, and...

Spoiler

...only to see him get skewered through the back by this super menacing demon in awesome armour known as the Penetrator.

Cutscene ended, and then I heard a voice to my right: it was the guy I had saved from the cells, the one in golden armour, Biorr of the Twin Fangs! So Penetrator seemed much more interested in him - maybe an opponent he/it deemed more worthy? No idea - so I just took it slow and attacked him from behind when it had its hands full with Biorr. Don't think I took any damage in this fight, thanks to some well timed roll dodges when it did take an interest in me. Biorr kind of trivialised it? But it's not like I'm complaining, it felt really rewarding to follow my gut and open that locked door for something like this to happen! 

Waited for the right moment, and he skewered Biorr...so I skewered him, which was captured in my trophy clip! So figured I'd share: 

I love how you can see Biorr flailing and then just dropping down once Penetrator disappeared. 

(and yes, I did try to pose at the end of each boss fight, and it turned out great :laughing:)

Got 1-3 and it's boss out of the way without dying, which I was very happy with. 

Ending

Spoiler

1-4

Took this one nice and slowly too. Skewered the arrow guys at the start with a couple of R2's, drew the black phantoms in to have one-on-one fights with my bow and arrow, found a much better bow (the White Bow)...which I didn't have the stats to use :( then peered around a corner into a dark room, and got chased out shortly after by a red-eyed knight, so drew him back to an open area and death with him accordingly. Place seemed pretty cleared from the platform where the archers and thief attacked me from...but then another red-eyed knight turned up out of the blue and took me out from behind! Which wasn't fun. 

Carefully made my way back, drew the Fat Officials in from the pathway, then lured the Blue Dragon into burning them to a crisp. Sprinted past the Blur Dragon, opened the shortcut up, then made my way towards the Blue Dragon, which had positioned itself above a massive entrance to the main tower. I was extra cautious leaving that room because it had started attacking someone...which turned out to be Biorr!

He told me entrust the battle with the Blue Dragon to him, but he didn't really seem to do much, besides draw his flames - which got me killed, as it started its fire-spitting animation earlier, because of Biorr! 

Made my way back again, sprinted past Biorr and the Blue Dragon, and made it to the bottom of a tall tower. Continued ahead, spoke to Ostrava, and the poor guy killed himself after seeing what had become of his father (or of his remains, in a way, I guess?). Then it was a fight against his black phantom, which was not fun, because his weapon pierced straight through my Steel Shield+3; it took a while and a good amount of Grass to adapt, but resorted to getting the high ground on the stairs, rolling past when he attacked, getting a few hits in, and repeating. Didn't take too long once I'd figured it out! I thought about turning back because I had nearly 80,000 souls on hand (I was Level 73 and this could have got me up a couple more levels), but decided against it in the end. 

Then it was one last room, it was clear as day the last boss was up ahead, so I sent items back to storage which would only weigh me down (I did this on the elevator platform once I got to the top...which went back down, because I took so long!). Anyways, short cutscene and some epic music, and I'm fighting False King Allant. Took it slow, seemed to go okay when it came to dodging his homing slash and wind slash attacks, but then I got knocked down running away from his AoE move, which left me with a tiny slither of health. Healed back up, went back in, and a short while later I was getting my shield knocked out of the way as he slashed at me a lot of times in a row after I landed one hit (mostly using R1) which left me open to attack. Worst part is that I had so little health left I thought I was already dead, but then he attacked again a split second later to send me packing! 

But, if it wasn't going to be the first time, of course it was going to be the second. Went back in there, got my souls back, and now I knew his attacks and general attack pattern, made pretty light work of him. I don't think he got me down past the halfway mark of my health on that second attempt? 

Anyways, stuff is over, hear a voice, go back to The Nexus, aaaaaaand there's a gaping hole in the floor. I spoke to the NPC's who were around (including my boy Biorr!) to see if they reacted to this change, but apparently it didn't mean much to them! Head down with the Maiden in Black and we end up in this super weird place and find the Old One, and I had to snag a screenshot, because if this doesn't encapsulate the trials of my journey, I don't know what does: 

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This game is so beautiful, Bluepoint did a great job. Took on the real King Allant, who was now this funny looking slug guy, and then it was all over...or was it? Also, got to mention the super melancholic music here, it reminded me a whole lot of Shadow of the Colossus (a very good thing). 

I noticed just after the Maiden in Black asked us to leave that we reverted back to having control after the cutscene. I wondered if I could kill her, given how I had been able to kill other NPC's in the game throughout my journey, but obviously didn't want to test it here in case it screwed up the ending. So, I left out of the fog gate, and credits rolled. 

As it turns out, there's a Bad Ending for killing the Maiden in Black, which is awesome. The headstomp I've seen on the Bad Ending really packs a punch!

And there we have it, my first From Software game is complete. So glad I pushed myself to continue playing, and definitely appreciate the encouragement and tips I had from others here too. Favourite boss? Probably between Tower Knight and Flamelurker. Favourite Archstone? Probably the first one, the Castle of Boletaria. Least favourite boss? For me, Adjudicator, that fight just felt so jarring, and was the only one I'd genuinely say was frustrating to a point where I wanted it out of the way vs wanting to overcome the obstacle that it was. Least favourite Archstone? The Valley of Defilement, screw that place. Creepiest level? 3-1, no question. 

Speaking of Flamelurker, I rewatched my boss fight with him after finishing the game. Couldn't fit all of it into a clip for a tweet, so just captured the last 2 minutes, but just to show how close my first attempt at him could have been to being a failure, so thought I'd share it! :D

I think it'll be a while before I fully absorb this game and move on from it, and I think it's going to be quite a while until I move onto another From Software game. Dark Souls will obviously be up next, when I do get around to it, but I look forward to it. Looking at Bloodborne right now freaks the hell out of me, so I guess we'll see what happens when I get to that :laughing:

For now, it's time to find a fun Nintendo game to play to unscar my mind from some of the dread I felt while playing this! 

Edited by Julius
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5 hours ago, Julius said:

I think it'll be a while before I fully absorb this game and move on from it, and I think it's going to be quite a while until I move onto another From Software game.

This was how I felt after I beat Dark Souls for the first time (that, and a huge sense of relief). A month later I was playing Dark Souls II...

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3-2 done.

giphy.gif

I get wanting to stick to the original as closely as possible, but come on...you could've fixed the broken AI.

Spoiler

Fist Maneater just flew around like a dick. Sloooooooooooow as fuck.
Every time he landed I thought: YES, let's fight!
But no...I hit him once and off he went ::shrug:

Second Maneater showed up but he didn't join the fray. He tried to walk through the fog gate. I mean...as a dweller of Demon's Souls you should know that you can't just escape a boss fight :p
Anyway, he at least put on a little bit of a fight. But I'd say 50% of the battle he just bugged around the fog gate.

Well...time for 3-3.
Will I stay connected to the online services and either get my ass handed to me by some OP assface or just have someone standing around for an easy kill? Or will I disconnect and just fight the AI boss? Not decided, yet :D

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I cannot for the life of me stop thinking about this game!

I've watched all of the VaatiVidya lore videos a couple of times through, I've listened to the soundtrack a number of times, and I just cannot get it off my mind. To the point that even though I want to play something lighter now, I can't bring myself to, because it still feels like I'm soaking this game in.

The more I think and learn about it, the more I appreciate and obsess over it. Other than the decision to not fix some of the jank in the game from its PS3 release by utilising the same game code - again, getting attacked through walls/floors in particular - I'm having a seriously hard time thinking of anything else about this game I take issue with. The boss of 3-3 maybe, just because of how that fight can be made pretty unfair and seriously unenjoyable. 

But the subtle story, the Shadow of the Colossus-like scale and melancholy, the interactivity with the world and NPC's, the level design, the reward in going off the beaten path to find an NPC or make yourself a shortcut, it's really, really well done. There's a heft to character movement and combat which forces your hand into learning your character through and through: how many hits they can take from certain enemies, how much damage they can do to certain enemies and how many hits it will take to take them down, the reaction time for dodge rolls, enemy attack patterns, the best way to parry or back stab them, the range of ranged attacks. Then it's the same for enemies, bosses, and the environment itself. 

It's a hard game, and I really do think that. It punishes players who don't respect the game and their adversaries, and having not played a From game before, it definitely took some time to adjust, and a lot of deaths to get to grips with so much of it. But it's not difficult in a way which is unfair; instead, I think it's a lesson in being proactively patient. Absolutely don't stand still, but wait to strike, and strike hard when you do. The sense of accomplishment I felt when felling Tower Knight, or the adrenaline pumping through me when taking on Flamelurker to the point I almost threw up, or even just knowing exactly when and where I needed to be when sprinting across the bridges of Boletaria Castle to avoid being burned alive by the Red Dragon, it's something I can genuinely say I haven't felt playing a game before. This game terrified me at times, in its imagery and depiction of a world turned by man's cruelty, and yet I still loved it. That genuinely says a lot. 

@Magnus, I can absolutely see where you're coming from. I've looked up a few reviews and trailers for the later From games and I am certainly feeling the draw of jumping into Dark Souls, but my only concern would be burning myself out on them. That being said, I really don't think it's going to be as long as I expected until I get myself around to playing Dark Souls...

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@Julius I would definitely recommend at least playing all of Miyazaki's games. Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Sekiro are all expertly crafted video games and all feel very distinct.

Dark Souls 2 and 3 are made by the 'B' teams and it definitely shows. I don't think you'll get burnout going from the titles I've listed above, but if you included DS 2 and 3 then you probably would.

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Yes, what @Goron_3 said. Play Bloodborne. God-tier game. Hnnnnnng.

If you don't play Bloodborne, I'll play it again. 

I'll Fuckin' Do It Again | Know Your Meme

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4-2, 4-3 and 5-1 done.

5-1 was very easy. I saved it for (almost) last and I didn't die once. Was able to kill the boss without going near it. I outdamaged his regeneration ability :p

Now the poison/plague BS will start, if I remember correctly...

5-2, 5-3 and 1-4 left...and then it's time for the end game. :peace:

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6 hours ago, Julius said:

 

@Magnus, I can absolutely see where you're coming from. I've looked up a few reviews and trailers for the later From games and I am certainly feeling the draw of jumping into Dark Souls, but my only concern would be burning myself out on them. That being said, I really don't think it's going to be as long as I expected until I get myself around to playing Dark Souls...

I played through all three Dark Souls games and Bloodborne over the course of a few months a few years back, and my only regret was that there weren't more of them. So I wouldn't worry too much! In fact you're lucky, because there's also Sekiro to go through after.

 

3 hours ago, Goron_3 said:

Dark Souls 2 and 3 are made by the 'B' teams and it definitely shows.

Dark Souls III wasn't made by the B team? It was directed by Miyazaki...

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Just 1-4 and the endgame left.

Before I do that I'll have to decide whether I'll go for the Platinum as there are some things left to do which involve different World and Character Tendencies. I'll probably do that but it'll require some planning.

 

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Posted (edited)

@Julius very happy to hear that, and will look forward to reading about you playing through the other games (if only so I can invade you at inopportune moments).

edit: The lore is far richer in the later games as well, something to look forward to.

Edited by LazyBoy
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Soooo, I've decided to go for the Platinum and as it turns out: You need the infamous Pure Bladestone to trade it for a ring.
Guess I'll start farming for one tomorrow...

Need 9 more rings and that trophy is mine. After that it's just a matter of going through most of NG+ in order to collect a few Demon Souls. And I need a few miscellaneous trophies that I missed during my first play through.

Looks like I'll spend quite a few hours more with this one :D

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Well, well, well...look who's still awake after a two hour farming session.

The enemy I farmed gave approx. 1400 Souls (with a Ring of Avarice equipped).
When the Pure Bladestone dropped I had 277k Souls :laughing:

Some people might think: Why waste time like this?
@Hero-of-Time will now post the Predator Handshake. :p

I watched 2 episodes of a German comedy show from 2004 while farming. Had a great time :D

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3 rings left to get.

Need to dump all World Tendencies to Pure Black, then kill some Black Phantoms to reach Pure White Character Tendency and then turn Character Tendency to Pure Black. Shouldn't take too long.

Lastly: get some Colorless Demon Souls and then I can start NG+ :D

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