Friday, 20 January 2017

Dark Souls III: Urban Espionage

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

While Irithyll wasn't as cold as Frozen Elysium Loyce, the tall and slender guardsmen liked to dish out frost bite damage and work in squads. There were also fire stick carriers who led processions of ghoul like hollows across the streets. It was simpler to avoid them when I could - ducking into dead ends and only killing the few that spotted me. This sneaking around worked very well here, letting me reach a number of bonfires with relative ease.

Just need to avoid these!

After a dark warehouse of "invisible" hollows (not really since you can see their eyes, and the rest of them when they are in striking distance), I found myself in the moat surrounding the city - avoiding the white, bug like monsters resting in the water.  The path eventually led to a separate tower - Irithyll dungeon home to masked lantern branders who had the annoying ability of "death stare". Yup, as long as they looked at you your maximum health would drop.

This was especially bad in the areas where they clustered in groups of eight or more. Obviously I opted to sprint past them when I could, as well as a sleepy giant and a surprise handful of cute froggies. Thankfully there were shortcut elevators to the bonfire up the top that I could unlock. There was also a strange cliff that suggested I "try gesture" but none of the ones I knew did anything.

Dungeon delving at its finest!

The prison eventually gave way to an old temple like place guarded by stone gargoyles (who can still fly) and fire cultists. The place is also littered with visual treasure, making progreses incredibly slow despite it being a smallish zone due to my graphics card crashing the game out constantly. Despite that I find the boss of the place, a giant King named Yhorm who has no issues in squishing me with his great sword. Finally a giant who isn't a push over! Given the minuscule damage I was doing to him in return he was certainly going to be a problem.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Dark Souls III: Hurrah for Vengeance

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Looks like the peaceful drider died anyway.

Surprisingly the caverns continue for quite a ways down past the old demon king - home to more evil monkeys, demon flamethrowers and the cute frogs. During my exploration I manage to collect a number of pyromancy tomes for Corynx too - one from the corpse of a very familiar looking pale drider. I am very surprised to run into Knightslayer Tsorig again down here - I guess the old demon managed to posses his corpse and due to his two hander hitting like a truck, I opted to run - right into the sword wielding Anor Londo knight (possibly the same one from the swamp)!

Lucky for me the two decided to attack each other, with the Anor Londo knight defeating Tsorig. Since he was badly hurt in his duel he was easy to put down. I also found out why Tsorig had such good DPS - he was wielding the Fume Knight's greatsword. I don't even have the stats to wield that thing. A number of ladders and skeleton wheel guys later, I finally reach the bloody ballista and turn it off. Hurrah for vengeance!

That is a huge ballista.

Satisfied that this area was now clear, I warped back to the bridge leading to Irithyll city only to be attacked by a dragon dog who can turn invisible!? Oh, this again huh. The AI on this one is pretty easy to abuse though, as luring it back the way I came makes is freeze and vanish (but not recover HP). A few repeats of this leads to its demise, granting me free passage into the snowy city.

Another pretty place!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Dark Souls III: Target Acquired

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Past a rope bridge in the Catacombs (which I accidentally break and kill myself on *sigh*), I find a strange and ominous chalice. Because the door past it doesn't open I decide to poke it, which teleports me into a really dark landscape occupied by a massive giant skeleton who breathes poison and summons his regular sized minions to battle too. Alas for him, his bling stands out so much that it is clearly evident what his weak spots are. A few broken bracelets later and he explodes (from shame I guess), which opens the path to the picturesque city of Irithyll.

Gee, I wonder what I should attack?

I opt to go back to that rope bridge though, since breaking it seems to open the path down to a huge and almost empty lake. The giant crabs on one side are easy to avoid, and so is the giant electric purple worm. The giant ballista that keeps shooting at me, not so much! At least I can get it to kill the worm for me. While looking for a way up to it to shut it down I find a small cave with Horace waiting inside - he's gone evil so I am forced to kill him.

Where's Anri, you bastard...

I also find the Old Demon King, who for a change, has a belly weakspot. This actually makes it tough to get at him, and I fail a few of times. Fortunately there's a bonfire nearby and when I ember up I also find assistance in the form of Knightslayer Tsorig (I guess getting rolled over by the skeletons muddled him up) as well as Cuculus of the Great Swamp, a pyromancer student of Corynx. While both are slain in battle, they weaken the Old Demon enough for me to finish it off. I could have probably left the lake at this point, but I really wanted to shut down that ballista.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Dark Souls III: Whack and Roll

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Not willing to run into that spider monster again, on my next foray into the Cathedral I simply jumped down to face the giants who were actually easy victims once you get under them. Not far away I finally find stairs down leading to a whole congregation of evil deacons for a game of whack a mole! These moles were too tough on my first round (I had them down to 25%), but on my second try I had both Sirris and Horace with me which made it a really easy battle. After taking a doll that they worship for some reason I warp back to Firelink and find Anri and Horace there.

Bring it on!

Apparently Anri took advantage of our ruckus and checked out Aldrich's coffin. Alas, it was empty so the search for him will have to continue. I also give Irina another braille dark tome that I found at the Cathedral. I guess there are a lot of evil blind folk? Not that it matters since I don't have the stats to cast any of the spells she sells, light or dark. Since the Cathedral is a dead end I warp back to the Abyss Watchers chamber and proceed deeper into some old looking catacombs.

The standard fare of rats and skeletons are here, including some that get up at extra time but are nowhere near as annoying since there are no necros reviving them. There are also some undead warriors who aren't that difficult to axe down, as well as pressure plate traps that are easily avoided. What catches me off guard are the giant rolling balls of skeletons. These humorous things just go back and forth between two points, and after slaying me once by knocking me off into a bottomless pit, I learned to use them to my advantage - luring foes including the invader Knightslayer Tsorig into the danger zones for cheap kills. I definitely find this place more pleasant than the Cathedral.

Behold my new weapon! Lol!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Dark Souls III: Unholy Ground

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

VICTORY!

After defeating the Abyss Watchers I was back in Firelink Shrine with enough souls for the Firekeeper to cure my dark sigil, so I did. Yuria was not pleased at this, saying I was a "false lord" and simply left. Eygon showed up in her place, though just to check on Irina. Ser Sad is also chattier than usual, telling me about the history of the Abyss Watchers and how they got corrupted by the very thing they defended against. He also speaks of another Lord of Cinder: Saint Aldrich, who was once just a simple cleric with a penchant for eating people. He gained a lot of power (and visavisfollowers) when he started eating gods though! I instantly thought of any chubby clerics I'd met in the past... no way, can't be him.

Since it was adventure time again, I then decided to face the Crystal Sage once more, this time while embered and with Eygon as my helper we smash him and his little mirror images. Past him was a pair of bandits and a hollow hunting party, and then the Cathedral of the Deep where I and am promptly invaded by Yorams (player). We had a good duel, complete with the exchanging of "welcome gestures", and for a change I'm pretty sure I had this guy - but our fight was cut short as Chara (player) of the Blue Sentinels arrived. I backed off and let the two duel with Chara eliminating Yorams without much incident. Thanks Chara, and good fight Yorams! :)

With the Cathedral doors locked, I explored the grounds in a lengthy detour through a graveyard with endless zombies and a challenging rooftop section with many midget assassin ambush spots. Inside it only gets worse as the midgets are reinforced by pretty tough evil paladins, and a pair of giants who guard the main, flooded hall. In one ominously large yet empty room I am also jumped by a terrifying spider monster who easily kills me in my panicked state - good thing I've found ways to open the shortcut doors back to that initial bonfire!

HOLY F@#K!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Dark Souls III: Watch This

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Since I'm getting whooped on the field now, I return to Firelink Shrine to level up and more importantly, upgrade a second, regular axe which actually scales with my character's strength - which is something the Deep Axe doesn't do which means it is slowly getting eclipsed by it's regular cousin. Also, two new ladies were here. The first, Sirris of the Sunless Realms offered her aid on my quest, and the second - Yuria of Londor - stood over Yoel's corpse like a vulture, stating that I was their "Lord of Hollows" thanks to the Dark Sign Yoel had been giving me. What?

Yep, for every "free" level I've been getting these, more of the very thing I wanted to cure. Turns out the firekeeper can cure them, thanks to a firekeeper soul I found earlier, except it costs an exorbitant amount of souls. Should have guessed the free levels were too good to be true! Anyway, I purchase a braile tome from Yuria for Irina to read. She's blind too since she was in training to become a firekeeper.

These crystal lizards have grown pretty big. And pretty gymnastic.

I then get Sirris to help me slay another massive crystal lizard, and then return to face the Abyss Watchers with the help of BlackHand Gotthard (who looks a lot like an Abyss Watcher) and Londor Paleshade (a servant of Yuria). Gotthard falls in battle, and during phase 2 (with an entirely new lifebar), the power of all the Abyss Watchers fills him and we have to take him down. It is a long slog but since the Paleshade is pretty tough we beat him and I claim the first Lord soul!

Turns out he's prone to stun lock.

And then I put their collective severed heads on their allotted throne back at the Shrine. Do you expect anything less from Dark Souls? :P

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Dark Souls III: Farron's Keep

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Tweedledee and Tweedledum?

Deciding to avoid the Crystal Sage for now, I find another path guarded by two bandits - a club wielder and a sword guy. I manage to kick one down a ladder shaft and follow up with a plunging strike. The second one opts to take the ladder down which makes it easy to hack at him while he is defenseless. Just when I think I'm doing well, I reach the next area - the continuation of the swamp, only this time it is green AND poisonous, meaning it is running time aplenty.

The giant leeches are the least of my worries as I scurry from dry land to dry land, avoiding the poison monkey men and giant swamp things wandering about. A sign near the start indicates that I'm supposed to turn off three flames to open "the door" too, and while the flames turn out to be little candles - of course they are all pretty well guarded. A ladder up leads to a really tall tower and the lair of Farron, the old wolf. He's eternally asleep though, and offers a PvP covenant to protect his swamp from invaders. As if this place wasn't bad enough!

Atop his lair are some gorgeous views, as well as extra items. There's also a huge demon like the one Ser Chubby helped with before, but I leave that one alone. Using that vantage point I can find the flames I missed and put them out too, opening the path to the next area which loops back to the non-poison swamp, and another bonfire within walking distance of the next boss, and Lord of Cinder, the Abyss Watchers.

Sounds like a boring job, watching an Abyss...

Interestingly the path to them is a battle site between the resident poison monkeys and a pair of dark wraiths, meaning easy souls for me and an easier time reaching the boss fog. This doesn't help me in the slightest once I'm inside though, as the dual wielding warriors (yes plural) make short work of me. For added difficulty my graphics card has a really hard time here and increases my "crash out of the game" ratio.