Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Dark Souls III: The Spears of the Church

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

The boss fight inside the church is one of the most devious in Dark Souls. While there is a respawning painting assassin NPC during the fight, the main boss is... another player. Yes. I hope you've been practicing your PvP skills because one of the many crazies who enjoy ruining the day for others will be summoned as "your boss fight", and given the people who sign up for this covenant would be the ones who PvP at every opportunity - lets just say are not novices.

Said opponent cannot use Estus heals which is great, but everything else in their arsenal seems to be ok. They also get an AoE spear summon and an automated magic spear spell hovering above them (at least I think its automated). The "Spears of the Church" Faltran and Bloodfire did their duty of blocking my progress. Rather than hoping one will just throw the fight (which probably isn't going to happen, given the game) I decided to tilt the battle to my favor as much as possible, summoning sunbro Andraste to assist and coating my axe with the bleed buff.

Pre-combat shot. The fighting is too intense later to take screenies.

Spear of the Church Anayaki still put up a good fight, but with my tricks and a late "suddenly switch opponent" tactic by Andraste and me, Anayaki was caught unprepared for an axe to the back. Being unsure of who to block against next ensured both of us hit which ended the boss fight in our victory. Thank you Andraste! Funny that someone named after a goddess/saint helped me get through this section! ;)

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Dark Souls III: Cardio is Important

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

Lapp is here at the bonfire too, apparently he is looking for a cleansing monument of some sort to restore his memory. I tell him I'll keep an eye out, but due to the next section being filled with scary flame sword knights, giant thorn knights, and turtle man priests I go back to my old tactic of running and dodging past everything! The theme of "Going Down" continues here and I ultimately end up in a large swamp, being chased by another dragonslayer armor!  My pretty good sprint is ended by unexpected dragon fire though, as a large black dragon does a fantastic job of covering his stone bridge from intruders.

Crispy Pata. Ow.

It takes a few goes before I find the nearby bonfire which makes scouting the swamp much easier. More importantly it lets me work out the timing of the bridge crossing which leads me straight into a skeleton filled catacomb. The Moaning Knight invades here but I never actually encounter him since I move too quickly through the area and to the other end of the catacomb where again the dragon blocks my path.

In true Dark Souls style there is no "going around", its all timing, dodging and blocking. I manage to axe a dragon toe or two as I run past it into the next building which simply opens a shortcut back to an earlier bonfire of the area. Yup, all of this was pretty much to open a locked gate! To be fair it also opens the path to the church that I've been trying to reach since getting here. Little did I know of the boss waiting inside.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Dark Souls III: Panic Power

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

After dealing with the angels I find a giant pit where two large flaming demons await. I don't get very far on my own, but luckily I am able to enlist Lapp and "the not yet dead afterall" Slave Knight Gael to assist in handling the aggro and defeating the phase 2, laser blasting demon prince that spawns from the corpse of one of the dead bosses.

Axe-ing open some demon noggin!

One familiar demon transportation ride later I am taken to the very awesome looking Ringed City and encounter its first guardian, an undead giant who summons an army of ghost archers! At the same time I am invaded by Juliet of Astora who uses these unmoving ghosts to slay a Blue Sentinel who comes to my aid. Knowing my lack of PvP experience I withdraw back behind some cover a top a spiraling stair where Juliet knows I'm planning a trap - but cannot see me, so resorts to gesture insults, one benefit of no in game chat I guess.

I wait till she's close and with two hands on my axe I run out early, timing it as she is coming up, which elicits the panic response I am hoping for. I manage to nick her too with my wild swinging but her own dodge is what ends her as it sends her off the broken stair and plummeting to a messy, insta death. Not what I had planned, but I'll take it! Using timing, a calm approach and the supplied cover lets me get through the ghost firing squad and survive attacks from a handful of weak assassins beyond. The next bonfire is right there.

Good thing those ghost arrows can't go through solid stone. Lol!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Dark Souls III: Laser Angels

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

Disorientation gives way to a familiar, spiraling landscape of cities crumbling in on each other as an angry black sun looks down. Looks like I'm back here, on the field of flowers where I had once defeated the Soul of Cinder. After shaking loose the cobwebs in my mind and muscles I found a new bonfire, one that leads me to the top of the Dreg Heap and offering one of the best views of the spiraling chaos anyone could ask for.

Something calls me forth, and I begin my descent through the familiar yet different, gravitationally warped locales and while the numerous undead here are quite manageable with funneling tactics I soon encounter a most curious and dangerous adversary - evil angels. These flying laser turrets are the bane of my exploration in this region, especially once I reach the mired swamp that everything seems to be pooling at.

Dodging that is pretty tough.

I meet the amnesiac knight Lapp, on this journey as well as Zoey the desert pyromancer who I best by kicking off a high ledge. Well technically, she actually dodged off and killed herself. It's the ever watchful eyes of the angels that pin me down here for a long time, until I finally find their weakness... hidden cocoon zombies who are individually quite helpless. Killing one insta kills the angel they control so I make it a point to find them and slay them all out of spite.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

TESO: All these People Suck

Adventures of Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

While King Emeric recovers from his death in Bangkorai (lol) I head to Rivenspire next where there is a civil war afoot. Normally I'd let these people just kill each other but when it becomes clear the dominant Montclair faction is composed of vampires I definitely have to intervene. Just to semi complicate matters there are three "good" vampires too, but its because of their leader and an Ayelid doohickey atop Mount Doom "the Doomcrag" that this whole thing started. I am also annoyed to learn that this vampire is one of Emeric's closest friends. What sort of King lets vampires wander around? What a douche.

It comes complete with aircraft warning lights!

Ultimately I kill all the bad vampires and the lead "good" one sacrifices himself to remove the ayelid relic (that can just change people into vamps via gas) from the Doomcrag. How? By giving himself and the WMD to Molag Bal, who takes it into Coldharbour. WHAT? That's not a F*ING SOLUTION! Emeric himself shows up after the fact and then asks me to choose from the remaining surviving candidates on who should become overlord of this region, because having many equal people didn't work. I pick the devout and peace loving Baroness as to weaken the Covenant as much as possible.

In the process I also beat up a cave full of orcs (a rarity here) and prove to Malacath, the daedric prince they worship, that all orcs are worthless pieces of shit. In town I also am  surprised to find Captain Kaleen, stripped and tortured in a basement no less. Seems like the kinky Redguard spy she was hunting turned the tables on her. After helping her kill the bastard I take her back to the docks. I was headed there anyway to gain passage to the Alik'r Desert anyway. During this I notice that in all the scuffles with those vampires, one managed to get me good on my arm.

I'm sure it's nothing.

Friday, 21 April 2017

TESO: Daedric Tharn

Adventures of Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

With Stormhaven mostly freed from Vaermina's manipulation I rode on into Bangkorai, a region under attack by talking crows - and more reachmen. Where the heck do all these guys come from? After convincing the local Queen to do her job I am sent to stop this threat and quite humorously succeed in doing so by accident. You see I was racing towards a distant Dolmen which I ended up missing entirely as other heroes shut it down - and found myself near the main reachman camp. A little stealth and snooping about led me to their hagraven leader who I had no trouble in slaying.

That force turned out to just be the appetizer though, as the main threat soon revealed itself to be the Imperial army led by one Septima Tharn who are all allied with Molag Bal (of course). With the help of King Emeric and his timely army, we pushed them back into the Southern Desert region of this huge zone. Then I got side tracked in rescuing elf maidens from a Troll den and helping a nereid eliminate a bunch of Hermaeus Mora's followers. Take that you kill stealer. In the region I also have to outhunt Hircine's chosen hunter and defeat an avatar of Mephala - guess the Daedric princes really like this zone!

Explosions are effective against ghosts!

By the time I catch up with Septima Tharn after all those distractions, she has already defeated Emeric's army and killed the arrogant king. I sneak into her camp and have an epic duel against her, one of the best fights in the game so far - ultimately I slay the sorceress and have the Queen's forces wipe out the remaining Imperial douches. Through convoluted events I end up with King Emeric's soul in my backpack and have the option of resurrecting him. I am soooo tempted not to, but ultimately give in and revive him. In exchange I tell him to withdraw all his forces from the war. He says he'll think about it.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

TESO: Perchance to Dream

Adventures of Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

After cleaning up some left over Bloodthorn cultists at Glenumbra I move onto Stormhaven which is plagued by a totally different set of cultists who worship Vaermina and her nightmare realm. They are actually quite effective in getting people to behave irrationally, causing wide spread disturbances and even a high profile assassination. Eventually I reach the capital, Wayrest, and meet High King Emeric. He tasks me with stopping this nightmare cult and in exchange agrees to hold the advance of his army camped near the Rift.

Just as well he does for he too eventually falls under Vaermina's spell and I save his sorry Breton hide from... himself, basically. And Vaermina's beholder champion, Galthis. Vaermina is notably upset at this, trying to trap me in her domain but the attempt is so poor it barely is worth mentioning. I guess she's really out of steam in this region at that point. For my efforts I am rewarded with a pet monkey. Lol, what?

Awesome!

Anyway, this area is also where I complete my first solo dolmen, defeating liches, a naga and a dread grievous twilight demon in a really long fight that involves hiding behind many nearby pillars and trees. It's not the most efficient nor the fastest way to clear a dolmen, but I certainly felt heroic after doing so.