I probably haven’t seen even half of Dark Souls as of this writing (I currently just reached Blighttown), but I recognize that the Depths is one of those areas designed to up the ante, to show you where things get real. Getting lost down there knowing you could potentially lose two level-ups worth of progress makes for the kind fear, depression, and ultimately accomplishment that encapsulates this game.
To call the Depths – these sewers, labyrinthine is an overstatement, but the place is dark, inundated with water that slows your movement unless you have a secret ring, and filled with giant poison rats, poison dogs, slugs, and trap doors leading to rooms that are home to frogs who turn you to stone with cursed gas. After that happens you die instantly and then revive locked down to half your maximum health.
I manage to avoid all this but after a while I have 8,000 souls in tow and can’t find my way back to the only bonfire down here where I can spend them before I get killed and lose them. Somehow I end up making it all the way to the balcony overlooking the area where I know the boss of the Depths — the Gaping Dragon, awaits. This is when my game get’s invaded by the phantom Kirk Knight of Thorns (this guy).
After a few sword and shield exchanges I manage to beat the guy and he drops a nice new sword too, but too worried about getting invaded again to examine it I frantically continue searching for a way out. For some reason I’m convinced that from here the only way out is downstairs into the boss fight where I’m pretty sure I’ll lose my current wallet of 14,000+ souls. But hey, I can summon both phantoms Solaire and Lautrec to help me out. Usually just one phantom is enough to easily beat a boss so two should be a sure bet right?
Wrong. I’ve never seen a phantom go down that quickly, much less two. Alone against this dragon with maybe 4/5 of its health left, I’ve got a dinky sword that may have been hot shit up in the Burg but only does chip damage per hit on this guy, and no way to deal elemental damage.
I decide to focus on his hind legs so as to avoid the Dragon’s stomp, massive bite, and tail sweep attacks. This actually works until I get him to around 1/5 of health. I’m out of healing flasks, I’m sure one more hit will kill me, and the Dragon just got an inexplicable speed boost.
I can’t outrun or outflank him anymore, and I take another slam from his tail which leaves me with a chip of health remaining. The only time he stops moving now is when he goes in for that huge bite, so I decide to let him run up to me and try it, dodging the bite and going for the hind leg again. I do this a second time and finally just go all-in, dashing right towards him wielding my sword two-handed for extra damage, forgoing my shield and reserving no stamina for an escape.
After emerging victorious I finally remember about the shortcut from this room to the bonfire to which I make my way, still with almost no health, but now with around 40,000 souls — enough for five level ups.
- It’d be kinda nice if the PS3 just emulated PSP games at this point since the platform is dead. I imagine they still want PSP software exclusively handheld to help sell Vita systems, but why did Nintendo release the Super Game Boy in the middle of the Game Boy’s lifespan or the Game Boy Player in the middle of the GBA’s lifespan?
- In case there are any Teknoman fans reading this, is it advisable to get the subbed Tekkaman Blade box set?
- New animated short from the director of Akira
- An interview about possibly the biggest reason I’m getting Ni No Kuni:
- I knew there was a reason I bought Mount & Blade on a Steam sale like three years ago: