Dark Souls progress: 8/27/15
August 28, 2015

There were lots of deaths the last two nights, both from me and from the bosses...



VERSUS KNIGHT ARTORIAS



Exploration bore enough fruits and I'd had more of Royal Wood's axeholes than I can stand. I decided it was time to advance to the boss of the Royal Wood and put a stop to his bossiness. So I made my way across a few bridges, activated a shortcut, and pushed right through the fog.

...and got killed several times.

Artorias shouldn't be difficult but for two things: 1) I'm a tank, and 2) he has a buff he gives him incredible speed and strength. I honestly thought that I would have to give up on fighting him until I made an accidental discovery. During one fight, I became infuriated with him and decided to slash at him while he was powering up his buff. I anticipated the damaging explosion that comes as the buff goes into effect, except it never happened. Instead, Artorias slumped down with a hint of disappointment. I had prevented the buff from happening.

Without the buff, his attacks were mere inconveniences to me. They'd chip off a little bit of stamina or HP, but for the most part I was able to block or dodge everything he threw at me, as well as recover stamina pretty quickly. He tried his buff a couple more times and failed. He then went for it one last time and that was when I cleaved off the rest of his HP. Another one down...



VERSUS BLACK DRAGON KALAMEET


With Artorias dead, I moseyed on to the Oolacile Township, which is crawling with knobby-headed anthropomorphs. Some of these pricks pelt you with balls of darkness, which smarts quite a bit. I was able to get through pretty much all of the challenges here until I reached an indoor portion of the map, which was loaded with scores of upgraded versions of those creatures. I was able to take out most of them pretty easily, but there was one perched up on a balcony who constantly killed me. Try as I might to avoid his shots, the dude would land them squarely, such to the point that I questioned how the hell I was going to get through this segment.

I then stumbled into a staircase that I hadn't seen before, which lead to some treasure, a shortcut, and a ledge that granted me access to an otherwise inaccessible part of the region. There I nabbed the crest key, which I needed to face Kalameet, and paid a visit to my friend. I greeted him with a loving slash across the chest and left his corpse where it lay. I then returned to the bonfire, used the crest key in the appropriate area, and went about a string of events to access the optional dragon boss. I won't go into detail because it's uninteresting, save for a cutscene that shows a giant plugging a massive arrow into Kalameet's back, thereby allowing me to face him.

...and oh my god, what a fight it was!

I love how the grand music kicks in right as you reach the bottom of the pit, and the way he slowly steps out from behind the rock wall and belts out a lungful of black flames. Truth be told, he handed my ass to me several times, and I appreciated it. It' s a fair fight, where every attack he unleashes is telegraphed, and it's up to you to devise an effective rhythm. It took me a while, but I eventually did. For the most part, he killed me with his breath, and I found that even if you tuck and roll while in the midst of a lungful, you can still get away with some cuts and scrapes rather than end up dead.

Finally, there came a point where the two of us really tore into each other. It was a real knock-down-drag-out, where Kalameet would execute maneuvers that were easily dodged and capitalized on. Occasionally, he'd catch me off my guard and slice my HP down to a mere ribbon, but I would luckily get a couple of swigs from my flask in before he could finish the deed. Then at one point he landed after doing his nuke attack and I ran beneath him and slashed wildly. One carve hit his abdomen, the other slid across his chest and the familiar SLCCCCT! sound effect played. Kalameet collapsed and I got the Calamity Ring or whatever it's called. Booyah.



VERSUS MANUS, FATHER OF THE ABYSS


With Kalameet dead, I decided to finish the DLC segment off. I pushed onward in the township and found the entrance to the Chasm of the Abyss. I died a few times thanks to the wraith-like monsters down there, and swore often because I couldn't figure out where to go. I then happened to watch someone's specter tumble off a ledge and run down a walkway I hadn't noticed before. I aped the action and found that it was a surprisingly quick way to the boss.

I anticipated another grand entry. Nothing doing. Manus's presence is that of an ordinary boss. I was further disappointed to find that he wasn't all that difficult. My sword dealt more damage to him than to any of his cohorts (except maybe the Sanctuary Guardian) and his attacks, though swift, barely penetrated my Black Iron Greatshield. All it took was a little perseverance and some shots from the Estus Flask when things got hairy, and I took Manus out with only two or three attempts (I almost had him beat with the first one). That was a surprisingly anticlimactic end to an otherwise solid DLC pack.



VERSUS DARK SUN GWYNDOLIN


It's time to go to bed.

But I want to fight one more boss.

No, go to sleep. You have kids to care for in the morning.

Eh, what do you think the caffeine is for? Just one more boss. I don't even have to go far to get to him.

Ugh. Fine.

I returned to Anor Londo and equipped the ring that grants me access to Gwyndolin. Granted, I don't need to kill him, but I wanted to anyway.

The fight against him is pretty interesting. It takes place in a corridor rather than a room, where Gwyndolin fires various types of projectiles and teleports when you get close enough. If you're able to hit him, especially if you've got a powerful weapon, the blow takes off tons of HP. Regardless, I died a few times because of carelessness. Eventually, I figured out how to handle Gwyndolin's attacks, got some shots in, and even managed to hit him twice before he could teleport away. That left him with a sliver of life, which I eventually hacked off a few minutes later.

Presently, I'm about to go run some errands before going to face the last three bosses (I'm not fighting Priscilla, since doing so is a sin and I accidentally killed Oswald). I'd like to nab the last two Estus Flask upgrades and explore a few areas I haven't hit yet, like Valley of the Drakes and Ash Lake.

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