by Garrett Ashley
I’ve been on sort of a Dark Souls kick lately. I can’t say why. The game doesn’t make any sense unless you use the wiki or have an IQ of 160. Everything is so cryptic. The game is hard, and it fills me with anxiety. It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played.
Video games are so tame these days. They try to be like movies—they don’t want you to fail, they want you be able to move forward and see all the gorgeous textures and polygons they’ve crammed onto the disk. Dark Souls doesn’t care about polygons. Nothing.
At the beginning of the game there’s a boss fight. You die fighting an Asylum Demon, pictured above. Don’t forget to light the bonfire before going in. You’ll be tossed into Dark Souls Limbo if you don’t rest at a bonfire before dying here. After dying two or three times fighting the Asylum Demon, just try running around the room a bit until you find an opening. Pass through the opening and a wall of bars will fall down. Don’t stand next to the bars wagging your tongue at the Asylum Demon, because he’ll hit the bars with his big stick and you’ll die. Rinse and repeat, if so.
Run up to the top of the asylum, and you’ll encounter a wall of fog. Pass through the fog and you’ll fall down on the Asylum Demon. Do this as many times as it takes. Sometimes, you’ll win a boss fight, and get points and new items.
When you get out of the Asylum, you’ll have a few more boss fights. I find that the key to success in this game is desensitization. Pretty soon, you’ll be addicted to losing.
I think it’s best to play the game without an internet connection. Sometimes you need to reverse hollowing (become a human) in order to summon helpful NPCs to aid you in boss battles. But when you’re human, you run the risk of getting invaded by dark phantoms, which are neckbeards that are a lot better at the game than you. The folks at Bandai and Software have written a lore that makes online play more. . . realistic. It’ll make sense. Other people will just seem like terrible monsters to you. Don’t talk to strangers.
Anyway, you fight a bunch of bosses. Then you fight this zombie king, whose sword is on fire. I find it’s best to circle the area for about thirty minutes, shooting him in the face repeatedly with crossbow bolts. Cheating is a gameplay mechanic in Dark Souls. Don’t be afraid to exploit various loopholes, or else you’ll never get anywhere in life. When you finish the game, it starts over on a harder difficulty, thankfully.
That’s about all I have to say about this game. Dark Souls II comes out in March. Here’s a neat video that’ll help you get through tough times.
images: “You Died” screenshot, Video Gaming Hard Corps; “You so Best,” This is Privilege.