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This weekend, I did something that I'll remember fondly for a long time. I finally managed to beat Dark Souls, not only that, the last few bosses I did purely on my own. It's an incredible feat for me, and I spent any off time I had trying to make progress, as I managed to make a new character and make so much more progress than my previous attempts in such little time.
A little bit of set up for this. I had recently watched a friend start Dark Souls for the very first time. While I was giving some hints to him to some secrets, what he should be anticipating and generally giving him some hints on how to progress through the game, I had the urge to start the game again, as it'd been a very long time since I had put some time into the game myself. I loaded it up, started a new character, and began my journey for the third time. My Pyromancer instantly excited me, as I had never dabbled very far in spells, let alone pyromancy. It was refreshing and new, but at the same time all too familiar. I knew the beginning like the back of my hand, and within a few hours, I had past my friend, the next day, I had even progressed further than I ever had. Blighttown. I knew the horror stories, the framerate was bad, but I pushed myself through it.
Many different bosses later, and the Lordvessel was mine. What happened next was a lot of farming, a lot of levelling and a few different encounters with invaders and guilty players alike, as I had joined the Blade of the Darkmoon Covenant, to help deliver justice to some of these naughty players. It was a good time, until I managed to get to the Four Kings. For three days I attempted to get some help from summons, wandering around, looking for signs, and generally hitting my head against a brick wall. Until I eventually gave up, tried the boss on my own, and beat it on my second try. From then on, progress was extremely steady. I managed to get a lot done, and it didn't take me long to finally reach the final boss of the game. I donned some Silver Knight Amour, upgraded my Silver Knight Shield (which I had been using for along time) and even upgraded an old Black Knight Sword I picked up. The walk to the final boss was intense, though there aren't much enemies, the landscape is very intimidating.
I had heard when fighting the boss, that parrying was important and extremely powerful. When going in, I decided that I would use my regular tactic, of rolling around to avoid attacks and just wail on him when possible. It was clear that this wasn't going to work when I got grabbed every time I tried to attack him. A little it into my Flask uses, I decided, despite the fact I'm terrible at parrying, to try it. I found that the second swing of one of his many attack combos I could hit almost every time. From then on it was a cake walk. I managed to beat the final boss of Dark Souls alone, on my first ever try. The satisfaction was endless.
All the while, my anticipation for Dark Souls 2 had been rising. Now, it's out this week and I cannot wait. I'm excited to have a new world to explore and be one of the first to run through the game without any help, hints or wikis at my disposal. This time, I'm determined to stick with the game, learn it, and try and progress to the end without having a good three years between when I last played for progress.
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