This Facebook Post Sums Up Dark Souls Perfectly

I've been playing through Dark Souls in anticipation of the sequel being released later this year and, because I'm a horrible person, I've totally dragged Kotaku designer/tech dude Ben White into the madness. Yesterday he posted something on Facebook that, in my opinion, basically sums up Dark Souls perfectly.

First a little bit of context for the Dark Souls nerds out there.

Ben choose the Pyromancer class and, as his gift, he wisely took the Master Key. After beating the Gargoyles and ringing the first bell, he did some exploring, not really sure where to go next. Instead of heading towards the Capra Demon like most people, he found himself in the Valley of the Drakes. He then accidentally used the Master Key and journeyed into the exit end of Blighttown. Because he had heard me talking (read: bitching) about Blighttown he assumed he was on the right path.

He wasn't. Not really.

Basically Ben found a shortcut that cut out roughly five hours of gameplay and he didn't even know what he had done.

Ben then (somehow) managed to get to the second bonfire at Blighttown. Then, after much pain and torture, he somehow — God knows how — took down Quelaag, the super difficult boss at the bottom of Blighttown.

If you know Dark Souls, you'll be well aware this is all quite impressive for someone in their first play through of the game.

But now Ben had a problem. Because he had skipped two bosses and roughly three mammoth sections of the game, he couldn't level up his weapon beyond +5, which is probably essential. for progressing to the next stage of the game, where the enemies become a bit more difficult. He didn't have the ember required. The shit was about to hit the fan.

Last night Ben posted the above image with a comment: "YOUR FACE DOESN'T OPEN FROM THIS SIDE". This was the end result of hours of torture.

Because he is a dummy, Ben thought he could continue up the back end of Blighttown, one of the most treacherous areas of the game. He didn't know that he needed a key. This is Ben's story. As told by Ben on Facebook


- Defeated Quelaag and Ceaseless Discharge. - I'm here now, so might as well kill all these Minor Taurus Demons. - Ok, so the loot is in the middle of lava, so I can't get it now. LOL. - Better go get a new weapon I guess. I'll try and make Quelaag's Furysword. - Demon Ruins -> Blighttown -> Valley of Drakes -> Firelink Shrine -> Undead Burg - Buy Scimitar from Undead Merchant. - Undead Burg -> Firelink Shrine -> Undead Parish - Hey Andre. Upgrade Scimitar to +5. Can't go to +10. That's weird. - Undead Parish -> Firelink Shrine -> New Londo Ruins - Hey Rickert. Can you please upgrade my... WHAT, WHY CAN'T ANYONE UPGRADE THIS THING! - Google. Oh. I need that Large Ember from the Depths. - Well, I know the bottom of Blighttown really well, so I'll work my way back from there. - New Londo Ruins -> Firelink Shrine -> Valley of Drakes -> Blighttown - Gotta get to the top! Let's do this! - DIE A LOT. - Finally made it I am so rad. - Go to open door to Depths "Does not open from this side" - FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU - Step away from computer and walk around for a bit. Oh look, it's 1am. - Right. Gotta get to the Depths, so I need to find this Capra guy for the key. - Top of Blighttown -> Bottom of Blighttown -> Valley of Drakes -> Firelink Shrine -> Undead Burg - Spend ages running around for 'a door next to a bridge'. Thanks google. - Found it. Smash through Lower Undead Burg. - Die on first Capra attempt, but win on second go. - Spend ages looking for 'a door next to the shortcut'. Thanks google. - Drop into the Depths, kill one butcher dude, other sneaks up and staggers, I die. - 10 second internal debate. Push through all night? Or try and get 2-3 hours of sleep? - Sleep. - TO BE CONTINUED.

For some reason, because so many of us seem to be replaying through Dark Souls, I felt compelled to post this. This is Dark Souls. Pain. Staying up to stupid hours, way past your bedtime, sacrificing sleep and sanity for a game that couldn't give two goddamn shits about you.

Yes. Indeed. This is Dark Souls.


    I have both a sympathetic response, and the urge to laugh.

      My first feeling was like, HAHA serves you right for skipping Blighttown as a low level scrub!

        Tell us more about Dark Souls and Wind Waker please.

      It can be both at once, its that laugh you do when someone you like hurts themselves in a painful but obviously not serious way and it just happens to be simultaneously hilarious

        My problem was, I keep going to areas I was way under-levelled for :P But I need to get back to it, kill that black dragon (forget name, DLC) and finish up that - then I think I'm almost finished the game :P

    I hate blighttown. I hate it so much.

    Didn't read entire article as I have just downloaded on 360 for $30.00 and started playing.
    I have read a lot of people, for a long time, raving about this game and the difficulty and the like.
    To be honest this game is driving me crazy.
    I chose a Rogue.
    I feel like I'm constantly in a dungeon that I am 10 levels too low for and there is no escape.
    It is infuriating.
    I have almost given up a few times but I think I'm a sadist as I keep coming back for more.
    I have sunk to farming souls off the Dragon on the bridge who breaths fire and gives 555 souls then back to the fire close by, rinse and repeat.
    After spamming a few levels or so like this I feel like I am now stuck in a dungeon that I am only 9 levels too low for.

      Play flappy bird for 30 minutes and Dark Souls seems easy and positively relaxing. It will remove all feelings of frustration playing dark souls.

      I assume by rogue you mean thief, and while it doesn't ultimately matter what class you start as, until you get a build going thieves are probably the worst starting class for someone new. I don't want to say daggers are completely useless... but they're very VERY situational. You need not restart, but I highly suggest trying out different weapons and chucking some stats into VIT. Also the Master Key can be more of a blessing than a curse for first timers, while it gives you freedom to skip things, you can end up wandering into places you're not really ready for. I think what people misunderstand about this is the fact that while you can bet any part of this game at any soul level with any weapon, that doesn't mean you're intended to take a +0 dagger to 4 kings and take 30 minutes beating them, let alone how long i takes just to kill the ogres on the way to blighttown with base stats. Sure it's fun to do soul level 1 runs on replay, but for fresh players that's likely more boring/frustrating/off putting/comes off as poor difficulty design.

      In other news, do you actually still really feel this way about Dark Souls Mark? These posts come up so often, and I don't know whether it's because I don't find Dark Souls overly challenging or it's just a worn out running joke at this point. Honestly, no disrespect if you still genuinely feel this way about the game, it may simply be I'm out of touch having lost count of number of times I've run through the game, in which case I apologise for finally giving i and bringing it up, as with anything repetition makes anything trivial I suppose, but if it's just a gag to make the 'hawhaw I made X play DS I'm so cruel' comment, it feels tired to me. Best way I can think of to get you to empathise (knowning you're a MGS fan) is if someone was making almost weekly jokes about MGS cutscenes and exposition, it's not a huge deal, but you'd probably be rolling your eyes by now :P

      it was on sale on 360 marketplace for like $7 a couple of weeks back

    This is why I don't like Dark Souls as much as Demon's Souls. There's no direction in the game and it's way too easy to skip content and very annoying to try and backtrack to do the stuff you missed.

      You're going to hate Dark Souls 2 then. They specifically talked about how they wanted areas to have skippable stuff so you could take on the boss pretty much at the beginning of each area.

      I think this is my problem.
      I have never looked at any guide or manual or read anything on forums ... yet.
      There is no in game Help or Explanations.
      Just downloaded and got stuck in.
      I have no idea about what being Hollow or Human is, what the things are I find or people give me or exactly what way to do with them. I don't even know what the goal of the game is.
      I just keep going here and there, mostly around Undead Burgh I think and pretty much just die all the time as most things I run into seem too difficult for my character.
      Is a quest marker or map too much to ask for?

        I agree the game should explain itself better, but I think a map would completely destroy Dark Souls. Love the feeling of discovery and slowly understanding how it's all linked.

          OK, maybe not a map. Perhaps that's my frustration talking as I have enjoyed opening up "that door" or raising "that gate" finally.
          I guess I should pay more attention as all I can remember is I'm supposed to supposed ring two bells, one high and one low .. by the way I attacked that guy who told me that and after he killed me like 10 times after each time I spawned at the fire two feet from him I think he must have fell off the cliff as I have never seen him since.
          I guess I am so used to the "Go see Jack in Old Town and get the bucket to give to Jill in Hillview" sort of set up.

    Holy shit, that's pretty impressive doing all that in reverse. This is also why I recommend first time players shouldn't take the master key.

      You don't get to pick again on New Game Plus though do you?

      I picked the Master Key and I'm glad I did because it gives you a much less traumatic approach to fighting Havel and an easier approach into Blighttown from Firelink, plus easier access to the shortcuts inside Sen's Fortress.

        It's a sequence breaker. Combined with research as you go (as you are doing), yes, it can make the game less traumatic. Playing the game with no external knowledge, it can lead you into a world of pain and frustration as has been demonstrated by this article.

    I had no problem with Quelaag, but for this I salute you:

    Die on first Capra attempt, but win on second go

    I think you've also dragged a large portion of the community into playing/replaying Dark Souls... *must resist...*

      Yeah that's impressive. That boss battle is hard no matter what your level is.

        Capra Demon is hard because the design of the encounter is broken and unfair, not because he's that difficult.

          I dunno, I never found it that difficult. There are certainly much harder bosses in the game, with much tougher arenas to navigate. Different strokes, I suppose. I certainly died more times against Ornstein and Smough, the Four Kings, Manus, and the Centipede Demon.

          Last edited 05/02/14 2:56 pm

            You have very little room to move around him and he'll kill you so quickly you don't get time to learn the fight before you're having to slog through the area to re-challenge him again. Also I guess some people find some fights easier and some fights harder. Eg @markserrels mentioned Quelaag as being really difficult, but I beat her on my first go.

        i actually found the Capra Demon one of the easier bosses. The dogs die pretty fast and then it's just a matter of using the stairs to kite him around and avoid his attacks.

        I found the Capra demon pretty easy for some reason.

        It was just Ornstein and Smough that took me 10,000 attempts to beat. Then when I did a replay on PC it only took me 9,999 to beat them again.

          I love that to get all achievements in the game you have to fight both mega-versions of them at least once each. Winning design, and a really fun battle, although wickedly challenging, especially in NG+

    The first time I played and beat the game. I did the same thing as Ben and didn't even know that Lower Undead Burg existed.

    Serious props to this man for handling a first playthrough so well!
    Aaaaaaaaaaaand now I'm going to go play it for a few hours...

    On my first go on PS3 I only got as far as ringing the first bell, then I stopped playing because i sold some of my games as I needed money at the time.

    I've just started again on 360 as a warrior with the Tiny Being's Ring as my gift.

    Also just found this. This is probably going to be EVERYONE'S first achievement/trophy in Dark Souls II.

    Last edited 05/02/14 3:23 pm

    It's the Master Key's fault for being the most alluring starting gift.

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