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
BEN'S DARK SOULS LOG
- 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.