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Journeying into the heart of darkness (or playing Dark Souls for the first time)


So…I’ve wanted to play this for ages, played Demon’s Souls for the first time last year and wanted a gap between them. Managed to snag it super cheap from a charity/thrift shop (£2) and I’m good to go. Therefore I now embark on an epic journey into pain…especially given my spotty play time allowance. Nevertheless here I go…

Step 1 - Install 1.09 patch. Thanks PSN, I know you have my back.

Share some Screenshots of your Gaming Moments

Have fun and like I said many many times… it’s all about the learning experience by trial and error. Don’t be afraid to explore as much as you can and don’t forget it’s not necessary to kill everything on a said path you are on. These games love to throw end game enemies even in the beginning of the journey.


me: reads ‘Heart of Darkness’ and gets really excited about someone playing one of her favorite games.

me: reads the rest of the post Oh it’s just Dark Souls.


btw “spotty play time allowance” is just perfect. This describes me and my gaming time perfectly, as well.


Ignore @onLooSe, kill everything!
While it’s true there are a few tough encounters early on there’s nothing you can’t actually beat with enough perseverance and skill. Although it is also possible to take a wrong turn and get into areas you’re really not meant to be in. So if all you’re facing is really tough stuff then you might be on the wrong path and could benefit from exploring another.

Have fun and don’t be discouraged by everyone claiming the game us fair, it isn’t. You’re not bad the game just dicked you over for no good reason.


That’s true, but I said it because a lot of ppl get discouraged when facing one of those early on and spend like 1 hour on them to finally kill them and wonder why this wasn’t a boss… I could have just stated Git Gud like I always do, but will save it for the next time ;]


Well, I’ve remembered that feeling of “Nghhhhhhhhhhh!” that I had so much with Demon’s Souls. The story so far…

Character creation…what to do…I played a Royal in Demon’s Souls and the Soul Arrow was a life saver to start with. However, whilst I didn’t rely on ranged magic beyond the getting to know what’s going on phase I don’t want to rely on cheesing the game with ranged stuff this time so I opted not to go Sorcerer. Tempted by the Pyromancer as it starts at Soul Level 1, but in the end did a coin toss between Cleric and Knight. Cleric it is…Master Key? Sounds good.

Fast forward to events of note…Progressed fairly well, ran crazily around a graveyard avoiding skeletons and picking up stuff. Then went down to an area with lots of water and ghosts. Died a lot by drowning. This is probably not the right path. Turned around and headed up. Raised Endurance by 2 and Vitality by 1, bought the Repairbox, and had got up to getting a Blue Tearstone Ring… but got mashed by a large knight guy and then a rolling barrel when I returned and tried to avoid him. 3000 odd souls down the toilet. Once safely past I opened up a door with the Master Key and proceeded down a few floors to be utterly destroyed by a large guy with a huge horn club and scaley shield. Right…

Roll on 2 hours of chipping away (10 damage per strike) and I reckoned that he had approximately 500 health (I’d managed to get him down to about half way before dying, so that was my expert guess). That’s not too bad. Another hour passes. Success. 3000 Souls and Havel’s Ring…result! Right let’s venture on and hope for a bonfire to actually get some more stats. 30 seconds later crushed by two huge crystal monsters. Fast forward return…evade crystal giants…proceed. Die at the hands of a huge knight guarding a Grass Crest Shield. Cool, regenerating thingy! And back again. Avoid crystal giants, avoid knight, pick up leather armour, killed by plant monster and fall off a cliff. ~12000 souls lost. Cool. Recap - I have raised my stats by 3 points and lost around 16,000 souls. Go me.

So on some more. All the way back. Darkroot Basin, to Darkroot Garden to Undead Parish…woah! Massive scary thing…RUN AWAY! Plant monsters aren’t so bad…not doing much damage but able to kite them and push them off cliffs. Through mist wall…pop up plant monsters and giant knights…ARGH! RUN AWAY…wait, Elite Knight Armour! Yay. Dead.

That’s where I’ve stopped for now. No real stat progress, no real soul progress but some cool equips.


Well you’ve certainly managed to get around all over the place. Feels like you skipped the initial asylum part though, how’d your fight with the demon go?


The large starter demon thing? Jumped off the balcony and sliced him in the face for massive damage and then just circle strafed him to death. Much easier than the tutorial boss in Demon’s Souls.


Congrats on beating Havel this early on your first run, that’s very well done. He pretty much one shots you at this point right?


That’s why it took me 3 hours and about 50 tries… :disappointed_relieved: (even blocking with a shield you still die in one hit).


Parries and backstabs are your friend against him, but yeah he’s a pain in the butt at any time.


Have fun! And remember not to use cheap tactics/exploits against enemies, no matter how tempting it might be. It may take a while, but it’s always so much more satisfying when you finally beat that boss after many deaths than cheating the game to make it easier

Edit: I don’t mean magic or ranged, I’m talking about unintended glitches/exploits


Erm, define cheap? I tried circling around Havel, couldn’t get the backstab animation to trigger with any regularity and if he even tapped me with that massive club I died. Tried over and over but it was far too risky chipping away. So I just kited him as far as he would go, and then lured him out to a doorway, avoided his strike, chipped away as he wandered back, then kited him again to repeat. I tried seeing if I could do the Red Eyed Knight trick from Demon’s Souls, but no.

And I think I have to reasses what I’m actually doing. I’m fully aware that this current direction is stupid, so will probably resume normal journeying when I next sit down to play.


That’s alright, I meant something like shooting at the Maneater boss in Demon’s Souls through the fog gate.

Congrats on beating Havel so early!


Didn’t do that either…although, grr, I still remember how annoying those two were, and the insane mad rush to pummel the first before the second appeared.

And thanks! Although like I said I think I’m turning around and pretending that I didn’t open this door…probably best to stick to the intended path for now.


I also recently got into Dark Souls with the new remastered version that just came out and I really enjoyed playing it. I’m trying to get through DS2 right now. I recommend replaying it with different builds and definitely try pyromancy. Also, make sure you complete the DLC before the final boss because it will restart your game and take you to New Game + immediately after you beat it. I learned that the hard way, unfortunately. Regarding your problems with backstabbing, you cannot backstab while blocking and you need to wait about half a second after unblocking to trigger the backstab. You also need to be directly behind them, you will learn and find the sweet spot with practice. I hope this helps you. Anyway, enjoy and praise the sun!


If it makes you feel any better I did the same thing as you and basically used the same method to deal with him. Havel’s Ring is a fantastic item though, so it’s worth the trouble.


Quick, quick update…will flesh out a bit more tomorrow when I have a little more time.

Just killed the Gaping Dragon and unlocked Blighttown. This probably doesn’t seem like much progress but I’ve been somewhat distracted because of awesome Chronizens, and additionally, I had to run back and forth trying to work out how to cure Cursed status for ages.

More detailed info forthcoming…


You are doing pretty fine … but one doesn’t go cure cursed status… just rolls with it Kappa


Well I’ve been trying to kill the hydra in the Darkroot Basin for a few hours and managed to lose around 64,000 souls from, well, falling off more often than not. I don’t have any ranged weaponry (my dex is too low) and getting the last head has killed me more times than I’d like to admit. Having lost that much game currency I’m darn well going to kill this scumbag…

(I abandoned Blighttown to get some poison cures and ended up here)