Demon’s Souls Chronicles Pt. II

ARGH!! I’m in Latria Tower now. I accumulated more than 13,000 Souls only to fall off a cliff while trying to retrieve them. So much for clearing this stage in three hours.

Why do I keep playing this game? No time to kick myself over it. I feel I’m ready to face the next Boss, the Fool’s Idol, but I had my eye on the Ring of Avarice. The stage merchant carries one, I’m sure the only one in the game, and I’m afraid if I progressed further in that World she’d either move shop or sell it to someone else. For a mere whopping 50,000, I can get my hands on this Soul multiplier. I have no better way in mind of racking up so much loot in as little time than here. There are enough big Demons in close proximity that’ll drop anywhere between 400+ to upward of a thousand Souls here. I just need to play smart and use the Stone of Ephemeral Eyes because in Soul form, my life bar won’t sustain me past one attack from these baddies. It’s either that or I have to postpone the paper chase until after at least one more Vitality upgrade. How could I be so careless after all I’ve seen? I had to have learned the lesson by now, surely. My dumbass.

So anywho. This place is so far my favorite. Though very fond of medieval architecture, I didn’t find Boletaria Palace alluring. Here, you’re in a prison complex. And in contrast to most games that ask you to navigate mazey structures, you start on the 3rd Floor, and work your way up then down then across, and… it’s pretty disorienting shit with the poor visibility. Think of a catwalk overlooking a courtyard below and the jail cells encircling the perimeter. The lighting is dim. Faint bells worn by magic-wielding abominations guarding the place punctuate the silence. Lord Rydell’s cries for help can be heard when you’re directly above his cell. It was agonizing to hear what I assume was his grunts as he tries to bend the bars sideways. The poor fuck. The Dregglings’ moans of agony and insanity, after years of torture, come off as pleas to be let out of their misery (which I duly answer with delight and my trusted Short Sword +2). All that plus a female’s singing heard through the walls. Really trippy stuff. All these occur within one floor and create a thick air of madness that permeates every shadowy alcove and cranny in the place. Did I mention how the rusted steel railings are so out of place? Like it’s a pastiche of medieval and pre-WWI going on here.

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I’ve made it. I can’t believe it was easier than I thought. Four trips total around the same route. I would go up to the 4th Floor and traverse the entire “cellblock” where the stairs that go all the way down the prison complex are. I would kill all the Mind Flayers en route. Once down, there are Black Phantom renditions of those things that drop twice as many Souls. Plus I killed that one big monster on the ground level. I first lost the 13,000 Souls I mentioned, another 13,000, then 28,000 before I nearly risked losing the 50,000 to buy that ring. That trip to retrieve them was the slowest three Mind Flayer to ambush, it seemed. My PS3 controller never felt heavier. Anyway, so what would have been three hours is now six additional hours because of well-placed greed. I will take a one day break from the game before I decide whether to level up before the Boss fight or try my luck. When I said I was ready before, it was because I had the Ephemeral Eye stones. Now my margin of error is tighter than a virgin’s [omitted text].

37:00 – 42:00
Okay so I may be eating into the next post’s playing time here, but two things you may have missed, here. One; this series is starting to become offensive and sexist toward women. And two, this isn’t a minute by minute account. So I did lump chunks of time together or missed some entirely. But I’m going to make it up to y’all by keeping this as accurate as possible, without relying too much on timeline as the header. In those five hours I’ve done the following:

1. Beat Boletaria 1-2 which I’d given up on earlier — before starting Stonefang Tunnel, the catalyst to your misery reading this series — because of the Dragon. A dragon scorching the causeway between the watchtowers. He’s too fast. By the time he makes a lap and back around I’m still not across and he’d be at it again as I’m about to clear it. Like I’ve been saying, you’re in Soul form most of the time, i.e., malnourished. One swoop and you’re toast. And if you were carrying the loot… you know the rest…

So in between farming for Souls (haha, you better believe I looked up the proper terminology) to gear up for Fool’s Idol (the Boss from Tower of Latria, 3-1), I figured why not try the Water protection spell and maybe, just maybe, that’s what it was put in the game for. WRONG. It alleviated the burn. But you’ll at least survive the hellish jaunt. Hey I just realized, in keeping with the whole sexist versus feminist tug of war, the Water spell is actually called Water Veil. Which I’ve found offensive, patriarchal, parochial, and too Sharia-law and overly demeaning not to mention domineering to suggest that my heroine, who’s dressed in a leather skirt and blouse, left her too exposed to the predatory dragon’s stalky patrol and gaze. When the time comes to kill all the dragons, my character will be doing so in bra and undies, son. Empowerment, motherfucker!

2. After the 17,000 earned from killing the Tower Knight, about a fifty-feet tall armor-clad Demon, I upgraded some and it was back to some unfinished business; Tower of Latria (3-1). You see, walkthrough writers tell you the so-and-so fight is relatively easy. I can’t take their word for it. So I don’t anymore. So it’s always some due diligence and harvest season before a fight. I refused to take the shortcut and pass by the Horde of Prisoners on my way to the Cathedral where you fight the Idol. He takes up too much time and Magic Power that defeats the purpose of it being a shortcut. For just a little more time, you get to earn more and build your confidence slaying Mind Flayers on the longer route. So I did that for a few times to get some pre-fight Souls, having had to retrieve some since I was smoked a few times. The fight itself was Okay. She’s susceptible to Magic, and moreso to melee attacks. But I was not never going to that. You see, I’m a pussy like that. The piano jungle plays rhythmically when you fight her, bringing memories of Resident Evil Code Veronica. The Ashford Castle I think. She beat me one time but I was able to reach my Blood Stain on the next try. It may have been twice. The first time, I was a bit conservative. The second time, I learned that you can squeeze in more than three Magic attacks before she teleports again. This was the difference in my second triumphant attempt in which I was in Soul Form. In between teleportations, her clones duplicate meaning you now have to make out which is the real one while anticipating attacks from any angle. Few other places would you see a positive correlation between caution and peril… That’s Demon’s Souls for you. By the way the game’s title does sound like a grammatical error, doesn’t it? Demons Souls makes more sense. Demon’s by itself sounds like it was missing the definite the.

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3. Okay, I’m scrambling to get this out because I’m already at 60 hours meaning Pt. III is long overdue. But if my recollection serves me correctly, I went along with my plan to clear the first stage of each World first with the sole exception being that I did 1-2 out of sequence. After beating the Fool’s Idol, a short video took me from the Cathedral to an undisclosed location where Idol’s Archstone and Soul were a short walk away. Needless to say I was shaking in my boots as I made out the wall from the chasm in the dark. From there I began the Shrine of Storms, or 4-1. Just when I thought Tower of Latria was the epitome of mystique, this new World situated on a secluded island under a perpetual overcast sky patrolled by flying sting rays was enough to make a bandwagon jumper of me. The Skeleton warriors were vicious and hostile. After a few run throughs to get a feel of the area, and only three deaths, I’ve managed to rack up Souls for upgrades and shit. Gone are the Fresh and Old Spice (magic fuel) dropped with the profusion of a hemophiliac by the Mind Flayers from 3-1. Actually it was here that the upwards of 40 bottles amassed from my Ring of Avarice quest were used up. But the neat thing is the copious amount of Souls those Skeleton warriors and their tougher big cousins give you. Plus the few Sting Rays I tried my hands at shooting down with the little-used Bow and arrow. All in all though, I’ve formed an unhealthy dependence on magic (Flame Toss) I may still be reeling from a dozen hours of play later; I now have to pay for Spice, and have been for quite a while. It was a reminder of a time when I had a similar over reliance on Crescent Moon Grass which can easily be found in Stonefang Tunnel 2-1. Thank God that all changed after 3-1 and 1-2; near the end of this stage, the Adjudicator Shield and Ring become available. Both regenerate HP. I wasn’t too excited about the Shield after trying it. I already had a favorite shield — two so far. Plus the Shield is heavy and requires taking another one to fight with. The Adjudicator fight was relatively easy and I finished in one try. Maybe two. Because I remember using the hidden shortcut (unless that was because I’d died right before the fight spot). He’s (Adjudicator) this slob who fittingly enough decided to reside in a narrow multi-story room. You fight him from the upper level and never have to descend/stoop to his level provided you’ve brought enough options to range attack him with. Your boy used magic — surprise! Flame Toss. I was ecstatic to claim another Demon Soul, the purpose of which I am not clear on nor certain of. I am definitely not thinking blog cashing them into currency Souls. But what to do of them in this okay through or the next is a mystery to me. It’s part of the learning and sharing process we’ve undertaken here, would you say not I’ve got plenty of stories for the next post, which was pretty eventful, and by far my most productive 20 hours.

Adios, jugadores del PlayStation 3 muertos!