The lights are on
The Dark Souls series is known for its punishing and
unforgiving difficulty. Most gamers don't stand a chance of surviving their
trip to Drangleic – unless they're experts who play video games for a living, like me. Lucky for you, I'm not only an extremely skilled gamer, I'm also a
I'm always looking for opportunities to aid gamers who are
less gifted than I am (i.e., basically everyone). My professional guides have
helped players navigate the harsh open worlds of Skyrim,
Cry 3, and GTA
V, and survive their adventures in Tomb
Raider and The
Last of Us. Dark Souls II presents an even greater challenge than all those
games combined, so as I effortlessly breezed through it, I realized my talents
could once again be put to good use.
Below you'll find a list of situations you may encounter in
Dark Souls II, along with descriptions of how an amateur gamer might approach
them. Don't be ashamed if they sound familiar – Dark Souls is a series about
learning from your own pathetic failures, after all.
After each amateur entry you'll find a pro description.
These outline how I personally handled each situation, so study them hard to be
more like me.
have decided to start playing Dark Souls II.How an amateur handles
it: Choose a basic character model, then spend a few minutes checking out
the different classes. Promptly choose one, knowing that it really only serves
as a starting point, and you can mold your character's skills to your liking
while playing the game.How a pro handles it:
Spend an hour meticulously customizing your character's appearance. Move
each attribute slider all the way to the right, then all the way to the left,
before returning it roughly to the middle where it started. Spend another 30
minutes looking up character classes online and mulling over your starting
gift options. Finally start the game. Speak to Emerald Herald in Majula, then repeatedly
tap the cancel button to end the conversation. Press it one too many times,
causing your character to roll backwards off a cliff and die. Respawn as an
undead Hollow and realize that, despite all the time you spent customizing your
character, you're going to look like a green zombie for 99 percent of the game.
wander into Heide's Tower of Flame and encounter your first Old Knight.How an amateur
handles it: Circle around the hulking enemy as it attacks, then strike from
behind. Realize in the first few seconds of the fight that you're
under-leveled. Leave the area and return when you're stronger and have better
gear at your disposal.How a pro handles it:
Charge the massive statue, impotently slicing at it with your starting
sword. Slowly whittle the knight's health down to 75 percent while burning
through your sole Estus Flask and the few lifegems you've acquired. Get
pulverized within an inch of your life, then sprint past the knight and up the
stairs, only to run headlong into another one. Roll past the second enemy and
continue down the path. Pass several more of the lumbering giants, all of whom start
pursuing you. Run into a dead end and get unceremoniously cut down. Realize
you've completely screwed yourself. Respawn and make a mad dash to collect your
souls, then try to make it back to the bonfire. Get sliced down again. Repeat
the process, slowly inching your way back to the start. Finally make it to the
bonfire with your measly 800 souls. Progress!
used your Estus Flasks, your health is low, and your one decent weapon is about
to break when you come to a giant tower in Forest of the Fallen Giants.How an amateur
handles it: Look up the tower in an online guide and discover that it's
Cardinal Tower and there's a bonfire on the other side of the door. Go through
and rest, automatically replenishing your health, Estus Flasks, and weapon
durability.How a pro handles it:
Refuse to use any online help because it's kind of cheating and also you're
too lazy to reach for your phone on the coffee table (more the latter than the
former). Decide to trek all the way back to the last bonfire. Rest, respawning
the long gauntlet of enemies you just slogged your way through. Travel through
the forest again. Die at an ambush point you totally forgot about. Try not to
freak out about your dropped souls as you fight your way back to them, then continue
on. Make it back to the tower, arriving in slightly better shape than the first
time. Open the door and see that the bonfire was right there the whole freaking time. Mutter obscenities to yourself
then vow to just look up whatever it is you have a question about next time.
reached your first boss fight.How an amateur
handles it: Spend the souls you've acquired, then enter the fight as an
undead hollow. Learn the behavior of the boss while fighting with the impunity
that comes from not having any souls to lose. If the boss is proving too
difficult after a few tries, burn a human effigy at a bonfire and summon other
players to help you out.How a pro handles it:
Get to the boss door then use your soapstone to be summoned into other
people's games. Fail miserably to aid the players who summon you because you
don't know what you're doing. When you've finally beaten the boss once, decide
you can take him on by yourself, even though you still didn't contribute a
whole lot to the last fight because you spent most of the time trying to heal.
Die immediately, then follow the amateur process.
Coming Up Next: More invaluable tips...
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