Monday, 26 September 2016

Dark Souls: Down, Down to Blighttown

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

With seemingly nowhere else to go in the forest, I returned to Firelink Shrine and was pleased that Lautrec (whom I had freed earlier) was now here and thankful to be free. Petrus was still waiting for his group, and Ser Dick reminded me ringing only one bell is meaningless. Thanks Ser Dick. Since I now had a divine rapier I decided to retry that graveyard and was pleased that I could now defeat the skeletons residing there. Alas the skeletons in the catacombs further in had a skill I wasn't expecting: they'd get back up with full HP. That was enough to send me running and looking for a new place to explore.

Also, if the divine weapon doesn't connect it doesn't really help...

I ended up choosing to venture into the ogre cave, discovering they aren't so hard to defeat after all being so open to counters and backstabs. They also make looting shit very literal. Still, the tunnel opens up into a massive underground slum called Blighttown where pretty much everything tries to poison you. The giant mosquitoes, giant leeches, ugly spider things, blowdart guys, even the floor when you reach it is a poisonous swamp (which coincidentally slows your movement). What a wonderful place. I wonder if it is connected to where the monsters from Dragon Age spawn from... Interestingly, Shiva the Ninja is here too - selling overpriced gear.

In one of the cisterns I am "invaded" (the not so good side about quasi-multiplayer thing) by Maneater Mildred who thankfully is an NPC since a) no one would intentionally name their character that and b) she opted to use a ladder instead of take a six foot drop. This led to an easy victory as I could basically stab her butt while she was stuck on the ladder. After resting at the local bonfire I get my more of my anti-venom moss ready (thanks spriggans) before heading out to explore the rest of this horrible zone.

Weakness: Woman therefore try rear!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Skyrim: Moonpath

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

After dropping off the Elder Scroll at Whiterun (which in hindsight is silly, I should leave it with the Dawnguard) the town once again came under a bandit attack, this time with Morag Tong in tow. I let Bo lead the guards while I observed from the parapets. The enemy had no chance, inflicting zero friendly casualties. While inspecting the battlefield I happened to come across an inebriated and almost naked lady asleep on the hay in the stables.


Waking her up, she introduces herself as Sofia and pretty much insists on being my stalker joining the party. Bo has no issues with this so I give her some of my previously acquired gear and head out to Falkreath where I've been informed of a visiting Khajiit caravan. The cat couple who run it are about to head back to their home of Elswyr, and since I could use a vacation from the cold, we all tag along.

The resident beast of burden.

It's a decent journey, with stops to clear a bandit blockade (Khajiit bandits ofcouse) South of Riverhold and a detour around a broken bridge at the edge of the woods but soon we reach the Heart of the Tenmar Forest where the Pahmar (talking tigers) welcome us and give us a cool canopy home, complete with talking tiger guards! Of course they had problems of their own and were counting on us to help them.

She asks the important questions... :P

Dark Souls: Cats and Dogs

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

I am surprised to find the next section of forest guarded by people (not hollows)! It takes some adjusting to get used to their combos but with the handy bonfire I eventually have them down well enough to progress towards the ruined tower they are guarding, and it's sole inhabitant: a talking cat! The kitty is the leader of the "forest hunter" covenant (group) and invites me to join in a convoluted "ye olde" way of talking. I accept after learning it means the rest of the clan outside will stop being hostile to me! Win! :)

Alvinia - one sinister looking cat.

After briefly chatting to their field commander, Shiva of the East (I suppose he's a ninja?), I am free to go even further into the woods coming across a small colony of the cutest mushroom people ever. Since they aren't hostile I just leave them alone and push on until I reach a strange circular graveyard across a bridge. Upon examining a gigantic sword in the center, I am attacked by the biggest wolf ever, who so happens to be able to wield said gigantic sword.

Drop! I said Drop! Uh oh...

Sif (the wolf) proceeds to thrash me a couple of dozen times before I give up and follow a winding path down to Darkroot Basin. After beating another knight and a few crystal golems I am dissuaded from hanging around by the powerful water breath of a nearby (like, rifle range nearby) hydra. Instead I opt to go into what looks to be the base of a stone tower and run smack into Club Knight again. I'm much stronger both level and equipment wise now though, and even more adept at parrying so this time I win. I take his pretty awesome ring which lets you carry heavier stuff and learn his name was Havel.

Good night, club knight!

Feeling confident with the win I make the trek back to Sif and... promptly get thrashed again. Lol.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Skyrim: The Lifeless Vaults

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

The theme set by that steam dragon continues in this dark place which really lives up to its name. Nothing down here is "alive", but there are plenty of automatons looking to kill us. Not just the usual ones either: there are flying "Empress" types, "Hollow Sentries" and a variety of unique "boss" robots who wait it small arenas with closed doors. A lever opens the door, but one must then sprint through before the door closes, and some doors are blocked with intense fog and flame meaning you can't see what's on the other side...

Often because the things on the other side generate intense flames and fog!

Bo and I split up often in this dungeon to cover more ground. She rather handily takes care of all the little adds while I handle the arenas, trap hallways and boss chambers. This place is impressive and full of combat.

Combat and Parkour!

Ultimately none of the defenses stop us from reaching the Elder Scroll though, and while I am glad for the victory I am also slightly concerned that my previously 900+ damage weapon has degraded to the 130 range. Still more than enough for regular adventuring.

More than enough for you, hammer-axe robot!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dark Souls: Jolly Cooperation

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Feeling brave with a closer bonfire I decided to head back to that church and beat up the hollows guarding it. The mage on the second floor was a bit scary, but by fighting everything else out of his field of view he had no backup when I got to him. Near the back I found and freed another knight in cool gold armor: Ser Lautrec of Carim, but the main event was on the roof where a pair of gargoyles blocked my path. Good thing Solaire was there to back me up! :D

Jolly Cooperation!

With him tanking the gargs this fight was pretty easy. Upon their defeat Solaire went on his merry way while I finally reached the bell tower and rang the first bell. Woo! This summoned a creepy guy called Oswald but he didn't do much else apart from "offer to pardon my sins" and laugh like an insane person... something he shares with almost everyone else I've talked to actually.

He mentions that Cleric Petrus is also drenched in sin...?

Before moving on I notice that Andre the smith is selling something for 20,000 souls. Figuring I would need that item eventually, I camp the church and purchase the strange medallion. Good thing too because I use it to open a door in the next area I go into: Darkroot Forest, home of spriggans, living statues and... a giant moth that shoots magic missiles!? It takes some evading, patience and a few throwing knives but I eventually slay the overgrown bug. Thanks to player left messages (because this game has a cool quasi-online thing happening) I also find a hidden bonfire behind an illusionary wall giving me another save point before venturing deeper into the woods.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Skyrim: What's Inside

Adventures in Skyrim - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

I sat for awhile in Hjerim, watching the Morag Tong assassins bleed out all over the floor. Some didn't have their heads attached any more. I barely noticed when Bo, who I had sent to scout the perimeter, returned with a bloody parchment in hand. There were no other assassins nearby, but she did find another corpse - one with a strange letter on it indicating a dead drop in town. I wasn't really in the mood for any adventuring but she persisted. She had gone to the dead drop, and found another parchment: one indicating that another dwemer ruin (these seem to just keep popping up) contained an Elder Scroll.

Such an artifact could not fall into the wrong hands so I got up from the chair and headed out to the "really obvious" location. I say that because it had a pillar of light shining right above it. It was also guarded by a dragon. Not just any dragon - a DWEMER STEAM DRAGON! Cool! I didn't want to destroy such wondrous technology if I could avoid it so I tried use Bend Will...

And destroyed my enemy by making it my friend. :)

It must be the only dragon so far that hasn't gone hostile on me after the shout expired. Happy with that outcome I let it go and continued with Bo to the entrance of ... The Lifeless Vaults.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Dark Souls: Knight Land

Tales from Dark Souls - spoilers ahead! You can follow the rest of the story here!

Past the Lesson Knight was an old stone tower, the bottom of which was guarded by a knight wielding a massive club and heavy armor, who I dub Club Knight. Despite my improved parrying this guy had a whole different set of very punishing (near 1HKO) strikes so I decided to avoid him for now. Instead I went to the top of the tower to face... a bull demon! I wasn't having much luck against him either though, so ultimately I decided to cheat. He was a lot easier to kill after buying all those explosives from the merchant. :P

Have some cheese!

Beyond him on the parapets I met Solaire of Astora, who was praising the sun and suggested I try some jolly cooperation when the opportunities present themselves. Well I certainly could have used some assistance crossing the main bridge guarded by a red dragon! It took a few goes before I managed to run past it to the bonfire it guarded. The hollows attempted to guard this district with an armored boar, but it was easy enough to encourage it to charge into the nearby fires - effectively killing itself.

Sprinting towards a dragon - not usually a good idea.

It looked like the church was the main structure here, judging from the suddenly awesome looking guards around it, so I skipped it first and was rewarded with another bonfire. This one was near an "old but built like an ox" blacksmith named Andre and nearby waiting at some closed gates is another knight I call Ser Chubby (for obvious reasons). The last inhabitant near this bonfire is a giant headless stone snake thing with a large staff that shoots lightning. Yeah, I ... just stayed away from that one.