In my last post, I wrote about my not-plat Dark Souls run, but I forgot to mention Seath. He of the Moonlight Greatsword tail that I needed for the not-plat. I fucking hate the Crystal Cave. Earlier in NG, I went to grab the Titanite Blue Slab that is nestled there. I have never gotten it before, so I fell off that particular invisible path several times. Fortunately, I have several characters pretty far in this game so I was able to do the upgraded weapons with more than one character. That meant that I could use the Titanite Blue Slab I already had on one character (there are two in the game) for one upgrade and the one I nabbed in the Crystal Cave on a different character for the other.
Anyway, tackling Seath’s tail was a bitch. Getting there was more stressful because….I don’t know why exactly. I couldn’t remember exactly where the invisible path was, and I fell more than once. It took me five or six times just to get to Seath, and one of those fucking clams came into the arena with me. I died and was fuming as I made the trek again. One the second time I made it into the arena, I tried the strat of letting him kill his own crystal (I did it myself the first time) so he would be stunned as I ran around to his backside. I did not have Power Within activated, and I breathed Great Combustion on his tail…but missed once. I think I hit him once, but it wasn’t enough. So, I had to do it the hard way of running around him, baiting out the laser attack, and getting one or two swipes (Furysword) or GC on his tail–making sure I aimed at the tip. The thing is, though, he lashes his tail around, which meant I missed more than I hit.
I had to keep an eye on his health, obviously, as I did not want to have to do him on NG++. Not only did I not want to have to do him on NG++, I did not want to have to get to that part of the game as I only had to reach Anor Londo and Cuddles (Giant Blacksmith) to transform two boss weapons. I had Seath’s health down half just by attacking the tail, and I was getting nervous. I was wearing pretty strong curse-resist armor and had a high magic-resist shield, and I wasn’t taking much damage at all. I wonder if he’s like the Four Kings in that he does more damage the further you are away from him. Just as I decided I would probably have to let him kill me and try again, his tail came off! A few agonizing seconds before Moonlight Greatsword flashed on the screen, and then his tail…just…stayed…there. For the rest of the fight. As you can see in the pic above. Which was kinda gross, tbh, but at least I didn’t have to harvest it for the MGS as I would have in Monster Hunter World.
I talked about the cheese I did for Bed of Chaos. I followed it up by deciding to cheese Dark Sun Gwyndolin as well. Why? Two reasons. One, I hate this fight. I hate chasing him down the hallway endlessly and only getting one or two, maybe three if you’re lucky, hits on him when you finally reach him. Yes, I know the hallway isn’t endless, but it seems that way to me. Two, why the hell not? Might as well shake it up and try new things. The cheese here was to enter his boss room and walk far enough for him to vanish and reappear further down the hall. Then, advance just before the point where he attacks you. I actually walked too far and had to move back after he Soul Speared me.
What’s the cheese? Poison arrows. Which I’ve never used in the game. I had a Longbow +10 already and I bought nearly 300 poison arrows. Which wasn’t cheap. I put on the Hawk ring, which gives better range to bows, and then I let ‘er fly. With regular arrows at first so I could line it up properly. I couldn’t tell if I was hitting him or not, and I checked the video again. There was a glint of blue when the arrow hits him, so I made sure to look for that. Once I had it ready, I pulled out the poison arrows and settled in for the long haul. I shot him with many many poison arrows before realizing that it was better to space them and see how many I needed to make the poison take. I knew it was cumulative, but I was too impatient. It took nine arrows for the poison to take, and then I would wait and watch his health slowly tick away. In the picture above, you’ll notice (maybe) that he has one tick of health left after the poison wore off. This is such a FromSoft thing. Always make sure the health of the enemy needs one last hit.
This whole process took twenty minutes to a half hour. Would it have been faster to kill him the old-fashioned way? Undoubtedly. Would it have amused me as much? Nope. Also, this is much safer as Gwyndolin doesn’t attack you at all if you’re a safe distance away from him. Hey, it was near the end of the not-plat run, and I was losing steam. I only had two achievements the whole NG+, and I had to make it as much fun as possible for me.
Once I reached Gwyn, I went to check if Solaire’s summon sign was there. I had my doubts because he wasn’t in the Lost Izalith shortcut mourning the loss of his sun. The sign wasn’t there, so I went back to the Altar of Sunlight, and he was still there. I changed back to his covenant and hoped that would be enough. It wasn’t. I read up on the questline as I wondered if I had to fight the Centipede Demon to move him along. You have to talk to him at the first bonfire in Lost Izalith, but I thought you could skip that by opening the shortcut. His summon sign wasn’t there, either, and it was probably because I already beat BoC. Did I really need Solaire in the Gwyn fight? No, but I really wanted him. So I girded up and did the Centipede Demon on my own. I actually found it easier because he wasn’t freaking out over having two targets in his arena. I went to the Lost Izalith bonfire, and there he was. I talked to him and he was sad. Was that enough? I went back to the shortcut and he still wasn’t there. I read some more, and one suggested killing all the bugs again, exiting out, and restarting the game. They said it made Solaire show up for them, and while it sounded fanciful, I was desperate. I killed all the bugs again, then I quit out. I restarted, but to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to work. You know what? It did. When I restarted, Solaire was sitting amongst the dead bugs, and I was both relieved and irritated.
What the fuck is the point of the shortcut if you have to kill the Demon Firesage and the Centipede Demon, anyway? I mean, to be fair, I didn’t have to kill them if I didn’t want to save Solaire, but still. While I was at the Lord Vessel, I was thinking about whether I wanted to do the Painted World and the DLC or not. Normally, I would do it, but in this case, I was so close, I could taste the not-plat. I didn’t need any of the mats in the two areas, and I didn’t need the levels the souls would give me. I would like the levels, obviously, but I didn’t need them. I said to hell with it. I made sure I had everything on my Knight’s Honor list crossed off (I have a Word Doc, and I actually wrote ‘check’ next to the ones I had done). I only had two things left–transposing Gwyn’s soul and *sob* Sif’s soul for the third weapon you can make with it. In this case, shield. Thanks, FromSoft for making me have to do my least-favorite boss fight three times for the not-plat! I close my eyes every time, and I take it as my penance if I die that way. I have yet to see her limp, and I intend to keep it that way.
Once I triple-checked that I had everything on my list done, I went to the Kiln of the First Flame. I slew the Black Knights along the way, and there was my boy, Solaire’s summon sign. I called him in, and we fucked up the Lord of Cinder. I went Dark Lord Ending for this playthrough and then I was into NG++. Offed the Asylum Demon when I first ran into him (as I did in NG+), then I was off to the races. In NG++, my goal was to get to Anor Londo as quickly as possibly. No frills, no fun. I did Taurus Demon and Bell Gargs, then I went straight to Quelaag. After that, I was ready to go to Sen’s and Anor Londo except one thing. I had to kill Sif. I wasn’t planning on coming back from Anor Londo, so I needed her soul before I went. I used Power Within and my best pyros, stood under her, and got her in roughly fifteen seconds. With my eyes 90% closed, of course. I squeezed them shut as she burst into white confetti, then I took a break.
I zipped through Sen’s with the help of the Hidden Body/Slumbering Dragoncrest Ring combo because it was all about getting through it as painlessly and quickly as possible. No exploration. No side quests. Nothing. I didn’t even talk to any of the NPCs even though I always do that. I just barged my way through the game, then Black Iron Tarkus and I murdered the Iron Golem. Took roughly ten seconds, and I was off to Anor Londo. I made it into the church and beelined it for Cuddles. I did Gwyn’s soul first and then with my heart in my mouth, I transformed Sif’s soul into the Greatshield of Artorias, which was supposedly the last item I needed for Knight’s Honor and The Dark Soul–which is the actual plat. I made the shield, and the two achievements popped up. I was relieved more than anything else, but it did feel fucking good.
Now, I’m taking a break from Dark Souls, obviously, but I’m noodling around in Dark Souls III to see if the farming for the plat is terrible. I’m not going to plat DS III because it’s even more onerous than the plat for DS, but it’s comfort gaming, regardless.