Ed. Note: End game and NG+, so there will be spoilers abound.
Before I get to the last phase of the last boss, I wanted to say that I started NG+ after saving my game at the end of NG. Why did I save? In case there is DLC because no fucking way I’m doing DLC in NG+ and I don’t want to start another game. It’s not something I’d normally do, but I remember how frustrating it was not to have an optimal character for the DLC when I played Dark Souls III, and I did not want a repeat of that experience. Do I think there will be DLC? Not sure. I don’t actually think there will be, but you never know.
Anyway. NG+. I went into it with 10 Healing Gourds, all the Pellets in the world (200), and all the Emblems (999 in storage). I wanted to take on Genichiro when we were equally matched, and he wasn’t just going to be able to stomp on my head. I wouldn’t have my prosthetic arm, of course, which meant no prosthetic tools. Was I confident I could take Genichiro with 7 Healing Gourds (used three to get to him, much to my shame) and 3 Pellets? No, but I was going to give it my best shot. Plus, I had a nice fat health bar, better Posture, and all the Spiritfall items in my possession. I decided to use Ako’s Spiritfall because I knew the way to beat Genichiro was to constantly attack him. The biggest difference was that I knew him so I wasn’t intimidated. I had fought him for five hours and died to him probably 60 – 70 times. I had his moves down cold (except for that one swipe to my right that ALWAYS gets me), and I was not going to back down from fighting him. I stood tall, and I kept on the offensive. He still hit hard, though, and I had to use three or four Healing Gourds to get his first Deathblow. I kept my calm, however, and I knew I could get him. Whether I would or not, however, was a different matter.
Readers, I did it. I still had 2 Healing Gourds left at the end of the fight (and 2 Pellets), and it felt good. I knew I’d get nothing for beating him, but it was a matter of pride. I know you, Genichiro, and I am no longer intimated by you. That’s one of the best things about this game–about any FromSoft game, actually, once you beat a boss for the first time, the overwhelming fear dissipates. It doesn’t mean you’ll never die to them again, of course, but it’s half the battle in standing tall.
I whizzed through the first few areas, barely breaking a sweat. I killed the first real mini-boss, the one that I had so much trouble with and whom I avoided for so long in my first playthrough, without even getting hit (yes, I got the first stealth Deathblow on him per yooz). How far I’d come! In fact, I got further in two hours than I had in ten hours my first time through. I killed four mini-bosses (three, really, the first in the tutorial area hardly counts–the leader guy) while only dying twice to the Chained Ogre because he threw me off the goddamn cliff twice, and I died once to the two spear guys as they cornered me against the wall. That’s it, though. Three deaths. I didn’t even get my resurrection ability until the last death because I couldn’t rez when getting thrown off the goddamn cliff by the ogre.