Underneath my yellow skin

More about Dat (Dark) Souls

I hate the Capra Demon. That’s not a shocking admission or an outre opinion, but I had to say it. I hate him so much. Or rather, I hate his boss arena and his two damn dogs. Here’s the thing about me and the Capra Demon. Either I kill him on the first try or it  takes me aaaaaaaaaages to kill him. This time was the later and I’ll tell you for why.

Here’s the thing you need to know about the Capra. He’s in a boss arena roughly the size of a postage stamp and two dogs who are relentless. If you’re locked onto the Capra Demon as you enter the boss arena, the camera bounces all over the place. Hell, as long as the dogs are alive, you really shouldn’t lock onto anything. I’m an inveterate lock-on player, though, which is a detriment at times.

The conventional wisdom is that you take out the dogs first before tackling the Capra. Them are wise words, but it’s easier said than done.

Here’s my issue. I have a very set way of playing this game. I start as a Pyro because I’m always a Pyro and I grab the Zwei right off the bat. It takes 24 Strength to wield the Zwei so I worked towards that from the start. I also want to take it up to +5 as soon as possible. That’s a lot of levels and Souls that aren’t going towards Vit or End. I’m a glass cannon in the beginning, is what I’m saying. Which is fine in general because I can spell from afar (I buy the first two magic spells for distance sniping). but that entrance to the Capra Demon is a pain in the ass.

If everything falls my way, I get the dogs right away and then I’m up on the ledge, spelling the Capra Demon until he dies. If it doesn’t, however, then the dogs kill me over and over again or stun me enough so the Capra can kill me over and over again. Because of my fragility, I cannot sustain more than one hit from the Capra (along with a few hits from the dogs) without dying. In other words, I was having a really hard time with the Capra.

What I did was don on heavier armor so I could take a few more hits. Then I was able to dispatch of the dogs, which made the fight easy as cake. I stood on the ledge and spelled the Capra. When he came up the stairs, I hugged the wall so that he would not hit me as he jumped down (known cheese). Then, I continued to spell him until he died.

No joy this time around–only relief. I went back to Firelink and then took a quick trip to the Undead Asylum to get the Rusted Ring which makes walking in, say, swampy areas much easier. No reason I did it now. None at all. (Spoiler: The Depths and Blighttown are up next. Both are areas in which it’s hard to walk.) I did not fight the Black Knights or the Stray Demon. I did not see Oscar, but I stayed away from his hole. I did not sit at a bonfire so I could Homeward Bone it back to Firelink Shrine. And then I went to the Depths.

Here is a bit of lore that has always charmed me. The butchers in the game are all women. I discussed it with Ian and he said, “Oh, is that why the NPC I found said she’ll eat me for dinner? I assumed he meant Quelaag or the Gaping Dragon.” The NPC, by the way, is Laurentius, the Pyromancer. He is best boi in this game and is to be protected at all costs. Well, at least until…never  mind! I said, yes, that’s why he said that. And mentioned Mildred, an NPC who invades you later. She’s in Blighttown and Ian said, “Man-Eater Mildred! Maybe that’s who he meant.” I had forgotten that was her full name and it all suddenly made sense. I told him I had never thought of that, but it was very possible.

And that’s what I love about these games. I have played this game a dozen times and have platted it. I know every area and every enemy of the game, and I can still be surprised with something I hadn’t thought of. Or like I talked about in the last Dark Souls post–discovering that summoning Lautrec for the Bell Gargs means you can’t kill him early.

I’m in the Depths, now, sitting at the bonfire there. I saved Laurentius, of course, and if this was my own game, I’d go back to Firelink Shrine to buy his stuff and upgrade my Pyromancy Flame.  Which would mean a bunch of grinding since it gets really pricey to level up the Pyro Flame. But since I’m trying to keep pace with Ian, I probably won’t grind the rats for humanities. I like to open the door as a Daughter of Chaos so I can skip Lost Izalith, but as Ian is going to be doing the area, I *sigh* suppose I have to do it as well. It’s easily the worst area of the game. Since I play it on PC, Blighttown was never an issue for me the way it was on the consoles. This is not me trying to be PC Master Race, by the way. We had our issues as well. The port was so bad, you could only play it with the infamous DSfix. In looking up DSfix, it appears that FromSoft tried to take down DSfix. That didn’t stick and it became a must-have for those of us playing on the PC. It’s not necessary with the remaster, but maybe From should have hired him to make sure the code was clean. (Still salty about the known error than FromSoft never bothered to fix, by the way.)

Ian has been cruising through the first part of the game with no problems. I have long since posited that he’s a better Souls player than I am, which he is proving to be true. It’s been a joy to watch him crush it and enjoy himself while crushing it. I think one of his biggest assets is that he doesn’t get upset when things get harried. FromSoft is really good at flustering players and if you can ignore that, then the games are much more manageable. What was really nice last nice was that there were several Souls fans in the chat and none of them were backseat gaming or dicks! We had a lovely chat about the FromSoft games, which I appreciated. I love talking about the games, but oftentimes, the discussion devolves into ‘git gud’ and  what makes a true Souls fan. There was none of that, for which I was grateful. No backseat gaming or ‘git gudding’, either. Just a nice chat about FromSoft games and what we love about them.

Which is really what it should all be about. We all love the games and should be eager to talk about them. My main thing is that I want as many people to love the games the way I do. That means being as helpful as possible and making it as easy as possible for them to get into the games. I have no interest in gatekeeping or making them jump through hoops in order to be considered a true fan.

I love getting back into the OG Dark Souls. It’s like coming home again. Granted, it’s my second home as Dark Souls III is and always will be my main home. I’m glad that Ian is enjoying his journey through it so much. I can’t wait to see him take on O&S for the first time.


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