I talked about spoilers yesterday and today I want to talk about something similar–looking things up in a wiki. I tried to play the first Dark Souls by myself, but gave in roughly halfway into playing it, probably to find out where I needed to go next. The turning point was, as it often is, Ornstein and Smough. I could not beat them no matter how hard I tried.
So I looked up what I should do and followed the guidelines, such as making sure my weapon was upgraded as high as it could go. I was using the Furysword, so that took special upgrade material. I looked at what they were weak to and what tactics I should employ. I also found out that you could get the Rite of Kindling by beating Pinwheel in the Catacomb, which would give me 20 heals. So I left Anor Londo, went back to Firelink Shrine (all the way, painfully, down through Sen’s Fortress), and I made my way to Pinwheel.
It was painful getting to him. But Pinwheel himself is a cakewalk with buffed up Pyro. I made my way back to Anor Londo and kindled Solaire’s bonfire to 20 Estus Flasks. That helped a great deal in the fight, and I would never have figured it out on my own.
When I hit the DLC, I started using the wikis for everything because it was so fucking hard. Well, the Sanctuary Guardian wasn’t that hard, but everything after it was. The enemies smacked me like a Mack Truck, and every new area was grueling. The bosses were over-the-top hard, and I nearly lost my mind in Oolacile.
I start every game with the intention of not reading wikis, but something pushes me to it. In the third Dark Souls game, it was when I cured the Dark Sigil by having the Firekeeper take it from me. It was a new mechanic, so I had to try it, right? Well, that made Yuria mad at me and she disappeared from my playthrough forever. As I was doing a dark magic run, I was furious. I thought she was the vendor for dark magic, which, turned out not to be the case. She doesn’t sell anything fundamental and is only needed for one certain ending (my favorite ending).
Still. I was furious and I contemplated starting over. I didn’t want to do that, though, so I unhappily accepted my fate and went on with the game. It really soured my experience, even though I knew it was part of the FromSoft brand. Byzantine NPC questlines that can be easily fucked up, I mean. Of course, I bounced back and finished the playthrough (and dozens more), but it taught me that you can’t have a pure playthrough and do all the questlines at the same time.