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Prepare to Die…A Lot.

May 31, 2014

I’ve come to the point in Dark Souls where I’m actually stuck. I’ve come to a boss that I’m having quite a lot of trouble beating, one I can’t cheat with (like the Capra Demon). I have a summon, to help me out, but other than that, I’m on my own. The boss I’m talking about is the duo of Ornstein & Smough.

Ornstein_smough

Fighting two enemies at once isn’t anything new in this game. Near the beginning you fight the Belfry Gargoyles, and yeah, on your own it’s challenging, but you can summon NPCs to the fight to help you. Actually with the NPC help it’s easy as hell…maybe a little too easy.  Then there’s the Capra Demon. No help for that one… So when I finally arrived in Anor Londo after the extremely irritating Sen’s Fortress, I had a lot of patience for Anor Londo, mainly because let’s face it, it’s fucking beautiful. It really lives up to being the city of the gods.  So while running between giant’s legs and bashing Batwing Demon’s skulls in, I’m taking in the scenery.

After a lot of work getting through the area, I finally got the fog gate. All the enemies in the room were clear so I thought, “eh, what the hell. If I die, I die. I unlocked the shortcut, it’s not like I can’t get back here easily.”

I entered the boss room.

(Spoilers from here onwards!)

Now let me describe something to you. These two bosses are often described as “Pikachu & Snorlax”–which is oddly fitting. Ornstein the Dragonslayer is a fucking fast little guy who can spitroast you with an electric spear, and Smough the Executioner in huge, wielding a gigantic hammer, and loves to sit on you. So 99% of the time when you enter the boss room, Ornstein’s flying straight for you, Smough will make his way there…eventually. Which is why it’s smart to get rid of Ornstein first–he’s a fucking annoying asshole who will completely destroy you. The only time Smough is ever a threat, is if you get caught between them or cornered–then his hammer comes crashing down usually right after a spear attack from our dear Ornstein.

Needless to say, I got my ass handed to be, mainly by being gutted by Ornstein’s spear. After a few tries and a few more deaths I realized how locking onto the enemies weren’t as helpful as I thought it was–I wanted to keep Ornstein in my sights at all times (he’ll charge you when you’re not careful, and if you get knocked down by him Smough’s not far behind, ready to squish you with his hammer), but the camera lock on would often switch to Smough–the guy I don’t really have to worry about. That left Ornstein a change to come from the side and strike then. I ended up backstepping the entire room, waiting for Ornstein to charge me, then I’d hit in retaliation.

Eventually, I realized as I ran out of Estus, this strategy wasn’t doing much for me at all.

I summoned Knight Solaire to help me out a few times–usually he and Ornstein would duke it out–usually Solaire wouldn’t fair very well–but it wasn’t my preferred tactic–I wanted Solaire to fight and distract Smough for me so I could take down the fucking lancer once and for all.

I eventually caught Ornstein’s attention, and Solaire and I switched places. We tangoed–and finally, finally Ornstein fell my Furysword.

“OMG,” I whispered with bated breath.

Then Smough promptly smashed the fuck out of Ornstein, absorbed his lightning power, and began part two (with full health again).

COME ON, ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?!

COME ON, ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME?!

I thought it would be slightly easier, fighting one enemy. NOOOOPE! Solaire fucking died immediately. I was eletricfied by Smough’s ass cheeks not a few seconds later.

By then I had run out of Humanity (which is kinda needed to summon help). Sure at this time I tried the fight on my own–but I was promptly smashed as soon as I started so I went back and farmed humanity from dead rats for like 2 fucking hours (it was actually longer than that–and I only got 3. Fuck my life.)

I ran all the way back to Anor Londo. Prepared myself, summoned Solaire…

We took down Ornstein. It was just Solaire and I vs Smough.

Now that I knew Smough had the electric ass attack, I knew how to avoid it. I’d aggressively backstep, roll or just run away every time he was chargin’ his lazor. Solaire, bless his soul–wasn’t as lucky, he fell shortly after I chipped down 1/4th of Smough’s health. Not bad.

I’m not going to say the rest went smoothly–far from it. I’d only manage to get one or two hits in before I had to move away–and even then I’d get hit from time to time. I was running low on Estus–I resorted to hiding behind the broken pillars.

That was the greatest decision I ever made.

No longer could fat man charge at me. No longer could he hit me. Hell, I’d even be safe from the lighting ass attack–provided I just moved around the opposite way he was dancing around the pillar.

When he’d do his heavy hammer swing attack–that was my opening. I’d move him, hit 2-3 times and move back.

I ran out of Estus. He was down to 20% health.

This was it.

Either I was gonna fuck it up, die, and rage quit for the night.

Or I’d finally fucking beat these assholes after about 20+ deaths and a week and a half’s worth of grinding.

With one final shout of rage, I dove forth, Furysword crashing down on Smough’s left knee.

He shook. He trembled.

He fell into a million shimmering pieces. “YOU DEFEATED” popped on my screen.

I just stood there. I didn’t even breath.

…Did I just…did I just kill them?

“YESSSSS!!” I screamed, throwing the controller out of my hand and dancing around the couch. “I DID IT!!”

And that’s why I realized I kept playing Dark Souls.

Because no matter how shitty things look, and no matter how hard it is and how many times you die (because you will…a lot), when you finally get a taste of victory…that makes it all worth it.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

Image Credits: Dark Souls Wikia, MagiteKarmor

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