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Demon's Souls
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Pokey
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February 3, 2012 - 7:11 pm
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SB, you can kill either one. I had Vinland nearly dead and then he completely healed himself, so I just used the bow on the Maiden. When you kill her, Vinland dies as well.

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geggis
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February 4, 2012 - 9:10 am
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I killed Vinland in hand to hand combat and on seeing Astraea just decided to keep my distance and out damage her with the butt load of arrows I had left after the blue dragon! I figured her having a health bar was indication enough that she wasn't worth investigating! When I read that she kills herself after defeating Vinland I felt a little sad. The fact remained though: I wasn't going in that plague swamp with those babies to get near her!

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xtal
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February 9, 2012 - 4:49 pm
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z o m g I made progress for once. All it really took was a bit of concentration, patience, some more patience, and good timing. I booted DS up today thinking I would die a lot. I have swept my way through the other side of the Boletarian Palace, rescued Ostrava, now am equipped with lovely Cling ring and Thief's ring, and I've opened the second shortcut that should make life easier if I want to revisit those dragons. Not one death!

I am standing out front of the main gate's fog gate ... and debating if I'm ready to go in and battle the first boss or if I should go back to the Nexus to get some items. I know I apparently can't upgrade my soul level until this is over with, so I can't do that ... I've been trying to find out if I'll keep my souls by heading back to the Nexus before finishing off this Phalanx fellow. I think I should just go in and humiliate myself... what could possibly go wrong?

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Pokey
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February 9, 2012 - 5:30 pm
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If you got this far without dying, you should do fine. Just take your time, pick off the stragglers and watch your health. Firebombs and fire added to weapons help but are not needed. I just got through this part on NG+ without dying although the blobs were stronger.

You will keep your souls when you go back to the Nexus, so if you need more supplies, do that.

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xtal
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February 9, 2012 - 5:33 pm
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Phalanx defeated, first attempt. It feels odd to have a corporeal form again.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Pokey
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February 9, 2012 - 5:37 pm
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Success! Doesn't it feel good? A bigger world has opened up and you can upgrade. It should be easier now though I was always nervous in body form.

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Steerpike
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February 9, 2012 - 5:42 pm
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Well done xtal! I admit, the night I got Demon's Souls and was playing it for the first time, I seriously considered the possibility that I'd never make it past the Phalanx. I'm glad I did.

I too was always nervous in body form, so much so that I usually avoided it. The Cling Ring is immensely helpful in this regard.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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February 9, 2012 - 7:20 pm
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Well never fear, ten minutes in Stonefang Tunnel and some fat man launched a fireball into my face. I am once again in soul form. I'm hoping this area isn't solely comprised of these zombie-like workers who give me a measly 3 souls! Or do I receive fewer souls because I have raised my soul level? I think I leveled up from about 9 to 16 when I got back to the Nexus.

Is this world a good place to be? Obviously the game doesn't tell you anything. I've read that other places I didn't go in the Boletarian Palace (past the red eye knight) only open up later in the game, so figured I should try another world rather than progress in that one.

Also: dogs = fuckers.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Pokey
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February 9, 2012 - 8:38 pm
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I thought Stonefang Tunnel was easier than the others. There are a lot of stones to use for upgrading. Continuing on in Boletaria Palace is another option. There are some weapons to be had in that area that will be very handy.

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geggis
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February 10, 2012 - 6:41 am
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As a thief/assassin (with a Cling Ring on), being in soul form is great because you don't make any noise thus you're harder to detect. It certainly is an odd feeling to be physical again after so long soul forming it up.

The difficulty of the worlds sort of go in a clockwise direction from Boletaria Palace but certain worlds are better for different things: Boletaria Palace is great for grass and lotus flower drops; Stonefang for ore and stones for upgrading your equipment; Latria for being dark and creepy; Shrine of Storms for soul farming and intimidating enemies, and The Valley of Defilement for getting disoriented, slowed down, poisoned, plague-ridden and dying.

On that note I'd say Stonefang is a sensible place to visit next for its difficulty and helpfulness in getting your equipment up to scratch!

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Steerpike
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February 10, 2012 - 10:02 am
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Yup, I'm with Gregg, Stonefang is not a bad choice. It's actually where I went right after Boletaria (and that same fat man killed me, xtal! We're like brothers!). I didn't stay long, though. Instead I returned to Boletaria, then went to the Shrine of Storms. That place is HARD if you're low-level, but you get 1,000 souls for sneezing.

 

I am reaching the end of Dark Souls and finding myself very morose. It's like... I made it all this way, but I never expected to make it to the end.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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February 10, 2012 - 11:47 am
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Thanks everyone for the tips. I am a thief, by the way, I guess like you, Gregg. Maybe I will bounce between Stonefang and Boletarian Palace for a while; the latter did seem to offer me a lot of grass, which is very important. Stonefang has given me chunks of rock and ore, which I guess will sharpen my poking stick. I also found some battleaxe that I'll never use as a thief. Man I wish I could sell stuff ... but these vendors are smart. Why give up precious souls for a useless weapon?

This weekend I leave the city to visit friends and family, and so a short reprieve from torment!

Demon's Souls is very much an anti-RPG. It demands that you unlearn what you know, beckoning you into its hideous tendrils. I think someone mentioned the following several pages ago, and I agree completely: if Demon's Souls reminds me of any other game before it, it's surprisingly Diablo, and to a lesser extent its sequel. It invites you to stay by its safe fire-- whether it's the Nexus or Tristram-- and soak up what little companionship there is to be had there, but eventually you succumb to the realization that your goal lies elsewhere: down, down, yet further down, into the depths of darkness.

hatchet

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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February 10, 2012 - 11:58 am
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"It demands that you unlearn what you know"

True dat. I think part of the intention of its design - forcing the player through the first section of Boletaria before opening up the game - is a second tutorial of sorts. In the first you learn the controls; in the second you learn that most of what you know about playing games isn't going to help you here.

xtal, while you're in Stonefang, there's a fellow you need to meet if you haven't already. Go sort of left instead of across the rock-throwing bridge and you'll come to a cave or a hut (I'm doing this from memory, bear with) that has an elevator inside. It's a bit treacherous until you get used to it, but ride down to the bottom and you'll meet another blacksmith who does upgrades and has a better inventory than the fellow in the Nexus. You'll spend a lot of time with this guy.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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February 10, 2012 - 12:33 pm
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Blacksmith Ed? Yeah I've heard of him. I checked out the elevator (behind "Filthy Man" ... LOL, poor guy) but I think I need to do something elsewhere to get it working.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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xtal
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February 13, 2012 - 2:32 pm
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Confidence +1

 

So instead of attempting progress through Stonefang with my thief, I thought I'd make a new character and see how different a clean run of 1-1 plays when you've memorized the entire place. The answer: easily. I chose a temple knight which I was having difficulty with at first, mostly because I was used to quick strikes and backstabs as a thief, and I had to change my attack patterns with the halberd; it's very slow. However, two-handing the halberd changed everything: instead of a slow one-handed sweep you pretty much insta-rape anything with a forward jab. What were previously 2 minute long battles with Blue Eyed Knights where they would consume 3 or 4 grasses before I finally finished them off now became 3 swipes and they're dead, not even a hit on me. I breezed through the entire first stage up to Phalanx's doorstep, not one death, barely even a scratch.

Again, rather than take on this last demon I created another new character to learn more playing styles. I went with Royalty because I thought starting at soul level 1 would be interesting, and I quite liked the idea of having a MP-regen ring from the get go. Soul Arrow feels like cheating. I demolished 1-1 once again and took down Phalanx in maybe 5 minutes. I did have two deaths along the way, but only because I was curious as to just how power this spell was. I brought the formidable Red Eyed Knight to half health before he stabbed my face off. It was worth the learning experience though.

For now I'm sticking to my Royalty character; I've just met blacksmith Ed, opened the first shortcut for Stonefang Tunnel and am feeling good about things. I was invaded-- and torn to pieces-- by my first black phantom but I didn't let that discourage me. It's just another learning experience. Just when I was feeling almost overconfident, seeing that red warning pop up got my heart beating quickly and added an unexpected level of fear.

Question for experts: is it worth it to keep upgrading regular weapons and shields? I've got a rapier+3 and buckler+5 now. I figured I had the stone, so why not use it. I have no idea if unique weapons appear that make regular ones irrelevant. The soul cost isn't too steep either.

I am officially addicted to Demon's Souls.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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February 13, 2012 - 4:37 pm
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*snif* xtal is one of us! One of us!

To your regular weapon vs. unique weapon question: I don't recall there being a lot of really unique weapons in the game that you don't make yourself. Hang on to your boss demon souls and Blacksmith Ed can often use them on your existing stuff to make it all the better. The Red Hot Demon's Soul, in particular, is really important for some reason, but I can't remember what that reason is.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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February 13, 2012 - 4:57 pm
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Yes, I am only consuming the souls of fallen heroes and soldiers; I'm saving the demon souls assuming that they have some more important use. I looked on the wiki and the Red Hot Demon Soul apparently allows Ed to use other demon souls to upgrade your weapons, so yes that does sound important.

Much obliged for the tips.

 

p.s. just took down my first Red Eyed Knight! (I'm at soul level 20)

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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geggis
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February 13, 2012 - 6:41 pm
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Sounds like you've explored more playstyles than me already xtal! I got stuck in and never tried any other class but now I've finished it I've little desire to play any of it again, not for a long time at least!

My only advice with regards to upgrading your equipment is to keep an eye on what ore does what because certain materials increase certain weapon multipliers, so for my character -- who was a dexterity based build -- Bladestone was the best ore for me. It increased the dex multiplier for weapons so my 'sharp' secret dagger was boosted considerably by my high dexterity. Have a look on the wiki to see what each ore does and which would be most beneficial to you. Also, beware: Chunks and Pure stones are rare so use them wisely!

And one more thing, most weapons require leveling up somewhat before their 'specialist' upgrades are possible so my secret dagger needed to be a secret dagger +3 or something before I could take the Bladestone/sharp route.

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xtal
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February 14, 2012 - 9:01 pm
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Am I considered a hoarder if I'm doing the following:

Waiting at the bottom of the steps to some church-looking place (perhaps it's a church) in 3-1 because my Fragrant ring is slowly regenerating my MP, which I will need to destroy the black-red glow-y crossbow woman that just murdered me. Sure, I could use fresh spice, but I might need it some day!

I had to this point made it through the first section of Latria without dying. I freed Sage Freke, met some creepy singing woman and spoke with some really annoying dead guy begging to be freed, banging his damn cup on his cell bars. Haven't found a key to free him yet. Though by the time I do I may drive a blade into his gut.

As I look up the path to my bloodstain, I realize I died perilously close to where she appeared out of nowhere. Still, it would only be about 6,000 souls lost (Latria part 1 is quite empty), but I want every one I can get, dammit.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Pokey
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February 14, 2012 - 9:15 pm
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I play pretty much the same way. I save my spices to use in a battle. I also have the crescent falcion, so it replenishes a bit faster. There are other areas where you will need the spices more. I found that the bloodstain is usually placed a bit away from where you died, so that you can get to it. I will usually jump backward when she appears, so if I die, I can get to the stain more easily. She was not that hard using soul arrow.

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