BRRRT! BRRRT! Activate panic-stations! For in this part, we head into parts unknown. Space where no Naithin has gone before. Everything up until now I’ve done in the past, with the possible exception of the Taurus demon.

And while I’m pretty happy these days to pick-up and play a Souls-like without the aid of a walkthrough, let me tell you, there is nothing quite like recording it for all the world to see to shake that sensation free. Normally, screwing up and dying while learning is no big deal. Perhaps a moment of frustration at yourself if it’s a silly death1 but nothing more.

Let’s just say I now have an even greater appreciation for streamers who can pick-up a new game and then appear very competent with it!

Entering the Undead Parish

Last time around, I had just sent the Taurus Demon on its second fall from grace. Really put it down in its place. Gave him a fall even Chumbawamba wouldn’t believe he could get up again from.

So it was time to move on. From the relative safety of the somewhat known and into the depths of the unknown. Or so I thought. It turns out there was one more piece my memory was holding onto, if not from an earlier playthrough of my own, then some video or another I may have watched long, long ago.

That being the memory of the Red Dragon bridge.

Or at least, I was pretty sure this was the Red Dragon bridge. The remaining uncertainty was blasted out of me fairly quickly though after a brief flapping of wings and a gust of fire singed my behind.

The rest of the crossing — to the midway point — went uneventfully at least. And I found the stairs to descend and how to cross the remainder of the bridge without being turned into roast jerky.

Most importantly (sadly), I kicked down the ladder to the Undead Burg bonfire so that if when I died, I could climb back to this point without having to run through the gauntlet leading to the Taurus Demon fight first.

A few messages left on the ground point to the fact I could snipe the dragon from here but I decide to leave that particular beast to lie for the moment. The rats hiding down here are more my speed.

For now.

Soon enough, I emerge from the dark below back into the sun. Now positioned somewhere behind the dragon. There is a rather sturdy-looking iron gate separating us too. Good, good.

Less good is the armored… thing… up ahead.

Initially I mistake it for a wolf- turns out, it’s a giant armored boar.

It looks to be between me and where I want to go, which I don’t overly appreciate. I even spin the camera around for a second opinion on this but nope- really does look like I have to go that way.

Although there is the slight reprieve in that it doesn’t appear to immediately aggro when I step into the area. And an even bigger one when I notice stairs to the right I can head up.

Although this side path turns out to offer only a temporary reprieve. I’m still going to have to deal with it. Much to my horror, I discover its armor is pretty good. I do about as much damage to it as I do hitting a raised shield. i.e. not very much at all. A note above suggested it is weak to fire but given I have no such weapons or even any kind of resin to apply for a temporary fire effect this seems like wasted advice.

The more observant among you might have at this point connected the dots to the fact there are two bonfires raging in that screenshot I provided. I actually did too. But after a bit of benny-hilling the boar around the place and taking a bit more damage than I was comfortable with, I reached a conclusion. A conclusion that the boar wasn’t going to just obligingly charge into the flames for me. *sigh*

It is only quite by mistake, a little later, after emerging from another side passage that I managed to get the Boar to roast himself half to death on a fire and realise it was actually quite possible after all. The boar wasn’t as smart as I thought. Dumb boar.

Er- Nope. Sorry. Didn’t mean to annoy you. Bye!

Although to be fair, the boar isn’t the only one not showing the brightest of sparks in this exchange.

Before it half roasts itself, I forget both where the locked door I found earlier was (turns out, it was WAY, WAY earlier than I thought) AND that I’d already determined a Black Knight lived at the top of a particular stairwell. I actually aggroed the Black Knight this time but was extremely lucky in that it opted not to follow me.

Eventually though, I put the pieces together and the boar goes down. Oh- and I also find the ladder in one of the ‘side’ areas that I thought I’d already completely explored. You know- the ladder that will actually let me keep moving forward.

Up that latter, though, is one of the difficulty jumps of the game.

Not a big one, but it’s a new enemy type. Proper knights. Not the super scary Black Knights thankfully, but a step up from the soldiers I’d been mostly fighting recently.

Funny I should say that though as it actually wasn’t the knights that killed me. Nope. Was a soldier. Twice. While fighting the first one that killed me it had even occurred to me to just back-up, go to the bonfire, rest and level.

If only I had listened to that voice.

Instead I lost myself a fair chunk of souls (for this part of the game) by getting myself poisoned by rats and then had the second mentioned death on a soldier not even halfway back to where I died.

Not to worry though, eventually — I did run into a bit of overtime on this video — I made it through far enough to the other side of the gate previously blocking me where I could pull the lever and open yet another shortcut for next time.

And with that shortcut opened, I call an end to this part. Hopefully in the next I’ll reach another bonfire and get another level or two!

Footnotes

  1. A couple in this part are, hah.