So I cheap-shotted the Taurus Demon.
After grinding for a while, I begin to grow weary of the Undead Burg, so I try to tackle the tough monsters who were holding me back earlier. I gather enough Souls to purchase eighty or so bolts for my light crossbow. The merchant seemed upset when I walked off without closing his menu screen. Stingy guy I guess.
I try to aim the crossbow to no avail, the shots just seem to go off randomly if I don’t lock onto an enemy with a click of the right thumbstick. Eventually I get the hang of the crossbow. And I seem to be getting better at this Parry-Reposè thing. The undead still swarm me occasionally and I die, but the combat is something I’m at least grasping now. So, with much ambition, I head off to fight the big black knight. I shoot him from as far away as possible.
He smashes me.
With some resolve, I try again. I retrieve my Souls from a blood stain where I fell before, but to no avail. The knight kills me again.
Okay. I guess I’ll try that freaky boss thing up there on the bridge. There was a little tower with some undead hanging out on it. Perhaps I can hang out up there and rain down some bolts on him.
I’m standing on the roof now, the Taurus Demon is rushing across the bridge towards me. My hands clench around the controller.
And nothing happens.
The demon just stops next to the tower where I am standing and stares blankly at me. I pull out my crossbow and try to get a good angle on him. After some fidgeting, I manage to lock onto his face while retaining my safe position. Then I hammer down on the right bumper and a bolt sails into the demon’s nose. He shrugs it off. I fire another. Each bolt lands with a thwack and chips off a little bit of his life meter. I grow weary of shooting, and the excitement of the battle dulls into a strange exercise in pity. I sort of feel like a bastard when the demon finally falls to the ground and disintegrates.
I don’t know how many Souls a demon has. Apparently a lot.
I climb into the building that lied past the Taurus Demon, stepping through some musty hallways full of old empty barrels. At the end of a downward staircase, I find a balcony with a strange, vaguely human looking thing on it. I approach cautiously, clicking the thumbstick furiously to make sure that it isn’t hostile. Big burly things usually are deadly in this game. I walk next to the man and talk to him. He tells me some fancy exposition that metaphorically represents the online component of the game.
I’m not playing online. At least he seems to offer me some of his own help, if I can find his obsessively placed sun logos, scattered about.
I turn from the man and march across a large bridge towards a castle. There seems to be an army amassed on the center of the bridge. I hold my shield up high, valiantly blocking their feeble bolts. Then I get roasted.
What the hell was that?
A dragon flies overhead and perches atop the castle. He then makes another swoop and burns me to a crisp.
YOU DIED. Familiar. Like a dream.
I’d hoped to find a bonfire. Ah, well.
I try to make my way back. I die on the way, losing the souls from the boss fight. This game is just merciless. I’m not sure what kind of relationship I’m creating with this thing.
After a few failed attempts to outwit the dragon, I give up and set my sights on the monster in the basement. The mans with the giant club. He smashes me. I try again. His club crushes my feeble spine once more.
I try to slip past him on my next round. I make it outside to a beautiful forest. I see a strange, vaguely Atronach-esque creature in the distance. I glance at my quarter length of health and turn around to run back, when I notice one of the creatures right next to me.
I jump and shriek in terror. I run for my life. Right back into the arms and club of the monster in the basement of that tower.
Might as well give up on those souls.
Eventually, I just make my way back to the shrine, somewhat frustrated. I spend the rest of my session looting the graveyard downhill of the shrine. I fight skeletons. I fight giant skeletons. One of the giant skeletons falls off a cliff clumsily. I laugh.
What a bizarre game. Where will I go next? I’ve gathered 3000 souls, I’m not sure what to spend them on.