THE DIARY OF THE MASOCHISTIC MONK [DARK SOULS TOO BAREHANDED CHALLENGE]

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Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
Overview:
For those that don't know (if my love for the Souls series hasn't tipped you off), I have a bit of a masochistic streak when it comes to fun games. If I play a game I enjoy, I want to play through it again under some sort of challenge, such as Resident Evil 4 without the merchant, or a Tales game without using any items. Completing said challenges scratches a very... particular itch that I can't properly explain. I certainly do not recommend this hobby to anyone with at least some sanity left in their heads. However, I have no sanity to speak of, and so I willingly put myself through this kind of pain and misery.

Today, I've decided to document my suffering for your personal entertainment (and to get in some writing practice). I will be playing Dark Souls 2 with a twist: I will use only my unarmed attack. No weapons, no magic, and no attack items. Just my bare fists (and some rings). I wanted to use the joke weapon, the handmaid's ladle, but the damage output was so low that it became literally impossible to hurt even the first boss.

What you will find:
- Lots of personal suffering.
- A very snarky and grumpy Nova.
- Lots of ragging on the bosses I fight, include playground bully-level taunting of their boss designs and backstories.
- A myriad of questions regarding my life decisions.

What you will NOT find:
- Pro skills.
- l337 skillz.
- MLG skills.
- Skills.


A few things to note about this playthrough:

  • 1: This is the PS3 version. I already bought all the DLC and stuff, so I didn't want to upgrade to the PS4 version just for new enemy placements that I won't be documenting anyway. Plus, I don't have PS+ and can't play online like I can in the PS3 version. You better believe me getting invaded is going to get documented.
  • 2: Bosses only: I would like to have this playthrough done before I die of old age, so I won't document my route to each boss. The rules of this challenge only apply to the bosses, so I will be arming myself with weapons to make gathering Souls and progressing that much easier. I make no promises about beating ALL the bosses in the game, but I'll certainly do the ones I find interesting.
  • 3: I have done NO prep work on this: I haven't looked at the Stat Builder app on the wiki to plan out my build for the maximum damage output. I haven't practiced against the bosses in question. I have no idea if this is even POSSIBLE to complete! In other words: I have no idea what I'm doing.
  • 4: No phantoms: I'm doing this on my own. No help from NPCs!
  • 5: This is a fresh new game: While DS2 makes lots of fun additions for each game cycle, I simply don't have the time to play through the entire thing multiple times to get the max level of NG+10. This is going to be a fresh new game

The Subject:


Name: Masomonk
Class: Deprived (no starting equipment and the lowest possible starting level)
Starting Gift: Petrified Something (to give to the crows and maybe get something fun out of it) For all the good it did me. I got an item I can never use.

Soul Level: 67
Vigor: 25
Endurance: 19
Vitality: 6
Attunement: 6
Strength: 37
Dexterity: 9
Adaptability: 6
Intelligence: 6
Faith: 6


Comments about this challenge, my sanity, or just to laugh at me would be greatly welcome, if for no other reason than to show me that SOMEONE out there is excited to see me suffer.

DISCLAIMER: I've never done a Let's Play before, never mind a written one, so I apologize in advance if there is any aspect you find lacking. If there is anything in particular you want me to focus on in my write-ups, I'm all ears!

Past Tortures:

- Boss 1: The Last Giant
- Boss 2: The Pursuer
- Boss 3: DragonRider
- Boss 4: Ruin Sentinels
- Boss 5: The Lost Sinner
- Boss 6: Mytha, the Baneful Queen
- Boss 7: Old Iron King
- Boss 8: The Rotten
- Boss 9: Scorpioness Najka
- Boss 10: The Duke's Dear Freja
Mirak
Stand back. Artist at work. I paint with enthusiasm if not with talent.
8231
Oh come on you're supposed to start your thread when you have the first video. :C
I was getting ready to see this but then the page stopped scrolling because i had reached the bottom of the page and no video was to be found!
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
Haha, sorry, but this is gonna be a written LP. I don't have any recording capability for my PS3, so I can't make a video about my progress.

I hope I can write to a satisfactory level that a video won't be needed!
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
BOSS 1: THE LAST GIANT

A.K.A. Drangleic's Special Snowflake
HP: 2,530 (According to Fextralife Wiki)

I was doing 15 damage per hit with doublehanded fists. Just to put this into perspective for you, the dagger found in the tutorial level does about 45 damage per hit, and the Foot Soldier's Sword, dropped from a basic Hollow Soldier in the first area, does about 96 damage per hit. At least with my current setup.

It was a good decision to do this. Or so I tell myself.


Masomonk's stats at the start of the fight. He looks rarin to go, don't you think?

My first glimpse of the Last Giant when walking into its lair was the sight of it collapsed on the ground, his limbs either buried underneath rubble or chained down like a prisoner. At this point in his journey, Masomonk had no idea what meaning this scene carries. Why was the Giant entombed here? What kind of creature was it originally? Is it hostile or friendly? Of course, I, the player, have proper context to the appearance of this Giant, but at the time, I was so curious.

But Masomonk isn't. He is dead set on testing his true might without the aid of silly weaponry, and the Last Giant is nothing more than his first target.

As the Giant stirred, Masomonk knew he would find an answer to at least one of these questions. Raising its head and catching a glimpse of the human that had invaded its domain, the Giant roared and began viciously struggling against its bindings. After some effort, it squeezed out from underneath the rubble, and with a mighty yank, broke free of the chains binding its feet. Wasting no time with its newfound freedom, it charged at Masomonk with reckless abandon, and the battle began.

To Battle!

Due to the Giant's size, I could only keep its legs in constant view. This meant that, while I could easily dodge the stomps, it often caught me off guard with a random hand strike. These hand strikes clocked poor little Masomonk in the face and sent him flying across the battlefield enough times to burn through both Estus Flasks and three of his five Lifegems before even inflicting 1/4 damage to the boss.

For the uninitiated, an Estus Flask is an item that restores a chunk of health, and a Lifegem restores a comparatively larger amount of health over a longer period of time. Estus Flasks are restored every time you die and respawn (or rest at a Bonfire), but Lifegems are permanently consumed upon each use.

The Estus Flasks were an acceptable loss, but I didn't intend on using the Lifegems on the first fight! I only had 5 Lifegems, and I wanted to save them when I was done testing the waters! Well, no time to second guess myself! Now that I burned through the Lifegems, I had NO CHOICE but to bring this jerk down!

Needless to say, I didn't. I got so nervous after the realization that I just burned through half my Lifegems and the boss wasn't even halfway dead that I started getting jittery, which is an emotion Souls games feed off of. I simply couldn't get a handle on the timing of this monster, and the Giant's back hand decked poor Masomonk's face so many times I'd swear there was a permanent imprint left. After 5:40 minutes of being the Giant's plaything, I eventually ran out of Lifegems completely and the last of my health was drained away.

Annoyed, but confident about the bosses attack patterns now, I felt okay with having no Lifegems and challenged the boss a second time. I'll give you three guesses as to whether or not I was successful. I got smacked around and stomped to death after a mere 1:30 minutes into the fight.

Attempt 1: 5:40 minutes. Attempt 2: 1:30 minutes. Yep. That's apparently what I felt was progress. The third attempt didn't fare much better, unfortunately. Like the second attempt, it only took about 1:30 minutes before french kissing the back of the Giant's hand to death. Attempt number four, after carefully analyzing my patterns and the moveset, led to my death after only 2:40 minutes.

Attempt number 5 fared far better! I somehow managed to bait out easily dodged attack and dropped its health down to 1/4 of his max! I knew I could do it! However, the bastard must've flicked on a friggin lag switch or something, because one of its stomp attacks which CLEARLY DIDN'T HIT ME managed to kill me. I thought Phantom Range was a phenomenon that only occurred when facing laggy players? Asswipe!

Do you notice a pattern here? Out of all the fights I had, the first one was one of the closest I had ever gotten to winning, and subsequent fights turned out not nearly as lucky. I have died four times now and the most damage I inflicted on the Last Giant at once hasn't gotten its health down even halfway. And considering MY health was dropping at a constant rate, I knew a change of plans necessary.


"I'm having a good time. I swear."

Oh, did I forget to mention the penalty for death? In the Souls universe, dying sets your character down the process of Hollowing, meaning that the character's mind and will begins to crumble until they lose their sense of purpose, devolving into a zombie-like state. In Dark Souls 2, this process is represented via gameplay by reducing your maximum health by about 5-10% per death, up to a maximum of 50%. So getting impatient and dying over careless errors meant that your pool of available health would get smaller and smaller! And it was happening to me. I was Hollowing out. Something had to be done.

And that something... was nothing!

Break Time!

I put down the controller, left my seat, and poured a glass of water. There, I cleared my head of frustration and allowed myself a moment of relaxation. After a brief moment of zen, I had to ask myself, "What was I doing wrong? What can I possibly do to give myself a better edge?"

Then it occurred to me: I had forgotten to grab a couple of very important rings in the level!

After a few more deaths which don't count since they're not from the boss, I managed to scour the level and collect these two rings: The Life Ring, which boosts my max HP by about 40 (the rough equivalent to an extra point in Vigor), and the Chloranthy Ring, which boosts the speed of my Stamina regeneration. I'm a little angry at myself that I forgot about them in the first place, since I was sure I wouldn't need them for the first boss at least, but whateevr. Live and learn. Emphasis on live. The next step in preparation was to pay a visit to the Merchant. Thanks to my exploration, I had collected a fair amount of Souls I could use to purchase 10 Lifegems. These ought to give me the edge I needed.

Before returning to the battle, however, there was one last step I needed to take: Returning to the garden of zen in my mind, I used one of my Human Effigies to reverse my Hollowing.

To reverse Hollowing can be interpreted many ways. My interpretation is to reaffirm my purpose in this game. To give up would mean I would lose my purpose, and turn into a Hollow. This was the first step in my journey, and I can't allow myself to Hollow out any more! The Effigy reminded me of my purpose, my reason for continuing on. I felt energy flooding my limbs. My health bar regained its former length, reinforced further thanks to the power of the Life Ring.

It was time to challenge the Last Giant again!

Back to the Fray!

Exhilarated, I made my way back to the boss for the next round. Lo and behold: the new Rings, complimented by my calmer self, saw an 8:40 minutes fight that got the Giant down to about 1/8 health! Still not quite there, but hey! This was, by far, the best fight so far!

Once the boss got to half health, it changed his tactics. To resume it normal battle stance back in its prime, it needed a weapon. Finding none fit for its size, it reached over to its non-dominant arm and tore it right off! Now, with a "longsword" in his hand, it recalled its moments of glory before settling down in this final resting place. The damage inflicted by its new "weapon" was much higher than before. However, the beast was not the only one that got stronger! MUAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, but can you imagine the rage I felt when the boss, who tore its freaking hand off, managed to clock me and win? I was angry, but I was excited. I finally did it! I found the wining formula. Now all I needed to do was bring it home.

Reminding myself to not get overzealous, I steeled myself for the next battle. I ran up to the Fog gate, started going through...

... Then was caught by some jackass Hollow hiding behind the corner. Thanks to DS2's lack of invincibility when traversing gateways, the Hollow stabbed me right in the pooper, knocking me out of my animation. I didn't have any weapons equipped, so I was caught completely off guard! The Hollowed Butt Plug, as I've come to call it, caught me with a 3 hit combo attack, then killing me with a finisher before I got my bearings.

Screw zen. Screw calm. The rage of a thousand suns burned in my belly as I breathed my last. I will have REVENGE!!

... It wasn't satisfying. It was just a common Hollow Soldier. It wasn't hard to fight once I fought it with a weapon. Bleh.

So I fought the Last Giant one more time. By then, I was in the zone. I dodged with perfect timing, I learned to count the exact number of attacks I could afford while leaving enough Stamina to roll away from counters, and my brain was locked in to the fight to the exclusion of all else. There could have been a bomb that went off behind me and I still wouldn't have noticed.

And it happened. After a grueling, 8:40 minute fight, The Last Giant, once a proud leader of an army of Giants, was felled by a single, unarmed, naked man.


Came out of the fight smelling like roses!

Rubbing Salt in the Wound:

Now that I've beaten this little turd stain, I'd like to take the opportunity to kick it while it's down. You might be interested to know that his title of "The Last Giant" is a complete and total LIE!! There is an area later in the game, called the Black Gulch, that houses a secret zone. This zone is home to not one, but TWO other Giants just as happy to see me as this punk was. So if this thing had just decided to get out and make some friends, then maybe, just MAYBE, it would have been a much happier Giant.

But NOOOOO. It was willing to sulk in its room, deluding itself into thinking that it was the only Giant left in the entire world, and wallow in its own angsty moodiness without any regard for reality. The Last Giant really is nothing more than a special snowflake, thinking it's somehow special and that no one in the world understands it. Pfft.

Well, I was happy to put it out of its misery. And thanks to the massive Souls from both its drop and the Giant Soul item I can cash in for even more Souls, I'll be all the stronger for it. No one likes an emo, Last Giant. In the words of Smash Bros' Ike, "You'll get no sympathy from me."

The Conclusion:

Being the first intended boss of the game, I was not expecting to have as much trouble as I did. Granted, I haven't touched any Souls game in a few months, and Dark Souls 2 in around a year, so some growing pains was expected. Just not as much as I ended up having. However, I'm broken in and committed to doing as much as I possibly can. So I'm in this for the long haul!

I hope this was an entertaining read! Please let me know if there's anything I can do to make this better for you!

Death Count::
- The Last Pimp Hand (backhand attacks): 3
- Goomba Stomp (stomp attack): 2
- Mr. HandyGiant (attacks with its own torn off arm): 2
- Whiny Tantrum (multiple stomps): 1
- Phantom Foot (death by shockwave from a foot stomp): 1
- The Hollowed Butt Plug (I hate this guy): 1

TOTAL DEATHS (this boss): 10
TOTAL DEATHS (all time): 10
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5363
Did you actually take photos of the TV screen?

That is causing me to feel every ounce of your pain. Maybe even more. You have truly imparted suffering on your readers.
I love this. Keep going, Masomonk!
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
Thanks! I hope to have the next part up in the next day or two.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
BOSS 2: THE PURSUER



A.K.A. Devil May Sigh

HP: 3,110 (According to Fextralife Wiki)


I was doing 18 damage per doublehanded hit. For perspective, my Fire Longsword was doing about 95 damage per hit. I'd like to point out that this was AFTER leveling the crap out of my Strength. I shudder to think how little damage I'd have done if I hadn't...

To Battle!
Dark Souls 2 had an interesting idea that, in my opinion, wasn't fully realized: Certain bosses in the game can actually ambush you in the middle of a level and you must fight them before you're fully prepared. The Pursuer is one such boss, riding in on an eagle if you wander into a rather large and open arena. Being the stone cold badass that I am, I decided to make this arena my battleground instead of the proper arena. Being the stone cold badass that I am, I snapped a quick picture of myself in the area.


Yes, I gave Masomonk pants. I had to afford the poor guy SOME dignity, right? You can let me do that for him, right? RIGHT?

Being the stone cold badass that I am, that time where I took the picture meant that I wasn't holding the controller and couldn't move Masomonk. And being the stone cold badass that I am, I frantically threw aside my phone and fumbled with and dropped the controller, causing Masomonk to jump right into the Pursuer's most telegraphed and easily dodgeable attack: the Curse Stab.

I'm not sure what made the louder impact: the controller against the floor or my palm against my face.

To add insult to injury, the Curse Stab has a fun little extra effect: As its name implies, the Curse Stab puts a Curse on my character. In Dark Souls 2, a Curse is equivalent to one level of Hollowing. So basically, Masomonk's big beefy body just got turned to beef jerky, and my max HP was dropped one level. In addition to taking serious damage.

Oh, it gets better. Being hit by the Curse Stab actually POWERS UP THE PURSUER! As Masomonk was picking himself up off the ground, I saw the Pursuer begin smouldering with dark energy, and his eyes radiating an evil aura. I can't imagine many competent Dark Souls players ever see this form. I can no longer consider myself a competent player.

Powered up, the Pursuer now has access to certain moves that I have NEVER SEEN before in all my hours playing and have no idea how to dodge. Needless to say, I was made short work of. So now, my HP has dropped TWO levels from max instead of one. Why don't I just hand the Pursuer my lunch money while we're at it?

Since the Pursuer will never appear in that area again, all encounters from then on have to happen in the main boss arena. So let's do that, shall we? And here I was hoping to get massive style points and show off for you guys. NOw the only thing I've shown off is my complete and total ineptitude.

So I begin the "real" boss fight already at a disadvantage, as my max health was dropped by 2 levels before I could even begin. Forgive me for not taking a picture at the start of the battle, but I think we all know how I ended up last time I tried that. After being broken in (both figuratively and literally) by the Last Giant, I was getting back into the Souls flow. I picked up my old habits of dodging and attacking, and remembered to never let my Stamina run out.

Pro tip for those interested in getting into the Souls games (also, if you've made it this far and haven't played Dark Souls, hi! It's nice to meet you!), never, under any friggin circumstances, let your Stamina meter run out. That's how you dodge, attack, block, run, basically anything that doesn't involve walking around. As long as you adhere to that one rule, you'd be surprised how much easier the game get.

Anyway, comparing my death times in the Last Giant verses now, I noticed I was able to keep concentration for longer periods of time than I did before. With a few exceptions, my failures with the Last Giant clocked in around 1:30 minutes on average. Each round with the Pursuer, however, lasted about 7:30 minutes. Though in a way, that makes it worse. Spending longer on a boss fight only to fail and have to redo it again is a different kind of pain. I'm getting better at the game, and I must suffer longer for it.

Since I only had once shot at the Pursuer before, I wasn't quite accustomed to the intricacies of the boss, and I often got clipped by attacks I couldn't read properly. One of the cool things about bosses in this game is that they have many variations on combos. The Pursuer, for example, has a two hit combo followed by one of two finishers: a heavy vertical slash or a jumping horizontal slash. As such, you can't settle into a rhythm; you must maintain constant focus and thinking on your feet to adapt to whatever enemies throw at you.

I could not adapt quickly enough, and so I lost a lot of health thanks to careless errors. Because of this, I had to rely on my Estus Flasks to heal me up. I didn't bother using any of the souls from the Last Giant to buy Lifegems since I wanted to upgrade my Strength as much as possible, so I was stuck with 2 Estus Flasks to last me the entire fight. However, I was soon harshly reminded that healing wasn't a quick solution.

It's like Masomonk thought he was at a wine-tasting event or wherever those are held. Whenever I press the Estus button, he slows down, fishes out the flask from... wherever he's keeping them, and stops to take a tiny sip. It takes a precious second to complete the action, but that second can (and did) cost me my life a number of occasions.

I have to stop and wonder if the Pursuer would have made a good probation officer in a different life. Granted, I've never had to deal with it myself, but I imagine greatswords would be a nice deterrent to substance abuse. However, when the substance in question is life-giving Estus, I don't think this is the time for an intervention.

-------------------

I'd like to take this time to level a complaint about my choice of weapons. Don't look at me like that. I still get to complain about it. The biggest issue I have with this setup is the sheer lack of range. When doublehanding my fists, my range drops SEVERELY. To the point where sometimes I wouldn't even HIT the Pursuer even through I'm rubbing right up against the character model! Whiffing your attacks when you don't even inflict competent damage already is a level of tear-jerking frustration that I wouldn't wish upon my most hated enemy.

To be fair though, not two handing my fists and just using them separately means I do straight punches rather than a doublehanded fist swing. The range problem is solved, but I inflict about 15 damage, where before I was doing 18 damage. So basically, I had to make the choice between hitting him with mosquito bites and ACTUALLY HITTING HIM. I'm already inflicting pitiful amounts of damage, so it's frustrating to have to reduce it even further just so I can hit the guy. Ugh.
-------------------

Stop me if this sounds familiar, but I succumbed to a few more deaths afterwards, such as mistiming the finishers for combos and getting flattened to the ground by a vertical smasher and learning how to fly by being launched into the air by the world's worst golf swing. However, it wasn't until the moment where I got too twitchy and threw myself off a cliff trying to dodge another attack that I realized I needed another break, so I decided to step away from the Pursuer for a while and go exploring.

Break Time!

You would think I would learn to take these steps before actually fighting the boss, wouldn't you? But nope. My brilliant foresight continues to shine through as I decided to back away from the fight and go check out a different level: Heide's Tower of Flame. There was a special item there that I completely forgot to pick up, so I figured why not take a break from getting my ass handed to me.

On the other side of the world lies a rather small area: Heide's Tower of Flame. There, a bunch of massive ancient warriors dwell. One in particular was of interest to me, as it held a rather valuable item: Sublime Bone Dust. I can use this item to increase the amount of health I restore upon each Estus Flask.

You may have read this last paragraph and thought, "Nova, that sounds incredibly helpful! Not getting that sooner was a terrible idea!"

Well, you are right in that it WAS stupid, but ....
...
...
...
...
...
...

Back to the Fray!

Lo and behold! My break turned out to be just the therapeutic outing I needed! After powering up my estus with the Bone Shard and reversing my Hollowing with a Human Effigy, I managed to beat the Pursuer in one glorious 13:48 minute round.


Oh yeah, I gave him gloves, too. Don't hate me.

I didn't say it was easy, though. I derped and lost both Estus Flasks before I inflicted about 1/8th damage on him. The remaining health you see here was all that I had to work with for the entire fight.

Rubbing Salt in the Wound:

An open letter to the Pursuer:

Can I ask why you're so worthless at your job? You are the dreaded Pursuer, a terrifying weapon commissioned the King of Drangleic himself, to round up Undead for some reason. Yet, one single half-naked man using nothing but his fists was enough to bring you to your knees? Reader, go back up and look at the picture of the Pursuer again. That guy was a walking TANK! He was wrapped in massive armor and had a multitude of weapons strapped to his back (that he never ever uses, by the way) and yet Masomonk was able to beat you. How does that make you feel?

According to Fextralife Wiki, a developer has confirmed you to be a clone of Credo from Devil May Cry 4. Having played that game, I have to disagree. Credo was WAY more interesting to fight than you. Credo used different weapons, had projectile attacks, and multiple phases. You have a 2 hit combo, a 3 hit combo, and a shameless reenactment of Happy Gilmore.

You're less a clone of Credo and more a bootleg. That is what you are, Pursuer. A bootleg version of a much more interesting boss of a totally different game.



The Conclusion:

I'm not sure how to rank the Pursuer in terms of difficulty. While I had gotten used to the workings of DS2 by this point, I still managed to die almost as many times as I did the Last Giant. The frustrating part for me was that I never once felt discouraged.

Let this be a lesson to you all: Never give up on your dreams. Instead, bash your head against the wall enough times to numb the pain so you can put yourself through enough hardships to succeed.


Death Count:

- Pursuer's Punishing Pancake Presser: 3
- Radical Anti-Alcohol Abuse Campaign: 3
- Adam Sandler Reenactment: 2
- Suicidal Tendencies: 1

TOTAL DEATHS (this boss): 9
TOTAL DEATHS (all time): 19
Masomonk not naked anymore. Me sad.

Congrats! You suicided fewer times than Masomonk wanted to, I'm sure.
So I'm wondering, how to do you fare with the general mobs, you use fists only too?
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
I guess I can make him naked again... if that's what the fans want. Masomonk will have to find... somewhere else to store his Estus Flasks.

As for the mobs, I'm not fighting them barehanded. This is just a challenge against the bosses, so I'm making my way through the levels using whatever weapons I can find. In this case, the Fire Longsword inflict serious damage even though my stats aren't very good, so I can make my way to the bosses a lot easier. I don't think I'd ever make it if I fought basic enemies with no weapons, haha!
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
BOSS 3: DRAGONRIDER



A.K.A. Filler

HP: 3,050 (According to Fextralife Wiki)

Yeah, I stole this and a couple other pictures from the Dark Souls Wiki. This guy was so boring my brain totally didn't remember to snap pictures of these guys. Fite me.

I was doing 50 damage per hit. My fire Longsword was doing 150 per hit.

If you've played Dark Souls 2, then you'll know that this is one of the easiest bosses in the game. Hell, he was so easy that I was debating whether or not to even include him in my report! This guy was just easy Souls to power up dear Masomonk in preparation for a REAL fight. In the end, I decided to have a go at him and if I died more times than expected, I would go ahead and document him here.

.... I know. You don't have to post that comment I know you're thinking about. Since you're reading this now, that means.... *sigh*

To Battle!

Since I knew the Dragonrider wasn't going to be difficult on its own, I gave myself a challenge. Well, a challenge other than fighting him with my bare fists. See, a unique gimmick with this boss is that his battle arena can be manipulated. If you rush straight to the boss without flipping any of the switches you find on the way, the arena will be half its normal size, with death surrounding you on all sides. I chose not to flip any switch and fight the boss in the small arena.

Boy did I regret it. I died a grand total of four times during this fight, and three of them were due to falling off the edge.

Other than those blunders, however, the fight itself was a lot easier than I hoped. Compared to the Pursuer, on whom I was doing about 15 damage per hit, I was inflicting a good 50 damage per hit with my fists, so I finally dropped its health Honestly, I was expecting a little more than that. But whatever.

It didn't take long after I got my brain in gear and remember how to properly dodge to finally do in the Dragonrider in a single, 3:48 minute round.


Masomonk: *Sniff* I miss my pants...

Rubbing Salt in the Wound:

There is literally no reason for this guy to exist. His design is boring, his big twist is just an arena gimmick that just makes it more annoying than interesting to fight, and he's not even a unique boss since two of them show up later in the game and have a MUCH more interesting fight. Given the fact that another FAR MORE interesting boss lies just five minutes from the Dragonrider's position, I don't understand why this guy is even here.

I really wanted to get worked up about this fight, but I just couldn't. This guy bored me to tears so much that it was hard to put any passion into this write up. I was ready to get good and angry about how lame his attacks were, or about how unfair the small arena made it, but... I just can't.

... So instead, I found another victim to take my frustration out on.


I HATE THIS WOMAN!!!

Oh yeah. This no good double-crossing hollowed-brained zealot won't be escaping the wrath of a TRUE monk! Nope. In fact, she's such a two-face that I won't even fight her honorably! I'll just use my last Human Effigy to reverse my Hollowing from the boss fight, pull out my Fire Longsword and make short work of- I fell off the edge.

... So I whip out my Fire Longsword, ambush her while her back is turned, and hit her enough times to- she spammed Wrath of the Gods and killed me.

... So I managed to knock her off the edge, but she landed on the staircase below me and I had to go down to finish the job. I did it, but the forward momentum of the sword strike that pushed her off the edge threw me off as well...

...



... worth it.


The Conclusion:

I apologize for such a short entry today. However, I felt it was best not to have a single entry ecmpassing two bosses. Besides, the next boss I plan on fighting will give me plenty of material to work with, I imagine.






Death Count:
- Skinny dipping: 3
- Dragonrider the Impaler: 1

TOTAL DEATHS (this boss): 4
TOTAL DEATHS (all time): 23
Yay! You took your pants off~
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
*murders a cleric spreading divine miracles in cold blood*

*praised for stripping naked*

Moments like these are what make this entire series worth it.
Vaccaria
That's right, go forth. Don't look back.
4859
Dark Souls 2 Ultracore Challenge :v

This is kinda fun, though.
My face meats are so hard with anticipataition. So rigid and teeth showing!
heheheheha, you so cool.
Do I sense more Masomonk coming?
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
Sorry about the delay. Life has decided to load up a bunch of stuff for me to do recently, and stepping up as a mod hasn't exactly cleared my plate. This kinda got shifted down on the priority list.

I'm done with the rough draft of the next boss, but I didn't think it was entertaining enough to warrant a release here. However, since the thread has been dead for so long, I might as well polish it up and release it just to show some proof that I'm still working on this.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7612
BOSS 4: RUIN SENTINELS ALESSIA, RICCE, AND YAHIM



A.K.A. Herp, Derp, and Merp

HP: 2,330 each (According to Fextralife Wiki)


I was doing 76 damage per hit with bare fists.

Our world contains many wonders; the Great Pyamid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, among many others. Some achievements are so grand that some people even doubt they were accomplished by human hands. Maybe aliens once came down to earth and secretly lent a hand to humanity, enabling them to accomplish grand and wonderous feats.

I now present a new wonder: How in the holy hell did I beat the Ruin Sentinels after only dying once?!



To Battle!

Despite having 3 enemies in a single arena, you actually start just fighting one. I walk through the fog gate and fall down to the arena, where the first one, Yahim, is waiting. Despite the appearances of a fair fight, the arena was going to work against me: Yahim and I were standing on a very small platform, roughly half the size of the Dragonrider arena. Below us was a much wider open space I could use to maneuver, but if I made the mistake of falling, Allesia and Ricce would drop down and join the fray. In order to keep the numbers down to a minimum, I had to deal with Yahim on this tiny platform.

Easier said than done. The Sentinels attacks were mostly wide sweeps that not only had a high likelihood of knocking me off the platform, but required me to roll almost constantly and thus meant a mistimed dodge could send dear Masomonk off the edge himself.

Fortunately for me, this wasn't the case, and after careful dodging and attacking, Yahim fell rather quickly. Thanks to having a whole 1,000 less HP than the bosses I've seen so far, I was doing pretty well. But the real challenge starts then. Angry at the loss of their friend, Alessia and Ricce leapt down from their perches and began coming after me. It wouldn't be long before they both arrived at the platform I was currently on, desperately trying to heal up before challenging them again.

When they finally arrived, however, a brief moment of panic set in. One of them leapt up onto my platform and knocked me aside, inflicting heavy damage. I freaked out and rolled off the platform to escape, only to be killed by the impact thanks to the fall damage matching EXACTLY the amount of health I had left. Death by gravity after a 2:37 minute fight.

Welp.

Take two, as I already gave away in my opening paragraph, fared much better. After beating Yahim, I healed up and just dropped off the platform myself so I didn't have to worry about extra damage from a surprise attack. However, now I had to deal with TWO Ruin Sentinels. One was tricky enough, but two? Oof.

The key to mastering any Souls game is patience. Patience and focus. If you only have time to move in and hit a foe once or twice, then that's what you're gonna have to do. There are no overpowered super moves or field-clearing spells, so you need to be able to dance the dance of death as long as it takes to come out victorious. Few bosses take this ideal to heart than the Ruin Sentinels. See, they have no team attacks, so they all constantly rush you down and try to stamp you out of existence. Openings between both of their attacks are not easy to find, but once you find them, you have to move in and make the most of it. Your Stamina isn't infinite, and there's only so many attacks you can inflict before needing to dodge out of the way with the last little bit you have left.

The second key to master any Souls game is awareness of the battlefield. Perhaps you see an opening in one Sentinel, but if you can't even see what the other is doing, rushing in to strike is a dangerous mistake that could cost you your life. There were many oppertunities that I couldn't seize because a Sentinel was off screen, and I couldn't risk being blindsided just to sneak in a few extra hits.

What do you do when facing a group of foes? Do you go all out against one to take it out quickly? Or do you try to spread out the damage? I personally try to reduce the numbers as quickly as I can. I tell you this because this battle forced me to abandon that habit and damage each Sentinel whenever I had the oppertunity.

The battle lasted 8:38 minutes, and it was touch and go the entire way through. Coming out the other side, though, I felt good about what I accomplished.


Rubbing Salt in the Wound:

Remember way back in 2014 when it took me at least twenty tries before I won a single time? Remember how you used to make hamburgers out of my mangled corpse before I could even put a scratch on your armor time and time again? Bet you wish we could go back to those times now, huh? Because look where we are now: I, as a naked masochistic monk with NO WEAPONS, managed to put all three of you down all by myself.

Now that I think about it... what the hell WERE you three doing here, anyway? Once I get to Drangleic Castle, I see more of you Sentinels as common mobs. You know what that means? You three really are nothing special. Was there some purpose you had being at the Lost Bastille, a prison for Hollows? I would think the king would have better uses for Sentinels such as yourselves. Or perhaps it's because you're all so worthless that you got sent here? Maybe the king didn't have any use for such weak and worthless Sentinels like yourselves, so he just sent you here to try and toughen you up. Well... That didn't turn out so good for you, did it?

Anyway, once I saw more of you in Drangleic Castle, I realized that you really were nothing special after all. You all just had names so I could tell which health bar was which. I mean, you all look and act the same anyway, so you really don't bring all that much new to the table. I'll just be takign your souls and forgetting you ever existed. No one will miss you.

This is the journey of a man who was once so god awful at the game and didn't have the patience to learn the mechanics and damage formulas to get ANYTHIGnworkign right. Here we are now, all those years later. I now face you with absolutely nothing but cold determination.

You can do anything you put your mind to, dear reader. Never underestimate yourself.


The Conclusion:

These three used to be the BANE of my existence and nearly caused me to give up on DS2. I had died, by far, the most in this one boss fight than any other fights in the game. Why? Because I was so bad at managing multiple enemies at once that I was so often blindsided by a Sentinel off screen before I had a chance to react. I could barely scrape together a victory with a Longsword+3 and decked out in full armor.

Yet here we are now. Taking them all down with no weapon and no armor at all to speak of. It's funny how times can change, huh?

... ALL THAT BEING SAID, the next fight might just turn out differently. See, every boss I've bee fighting up til now has been just that: a boss. However, the next boss is going to be a step up from everything I've faced so far. In the first half of Dark Souls 2, your objective was to obtain four Great Souls held by extremely powerful bosses. You could say that these would be the four big bad bosses in the game.

My next battle is with one of those bosses. I can only imagine how that's going to turn out.

*gulp*

Death Count:
- Knee Break Simulator 2016: 1

TOTAL DEATHS (this boss): 1
TOTAL DEATHS (all time): 24
Vaccaria
That's right, go forth. Don't look back.
4859
Two times the charm, eh?
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