Dark Souls III Diary - First Playthrough Journal - Part 2

While I'm a veteran Souls player, this is my first time playing through the latest installment, Dark Souls III, following the adventures of my pyromancer, Vedekka.

Using the bonfire I created using the twisted steel sword I drew out of a giant knight with a black snake for an arm... yeah... I've teleported to the royal city of Lothric, specifically the High Wall of Lothric which overlooks the city and the land around it.

Awesome visuals. Dark Souls III is an atmospheric, seriously great-looking game.

I find another bonfire immediately at the base of stone staircase. Like other games in the Souls series, the map levels range between sprawling and claustrophobic, but you often are forced to choose from multiple directions to explore. There is no right answer here; both directions promise monsters, traps, and gruesome deaths. The question is simply, which challenge are you up to first?

Doom, doom, doom...

On one side, I have what looks like zombie dogs and on the other side, I seem to have pious zombies, praying to unseen gods. There's also what appears to be a dead dragon. I opt for the dragon side. I wander down and all the zombies are so consumed with their prayer that I casually saunter by (I tried running like hell). No dice. Not only were there three patrolling zombies, but one of them with a lantern took it upon himself to scream at the top of his lungs, calling more zombies to his aid. Jerk.

Not helpful.

Once that disaster is past, I take a closer look at the dead dragon. I notice it has this swirling black miasma around its head and neck. It's pretty similar to what Iudex Gundyr had around him before I pulled the sword out from his chest and... yeah. Not gonna mess with this right now.

You just keep napping there, buddy.

I venture down some stairs and a ladder, fighting some more dead guys along the way. I come to an open area with an empty staircase on the left, and an alleyway filled with armored skeletons. Well, let's take a peek up the stairs and suddenly a DRAGON screeches and bathes the world in flame OH GOD MOVE BACK MOVE BACK--

Death ahead.

Luckily, I'm safe from the flames on the steps and the dragon isn't chasing me, so I don't proceed any further at this time. The alleyway wasn't safe from the flames and with all those skellies dead, I sprint through. Alright, good fortune, I guess. Certainly can't get worse than that -- OH. It's a knight.

He kills me. I DIED. Another couple attempts later and I manage to slay the knight.

I was very brave. Then I died. A lot.

"I'm the Ashen One. You gotta deal with it!"

I'm in a dark room now, inside a tower. I see an undead guy hiding behind some barrels, so I get the jump on HIM instead. I look down another stairway and engage some more skeletons there, but opt instead to go upstairs and outside. I usually like to feel out my options before committing and it pays off.

Bonfire! Now I can teleport back to Firelink Shrine and spend my hard-earned souls.

Rest and Estus Flask replenishment. Estus Flasks are how I heal my health and mana pool.

"Yes, that's the dragon behind me. What do you mean I look nervous?"

Until next time...

Adrian Martinez is a graphic designer, comic book letterer, hobbyist writer, and all-around geek living in New York City.