Dark Souls III Diary - First Playthrough Journal - Part 3

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.

The real kicker about the Dark Souls series is that most enemies respawn once you rest at a bonfire, so even after you overcome the world's more violent denizens, you'll probably have to slog through them again if you want (or need) to backtrack. With that in mind, my options are as follows:

  1. Backtrack to fight the brutal knight I required a few tries to defeat, just for the opportunity to face the giant, fire-breathing bone dragon (and probably die)
  2. Explore a dark and creepy room
  3. Explore the unknown area below the dark and creepy room

I go for the second option. It seems the safest, right? I find myself out on another roof with some more of the devout zombies, praying to some terrible god. Looks like I chose right. So, let's just get some easy kills and earn some easy souls, what do you sa—WHAT THE HELL IS THAT!? One of the zombies has some of that black goop burst from his torso and the giant mass attacks, well, everyone. I roll around, dodging this freaky thing, and pelt it with fireballs from a distance. It seems to do a lot of damage against this monstrosity, and soon it's dead and I'm not.

Despite playing many hours of Dark Souls games, Dark Souls III has managed to surprise—and startle— the crap out of me.
I'm alive, but that was not cool. I was not expecting that! I can't let my guard down it seems. I continue to explore the rooftop and see an exceedingly large and rotund fellow patrolling a courtyard with a massive weapon. Hopefully I won't have to face him anytime soon (yeah right).

Things don't look so pleasant down there. I'm not anxious to get a closer look.
I slide down a ladder onto a balcony and I'm warmly greeted by two jerks with crossbows. Soon, their buddies who are hanging out nearby (literally hanging out, over the side of the balcony) join in. They die, I win. I head into a doorway and oh crap another knight is there. I hide against the wall, hoping he doesn't sense me.

It works, but then I realize I'm going to have to face him to proceed forward anyway, so I jump him when his back is turned. Ha! This knight has a spear, so it's a new set of moves I have to learn on the fly, so I know when and where to dodge. I get lucky: it's a very quick and clean affair, and I kill him on my first attempt!

I'm a boss.
I'm hurting, though. Despite leaving the bonfire just recently, both my mana and health flasks are dry, and it's only going to get tougher without my pyromancy magic. I say "screw it" and explore some nearby side rooms, kill some more zombie enemies, some trickier than others. I find a 100% damage block shield! This a big deal because the shields I've had available so far only block partial damage, forcing me to either take a hit to my health, or roll and dodge when it might be equally dangerous to do so.

After collecting lots of souls, dying, returning, re-collecting them and so on, I've got quite a few souls to spend. So I head back, spend my souls to level up, and then explore the unknown area beneath. All things considered, it's not so bad! After a few more zombies and an exploding barrel trap (which I survived), I encounter this strange fellow in a jail cell and decide to free him.

Meet Greirat of the Undead Settlement
Wow, I just freed you from prison and now you want another favor? Shameless. Presumptuous, even.
I know, you're probably thinking, "dude, maybe he's in prison for a good reason?" and maybe this wasn't the smartest idea. I can't help but want to help my fellow man and I found the key upstairs and it just—well, seemed like a good idea at the time. I hate missed opportunities, alright? It's not like this is going to bite me in the ass, is it? I mean, Dark Souls II also had an imprisoned character, and if you freed that guy, he would start killing all your NPC friends, but I didn't free that guy, so clearly I have good judgment. Right?

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