Dark Souls III Diary - Playthrough Journal - Part 1

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.

I started my latest adventure as we all do, in the character creator. I had considered starting with the hardest class to start with, the Depraved. You start with nothing but a loin cloth, a club, and a few wooden slats that somewhat resemble a shield. Instead, I chose the Pyromancer class as I knew I wanted to use magic, but also wanted to be balanced in melee combat. So, to make things harder for myself, I removed my top armor and ended up looking like a maniacal Coachella attendee.

Coachella Day 3

The story begins where I emerge from my grave, some many untold years after my death. I have risen as the chosen undead warrior, the Ashen One, to... save the world? Not exactly. The world is descending into its final throes as the forces of Light and Dark battle, and I'm here to avert their squabble, but to what end remains to be seen.

I wade my way through the tutorial zone and half a score of undead monsters before encountering the first boss of the game, Iudex Gundyr. First, he was an immobile figure with a sword through his chest. You'd think he would appreciate me removing it and freeing him, but no... not so much. He starts the fight as a knight with a massive weapon and later his arm becomes a giant black snake monster. What.

I think for a moment that maybe I should stop being hard on myself and use my armor, but I'm finding that I can move really fast without it. It's easier for me to stay out of range and I recover from dodges quickly. I'm also a sucker for just using whatever armor looks the coolest, so I'll just stay light for now and use what I find. My starter armor top looked kinda cool with some fur shoulders, but then it has this giant rusted plate on the front. What is that about? I just can't deal with it, so for now I prefer my mud covered tank top, but I digress.

I didn't have my screen capture button set to Steam Controller yet, so I'll just summarize by saying that he dealt me my first death. I died. I got him on my second try, though.

It was a brutal death, in any case

After that, the game informs me "EMBER RESTORED" and I find that I'm glowing in places, like I'm on fire inside. I look pretty cool. Normally when you die in a Souls game, you start to "hollow" and begin to look progressively more undead with each death. So far, dying doesn't make me look any deader, and in fact I continue looking pretty healthy. And now I get to be all glowy. I'm into this. I make my way up past some more angry undead guys in robes and find a large cave-like cathedral, known as the Firelink Shrine. It's safe inside, and I make some new friends.

Selfie with my new bestie, the Fire Keeper

Hawkwood, a fugitive from Farron's Undead Legion, is feeling sorry for himself

The Shrine Handmaid, the first vendor of the game!

The blacksmith Andre of Astora, making a second Souls appearance, returning from Dark Souls I

The Fire Keeper tells me to place the sword I took from Iudex Gundyr in the center of the room. I do and it creates a new bonfire. I can teleport from this bonfire a begin my epic quest in earnest, but before I do, I decide to explore the area outside. On both sides, I find towers with gates that I can't open, but on the left is an undead man in rags wielding a sweet samurai sword. I must have it! He wrecks me with his sword skills, but I come back and finish him equally fast using my pyromancer fireball. The rags actually provide some armor bonus, so I decide to go with it.

After wearing my new rags, I met Ludleth of Courland who is a "Lord of Cinder"

I use the souls I've collected thus far to level up (the Fire Keeper helps me with this). I teleport using the bonfire and find myself in a dark room in a dark castle. I push open the doors and...

The adventure continues... next time! In Part 2 of Dark Souls III Diary.

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