Previously on Dark Souls: Morgan spun her wheels in the forest for a little while, slaughtering mushroom-men and big, ugly cats. Also there was some sort of tragedy involving a dog.
Having explored the entirety of the forest, I had only three things left unchecked on my to-do list: a) Fight the hydra, B) Explore deeper into the Catacombs, or C) Go back to Anor Londo.
I really wasn’t interested in any of these options, but apparently my nebulous objective resided in Anor Londo, so it was time for me to stop putting it off and try my hand at getting into that castle again.
I traveled back up through Darkroot Garden and Sen’s Fortress, eventually meeting up with the bat-demons that would carry me over the walls into the city of giants. As we came up over the wall, I could feel a sense of dread wash over me, remembering all of those deaths at the hands of those damnable archers. Would this time be any different? All I could do was hope.
I ran past the sentinels into the alcove with the bonfire. I rested to mark my progress, and dashed down to the bridge. At the other end, I weaved under a sentinel’s legs and fought the demons on the ledge behind him. I stared down the buttress to the tower where things could go wrong so quickly.
I inched down, and baited the demons out from around their corners. I ran back up to the ledge, and one of the demons jumped off the side of the tower at me, plummeting to its doom. From there, it was simply a matter of patiently striking the remaining demon until it collapsed.
Standing behind the wall that separated me from the archers and their massive bolts, I breathed in deeply. I ran. I could feel the air warp around me as the arrows flew by me. Made it to the centre tower. I waited for the hail of arrows to stop before I dashed around to the other side and almost leaped up the final buttress.
I stood on the ledge, facing one of the archers. For the moment, the second one couldn’t see me, but he’d figure out to move a few feet over soon enough. I raised my shield to deflect the nearby archer’s continued volley as I slowly pressed forward. He gave up as I drew closer and exchanged bow for blade. He struck me quickly and fiercely, but his sword came in contact with the centre of my shield, and the force of the rebound knocked him backwards, clear off the ledge.
I don’t know how long I stood there, staring down into the void below, shouting unintelligibly in relief. It wasn’t until an arrow from the second archer clashed into the wall beside my head that my mind snapped back. I clambered around the side of the castle wall, nearly losing my footing to a mix of panic and excitement. Just around the corner, the ledge dropped off and below lied a small balcony. There was no way back up, but there was nothing for me back there anyway, so I jumped.
The balcony led into a resplendent hallway of ivory and marble. There were doors to either side of me, and a huge spiraling staircase directly in front. I decided to try my luck with the door on the left. I let out a massive sigh of relief to see that the room contained a bonfire, and sitting by that bonfire was my good friend Solaire. I took a seat next to him, and he offered me some words of encouragement as I rested.
Taking my leave, I began exploring the rest of the castle. It was a nightmarish place, brimming with mimics and highly skilled silver knights. These knights were more than a cut above any enemy I’d previously faced. They were fast, and able to anticipate and block my attacks with unprecedented accuracy. I thought that perhaps this was a good time to recall my fencing training and practice my parrying.
It was a long, drawn-out process, and I saw the words You Died many, many times as I traversed the castle interior. The silver knights did not goof around; the ones carrying spears were more manageable than their sword-bearing brothers, but none went down without a fight. Eventually I reached the rooftop, which only led me to more archers, though they were considerably easier to deal with on an open playing field.
I circled back and forth through the hallways and rooms of the castle, eventually finding myself on a ledge above the main hall. Below I could see two dressed-up sentinels patiently waiting to swat intruders. At the far end was the massive castle door, in the opposite was a Fog Wall. I did what any sane fellow would do, and followed the ledge up to the far end of the room, where I noticed a missing panel in a beautiful stained glass window.
Poking my head out, I could see goodies lined up on a series of ledges outside the window. I hopped out eagerly to retrieve them, and only then did I notice that I wasn’t able to pull myself back inside. I hopped down to a lower ledge, suspended right behind the gate sentinels, and climbed down behind the gate opposite of the one that led to the archer buttress. I unlocked the gate to make a shortcut for myself, but didn’t notice the horde of demons creeping up behind me as I did so. You Died.
Tune in next time for Part 27: TITS!