Previously on Dark Souls: Morgan finally breached Anor Londo castle, and then after navigating the place, accidentally fell out of a window.
Before I was viciously slain by bat-demons, I had unlocked what I was assuming was a shortcut into the Anor Londo castle hall. Unfortunately, the last bonfire I’d rested at was all the way on the other side of the castle, so I was forced to fight my way through all the silver knights again to get back into the great hall. I retraced my steps up the balcony and out the window, then booked all the way back across the bridge to the little bonfire room on the terrace opposite of the castle.
After setting a slightly more convenient respawning point, I ran back to the castle again, but without the horrible sense of dread that usually accompanied the approach. I beat up the sentinel guarding the newly unlocked path, and inched my way through the gate, hoping to catch the bat-demons off-guard. I wasn’t able to get the drop on them, but at the very least, I managed to take them out one at a time.
Just past the bat-demons was a tower. Inside the tower was a staircase leading upward and into the castle’s main hall. Also, there was a gigantic blacksmith hammering away. I browsed his wares and had him make some upgrades to my equipment before moving on.
I came into the main hall on the opposite side that I’d first entered it. A silver knight with a dragonslayer bow waited for me at the bottom of the stairs, and there was a summon sign waiting halfway down the staircase. I ambled down and summoned the phantom of my old friend Solaire. He immediately jumped off the ledge and engaged the nearby sentinel as I more cautiously descended the stairs. The two sentinels in the hall were a little more advanced than the ones that I’d been fighting up until now. For one, they jumped around a lot more often. They also had a wide-ranged burst attack and were able to heal themselves if Solaire and I gave them enough time.
We eventually felled the sentinels, but had taken quite a bit of damage in doing so. At the far end of the hall was the main castle gate. We wandered over to it, but it was far too large for us to open. Luckily, there was a handy lever off to the side, and pulling it opened the massive doors for us. Since I was hurting pretty bad, I opted to run back to the bonfire for a recharge, but Solaire got distracted by the sentinel standing outside. I assume that it finished him off, as he didn’t ever catch up to me.
I returned to the castle and ran past the regular sentinels into the hall. I thought that they would give up if I ran in far enough, but they did not. So I had two regular sentinels and one super-sentinel hounding me. It did not go well. You Died.
I quickly found that the safest way to enter the castle was via the giant balcksmith’s tower. The shortcut gate was too small for the sentinel to pass through, which caused him to forget about me after I made it through, and the bat-demons didn’t follow me very far if I just ran past them. I summoned Solaire again and we fought the super-sentinels. Things took a turn for the worse and we accidentally angered them both at once. You Died.
That happened at least one more time. You Died. Probably even twice. That whole area was like a fever-dream of death and resurrection. You Died.
We did eventually kill the super-sentinels without being critically wounded, and there was nothing left to do at that point besides enter the Fog Gate. On the other side stood the most grueling test of my entire journey: Ornstein and Smaugh. Dragon Slayer Ornstein was a knight twice my size, who carried an equally sizeable spear. Executioner Smough was a massive blob of a man (the fat:muscle ratio I couldn’t tell), equipped with a war hammer that could easily crush me in a single blow. The two rushed us and we decided to split up: Solaire took on Ornstein and I drew Smough’s attention.
The fight did not go well. Solaire was slaughtered almost immediately, and I was crushed very quickly after the two rejoined forces. You Died.
Before round two, I decided that it might be best to simply run past the super-sentinels in an effort to conserve health for the bosses. I made it to the Fog Wall unscathed, but Solaire took a few lumps on the way. The rematch did go better, but still not well by any stretch. The both of us unleashed our fury on Ornstein, thinking that taking out one as fast as possible would be our best hope for survival. Smough was still pounding away at us of course, and Solaire died off quickly, but Ornstein was very near death and it was trivial to finish him off.
It was not the boon I’d hoped for though, as Smough stepped up and absorbed the power of his fallen comrade, imbuing him with additional speed and lightning powers. Super-Smough quickly turned me into paste, as I was not at all ready for his new jumping attack. You Died.
Round three was about the same, only we killed Smough first. This was a terrible, terrible mistake. For all the power that Super-Smough had gained, when Ornstein powered-up, he grew three sizes and became much more vicious. Super-Ornstein was slower than his original form, but I wasn’t able to run away for long. Before I knew it, I was impaled on that spear, watching everything fade to black. You Died.
Knowing now that Ornstein should be the first to go, we tried again. I managed to put up a fight against Super-Smough for a while, but his butt-slam attack sprayed out a field of lightning that caused my body to seize up long enough for him to turn me into a fine paste with that giant hammer of his. You Died.
That was pretty much what happened over and over again. You Died.
Over and over and over again. You Died. You Died. You Died.
Finally, our luck turned. Solaire managed to outlive Ornstein, which gave us a bit of an advantage. He distracted Super-Smough while I ran in to deal a truckload of damage. That strategy didn’t last long, but it was enough to get my licks in. Solaire’s phantom vanished after a particularly vicious assualt, and I was left to try to dodge the swings of the hammer as I kept picking away at Super-Smough’s life. It was such a blur that I didn’t notice that he had died, and kept swinging at his body even after it had stopped moving.
I collapsed on the ground and chugged my last dose of Estus. I don’t know how long I laid there, appreciating the silence.
I moved on to the back of the room, where I found an elevator that took me to the room’s upper balcony. Above, I found an entrance into another room, in which I met the Princess of Sunlight, Gwynevere. She was a massive woman, many times larger than the giant blacksmith and Super-Ornstein. As she laid there, with her equally enormous assets hanging out for all the world to see, she started prattling on. I was still a little shook up from having been killed so many times so quickly that I mostly just tuned her out.
Honestly I was also a little too mesmerized by that rack to listen.
In the end, she gave me the Lordvessel, which I would use to collect some special souls or something. More importantly, it would allow me to instantly travel from any bonfire to… most other bonfires. Why it was picky about the destination I’ll never know, but it was a great help at any rate.
As it happens, there was a bonfire right in front of the door to Gwynevere’s room, so I hobbled over and put my new toy to work. Before I knew it, I found myself back at Firelink Shrine. Things were starting to go my way again.
Tune in next time for Part 28: Blast From The Past