The Failings of a Gamer – sucking at Dark Souls II

I’m not the best gamer in the world, but I do try hard. And, as my parents always told me, “it’s the taking part that counts”, “all that matters is that you try your best” and, “Alec, don’t touch that, it’s hot”. Those words have stuck with me from my childhood, I’ll always take part, even if I know I’m doomed to fail. I’ll always try my best, even though my best might not be enough. And I’ll never touch hot things, because burns hurt. Sadly, two of these pieces of wisdom aren’t words to live by in Dark Souls II, which could be why I’m finding it so difficult. Though it could also be because I suck at gaming, who knows.

I’m hoping to make this a rolling feature with multiple parts as, surprisingly enough, I’ve had my fair share of fail whilst playing Dark Souls II. Some of my fails will be funny, some might be distressing, but the majority will be embarrassing, that’s for sure. I’m going to start with “it’s the taking part that counts”.

“It’s the taking part that counts”

Oh mum and dad, how wrong you were. In the majority of your child / adult life, taking part is a key component to any social interaction. Taking part grounds us in the now, supplies beloved memories for days to come and can have any outcome ranging from making new friends to accidentally breaking bones. In the world of Dark Souls II, however, I quickly found out that taking part isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Below are some examples as to why I should have just stayed out of it, and not got swept up in the hype of the moment.

The time I had my arse handed to me by a headless snake woman in a pit of poison: As you can probably make out from the title to this paragraph, Dark Souls II is full of surprises. It’s also full of gigantic bosses that seem almost impossible to defeat. This fail stems from one of those boss battles. I’ve nicknamed her ‘The Poison Pit Bitch’, but her actual name is ‘Mytha The Baneful Queen’. If you’ve battled this boss before, you’ll know how tough she is. You’ll also know that, to be successful against the boss, you’ll need to drain most of the poison pits in the level. I didn’t know this, however. I have a feeling that my Phantom friend who came to help me battle the boss didn’t know that I’d not cleared the poison either. Suffice to say, we stepped into her pit and were quickly poisoned – bosses in this game are tough enough without poison sapping away at your health. I then ran around for about fifteen seconds, without even swinging my weapon at Mytha, and quickly died from the poison. Though I did live long enough to watch my phantom friend be massacred by the headless woman. Clearly he didn’t know the levels of fail that he was getting himself into.

The time I shot myself, but mostly my friend, in the foot: I use Phantoms all of the time. Like, ALL of the time. Any chance I get to summon a phantom, I’ll take it. They’re incredibly helpful on so many levels, but it’s also nice to share the experience of Dark Souls II with other human beings, and not just the undead or horrific monsters. So, as I usually do, I summoned myself a Phantom to help beat a pretty difficult boss. We were doing pretty well at kicking his arse, (by we mean I mean he), one of us distracted him whilst the other stabbed him in the back. This was working well, until my brother pointed out a giant crossbow. I ran towards the contraption, took my aim and fired. The bolt soured through the sky, like a bird of prey heading towards its next meal. The bolt struck, and there was a moment of silence in the room. But, what’s this? The boss didn’t lose any life?! On the screen reads the message, “Pilgrim Gilez is dead”. The boss shot towards me and, with one fatal swipe, dispatched me with ease. I had accidentally murdered my best chance of defeating the boss. The guy sent me a message through Xbox Live, which simply read “WHHHHHYYYY? :(“. I was too embarrassed to reply, I might pluck up the courage one day.

The time I lost 27,000 souls: So, I’d finally defeated the Poison Pit Bitch from before, by myself I might add, and from it I received a good few thousand souls. It took my total for the day up to 27,000 and I was just about ready to head back to the bonfire and bank them, when something caught my eye. I’d finally found the Iron Keep, the entrance of which is a giant moat of lava. In the centre of the lava was a rock island, no bigger than a truck, with an item perched in its centre. I thought to myself, “all I’d have to do is jump across the rock platforms to get there, piece of cake”. I was so confident in my abilities that I decided to do that before heading back to level up. I must have been high from my recent victory. Victory always seems to make me complacent in Dark Souls II. Anyway, so I start running across the platforms and quickly come to the realisation that every other platform was on fire, and they were burning me alive. By the time I’d noticed, it was too late, and I’d burnt to a crisp. And so started the 45 minute repetitive task of me running to my last death spot, grabbing my souls and edging slightly closer to safety before dying. I repeated the process at least twelve times until finally getting the souls to a safe point. All I had to do was collect my pay load and level up. In my cockiness, much like what got me into the mess in the first place, I threw caution to the wind and jumped towards the first platform. It felt like an age as my character flew towards the glowing green orb that was my 27,000 souls, but, surprisingly enough, I missed the platform and landed straight into the lava. He was incinerated on impact and, with his demise, my souls were lost forever. 27,000 souls thrown down the drain. I have never been so angry at a game.

So there we have it. Taking part is not always your best course of action. I’d have been much better off observing from a distance and biding my time, making sure that I was fully prepared. But no, I jumped in guns-a-blazing and sword-a-flailing. It also shows that I should have listened to my mum. Why must I always touch the hot things? But, even though I suck balls at this game, at least I always try my best. I guess my parents gave me some good advice, after all.

  • I love dark souls, but sometimes I feel like I’m just wasting my time with the game.
    So I give it a time, but I always come back for more!

    • Alecs Pillik

      I know what you mean. It’s incredibly difficult to find a sense of accomplishment with it. But then you always get a weird craving to play it!

  • I love dark souls, but sometimes I feel like I’m just wasting my time with the game.
    So I give it a time, but I always come back for more!

    • Alecs Pillik

      I know what you mean. It’s incredibly difficult to find a sense of accomplishment with it. But then you always get a weird craving to play it!

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  • James120756

    I loved the first Dark Souls but the sequel really didn’t match up. I just can’t get into it and find myself playing less and less. They really screwed it up. I won’t buy another game in the series.

    • Alecs Pillik

      I’ve not played the original, but I have heard good things! I very much liked Dark Souls II, whether I’d feel the same having played the original first is a different matter!

  • James120756

    I loved the first Dark Souls but the sequel really didn’t match up. I just can’t get into it and find myself playing less and less. They really screwed it up. I won’t buy another game in the series.

    • Alecs Pillik

      I’ve not played the original, but I have heard good things! I very much liked Dark Souls II, whether I’d feel the same having played the original first is a different matter!

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