Ah, it’s good to take a third look at this loveable inevitably-a-classic masterpiece. And I mean that. Dark Souls is as much a high quality, enigmatic visual novel as it is an incredibly challenging third person RPG. But since I’ve already told you about all that, I’ll just kick away all the praise and tell you some hints and secrets. I know most of you have already beaten this game to Hell and back, but this one’s for those who haven’t yet had the chance to enjoy this marvel of a video game.
I’ll begin with the most pertinent tip, one regarding the Four Kings. Already terrifying on the first playthrough alone, they become TRUE demons on any and all of the New Game Pluses. While it may be relatively easy to overcome this with the aid of phantom assistance, for those who prefer offline solo play, I have an answer for you. In human form, the Witch Beatrice will offer her assistance to those who find her summon sign behind the large, rectangular pillar located a ways back from the Abyss entrance.
VERY IMPORTANT: There will be some ghosts located just above the Abyss entrance. If you don’t take them out before leading Beatrice into the spiral staircase, she will become distracted with them and stop following you forever. Be sure to kill the crap out of those ghosts first. As for the boss fight, go in there guns blazing.
ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: Grind Darkwraiths for the Dark Hand. This weapon, when used as a shield, can block nearly all of their magic attacks with little to no damage bleed. This also includes their hated unblockable orb attack. Get it, use it. Fire, lightning, and magic do solid damage to them otherwise. Take them out before they swarm you.
Moving on, I understand that obtaining covenant items can be a chore, so I’m going to provide you with a 100% effective grinding list! How happy are you, huh? Yeah! Here it is:
- Blade of the Darkmoon: Souvenirs of Reprisal are dropped by the Crow Men in the Painted World of Aramis, accessed through Anor Londo.
- Warriors of Sunlight: Sunlight Medals are dropped by the Sunlight Maggots located near the gate to the Lost Izalith from Demon Ruins.
- Gravelord Servant: Eyes of Death are dropped by the Basilisks either in the Great Hollow or the Depths. Recommended to go to the Depths.
- Path of the Dragon: Dragon Scales are dropped by Thunder Drakes in the Valley of Drakes. Drop rate is low, so get your search rate high.
- Chaos Servant: Humanity items are dropped by rats and the infant skeletons near the Gravelord’s Shrine. Infant skeletons drop more often.
A tip for Bed of Chaos next. After you destroy one of his glowing roots, you can exit out of the game and log back in to respawn (without dying) right in front of its fog gate. This can be done any number of times to prevent impending death. My recommended course of action is to break a root, log out. Go back in, break a root, log out. Raise your fire resist as high as you can, tank the firestorm spell, and dive through the root barrier to get to his heart. If you’re not 100% on any of this, wear a ring of sacrifice. In my experience, it only takes about one death to make you cautious enough to pull this off perfectly.
And now, for lack of anything more organized, random helpful things!
- The Server’s HP drain isn’t worth using it. Get it if you’re a pack rat.
- Resistance isn’t as important in leveling as one may think.
- If the boss is big and has legs, run between them and behind.
- Homeward miracle needs 18 Faith, but is an invaluable boss escape tool.
- Most bosses are susceptible to the bleed effect, particularly the fatties.
- The Cloranthy Ring found in the Great Hollow is your best friend.
- Enemies will not drop non-item humanity if the area boss is dead.
- Every single starting gift can be obtained through gameplay.
- Use Lloyd’s Talismans on mimics (don’t kill them) to grind for the Symbol of Avarice. Buy Lloyd’s Talismans from the Undead Merchant.
- Havel’s Shield is the best in the game. Havel’s Armor, however, isn’t.
- Get a phantom buddy to cut Priscilla’s tail off. She won’t get aggressive.
- You can consistently parry Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. Final boss made easy.
- The Everlasting Dragon cannot be killed or aggro’d. Cut his tail off.