Dark Souls Return to Lordran: Volume 1

Dark Souls Return to Lordran: Volume 1

As we approach what we all expect will be the grand finale of the Dark Souls franchise in the final DLC for Dark Souls 3, The Ringed City, I return to the roots of the series after a hiatus of several years.  After a brief poll (I’m impatient) of Fextralife community members, I have a character concept to work from that will move me somewhat out of my realm of habit. And hopefully lead to a few laughs along the way.  If you’re ready for the 1880’s equivalent of a “Let’s Play” video, then let’s go!

PROLOGUE: What’s in a Name?

We begin our story as tales such as these often do…

The character creation screen.

The community (well…the literal ones of people I was willing to wait for a response from) voted “Holy Knight” as a character concept and thus begins our tale.  There’s only two choices really for class.  Knight or Cleric, and I felt the Cleric really sells the concept of “knight” short.  It nails the “holy” though.  I’ll give it that.  So knight it is, I’ll just need some miracles ASAP.  Divine Blessings are a no brainer for a gift.  Now all we need is a name.

I have a habit dating back to the arcade days of high score screens.  I nearly always use the name “Ded” for characters.  However, “Ded” is already taken for this game and he’s certainly no holy knight.  More like a ranger/personification of death.  So we need a new identity.

  • Ded 2.0?  Too derivative
  • Jiffy Pop?  I don’t think anyone would get the reference
  • I almost went with “Ray.”  Then I realized this character will be an attempt at comedy and therefore a less than fitting tribute.  The connection to the Sun almost sold it though
  • Eventually my love of Garfunkel and Oates, and the random selection of my music list landing on a certain cover song, led to the only answer it ever could have been…

CHAPTER 1: That’s Bull!

DJ Jazzy Jeff sits alone and forlorn in a cell after contracting a bad case of Dark Ringworm.  How long he’s been here is anybody’s guess. A sound of grating stone from above is followed by a light that blinds eyes grown dim from disuse.  A mysterious figure clad in armor drops a corpse into the cell below. The character departs, leaving only the body behind. A quick search through his new cellmate’s belongings reveals the key to our hero’s cell…and salvation.  DJ Jazzy Jeff’s gratitude turns to confusion as he muses how much easier it would have been to carry just the key rather than hauling a corpse around.

dj-jazzy-jeff

I compromised. He got the Cleric Face. Also, not too shabby for a cell phone pic of my TV

As DJ Jazzy Jeff exits his cell, he marvels at the lax asylum security that allowed him to retain his full set of armor, contraband healing items and a decent shiv.  The grief stricken cries of other inmates and the echo of large footsteps accompany him as he stretches his worn limbs for the first time in what feels like eternity.  After a short distance, a welcoming fire provides a brief respite.  Large doors wait ahead.  Duty calls and he forces open the grand portal, to be greeted by a large demon with a swollen heinie

With only a shiv at the ready, our hero spies a small door and runs.  It’s almost like he knew it was there or something.  Exploring the Asylum further, DJ Jazzy Jeff finds his trusty sword and shield.  They provide comfort, not too dissimilar from a mother’s embrace.  Venturing forth, some jerk shoves a giant ball down the stairs. After settling his hash, a hole in the wall reveals a room with the savior from earlier (the guy with the corpse/key).  He asks that his mission be continued, stating he is not long for this world. It appears he has a really bad pulled muscle in his back.  Probably from needlessly hauling corpses around.  With a parting gift to our hero (an Estus flask for drinking fire), he implores Jazzy to go.  He also presents another key.  Dude has all the keys to the joint, why was he still hanging around?

Further exploration reveals a ledge hidden behind a veil of white light.  Beyond is the creature with swollen buns.  DJ Jazzy Jeff plunges down, stabbing it right in its face. After years of atrophy, muscles fail to work as intended and a great hammer sends DJ Jazzy Jeff back to the fire. Removing his helm he feels much lighter and proceeds to spank the cheeks of the guardian demon.

Holy **** that’s a big crow!

crow

Not technically DJ Jazzy Jeff, since I don’t own a capture device for the PS3, but at least it tells the same story…

Our hero is dumped unceremoniously onto the turf of a strange land. Some dude talks about two bells, which sounds sorta like the mission Sir Corpse Hauler was talking about. DJ Jazzy Jeff spied another inhabitant.  It’s a man of the cloth (and violence) who offers to teach miracles. It has always been the dream of DJ Jazzy Jeff to use them, but alas they’re not in his current budget.  He whispers “someday” as he strides confidently into the unknown.

At every turn, enemies challenge our hero in this strange Burg of the Undead. At one point, his footing gives way and he plummets into the vast chasm below, only to return to the fire whence he came (whoops).  Following this, DJ Jazzy Jeff vows to be more careful mashing R1.  A wyvern threatens the area, but mercifully does not directly attack. DJ Jazzy Jeff finds firebombs, and a merchant willing to sell more. This is a welcome turn of events, because fire is cool.  DJ Jazzy Jeff vows to cleanse his enemies with the flames. He’s just vowing the s*** outta this quest so far.

Reaching the top of a tower, our hero uncannily predicts that there’s a couple guys with crossbows trying to ambush him.  That’s awfully clever of someone who’s never been here before…

A giant, bull-headed demon crashes down and gives chase. Ascending the ladder he was just on to kill those crossbow guys, DJ Jazzy Jeff does the same plunge attack he did on the last large demon he fought.  Because hell…it worked pretty well before. A combination of deft sword slashes and cleansing fire rids this world of the big hairy thing on top of the wall. After meeting a fellow knight who offers to help if the need arises, and dodging the fire of the aforementioned wyvern, DJ Jazzy Jeff finds himself in a familiar location.  Which is also right near a new path as well.  The path…TO CHAPTER 2!

taurus-demon

There’s just one thing between DJ Jazzy Jeff and the next area. Unfortunately, that thing is huge

CHAPTER 2: Tag Team!

Skirting underneath the wyvern, DJ Jazzy Jeff discovers a slight vermin problem.  Ascending a stair, a contingent of hollow soldiers greets him. They have a large, armored pig at their disposal.  Two snipers threaten suppressive fire from a small bridge above.  Using his best strategy (which is totally different meaning than “the author’s memory”), DJ Jazzy Jeff flanks right to take out the snipers, after dispatching the vanguard forces.  The pig remains.

Finding a strange cluster of skulls, our hero tosses one into a small bonfire below.  I mean, we all know I’ve played this before right?  OK then…that’s what DJ Jazzy Jeff chose to do…

The smell of succulent roasting pig wafts up and around the area.  DJ Jazzy Jeff’s stomach growls, and a frail hollow comes out to see what’s cooking.  Then the pig, armor and all, dissipates into the ether, leaving sandwich meat for no man. So our hero returns to wandering around and slashing things.

DJ Jazzy Jeff approaches a large Parish, where several formidable knights with large shields and specialized weapons stand in the way of progress.  They are purified by the ritual of a firebomb to the face.  It is one of the more sacred rites of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s particular faith.  After completing this ritual several times, he explores the perimeter of the imposing structure.

A kind old blacksmith is located adjacent to the Parish (who seems like perhaps he should have more to do with the story).  He sharpens the blade of our hero. With renewed confidence, DJ Jazzy Jeff storms the Parish above. Where he gets parried and riposted trying to get cute against one of the knights from earlier.

With somewhat less renewed confidence, he storms again.

blacksmith_andrei

He’s like Santa, but all his presents are lethal

Author’s note here: I never understood the complaint about Dark Souls 2 and it’s tendency to have groups of mobs attack the player.  People must have ****ty memories or something.  I count nine…NINE hollows, who can simultaneously spam their shiv flurry in the Parish.  And to make matters worse, there’s a friggin’ CHANNELER buffing ALL of them. And that’s not all. For new players, it’s quite plausible (even likely) they found this before finding Andre to make their weapons stronger or the associated bonfire.  Hopefully they at least remembered to open the gate for the somewhat long trek back. And let’s not forget the mini Tower Knight and up to three Baldur Knights it’s possible to get tricked into fighting while the Channeler spams soul arrows at you from above. And this rant hasn’t even left the Parish! Anyhoo…

After successfully clearing the Parish of enemies thanks to “not being cute,” DJ Jazzy Jeff finds a prisoner behind a hastily barricaded section of the edifice.  Despite some misgivings about this man, he is set free.

Our hero discovers what must be a maintenance hatch to the roof, and a grossly incandescent spot of chalk on the floor.  Discovering his knight friend from Chapter 1, DJ Jazzy Jeff calls out across worlds out for his aid.  During his travels, a batch of lightning resin was uncovered.  Being the most holy of resins, our hero readies a small amount in case of trouble ahead.  DJ Jazzy Jeff steps out onto the rooftop…

As a large, bronze decorated Gargoyle slams onto the roof, our hero ponders the cost to replace the tiles. There’s no way they’re built for that kinda action.  The Gargoyle charges Solaire (that’s the knight friend), doing little damage.  The lightning wreathed blade of our hero strikes true from the rear of this enemy, and he is rewarded with a bronze ax that’s all bendy and **** at the handle.  Between the work done by the smith below (and the holy lightning) the gargoyle is no match for the duo of heroes. As the monster begins to shimmer and vanish, a second one appears.  This one seems to have been injured previously, and is near laughable in its feeble attempts to stop the mighty DJ Jazzy Jeff on his divine quest to do…stuff.

bell-gargoyle

Weeeeee!!!

After bowing to Solaire as he departs, DJ Jazzy Jeff climbs a couple ladders and rings a bell at the top of the tower the Gargoyles died protecting. It resonates across the countryside and likely does…something…I guess…

With a pocket full of souls, our hero returns to where the crow dropped him off. Buying the miracles of “heal” and “force,” a quick stop at the nearest fire presents a troubling choice of which to equip.  Force gets the nod.  A brief chat with the imprisoned man from the Parish does not go well.  Not liking the cut of his jib, DJ Jazzy Jeff cuts his jib.  Not one to forget even a foe, our hero slips the man’s ring onto his finger and is greeted with a feeling akin to floating.

And then he practiced the miracle of smashing people off of cliffs which was super funny.


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