Dark Souls Return to Lordran: Volume 4

Dark Souls Return to Lordran: Volume 4

As we are immersed in what we all expect is the grand finale of the Dark Souls franchise, I return(ed) to the roots of the series after a hiatus of several years.  Our hero has just checked out the boobies on the spider lady (and then murdered her with the help of Mildred).  After which, our brave lad ventured forth about 10 feet and rang another bell and was greeted with a vision, much like a cut scene, of a grand door opening in a location he’s walked by about a million times on the way to Andre. So that seems like a logical next step.  Off he goes, to Sen’s!


Chapter 7: It’s a Trap!

Entering this intimidating brick structure, Jazzy spots a suspicious looking tile on the floor.  Remember in an earlier chapter I established that he studied castle architecture in Thorolund. So this totally makes sense that he spotted it.  Just…uh, just…work with me on this, OK? Going around it he is “startled” when two snake men jump out.  In his “surprise,” he “accidentally” steps on this suspicious tile as the snake men draw near.  “Coincidentally” this triggers three projectiles from the far wall, striking the snake men and making them much easier to kill.  Gee, what “luck.”

snake_man

Don’t Tread On Me

Stepping further inside, Jazzy is greeted by a cavernous structure extending far above him.  Narrow bridges seem to be a common means of getting around. Looking down, he makes the important executive decision that falling off is not a good idea.  Though seemingly distant, the sound of heavy machinery and grinding is overpowering.  It doesn’t take him long to see the reason for some of the cacophony, as large swinging blades cut back and forth across the bridges.  Jazzy carefully navigates the first of these and is greeted by a bolt of lightning from above. Unable to retaliate against the snake mage that threw it; Jazzy scampers forward, narrowly avoiding a pendulum of dismemberment. Of course he finds another snake man just waiting to do him wrong. Quickly eliminating this foe (while allowing the architecture to serve as a shield against the lightning), Jazzy moves forward to see what this fortress of terror holds for him.

Jazzy climbs up and around and is face to face with the lightning tossing snake mage. There appears to be at least 42 swinging blades in the way of his revenge however. Raising a shield and crossing some fingers, he soon finds himself unscathed in front of his assailant. “That was easier than expected” he says to no one in particular. As the snake mage’s life passes before his eyes, he has just enough time to regret never pursuing his dream of being in a band.  And hey, there’s another one of those tiles Jazzy just happens to notice right away thanks to his education, mumble mumble…

Jazzy discovers another large room off of the first. He decides to let a sleeping snake man continue his rest. A low rumbling sound draws his attention.  Jazzy’s eyes spot a door leading outside. As his eyes react to the incoming light, he almost misses seeing a boulder slamming into a snake man. Naturally he cautiously peers outside and avoids getting run over. Always the curious cat, he ventures down to see the end result of where these boulders are going.  No place special to be honest, but it justifies why he’s down there to find Siegmeyer pretty cleanly. Now THAT’S storytelling!  As you might have already known, Siegmeyer is a knight in strange onion-like armor who always gets caught up in jams and we get him out. In this case, he’s too slow to avoid the boulders and carry onward.  Which is something we rectify pretty soon, right here in this chapter!

siegmeyer_of_catarina

When has “activity” ever helped anyone?

Heading back up, because Jazzy is not too slow to avoid boulders, another snake mage is killed for daring to toss lightning. He guards a ring that belonged to the legendary Knight King Rendal. Neat. I guess. A doorway a little below allows Jazzy to progress back into the innards of the fortress.  Another one of those funny tiles is discovered. This time, mid way through a narrow hall. Sweat begins to form on Jazzy’s brow as he prepares to trigger it and “guess” which way the lethal trap will come for him. As his armor gets a little steamy, he steps onto the tile…

And pivots wildly, just in time to block the trap.  Again, what “luck.” Then a snake man runs in and “surprises” Jazzy.  He is rewarded by getting chopped up.

The loud rumbling seems to change direction. As Jazzy spies a stair and approaches it, he almost loses a toe as the boulders are now rolling down the inside the fortress. Racing down the stair with impeccable timing, Jazzy gets to witness first hand as several boulders fill up a hole in the floor. Much like a Pez dispenser.  After the last pez/boulder is loaded, the next smashes through the wall which is naturally Jazzy’s inspiration in a minute when he changes the direction of the boulder trap to save Logan and kill that sleeping snake dude from earlier. Because that **** happened.

A quick refresher that Jazzy is from Thorolund; and despite his association with the Sun Bros to get his hands on some sweet lemon-scented lightning miracles, is a Way of White dude through and through.  This is why he knows that Lloyd’s Talismans can put Mimic Chests to sleep. Coming up to a chest he figures he might as well see if it’s a mimic. What a “coincidence,” that this one was indeed a mimic.  With it safely asleep, he pillages the lightning spear (weapon, not miracle) inside.  FORESHADOWING ALERT? Jazzy retrieves this weapon with a gleam in his eye. Knowing that not everything will easily fall to the divine, he now has another road to take.  And a holy road at that!

mimic

I’m crushing your head

Unless I’ve miscalculated my “subtle” hints, I think it’s safe to assume the reader gets it that Jazzy seems to have no shortage of lucky guesses and we get through this place pretty much untouched. I, uh, I mean Jazzy…did have to huck some firebombs at that last snake mage to get him to fall off and make the last narrow bridge pass go more smoothly.  That was pretty fun.

Anyway, in a small tower at the peak of the structure, a glowing sign of chalk appears. Approaching it, Jazzy sees that it’s some guy named “Tarkus.”  He figures, “let’s see what this knight can do!” The earth itself trembles as Tarkus rises…

The duo spots a large knight (larger than even Tarkus) with a Tower Shield. Jazzy draws its attention. Tarkus uses this opportunity to place the gigantic slab he calls a sword square between the foe’s shoulder blades.  It ain’t pretty.  Circling around to the lower portions of the tower Tarkus was found in, another knight enters the fray.  The mysterious knight takes shots with a bow from a higher vantage point. Jazzy navigates in and closes the distance. Fierce jabs from a rapier force Jazzy to raise his shield. Tarkus approaches. Expertly he uses Jazzy’s cover and moves into range with his greatsword.  With precision any surgeon would envy, Tarkus lets his blade fly.  The enemy knight had no time to ponder his life. But if he had, he probably would have wished that he joined that snake mage’s band when he had the chance in high school.

iron_knight

[Tarkus] is heavyweight, and still undisputed

Yeah, that’s right. Prince Ricard used to hang out with Snake Mages in high school and loved music. His bow string used to be a bass string.  He was called “The One High Lord of Slap Bass” after taking the crown from several prominent musicians during the battle of the bands. I know what you’re thinking. If he was so good why didn’t he join that band and make it big? Well smartass, it just so happens that Prince duties are a full time job and his dad put a ton of pressure on him to be a knight Prince and go on quests rather than gigs. That’s why the dude hollowed and went to Lordran. His sense of purpose was gone once his bass guitar was tucked into the castle basement. If he had been allowed to follow his dream, he’d have been in like…Astora or something…in some little cozy bar driving the locals wild. Instead, he was at Sen’s and faced the wrath of the Black Iron Demi-God known as “Tarkus.” To this day, you can hear his spirit playing in the little tower he made his home. If you listen closely that is. You hear that “pop” sound in the distance? That’s not a giant shoving another pointless boulder down a ramp to nowhere. No, dear reader. What you’re hearing is the slap of a battle calloused thumb as it makes an “E” string sing like an angel.

So yeah. Infinite universes. My Ricard loved slap bass and is a tragic figure. What the hell did your world’s Ricard ever do that was so great?

boss_0023_iron-golem

Looks like rain. And oh yeah…Golem

Anyway…Jazzy and Tarkus basically toured Sen’s just destroying ****. It really was just flat out absurd. This game has the occasional ludicrously overpowered NPC, with Tarkus perhaps being the most OP of the bunch. Do you know what we did to the Iron Golem?  Neither does the Golem.  That **** went fast. Jazzy running underneath and blasting Wrath of the Gods then chopping away with the Crescent Ax would have easily been enough. Then to add Tarkus into the mix?  Daaaaaayuuuuum! And unlike other NPCs, he ran right in and started tearing it up.

It might even have been more silly than that Ricard back story…


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