Still going strong…

I was worried that Demon’s Souls would start to loose some traction with me when I got into Star Trek Online and when BioShock 2 came out, but it didn’t.  Just last night I gathered up enough nerve to beat my way through 2-2, the second part of Stonefang Tunnel, and get to the Flamelurker boss, a ridiculously tough boss for anybody, not just magic or ranged users.  He’s like a cross between a giant and an ape and also he is on fire for some reason.

His size is deceptive, because he is wicked fast and will pounce on you at range, so there’s no real safe way to get away from him.  But he has one major advantage to the cheap and the clever: his pathing AI is dumber than a bag of hammers.  So if you position yourself right behind the proper piece of scenery, and he’s in just the right place, and you don’t move too much, and the stars align, he just stays in one place and lets you beat on him.

I died… let’s say about three times but it may have been more than that.  It took that long to get him into a position I figured he’d glitch on, and I was right.  Lucky for me he doesn’t like Soul Arrow very much.

From there the only place to go was to the end of Stonefang Tunnel, where the Dragon God sits.  This guy is so huge he takes up three quarters of the cavern he occupies.  His favorite thing to do is spot trespassing adventurers, roar at them, and then kill them in one hit.  He also has terrible short-term memory.

There are no exceptions: he will kill you.  I’m sure there’s someone online who’s amassed a defense rating that lets him take a hit and keep on living, but that’s okay, says Dragon God, because I hit you more than once several times in a row.  With a claw or a fire breath or a mean comment or two.

The reason why the Dragon God is a comparatively “easy” boss is because you don’t actually fight him directly.  Instead you move from cover to cover (usually you hide behind columns) and if he spots you, you’ve got perhaps two seconds, maybe as little as one, to get back behind cover and his short-term memory issues will kick in and he’ll forget about you.  So you work your way from one end of the map to the other, triggering giant spears at either end to pin him to the ground.

But just in case you might think that was too easy, there’s another wrinkle: several times along your path you’ll be blocked by collapsed rubble that you have to attack to clear away.  Melee hits work great for this, but you’ll be out in the open while you’re hitting them, and maybe it’s possible to get enough attack power to wipe them out in a hurry, but I didn’t have enough, so I had to manually aim my Soul Arrows at them, which is tricky, because you basically fire in the direction you’re facing, so one step wrong and you’ll end up shooting twenty degrees away from where you thought you were aiming, and that mana don’t come cheap.  So in order to save my items, I had to equip some slow regen items and sit there and wait while my mana slowly crept back up.  And the whole time this big God fucker of Dragons is breathing down my neck.

But anyway, I manage to get all the way to the last piece of rubble, and find that it is infuriatingly far away, and up an incline.  So I can’t aim Soul Arrows at it, and even if I could, it’s so far away that they fizzle out before they hit it.  In desperation I run up and start whacking on it with the most powerful weapon I had, and I immediately get turned into charcoal by Up Yours Daddy Dragon.

I came back with ammo for my bow, and dumped 45 arrows into that rubble until it was weak enough so that I could whack it a few less times with my sword and break through to that last spear.  I don’t know how I survived… I’m pretty sure my ass was on fire for a second there.

In total I think I put a new record on deaths, because I must’ve died about twenty times trying to figure that guy out.  I ended up doing the run naked so that I wouldn’t loose durability on my items.  I didn’t have any souls to worry about loosing at that point so I literally just tried any stupid idea I could come up with.  That kind of thing is actually quite liberating in a game this tough.

I’m not sure which level is next for me.  I’m still pissed about loosing 15 large in souls to the boss in 4-1 (pictured above), but now that I’ve killed an “archdemon” I can access 1-3 and rescue a witch there who will sell me spells, which I need.  So maybe I’ll give that a shot.

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