There WILL be Dark Souls II spoilers. You have been warned.
I feel it.
The game is close to finished. The time has come and that last, final grind is on.
Dark Souls II has been a very different game for me than Dark Souls originally was. In the first game I felt a sort of completion every time I pushed through a boss, slaying them and taking their souls to advance my level, my power, and my skills. Now, though, Dark Souls II feels much more like the constant grind of a millstone, slowly reducing everything you give to it, and the only way to keep going is to give more and more. While I remember many of the Dark Souls bosses fondly, with the battles playing a strong aspect in those memories, I seem less likely to remember a given Dark Souls II boss.
I also have less patience with dark souls II bosses, and I’ve not really a good reason why. Simply getting killed a few times is enough to make me frustrated with the boss design, where I was willing to bash my head against Smaug and Orienstien for days.
I’ve manage to break all of that now, and I am giddy to get in there and end the game. It could be that the last couple of bosses were fun, though not terribly complicated. I don’t even feel I Stumbled across anything particularly useful when I fought them, I just think the combination of knowing the genre and having a long, re achy weapon makes it a bit simpler on me.
Old Iron King was a fight I had a blast on. It was an easy fight, but it took me a few goes to actually get what I needed to do. Well, honestly, more than a few. I don’t know how to fight this guy fairly, to be honest. When you come into his arena, your edging into a lake of lava, next to a building, on its left side. There is a similar ledge on the right side of the building. During the fight, he has a number of moves, but for the most part, I limited him to three. As soon as I entered the arena, I would trigger his animation, and then run to the right side of the building, prompting his first attack, a sweeping breath of fire. The corner of the building kept me safe, and I could watch what he was doing. If he went to breath again, I stay put. However, if he Raises his arm to cast a fire-beam, which can go through the building and kill you, I would run out along the edge of the building as best I could. There was a hole with lava in it that will instant kill you, so i just skirted the edges, and if you do it well, you end up behind his fist as he drops it down to shoot the firebeam. Wack him a few good times, and as soon as he raises his hand, get the hell outa dodge and around the corner. Repeat until dead. Not particularly genius, but very good.
There isn’t much to say about the Prowling Magus and his Congregation. Its a mob style boss fight with about a dozen dudes. I ran about, spearing the two priests and the Magus to death before the mob overwhelmed me. This fight was both adorable and easy.
The Covetous Demon was a really sad little boss. He is a giant slug-hut-thing and wasn’t challenging at all. He was slow and flopped about a lot with long windups, telegraphing his every move. I died just once, when I forgot that he was going to roll over me, and man does that do a ton of damage. The next time I just stood at his shoulder and stabbed him with my spear until he gave me his glorious souls!
The Royal Rat Authority was the bane of my existence for a very long time. I tried different weapons, different strategies, and different equipment styles until I just grabbed every piece of Poison resist and ate some moss to make sure it took three instead of two attacks to get me to Toxic. Once that happened, I was able to make short work of his little friend and stay under him once they were all dead, stabbing him in his junk and leg until he, miraculously, dies.
Dear Dukes Freja was a fight that has me the first few times. I don’t know what happened, honestly, but two or three times, I went to fight her and got right stomped by a blue death beam or a vomit of acid and spiders. Once I realized what she did and how her fight was supposed to go, it only took me a few more attempts. With her, I stood to the right of one of her two heads while she attacked. She telegraphed her moves fairly well, so even when I bumped into her legs while strafing away from her face, I wouldn’t be attacked. I’d wait out any attacks she’d make, and then move just enough in front of her face that I could stab it with my spear. It wasn’t easy, as the spiders around her were also trying to kill me, so I had to avoid being too close to her while also not getting too far away. Once I established my tempo, even the Soul Beam and Acid Vomit were pretty easy to dodge, and I made solid work of her.
The Royal Rat Vanguard is another one of those easy, cheap bosses that the game is littered with. Simply an overgrown, mohawked rat that had toxic on his weapon, He wasn’t very difficult at all to beat. It took me a second try because I can be super dumb and get trapped by rats in a corner and gnawed until death. it was not my best moment.
The Rotten was the last of my Great Souls I grabbed. He is a festering, enormous pule of corpses animated by who knows what. This pile takes the form of a humanoid and wields a huge cleaver. This cleaver does massive damage, but I was able to withstand much of it thanks to my endurance and tower shield. The room is filled with fire that damages you, but sadly does nothing to ol’ Rotten if you track him over it. The boss here has only some 3 or 4 attack animations, which I was able to quickly learn. His triple overhand attack would take out all my stamina, and his wide sweep would stun me, but his grab attack wasn’t instantly lethal, thankfully, though it does look like its dislocating every vertebrae in your back. With the reach of the spear I was able to absorb many of his attacks on my shield and retaliate back with a lunge that did significant damage.
My friend told me to dig up the Belfry Luna and try it again, and this time, after I’d been here a half dozen times, I found the ladder to the roof. There, in a re conception of a fight from DSI, I fought the Belfry Gargoyles. This was a fight that had me stumped for a while in Dark Souls I, and it felt good not to die a single time while fighting them. I had to burn through a huge, what seemed to be ever spawning chain of them, but with careful positioning, a reach melee weapon and a good shield, I was able to take them down.
The Twin Dragonriders was my most recent fight, and this one caused me a little bit of a hiccup. you enter a room where there are two knights. One is standing on a ledge using his enormous bow to fire arrows the size of lances at you, and the other is on the ground and rushes you with his halberd. Those arrows do a ton of damage, and I never really found a way to time it so that I didn’t get blasted with them every time I went to attack the one on the ground. I did, however, after a few fruitless tries, find a pillar I could hide behind. Here, the bow couldn’t hit me, and the knight on the ground got stuck trying to run through the pillar. Instead, I stabbed him a good dozen times until his friend decided enough was enough and joined the fight. Once he was off of the ledge, I was just patient, watched my stamina bar, and speared them when I could. After a long grind, they both went down.
Now, I move deeper into the castle to try and wrestle whatever it is that I want from whatever land this is.
I have been warned!