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Replaying DS1

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1Replaying DS1 Empty Replaying DS1 Mon Apr 11, 2022 8:25 am



After Elden Ring I was walking around town and happened upon a old used-games store, and found the Prepare to Die edition of the 360 version, which is Backwards Compatible. It was dirt cheap so I decided "why not". Been playing it on and off and I have to say it's been quite eye-opening in just how vastly the series has changed. I knew it was plenty, but not this big.

The game has quite a lot of things still going for it, combat wise. From kicks opening enemies up and doing ring-outs, to knockdown attacks, ranged projectiles, headshot capable weapons, parries being lenient but not too lenient, interesting enemy patterns that don't overly rely on tracking and some pretty darn impressive sound-design.

I'm trying to do the game 'in order' currently but it didn't take long for me to just kill Havel and explore Basin from the get go and just roam the world. The narrow paths also make it feel more dangerous and combat happens more often since you can't just dash away.

Really loving this game again.

2Replaying DS1 Empty Re: Replaying DS1 Tue Apr 12, 2022 8:12 am



I might do one myself, it's been a long time since I played DS1.

3Replaying DS1 Empty Re: Replaying DS1 Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:59 am



Just beat the Four Kings prior to going to Anor Londo. The game just is fantastic, no way around it, and it feels like it has something that later games really lacked. The few things that spring to my mind currently that I really enjoy:

- the fact that you really can go wherever you want basically. It makes routing such a dream, but unlike things like Elden Ring there's still challenge along the way and you're basically going through dungeons constantly.
- there's solid pacing, lots of little moments of respite where combat is absent and traps or loot are more prevalent
- the RPG side is pretty powerful, you can really 'build' your way around your shortcomings. For example I entered New Londo with a full Stone-set and evil-eye ring so that kills healed me and just tanked+spanked every enemy and never lost health as a result. Kind of a "play smarter, not harder' mentality.
- bonfires are super rare and this makes traversal really dangerous and thoughtful. You don't just 'quickly go to the smith to level your weapon', it's a concsious choice in the early game since it means really going there.
- I really enjoy the fact that bosses aren't too hard, but more about intimidation and method. You can kill them on your first attempt if you play smart and think on your feet. They aren't about 'learn the pattern' but more about being a smart player which I think is neat.

That said there are also things that I feel were optimized in later games (and sometimes forgotten again) like:
- the inability to mass-consume souls
- leveling equipment is a massive chore, from having specific embers to specific materials.
It's less of a mess than Demon's Souls with its millions of materials but still pretty convoluted.

4Replaying DS1 Empty Re: Replaying DS1 Fri Apr 22, 2022 7:48 am



I've been playing it too on PC PTDE with some basic bugfix mods, reminds me of why it got me into the medium all those years ago. Here's my latest experience:

I haven't rung second bell yet but I decided "I'm gonna go check out Tomb of the Giants, see if there's any cool stuff there." So I go down there, do some NPC interactions, then fight the bone dog for a bit and decide "I don't actually want to be down here." But there's no fast travel, and I sat at the bonfire down there already.

So I walk up on the grueling trek, going back through the beginning of Tomb of the Giants, and the entire Catacombs in reverse, all without a bonfire in between. I ran out of Estus and used multiple humanities, but eventually made it back with some new souls and items.

Compare this to ER or even DS2/3, it's just absolutely staggering.

>bonfire scarcity
Love love love this. There are usually multiple paths in a given area, so even if you die a lot on one path you can explore somewhere else.

>use multiple souls
Yeah just dumb jank. I got a mod that adds this, Remastered has it too.

Weirdly I kinda don't mind this. I like running around the map to find different materials, I'm using 2 weapons so maybe that's why. I see why it can be annoying though.

5Replaying DS1 Empty Re: Replaying DS1 Tue Apr 26, 2022 9:24 pm



Saw your post on Twitter and yeah man, it's in a league of its own. I think I might even like Dark Souls more than Demon's Souls at this point, also in part of me having played Demon's to death (had like 21 characters across a dozen PSN accounts).

> into the tombs
This was a challenge I once found called the "effegy run" or something, where the goal was to have the first item you pick up be the effigy shield in the Tomb, then rest there and climb back up. It's super painful and memorable, was a very challenging experience doing that at SL1.

Some closing notes as I've just finished the game:
- I'm always surprised by how quickly the end goes by, once you beat Ornstein and the Four Kings the game is basically over. I still don't hate the endgame as much as most people I feel, but the lack of interconnectedness with those areas hurts hem I feel and they tend to be a lot shorter.
- was really impressed by how much damage-negation helps. I was rocking a full Giant+5 armourset which, when paired with 40 Endurance and Steel Protection (or whatever elemental ring needed) would basically shrug off any or all blows. Add Iron Flesh and I was basically face-tanking when needed. Gwyn barely damaged me with his swings and I could eat 3-4 full blasts from Kalameet.
- I kind of liked the jank, like how a maxed Flame actualy makes Power Within kill you way faster haha
- kind of changed my mind about titanite, it's a bit jank still if you go for the split paths like Raw and Holy, but if you stay true it's pretty easy. If you know where to go you can basically have a +15 item before you fight the Gargoyles lol.

> sidequests
This entire thing has been talked about a lot since Elden RIng. I fucked up one quest on this run (Siegmeir (I died when he was supposed to save me)), and it left a rotten feeling since I couldn't redo it. On the other hand, Dark Souls is strangely enough a game that I've never ran out of things to see. There's always a quest with a split result or something you do differently or a route you do differently setting the course of a quest in another way. It really feels like this perfect game for the high-school playground pre-internet where little Timmy says he saw Siegmeir in Ash Lake while everyone saw him die in Izalith and people replay the game to see if it's true.

I feel later games misunderstand the joy of these quests being in how unique they are, while in Elden Ring they are just obsure quests that...stop until you involve yourself, and only have one outcome (or the outcome is decided very late or with little result (like the mage-quest)). It was pretty interesting for me to finally finish the Solaire quest (always had the bad ending).

> bonfires
Fantastic shit, makes it feel more like a world too and the warping was done better too. Just a few bonfires, meaning you still have to walk around. You can't just warp to EVERY bonfire. Good note about the paths, usually when I die I just go somewhere else to explore something else.

It's fun how the game just pushes you to break it btw. I kinda vowed to play the entire game 'legit' wih a regular boss order, but it took like 5 mins for me to organically break his idea.

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