Nah, just kidding. he’s totally rank.
By Gav James-Weir
****contains spoilers for Mid-Game (maybe?) locations and bosses, but I’ve seen loads of talk about this guy so you’re probably alright****
Just to catch you up; I’m currently about 35 hours in, level 70. My character has shifted towards a Greatsword build, as it always does in these games. All high strength and dex but light armour so no fat rolling. Vanzan is a beast, I’ve not really struggled on any boss (apart from those gargoyles Gav R last spoke about) and I was in damn fine shape until I stumbled onto this mangy bastard and his toxic friends.
I’d heard mentions of a ‘Royal Rat Authority’, instant thoughts went to this guy:
…but he’s not quite like that.
The boss starts off tame. I walked through the fog gate into a large room with 4 rats staring you down…and this room is incredible. I’m gonna do a longer post on this, but the art direction is just stunning, like a Lovecraftian Moria.
You’re faced with 4 rats…no problem. Walk forward and the giant fucker jumps down and the fight gets harder. Once you’ve taken down his scutty little friends you notice that this guy is just Sif minus the sword and dignity, all replaced with a skin bad condition. Get to grips with the moves and timings and he’s a push over…I killed him relatively easy, 6 tries, not bad for a Dark Souls boss. Once my Old Knight Great Sword+9 (catchy name) slammed into his face for the killing blow, I allowed myself a little celebratory sip of tea, a bask in the victory I’d just achieved.
But oh, what’s that hissing noise?
I’m dying…what the…(!)
A mad scramble for the pad later and I died, all before the ‘VICTORY ACHIEVED’* message pops.
‘Please, Dark Souls…lemme have just this one…don’t make me do that again…’ I beg at the TV.
‘Nah mate’, it replies, ‘you’re doing that again…LOL’ and it kicks dirt towards me that becomes thick, oily black marks as it mixes with the tracks that my hopeful, pathetic tears have formed. A Shakespearian tragedy, no doubt.
In a classic Dark Souls-ian (coining it) turn, the boss vomits all over the floor just before death…and I was standing right in it. Pretty dick move to just assume victory was mine, it’s a trick I learned long ago in Ninja Gaiden 2: get the fuck away from the boss when you kill it, chances are it’ll explode (I’m looking at you, giant fire armadillo and your exploding tricks).
Once more into the void then. Easy…killed him once, right? I know what I’m doing now, I’m even gonna get cocky and slap some Gold Pine Resin on my sword to make this quicker. Off I swagger, johnny fucking big balls.
22 TRIES LATER.
TWENTY FUCKING TWO. AND THIS WAS AN OPTIONAL BOSS.
I was so close to giving up. How could something that was once so easy suddenly be handing my ass to me on a plate? Fucking Dark Souls, that’s why. The combination of this game being bastardly punishing and me losing my head, silly mistakes and red-mist induced fury. But he’s dead! nothing to worry about now…move on, claim your prize. A little chat with a rat and the chance to join his covenant. Pfff, jog on mate! I’m a Sunbro, ain’t joining up with your in your cave, I gots suns to praise!
So onwards I moved. Onto the horror of The Gutter. Onto Black Gultch. Onto The ‘FUCKING’ Rotten, the boss who’s currently consuming my waking thoughts. And then onto the 3 other bosses I’ve currently got lying in wait for me. And then the hordes of others, just waiting to ruin my day.
I fucking love this game.
*side note: YOU DEFEATED is way better than VICTORY ACHIEVED. I demand a patch to change it.