A Dark Obsession

Written by Gav Russell

*contains possible spoilers in the form of boss names, and end game events*

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Dark Souls 2 has consumed me. CONSUMED ME. It has permeated my every waking moment since March 14th, it has haunted me during the day as I’ve tried to work/eat/be a father/human being and it has literally stalked my dreams as I’ve played out perfect counter attacks and mourned crushing defeats as I slept. I don’t like to use the word obsessed, but I’ve been obsessed. A typical day in the midst of DkS2 obsession begins as I wake up and, over breakfast, read the lore of areas I’ve cleared from the official guide, or read about weapon stats and armour stats; anything I can use to feed the monkey on my back. Then some other stuff happens that I need to get out of the way (school runs, perform my duties at work) until lunch where I can shovel food into my gob as I watch YouTube videos of runs through areas I’ve cleared, brush up on some build tips for future playthroughs, and share any acquired knowledge from recent play-time by texting fellow blogger GW. Then more…. um…  I dunno, work I guess?  Then home. Then life is a blur until around 8pm when the hollows kids are in bed and I can run at full speed, breathlessly, towards the TV, towards my controller, heart thumping as the sound of the disc as it spins into life and the words appear on the screen DARK SOULS 2.

I think, in all honesty, I’ve been ill. Sick with it. Dark Souls fever.

I completed it last night.

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With 3 optional bosses remaining. I left behind Smelter (who I just cannot kill, the prick), Vendrick and The Ancient Dragon. Vendrick & The Dragon, I never intended to kill when I found them. I liked the idea of completing the primary quest, embracing my fate and then going back to destroy these remnants of the old world on my own terms. Their time will come eventfully.

In the two days leading up to me finally seeing the end, I’d shifted down a gear and was spending most of my time backtracking to cleared areas, mopping up treasures, exploring corners I may have missed, and inhaling as many souls as possible. I tossed Ascetic’s into the bonfires around The Forest Of Fallen Giants, re-murdered the Last Giant and just spend a jolly old time going back through that area and bringing justice about all over again. “Why O Great One?!” the hollows cried, “you’ve killed us once before”.
“Yes but now, my sword is +10”.

But I suddenly felt like I needed to try and put a lid on this uncontrollable obsession. I needed to end it. So I buckled down, and did my best to follow the faint trial of breadcrumbs that I’d uncovered to the end. King Gate’s were opened, memories were accessed, bosses were killed. Controllers were thrown to the floor in rage as The Giant Lord kept one-shotting me. I cursed myself over and over for inadvertently ensuring that I needed to kill a NG+ level Pursuer just to access an end-game event in the area just behind where he lands. It was a stressful two days, but I did it.

I claimed the throne.

My thoughts on the ending are plentiful, and will be shared here in time. The point here is that I’d put myself out of my misery. I’d done it. I’d reached the end. I could finally disengage my brain from the world of Drangleic. I Could wake up the next morning with a clear head.

Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple. As I woke up the next morning, still with insatiable hunger, and jumped back in with a new build. A Sorcerer.

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Having never played as that kind of build before, my mind is in overdrive again. Ravenous for information and thirsting for the next spell, the next upgrade, the next bit of apparel to buff my build. I’m 6 hours in, the knowledge gained from my first playthrough enabling me to trounce the opening areas and drink in all and any souls. The Last Giant, The Pursuser, Flexile Sentry, The Ruin Sentinels, Dragonrider, Old Drangonslayer, Skeleton Lords, The Covetous Demon, Mytha The Baneful Queen. All dead. With the exception of the Ruin Sentinel’s Soul (which nets you a devastating spell from Straid when you un-petrify him) I’ve been consuming the boss souls too, something I have never done in a Souls game yet, in order to enhance myself to gargantuan levels as quickly as possible. I feel a bit like this –

My selection of spells have attained deadly levels. I feel like a monster. No longer curious and afraid, I’m stalking the land like a predator. I wanted the Hexers Hood to increase my cast count, but rather than wait and attain the required levels to allow Felkin The Outcast to grant it to me, I murdered him and took it.

It never ends. And in fact, things now may be worse than ever.

*cackles manically for eternity*


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