Dark Souls is my favourite game of all time. I have completed it multiple times, but I am going to attempt a new challenge - the Onebro run. The name “Onebro” is given to someone who defeats the final boss, Gwyn, at Soul level one. No easy task.
Last time, I cleared out the Undead Asylum and escaped to Lordran. I then travelled to the Undead Burg to buy a Reinforced Club before returning to Firelink Shrine. Now, I will make my way to Andre the blacksmith, with whom I can upgrade my new weapon.
I grab the Homeward Bones from Petrus’s stash and head down the steps at the outer rim of the bonfire site. I pass Anastacia and continue to the elevator room. This path takes me down to the New Londo Ruins, where I grab a Fire Keeper Soul. These can be given to Anastacia the Fire Keeper to increase the health restored by my Estus Flask, but I won’t take it to her yet. My current destination is the Undead Parish, where I will grab another Fire Keeper Soul and use a direct shortcut to return to Firelink Shrine. Two birds with one stone and that.
Arriving at the bottom of the elevator shaft, I enter the New Londo Ruins. This place was once a great city of Man, ruled by the Four Kings. Lord Gwyn, a possessor of a Lord Soul of the First Flame, divided his power between his children and these kings before he left his kingdom for the Kiln of the First Flame. The fragments of Gwyn’s Soul gave the king's new power. As time passed, evil was drawn to them. They were seduced by the serpent Kaathe, who desires nothing more than to see all Humanity return to the Abyss, beginning the Age of Dark. The Four Kings transformed their knights into Darkwraiths, who possess the art of Lifedrain. Using this power, they began to steal the souls, the Humanity, of the citizens of New Londo. Three sealers were sent to put an end to Kaathe’s plan. They flooded the city, banishing the Kings and their Darkwraiths to the Abyss, but drowned the remaining population of New Londo in the process. The New Londo Ruins are now haunted by the spirits of its people.
The world of Dark Souls is open from the start; the different areas are tied together with elevators and locked doors. Some of which can be opened by those who choose the Master Key as their starting item at the beginning. One such door leads to the Valley of Drakes.
Lightning breathing Wyverns populate these narrow paths, and so too does an Undead Dragon. From this end of the Valley, you can enter Blighttown, but I am not heading that way just yet. The Undead Dragon slumbers on a cliff edge, and remains at rest unless approached. It is possible to hug the cliff wall and avoid waking it, but beside its right arm lies two items: Astora’s Straight Sword and the Dragon Crest Shield. I want that shield. It requires only 10 Strength, and blocks 100% of any physical damage. After grabbing the shield and one carefully timed dodge, I’m away. The Undead Dragon can not follow.
The path ahead is blocked by two Wyverns who are easily dodged. After passing them, I reach a stone bridge, and on the other side is a grand gate. This is the other entrance to the New Londo Ruins, but the way is sealed for now. I don’t cross the bridge, as on this side is a passage that leads to an elevator. At the top I find a cavernous path and a bonfire. I rest and then continue into Darkroot Basin.
At the mouth of the cave waits a Black Knight, a servant of Gwyn. He wields a large halberd, and we duel. The mouth opens onto a small cliff edge, and after many attempts, I land a backstab on him. The animation ends with a kick that I use to send him over the edge. Some enemies do not respawn once killed, and they do not leave a lootable corpse, so his weapon magically appears in my inventory. The chance of receiving this loot is slim, and this could not have been a worse playthrough to get it. It requires a Strength level far, far higher than my own, and with no levelling allowed in this run, the weapon is useless. Never mind!
The path allows me to climb up and out of the Valley, and into the Basin proper. Visible ahead is the base of a tower that leads up to the Undead Burg; a shortcut guarded by Havel the Rock, a once close friend of Gwyn. Between me and that tower are Crystal Golems, and residing in a nearby lake is a Hydra. The path I was following continues up the cliff, so I stay on it and arrive at Darkroot Garden. Reaching an intersection, I head down the left road, and arrive at a building resembling a chapel. Inside is a Titanite Demon, a tough enemy that can be exploited by luring it onto the stairs. It's swings are all horizontal, so positioning yourself below it on the stairs allows you to avoid any damage as you hack at its ankles and groin.
At the other end of the room is a staircase that brings you to Andre the Blacksmith. By purchasing nine Titanite Shards from him, I can upgrade my Reinforced Club to +5. If I had any Large Titanite Shards, I could upgrade it further, but haven’t had any luck with drops so far this run, other than that bloody Black Knight Halberd…
Andre sits at the base of a tower. The floor above holds a bonfire and the path to Sen’s Fortress, currently inaccessible due to a closed portcullis. The top floor takes you to the Undead Parish. This area is usually accessed after progressing through the Undead Burg, but by taking the long way around, I bypassed the Taurus Demon and Hellkite Drake and arrived at the church that houses the Bell Gargoyles. Entering the church, I head to the altar. Here lies the second Fire Keeper Soul, but it is guarded by a Berenike Knight. A slow foe, who leaves himself open to counter attacks with each swing of his mace. He goes down after only a few hits from my upgraded Club. An elevator opposite from where I entered takes me back down to Firelink Shrine. Anastacia, I’m home!!