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, Witch Beatrice shot down the Moonlight Butterfly, collected the key to access the Lower Undead Burg, and decimated the Taurus Demon. Next, I face Capra Demon and rescue the pyromancer Laurentius.
This will be a shorter entry than the others. Over the course of two hours, I defeated four bosses (Moonlight Butterfly from last time being one of them) and made some more progress towards ascending my weapons. In this part, I will talk about my next foe, and the Depths.
The Lower Undead Burg is a dark and dingy area, the bad part of town. Hounds stalk the narrow paths, and Hollow thieves wait in hiding to jump you from behind. After the Taurus Demon falls, the stairs beyond lead down to a grand bridge, the bridge guarded by the red Hellkite Drake. Opposite the doorway you come through is a locked door, that is opened by the key I collected by the church. A long ladder descends into the bowels of the Burg.
An initial safe area at the bottom of the ladder has one staircase leading up, and one leading down. Climbing up, I open a door that can only be opened from this side and links to the Undead Burg and the bonfire, meaning I don’t have to travel so far if I die.
The staircase down leads to a street, where three dogs patrol. I don’t know what it is about the dogs in Dark Souls, but I have always had real trouble dealing with them. Moving down the street, doors burst open and thieves fly out around me. Using a slow weapon like the Reinforced Club, I have to be careful, as these enemies can parry me. Behind one door on this street is a captive sorcerer, but he is of no use to me.
Continuing forward, I face more thieves and dogs, gathering souls and looting an armour set from one of the buildings. A small bridge brings me to a fog gate, the Capra Demon’s fog gate. Like the Taurus, Capra rose from the Demon Ruins and took residence with the Hollows. The courtyard you fight him in is tiny, and he is assisted by two more dogs… Dogs, why did it have to be dogs?
The best strategy for this boss battle is to immediately hang right to dodge the attack of the dogs, then cut left and up a small staircase. The door at the top is locked, but you can move off the top onto the top of an archway. At this height, the Capra cannot reach you from below, and will often fall if he attempts to chase you from the staircase. The dogs, however, can follow you, but are easier to pick off when they’re split apart and without the threat of the Demon. After a small struggle involving the swing of my Club repeatedly colliding with the wall, I killed the dogs. Now for the Capra. From here, with him below me, I can use falling attacks to damage him, and then quickly return to this position. With the upgraded Club, it takes just a handful of hits to take him down. The Capra Demon falls, and I take a key from the corpse.
This key unlocks the door to the Depths, a sewer area beneath the city, where Laurentius is trapped. This area is the standard path to Blighttown, but having chosen the Master Key as my gift in the beginning, I can access the back door in the Valley of Drakes. The Depths is home to large poisonous basilisks but not your typical giant snake creature; a Dark Souls basilisk is more frog-like, with giant (fake) eyes - like many real world animals, it uses them to intimidate. It’s real eyes are tiny specs that someone else had to point out to me. After years with this game, it still holds secrets.
Down the stairs, the first room holds a half dozen Hollows, the armour-less but still deadly variant that can lock you in a flurry of slashes. Moving carefully so as not to aggro too many of them, I work my across a wooden platform and head down some stairs to a stone plateau. Two dogs jump me and the first Butcher, a larger Undead that has survived by consuming other Hollows and wields a huge Butcher Knife. Like with the Capra Demon before, taking the dogs out first is the best strategy and then standing close to the Butcher baits her into an overhead slam that leaves her open for a backstab. Repeating this a couple times will see her go down quick.
Beside the table of assorted unidentifiable meat is a chest holding the Large Ember. Embers can be given to blacksmiths and lets you upgrade your weapons and armours to higher levels. This one can be given to Andre to open up ascension to +10.
From the plateau is another staircase that heads down into a waterlogged area beneath the wooden platform, hiding two more dogs. At the other side of this little area is a rubble pile that can be climbed, and takes you up to another pathway. Heading right would take me deeper into the Depths and towards the Gaping Dragon but I don’t need to fight him on this playthrough, so I head left into an adjoining room. This room may seem empty, save for a two dozen barrels, but Laurentius is trapped in one… Time to go Zelda-style.
If I attempted to smash these barrels with a weapon, I would hit Laurentius and turn him hostile, so the only way is to roll head first into a mess of stray metal rings and splinters. Once he’s free he’ll thank you, and tell you that he’ll head for Firelink Shrine. Heading back the way I came in, through the water, over the wooden platform, back up the stairs, I come out back in the Burg. A tower just here can be climbed to find a path connected to the aqueduct that bridges Firelink and the Undead Burg, and a metal gate can be opened from this side to connect Shrine to Lower Undead Burg, completing a loop. Back at Firelink, I approach Laurentius…
Next time, I will ring the first Bell of Awakening, and make a quick detour into the Catacombs beneath Firelink.