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 took the long way around to the Undead Parish, visiting the New Londo Ruins, the Valley of Drakes, and Darkroot Basin. My Reinforced Club has been upgraded to +5, and I have two Fire Keeper Souls to take to Anastacia. Now, I have a date with a witch, and a certain Butterfly.
By giving the Fire Keeper Souls to Anastacia, I receive two upgrades to my Estus Flask. For every Soul, the Flask heals an additional 100 health; that’s almost my full health bar now, as opposed to half.
Taking the elevator back up to the Undead Parish, I follow the path back down to Andre, and through the room that once housed a Titanite Demon. When I reach the same intersection from last time, I take the right road, leading deeper into Darkroot Garden. This area is populated by what seem like sentient trees, but in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC, we see they that used to be the gardeners, but are now one with the forest. The long range of their attacks makes fighting groups of them tricky, so it is advised to take them on one-on-one.
Rounding the corner, I see a large stone bridge above me. That is where the fight with the Moonlight Butterfly takes place. To reach it, I pass beneath and find a locked door. This door is sealed and opens only to the Crest of Artorias, an item held by Andre. To the left is a stone wall, an illusory wall, that hides a bonfire. I rest here, and restore my Humanity, changing back from a Hollow to a human. To the right is another path, that takes me down to the base of a tower that will take me up to the bridge. In this area there are more of the gardeners, and Stone Knights. These hulking foes can use a spell to slow your movement, so avoiding them or killing them quickly is key. Inside the tower, behind a bush beneath the stairs, is a summon sign. Being human allows me to summon aid from these signs, and this sign belongs to Witch Beatrice. With only eight uses of Fireball, having Beatrice casting sorceries is essential to beating the Moonlight Butterfly in quick time.
The Moonlight Butterfly has only five attacks: two bursts of magic bolts, akin to a shotgun, that are easily avoided by strafing, a larger homing shot, a sweeping beam, and a much larger shot, still easily dodged. The Moonlight Butterfly spends the majority of the fight airborne, often out of range of my Fireball but not of Beatrice’s spells, but does occasionally land on the bridge. There is a short period where I can smack it with the Club, before it releases a magical explosion and takes to the sky again. Usually a fight that lasts only a minute, it took a few more this time as Beatrice seemed incapable of hitting home with any of her shots. Eventually the beast fell, I collected the loot from the top of another tower, and made my way back to the Undead Parish.
Rather than heading back down the elevator to Firelink, I turn to the front of the church. Fighting through three Balder Knights, I emerge into the Parish proper. A grand staircase ahead leads down to an open portcullis, and beyond is a Fang Boar, a monster clad in steel. At the base of the stairs is a key, and I grab that before turning tail and fleeing back to the church, and down to Firelink. Not entirely sure why I was scared, to be honest. I guess I really didn’t want to fight that pig.
The key opens a door that will take me down to the Lower Undead Burg, and then to the Depths. To reach this door, I have to go through the Taurus Demon, the area boss of the Undead Burg. The Burg was once a bustling city kept safe by its high walls, but it is now an Undead warren, with Hollow soldiers hiding around every corner. Two demons have made their home here having climbed up and out of the Demon Ruins: the Taurus Demon and the Capra Demon. While this area in the game is relatively small, we are led to believe that the Burg encircled Anor Londo, the city of the giants, as seen in a shot of the opening cutscene.
The Burg is a pretty linear area, especially coming back to it after Bloodborne and the cobbled web that was Yharnam. By rolling through some barrels, I drop down to a hidden road. Down here, I can loot some more Souls, kill a few Hollows, and a ladder takes me back to where I dropped down. Smashing my way through some houses, I begin to climb to a larger square, when the talons of a drake slam down onto the stone walkway ahead of me. Being the first area new players tend to visit, just the sight of this creature can be daunting. The drake pauses for a moment, before taking to the air once more, flying into the distance. I’ll see it again, after the Taurus Demon is defeated.
In the square, I can take a road to the right. Beyond two shield wielding Hollows is a staircase that brings me back to the merchant I bought my Reinforced Club from. For reasons I’ll reveal later, I buy a second one from him.
The other exit from the square takes me to a bonfire, and the halfway point of the Burg. The rest of the way takes me through over a dozen Hollows of multiple forms: the standard sword wielders, a few with shields, a couple that throw firebombs, and one standing atop a tower with a crossbow. Through a locked door, I find a chest containing some Gold Pine Resin, which when used applies lightning damage to my club. There are two staircases, one leads up to the ramparts, and one leads down to another Black Knight. This Knight carries a Greatsword, but due to his size, can use it more like a regular one. His attacks are easily parried though, and it only takes a couple of hits to take him down. He guards a ring that boosts my defense when my health is low.
The staircase leading up takes me into the same tower which houses Havel the Rock, the tower I was instead standing at the bottom of in Part One. Dark Souls loves a staircase, and I’m faced with two more. Down, I go to fight Havel, whose blows will kill me in a single hit. This is a foe that killed me multiple times, each death having me fight through the Burg once more. After maybe a half dozen attempts, I finally land enough backstabs on him to slay him, and he drops his ring. Havel’s Ring boosts my maximum equipment load by 50%, meaning I can wear heavier, and stronger, armour without taking movement penalties. At this point I’m already wearing my best equipment, but this will come in handy later.
Up leads to the ramparts of the Burg, and a barrel on the top floor hides a Crystal Lizard. In this room is a fog gate that bars the Taurus fight. Stepping through, I immediately turn to the right and climb a ladder to the roof on the tower, where two crossbow carrying Hollows are waiting. If you don’t take them out, they’ll rain bolts down on you as you fight the Taurus, making it far harder. As the boss doesn’t appear until halfway to the next tower, it’s safe to kill them now. Sliding back down and heading forward, I use the Pine Resin to buff my weapon. The left side wall has fallen at a point, and rubble is strewn across the path. My eyes are fixed on one particular brick, for this marks the point which triggers the Taurus to leap down from the tower ahead and begins the battle. As the music builds, I spin around and sprint for that ladder I just came back down and scramble to the top. The Taurus chases, but stands for a moment below me. I sprint again, this time to the edge, and jump for the Demon’s face. The swing lands, dealing two counts of damage for the running attack and the falling attack using the same glitch as against the Asylum Demon, but with the upgrades to my club and the Pine Resin active, it takes the Taurus to half health in an instant. He staggers as I land on my feet, and taking advantage of his animation I attack a second and third time. He falls, after mere seconds of the fight starting.
Next time, I will enter the Lower Undead Burg to face the Capra Demon, and then descend into the Depths to save Laurentius.