10 Tips for Dark Souls: The First 10 Hours
Posted on Monday, October 3 @ 14:54:44 PST by Nicholas Tan
1. You're supposed to die. Get used to it. Now learn from your mistakes.
If you're new to the whole Demon's Souls and now Dark Souls concept, just get used to dying. A lot. This is supposed to happen. As Daniel said in his review, this is a game of inches, and more than that, a game of caution.
Don't expect to hack and slash your way through enemies easily; instead, learn the timing of their attacks and get them to make a mistake, so that you can get around them (locked on or not) and backstab or riposte. Also know that you can kick enemies off ledges or just as a way to bait them into attacking. Note where each enemy spawns, how each enemy attacks, and why you died. Not only will that make your next attempt easier, but you will also be able to recover your dead body and all of your lost souls with a lot more success.
2. If you can, use the lunging aerial strike on bosses.
Immediately in just the tutorial area, you'll face an Asylum Dragon that seems to be far too large and powerful for you to take head on. So follow what the message on the second floor says and take the opportunity to strike from above for massive damage. From there, it's all about getting behind the dragon with evasive dodging and hacking away. This aerial strike will also prove useful for future bosses. *hint, hint*
3. Get the Heal spell as soon as you can.
This may not be obvious, but once you land in the open world, you can go up the stairs of the Firelink Shrine and speak to the cleric (next to lot of breakable pots) who tells you to keep your distance. But if you talk to him multiple times, he will soon teach you Miracles, which is essentially White Magic, and in particular, Heal for 4000 souls. This spell can be spent five times, is recharged every time you rest at a bonfire, and effectively doubles your healing capacity along with your also rechargeable Ester Flasks.
You will need a Faith stat of 12 before you can use Heal, so concentrate on that stat when you first spend souls at the bonfire to level up. Of course, you won't have 4000 souls at your disposal at the beginning, so you'll have to grind for them. You'll also need a talisman to cast the miracles, a trinket that the cleric also sells for 1000 souls or that you can find. So save up your Lost Souls items, which don't dissipate when you die, and don't use them until you have enough to purchase Heal.
4. Get a shortbow (or crossbow) as soon as you can. Also, pulling.
The merchant in the Undead Berg who you can find near the bonfire in the area (he will be downstairs from a platform with two undead and annoying pikemen with shields) will sell a shortbow and plenty of arrows. Go ahead and purchase the cheap ones at 3 souls a pop, and some of the more expensive ones for bosses if you like. Make sure you have enough Dexterity to wield it properly. While you're equipped with the shortbow, you can switch between the two types of arrows with L2 and R2 (or LT and RT) and also go into target mode with L1 (or LB).
The point of the shortbow is to take out those firebomb-throwing undead bastards from afar and, most importantly, to be used as a tool for pulling. "Pulling" is a method by which you get enemies to come at you one at a time, without all of the enemies coming at you and surrounding you at once. That said, most enemies are much more easily disposed when you're fighting them one-on-one. So if you want to get a particular enemy out of the way first, shoot an arrow at that enemy at a distance and watch them get all mad and come after you.
Using a bow and a whole lot of arrows, you can also snipe the red dragon's tail from a distance while you're below the bridge. You'll know the red dragon when you see it. If you snipe the dragon's tail enough times (that is, a LOT of times), you'll receive an extra powerful Flying Dragon Sword that requires 16 strength to hold... at least that's what I think it's called, because I didn't follow tip number 5...
5. Don't kill the merchants.
I accidentally swiped at the undead merchant in the Undead Berg and then he got all mad at me. No matter what you do, he won't sell you anything, which means you can't get the Orange Soapstone or any arrows or chain armor or... Well, if that happens, you might as well kill him for a neat sword. But you'll still be very, very sad.
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