So I’ve got quite a bit of footage to start off. Since you can’t play co-op on the first level (without kind of cheesing it), Episode 0 as I’m calling it is the Tutorial zone of Northern Undead Asylum and the upper reaches of the Undead Burg. Once we get into the Undead Parish, we’ll really get moving with the Co-Op play. Likewise as a precautionary tale, exploration will be kept down to keep videos in manageable chuncks. I’d encourage everyone who has this game to simply explore the world and find all the goodies out there. Sometimes it’s something stupid like an extra Humanity. Sometimes it’s an entire boss. While we won’t be showing the level in super detail, we will be showing the way through, and all the secrets and bosses/mini-bosses we can. Yep, that means showing how to kill a Black Knight at relatively low level, for anyone who’s ever wanted to try! Now, without further ado, let’s move on to part one of this little series.

(And I’m aware the quality is a little wonkity. That should hopefully be fixed by the next set of videos.)

Honestly, there isn’t much to add to this. Sure, I could explain everything, but if you are just picking up this game, you should be reading those notes. Each and every one is specifically for the new player to explain the various control aspects of the game, so instead we’re going to talk about class until the first boss pops up. For the purpose of the LP, I picked a Knight to show off a more basic approach for new players starting out. I prefer light, agile characters, but a big heavy tank can easy shrug off hits and keep swinging. As you’ll see in the next video, heavy armor ups a stat called “Poise” which determines if being hit staggers you. If an enemy hollow were to hit you as, say, a Sorcerer, it will knock you backwards and put you in something I call hit stun. Basically you can’t move or react until hit stun is over, but you can be attacked again. It’s a nasty way to die. Having a lot of Poise means you won’t often be put in hit stun, so you can actually trade bows and count on Estus Flasks and blocks to keep you going.

The other reason I chose a Knight is because of the starting stats, and the fact that it starts in the Way of the White covenant. You do not have to pick a Knight to join this covenant though, as Clerics also start with it, but more importantly Petrus of Thorolund will invite you to join the covenant if you speak to him three times in Firelink. People in Way of the White are closer on the network, so it makes co-op play easier. You can also see little rings on the ground. These are called ‘Miracle Resonance’ and if you cast the same Miracle as the person who started it, your miracle will become more powerful. And so on  for the next person. Likewise, you can not use an Estus Flask when in another player’s world, so getting the Heal miracle from the Way of the White can be really handy early on in the game!

But the important thing to keep in mind is that, ultimately, you’re class does not matter. Nothing you pick will lock you out of any choice later on. If you wanted you, you could pick Knight or Warrior and pump all your levels into Intellect and Attunment, turning yourself into a deadly mage. Or pick Sorcerer and go crazy with Strength and Endurance. Your starting class is merely a framework for you to build up on how you see fit. If you are new to the game, I would recommend Warrior, but following a similar path to mine in this LP. Starting Warrior just lets you dodge way better than the Knight ever could.

Now that that’s out of the way, we’re up to the first boss! Yes, it’s time to lay the smack-down on the Asylum Demon. As far as things go, he’s pretty easy. Remember to do a falling attack (normal attack as you fall), and just keep behind him. If you picked Sorcerer or Pyromancer, giggle yourself silly as you kill him from beyond his range. His mace slams, both the close range hit and the overhead swing, can hit insanely hard, so be careful about that. If you die, don’t worry, the Bonfire is pretty close by.

Alright, we’ve made it to Firelink Shrine. This will be the hub of your adventures in the world of Dark Souls. There is even some treasure to be found! I’ll show where it is in the bonus episode later this week, until then see if you can find it. Be careful if you go to the Graveyard though, those skeletons can be insanely hard to kill at low level, and can cause you to bleed out if you get hit enough. There is some nice loot back there, like the ultra greatsword Zweihander, or the Winged Spear, but you had best be prepared to die for those items.

You may have noticed the last boss dropped something called ‘Humanity’ in the last episode. These are nifty little items that instantly heal your life to full, and increase your Humanity counter by 1. More humanity means a higher discovery rate, and increases a few resistances… if you happen to be Human. How do you become human? By spending a point of humanity at the bonfire. Once human, you can also spend another point to kindle any bonfire in the game, increasing the amount of Estus Flasks you get from that bonfire by 5.

You may notice there is a lot of loot laying around. That’s not because we just started the game, there is a ton of loot to be found in this game. For the sake of not having hour long episodes, I can’t run every piece down to show you, so I encourage everyone to explore whenever possible. Death is no setback to those cursed by the Darksign, since you just come back. Exploring after finding a bonfire can lead to lucrative results! I will be showing the goo stuff however, along with special hard to get items. And special, hard to kill enemies as well. That one item on the aquaduct I passed up is called a Ring of Sacrifice, which prevents you from losing your souls and stored humanity upon death, but breaks after one use. You have to jump to get it, and I don’t feel comfortable doing the jump with my weight, not that some of you wouldn’t mind my character randomly stripping to make the jump.

Everything else is quite forward up to the boss, but before skipping to that, one fair warning. You can attack (and kill) anything in this game. This includes the merchant. If you kill him, you’ll get a free key and a Katana, but, obviously, lose the merchant for the rest of the playthrough. If you just hit him and make him angry, don’t worry. An NPC a little later on in the game can erase all those hostilities… for a price.

Now then, to wrap this up, I bring you the Taurus Demon. This guy can be incredibly frustrating, so I’ll show you any easy way of dealing with him. One of the chests gives Black Firebombs, and the merchant sells normal Firebombs, both can be used to hit him from beyond his range. The other easy method is to simply repeat the begining of the fight. Run down to one end, then run to the other and climb up the ladder. Heal if you need to, then jump back on his face for a free drop attack. Don’t tally, he will jump up there with you if you take too long. If you try and go into melee with him, keep your shield up and try to circle around into his swings. Staying under his attacking weapon can help outright dodge his attacks.

And after that, you defeated the second boss! Talk to Solaire and prepare to engage in jolly co-operation. We’ll pick up in the Undead Parish next week, so until then, happy hunting!

End Note- Yes, everyone sounds evil when they laugh. It’s a Dark Souls thing.