I’ve been playing Dark Souls for about a year and half now, and I have to say that I am thoroughly pleased. It rated a staggering 9/10 on IGN, and for good reason: the game is beautiful and intriguing, but viciously hard. I’m not kidding when I say this. Not in the least.
If you are a new player, you will most likely die multiple times. The game does say “Prepare to Die” on the back, anyways. Besides the non-existent difficulty setting and the inability to ever pause, you must learn the tactics of each enemy and constantly watch your surroundings as a single mistake can cost you dearly. This game was not catered for casual players. However, it is emotionally rewarding for each thing you manage to get through properly (Blighttown, anyone?).
One of the greatest aspects of Dark Souls (and ultimately, one of the most annoying) is the seamless open-world gameplay. I’ve had a few people stop me on Xbox just to ask what they are supposed to do next, and I answer them as best as I can. For me now, the game is easy, and that’s why I’m typing this super-rough timeline-guide-thing: to help any Undead find their way through the game without any frustration.
*Please note that I’m not going to write out entire walkthroughs on each area, or teach you how to defeat each boss, this is just so you can get from the beginning of the game to the end, with a few secrets tossed in here and there.
-After leaving the Undead Asylum-
-Go to the Undead Burg (via the aqueduct pathway) and kill the Taurus Demon.
-Ledge-jumping damage (falling damage) works wonders on the Taurus Demon.
-Being wary of the Hellkite dragon (that most likely killed you), you can either run to the stairwell or duck under the dragon’s legs to reach the bonfire.
-With a bow, 40 standard arrows, and 14 DEX, you are able to shoot off the dragon’s tail from underneath the bridge. This will get you the Drake Sword, a good weapon for 1/4 of the game.
-From the bonfire, run through the Undead Parish until you reach the next boss, the Gargoyles. Past them is the first bell. Ring the crap out of it.
-Look for a guy stuck in a cell in the tower leading up to the fog gate. Fight the first Gargoyle as fast as you can, because his friend is going to come out of nowhere and burn your sh*t to hell. OH! Try to cut off one of their tails!
-One more bell to go! Easy right? We can’t to the next bell as the way is locked. Drag your butt to the Darkroot Garden (via the stone bridge in the Undead Parish, by the church) and hit a wall by a large door to reveal a hidden bonfire.
-If you have 20,000 souls on-hand, I recommend buying that door seal thing from the big burly blacksmith in the Undead Parish. Using it on the big locked door in Darkroot Garden will lead the way to getting your money back and then some, but more on that a bit later.
-Get humanized and fight your way to the tower across the clearing a ways from your bonfire. Summon the Witch Beatrice to help you out with taking down a huge Moonlight Butterfly, the boss that is in the way of you getting to the second bell. After it’s dead, run up the tower to get the Watchtower Basement Key and the ember.
-If you’re not a magic caster, let Beatrice handle it. The buttery fiend will come down to rest, however. Use this time cautiously.
-AHA I LIED. You didn’t need to go through all the trouble with the butterfly. When you ran past the dragon you most-likely picked up something called the “Basement Key”. Getting the Watchtower Basement Key will come in handy later though, and having embers is a very good thing. Use the Basement Key on the locked tower door by the Hellkite Dragon Bridge, on the side with the deceased Taurus Demon, and enter the Lower Undead Burg.
-If you got that key-thing from the blacksmith, now would be a good time to get your money back. Open the large door (make sure you rested at the bonfire), run down the stairs and into the woods to attract the human enemies. They will chase you, so run back to the stairs. Instead of going up the stairs, run along the cliff edge beside them and hug the wall. The group of idiots will run up the stairs and try to jump down to where you are, but they’ll fall down the cliff, killing themselves. Also, the Hellkite Dragon will burn you and everything you love when you go across that bridge. Run back under the bridge and kick down the ladder leading to the Undead Burg.
-Go down the street to end the life of the Capra Demon who holds the key to the Depths. Take this thing and open up the Depths down the stairs from the Capra Demon’s area.
-Up the street is a door that can be opened. A spellcaster trainer is behind it and will train you if you free him (by using a Residence Key or Master Key, of course).
-Welcome to hell. Go through the Depths with caution until you reach the bonfire.
-Quite a few nasties in here, as well as a lot of goodies. I cannot strain this enough: The big-eyed lizard things will curse you with their breath if you get close enough, and falling through those holes in the floor will usually land you in a huge nest of them. If you’re human in that sewer area, Kirk the Darkwraith will invade. Kill him. Trust me.
-Get to the Gaping Dragon, using caution along the way. Kill that beautiful piece of art and take the Blighttown Key. Use this on the gate leading to a huge hole in the ground.
-Make sure you’re human, you’ll want to summon both of the people there before the fog gate. By doing this, they gain the attention of Big Bertha while you can sneak behind her and cut her tail off.
-Welcome. Like the dark? Then this is the place for you! Run through Blighttown till you reach the bonfire in the sewer tunnel. Rest up.
-In the town you should have come across a set of ninja-looking armour. Use this and the spider shield you picked up from now on, as it has high poison resistance. You should also make the jump to that inaccessible roof to get a very good pyromancy and DEX-scaling sword, the Iaito.
-Become human and run towards that giant mountain-thing. Inside, you will find egg-carriers (don’t hit them) and Quelaag (hit her). When she’s dead and you’re feeling mighty good about what you just did, run into the tower and ring that bell like you would a man’s neck.
-If you’re human by the bonfire tunnel, Maneater Mildred will attack. Defeat her, and she will appear for summoning by the fog gate to Quelaag.
-Run back to the Undead Parish (that tower where you can hear the blacksmith working) and across the bridge to the open gates.
-If you ran down the stairs in the bell tower you can go through an illusion-wall to a bonfire. Don’t hit the egg-carrier, just say yes to his questions. Remember that big, hairy, fire-spider/woman thing (Quelaag)? The Fair Lady is her sister. I hope you’re happy. If you have the Old Witch’s Ring, you will be able to understand her, making you a double-decker-prick.
-Run through Sen’s Fortress, avoiding the traps along the way.
-When you get to the roof, look to where that giant is throwing giant-sized fire bombs (black spots on the ground). By running up the stairs (with caution) and jumping off the ledge where there is no brick-wall boundary, you get to the only bonfire in Sen’s Fortress.
-After killing the boss, touch the light orb to be kidnapped by flying demon monkeys to Anor Londo.
-Black Iron Tarkus is available for summoning against the boss. Run across the bridge near the fog gate, and, as long as you’re human, you will see his summoning sign.
-Follow the path (watch for mimic chests) and find the bonfire at the lowest point of the moving pillar platform. From there, go back up and head up the big stairs to the castle.
-When you’re inside the cathedral place (walking across the rafters), if you look down you’ll be able to see a huge portrait. If you ever went back to the Undead Asylum (via the crow in Firelink Shrine) and went back to your cell, you’ll find the Peculiar Doll. Have this in your inventory and touch the portrait to be transferred to a place of death and despair.