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Dark Souls: General Overview
By Cornblakes
This is a general walk about for new players in the world of Dark Souls.
A mix of personal experiences and facts alike.
Updated when something comes up.
Hope it can be of some use to you in its current state and happy hunting! :D
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Hello everyone,
Please do not ask me for personal help, it is not something I can do for everyone and I am usually on the busy side. As much as I'd love to, I simply can't.

I will do my best to answer questions and update information here.

Thank you for understanding. - Rey
Before Playing
When first booting up the game, you may realize some things appear off.
There is a reason for this, and it can be easily fixed.

Dark Souls for the PC in its default state is a clunky console port at best.

Appearance wise, the game is set to a rather low internal resolution.
Just as well it is being limited to 30 FPS, alongside some other more subtle issues.

Thanks to our friend Durante, we've been gifted with a solution to just about all these issues.

[ Dark Souls Fix ]

Description:
An interception DINPUT8.dll that you place in the same folder as the game executable. It intercepts the game's calls to the DirectX 9 API and changes them as necessary to enable a higher internal rendering resolution and various other features.

You can download it from my Dropbox here[db.tt].
(This may be out-of-date)

Simply put the three files in to the DATA folder of its install directory and you are good to go.
This can easily be found by finding Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition under your library then RMB and go to Properties, Local Files tab and Browse Local Files...

It is very likely that you will have to disable the in-game anti-aliasing for this to function correctly.
Class Selection
*WIP*

Choosing your "Class":
The easiest way to go about this is that there is no actual class system in-game.
This is a very common misconception mainly with new players.

This is basically your starting equipment and stats which is more easily dictated if you have an idea on what kind of build you want to go for, which is completely up to you from the get-go regardless of which starting class you choose. It will only potentially put you closer to your goal from the start.

Benefits:
With the exception of Cleric and Pyromancer who start off with their respective faith and pyromancy spells as their character styles would suggest. Alongside Thief who inherently has the Master Key, an item that can open many doors throughout Lordran without having to locate the original keys to said doors. This is a starting option for every other class and as Thief it only opens up the possibility for other, in my opinion less useful items. Either limited use or aesthetic. Heal and Fireball, albeit a temporary advantage, both of these are easily obtainable once your character is in-game at the cost of a small sum of souls, the main currency of Dark Souls.

Regardless of nearly complete flexibility in play style, I would still suggest putting some thought in to which starting class you are going to choose. It will make your experience better in the short of things, especially if you already have your heart set on a certain build.

This is solely dependant on the stats in which they start with that will go towards whichever build you may want. Find the one that has the strongest emphasis on the primary and secondary stat of what you are going for and go from there.
Getting Started
*WIP*

[ The Undead Asylum ]

So, you've arrived in the Undead Asylum... not looking nearly as pretty as you did on the character creation screen. Don't fret, for this is not your permanent look! You are simply lacking in humanity, or hollow in this case. I assure you that your skin will return to you soon enough. For now, let's focus on other matters aside from vanity.

A mysterious man clad in armor has just dropped down a corpse from an opening in the ceiling with an item on it, a Dungeon Cell Key. This will unlock the cell door not too far from where you are currently standing so that you may press onward. As you exit the cell you will see a couple of what appears to be humans, they don't seem too happy with their current situation... we will refer to these as husks. They are not currently a threat to you for as far as they are concerned you are one of them, yet another undead hollow sitting in limbo, awaiting the end of the world.

Proceed forward from here down the hallway until you reach a pool of water with yet another husk and make a right to where you will reach a ladder leading up to a large open area where you will encounter your first bonfire, these are essential to your survival through Lordran.
Activate the bonfire, rest and then press onward through the large double-door in front of you.

Once you have reached around the middle of this new room a rather daunting fellow will drop down from a balcony to offer you his welcome. This is our friend, the Asylum Demon. You may die once or twice here before realizing that you are not meant to actually fight him on this first encounter, or at least not do so and survive! On the upper left end of this room there is a small doorway in which you must make your escape through, after reaching the other side a barred door will drop down behind you and lock this room off until later.

Proceed down the stairs from here until you reach yet another bonfire. Activate and rest here and then go through the open doorway on your left where you will run in to an archer down the way and a couple of essential items as well. Make a hasty retreat to the small space on the left so that you are in safety when you retrieve this first item off the corpse at your feet, a shield!

To be continued...
Boss Progression (Part I)
*WIP*

- Main Bosses -

1. [Undead Asylum] Asylum Demon:
A lesser demon who guards the Undead Asylum, preventing the prisoners within from escaping. The first boss you'll encounter in the game.



2. [Undead Burg] Taurus Demon:
The Taurus Demon is generally the first boss most players encounter in Lordran. It wields a massive greataxe, and is virtually identical to the Minor Taurus Demons that appear in the Demon Ruins.



3. [Undead Parish] Belfry Gargoyles:
The guardians of the first Bell of Awakening. After the first gargoyle's HP drops below 50%, a second, fire-breathing one will come to the boss arena. Generally the first boss encounter in which you can summon NPC phantoms.



4. [Darkroot Garden] Moonlight Butterfly:
Large magical butterfly created by Seath the Scaleless from magic. Capable of several ranged magic-based attacks but very limited close range capabilities.



5. [Lower Undead Burg] Capra Demon:
A lesser demon resembling a humanoid with a goat's head, wielding two large machetes. He has two Undead Attack Dogs with him.



6. [Depths] Gaping Dragon:
A descendant of the Everlasting Dragons. The dragon was once a normal dragon, until his eternal hunger transformed his upper body part to a giant mouth.



7. [Blighttown] Chaos Witch Quelaag:
Quelaag once lived with her mother, the Witch of Izalith, and her siblings in the ancient city of Izalith. After the Flame of Chaos incident, all but her sister Quelana were transformed into nefarious demons. She and one of her sisters escaped the worst of it, having their lower torsos bound to giant spiders. Fleeing their deranged, demonic kin, they climbed to the base of Blighttown and Quelaag fashioned themselves a home.



[Sen's Fortress] Iron Golem:
This iron giant, created by using a bone from an Everlasting Dragon, is the guardian of Sen's Fortress, and act as the gatekeeper of Anor Londo.



[Anor Londo] Dragon Slayer Ornstein & Executioner Smough:
Ornstein is the captain of the Four Knights of Gwyn, and presumably, the leader of Gwyn's knights. To slay the dragons, he wields lightning power and imbues his Dragonslayer Spear with it. Even though he's larger than human, he's agile, able to zip around the arena easily, skewering you with his spear.

Smough is the royal executioner of Anor Londo. He longs to be ranked with the Four Knights, but his cruelty, including using his victim's bone as his food's seasoning, forever denied the position.

This boss fight has two stages, depending on who you defeat first.

If you defeated Smough first, Ornstein will pray and absorbs Smough's power, becoming twice his size while retaining his lightning power and speed. If you defeated Ornstein first, Smough will simply kill the dragonslayer himself with his hammer and imbues it with Ornstein's lightning power.




[Anor Londo] Dark Sun Gwyndolin (optional):
Gwyndolin is Gwyn's youngest child and the only god who still remains in Anor Londo. Born with an affinity of the moon, he was raised as a daughter and has a feminine appearance as a result. He has created an illusion of his sister Gwynevere and all the guardian sentinels in the city's palace. His duty as a god is to execute sinners, and is helped by his followers with the covenant of the Blade of the Darkmoon. He's currently guarding his father's honorary tomb.

You can join the Blade of the Darkmoon covenant by kneeling before the fog door. If you enter it (trespassing the tomb), his boss battle will commence.




[Darkroot Garden] Sif, the Great Grey Wolf:
Great Grey Wolf Sif is the wolf companion of Sir Artorias, the Abysswalker. After Artorias passed away, Sif became the guardian of Artorias' grave in the Darkroot Garden. He wields Artorias' Greatsword and uses some of his moves in combat.

A younger Sif appears in the additional content. He accompanied Artorias on his quest to save Oolacile from the forces of the Abyss. However, Artorias and Sif were overrun, and the former used his shield to erect a barrier around Sif to protect him before he became corrupted.





[Demon Ruins] Ceaseless Discharge:
The only son of the Witch of Izalith, now a gigantic lava-demon with fiery tentacles, distorted by the flame of Chaos. Born with sores inflamed with lava, his sisters made him the Orange Charred Ring to ease his pain, but he lost it not long after. He currently guards one of his sister's corpse, and will attack you if steal his sister's Gold Hemmed Black Set. The lava field below is being created by him and his death causes the lava to harden.



[Demon Ruins] Centipede Demon:
A demon born from the ground where the Son of Chaos dropped the ring from his sisters intended to ease his pain. A somewhat humanoid demon with centipede-like tail.



[Demon Ruins] Demon Firesage:
Looks like the Asylum demon and the Stray Demon, except that its skin is on fire.



[Lost Izalith] The Bed of Chaos:
The Witch of Izalith attempted to duplicate the First Flame from a soul, but instead created a distorted being of chaos and fire. Its power formed a bed of life which consumed the witch and her followers: The Bed of Chaos, source of all demons.

Strategies and Drops (Part I)
[COMING SOON]
Boss Progression (Part II)
[Undead Asylum (revisited)] Stray Demon:
Undead Asylum (revisited) - The floor where you fought the Asylum Demon will collapse on your return visit to the Undead Asylum. This is where you will find the Stray Demon. You can avoid the fight by walking around the perimeter of the room.



[Painted World of Ariamis] Crossbreed Priscilla:
Priscilla is a crossbreed of a Dragon and some other Being, cast into the Painted World of Ariamis because of what she was. You discover her supposed doll in the Undead Asylum on your second visit which gives you the ability to enter the portal into the Painted World via the massive portrait in Anor Londo. She stands in the tower at the edge of the ruins in the Painted World and watches over all who share the world with her. She acquired the power of Life-Hunt, an ability only she can wield. Said to be so powerful that even the Gods feared her.

She does not have to be defeated in order to leave the Painted World of Ariamis.




[The Duke's Archives: Crystal Cave] Seath the Scaleless:
An albino dragon without scales, granted the title of Duke by Lord Gwyn for his assistance in defeating the Everlasting Dragons and given a fragment of a Lord Soul. Seath was driven insane during his research on the Scales of Immortality, which he could never obtain. Ironically, he is now an immortal himself, a true Undead by means of his research into the Primordial Crystal, which he stole from the dragons when he defected.

His servants, the Channelers, assists him in his research by kidnapping women to be experimented upon. The Pisaca[darksouls.wikidot.com] is the result of one of those experiments. He can also create life from scratch using sorcery, resulting in the Moonlight Butterflies.

He is the area boss of the The Duke's Archives and Crystal Cave.




[The Catacombs] Pinwheel:
A flying, multi-masked necromancer who stole the power of the Gravelord and reigns over the Catacombs. Spawns multiple copies of itself and attacks the player with projectile blasts.



[Tomb of the Giants] Gravelord Nito:
Gravelord Nito, first of the Dead, is one of the four beings who found the Souls of Lords within the flame, and defeated the everlasting dragons. He acts as a god of death and disease, and is the master of the Gravelord Servant covenant.



[The Abyss] The Four Kings:
Lord Gwyn recognized the foresight of these four great leaders of New Londo, and granted them their ranks and fragments of his Lord Soul. Sadly, they fell into the Dark after a primordial serpent offered them the Art of Lifedrain.



[Oolacile Sanctuary] Sanctuary Guardian:
A chimeric demon resembling a manticore. It guards the Oolacile Sanctuary from invaders utilizing lightning powers and its own various body parts. The first enemy encountered in the Additional Content.



[Royal Wood] Knight Artorias:
One of Gwyn's Four Knights, Sir Artorias is a holy warrior with an unbendable will of steel and unmatched skill with a greatsword. His personal symbol is a wolf, as depicted in his ring, and he later gains a wolf companion named Sif. He makes his formal appearance in the Additional Content.

Artorias was present during the fall of New Londo. The home of the Darkwraiths, the Abyss, can only be traversed by the creatures of the Dark. To be able to destroy it from the inside, Artorias made a covenant with the creatures of the Abyss, symbolized by a ring. But in doing so, his greatsword became cursed. In recognition of his actions in the New Londo crisis, he gains the moniker "The Abysswalker" and awarded one of Anor Londo's treasures, a blessed pendant that allowed him to repel the Dark of the Abyss.

When Oolacile awoke Manus, Manus' influence corrupted the citizens of Oolacile against their will and made them the forces of the Abyss. Artorias, accompanied by Sif, arrived there to save Oolacile as well as Princess Dusk, who was captured from the present day. However, the two were overrun by the creatures of the Abyss. Artorias sacrificed himself to protect Sif using his greatshield to raise a barrier around the wolf pup. Defeated by the Abyss, the knight became corrupted against his will. His already-cursed sword became corrupted by the Abyss as well. But even with one arm broken, Artorias is still a formidable swordsman (some of his technique is later used by Sif in Sif's boss fight), as you will find later when you fight him before entering Oolacile Township.




[Chasm of the Abyss] Manus, Father of the Abyss:
The main antagonist of the Additional Content, Manus is a primeval human and may or may not be the Furtive Pygmy himself, whose humanity went wild after the dark soul was shattered and separated into humanity. According to Marvellous Chester and Hawkeye Gough, Oolacile awakened him at the urging of a Primordial Serpent. Upon awakening, he flew into a rage, seeking to expand his domain while also seeking out his precious Broken Pendant. His influence corrupted the citizens of Oolacile, whose humanity was warped in turn, mutating them into ghastly creatures. His first appearance is in the Darkroot Basin, where his hand appears from a temporal portal and drags the player into the past.

Sometime before the player's arrival into the past, Artorias faced off against Manus. However, Manus was able to overpower the knight, but not before he sacrificed himself to protect his wolf compatriot, Sif. Manus, having defeated Artorias, corrupted him against his will.




[Royal Wood] Black Dragon Kalameet (optional):
The Black Dragon Kalameet is one of the last remaining everlasting dragons, and a feared one at that. He's so mighty that even Anor Londo dare not to provoke him. To honor your services to Artorias, Gough comes out of his retirement briefly to shoot one last shot from his greatbow to incapacitate the dragon, allowing you to fight Kalameet easier. You will first catch a glimpse of him when you're about to cross the stone bridge leading to the second area of Royal Wood.



[Kiln of the First Flame] Gwyn, Lord of Cinder:
Gwyn is one of the divine Lords that defeated the Everlasting Dragons long ago. His Lord Soul grants him the power of the sun and lightning, making him the Lord of Sunlight. His children are Gwynevere, Gwyndolin, and his firstborn, whose name is unknown, due to the loss of his deity status.

Thousands of years before the events of the game, the First Flame began to dim. Gwyn asked The Witch of Izalith to recreate the First Flame, but the Witch failed and the flame engulfed and corrupted her and her children, creating the Bed of Chaos and the art of Pyromancy. After this incident, Gwyn departed from Anor Londo to rekindle the First Flame, bringing half of his knights with him, while the rest stayed behind to guard Anor Londo. Before he departed, he bequeathed his Lord Soul to the Four Kings of New Londo and Seath the Scaleless. After linking the Fire, the First Flame burned his knights and made him its fuel. Thus, he is known as Lord of Cinder.

He is the final boss in the game.


Strategies and Drops (Part II)
[COMING SOON]
11 Comments
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Cornblakes  [author] Jan 24 @ 1:24pm 
There's a chance that the fix files in my Dropbox are out-of-date.
If you are experienced frequent crashes, this is most likely NOT related to those files.
Rather, it's your current install of GFWL (Games for Windows Live).

Any problems that the game will have with the fix files have solutions posted in this guide.
Cornblakes  [author] Aug 2, 2013 @ 1:59pm 
If nothing else. Try installing it from the website: http://darksouls.nexusmods.com/mods/19
Cornblakes  [author] Aug 2, 2013 @ 1:58pm 
@FerdaJets - How strange... those are the same exact files that are currently in my install directory. It may be a GFWL (Games for Windows Live) related issue. Though not everyone will have the same experience with this sort of thing. I will take a look at it when I can, sorry for the inconvenience.
FerdaJets Aug 2, 2013 @ 1:44pm 
The fix doesnt work for me, it just makes it so that i cant start the game at all
Cornblakes  [author] Jul 25, 2013 @ 6:59am 
Most likely. I've been meaning to add in a section on how this guide is far from complete. I'd like to cover as much as I possibly can.
Corgis. Corgis errrwur! Jul 25, 2013 @ 6:48am 
So far, a great overview. Will you be adding a section on Dark Souls for the PC and fixes for the game?
Cornblakes  [author] Jul 24, 2013 @ 6:12am 
Working on some slight changes to the order in which these bosses are done so that they are more convenient to a wider range of people.
I highly suggest taking advantage of the game's co-op feature when it is available to you.

Let us engage in jolly co-operation!
Cornblakes  [author] Jul 24, 2013 @ 5:59am 
Hello everyone. As far as the order on the bosses goes, there was a slight mistake that would have made it literally impossible. Not sure why it was that way but it is fixed now. On the other hand this guide is far from finished and I was planning on putting up a description that justifies the order I put these in.

The quick Quelaag's Domain to Demon Ruins transition is a matter of saving time and generally the bosses should not give you too much of a hard time. Though this can vary depending on how your build is thus far.
Cornblakes  [author] Jul 22, 2013 @ 8:39pm 
Hey! I honestly did not know that it was relevant to someone other than Dragonslayer Ornstein when I originally put it as the branding image.
AQUAMAN Jul 22, 2013 @ 6:25am 
Why is Indeimaus5 the picture?