Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin Rant: Crown of the Sunken King (Part II)

The boss fight in this DLC is shit. I said it and I’m not polite about it. In fact, the DLC is not mage friendly. I had to reallocate my stats to equip the right weapon to defeat Elana the Squalid Queen. Finally beat her after pulling a few hair strands from my head (don’t worry it will grow back. I hope!).

What was my tactic? Well, I farmed at Lair of the Imperfect bonfire for Petrified Dragon Bone to upgrade the Drakeblood Greatsword to +5. The beasts down there drop about 1700 souls. However, equipping Covetous Silver Serpent Ring will yield more souls. I used the extra souls to level up STR (strength) and DEX (dexterity). Summoned 2 NPCs for the boss fight. One died in the name of being a tank. Equipped gear with high dark magic defense. Regardless, no easy battle and we did it! I mean me and my imaginary friends. But I sure feel like a noob in this area.

Was Squalid a fair fight? Can't Say
We did it!

My character is currently level 157. Yes way too high (haven’t beat the game yet). Got side tracked tinkering things around. Then I realized I’m not making progress. I learned it’s not so much about strategy or timing in this level. The enemies just have high defense. There is a mob of them purposely gaining up on you and mind you better have high resistant to poison. This DLC is purposely hard for hard sake and I don’t really like it.

Trying to get to the Cave of the Dead Bosses Fight
Trying to get down to the boss fight

If you have played Dark Souls II on PS3 and did not purchase the DLC, I would just leave it as it is when the credits start rolling unless you are into the lore and playing for difficulty’s sake. I like to make progress and not get stalled and mainly play this game for artistic exploration. You know like opening an adventure book and reading it except my imagination is limited so I need real visuals to appreciate the fantasy. Dark Souls franchise hit the spot for me. Sadly, I am going to put this game aside even though I have two more DLCs to clear. But then…the ice levels are always my favorite in video games. I can’t just move on. Just look how cool it is? My inner child, is beckoning me to come play with her. So, I just can’t say GOODBYE!!!

My Notes on Nier Automata

Originally posted 6/18/2017. Re-blogging in celebration to one of my all time favorite game–Nier Replicant Ver.1.22474487139 which will be released 4/23/2021. 

I highly recommend playing the game before reading this post.  I will not elaborate the storyline into details.  My intention is to share my summary of the game which may differ from yours.

For those who followed this blog from the beginning probably knew that I was anticipating for Nier Automata (2017) ever since its announcement.  In fact, I was very hungry to play another game like Nier (2010)  and was hoping Drakengard III (2013) would be just as good. To my disappointment, I  didn’t enjoy it as much mainly because of the frustrating gaming mechanics ( I didn’t enjoy flying the dragon).  And yet I stuck with it because of the storyline and it’s humorous dialogue.  I have not reached the ultimate, final boss yet which I heard was difficult.

I had to stop the game because I couldn’t understand  Zero’s (the protagonist) cruel intention to kill all her sisters. The character was hard for me to relate.  I was definitely playing a killer.  But after I watched Yoko Taro’s interview Philosophy of Violence, I learned to appreciate his approach in storytelling and the concept behind it.  I realized Zero’s behavior is natural, but primitive.  Instinctively we want to remove whatever is in our path.  Defeating our obstacles give us a sense of control and remove all of our competitions.  However, if we killed everyone in our way, we would end up dying alone and the aftermath would be Nier Automata.

I came to conclusion because I had to grasp my head around this killing frenzy around Yoko Taro’s games,  so I categorize his three games that I played into the following:

  • Drakengard III- killing to be the only one
  • Nier Gestalt- killing is justified as long as you think it is right
  • Nier Automata- killing loneliness

*One important thing to note, this is just my notes for the time being.  I really would like to complete the Drakengard series *

Onward to the main topic,  so when I started Nier Automata, I already knew it was about killing.  The game started off strong, which reminded me of Xenoblade Chronicles’ introduction where the characters are thrown into battle against the machines.   Once I arrived to a safe place (a city reclaimed by Mother Nature), I sensed that I was entering a world where a great civilization (mankind in general) once stood, but mysteriously drove itself to extinction.

NieR:Automata_20170310182757

All we have left are machines and androids fighting one another.  In some ways, the game has a particular viewpoint about existence, which is hard not to notice if you do the side quests. It clearly pointed out that all lifeforms don’t want to fight all the time– they just want to co-exist. What meaning is there to killing? Why?

The real motive behind all the killing is more than just impaired thinking–it’s loneliness.   In the end, no one stands. But the tragedy is not the cycle of destruction, it’s actually the inability to view the world harmoniously, which is probably why 2B and 9S wear blindfolds. They exist to take orders without comprehending their actions.

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I won’t go any further into details about the game’s concept because I am beginning to develop my own theory, which is probably not what the game intended.  I do just want to mention my overall experience with the game is good, but it is not one of my favorites. I like the first installment more partly due to nostalgia. Even though, I did not enjoyed the game as much, the game made me want to play Ikaruga, which has been sitting in my backlog of games to play.

Lastly, my final thought in regards to Nier Automata,  I’m starting to understand that it’s difficult to introduce big ideas and incorporate gameplay due to unforeseen limitation (e.g, technical, budget, translation etc.).  So I really do appreciate when game developers attempt to give meaning to their creation.

Well that is it for now. Thanks for reading guys. Until next time, take care!

P.S

Think I will play Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon next to clear my backlog before I jump into a new game.  My backlog began to grow back in 2010-2011 when I started playing co-op/multiplayer games. It is time to seriously tackle the single-player games list!