Learn to parry Dark souls requires precise knowledge of your opponent.
To know when to press the parry button for each individual enemy type, you will inevitably keep dying from pressing that button either too early or too late. And so learn to parry Dark souls You agree with yourself that you will experience a number of specific mistakes in the hopes that at some point you will learn something.
The entirety of Dark souls works like you probably knew even if you never played it because it is almost a decade old and has since been analyzed by many critics. I’ve played a lot Dark souls and Dark Souls 2 a few years ago – enough to understand that his somber world of armored skeletons was repetitive and exhausting. I could also say that I would have found it rewarding if I had stuck with it, but that it would take a level of patience that I didn’t think I had.
In other words, I didn’t think I was the type of person who could play a game like this Dark souls. It turns out it’s me, but I didn’t discover that until this year when I tried Dark souls back in the middle of the pandemic and deep depression.
I didn’t hit Dark souls still, but I’m further than ever (I’ve just reached the Gaping Dragon) and I like so many people in front of me who are depressed and who I’ve gotten into Dark soulsAll I can think of now is what Dark souls taught me about failure and resilience. That brings me back to parry.
For most of my trip in Dark soulsI didn’t bother learning to parry. I play as a knight and have used an ax with two hands for much of the game. Parrying cannot be done with a two-handed style of play. Eventually, however, I reached a unique enemy called Havel the Rock. You don’t have to defeat Havel to advance in the game, but I found him so irritating that one evening I decided to beat him instead of running past him. I also decided that I would do it by parrying.
It took me three hours to learn how to successfully ward off Havel’s attacks. During most of those three hours, I didn’t hit the button at the right time, and Havel was able to shed almost all of my health bar in one fell swoop. After getting hit, I frantically rolled around trying to take a swig of an Estus bottle before Havel managed to hit me again – which he invariably would and then I would die. I would wake up by my campfire in the Darkroot Basin, dust myself off and run back to Havel, where I would line up, hit, crawl, get hit again and then die … again.
In those moments, I often thought to myself, “I’ll never learn this” and “Why am I doing this?” I would wake up by the fireplace and sometimes just leave my avatar sitting there. On the other side of the screen, I’d sit there too. We’d both think about what we wanted to endure. Was it actually worth learning how to do it? Was it even possible? Was I able to Learn to parry? Should I use a different strategy to beat Havel as there are many? Should I stop trying to hit him in the first place?
At some point I would find it inside of me to try again.
Every now and then in these three hours I managed to make a successful parade against Havel. But those moments felt fleeting, imprecise, and unrecognizable. What did I do differently? I was dead before I had time to think.
Finally, after trying more than I tried to count, I realized that to effectively parry Havel I actually had to stand quite close to him. I had to position myself directly in front of his swing, in full view of his pulling up, my shoulders facing his own. Only then could I manage to plan the parade correctly, with full observation of the oncoming blow. I had to stand in that dangerous spot and force myself to be calm, ready for a hit that I knew was coming – a hit that I would convince myself I had the ability to quit. And in those moments when I did I parried effectively and hit him back, brought Havel to his knees and shaved off part of his life bar. Then I had to do something even more difficult: straighten my shoulders and prepare to parry him all over again
In the end I defeated Havel with parades and counter attacks. It took a total of seven perfect saves to finish him off, followed by an attack on my part. In my winning fight, Havel did not manage to beat me once. My main memory of that fight, however, is not my parades or attacks, or even the moment when Havel finally crumbled to dust. My strongest memory is when I had to return to Havel between every successful parade to straighten my shoulders again in the hopes that I would be able to successfully parry him the next time he wound up.
I had done it before. But could I do it all over again? Okay, I did it four times. Could I do it a fifth? And so on. Those moments were the most terrifying, yet also the most enjoyable. I knew that an unsuccessful save on my part would throw me off my entire game. So I had to stay calm even when I was face to face with death.
When you fail Dark soulsThere is nothing to do but try again. Or you can give up and succumb to the futility of it all. This existential fear is part of the framework of Dark souls‘ World. His characters live in fear of “becoming hollow” – of deteriorating into one of the hordes of disorganized skeletons. Your character is already in a dark descent into this state at the beginning of the game. Based on the way other characters describe it, the experience of becoming hollow coincides with giving up, lack of motivation, and loss of humanity in both metaphorical and literal senses.
The form of depression that I have in real life is similar. I describe it as “sometimes I feel sad for no reason” to most people, but there is actually a reason that is the greater existential meaning of absolutely everything I do and what everyone does. Sometimes the sheer size of the universe and the futility of every single act put me in a state of emotional paralysis so extreme that I cannot achieve anything. Many years of therapy, meditation classes, prescription drugs, exercise, and a host of other tools in my arsenal keep me from “getting hollow” in my daily life, even though the threat is always imminent.
Sometimes it’s worse than usual. During a catastrophic event like a global pandemic, my individual actions feel increasingly meaningless in the face of the suppressive negligence of systems much larger than me. Even so, I assure myself that my own actions have some value when I donate to food banks, participate in community relief efforts, and choose increasingly optimized face masks for me and my friends. I take care of myself so that I can take care of other people. I do art that is important to me and I write and edit stories about that art and try to tell myself that these actions are important.
I admit that I have seen many days this year when these actions felt pointless. And yet I got up and did it all over and over again. At times I could sense a fleeting victory, a sense of connection – the only successful parade before going down and waking up in the firelight of another attempt.
I cannot perceive any greater significance in the actions in which I am being performed Dark souls. Sure, I try to ring a few bells, hit a few bosses, and learn more about the strange world my character lives in. But the overall picture of what I’m doing in the game remains unrecognizable to me and ultimately unimportant. It’s not about the seven perfect saves in a row or even the defeated mini-boss at my feet. The point is that between each one I kept walking towards the Havel.
When I remember these victories being so competitive and so small, it feels bad. The real-life version remembers having lunch or going for a walk and then reminding yourself to do it again the next day, and tries not to think too much about how to keep doing that over and over. as many days in a row as possible to feel okay. Not even great – just OK.
The big picture sucks. I would rather not look at it. Dark souls doesn’t let me do that, and that’s why it has become my greatest comfort – an exercise in which I force myself to evaluate only one problem that is right in front of me. Every single enemy must be approached with the same care and patience. A long line of mistakes is also a long line of attempts, evidence that I have stubbornly made up my mind to keep going when there is no great reason for it. I choose not to go hollow.