Bashing in the Faces of Dark Souls I & Dark Souls II Bosses With Anything but a Normal Controller or Keyboard
The soul of a gamer is one of tenacity. Despite the incredible difficulty of the Souls games, this has only motivated players further to sink in numerous hours of play, testing, and research to attain victory and to overcome the odds. But in the spirit of Alexander the Great, once you’ve achieved mastery over the Souls games consistently, you weep for there is no more worlds to conquer. You have plateaued. What do you do now?
The answer is simple: you find new ways and avenues to make the games, and its world, more challenging and fresh. For Twitch.tv livestreamer and Youtuber Bearzly (or gbbearzly), he decided to push the boundaries in truly mind-bending directions. He is a self-described fan of Dark Souls I and Dark Souls II who has made it his mission to play through challenge runs with the “dumbest control methods” he can imagine. Eschewing the normal controller and/or keyboard, Bearzly came into popularity and notoriety by posting and streaming a series of videos where he was playing Dark Souls I & II on the Xbox 360 with a Rock Band guitar controller, and proceeding to obliterate boss after boss with it. In the video, he provides a graphic which describes how he configured the guitar controller.
This feat is impressive all by itself, but Bearzly was not satisfied with just that. Subsequently, he provided additional videos and streams of him trouncing bosses with the Rock Band drum controller. He also provided the controller setup for this feat as well.
Bearzly has shown no sign of stopping. In fact, he’s continuing to create, post, and stream new challenges as we speak. On March 17, 2015, he repeated past exploits of boss killing with the freaking bongo drum controllers from Donkey Konga! He is also creating a Twitch stream of Dark Souls I boss fights utilizing the Wiimote and its buddy the Nunchuck – the first of which was posted on March 22, 2015. Truly, this is a gaming god among us mere mortals.
This is definitely one Twitch livestreamer all Souls games fan must follow. Particularly interesting is the future challenge goals he has listed for himself on Twitch. These include playing and beating Dark Souls I and Dark Souls II simultaneously, a playthrough using DDR pads, and based on a Reddit post – a controller made from an actual banana, which is totally possible and feasible thanks to the folks at Makey Makey.
What other possible controller types or configurations could Bearzly use? I’m placing my bets on the PowerGlove.
Class Is in Session – How to Creatively Troll & Confuse Opponents in Dark Souls II PvP
In this hilarious video, a gamer by the name of GuardianHX showcases the ultimate way to troll and confuse players who invade you in PvP mode. First, he creates a skin in the character creation system that is an exact replica of the NPCs that inhabit a particular area of the game. In this case, his skin emulates the appearance of the Hollow Royal Soldiers in the Forest of Fallen Giants.
Upon entering the area, he proceeds to lure out and kill the NPCs and takes their spot. GuardianHX patiently waits until other players invade. Each invader is met with surprise as it seems their target is nowhere to be found, but little do they know that the NPC they run by again and again is GuardianHX. And then the shenanigans begin.
GuardianHX proceeds to troll the enemies nonstop whether throwing a Hello Carving when players are not looking or proceeding to act like a faulty NPC chucking Molotovs. It is such an utter joy to watch the enemy players become so confused and dumbfounded. Will he live and get away with it without a scratch? Will his enemies figure it out and wreak bloody vengeance on him? Watch the video to find out!
If you watched the video and are still craving for more, GuardianHX was kind enough to release a follow-up video to celebrate the original “Hiding in Plain Sight” video reaching 400,000 views. It is another compilation of tomfoolery (as GuardianHX likes to call it) except with one big difference. During these videos, GuardianHX and a friend enter an area together. The former is still disguised as a NPC, but the latter casts a Chameleon spell to disguise one’s self as a vase or a crate. Together, the duo proceed to wage a diabolic spree of trolling and killing that is all too satisfying. And really, it’s not every day you get to see a vase stalk an enemy and proceed to maul them.
Have you ever tried disguising yourself as a NPC before? Will you try it now after watching this video? I sure hope so!
Hail to the King, Baby
Let it be known throughout all of Yharnam, the Interwebs, and the entire world that BOYvsVIDEOGAME is quite possibly the most legendary gamer of 2015 so far. He has completed a feat that will be honored and remembered in the annals of Bloodborne history. BOYvsVIDEOGAME has beaten the game in quite possibly the most challenging way possible. First, he selects the Waste of Skin class. As a reminder, this class / origin has the lowest stats of all the builds. The game doesn’t mince words on how useless and powerless you are when playing this class. Take a look for yourself.
Secondly, he eschewed any use of firearms which is insane because using them allows you to stun and temporarily control your enemies, as well as being able to dish damage from afar without opening yourself to melee attacks. Finally, he doesn’t level up once. Let that sink in for a moment – he plowed his way through every enemy and every boss as a measly Level 4 character. Lastly, no glitches or exploits were used during the course of the game. His legendary fervor and skill is unmatched and words alone cannot do him justice.
To witness how this glorious feat was accomplished, BOYvsVIDEOGAME has published a series of Youtube playlists that cover his original gameplay walkthrough, boss fights, Chalice Dungeon boss fights, and a playthrough for a new game.
Would you ever try attempting this challenge? Best of luck to you, if you dare.
Steel Yourself, Good Hunter – Tonight You’ll Be Drinking Blood, Souls, and Booze All at Once!
Bloodborne and the Souls games each have a multiplayer mode which can create mixed results. Either you get invaded and killed by other players, or the summoned players happen to be friendly (or actually are your friends logged on at the same time) and assist you with the events of the game. What if some of your friends are not gamers? What if they never heard of Dark Souls or Bloodborne? How do you make it fun for them? Easy – you make a drinking game out of it!
This is exactly what the folks at Kotaku decided to do at the release of Bloodborne. To make things more interesting, the rules were set up in a specific fashion to make the game even more challenging than before, or to force the player to radically adapt their play-style. In a devious sort of fashion, the drinking game becomes quite strategic as it can be played to specifically screw over your friends, while keeping you sober enough to laugh at their expense. Here is the complete list of the rules drawn up for the drinking game:
- If you die, take three drinks
- If someone who doesn’t like or play Souls games kills any single enemy, take a drink.
- If you use a health vial, take a drink.
- If you use your gun, take two drinks.
- If you pull off a visceral attack, everyone else takes a drink.
- If you reach a new lamp, everyone has to finish their drink.
- If you fall off of a ledge, take a shot.
- Alternate: if an enemy falls off a ledge, assign a shot to someone else.
- If you throw a molotov cocktail, it’s a waterfall. (That means the person who threw the molotov starts drinking, then the next person starts drinking, all the way down the line. You cannot stop drinking until the person in front of you is done. Good luck!)
- If you defeat a boss, everyone has to take a shot of the victor’s choosing.
Another drinking game to be mindful of is Drinking Souls – Dark Souls Drinking Game. Created by PrepareToDrink.com, the game is completely customizable. The website generates a list of rules based on a questionnaire that you take once you enter site. It asks you initial questions like how many players will be present, whether this is your first time playing Dark Souls, or whether will you engage in PvP mode.
Other questions set up fiendish ways to punish your liver just as much as the game punishes your character, such as “Are any of the players prone to Rage Quitting?” or “Is any player prone to using catch phrases/quotes (ex.: “Like a Boss”).” I took the questionnaire myself, and oh god – the rules are terrible to behold. I won’t spoil the surprise if you have not played or seen before – the only way to find out is to grab a group of your friends and play!
As always, please drink responsibly and take care of your friends who will embark on this journey with you.
Gotta Go Fast!
It has been confirmed by the developers of Bloodborne that its run-time and content clock up to approximately 50 hours. This certainly does not take into account the additional hours that can be piled on due to countless occurrences of suffering horrible death, getting stuck in the game due to a particularly bothersome boss battle, or spending the time to explore and immerse yourself in the world of Yarnham.
However, for some gamers, 50 hours will simply not do; one gamer in particular took it upon himself to beat Bloodborne in less than an hour. In a feat that has gone viral, gamer and commentator Oginam_tv posted a video in which he completed the game at approximately 44 minutes.
It should be noted that for this purpose of this particular speed run Oginam_tv was attempting to complete the game as fast as possible and was not concerned with how much percentage or content-wise he had accomplished during the game (hence the Any% designation). The entire feat was made possible to do the utilization of in-game glitches and exploits. The description in the Youtube video outlines his specific methodology:
This run makes use of a duplication glitch involving a second character’s stash inventory (that character is made during the run to show it) and a very early skip into a later part of the game (just jumping over a fence really).
He has since beaten that time with the release of another speed-run video on March 31st, 2015 with a record of 41:51, shaving off 1-2 minutes off of his former best record.
Many gamers have also vied for the fastest speed-run times with Dark Souls I and Dark Souls II. Some of these videos have the similar “Any%” format; other videos are speed-runs that include every boss-fight as part of the challenge. In terms of “Any%” speed-run videos, the fastest times that I could find are as follows: a speed-run for Dark Souls I at 51:14 by TylerSpeedRuns, a speed-run for Dark Souls II at 16:20 by Distortion2, and a speed-run for Demon’s Souls at 45:58 by Kreggan.
To Glitch or Not To Glitch?
Since the release of Bloodborne, a number of significant glitches and exploits have broken waves among gamers and fans. The response was divisive and controversial as the nature of these glitches enabled players to successfully side-step and easily overcome of the notorious levels of the game’s difficulty. Do these glitches infringe on the vision of the creators? Do they ruin or enhance gameplay experience? Are using exploits moral or ethical? These questions are not the topic of focus of here, however you may find this piece to be worthwhile if you are.
In any case, let us examine these glitches and exploits. The first significant glitch was an item duplication bug first discovered by Youtuber Gametastik that allowed players to create potentially infinite copies of any consumable item. A popular application for this bug was duplicating Blood Echoes – an item that serves as in-game currency and to assist players in leveling up. Since the the release of Bloodborne’s first patch, version 1.02, last week this bug and several others have been removed. It is still technically possible to utilize this glitch if you play offline and do not install the new patch.
The fix is short-lived however. On April 1st, 2015, another exploit (post-version 1.02 patch update) was discovered by Youtuber kenny stimmel that provides an alternative means of acquiring free Blood Echoes.
A third glitch has recently received attention and notoriety in the last week – this particular glitch significantly reduces the difficulty of boss battles in a rather simplistic way. So simple it’s seem a bit unbelievable, really. If you leave your game running for over 12 hours, the AI of the bosses become, for lack of a better term, dumbed down and thus extremely easy to handle and defeat. This glitch was discovered by Redditor meatballz. His methodology is outlined here:
Leave your game running for 12+ hours.
Seriously. There’s a memory leak issue in this game that causes bosses to have a reduced moveset after the game has been running for a long time. I wondered for a long time why so many bosses in my initial playthrough seemed so easy. Turns out I’m not just a Bloodborne badass who can 1-shot the bosses other people have trouble with, it was because I marathoned the whole game in one sitting and around the 12-hour mark bosses became much simpler.
I just tested this yesterday by turning off the PS4 power saving options and leaving Bloodborne running all night. Sure enough, when I played in the morning Logarius had transformed from an intense spell casting maniac into a senile old man who did nothing but attack with his scythe over and over. BSB stops jumping all over the room and doing multi-hit combos and just politely spams his side-swipe, Amelia stops healing, One Reborn stops pooping acid, every boss changes in some way and ultimately becomes much easier.
Whe results are particularly striking, no? What do think of this latest glitch? What other glitches could there be out there?
Gaming With a Heart of Gold
Earlier in March, it was reported that in anticipation of the release of Bloodborne, Danish gamers were given a novel opportunity to display real-life heroism. PlayStation Denmark joined forces with the Danish blood donor organization, givblod.dk, to provide fans free copies of the game if they donated blood. The campaign proved to be a wonderful way to show how video games can work as a positive force for change. It had, in turn, inspired another noteworthy charity.
On March 30th, 2015 Youtuber Irregular Dave, or Dave Jewitt, launched a campaign to raise money for blood cancer research as he livestreams and posts Let’s Play videos of Bloodborne. In the video, he pledges to donate £1 every time he dies in game to the UK blood cancer charity, Leukemia & Lymphoma Research. He also states on his Reddit page that the revenue generated by ads on his Youtube videos will also be donated. In a follow-up interview with IGN, Jewitt further explains his inspiration and motivation for the charity:
I was inspired by what they were doing in Denmark, giving free copies of the game to those who give blood… he people on my channel have been real kind to me lately, so I wanted to give something back, and I thought with the combination of blood, Bloodborne, and a blood charity seemed to match.
In addition, Jewitt cites a personal connection and obligation in that he has had family members who have been affected and diagnosed with cancer in the past. Inspired by good fortunes his Youtube audience has shown him, combined with a thematic hook & the popularity of the game, he found that this was the perfect opportunity to give back to the community and to a worthy cause.
Considering often you will die in the game, it is expected that a nice, generous sum will find its way to good use towards blood cancer treatment and research. We salute you, Dave Jewitt. You are an inspiration to hunters everywhere.
Writer Attempts to Liven Up The City of Yharnam With Poetry
A prominent game element in Bloodborne and the Souls games is the ability for gamers to leave notes around the game environment for other players to read. The content of these notes can vary: some players provide useful hints and tips, some use it to deceive, and others use it to entertain and amuse. For Bloodborne fan and writer, Natalie Zed, the notebook system is all about writing and sharing poetry.
Zed has started a Tumblr blog called “Fine or Foul: Bloodborne Poems” which collects and blogs the various poems she has constructed within the in-game notebook system, and has kindly left for players. It is equal parts humorous, witty, deep, sarcastic, somber, epic, melancholic, and snarky.
This Tumblr blog was nothing less than enjoyable scrolling through, and I highly recommend all fans to take a look. In the more recent posts, Zed has encouraged players to screen capture and retweet any Bloodborne poetry they come across with the tags #bloodbornepoems and #fineorfoul. And there’s no reason why you can’t draft and post poems of your own! In addition, a talented fan by the name of Matthew Gallant has created a Twitter bot called Yharnam Notes in honor of Zed’s quirky project.
“What Do I Have to Fear From You? Worker Ants! Scurrying About With Their Pitiful Weapons… Afraid of the Purity of Unarmed Combat!”
First things, first – yes, I just quoted Raúl Juliá’s M. Bison from the so-incredibly-awful-it-becomes-actually-good live action Street Fighter movie. If you are mad, then I apologize – but, after you watch this video, you have to admit it’s pretty appropriate.
Anthony LaBella is a staff writer at gamerevolution.com who manages the Challenge Accepted Youtube and livestream series. To celebrate the release of Bloodborne, last week LaBella posted the Challenge Accepted #17 video. It features him starting a new game and character with one glaring caveat- he pledges to only use his fists as weapons. No cleavers, no guns, no awesome transforming weapons of any kind – nothing except for wits, quick reflexes, and fisticuffs.
I have to admit, I genuinely laughed when I first saw LaBella demonstrate his melee move set. When he pressed R1, his character would initiate a series of knifehand strikes and karate chops. When he press L1, his character switches his stance by clasping his hands together and is able to spam a series of two-handed hammerfists. A third move in his kit is a slightly more powerful jump attack move that was able to close distances with enemies pretty well. Even more comical was the fact that every time he hit an enemy ribbons of blood would spray everywhere like a Quentin Tarantino movie.
When fighting normal enemies, LaBella fared well enough. When facing against the first boss, the Cleric Beast, however, all progress ceased. He literally could not put a significant dent in its health. With further investigation, it was discovered that when leveling up there was no way to scale up attributes for your fists. Thus, it would seem that using your fists only is not a viable way to complete the game (which is a shame, really). On the bright side though, LaBella did eventually manage to beat the Cleric Beast. How? With the power of friendship! And molotovs – but, mostly friendship.
For similar content, check out LaBella’s ongoing Challenge Accepted series as he plays through Demon’s Souls with no armor, no shield, no magic, and no bow.
Role Playing Within Role Playing?! The Meta is Real!
In a humorous anecdote posted on the Dark Souls II Reddit page last year, a user by the name of Banahanna recounts a hilarious tale that unfolded after attempting to summon another player to assist in a boss battle against Royal Aegis Velstaldt. The player that came to the aid of Banahanna dressed, spoke, and sounded like Oberyn Martell from the Game of Thrones franchise (played by Pedro Pascal in the television series). Furthermore, this mysterious player was so committed to staying in character, he/she actually emulated events from the book and show while in-game. Banahanna goes into detail on what exactly happened (WARNING: Game of Thrones spoilers ahead, read at your own peril!):
I summoned him, and right when he joined my world he opened with “let me be your champion” over his mic. Creepily enough, he sounded just like the actor. Almost identical accent and diction. Then he asked that I do not interfere. So when we go to the boss, he starts screaming “YOU RAPED HER, YOU MURDERED HER, YOU KILLED HER CHILDREN.” Then when he got him to half health, he looked to me, and then promptly died.
Gotta admire that level of dedication to a cosplay, even down to the death (without the eye gouge of course.)
10/10 I love this community.
It is difficult to verify whether this really happened or not. The subreddit doesn’t post any screenshots or recorded gameplay, and the mysterious player in question never responded to the thread. I’d like to give it the benefit of the doubt since the story is so incredibly awesome and amusing. To give the story some credence, a commentator on the subreddit thread by the name of Mystic87 posted a reply saying that he/she had had the same idea as well:
I don’t think this particular one was me, but I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now. I have been using a soundboard to play sounds from that fight and using the Ellaria scream when i die near the end of the fight. I’ve gotten a few messages from people saying they enjoyed it and many saying to soon. I’m glad other people had the same idea as me.
These players are definitely onto a novel mode of gaming that absolutely should be replicated in Bloodborne, especially given its updated and in-depth character customization system. You may recall that since the game’s release creative fans have utilized the character creation system to create astounding doppelgangers of famous characters such as the Joker, Harry Potter, Nigel Thornberry, Walter White / Heisenberg, or Alucard. Imagine recreating one of those characters, creating a mix of famous quotes and soundbites of each respective character ready to spam at a moment’s notice, and proceeding to stay in-character when being summoned or playing in multiplayer mode. You could even leave behind notes quoting famous lines as well! Undoubtedly, it’ll make for many laughs and memories.
Which unconventional means of playing Bloodborne and the Souls games was your favorite? Are there any more you can think of that was not covered here? Feel free to comment and share below!
You’re Playing Bloodborne Wrong – It’s Actually a First Person Shooter
Pssh, has anyone told you to never bring a sword to a gun fight? Well, you shouldn’t because that path only leads to death – your death. Now don’t get me wrong I love swordplay as much as the next guy along with every martial arts movie and anime where skilled swordsmen proceed to dodge, feint, evade, and trounce every opponent they’re up against brandishing a gun. But let’s be real here, that ain’t happening. Don’t take my word for it; just ask the Mythbusters:
The average bullet travels at 2,500 feet per second (around 1,700 mph). If you reacted to the sound of the gun going off and required 0.20 seconds (twice that of the fastest Olympic sprinters) to react, then you would need to be at least 500 feet away to successfully dodge a bullet. The problem is that sound travels at 768 miles per hour (1,126 feet per second)—about half the speed of the bullet. In this case, the bullet would hit you before you even heard the gun fire off.
So, unless you have an epic healing factor like Wolverine, you’re going to gonna be the unwelcome recipient of a whole lot of lead.
What does this have to do with Bloodborne? Well, there’s an alternative way to build your character to become the fiercest gunslinger Yharnam has ever seen. In order to do so, be sure to create and build your new character based around Bloodtinge just as BigHat Logan (also known as datbighat on Reddit) has done.
As a refresher, Bloodtinge is a stat that helps level up and scales the damage that firearms are able to deal out. There are a number of weapons that have Bloodtinge scaling (e.g. the Chikage, Evelyn, Hunter Pistol, Hunter Blunderbuss, or Rifle Spear) as well as items that give your firearms a buff such as Bone Marrow Ash.
Overall, the result are pretty impressive. As seen in the video, BigHat Logan is able to take down enemies with only one shot (which is made 100x better with classic Quake sound effects). On a Bloodborne subreddit, he provides a link to the stats he used to create his Bloodtinge build.
Personally, I would love to see future DLCs and patches for Bloodborne give extra features and options for firearms and Bloodtinge related gameplay styles. Dual-wielding, anyone?
Naked Gentlemanly Duels – the Only Way to Settle Disputes in PvP
Oh, M. Bison – who knew you would be so relevant twice in one post? The purity of unarmed combat makes a glorious return in this video that had me in hysterics. Why? Because two players in PvP turned Bloodborne into Bloodsport.
While the majority of this feature so far has been devoted to finding new, weird and unconventional ways to play through the campaign, Kite Nordenskiold has managed to create an over the top, fun way to liven up Bloodborne’s multiplayer and PvP gameplay – to engage in a respectable, honorable duel among two civilized gentlemen. Civilized, naked, gentlemen – mind you. At the start of the video, it seems like a normal PvP battle is playing out. However, at 2:45, Kite Nordenskiold proceeds to halt the battle and remove all of his weapons and armor leaving his character standing in his boxers.
At this point, Kite Nordenskiold is taking a major risk. If the opposing player wanted to, he/she could have taken advantage of the situation and killed Kite Nordenskiold. However, this opponent showed that he/she was a warrior of honor and respect and proceeded to strip naked as well. What proceeds next is an extremely amusing hand-to-hand fight of two men in boxer briefs, karate chopping each other’s flesh and drawing sprays of blood left and right, and dodging and rolling in an epic dance of death. No battle would be complete without an epic score with which the video does not disappoint.
Furthermore, what makes the video all the more amusing is that essentially neither one can kill each other. Recall back to Anthony LaBella’s experiences in finding out that there’s no way to level up your fists as weapons. When facing against high level monsters or bosses (let alone another players), fists inflict a miniscule amount of damage. Thus, a battle such as this would easily take hours to resolve – perhaps even more so, if you are using health potions during PvP.
In the end, Kite Nordenskiold expresses his gratitude in meeting such a warrior of equal esteem and respect, by leaving in the Youtube description these words only: “I love you, whoever you are.” For the sheer amount of entertainment this video afforded me, I have no shame in expressing my love for them as well. So, ladies and gents, go out there and have yourself a good ol’ naked fight! It’s the honorable thing to do!