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INTRO

Good day (or night), everyone. This is my first guide, so please be kind. I will try to be as concise and informative as possible, while leaving out the unnecessary stuff. There will be no explanation of the controls (unless there’s a quirky tidbit that I think you may need to know) or any other obvious facts; like “Dark Souls is a dark game with souls in it.”

If you’re here, it means you’ve tried and failed, so let’s try to get through this together.

Okay, let’s get some of the necessary info out of the way first.

  1. Dark Souls can be unfair at times, with lots of “HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT?” moments.
  2. Please read an entire paragraph or section before attempting that section.
  3. Using Sorcery is the closest thing to an easy mode, so we shall be using it.
  4. There is an ideal path for new players.
  5. There is an ideal starting class and gift for new players.
  6. We will be using the quit-out trick.
  7. Practice bosses by leaving your White Sign Soapstone (You’ll be summoned).
  8. This will not be a 100% guide.
  9. Items in bold are important and should be picked up.
  10. This is a SOLO guide. There will be no summoning. You can summon if you want, but I won’t design my walkthrough around that.
  11. This guide is meant for new players who are struggling.
  12. This guide is a representation of how I play Dark Souls. It may not be the “best” or the optimal way to play, but it works for me and hopefully it will work for you.
  13. Pineapples don’t go on pizza. At least, not on mine, anyway.

Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s start with the Create Character menu:

CREATE CHARACTER

This area is mostly pointless, but there is one vital area that should not be overlooked. The Master Key will be referenced throughout this entire guide, so PLEASE pick that as your starting gift. It’s essential for using this guide. You can make whatever monstrosity you’d like because appearance doesn’t impact the gameplay, but for the love of god, don’t forget the master key.

Other than that, I would also recommend picking Sorcery as your Class because it will help you early on. That, or Pyromancy (but this guide will focus on Sorcery). None of the classes are bad, except for deprived, for obvious reasons.

Once your character is created and you’ve picked the Master Key, you’ll be ready to start your journey.

In the age of ancients…blah blah…

UNDEAD ASYLUM

After you’ve watched or skipped the cutscenes, you’ll start off in a jail cell. Pick up the glowing item in front of you to get the Dungeon Cell Key. It will unlock the door ahead.

You’ll be faced with a hall containing two zombie looking creatures which I will refer to as Undead from now on. Kill them if you like; they don’t give many souls, so I just skip them. This is a great opportunity to practice the attacks and the feel of the game since they don’t attack you. Continue onward, up the stairs and you’ll come to a dark room filled with water and another Undead. Again, kill if you’d like, otherwise, take a right and head through a smaller tunnel with a ladder at the end.

Climb it and take the only exit which leads to a larger courtyard area. You’ll see a bonfire that you can interact with. Once the bonfire is lit (fam) you can rest at it. This will eventually unlock the ability to allocate skill points and organize your magic. Most importantly, though, if you die, you will respawn here.

Go up the stairs ahead that lead to the two giant double doors and open them. When you move forward enough, you will be greeted with a friendly plumper known as the Asylum Demon (or ASSylum Demon. Look at dat butt.) Don’t fight him and instead run to the back far-left side of the room. There will be a door that is now open that you can go through. Once you’re past the room with the Demon, you will see another bonfire. Rest at it if you’d like and continue to the left. Here, you will meet your first real enemy.

It’s just a bow-wielding Undead. Move forward and you should see a cell to your left with an item. Well, what are you waiting for? Pick it up and I will now teach you how to equip things. We are going to equip the Small Leather Shield and stay in the cell to avoid attacks.

Open your menu with Options, (PS4) Menu, (XB1) or Plus (Switch). This will contain all the in-game settings and item management menus you’ll need. From here, press right once and go to the Change equipment menu. Select it and you’ll see all your stuff here. Well, you don’t have any stuff because you just started. The top left row with the picture of a sword and axe contains your right-handed weapons, while the row below that with the shield contains your left-handed weapons. Go to the left-handed row and select the left-most slot. Now you will see the shield you just picked up. Go ahead and equip it.

If you navigate out of the menus and go back into the game, you’ll see your character with the shield equipped. If you hit the left weapon action button (L1, L, LB) you’ll see your character hold up the shield and block. You must keep it held in to stay blocked. We will get into weapon stats later, but for now, exit the room and continue towards the bow Undead, making sure to keep your shield held up while you approach.

In your right hand, you should still have your trusty, Straight Sword Hilt, which you can use to bash this Undead’s brains in. However, behind where the Undead is standing is a new item, a Dagger. I recommend picking it up and running back to the cell with the shield to equip said Dagger. Alternatively, you can just hide around a corner if you feel safe. Make sure you equip it in your right hand. Now that you have both a sword and shield, you can practice attacking and blocking, which is the core of Dark Souls.

Lock on to the enemy by clicking in the right stick and hold up your shield while the Undead attacks. Once his attack animation is over. Swing away with the dagger to take him out. Congratulations. You have killed your first enemy in Dark Souls. (The first few Undead don’t count.) Moving right along. Keep following the path to the left of where the Undead first stood, up some stairs and you should see your first fog gate. Traverse the white light to enter the next area. I will refer to these as fog gates from now on.

If you head left, you should be overlooking the first bonfire. Heading left again will result in a dead end, so let’s go right, instead. You should come to an area with two ways to go: Up the stairs, or down a different set of stairs. Heading down will unlock a shortcut to the first bonfire. Heading up, on the other hand is the way to advance. I recommend going down and unlocking the shortcut.

BUT FIRST…

Be warned. Once you get about halfway up the stairs, a gigantic boulder will come tumbling after you. Now that you know this, what you want to do is run up the stairs (make sure you run) and as soon as you get about half-way up, roll off the right side onto the bottom set of stairs. Try to position yourself so you don’t take as much damage when you roll off. If done correctly, you should have rolled off, not taken damage, and a new area should be unlocked, thanks to our boulder friend. The boulder broke down the wall behind where you ran up the stairs.

Enter the broken-down area and you’ll see a poor guy, collapsed with the light shining on him. Talk with him and answer yes to his question. He will give you an Estus Flask, which is the game’s renewable healing potion. Remember you have this item and can now heal up to five times. Make sure to equip it to your character like you equipped the shield. This time, put it in the slot with the picture of an Estus Flask next to it. If you rest at a bonfire, it will replenish your Flasks. Keep talking to him and he will give you the Undead Asylum F2 East Key. Once you’re finished, head up the stairs where the boulder was and fight your next enemy. Make sure to lock on and block when applicable. One thing to note is that stamina management is important. Attacking depletes stamina, so back away when you need to recover.

Continue along to unlock the door using the key. At the end of this area you should see an item on the right. If you picked Sorcery it should be a Sorcerer’s Catalyst. Otherwise it will be an item pertaining to your starting class. I picked Sorcery (which I recommend for new players.) Grab the item, head back and equip it. I recommend equipping it to your second right-hand slot, so you can still block and freely switch between melee and catalyst. You must use a catalyst to fire sorceries. Think of the catalyst as a gun and the sorceries are the ammo.

Now, the hard part. Two enemies will be rushing towards you. Use what you’ve learned thus far and take them out one at a time while carefully watching their attacks. Make sure you block while they’re attacking. Or better yet, back away during their attack animations.

Once the first two Undead are…well, dead…you should see a third one next to some steps. If you switch to your Sorcerer’s Catalyst you can lock on from afar and shoot a Soul Arrow at him. One shot should do it. Continue along, ignoring the white light on the left for now. You’ll come to one more area with a shielded Undead. This one will be tougher, so use your shield and get behind him for a backstab.

Backstabbing is a crutch I lean on hard.

Benefits:

  1. It does a TON of damage.
  2. You’re invincible during the animation (i-frames.)
  3. It looks cool.

To backstab, get exactly behind an enemy and press your right-handed attack while pressing forward. If done correctly, a short animation should occur. Note that only enemies around the size of the player can be backstabbed. Sorry, dragons.

If you’re having trouble, you can always spam magic or fire from afar. Once he’s dead, head back the way you came. There isn’t anything left to do but traverse the white light.

BEFORE THAT….

…let’s prepare. Walking through the fog gate will put you right above the Asylum Demon. Like, RIGHT above him. The goal here is to perform a drop-down attack because it does massive damage. Equip your right-handed melee weapon and press the button to toggle one-hand/two-hand grip (PS4 is triangle, XB1 is Y and Switch is X.) Two handing increases the damage dealt but makes it so that you can’t block. Confident players play almost exclusively two-handed. For this fight, you should probably stick with two handing because shields don’t do much against this overweight demon. This first boss fight is a test of agility and pattern recognition more than anything.

ASYLUM DEMON: BOSS FIGHT

Once you’re ready, go through the fog gate, target the demon below you and drop down, making sure to hit the attack button (PS4 is R1, XB1 is RB, and Switch is R) right as you start to reach the enemy. At this point, the boss should have significantly less health. From here, you have two options: Study attack patterns and strike in between animations, or spam with magic. I recommend the former, because it will be a learning experience, but if you’re stuck, you do have the magic option.

Remember to heal when needed and continue to wail on him, keeping your weapon two handed. He has a few different attacks, but the most dangerous is the overhead smash attack. This one is devastating because it covers so much ground.

My recommendation is to stick behind the Demon. In Dark Souls, it’s totally acceptable to stay right up close to most enemies, as long as you roll through their attacks or stick behind them.

Most bosses do have an AOE (area of effect) attack that can damage you even if you’re behind them. In this case, the Demon does, too. He likes to jump up in the air and flap his wings for a moment before crashing down, causing lots of damage. If you see him start to fly up into the air, run or roll away quickly to avoid the attack.

What’s nice about this boss is that you can stay far away from him and observe his attacks without too much trouble because he’s so slow. He will eventually come for you, but the area is quite large, and you can out-maneuver the Demon. Again, if you’re having trouble, use your magic. You’ll be glad you picked it as starting classes.

Upon defeat, you should be rewarded with the Big Pilgrim’s Key and some souls, which act as the currency and XP in Dark Souls. Use the key to unlock the big double doors behind the demon and continue on your journey. Just keep heading straight until you reach the narrow, pointy part of the land. A cutscene will commence and you will be taken to the next area.

FIRELINK SHRINE

Alright! You’ve made it to Firelink. This is your home now; at least, for a while. Firelink Shrine acts as the main hub and we will be returning back here many times. First thing’s first, let’s take note of a few things:

  1. There are five different paths out of Firelink shrine.
  2. Don’t kill any NPCs (unless I say otherwise)
  3. Use this time to level up (As I am running a magic build, I will be putting a couple points into Intelligence. Vitality, Endurance, and Strength (or Dexterity, depending on your melee weapon) are always good choices, too.

Now that those simple things are out of the way, let’s get prepared for the next step. First, look behind the bonfire and you should see a well with an item. Grab the three Humanities from here. I will explain these later. With your back to the bonfire and your front to the well, go left up the short set of stairs that are close by. Once you go past the archway, you should see three more sets of stairs. Take the right-most set and follow the path all the way to the back. You should see an item, six firebombs. There are more items to collect, but for now, take the time to explore Firelink a little bit. A word of caution: if you come to a graveyard, TURN AROUND. You don’t have to listen to me, but if you don’t, you’ll wish you did. Also, don’t go down the winding set of stairs next to the Firelink bonfire yet. We aren’t ready for that area. Once you feel like you’re ready for the next area, go back to the bonfire.

Head back to the well right next to the bonfire but keep going past it. You should see a large tree on your right and a set of stairs just past it. Go up the stairs until you see a few enemies. Take note of how many there are and their positioning. I count five that are visible (there is an additional one you can’t see). If you aggro the two that are on your level, they should chase you back down towards the tree. I don’t necessarily recommend going that far back, but your goal here is to make sure you bait these enemies back because an Undead above will be chucking firebombs at you if you stay too close to the stairs that lead to the next level. Remember, you have your magic to lean on if you get stuck. You may even aggro a third enemy into dropping down for a fight. That’s okay, just stay away from the arches or the stairs until everyone on this level is dead.

Also, don’t go for the item on this level until you take out every Undead here. Once everyone is dead on this level, go up the stairs and bait the closest enemy away from the others. Remember to use your shield and play cautiously. What you may have to do is run up in between bomb throws and aggro the enemy on the left with the ax. The bomb thrower doesn’t like to move much. Either way, separate the two to take them out. Once both are dead, you should see a set of stairs leading up and to the right, with an enemy at the top. At this point, the enemy won’t come after you until you start heading up the stairs, so now might be a good time to go back down to pick up that item. It’s nothing major, just a Soul of a Lost Undead, but it may be worth your time to grab. You can consume it from your inventory for some souls. Go back to the stairs and we will be ready to fight this last enemy.

BUT FIRST…

There is an optional ring we can grab that may help new players a bit. If you want to grab it, continue reading this paragraph. Otherwise, skip to the next one. Face the stairs as if you’re about to walk up them, and head just to the left, facing the giant archways beneath the final enemy. You should be facing the bridge-like structure that the stairs lead up to. If you walk up to the edge, you should see that you can drop down onto a platform. Do that, making sure to stick to the right as much as possible. If you follow this path all the way to the end, making sure to carefully maneuver around the giant pillars, you should come to an item, the Ring of Sacrifice. This is a ring that basically gives you one freebie life. In other words, when you die, you won’t lose all your souls. It’s a one time use item, but it’s good for when you have a lot of souls on you and aren’t confident in your abilities to get back to a bonfire. To get back to the stairs, head back to where you dropped down and look to the left side, overlooking where you picked up the Soul of a Lost Undead. Here’s the tricky part: you must run and jump across the gap to make it back to the other side. Make sure you get a running start and mash the run button just before you hit the edge to jump across. If you don’t make it, no biggie, as you’ll still have the ring (as long as it isn’t equipped.) Either way, head back to the stairs so we can fight this last guy (or all six again, depending on if you made the jump.)

Head up the stairs with your shield up and either use magic on this guy, or melee. Be careful of fighting him on the stairs, as it’s easy to fall. Once at the top, you should see an item off in the distance, just above where you got the ring. Grab the Soul of a Lost Undead and turn around. Head back the way you came and enter the pathway on your right.

Upon entering, there should be two ways to go. Equip your magic and take out the rat on your left. If you’re lucky, the rat will drop Humanity (I promise I’ll cover what Humanity is later). Grab the item behind him and head the other way now. You should see a gate in the distance. You can’t open it yet, but you can head through a path to the left of the gate. Go that way.

UNDEAD BURG

Follow this area up some stairs and you will be in Undead Burg. An Undead will come rushing at you. Take him out and then take out his friend behind him. Remember to utilize backstabs and picking them off one at a time. Past this, you should see a fog gate with another enemy ahead. Cross the tiniest bridge ever, take the enemy out in front of you and watch out as you may have aggroed an Undead to your left in a building. Retreat if you must and when both are dead you can go back to the fog gate. There isn’t anything in the building across from the gate, so traverse the white light and move onward.

You should see some stairs. Before heading up them, go to the left side of this room and you should see an item on a corpse. Grab it and then head upstairs. You should see another set of stairs on the right that lead outside. Go that way. Up these stairs you will be greeted by a giant dragon. Don’t worry, he’s just stopping by. Head forward and you should come to an area that’s a bit more open with two Undead right in front of you and two more up some stairs even further ahead. Bait the two enemies on your level and take them out.

Once you’re ready, head forward and take out the first Undead, being careful to avoid the crossbow bolts from the other Undead. Beneath the cross-bolt guy is a door you can open. Do that and follow the path to a small balcony to grab a Wooden Shield. EQUIP THAT NOW. Head out through the door and up the stairs to take out the cross-bolt guy. You may notice the new shield is a bit better than the old one. That’s because the last shield is a piece of crap.

With your back to the steps you just climbed, head left, across the wooden bridge to find…a bonfire. Yay!!! Every new bonfire is a lifesaver and a relief. Rest at the bonfire, level up if you can, and be prepared for the next area.

Head back out and remember that the enemies you just killed all respawned. Go back down the steps on the right and take everyone out as carefully as possible. The nice thing is that the bonfire is close so if you die, it isn’t too big of a deal. Once everyone is dead, stand at the bottom of the steps and face the path back towards Firelink.

You should see a path to the left, leading to two shielded Undead. Go there, kill them, making sure to do so one at a time. Remember you have magic. While these guys are deadly, they’re slow and you can easily watch their patterns to time your attack. Once they’re dead, break all the boxes on the left side by rolling into them. It should lead to some stairs. Follow them down, and you’ll be met with two ways to go: straight ahead or to the right. Go straight for now and you’ll meet a merchant! He looks Undead, but don’t kill him since he’s got good stuff. Firstly, buy the Resident Key from him for 1000 souls. You may need to consume one of you Souls of a Lost Undead from the ‘browse and use items’ menu. If you have anything left, buy a weapon from him. I went with a spear. Remember, you must meet certain stats to use weapons. The Spear takes 11 strength and 10 dexterity to use.

Once you’re done with the merchant, head back to the room you came from and go the other way now (it will be on your left.) Be careful, as an enemy will jump out behind some shelves to the right of the doorway. Keep following the path, down some stairs and you’ll come to a mob of four Undead. Remember, you can bait them and use magic. They’re pretty weak, as long as you don’t get trapped. If you grabbed the spear, you’ll notice you can not only attack from a bit of a distance, but you can hit multiple enemies at once. You can technically hit multiple enemies at once with almost every weapon, but the spear specializes in this, due to the size of the weapon. Anyway, head up the ladder.

Grab the item (Throwing Knives) just ahead and if you keep going, you should see that you’re on the roof, overlooking the area you just came from. If you go to the side of the building opposite of the ladder, you should see the building I told you had nothing in it earlier. Well, I lied.

You’ll see a small platform you can jump on, so, give it a run and jump down onto the platform. In the building, you’ll see some stairs, so go up them and go outside and to the left, around the building. Grab the Light Crossbow and Bolts.

Turn around and head back, but don’t go inside. You should see a break in the railing that you can use to drop down. Before you do that, target the two enemies below and take them out with your magic. Drop down and you should know where you are. This is the start of Undead Burg, next to the fog gate. Go back to the bonfire and rest. You’ve earned it.

Okay, now this is the hardest part you will have encountered up until this point. Assuming you didn’t go into the graveyard in Firelink Shrine. Exit the room and take out the three enemies to your right: the crossbow guy, and then the two enemies down the steps. There may be fourth guy that comes after you. Basically, kill everyone so you aren’t being attacked anymore.

With your back to the bonfire room, it’s time to go left, across a small bridge. Few things to note first. As soon as you start crossing the small bridge, you’ll notice enemies throwing bombs at you from the top left. That’s okay, just run into the next room and make sure your shield is up.

I’m not going to lie, this room sucks. There will be three enemies that attack you. Two regular Undead and a shielded one. Bait them around the room and use your shield while watching attack patterns. Magic and backstabs are your friends. Whatever you do, don’t go back the way you came because you might risk getting hit with bombs. Once everyone in this room is dead, head to the left, through an open door. Before heading up the bigger set of stairs, let’s go up the smaller set first, into a room on the right.

Make sure your shield is up for this part. An Undead will rush you, but you have magic and a Wooden shield! Take him out. Directly behind that guy is another Undead in a separate area. Kill him, too. Now, go up the small set of stairs in this area to get to your first chest! Yaaaaaa! Cue Zelda music.

Grab your Black Firebombs and head out of this building the way you came. Now, head up the steps but don’t engage the three enemies at the top all at once. Remember, you should pick them off one by one and use magic. Once they’re dead, you should see a ladder to the right of the stairs you just climbed. Climb the ladder and you’ll see three more Undead, all standing on wooden planks. Take them out the same way you did the last set of three. Grab the item by where the Undead were standing and head back down the ladder you just climbed. Across from the ladder you’ll see a door that ordinarily can’t be opened but since you picked the Master Key as your gift….

Enter here, follow the path outside and you’ll see your next chest. This will give you Gold Pine Resin, a useful item. You can use it to equip lightning to your weapons temporarily. If you stand right next to the chest, you should be able to target the enemies off to the left in a little rounded area. See if you can take at least one of them out with magic and then head back the way you came. With the door you just unlocked to your back, head right and then left, through a doorway that spirals up to a crossbow Undead. Kill him and head back down.

With the doorway leading up the spiraling stairs to your back, head forward, down some stairs, leading to the rounded area. Hopefully, you killed at least one enemy here while you were by the last chest. Either way, take these three shielded Undead out. From here, you’ll see another set of stairs in front of you and a second set of stairs to the right of that, leading down. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T GO DOWN THE STAIRS TO THE RIGHT. A tough enemy awaits and you aren’t ready for him.

Head up the set of stairs in front of you but stop when you get to the first landing that leads to the rest of the stairs to the left. Stand on the landing and turn the camera to face up the remaining set of stairs. You should see an Undead with a barrel.

Do you remember in the Undead Asylum there was that boulder that triggered when you ran up a set of stairs? Well, same idea here. Run up about a third of the way and then turn back and run back down the stairs. I do recommend running. This should aggro the Undead and he’ll come after you. Kill him. Head up the stairs once again and you’ll come to another fork. You can go up the winding stairs to the left, or straight, towards a closed door. Let’s go through the door using the Master Key.

To those who know what awaits at the bottom of these stairs, you may think I’m trolling, but I do see this as the best route to proceed. Head down the first set of stairs, and you’ll get to the first landing. Keep going down to the second landing. From the second landing, it’s very important that you don’t rush down the third set of stairs because you’re gonna have a bad time. What you want to do is inch your way down a bit, past the wall on your left. Keep inching forward till you can see the bottom floor by turning the camera. At the bottom of the stairs, you should see a guy with a GIANT club and a door. Your goal is to get down there, through the door, and to keep running straight.

It’s not as hard as it seems, but I do want you to be aware that this guy is deadly. My recommendation is to aggro him and get him to climb up the stairs a bit, then roll off the side to get to the door. Once you’re through the door, he will no longer pursue you.

DARKROOT BASIN

Alright. This area is…not for new players. At least, not yet. The reason we are going this way is to skip the next boss in Undead Burg because I find him to be a bit too difficult for new players starting out. Following this method will allow you to go around that boss and unlock a shortcut to Firelink Shrine. We will be going back for that boss, just not at this time. For now, let’s move onward.

Follow the path down and stick to the left as much as possible. If you look right, you should see some wild stuff, like some crystal enemies and a…FREAKING HYDRA. Don’t worry about that for now. Keep heading forward, while sticking to the left. You should notice a cliff on your left. Keep going till you start to see lots of green and the path starts to get more narrow. In the distance, you’ll notice a path on the right side that goes up or a path on the left side that goes down. For now, let’s go up.

If you take this path, it will wind a bit to the right and you’ll come to a fork. Take the right path instead of continuing up, and you should come to a platform bellow you with an item. Roll down and grab this item for some good gear and a bow and arrows! Equip them if you’d like.

Drop down to the right-most part and you’ll end up back on the path leading upwards. Keep following it, but this time, once you reach the fork, head up the left pathway that leads up (our goal is to go up.) Follow this path and then it will wind up and to the left. You will see your first Crystal Lizard. Kill it if you can! They drop goodies for upgrading. Once you get here, the path upwards should be obvious. Keep going up. The pathway will get super narrow, with a cliff to your left. Just stick to the opposite side of the cliff and you’ll be fine. You’ll eventually get to the top of this path that leads to the right. You’ll notice a glowing flower. Keep going towards the only available pathway, opposite of the flower and you’ll see a puddle on the ground.

DARKROOT GARDEN

If you head down towards the puddle, you will be ambush (amBUSHed…get it???) by two tree monsters; one on either side. Be advised, you are a bit under-leveled (probably) for this area, so my recommendation would be to take out your magic or pyromancy, run to the puddle, turn left and run with your shield out. Once you’re a far enough distance away, you can wipe these two out with magic. Hopefully, you still have some. Anyway, keep heading down the path and you’ll come to a structure on your right.

It’s not advisable to run in here unprepared, as there is a freaking demon in here. Luckily, he’s slow. Again, I don’t really recommend fighting this guy yet, since you’re under-leveled. But the goal here is to get to the opposite side of the room, up the steps. It’s best to run to the far left of the room, hug the wall, then close in on the steps. Do what you can and roll if you have to. Also, doing this part naked might help, as you’ll be more nimble.

UNDEAD PARISH

At the top of the stairs, you’ll be in Undead Parish, the area with the first major boss of the game. In front of you, you’ll see a blacksmith, Andre. You’ll be visiting him a lot, so get acquainted with the area. You probably don’t have the souls to buy anything from him, but if you do, maybe grab a new weapon and then head upstairs to the bonfire.

From the bonfire, head up the second set of stairs. Keep following the path forward and you’ll come to a narrow pathway with columns on either side and a set of stairs at the end. Go up the stairs and immediately to the right, where an Undead will be waiting for you. Take him out and then aggro the other two shielded Undead, picking them off one at a time. If you play your cards right and stick to the right side, only one shielded guy should come after you, leaving the final guy easily open to an attack.

The final guy is past the set of stairs leading up to a church, across from the way you came. Before heading into the church, let’s go up the other set of stairs at the far end of this area, to the left of the way you came. They will lead you to a ruined, narrow area with an Undead wearing a cape in the far distance.

If you sneak up on this guy, you can backstab him without him even knowing. Remember if you two-hand your weapon, you’ll do more damage. You probably won’t kill him in one hit, so be prepared to give him a few more whacks when he gets up. The other Undead will aggro you and head your way. Bait him back a bit and take him out. Just before the part with the caped guy, you should have noticed a path to the right, leading down. In other words, don’t go to where the shielded Undead was; there’s a path to take, just before the caped guy.

You will come to the other side of the church, with stairs leading up on your right. Before doing that, grab the item ahead (Halberd) and then go down the large set of stairs and grab the second item (Basement Key.) You also may want to run back up the steps quickly, as these enemies will aggro you.

Head into the church, slowly. You’ll notice two caped guys. Bait the first one and pick him off separately, preferably outside the church. A couple things to note about these guys:

  1. They hit hard
  2. They will parry you and do massive damage
  3. It’s best to hit them from the back because their shields have great defense
  4. Weak to magic

Go back inside and you’ll notice a pair of double doors, leading to the second guy. Just to the left of these doors is a THIRD guy, so aggro him and bait him outside. Once he’s dead, take out the third guy. After that, you’ll come to a room with church pews. At the far end of the room you may be able to make out a HUGE enemy with a shield. He’s not hard, but he deals devastating damage, so it’s your call. If you do fight him, I’d recommend staying behind him. However, don’t run over there yet, because there’s stuff you need to know.

Atop this church is the first main boss of the game, but we need to do a couple things first. For one, I do recommend taking out that giant shielded guy before fighting the boss because he’s one of the few enemies that doesn’t respawn. You don’t have to kill him now, but you should definitely take this guy out before the fight at the top of the church.

BUT FIRST…

To the left of the shielded guy you will see two elevators. This is where you should go before anything. So, let’s do that now. Remember, you can fight the big guy first, but I recommend heading straight for the open elevator that leads down. Also, you may notice that once you run out into the pew area, you’ll be spammed with magic. Don’t worry; if you get hit, it won’t kill you if you have full health. Just head for the elevators. Jump into the open elevator and ride it down.

Once at the bottom, head out and you’ll be in….

FIRELINK SHRINE

This is the back end and is a shortcut to and from Undead Parish. If you look left, you’ll notice stairs and an item. Go grab it. Now, go back down and then down again, and then down the stairs on your right. You’ll see a miracle dude with a bowl-cut, so talk to him. Answer yes to his questions and join the covenant. You probably don’t have enough souls for anything at this point, so keep following the path downstairs and you should be back to the Firelink Shrine bonfire. Rest at it and you’ll notice you have 10 Estus Flasks again. That’s because this bonfire is kindled, which basically means you get an additional five flasks when you rest at that fire.

Let’s talk about Humanity. It’s not really clear what it is, exactly, but I can tell you its uses. For one, you can use a Humanity to reverse hollowing at a bonfire. This will make it so that you can summon co-op partners and will make your character look human. Humanity also fully restores your health and does so more quickly than the Estus Flask. You can also use Humanity to level up in certain covenants. Finally, Humanity will boost your discovery, so if you’re grinding for a rare item, it’s a good idea to have some. In short, don’t waste Humanity because it’s hard to come by, especially at first. The rats drop them and you can find or buy them from some vendors.

Now that all that is out of the way, let’s go back up the elevator to kill the boss we skipped previously. Our goal here is to work our way to the boss, but backwards, gaining souls to level up. You should aim for 16 Strength and 12 Dexterity in order to wield the Halberd you just recently acquired. Let’s go.

About author

Joseph

Joseph is a Northern Kentucky University graduate with a bachelors degree in Studio Arts. After realizing his passions lie elsewhere, he decided to pursue a career in games journalism with the goal of climbing to the top. He loves action RPGs like Bloodborne and Dark Souls, but is also fond of quirky Nintendo games on the Switch. Joseph can be found listening to Prog Metal and patiently waiting on that new Tool album.

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