Almost exactly two years ago I first played Dark Souls on the PC, and a few days later I defeated the Taurus Demon, the second boss. Now I can finally say that I’ve defeated the third* boss: The Bell Gargoyles.
After weeks of enjoying the crap out of the hard-difficulty combat in The Witcher 3**, I decided to install Dark Souls again. Two years later, thanks to a Steam beta and DSfix, Dark Souls runs a thousand times better on the PC than when I first played it, and using an Xbox controller works a lot better than a PS3 controller did. It’s really a gorgeous, atmospheric game.
Last time I played a Sorcerer, but this time I played a Knight. Thanks to my experience with The Witcher 3, and combined with the tougher Knight class, I had much less difficulty getting through to the Undead Parish than I did two years ago. Then I got to the Bell Gargoyles and remembered why I gave up there last time.
So my strategy for defeating the Bell Gargoyles was pretty simple: Keep doing it over and over and over again until I finally got lucky. By the end I could melee with one of those gargoyles all day long, but they always killed me by ganging up on me after the second joined the fight. On the last try, for whatever reason, the second gargoyle remained farther away. It breathed fire from a distance four times and almost entirely missed me each time, giving me the opportunity I needed to finish dispatching the first gargoyle. (I was wielding a Battle Axe +4 and a Hollow Soldier Shield +1 for the kill. The upgraded axe helped a lot.)
I don’t know exactly how many tries it took me, but I would estimate 35-40 tries over the course of three or four days (I can’t remember if I started Saturday or Sunday). You can see in the video that I had 16,166 souls built up from my last blood stain, and you get a minimum of 640 souls each time you travel from the spawn point to the boss, so that’s about 25 tries right there, and I could have easily lost another 10,000 souls from accidental deaths.
It feels like I’ve beaten the game, but in reality I’ve still only scratched the surface. This wiki page tells me there are twelve required bosses to defeat, and I’ve only done two on that list.
After defeating the Bell Gargoyles I went exploring some areas that I had never seen before. I fought my way past a nifty Prowling Demon (which was a challenging mini-boss but after the experience of dueling with the Bell Gargoyles for days I dispatched it on the first try) to get to the Darkroot Garden, where I sparred with some plant creatures for a while before heading back to a camp fire. Later I went back to the Firelink Shrine and tried going down to the The Catacombs but I did not enjoy dealing with the skeletons that never die. (On the way I picked up the awesome-looking Zweihander sword though.)
* I suppose the bosses aren’t really in any set order, but it was the third boss for me.
** Oh, I finished The Witcher 3, by the way. As always in open world games, once I finish the main story, I find I have zero desire to continue playing any of the side bits. Fortunately this time I put off finishing the main story for a long, long time so I could do a lot of the side bits first.