Dark Souls 2: Going Beyond Death

Survival guide to the first area of Drangleic and what to expect. Prepare to Die!

Dark Souls is a game known for its brutal difficulty and haunting atmosphere. The sequel was finally released today and delivers on so many things that made the original great while being made both more accessible to newer players and actually more difficult in some ways for the veterans.

Many could not find their way in the original game because of its steep learning curve, hopefully with the help of this guide for the sequel, our lives (and deaths) can be made a little easier.

Things Betwixt

This is where you start after the prologue cutscene, it is a tutorial area which is a first in a "Souls" game though that doesn't mean there are no secrets to find or potential deaths to be had.

Your initial objective is simply to run forward in the direction of the beam of light in the sky. As you walk up the first hill take a right there is a small cave entrance, go through and you will see a corpse with a Rusted Coin this item will increase your luck and rare item drop chance temporarily when consumed. Loot the Rusted Coin and continue towards the light.

Before the bridge you are to cross there is a path to the left through some bushes where you can see large footprints. Do not go through here, instead cross the bridge and take an immediate sharp left as you get off it.

This will take you down a small tunnel in the rocks and you will find another body that holds a Small Smooth & Silky Stone. This stone can be consumed to slightly restore HP but hold onto it for later as it has another use. You will see a house in front of you, enter the front door to trigger a cutscene that leads into your character creation.

Classes and Gifts are down to personal preference though I highly suggest avoiding the Deprived class and the Bonfire Ascetic gift for your first playthrough.

Here you will meet three old witches who, in true Dark Souls fashion, speak entirely in riddles and end their sentences with maniacal cackles. Once they are finished laughing at your expense they hand you a Human Effigy.

The Human Effigies are vital as they restore your maximum health, which you lose a percentage of after every death, down to 50% of your total HP. They also make it less likely that another player will invade your world if you burn them at a bonfire, the first of which you will find when you exit the house through the backdoor. Go upstairs and pick up the second Effigy in the chest before leaving.

The bonfire is your new checkpoint if you die until you find another, there is a corpse with a Soul of the Lost Undead and a Torch behind a destroyable cart. The soul can be consumed to add to your soul count (the currency of the game, also used to level up your stats from an NPC you will meet soon) and the torch can be lit for 5 minutes at any bonfire to replace your offhand weapon or shield in low light environments.

After resting at the bonfire continue forward and take a left through the white mist and onto the tutorial, which is fairly linear and easy to navigate.

Follow the stones that teach you the basic controls and at the stone that teaches camera controls you should see a birds nest if you look around. As you approach it you hear voices asking that you give them "smooth" and "silky" this is where the stone you picked up earlier comes into play.

Leave the stone in their nest and they give you a random high tier item that is more useful than the minor hp restore of the stone. Down the ladder next to the nest is a Soul of a Nameless Soldier which holds more souls than the previous soul picked up.

Keep going forward and you should encounter large Cyclops monsters beyond the tree that you knock down as part of the tutorial, they hold a lot of souls though they can be tricky if you are not comfortable with your character yet and can easily be outran, whatever you choose to do afterwards you will proceed through a tunnel at the end of the cavern.

You have finished the tutorial and have arrived at Majula the central hub area, and thus does the true Dark Souls II begin.

 Was anything missed? Do you feel a topic needed more attention paid to it? leave your comments below and I will get back to you.

Thanks for reading!

Contributor

Published Feb. 7th 2016

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