Dark Souls Shields-Only Run – The Conclusion
With the spiked shield now in hand, things were about to move a lot quicker. The next target became the Four Kings, since the path to them was also filled with opportunities for upgrade materials I needed in order to fully reinforce my new shield. With what I had on me, I was able to get the shield to a +1 lightning weapon, enough to push the odds well into my favor. I set out to the New Londo Ruins and pushed my way toward the lower levels. Wraiths fell with ease, and the darkwraiths took some maneuvering, but were nothing in the way of a threat. After a few trips, and making sure to open the shortcut, my shield was now reinforced to +4.
I returned to the surface, and made a trip back to the Asylum to claim a titanite slab in order to push the shield to +5. After that, I took a visit to Sif. He was less awkward to fight than I imagined he would be, though landing hits still wasn’t the easiest task. I had to focus on his front legs and chest, and unlock the camera from him in order to be able to see what I was doing while under him. With his ring in my possession, I was able to confront the Four Kings.
It felt good to be dishing out far more damage than before. The Kings didn’t even stand a chance. A barrage of the new shield was all it took, and each of the Kings fell, every time before the next one made its appearance. Once I even had the time to spin the camera several rotations, looking for the next one before it finally showed up. With such stacked defense and health, it only took about one flask to undo the damage each of the Kings caused, healing each time before the next, in case, I don’t know, my controller died or something.
After exiting the Abyss, I decided to pay Nito a visit. I returned to the Catacombs, running past as much as I could until I finally reached the Tomb of Giants. The skeletons were a nuisance to fight through, as they were difficult to stagger, with the skeleton dogs being even more difficult. After a short romp through the Tomb, avoiding what I could, I finally reached Nito.
I didn’t bother to take the time to switch in my divine shield, and instead let the skeletons run free throughout the fight, with Nito constantly burying them with each of the blows he threw at me. He sent several of his swords through the ground early on, taking his sweet time coming to my side of the area. After he arrived, the battle was fairly straightforward. I laid into him with the shield, as he swung all around trying to hit me. As he got low on health, he began to constantly spam his big explosion attack, which was nice, in a way, as it kept the battlefield clear of the rest of the skeletons, and allowed me to focus solely on him.
With 3 of the Lord Souls claimed, there was only one place left to go. I returned to Anor Londo and made my way to the Duke’s Archives. The skeletons inside were actually the biggest threat I’d seen in a while. Though they were easily blocked, they caused fairly high chip damage through the spiked shield’s only-90 physical resistance, and the occasional unblocked attack was enough to worry about if it ended up happening frequently.
I battled my way through the Archives, throwing on a Ring of Sacrifice I had picked up a long while back to preserve the humanity I had on hand when confronting Seath the first time, and made my way to the Crystal Cave. I charged past everything I could around and inside the Cave until I finally stopped to deal with the shells just outside Seath’s lair, because letting them follow and participate in the fight with him is never a good time.
Without having to worry about cutting off his tail, Seath is a fairly big pushover at higher levels. Staying on his side tail, he had trouble hitting me all the way up until he pushed himself weirdly up against one of the walls, and started laying down a huge amount of crystals on top of me, to the point where I had to back off and heal. After that brief interruption, I was able to rush back in and finish him off.
With all of the Lord Souls now in my possession, it was time to face Gwyn. I did a few runs through the Kiln to build up red titanite chunks for my spider shield, and then continued all the way to Gwyn’s room. The battle started out really ugly. I planned on using my +10 fire spider shield and 1-hand my spiked shield in order to absorb a lot of the damage he would dish out, but ultimately had to toss that idea out the window as he consistently obliterated my stamina whenever I tried to block. I swapped out the spider shield for the grass crest shield to help with stamina, and went back to 2-handing the spiked shield.
The fight was pretty brutal. He didn’t hit extremely hard through everything I had, but he refused to let me do anything about what he was throwing out. Several times, I had to find safe spots to heal up, and even heal while taking blows, letting my poise keep me alive. The end of the battle got nasty, too, as he almost killed me as I backed off to chug some flasks. As we traded blows, he ultimately fell, and the run came to a successful conclusion.
Some bits of information for those that are interested:
That’s about 20 levels lower than what I usually beat the game at.
Less than 40% of the time it took me to beat the game the first time.
Consumables used: estus flask, humanity, twin humanity, transient curse, homeward bone, purple moss clump, blooming purple moss clump.
No spells acquired throughout the run. All other items were eventually fed to Frampt. I hope he’s happy.