Casually Hardcore #2 - Forest of Fallen Giants

Disclaimer: I am not a hardcore gamer (in the classic sense, anyway). Why just this week, I've been pretty obsessed with Chain3D on my iPad.

I’ve been harboring a bit of a hate-on for the game after some initial triumph. I was sure that finally figuring out where the hell to go (getting to Forest of Fallen Giants) was going to magically propel me forward in the game. Coincidentally…not true. I was actually stuck in the very beginning portion for quite a bit, dying over and over and over (and over). At one point, I even got kinda pissed at the developer of this game. I mean, what type of vindictive bastard would put a fellow human-being through something like this?!

But (silly me) my predicament's description was all over the internet: YOU WILL DIE. REPEATEDLY. And no one forced me to play.

Don't know why, but it hadn't sunk in until around my 120th death. And then I got over it, because what was I gonna do? Quit? Oh hell no! I'm in this for the long haul. I’m talking a cross-country road trip from Jersey to California just to get on a ship set for Australia kind of long haul.

So, yeah...lots of dying in the beginning of Forest of Fallen Giants.

At one point, after I must've died at least 50 times (within the first 30 minutes of me picking up from where I left off last, mind you), the game began to take pity on this poor, lost soul. Those evil Hollow soldiers turned up conspicuously absent after I re-spawned one time. And let me tell you, I was ever so grateful. (There was a bit of suspicion, actually, but something about a gift horse and its mouth kept me from thinking about it too much.) No more dying over and over in that particular spot near the river and the bonfire. I was moving on to bigger and better things!

Of course, there was only one way out of there besides the way I came, so me and my dagger-and-shield set hoofed it up a ladder. There were a lot of Hollow soldiers up there, so I had to lure them down the ladder to pick them off one by one. Great plan in theory. However, execution proved elusive. (That's when I found out that pressing the “B” button made me slide down ladders instead of the slow descent I’d been doing. Yeah, I know. Beginner stuff. But as I explained, I don’t play these games a whole lot.) All I really wanted to do after awhile was to make it to the next bonfire.

It took a great many rage-quits…

During one instance of begrudgingly starting the game (once again), I got a surprise and a bright idea at the same time. While I'd only been fighting for my life (and failing, mostly) the entire time, color me shocked to find out I was a level 10 somehow! That made me think. Albert Einstein said, "No problem can be solved with the same level of consciousness that created it." He also said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. That was me...beating my head against a rock and wondering why my head hurt. Sad. Just...sad.

So what if I purposefully leveled up? After I died a goodly amount of times, it became clear. I needed to be stronger to defeat my enemies! (Don't judge me. Head against rock, remember?) So, I retraced my steps back to Majula, then to Things Betwixt. Since I'd gotten the other cylinder working in the old think-machine, I figured that I could kill some enemies in Things Betwixt and gain some souls that way - in addition to the ones I recovered from my last death - so that I could go try to figure out how to level up like I meant it.

I ended up with 980 souls by saving up souls from my deaths, killing more Hollows, and consuming the soul of one Lost Undead (which gave me a 200 soul boost). So, I was off to see the Emerald Herald.

Now, as it turns out, you need a ton of souls to level up so I could only level up my strength once. But that's a lesson learned. I'll make sure to collect much more next time around.

Then it was back to Forest of Fallen Giants to get through to the next part of my journey. I traveled back via bonfire, hoping it would bring the Hollow soldiers back, but they were still non-existent by the river. That was fine by me. My only objective was to get through to the next bonfire.

I died a lot more times. A lot. And I quit. A lot. Then I died more, and there was more quitting. It actually became pretty sad. But there was also more leveling up (so that was something).

But, I eventually reached the second bonfire in Forest of Fallen Giants. And it was a joyous occasion. I laughed, I cried (a lot), and then I turned off my Xbox 360 and played some Chain3D.

Until next time Dark Souls 2. Until next time…