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Music of the Week #209


Better late than never


A few days late due to some busy circumstances. As fast as I regained interest in Dark Souls 2, it was dropped just as quickly. My obsessive want to have one of everything is tough when the NG +4 bosses are punishingly difficult (and an equally annoying pain to even get to) made me halt my plans for a No Death Run since, in my mind, collecting boss souls are only going to get harder so I might as well do them now, and now is not the time for me to go through the Memory of the Old Iron King or the Frigid Outskirts again.

But nonetheless, our musical journey continues. Last time we talked about The Pursuer and the other first encounter bosses and now we have another potential early boss, a familiar looking one at that. Being a big fan of the series, you could imagine my surprise when I saw the one and only Ornstein inside the Blue Cathedral near the Heide’s Tower of Flame. However, he isn’t that tough of a boss and he isn’t exactly a ferocious fighter either. Alone, he isn’t exactly tough and only when he’s paired with Smough was Ornstein a challenge. A thought arises from this, did the developers add him in just to make a blatant callback? A lot of DSII’s identity was compromised in trying to be like first Dark Souls instead of being its own game and the Old Dragonslayer along with the other callbacks, namely the Old Souls, are charming enough but detract from making the game its own thing. Instead of making itself fresh and new, it has to rely on the first game and remain that way instead of leaping off to higher bounds.

Music of the Week #208


One more week


I’m fully back into Dark Souls and just beat Sinh and Elana after spending at least 10 Human Effigies to kill the latter with a couple of swell phantoms who still apparently play the regular version of the PS3 copy of Dark Souls II. Guess I’m not alone being completely behind a console generation since I’m too busy buying figures. Anyway, part of my soul is also craving getting back into New Vegas, I might have mentioned this but I have a physical checklist of things that I need to do in my currently on-hold Perfect Good Run. More news on that later I guess

This week’s theme is that of one of the earlier bosses in Dark Souls II, the Pursuer. He’s potentially one of the earliest bosses you can encounter as he shows up as an “optional” fight near the halfway point of the Forest of Fallen Giants where he appears to challenge you should you climb a ladder into a small platform. Killing him here will end his formal boss fight encounter that would take place soon after but he appears two more times in the Iron Keep and in Drangelic Castle. In the recently updated Scholar of the First Sin edition, the Pursuer fulfills his name and appears more frequently across the game world to make your life a living hell. His name and occupation is one of the many reasons I chose his theme compared to the Dragon Rider and Last Giant, both were lame as hell. Last Giant in hindsight has some interesting lore connections and a fair position as one of the first boss fights in the game but the Dragon Rider is an abysmal boss fight. Before the game even released, I read a Gameinformer issue where a guy fought the Dragon Rider and made him out to be the most badass and toughest thing ever. Fucking.Please

Consider my weekly music posts on Dark Souls II to be my segmented criticisms of the game as well as singing some praise where it is appropriate. Oh and how could I forget, the Pursuer’s own sword can be acquired and it is one of my favorite weapons in the game. Plus the dude floats. He doesn’t walk with his bulky armor and his oversized sword an shield combo, he floats and attacks with one of the more majestic animations the game has to offer.

Music of the Week #207


Fall approaches


I’ve been thinking more of Dark Souls II lately and I plan on going back to it again to try a No Death Run since I previously did a No Bonfire Run and only died around 3 times in total. But, that’s only after I beat the Sunken King and Ivory King’s stages again since I like collecting items, it will prove decent entertainment. Speaking of the series, Bloodborne got a DLC trailer and even when I haven’t played it yet, I really love the new weapons. Wish they incorporated some more though but who knows, we might actually get more.

Fall Season has only a few more weeks left and I can finally get back into the scene talking about stupid shit, can’t wait to get my anger flowing. For now though, music time.

The hub world for each entry into the Souls series guarantees as one of the more memorable tracks from each game’s soundtrack. Majula is no different and by looks alone, it definitely provides the most atmospheric feel to the area. While the Nexus was enormous, it was gloomy. Firelink Shrine was similarly like a puzzling ruins but it was relaxing. Majula is an abandoned village with very few inhabitants and the ever-setting sun by the horizon is gorgeous to behold. A funny thing to mention is that I’ve always wanted a “village” hubworld that you stay in to protect yourself from the world outside and I thought Majula would fulfill that dream of mine, only that it has 3 measly houses, 2 of them being vendors and the other for some other, admittedly less exciting function. Nonetheless, Majula still remains a beautiful sight to see and its music matches it.

Music of the Week #206


Move it


One of the more major reasons for my inactivity was me preparing to move all my shit to a significantly smaller house. Exhaustion of doing that has drained me of my vitality so I got nothing witty or interesting to say. Oh, I heard One Punch Man started airing, guess I’ll get around to it once the weekend hits.

Anyway, the new picture should already tell you we’re finished with Dark Souls 1 and we have now moved on to the less appreciated Dark Souls 2. Dark Souls released with amazing reception and was the “spiritual” successor to Demon’s Souls while Dark Souls 2 was just simply a “sequel”. When I first heard the announcement, I wasn’t that excited since by the time it was announced, I platinumed Dark Souls and did nearly everything, got every weapon, spell, armor, and the likes down. More importantly, the story came to a close so I didn’t really care for something that continued the plot since for me, it was already over. The Age of Fire either continues or ends, and when I saw dragons alive, I was even more skeptical. Dark Souls II is of course, no where near as beloved as the first game and it has glaring issues with some level designs and progression issues. But when it comes down to it, I will say that Dark Souls dips in quality once you beat Anor Londo and go hunting down the Lord Souls. Other than the Duke’s Archives and the Tomb of the Giants, most of the late game is slightly underwhelming. So the sense of grandeur slowly died off into disappointment while Dark Souls II honestly never reached that height of grandeur and stayed at a constant pace, so I was technically less disappointed. We’ll talk more of the issues plaguing Dark Souls II but we’ll also tackle some improvements for now, I’ll see you next week. But not before I leave you with the the Fire Keeper’s theme, the theme that plays inside the house of the Fire Keepers that mock of your fate to come.

Also need to mention that this is where the “marketing” philosophy of Dark Souls II dipped as well. It’s publicized at how “hard” the game is more than the actual game itself which is disappointing. But whatever, we shall talk more about it next time.

Music of the Week #205


Busy week


Settling back into the educational lifestyle and was mostly busy getting my supplies and mentality in check. Not much going on though, can’t really get motivated to practice my usual fighting games with my usual fighting partner is in Japan living the dream. Not much other than getting salty at League nerfs and just spamming Yi.

Been thinking of getting back into Pokemon but that would mean getting around to breeding my favorite pokemon, Aggron. But since I want to keep it Gen 4, without the hidden ability shit that would make it tedious, I want to utilize the fact that it can learn Head Smash and have the ability Rock Head. Unfortunately I require Soulsilver or Heartgold to achieve that and my Heartgold copy got lost in one of those “friend borrowed it and never gave it back” dilemma and of my more trust friend’s Soulsilver hilariously suffered the same fate.

Oh well, right to the music we go before the Labor Day Weekend hits us in the States. Today will mark the end of our Dark Souls run with the music that started it all, the Trailer Music. Not officially in the game’s OST and only portions of it heard during the “Dark Lord” ending sequence. It was first heard during the E3 reveal trailer and even after a few good years after I’ve beaten the game numerous times, I still feel chills down my spine. The Trailer Music truly encompasses the “emotion” that the games evoke from wonder, determination, struggles, inevitable death, and the oh so sweet release of a conclusion, only for you to be able to start again and relive it all over. Here’s both the actual trailer and the full track, enjoy, and I’ll see you next week.

Music of the Week #204


It begins


The Fall Semester begins and while the first week is usually not that busy, commuting really takes a lot of hours you could be spending doing other things. Nonetheless, I will continue what I can and patiently await the Fall season to entertain me with more shitty battle harems.

With few things to say, let’s get on right with it. This week’s theme is what I perceive as the fan-favorite, File Select theme. It has a very ephemeral feeling about it that really calms you down before you select your file to struggle and live through the game’s world. This track wasn’t released with the OST and it took a while for people to upload this back then and it took me a while to find it when I desperately wanted to hear it online. So here you go, the penultimate OST Track for our Dark Souls Music.

Music of the Week #203


Last Week


A day late because I was busy catching up with some other work. I’ve only got less than a week now until classes begin and while I did mention I might end up picking up some series to review by the end of the summer season, general negligence and focus on other projects has me saying that what I said probably won’t happen. Not enough shitty harems or things that grab my interest. On the bright side, there are few shitty harems and a few more things catching my eye next season so I can at least promise Fall season won’t be so dead.

For this week’s theme, it’s THE final boss of Dark Souls and the cause of the shit going down in Oolacile. The creature known as Manus, Father of the Abyss resides in the Chasm of the Abyss where the only enemies are literal sprites of humanity. Before entering, you face a miniboss that is wrapped in chains that really makes you wonder why the chasm is located here. By lore, Manus was long dead and the tampering of his corpse led to his reawakening as a monster. If you think about it, Oolacile is the ancient Darkroot Forest and when you go deep into the forest, you come out of the Valley of the Drakes which is connected to New Londo, where the current Abyss is. So there you go, an interesting link that connects the Chasm of the Abyss’s location to the Abyss we encounter in the present. Boss-wise, Manus is probably the beefiest boss that packs a hell of a punch and is aggressive as hell. I kind of gave up on him for 3 months before coming back to finally kill him in around 20 minutes of slashing at him. Plus who woulda thought, he’s also responsible for the things in the 2nd game.