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Climbing back up wasn't too bad though. I only died once, and it was because I was running around that area that has holes in the ground without paying attention.
Still, was it actually worth it otherwise? I dunno. It was an interesting diversion I guess. Maybe the hydra had something worthwhile, I dunno, I got CURSED in the tree so at half health the Hydra could 1-hit kill me, so I didn't even bother trying to beat it. The dragon covenant doesn't seem particularly great and I got the sword by cutting off its tail but I'm way too low of a level to use it. I also got some magic barrier spell, which sounds nice, but again, nowhere near high enough level to use it anytime soon.
Probably the most useful thing I got which I can actually use right now is the ring that regains your stamina quicker. Seems like a pretty sweet ring actually, will help a BUNCH I think, especially with blocking during boss fights. I've died so many times because my block wasn't *quite* quick enough due to waiting for stamina to refill.
So I fought the end boss in the painting world, at first she was annoying me and I was wondering if I made a mistake in attacking her because I couldn't seem to hit her at all and she would instantly wreck me, but once you get her visible she is a piece of cake.
Anyway after beating her I had around 40k souls. So I think well all I have to do is leave the painting and get through that room of assassin dudes to get to the save, no big deal. Even if I did it should be easy enough to get back there.
AND I DIED.
AND IT DIDN'T BRING ME BACK TO THE LAST BONFIRE, IT BROUGHT ME TO THE FIRST BONFIRE IN ANOR LONDO FOR SOME REASON.
Honestly not sure of the logic there. I get that they don't want to stick you back in the painting but why not at least put me at the bonfire I saved at before going in, you know, the one right by the painting?!
So I had to do that super annoying part where you're up on the skinny rafters using controls definitely not made for walking on skinny rafters knowing that one tiny mistake will lose me 40k souls. SO TENSE. And even when I made it across one of those dudes still almost killed me.
So I basically did most everything else I could find to do and I'm like 13 or 14 levels higher than my last attempt, at something like 64 or so which is very high based on where FAQs say you should be, with better gear and such so I tried again and...
JESUS CHRIST ORNSTEIN AND SMOUGH. THESE GUYS.
Solo it's just like... why even bother? I can't do much without them tag-teaming me right to death.
Summoning with Solaire, I've been able to kill one off Ornstein and get to powered up Smough but not consistently and then Solaire usually dies right away anyway and I lose against Smough.
So I summoned a random summon I found (honestly not sure if it was a player or an NPC) AND Solaire and the random survived into the second battle with a lot of health, but they weren't really helping much... just kept shooting magic and mostly missing, which is weird, since Smough is large and slow it should be easy to hit him with magic! It helped a little to have a distraction I guess.
Everyone online is like "once you get to Smough alone it is easy" but that move Smough has where he jumps into the air and comes down with a lightning butt-stomp is pretty much a one-hit KO for me so that is what usually kills me. I guess I should just try to stay very, very far away and throw whatever magic I have left at him? Eventually I will probably need to get in close though and he wrecks me.
The sucky thing is you can't just keep trying over and over, at least, you can't if you want summons, because you need to use humanity and it can run out. I actually still have about 20 at the moment but I've already wasted 4 or 5 on this fight alone so it's tough to want to keep wasting more without a real winning strategy here. And of course if you need more the only places to farm them are... nowhere near where you are.
The other sucky thing is, it's not a particularly long trek to the boss from the bonfire, but it's an annoying one because you have to flip the switch and move the big platform and blah blah blah. I know this is DARK SOULS and it is BRUTAL and whatever but these kind of things are just annoying.
Though really more accurate is the human and AI players I summoned beat them while I just tried to stay alive for the most part, but whatever, it worked.
I leveled up a bunch first, spent time farming stuff to upgrade my weapons, etc. The funny thing and I'm not sure it mattered much since I barely did anything but stay alive and throw some spells out here and there.
But maybe it gave me the edge? It did get a little scary near the end, both of my summons actually took out Smough first so we had powered up Ornstein left to face and I'd only faced him once so I didn't know his moves well and how bad they damage you and such. And then both of my summons died off when he had a little bit of health left and I'm like no big deal, I can solo finish this no problem... but it got close! One hit from him would take off more than half my health, so every time he hit me I had to try to get a heal in before he could hit me again which didn't leave much time for attacks. Every once in awhile he would get caught up on a pillar and that is when I'd throw a spell at him, and it only took a few more hits to get him.
Supposedly this is the hardest boss in the game so it's smooth sailing from here, eh? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.