Bullsh*t Boss Battles – Dark Souls

A while back I came up with the idea for a series of posts in which I would showcase various boss fights that I enjoyed in no capacity whatsoever. Boss encounters that do little more than annoy the hell out of me. That’s right, for today’s rant post is about another bullshit boss battle. My previous post was all the way back in June of 2020 and I spent a few moments expressing my aggravation with that godawful AT-ST fight in Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. I’ve always wanted to return to the idea as there’s no shortage of instances to choose from in which to wax hyperbolic for a hot minute, so…let’s begin, shall we?

**deep, calming breath**

For those who haven’t been subjected to my Twitter feed or recent blog posts…I respect for the display of wisdom(INT +10). Secondly, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time playing From Software games over the past year. It started around this time last year with Elden Ring, after that I jumped straight into Bloodborne…again. Shortly after finishing up another playthrough of Bloodborne, I made my way through both Dark Souls: Remastered and Sekiro before finally getting around to Dark Souls III, which I finished a couple weeks ago. Lately, I’ve been replaying Dark Souls in order to finish up some trophies I still need for the platinum. It was during this time that I found myself increasingly irritated…again, by what has to be the worst boss fight in the entire game, a “battle” that has become infamous within the Souls community…

Motherfuckin’ Bed of Chaos

The setting: You’ve made it over halfway through Dark Souls and have found found yourself in Lost Izalith – the loveliest ruins placed in the middle of a lava bed you’ll ever see, to obtain one of the Lord Souls from the Witch of Izalith. Once you hot-foot your way through the lava surrounding the area, it’s simply a matter of getting past a small army of fire-breathing demon statues and a not-so-friendly pyromancer before deciding it’s time to slide down and face the Bed of Chaos. The “fight” is against a giant, tangled mess of tree-like limbs and roots where the Witch of Izalith – the *reason* you’re here, is hiding within. Upon entering the arena, you’ll notice the glowing orbs on each side of the main cluster, which must be destroyed before the small tunnel in the center can be accessed. Inside the Bed of Chaos, you’ll find a small bug-like creature which is believed to be the Witch of Izalith, who has since been devoured along with her daughters while trying to recreate the First Flame.

Sounds pretty straightforward….just another puzzle boss, right?

Okay, so…lemme tell you why this boss fight annoys me to no end. The fun begins as soon as you destroy one of the two adjacent orbs, which causes large sections of the floor to give way beneath your feet and causing you to plummet to your demise while making your way to the other side of the arena if not careful(or even if you are). No big deal, right? I’ve played enough Mario Party minigames to not be overly concerned about some shaky footing. What causes a greater sense of frustration here is the fact the large sections DO NOT BREAK AWAY until you you are almost *directly* on top of them, which means there’s a bit of trial and error involved. Fortunately, once the sections have crumbled they will remain that way on subsequent attempts. Finally, once the second orb has been taken out it’s simply a matter of accessing the innards of the boss where the Chaos Bug can be taken out with the slightest nudge from your giant anime sword you’ve undoubtedly clung to in the game so far. This is where shit gets extra chaotic as the entire. goddamn. center of the arena will collapse, leaving a gaping chasm between you and the Bed of Chaos. Those who possess the power of observation may notice there’s a large tree root below the ground floor; the trick here is to gently land on said root and stroll upwards toward your newest destination.

The single worst aspect of this fight isn’t that it’s an underwhelming puzzle of a boss fight; it’s the fact this is to be accomplished while the boss is frantically swatting at you with its overgrown root arms. Once you enter the arena, the Bed of Chaos will begin sporadically throwing hands and casting AoE fire attacks, but this gets turned up a notch upon destroying the first of the lesser orbs. After the floor begins the collapse beneath you, this fight becomes even more of a goddamn joke as you get to run back into the arena and hope you don’t get randomly slapped into a bottomless pit before you reach your target. I’ve read multiple accounts from multiple people who will either opt for movement speed and unequip everything as they make a mad dash across the arena in their underwear, or equip a set of heavy armor such as Havel’s Armor, with the idea of a boosted poise stat equals less being tossed around like a rag doll. I’ve tried both in the past with minimal success. I’ve played the Bed of Chaos fight a number of times throughout my recent playthroughs of Dark Souls and I always end up saying the same thing…

“Bed of Chaos is fucking bullshit!”

Perhaps my biggest grievance against this gimmicky shit fight is that it doesn’t ask much of the player besides…luck, to beat it? It isn’t a boss fight that tests your grasp of gameplay mechanics thus far and it sure as hell isn’t a puzzle requiring any sort of outside-the-box thinking to solve. It’s just kinda…meh. The fact that you will (most likely)face multiple cheap deaths because of being pushed around as if you’re standing on a sheet of ice is just another reason why Bed of Chaos my easily *least* favorite boss encounter in Dark Souls, a series known and loved for its challenging boss fights.

Maybe next time I’ll write up a Dark Souls boss tier list…

Thanks for reading!

Sonic the Hedgehog – Green Hill Zone LEGO Set

I loved playing with LEGOs, the same as so many other kids growing up in the early/mid-90s. Many childhood memories were forged focusing intently on a LEGO set for hours either following step-by-step instructions or simply attempting to create something purely with the power of one’s imagination…which sometimes yielded satisfactory results. LEGOs were even prominent in social aspects as the first friend I ever made as a kid was due to the two of us routinely finding our way to the same blue bucket of LEGOs in kindergarten and throughout elementary school my classmates and I would sit around the lunchroom table and talk about which LEGO sets we were going to try and beg our parents for as a birthday or Christmas present. I can still remember a Lunchables promotion with a chance to win a set of the new UFO LEGO sets(shortly after the nacho and taco Lunchables were released, which is in no way relevant to anything.) My favorite LEGO theme back then was the Ice Planet sets, which were sci-fi vehicles and bases with a contrasting black/white/blue color scheme combined with an assortment of awesome-looking translucent orange for some of the helmet visors and tools. A close second would be the UFO theme, which much like the Ice Planet sets, were the coolest things on the whole goddamn planet at the time(to 10 year old me, anyway.) I admittedly haven’t spent as much time(or money) on LEGOs in my adult years, though I have still managed to pick up a few smaller Star Wars sets I would assemble at my desk during slow work days.

On a weekend shopping trip before Christmas, I spent a few minutes looking around at the LEGO store and, while I was able to show a respectable amount of self control and leave with only spending a few dollars, I definitely wanted to pick up quite a few sets, particularly some video game-related ones – LEGO NES, Atari 2600 or Tallneck(Horizon: Zero Dawn). A week or so later, during a random conversation with my wife, we were discussing which LEGOs we remembered having as kids and we came up with the idea of buying a set to assemble together. Knowing that I’d been in the middle of a rough spot when it comes to blogging, my wife suggested that I use this an opportunity to try something a little different for a blog post as we relived some childhood memories. It was a few weeks ago that I came across the Sonic the Hedgehog set – another one I’d looked at during my trip to the LEGO store, while doing some random Amazon browsing and decided to go ahead and buy it.

The Sonic the Hedgehog – Green Hill Zone set is taken straight from the game and includes a LEGO Sonic, Dr. Eggman, Crabmeat, Moto Bug and set of Chaos Emeralds. The entire set contains 1125 pieces, which didn’t take nearly as long to put together as I’d assumed and probably took my wife and I around 4 hours or so to complete as we sat in our living room listening to the soundtrack from various Sonic games. Each section of the assembly process was contained in its own bag, which I will be referring to as ‘Zones’ because…Sonic.

Zone 1

The first step was pretty simple: assembling Crabmeat and the small square of terrain that would serve as the starting point for the level as the entire set was laid out in such a way that your assembly progress went from left to right just as the Green Hill Zone in the games. We were able to clear Zone 1 pretty…fast(I’m not sorry) and then it was on to Zone 2.

Zone 2

Zone 2 was another relatively simple stage of the assembly process. It was comprised of putting together the small bridge over the gap in terrain and connecting it to the starting point. It was cool to see the familiar checkered two-tone brown pattern start to take place; 99% of this was done by piecing together the small squares in alternating spaces and my fingers definitely began to feel the effects of being multiple decades older than when I routinely did this.

Zone 3

We started to see things continue to take shape in Zone 3, where we finally got to assemble the trademark Green Hill Zone loop-de-loop before connecting to the rest of the larger terrain. Each section also contained another Chaos Emerald to be added to Sonic’s small display stand. Sonic 3 is the only game I can honestly recall collecting all the Chaos Emeralds…

Zone 4

Now we’re getting to some fun stuff. Zone 4 saw us assembling the red spring button, which sadly does not make the sound effect, so I had to rely on my imagination for that one. There was also some more…<sigh> small pieces to be put together and obsessively straightened in the checkered pattern to expand the terrain. Moto Bug also made its first appearance in Zone 4 and those small “horn” pieces were much tougher to straighten than I would have liked.

Zone 5

Nearing the finish line! Most of the time spent in this zone was attaching the rings to transparent pieces and adding them to the back side of the set to give the appearance of being suspended midair. It was also time to piece together the checkpoint marker – again, sound effect not included and a couple of item boxes. The LEGO set does include five interchangeable faceplates for the item boxes – 1up, power sneakers, super ring, invincibility, and shield, which was a nice touch. Moto Bug was also moved above the loop once the small riser was finished.

Zone 6

Final stage! Nothing left to do here but face off against Robotn…uh, Dr. Eggman. For not being the biggest section of the entire set, this actually took us quite a while to assemble as missed step meant having to take apart and then reassemble part of Dr. Eggman’s torso. Another obstacle in the process was discovering that a couple of the pieces needed were missing, which meant having to dig through some of the spare pieces to compensate. Not a big deal as they’re not visible while Sonic’s nemesis is securely seated in his Eggmobile. Zone 6 cleared. Green Hill Zone set complete.

GGs everyone. We did it.

It was a lot of fun putting this set together. I’ve been on somewhat of a Sonic kick lately and this certainly didn’t help me wanting to go through and play a bunch of Sonic games…or spend even more money on even bigger LEGO sets. I guess the only thing left to do now is turn on the PS5 and finally start Sonic Frontiers, huh?

Thanks for reading!