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!

Halloween Horror: From Software Edition

It’s that spooky season again, which means it’s time to think about things like horror movies and games, candy, or the inevitable onslaught of Christmas decorations and music immediately following. In the ghastly spirit of the season, I wanted to take a moment and briefly write about things that terrify me. Anyone who’s ever caught my barely coherent ramblings while streaming on Twitch, or those (un)fortunate enough to have spent any amount of time talking to me have likely been given insight into my most irrational of fears: SNAKES. Unlike many others I know, I have no problems when it comes to spiders or mice, but will absolutely lose my shit over the sight of a snake, venomous or not. Over the course of the year, I’ve been playing a LOT of From Software games – Elden Ring, Bloodborne, Dark Souls, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. I don’t know if it’s simply a cosmic prank, but they ALL have some sort of snake enemies to make sure my time spent playing the game(s) is extra stressful. Here are just a few of the serpentine shitbags that I’ve come across over this past year…enjoy!

Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy – Elden Ring

After crossing the Altus Plateau and trudging upwards towards Mt. Gelmir, you will eventually arrive at Volcano Manor. This eerie, crimson dwelling serves as both a legacy dungeon and an NPC hub of sorts allowing you to pick up a number of sidequests such as assassinations of various targets across the Lands Between. Here you’ll meet Tanith, Raya, and even Patches, everyone’s favorite little scumbag found in (nearly)every From Software game since Demon’s Souls. It’s here at Volcano Manor that you will hear whispers that the Lord of Blasphemy can still be found somewhere in the vicinity. In the lowest areas of Volcano Manor, you will eventually square off against the God-Devouring Serpent – a big goddamn snake, of course. Once you defeat the God-Devouring Serpent, its mouth opens up to reveal the face of Rykard, who has taken over the serpent’s body to become the Lord of Blasphemy. This may not be the most frightening serpentine enemy on this list, but it makes up for that in the body horror department when Rykard opens his mouth and pulls a giant bloody sword from his throat in the most absurdly comical From Software way possible as you begin the second phase of the fight.

Serpent-Soldier – Dark Souls

After spending what felt like an entire week sightseeing Blighttown’s friendly confines, I finally made it to Sen’s Fortress. Upon arriving, I was promptly greeted a couple not-so-friendly patrols with fuckin’ snakes for heads and equipped to the chin scales with spears and shields. The busted-ass stairways and giant boulders rolling down nearly every corridor make Sen’s Fortress imposing enough, but a small army of these snake-headed jerks are the cherry on top. I didn’t have the toughest time against the Serpent-Soldiers in Dark Souls, but like any other Dark Souls enemy, they can easily ruin your day if approached recklessly. This type of enemy is also found in Dark Souls 3 and Elden Ring, because Miyazaki clearly hates me and takes some sick pleasure in my irrational fear of all these reptilian adversaries.

Great Serpent – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

BIG MOTHERFUCKING SNAKE. You’re even so lucky as to come across them – yes, BOTH OF THEM, several times throughout the game. It’s maybe not as much of an enemy as an *obstacle* but…I hate it nonetheless.

Snake Ball – Bloodborne

Ok, so this is probably the worst enemy in any game that I can think of at the moment, ironically found in my favorite From Software game. Picture this: you’ve made your way through the Cathedral Ward and defeated Vicar Amelia. You provide the passcode to the gatekeeper – “Fear the Old Blood” and now find yourself in the Forbidden Woods. The starting area is dicey enough as you navigate your way through the forest as enemies lob Molotov cocktails your general direction and even try to annihilate your ass with a cannon, however, as soon as you reach the midway point of the area the REAL fun begins – SNAKES. GODDAMN SNAKES. You’ll come across enemies whose head erupt into a cluster of snakes which can quickly inflict lethal poison damage if not outright kill you in a split second, but the most horrifying obstacle in the entire game is known simply as a Snake Ball. This tangled mess of vipers comes in not one, but TWO sizes – regular and extra large. NOPE. NOT TODAY, SATAN!

That’s all I really have for now. I think I’ll go play something nice and cozy, preferably without poisonous reptiles. Happy Halloween! Thanks for reading!