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!

My Games of 2022

It’s already a few weeks into the new year, but that doesn’t mean I’m too late to post that completely mandatory, yet arbitrary list as a blogger – My Games of the Year. I played a number of different games over the course of the year, but if I had to denote any one thing that defined 2022 for me it would be *FROM SOFTWARE GAMES*. According to my 2022 PlayStation Wrap Up, 55% of my time spent playing games on my PS4/PS5 can be attributed to four games – Elden Ring, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Dark Souls: Remastered, and Bloodborne. As the “Omnivore” in the site name should indicate, I do typically distribute my gaming time across multiple consoles, old and new. So, I’ve also included a handful of games that I really enjoyed over the past year; ones that Hidetaka Miyazaki had no involvement in.

Ready? Ok. Cool. Here’s a couple special mentions before proceeding with the full list…

Special Mention(s)

For as many hours as I devoted to playing video games in 2022, there’s still a few games that were released in the latter months of the year that, while I really enjoyed what I played, don’t feel like I spent enough time on them to provide an educated opinion just yet. This list includes, but is not limited to…

  • God of War: Ragnarök
  • Pokémon Violet
  • Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

Dark Souls: Remastered

2022 firmly established my FromSoft Era, so I might as well begin this list here. After playing through Elden Ring and returning to Yharnam for another playthrough of Bloodborne, I decided to do something I’d been meaning to do for years – play AND complete Dark Souls. I began my journey to re-kindle the First Flame mid-July and spent the next two months slowly but surely making progress before finishing the game in September. I feel like there’s so much I could say about the game that I’d need multiple blog posts to come close to saying everything. Do I feel like the gameplay itself vibes with me as much as something like Elden Ring or Sekiro? No, but there’s still something truly special in the way Dark Souls establishes it’s story and lore that extends deeper than the Abyss, along with some exceptional level design *chefs kiss*. It feels like there’s some new aspect of the game that I discover on a near-daily basis.

Wario World

I actually first played Wario World years ago, shortly after it was first released in 2003 but never really played much of it. I had been wanting to return to the game for some time, but copies of it have begun to appear less and less often around town as GameCube games have skyrocketed in demand(and price). I was able to pick up a decent copy of the game this past year and finally played through the entire game. Wario World is a very solid adventure/platformer with some cool levels and boss fights. It’s an underrated title in the GameCube’s library and a shame that more people haven’t played it.

Dragon Quest III

It was this time last year when I somewhat randomly decided to play Dragon Quest III. I say “somewhat” as I had finished up the main story and endgame content in DQ XI the previous summer and enjoyed it enough that I wanted to go back and play some of the older games in the series. I spent roughly 50 hours over the next couple weeks glued to my Switch throughout the day, venturing forth as legendary hero, Erdrick. I usually describe Dragon Quest as a “meat and potatoes JRPG” in they maybe don’t exhibit the stylized flash of something like Persona or other modern JRPGs, but there’s something still satisfying to lose yourself(and countless hours) playing. I’m even more excited to see Square’s HD-2D remake of Dragon Quest III…hopefully in 2023?

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Ok, so…Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice *did* actually appear on my list of favorite 2019 games a few years ago. I debated on whether or not the game should be excluded from the list, but ultimately decided that it *is* one of the games that defined my 2022, so it’s goddamn well gonna have spot on this subjective-as-hell list. I’ve mentioned in the past how Sekiro is a game that I really, really liked, but could never manage to complete; I felt like I just couldn’t get the combat down. It was the past August and I had been getting my ass kicked in Dark Souls, so I decided(impulsively, of course) to see if the faster, block/counter combat of Sekiro would be the change of pace that I needed. I’m not sure what it was that changed this time around, but the combat finally began to click for me and once I finally beat Genichiro at Ashina Castle, I felt a strange sensation: confidence. I felt like I could actually make significant progress in the game and handle the obstacles the game would throw at me. I ended up beating Sekiro nearly four entire times before finally getting the platinum trophy and the closest thing to a sense of accomplishment in some time. It’s since become my “other” favorite From Software game alongside Bloodborne and one of the most memorable experiences of this past year.

TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

Having grown up during the height of “Turtlemania” and TMNT being my very first obsession as a kid, Shredder’s Revenge being included on this list seemed likely before the game was even released. I was very, very excited to see what DOTEMU would do with the spiritual successor to Turtles In Time, which is still one my top 5 SNES games. I feel like Shredder’s Revenge easily lived up to my expectations as it retained everything I loved about the old TMNT games of the early 90’s as well as adding some much-appreciated modern touches.

My impressions of TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Kirby and the Forgotten Land was immediately intriguing to me in that it looked a bit like Super Mario Odyssey, but with the pink puffball in place of Nintendo’s mustachioed mascot. I played the demo before the game was released and, yup…I liked it. I got to experience the full game upon playing it just a few months ago, and I liked it even more. Kirby and the Forgotten Land has such an innocent charm and sense of fun that made it nearly impossible not to smile while playing, at least not until the end of the game, which like so many other Kirby games, go all-out in the final act.

Dark Souls 3

Having embarked on a quest make my way through all of the Souls games this past year after finishing up Elden Ring, I began playing Dark Souls III in the final weeks of 2022. I had heard relatively little about Dark Souls III other than that it sounded like it was to be a slightly more linear experience as you would simply move from one region to the next rather than criss-crossing the map like the first Dark Souls. I watched my wife play through the game while I was working on collecting the last few trophies in Sekiro and was near-instantly sold on some of the game’s spectacular boss fights – the final two alone are easily among my favorite FromSoft boss battles. The combat in Dark Souls III feels much more fast-paced than previous Dark Souls game and felt much more like Bloodborne, which I GREATLY APPRECIATE. I was also really interested in the way the game’s story was centered *almost entirely* around the passing of time and the inevitable close to every chapter of life, which is incredibly self-aware for the third installment in an acclaimed series such as Dark Souls.

Death’s Door

Death’s Door feels like if you were to combine the gameplay and puzzles of a Zelda game with some of the quiet, introspective tone of Ori and the Blind Forest and Hollow Knight. I played through the game via GamePass at the beginning of 2022 and immediately fell in love with the game’s heart and straightforward, yet satisfying gameplay. I even bought the PS5 version afterwards with the intent of getting the platinum trophy.

Vampire Survivors

How It Started: “This indie game I saw on Twitter looks interesting, I think I’ll give it a try”

How It’s Going: “This may be one of the most simple, yet addictive games I’ve played in the past few years. I love the fusion of roguelite and bullet hell elements. Easily one of my favorite games I played in 2022.”

Elden Ring

Well, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Elden Ring was finally released this past February and it was impossible to spend any amount of time online and NOT hear about the game. I was pretty confident that I was gonna like the game, but honestly didn’t foresee it consuming my entire life(and destroying my sleep schedule) the way it did. I feel like there’s an almost endless amount of things I could say about Elden Ring regarding the epic boss fights(Malenia, Radahn), massive open world full of places to die explore(catacombs filled with fanged imps or mechanical chariots), or the astoundingly dense world-building and lore contained within(Marika? Fingers?). When I wasn’t *playing* Elden Ring, I was talking about it as my wife and I would spend considerable amounts of time discussing the game, posting screenshots and clips, or simply sharing in the abundance of memes to be found online platforms. When it comes to games released in 2022, it’s been Elden Ring and Vampire Survivors…and then everything else.

What were *your* favorite games of 2022?

Thanks for reading!