Recently I have been having a long over due adventure in Lordran! I had never actually played Dark Souls before. Sure I have completed Scholar of the first sin, BloodBorne and Dark Souls 3 but I had never actually played the first entrance in the trilogy. While I do plan to various posts about my experience with the first Dark Souls I simply couldn’t wait until I had completed my run through to discuss a certain boss. I’m sure you can all guess who….Ornstein and Smough. These two are legends in the Souls community and I have long wanted to do battle with them especially since Ornstein is actually one of my favourite characters. Before I get into the details of my fight with them I would just like to say that I will be doing a post on each of them individually about their lore for I believe I can do each of them more justice that way, especially Ornstein.
The first thing I need to say is that upon arriving in Anor Londo I thought WOW!!! It truly is stunning to look at, so much more appealing than the shambles it has become in Dark Souls 3. The sun shining bright in the sky over this land of the gods was truly mesmerising and I could immediately see why it is widely regarded as being the best area in Dark Souls and perhaps one of the most visually stunning areas across the entire series. I found myself thoroughly enjoying working my way through this grand city, well until I reached a certain point I had heard about several times before. Yes those damn Black Knight archers are a real pain! The struggle was real trying to get past these guys, the run up to them wasn’t bad at, I took out the Gargoyles and made it through the rafters with relative ease.
The boss room for O&S was just as stunning as the area it is located in, having the sun shining through the cathedral windows throughout the fight added a really nice visual element to what I can safely say I consider to be one of the best fights in the series. It was easy for me to see why they still have so much hype surrounding them to this day, walking through that fog door to be greeted by these two brutal warriors was an immense feeling.
The fight itself flows smoothly with O&S complimenting each other in their combat styles, while Smough may be a huge heavy hitting he moves slow and can be easily telegraphed, Ornstein on the other hand is quick and doesn’t hit for the insane damage that Smough does in the first phase (Though he does still cause decent damage) and there is the chance to be caught in a combo by Ornstein or to have him lunge at you closing any distance really quick. I truly can’t argue that this isn’t a fair challenge due to From Soft balancing the fight so well, as long as you can manage them properly you should be able to take them both down solo. The first time I walked in there I did get my ass kicked! Deciding it was better for myself to get some practice in an learn their move sets I actually managed to get summoned twice, I’m surprised at how active this game still is. Following my two successful fights accompanying another undead I decided to summon someone myself. This is when I got to experience a phase 2 Ornstein and I have to say that I do like most people consider him to be the harder of the two (normal Ornstein is scary enough, giant Ornstein is something else!). My damage output was pretty poor for this stage of the game, thanks to looking at my inventory following my failed attempts I realised I had enough shards to get my halberd to +10 as you can imagine this increased my damage output substantially. Feeling brave I decided that what was the point in having help to over come these two? How much more accomplished would I feel if I took them down solo? The answer to that is amazing! The first time I tried taking them on solo after my miserable attempt with co-op I took them down! It was a brutal fight where I had to be patient (my biggest downfall is my aggression in these games). I took out Ornstein first knowing full well that Smough would be easier to handle on his own and boy was I right! Soon as I had Smough alone the fight was won. I found him easy to dodge thanks to the relatively long swing in his hammer, soon as he jumped in the air I rolled away to avoid his lightning upon landing. Rolling through his legs opened him up to attacks.
While upon first taking these two on I found it to be highly intimidating, I realised that half the fight is staying patient and calm. The more intimidated I felt the more I panicked and the more mistakes I made. If there is one thing you can’t do too much of in this fight is make mistakes, one of them will punish you for it. For all that I have read about them, for all that I have learned about them in the other games these two didn’t just live up to their hype, they excelled it! As frustrating as I found it at times I found myself constantly going back refusing to give up. I knew that they were a challenge I needed to overcome, as an avid Souls fan I find it quite awful that it has taken me this long to achieve this victory.
I am determined to have another run in which I will take down Ornstein last, the spear of Ornstein is one of my favourite weapons across the entire series, I have used it in both SOTFS and Dark Souls 3 so for me it would be amazing to get my hands on his spear in the first game. Though there is so much for me to play at the moment that a second run through will have to wait.
How did you find the fight with O&S? Was it easy for you? Or was it the challenge that many face in the community? Let me know.