Who should have been the final boss of Dark Souls?

This post isn’t going to so much be about Slave knight Gael, more my thoughts on him as the final boss of the souls series and who I thought was likely to be our final battle. I will write my thoughts about Gael and his lore in his own post. 
I would like to state straight away that I consider Gael to be an amazing boss, a really enjoyable fight. I actually struggle to fault the fight itself as I do hold it in high regard, it was certainly a pleasant surprise to have a highly aggressive boss to the standard of Knight Artorias. I might even go so far as to say it is one of my favourite fights across the entire series. This doesn’t mean I consider him to be the best option to have the prestigious honour of closing out a legendary story and series, in fact for a while now I have been expecting to see the daughter of Gwyn, sister of Gwyndolin, sister of the Nameless King, I have been expecting to see the goddess of fertility and bounty, I have been expecting to see Gwynevere. I can’t truly express my shock at never truly meeting this goddess, much less my disdain at never fighting this goddess of miracles.

Let me explain why I am so surprised and disappointed in never meeting this important woman from history. Firstly she is the daughter of the great Lord Gwyn and based on certain events from history and Gwyns obvious disdain for his youngest son I feel that it would be safe to say that she was his favourite child. We fought both of her brothers, disregarding Gwyndolin due to him being devoured in Dark Souls 3. We kill her father at the end of Dark Souls in order to link the flame, we may kill Gwyndolin though as I stated this is disregarded. At long last we discover the first born of lord Gwyn, only to kill him in Archdragons Peak. Therefore we are immediately responsible for the deaths of her father and brother. Does that not give enough reason to invoke a reaction? Well if not there is plenty more for me discuss. So let me jump right back into it, the dancer of the boreal valley. There is a theory which I strongly believe in which she is the daughter of Gwynevere, I have several reasons for this belief. Firstly upon transposing her soul you may trade it for bountiful sunlight, a miracle strongly associated with Gwynevere. Secondly her veil is said to only be worn by members of the old royal family giving a clear indication that she is related to the old royalty in some form. Combining those 2 reasons it makes logical sense that the Dancer be a daughter of gwynevre there for bringing the family death total up to 3.

Now lets discuss her other potential children, Lorian and Lothric. It is heavily implied that she is the mother of the twin princes which would make her the queen of lothric in turn making her the wife of the consumed king Oceiros. My reasoning behind this is that the queen of Lothric was initially revered as a goddess of bounty and fertility, we of course know that Gwynevere was the goddess of fertility and bounty which for me gives a clear indication to her being the queen of Lothric. Which if my calculations are correct would bring us up to a grand total of 6 family members we have killed. Surely you would think this to be enough to bring this goddess out from whatever hole she is hiding in to confront the ashen one who has killed 5 members of her family with Gwyn having been killed by the undead in dark souls 1. I just think that when you think about all of this alone surely finally meeting Gwynevere after all of this would have been an amazing closing to the series. I fail to see the significance Gael brings to warrant being the final boss.

I feel that to have truly earned the right to be the final boss you should have the lore that Gwynevere has, she isn’t an unknown exactly. Granted the only time we have met her was when she was an illusion created by her younger brother Gwyndolin back during dark souls 1 in Anor Londo. In my eyes that makes finally meeting her all the more considerate for the role of final boss, seeing her in all her glory for the first true time would have been something spectacular, especially since she would have been a miracles based boss which if we are being honest we are seriously lacking those, a good one anyway.

The way I picture this fight is filled with anger and emotion, what more does Gwynevere have left to lose? We could have found her at the ends of the earth amongst all the ruins, no more hiding, no more running. She would be forced to face her demons bringing a certain intensity to the fight. She would have watched countless kingdoms fall including her own, bringing her to this point, bringing her to the end of the world, to all of this ruin. What started with her father could have ended with her. Honestly for a very long time I believed we would meet this mysterious goddess yet I remained disappointed, we will never meet this important figure from history.

Gael has got his pros for being the final boss, he’s fast aggressive and considerably unpredictable, certainly not the laughable final boss Nashandra was at the end of dark souls 2. The arena in which we fight him is incredible with how we find him being rather chilling given that’s he’s devouring the pigmy lords in hopes of obtaining the dark soul. it’s just difficult for me to see past the fact that he has only been introduced in the first piece of DLC for Dark Souls 3. I know that when you combine his presence in both pieces of DLC he does become somewhat prominent, the ability to summon him for 2 boss fights is something that I believe adds to his merit especially since the second fight is standing in between you and the ringed city. I will rate Gael highly in terms of his boss fight, when I do an entire post dedicated to him it will be clear to see that I do harbour a fondness for our final battle, and I can understand why some people might consider him to be a good end to the souls series. The ringed city is easily one of the best pieces of DLC that from soft have delivered, in that regard Gael could be argued to be an excellent final boss to the series, as far as being the final boss to be fought in a piece of DLC he has more than earned his ranking of being one of the best bosses to grace the SoulsBorne series.

I would just like to mention that we never met Velka, Gwyns wife and mother to several of his children though I’m not sure about what impact she could have had if she was the final boss. It might have been nice to meet her at some point, then again this is dark souls and some things are doomed to remain a mystery.

So there you have it my thoughts on who the final boss of one of the video game series ever made should have been. I’m interested to hear what you guys think though, did you think Gael was a worthy boss to close out Dark Souls? Was there a different character you felt should have had that honour? Please let me know.


Dark Souls 3, The Abyss Watchers

Welcome back to my SoulsBorne boss series.

Previously I discussed Aldrich, the devourer of gods. In my last post I mentioned how my favourite lord of cinder boss wasn’t actually Aldrich, rather it was the Abyss Watchers. There are plenty other bosses that have earned my attention from all throughout the SoulsBorne franchise but I think that I should discuss the Abyss Watchers now as I have already revealed that I hold them in a high regard. Perhaps this is because I consider this to be the moment where the true Dark Souls experience begins in Dark Souls 3.

Let me start by stating the obvious, The Abyss Watchers are a lord of cinder, beings that were powerful enough to link the flame, resurrected as a final hope to link the fire once more. They are the first lord of cinder that our Ashen one encounters on their journey, they are found in Farrons Keep. As I have already established before we the ashen one are charged with a duty to return the Watchers to their seat to link the fire once again. There is some interesting lore surrounding this lord of cinder, as their name suggests they are the watchers of the abyss, their duty is to fight the abyss much like Artorias the Abyss walker, though as we all well know Artorias himself succumbed to the Abyss turning him into the boss that we fought in Dark Souls 1.

The Abyss Watchers are the leaders of the Undead Legion, also known as Farron’s Undead Legion, sworn enemies of the Abyss they will destroy entire kingdoms should they show even the slightest sign of exposure.

“The legion will bury kingdom at the first sign of exposure” Hawkwood, in firelink shrine.

As we approach the final stretch of Farron Keep before reaching the Abyss Watchers two dark wraiths are seen fighting against the Gru making their way towards the boss room, could they possibly be attempting to defeat the Watchers too? This is a thought that intrigues me, I certainly believe that the dark wraiths did have the intention of reaching the Abyss Watchers but for What purpose, id be interested in hearing what you thoughts you guys have on this.

They look up to the wolf blood master who is heavily implied to be knight Artorias, this would make sense due to him being the legendary knight who fought against the abyss, the fact that his sword is one of two potential weapons to be received through trading the soul received upon defeating the Watchers also lends some credibility to this. With it being believed that they all shared the blood, potentially blending all their souls into one, a theory supported by the fire likely only being able to be linked by one being at a time. however if the Abyss watchers were all linked by the wolf blood they would of been able to link the fire, sacrificing their individuality in the process, thus creating a never ending war between them..

“The blood was spread amongst the Abyss Watchers, and their souls are one with the soul of the wolf blood master”

While we are on the topic of souls, now might be a good time to discuss what you the ashen one may receive in return for transposing the soul of the blood of the wolf, you receive this soul upon defeating the Abyss Watchers. The first weapon you may receive is the sword of the watchers themselves, the Farron Greatsword. this weapons consists of a greatsword being wielded in the right hand, while a dagger is being utilised in the left hand, if timed correctly you may parry an opponent with the use of the dagger creating a critical hit opportunity with the greatsword. The second weapon that you may receive for transposing their soul is The Wolf Knights Greatsword, this happens to be the weapon of knight Artorias, this is a sword designed to defeat those who have been tainted by the abyss, while this sword deals additional damage to standard enemies that have been tainted by the abyss there are also these bosses that are weak against this sword, Aldrich, High Lord Wolnir and the Dragonslayer Armour.

Reaching the Abyss Watchers is no simple task for they are found behind the perimeter gate in Farron keep, in order to open the gate 3 ritual fires must be extinguished. all 3 of these fires are found around the swamp of Farron Keep, with Grus and the effects of poison being the main obstacles for the ashen one to overcome. Having extinguished all 3 flames you may pass through the gate into the Farron Keep perimeter, there is only a short way to go now until you reach your goal.

The boss fight itself is easily one of the best not just in Dark Souls 3 but across the entire series, the atmosphere surrounding the fight was immense. the moves of the Watchers was fluent, it flowed well, they were graceful as they moved, as they swung their swords, the mechanics of the fight were smooth with no clunky movements present. It was in this moment that I truly thought this is it, this is Dark Souls!

There is a unique element to this fight, something that I wasn’t expecting to see in a Souls boss battle, one of the Watchers will attack his fellow brethren, essentially helping the ashen one by evening the odds slightly, this isn’t to say that they won’t turn their attention to the ashen one should they be closer to him than the other Watchers are. This hasn’t been seen in a souls fight before. they all share that one soul, this could be the cause for the fighting that occurs between themselves as the soul must move between each Abyss Watcher.

Hawkwood an NPC character that we meet in the fire link shrine was once a member of the undead legion, perhaps he was an Abyss Watcher himself once, for he seems to know some key knowledge about them. this theory has some credibility, should you follow Hawkwoods storyline through till the end you will have fight with him in the boss room of the Abyss Watchers, potentially this could hold meaning to Hawkwood, to defeat the ashen one where his former brothers could not. Hawkwood also happens to share the same armour as the Abyss Watchers minus the helmet.

Interestingly the boss room is blocking a secret entrance to the catacombs of carthus a place that has been contaminated by the Abyss, high lord Wolnir the boss of the catacombs fell into the Abyss himself, Wolnir appears to fear the Abyss when we fight him but that is discussion for another time. This could very well be the reason for why we find the Abyss Watchers blocking the entrance to Carthus, preventing us and any other beings from coming into contact with the Abyss.

It is a two phase fight, the first being an all out brawl between the ashen one and several Abyss Watchers, as we enter the room we see two Watchers fighting, ultimately one kills the other thus now drawing their attention to you. The fight may start one on one but after a set amount of time a second Watcher will join the fight targeting you, again after a set amount of time a third Watcher will rise who will fight the other Watchers. this continues until the health bar of the Abyss Watchers is completely depleted. following this one single Abyss Watcher rises amongst his fallen brothers utilising fire in his attacks, causing his attack radius to increase as well as dealing additional fire damage, though the move set does appear to be the same as the previous Watchers.

For someone who was new to the world of Dark Souls I would say that the Abyss Watchers could have been somewhat of a struggle for them, as I stated above I consider this to be the moment our adventure as the ashen one becomes challenging. For someone new to Dark Souls a boss fight consisting of multiple enemies could be rather intimidating, for a veteran of the series these sorts of boss fights have become common place, they are expected. For those who have indeed fought their way through the world of Dark Souls multiple times before they might have a true appreciation for the Abyss Watchers as they are a gank boss done right. Honestly I’d say this is the best gank boss fight since the legendary Ornstein & Smough, not once did it feel forced like random characters simply thrown together to make a ‘boss’ fight. No this fight had meaning, this fight displayed the eternal conflict the Watchers have amongst themselves.

For me personally I would rank the Abyss Watchers to be in my top 10 for SoulsBorne bosses if not just slipping into my top 5! When you consider the lore behind them, their eternal war amongst themselves, the boss fight itself and the atmosphere surrounding it, I find it difficult to deliver criticism about this boss.

2016, a great year for gaming

There are so many ways in which I could start this post, do I start with the PSVR, the disaster that was No Mans Sky, or all the glorious games that graced our consoles this year! Well in my wacky mind I like to deal with bad then cheer myself up with good, so let’s kick this off with talking about the highly anticipated, underwhelming No Man’s Sky.

So No Mans Sky was in contention to be one of the biggest gaming events of the year! The hype and build up for this game was insane, every single one of us had heard of it, watched gameplay on it and listened to all the rubbish that the developers threw our way. Now I don’t want to come on here and slate No Mans Sky since it wasn’t an awful game but rather a false advertised game that altered everybody’s perception of it. We perceived it to be an open-ended universe with thousands upon thousands of planets that could be discovered by other players worldwide and we could meet said players on these discovered or even undiscovered planets. Bit awkward when the game got released and there wasn’t a single other player in sight, yeah that’s right the developers lied about how massive the multiplayer was, this was one of their key selling points yet it was all lies!

Now we’ve got the worst part out of the way let us move on to brighter things, this year saw the release of many incredible games, it’s difficult to choose just one…..but I did and I will discuss my personal favourite in detail another time. Dark Souls 3 and Uncharted 4 both spring to mind when it comes to major games this year since they are both in fact the closing chapters to their respective stories. I have been a long-time fan of the SoulsBorne series, the immersive boss fights, the eerie unnerving atmosphere that the game projects, but most of all it’s the challenge and being able to say I did it I beat this game, while the series has made others cry I have conquered all that From Software has thrown at me. Then we have Uncharted 4, again I have been an Uncharted fan since its release in 2007, the story of Nathan Drake has got to be one of the most epic, action packed incredible adventures that I have had the joy of playing. Which is why it’s sad to see the stories of the age of fire and the fortune hunter come to an end, 2016 has given us the final chapters to two amazing stories that we had all been waiting for, I think it’s fair to say that they didn’t disappoint. From Soft and Naughty Dog thanks for the memories, no doubt that whatever ventures you pursue next they will be just as fun and exhilarating as your already established franchises.

Final Fantasy XV finally hit our consoles in November after over 10 years of being in the works, sure I accept that for some true fans of the franchise it might not be the best, heck you might not even think it feels like Final Fantasy with the new combat system. However I did find it to be an enjoyable experience, the comradery of Noct, Gladio, Ignis and Prompto was endearing, it was fun to see and hear the banter displayed between the friends.

DOOM! While this might have been a long time coming, I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t really following the build up to its release, I knew what to expect though I mean its DOOM right? It was bound to be about the demons of hell, with us sending them back there with a shotgun to the face, pretty simple concept like back in the 1990s when DOOM first entered our lives. DOOM 3 took the franchise in a different direction, a more horror based direction which did in some respects slow down the gameplay that DOOM was loved for. For this reboot to succeed they needed to correct the wrongs from DOOM 3, and correct they did. This game exploded out back in May, it was fast, it was fun, it was gory, it had big guns and IT WAS CHAOS! It was DOOM! It was what we had all been dying to play for years, it was how DOOM should be played, DOOM made its comeback in 2016 in a huge way, ID mean business I look forward to seeing what direction they are taking the revitalised franchise in.

Besides these 4 awesome games that I have given a special mention to 2016 was filled to the brim with other enjoyable, exciting games. Deus Ex Mankind Divided with it’s incredible RPG elements sprung Jensen back into action in August, as ever the character development was as deep and immersive as you would expect from an RPG of this magnitude. Overwatch came out, Blizzards new baby absolutely destroyed Battleborn in their rivalry earlier this year. Now I have made a post on this, in fact I believe it was my very first post on this blog, so I won’t go into too much detail here having already covered it but I will say this, Battleborn was my personal favourite of the two which was helped by the fact that it offered a single player mode, for me personally I like to have the option to play solo or online. Other games I feel we should give a mention to are JOY for the Xbox One, Street fighter V make no mistake though I am a Mortal Kombat fangirl so even though 2016 gave us an exciting new instalment to the Street Fighter franchise it hasn’t really done as much for me as Mortal Kombat X did in 2015, with Injustice 2 coming out next year as well, I do feel that in the long run Street Fighter V won’t be as loved as it is now, I wouldn’t be doing the game justice if I didn’t say it had been a highlight for many this year. Most of the Resident Evil numbered games were remastered this year, this was a smart move by Capcom, with Resident Evil 7 set to hit our consoles in just a few weeks it has given many fans the opportunity to reminisce about the series, to replay the games that have a somewhat nostalgic effect. I have recently played through Resident Evil 5 and 6, with 4 still to go, got to save the best for last, it has been amazing to remind myself of why Resident Evil has been so successful, except for the Cerberus dogs, I hate those damn things!

There are many more games that I could talk about and who knows maybe they will get their own posts eventually but for now I think we have one more major thing about 2016 to cover. Can you guess what it is? Yes, that’s right the PlayStation VR, Virtual Reality gaming has become a reality. The feel of the VR is incredible, admittedly the price for this technology is insane, but that’s what you must pay for something this amazing. If you have ever wanted to be Batman or just to feel like Batman you finally can, as you see through the eyes of the dark knight, come on that’s reason enough to love the VR surely. If that isn’t enough for you and you happen to be a horror fan who enjoys terrifying themselves then the VR is still a must for you. In 2015 the hit horror game Until Dawn came to PS4, 2016 saw the release of spin off a game called rush of blood, made especially for the VR system. Or with the release of Resident Evil 7 coming up maybe you are ready to face the horrors of the Resident Evil universe yourself in first person, as if it is you that is being terrorised and tormented. Honestly the main reason for me wanting the VR was ready for Resident Evil 7, it’s going to scare the hell out of me, if you want to laugh at my misfortune I’ll be recording my misery especially for you guys on YouTube so keep an eye out for that.

I know there is so much more that I could talk about in regards to how good 2016 has been to us gamers, it has been a truly memorable year that won’t soon be forgotten for gamers around the world. Now is the time to look forward to 2017, to what is also set to be an incredible year of gaming, filled with many games that we have all been waiting for, I have no problem with stating that my gaming event of the year for 2017 will be Mass Effect Andromeda, nearer the time I will share with you all why my love for Mass Effect runs so deep and what I believe we can expect from Andromeda.

Since 2017 looks to be just as good if not better than 2016 I will make a post talking about what we can expect in the exciting new year. 2016 has been a blast, no doubt it has given everybody a game they love. I look forward to carrying on sharing my thoughts and experiences with you in the new year.