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Dark Souls Beginner’s Guide for Collecting Loot in Early Game – Part II

March 23, 2012

Part II

You should now have several thousand souls along with some powerful gear for early game.  Two Dexterity upgrades to the Cleric will allow you to yield Astora’s Straight Sword, a magical weapon that can skewer Firelink Shrink enemies.  You can stop looting at this point and commence the game proper by heading up the hilly right path and into the aqueduct tunnel, after upgrading and equipping at the bonfire.

However, if you trust your evasion and running skills, you can loot Blighttown for some massive large souls, reinforcement materials and heavy duty weaponry.  There are dangerous enemies here within a poisonous swamp loaded with annoying mosquitoes.   The weak of heart need not apply but fearless and patient warriors will be richly rewarded.

If you have the courage, head to the Valley of Drakes for more adventures.  Do not cross the suspension bridge but rather take the path right to the cave, which is the back entrance to Blighttown.  You will need to quickly roll and descend down many ladders and a waterwheel until you reach the swamp floor.  To the left of the waterwheel, as you face the swamp, a hidden bonfire awaits inside a cave.  The back of the cave holds dragon scale, a reinforcement material for dragon weapons.

You will likely die a few times as you learn the way down and perfect the timing needed to avoid the dart snipers, which can make you toxic.  But the rewards are significant and will make your early game avatar very powerful.  Let’s soldier on…

Crimson Robe Set and Remedy

Before you reach the cave entrance to Blighttown, equip the spider shield and make sure equipment load is at 25% maximum.  The cave entrance is guarded by 3 Infested Barbarians with poisoned clubs.  They are slow but have good reach and pack a punch.  Run past the first one and you should see two more quickly spawn.  Take advantage and keep running if any of them do a warning roar.

Once past the Barbarians, there is a chest with a key to the Depths on the left and a ladder leading down on the right.  Ignore the chest and slide down the ladder and you should see an opening with another ladder to the right.  This entire area can be sniped by toxic dart throwers.  You will most likely die if you become toxic because your health bar will deplete at an alarming rate.  The pyromancer’s high poison armor will help.  Also, remember to run with the spider shield raised for protection.  Try to roll or jump down the platforms instead of taking the ladders to avoid being hit with a dart.  After 3 drops you should be near or at the waterwheel level.  Look for the jump off point marked by two torches and land on one of the waterwheel paddles.  After a few seconds, you will have to jump off to the platform leading down to the swamp.

Do not despair if you die prematurely.  Try to memorize the quickest way down using rolls and jumps.  On your first attempt, edge to the walkway left past the first ladder and look down.  You will see a series of platforms that can be reached with quick rolls or jumps.  After a few iterations, you should be able to reach the waterwheel quickly and safely via rolls and jumps only.

Once at the ground level, continue to the left (as you face away from the waterwheel) and dodge 2 fire-spewing cragspiders.  The swamp will slow you down to a trot so try to stay on the ground as much as you can.  You can also try continuous rolling instead of running on the swamp.  After the second cragspider, you should see a sewer opening with the bonfire, and a treasure chest at its furthest point.

Rest at the bonfire.  This will be your staging point for treasure raids.  Don’t worry about dying as it is faster than sloshing back to the bonfire.  The goal is to collect the Crimson Robe Set, large soul items, green titanite, large titanite and as many other items as you want.  In particular, the Crimson Robe Set is a fantastic early game light-armor set with good magic, fire and high curse protection.

To get it, head back to the waterwheel and up the ladders.  You will notice the paddles that go up are a bit further back from where you initially landed off the paddles going down.  Once off the paddles, keep to the left and go up the ladder.  After ascending, you will have a choice of going left or right.  The path to the right leads back up and out of Blighttown.  The path to the left leads to the Crimson Robe Set.  You will immediately have to avoid a cragspider and a mosquito.  The next part is a bit tricky as you arrive to an area where you need to go on a tree branch to proceed.  If you try to walk off the center of the branch, you will slide off to your death.  You will also be vulnerable to a toxic dart snipes and may become toxic.  Don’t worry if you do.  The armor set can be reached by pounding down Estus flasks.

Carefully re-center the camera as you proceed on the tree branches. Once past them, you will be back on the platforms and will have to evade another cragspider and perhaps more mosquitoes.  Keep going and you will soon find a body holding the Remedy spell and a chest with the Crimson Set.  This is a dead end.  You can retrace your steps or jump off to revive at the bonfire.

Large Souls X3, Pyromancer Set, Poison Mist, Large Titanite Shard X2

(Note: all directions are from the bonfire cave entrance as you face out).

There are 3 large souls located in a right 90 degree angle triangular pattern from the bonfire.  Step out of the bonfire cave and look left and right.  You should be able to see the two glowing signs.  You will be sloshing through the swamp and avoiding cragspiders and perhaps mosquitoes.  Collect the soul on the right, then the one on the left.  This one is located on a corner underneath a platformed path.  The third large soul is directly opposite this large soul (directionally forward from the bonfire cave) on the other side of the level.

Once at the third large soul, head to the 2:00 o’clock direction and you will find the poison mist spell and the pyromancer’s armor set.  This set has very high fire and poison resistance, good anti-magic and is extremely light.  You may have to dodge a giant leech and mind the pursuing mosquitoes.  From here, head back to the bonfire or suicide.  You can equip the pyromancer set but keep your load at 25%.

There are 2 large titanite shards past the platforms leading up to the water wheel.  One is near the wall and another is on the right side of the column closest to the first shard.  Each soul is guarded by a cragspider.  After collecting the items, make your way back to the bonfire and heal.

Twin Humanities, Plank Shield and Green Titanite Shard

The risk level ratchets up from here.  As you face out from the cave, you should see a “grayish” path off in the distance.  It will become more evident as you progress roughly left from the bonfire cave.  This is a wide tree branch that will lead you into the dangerous and optional Great Hollow.  It is not a short walk, especially at the snail’s pace forced by the swamp, and you will be chased by mosquitoes and a cragspider.

As you near the tree branch, 3 leeches stand guard.  They have a powerful leap attack that can be blocked with the spider shield.  They will not follow you up the branch so quickly make your way up and follow the “branching” path.  You will come upon a dead end with a chest holding a plank shield.  The back wall can be hit to expose the continuing path to another fake dead end with twin humanities in a treasure chest.  There is an illusionary wall to the left of the chest that will lead you to a bonfire and the descent to the Great Hollow.  Do not proceed to this bonfire.

Instead, head back out to Blighttown. Look to your left and you will see a glowing sign for the green titanite shard guarded by 2 leeches.  The easiest way to the shard is to roll onto the rocks and slide down.  Head to the shard immediately but with your shield raised.  Once you have the green shard, you have nothing to lose so try taking on the 2 leeches.  You should be able to wield Astora’s Straight Sword.  Be methodical and patient.  The leeches take long breaks in between leap attacks.  If you are lucky, the leeches will drop a large titanite shard, or even better,  green titanite shard X5 (a not-so-rare drop for leeches).  If you die, you will be back at the cave bonfire with much useful treasure.

Other Blighttown Loot

There is additional loot here but I would not recommend any of it at this point.  These items are guarded by very tough enemies, some require high attributes and others are not much better than the loot already in your possession.  However, here is a quick run-down for the greedy (directions from the bonfire cave):

The Great Club

It is located at the far side of the level roughly at the 1 o’clock position guarded by 2 rock-throwing Infested Barbarians.

The Server and a Large Titanite Shard

They are hidden at the very end of the swamp left of the branched entrance to the Great Hollow.  On your way, you will have to battle 15 leeches.  The good news is that you are almost guaranteed another large titanite and potentially a green titanite X5 if you make it.

Wanderer Set and Falchion

This set and weapon are behind a ladder in the platforms leading to the upper levels of Blighttown.  Please note I am referring to the platforms left of the bonfire cave, not the water wheel platforms.  The armor set and falchion are past several cragspiders and a blow dart sniper.  Pat yourself in the back if you can get these items.

Other Upper Level treasure can be found up this platform.  However, the toxic snipers will make it almost impossible to proceed without the remedy spell or many Blooming Purple Moss Clumps.

The Great Hollow Treasure

Unlike the remaining treasure in the swamp, the Great Hollow holds some very worthwhile treasure but the risk is high for a low level character.

WARNING: You can be cursed in the Great Hollow.  If you have been following this guide and are cursed here, your character is severely limited.  You may have to delete the character save and start over.  While it is possible to make it out of the swamp and back to Firelink Shrine while cursed, the necessary healing item (purging stone) is not available until you unlock the undead female merchant or Oswald of Carim.  The cost is 3,000 to 6,000 souls depending on the merchant.  The paths to the merchants are treacherous and require a boss fight.

Now that we have that at out the way, let’s go raiding.  There is nothing like the feeling of using a low level character to get a rare item from a dangerous dungeon guarded by powerful enemies… and live to tell about it. Luckily, you have all the gear you need to survive.

Cloranthy Ring

Once at the Great Hollow bonfire, equip the Spider Shield, the Crimson Set and Astora’s Straight Sword. Don’t worry about encumbrance, as you will be proceeding with the utmost of care and patience.  Start down the tree.  Walk slowly along the edge and peer down until you can see a hole in the main trunk with treasure glowing.  This is the Cloranthy Ring, a fantastic item that accelerates stamina regeneration.  To get it, you must roll off the edge.  Do not jump.  If successful, you will land at the very edge of the opening.  Be patient and repeat the roll as many times as needed if you die prematurely.  Once you have the ring, suicide back to the bonfire.

Titanite Chunks and Souls

The path down the tree is too convoluted to detail on this guide.  However, you should score many large souls, and colored and solid titanite chunks if you follow these rules:

  • Walk slowly down the branches.  Do not run or you will fall off.  Adjust the camera accordingly as you corkscrew your way down.
  • The main path closest to the tree trunk has no treasure.  All of the treasure is on offset branches.  You will need to roll, walk or jump off the main branch to the glowing dead bodies.  If you continue on the corkscrew branch, your way will be blocked.  However, the corkscrew branch continues and is accessible from an offset branch above it.
  • Look around and you should be able to puzzle out the best direction and jump off points to the desired branch.
  • Do not try to jump on thinner round branches.  You will fall off to your death.  Only fall onto branches that have a flat surface.
  • You may encounter Basilisks, which are large frog-like creatures.  They will attempt to jump on you and puff up their chests to blow out a large but deadly curse cloud.  It is better to attack single basilisks.  You can block their charges with the Spider Shield.  You can interrupt their curse breath with a sword attack while they are puffing up.  The Crimson Set’s high curse resistance will enable you to live even if exposed to the curse cloud for a few seconds.  If you are up against multiple basilisks, suicide off the branches or down a hole.
  • If lost or unable to get back to the main branch, suicide back to the bonfire.
  • Sometime down, there is a jump off to a side ledge with a ladder.  The ladder descends to an open mid-level with 3 waiting basilisks.  The area is large enough to run around the basilisks and pick them off one at a time, or evade them completely.  Be careful as you descend the ladder closest to the tree trunk.  Look down the hole and you will spot a basilisk ambush.
  • Concentrate on getting the two red titanite chunks.  The first one is located high up and should be the first treasure you collect from an offset branch.  The second one is quite tricky.  You will have to get back on the main corkscrew branch, past the point where it is blocked.  This will require some jumps and rolls from offset branches.  Once back on it, the corkscrew branch will eventually get smaller.  Walk slowly to the end and you will be able to drop onto a very thin branch with a glowing body and the red titanite chunk.  Aim your drop carefully.  If you do not land in the center of the branch, you will fall to the mid-level open area underneath.  Also, do not take the first jump off with the ladder, as you will bypass the second red titanite chunk altogether.
  • A solid titanite chunk is located outside the mouth of the cave with the 3 basilisks.
  • You may see crystal lizards.  It is better to ignore them until you have raided all of the chunks and souls first.  They can spawn in inaccessible areas.  Incidentally, a cave with crystal lizards can be accessed off a branch near the top of the tree.  Immediately past the bonfire, jump off to another circling branch to reach the cave.  This is a very tricky entrance.

It is possible to make it all the way down the tree trunk.  It is a long way down.  Eventually, you will start to see the environment change.  Mushroom children will rush and body lunge at you.  At the very bottom of the tree, mushroom parents will be waiting in ambush.  The parents are incredibly powerful and will OHK you. There is a way out with a bonfire on the white sands to the right.  Ignore the bonfire and look for the empty trunks that hold dragon scale, and get ready to get pawned by the Hydra.  This is Ash Lake and is incredibly dangerous at this stage.

DO NOT REST at the Ash Lake bonfire.  It will be almost impossible for you to safely climb up and out of the Great Hollow.  It can be done but a low level, under equipped character has very little chance to survive.  This is an optional area that can be visited later in the game after you have leveled up significantly.

My congratulations to you if you made it this far down.

More Large and Green Titanite and Back to Firelink Shrine

Once you have had your fill of raiding, suicide back to the bonfire at the top of the tree.  You can head back to the swamp bonfire in the cave.  Or… you can grind for some green titanite shards.  A fire or magic weapon will require 9 titanite shards.  You already have 1 in your possession.  The leeches drop green titanite X5 or a single large titanite shard.  Concentrate on the 2 leeches that were guarding the first green shard.

If you survive, head towards the area with the Server and dispose of as many leeches as possible.  If you proceed slowly, the leeches can be pulled one at a time.  You should even be able to take on 2 at a time, if you mind your stamina and use Astora’s Straight Sword’s strong attack.  After filling up on green and large shards, head back to the cave bonfire.

From the cave bonfire, the way out is straight forward.  Make sure to equip the Spider Shield and the Pyromancer set but remain at 25% load.  Head to the platforms with the water wheel.  Ascend to the paddle levels and jump on one to ascend further.  Here is the tricky part.  You will have to run with your shield raised to reach one of the ladders.  A blow dart sniper will fire.  If you are quick enough, he will hit the edge of the wall instead of you.  If he doesn’t, suicide back to the bonfire.  You won’t make it to Firelink Shrine if toxic.

Once you have successfully ascended to the highest ground, run past the Infested Barbarians.  They may have their back to you.  If they happen to hit and poison you, do not despair. You should be able to survive to Firelink Shrine by downing Estus Flasks.  Once out of the Blighttown Cave, carefully traverse the wooden foot bride and use the towers to reach Firelink Shrine.

Congratulations, you are a baller!  If you have not consumed any souls, you should have over 20K in your inventory (from Part I and II of this guide).  Instead of immediately leveling up, consider buying the Crest of Artorias from Andre of Astora.  The crest will unlock the stone door in Darkroot Garden.  The area inside can be farmed by leading powerful NPC’s to their death (if you can make it to the dead end next to stairs and the cliff). You can collect 7,000 souls with each successful farming run, so the Crest will pay for itself very quickly.

Enjoy the rest of the game with your high level gear and character.

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One Comment
  1. BigStupidJellyFish permalink

    “There are 2 large titanite shards past the platforms leading up to the water wheel. One is near the wall and another is on the right side of the column closest to the first shard. Each soul is guarded by a cragspider. After collecting the items, make your way back to the bonfire and heal.”

    There is only 1 large titanite shard in that portion of Blighttown. I’ve checked a few other guides/maps and they all listed only 1 shard in the Western portion of the swamp area.
    I think you meant the 1st shard is on the other side of the map (near the Great Hollow Tree entrance).

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