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Dark Souls Tips #5 – Choose the Master Key As Starting Gift

June 1, 2012

After a few hours of gameplay and dozens of deaths, I finally realized I should have picked the Master Key as my starting gift.  My anger and frustration kept mounting every time I saw the extremely puny and useless Tiny Being Ring’s in my inventory.  Do not make the same mistake I did!  Seriously, make sure you choose the Master Key during the character creation process, unless of course your starting class is the thief (he gets the Master Key as a default).  This key is incredibly helpful.  It unlocks a number of doors. But most importantly, it opens up the way to Blighttown, Valley of Drakes and Darkroot Garden immediately after reaching the Firelink Shrine bonfire.  Acquiring better equipment and souls earlier in the game makes Dark Souls a bit less daunting.  You can make a beeline for the Dragon Crest Shield and Astora’s Straight Sword in the Valley of Drakes.  Or you can try to get as much loot as possible if you don’t mind a bit or farming while you literally run for your life.  If you are really greedy, see my post for Dark Souls Tip #10 to fully raid Blighttown and other locations available with the Master Key.  In addition to unlocking a shortcut to Valley of Drakes, the Master Key also replaces the Residence Key.  You normally would have to buy the residence Key or kill the Undead Merchant for it.  Just like the residence Key, the Master Key unlocks doors in Undead Burg leading to Gold Pine Resin.  If you have an upgraded weapon, stable shield and have perfected the backstab (see Tip #7), use the Master Key to unlock to door leading down to Havel The Rock in Undead Burg.  He drops Havel’s Ring which boosts equipment load and might let you wield heavier weapons, shields or armor.  The Master Key also replaces the Mystery Key.  Head to Undead Parish to free Knight Lautrec of Carim, and he will be available in Firelink Shrine and can be summoned for some boss fights.  If he rubs you the wrong way (and he will), he drops a lot of humanity and the incredibly powerful Ring of Favor and Protection.  In Senn’s Fortress, the Master Key unlocks a cage with a valuable Soul of a Hero and one holding Big Hat Logan prisoner.  After you free Logan, he can teach you high level spells back in Firelink Shrine.  Finally in The Depths, the Master Key doubles for the Sewer Chamber Key and unlocks the only somewhat hidden bonfire in this area.  Watch this video showing you different locations and uses for the Master Key.  Don’t miss out on this most useful item at the beginning of the game.

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