The Let's Play Archive

Dark Souls II

by IGgy IGsen

Part 26: Dragon Shrine

re-uploading and further uploading of downloadable episodes will be postponed because I'll most likely get an internet upgrade very soon. May also allow me to stream the Fight Club for those not participating after all.

Two episodes at once for two short areas, originally intended to be released separately but I got them both done in time so here they are. They both have the word Dragon in them that's how you know it's a fantasy game. You can actually run through both areas combined in 5 minutes tops provided you know where to go. Which I usually do because I'm not too fond of them.

Havel's Set along with the Dragon Sage Hood. Also rocking the Zweihänder, and I missed my opportunity to pronounce that weapon's name to show you all how it's done! More importantly, though, we're using the Gyrm Greatshield which is one if the best Greatshields in my opinion. It has really high stability and the defenses aren't too shabby either.

That Big Guy with a Mace
I believe I may have hyped that guy up a little too much in my video. It's not that he's ultra hard it's just that he's not fun to fight due to his ludicrously fast recovery from his swings. It's the guy from Heide's Tower of Flame but he hits harder and more.

Ancient Dragon

This absolutely friendly and explicitly non-hostile beast is hanging out at the end of the dragon shrine, waiting to impart some of that dragon wisdom dragons are so famous for in those fantasy novels where dragons can talk. Well honestly, to say he imparts wisdom is giving him a little too much credit. It's more like cryptic ramblings and then he gives you an item called the Ashen Mist Heart the item description of which goes as follows:

Manifestation of ashen mist received from the ancient dragon.
The magic of the ancient dragon allows one to delve into the memories of the withered.

Now, what the fuck is this and why did he give it to us? I don't think I have a satisfactory answer to either of those questions. The immediate first conclusion most souls lore crazies, including myself, would jump to would be that it has something to do with the ash left by the first flame or one of its possibly numerous rekindlings that happen across the years. But the part where it tells us that it allows us to delve into the memories of the withered is an important clue if you want to make further progress through the game. If you don't read that you will not even have a shadow of an idea on what to do next. We are of course going to see what to do next in the next episode.

The ancient dragon, though, may or may not be an actual dragon. At the very least we can say that it was most likely artificially created. By Aldia, who else? The biggest clue you will get for this is that you will receive the Soul of a Giant (and nothing else) if you defeat the Ancient Dragon (the fact that there is no other reward is why it's considered a waste of time to fight the dragon). We know that Giants took the role dragons had in the first game. It's either that dragon souls and giant's souls are identical or Aldia recreated the ancient dragon from the bottom of Brightstone Cove Tseldora using the souls of giants. After all we can see the corpses of giants in his mansion. Furthermore: Aldia has disappeared. Some believe he turned into Navlaan, others believe that he himself became the ancient dragon as a result of his experimentation. Which means he achieved what Seath never could. Take that Seath!

Now, okay, should you decide to fight the Ancient Dragon despite the reward not being worth it (Giant's souls have one use aside from the souls you get from them and you technically don't need a single one, but more on that later into the LP) there's something that you should be aware of: It's gonna be a long fight. The ancient dragon has a lot of HP (about 20.000 if the wikis are to be believed)

It does enough fire damage to kill most characters outright. While it's possible to beat him without getting hit (which is what I tried to do) it's probably smarter to get your fire defense as ludicrously high as possible. I'm talking really high. 1000 means you're immune, but getting that consistently is not really possible. Stuff like Flash Sweat coupled with good fire resist and maybe a good shield (Gyrm Greatshield) might do the job, but I've not tested this.

He's a really easy boss if you can take more than one hit. His most dangerous attack is flying up and breathing fire downwards. Which covers a large part of the arena. He will move while in the air and it's difficult to predict where he's gonna move and whether it's going to be save where you're headed. If you stand in front of him he will either start moving his wings and do that attack or start breathing fire, in which case you should get close to his front legs. He'll then follow up by flying up again. This is something that you can repeat until you kill it. Or you get unlucky and it kills you.

Another popular strategy is to stay near his hind legs (pick one). You can attack it a couple times and he will then try to stomp you, which pretty much just means that you should run to safety. Staying there unfortunately does not remove his downward fire breath from the equation. He'll still do that. Apparently he can also do physical attacks with his front legs, but he's never done that to me.

If you want me to defeat the Ancient Dragon I'll do it but be aware that it's essentially just going to be what you've seen in today's video only repeated a couple times and in the end I'll be rewarded with something we don't really need.

Item Descriptions

Dragon Tooth
Dark Souls II: A giant dragon tooth used as a great hammer. As solid as a boulder, this tooth is said to be taken from a dragon, but the truth of this claim is unclear. What is certain is that is bears some mystical power, and its wielder gains resistance to magic and fire.
Effect: resistance to magic and fire
Dark Souls: Created from an everlasting dragon tooth. Legendary great hammer of Havel the Rock.
The dragon tooth will never break as it is harder than stone, and it grants its wielder resistance to magic and flame.
Note: The dragon tooth from the first game is indeed unbreakable, the one from the second game is not.

Black Dragon Greataxe
In legend, this oddly-shaped greataxe is said to be forged from the Black dragon's tail.
As it is told, the Black dragon lost its tail to a brave warrior in a magnificent battle, and the tail was later used to forge several legendary weapons
Note: A rare drop from those dragon armor knights. The black dragon referenced in the description is probably Kalameet from the first game's DLC. When cutting off his tail one could obtain the Obsidian Greatsword. Tail chopping in general was a thing you could do in Dark Souls to get weapons. Not so much in Dark Souls II, though.

Watchdragon Parma
A shield decorated by intertwined dragons.
The black and white contrast depicts the ebb and flow of the fate of all things living and the serpentine dragons that watch over the march of time.
The bearer of this shield will be blessed by great fortune in battle.
Note: This is one of the shield design contest winners. It features primordial serpents from the first game (pic). Serpents are considered imperfect dragons by some logic within the lore. In the first game Kaathe and Frampt are the two serpents who directly interact with the player. Although the former will only ever talk to you if you don't talk to Frampt. The idea is they oppose each other somehow but in the Dark Lord ending where you refuse to link the fire it's revealed that they apparently don't actually work against each other. Or are they? No clue. It's one of the biggest mysteries as far as I'm concerned. In Dark Souls II they don't show up. Or do they? There's certainly characters who fill their roles. The Emerald Herald, like Frampt, wants you to succeed the current ruler while Nashandra is like Kaathe in that she essentially wants you to become a Dark Lord.

Third Dragon Ring
A dragon signet ring.
Grants its bearer the protection of dragons. Increases HP, stamina, and maximum load, but is easily broken.
Raulmond, knight of Drangleic, served the king by guarding the fort until his own demise, and was said to have cherished this ring throughout his life of service.

Judgment Set
Dark Souls II: Robes honoring an ancient goddess. Sin was said to be her domain, but the name of the goddess is long forgotten.
Little is known about what purpose the robes, only that it was worn by a person of great authority.
Dark Souls: Robe worn by pardoners serving Velka, the Goddess of Sin.
The pardoners' attire is uniformly black in color and said to be imbued with Velka's mystical power, which provides resistance against all manner of magic.
Mask worn by pardoners serving Velka, the Goddess of Sin.
The pardoners listen to the confessions of sinners, urging reflection and salvation. Their masks symbolize separation from
worldly desires.
Note: Velka, sadly, is something that appears to be completely lost in time by the time Dark Souls II rolls around. Out of the deities that weren't that important and thus not really fleshed out she was the most interesting one.

Petrified Egg
A large petrified egg. Surely bears no life.
Eggs are vessels that harbor life itself, and symbolize the deepest secrets of existence. But what does a petrified egg harbor?

Ashen Mist Heart
Manifestation of ashen mist received from the ancient dragon.
The magic of the ancient dragon allows one to delve into the memories of the withered.