Dark Souls: Missed Opportunities

In the Undead Burg, the lowest-level area adjacent to the hub, there is a treasure chest visible on a balcony near the main path. You can see the open doorway leading onto this balcony, but the building leading to it is locked tight, and I couldn’t seem to find the key. This lack of completion troubled me whenever I went back to the Undead Burg. It wasn’t the loot that I desired, really. Whatever was in the chest, chances are that, a few dozen hours into the game, I already had something better. But it bothers me to leave anything unopened.

Well, last night, I finally found the key. It’s sold by a vendor in another part of the Burg, off the main path forward. It’s possible that I’ve passed right by him before — he’s sitting on the floor amidst a bunch of clutter, and kind of blends in with the clutter. Finding him solves another mystery as well: I had obtained a crossbow early on, but couldn’t find any ammo for it until I reached the smith way at the end of Undead Parish, who sells bolts and arrows in addition to weapon upgrades. Well, guess what? That vendor in the Burg also sells bolts and arrows. I could have been doing ranged attacks a lot earlier. If I had, I might not have gone down the path of the Strength-based melee fighter the way I did.

If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you know that this is not an isolated incident. It keeps happening. I take a break from pressing ahead, and I wander around an area that I think of as “completed”, and I wind up finding new stuff that could have been old stuff if I had been more diligent. But I think this is just part of the structure of the game. When you first come to a new area, your ability to explore is curtailed by the fact that you’re fighting for your life all the time and have to make it to a bonfire (checkpoint) before your healing supplies run out. It’s only on returning with greater power that you have the luxury of true thoroughness. Every new player’s experience will be constrained by what they’ve found, but probably in different ways from person to person. And that’s fine. I didn’t absolutely need those arrows at that point in the game. There’s always an alternative.

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