Northern Undead Asylum
 Northern Undead Asylum
The Northern Undead Asylum is the beginning of The Chosen Undead's journey, locked away amongst the other Undead that scatter the prison. Your character, however, is unlike any of the others. He is locked inside of a holding cell, but is not experiencing the same effects as those slowly turning hollow. A stranger, who you will come to know as Oscar, Knight of Astora, happens to come across you during his Undead Pilgrimage and tosses down a corpse that carries the Prison Key. This key will unlock your cell door and give you the opportunity to escape, ultimately to discover and explore the world of Lordran. The Northern Undead Asylum can be considered (respectfully so) the tutorial for Dark Souls, but just as punishing and/or difficult when it comes to teaching you the basics.
 Corresponding Locations
|Asylum Demon||Oscar, Knight of Astora||Hollow||Starting Equipment|
|Snuggly the Crow||Undead Soldier||Dungeon Cell Key|
|Undead Asylum F2 East Key|
|Big Pilgrim's Key|
|Demon's Great Hammer|
|Soul of a Lost Undead|
1. Once the cutscene ends, you'll find that you're incarcerated within a holding cell. If you walk up to the corpse with the glowing soul, you'll be able to pick up the Dungeon Cell Key, allowing you to now open the cell door.
2. The hallway you enter contains docile mobs and they will not attack you, even if you attack them. You may spend this time to learn more about the offensive aspects of the game or pick up a few souls, then continue until you reach a ladder, which you should climb.
3. Once you're up and out of the pit, you'll find that just around the corner, a sword is stuck between a couple of logs. This is called a Bonfire and serves as the checkpoint system throughout the game, meaning that if you die, you will respawn at the one most recently used. Press the action key to rest at the bonfire; doing so will restore all health and remove any ill effects, among other beneficial features.
4. After resting at the bonfire, approach the large doors and use the action button to open them. Upon entering the courtyard, you'll be encountered by nothing more than dozens of pots scattered near a bunch of pillars. However, take a few more steps and you'll be encountered by the first boss, the Asylum Demon. Retreat to the left of him to find a small passageway as you'll have the opportunity to fight him later, after gaining access to a more powerful weapon as well as a shield. If you feel as if you have the ability to slay the demon at this point and successfully do so, you'll obtain the Demon's Great Hammer. However, this is not advised.
5. Upon entering, you'll notice another bonfire awaiting your presence. Feel free to rest here, especially if you've already taken damage from the surprising boss. Continue past the murky waters and take the corridor down, where a skeleton archer awaits you as well as several souls lying on the ground.
6. Avoiding the arrows, make your way to the first open doorway to the left, in which you'll find your character's starting shield. To equip the shield, go to the main menu and toggle the right bumper to pull up the equipment menu. Find the icon for a shield and select the first box to the right, then select your newly found shield. This is the same process you'll use to equip your soon-to-be sword, as well as future armor, arrows, bolts, weapons, and shields. Continue on by rushing towards the skeleton, who will immediately retreat behind the corner as you pick up the soul he was guarding. You'll find that the soul is a far stronger weapon than your currently broken one so equip it immediately.
7. Continue on, but be careful going around the corner as the skeleton archer will be waiting for you. Holding your shield up, approach him and attack. After you defeat him, continue on through the Fog Gate and you'll see a broken cell door with a familiar individual inside. Take the pathway to the right and head up the stairs, but be careful! A rolling boulder will at the top and after you go up a certain amount of steps, an enemy will push it down and potentially crush you causing some major damage.
8. Turn around and you'll see that the boulder collided with the wall, opening up a gap to the cell that you saw the familiar figure in. Head inside and you'll find that you're in the presence of Oscar, Knight of Astora and should speak to him. He'll give you an important item known as Estus as well as the Key. Once you leave, he'll succumb to his own insanity and become a Hollow (though he disappears during this event). With your items, head down and open up a shortcut to the first bonfire that you lit, rest and restock your Estus if you need to.
9. Go back through the shortcut and up the stairs, though you needn't worry about that boulder again. Kill the enemy that pushed down the boulder previously and continue on through the locked door, which will open thanks to the key you got from Oscar. Continue on to the open area; if you started out as the Pyromancer, Sorcerer, Cleric, or Hunter, you'll find some additional starting gear on the ground.
10. Around the corner, three Hollows will be waiting in ambush so take a cautious approach. Lure the two foot soldiers out, letting the archer fire aimlessly against a wall in the meantime, and take them out by performing a backstab on the two or waiting until they become stunned after striking your shield. Move on and kill the archer as well, then continue past the Fog Gate, you'll be going through there shortly.
11. In here, you'll find a stronger enemy than the previous Hollows that you encountered, an Undead Soldier. He has a shield and sword, meaning that he is capable of defending himself against your attacks. If you're brave enough to do so, feel free to practice your parrying on him by pressing the left trigger. If successfully performed, you'll temporarily stun the enemy and you'll need to press the right bumper to perform the riposte, which inflicts noticeably more damage than a backstab. However, it's a risk vs. reward decision. If you're uncomfortable at this point, attempt to go for backstabs or wait until he stuns himself after striking your shield.
12. Go back to the Fog Gate, but beforehand, take a swig of your Estus to restore your health. Enter the Fog Gate and you'll find you're a story above the Asylum Demon. If you walk off and, while falling, press the right bumper, you'll perform a plunging attack and inflict some massive damage on the boss. However, it won't kill him. Once he recovers from the attack, he'll begin to fight you by swinging around his hammer or by performing a "butt slam" on the ground. Most of his attacks can be avoided by rolling, but it most certainly will take practice and potentially a few deaths so do not feel discouraged. If you die, you'll respawn back to the point of Step 8 so it's not a tragic loss whatsoever.
13. Once you defeat him, you'll obtain the Big Pilgrim's Key and have the ability to open the large doors that he was guarding. Celebrate your victory by opening up the doors and walking out, you've overcome the Northern Undead Asylum! If you pay attention to the right side of the pathway, you'll find a large nest; the home of Snuggly the Crow, an NPC that you'll come back to later down the road. If you'd like a tasty treat before your departure, head to the left instead of right once you're near Snuggly and you'll find an Soul of a Lost Undead.
14. Continue on down the pathway until you reach the edge and a cutscene will play. A giant crow will pick you up and deliver you to the central location of the world known as Firelink Shrine. You have officially completed the Tutorial Area of Dark Souls.. now Prepare to Die...
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