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Dark Polls - The Master Key


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Starting gift: Master Key  

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8 minutes ago, amc said:

I've finished all the Souls games and can't remember the Master key. Is it something you can pick at the very start?

 

Fucking memory of a gnat me.

 

Yeah it's one of the boons or whatever you get to choose at the beginning when you make your toon.

I think it's fine to have the master key. One of the key memories is opening lots of doors and ending up in areas where you have to leg it for your life because you really weren't supposed to be there. I don't think it ruins anything at all. I really ought to start a new character without it and see what I can't open.

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4 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

 

Yeah it's one of the boons or whatever you get to choose at the beginning when you make your toon.

I think it's fine to have the master key. One of the key memories is opening lots of doors and ending up in areas where you have to leg it for your life because you really weren't supposed to be there. I don't think it ruins anything at all. I really ought to start a new character without it and see what I can't open.

This is why you don’t take it first, because you’ll never experience the game without it otherwise.

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13 minutes ago, therearerules said:

This is why you don’t take it first, because you’ll never experience the game without it otherwise.

 

But I don't know any different now, and the memories formed from taking it don't make me feel like I've cheated or missed any kind of exploration or anything like that. The only thing that mars this game for me (top 5 ever, fact fans) is Smough and fucking Ornstein. Those cunts had me at a standstill for a ridiculous amount of time. So much so I absolutely pissed through the second half of the game. I think bosses like the Four Kings and Gwyn I did in less than double figure attempts each.

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It's a no from me, dawg.

Spoiler

 

I can see why people think that getting lost in Blighttown for a beginner might be an exciting adventure, but for 95% of players it's only going to an exercise in utter frustration.

 

You still have The Catacombs and New Londo Ruins as 'wrong' ways for new players to go and face overpowered enemies and get a bit lost early on, without them tearing their hair out and dropping the game.

 

 

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If we're talking about a Dark Souls virgin then its a definite "No". It's daunting enough already when you stumble into the two early "Nope, not this way!" areas, you don't need to add even more dangerous avenues on top of that. Sure, they'd eventually figure out the Burg is the way forward, but how deflated would they be by that point? 

 

If you've played Souls out of sequence and want to try this game having enjoyed and familiarised yourself with the others, then its a "Yes" for sure!

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There's no option for "It doesn't matter", so I can't respond.

 

All I can say is that I took it on my first play through, and had a marvellous time sticking my beak into scary areas, yoinking loot I probably didn't deserve/couldn't use yet, but the game did a wonderful job of ultimately funnelling me down the "correct" path anyway. 

 

I strongly suspect that it's only really going to break anything if you are already familiar with the game, and therefore know how and where to use it. I can't even remember which doors it opens that would otherwise have been locked anyway. 

 

Edit: I found my original posts from my first playthrough. As you can see, I was having a blast:

 

 

 

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FROM rarely do anything by accident. If they intended the Master Key for NG+ or second run-throughs they could have simply engineered it that way.

Basically, if it's fine by Miyazaki for me to have it from the off, who am I to argue?

 

I took it my first game, and have absolutely no regrets. You do you.

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99% of new players will get fucked over by every area that the Master Key unlocks.

 

Saying that 99% of new players will get fucked over by every area anyway :)

 

I've voted for don't take as the game can get confusing as it is without that added difficulty spike. Yes, some folk have taken it and loved it. Well done you but you are also in the minority of players who were "gud" to begin with. Don't forget, most people bounce off this game fairly quickly. Taking the Master Key would make them think that the whole game is nigh on impossible to get through.

 

Ultimately, the choice is down to the player but personally I love how the areas unfold and how you gradually realise how they all link together

 

Subsequent playthroughs or NG+...go for it!

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Nick R said:

The other option it is to get it partway through your first playthrough, by

 

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buying it from Domnhall of Wales after you ring both Bells and he moves from the Depths to the platform under the Firelink aqueduct.

 

What would it unlock at that point?

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2 hours ago, Hawklord said:

I love how the areas unfold and how you gradually realise how they all link together


Totally this. Master Key would be like eating all the sweeties at once. The gradual unlocking of the various gated areas and the sense of discovery that comes with it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. With the Master Key there’d be a temptation to just run around unlocking new areas any time you get stuck, rather than persevering and really getting to know a location like the back of your hand, just one or two “levels” at a time.

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Another thing, you know that feeling when you come across a locked door / inaccessible ledge / otherwise gated area in a game that focuses on exploration? If you’re anything like me, you become really excited and intrigued by what lies beyond that point, and you mentally commit the gate to memory, and proceed throughout the rest of the game world, building up a real sense of anticipation about going back there, if only you could find that key! 


You might even eventually begin to forget where it was, or that it was even there in the first place and then boom, you get the key / item / McGuffin and you instantly drop everything you’re doing and make a beeline for that mysterious area you’ve been building up in your subconscious this whole time. Surely one of the best feelings that this beloved pastime can provide! The Master Key takes that whole concept and pisses on its face :( 

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15 minutes ago, Calashnikov said:


Totally this. Master Key would be like eating all the sweeties at once. The gradual unlocking of the various gated areas and the sense of discovery that comes with it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. With the Master Key there’d be a temptation to just run around unlocking new areas any time you get stuck, rather than persevering and really getting to know a location like the back of your hand, just one or two “levels” at a time.

 

But as a new player you don't know what areas the key unlocks. There's no "running around" unlocking new areas. You just do exactly what you do without the Master Key, only as you're exploring you may or may not come across a door you can unlock. 

 

As I've said, the sense of discovery and map design of this game blew me away. Being able to open a door in a tower, and get to the tough backside of Blight Town in no way diminished that. The game still does an amazing job of channelling you down the proper route.

 

It's actually quite a small list of things it allows you to access anyway:

 

Residences in upper Undead Burg, save for that of Griggs of Vinheim (Replaces Residence Key).

Bottom of the tower in which Havel resides in Undead Burg. This leads to Darkroot Basin, and the door can be accessed from that side as well (Replaces Watchtower Basement Key).

Lautrec's cell door in Undead Parish (Replaces Mystery Key).

Door to the bonfire in The Depths (Replaces Sewer Chamber Key).

The passageway between New Londo and the Valley of Drakes (Replaces Key to New Londo Ruins).

The cage doors in Sen's Fortress (but not the elevator cages) (Replaces Cage Key)

 

Only two of those in my opinion dramatically alter the route you can take in the game, and as a newb I don't honestly think you would venture too far into those areas anyway without quickly realising you weren't ready. I certainly didn't! Apparently I grabbed a key from a chest in the top part of Blight Town and legged it!

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Actually, tbf, the Master Key doesn’t piss on the face of discovery. That’s overly dramatic. It’s playful and it’s neat and it’s a fucking cool option to have, undoubtedly. It just runs the danger of stripping the game of one of my personal favourite dopamine hits that the medium is capable of providing - you found the fucking key!

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5 minutes ago, Calashnikov said:

Then where’s the anticipation about hopefully finding a key and being able to come back to unlock a tantalising door? There isn’t one. You come across the door first time and you open it :( 

 

Yeah, and then you go into somewhere you shouldn't, get your ass whupped, and mentally file it on the list of "Places to come back to". 

 

It's only in hindsight that I'd now be able to think "Right, I'll peg it down to Blight Town, grab the (insert OP pyromancy/weapon/armour) here, homeward bone out, run down to the Catacombs..." etc. 

 

At the time, it was just an amazing feeling to have all those options open to me. And seeing it all link back up again was just...mwa! (chef kissing fingers gesture)

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