Human orgasm is a pretty amazing thing: the release of copious amounts of a variety of hormones coupled with the muscular contractions associated with a sort of pleasure both divine and base is something that many spend money, time and mental well-being in the search of a better experience of it. No, dear reader, I am not about to make what would have been an incredibly obviously telegraphed claim that success in Dark Souls in the form of defeating an area boss surpasses the level of physical and emotional tumult that accompanies orgasm: I am, rather, going to make the claim that there are wonderful parallels between the two.
Bear with me: it may seem quite the stretched simile, but there’s at least some surface truth to it. Prior to the spectacular main event of muscle spasm and endorphin release, there’s a great deal of work to get there: whether with or without a partner, there’s the issue of laying the groundwork, the onset of arousal and necessary physical manipulation of genitalia to get one where one wants go. In the world of Dark Souls, this is the slog through the level proper, dealing with the minor enemies present, collecting any items you come across that you may need either now or later on your quest to your goal. Following this is the awareness that you are close to where you want to be, the tension in the pelvic floor and heartbeat felt in every extremity; the sight of the fog that you must cross to meet your violent conclusion. Next, crescendo: a body out of control, slave to the impulses of the autonomic nervous system; a protagonist flailing wildly for their life against a force much bigger than themselves. Finally, a refractory period: the realisation that everything that you’ve just done is pointless owing to the fact that reveling in the more primal of hedonistic pursuits does little more to further your own goals; the realisation that everything you’ve just done is pointless because you’re only going to have to do it again for something much bigger and harmful.
All of the above is to say that I defeated the Capra Demon, was ecstatic about it and then realised that I’ve only got x number of similarly tough bosses to go. Much is made in the common discourse on Dark Souls of the relatively higher difficulty of the Capra Demon when compared to other bosses because of the tight nature of the arena and the presence of two enemy dogs who just get in your way a fair bit, but I couldn’t shake the feeling after the initial excitement of having surpassed yet another obstacle that this was just another stepping stone crossed, with far worse to come. This fear was only exacerbated by the realisation that my passage through the Capra Demon fight was down to in no small part contingencies arising from my initial class choice: had I gone with any other choice, I would not have had access to the pyromancy that proved so useful in my victory, with only some poking with a halberd resulting in the final result. Ecstasy, followed only by doubt: this was going to have to be how I continued playing the game.
Incredibly excited by that proposition, I decided that I would make use of the souls earned from the battle to restock some supplies and then head to the Depths with my shiny new key.